My Shropshire Life - Alyson Lanning
PUBLISHED: 18:23 20 July 2011 | UPDATED: 19:44 20 February 2013
Alyson Lanning is director of Shrewsbury's youth, music and media centre The Hive, and mum to two teenagers, Alex, 17, and Elizabeth, 15. She was raised in Essex but has lived in Shrewsbury for 11 years
Alyson Lanning is director of Shrewsburys youth, music and media centre The Hive, and mum to two teenagers, Alex, 17, and Elizabeth, 15. She was raised in Essex but has lived in Shrewsbury for 11 years. Alyson supports West Ham FC and had a childhood crush on David Cassidy!
Describe your typical Shropshire weekend:
Its a lot quieter than it used to be! I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis two years ago, so I tend to try to rest as much as possible on days off to recharge my batteries. I like to go out to restaurants with close friends, and at home I enjoy listening to music, watching a good film or sitting in the garden reading.
Whats your favourite county eaterie?
I love The Golden Cross on Princess Street, Shrewsbury - a sumptuous experience and I always have nice food in lovely surroundings at The Mytton & Mermaid in Atcham and Mad Jacks in Shrewsbury.
Where do you like to take a stroll?
I dont do much walking these days but when I could get around a lot more, the South Shropshire hills take some beating for the stunning scenery and Offas Dyke in north Shropshire is fabulous too.
I shop at The White Stuff and the new East, both in Shrewsbury. One treat of living here is the excellent variety of independent businesses like Wisteria Lane and Live Easy on Dogpole and Oberon on Wyle Cop.
Best night out in the county?
For live entertainment the Hive is a real gem in Shrewsburys crown; I know Im biased, but its a great venue for all sorts of music nights. including jazz and folk.
I felt a sense of great achievement when I qualified as a journalist and then when I gained my law degree. At my graduation ceremony, the words of my careers teacher at school were ringing in my ears: You will never do anything with your life Alyson, because you simply refuse to knuckle down and learn!
I feel a great sense of pride in my work and am proud of the team of people I work with who, like me, believe in providing opportunities for young people to enjoy and achieve great things in the arts. We have shared many memorable moments when we have been told we have made a difference for the better to young people we are working with - trite as it may sound, that is the greatest claim to fame I could wish for.
County person you most admire, living or dead?
Eglantyne Jebb, an Ellesmere girl who founded the Save the Children Fund. She was a humanitarian who believed in giving children a voice. She was pretty radical for her time but she has made an enormous difference to the way the world looks at childrens rights. I am equally passionate about children and young people, what they can contribute and how they are valued in our society, so I think Eglantyne would have been a firm friend. Among the living, I admire enormously the work of Mike Griffiths, Director of Art at Wakeman School, Shrewsbury. He is an absolute hero for all of us involved in arts and culture. His passion and enthusiasm for his subject has never tired.
Whats playing on your mp3 player?
Some classical; The Beatles and girl groups of the 70s; Keely Smith and Edith Piaf; northern soul - my favourite artist of all time is Stevie Wonder.
Book by your bedside?
I grew up on a diet of Enid Blytons Famous Five and the boarding school days of the girls of St Clares! C. Harper Lees To Kill a Mocking Bird and Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell both had a profound effect on me. The deliciously mischievous Scarlett OHara is one of my favourite characters.
Best thing about Shropshire Life magazine?
Quirky people stories are fun and entertaining; and looking at the lovely homes in the property section - I can dream!