Local Life - St Helens - January 2017

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<strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> Edition <strong>January</strong> <strong>2017</strong><br />

Cheggers chats<br />

Rainford<br />

Green Belt grab<br />

<strong>Local</strong> News Food & Drink Jack’s Tracks Health & Fitness What’s On Business View...

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6<br />

A bitter pill<br />

Few issues are as emotive as the almost<br />

inevitable loss of Green Belt. So it is little<br />

wonder <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> Council’s <strong>Local</strong> Plan<br />

process has prompted a fair amount of debate.<br />

While few are against providing new homes and<br />

creating jobs, when the proposal directly affects<br />

you, it can be a bitter pill to swallow.<br />

Part of the problem, I believe, is how the term Green<br />

Belt is used... or in fact misused. Many people are led<br />

to believe that it is sacred land, a vow of perpetual<br />

greenery. In reality, Green Belt is merely a technical<br />

term which is used for certain parcels of land during<br />

the lifetime of a council’s <strong>Local</strong> Plan. Once that<br />

period has expired, some land can, and does, get<br />

re-designated, depending on a variety of factors at<br />

the time. Ditching the term ‘Green Belt’ would rid<br />

the process of this red herring and, in fact, make<br />

it easier for residents to state their case. Because<br />

simply repeating: ‘It’s Green Belt’ over and over will<br />

cut little ice with the decision makers. On the other<br />

hand, cold, hard, technical facts could sway them.<br />

Make no bones about it, locals have a huge fight<br />

on their hands to halt the Northern Powerhouse<br />

juggernaught which is hurtling towards them. On<br />

the flip side, planners have an equally tough job<br />

trying to hit Government housing and job targets.<br />

Councillors, who are the conduit, need to step up<br />

and ensure they keep residents informed.<br />

As a neutral, it’s clear that everyone actually wants<br />

the same thing. But failing to agree on the means on<br />

this most controversial of subjects could make for an<br />

acrimonious few years.<br />

David Sudworth, Editor

7<br />

In this issue<br />

Green Belt<br />

grab<br />

Regulars<br />

32 Planning<br />

36 Puzzle Corner<br />

40 Class From The Past<br />

55 Eating Out Guide<br />

60 Test drive<br />

62 Garden Diary<br />

27<br />

It’s<br />

Cheggers!<br />

45<br />

You should have<br />

fun<br />

Sections<br />

8 <strong>Local</strong> News<br />

39 Education<br />

50 Travel<br />

53 Food & Drink<br />

62 Gardening<br />

64 Home Services<br />

Next issue - February <strong>2017</strong><br />

Advertising deadline - Tuesday, 31 <strong>January</strong><br />

Published - Friday, 10 February<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 />

53<br />

Jack’s Tracks visits<br />

Hale<br />

56<br />

Test Drive<br />

Kia Niro<br />

Publisher: Chris<br />

Sales: Clare<br />

Editorial: David<br />

Design: Peter, Dylan<br />

Distribution: Sally<br />

Accounts: Sam<br />

chrisp@locallife247.co.uk<br />

sales@locallife247.co.uk<br />

sthelensnews@locallife247.co.uk<br />

design@locallife247.co.uk<br />

sallyb@locallife247.co.uk<br />

accounts@locallife247.co.uk<br />

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

the following edition areas on an alternate monthly<br />

basis.<br />

This issue is delivered to over 12,000 private homes and<br />

businesses in Rainford, Billinge, Garswood, Moss Bank,<br />

Haresfinch, Carr Mill and selected areas of Haydock.<br />

The next 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 />

60<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.

8<br />

Shop plan fails again...<br />

Neighbours are celebrating after they<br />

saw off the latest bid to build on a<br />

Garswood pub car park.<br />

New River Retail have been trying to get permission<br />

to develop a shop on the <strong>St</strong>ag Hotel site on <strong>St</strong>ation<br />

Road since 2014.<br />

Their latest application, submitted in September,<br />

prompted another flurry of objections from locals.<br />

Case officer Jennifer Bolton, from <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> Council’s<br />

planning department, refused to grant permission<br />

on highway safety and residential amenity grounds.<br />

New River Retail’s first planning application for the<br />

site was withdrawn in 2014. A further application<br />

was submitted but then refused by the council<br />

in 2015. Last year, they appealed to the Planning<br />

Inspector against refusal but, again, it proved<br />

fruitless.<br />

On their latest application, Miss Bolton said: “The<br />

proposed development would support the local<br />

economy. However, it is not considered that these<br />

benefits would outweigh the harm caused to<br />

residential amenity and highway safety.”<br />

... But nursery gets the OK<br />

Plans to turn the old Squires Bar in Billinge into a<br />

nursery have been given the go-ahead. As revealed<br />

in <strong>Local</strong> <strong>Life</strong> previously, an application had been<br />

submitted to re-use the Main <strong>St</strong>reet building. It will<br />

operate 7.30am-6pm, Monday-Friday.<br />

Mori Lee<br />

Prom Event!<br />

Sat, 21st Jan, 10am - 5pm<br />

No appointment required<br />

– just pop in!<br />

Additional Exclusive Gowns<br />

available at the Event.<br />

Refreshments available<br />

Largest Mori Lee prom supplier in<br />

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209-211 Main <strong>St</strong>reet, Billinge, WN5 7PB 01744 894 443<br />

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9<br />

Blood sessions<br />

Haydock folk are being encouraged to give blood<br />

at two sessions being held in the area. The Mercure<br />

Hotel, on Penny Lane, hosts the first session on<br />

Thursday, <strong>January</strong> 12, from 1.35pm-3.45pm and<br />

then from 5pm-7.15pm.<br />

On Tuesday, March 7, the NHS team will be at<br />

Haydock Conservative Club, Bellerophon Way, from<br />

10.30am-12.30pm and then from 2pm-4.15pm.<br />

There will also be donor sessions on Friday, March<br />

24, at Rainford Village Hall, Church Road, from<br />

1.35pm-4pm and 5.15pm-7.15pm<br />

For more information or to book an appointment,<br />

visit www.blood.co.uk or call 0300 123 23 23.<br />

1940s theme fundraiser<br />

A fundraiser for the Helen Marie Charity takes<br />

place at <strong>St</strong> Mary’s Club, Trent Road, Billinge, on<br />

Friday, March 24. The organisation raises money for<br />

young children who are in hospital. The event is a<br />

1940s-themed evening with people encouraged to<br />

dress up in period costime. Tickets are £12, please<br />

call 01744 734155 or 01744 756298.<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.<br />

FREE<br />

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Thursday,<br />

26th <strong>January</strong><br />

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10<br />

Space in the spotlight<br />

Community groups could help fill<br />

empty space at Garswood Primary<br />

Care Resource Centre.<br />

<strong>Local</strong> <strong>Life</strong> can reveal that health chiefs at <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong><br />

Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are looking<br />

at the possibility as the Billinge Road building is<br />

currently under-used.<br />

David McBride, associate director for primary<br />

care, said in a report to CCG board members: “As<br />

there is so much capacity at Garswood, if possible,<br />

community activity could be moved into the spare<br />

capacity.<br />

“The CCG will continue the programme of space<br />

utilisation studies carried out by consultants<br />

Renova to ensure that void costs of any underutilised<br />

is minimised. It will look for opportunities of<br />

joint working with partners like the council<br />

(e.g. Garswood Library/Community Hub) in the<br />

Garswood Primary Care Resource Centre (PCRC)<br />

and the potential to develop accommodation in<br />

borough for particular client groups.”<br />

The report also pinpointed the need for investment<br />

at Rainford Health Centre, which claimed that<br />

despite its good location, is in poor condition.<br />

Other priorities include the need to look at primary<br />

and community services in Billinge “to ensure that<br />

they are provided in good quality accommodation<br />

in the future”.<br />

Rainhill Garrick Society presents...<br />

‘SLEUTH’<br />

a mystery thriller<br />

by Anthony Shaffer<br />

Directed by Dave Hedges<br />

Showing on<br />

16th, 17th, 18th February, <strong>2017</strong><br />

Performance <strong>St</strong>arts 7.30pm<br />

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

Doors open at 7.00pm<br />

tickets available from rainhill post office<br />

or call<br />

01744 813 429<br />

or pay at the door.<br />

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

Parking FREE After 6pm<br />


11<br />

Ali talks Tyrers<br />

The boss of one of Rainford’s newest<br />

businesses is giving a talk on <strong>St</strong><br />

<strong>Helens</strong>’ famous Tyrers department<br />

store.<br />

It’s almost 12 months since Ali Tyrer took the painful<br />

decision to close the Bridge <strong>St</strong>reet store after 128<br />

years. The mum-of-three took over the town centre<br />

institution following her father John’s sudden death<br />

in 2002.<br />

Ali, who now runs Ellamora ladies and children’s<br />

clothing boutique on Church Road, will be giving<br />

a talk to Rainford Heritage Society on Monday,<br />

February 20. It takes place at The Junction Pub,<br />

News Lane, from 7.30pm. All welcome.<br />

Prior to Ali’s talk, the society is holding another talk<br />

from Tom Preston on<br />

the Deeming Murders<br />

on Monday, <strong>January</strong><br />

16 - same time and<br />

location. Tickets for<br />

the talks are £2 for<br />

both members and<br />

non-members.<br />

And on Friday,<br />

<strong>January</strong> 20, there is a<br />

quiz evening at the<br />

Ex-Sports and Social<br />

Club on Bushey Lane.<br />

Tickets are £7 and it starts at 7.30pm.<br />

For more information, call Ray Waring on 01744<br />

885547 or email rayw91141@gmail.com

12<br />

Melanie’s a winner<br />

Congratulations to Melanie Lee, who<br />

won tickets to see Disney on Ice’s Frozen<br />

courtesy of <strong>Local</strong> <strong>Life</strong>.<br />

Melanie, of Duxbury Road, Rainford went to watch<br />

the spectacle at the Echo Arena in Liverpool. She<br />

made the trip after she won tickets for the show in our<br />

November <strong>Local</strong> <strong>Life</strong> competition. The other winners<br />

were Samantha Pierce-Swift from Mill Lane, Burscough,<br />

and Mrs Hall, from Thames Road, Culcheth.<br />

Rmember, for more great competitions, keep reading<br />

your copy of <strong>Local</strong> <strong>Life</strong>!<br />

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13<br />

Seeing is<br />

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14<br />

Hail the ale!<br />

There’s something brewing in Rainford... The<br />

village’s parish council is holding its second beer<br />

festival on Friday, February 10 (6pm-10pm) and<br />

then from noon-10pm the following day.<br />

A vast array of local ales, plus wine and gin will be<br />

available at the event, held at Rainford Village Hall,<br />

Church Road.<br />

For more information, email clerk@<br />

rainfordparishcouncil.com or text 07410 132073.<br />

Foodbank volunteers<br />

Volunteers are needed in the Garswood area to<br />

help run a foodbank service. A call has been made<br />

for people who can manage other volunteers and<br />

act as a go-between with the Foodbank Hub and<br />

the central foodbank offices in <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong>. For more<br />

information, contact Rev Helen Coffey, of Holy<br />

Trinity, Downall Green and <strong>St</strong> Andrew’s, Garswood,<br />

at The Rectory, Rectory Road, Ashton-in-Makerfield,<br />

WN4 0QF, or call 01942 721962/07742 590672.<br />

Billinge needs you<br />

Do you have a burning passion for Billinge? A<br />

vacancy has arisen on the parish council following<br />

the resignation of Jacqui Sinnott-Lacey. Anyone<br />

interested in becoming a parish councillor should<br />

contact the clerk Tom Kelly before Monday, <strong>January</strong><br />

8, via tomkelly@billingeparishcouncil.gov.uk<br />



Julie Moss 07789 387 502<br />

juliemouse@hotmail.co.uk<br />

Let the music free your body.<br />

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zumba.com<br />

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WEDNESDAY 19.00 - 20.00<br />

Billinge Chapel End Labour Club, Main <strong>St</strong>reet.<br />

THURSDAY 19.00 - 20.00<br />

Lamberhead Green Working Men’s Club, Pemberton<br />

All levels of fitness welcome £5.00 per class.<br />

Come along and shake what ya mamma gave ya!

15<br />

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16<br />

Farmers’ Market<br />

Greenslate Farm, on Tracks Lane, Billinge, kicks off<br />

<strong>2017</strong> with a Vintage Farmers’ Market on Sunday,<br />

<strong>January</strong> 15, from 10am-2pm. The market is held on<br />

the third Sunday of every month, and organisers<br />

say it is packed with great local produce. Hot food<br />

and refreshments are also available. Free entry.<br />

Spring ball<br />

A charity spring ball is being held at <strong>St</strong> James Social<br />

Club, Orrell, on Saturday, February 25, in aid of<br />

Billinge-based The <strong>St</strong>orehouse Project. Doors open<br />

at 7pm for an evening of food, music, DJ, auction<br />

and a raffle. For more information and ticket prices,<br />

please contact 07816 623612.<br />

Patients’ Choir<br />

A group of local ladies who have battled cancer<br />

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

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

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

<strong>Helens</strong> Hospital or at Whiston Hospital within the<br />

last five years. They are looking for new members<br />

to go along and join in every Monday from 6pm-<br />

7.30pm at The 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<br />

help with our wellbeing and share information<br />

through our shared experience of cancer.”<br />

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

Bernie Whelan on 0151 5202435.

17<br />

Market in the running<br />

Earlestown’s 700 year old market is in the running<br />

for top accolade. It is vying to come up trumps in<br />

the Best Large Outdoor Market category at the<br />

Great British Market Awards. Earlestown market<br />

manager Kevin Gavin said: “We are very proud of<br />

Earlestown market and its rich history - it has acted<br />

as the heartbeat of the community for centuries.”<br />

A list of the winners is set to be released soon.<br />

Comedy and music<br />

An evening of comedy and music in aid of<br />

Willowbrook Hospice is being held at Garswood<br />

Simms Road Labour Club, Garswood Road, on<br />

Friday, February 10. The jokes come courtesy of<br />

Dusty Young while music is provided by vocalist<br />

Tina Riley and the duo Crawford & Brown.<br />

It starts at 7pm for 8pm and tickets are £8 via the<br />

club (01942 725399), Willowbrook (01744 453798)<br />

or Frank (01744 345073).<br />

Olly’s a sure bet<br />

Chart-topper Olly Murs is<br />

coming to Haydock. The<br />

Troublemaker star will<br />

play at an open<br />

air gig at Haydock<br />

Park Racecourse on<br />

Friday, August 11. And<br />

the former X-Factor contestant<br />

says he’ll be playing tracks from<br />

his new album, 24 Hrs.<br />

“I love a day out at the races<br />

too so can’t wait to get in<br />

the crowd during the day<br />

and place a cheeky bet,” he<br />

added.<br />

Tickets are £37.50 for adults or £15 for accompanied<br />

under 18s. They are available via haydock.<br />


18<br />

Roadworks ahead<br />

Highways bosses are warning<br />

motorists and householders of some<br />

delays/disruption across the area.<br />

They have unveiled a list of roadworks taking place<br />

during <strong>January</strong>. Among them are as follows:<br />

Rainford<br />

<strong>January</strong> 4-March 31: Pasture Lane - reconstruction<br />

of the retaining wall, footway and carriageway by<br />

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

<strong>January</strong> 8: Cross Pit Lane - carriageway works by<br />

Virgin Media<br />

Kings Moss<br />

<strong>January</strong> 11-<strong>January</strong> 17: Pimbo Road - digging up<br />

the highway to enable an electrical connection<br />

Billinge<br />

<strong>January</strong> 20-24: Wigan Road - temporary traffic lights<br />

due to work by Electricity North West<br />

<strong>January</strong> 26-February 3: Junction of Main <strong>St</strong>reet/<br />

Rainford Road - works being carried out by<br />

Electricity North West<br />

Haydock<br />

<strong>January</strong> 18-25: Clipsley Crescent - works by<br />

Electricity North West<br />

Until March 31: Avondale Road - ongoing new<br />

access works and resurfacing footway works from<br />

Wyedale Avenue to Haydock Lane.<br />

For more information, visit www.sthelens.gov.uk

19<br />

<strong>St</strong>ylish Oak Furniture<br />

at Great Prices!<br />

Large Range of Solid<br />

Oak Furniture<br />

Dining Tables & Chairs, Sideboards<br />

& Occasional Furniture<br />

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www.billingefurniture.co.uk<br />

Tony’s Promise<br />

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in the NW – and if you do, then I’ll beat<br />

the price!”<br />

01744 893 785<br />

07710 487 977<br />

Barrows Farm, Carr Mill Road, Billinge, WN5 7TX<br />

(Carr Mill Road is next to the Texaco Garage in the village)<br />

Call in today - we’re open 7 days a week!

