Local Life - St Helens - December 2016

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<strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> Edition <strong>December</strong> <strong>2016</strong><br />

4 pages of festive recipes<br />

Win a Christmas hamper<br />

<strong>Local</strong> News Food & Drink Jack’s Tracks Puzzle Corner What’s On Motoring...<br />






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4<br />

Memorable<br />

year<br />

Prescot Chiropody Clinic<br />

In a hundred years or so, when historians look<br />

back at the early 21st Century, they’ll almost<br />

certainly pick out <strong>2016</strong> as a year which had it all.<br />

It’s hard to know where to begin. Politically, it<br />

has been a tumultuous year, on both sides of the<br />

Atlantic. Culturally, there was the passing of so<br />

many icons of our age. And to top it all, we almost<br />

had a Marmite shortage. I ask you - could it really<br />

have got much worse than that?<br />

New year of course brings new hope but we live in<br />

febrile times. So it makes those ‘normal’ things seem<br />

all the more special. Which neatly brings me to one<br />

of my bugbears...<br />

In recent years, automation has, if not killed, then<br />

certainly got in the way of our natural instincts. For<br />

instance, we now talk less because we are glued<br />

to our mobiles and tablets and are less active<br />

because we drive more. Yet the very things which<br />

are supposed to enhance our lives can, and do, have<br />

the reverse effect. For example, we now have access<br />

to more information than ever before, but are<br />

mistrusting of the authorities. We also have more<br />

cookery programmes on TV than ever, yet there will<br />

be young people graduating this year who barely<br />

know how to boil an egg (or even make a Marmite<br />

butty).<br />

For my own part, I will be striving once again to<br />

exercise more and spend more quality time with<br />

my nearest and dearest. If those two things can be<br />

done in tandem, then so much the better...<br />

David Sudworth, Editor

5<br />

In this issue<br />

Win a Christmas<br />

hamper<br />

Regulars<br />

12 Eating Out Guide<br />

34 Class From The Past<br />

36 Puzzle Corner<br />

38 Planning<br />

43 What’s On<br />

50 Test drive<br />

22<br />

Christmas<br />

feast<br />

28<br />

Tony the<br />

tiger<br />

Sections<br />

6 <strong>Local</strong> News<br />

12 Food & Drink<br />

43 Leisure<br />

52 Home Services<br />

Next issue - January 2017<br />

Advertising deadline - Tuesday, 16 <strong>December</strong><br />

Published - Friday, 6 January<br />

<strong>Local</strong> <strong>Life</strong> 247 Ltd<br />

Unit 8, Hewitt Business Park,<br />

Winstanley Road, Orrell, WN5 7XB<br />

Telephone: 01744 649 722<br />

40<br />

Jack’s Tracks visits<br />

Haigh<br />

46<br />

Test Drive - Abarth<br />

124 Spider<br />

Publisher: Chris<br />

chrisp@locallife247.co.uk<br />

Sales: Clare, Nicola sales@locallife247.co.uk<br />

Editorial: David sthelensnews@locallife247.co.uk<br />

Design: Peter, Dylan design@locallife247.co.uk<br />

Distribution: Sally sallyb@locallife247.co.uk<br />

Accounts: Sam accounts@locallife247.co.uk<br />

<strong>Local</strong> <strong>Life</strong> is published every month and distributed into<br />

the following areas on an alternate monthly basis.<br />

This issue is delivered to over 12,500 private homes<br />

and businesses in Rainhill, Eccleston, Prescot, Eccleston<br />

Park, Windle, Prescot Road and parts of Nutgrove and<br />

Sutton Heath.<br />

The next issue is delivered to over 12,000 private<br />

homes and businesses in Rainford, Billinge, Garswood,<br />

Moss Bank, Haresfinch, Carr Mill and selected areas of<br />

Haydock.<br />

50<br />

<strong>Local</strong> <strong>Life</strong> Media<br />

@locallifemedia<br />

Whilst every care has been taken to ensure that the data in this publication is accurate, neither the publisher or its editorial contributors can accept, and hereby disclaim, any liability to any party to loss or<br />

damage caused by errors or omissions resulting from negligence, accident or other cause. No part of this publication may be copied or reproduced without the prior written consent of <strong>Local</strong> <strong>Life</strong> 247 Ltd.

6<br />

Lights fantastic<br />

Details of local Christmas lights switch-ons have<br />

been revealed. They are as follows:<br />

Rainford, Church <strong>St</strong>reet:<br />

Thursday, <strong>December</strong> 1, at 5pm<br />

Windle, Dentons Green Lane:<br />

Friday, <strong>December</strong> 2, from 4pm<br />

Thatto Heath, Thatto Heath Road:<br />

Friday, <strong>December</strong> 2, from 4pm<br />

Newton-le-Willows, High <strong>St</strong>reet:<br />

Sunday, <strong>December</strong> 4, from 5pm<br />

Billinge, Pingot Road/Main <strong>St</strong>reet:<br />

Friday, <strong>December</strong> 9, from 6.30pm<br />

Bold, The Pasture:<br />

Saturday, <strong>December</strong> 10, from 5pm<br />

Times shown indicate when the Christmas lights<br />

will be switched on, so people are advised to arrive<br />

before then to see what else is going on.<br />

Festive singalong<br />

The Mayor of Prescot’s charity Christmas concert<br />

takes place on Thursday, <strong>December</strong> 8, from 7pm-<br />

8.15pm. It will be held at Prescot Parish Church,<br />

Church <strong>St</strong>reet. It features appearances from Evelyn<br />

Community Primary School & <strong>St</strong>aff Choirs, <strong>St</strong> Mary &<br />

<strong>St</strong> Paul’s Primary School Choir, Prescot Parish Church<br />

Choir, Knowsley Ladies Choir and Brassworks<br />

Quintet. Tickets £5 on the door - accompanied<br />

under 16s go free. All proceeds donated to the<br />

Mayor of Prescot’s Charities.<br />

Tree lighting<br />

Eccleston Parish Council is inviting local residents<br />

to the tree lighting ceremony at Eccleston Library,<br />

Broadway, on Thursday, <strong>December</strong> 1, at 11am. The<br />

children of <strong>St</strong> Julie’s Catholic Primary School will be<br />

in attendance for carol singing. All welcome.<br />

Rainhill Garrick Society presents...<br />


a fantastic adventure journey<br />

by Roald Dahl<br />

Adapted by David Woods - Directed by Rosetta PARKER<br />

Showing on<br />

5th, 6th, 7th January, 2017<br />

& Saturday Matinee<br />

Evening Performance <strong>St</strong>arts 7.15pm<br />

Matinee Performance <strong>St</strong>arts 2.15pm<br />

Ticket prices adults £6 Concessions £5<br />

Doors open at 6.45pm; Matinee 1.45.<br />

For tickets call<br />

0151 430 9431<br />

or pay at the door.<br />

Rainhill Village Hall, Dane Court, off Weaver Avenue, Rainhill, L35 3LU<br />

Parking FREE After 6pm<br />


7<br />

Celebrate Christmas<br />

with the Beauty By Helen French Team<br />

The Christmas<br />

Beauty Event<br />

Throughout <strong>December</strong> receive a gift<br />

for yourself with every purchase of a gift voucher<br />

Purchase £50 gift card and receive an<br />

extra £5 gift voucher for yourself<br />

Purchase £100 gift card and receive an<br />

extra £10 gift voucher for yourself<br />

There are lots of Clarins and Environ festive treats<br />

beautifully wrapped and ready for giving<br />

Merry Christmas from<br />

All at Beauty By Helen French xxx<br />

01744 736170<br />



9<br />

Choral celebration<br />

<strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> Choral Society invites you to a Christmas<br />

celebration at the United Reformed Church,<br />

Ormskirk <strong>St</strong>reet, on Saturday, <strong>December</strong> 17.<br />

