Local Life - Wigan - January 2018

locallife247

Wigan's FREE local lifestyle magazine.

LocalLife

Wigan Edition January 2018

Iconic local

images

Pages 43 - 46

OMADS Reaches 50

Pages 66 - 68

Charity Ball Pictures

Pages 16-17

Garswood Park Walk

Pages 78 - 81

Local News Motoring Jack’s Tracks Garden Diary Event2Go Home Services

locallife247.co.uk

Photo: Shooting Star over Billinge Beacon by Ian Bonnell


Mere Oaks, Standish £550,000 Back Lane, Appley Bridge £425,000

This 5-bed family home on a small development has

2243 sq ft of magnificent living space and boasts many

quality features including a private large rear garden.

This gorgeous period cottage, has 3 double bedrooms,

a high quality fitted kitchen and exquisitely landscaped

and gated private gardens.

Walthew Green, Roby Mill £350,000 Barrowcroft Close, Standish £300,000

This stunning detached 3-bed property with beautiful

gardens has traditional features combined with a

modern style to make this a magnificent family home.

This impressive 4-bed detached family home in a culde-sac

offers simply stunning living space of the highest

specifications with beautifully landscaped gardens.

Ince Hall Ave, Ince £300,000 Almond Brook Road, Standish £250,000

A truly impressive 3-bed detached bungalow with a

beautiful open plan lounge diner and a stunning fitted

kitchen set within ¼ acre of land.

This 3-bedroom semi-detached home, just 2 mins from

the M6, has two immaculate reception rooms and a

modern kitchen diner rear, with beautiful open views.

a name you can trust


Fellside, Whelley £240,000

An exceptionally large 4-bed detached home, located

on a large plot in a quiet cul-de-sac, with a high level of

presentation throughout and a large rear garden.

Riverdale Close, Standish LG £220,000

Perfectly positioned on this popular development, this

beautifully maintained 4-bed detached family home sits

in a quiet cul-de-sac.

Dicconson Terrace, Wigan £180,000

This large, 4-bed Victorian home with period features

near to Mesnes Park has three reception rooms, a fully

fitted kitchen and low maintenance gardens.

Arnside Road, Orrell £170,000

This immaculately presented 3-bed detached family

home is in excellent decorative order throughout and

boasts beautifully maintained gardens.

Greenhill Crescent, Billinge £160,000

3-bed semi-detached home in Billinge, boasting a

beautiful open plan lounge-diner, a spacious modern

kitchen and a sunroom leading to a rear garden.

West Mount, Whelley £160,000

This beautiful 3-bed semi-detached home boasts a

spacious UPVC conservatory, a stunning fitted kitchen,

and an open plan lounge-diner.

www.alanbatt.co.uk


2

Copyhold Farm, Wrightington - OIRO £800,000

Very rarely does a property like this come up for sale. Parts of Copyhold Farm

date back to the early 1600s and many original features have been retained.

Set within excess of 3 acres of gardens and pastures, this superb 4 bed family

home also offers potential for equestrian use.

www.alanbatt.co.uk


3

Finance Now Available

T&C’s apply, please ask for details

Follow us

Telephone:

01942 583 558

721 Ormskirk Road, Pemberton, Wigan WN5 8AQ

(FREE parking to the rear)

wiganfiresandfireplaces.co.uk

Photo for illustration purposes only


4

Go for it...

Let’s face it, it really doesn’t matter whether the

starting point is the 1st of January, the 24th

April or the 17th September, those readers who have

the will power to commit to a resolution deserve

support. Whether it’s the route to healthiness or

happiness or some other ‘ness’ you’re striving to

achieve this year, we wish you all the best in your

efforts.

Sadly, I will be joining those that ‘do’ resolutions

this year because Santa (ok, my mother-in-law)

has brought me some yoga sessions for Christmas.

That’s right – Yoga Sessions. God, she must hate me

because she knows I have the core flexibility of a slab

of bonfire toffee. However, I have been urged by the

rest of the family that this is a ‘good thing’ so yes, I

shall be visiting a yoga class near you soon – please

don’t laugh at my exertions or any strange noises

that slip out from my being.

What did she get in return? A rather nice binder from

WH Smith with the words; ‘I’m Dead. Now What?’

on the cover, which she can use to carry important

information about her ‘belongings, business affairs

and final wishes’. I still carry the bruise on my head

where she threw it at me.

Anyway, a very happy year to you and yours, let’s

hope 2018 is a good vintage for us all. And as for

Local Life, well, we celebrate our 10th birthday this

year – where has the time gone? Our resolution

this year, as always, is to bring you an ever-better

magazine every issue.

See you next time,

Chris Pearce, Publisher

chrisp@locallife247.co.uk


5

In this issue

Shooting

star

43

Winter

sleep

Regulars

36 Planning

37 Class from the past

62 Puzzle Corner

Sections

6 Property

52 Health

56 Travel

60 Legal & Finance

64 Business View

75 Test Drive

82 Garden Diary

98 The Lump

70 Events2Go

81 Pets

82 Gardening

86 Home Services

52

Half a century of

acting up

66

Test Drive

McLaren

570GT

75

Jack’s Tracks visits

Garswood

Park

78

Next issue - February 2018

Advertising deadline - Thursday, 11 January

Published - Wednesday, 24 January

LocalLife

Local Life 247 Ltd, Unit 8, Hewitt Business Park,

Winstanley Road, Orrell, WN5 7XB

Telephone: 01695 627 999

Publisher: Chris

Sales: Nicola, Chris, Sally

chrisp@locallife247.co.uk

sales@locallife247.co.uk

Editorial: David, Niamh wigannews@locallife247.co.uk

Design: Peter

design@locallife247.co.uk

Distribution: Sally

sallyb@locallife247.co.uk

Accounts: Sam

accounts@locallife247.co.uk

Local Life is published every month and distributed into

the following areas on an alternate monthly basis.

This issue is delivered to 13,034 private homes and

businesses in Orrell, Billinge, Winstanley, Up Holland,

Highfield, Marus Bridge, Roby Mill and Pemberton.

The next issue is delivered to 13,039 private homes and

businesses in Standish, Shevington, Whitley, Appley

Bridge, Standish Lower Ground, Aspull and Haigh.

You can also pick up a free copy of Local Life at Sainsburys

or Tesco Extra in Wigan.

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 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 Local Life 247 Ltd.

locallifemagazine247 @locallifemedia events2go


6

BIRCHLEY ROAD, BILLINGE £389,950

Impressive detached house boasting substantial living &

entertaining space along with open views to front.

ALDER LANE, CRANK £320,000

Stunning family home providing almost 1400 SQFT and

boasting open views to three sides.

BROOMHEY AVENUE, WHITLEY £250,000

Generously sized 1930s semi-detached home located

on one of Whitley’s most coveted roads.

GRASMERE AVENUE, UPHOLLAND £215,000

An extended 3 bedroom detached house with an

amazing west-facing rear garden. No chain.

NEW

NEW

NEW

NEW

NEW

DEWBERRY FIELDS, UPHOLLAND £199,995

Superbly presented detached family home providing

almost 1000 square feet of living space.

TONTINE, ORRELL £159,950

A newly renovated & truly remarkable grade II listed

Georgian stone-built cottage.

www.reganandhallworth.com Wigan town centre showroom 01942 205555


7

NEW NEW

APPLETON GROVE, GOOSE GREEN £149,995

Impressively sized three storey family home providing a

generous 1192 SQ.FT of living space.

SHEFFORD CRES WINSTANLEY £124,995

Realistically priced semi-detached home located in

popular area & available chain free.

MAYFIELD ROAD, ORRELL £79,995

Competitively priced end townhouse offering superb

potential and available with no chain.

SWINLEY ROAD, SWINLEY £750PCM

A stunning Victorian bay fronted terraced home in ideal

location.

TO LET

TO LET

NEW

TO LET

LIBRARY STREET, WIGAN

£625PCM

Large modern two bedroom self-contained apartment in

the town centre.

NETHERBY ROAD, SPRINGFIELD £525PCM

Newly renovated two bed mid terrace property in a

great location.


8

Wine bar for Winstanley?

A former Winstanley laundrette is set

to be turned into a wine bar.

Unit 12 in The Winstanley Centre, Holmes House

Avenue could soon be the home of a Portland wine

bar, if permission to revamp the vacant laundrette

goes ahead. It was due to be officially approved as

Local Life went to press.

Bar bosses told customers they hope to be open for

business by February.

According to papers lodged with Wigan Council,

vehicle parking will remain the same, and there will

be no external materials used for the site’s proposed

change of use.

Employees at the site will include four full-time

employees; two part-time staff; and the equivalent

of five total full-time employees.

Should the wine bar become a reality, opening

hours are said to be be 12pm-11pm Monday to

Thursday; 12pm-12am on Fridays and Saturdays

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

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9

Bid for cash

Local community groups in Orrell

and Billinge are being urged to bid

for cash raised by Saturday Breakfast,

the community fundraising group

which operates the breakfast café at

Greenslate Farm in Billinge.

Figures are being finalised as Local Life went to press,

but there is expected to be £1,500-£2,000 up for grabs,

which represents the profits from the September to

November 2016 period. Saturday Breakfast, which

launched in March 2016, have already donated over

£7,000 to twelve local community groups including

the Friends of Orrell Station, Bispham Scouts,

Orrell RU Juniors and Bookcycle. Groups interested

in bidding for funds are asked to email Michael

Winstanley at mwinstanleym@aol.com or call into

Local Life at Hewitt Business Park on Winstanley

Road during office hours to pick up an application.

Saturday Breakfasts are run wholly by volunteers for

the good of local community groups. If you have a

Saturday morning to spare each month and would

like to volunteer then please email alisonbutlin@

me.com. Saturday Breakfast re-starts at Greenslate

Farm on Saturday 3rd February. Supplies for the

breakfasts comes from H Greaves Butchers and from

Windy Arbour farm shop and the doors open at 9am,

with last orders at 11.30am.

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10

One last push for tribute

Campaigners are mounting “one final push” to

help deliver a permanent memorial to Wigan’s

industrial past.

A statue of a mining family has now been formally commissioned

and will be installed on land between the old baths and Wigan

Town Hall.

The driving force behind the bid - Wigan Heritage and Mining

Monument group (WHAMM) - have raised the money for the

actual statue, but are now wanting locals to dig deep one last

time to fund the groundworks and lighting.

