Local Life - St Helens - January 2018

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

<strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> Edition <strong>January</strong> <strong>2018</strong><br />

Win two Saints<br />

memberships for <strong>2018</strong>!<br />

Pages 24 - 25<br />

Iconic local<br />

images<br />

Pages 43 - 46<br />

Winter Sleep<br />

Pages 26 - 30<br />

Food & Drink<br />

Pages 52 - 55<br />

Garswood Park Walk<br />

Pages 59 - 62<br />

<strong>Local</strong> News Motoring Jack’s Tracks Garden Diary Food Home Services<br />

locallife247.co.uk<br />

Photo: Shooting <strong>St</strong>ar over Billinge Beacon by Ian Bonnell

2<br />

Finance Now Available<br />

T&C’s apply, please ask for details<br />

Follow us<br />

Telephone:<br />

01942 583 558<br />

721 Ormskirk Road, Pemberton, Wigan WN5 8AQ<br />

(FREE parking to the rear)<br />

wiganfiresandfireplaces.co.uk<br />

Photo for illustration purposes only


4<br />

A Genuine Winter<br />

is now<br />

on!<br />

/ellamora38<br />

Positive start<br />

The festivities are over for another year, our<br />

waistlines have surely grown, and our finances<br />

may be a little low.<br />

I know, I know, it may sound like I’m highlighting the<br />

obvious but as we’re now in a New Year it’s surely<br />

time for the “New Year, New Me” mantra to start,<br />

right?<br />

If you’d like to start off the year with some cheer,<br />

there are still pantomimes to enjoy including the<br />

classics Cinderella and Aladdin. And there’ll be<br />

opportunities to kick start a new fitness regime, or<br />

just shift a little excess holiday weight.<br />

The <strong>January</strong> sales are in full swing, so it’s time to<br />

stock up on some of the necessities you may have<br />

missed during the Christmas madness – or indulge<br />

yourself one last time before the credit card guilt<br />

sets in.<br />

Whether you’d like to set yourself goals for the<br />

year, save for a dream holiday or do things a little<br />

differently this year, what better month to start than<br />

<strong>January</strong>?<br />

But most of all, be sure to make the most of your<br />

weekends off, and what better way to do it than<br />

some of the local gems we have right here in<br />

the North West. As days gets a little lighter, and<br />

(hopefully) a little warmer there’ll be plenty to do<br />

both indoors and outdoors for the whole family to<br />

get involved with.<br />

From all of us here at <strong>Local</strong> <strong>Life</strong>, we wish you a very<br />

happy start to <strong>2018</strong>.<br />

38 Church Road Rainford<br />

WA11 8HD 01744 881 588<br />

www.ellamora.co.uk<br />

Niamh Ollerton, Deputy Editor

5<br />

In this issue<br />

Win two Saints<br />

memberships<br />

for <strong>2018</strong>!<br />

24<br />

Shooting<br />

star<br />

Regulars<br />

34 Puzzle Corner<br />

36 Class From The Past<br />

56 Events2Go<br />

Sections<br />

6 Property<br />

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

26 Health<br />

36 Eduacation<br />

59 Jack’s Tracks<br />

63 Test Drive<br />

66 Garden Diary<br />

48 Travel<br />

52 Food<br />

66 Gardening<br />

68 Home Services<br />

43<br />

Beautifully<br />

real<br />

52<br />

Jack’s Tracks visits<br />

Garswood<br />

Park<br />

59<br />

Test Drive<br />

McLaren<br />

570GT<br />

63<br />

Next issue - February <strong>2018</strong><br />

Advertising deadline - Tuesday, 23 <strong>January</strong><br />

Published - Friday, 2 February<br />

Publisher: Chris<br />

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

<strong>Local</strong> <strong>Life</strong> 247 Ltd, Unit 8, Hewitt Business Park,<br />

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

Telephone: 01744 649 722<br />

chrisp@locallife247.co.uk<br />

Sales: Clare<br />

sales@locallife247.co.uk<br />

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

Design: Peter<br />

design@locallife247.co.uk<br />

Distribution: Sally<br />

sallyb@locallife247.co.uk<br />

Accounts: Sam<br />

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 12,000 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 />

Whilst every care has been taken to ensure that the data in this publication is accurate, neither<br />

the publisher or its editorial contributors can accept, and hereby disclaim, any liability to any<br />

party to loss or damage caused by errors or omissions resulting from negligence, accident or<br />

other cause. No part of this publication may be copied or reproduced without the prior written<br />

consent of <strong>Local</strong> <strong>Life</strong> 247 Ltd.<br />

locallifemagazine247 @locallifemedia events2go


7<br />

NEW<br />

NEW<br />


Impressive detached house boasting substantial living &<br />

entertaining space along with open views to front.<br />

ALDER LANE, CRANK £320,000<br />

<strong>St</strong>unning family home providing almost 1400 SQFT and<br />

boasting open views to three sides.<br />


Comprehensively renovated 4 bed detached property<br />

featuring a luxurious interior & impressive corner plot.<br />

PARK ROAD, BILLINGE £235,000<br />

Spacious two bed detached true bungalow located in the<br />

village of Longshaw, near Billinge.<br />

NEW<br />

NEW<br />


An extended 3 bedroom detached house with an amazing<br />

west-facing rear garden. No chain.<br />

TONTINE, ORRELL £159,950<br />

A newly renovated & truly remarkable grade II listed<br />

Georgian stone-built cottage.<br />

www.reganandhallworth.com Wiganoffice01942 205555

8<br />

Festive fun<br />

It was a bumper festive season for one Rainford<br />

shop worker!<br />

Mrs Y. Metcalfe was one of the lucky winners of our <strong>Local</strong> <strong>Life</strong><br />

Christmas hamper. We donated a hamper - packed with sumptuous<br />

local goodies - to the Rainford Village Christmas Fair recently.<br />

Hundreds supported the annual event. Santa arrived in style, with<br />

help from Rainford Santa and the Scouts. Fairground rides were<br />

provided by Silcocks and a town crier was on hand to announce<br />

the running order for the day.<br />

<strong>Local</strong>s were treated to performances by the choirs from all<br />

three village primary schools and Rainford High and music from<br />

Rainford Band.<br />

All money raised from the fair is given to local organisations who<br />

apply. It’s believed that around £3,000 was raised, and this will be<br />

distributed during this year.<br />

Beautiful gowns, elegant surroundings, personal friendly service,with over 18 years experience<br />


SATURDAY, 27TH JANUARY, <strong>2018</strong> | 10:00AM TO 5:00PM<br />

209-211 MAIN STREET, BILLINGE, WN5 7PB<br />

www.romancia.co.uk 01744 894 443<br />

• 100+ gowns to choose from<br />

• Exclusive gowns at the event<br />

• No appointment required<br />

• Complimentary refreshments available<br />

• Largest Mori Lee supplier in the area<br />

You want your prom gown to be as unique<br />

as you are, so at Romancia our team will<br />

ensure the same dress is not sold twice by<br />

our store for any prom event.

9<br />

Parish councillor Diane Nichols said: “Thank you to<br />

all who came to the fair and made it such a success;<br />

our stewards and helpers, our stall holders, Santa<br />

and his elves, our local businesses who rallied round<br />

to help and supply electricity and loan parking<br />

spaces, our sponsors, the Rainford schools and<br />

Rainford Band for entertaining us, and Paul Draper<br />

from The Junction for the music tent.”<br />

<strong>January</strong> Sale!<br />

10% off !<br />

BEAUTY TREATMENTS - all treatments including courses of treatments<br />

PRODUCTS - all products including Clarins and ESPA<br />

Book your <strong>January</strong> appointments now on 01744 894 214<br />

...and don’t forget your coupon!<br />

10% off !<br />

Beauty Treatments Courses Products<br />

Only at<br />

Expressions of Beauty<br />

Name .....................................................................................................<br />

Address .....................................................................................................<br />

Email .....................................................................................................<br />

Voucher expires 31st <strong>January</strong> <strong>2018</strong>.<br />

This voucher can’t be used in conjunction with any other offer<br />

Expressions of Beauty<br />

01744 894 214<br />

www.expressionsofbeauty.co.uk<br />

161, Main <strong>St</strong>reet, Billinge, WN5 7PA

10<br />

Hospital remembered<br />

A monument to preserve<br />

the memory and heritage<br />

of the former Haydock<br />

Cottage Hospital has been<br />

unveiled in Clipsey Lane.<br />

Created from the original ornate<br />

arch stone located over the entrance<br />

to the building, the monument was<br />

opened by the Mayor and Mayoress<br />

of <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong>, Councillor Joe Pearson<br />

and his wife Sylvia; local ward councillors - and MP<br />

for <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> North, Conor McGinn.<br />

There were also performances on the day from the<br />

Haydock Brass Band - which played at the laying<br />

of the foundation stone at the Cottage Hospital in<br />

1886 - and local folk singer, Martin Williams.<br />

Haydock’s Cllr Martin Bond spoke of his pride<br />

after the entrance arch, as well as the 130-year-old<br />

foundation stone and a time capsule containing<br />

two annual reports of the hospital and copies of<br />

local newspapers, were given back to the council<br />

from current landowner, Issam Jabrow.<br />







juliemouse@hotmail.co.uk<br />

Join me for a fun fitness class!<br />

Classes start at 19:00 - 20:00<br />

Mon - Upholland Methodist Church - Zumba<br />

Tue - Billinge Chapel End Club - <strong>St</strong>rong by Zumba<br />

Wed - Billinge Chapel End Club - Zumba<br />

For class details contact your licensed Zumba © Instructor<br />

ZUMBA.COM 07789 387502<br />

On sale of the land the items rightly became his, but<br />

local resident Mr Jabrow agreed to hand over the<br />

items so that they can be permanently displayed<br />

in Haydock for residents - and family members of<br />

those miners who helped fund the hospital - to see.<br />

Councillor Bond said: “Preserving our heritage to<br />

ensure that the sacrifices of those who built our<br />

town and society is vitally important.<br />

“If we can’t always retain the physical reminders,<br />

then passing on the stories and memories to<br />

following generations becomes even more<br />


11<br />

Seeing is<br />

Believing...<br />

Wedding Rings<br />

Manufactured on our premises in <strong>St</strong>. <strong>Helens</strong><br />