Providing the music will be conductor <strong>St</strong>ephen<br />

Newlove, organist Michael Wynne, soprano Sarah<br />

Rowley, tenor Tim Kennedy and bass Quentin<br />

Brown. Tickets are £10, or £1 for under 16s via<br />

info@sthelenschoralsociety.org or by calling 01695<br />

625500.<br />

Die Hard screening<br />

The film Die Hard is being shown at Central Library<br />

on Wednesday <strong>December</strong> 14, from 7pm. Tickets are<br />

£4 (£3 concessions) via sthelenssmallcinema.org<br />

Distributors Wanted<br />

<strong>Local</strong> <strong>Life</strong> require distributors aged 13 and above<br />

for this edition of our magazine. Distributors will<br />

typically work for 2/3 hours every eight weeks. The<br />

areas we currently require distributors is as follows:<br />

Whiston Two Butt Lane, Amanda Road & <strong>St</strong><br />

Winifred Road<br />

Eccleston Park Scholes Lane, The Meads, Lowther<br />

Crescent & Grebe Avenue<br />

Eccleston Wokefield Way, Alder Hey Road,<br />

Oleander Drive & Alpine Close<br />

If you are interested, please email your name,<br />

address, landline number and date of birth to<br />


10<br />

Green Belt to be lost<br />

Land in Windle, Eccleston and<br />

Rainhill needs to be given up for<br />

development.<br />

That’s the stark view of <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> Council planners<br />

if they are to hit housing and employment land<br />

targets.<br />

A report, endorsed by councillors, says that the<br />

current amount of <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> land currently classed<br />

as Green Belt (65%) is the highest in Merseyside.<br />

Sites which are being considered as spots for<br />

possible development include:<br />

• Land between the East Lancs Road and<br />

Ecclesfield Road/Lynton Way/Crantock Grove<br />

(pictured)<br />

• Higher Barrowfield Farm, Houghton’s Lane,<br />

Eccleston<br />

• Land at Eccleston Park Golf Club, Rainhill<br />

Road, Eccleston<br />

• Land south of Gartons Lane and the former <strong>St</strong><br />

Theresa’s Social Club, Gartons Lane, Bold<br />

The plan also seeks to safeguard land for future<br />

development, including a plot south of Mill Lane,<br />

west of Hall Lane, east of Norlands Lane and north<br />

of M62 at Rainhill<br />

The report admits that the council does not<br />

currently have a five year supply of housing land<br />

available. Experts believe this makes the council<br />

susceptible to ‘rogue’ planning applications for sites<br />

which would, under normal circumstances, never<br />

get the go-ahead for development.<br />

The report continues: “There are insufficient suitable<br />

brownfield sites to accommodate our housing and<br />

employment needs now or for the new Plan period<br />

of 2018 to 2033. Therefore it is necessary to release<br />

greenfield sites for development, including in the<br />

Green Belt.<br />

“The issue of Green Belt release is highly<br />

controversial and the proposed approach, while<br />

aiming to plan positively for socio-economic<br />

growth for the people and businesses of <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong>,<br />

is likely to be met by a lot of opposition and<br />

lobbying against the plan.”<br />

Takeaway ban near schools?<br />

Plans are also afoot to ban new takeaways from<br />

opening up within 400 metres of schools.<br />

The proposal, which forms part of the council’s draft<br />

<strong>Local</strong> Plan, would not apply to new outlets within <strong>St</strong><br />

<strong>Helens</strong> or Earlestown town centres. However, plans<br />

which would lead to two takeaways next to each<br />

other would fall foul of the policy. Council chiefs say<br />

the policy would help “make it easier for people in<br />

<strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> to lead healthy, active lifestyles.”<br />

The whole of the draft <strong>Local</strong> Plan, including<br />

proposed development on Green Belt, will be<br />

open for consultation as of noon on Monday,<br />

<strong>December</strong> 5. It will close at noon on Monday,<br />

January 30. Copies of the form can be downloaded<br />

a www.sthelens.gov.uk/localplan. In addition<br />

hard copies will be available in local libraries.


12<br />

Eating out<br />

guide<br />

Advertise<br />

here<br />

£30 + VAT<br />

Call 01744 649722<br />

Houghwood<br />

In a perfect setting, Houghwood’s<br />

restaurant has panoramic views<br />

across the golf course and over to<br />

the Welsh hills. A modern British<br />

menu is served Wednesday to<br />

Sunday. 5 star food hygiene rating.<br />

01744 894754<br />

Crank Road, <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong>, WA11 8RL<br />

houghwoodgolfclub.co.uk<br />

Lovels Bistro<br />

Tasty food, happy times and great<br />

value - you’ll not be disappointed<br />

with the quality, taste and service.<br />

We’re more than just a great<br />

wedding venue.<br />

01695 624 426<br />

Holland Hall, Lafford Lane,<br />

Up Holland, WN8 0QZ<br />

hollandhallhotel.co.uk<br />

Rigby’s Coffee Shop<br />

Enjoy a trip out to Pimbo Garden<br />

Centre and tuck into a wide<br />

selection of delicious home cooked,<br />

locally sourced, food served seven<br />

days a week at Rigby’s Coffee Shop.<br />

01695 622601<br />

Pimbo Garden Centre, 32 Pimbo<br />

Lane, Up Holland, WN8 9QQ<br />

pimbogardencentre.co.uk<br />

Plantation Restaurant<br />

From wholesome breakfasts and<br />

a delicious lunchtime menu to<br />

traditional Lancastrian afternoon<br />

teas, the Plantation Restaurant at<br />

Warbreck Garden Centre is the<br />

place to go.<br />

01695 722960<br />

Lyelake Lane, Lathom, L40 6JW<br />

warbreckgardencentre.co.uk<br />

Fifteens @ The Fox<br />

This quirky and popular pub dates<br />

back to the 17th century and offers<br />

fabulous home cooked food using<br />

recipes developed by our chefs. The<br />

real ale selection is superb too.<br />

01695 628178<br />

Fifteens @ The Fox, Roby Mill,<br />

Up Holland WN8 0QF<br />

fifteensatthefox.com<br />

Quattro’s<br />

A family run Italian restaurant<br />

situated on the Rainford By-pass at<br />

Bickerstaffe. Being just off the slip<br />

road of the M58 makes this an ideal<br />

location for meeting friends and<br />

business lunches.<br />

01695 720800<br />

54 Rainford Road, Bickerstaffe,<br />

Ormskirk L39 0HF<br />

quattros.co.uk<br />

Delph Tavern<br />

Award-winning CAMRA freehouse<br />

with a fast growing reputation for<br />

excellent quality food at reasonable<br />

prices. Traditional British classics<br />

served, plus some exotic surprises<br />

too. Food served Wed-Sun only.<br />

01695 622239<br />

Tontine, Orrell, WN5 8UJ<br />



14<br />

Tell Us Your <strong>St</strong>ory!<br />

<strong>Local</strong> <strong>Life</strong> is always on<br />

the look out for news<br />

stories from the<br />

local communities<br />

we serve. Are you<br />

raising money for<br />

charity? Are you<br />

a member of a<br />

community group<br />

with something<br />

to shout about?<br />

Maybe you’ve got<br />

an unusual talent, or have a claim to fame? If so, let<br />

us know and you could be appearing in the next<br />

edition!<br />

Simply contact us with the details by emailing<br />

sthelensnews@locallife247.co.uk<br />

Winter Warm packs<br />

Older and vulnerable folk can get their hands on<br />

free Winter Warm packs at <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong>’ libraries during<br />

January. The packs will be available at the following<br />

locations from 10.30am-12.30pm:<br />

Thursday, <strong>December</strong> 1: Peter <strong>St</strong>reet Library<br />

Friday, <strong>December</strong> 2: Billinge Library<br />

Monday, <strong>December</strong> 5: Newton-Le-Willows Library<br />

Tuesday, <strong>December</strong> 6: Chester Lane Library<br />

Wednesday, <strong>December</strong> 7: Haydock Library<br />

Thursday, <strong>December</strong> 8: Rainford Library<br />

Monday, <strong>December</strong> 12: Thatto Heath Library<br />

Tuesday. <strong>December</strong> 13: Moss Bank Library<br />

Wednesday, <strong>December</strong> 14: Parr Library<br />

Thurs, <strong>December</strong> 15: Garswood Library (2pm-4pm)<br />

Friday, <strong>December</strong> 16: Rainhill Library<br />

Wednesday, <strong>December</strong> 21: Central Library<br />

Introducing Café Millais<br />

at The Millennium Centre (<strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong>) Ltd, Corporation <strong>St</strong>reet, <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong>.<br />

Serving<br />

Hot & Cold<br />

Food<br />

Daily 8.00am<br />

till 4.00pm<br />

Free<br />

pot oF tea &<br />

MinCe pie<br />

with every meal over £4.00 on<br />

production of this voucher<br />

*Available between the hours of 12pm to 2pm<br />

This offer supersedes any previous offer




18<br />

Turf’s up!<br />

With the Ruskin Drive sports complex now almost complete,<br />

Gareth Leonard speaks to its former groundsman of 46 years....<br />

The face of Ruskin Drive is now changing<br />

forever. For its former head groundsman<br />

Johnny Topping, it’s just the latest in a series<br />

of stories from the turf.<br />

Johnny’s career began in 1964 as a 15 year old<br />

junior gardener in one of the two greenhouses<br />

which once graced Ruskin. Back then the skills<br />

required were largely hand orientated - a far cry<br />

from the hefty machinery employed today. In 1975<br />

cost cutting measures forced the closure of the<br />

greenhouses which prompted Johnny’s transfer<br />

onto grounds. This was a time when the standards<br />

of flower box keeping and border managing were<br />

eye wateringly high and Ruskin Drive was in as prim<br />

and proper a condition as almost any sports venue<br />

the nation over: “There used to be people who<br />

came from Canada during the spring to take photos<br />

to take them back to Pilks in Canada,” says Johnny.<br />

“Ruskin used to have the finest collection of Cornish<br />

Elm trees in the country.”

