Shropshire Archives

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The archives and local studies centre for the historic county of Shropshire.

We have 5 ½ miles of shelving holding local material from 12th century charters right up to yesterday’s Shropshire Star.

Venue Type:

Archive, Library

Opening hours

Wednesday: 10am-5pm
Thursday: 10am-8pm
Friday: 10am-5pm
Saturday: 10am-4pm

Admission charges


Collection details


Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.

Then Only the Empty Spaces

  • 24 October 2015 From 7:30pm

This concert, by the Bloomsbury Chamber Orchestra (BCO), features works associated with the First World War, in one respect or another.

The works of George Butterworth, who was killed on the Somme in 1916, occupies a position in music equivalent to that inhabited by Wilfred Owen in poetry. His orchestral rhapsody A Shropshire Lad, which opens the BCO’s programme, acts as a postlude to Butterworth’s settings of A E Housman’s poetry cycle of the same name, and uses themes found in those songs. Love Blows as the Wind Blows, also by Butterworth, is a short and beautiful song cycle, setting words by W E Henley for which the BCO is joined by the excellent, Shropshire-based tenor, John Bowen.

The two remaining works in the first half of the BCO’s concert are by Michael Turner, a resident of South Shropshire and Music Director of the BCO. A War Song Medley features many well-known tunes, popular at the time of World War One, which Michael Turner has arranged for the orchestra and the Shropshire Girls Choir. The choir also features in a wholly new piece by Michael Turner, Then Only the Empty Spaces which aims to depict in broad terms the dark days before the declaration of war, the early triumphalist attitude to the war, followed by the realisation of the horrors that beset those on the front line. Both A War Song Medley and Then Only the Empty Spaces receive their world premieres at this concert.

The second half is given over to A Pastoral Symphony by Ralph Vaughan Williams. Vaughan Williams had served as an ambulance driver in France and this work, written in 1923, serves as a reminiscence in music of what he witnessed. The second movement includes a passage where the orchestral trumpet imitates the practicing of a bugler, that the composer encountered in France, whose attempts always included a wrong note. For the two vocalises for solo voice that appear at the end of the work, the orchestra will be joined by John Bowen once again.


Butterworth: A Shropshire Lad
Turner: A War Song Medley
Butterworth: Love Blows as the Wind Blows
Turner: Then Only the Empty Spaces
Vaughan Williams: A Pastoral Symphony (No.3)

Bloomsbury Chamber Orchestra
Shropshire Girls Choir
John Bowen, Tenor
Michael Turner, conductor


The Church of St John the Baptist
Bishops Castle,

Shropshire Archives
Castle Gates



Mary McKenzie's email

general archives eail


general public number

01743 255350

Mary McKenzie, County Archivist

01743 255356


general fax number

01743 255355

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.