Just for you and the one you love<br />

15% off*<br />

* Valid on production<br />

of this advert<br />

Gibneys Jewellers<br />

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

01744 24135 gibneysjewellers@hotmail.co.uk<br />

Incorporating Carlchristopher Jewellers<br />


12<br />

Happy New Year<br />

from<br />

Serenity All Round!<br />

Refresh, regenerate & rejuvenate<br />

in <strong>2018</strong> with these fantastic offers!<br />

20% all treatments<br />

***<br />

Spend £30 and get £5 off!<br />

***<br />

20% off all 400 Arbonne<br />

beauty products<br />

Discounts only available until February 10th <strong>2018</strong>.<br />

Offers only available at Main <strong>St</strong>reet salon<br />

Pamper Packages<br />

available<br />

– including lunch<br />

Call us for more details<br />

32 Main <strong>St</strong>reet<br />

Billinge, WN5 7HD<br />

T: 01744 302 130<br />

M: 07713 194 228<br />

serenityallround.co.uk<br />

Opening Hours: Tues, Weds, Fri 9am-6pm - Thursday 9am-8pm - Saturday 9am- 3pm - Sunday & Mondays appointments on request

13<br />

Parish recordings wiped<br />

Recordings of a parish council<br />

meeting have been destroyed<br />

because rules were not formally<br />

agreed beforehand.<br />

Billinge Chapel End Parish Council confirmed that<br />

two recordings have been erased due to the fact<br />

that councillors hadn’t officially put in place a<br />

proper protocol covering this activity.<br />

Two residents who had asked for copies were<br />

informed of the situation and, according to<br />

parish chiefs, were happy for the recordings to be<br />

destroyed without them receiving a copy<br />

That matter has now been rectified, and all<br />

meetings will be recorded and kept for the council’s<br />

term of office, which is a four year period. The next<br />

term of office ends in 2019. Copies of the meetings<br />

will be available to members of the public.<br />

Billinge Chapel End was censured by watchdogs<br />

after a series of ill-tempered meetings in 2016. Two<br />

councillors, Terry McEvoy and Paul Roberts, ended<br />

up being censured by <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> Council’s <strong>St</strong>andards<br />

Committee as a result.<br />

From now on, the official council summons will<br />

state that the meeting is being filmed and there<br />

will also be a sign showing this in the Public Hall.<br />

The chairman will also announce that the meeting<br />

is being filmed at the beginning of each meeting.<br />

Residents may opt out of being included in the<br />

audio recording should they ask a question. The<br />

attendance sheet and question sheet will have a<br />

tick box to show this.

14<br />

Safety drive<br />

Dozens of older Rainford residents<br />

attended a free Senior Road Safety<br />

event that took place at the village<br />

hall.<br />

Hosted by <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> Council as the Merseyside lead<br />

authority for senior road users, the event – the latest<br />

in a series of similar events – sought to address the<br />

growing problem of senior road users, aged 60 and<br />

over, being involved in road traffic collisions.<br />

Attendees were given advice on driving while using<br />

prescribed drugs and medicine – as well as tips on<br />

winter driving and the benefits of public transport.<br />

The event also addressed the increasing number of<br />

incidents involving pedestrians within the senior<br />

road user age group – now becoming an area of<br />



great concern. Event-goers learned about the<br />

popular ‘Drive Safely for Longer’ course, which is<br />

offered free to residents in Merseyside over 60 years<br />

of age. The next Senior Road User event will take<br />

place on Tuesday, February 6, 10am-2pm at Rainhill<br />

Village Hall, Dane Court, L35 4LU.<br />

Looking to target<br />

new customers<br />

in <strong>2018</strong>?<br />

We specialise in<br />

Wills £85.00<br />

Lasting Power Of Attorney £200<br />

Senior Consultant – Mr Ray Mann<br />

(Has over 20 Years’ experience<br />

with a Specialist Firm of Solicitors)<br />

For an appointment/consultation<br />

Call Penny on Freephone number below<br />

or email : raymannpier@gmail.com<br />

We offer a FREE Home or Evening<br />

Appointment by Arrangement<br />

covering all areas.<br />

0800 084 2098<br />

Leaflets delivered from only £24.50 per 1,000<br />

Delivered to areas throughout<br />

Wigan, Chorley, <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> & Leigh<br />

Design, print & distribution packages<br />

also available<br />

Call Sally on 01695 627 999 for details<br />

or email sallyb@locallife247.co.uk


16<br />

<strong>Life</strong>saver appeal<br />

A Rainford lad and his friends<br />

and family are raising funds and<br />

awareness for his rare cancer.<br />

Chris Carberry, 21, was diagnosed in December<br />

2015 with a rare bone cancer in his leg called<br />

Osteosarcoma. Sadly, treatments didn’t go as hoped<br />

and Chris had his leg amputated in March 2016.<br />

Unfortunately, several months after finishing<br />

14-months of treatment, Chris was re-diagnosed in<br />

July 2017, but by this point the cancer had spread<br />

to his lungs. He then had more surgery to removed<br />

1/3 of his lung along with the tumour, but with<br />

his positive attitude still intact Chris jokes it was<br />

“because one leg wasn’t enough.”<br />

Now time is of the<br />

essence to try and raise<br />

£200,000 for pioneering<br />

lifesaving treatment<br />

abroad.<br />

But Chris and his friends<br />

and family have not lost<br />

hope, and are taking<br />

fundraising head on.<br />

There was a 24 hour<br />

Spinathon Challenge in December and other<br />

fundraising efforts include tackling Hadrians Wall<br />

last September. Chris’ dad <strong>St</strong>eve said: “We just want<br />

to raise awareness and get Chris’ story as far as<br />

possible.” Vist www. chriscarberry.co.uk<br />

AtoB Taxis<br />

The company that cares<br />

TAXI!<br />


search 451 TAXI<br />

New easy app for your mobile<br />


<strong>Local</strong> airports & long distance - 4, 6, 8 vehicles<br />

Priority bookings - Text booking service<br />

24 hour call/text back service<br />

01744 600 600<br />

01744 634 634<br />

www.atobdelta.co.uk<br />

34 Baldwin <strong>St</strong>reet, WA10 2RL New Cross <strong>St</strong>reet, WA10 1QN<br />

The Big Chippy<br />

5 <strong>St</strong>ar Food Hygiene Rating<br />

Fast Food Guide Editors Choice Award 2017<br />

New excellent Chinese chef<br />

Member of Fish Frier’s Association<br />

Pick up a loyalty card today to receive a free<br />

Chinese meal or fish & chips after 10 visits with<br />

purchases over £9 (only one stamp per visit)<br />

0151 426 1412<br />

7-9 Warrington Road, Prescot<br />


17<br />

Independent Family Jewellers<br />


Repairs, Remodelling and Valuations<br />


Silver and Platinum in any form<br />


Krugerrands & Sovereigns<br />

Gibneys Jewellers<br />

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 />


18<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 local<br />

communities we serve.<br />

Are you raising money<br />

for charity? Are you a<br />

member of a community<br />

group with something<br />

to shout about? Maybe<br />

you’ve got an unusual talent, or have a<br />

claim to fame? If so, let us know and you could be<br />

appearing in the next edition!<br />

Simply contact us on sthelensnews@locallife247.<br />

co.uk or call us on 01695 627999.<br />

Learning programme<br />

Current and budding volunteers, and members<br />

of community or charity groups are being offered<br />

the chance to take part in an upcoming leadership<br />

programme in Moss Bank. Sessions are free for<br />

residents of <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> aged 19+ who would benefit<br />

from the course and be able to make a difference in<br />

their community.<br />

The programme is run by Adult and Community<br />

Learning (ACL). If you’re interested in the courses<br />

or would like information on other ACL courses<br />

available, please call ACL’s Park Road Centre<br />

on 01744 677315 or 01744 677328, email:<br />

adultlearning@sthelens.gov.uk or visit the website:<br />



20<br />


SALE<br />

NOW ON<br />

Tucked away in the heart of<br />

Billinge is Anthony William<br />

Furniture Ltd, The Oak<br />

specialist offering a fantastic<br />

selection of dining room<br />

sets, sideboards and other<br />

occasional furniture. We have<br />

fabulous ranges of solid oak<br />

furniture that will grace your<br />

home for years to come<br />



Complete furniture ranges are available<br />

for the entire house; from the living<br />

room to the dining room, through to<br />

the bedrooms<br />

• Solid Oak Dining Tables<br />

and Chairs<br />

• Sideboards<br />

• TV units<br />

• Cabinets<br />

• Coffee Tables<br />

• Nest of Tables<br />

• Glazed Display Units<br />

• Bookcases<br />

• Console Tables<br />

And much more...<br />

01744 893 785 / 07710 487 977<br />

Unit 11 Barrows Farm, Carr Mill Road, Billinge, WN5 7TX (Carr Mill Road is next to the Texaco Garage in the village)<br />