19<br />

Percy. Never Mr Kelsey. He was a gentlemen he was.”<br />

He also speaks fondly about Johnny Laitham and<br />

Darren Ellis with whom he worked latterly.<br />

He reserves a special mention for Geoff Jones, his<br />

colleague of 35 years: “We never had an argument,<br />

always had a good laugh, worked well together”.<br />

He speaks equally fervently when recounting the<br />

tales of the glory days of Ruskin. Johnny recalls<br />

hoisting flags up and down the flagpoles which<br />

stood proudly by the play area: “They used to host<br />

Triple-A events on the athletics track. We also had<br />

the BBC 2 crown green bowls final on number one<br />

and three greens; the Percival Room used to be a<br />

putting green; where the first team football pitch is,<br />

that used to be a velodrome and that was dug up<br />

during the second world war to plant vegetables”.<br />

The groundsmen - the number of who peaked<br />

at 24 in the ‘60s - were also responsible for other<br />

Pilkington’s owned sports venues at City Road and<br />

Ravenhead. Johnny was even sent to night school<br />

for four years to hone his craft. That is not to say<br />

a lifetime on the grounds was all sun cream and<br />

dandelion clipping. Johnny’s list of injuries include<br />

rope burn, twisted ankles, sprained wrists and<br />

most cringingly of all a broken knee cap which he<br />

suffered when struck by a falling branch when 40<br />

feet up a tree.<br />

Johnny became head groundsman in 2000 not<br />

long after which Saints adopted Ruskin Drive as<br />

their training facility. During this era, in which Ian<br />

Millward and Daniel Anderson were the Saints<br />

supremos, Johnny would learn that diplomacy and<br />

fire fighting were key requirements of his job.<br />

Like with any career the relationships built up with<br />

ones colleagues leave a firm imprint in ones mind.<br />

He said: “Tom Watts was the first head groundsman<br />

I remember. Percy Kelsey was after him. Always<br />

In 2011, Johnny was forced into retirement through<br />

ill health. Shortly after that, he was struck down by<br />

a stroke, leaving him unable to go more than ten<br />

paces without a two-minute rest. Frozen shoulder,<br />

knee aggravations and spondylosis in the neck as a<br />

result of a lifetime of heavy lifting are all wounds of<br />

his trade which niggle him to this day.<br />

But given the affinity he has for his time at Ruskin<br />

Drive, it’s clear Johnny wouldn’t have changed it for<br />

the world...<br />


Sheds<br />

Log Cabins<br />

Workshops<br />

Wendy Houses<br />

Summer Houses<br />

Free delivery<br />

Free 100% pressure treated<br />

Free erection<br />

See our show sites at;<br />

Trebaron Garden Centre<br />

Southworth Road, Newton-le-Willows, WA12 0BS<br />

Telephone: 01695 589 207<br />

Lady Green Garden Centre<br />

Ince Blundell, Nr Formby, L38 1QB<br />

Telephone: 01695 589 210<br />

Head Office, 10 Greenhey Place, Skelmersdale WN8 9SA<br />

Telephone: 01695 51442<br />

High Legh Garden Centre, Knutsford, WA16 0QW<br />

Telephone: 01695 51442<br />




22<br />

Competition<br />

Win a<br />

Christmas<br />

Hamper<br />

Our popular Christmas hamper competition<br />

is back! Will you be the reader who takes<br />

home a luxury Christmas Hamper? Filled<br />

to the brim with luxury produce, this Christmas<br />

Hamper is perfect for an indulgent Christmas.<br />

Most of the food in the hamper is sourced from our<br />

local village farm shop, Windy Arbour in Billinge,<br />

and we thank them for supplying it at cost price.<br />

Windy Arbour carries a great range of tasty local<br />

and regional produce, particularly in the run up to<br />

Christmas.<br />

The finished contents of the hamper was still being<br />

finalised as we went to press, but we can tell you<br />

that each hamper will include Christmas cake,<br />

chocolates, mince pies, cheese, shortbread, wine,<br />

real ale, Christmas pudding, sweets and lots more<br />

besides. Even if you’re not a foodie,<br />

these expertly wrapped hampers<br />

would make a wonderful present<br />

for someone special in your life.<br />

To win one of these hampers<br />

simply visit our website (www.<br />

locallife247.co.uk), click on the<br />

‘Free stuff’ header, then click on<br />

‘Enter Competitions’, complete your<br />

contact details and answer the question:<br />

Your entry MUST be with us by Sunday 11th<br />

<strong>December</strong>, and the lucky winner will receive their<br />

hamper by the weekend of 17/18 <strong>December</strong> <strong>2016</strong>.<br />

Crossword Competition Rules<br />

Only one entry per household. Entrants must be over<br />

16 years of age. The winners will be notified within<br />

14 days of the closing date. <strong>Local</strong> <strong>Life</strong> 247 Ltd cannot<br />

accept responsibility for entries that do not reach us.<br />

Employees of <strong>Local</strong> <strong>Life</strong> 247 Ltd or their immediate<br />

relatives are not eligible to enter this competition.<br />

Good luck to all who enter - and a<br />

Happy Christmas to all!<br />

What is the name of the village where<br />

Windy Arbour Farm Shop is located?


24<br />

Want a new table &<br />

chairs for Christmas?<br />

Top Quality<br />

furniture at great,<br />

great prices!<br />

Call - 01744 893785<br />

or 07710 487977<br />

Opening times: Mon - Sat 10 til’ 5 Sun 11 til’ 4

25<br />

Fantastic selection of dining<br />

room sets, sideboards and other<br />

occasional furniture<br />

Delivered to your<br />

doorstep within<br />

48 hours<br />

and thats<br />

guaranteed!<br />

Visit us today we’re<br />

open 7 days a week<br />

Billinge Furniture Outlet,<br />

Barrows Farm, Carr Mill Road,<br />

Billinge, WN5 7TX<br />


26<br />

Girls allowed!<br />

A group of glamorous local ladies<br />

who have battled cancer are looking<br />

for others to join their singing group.<br />

The Patients’ Choir is made up of people who have<br />

either been treated at The Lilac Centre in <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong><br />

Hospital or at Whiston Hospital within the last 5<br />

years.<br />

They are looking for new members to go along<br />

and join in every Monday from 6pm-7.30pm at The<br />

Millennium Centre in <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong>.<br />