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Neil Cain, from WHAMM, told Local Life: “The

campaign had a successful 2017 and benefitted

from some splendid support from the public

and organisations such as the Komatsu Mining

Corporation, Wigan Council, local union branches,

The Victoria public house in Aspull and the White

Lion and Railway in Whelley.

“The team has been active in fund raising

throughout the year aided by Greater Manchester

Police Band, Wigan Cricket Club, Friends of Haigh

Woodland Park and the organisers of the Diggers’

Festival, but we need one big push to get us home

and fund the groundworks and Victorian style lamp

we want to illuminate the sculpture.

“We have an evening of Lancashire songs, poems,

dialect and music at St Michael’s Church, Swinley,

on Friday, February 9. Tickets are £8 each - call

Marianne on 01942 492855.

Donations can be made via www.justgiving.com/

wiganheritage or by cheque to W.H.A.M.M. at 22

Milton Grove,Wigan WN1 2PG

Thousands lost their lives or were injured or

disabled in helping to mine an estimated 750

million tons of coal from the Wigan area. While

there is no complete record of mine workings, it is

known that there have been a total of over 1,000

pits, large and small, across the town.


11


12

Arts hub for village

Mothballed Up Holland Library is

destined for a new lease of life.

Lancashire County Council’s cabinet has agreed in

principle an application for the Community Asset

Transfer (CAT) of Up Holland Library in Hall Green

to Artz for All, a community interest company

which provides creative opportunities and services

to people, schools and organisations across the

district.

As well as providing an independent communityrun

library service, the group is proposing to

turn the building into an arts centre, providing

opportunities for young people to take part

in activities such as drama, music, dance and

photography, as well as providing space for wider

community activities where possible.

The county council had also received a CAT

application from Up Holland Parish Council

for the same building, focused on providing

an independent community-run library and

maintaining it for use by the community, but this

was knocked back.

County Councillor Peter Buckley, cabinet member

for community and cultural services, said: “Libraries

are a vital service at the

heart of our communities,

offering free access to

books and information,

as well as being a place

where communities can

get together.

“We have committed to

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13

reopening libraries where they’ve been closed,

whether they’re run by the county council or

independently by community organisations, and

we are grateful to all the voluntary and community

groups who have shown such commitment to the

library service and its future development.

“We have agreed in principle to transfer ownership

of Up Holland Library to Artz for All and we’ll work

closely with them towards the completion of this

process so that people have access to another

library complementing the statutory service

operated by the county council.

“Up Holland Parish Council made a bid for the same

building and this was a difficult decision to make

because the two applications were very strong, and

both presented excellent options for a library and

community services. We could only accept one of

them but I would like to thank the parish council

very much for the time and effort they have put into

their application.”


14

s

What the doctor ordered

Up Holland and Roby Mill residents are being

advised they can now see a GP in the evenings and

weekends at certain times. Times are as follows: on

Tuesdays from 6.30pm to 8pm at the Skelmersdale

Family Practice; on Wednesdays from 6.30pm to

8pm at the Matthew Ryder Clinic in Up Holland and

at the Tarleton Group Practice from 6.30pm to 8pm;

on Thursdays at the West Lancashire Health Centre

in Ormskirk from 6.30pm to 8pm.

At the weekend, you can see a GP, nurse and

blood clinic at the Sandy Lane Health Centre in

Skelmersdale on Saturday from 10am to 4pm

and on Sunday you can see a GP and nurse from

10am to 2pm. To make an appointment to see an

extended hours GP, contact your GP practice. If your

local surgery is closed, you can still see a GP with

the out-of-hours service; just call 111 and you can

speak to a local GP over the phone or face to face

if necessary.

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New homes

The first stage of a major housing development in

Wigan has been given the green light by councillors.

Wigan Council’s planning committee has approved

the building of 157 homes by Bellway Homes at

land south of Landgate Lane in Bryn.

Earn extra

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LocalLife


15


16

Charity night out

Two charities benefitted to the

tune of £4,000 from a Charity Night

organised by local estate agent

Borron Shaw.

Proceeds from the night were shared by The

Brick, the homeless charity from Wigan, and

a national charity, The PSP Association, which

provides practical help and advice for people with

Progressive Supranuclear Palsy & Cortico Basal

Degeneration. The event was held at Houghwood

Golf Club in Billinge, and a charity raffle and auction

was followed by a disco.

The Charity Night was such a success that plans are

already in place to hold the event again in 2018. If

you would like to register for tickets to the event,

please call Borron Shaw on 01695 632123.


17


18

HOLLAND HALL

HOTEL

THE PERFECT WEDDING DAY

Holland Hall Hotel is set in private grounds of the Historic Village of Upholland. The Original Manor

House dates back to 1654 offering original features such as open fireplace and original beams.

The Contemporary Garden & Terrace Wedding Suites offer a modern setting leading onto a private

garden patio. The Suites are also licensed for Wedding Ceremonies including the Garden Pergoda.

Please contact Holland Hall Wedding Co-ordinator Karen Caddock to

arrange an appointment to discuss your Perfect Day

SPECIAL

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available on Saturdays for dates remaining in 2018, call Karen,

Wedding Co-ordinator at Holland Hall for further details

HOLLAND HALL

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Terms & Conditions

All monies are nonrefundable and nontransferable. Restaurant bookings of 8 or more will be required to pay a deposit of £5 per person. The hotel offers a free car park, but is not

liable for damage to or theft of/from vehicles. We regret that for any decrease in confirmed party guest numbers, payments, including deposits cannot be offset against food,

beverages or accommodation. If a booking is held provisionally, the hotel reserves the right to remove the booking if it is not confirmed with a deposit within one week. For all

bookings only the organiser is responsible for payments and amendments, and the collecting and providing of orders using the pre-order sheets. This voucher is not to be used in

conjunction with any other offer. A booking has to be made to validate the voucher.

This voucher booklet excludes all Valentine Day promotions.

Management reserves the right to change or otherwise modify and bookings in order to meet the needs of the company.

Allergen Information - Any of the dishes listed on our new menu may contain one or more of the 14 allergens. Allergen advice is available on request. Please advise a member of

staff it you have any particular dietary requirements. Valid: Monday 15th January 2018 - 28th February 2018

OTHER OFFER VOUCHERS AVAILABLE PLEASE CALL TO RECEIVE YOUR VOUCHER BOOKLET

info@hollandhallhotel.co.uk | Tel: 01695 624 426 | www.hollandhallhotel.co.uk


19

Farm plan on hold

Plans to develop part of a Tontine farm are on hold.

Helen Ashton had applied for permission to convert

vacant workshop at Lawns Farm, 40 Lawns Avenue,

into four homes. However, the application has now

been withdrawn pending the results of a winter bat

survey. Up Holland Parish Council had objected to

the development, citing issues related to rights of

way and access: “ The parish council is confident that

the existing Right of Way from Sandford Road, over

land owned by Up Holland Parish Council, does not

extend to potential residents living in converted

workshop units. It is our understanding that this is

not a public right of way and only applies to owners

of Lawns Farm for their use and in connection with

the farm business.”

Looking to target

new customers

in 2018?

Tell Us Your Story!

Local Life is always on

the look out for news

stories from the local

communities we serve.

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for charity? Are you a

member of a community

group with something

to shout about? Maybe

you’ve got an unusual talent, or have a claim to

fame? If so, let us know and you could be appearing

in the next edition!

Simply email us at wigannews@locallife247.co.uk

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20

Sports hub cash bid

A new sports hub could be created in

Newtown.

Lathwaite Park, off Lathwaite Road, is in the running

as Wigan Council bids to bring a £10m boost to

grassroots sport through the creation of three

state-of-the-art hubs. The other preferred sites are

Howe Bridge in Atherton and Cardinal Newman

playing fields in Hindley.

Wigan Council is applying to be part of the

successful Parklife programme spearheaded by

the Football Association, the Premier League and

Sport England. Parklife is The FA’s plan to address

poor facilities in grassroots football and has already

delivered state-of-the-art 3G artificial grass pitches

in cities including London and Sheffield.

Clubs currently holding leases on the preferred

hub sites are being consulted with and have been

invited to be partner clubs and use Parklife as their

base. The hubs will have a minimum of three full

sized floodlit 3G artificial grass pitches, changing

rooms and clubhouse facilities for community

sports clubs representing all playing ages to use

and car parking.

Council bossies say they will significantly reduce

disruption caused by frozen and waterlogged

surfaces during the harsh winter months.

The centres will be fully accessible and will present

opportunities to play flexible forms of the game

and will be available for use by other sports.

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21


22

Club nets impressive title

Winstanley Tennis Club Juniors

have beaten competition to

become reigning champs.

The Junior Team is now the Bolton League

Division One Champions which is a

tremendous rise from their position as

runners up in Division Two last season.

Helen Cannell, from Winstantley Tennis Club,

said: “This is a fantastic achievement in their

first season in Division One.

“Well done to all the team: Jemma Cannell,

Niamh Everett, Lucy Parker, Eliza Winstanley,

Tom Dillon, Dylan Hartley, Jack Parker, Tom

Sanderson and Joseph Burrows.”


23


24

Margaret’s delight

A Goose Green woman had a bumper

festive season thanks to Local Life.

Margaret Donnelly of Clapgate Lane, won one

of our hampers as a raffle prize at MP Yvonne

Fovargue’s annual veterans lunch.

Over 120 veterans attended the event at St

Matthews Parish Hall, Highfield. Cllr Clive Morgan,

a former Welsh Guard and veteran of the 1982

Falklands War was MC for the day.

Guests enjoyed a traditional three-course Christmas

lunch by H&H Catering Ltd and were entertained by

St Edmund Arrowsmith High School students.

MP Fovargue welcomed special guests Mr Mark

Dumican, Headteacher at St Edmund Arrowsmith

High School and Deputy Leader of Wigan Council,

Cllr David Molyneux.

The Rev Sian Gasson opened the event with prayers

followed by the Exhortation led by Mr John Burns

(Chair – Ashton in Makerfield Royal British Legion)

and Mr Lawrence Powers (Burma Star Association).

Yvonne Fovargue MP said: “On behalf of the whole

community across the Makerfield constituency, I

want to recognise and celebrate the outstanding

contribution made by the men and women present

today both at home and abroad.”

Winstanley Cllr Clive Morgan said: “I am grateful

to Yvonne Fovargue MP, local councillors and

Wigan Council for supporting the lunch since the

inaugural event in 2012.”