20<br />

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

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

on the look out for<br />

news 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 on sthelensnews@locallife247.<br />

co.uk or call us on 01942 387 720.<br />

Write on youngsters!<br />

School children in <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> are being invited to<br />

enter a writing competition. Entries must be about<br />

a superhero and cannot be more than 500 words<br />

long. The superhero can be one from a cartoon or<br />

film - or even a made up one. Simply choose from<br />

one of the six story starters found on the entry<br />

form and tell the judges what happens next. Comic<br />

and graphic novel style drawings can be used to<br />

compliment your story, but it isn’t essential.<br />

First prize is a £35 book token and £75 worth of<br />

books for your school library. Second prize is a £25<br />

book token and £60 worth of books for your school<br />

library. And third prize is a £15 book token and £40<br />

worth of books for your school library. Call in to any<br />

Library in <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> to collect your entry form for<br />

full details. The deadline for entries is Saturday.<br />

February 18, and they can be returned to any <strong>St</strong><br />

<strong>Helens</strong> Library, the Schools Library Service, or by<br />

emailing karenthornburn@sthelens.gov.uk.

21<br />

Home-<strong>St</strong>art training<br />

A training course for new Home-<strong>St</strong>art <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong><br />

volunteers commences soon. The group is a family<br />

support charity with a 30 year track record. As well<br />

as needing home visiting volunteers, the group is<br />

also keen to strengthen its Board of Trustees.<br />

Charities get £10k boost<br />

Four charities shared a £10,000 funding boost<br />

courtesy of environmentally-concious residents.<br />

During the last 12 months, <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> Recycling<br />

Rewards members have been voting for their<br />

favourite local charity. Willowbrook Hospice won the<br />

top prize of £5,000; the <strong>St</strong>eve Prescott Foundation<br />

won £3,000 and Honey Rose Foundation and The<br />

Hope Centre, were both awarded £1,000 each.<br />

All volunteers attend a preparation course and are<br />

DBS checked. They are then linked with a family.<br />

<strong>St</strong>aff continue to support the volunteers who<br />

generally give around three hours of their time each<br />

week.<br />

The next training course for volunteers begins on<br />

Tuesday, <strong>January</strong> 17, but further courses will run<br />

later in the year. Attendance is one day a week,<br />

10am to 2.30pm, for eight weeks<br />

If you are interested, call 01744 737400, email<br />

VolunteeratHome<strong>St</strong>art<strong>St</strong><strong>Helens</strong>@outlook.com or<br />

visit www.home-start.org.uk/home-start-st-helens<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

22<br />

Mary’s memorable day<br />

She’s leaving Billinge after<br />

20 years, but this local<br />

got a send-off she’ll never<br />

forget!<br />

Mary May left Beacon Road just<br />

before Christmas to settle in<br />

Southport with husband of 43 years,<br />

Bob.<br />

She sold her house with Orrell estate<br />

agents Borron Shaw, and entered<br />

a prize raffle to win a £500 holiday<br />

voucher courtesy of Marken Travel.<br />

Luck was on Mary’s side so she and Bob are now<br />

planning to put the voucher towards a cruise.<br />

She received her prize from <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> players Kyle<br />

Amor and Matty Smith. Also pictured are <strong>St</strong>e Tickle<br />

and <strong>St</strong>e Ball, from Borron Shaw, and Carla Hesketh,<br />

from Marken Travel.<br />



Check out our display<br />

area at:<br />

Botany Bay Chorley


24<br />

Independent Family Jewellers<br />


Repairs, Remodelling and Valuations<br />


Silver and Platinum in any form<br />


Krugerrands & Sovereigns<br />

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21 Ormskirk <strong>St</strong>reet, <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong>, WA10 1BQ<br />

Tel: 01744 24135<br />

Email: gibneysjewellers@hotmail.co.uk<br />




27<br />

The Green Belt<br />

grab<br />

The Northern Powerhouse has arrived, but at what price for local<br />

communities? David Sudworth investigates...<br />

George Osborne may have left front line politics, but his legacy lives on.<br />

Across Rainford, Billinge, Garswood, Haydock, Pewfall, Moss Bank and many<br />

other parts of <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong>, vast swathes of open space could be sacrificed<br />

for new homes and factories. Other Merseyside councils - now referred to by<br />

bureaucrats as ‘Liverpool City Region ‘ - are doing the same. Neighbouring Wigan,<br />

which comes under Greater Manchester, is also considering releasing land.<br />

This is the former Chancellor’s ‘Northern Powerhouse’ come to life at a local level.<br />

For its supporters, it is an opportunity to create new jobs, and ease the pressure on<br />

housing. For its detractors, it’s a developers’ charter to tear<br />

up precious Green Belt.<br />

Over the next three pages, <strong>Local</strong> <strong>Life</strong> looks at the<br />

earmarked sites, and also reveals the parcels of<br />

land which may be developed further into the<br />


28<br />

Rainford: 1,100 homes<br />

Proposed sites for housing over<br />

the next 30 years are:<br />

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

Lords Fold (55 homes)<br />

Land south of Higher Lane/east<br />

of Rookery Lane (174 homes)<br />

Land east of Higher Lane/south<br />

of Muncaster Drive/at White<br />

House Lane (206 homes)<br />

ORR<br />

Land south of Bushey Lane / Red<br />

Delph Farm, Red Delph Lane (151<br />

homes)<br />

Land south of Higher Lane and<br />

west of Mill Lane (415 homes)<br />

Land south of Rookery Lane and<br />

east of Pasture Lane (138 homes)<br />


In addition, land to the west<br />

of Sandwash Close is to be<br />

allocated for employment land<br />

- in effect an extension to the<br />

existing industrial estate<br />


CRANK<br />

BILL<br />

Moss Bank: 75 homes<br />

Two parcels of land could be<br />

developed in Moss Bank. Open<br />

space just off the East Lancs Road at<br />

Moss Bank Farm, Moss Bank Road,<br />

and land at Martindale Road would<br />

deliver 50 homes and 25 homes<br />

respectively. The developments<br />

would be staggered over the next<br />

30 years, with the Moss Bank Farm<br />

site due to be taken out of Green<br />

Belt within the next <strong>Local</strong> Plan<br />

period (2018-2033) while Martindale<br />

Road would be safeguarded for<br />

development between 2034-2048.<br />

WINDLE<br />

Windle: 977 homes<br />

MOSS<br />

BANK<br />

Almost 1,000 new homes could be built on this<br />

stretch of land facing onto the East Lancs Road<br />

within the next 30 years. Planners believe that<br />

over half the homes could be in place by 2033.<br />


29<br />

ELL<br />

2050?<br />

26<br />

WIGAN<br />


Billinge: 163 homes<br />

Land at Ash Grove Farm, Beacon<br />

Road, is being touted as a<br />

possible residential development.<br />

According to <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> Council,<br />

it was the only parcel of land put<br />

forward by landowners in the<br />

area. It stretches from Beacon<br />

Road and borders on residential<br />

areas including Main <strong>St</strong>reet, Ash<br />

Grove Crescent, <strong>St</strong>uart Wells<br />

Avenue, Maple Close, Larch Close,<br />

Elm Drive and Roby Well Way.<br />

If passed, it could be built on<br />

between 2018 and 2033. <strong>Local</strong>s<br />

have formed a Save Billinge Village<br />

group to fight the proposals.<br />

Planners are holding a public<br />

25<br />

BRYN<br />

drop-in session on Wednesday,<br />

<strong>January</strong> 11, from 2pm-6.30pm at<br />

Billinge Library, Main <strong>St</strong>reet.<br />

INGE<br />


24<br />


Haydock: Industrial hub<br />


Meanwhile, in Wigan....<br />

In a separate plan, Wigan Council is planning to<br />

release Green Belt at Bryn for large-scale industrial<br />

development. A further site just north of the M58/<br />

M6 interchange at Orrell has also been indentified.<br />

23<br />

Multiple sites are planned around<br />

an area which is being primed as<br />

the industrial hub. At Haydock<br />

Island, there could be some largescale<br />

commercial development on<br />

the north east and north west sides<br />

of the island, as well as 520 homes<br />

nearby off Vista Road and Lodge<br />

Lane. There here are 120 homes<br />

planned for land south of the former<br />

Central Works, on Bellerophon Way,<br />

and a further 85 on land south of<br />

<strong>St</strong>ation Road.<br />

In Pewfall, there is a large-scale<br />

land allocation for industry and 500<br />

homes south of the A580.