Julie <strong>St</strong>eward, from the group, said: “We are a very<br />

friendly, welcoming group. We chat and sing to help<br />

with our wellbeing and share information through<br />

our shared experience of cancer.<br />

“We do occasionally perform at charity events too. “<br />

If you would like to go along, just turn up or ring<br />

Bernie Whelan on 0151 5202435.<br />

• Supply<br />

• Fit<br />

• Repair<br />

Call us today for a FREE on site quotation<br />

TEL 01744 883 511<br />

www.garagedoorsnw.com<br />

16 <strong>St</strong>andish Drive<br />

Rainford<br />

<strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong><br />

WA11 8JY


28<br />

Food & Drink<br />

Prepare<br />

the perfect<br />

Christmas<br />

feast<br />

By Ed Bolla<br />

Serving up the ultimate roast on <strong>December</strong><br />

25 can be a bit of a slog.<br />

Getting the turkey, potatoes, gravy,<br />

stuffing, Brussels sprouts and all the other<br />

essentials to the table on time often feels like<br />

a logistical nightmare. But don’t despair, it is<br />

possible to enjoy cooking on Christmas Day<br />

without turning to the sherry early - it just takes<br />

organisation.<br />

Many of the recipes we’ve picked out for you can<br />

be prepared before the big day rolls around. So<br />

if the prospect of catering for the extended<br />

family is already setting your pulse<br />

racing, take a deep breath and<br />

have a read. You’ll soon see<br />

that a little preparation<br />

can guarantee a<br />

successful, stressfree<br />

Christmas<br />

dinner.<br />

Salted Maple-Roasted Parsnips<br />

Serves 6 - 8<br />

Ingredients<br />

600g parsnips, peeled and quartered<br />

2tbsp vegetable oil<br />

3tbsp maple syrup<br />

3 thyme sprigs, leaves picked<br />

Sea salt<br />

Method<br />

Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/Gas mark 7.<br />

Put the parsnips in a large roasting tin with the oil,<br />

maple syrup, thyme leaves and some sea salt flakes.<br />

Roast for 35-40 minutes until soft and sticky.<br />

Scatter over a few more sea salt flakes before<br />


29<br />

Serves 6 - 8<br />

Ingredients<br />

900g Brussels sprouts, trimmed<br />

2 onions, finely chopped<br />

2tsp vegetable oil<br />

50g butter<br />

2 garlic cloves, crushed<br />

1/2 vegetable stock cube, crumbled<br />

250ml double cream<br />

1tsp freshly grated nutmeg, plus extra to serve<br />

200g vacuum-packed chestnuts, roughly chopped<br />

Salt and pepper<br />

Method<br />

Creamed Sprouts with<br />

Chestnuts<br />

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, add<br />

the sprouts and cook for three to four minutes until<br />

slightly tender.<br />

Drain and rinse under cold water.<br />

Meanwhile, very gently fry the onions in the oil and<br />

half the butter for about 10 minutes until soft. Add<br />

the garlic and stock cube and cook for two minutes,<br />

stirring, until everything is combined.<br />

Remove from the heat.<br />

Roughly chop the sprouts by hand or in a food<br />

processor, then stir them in with the onions and the<br />

rest of the butter, along with the double cream and<br />

nutmeg.<br />

Put back on the heat and cook until the cream is<br />

bubbling. Season to taste.<br />

Toss in the chestnuts and sprinkle over a little extra<br />

nutmeg to serve.

30<br />

Ginger & Orange-Glazed<br />

Baby Carrots<br />

Serves 6 - 8<br />

Ingredients<br />

900g baby carrots, washed and scrubbed<br />

50g butter<br />

25g piece ginger, peeled and finely grated<br />

2tbsp clear honey<br />

Zest 1 orange<br />

Salt and pepper<br />

Method<br />

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and add<br />

the carrots. Simmer for five minutes until slightly<br />

tender, then drain.<br />

In a wide pan, heat the butter until melting, then<br />

add the carrots, ginger, honey and orange zest.<br />

Cook over a medium heat for 25-30 minutes,<br />

turning them gently every now and then, until the<br />

carrots start to go golden and sticky.<br />

Keep turning every now and again until all sides are<br />

browning.<br />

Season well before serving.<br />

Triple Nut & Apple <strong>St</strong>uffing Balls<br />

Makes 16<br />

Ingredients<br />

2tbsp linseeds<br />

1 red onion, halved<br />

1tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing<br />

200g mixed nuts of your choice (we used a<br />

combination of pecans, hazelnuts and pistachios)<br />

400g can cooked green lentils in water, drained<br />

50g breadcrumbs<br />

Small bunch sage, chopped<br />

1 small apple, grated<br />

Salt and pepper<br />

Method<br />

Put the linseeds in a small bowl and mix with<br />

two tablespoons water, then set aside for five to<br />

10 minutes, until the water thickens to a gluey<br />

consistency.<br />

Meanwhile, place the onion in a food processor and<br />

whizz until finely chopped.<br />

Heat the oil in a frying pan, tip in the onion and cook<br />

for five minutes, until softened.

31<br />

Festive Red Cabbage<br />

Serves 6 - 8<br />

Tip the nuts into the food processor and whizz until<br />

coarsely chopped.<br />

Sprinkle three tablespoons of the nuts over a plate<br />

and set aside.<br />

Add the lentils, breadcrumbs, sage, apple, linseeds<br />

(and any liquid in the bowl), onion and plenty of<br />

seasoning to the processor.<br />

Pulse to blend the mixture until just combined -<br />

don’t chop too finely or the stuffing will lose its nice<br />

nutty texture.<br />

Line a baking tray with foil and grease with a little oil.<br />

Remove the blade from the processor and oil your<br />

hands.<br />

Scoop out walnut-sized chunks of stuffing, roll into<br />

balls, then roll on the plate of chopped nuts to coat.<br />

Place on the prepared baking tray. Can be covered<br />

with cling film and chilled for up to two days, or<br />

frozen for two months.<br />

Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/Gas mark 6.<br />

Unwrap (if chilled) and bake for 25-30 minutes until<br />

the nuts are a little darker and the balls have firmed<br />

up slightly - they will be softer than traditional<br />

stuffing balls, but will firm up after a few minutes<br />

cooling.<br />

If you’re cooking from frozen, bake for 35-40 minutes.<br />

Ingredients<br />

1tbsp vegetable oil<br />

2 large onions, finely chopped<br />

1 star anise<br />

1 cinnamon stick<br />

150ml red wine<br />

1 red cabbage (about 900g) shredded<br />

2tbsp dark brown soft sugar<br />

2 Bramley apples, peeled and chopped<br />

Salt and pepper<br />

Method<br />

Heat the oil in a large, flameproof casserole dish,<br />

add the onions and cook on a medium heat for<br />

eight to 10 minutes, then add the star anise and<br />

cinnamon stick.<br />

Pour in the wine and let it simmer until slightly<br />

reduced.<br />

Add the cabbage, sugar and apples, and stir well.<br />

Season well, cover and simmer on a low heat for<br />

three hours, stirring every now and again.<br />

Once the cabbage is tender, check the seasoning.<br />

Serve in a bowl with the star anise and cinnamon<br />

stick on top.<br />

Can be made one to two days in advance, or frozen<br />

for up to four months - simply reheat on the hob<br />

before serving.

32<br />

Tunnel vision<br />

Claire Moorhead is giving a talk on the Williamson<br />

Tunnels to members of Prescot Historic Society<br />

on Thursday, January 26. It starts at 7.30pm in the<br />

parish church, Church <strong>St</strong>reet. All welcome.<br />

Living with diabetes<br />

People living with diabetes are being invited to a<br />

talk at <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> Town Hall on Wednesday, February<br />

1. Dr Gill Hunt, a clinical psychologist at <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong><br />

Hospital, will discuss the emotional impact and<br />

living with the condition. It starts at 7.30pm. Free<br />

admission - call Diabetes UK on 0151 480 0821 for<br />

any further details.<br />

Party time<br />

Kendricks Cross and Rainhill Women’s Institutes are<br />

joining together for a Christmas party. It will be held<br />

on Tuesday, <strong>December</strong> 20, at Rainhill Village Hall,<br />

Dane Court, from 7.30pm. For further information,<br />

including membership details, call Ruth on 0151<br />

430 0696.<br />

Member call<br />

The Probus Club of Rainhill and Prescot is looking<br />

for new members. The group, which celebrates<br />

its 25th anniversary in 2017, meets on the fourth<br />

Tuesday of the month at the Millennium Centre,<br />

View Road, Rainhill. Call George Connolly on 0151<br />

426 0030.