Funding row protest

Winstanley College’s principal Louise Tipping has

joined protests over funding for maths students.

Under plans unveiled in the last Budget, schools

and colleges will receive an extra £600 per student

– but only for each additional student that decides

to study A level Maths, Further Maths or a Core

Maths qualification.

The leaders of the North West’s 21 Sixth Form

Colleges say the Chancellor should have taken

the opportunity to increase the basic rate of

funding for all sixth form students. At a meeting

at Winstanley College, the Principals backed the

Support Our Sixth-form campaign which is urging

the government to increase funding for every sixth

form student by £200.


25


26

Secret meeting over link road

Wigan councillors met in secret to

agree Compulsory Purchase Orders

powers for the new M58 link road.

The move gives town hall bosses the power to force

private landowners to sell land to them.

The decision was taken “after taking account of

human rights issues.”

At the meeting, councillors also gave civil servants

the authority to seek a preferred contractor to

deliver the scheme. However, this will be subject to

a further report.

It’s believed there may be scope to use the scheme

as a way to securing Apprenticeship placements.

The controversial road, which will connect the M58/

Orrell junction with Ince, has been talked about for

a number of years. This, however, marks the biggest

step to date in making the road become a reality.

Official minutes from the private discussion say:

“The Cabinet considered a report, which provided

Members with an update on the M58 Link Road

Scheme and requested approval to progress

the scheme up to the submission of full funding

approval, including undertaking a competitive

tender exercise to identify a preferred contractor

to deliver the scheme. The report also requested

approval for the making of a Compulsory Purchase

Order (CPO), in respect of the land and new rights

required to construct the new link road.

“Members asked a number of questions and

commented on the various aspects of the report.

They were pleased with the timescales that had

been proposed and suggested that regular updates

were essential.”

A number of locals are against the scheme,

including some in Highfield. They claim the road

would present major health and safety issues

including increased noise and air pollution, loss of

wildlife habitats and loss of open space.

A residents’ spokesman added: “We passionately

believe that this link road would cause much more

harm than good and would rather that Government

funding - taxpayers’ money - be put into creating

better public transport, helping local business’ and

encouraging greater community cohesion and a

safer, cleaner, healthier, sustainable place to live.”


27

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28

Property

Philip Hammond saved

the best till last in his

Autumn Budget.

Following more than an hour

of outlining his financial vision

for the UK he grabbed the

headlines by announcing that

Stamp Duty is to be abolished

for first time buyers purchasing

homes up to the value of

£300,000. I see this as fantastic

news and welcome the move

with open arms. Why?

First time buyers are essential to

keep the property market moving and this decision

to abolish Stamp Duty for first time buyers will save

them between £6000 to £15000.

Many property chains have first time buyers in

them and without them the market slows down

and can stagnate, so any measure to help people

get onto the property ladder is to be applauded

Alan Batt

Alan Batt is a member of The Royal Institution of

Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and has worked within

the Wigan property market for over 30 years.

Budget boost

by Alan Batt

and this Stamp Duty decision

will certainly help people,

especially young people, buy

their own homes and will

energise the local market.

We’ve plenty of first time buyers

recently who have registered

their interest in properties but

have wisely held off pursuing

purchases any further until the

budget because of talk around

a possible abolishing of Stamp

Duty for first time buyers. These

people are now motivated to

move with extra money in their pockets.

Mr Hammond also announced a raft of other plans

connected with housing including:

Concentrating new homes in city centres and

around transport hubs.

Five new garden towns developed by public and

private partnerships.

Commissioning an urgent review to be ready by

next Spring to look at the gap between planning

permissions and the number of homes built.

An extra £44 billion capital funding, towards

guarantees and loans for extra homes.

More help to develop new homes on smaller

plots to help small and medium sized property

developers.

A consultation looking at longer tenancies in the

private rental sector.


29


30

A stated aim to see the end of rough sleeping in the

UK by 2027, with three new pilot schemes muted.

And giving powers to local authorities to charge

100 per council tax on empty properties.

It’s not often, especially in recent years, that we’ve

been excited about something announced in a

budget, but the Stamp Duty news will really boost

the market in and around Wigan. If you’re a firsttime

buyer keen to learn what’s now available

to you locally, or a property owner interested in

learning more about how this announcement can

benefit you, please give me a call on 01942 233999

or send an email to: sales@alanbatt.co.uk

Wigan Wages outstrip

house prices

Irecently read a report by the Yorkshire Building Society that 54% of the country has seen wages rise faster

than property prices in the last 10 years. The report said that in the Midlands and North, salaries had

outperformed property prices since 2007, whilst in other parts of the UK, especially in the South, the opposite

has happened and property prices have outperformed salaries quite noticeably.

Digging a little deeper for a local angle, I took a more detailed look at the Office of National Statistics (ONS) data

for Wigan Council and discovered that in the last ten years, salaries in Wigan have risen by 17.1%, more than

the regional picture, which increased 15.8% over the same period and slightly less than the national picture,

which showed an increase of 17.6%.

Over the same ten year time frame, net property values in Wigan are 2.62% higher than they were in Spring

2007 (If you remember they dipped quite a bit in 08/09) and therefore wages in the Wigan area have increased

at a higher rate than property values to the tune of 14.5%.

All this is important, as the relationship between salaries and property values is the basis on how affordable

property is. On the face of it, the change between 2007 and 2017 in terms of ‘property-affordability’ hasn’t been

that great. Go back another 10 years to 1997 though, and that tells a completely different story.

In 1997, house prices were on average 3.5 times workers’ annual wages, whereas now workers can typically

expect to spend around 7.7 times annual wages on purchasing a home. Although my figures show that the

situation is improving in Wigan, the damage done to the home ownership market in the 1980’s and 1990’s will

take a long time to rectify.

If you want a chat about where the Wigan property market is going – please read my other blog posts on

http://wiganpropertynews.blogspot.co.uk or drop me note via email on sales@alanbatt.co.uk

For more of Alan’s tips, guidance and analysis

on the Wigan property market, check out

www.wiganpropertynews.blogspot.co.uk


31


32

Overdevelopment fears

Over 100 new homes for Up Holland

would represent overdevelopment.

That’s the view of local parish councillors who have

objected to Morris Homes Ltd’s proposals to build

on land at Chequer Lane, near the M58 and Tower

Hill Road.

In a letter to West Lancs borough planners, Up

Holland Parish Council said: “The proposals would

result in an overdevelopment of this site in the

light of Up Holland’s infrastructure, such as schools,

dentist, doctors that have been identified, with

no assessment made of the capacity of these to

accommodate further residential development.

“It is the opinion of the parish council that residents

would use cars for shopping either in Up Holland

centre or further afield. There is already insufficient

public parking in central Up Holland forcing

people to park in the surrounding residential areas

which at times are unable to cope with this.”

No final decision had been made on the bid as

Local Life went to press.

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34

More ready for school

The number of children ready for

school in Wigan Borough has almost

doubled in the last five years.

As the Mayor of Greater Manchester urges

organisations to sign up to a new pledge to help

get children ready for school, Wigan’s school ready

journey is already well underway.

Figures released by the Department for Education

showed that last year 12,157 children in Greater

Manchester started school not ready to learn. This

represents 32.5 per cent of children who started

school last year in the city-region. In Wigan school

readiness figures have improved significantly over

the last five years from 37 per cent in 2013 to 69 per

cent in 2017 – higher than the 67 per cent North

West average. Wigan Council was invited to speak at

the October Greater Manchester School Readiness

Summit by Mayor Andy Burnham.

At the summit the Mayor said more needed to be

done to bring neighbourhood services like health

visitors, school visitors, GPs and schools together

to identify and support those children at risk. This

approach is already being utilised in Wigan through

its Start Well model.

Mike Chew, assistant director for children’s

integration at Wigan Council, said: “The model was

set up two years ago after residents told us they

wanted services to be more accessible and joined

up. On the back of that we commissioned five Start

Well Family Centres to be based in those areas facing

the most difficult challenges in a bid to improve

outcomes for children and families.”

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36

Planning Matters

Orrell

321 Orrell Road: Erection of greenhouse to

rear following removal of existing shed. (ref:

A/17/84770/HH).

Land adjacent to 59 Brook Lane: Change of use

of land to form garden curtilage together with

erection of 1.8 metre boundary fence. Retrospective

application. (ref: A/17/84794/RET).

Wigan Central

Land adjacent to 375 Wigan Lane: Erection

of detached 3 storey dwelling with first floor

balcony to rear together with vehicle access and

landscaping. (ref: A/17/84700/FULL).

Royal Albert Edward Infirmary, Wigan Lane: Listed

Building consent for the erection of a single storey

extension to front elevation of the emergency

department. (ref: A/17/84904/LB).

Wigan West

Beech Hill Medical Practice, Beech Hall Street:

Prior notification for the demolition of the medical

centre. (ref: A/17/84843/DEM).

Winstanley

Winstanley Dry Cleaners, Unit 12, The Winstanley

Centre, Holmes House Avenue: Change of use

from laundrette to a wine bar. (ref: A/17/84698/CU).

26 Culcross Avenue: To extend dwellinghouse,

single storey to side and rear. (ref: A/17/84825/HH).

For more information on these plans, visit

www.wigan.gov.uk

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37

Class from the past

This month’s Class from the Past is actually a photo

of teachers from Up Holland High School. It’s

believed this photo was taken around 1972. Maybe

you can spot a familiar face? Remember, if you have

a photo you’d be willing to share, contact us today

by emailing wigannews@locallife247.co.uk


38

Care leavers’ Council Tax break

Young adults who have left care are

to be exempt from paying council tax

in the area.

Wigan Council’s cabinet approved plans to

exempt anyone aged between 18 and 21 who has

previously been cared for by Wigan Council from

paying council tax.

It is hoped the move will help support care leavers

to establish independence and reduce the risk of

these young people from getting into debt and rent

arrears at this crucial time in their life.

The change has been introduced by the council

immediately and will be back-dated to April.

Care leavers in full time education up to the age of

25 are already exempt.

James Winterbottom, Wigan Council’s director for

children’s services, said: “Care leavers are among the

most vulnerable groups in our community but also

have many individual skills and talents that benefit

our communities in many ways and we want to

make sure that we support them.”

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39

Action over wellbeing

Incidents of self-harming in West

Lancashire appear to be falling.