Immediate delivery service available

21<br />

Billinge<br />

22 Windsor Road: Demolition of existing detached<br />

garage and erection of a single storey side extension<br />

along with the creation of a new vehicular access<br />

off Windsor Road (ref: P/2017/0937/HHFP).<br />

Moss Bank<br />

10 Gormley Drive: Conversion of existing garage to<br />

habitable room, along with single storey front infill<br />

extension (ref: P/2017/0857/HHFP).<br />

Shoots Delph Farm: Construction of a new access<br />

roadway from the junction of Moss Bank Road to<br />

the existing farm yard (ref: P/2017/0871/FUL).<br />

Planning Matters<br />

One <strong>St</strong>op, 44 Bowness Avenue: Change of use from<br />

retail unit to hot food takeway (ref: P/2017/0897/<br />

FUL).<br />

Rainford<br />

25 Walmesley Drive: Demolition of existing garage,<br />

and erection of two storey side extension and<br />

single storey rear extension, along with front and<br />

rear dormer extensions (ref: P/2017/0891/HHFP).<br />

36 Higher Lane: Creation of vehicular access<br />

onto classified road, with associated works to low<br />

boundary walls (ref: P/2017/0852/HHFP).<br />

For more information on these plans, visit www.sthelens.gov.uk<br />


Sheds<br />

Log Cabins<br />

Workshops<br />

Wendy Houses<br />

Summer Houses<br />

Garden Offices<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 />

Rivendell Notcutts Garden Centre<br />

Mill Lane, Widnes WA8 3UL<br />

Telephone: 0151 423 2638<br />

www.solidsheds.com<br />


22<br />

£674k funding boost<br />

YMCA <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> has been awarded a total of<br />

£674,935 by the Big Lottery and DCMS Youth<br />

Investment Fund to organise and deliver a Youth<br />

Sports Engagement Programme over the next<br />

three years. The three-year YMCA Youth Sports<br />

Engagement Programme is aimed at young<br />

people aged 10 to 18 and will offer a minimum<br />

of 20 free weekly sports and physical activity<br />

sessions, holiday programmes and sessions aimed<br />

at young people with additional needs. There will<br />

also be an opportunity to access projects and<br />

sessions organised by delivery partner the Saints<br />

Community Foundation.<br />

For more information on the free sessions and<br />

to view the time table, please visit the <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong><br />

Council Sports Development website: https://<br />

www.sthelens.gov.uk/culture-sport-leisure/sportsdevelopment/<br />

or follow the team on social media.<br />

Corking idea<br />

A Billinge off-licence is expanding. Portland<br />

Wine and Gin Shop, on Rainford Road, is poised<br />

to open a wine bar at Unit 12 in The Winstanley<br />

Centre, Holmes House Avenue, Wigan. Permission<br />

to revamp the vacant laundrette was due to be<br />

officially approved as <strong>Local</strong> <strong>Life</strong> went to press. Bar<br />

bosses told customers they hope to be open for<br />

business by February. According to papers lodged<br />

with Wigan Council, vehicle parking will remain the<br />

same, and there will be no external materials used<br />

for the site’s proposed change of use. Employees at<br />

the site will include four full-time employees; two<br />

part-time staff; and the equivalent of five total fulltime<br />

employees.<br />

Should the wine bar become a reality, opening<br />

hours are said to be be 12pm-11pm Monday to<br />

Thursday; 12pm-12am on Fridays and Saturdays<br />

and 12pm-11pm on Sundays and Bank Holidays.


24<br />

Competition<br />

Saints & Proud?<br />

Win two <strong>2018</strong> memberships!<br />

<strong>2018</strong> is all set to be an incredibly exciting year for <strong>St</strong>.<strong>Helens</strong> Rugby League Club<br />

and you can be part of the action by winning a pair of Saints memberships<br />

for <strong>2018</strong>!<br />

These memberships entitle the holders to a seat in the Totally Wicked North <strong>St</strong>and,<br />

Block NG at all Super League games in <strong>2018</strong>, with a value of up to £373 each.<br />

There have been a number of important changes that have taken place at the<br />

club during 2017, including the arrival of new Head Coach Justin Holbrook from<br />

Australian Club Sydney Roosters, and the signing of marquee player Ben Barba,<br />

former Australian Rugby League player of the year. These moves signal intent to<br />

deliver high quality, entertaining Rugby League played with world class players in<br />

the best purpose-built Rugby League stadium in the country.<br />

The Club’s theme for the <strong>2018</strong> Betfred Super League campaign is Saints & Proud, and<br />

the club wants everyone, Saints fans and all local people to be proud of the Club and<br />

what it represents to the Town and local area. This theme is the Club’s ethos for the<br />

coming season and beyond.<br />

The <strong>2018</strong> Betfred Super League campaign begins on Friday 2nd February <strong>2018</strong> (kickoff<br />

7:45pm) vs last season’s beaten Grand finalists, the Castleford Tigers at the Totally

25<br />

Wicked <strong>St</strong>adium.<br />

There are other mouthwatering<br />

fixtures in the<br />

early portion of the season<br />

including clashes with<br />

Warrington Wolves, Friday<br />

9th March and the huge local<br />

Derby against bitter rivals, Wigan Warriors, Good<br />

Friday, 30th March (kick-off time to be confirmed)<br />

To win a pair of <strong>2018</strong> memberships simply visit our<br />

website www.locallife247.co.uk, click on ‘free stuff’<br />

and then on ‘competitions’. To enter the competition<br />

for the <strong>January</strong> issue of the <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> <strong>Local</strong> <strong>Life</strong> just<br />

input your answer to the following question;<br />

What is Saints theme for Super League <strong>2018</strong>?<br />

The expiry date for the competition is Wednesday<br />

31st <strong>January</strong> <strong>2018</strong>. Only one entry per household.<br />

Entrants<br />

must be over 16 years of<br />

age. The winners will be notified on Thursday 1st<br />

February <strong>2018</strong>. <strong>Local</strong> <strong>Life</strong> 247 Ltd cannot accept<br />

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 />

For more information or tickets visit Saints website<br />

www.saintsrlfc.com. <strong>2018</strong> Memberships that allow<br />

you access to up to fifteen home fixtures are also<br />

available including a host of additional benefits<br />

and exclusive content. Visit www.saintsrlfc.com/<br />

memberships for details.

26<br />

Health & Fitness<br />

Winter sleep<br />

By Abi Jackson<br />

There is never a time when sleep isn’t<br />

important. But with the shorter, vitamin<br />

D-deprived days, gloomy weather - and the dread<br />

that it’s going to drag on for months - at this time of<br />

year, solid slumber is more vital than ever.<br />

Winter, like all the seasons, has its joys (little beats<br />

a stroll on a perfect, crisp winter’s morning; stark<br />

blue sky, robins and the last of the leaves glistening<br />

with dew). But the reality for many is it can be quite<br />

hard work, too, whether it’s loneliness, worrying<br />

about the cost of Christmas or suffering the moodzapping<br />

effects of seasonal affective disorder (SAD),<br />

not to mention those winter bugs doing the rounds.<br />

And so we’d do well to give ourselves - and our<br />

immune systems - a helping hand, which in so<br />

many ways, starts and ends with decent dozing.<br />

Here are five things to think about if you want to<br />

win at winter sleep.<br />

Hot and cold<br />

Nobody wants to lie shivering in bed with feet<br />

like ice blocks. But overheating can actually be<br />

more detrimental to sleep, so it’s important to<br />

get the temperature just right. “Ideally, the brain<br />

temperature needs to be fractionally lower than the<br />

body’s core temperature, so ideally your bedroom<br />

needs to be cool, around 19C,” says physiologist<br />

and sleep expert Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, author<br />

of Fast Asleep, Wide Awake: Discover The Secrets<br />

Of Restorative Sleep And Vibrant Energy (£12.99,<br />

Harper Thorsons). “So you’ll walk in and find it a<br />

bit chilly, but you can put a hot water bottle into<br />

the bed which you then discard as you get cosy. It’s<br />

important not to overheat as this will make sleep<br />

fretful and restless. I find it helpful to keep a fan in<br />

my room, even in winter, carefully positioned so I<br />

don’t get too cold if I use it. Also, a eucalyptus stick<br />

on your bedside table’s a good idea. Eucaplytus is<br />

cooling, so if you wake during the night - 2 to 4am<br />

is the most likely time for overheating - you rub<br />

the menthol stick between your eyebrows and<br />

temples and it has a cooling effect on the brain and,<br />

surprisingly, the mind.” Go for layers of bedding,<br />

rather than one thick duvet, “so you can discard<br />

some as you journey through the night”.