34<br />

Class from the past<br />

This month’s Class from the Past is from Nutgrove<br />

School. It’s believed this photo was taken in<br />

the 1920s. Maybe you can spot a familiar face?<br />

Remember, if you have a photo you’d be willing to<br />

share, contact us today by emailing sthelensnews@<br />

locallife247.co.uk<br />

Manufacture ~ InstallatIon ~ servIce ~ repaIr<br />

Call Us Today For A Free Quotation<br />

Tel Number 01744 25038 / 07976 317846 / 07976 317688<br />

Hertford House, Hertford <strong>St</strong>reet, <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong>, WA9 1BF<br />


35<br />

Pupils’ success<br />

Eccleston Lane Ends pupils won a<br />

local competition to come up with<br />

ideas for a new Gulliver’s theme park.<br />

The company has just bought a 333-acre site<br />

in Yorkshire, so challenged the children to plan<br />

and design a brand new theme park for the<br />

development. As part of the challenge they had to<br />

market and promote the new theme park, including<br />

a launch event and a grand opening.<br />

Eccleston Lane Ends Primary were crowned the<br />

winners, with Willow Tree Primary School and<br />

Wargrave Church of England Primary School<br />

coming in second and third. Longton Lane, <strong>St</strong><br />

Anne’s Sutton, Sutton Oak, Queen’s Park, <strong>St</strong> Austin’s,<br />

Oakdene, Holy Cross, <strong>St</strong> James and Carr Mill schools<br />

also took part in the challenge.<br />

Natalie Armstrong, primary education coordinator<br />

at <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> Chamber, said: “The Primary<br />

Enterprise and Innovation Challenge is designed<br />

to teach pupils team working, problems solving<br />

and decision making; skills that will benefit them<br />

throughout their education and future careers.”

36<br />

Puzzle corner<br />

Sudoku<br />

Answers are on page 53 of this magazine

37<br />

Conveyancing<br />

made simple<br />

Conveyancing is the term used for dealing<br />

with the legal side of moving home.<br />

Katherine Ball, Conveyancing expert at local<br />

firm of solicitors, I E Legal Solicitors, explained: “For<br />

most, it’s the single biggest transaction we will ever<br />

deal with. Not only are we talking about a large sum<br />

of money, but the property you buy will need to be<br />

enjoyed as your home for many years.<br />

“The actual legal transfer of the property is by far<br />

and away the easy bit. This is done by what we call a<br />

‘Transfer Deed’, which in most cases is a simple form<br />

that is registered at the Land Registry. However, a<br />

pitfall is that each property in England and Wales has<br />

its own ‘title’, what lawyers call the documents which<br />

establish who owns what. This ‘title’ is a lot more than<br />

just ‘42 Acacia Avenue’ - it can include things such<br />

as easements, rights of way for you to go over other<br />

land, rights of other people to go over your land,<br />

rights for the local council to demand payments,<br />

obligations to pay money such as ground rent.<br />

Signing a transfer deed is not what conveyancing is<br />

about - it’s about making sure that when that deed<br />

is signed, every person knows what they are going<br />

to get, and every person gets what they should. And<br />

horror stories abound about cases where people<br />

have bought gardens<br />

with pipes under that<br />

the homeowner can do<br />

nothing about, or bought<br />

a home without planning<br />

permission that needs to<br />

be knocked down.”<br />

Katherine Ball,<br />

Fortunately, expert conveyancers<br />

conveyancer<br />

I E Legal Solicitors deal with<br />

property transactions all the time. Their experts<br />

understand all the issues which may arise, and can<br />

take steps to undertake all the necessary searches, as<br />

well as knowing how to interpret the documents and<br />

the title. But how for much?<br />

“Actually, to get the benefit of professional legal<br />

expertise from us costs as little as £350, depending<br />

on the property value,” said Katherine.<br />

“Unfortunately, there are other charges, that are out<br />

of out hands, including estate agents’ fees and stamp<br />

duty. But by coming to us, you get the benefit of<br />

professional expertise, and local knowledge, at the<br />

best possible price.”<br />

For a no-obligation quote, contact I E Legal on 0345<br />

467 0217, visit the website, or just pop in!<br />

Looking For Expert Legal Advice?<br />

• Low Cost Divorce • Low Cost Conveyancing • Business Law & commercial property<br />

• Disputes & litigation • Accident claims • Low Cost Wills and Probate<br />

Our friendly and easy to appraoch advisors can deal with your<br />

issue by telephone or face to face<br />

Call FREE on 0345 467 0217<br />

20 Eccleston <strong>St</strong>reet, Prescot, L34 5QE www.ielegal.co.uk

38<br />

Planning Matters<br />

Eccleston<br />

15 Bleak Hill Road: Demolition of existing porch,<br />

rear extension, chimney and erection of single<br />

storey front extension with single storey rear<br />

extension and flat to pitched roof on existing<br />

garage. (ref: P/<strong>2016</strong>/0801/HHFP) A decision is due<br />

by January 2.<br />

2 Willow Cottages, Catchdale Moss Lane: Single<br />

storey rear extension projecting 2.5m from the rear<br />

(6m in total overall) ,3.4 m high overall and 2.2m to<br />

the eaves (ref: P/<strong>2016</strong>/0827/HHPA). A decision is<br />

due by <strong>December</strong> 26.<br />

Eccleston Park<br />

37 Park Avenue: Prior notification for<br />

demolition of detached, derelict dwelling (ref:<br />

P/<strong>2016</strong>/0786/DEMPA). A decision is due soon.<br />

Rainhill<br />

Forge Fitness Rainhill, 456 Warrington Road:<br />

Retrospective planning permission to develop<br />

the existing site premises for the purpose of<br />

running a private fitness centre including boxing<br />

training, at the specified location, and change<br />

of use from general industrial to leisure. (ref:<br />

P/<strong>2016</strong>/0811/FUL). A decision is due by January 4.<br />

346 Warrington Road: Single storey side extension<br />

(ref: P/<strong>2016</strong>/0820/HHFP). A decision is due by<br />

January 6.<br />

Windle<br />

46 Lynton Way: Demolition of existing front porch<br />

and erection of single storey front extension<br />

along with single storey side extension (ref:<br />

P/<strong>2016</strong>/0800/HHFP). A decision is due by January 2.<br />

For more information on these plans, visit www.sthelens.gov.uk

39<br />

Christmas fair<br />

Rainhill’s Reeve Court, on <strong>St</strong>ratton Drive, is holding<br />

a Christmas fair on Saturday, <strong>December</strong> 3. The<br />

fun starts at 12.30pm and there will be a host of<br />

attractions including tombola, raffles, hot food,<br />

carol singing, Santa’s grotto and a licensed bar. To<br />

book a stall at the fair, or for further information, call<br />

0151 430 4000.<br />

Book folding<br />

A Christmas book folding session is being held at<br />

Rainhill Library, View Road, on Thursday, <strong>December</strong><br />

8, from 2pm-4pm. Go along and get the chance to<br />

make something wonderful from old books. Free<br />

event.<br />

Daredevil’s talk<br />

An adventurous fundraiser will be regaling <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong><br />

National Trust members with tales of her exploits<br />

on Thursday, <strong>December</strong> 15. The talk’s title - called<br />

Arctic Dog Sledding - gives a flavour of grandmother<br />

Pat Ascroft’s favourite ways to raise awareness of<br />

Mencap. Now in her late 70s, she has been an active<br />

fundraiser for several years - but always favouring<br />

expeditions. Previous adventures have seen her<br />

trek, cycle and sail in places such as the Dead Sea,<br />

Himalayas, Great Wall of China, the Ganges, Africa,<br />

Patagonia and Iceland. She will be talking about her<br />

most recent and scariest challenge - a five day dog<br />

sledding event in Lapland. It starts at 2.30pm in <strong>St</strong><br />

Thomas’ Church, Westfield <strong>St</strong>reet,. Free entry for NT<br />

<strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> members and volunteers - £1 for visitors.<br />

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40<br />

Tony the tiger<br />

David Sudworth meets the man who helped transform voluntary<br />

and public services in <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong><br />

On the wall of Tony Richards’ office are several framed photographs. Each<br />

one means something to him.<br />

“They’re a reminder of how far we’ve come, and how difficult it was at times<br />

to get here,” he says with his trademark cheery laugh.<br />

Tony is of course talking about the Millennium Centre, <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong>’ one-stop shop for<br />

local NHS and voluntary sector organisations. At 73, many of Tony’s contemporaries<br />

spend more time at the golf club than in the office. But notwithstanding the fact he’s<br />

not a fan of the game, I sense Tony would get bored quite quickly anyway.<br />

“I’m a people person, I’m fascinated by people and like being around them,” he<br />

beams.<br />

Which is just as well as he’s had to persuade a lot of people to get on board with his<br />

vision which, when first revealed, had a lot of obstacles.