Data compiled by health chiefs show that the

amount of emergency hospital admissions have

fallen each year since 2012/13.

The highest number of suicides in Lancashire is in

the Preston area, which is between 13.8-16.8 per

100,000 people. The English average is 10.1.

A report to county councillors said: “Suicide rates

in Lancashire are high. Amongst women under 30

years old and males under 40 years old, suicide is the

leading cause of death in the county. Overall suicide

rates (all persons), female suicide rates and years of

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Our vision for the future is to reduce suicide rates

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targeted interventions aimed at those at the highest

risk of suicide and through more upstream initiatives

that seek to improve the wellbeing of the Lancashire

population and that have wider societal benefits.”

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40

Helping the homeless

Wigan Rotary Club and Soroptimist

International of Wigan have again

joined together to help The Brick by

donating sleeping bags for some of

the homeless in the town.

Wigan Rotary Club president Gwyneth Millard said

‘Once more we are delighted to be able to help The

Brick with their work in providing much needed

care for the homeless. Sleeping bags are a small

part of what they need but we are confident they

will serve a useful purpose.’

Angela Holmes, Wigan Soroptimist president,

agreed and continued ‘The charity do such

wonderful work in the town.”

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43

Shooting star

David Sudworth meets the Billinge dad-of-two whose

photographs are delighting locals

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

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

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

scenery Billinge and the surrounding area has to offer - from

Australia to be precise.

“I was born in Melbourne because my parents, Eddie

and Mary, emigrated there in 1965. They had me in

1968 but came back in 1970. So I’ve been in Billinge

since I was two and grew up on Hillside Close.”

The former Chapel End and Rainford High pupil

is becoming well known in the area for his

stunning photographs - mostly thanks to the

power of social media.


44

Crosby Beach


45

Liverpool Waterfront

“I’ve always sort of been interested in photography

and my dad certainly was. In fact, every so often we

come across photos he took of Billinge in the 1970s.

Some of them have even appeared in Local Life.

“She thinks I’m mad for going out at five o’clock in

the morning, trying to catch the sun coming up,” he

laughs.

For Ian, 49, it remains largely a hobby. By day he

works across the North West repairing petrol pumps

“Wife thinks I’m mad for

getting up at 5am!”

on garage forecourts.

“It’s starting to become a bit of a business but

there’s not a great deal of money in photography

unless you’re a wedding photographer, and for me

it’s more man-management than anything else.

“I’ve been to photograph my son Matthew’s band,

Last Reserves, but even that is completely different

Sign Post Billinge


46

to doing landscapes. It’s nice to have variety

though. I had a stall at St Aidan’s Church’s Christmas

fair a few weeks ago and sold a few then. It’s not at

the stage where it’ll pay the mortgage though,” he

smiles.

For Ian, his own particular interest is when there’s

any sort of activities in the skies.

“Doing trigonometry for

first time in 30 years”

Carr Mill Dam

“I’ve captured a shooting star going over Billinge

Hill and various shots of the moon. To be honest, a

lot of the skill is about being in the right position

to take the shot. For the first time since school, I’m

doing trigonometry and reading maps. For some

shots of Billinge Hill, I’ve been standing on a bridge

over the M58 at Skelmersdale.

“It’s all good fun though, and I just hope people get

as much enjoyment out of them as I do.”

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

IanBonnellPhotography/

Cloudscape Billinge

Wigan Pier


47


48


49


50

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51

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52

Health & Fitness

Winter sleep

By Abi Jackson

There is never a time when sleep isn’t

important. But with the shorter, vitamin

D-deprived days, gloomy weather - and the dread

that it’s going to drag on for months - at this time of

year, solid slumber is more vital than ever.

Winter, like all the seasons, has its joys (little beats

a stroll on a perfect, crisp winter’s morning; stark

blue sky, robins and the last of the leaves glistening

with dew). But the reality for many is it can be quite

hard work, too, whether it’s loneliness, worrying

about the cost of Christmas or suffering the moodzapping

effects of seasonal affective disorder (SAD),

not to mention those winter bugs doing the rounds.

And so we’d do well to give ourselves - and our

immune systems - a helping hand, which in so

many ways, starts and ends with decent dozing.

Here are five things to think about if you want to

win at winter sleep.

Hot and cold

Nobody wants to lie shivering in bed with feet

like ice blocks. But overheating can actually be

more detrimental to sleep, so it’s important to

get the temperature just right. “Ideally, the brain

temperature needs to be fractionally lower than the

body’s core temperature, so ideally your bedroom

needs to be cool, around 19C,” says physiologist

and sleep expert Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, author

of Fast Asleep, Wide Awake: Discover The Secrets

Of Restorative Sleep And Vibrant Energy (£12.99,

Harper Thorsons). “So you’ll walk in and find it a

bit chilly, but you can put a hot water bottle into

the bed which you then discard as you get cosy. It’s

important not to overheat as this will make sleep

fretful and restless. I find it helpful to keep a fan in

my room, even in winter, carefully positioned so I

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

on your bedside table’s a good idea. Eucaplytus is

cooling, so if you wake during the night - 2 to 4am

is the most likely time for overheating - you rub

the menthol stick between your eyebrows and

temples and it has a cooling effect on the brain and,


53

surprisingly, the mind.” Go for layers of bedding,

rather than one thick duvet, “so you can discard

some as you journey through the night”.

Comfort is key

A comfortable bed, that’s just right for you, makes

a big difference - but often it’s only when you

actually experience it, that you realise just HOW

much (investing in memory foam pillows actually

changed my life). A calm environment can equal

a calm mind, but when it comes to designing

your bedroom, “quality of sleep should be the top

priority”, notes James Cox, co-founder and CEO of

British brand Simba Sleep, whose unique 2,000

spring/Visco memory foam mattresses can be

delivered to your door in a box (from £399, www.

simbasleep.com and selected John Lewis stores).

“So ditch the lumpy, uncomfortable mattress.” The

best mattresses aren’t likely to be the cheapest, but

if you are looking to make investments, few things

are more rewarding than years of good sleep.

A good mattress can also play a role in helping

manage and reduce aches and pains. Cox notes

that innovations have come a long way, so it’s worth

considering designs that combine experience and

technological developments.

Tech it or leave it

We bang on about the importance of stepping

away from those screens before bedtime, but the

message just isn’t getting through for many of

us (according to a recent survey by Simba Sleep,

almost one in six Brits spend at least two hours a

day on social media in bed). Bottom line: if you want

to nail a solid sleeping routine, you need to switch

off those devices. Dr Ramlakhan recommends an

“electronic sundown” of around an hour before

getting into bed, in order to calm those dopamine

hits from constantly looking at a screen, and cut

down on the blue light exposure that suppresses

melatonin - “the sleep hormone” - production. “We

might associate the device with being mentally

engaged and in work-mode too, especially if we

also have access to email on the device,” she adds.

Try old-school bedtime reading - with actual books

- instead. “Neuroscience shows that the reading


54

brain responds differently to reading on paper than

it does to reading on a screen. With the latter, the

reading rate tends to be faster, less mindful and

more skimming - sort of multi-task reading - as if

looking at a social media feed. Reading on paper

tends to be more mindful, and we slow down and

read in more detail (neuroscientists call this deep

reading).”

What’s on the menu?

Just as we think about fuelling up in the morning,

with energy-boosting breakfasts and those allimportant

caffeine kicks, if you’re aiming to improve

your sleep, the same theory applies at the end of the

day - in reverse. So tailor what you eat and drink in

the evening, with winding-down in mind. Keeping

stimulating and sugary substances to the first half

of the day is one thing, but it can go beyond that.

“To sleep well, we need to eat foods that help

the brain produce melatonin: a small amount of

carbohydrates with a small amount of protein rich

in tryptophan,” suggests Dr Craig Hudson, founder

of Zenbev.com. “A cheese sandwich will help sleep,

but a big steak dinner will make your sleep worse.

Food for sleep is like everything else; a little in

moderation works well.” A late heavy dinner may

make you feel sleepy, but setting your digestive

system up for a night of overdrive isn’t going to

amount to the best quality slumber. The same goes

for alcohol - yes it may seem to help you drift off,

but booze actually hinders quality sleep. Making a

soothing tea part of your pre-bedtime routine is a

great idea - not only can this be a natural way to

aid sleep, but the simple act of making yourself a

cuppa, and then sitting quietly to sip it, nurtures a

sense of calm and mindfulness.

Embrace bathing rituals

Running yourself a bath is a fantastic way to embrace

self-care, treat yourself to a little luxury, and really

switch from manic ‘day mode’ to relaxed and sleepready

(and it’ll help with dragging yourself away

from those screens, too). Even once a week, a bath

is worthwhile, and alchemist, aromatherapist and

intuitive body worker Michelle Roques-O’Neil,

founder of the ‘balancing and emotionally healing’

THERAPIE product range, says even a 10-minute

bath will make a difference when you don’t have

time for a half-hour soak. Make the ritual even

richer by incorporating some aromatherapy based

products, such as THERAPIE Himalayan Detox Salts

(£38 for 400g, roquesoneil.com), which combine

pink Himalayan salts, geranium, juniper berry

and powdered amethyst. “This is one of our most

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

when you’re really overextended, especially with

digital overload. If you’re very anxious, suffering

from insomnia, you’ve just overdone it. This will help

pull you down to Earth.” Applying a soothing body

oil, or lavender-based moisturiser, can be another

effective step in your snooze-ready self-care ritual,

finishing off with a spritz of lavender pillow spray.

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music transports many of us back in time too. Nearly

three-quarters of the 500 over-75s quizzed as part

of the charity’s Sing Your Heart Out campaign,

admit they’ve forgotten lots of things - but can still

remember the words of their favourite songs. Many

say music has the power to help them remember

pivotal events from their past, such as the day they

met their partner (14%), a special day (12%) or their

wedding day (8%). Furthermore, 92% agree that

singing along to music lifts their mood, 81% think

it helps keep their mind active, while 63% say it

helps them forget health worries. Presenter Phillip

Schofield, said: “My song is Make Me Smile by Steve

Harley and Cockney Rebel. That’s my childhood in

a song. What seemed like endless summer days,

growing up in Newquay. Playing on the beach,

being late for tea having lost track of time.”