28<br />

Comfort is key<br />

A comfortable bed, that’s<br />

just right for you, makes a<br />

big difference - but often<br />

it’s only when you actually<br />

experience it, that you<br />

realise just HOW much<br />

(investing in memory<br />

foam pillows actually<br />

changed my life). A calm<br />

environment can equal<br />

a calm mind, but when<br />

it comes to designing<br />

your bedroom, “quality<br />

of sleep should be the<br />

top priority”, notes James<br />

Cox, co-founder and CEO<br />

of British brand Simba<br />

Sleep, whose unique<br />

2,000 spring/Visco memory foam mattresses can be<br />

delivered to your door in a box (from £399, www.<br />

simbasleep.com and selected John Lewis stores).<br />

“So ditch the lumpy, uncomfortable mattress.” The<br />

best mattresses aren’t likely to be the cheapest, but<br />

if you are looking to make investments, few things<br />

are more rewarding than years of good sleep.<br />

A good mattress can also play a role in helping<br />

manage and reduce aches and pains. Cox notes<br />

that innovations have come a long way, so it’s worth<br />

considering designs that combine experience and<br />

technological developments.<br />

Tech it or leave it<br />

We bang on about the importance of stepping<br />

away from those screens before bedtime, but the<br />

message just isn’t getting through for many of<br />

us (according to a recent survey by Simba Sleep,<br />

almost one in six Brits spend at least two hours a<br />

day on social media in bed). Bottom line: if you want<br />

to nail a solid sleeping routine, you need to switch<br />

off those devices. Dr Ramlakhan recommends an<br />

“electronic sundown” of around an hour before<br />

getting into bed, in order to calm those dopamine<br />

hits from constantly looking at a screen, and cut<br />

down on the blue light exposure that suppresses<br />

melatonin - “the sleep hormone” - production. “We<br />

might associate the device with being mentally<br />

engaged and in work-mode too, especially if we<br />

also have access to email on the device,” she adds.<br />

Try old-school bedtime reading - with actual books<br />

- instead. “Neuroscience shows that the reading<br />

brain responds differently to reading on paper than<br />

it does to reading on a screen. With the latter, the<br />

reading rate tends to be faster, less mindful and<br />

more skimming - sort of multi-task reading - as if<br />

looking at a social media feed. Reading on paper<br />

tends to be more mindful, and we slow down and<br />

read in more detail (neuroscientists call this deep<br />

reading).”<br />

What’s on the menu?<br />

Just as we think about fuelling up in the morning,<br />

with energy-boosting breakfasts and those allimportant<br />

caffeine kicks, if you’re aiming to improve<br />

your sleep, the same theory applies at the end of<br />

the day - in reverse. So tailor what you eat and<br />

drink in the evening, with winding-down in mind.<br />

Keeping stimulating and sugary substances to<br />

the first half of the day is one thing, but it can go<br />

beyond that. “To sleep well, we need to eat foods<br />

that help the brain produce melatonin: a small


30<br />

amount of carbohydrates with a small<br />

amount of protein rich in tryptophan,”<br />

suggests Dr Craig Hudson, founder<br />

of Zenbev.com. “A cheese sandwich<br />

will help sleep, but a big steak dinner<br />

will make your sleep worse. Food for<br />

sleep is like everything else; a little in<br />

moderation works well.” A late heavy<br />

dinner may make you feel sleepy,<br />

but setting your digestive system up<br />

for a night of overdrive isn’t going to<br />

amount to the best quality slumber.<br />

The same goes for alcohol - yes it may<br />

seem to help you drift off, but booze<br />

actually hinders quality sleep. Making<br />

a soothing tea part of your prebedtime<br />

routine is a great idea - not<br />

only can this be a natural way to aid<br />

sleep, but the simple act of making<br />

yourself a cuppa, and then sitting quietly to sip it,<br />

nurtures a sense of calm and mindfulness.<br />


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Embrace bathing rituals<br />

Running yourself a bath is a fantastic way to embrace<br />

self-care, treat yourself to a little luxury, and really<br />

switch from manic ‘day mode’ to relaxed and sleepready<br />

(and it’ll help with dragging yourself away<br />

from those screens, too). Even once a week, a bath<br />

is worthwhile, and alchemist, aromatherapist and<br />

intuitive body worker Michelle Roques-O’Neil,<br />

founder of the ‘balancing and emotionally healing’<br />

THERAPIE product range, says even a 10-minute<br />

bath will make a difference when you don’t have<br />

time for a half-hour soak. Make the ritual even<br />

richer by incorporating some aromatherapy based<br />

products, such as THERAPIE Himalayan Detox Salts<br />

(£38 for 400g, roquesoneil.com), which combine<br />

pink Himalayan salts, geranium, juniper berry<br />

and powdered amethyst. “This is one of our most<br />

popular products,” says Roques-O’Neil. “It’s great for<br />

when you’re really overextended, especially with<br />

digital overload. If you’re very anxious, suffering<br />

from insomnia, you’ve just overdone it. This will help<br />

pull you down to Earth.” Applying a soothing body<br />

oil, or lavender-based moisturiser, can be another<br />

effective step in your snooze-ready self-care ritual,<br />

finishing off with a spritz of lavender pillow spray.

31<br />


85% of over-75s say listening to music sparks special<br />

memories<br />

It’s often said that scent is incredibly powerful at triggering memories<br />

and, according to a new survey by the Royal Voluntary Service, hearing<br />

music transports many of us back in time too. Nearly three-quarters<br />

of the 500 over-75s quizzed as part of the charity’s Sing Your Heart<br />

Out campaign, admit they’ve forgotten lots of things - but can still<br />

remember the words of their favourite songs. Many say music has the power to help them remember pivotal<br />

events from their past, such as the day they met their partner (14%), a special day (12%) or their wedding day<br />

(8%). Furthermore, 92% agree that singing along to music lifts their mood, 81% think it helps keep their mind<br />

active, while 63% say it helps them forget health worries. Presenter Phillip Schofield, said: “My song is Make Me<br />

Smile by <strong>St</strong>eve Harley and Cockney Rebel. That’s my childhood in a song. What seemed like endless summer<br />

days, growing up in Newquay. Playing on the beach, being late for tea having lost track of time.”<br />

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34<br />

Puzzle Corner<br />


Find the hidden words in the word search grid<br />

F R P C U R L E W C<br />

Y O L H B D A H G H<br />

W B L A C K B I R D<br />

A I T F P K T S O M<br />

N N Y F T W U A U E<br />

T D I I P S I W S R<br />

J O S N H T D N E L<br />

A V O C E T G A G I<br />

Y E T H A S L P A N<br />

SUDOKU<br />

8 6 3<br />

1 8 4 5<br />

2 7 9<br />

5<br />

8 1<br />

9 4<br />

6 7<br />

4 3 9<br />

6 5 8<br />

T H R U S H P P T U<br />

R M I M A G P I E L<br />


THRUSH<br />


DOVE<br />

MAGPIE<br />

AVOCET<br />


MERLIN<br />

JAY<br />



Unscramble the letters to make a word<br />

NARB LOW<br />


CURLEW<br />

GROUSE<br />

TERN<br />

ROBIN<br />


NUMBER<br />

BLOCK<br />

B E E A N U V W R S<br />

N I G H T J A R N L<br />

3<br />

3 9 6<br />

9 6<br />

2 3<br />

19 17 20 24<br />

The numbers in each row add up to totals to the right.<br />

The numbers in each column add up to the totals<br />

along the bottom. The diagonal lines also add up the<br />

totals to the right.<br />

26<br />

14<br />

26<br />

26<br />

14<br />

25<br />

NEWR<br />





LUBE ITT<br />


CLUE: I don’t agree<br />

Trace a path through<br />

all the letters to find<br />

the word or phrase<br />

that fits the clue.<br />

T E A P<br />

A K R M<br />

N N U U<br />

I N G J<br />

All the puzzle solutions are on page 65 of this magazine


36<br />

Class from the past<br />

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

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

in the 1950s. 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 />

A new <strong>St</strong>arting Point<br />

<strong>St</strong>arting Point - the organisation<br />

which has provided advice and<br />

guidance on employment, skills and<br />

education to local people for the past<br />

20 years - is entering a new era.<br />

Thanks to funding secured from the Liverpool<br />

City Region Combined Authority’s <strong>Local</strong> Growth<br />

Fund, this new development will see <strong>St</strong>arting Point<br />

become a modern skills centre. Bosses hope this will<br />

help the organisation lead the way for delivering<br />

the skills, knowledge and qualifications demanded<br />

by today’s businesses.<br />

While the developments take place, the <strong>St</strong>arting<br />

Point team, which provides the National Careers<br />

Service in <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong>, will be moving into <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong><br />

Chamber’s main building on Salisbury <strong>St</strong>reet near<br />

the World of Glass, and will continue to deliver its<br />

full range of services to support local people into<br />

jobs or training.<br />

Any <strong>St</strong>arting Point customers due to attend<br />

appointments or courses will now be seen at <strong>St</strong><br />

<strong>Helens</strong> Chamber. For any enquiries, please call<br />

<strong>St</strong>arting Point on 01744 698800 or email info@<br />





40<br />

Earn extra<br />

cash!<br />

<strong>Local</strong> <strong>Life</strong> require distributors<br />

for the following areas;<br />

Haydock<br />

Westminster Drive, Buckfast Avenue,<br />

Fountains Avenue area<br />

Littler Road, Wedge Avenue,<br />

Gleneagles Drive area<br />

Moss Bank<br />

Moss Bank Road, Dalston Drive,<br />

Broad Lane area<br />

Windle Island<br />

<strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> Road, Moss Lane,<br />

& Rainford Road<br />

Kings Moss<br />

All areas<br />

Laffak<br />

Bosworth Road, Syston Avenue,<br />

Meriden Close area<br />

Garswood<br />

Victoria Road, Elgin Avenue,<br />

<strong>St</strong>irling Drive area<br />

Interested?<br />

Please email your name, address,<br />

landline number and date of birth to<br />

sallyb@locallife247.co.uk<br />

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

Two new faces at<br />

sch0ol<br />

Merchant Taylors’ School has<br />

announced the appointment of two<br />

new Heads to lead the Boys’ and Girls’<br />

Senior Schools in <strong>2018</strong>.<br />

Claire Tao, who is currently Deputy Head at the<br />

City of London School for Girls (CLSG), will take<br />

over as headmistress from Louise Robinson when<br />

she leaves at Easter <strong>2018</strong>. David Wickes will join<br />

Merchant Taylors’ Boys’ School as headmaster<br />

in September. David is currently the deputy<br />

headmaster at Warwick School.<br />

Claire started her career in industry and following<br />

the completion of an MSc in Personnel Management<br />

and Industrial Relations at the London School of<br />

Economics in 1993 and a PGCE at Roehampton<br />

University in 2004 moved into education working<br />

for the Old Palace School of John Whitgift as a<br />

biology teacher and head of house. She then went to<br />

Dulwich College Preparatory School as a chemistry<br />

teacher and housemistress before moving to CSLG<br />

where she has been for 10 years. Claire’s interests<br />

include the theatre and hosting social events and<br />

she is also looking forward to continuing her love of<br />

cycling in the Northern hills.<br />

After achieving a Master of Arts degree at Oxford<br />

in History and a further Master of Arts from King’s<br />

College, London David pursued a teaching career<br />

at Dulwich College and then Abingdon School. He<br />

enjoys travelling in Europe, visiting the theatre and<br />

watching most sports including following the ups<br />

and downs of Southampton FC.<br />

Chairman of Governors, Beverley Bell, said: “We<br />

were impressed by the calibre and number of<br />

applicants the posts attracted. Both are highly<br />

qualified for the roles and are experts in male and<br />

female pedagogy which is crucial for the Schools’<br />

single sex education focus.”