41<br />

Born in the Dayhulme area of Manchester to<br />

Norman and Vera Richards, the family moved to the<br />

<strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> area when Tony was aged three.<br />

“We moved to a house on <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> Road in<br />

Rainford. Dad was eventually made group secretary<br />

of 11 hospitals in the area.”<br />

He attended Bleak Hill Primary before being sent<br />

away to boarding schools in Wirral and North Wales.<br />

Upon returning to the town, Tony’s first job was<br />

as a junior clerk at the old Westminster bank on<br />

Hardshaw <strong>St</strong>reet. He met his wife, Diana, and they<br />

got married at Eccleston Parish Church over 40<br />

years ago.<br />

The old Rivoli Theatre<br />

“They weren’t happy at<br />

all with me! ”<br />

He eventually became chief officer for the old <strong>St</strong><br />

<strong>Helens</strong> & Knowsley Community Health Council.<br />

Having retired around 1999, he took up the<br />

chairmanship of the <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> & District Blind<br />

Society - which is when the seed for what is now<br />

known at the Millennium Centre was sown.<br />

“The society had a lot of money, about £160,000 in<br />

the bank, but didn’t really spend a lot other than<br />

organise coach trips to Blackpool and a Christmas<br />

meal. I was really keen to find out what people<br />

wanted, so we did a survey and the big thing<br />

which came back was that people wanted a centre<br />

that was accessible. The old centre was in Parr but<br />

nobody went there as it was so out of the way.<br />

“That was when the search for a potential site<br />

started. I remember driving round the town centre<br />

not long afterwards and saw that the old Rivioli<br />

Theatre was up for sale. So I called the estate agents.<br />

They told me it was on the market for £240,000 but<br />

the brewery wanted to get rid so they’d look at any<br />

serious offers. So I offered £97,000 to which the<br />

estate agent scoffed at. But a little while later, I got a<br />

letter saying the offer had been accepted, but they<br />

wanted a deposit of £10,000. This meant I had to call<br />

an urgent meeting of the society - they weren’t very<br />

happy with me but Canon John Pennington was on<br />

With Canon Byworth and Canon Pennington<br />

Just before building commenced

42<br />

The opening of Millennium House in 2001<br />

Meeting Prince Andrew in 2006<br />

the committee and suggested that they’d make up<br />

the deposit. I got on to my solicitor straight away<br />

and asked him to form a limited company!”<br />

After a few ups and downs - and a bit of lighthearted<br />

cajoling - everything fell into place. The<br />

centre was built over three phases and has truly<br />

established itself as a key service for the people of<br />

<strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong>.<br />

“The problem was that, in <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong>, each service for<br />

older and vulnerable people worked in its own little<br />

area. I wanted to bring them under one roof so they<br />

could be referred to another agency easily; because<br />

it’s rare that a person has only one issue.”<br />

Speaking to Tony it’s clear that while his<br />

background is very much public sector, he has an<br />

entrepreneurship, drive and flamboyancy which<br />

you tend to find more in the world of business.<br />

“Well, when I retired I set up a company, Arcoframe,<br />

but I leave that to my son, Charlie, these days. They<br />

try to keep me away as much as possible!” he laughs.<br />

It’s fair to say Tony has done it all. An Honorary<br />

Freeman of <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> and MBE to boot, he’s been<br />

decorated at the highest level. Does he ever<br />

consider retirement?<br />

“I don’t think so, I enjoy doing what I do. I come in<br />

here a few days a week and love keeping in touch.<br />

It’s a passion and, if you have a passion, there’s<br />

nothing to retire from, is there?”<br />

Jennifer playing opposite Jimmi Harkishin (Dev<br />

Alahan)<br />

Celebrating the start of phase three

43<br />

Events & Leisure<br />

What’s on<br />

Manchester Christmas<br />

Markets<br />

Up until Monday 19th <strong>December</strong> <strong>2016</strong><br />

More than 300 beautifully festooned stalls and<br />

chalets in nine separate markets spread across<br />

the city centrel. All Christmas Market Sites will be<br />

open 7 days a week from 10am, and close between<br />

7.30pm-9pm.<br />

Manchester City Centre – various venues<br />

Liverpool Christmas Markets<br />

Up until Thursday 22nd <strong>December</strong><br />

Over 45 decorated wooden chalets selling festive<br />

crafts and gifts. Sample the ever popular delights<br />

of a Continental Christmas with the licensed bar<br />

selling Glühwein, German beers and other seasonal<br />

specialities.<br />

<strong>St</strong> George’s Plateau<br />

Roald Dahl Tremendous<br />

Adventures<br />

Monday 21st November to Sunday 4th <strong>December</strong><br />

<strong>St</strong>ep in to the Christmas mansion and into<br />

Roald Dahl’s magical world as his extraordinary<br />

storytelling weaves itself through the grand<br />

staterooms and into the bustling servants’ quarters.<br />

Christmas decorating and kitchen demonstrations<br />

too.<br />

Tatton Park, Knutsford WA16 6QN<br />

www.tattonpark.org.uk<br />

01625 374400<br />

Season’s Greetings<br />

Wednesday 23rd November – Saturday 3rd <strong>December</strong><br />

Enjoy the Christmas celebrations with the<br />

archetypical dysfunctional family. This black<br />

comedy, written by Olivier and Tony Award winning<br />

playwright Alan Aykbourn, and performed at Wigan<br />

Little Theatre is about an average English suburban<br />

family having the Christmas from hell.<br />

Wigan Little Theatre, Crompton <strong>St</strong>reet, Wigan<br />

WN1 3SL<br />

www.wiganlittletheatre.co.uk<br />

Makers Market & Vintage<br />

Sunday<br />

Saturday 26th & Sunday 27th November<br />

Visit Ormskirk Town Centre and the town’s Chapel<br />

Gallery to discover a variety of handmade, retro<br />

and vintage wares! There are also special creative<br />

activities planned for families. A great family fun<br />

day out!<br />

Chapel Gallery, <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> Rd, Ormskirk L39 4QR<br />