55


56

Travel

Mentioned by the Daily Telegraph as

one of the 20 Mediterranean islands

you must visit in your lifetime, Zakynthos (or

Zante has it is more popularly known) is the most

southerly of the Ionian Islands and one of the most

popular Greek islands. There is something for all

the family on this gorgeous island with stunning

Zakynthos for

everyone

views, where locals offer tourists the hospitality

which Greece is famous for. This island paradise

has three distinct geographical areas: the north

west region is mountainous with many traditional

mountain villages, the central region is a fertile

plain chock-full with olive groves and vineyards

and the south east is characterised by its beautiful


57

beaches. Similarly, there are a range of contrasts on

the island for tourists, depending on what you’re

looking for in a holiday. Zante boasts numerous

sandy beaches, mountain villages, beautiful natural

scenery, water sports and good quality restaurants,

bars and nightclubs to more than cater for all your

entertainment needs.

If it’s all out partying you’re after, then Laganas

will fit the bill perfectly. Over 100 bars and clubs

are packed into the main street in Laganas, so you

can imagine how exciting things get during the

summer holidays. Just off the coast of Laganas

is the famous Marathonisi ‘Turtle’ Island, with

beautiful almost tropical beaches, and also a small

bay with intriguing sea caves to explore and a great

spot for snorkellers. There are no buildings allowed

on the island, but a quaint boat that bobs around

the island selling refreshments.

But for those who want to simply relaxing in an

achingly beautiful setting you’ll find there are ideal

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58

is popular for snorkelling to see the wide range of

marine life living in the clear waters.

On the south eastern tip of the island, the pineforested

Vasilikos peninsula is an area that has been

mostly protected from large-scale development

because of the loggerhead turtles that breed on

Gerakas beach. Arguably the most beautiful area

on the island. Nearby Daphni beach, also a turtle

nesting beach, is well-worth a visit too.

Not far from Keri is the beautiful pebble beach of

Marathias. It is off the beaten track and well-worth

the walk down. The island also boasts one of the

most photographed beaches in Greece, Shipwreck

Cove, which is a blissful cove backed by plummeting

limestone cliffs; but be warned, there is usually a

long queue out onto the viewing platform where

you can photograph it.

The Zante authorities take their conservation

seriously; the only airport on the island is closed

after dark because it’s close to beaches where

Greece Checklist

Language: Greek

Currency: Euro

Time: +2 hour

Beer: €3.50

Cappuccino : €2.91

3 Course Meal: €15

loggerhead turtles lay their eggs at night and some

of the beaches are also closed at night for the same

reason.

It’s no wonder that the Telegraph rates this jewel in

the Ionian, Zante, so highly. With its breath-taking

green hills, lemon and orange trees, authentic

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59


60

Financial Planning

New Year

Resolutions

by David K Barton

APFS Cert CII(MP),

Chartered Financial Planner

and Managing Director

AHappy New Year to everyone, let’s hope

you will all “Prosper” throughout 2018.

Amongst the nation’s favourite resolutions are

more exercise, more dieting and less drink. Sadly,

all these involve an element of deprivation and it’s

hardly surprising that even the most strong willed

of us are faltering by mid-February.

One resolution that you may want to retrospectively

add to your list, which importantly involves very

little pain but can have significant benefits, is to

have an investment health check.

Every January I notice a significant increase in the

number of enquiries from Local Life readers.

What prompts this increase?

Perhaps time off over Christmas, completion of

tax returns, whatever the trigger, reviewing and

revamping your portfolio now could make a

significant difference to your portfolio value. Apart

from weeding out the poor performing funds and

checking you’re still on track, you might find your

finances could be arranged more tax-efficiently.

I was recently talking to a new client who was

having a moan about the amount of paperwork

he was receiving from all his different investments.

At the heart of the problem was that “everything

was all over the place” - for every investment he

was dealing with a different company. He’d lost

complete control of his portfolio and the piles of

paper in his study had continued to grow. No action

was being taken by his previous adviser, potentially

costing him money.

He didn’t have a clue what his valuations were and

didn’t know how well his investments had been

performing. I asked him what his “ideal” would feel

and look like. He replied that he wanted to;

Retake full control of his investments rather than

getting swamped with paperwork and information.

Have “peace of mind” knowing that an expert was

also keeping an eye on his investments.

Invest in a wide choice of leading companies

without being tied in to a single company/fund.

Just deal with “one firm” for all of his different

investments rather than speaking to many.

It probably does not come as a great surprise to

learn that we have the solution to all these issues

and our Wealth Management Service delivers on

all the points above. Indeed one of our recently

engaged clients described the difference between

the old way of managing investments and using

the Prosper Wealth Management Service as “an

absolute revelation”.

If you would like more information please feel free

to get in touch on 01257 423800. Alternatively

visit our website www.prosper-ifa.co.uk or email

us to request a brochure. The cost of the initial

consultation is met by us and you are under no

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If you invest in the stock market the value of your

investments can go down as well as up and you

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Remember all investments can fall as well as rise in value so investors could get back less than they invest.


61


62

All the puzzle solutions are on page 84 of this magazine

CROSSWORD

Across:

7. Bramley’s, Perhaps? (7,6)

8. Collar Bone (8)

9. Therefore (4)

10. Source of Barium (7)

12. Southpaw (5)

14. Small Holding (5)

16. Relating (7)

19. Russian Royal (4)

20. Reserve (3,5)

22. Wall Edging (8,5)

Down:

1. Aim (4)

2. Servant (6)

3. Sneer (7)

4. Sap (5)

5. For Each (6)

6. Elevate (8)

11. Drinks after Slopes? (5-3)

13. Reserves (4,3)

15. Uproar(6)

17. Abrasion (6)

18. Jelly (5)

21. Dreadful (4)

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64

Business View

Self Assessment in time

saves fines!

by Chris Alcock - CMA Accountancy

HMRC have indicated that the tax return

as we know it will be phased out and

replaced by digital tax accounts in future. However,

for this tax year (year ending 05 April 2017) if you

have been issued with a tax return notice you must

file online before 31 January 2018 to avoid being hit

with a penalty. The deadline for submitting a paper

tax return has now passed.

Self Assessment isn’t purely for the self employed.

You may have a permanent job but earn some

income on the side such as selling goods on ebay

or at a car boot sale, rent from properties, rent from

Airbnb, or any other activities where you receive

gross income. If you are making more than £2,500

annually then you’ll need to complete a tax return.

Remember, those who miss filing their tax return

face an automatic penalty of £100 and after 3

months this increases to £10 per day!

As a reminder, the following are the main reasons

you may be required to completing a return:

• Anyone who is self-employed, that is they are not

employed and pay income tax via PAYE.

• If you receive rental income from a property.

• Company directors must complete a return.

Watch out for the new tax charges on dividends

from April 2016! Contact CMA for advice on this.

• You have Capital Gains Tax to pay as you have

sold an asset.

• You have received income from overseas such as

pensions that are liable to UK tax.

• If you are employed and want to claim for

expenses or professional subscriptions.

• The changes to the Child Benefit system mean

that any household with someone earning more

than £50,000 lose a proportion of the benefit.

Households where the highest earner has a

salary of £60,000 lose the benefit entirely.

You can ease the worry of your tax return by asking

CMA to complete this for you. We may be able to

advise you about certain tax reliefs that you have

not considered and maybe even get a refund for

you from HMRC.

Please contact us if you would like to discuss anything

in this article. Alternatively drop by the office on Skull

House Lane in Appley Bridge and we can discuss these

further.

Contact Details

Chris Alcock ACMA

CMA Accountancy 39 Skull House Lane, Appley

Bridge, Wigan, WN6 9DR

Tel: 01257 255521

Email info@handsonaccounting.co.uk

web www.handsonaccounting.co.uk


65

Do you complete a

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Online Returns 31st Jan 18

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Make sure you are not fined!

Call CMA today on 01257 255 521

www.cma-accountancy.com

info@cma-accountancy.com

Skull House Lane, Appley Bridge. 01257 255521


66

50 years of

acting up

Niamh Ollerton discovers how one society remains finely tuned

50 years on...

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip; James Garner and Lois Clarke; and Jerry

Stiller and Anne Meara – they’ve all surpassed the golden milestone, and

this January, Orrell Musical & Dramatic Society is also celebrating its 50th anniversary.

In December 1967, six local friends decided to try and form an Operatic Society. And

among them they already had the key ingredients to fill essential roles i.e. musical

director, producer, pianist and scenery creator.

The friends delivered handouts all over Orrell to advertise the new society, putting

feelers out to see if anyone would like to take part in their first production: Gilbert

and Sullivan’s ‘The Pirates of Penzance’.


67

One Monday evening in January 1968,

approximately 15 people attended the first meeting

at Trinity Methodist Church Hall in Pemberton. And

so, Orrell and District Gilbert and Sullivan Society

became a reality.

The meetings continued on subsequent Monday

evenings with more and more people attending,

and the group decided its first production would be

staged in June that year.

Their debut production was a roaring success,

and with membership soaring, the society’s next

show moved to Up Holland Grammar School (now

Winstanley College) and rehearsals were held at

Salem United Reformed Church Hall in Orrell.

“Debut production was a

soaring success”

But what was the first production of choice? ‘The

Merry Widow’ by the Austro-Hungarian composer

Franz Lehár.

In 1986, the production venue changed to the

Linacre Theatre in Wigan. But there have been

multiple locations over the years including the

Deanery High School, Abraham Guest High School

and today productions are staged at St Michael’s

Parish Hall in Swinley.

As time went by, members wanted to move away

from operatic shows to produce more modern

theatrical musicals as well as plays. So this is where

the razzle dazzle finally comes in…

In 2001, the society’s name changed one final

time to reflect the change in direction and the

Since 1971, the society has held shows and concerts

at different venues, to both support the society’s

financial commitments, and help organisations

raise necessary funds.

Whether it was their success, or a desire to broaden

their musical horizons, operettas and shows written

by other composers were introduced, and the Orrell

and District Operatic Society was christened.


68

Orrell Musical and Dramatic Society

(OMADS) as we know it today was

born.

The first musical under the new name

was ‘Hello Dolly’ in 2002, but other

shows have included ‘Thoroughly

Modern Millie’, ‘Sweet Charity’, ‘Little

Shop of Horrors’ and ‘Half a Sixpence.’

Is there much better a way to bring

joy to an audience than skipping

down the yellow brick road to meet

‘The Wizard of Oz?’