43<br />

Shooting star<br />

David Sudworth meets the Billinge dad-of-two whose<br />

photographs are delighting locals<br />

Ian Bonnell knows he’s lucky. “Most people who enjoy photography have to<br />

travel for miles, but we’ve got great scenery on our doorstep.”<br />

He’s not wrong. Although technically, Ian himself came quite a long way to enjoy the<br />

scenery Billinge and the surrounding area has to offer - from<br />

Australia to be precise.<br />

“I was born in Melbourne because my parents, Eddie<br />

and Mary, emigrated there in 1965. They had me in<br />

1968 but came back in 1970. So I’ve been in Billinge<br />

since I was two and grew up on Hillside Close.”<br />

The former Chapel End and Rainford High pupil<br />

is becoming well known in the area for his<br />

stunning photographs - mostly thanks to the<br />

power of social media.

44<br />

Crosby Beach

45<br />

Liverpool Waterfront<br />

“I’ve always sort of been interested in photography<br />

and my dad certainly was. In fact, every so often we<br />

come across photos he took of Billinge in the 1970s.<br />

Some of them have even appeared in <strong>Local</strong> <strong>Life</strong>.<br />

“She thinks I’m mad for going out at five o’clock in<br />

the morning, trying to catch the sun coming up,” he<br />

laughs.<br />

For Ian, 49, it remains largely a hobby. By day he<br />

works across the North West repairing petrol pumps<br />

“Wife thinks I’m mad for<br />

getting up at 5am!”<br />

on garage forecourts.<br />

“It’s starting to become a bit of a business but<br />

there’s not a great deal of money in photography<br />

unless you’re a wedding photographer, and for me<br />

it’s more man-management than anything else.<br />

“I’ve been to photograph my son Matthew’s band,<br />

Last Reserves, but even that is completely different<br />

Sign Post Billinge

46<br />

to doing landscapes. It’s nice to have variety<br />

though. I had a stall at <strong>St</strong> Aidan’s Church’s Christmas<br />

fair a few weeks ago and sold a few then. It’s not at<br />

the stage where it’ll pay the mortgage though,” he<br />

smiles.<br />

For Ian, his own particular interest is when there’s<br />

any sort of activities in the skies.<br />

“Doing trigonometry for<br />

first time in 30 years”<br />

Carr Mill Dam<br />

“I’ve captured a shooting star going over Billinge<br />

Hill and various shots of the moon. To be honest, a<br />

lot of the skill is about being in the right position<br />

to take the shot. For the first time since school, I’m<br />

doing trigonometry and reading maps. For some<br />

shots of Billinge Hill, I’ve been standing on a bridge<br />

over the M58 at Skelmersdale.<br />

“It’s all good fun though, and I just hope people get<br />

as much enjoyment out of them as I do.”<br />

To view Ian’s photos, visit www.facebook.com/<br />

IanBonnellPhotography/<br />

Cloudscape Billinge<br />

Wigan Pier


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48<br />

Travel<br />

Mentioned by the Daily Telegraph as<br />

one of the 20 Mediterranean islands<br />

you must visit in your lifetime, Zakynthos (or<br />

Zante has it is more popularly known) is the most<br />

southerly of the Ionian Islands and one of the most<br />

popular Greek islands. There is something for all<br />

the family on this gorgeous island with stunning<br />

Zakynthos for<br />

everyone<br />

views, where locals offer tourists the hospitality<br />

which Greece is famous for. This island paradise<br />

has three distinct geographical areas: the north<br />

west region is mountainous with many traditional<br />

mountain villages, the central region is a fertile<br />

plain chock-full with olive groves and vineyards<br />

and the south east is characterised by its beautiful

49<br />

beaches. Similarly, there are a range of contrasts on<br />

the island for tourists, depending on what you’re<br />

looking for in a holiday. Zante boasts numerous<br />

sandy beaches, mountain villages, beautiful natural<br />

scenery, water sports and good quality restaurants,<br />

bars and nightclubs to more than cater for all your<br />

entertainment needs.<br />

If it’s all out partying you’re after, then Laganas<br />

will fit the bill perfectly. Over 100 bars and clubs<br />

are packed into the main street in Laganas, so you<br />

can imagine how exciting things get during the<br />

summer holidays. Just off the coast of Laganas<br />

is the famous Marathonisi ‘Turtle’ Island, with<br />

beautiful almost tropical beaches, and also a small<br />

bay with intriguing sea caves to explore and a great<br />

spot for snorkellers. There are no buildings allowed<br />

on the island, but a quaint boat that bobs around<br />

the island selling refreshments.<br />

But for those who want to simply relaxing in an<br />

achingly beautiful setting you’ll find there are ideal<br />

New Year Offer!<br />

£10 discount p.p.<br />

This Marken Travel discount is on top of any Jet2 discount<br />

and is applicable only on Jet2 holidays booked by 31/01/18<br />

Zante holidays for you. Go to Alikanas and you’re<br />

ideally placed for exploring Zante’s lush north coast<br />

which has dramatic white cliffs, magical sea caves<br />

and one of the most beautiful beaches in the whole<br />

of Greece.<br />


Take a trip to one of the Zante’s best loved tourist<br />

spots, the Blue Caves, which are located at the<br />

northern tip of the island, underneath Cape Skinari.<br />

The caves show a range of blue hues on the white<br />

rocks caused by reflections from the sea. The area<br />

<strong>2018</strong> holiday with your mates?<br />

Come to the Group Holiday Specialists<br />

• Flexible payment plans, with a low deposit<br />

• We’ll check you in online and print your<br />

boarding passes<br />

• Book in a local, secure office with travel<br />

experts<br />

• We’ll provide 24 hour emergency contacts<br />

and reps in your resort<br />

• Your bookings will be fully protected under<br />

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Jet2 holidays can only be booked on the High<br />

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Deposit from just<br />

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Protected by<br />

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50<br />

is popular for snorkelling to see the wide range of<br />

marine life living in the clear waters.<br />

On the south eastern tip of the island, the pineforested<br />

Vasilikos peninsula is an area that has been<br />

mostly protected from large-scale development<br />

because of the loggerhead turtles that breed on<br />

Gerakas beach. Arguably the most beautiful area<br />

on the island. Nearby Daphni beach, also a turtle<br />

nesting beach, is well-worth a visit too.<br />

Not far from Keri is the beautiful pebble beach of<br />

Marathias. It is off the beaten track and well-worth<br />

the walk down. The island also boasts one of the<br />

most photographed beaches in Greece, Shipwreck<br />

Cove, which is a blissful cove backed by plummeting<br />

limestone cliffs; but be warned, there is usually a<br />

long queue out onto the viewing platform where<br />

you can photograph it.<br />

The Zante authorities take their conservation<br />

seriously; the only airport on the island is closed<br />

after dark because it’s close to beaches where<br />

Greece Checklist<br />

Language: Greek<br />

Currency: Euro<br />

Time: +2 hour<br />

Beer: €3.50<br />

Cappuccino : €2.91<br />

3 Course Meal: €15<br />

loggerhead turtles lay their eggs at night and some<br />

of the beaches are also closed at night for the same<br />

reason.<br />

It’s no wonder that the Telegraph rates this jewel in<br />

the Ionian, Zante, so highly. With its breath-taking<br />

green hills, lemon and orange trees, authentic<br />

Greek villages, olive groves, vineyards, long white<br />

beaches; all framed by a crystal clear blue sea. Your<br />

family holiday for <strong>2018</strong> awaits you!<br />





WINDOWS £199*<br />

DOORS £399*<br />

FRENCH £749*<br />

COMPOSITE £599*<br />

PATIO £699*<br />





<strong>2018</strong> Deals<br />

Now Available<br />

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*Subject to size and colour.<br />

Sefton Meadows<br />

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0151 531 0056


52<br />

Food & Drink<br />

In a tug-of-war relationship with food and fitness for many years, blogger<br />

Sam Murphy is the first to admit her initial foray into veganism wasn’t a<br />

healthy one.<br />

The 24-year-old, who hails from New Zealand, had anorexia as a teenager,<br />

and initially, switching to veganism proved another means of controlling her<br />

eating and introducing new restrictions.<br />

“I was raw vegan for a while, and I was so obsessed<br />

with eating only raw foods in their natural state,”<br />

explains Murphy. “I can see how easy it is to slip into<br />

that, because essentially it’s addictive, you become<br />

obsessed with it. It’s a control thing.<br />

“If you’ve got something in your life that you feel a<br />

bit out of control with, a lot of us will turn to food<br />

and control that. I know I do.”<br />

After moving to Melbourne, where she still lives<br />

and works in a vegan cafe, Murphy slowly began<br />

to change her habits and rebuild a healthier<br />

relationship with nourishing her body, reintroducing<br />

the full gamut of vegan-friendly foods (and actually<br />

cooking them), opening up about her experiences<br />

in her blog (sobeautifullyreal.com) and, eventually,<br />

shaking off her staunchly-held views of ‘good’ and<br />

‘bad’ foods.<br />

“Having spent so many years having a very strict<br />

food rule list, I still catch myself out having those<br />

pre-conceived ideas about what is good and<br />

bad,” she admits. “It really restricts you creatively,<br />

but it also restricts your enjoyment for food. The<br />

challenge for me and for others is to break down<br />

barriers and just enjoy food as food, and obviously<br />

the important thing is keeping it within the realm of being dairy-free and<br />

cruelty-free.<br />

Beautifully real<br />

By Keeley Bolger<br />

“I don’t see any reason why you should have to label something good or bad;<br />