30<br />

Rush for Rainford<br />

Rainford landowners inundated <strong>St</strong><br />

<strong>Helens</strong> Council with bids to release<br />

their sites from Green Belt.<br />

<strong>Local</strong> <strong>Life</strong> can reveal that over 30 parcels of land<br />

were put forward for consideration but most<br />

were discounted. Six sites for housing and one for<br />

employment use did make it into the final cut.<br />

Village councillors Allan Jones, Rob Reynolds and<br />

Linda Mussell said: “Landowners Rainford have<br />

been quick to offer their land up for sale to any<br />

potential builder. If all this had been taken up then<br />

about 70% of Rainford’s green and pleasant land<br />

would have been destroyed. While we are pleased<br />

that not a lot of Green Belt will be lost in phase one,<br />

we are still not happy about the suggestions being<br />

made. “<br />

<strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> Council says it needs to release Green Belt<br />

around Garswood, Rainford and Billinge to ensure<br />

it has a the mandatory five year supply of houses.<br />

Privately, politicians and planners admit to one<br />

uncomfortable truth about house building - that<br />

developers prefer green field sites. They say it’s<br />

because not only are the clean up costs, compared<br />

to contaminated brownfield sites, practically zero,<br />

they also tend to be located in better off areas,<br />

where they can command a higher price tag. Also, a<br />

few years ago, funding was available to developers<br />

to help clean up brownfield sites - but that funding<br />

has now disappeared.<br />

Rainford Action Group is opposing the plans in the<br />

village. Their next meeting is on Sunday, <strong>January</strong><br />

15, from 7.45pm in the village hall, Church Road.<br />

Why the battle for Haydock and Pewfall matters...<br />

The <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> <strong>Local</strong> Plan is inextricably linked to<br />

the creation of a directly elected Mayor for the<br />

Liverpool City Region. Elections for this take place<br />

in May - and regeneration bosses are salivating at<br />

the possibilities touted by the Liverpool Superport,<br />

which is undergoing a £1billion-plus investment.<br />

This is why <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> Council has earmarked land<br />

off the East Lancs Road at Pewfall/Haydock for<br />

new warehouses and factories. However, there is a<br />

fierce battle going on in this area, not just between<br />

residents and the council, but also developers who<br />

are keen to get the spade in the ground of their<br />

respective sites.<br />

A planning application was submitted last year<br />

for the Pewfall site,. This drew huge protests from<br />

locals who set up the Residents Against The Florida<br />

Farm Development<br />

(RAFFD). That site has<br />

now been included in<br />

the draft <strong>Local</strong> Plan.<br />

However, Town Hall<br />

insiders expect it will<br />

be a long, drawn out<br />

fight. One source<br />

told <strong>Local</strong> <strong>Life</strong>: “If it is<br />

rejected, the applicants<br />

could appeal. And even if the council approves it,<br />

they may have to send it to the Secretary of <strong>St</strong>ate..<br />

And then there are other landowners in the area<br />

who may object, in an effort to promote their own<br />

site. It could end up in the courts through a Judicial<br />

Review, and that could take years.”<br />

The consultation on the first draft of the <strong>Local</strong> Plan ends at noon on Monday, <strong>January</strong> 30. Copies are available<br />

in local libraries or by visiting www.sthelens.gov.uk/localplan


32<br />

Planning Matters<br />

Blackbrook<br />

22 Coalville Road: Retrospective application for the<br />

retention of a rear conservatory and conversion/<br />

extension to existing garage (ref: P/2016/0908/<br />

HHFP) A decision is due soon.<br />

Billinge<br />

25 Coultshead Avenue: Flat to pitched roof on<br />

existing front and rear dormers along with flat to<br />

pitched roof on existing porch and rear extension.<br />

(ref: P/2016/0912/HHFP). A decision is due soon.<br />

1 Hollin Hey Close: Erection of first floor side<br />

extension (ref: P/2016/0860/HHFP). A decision is<br />

due soon.<br />

Garswood<br />

10 Langholm Road: Single storey rear extension<br />

along with extension and part conversion of<br />

existing garage (ref: P/2016/0865/HHFP).<br />

Haydock<br />

Van Sales North West , Haydock Lane: Erection<br />

of a showroom/offices (ref: P/2016/0890/FUL). A<br />

decision is due soon.<br />

Haydock Medical Centre, Woodside Road:<br />

Extension of opening hours (ref: P/2016/0869/S73).<br />

A decision is due soon.<br />

Moss Bank<br />

Land to the north of Club <strong>St</strong>reet: Erection of one<br />

dwelling along with landscaping and associated<br />

works. (ref: P/2016/0897/FUL). A decision is due<br />

soon.<br />

For more information on these plans, visit<br />

www.sthelens.gov.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 />



34<br />

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35<br />

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36<br />

Puzzle corner<br />

Sudoku<br />

Answers are on page 40 of this magazine




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38<br />

Distributors required<br />

<strong>Local</strong> <strong>Life</strong> magazine seeks distributors for delivery<br />

of this magazine and leaflets in the following area;<br />

Billinge - Ashfield Crescent, Garswood Road, <strong>St</strong>andish<br />

Avenue & Danesbury Close.<br />

Garswood - Spindle Hillock, Birch Grove, Garswood<br />

Road & Billinge Road.<br />

Haydock - Wagon Lane, Legh Road, Windermere<br />

Road & Loweswater Crescent.<br />

Laffak - Cambourne Avenue, Truro Close, Bodmin<br />

Grove & Redruth Avenue – Hinckley Road & Barwell<br />

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Moss Bank - Moss Bank Road, Lorton Avenue, Sandy<br />

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40<br />

Class from the past<br />

This month’s Class from the Past is from <strong>St</strong> Aidan’s<br />

Primary, London Fields, Billinge, and is believed to<br />

have been taken in the early 1970s.<br />

Maybe you can spot a familiar face? Remember, if<br />

you have a photo you’d be willing to share, email<br />

sthelensnews<br />

Puzzle solutions


42<br />

Nursery is ‘outstanding’<br />

Children, staff and parents at Crank Nursery are<br />

celebrating after being rated ‘outstanding’ by<br />

Ofsted. Inspectors hailed the Crank Hill setting’s<br />

management team as “truly inspirational” and the<br />

partnerships with parents as “tremendous.”<br />

Inspector Karen Cox said in her report: “All children<br />

thrive in this stimulating and wholly inclusive<br />

environment. They develop their concentration,<br />

manage their self-care needs and show an excellent<br />

‘can do’ attitude.”<br />

WE OFFEr HigH quality cHildcarE FOr BaBiEs,<br />

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Crank Nursery Ltd, Crank Hill, Crank, <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong>, WA11 7SD<br />

T: 01744 88166 E:cranknurseryltd@btconnect.com cranknursery.co.uk



45<br />

Wake up you beggars, it’s<br />

Cheggers!<br />

David Sudworth talks naked presenting, alcoholism and village life<br />

with one of Britain’s most enduring entertainers...<br />

Mention Keith Chegwin’s name and you’ll<br />

invariably get a reaction.<br />

Some will burst into the theme tune<br />

from Cheggers Plays Pop, which ran on BBC One from<br />

1978-1986. Others will mention his calamatous<br />

decision to host a nude gameshow, Naked Jungle,<br />

wearing nothing apart from a hat. And younger<br />

folk may even remember his hillariously selfdeprecating<br />

performances alongside fellow<br />

Scouser Les Dennis and ex-EastEnders actor Shaun<br />

Williamson in Ricky Gervais’s sitcoms, Extras and<br />

<strong>Life</strong>’s Too Short.<br />

Oh, and there was the confession on Big<br />

Brother about his battle with alcoholism.<br />

It’s almost as if Cheggers goes out of his way<br />

to invite scrutiny.<br />

“No, it’s nothing like that. In fact, I’d always<br />

said no to doing Big Brother but the money<br />

was good so I thought I may as well do a<br />

show which buys me a house!” he laughs.<br />

We meet during a break in panto<br />

rehearsals. Having completed a one<br />

month stint just before Christmas, he<br />

now has another coming up in Easter, with<br />

dates in the north pencilled in.<br />

“I love doing panto. I feed off the audience<br />

and it gives you a chance to show people the<br />

things they don’t always get to see from you,<br />

like tap dancing or singing.