But you don’t need to wait for the

concerts and shows, as members’

serenade the crowds come

November and December with some beautiful

“It’s fun to dress up in

bright costumes”

carol singing. For the first time ever, members were

invited to sing at Pemberton Christmas Market in

2017, which was exciting for everyone involved.

The society still looks forward to celebrating its 50th

anniversary, commemorating all the fun from the

last five decades.

Although none of the founding members are

still alive, the longest standing member joined in

September 1977, showing the camaraderie in the

group and obvious sense of belonging.

One member Wendy Forshaw said: “I have been a

member for over 20 years; the people become like a

second family, and are very supportive.

“It’s fun to dress up in bright costumes and sing

and perform; healthy for mind, body and soul, hard

work at times, but well worth the effort!”

And there’s more to staging a musical than meets

the eye.

Carol Clayton, secretary, said: “Apart from rehearsals,

we have to construct and paint scenery, source

costumes, arrange sound and lighting and get a

band together to play.

“Plus there are lots of other jobs like publicity,

designing a programme and printing and selling

tickets.”

Diane Jones, the producer said: “It was amazing to

be part of a dedicated team all working towards a

common goal.

“We are very lucky to have so many members who

are so passionate about this society and are always

willing to help.”

Celebrations for the group’s half centenary will

include a concert in January entitled ‘Fab and 50’,

followed by a musical production of ‘9 to 5’ in July.

The icing on the cake will be a musical extravaganza

in November, which will look back on 50 golden

years of performing.

For the first time in the society’s history, open

auditions will be held to cast ‘9 to 5,’ so the musically

gifted among us, now’s your time to shine.

If the lure of the stage intrigues you, OMADS is

always happy to welcome new members either on

stage or behind the scenes. If you’re feeling brave

enough you can turn up at one of the rehearsals

held on Wednesday evenings at 7.30pm at Trinity

Methodist Church, Fleet Street in Pemberton.

Further information about the society can be

found on the website www.omads.co.uk or

contact the secretary, Carol on 01695 622713.


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70

Upload your event for FREE at

www.locallife247.co.uk/events

Follow us on Facebook

events2go

Board Games Night

Fri, Jan 5, 5pm-8pm; Fri, Feb 2, 5pm-8pm; Fri, Mar

2, 5pm-8pm

A Board Games Night on the first Friday of each month

until June to play any of the current Games Workshop

board games or self-contained boxed games! Book

ahead to ensure there is space to play your game- or

even organise a game event page www.facebook.com/

events/898871296942593/

Games Workshop: Wigan, 12 Crompton Street,

Wigan, WN1 1YP. Tel: 01942 829121

The RLP Choir

Sunday, January 7, 2.30pm (2.5 hrs with interval)

Handel’s Messiah features ‘Ev’ry Valley’, ‘For Unto Us A

Child is Born’ and ‘The Trumpet Shall Sound’ and it’s clear

to see why it’s been so popular for centuries. Baroque

music expert Nicholas Kraemer (conductor) has

assembled four of the finest singers working in Britain

today. Tickets from £21.50 https://prestonguildhall.co.uk

Preston Guild Hall & Charter Theatre, Lancaster

Road, Preston, PR1 1HT. Tel: 01772 80 44 44

Effective Revision Skills

Monday, January 8, 6pm-8pm

This event will support pupils with effective revision

techniques from a psychology perspective to aid recall

and exam success. It will support parents to take away

strategies to support their child’s wellbeing through the

exam period. Tickets £10pp via www.ew-consultancy.

com/aspiring.htm

The Mount, Orrell Road, Orrell, Wigan, WN5 8HQ.

Tel: 01942 219740

Little Red Riding Hood

Thurs, Jan 11, 7.30pm to Sat, Jan 27, 7.30pm (with

2.15pm showings on the weekends too)

Once upon a time, there was a little girl who was loved

dearly by her grandmother, who gave her a riding hood

of red velvet. But, there’s an evil creature in the woods

and Little Red Riding Hood will need all your support

and encouragement to get home from Grandma’s in

one piece. Tickets are £10.60 and £12.60 (incl. online

booking fee).

Wigan Little Theatre, Crompton Street, Wigan,

WN1 3SL. Box Office: 01942 242561.

WOL Open Mic Poetry

Friday, January 12, 8pm-10pm

At Write Out Loud Wigan Open Mic people listen to

bawling, drunken, old, young, new and subtle poets.

Some funny, some melancholy, some political and

some absurd.

The Old Courts, Crawford Street, Wigan, WN1

1NG. Tel: 01942 834747

Beginners Calligraphy Class

Friday, January 12, 7.30pm-9.45pm

An introductory workshop to learn the basics and skills

of this lettering style that is growing in popularity. Write

your own greetings for occasions, or try new letter skills

to create projects for the walls. The workshops including

a full Calligraphy Starter Kit are £39pp. To book send an

email to mellorandrose@icloud.com.

Lily & Arthur’s Café Bar & Tea Rooms, 37 Mesnes

Road, Wigan, WN1 2DF. Tel: 01942 665950


71

Capturing tender special moments to cherish and treasure

Newborn

Weddings

Christenings

Special Parties

Please contact Eleanor T: 01257 792745 M: 07510 612926

Art Exhibition

Fridays and Saturdays from Friday, January 12,

11am-4pm to Saturday, January 20 11am-4pm

In The Transit of Venus, Jane Fairhurst creates an

idealised working space that is part domestic, part

studio-gallery reflecting the dichotomy of many female

artists working between home and studio. Guise is an

exploration of masculinity and it’s evolution through

history within clothing by costume designer Reggie

Doherty. Do the clothes make the man?

The Old Courts, Crawford Street, Wigan, WN1

1NG. Tel: 01942 834747

Live at The Old Courts

Friday, January 12, 9pm-11pm

DDE are delighted to be appearing for the first time

at The Old Courts. Check The Old Courts website for

details of advance ticket booking and stage times

www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/the-old-courts-13900507160

The Old Courts, Crawford Street, Wigan, WN1

1NA. Tel: 01942 834747

Winter Walk at Haigh Hall

Sunday, January 14, 11am-12.30pm

Barking Mad Wigan invites you to join them at Haigh

Hall Country Park for a leisurely winter walk to blow

away those cobwebs and walk off those mince pies!

Meeting outside The Stables Cafe and taking the green

path, approx. 1.8 miles. Everyone is welcome to join and

dogs too!

Haigh Country Park Stables Complex, School

Lane, Haigh, Wigan WN2 1PE. Tel: 01942 828280

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72

Rock’n’Roll Dance Class

Every Wednesday, from Wednesday, January 17,

8pm-9pm to Wednesday, February 28, 8pm-9pm

Learn authentic 1950’s Rock n Roll dance moves in a fun

environment. Couples and singles welcome. Suitable

for all levels. 6-week course, but you can start any time

and learn what is being taught that evening.

St. Elizabeth’s Parish Hall, Bolton Road, Aspull,

WN2 1QW. Tel: 01942 831911

Awful Auntie

Thurs, Jan 18, 1.30pm/7pm; Fri, Jan 19,

10.30am/7pm; Sat, Jan, 20, 1.30pm/6pm; Sun, Jan

21, 11am/3pm

The world premiere of David Walliams’ amazing tale of

frights, fights and friendship, featuring a very old car, a

very large owl and a very small ghost! Tickets start at

£17.50 from https://prestonguildhall.co.uk

Preston Guild Hall & Charter Theatre, Lancaster

Road, Preston, PR1 1HT. Tel: 01772 80 44 44

Comedy Night

Saturday, January 20, 7.30pm-12am

Austin Knight’s wit, earthy humour and timing will have

you rolling in the aisles. Tickets are £10pp from http://

ortcc.org.uk

Orrell Red Triangle Cricket Club, Winstanley Road,

Orrell, WN5 7XE

Pug Pop Up Cafe Liverpool

Saturday, January 20, 9am-6.40pm

HUS will be transformed into puggy paradise so you can

bring your curly-tailed pals to the cafe to meet some

new puggy friends. Booking fees are: pug owners £7.50

(2 pug owners at £7.50 per one pug), additional pug

owner guests £10, pug lovers £15. Find full instructions

and details at facebook.com/pugcafeuk/notes

HUS, Tempest Building, Tithebarn Street,

Liverpool, L2 2DT. Tel: 0151 958 1260

Beer & Cider Festival 2018

Thurs, Jan 25, 12pm-10.30pm; Fri, Jan 26, 12pm-

10.30pm; Sat, Jan 27, 12pm-10.30pm

With over 700 beers, ciders and perry’s ranging from

traditional cask bitters to cutting edge craft beers, you

decide your tipple. Tickets range from £7.53 to £10.75

at www.eventbrite.co.uk

Manchester Central Convention Complex,

Windmill Street, M2 3GX. Tel: 0161 834 2700

Old Mother Hubbard Panto

Fri, Jan 26, 7.30pm; Sat, Jan 27, 3pm; Sat, Jan 27,

7pm; Sun, Jan 28, 2pm; Wed, Jan 31, 7.30pm; Fri,

Feb 2, 7.30pm; Sat, Feb 3, 3pm; Sat, Feb 3, 7pm

St John’s Dramatic Society will be performing their

rendition of ‘Old Mother Hubbard’ in early 2018. If you’d

like to find out about Old Mother Hubbard and her

dog, tickets are £7 for adults and £5 for school children.

Please ring Anne on 01942 621701.

St John’s School Hall, Church Street, Pemberton,

Wigan, WN5 0DT. Tel: 01942 222133

Burns Night

Friday, January 26

A 4 course meal & coffee with entertainment by ‘Burns

Night Incorporated.’ £22.50 per person. All theme nights

require a £10 per person deposit.

Houghwood Golf, Billinge Hill, Crank Road, Crank,

WA11 8RL. Tel: 01744 894754

One for the Road

Friday, January 26, 7.30pm to, February, Saturday

3, 7.30pm

A wickedly funny comedy by Willy Russell. While wife

Pauline plans another dinner party, Dennis finally loses

patience on the eve of his landmark birthday. Tickets

may vary from £8-£12.