www.chapelgallery.org.uk<br />

01695 571328<br />

The Lanterns at Chester Zoo<br />

Weekends of 25/27 Nov, 2/3 & 9/11 Dec, plus 16-23 Dec<br />

Your favourite animal lanterns are back at Chester<br />

Zoo for the 5th year. <strong>St</strong>roll through the enchanted<br />

forest and catch a glimpse of Santa on his sleigh.<br />

Please book early to secure your tickets for this<br />

popular show for all ages.<br />

Chester Zoo, Chester CH2 1LH<br />


44<br />

Victorian Christmas Weekends<br />

Weekends of 26/27 November, 3/4 & 10/11 <strong>December</strong><br />

Visit Speke Hall, decorated for a traditional Victorian<br />

Christmas, enjoy lots of family activities including<br />

donkey rides and Christmas trails, listen to carols in<br />

the Great Hall and see Father Christmas. 11am-4pm.<br />

The Walk, Speke, Liverpool, L24 1XD<br />

www.nationaltrust.org.uk<br />

Handel’s Messiah<br />

Sunday 27th November<br />

A performance of Handel’s Messiah at Spendmore<br />

Lane Methodist Church in Coppull. Professional<br />

soloists sing main parts and a small orchestra of<br />

professional musicians accompany. Part 1 starts at<br />

2.30pm with Parts 2&3 at 6pm following a buffet tea<br />

provided by the church. Free of charge.<br />

Spendmore Lane, Coppull PR7 5BX<br />

01254 830854<br />

Winter Celebration<br />

Sunday 27 Nov <strong>2016</strong><br />

Visit the National Wildflower Centre for a Winter<br />

Celebration. The centre will have festive workshops<br />

for all the family to enjoy and much more. The<br />

Cornflower Café will be open as usual serving some<br />

fantastic festive fare. 11-4pm. Free event.<br />

National Wildflower Centre,<br />

Roby Road, Liverpool L16 3NA<br />

www.nwc.org.uk<br />

0151 738 1913<br />

Leigh Christmas Festival<br />

Wednesday 30th November & Thursday 1st <strong>December</strong><br />

Situated at Leigh Sports Village stadium, this year’s<br />

event will be a showcase of over 70 local businesses<br />

with stalls offering everything from handmade<br />

stocking fillers to gorgeous original gift ideas for<br />

the whole family. 3pm-9pm<br />

Leigh Sports Village, Sale Way, WN7 4JY<br />

FB/Leigh Christmas Festival<br />

Christmas Celebration<br />

Friday 2nd <strong>December</strong><br />

Join ChorusUK (Manchester) and Sheffield Pops<br />

Orchestra as they produce their festive spectaculars<br />

‘Christmas Celebration’ featuring the songs Happy<br />

Holidays, <strong>St</strong>op the Cavalry and Do You Hear What I<br />

Hear? 8-10pm. Tickets £11-£22.50.<br />

Royal Northern College Of Music, 124 Oxford<br />

Road, Manchester M13 9RD<br />

www.rncm.ac.uk<br />

0161 907 5555<br />

Winter Arts Market<br />

Saturday 3rd <strong>December</strong><br />

Merseyside’s largest arts and crafts market with<br />

over 200 incredible artists, designers and makers.<br />

Includes other activities such as a vintage fair, kidfriendly<br />

craft workshops and live music. £2 entry,<br />

kids go free. 10am-7pm<br />

<strong>St</strong> George’s Hall,<br />

Liverpool Cathedral, <strong>St</strong> James Mount, L1 7AZ<br />

www.winterartsmarket.com<br />

Rainford Christmas Fayre<br />

Saturday 3rd <strong>December</strong><br />

Rainford’s 3rd Christmas Fayre takes over much of<br />

Church <strong>St</strong>reet. Market stalls and local shops will be<br />

selling Christmas gifts and crafts, and there will also<br />

be food, a fun fair, donkey rides, Santa’s Grotto and<br />

festive live music. 11am-3pm.<br />

Church Road, Rainford WA11 8HE<br />

<strong>St</strong>andish Christmas Market<br />

Saturday 3rd <strong>December</strong><br />

This market runs from 11am-8pm and will feature a<br />

range of market stalls, an indoor craft fair (running<br />

from 11am-5pm), a special Santa’s Grotto, live music<br />

and entertainment, a Snowglobe, a Christmas Trail<br />

around the village and a beer tent!.<br />

Market Place,<strong>St</strong>andish WN6 0HN<br />

07877 869700

45<br />

Chorley’s Santa Express<br />

Saturday & Sunday 3/4 10/11 & 17/18 <strong>December</strong><br />

Chorley’s Santa Express is back to whisk families<br />

through the town centre to Astley Park to meet<br />

Santa at Astley Hall. Every child who meets Santa<br />

will receive a special Christmas gift and there will<br />

be some festive face painting and arts and crafts<br />

in Astley Farmhouse too. £7 children (u-12’s), £3<br />

adults. Tickets must be booked in advance.<br />

www.chorley.gov.uk<br />

Faulty Towers: The Christmas<br />

Dining Experience<br />

Sunday 4th to Wednesday 7th <strong>December</strong><br />

When the audience become diners in the ‘Faulty<br />

Towers’ restaurant, pretty much anything can<br />

happen – especially with two-thirds of the show<br />

improvised. Basil, Sybil and Manuel serve a<br />

‘70s-style 3-course Christmas dinner with crackers,<br />

pudding and a good dollop of mayhem.<br />

The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, M50 3AZ<br />

0843 208 6000<br />

www.thelowry.com<br />

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang - The<br />

Musical<br />

Tuesday 6th <strong>December</strong> - Sunday 15th January 2017<br />

Chitty Chitty, Bang Bang will have audiences of<br />

all ages flying high with its mixture of madness,<br />

intrigue and exuberance. <strong>St</strong>arring Jason Manford,<br />

Michelle Collins and Phill Jupitus, this fun-filled<br />

production promises laughs and magic galore.<br />

The Lowry, Salford Quays M50 3AZ<br />

0843 208 6000<br />

www.thelowry.com<br />

Christmas Sparkle<br />

Thursday 8th & Friday 9th <strong>December</strong><br />

Two festive concerts in the majestic Wigan Parish<br />

Church comprising of a showcase of Christmas<br />

songs and carols performed by various choirs,<br />

soloists and instrumentalists. All profits go directly<br />

to Living with Live project. Doors open 6.40pm. £6<br />

adult, £4 children, Under 2’s free.<br />

Wigan Parish Church, Crawford <strong>St</strong>reet, Wigan<br />

07814 193335<br />

www.smithsacademy.co.uk<br />

Cleopatra<br />

Friday 9th – Saturday 17th <strong>December</strong><br />

A traditional fun-filled panto from Chorley Little<br />

Theatre featuring traditional fun filled panto<br />

characters. The teenage Princess Cleopatra is<br />

preparing for when she will take over as ruler of<br />

ancient Egypt when bumbling explorers spoil the<br />

plans by accidentally releasing an ancient enemy.<br />

Chorley Little Theatre, Dole Ln, Chorley PR7 2RL<br />

www.chorleylittletheatre.com<br />

Tickets from Malcolm’s Musicland or from<br />

theatre.<br />

Aladdin<br />

Friday 9th <strong>December</strong> – Sunday 8th January<br />

The spectacular adventure panto is full of magic<br />

and mystical tales of a foreign land, guaranteed<br />

to make memories the whole family will treasure.<br />

Expect genies by the lamp-load, belly-busting<br />

comedy, and, just maybe, a real flying carpet.<br />

Manchester Opera House, Quay <strong>St</strong>reet,<br />

Manchester M3 3HP<br />

www.manchestertheatres.com<br />

Snow White<br />

Saturday 10th to Saturday 31st <strong>December</strong><br />

Join them for a festive family adventure into an<br />

enchanted fairy tale forest and meet all of your<br />

favourite characters along the way with this year’s<br />

spectacular pantomime Snow White and the Seven<br />

Dwarfs.<br />

Empire Theatre, Lime <strong>St</strong>reet, Liverpool L1 1JE<br />


46<br />

sponsored by<br />

Haigh<br />

Circular<br />

by Chris Pearce<br />

For Wigan kids in the 1970’s Haigh Hall was<br />

by far the best attraction in the town. After<br />

decades of decay since, a private/public sector<br />

partnership, helped along by a volunteer group called<br />

Friends of Haigh Country Park is breathing new life<br />

into the place. The hall itself, a Grade 2 listed building,<br />

is being transformed into Haigh Hall Hotel and the<br />

250 acres of surrounding grounds now boasts a new<br />

play area, a high ropes attraction, a new crazy golf<br />

course and the Kitchen Courtyard, a base for artisan<br />

food and drink producers. This 5 mile walk will give<br />

you an opportunity to check out the progress so far in<br />

restoring this historic country house and grounds.<br />

Park on or near to Higher Lane (WN2 1EA) and<br />

stroll in the direction of Haigh Hall. Once you have<br />

crossed a bridge, turn right down a bridleway.<br />

Follow the path past a house and round a left<br />

hand bend. Walk for 0.7 miles, skirting the edge of<br />

Crawford’s Woods, until you eventually arrive at the<br />

handsome <strong>St</strong> David’s church, built in the 1830’s and,<br />

along with its lych-gate and stone wall, listed as<br />

Grade 2 structures by Historic England.<br />

Cross over the busy Haigh Road and continue in<br />

the same direction. When Haigh Road reaches a<br />

sharp bend left, carry on in the same direction<br />

down Toddington Road. This road transforms into a

47<br />

Blackrod<br />

Tucker’s Hill Brow<br />

Red Rock<br />

Freezeland<br />

Farm<br />

Toddington Lane<br />

Riley Lane<br />

Meadow Pit Lane<br />

Toddington Farm<br />

School Lane<br />

P<br />

Copperas Lane<br />

Haigh<br />

Windmill<br />

<strong>St</strong> David’s<br />

Church<br />

Haigh Road<br />

New Road<br />

Haigh<br />

Hall<br />

Leeds & Liverpool Canal<br />

Aspull<br />

Haigh<br />

Country<br />

Park<br />

New Road<br />

Higher Lane<br />

Wigan Road<br />

Please ensure you wear appropriate clothing and footwear while walking. While every care has been taken to ensure that the walk is<br />

accurate, neither the publisher or its editorial contributors can accept, and hereby disclaim, any liability to any party to loss or damage<br />

caused by errors or omissions resulting from negligence, accident or other cause.