46<br />

“I mean, I’ve been offered I’m A Celebrity, Get Me<br />

Out Of Here... so many times but I’ve turned it down<br />

because the money’s rubbish and it would also<br />

mean I couldn’t do panto because they’re at the<br />

same time of year.<br />

“Learning the lines isn’t difficult because I was given<br />

some great advice by the late, great Roy Kinnear,<br />

who came from Wigan, who told me it was all about<br />

listening to your fellow actors.”<br />

Born in Walton Hospital on <strong>January</strong> 17, 1957, Keith<br />

grew up in Bootle with his twin brother Jeff and<br />

their older sister, the radio DJ Janice Long.<br />

When he was 10, his parents Margaret and Colin<br />

moved out to Rainford. Although his mum died<br />

in 2015, his dad is still there. For Keith, the village<br />

is a home from home: “When they moved there, I<br />

was at stage school but obviously I used to come<br />

home for holidays, Christmas and so on. It’s a lovely<br />

place, and no-one ever bothers you. In most places,<br />

people will come up to you in the street, saying:<br />

‘How’s it going Cheggers?’ or they’ll want a selfie<br />

with you, which is great. But in Rainford, you’re just<br />

one of the locals, which is also great,”<br />

Keith had been sent to stage school having gained<br />

his first taste of the limelight during a family holiday<br />

in Rhyl: “There was a talent show on, and the<br />

announcer asked if anyone wanted to try out. That’s<br />

when I just ran straight up the aisle to the stage, and<br />

all I could hear was my mum, Margaret, shouting:<br />

‘Come back here you stupid bugger’.<br />

Keith and brother Jeff<br />

“I got up and sang It’s A Wonderful World. Not long<br />

afterwards I was approached by a guy from Preston<br />

who wanted me to join a group called the Happy<br />

Wanderers Concert Party, which toured pubs and<br />

clubs in the north.”<br />

Keith got a slot on Junior Showtime, a TV programme<br />

for young talent, and was immediately spotted by<br />

June Collins, who turned out to be the mother of<br />

Genesis star Phil Collins. June wanted Keith to go<br />

to London to audition for a part in the stage show<br />

Mame with Hollywood legend Ginger Rogers.<br />

“I was very young at the time but I remember<br />

getting a letter from her, thanking me for being in<br />

the show. To be honest, all I remember about her<br />

was this old lady coming into the theatre dressed<br />

all in white and then leaving a few hours later filthy!”<br />

By the early 1970s, Keith had notched up a string of<br />

notable acting performances, including in Roman<br />

Polanski’s Macbeth and a role in a Peter Sellers<br />

film. He also appeared in the pilot episode of Open<br />

All Hours as well as The Liver Birds, Z-Cars and The<br />

Adventures of Black Beauty. Oddly enough, before<br />

he got his big break in a presenting role, most<br />

people would have recognised him from a Pepsi TV<br />

advert.<br />

A young Cheggers at stage school<br />

“I also modelled underpants for a Freeman’s<br />

catalogue and was in a group called Kenny which<br />

had a top 20 hit with a song entitled Bump,” he<br />


47<br />

However, Keith had an ambition to move away<br />

from acting towards presenting, and duly wrote to<br />

the BBC: “I offered them myself as presenting some<br />

Michael Parkinson-type chat show. They declined<br />

but said that if I was ever in the area, I should call<br />

in. So within two hours of receiving that message, I<br />

was there. When the man who wrote the letter saw<br />

me, he said if he put that on all rejection letters and<br />

had never expected someone to take him up on the<br />

offer! I was asked whether I’d had any presenting<br />

experience and, because at stage school I learned<br />

how to lie, I said ‘yes’. Soon, I was fronting a show!<br />

“Back then, we had a producer called Roger Gayle,<br />

who went on to be an MP. About 10 minutes before<br />

we went on, he took me to one side and said: ‘Tell<br />

me the truth, have you really had any presenting<br />

experience? Because if you do, I can help you, but if<br />

you lie, I’ll make sure you never get a job in TV again.’<br />

So I confessed and he gave me a 10 minute crash<br />

course in presenting!”<br />

“Think nothing of being<br />

drunk by midday”<br />

It must have proved effective because Keith was<br />

soon making a name for himself alongside Noel<br />

Edmonds, John Craven and Maggie Philbin (who<br />

he would later marry) on Multi Coloured Swap Shop,<br />

and later on his own Cheggers Plays Pop.<br />

However, in the late 1980s, with his career<br />

seemingly on the wane, Keith turned to drink. He<br />

later revealed the full extent of his battle while on<br />

Big Brother, saying: “A drunk comes down in the<br />

morning and says ‘I’ve got a dreadful hangover,<br />

an alcoholic comes in in the morning and says<br />

‘Morning, nothing happened last night, did it?’ And<br />

then you try and fill in the gaps.<br />

Promoting Multi-Coloured Swap Shop<br />

do all day, so you get talking. I stopped drinking<br />

25 years ago but still class myself as a recovering<br />

alcoholic, but I’m not holier than thou about it.<br />

“Back in the 1970s and 1980s, drink was everywhere.<br />

When you were trying to promote a show, it was<br />

never going to be easy to get journalists to attend<br />

a 9am press conference, so it would be labelled a<br />

‘champagne reception’ and all of a sudden, they’d<br />

be there,” he laughs.<br />

“So you’d think nothing of starting drinking by<br />

10am and being drunk by midday. In fact, if you<br />

didn’t drink, you were a bit of a party pooper, but<br />

it’s totally different now. I loved a drink and had<br />

some great times while drinking. There’s no point<br />

denying it.”<br />

In the 1990s, Keith was a familiar face on breakfast<br />

TV, first on Channel 4 where his catchphrase was:<br />

“I hid it everywhere. I’d do all the tricks, I hid it in suit<br />

pockets, guttering and down the back of the sofa, in<br />

the car... everywhere.”<br />

Speaking about his decision to open up, he said:<br />

“The thing is, on Big Brother, there’s not a lot to<br />

Keith’s parents Margaret, Colin with sister Janet<br />

with Sir Paul McCartney

48<br />

“Wake up you beggars, it’s Cheggers!” and then<br />

on GMTV where he’d arrived at an unsuspecting<br />

competition entrant’s home with a cheque for<br />

£10,000: “That was really, really funny because it<br />

was all live. One time, we gave this woman a cheque<br />

and, on live TV, she said to me: ‘Hey Keith, you won’t<br />

tell them I’ve been done for shoplifting?’ Another<br />

time, we had a guy jumping up and down like a<br />

kangaroo until he realised that, by being so active<br />

on live TV, he’d just lost his incapacity benefits!”<br />

“I thought it was a<br />

wind-up at first”<br />

Of course, Keith rarely gets through an interview<br />

without the Naked Jungle episode being mentioned<br />

- when he fronted a one-off gameshow completely<br />

in the nude: “I honestly didn’t think people would<br />

watch it because it was on late at night. It got<br />

tonnes of complaints. It doesn’t bother me now but<br />

at the time it did me a lot of damage, so I regret it.”<br />

However, he says his favourite job by far has been<br />

working with Ricky Gervais, who asked Keith to star<br />

in an episode of Extras: “At first, I thought it was Jon<br />

Culshaw, the impressionist, doing a wind-up so I<br />

called him back and it was actually Ricky. He said<br />

he was doing this series and he’d got three people<br />

in mind; Sandra Bullock, Liam Neeson and Keith<br />

Chegwin. It was fabulous but he is awful to work<br />

Cheggers with <strong>Local</strong> <strong>Life</strong> editor David Sudworth<br />

with because all he does is just laugh. There was one<br />

take which was only 30 seconds on screen but took<br />

four hours to shoot because of all the laughing.”<br />

This led to a spin-off, <strong>Life</strong>’s Too Short, which saw<br />

Keith, Les Dennis and Shaun WIlliamson play “bitter<br />

and twisted” versions of themselves.<br />

He may now be celebrating his 50th year in<br />

showbiz, but Cheggers says he’s now as busy as<br />

ever: “I’m booked up well into 2018 and, to be<br />

honest, there’s a lot of things which I turn down. I’ve<br />

never actually been that ambitious, that’s why I got<br />

rid of my agent. People are amazed that I handle my<br />

own stuff and my mobile number is out there, but<br />

why not? This isn’t a hard job, is it? You hear some<br />

actors moaning but I’d say to them, if you think this<br />

is hard, go and dig the roads, then you’ll see...”