Southport Dramatic Club, Little Theatre, Hoghton

Street, Southport, PR9 0PA. Tel: 01704 530521


73


74

Led Zeppelin Tribute

Friday, February 2, 7.30pm-11.30pm

Led Zeppelin tribute Mothership - described in Classic

Rock Magazine as “the most authentic-sounding Zep

tribute in the UK” - present a brand new show. Kashmir,

Achilles Last Stand, No Quarter, Black Dog… expect all

the classics, but expect the unexpected too! A show

not to be missed for any Zeppelin fan. Tickets are

£12(+£1.01 booking fee) in advance or £14 on the door.

www.eventbrite.co.uk

The Grand Vault, The Old Courts, Crawford Street,

WN1 1NA. Tel: 01942 834747

Liverpool Cruise Fair

Saturday, February 3, 10am-4pm

A day packed full of information, presentations,

exclusive offers and more! Don’t miss your chance to

meet up with TV Presenters John Cooper & Richard

Cross from Holiday and Cruise TV. Chat to all the major

cruise line reps and cruise specialists. Free entry.

Hilton Liverpool City Centre, 3 Thomas Steers

Way, Liverpool, L1 8LW. Tel: 0151 708 4200

Through the Decades Party

Sat, Feb 3, 7.30pm to Sun, Feb 4, 1.30am

Whatever your musical era it’ll be covered at this party

night. Enjoy a 4 course meal and then dance the night

away to the sounds of the resident DJ. Tickets are

£22.50pp from www.dwstadium.com

DW Stadium Official, Loire Drive, Robin Park,

Wigan, WN5 0UZ. Tel: 01942 774000

Wigan’s Strongest Novice

Sunday, February 4, 10am

The Strongman/woman will be held at The PT Studio

Wigan. If you have never competed before but

fancy giving it a go, this is for you. Entry fee is £25 for

competitors, and it’ll be £3 for spectators and kids go free.

The PT Studio, Unit 7 Leeds Street, Wigan, WN3

4BW. Tel: 07506 673955

Memorial Fundraiser

Friday, February 9, 7.30pm

Evening of song, dialect and Lancashire humour in aid

of the Wigan mining statue appeal. Tickets £8 each - call

Marianne on 01942 492855.

St Michael and All Angels Church, Swinley

Artisan Market

Saturday, February 10, 10am-4pm

Wigan Auction House on Miry Lane Wigan has

announced a new monthly market day on the second

Saturday of each month. There’ll be stall holders selling

organic meat and dairy, homemade artisan pies and

cakes, arts and crafts, bespoke handmade children’s’

clothes, vintage traders, vinyl records and more.

Wigan Auction House, Miry Lane, Wigan, WN6

7TG. Tel: 01942 230460

Rebecca Ferguson

Saturday, February 10, 7pm

This soulful singer from Liverpool was the runner up of

X Factor in 2010. She covered songs by Billie Holliday

on her 2015 release ‘Lady Sings The Blues’ but returned

with new material for 2016’s ‘Superwoman’. Tickets from

£22.50-£35(+booking fee) from www.ents24.com/

preston-events

Preston Guild Hall & Charter Theatre, Lancaster

Road, Preston, PR1 1HT. Tel: 01772 80 44 44

The Script

Monday, February 12, 7pm-10pm

With their recent album Freedom Child launching to

No.1 on the UK Official Album Chart, seeing off the

likes of LCD Soundsystem and OMD, The Script have

announced a series of tour dates. For more info or to

book visit http://tidd.ly/e4c576b6

Echo Arena Liverpool, Monarchs Quay, Liverpool,

L3 4FP. Tel: 0844 800 0400


75

Test Drive

McLaren 570GT

by Tim Barnes-Clay

The letters ‘G’ and ‘T’ are used far too often on 570S, is tastefully concealed under a leather floor

cars. And, yes, I’m referring to a grand tourer in the 570GT. While, inside, the car gets extra

rather than a gin and tonic. Some automakers think

that by sticking a ‘GT’ badge on the boot lid it makes

their product instantly irresistible. Many are wrong

about that. But McLaren isn’t. Indeed, the 570GT is

so far from wrong, it’s untrue.

McLaren’s 570GT is one of the best cars the

British firm makes and it’s undeniably the most

multitalented sports car, too. You can probably tell

I was utterly blown away with the 570GT when I

tested it on British bitumen recently. Fundamentally,

McLaren has taken the awesome 570S and has

injected it with an extra dose of civility. The result is

the 570GT – a machine that’s as refined as possible

without swapping for a smaller power unit and

additional seats.

The 570GT even looks like the 570S, but there are

soundproofing, soft-close doors and electric heated

seats. If that’s not enough to start justifying those

letters ‘G’ and ‘T’, the 570GT is equipped with a more

hushed exhaust system and softer suspension. The

steering is also milder than the 570S’.

These changes make the McLaren 570GT a car you

could use every day. The ride is pliable enough

to make our pothole-ridden roads bearable, and

motorway cruising din is subdued enough so that

your ears don’t bleed.

But, just because you could use the GT on a daily

basis doesn’t mean this is a lacklustre McLaren. Oh

no. In every other way, the 570GT does everything

else a full-fat McLaren does. And, most importantly,

it looks one of the meanest, sexiest cars out there.

It’s a major head-turner, that’s for sure.

some major differences

between the models. The

latter’s flying buttresses

have been replaced by

curved bodywork that

comprises a glass hatch.

There’s a respectable

220-litres of load space

under there, meaning

the 570GT has a genuine

practical edge to it. The car

also has a glass roof that

makes the cabin airy and full

of mood-enhancing light.

The engine, normally on

display in the McLaren


76

With just a quick stab of the 570GT’s starter button,

the twin-turbo 3.8-litre V8 lump barks into life.

Depress the gas pedal and the increase of velocity

is hard-hitting, due to the 570 horses under the

lid. And snapping up and down the cogs via the

paddle-mounted gears-shifters is a real smileinducer.

Zero to 62mph is done in an insanely rapid

3.4 seconds, while the top speed is a licence-losing

204mph.

Regardless of the additional luxuries added to the

GT, this McLaren’s cabin stays broadly the same as

in the 570S’. It’s a work of genius in contemporary

sports car interior design and a long way from

the chaotic button-fest of the Ferrari 488 or the

unemotional ambience in Porsche’s 911 Turbo.

You sit near to the ground but erect in the 570GT,

so visibility is very good. And, as mentioned earlier,

it’s comfortable enough to be used as a real-world

form of transport.

Fast Facts

• 0-62 mph: 3.4 secs

• Combined mpg: 26.4

• Engine layout: 3799cc twin-turbocharged V8

• Max. power (PS): 570

• CO2: 249 g/km

• Price: £154,000

While the alterations from the 570S to GT could

be seen as fairly minor, they make a substantial

difference to the McLaren driving experience. The

British sports car maker has constructed a machine

that is as calm as possible, without kicking any of

the theatre to the kerb.


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78

sponsored by

Garswood Park

by David Sudworth

Once upon a time, the way to assure

immortality was to have a statue erected in

the local market square. These days, it’s having a pub

named after you.

Sir Thomas Gerard has that distinction on Gerard

Street (where else?) in Ashton-in-Makerfield.

Despite said pub being housed in an old Kwik Save

supermarket store, it does little to diminish his aura as

a hero who was sent to the Tower of London for trying

to rescue Mary Queen of Scots.

This walk roams around the Gerard family’s old

stomping ground. Part of the estate is still there, but

more of that later.

We park up on Woodedge (postcode WN4 9JZ) and

head north west through Skitters Wood. Millingford

Brook runs through the heart of Skitters, and you

can follow it pretty much to where it goes towards

the M6. For non-aquatic species such as ourselves,

it’s much better to take the footbridge over the

M6. Once across, the path will take you right and

then veer left, past some detached homes and up

towards Low Bank Road. After about five minutes

on Low Bank Road, turn left onto Camp Road.

Without much fanfare, you’ve just crossed from

Greater Manchester and into Merseyside. Follow

Camp Road as it merges into Gibbons Road before


79

designed by Humphry Repton including a large

fish pond survived and still exists today. During

World War II, the estate was used as a Prisoner of

War camp and also as a training base for American

troops preparing for the D-Day landing (more on

this a little later in the walk).

We walk past the gates, onto Millfield Lane, and

head towards Haydock Industrial Estate.

turning left on to Tithebarn Road.

These farm fields are always producing something,

and we could spot the first signs of some green veg

as we wandered up.

If you’ve got a pair of binoculars handy, it’s worth

turning left and getting a good sight of Winter Hill.

On a very clear day, it feels like you could almost

touch it.

We’re now heading towards Ashton Cross (yes

Ordnance, not ‘Aston Cross’ as your maps show). It’s

a busy old junction, close to the East Lancs Road

and the M6. Across Liverpool Road, you’ll see the

majestic Ashton-in-Makerfield Golf Club gates.

These are in fact the original gates to the Gerard

family’s old home, Garswood Park.

The main house, Garswood New Hall, was built in

the 17th century but was demolished in 1921 along

with its associated outbuildings. The formal gardens

were also lost, although most of the parkland

On the left, you will pass a very grand looking black

and white house. Le Chateau, as it is now called,

is the former estate office for Garswood Park. It

looked unloved for many years, and has been

sympathetically restored to its former glory.

You need to keep your eyes peeled at this point as

the public footpath you need to take on the left

is somewhat obscured. The entrance is directly

opposite Millfield Farm, which itself is well signed.

This stretch is pretty much straight for about a mile,

until it reaches the M6 motorway bridge at the

rear of Byrchall and St Edmund Arrowsmith high

schools.

The stretch can get very muddy in places, so this

does slow you down, and you have to ensure you

don’t veer off piste. The trick is not to follow the

deep tyre track grooves in the ground, as you’ll end

up about 100 yards away from the bridge (yes, that

happened to us). Instead, stick to the map and you’ll

arrive at the bridge without an unnecessary detour.


80

At the height of summer, finding the bridge can be

difficult as there is heavy leaf cover, so sticking to

the map is doubly important.

Once across the bridge, turn right and follow the

path round the boundary wall of Byrchall. You

eventually come out on Chelwood Park. Once at the

end, turn left on to Warrington Road. Here, you’ll be

walking along the front of Byrchall. Now, remember

earlier I mentioned about a prisoner of war camp?

Well, it was actually sited where the Byrchall

buildings are today. One famous prisoner held there

was Bert Trautmann, a Nazi paratrooper. After the

war, Bremen-born Trautmann refused to go back to

Germany, and instead played as a goalkeeper for

St Helens Town and then for Manchester City. He

shot to fame when he broke his neck - but carried

on playing - during the 1956 FA Cup Final. As no

substitutes were allowed back then, Trautmann

Low Bank Road

Skitters Wood

Camp Road

Ashton

Strange Road

Woodedge

Gibbons Road

Liverpool Road

J24

Garswood Park

Roman Road

Millfield Lane

M6

FB


81

Length of walk: 4.2 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Accessibility: Fairly straightforward, although

the stretch down the side of Ashton-in-Makerfield

Golf Club is very boggy at colder times of the year.