it should just be real food.”<br />

Although she still has bad days, reflecting on her recovery, Murphy says: “I

53<br />

got to a point where my survival instincts kicked<br />

in. Something clicks, and you realise you definitely<br />

don’t want to live your life that way, and it’s that<br />

drive to keep striving for more but also to be really<br />

patient and really forgiving and loving towards<br />

yourself, and to know that you’re going to have ups<br />

and downs.<br />

“As soon as I removed the expectation that<br />

recovery was going to be this consistent uphill on<br />

a progressive scale, it relaxed me a little bit more,”<br />

she adds. “I’m able to deal with those moments that<br />

aren’t so great, which I still have - I’m human.”<br />

Her debut cookbook, Beautifully Real Food - a<br />

gorgeous, colourful collection of mouthwatering<br />

vegan dishes - is clearly the work of somebody who<br />

now celebrates the joy of food.<br />

She’s keen not to preach about veganism though,<br />

especially since, as a former meat-eater, she recalls<br />

finding the concept very alien.<br />

“When I first heard of vegans, I thought it was the<br />

weirdest thing in the world. I was like, ‘What the hell<br />

do those people eat? It’s like eating grass!’” she says<br />

with a laugh.<br />

“It’s different. People are very set in their ways and<br />

I was too, and I suppose it’s more about educating,<br />

just trying it out. I don’t expect everyone in the<br />

world to go vegan, but if they could just try a meal<br />

that is vegan, possibly not knowing that it is vegan<br />

first, that would be ideal, so they go in with a very<br />

open mind.<br />

“The more people we can get on board, the better,”<br />

says Murphy. “I try not to push my views on people;<br />

I just welcome them in like ‘Hey, I’ll cook you some<br />

food and see if you like it!’”<br />

Tempted to see if you’d like it? Here are three recipes<br />

from Beautifully Real Food to try at home...<br />

Beautifully Real Food: Guilt-Free,<br />

Meat-Free Recipes To Indulge In by Sam<br />

Murphy is published by Blink Publishing<br />


simmsroadinn.co.uk Simmsroadinnpub Free Wi-Fi Spot<br />



7 DAYS A WEEK<br />






01744 894 246<br />


54<br />

Turmeric Baked Beans,<br />

Potato Hash & Sautéed<br />

Greens<br />

Serves 2<br />

Ingredients<br />

For the potato hash:<br />

3 medium-large potatoes, peeled and chopped<br />

1tbsp vegan butter<br />

For the baked beans:<br />

2tsp coconut oil<br />

1 red onion, finely diced<br />

1 garlic clove, minced<br />

1 × 400g can haricot beans, rinsed and drained<br />

1tsp ground turmeric<br />

1tsp ground cumin<br />

1/4tsp ground nutmeg<br />

1tbsp coconut sugar (available from Tesco or<br />

Ocado)<br />

1-2tsp vegetable bouillon or paste<br />

125ml tomato puree<br />

1/2 a 400g can chopped tomatoes<br />

1tbsp coconut cream<br />

Salt and pepper, to taste<br />

Sautéed greens and mushrooms, to serve<br />

Method<br />

Prepare the hash by chopping the potatoes and<br />

boiling until tender. Remove from heat and rinse in<br />

water.<br />

In a non-stick frying pan, simply fry the potatoes<br />

with the vegan butter over a medium heat until the<br />

potatoes are slightly crispy and broken up.<br />

For the baked beans, heat up the coconut oil in a<br />

non-stick frying pan and sauté the onion and garlic<br />

until fragrant and browned.<br />

Add the beans, spices, coconut sugar, vegetable<br />

bouillon, tomato puree and canned tomatoes.<br />

Simmer for five to six minutes over a medium heat.<br />

Add the coconut cream and stir in. Remove from<br />

the heat and serve. Season to taste and serve with<br />

sautéed greens and mushrooms.

55<br />

Loaded Vegan Hot Dogs<br />

Serves 2-3<br />

Ingredients<br />

For the sweet chilli sauce:<br />

1-2tsp hot sauce or chilli paste<br />

2tbsp reduced-salt tomato puree<br />

2-3tbsp maple syrup<br />

1tsp garlic powder<br />

1tsp onion powder<br />

1/2tsp salt<br />

Water to thin, if necessary<br />

For the cheesy mustard mayo:<br />

1tsp Dijon mustard<br />

1tbsp tahini<br />

1tbsp maple syrup<br />

2tsp nutritional yeast<br />

1tsp onion powder<br />

3-4tbsp hot water (to reach your desired<br />

consistency)<br />

1/8tsp salt<br />

For the hot dogs:<br />

2-3 vegan sausages<br />

1/2 red onion, sliced<br />

1-2tbsp oil, for frying<br />

2-3 hot dog buns<br />

Salt and pepper, to taste<br />

Sesame seeds<br />

Method<br />

Prepare the sauces by mixing each separately in<br />

a bowl and storing in resealable plastic bags. Set<br />

aside.<br />

In a large frying pan, fry the vegan sausages and red<br />

onion in a little oil until the sausages are browned<br />

and crispy on all sides and the onions are crispy.<br />

Drain on a paper towel.<br />

Warm the buns in the oven or microwave.<br />

To assemble the hot dogs, cut a slice down the<br />

centre of the hot dog bun with a bread knife (ensure<br />

you do not cut all the way through). To apply the<br />

sauces, simply slice a small corner off the resealable<br />

plastic bags with scissors and squeeze as you would<br />

with a piping bag.<br />

Spread a thin layer of sweet chilli sauce inside the<br />

bun and then insert the vegan sausage. Sprinkle<br />

with sesame seeds. Top with onion, salt and pepper<br />

and finish with a drizzle of both the sweet chilli<br />

sauce and cheesy mustard mayo.

56<br />

Upload your event for FREE at<br />

www.locallife247.co.uk/events<br />

Follow us on Facebook<br />

events2go<br />

Charity KILO SALE<br />

Thursday, <strong>January</strong> 18, 10am<br />

A vintage and High <strong>St</strong>reet kilo sale where you can grab<br />

some bargains at just £10/Kilo with all proceeds going<br />

to the British Heart Foundation. Find amazing vintage<br />

from various eras, and clothing from high street brands.<br />

Early bird entry 10am-11am is £3 on the door, and<br />

general entry from 11am is £2 on the door.<br />

The City of Liverpool College, Roscoe <strong>St</strong>reet,<br />

Liverpool, L1 9DW. Tel: 0151 252 3000<br />

<strong>St</strong>ill Born, <strong>St</strong>ill Loved<br />

Thursday, <strong>January</strong> 25, 7pm (film starts 7.40pm)<br />

<strong>St</strong>ill Loved explores the struggles felt by families<br />

surviving baby loss. Giving an unexpected voice to<br />

bereaved fathers, who speak candidly providing an<br />

additional perspective. This is a brave, inclusive and<br />

ultimately life affirming film, for anyone that has ever, or<br />

will ever, lose someone they love.<br />

Mercure <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong>, Linkway West, WA10 1NG. Tel:<br />

01744 453444<br />

Dance To The Music <strong>2018</strong><br />

Wednesday, Jan 31, 7.30pm (doors open 6.30pm)<br />

‘Dance to the Music’ is a dance show like no other!<br />

Experience the evolution of dance, starting in the<br />

roaring twenties, with tap and Charleston, up to<br />

modern day Ballroom and Latin! For more info www.<br />

sthelenstheatreroyal.com<br />

<strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> Theatre Royal, Corporation <strong>St</strong>reet, <strong>St</strong><br />

<strong>Helens</strong>, WA10 1LQ. Box Office: 01744 756 000<br />

Research Your Family Tree<br />

Wednesday, <strong>January</strong> 31, 4.30pm-6.30pm<br />

This taster session is the introduction to a free five week<br />

course to help you start researching your own family<br />

tree. Suitable for beginners and for all ages. The five<br />

week course runs from Tuesday, February 20 to Tuesday<br />

March 20 1pm- 3pm. Booking is required. Contact<br />

adultlearning@sthelens.gov.uk or call 01744 677675 to<br />

reserve your place.<br />

Eccleston Community Library, Broadway,<br />

Eccleston WA10 5PJ. Tel: 01744 677575<br />

Ghost Hunt<br />

Friday, Feb 2, 9pm, to Saturday, Feb 3, 3am<br />

Join Haunted Houses for a unforgettable ghost hunt<br />

experience at Mill <strong>St</strong>reet Barracks. In 1890, the building<br />

was the Headquarters of the 2nd Volunteer South<br />

Lancashire Regiment, and during both World Wars,<br />

the building was used as an RAF barracks and housing<br />

wounded soldiers. Tickets are £32 per person from<br />

www.haunted-houses.co.uk<br />

Mill <strong>St</strong>reet Barracks, <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong>, WA10 2BB.<br />

The Script | Liverpool<br />

Monday, February 12, 7pm-10pm<br />

With their recent album Freedom Child launching to<br />

No.1 on the UK Official Album Chart, The Script has<br />

announced a series of UK and Ireland arena tour dates.<br />

Visit http://tidd.ly/e4c576b6 for tickets which are £41.25<br />

(incl. booking fee) and more info.<br />

Echo Arena Liverpool, Monarchs Quay, Liverpool,<br />

L3 4FP. Tel: 0844 800 0400

57<br />

The Wizard of Oz<br />

Tuesday, February 13, to Sunday, February 18<br />

This family classic includes a hilariously funny script,<br />

dazzling costumes and sets, plus brilliant songs and<br />

show-stopping choreography. More info and tickets<br />

www.sthelenstheatreroyal.com<br />

<strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> Theatre Royal, Corporation <strong>St</strong>reet, <strong>St</strong><br />