50<br />

Travel<br />

The hills are alive...<br />

Julie Andrews found the landscape of Austria<br />

so exhilarating, it became the lead song from<br />

The Sound of Music.<br />

50 years on and the hills are still alive with much<br />

more than just a few tunes. For unspoilt valleys, the<br />

Niederau and Oberau areas in western Austria are<br />

perfect.<br />

Billinge-based Marken Travel has teamed up with<br />

Inghams to offer an experience of a lifetime in this<br />

beautiful part of Europe.<br />

Niederau and Oberau are superb areas for walking,<br />

with miles of marked trails through lovely, rolling<br />

hills - and there’s also free use of all lifts!<br />

Wildschonau, meaning ‘wild and beautiful’, is one<br />

of the most glorious valleys in the Tyrol, with a<br />

special, rural character, rustic mountain alms and<br />

the spectacular Kundl Gorge to explore at the end<br />

of the valley. Picturesque Niedera houses a pretty<br />

church, friendly cafes and the central Markbachjoch<br />

gondola. Further into the valley, fairytale Oberau<br />

comprises of a magnificent church, a handful of<br />

shops and some fine, old buildings. Wherever you<br />

stay, a regular bus serves the whole valley, enabling<br />

you to make the most of this scenic region.<br />

Speaking of lodgings, the fine Hotel Tirolerhof, in<br />

Oberau, enjoys lovely meadow and hillside views.<br />

It’s a family-run hotel, with Martin Erharter and so<br />

assuring you of a warm, Austrian welcome. Facilities<br />

include lounge and bar, restaurant, cafe and terrace,

51<br />

free guided walks (with resort<br />

card), free packed lunches at<br />

selected hotel and an Inghams<br />

representative based in the<br />

resort.<br />

small indoor pool, sauna and steam room, horsedrawn<br />

buggy rides (pay locally), lift and free wi-fi.<br />

Single rooms have a shower and there’s no single<br />

supplement payable. All rooms have a balcony, TV,<br />

radio, telephone and hairdryer.<br />

By going with Marken Travel and Inghams, you will<br />

benefit from a package of savings which includes a<br />

free excursion to Salzburg, free use of all lifts in the<br />

Wildschonau and Alpbach Valley (with resort card),<br />

The resort card is free to all<br />

guests from May 13, <strong>2017</strong>, is<br />

provided by your hotel upon<br />

arrival and gives you free use<br />

of the tennis courts, entrance<br />

to the outdoor swimming<br />

pool, entrance to the silver mine and museums, free<br />

children’s activity programme (Monday-Friday) and<br />

discounted rates on many other attractions.<br />

If, however, you want a bit of hustle and bustle, the<br />

delights of Austria’s capital city, Vienna, await.<br />

The capital of Austria is known for its history, from<br />

the Gothic <strong>St</strong> <strong>St</strong>ephen’s Cathedral to the art nouveau<br />

splendour of the Secession. By day, you can enjoy<br />

a walk around the Ringstrasse, the circular road<br />

Marken Travel & Inghams<br />

present<br />

Hotel Tirolerhoff – Oberau<br />

3* hotel - 7 nights half board<br />

Indoor pool<br />

No single room supplements<br />

Free resort card (worth $60)<br />

Free excursion to Salzburg<br />

Free guided walks<br />

Free packed lunches<br />

Great flight times<br />

Call Marken Travel today for more details<br />

Just £693 on 26/8/17 (other dates available)<br />

Independent Travel Specialist<br />

200 Main <strong>St</strong>reet, Billinge, WN5 7PE Telephone: 01744 893291 www.markentravel.co.uk

52<br />

Explore Austria<br />

Presentation night by<br />

Wednesday 11th <strong>January</strong> at 6.30pm<br />

Call<br />

01744 893 291<br />

to confirm your place<br />

that will take you past many of Vienna’s attractions.<br />

<strong>St</strong> <strong>St</strong>ephen’s 343 steps seem daunting at first, but<br />

reach the summit and you will be rewarded with<br />

spectacular views. You could also follow in the<br />

footsteps of Orson Welles, who starred in the film<br />

The Third Man, and take a ride in one of the ornate<br />

gondola carriages of the giant Ferris wheel at the<br />

Prater, another of the city’s most famous landmarks.<br />

But don’t be fooled into thinking there aren’t other<br />

attractions to enjoy. It’s truly an historic old town<br />

filled with a vibrant modern atmosphere. To enjoy<br />

this, head to head into the ‘Inner <strong>St</strong>adt’, the historic<br />

old town. And treat yourself to an einspanner,<br />

Viennese coffee topped with cream, and a slice of<br />

sachertorte, chocolate cake with apricot jam, at the<br />

iconic Cafe Central.<br />

Vienna boasts one of the world’s most famous<br />

culinary traditions. A diverse yet delectably<br />

harmonious range of dishes reflects the city’s mix<br />

of nationalities and food cultures through the<br />

Austria Checklist<br />

Language: Austrian German<br />

Currency: Euro<br />

Time difference: +1hour<br />

Cost of a beer: €3.50<br />

Cappuccino : €3<br />

3 Course meal: €25<br />

centuries, and inspires visitors from all over the<br />

globe. Why not try the iconic Wiener Schnitzel,<br />

which is deep fried breaded veal and said to have<br />

been a staple of Austrian cuisine for almost 200<br />

years.<br />

Whether you’re a seasoned visitor, or are looking to<br />

explore the country for the first time, Marken and<br />

Inghams can help you unlock the delights of Austria.<br />

Going on<br />

your Hols?<br />

Manchester & Liverpool airports<br />

Comfortable & clean vehicles<br />

Can seat up to 16<br />

Billinge Mini Travel<br />

Established 1990<br />

01744 894 533<br />

Incorporating H&I Travel 01744 609691<br />

Owned & Operated by Brian Scott

53<br />

Food & Drink<br />

You should have fun!<br />

By Gemma Dunn<br />

He’s been branded one of the trailblazers<br />

of new British cooking, but at the heart of<br />

Glynn Purnell’s success is his refusal to take<br />

himself too seriously. If he’s not cracking jokes and<br />

reeling off witty anecdotes, the ‘Yummy Brummie’<br />

is referring to himself as the Roger Federer of<br />

Birmingham’s imploding culinary scene.<br />

“I’m always going to be remembered as something<br />

that broke the mould; the one who was awarded<br />

the first ever Michelin star in Birmingham [which<br />

happened in 2005, while he was head chef at<br />

Jessica’s in Edgbaston],” says the forward-thinker. “It’s important as a chef to have your own<br />

“I’m still in the mix, so I like to see myself as a Roger personality, but then to be able to put that<br />

Federer: I won’t be No 1 all of the time, but it’s great,” personality onto the page makes you different,”<br />

the 41-year-old adds, chuckling. “Competition is reasons Purnell, who credits his publishers with<br />

great!”<br />

giving him the creative freedom to put out a book<br />

that “sounds as if I’m talking to you”.<br />

And having achieved his childhood goal - “I never<br />

had any interest in passing GCSEs because I knew I “When I stop running restaurants, and when I stop<br />

was going to be a chef” - it seems Purnell has plenty doing what I’m doing, I want people to look back<br />

to smile about.<br />

and go, ‘Oh look, that’s a Glynn Purnell dish’, or<br />

when they come to the restaurant and eat a dish,<br />

His latest venture is the brilliantly-titled cookbook<br />

they know they’re not going to get that anywhere<br />

Rib Ticklers & Choux-Ins, a follow-up to 2014’s<br />

else in the world.<br />

Cracking Yolks & Pig Tales, and a tome he says was<br />

inspired by the more down-to-earth dishes served “It’s important to keep hold of your personality,”<br />

at his bistro, or “takeaway food at home”.<br />

he continues. “I’ve been cooking in Michelinstar<br />

restaurants nearly all of my career, and chefs<br />

Written with trademark wit, chapters range from<br />

always want to perceive themselves as being a bit<br />

‘This little piggy went to market’ to ‘A moment on<br />

aggressive. I’ve moved on from that.<br />

the lips’. It’s infused with brunch, fish, meat and<br />

knockout dessert recipes, and peppered with “I don’t need to push my chest out and act like<br />

yarns about perfecting his skills some sort of big grumpy chef that throws plates at<br />

through years of reading women’s people, because times have changed. For me, food<br />

magazines at the dentist, and why is fun; you should have fun.<br />

he has such a vendetta against “Some chefs should smile a bit more - it wouldn’t<br />

sprouts.<br />

kill them!”<br />

Rib Ticklers & Choux-Ins by Glynn Purnell, photography by Peter Cassidy, is published by Kyle Books, priced £19.99.

54<br />

Sweet spicy sticky ribs<br />

Serves 7<br />

Ingredients<br />

2tbsp vegetable oil<br />

1 onion, thinly sliced<br />

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced<br />

4 cloves<br />

1/2 cinnamon stick<br />

1tsp black onion seeds<br />

1tsp ground ginger<br />

1 rack of pork belly ribs, cut into individual ribs<br />

150g caster sugar<br />

50ml white wine vinegar<br />

50ml dark soy sauce<br />

1tbsp (large) tomato ketchup<br />

2 medium-hot chillies, roughly chopped<br />

1tbsp chopped coriander<br />

Squeeze of lime juice<br />

Method<br />

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat.<br />

Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened<br />

but only lightly coloured.<br />

Add the cloves, cinnamon, onion seeds and ginger<br />

to the pan and then add the ribs. Cover all the<br />

ingredients with two litres of cold water (or enough<br />

to cover the ribs), then simmer for 30-40 minutes<br />

until the meat is tender. Drain the ribs (you can<br />

reserve the cooking liquid to make a sauce for<br />

another dish).<br />

Heat a large frying pan, add the sugar, vinegar and<br />

soy sauce and boil the mixture until reduced to a<br />

thick consistency.<br />

Add the ketchup to the pan, then stir in the ribs,<br />

coating well with the glaze. Add the chillies,<br />

coriander and a squeeze of lime juice, then serve.<br />

The ribs can be served with egg noodles or jasmine<br />

rice.<br />

A little tip - instead of ribs, buy pork belly on the<br />

bone. That way you get free ribs and probably the<br />

best part of the pig.