48<br />

direction and then look<br />

out for a gate on the left.<br />

pathway just as the magnificent views open up over<br />

Winter Hill. Keep left and follow the track downhill<br />

and turn right 200 yards later.<br />

Follow this winding track gently downhill until you<br />

reach Freezeland Farm; after the old farmhouse<br />

and just before the new barn conversion, take a 90<br />

degree left turn through a newish gate, which is<br />

part of some new fencing. Bear left, then cross the<br />

double stile and keep in the same direction along<br />

the left hand perimeter for 650 yards until you<br />

come to a steel gate with a stile alongside. Hop over<br />

the stile and then head right towards the corner of<br />

the field. Carry on round the right hand perimeter<br />

of the field and after 150 yards you’ll come to an<br />

opening on the right; cut through to the next field<br />

and then walk straight across that field until you<br />

climb up onto a tarmacked path. Turn left and<br />

follow this path to the main road at Little Scotland.<br />

Go through the gate<br />

and walk towards the<br />

wooded area; go through<br />

the woods and exit via a<br />

bridge over Arley Brook.<br />

Bear left up the hill and<br />

head for the left hand<br />

corner of the field. Cross<br />

into the next field, carry<br />

on in the same direction<br />

and you’ll eventually<br />

arrive at Meadow Pit<br />

Lane. Turn right for 100<br />

yards and then cross over<br />

the road and hop over the stile. Walk uphill on the<br />

left hand perimeter of the field right to the top, over<br />

the stile, bear left and you’ll walk round a house to<br />

a single track road.<br />

Turn left and walk up the road and you’ll eventually<br />

arrive at a car park; turn right directly after the car<br />

park and follow the road downhill until you reach<br />

Haigh Hall. Walk round the Hall and down the<br />

majestic driveway away from the hall. Once you<br />

reach a ‘Whistle’ sign bear right off the main path.<br />

Eventually you’ll reach an enclosure with a seat<br />

outside; take a sharp left into the woods and you’ll<br />

eventually surface opposite a Georgian house. Turn<br />

right and you’ll end up by the bridge where you<br />

started the walk.<br />

Cross the road carefully and head down the<br />

footpath opposite, bearing right past the garage<br />

onto a track. Follow this track until a stile on the left<br />

hand side appears. Cross the stile and head across<br />

the field diagonally to the right, looking carefully<br />

for the stile. Hop over that stile and head round<br />

the field, heading again for a stile on the far side of<br />

the field. Cross this double stile and head directly<br />

towards the steel gate near the farmhouse. Go<br />

through the gate, past the farmhouse in the same


50<br />

Test drive<br />

Abarth 124 Spider<br />

by Tim Barnes-Clay<br />

The Abarth 124 Spider is cast from the same die as the Fiat 124, and to<br />

improve it Abarth has used the same tactic as it did to change the Fiat 500<br />

into the Abarth 595. In other words, it has added lithe looks, noise and, most<br />

importantly, muscle. The Abarth 124 Spider uses the same platform as Mazda’s MX-5<br />

and Fiat’s 124. However, while the Fiat has been constructed to be more of a cruising<br />

vehicle, the Abarth is more hardcore – and the most performance driven of the three<br />

brands.<br />

The Abarth uses the same 1.4-litre, four-cylinder turbo-charged petrol engine as<br />

Fiat’s 124 - except in the Abarth it produces 170PS, compared with the Fiat 124’s<br />

140PS. The Abarth’s power unit spins with the proper Italian sports car vigour you’d<br />

hope for. It feels wayward and entertaining at high revs - and you’re aware of the<br />

turbocharger when you push on. The sports car is quick to respond and the gear<br />

change is rapid and exact.

51<br />

The best thing about the 124 Spider, though, is<br />

the noise it makes. Popping burbles emit from the<br />

quad tailpipes when doing the 0-62mph gallop, as<br />

I found out testing the car at Silverstone Circuit,<br />

in Northamptonshire. The two-seater Abarth will<br />

reach the magical figure in 6.8 seconds, on its way<br />

to 143mph. Fold the roof, via a simple fastener, and<br />

the Abarth 124’s sound is even more delectable.<br />

For an added dose of pleasure, the Abarth 124 has<br />

a Sport setting. Hit the button and things become<br />

louder, tighter and faster. The throttle feels more<br />

insistent, and weight is also added to the steering,<br />

making you feel even more united with the road<br />

– or race track. The 124 Spider feels most pleased<br />

driven hard, with the tail-end hunkered down over<br />

the rear wheels. Even when you go too brutally<br />

into a bend and lose traction for a jiffy, the Abarth<br />

124 continues to play nicely. Working out what<br />

the rump of the car is going to do soon becomes<br />

second nature.<br />

On the whole, the Abarth 124 Spider is a grin maker,<br />

although your beam might falter for a moment<br />

when you see the price-tag - £29,565. Yes, it’s a large<br />

lump of cash, but once you’ve heard the melodious<br />

facts<br />

Fast<br />

0-62 mph: 6.8 secs<br />

Combined mpg: 44.1<br />

Engine layout: 1368cc 4-cylinder turbo petrol<br />

Max. power (PS): 170<br />

CO2: 148 g/km<br />

Price: £29,565<br />

tailpipes, felt the performance and experienced the<br />

handling for yourself, you’ll appreciate that this car<br />

is worth every single bank note.<br />

Mobile car valeting<br />

Tel: 07803 053 715<br />

e: cjvalet@yahoo.co.uk<br />

www.cjvaleting.net<br />

Treat your car<br />

to the professional touch

Open:<br />

Upvc Windows & Doors I Conservatories,<br />

Soffits & Fascias I Composite Doors I Bi-Fold Doors<br />

Established in 1984 as an emergency glazing service, today Dennis Goulding has grown and moved<br />

forward to offer all you need to maintain, enhance and expand your home. We continually invest in and<br />

embraced the latest changes in energy efficiency regulations, and still remain a local family business that<br />

cares and takes pride in what we do. We don’t employ pushy salesmen, but pride ourselves on working<br />

with and listening to our customers to give them exactly what they want. We will treat you with respect<br />

every step of the way and on that you have my word! <strong>St</strong>uart Goulding<br />

Don’t forget, we also offer all of these services daily...<br />

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Glass, Toughened Glass, Mirrors, Greenhouse Glass, Glazing Service, Misted Units Replaced<br />

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Dennis Goulding<br />

(Drive onto ‘Ainscough Building Supplies’)<br />

Telephone: 01257 427 000<br />

Open Hours: Monday - Friday 7:30am - 5:00pm; Saturday: 9:00am - 12:00 noon<br />

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52<br />

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53<br />

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Established in 1984 as an emergency glazing service, today Dennis Goulding has grown and moved<br />

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embraced the latest changes in energy efficiency regulations, and still remain a local family business that<br />

cares and takes pride in what we do. We don’t employ pushy salesmen, but pride ourselves on working<br />

with and listening to our customers to give them exactly what they want. We will treat you with respect<br />

every step of the way and on that you have my word! <strong>St</strong>uart Goulding<br />

Don’t forget, we also offer all of these services daily...<br />

Glass Cut to size, Sealed Double Glazed Units Manufactured on site, Same Day Service, Safety<br />

Glass, Toughened Glass, Mirrors, Greenhouse Glass, Glazing Service, Misted Units Replaced<br />

Unit 16, Ainscough Business Park, Mossy Lea Road,<br />

Wrightington, WN6 9RS<br />

Dennis Goulding<br />

(Drive onto ‘Ainscough Building Supplies’)<br />

Telephone: 01257 427 000<br />

Open Hours: Monday - Friday 7:30am - 5:00pm; Saturday: 9:00am - 12:00 noon<br />

www.dglwindows.co.uk<br />

A5209<br />

<strong>St</strong>andish<br />

Shevington<br />

B5250<br />

J27<br />

TwinLakesMotorEngin ers<br />

A49<br />

Wind Turbines<br />

Heat Pumps<br />

LED Lighting<br />

...and general<br />

Energy Savings<br />

and we’ l provide you with a<br />

detailed report showing the<br />

returns available from your<br />

own solar panels<br />

(10% typical return)<br />

Visit our showr om at<br />

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54<br />

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Telephone: 07814 619 400<br />

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 10AM - 7PM, Saturday 10AM - 6PM<br />

Closed Thursday & Sunday<br />


Mo sy Lea Road<br />

..and motorcycles too<br />

FREE<br />

Car Health Check<br />

Solar Thermal<br />

& Solar PV<br />

Book<br />

your FREE<br />

home survey<br />

for a l residents of Croston and Bretherton<br />

Book your FREE Car Health Check<br />

Ca l now on<br />

Keep me until you need me!<br />

01772 603923<br />


Saving money is<br />

the clear benefit!<br />

Slash your electricity and<br />

water heating bi l<br />

Protect your household from<br />

future energy price rises<br />

Reduce your household’s<br />

impact on the environment<br />

Ca l us now<br />

0843 224 9555<br />

07595 420237<br />

we make it our business to help yours<br />

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X<br />

H<br />

A<br />

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