<strong>Helens</strong>, WA10 1LQ. Box Office: 01744 756 000<br />

Postgrad LIVE! Liverpool<br />

Thursday, February 15, 12pm-3pm<br />

Whether you’re a student thinking about your future<br />

options, a recent graduate looking to add to your<br />

qualifications, or currently working and considering a<br />

career change, Postgrad LIVE! Liverpool will help you<br />

gather the info you need to plan your steps toward<br />

Masters or PhD study. Visit www.findamasters.com<br />

Liverpool Guild of <strong>St</strong>udents, 160 Mount Pleasant,<br />

Liverpool, L3 5TR. Tel: 0151 794 6868<br />

Southport 60s Weekend<br />

Friday, Feb 16, 7pm to Sunday, Feb 18, 11.59pm<br />

Great music from the likes of, The Rag Dolls, The Berries,<br />

The Fourmost and The Undertakers plus much more<br />

all under one roof. Full weekend tickets are £199 (incl.<br />

three nights’ accommodation), call 01757 700042 for<br />

tickets and more info.<br />

Prince of Wales Hotel, Lord <strong>St</strong>, Southport, PR8 1JS.<br />

Tel: 01704 536688<br />

The Lancashire Hotpots<br />

Saturday, February 17, 7.30pm-11pm<br />

The Lancashire Hotpots return for another cracking gig!<br />

Support comes from the ‘Kings of Clubland’ <strong>St</strong>u Penders<br />

& Spladoosh. This gig sells out every year so try to get<br />

tickets sooner rather than later. Tickets are £13 from<br />

www.citadel.org.uk Under 18s must be accompanied<br />

by an adult and seated on the balcony upstairs.<br />

The Citadel Arts Centre, Waterloo <strong>St</strong>reet <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong>,<br />

WA10 1PX. Tel: 01744 735436<br />

I LOVE ME Wellbeing Event<br />

Sunday, February 18, 10am-5pm<br />

Come along to this uplifting event where you’ll have the<br />

opportunity to try a wide variety of holistic treatments<br />

and try out some new complimentary therapies.<br />

Browse the stalls and discover new products. Entrance<br />

fee is £2, but kids go free. Contact Lyndsay May for more<br />

info 07572 066365.<br />

Rainford Village Hall, Church Road, Rainford,<br />

WA11 8HB. Tel: 01744 884709<br />

Rainford Heritage Society<br />

Monday, February 19, 7.30pm<br />

The Society is hosting a talk on the manufacture and<br />

usage of manuscripts in Medieval England and France<br />

by Brian Farrimond. Entry is £2 per person.<br />

Function Room, Junction pub, Rainford, WA11<br />

7JU. Tel: 01744 882868<br />

Hot Pot Lunch<br />

Monday, February 19, 1pm-4pm<br />

Come and join us for a lovely warm homemade hot<br />

pot, cake or scone and unlimited tea/coffee Byroney’s<br />

Cafe & Bistro. For those not rushing home, you can stay<br />

a while and have a sing song or join in with some fun<br />

games. Tickets are £12 and is hosted by <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> &<br />

Warrington Oddfellows. For info, call 01744 453650.<br />

Byroney’s Cafe & Bistro, 2 George <strong>St</strong>reet, <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong>,<br />

WA10 1BU. Tel: 01744 612122<br />

The Little Mix Experience<br />

Tuesday, February 20, 6pm-9pm<br />

Four talented girls pay tribute to the UK’s top girl-band,<br />

Little Mix. With breathtaking dance moves, replica<br />

costumes this is a high-energy show, packed with all of<br />

Little Mix’s greatest hits. Tickets £12.50 (+£1.50 booking<br />

fee) from https://sthelenstheatreroyal.ticketsolve.com<br />

<strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> Theatre Royal, Corporation <strong>St</strong>reet, <strong>St</strong><br />

<strong>Helens</strong>, WA10 1LQ. Tel: 01744 756000

58<br />

RAOC Veterans Reunion<br />

Saturday, March 3, 7pm-11.59pm<br />

If you’re ex RAOC and in the area you’re welcome to<br />

attend the veterans reunion, but you must book so<br />

that food numbers can be calculated. For more info visit<br />

http://raoc.websitetoolbox.com/<br />

Eagle & Child, 38 Main <strong>St</strong>reet, Billinge, Wigan,<br />

WN5 7HD. Tel: 01744 892453<br />

Comic Con<br />

Saturday, March 3, 10am-5pm<br />

There’ll be Cosplay, special guests and exhibitors<br />

at Liverpool’s very own Independent Comic Con.<br />

All enquiries should be sent to epic@liverpoolcon.<br />

com. For more info visit www.facebook.com/<br />

events/1406295456147872/<br />

<strong>St</strong> George’s Hall, Liverpool, L1 1JJ. Tel: 0151 233<br />

3020<br />

Some Guys Have All The Luck<br />

Sunday, March 4, 7.30pm-10.15pm<br />

This production celebrates the career of one of rocks<br />

greatest icons, Rod <strong>St</strong>ewart – from street busker<br />

through to international superstar! All tickets are<br />

£21.50(+£1.50 fee) from https://sthelenstheatreroyal.<br />

ticketsolve.com<br />

<strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> Theatre Royal, Corporation <strong>St</strong>reet, WA10<br />

1LQ. Tel: 01744 756000<br />

Apprenticeships Open Day<br />

Monday, March 5, 1pm-2pm<br />

Visit Liverpool Chamber to find out all about the<br />

Apprenticeships, traineeships and fast track courses<br />

available. If you can’t make it email apprenticeships@<br />

sthelenschamber.com to find out more or call <strong>St</strong>arting<br />

Point on 01744 698800 or visit www.sthelenschamber.<br />

com<br />

Chamber Training, 1 Old Hall <strong>St</strong>reet, Liverpool, L3<br />

9HG. Tel: 01744 742045<br />

Luke Daniels<br />

Friday, March 9, 7.30pm-11pm<br />

The BBC award-winning singer songwriter and<br />

composer. He creates masterful acoustic folk music<br />

encompassing humble woodnotes to syrupy<br />

synthesized twists. Tickets £14 from www.citadel.org.uk<br />

The Citadel Arts Centre, Waterloo <strong>St</strong>reet, <strong>St</strong><br />

<strong>Helens</strong>, WA10 1PX. Tel: 01744 735436<br />

Rio Carnival in Liverpool<br />

Friday, March 16, 10pm to Saturday, March 17,<br />

4am<br />

There’ll be Latin parade performers, you can learn<br />

to Carnival samba with infamous Rio beats and<br />

rhythms and international DJ’s. As well as a range of<br />

South American <strong>St</strong>reet Food <strong>St</strong>alls, Brazilian beers,<br />

and a face paint artist to get you party ready. Find<br />

out all you need to know at www.facebook.com/<br />

events/510369545981463/<br />

Liverpool<br />

Chip Shop Chips<br />

Saturday, March 17, 2pm-4pm and Saturday,<br />

March 17, 7pm-9pm<br />

It’s the grand reopening of Booth and Son’s Fish & Chip<br />

Shop. Eric has returned home forty years later, and it’s<br />

time for a fresh start. But old flame Christine has other<br />

ideas. Tickets are £5-£8 from www.eventbrite.co.uk<br />

Parr Library, Fleet Lane, Parr, <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong>, WA9 1SY.<br />