55<br />

Eating out<br />

guide<br />

The <strong>St</strong>ar Inn<br />

A handsome old pub in Rainford<br />

serving fresh home cooked food<br />

and a wide selection of cask ales in<br />

a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.<br />

Food served Wednesday to Sunday.<br />

01744 882 639<br />

11 Church Rd, Rainford<br />

WA11 8PX<br />

starinnrainford.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 />

Advertise<br />

here<br />

£30 + VAT<br />

Call 01744 649722<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 />

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 />

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 />

facebook.com/TheDelphTavern<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 />

The <strong>St</strong>ocks Tavern<br />

Warmest and friendliest of<br />

welcomes with award winning chef<br />

Mike Heap, who uses only the finest,<br />

freshest, local ingredients to ensure<br />

you leave completely satisfied.<br />

01257 462874<br />

16, Alder Lane, Parbold,<br />

WN8 7NN<br />


56<br />

sponsored by<br />

Hale<br />

by David Sudworth<br />

If you want to raise someone’s blood pressure in<br />

Hale, tell them they live in Merseyside.<br />

The temptation is obvious, given that it is perched<br />

on the side of the Mersey, and also at the end of<br />

Liverpool John Lennon Airport runway.<br />

But not only is this geographical pigeonholing<br />

patently untrue (pub bore alert number one:<br />

Merseyside hasn’t existed since 1986 when the old<br />

Merseyside County Council was abolished) but Hale<br />

is in fact part of the Halton Council area, which<br />

has come under Cheshire since 1974. Only for local<br />

government purposes you understand, because (bore<br />

alert number 2) technically Hale remains part of the<br />

County Palatine of Lancashire. Also, don’t confuse it<br />

with the other Hale, which is near Altrincham and has<br />

always been part of Cheshire.<br />

Flummoxed? Don’t be, because none of it really<br />

matters when you are enjoying this splendid five mile<br />

stroll.<br />

We start our walk from the car park at Hale Park<br />

(postcode L24 4EA). Having parked up, we head<br />

back out of the car park onto High <strong>St</strong>reet and take<br />

a right heading in to Church End. Here, we get a<br />

first glimpse of some truly beautiful old houses<br />

with thatched roofs. On the day we visited, the air<br />

was wintery and crisp. Against the clear, blue sky<br />

backdrop, we saw the odd chimney pot bellowing<br />

out plumes of smoke. A sight sure to warm the<br />

cockles of even the coldest walker.<br />

A little further on, we happen upon an imposing<br />

statue of John Middleton, formerly of this parish,<br />

who by some accounts grew to a staggering 9ft 3ins

57<br />

tall. Little wonder he was<br />

hired as a bodyguard to<br />

the Sheriff of Lancashire.<br />

Once past the statue, we<br />

take a left into Within<br />

Way from where you’re<br />

soon enjoying open<br />

views towards Widnes<br />

and Runcorn - the railway<br />

bridge stands proudly<br />

to the left alongside<br />

an endless parade of<br />

factories. By contrast, on<br />

our side of the Mersey,<br />

there is nothing apart<br />

from green fields and<br />

some winter broccoli<br />

crops for company.<br />

History enthusiasts will enjoy knowing that this<br />

was the point where the first Mersey crossing was<br />

situated by way of a ford, which is a mile long.<br />

During the Civil War in 1644, troops crossed with<br />

their horses and there were skirmishes to take<br />

control of what was a major crossing point. As<br />

late as the 19th century, a local vicar used to take<br />

his horse-drawn buggy across. However, pollution<br />

was becoming a big problem, and this led to the<br />

construction of the Transporter Bridge in 1905. This<br />

was replaced in 1961 by the Silver Jubilee Bridge,<br />

which remains in use to this day.<br />

As an interesting aside, ‘Mersey’ is derived from the<br />

Old English words ‘Mæres’ meaning boundary or<br />

border, and ‘Ea’ meaning river.<br />

With the history lesson now over, we follow the<br />

route all the way down to the bottom, where it<br />

continues to the river as a footpath. When you reach<br />

the river go right and continue along the path. After<br />

a short while Hale Head Lighthouse will come into<br />

view. Built in 1906, it was decommissioned in 1958<br />

and is now a private residence.<br />

You’ll go straight through the gates passing the<br />

lighthouse as you cross Lighthouse Road and on<br />

along the river bank. Shortly after this you go over a<br />

wooden footbridge that crosses Lady Pool, a brook<br />

that runs out from Hale Park. The path continues for<br />

a good while, passing Icehouse Plantation, before<br />

you eventually reach a house, where the path goes<br />

down some steps to the left. This then crosses

Decoy<br />

Marsh<br />

58<br />

another brook, before steps<br />

take you back to the top of<br />

the river bank. Keep going<br />

along the river until the path<br />

emerges onto a new tarmac<br />

path.<br />

At this point we go right<br />

and the path soon emerges<br />

onto Dungeon Road, right<br />

again the boundary fence<br />

to Liverpool John Lennon<br />

Airport. Here you get some<br />

good views of planes taking<br />

off or landing. We managed<br />

to hang around long enough<br />

to see a private plane jet off<br />

to a destination unknown,<br />

followed shortly afterwards<br />

by an easyJet 12.15pm service<br />

to Barcelona. Plan your route<br />

carefully if you want to see<br />

this, as sometimes there can<br />

be an hour’s gap in between<br />

take-offs.<br />

Carr Lane<br />

Ramsbrook Lane<br />

Town Lane<br />

Hale<br />

High <strong>St</strong>reet<br />

P<br />

John Middleton ‘Childe of Hale’ <strong>St</strong>atue<br />

Church End<br />

Postcode:<br />

L24 4AF<br />

Within Way<br />

Icehouse<br />

Plantation<br />

Church Road<br />

Lady Pool<br />

FB<br />

Lighthouse Road<br />

Hale Head<br />

Lighthouse<br />

Just before you reach the<br />

yellow post that support the<br />

airports landing lights, you<br />

take a right into Bailey’s Lane.<br />

Follow this until it emerges<br />

on Hale Road, a smart route<br />

with some very grand homes<br />

with thatched roofs. Continue<br />

to go right and follow it back<br />

into the village and then take<br />

a right back in to the car park.<br />

Having done these walks for a<br />

few years now, I can honestly<br />

say this was possibly the most<br />

interesting and enjoyable.<br />

There’s just something about<br />

the river, its vastness, which<br />

creates a sense of calmness,<br />

even with the slow chug of<br />

industry in the background.<br />

Hale Road<br />

Bailey’s Lane<br />

Dungeon Lane<br />

FB<br />

Hale Cliff<br />

Liverpool<br />

John Lennon<br />

Airport<br />

Oglet Lane<br />


59<br />

A tall story<br />

The Mersey is synonymous with Liverpool but<br />

it is more than just a reference point for the Liver<br />

Buildings, the Albert Dock and so on.<br />

Also, from this vantage point, there’s no chance of<br />

overhearing the cringingly obvious warblings of<br />

Gerry & The Pacemakers as the Birkenhead Ferry<br />

comes in to dock. And for that, we should all be<br />

grateful...<br />

Please ensure you wear appropriate clothing and<br />

footwear while walking. While every care has been<br />

taken to ensure that the walk is accurate, neither the<br />

publisher or its editorial contributors can accept, and<br />

hereby disclaim, any liability to any party to loss or<br />

damage caused by errors or omissions resulting from<br />

negligence, accident or other cause.<br />

John Middleton was born in 1578 in<br />

Hale and, according to folklore, is one<br />

of the tallest men in history.<br />

A towering man, he is believed to have been<br />

between 7ft 9ins and 9ft 3ins tall – official records<br />

don’t exist to confirm one way or the other. It is said<br />

that when King James I learnt about the ‘Childe of<br />

Hale’s’ great height, he invited him to his court to<br />

fight the King’s wrestler. Middleton won and was<br />

given £20, a massive amount at that time. He is<br />

also said to have been recruited as a bodyguard<br />

for Gilbert Ireland, the landlord and Sheriff of<br />

Lancashire who was also a member of Brasenose<br />

College Boat Club.<br />

Middleton died in 1623, aged 45, and is buried in<br />

<strong>St</strong> Mary’s churchyard. A portrait of Middleton hangs<br />

in Brasenose College and the rowing team’s first VIII<br />

sometimes wear Middleton’s colours; red, purple<br />

and gold. A blue plaque denoting Middleton’s<br />

home in Hale adorns a whitewashed cottage on<br />

Church End, just a stone’s throw from his statue.<br />

Thinking of<br />

taking a break?<br />

With Barking Mad, your dog will<br />

be individually cared for by one<br />

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For more information call Andrea Gupta<br />

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No time to visit tHe groomers?<br />

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Call Phil 07840 741 713 or visit;<br />

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60<br />

Test drive<br />

Niro<br />

Kia<br />

by Tim Barnes-Clay<br />

Hybrid vehicles are in vogue these days – or so it appears. Will this technology<br />

take over the conventional power plants we know one day? I don’t have the<br />

psychic wherewithal to tell you. But a lot of automakers seem to be following<br />

this trend – and now it’s Kia’s turn.<br />

The all-new Kia Niro hybrid is propelled by an orthodox 1.6-litre GDi petrol engine,<br />

paired up with a 32kW electric motor. There’s also a lithium-ion polymer battery<br />

where energy is saved. This layout is like with the one in Toyota’s Prius, and manages<br />

an official combined mpg of up to 74.3mpg, alongside CO2 emissions starting from<br />

88g/km.<br />

The Niro is larger than its relative, the Cee’d, yet more pocket-sized than its other<br />

relation – the attractive and admired Sportage. The all-new Kia Niro is the South<br />

Korean car company’s first attempt at a hybrid crossover type of vehicle, but you<br />

wouldn’t know.<br />

Sure, there are copied elements, such as white plastic adornments inside the cabin,<br />

especially around the inner door handles. These are, undoubtedly, inspired by<br />

Toyota, but you can let Kia off because every car manufacturer ‘makes use of’ ideas.<br />

It’s a fashion thing and, by its very nature, fashion is all about making certain you’re<br />

‘down with the kids’ on the hottest style.<br />

The new Kia Niro’s body is rectangular, but it’s not at all disagreeable. The Niro has<br />

a simple, fetching form, that has hints of Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) about it. At

61<br />

the front, the Sportage’s genetic material comes<br />

through – most markedly around the headlights.<br />

What’s more, the rump of the all-new Niro is easyon-the-eye,<br />

with a conventional tailgate decorated<br />

with touches of silver trim.<br />

The all-new Kia Niro will seat four-adults<br />

comfortably, or five at a squeeze. The load area<br />

is a decent size – certainly large enough for a<br />

regular sized family’s needs. The steering wheel<br />

is pleasingly thick to grasp and the switchgear<br />

and dials are intuitive and clear to use. The only<br />

difference between the Niro and a conventionally<br />

powered car is an energy flow meter replacing<br />

the rev counter. There’s also a drivetrain pictorial<br />

showing the energy stream between the Kia Niro’s<br />

engine, battery and wheels.<br />

On start-up, the all-new Kia Niro sounds like it’s not<br />

turned on. That’s because, as with all hybrids, the<br />

engine under the bonnet doesn’t cut in instantly.<br />

Instead of any tick-over sounds, you hear a chime,<br />

signifying that the Niro is running. It’s not long<br />

before the 105PS petrol powered unit makes its<br />

presence known, though.<br />

On the road, the Niro delivers even-tempered<br />

performance, thanks to a six-cog automatic<br />

gearbox. And, while the Kia Niro is no out and out<br />

performer, the additional power the petrol engine<br />

receives from the electric motor is appreciable.<br />

The all-new Kia Niro also feels planted and deals<br />

with the straights contentedly. It’s only on more<br />

blemished B-road surfaces that the Niro’s firm<br />

suspension results in a bit of jitteriness. The Kia Niro<br />

has to have a stiff set-up, though, to cope with the<br />

extra heft of the hybrid assembly. Luckily, there’s a<br />

Max speed: 101 mph<br />

0-62 mph: 11.1 secs<br />

Combined mpg: 64.2<br />

Fast facts<br />

Engine layout: 1580cc 4-cylinder petrol + 32kW<br />

electric motor<br />

Max. power (PS): 141 (combined engine + electric)<br />

CO2: 101 g/km<br />

Price: £26,995<br />

silver lining to every cloud and this firmness means<br />

that body lean is hardly noticeable in corners.<br />

The all-new Kia Niro hybrid comes in four levels of<br />

trim, categorised ‘1’, ‘2’, ‘3’ and ‘First Edition’. All are<br />

well-appointed with driver assistance, comfort, and<br />

connectivity features. Every Kia Niro has a lane-keep<br />

assist system, hill-start assist control, cruise control<br />

and a speed limiter. The new car also comes factoryfitted<br />

with support smartphone connectivity, music<br />

streaming and a DAB radio.<br />

Save £££’s<br />

Pick Up &<br />

Drop Off<br />

service<br />

available<br />

on repairs, servicing and diagnostics<br />

at Wigan’s leading independent<br />

BMW & Mini Specialist.<br />

Our staff have over 40 years experience at the<br />

Northwest’s largest BMW dealership.<br />

Other makes and models welcome too.<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<br />

184 Wallgate, Wigan, WN3 4AL (Next to Better Bathrooms)<br />

Free secure parking at rear<br />

01942 820 378<br />


62<br />

It wasn’t raining<br />

when Noah built<br />

the ark!<br />

by Angie Barker<br />

Award Winner<br />

Isaw this caption outside a Methodist church<br />

recently and I thought what a brilliant way to<br />

illustrate the concept of planning ahead. And<br />

when it comes to our gardens, planning ahead<br />

is a necessity if you want a truly seasonal garden<br />

with year round interest and colour and this is<br />

particularly true of the winter months. Winter can<br />

be a drawn out, dreary affair so injecting some<br />

colour and structure into our gardens can really lift<br />

the spirits at this time of year. Some excellent plants<br />

for the winter garden include:<br />

Buxus sempervirens or Box. Fantastic evergreen<br />

structure. If you are worried about Box Blight (a<br />

fungal disease which is becoming more prevalent)<br />

then Euonymus japonicus ‘Jean Hugues’ is an<br />

excellent substitute.<br />

Daphnes are brilliant for providing winter flowers<br />

which are scented. Two of the best are Daphne<br />

odora ‘Aureomarginata’ and Daphne bholua<br />

‘Jacqueline Postill’.<br />

Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald ‘n’ Gold’. Bright lime<br />

green and yellow leaves cover this small shrub<br />

throughout the year and when the temperatures<br />

fall, they turn pink.<br />

Miscanthus sinensis ‘Kleine Fontane’ is a tall grass<br />

which keeps its structure all winter and looks<br />

stunning with a sprinkling of frost.<br />

Sarcococca confusa -a small evergreen shrub with<br />

amazing scent in winter which will knock your socks<br />

off and is also really useful for a dark, shady corner.<br />

Christmas or Lenten Roses (Hellebores) are lovely<br />

small perennials which although don’t offer much<br />

in the way of colour and structure throughout the<br />

year, really come into their own in <strong>January</strong> and<br />

February. Helleborous x hybridus provide some of<br />

the best colours.<br />

So if you think your garden lacks interest at this time<br />

of year, start planning now for next winter and take<br />

a trip to the garden centre. Bypass the sale of left<br />

over Christmas decorations and head outside for<br />

the plants. As for Hubby, well he is busy planning<br />

too. He wants to know when is the best time to<br />

open that vintage bottle of wine I bought him for<br />

Christmas!<br />

Happy New Year everyone.<br />

Angie is a qualified<br />

award-winning garden<br />

designer who will<br />

plan your garden to<br />

your needs from start<br />

to finish, supplying<br />

reputable contractors<br />

and the ideal plants.<br />

Call Angie now for your free consultation!<br />

Angie Barker Dip GD<br />

(Inst GD) BA (Hons)<br />

Garden Design For All Seasons<br />

Tel: 01942 522 405<br />

Mob: 07857 008 383<br />

Award Winner<br />


63<br />

Want a beautiful<br />

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64<br />

Home services<br />

Decorators,<br />

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65<br />

www.bodtree.co.uk<br />


Broadband broken, computer slow<br />

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66<br />

Advertise here<br />

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• Full Refurbishments<br />

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506515<br />

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67<br />

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