Tel: 01744 677580<br />

Rainford Heritage Society<br />

Monday, March 19, 7.30pm, 7.30pm<br />

The Society is hosting a talk entitled “How Ormskirk<br />

treated evacuees from Liverpool in WW2” by Roger<br />

Bloxall. Everyone is welcome; entry is £2 per person.<br />

Function Room, Junction pub, Rainford, WA11<br />

7JU. Tel: 01744 882868

59<br />

Garswood Park<br />

by David Sudworth<br />

Once upon a time, the way to assure<br />

immortality was to have a statue erected in<br />

the local market square. These days, it’s having a pub<br />

named after you.<br />

Sir Thomas Gerard has that distinction on Gerard<br />

<strong>St</strong>reet (where else?) in Ashton-in-Makerfield.<br />

Despite said pub being housed in an old Kwik Save<br />

supermarket store, it does little to diminish his aura as<br />

a hero who was sent to the Tower of London for trying<br />

to rescue Mary Queen of Scots.<br />

This walk roams around the Gerard family’s old<br />

stomping ground. Part of the estate is still there, but<br />

more of that later.<br />

We park up on Woodedge (postcode WN4 9JZ) and<br />

head north west through Skitters Wood. Millingford<br />

Brook runs through the heart of Skitters, and you<br />

can follow it pretty much to where it goes towards<br />

the M6. For non-aquatic species such as ourselves,<br />

it’s much better to take the footbridge over the<br />

M6. Once across, the path will take you right and<br />

then veer left, past some detached homes and up<br />

towards Low Bank Road. After about five minutes<br />

on Low Bank Road, turn left onto Camp Road.<br />

Without much fanfare, you’ve just crossed from<br />

Greater Manchester and into Merseyside. Follow<br />

Camp Road as it merges into Gibbons Road before

60<br />

were also lost, although most of the parkland<br />

designed by Humphry Repton including a large<br />

fish pond survived and still exists today. During<br />

World War II, the estate was used as a Prisoner of<br />

War camp and also as a training base for American<br />

troops preparing for the D-Day landing (more on<br />

this a little later in the walk).<br />

We walk past the gates, onto Millfield Lane, and<br />

head towards Haydock Industrial Estate.<br />

turning left on to Tithebarn Road.<br />

These farm fields are always producing something,<br />

and we could spot the first signs of some green veg<br />

as we wandered up.<br />

If you’ve got a pair of binoculars handy, it’s worth<br />

turning left and getting a good sight of Winter Hill.<br />

On a very clear day, it feels like you could almost<br />

touch it.<br />

We’re now heading towards Ashton Cross (yes<br />

Ordnance, not ‘Aston Cross’ as your maps show). It’s<br />

a busy old junction, close to the East Lancs Road<br />

and the M6. Across Liverpool Road, you’ll see the<br />

majestic Ashton-in-Makerfield Golf Club gates.<br />

These are in fact the original gates to the Gerard<br />

family’s old home, Garswood Park.<br />

The main house, Garswood New Hall, was built in<br />

the 17th century but was demolished in 1921 along<br />

with its associated outbuildings. The formal gardens<br />

On the left, you will pass a very grand looking black<br />

and white house. Le Chateau, as it is now called,<br />

is the former estate office for Garswood Park. It<br />

looked unloved for many years, and has been<br />

sympathetically restored to its former glory.<br />

You need to keep your eyes peeled at this point as<br />

the public footpath you need to take on the left<br />

is somewhat obscured. The entrance is directly<br />

opposite Millfield Farm, which itself is well signed.<br />

This stretch is pretty much straight for about a mile,<br />

until it reaches the M6 motorway bridge at the<br />

rear of Byrchall and <strong>St</strong> Edmund Arrowsmith high<br />

schools.<br />

The stretch can get very muddy in places, so this<br />

does slow you down, and you have to ensure you<br />

don’t veer off piste. The trick is not to follow the<br />

deep tyre track grooves in the ground, as you’ll end<br />

up about 100 yards away from the bridge (yes, that<br />

happened to us). Instead, stick to the map and you’ll

61<br />

arrive at the bridge without an unnecessary detour.<br />

At the height of summer, finding the bridge can be<br />

difficult as there is heavy leaf cover, so sticking to<br />

the map is doubly important.<br />

Once across the bridge, turn right and follow the<br />

path round the boundary wall of Byrchall. You<br />

eventually come out on Chelwood Park. Once at the<br />

end, turn left on to Warrington Road. Here, you’ll be<br />

walking along the front of Byrchall. Now, remember<br />

earlier I mentioned about a prisoner of war camp?<br />

Well, it was actually sited where the Byrchall<br />

buildings are today. One famous prisoner held there<br />

was Bert Trautmann, a Nazi paratrooper. After the<br />

war, Bremen-born Trautmann refused to go back to<br />

Germany, and instead played as a goalkeeper for<br />

<strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> Town and then for Manchester City. He<br />

shot to fame when he broke his neck - but carried<br />

on playing - during the 1956 FA Cup Final. As no<br />

substitutes were allowed back then, Trautmann<br />

played on and helped City to a famous 3-1 victory<br />

over Fulham. Carrying on the walk, we turn left into<br />

Vicarage Road, then right onto <strong>St</strong> Oswald’s Road<br />

before heading left, back down Liverpool Road.<br />

Turn right into Woodedge and you’ll soon see<br />

Skitters Wood again on the right hand side. You can<br />

either go through the wood, following the westerly<br />

paths, or carry on until the end of Woodedge and<br />

take the footpath opposite Orton Way, through the<br />

woods and back to where we started.<br />

Over 40 Lancashire<br />

walks<br />

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

FREE to download at<br />


62<br />

This is an ideal walk for this time of year - there’s<br />

not too many fields so mud splattering is kept to<br />

an acceptable level, but you still get a decent dose<br />

of local history. It’s well connected via road and bus,<br />

and there’s no shortage of places to stop for a drink<br />

of bite to eat. You could even try the eponymously<br />

named Sir Thomas Gerard close by... although you<br />

may want to change your footwear beforehand!<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 />

Length of walk: 4.2 miles<br />

Difficulty: Easy<br />

Accessibility: Fairly straightforward, although the<br />

stretch down the side of Ashton-in-Makerfield Golf<br />

Club is very boggy at colder times of the year. The<br />

route is served by the 156 bus, which stops near<br />

Ashton Cross.<br />

Low Bank Road<br />

Skitters Wood<br />

Camp Road<br />

Ashton<br />

<strong>St</strong>range Road<br />

Woodedge<br />

Gibbons Road<br />

Liverpool Road<br />

J24<br />

Garswood Park<br />

Roman Road<br />

Millfield Lane<br />

M6<br />


63<br />

Test Drive<br />

McLaren 570GT<br />

The letters ‘G’ and ‘T’ are used far too often on<br />

cars. And, yes, I’m referring to a grand tourer<br />

rather than a gin and tonic. Some automakers think<br />

that by sticking a ‘GT’ badge on the boot lid it makes<br />

their product instantly irresistible. Many are wrong<br />

about that. But McLaren isn’t. Indeed, the 570GT is<br />

so far from wrong, it’s untrue.<br />

McLaren’s 570GT is one of the best cars the<br />

British firm makes and it’s undeniably the most<br />

multitalented sports car, too. You can probably tell<br />

I was utterly blown away with the 570GT when I<br />

tested it on British bitumen recently. Fundamentally,<br />

McLaren has taken the awesome 570S and has<br />

injected it with an extra dose of civility. The result is<br />

by Tim Barnes-Clay<br />

the 570GT – a machine that’s as refined as possible<br />

without swapping for a smaller power unit and<br />

additional seats.<br />

The 570GT even looks like the 570S, but there are<br />

some major differences between the models. The<br />

latter’s flying buttresses have been replaced by<br />

curved bodywork that comprises a glass hatch.<br />

There’s a respectable 220-litres of load space under<br />

there, meaning the 570GT has a genuine practical<br />

edge to it. The car also has a glass roof that makes<br />

the cabin airy and full of mood-enhancing light.<br />

The engine, normally on display in the McLaren<br />

570S, is tastefully concealed under a leather floor<br />

in the 570GT. While, inside, the car gets extra

#<br />

64<br />

Fast Facts<br />

• 0-62 mph: 3.4 secs<br />

• Combined mpg: 26.4<br />

• Engine layout: 3799cc twin-turbocharged V8<br />

• Max. power (PS): 570<br />

• CO2: 249 g/km<br />

• Price: £154,000<br />

soundproofing, soft-close doors and electric heated<br />

seats. If that’s not enough to start justifying those<br />

letters ‘G’ and ‘T’, the 570GT is equipped with a more<br />

hushed exhaust system and softer suspension. The<br />

steering is also milder than the 570S’.<br />

These changes make the McLaren 570GT a car you<br />

could use every day. The ride is pliable enough<br />

to make our pothole-ridden roads bearable, and<br />

motorway cruising din is subdued enough so that<br />

your ears don’t bleed.<br />

But, just because you could use the GT on a daily<br />

basis doesn’t mean this is a lacklustre McLaren. Oh<br />

no. In every other way, the 570GT does everything<br />

else a full-fat McLaren does. And, most importantly,<br />

it looks one of the meanest, sexiest cars out there.<br />

It’s a major head-turner, that’s for sure.<br />

With just a quick stab of the 570GT’s starter button,<br />

the twin-turbo 3.8-litre V8 lump barks into life.<br />

Depress the gas pedal and the increase of velocity<br />

is hard-hitting, due to the 570 horses under the<br />

lid. And snapping up and down the cogs via the<br />

paddle-mounted gears-shifters is a real smileinducer.<br />

Zero to 62mph is done in an insanely rapid<br />

3.4 seconds, while the top speed is a licence-losing<br />

204mph.<br />

Regardless of the additional luxuries added to the<br />

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65<br />

GT, this McLaren’s cabin stays broadly the same as<br />

in the 570S’. It’s a work of genius in contemporary<br />

sports car interior design and a long way from<br />

the chaotic button-fest of the Ferrari 488 or the<br />

unemotional ambience in Porsche’s 911 Turbo.<br />

You sit near to the ground but erect in the 570GT,<br />

so visibility is very good. And, as mentioned earlier,<br />

it’s comfortable enough to be used as a real-world<br />

form of transport.<br />

While the alterations from the 570S to GT could<br />

be seen as fairly minor, they make a substantial<br />

difference to the McLaren driving experience. The<br />

British sports car maker has constructed a machine<br />

that is as calm as possible, without kicking any of<br />

the theatre to the kerb.<br />

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26<br />

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26<br />

14<br />

25<br />


66<br />

New pjs and slippers<br />

by Angie Barker<br />

Happy New Year everyone! I hope that<br />

Father Christmas brought you everything<br />

you wished for? Hubby excelled himself this year in<br />

the present buying department – although I didn’t<br />

get the trip to Hampton Court Flower Show that I’d<br />

kept dropping hints about – but he did remember<br />

my pj size!<br />

At this time of year I love curling up in front of the fire<br />

- in my new pjs and slippers - and browsing through<br />

a good gardening book or magazine. It gives me<br />

some inspiration for the forthcoming year and helps<br />

to take my mind off the impending credit card bill.<br />

(Well, Hubby is worth it). This is the perfect time<br />

of year for planning ahead and one of the biggest<br />

problems I hear about from clients when they are<br />

assessing their garden, is the lack of seasonal interest<br />

and colour.<br />

All garden designers have a favourite list of plants<br />

which will appear in their designed gardens time<br />

and time again. To some extent this will be down<br />

to personal preference but it will also be because<br />

those plants bring something to a planting scheme,<br />

whether this be structure, colour, movement or<br />

scent.<br />

Award Winner<br />

I thought I’d give you a glimpse of my own list of<br />

plants which I simply could not be without in my<br />

own garden and which I include in many of my<br />

planting plans;<br />

Buxus sempervirens or Box – can be topiary or<br />

hedging for evergreen structure<br />

Bergenia ‘Bressingham Beauty’ – good seasonal<br />

interest, colour and texture<br />

Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’ – a beautiful, low<br />

mounded grass which looks amazing under Acers<br />

Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’ – good texture and colour<br />

Lavandula angustifolia ‘Hidcote’ – has scent and<br />

makes a lovely small hedge<br />

Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ – long lasting late<br />

summer colour and fabulous for bees and butterflies<br />

Sarcococca confusa – strong scent in winter – just<br />

when our spirits need a lift<br />

These are just a handful, there are so many other<br />

brilliant plants to chose from. I feel inspired already<br />

– roll on spring!<br />

Angie is a qualified<br />

award-winning garden<br />

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to finish, supplying<br />

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Call Angie now for your free consultation!<br />

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Tel: 01942 522 405<br />

Mob: 07857 008 383<br />

Award Winner<br />


67<br />

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Don’t forget, we also offer all of these services daily...<br />

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70<br />

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