The route is served by the 156 bus, which stops on

Gibbons Road, near Ashton Cross.

played on and helped City to a famous 3-1 victory

over Fulham. Carrying on the walk, we turn left into

Vicarage Road, then right onto St Oswald’s Road

before heading left, back down Liverpool Road.

Turn right into Woodedge and you’ll soon see

Skitters Wood again on the right hand side. You can

either go through the wood, following the westerly

paths, or carry on until the end of Woodedge and

take the footpath opposite Orton Way, through the

woods and back to where we started.

This is an ideal walk for this time of year - there’s

not too many fields so mud splattering is kept to

an acceptable level, but you still get a decent dose

of local history. It’s well connected via road and bus,

and there’s no shortage of places to stop for a drink

of bite to eat. You could even try the eponymously

named Sir Thomas Gerard close by... although you

may want to change your footwear beforehand!

Please ensure you wear appropriate clothing and

footwear while walking. While every care has been

taken to ensure that the walk is accurate, neither the

publisher or its editorial contributors can accept, and

hereby disclaim, any liability to any party to loss or

damage caused by errors or omissions resulting from

negligence, accident or other cause.

When can

we go back to

Dukes Barn

Farm?

Boarding kennels and cattery.

Heated accommodation.

Recommended by vets & clients for over

38 years.

Local authority licensed & approved.

Open 9am – 6pm Monday – Saturday

Closed to customer visits on Sunday

DUKES BARN FARM

Animal care at its best

Brook Lane, Pemberton, WN5 8JQ

Call - 01942 217752


82

New pjs and slippers

by Angie Barker

Happy New Year everyone! I hope that

Father Christmas brought you everything

you wished for? Hubby excelled himself this year in

the present buying department – although I didn’t

get the trip to Hampton Court Flower Show that I’d

kept dropping hints about – but he did remember

my pyjama size!

At this time of year I love curling up in front of the fire

- in my new pjs and slippers - and browsing through

a good gardening book or magazine. It gives me

some inspiration for the forthcoming year and helps

to take my mind off the impending credit card bill.

(Well, Hubby is worth it). This is the perfect time

of year for planning ahead and one of the biggest

problems I hear about from clients when they are

assessing their garden, is the lack of seasonal interest

and colour.

All garden designers have a favourite list of plants

which will appear in their designed gardens time

and time again. To some extent this will be down

to personal preference but it will also be because

those plants bring something to a planting scheme,

whether this be structure, colour, movement or

scent.

Award Winner

I thought I’d give you a glimpse of my own list of

plants which I simply could not be without in my

own garden and which I include in many of my

planting plans;

Buxus sempervirens or Box – can be topiary or

hedging for evergreen structure

Bergenia ‘Bressingham Beauty’ – good seasonal

interest, colour and texture

Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’ – a beautiful, low

mounded grass which looks amazing under Acers

Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’ – good texture and colour

Lavandula angustifolia ‘Hidcote’ – has scent and

makes a lovely small hedge

Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ – long lasting late

summer colour and fabulous for bees and butterflies

Sarcococca confusa – strong scent in winter – just

when our spirits need a lift

These are just a handful, there are so many other

brilliant plants to chose from. I feel inspired already

– roll on spring!

Angie is a qualified

award-winning garden

designer who will

plan your garden to

your needs from start

to finish, supplying

reputable contractors

and the ideal plants.

Call Angie now for your free consultation!

Angie Barker Dip GD

(Inst GD) BA (Hons)

Garden Design For All Seasons

Tel: 01942 522 405

Mob: 07857 008 383

Award Winner

www.angiebarker.co.uk


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Established in 1984 as an emergency glazing service, today Dennis Goulding has grown and moved

forward to offer all you need to maintain, enhance and expand your home. We continually invest in and

embraced the latest changes in energy efficiency regulations, and still remain a local family business that

cares and takes pride in what we do. We don’t employ pushy salesmen, but pride ourselves on working

with and listening to our customers to give them exactly what they want. We will treat you with respect

every step of the way and on that you have my word! Stuart Goulding

Glass Cut to size, Sealed Double Glazed Units Manufactured on site, Same Day Service, Safety

Glass, Toughened Glass, Mirrors, Greenhouse Glass, Glazing Service, Misted Units Replaced

A5209

B5250

Dennis Goulding

J27

Shevington

A49

Standish

Unit 16, Ainscough Business Park, Mossy Lea Road,

Wrightington, WN6 9RS

(Drive onto ‘Ainscough Building Supplies’)

Open Hours: Monday - Friday 7:30am - 5:00pm; Saturday: 9:00am - 12:00 noon

www.dglwindows.co.uk

Unit 4a,

o f Miry Lane,

Wigan.

WN6 7TP

or

88

Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning

• traditional service, state of the art results •

Mr Soot

CHIMNEY SWEEP

Woodburners Open fires Stoves

Wigan Good

Trader Of

The Year

2015

5 star rating with

Wigan Trading

Standards Good

Trader Scheme

mr-soot.com

07724 311 992

• Carpets • Rugs

• Fabric & Leather Upholstery

Call today for a free consultation & no obligation quote

Call - 01257 251221

Mobile - 07908 770808

Crease

www.manorhousecleaning.co.uk

Free

Ironing Service

Steam Ahead

With More Pressing Issues

• Ironing services

• Free Collection & Delivery

• Reliable Service

• Flexible Hours to Suit

• Excellent Rates

• Free Visit and Consultation

Telephone Gemma today

for a free consultation

07886 422 688

Want to promote your

company in Local Life?

Call Sally: 01695 627 999

locallife247.co.uk

LocalLife

Providing professional carpet &

upholstery cleaning since 1993

Carpets Upholstery Curtains

Leather Oriental Rugs Hard Floors

For more information call:

01942 470 081

Visit our website and check out the testimonials.

www.alliancechemdry.co.uk

Design & Print

Lashes

Spray Tan

Sunbeds

Acrylic & Gel Nails

Natalies @ Studio 84

Upvc Windows & Doors I Conservatories,

Soffits & Fascias I Composite Doors I Bi-Fold Doors

Gel

Nails

normally £20

now £15

84 Rainford Road, Bi linge WN5 7PG

Telephone: 07814 619 400

Open:

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 10AM - 7PM, Saturday 10AM - 6PM

Closed Thursday & Sunday

Mo sy Lea Road

Solar Thermal

& Solar PV

Wind Turbines

Heat Pumps

LED Lighting

...and general

Energy Savings

Don’t forget, we also offer all of these services daily...

T

Y

R

E

S

Book

your FREE

home survey

Telephone: 01257 427 000

and we’ll provide you with a

detailed report showing the

returns available from your

own solar panels

CAR & VAN SERVICING

...and motorcycles too

FREE

Car Health Check

(10% typical return)

Visit our showroom at

Cricket Street Business Park

for all residents of Croston and Bretherton

Keep me until you need me!

Book your FREE Car Health Check

Call now on

TwinLakesMotorEngin ers

01772 603923

REPAIR & WELDING

Saving money is

the clear benefit!

Slash your electricity and

water heating bill

Protect your household from

future energy price rises

Reduce your household’s

impact on the environment

E

X

H

A

U

S

T

S

Call us now

0843 224 9555

07595 420237

Email: info@docsolarelectrical.co.uk

Website: www.docsolarelectrical.co.uk

Flyers, postcards, brochures

and distribution service.

For more information call 01695 627 999

LocalLife


89

as seen

ON TV

Ovenclean will transform your oven and

put the sparkle back into your kitchen!

• Ovens

• Grills

• Extractors

• BBQ’s

Orrell Laundry

11 Sefton Road, Orrell, WN5 8UP

01695 623 796

• Bedding & duvets • Domestic washes

• Commercial washing • Ironing services

• Dry cleaning • Team sports kits welcomed

Open 7 days

see website for

opening times

Free pick-up

& drop off!

• Hobs

• Ranges

• Microwaves

• AGA’s

Call today to book your oven clean

0800 840 7127 or

07724 694337

www.ovenclean.com

www.orrell-laundry.co.uk

Serving the

community for

over 50 years

Free pICk-up & DrOp OFF

service to/from Orrell, Billinge, Winstanley, Highfield, Marus Bridge,

Kitt Green & Up Holland

UPVC CLEANING

• Windows, Fascias, Gutters etc.

CONSERVATORIES

• Exterior & Interior (Cleaning)

• Glass roofs / Orangeries

JETWASHING

• Driveways & Patios etc.

ROOF CLEANING

• Moss Removal

(No Jet washing/No mess)

• NEW Soft Wash Cleaning

SPECIAL OFFER - 20% OFF

ALL CLEANING PACKAGES

Call Clint for a free no obligation quote.

01942 470 089 / 07834 241 642

www.justcleanpropertycare.co.uk

Wigan’s premier

domestic

cleaning service

Cleaning in the

Wigan area for

10+ years

We only use reliable, vetted staff

• £10.75 per hour - minimum 2 hrs

• Same cleaner each visit

• All domestic duties provided

Call or email Joanne 01942 203442

joanne@acleanbreak.co.uk / www.acleanbreak.co.uk/wigan


90

Arley Cabinet Company Ltd

• Kitchens & Bedrooms since 1952 •

We measure

we make

we fit

and have done for 60 years.

Visit our showroom or call us

today for a FREE estimate

www.arleycabinets.com

Arley Cabinet Co. Ltd

214a Gidlow Lane

Wigan

WN6 7BN

Mon-Fri: 8am - 4.30pm

Sat: 9am - 12pm

tel: 01942 246190

J&P

MOORCROFT

LTD

Professional Painting and Decorating

• Domestic & Commercial Work

• Interior & Exterior work welcomed

• Old/listed buildings a speciality

Call us today for a free quotation

Home Service available

Choose from 1000s of paint & paper samples

in the comfort of our own home

01942 212096 07831 102 511

www.jpmoorcroft.com

Award Winner

Exterior & Interior Decorating

Domestic & Commercial work undertaken

Competitive rate

Contact Graham now - free estimate provided

01257 426 234

graham@topcoatdecoratingservices.co.uk

www.topcoatdecoratingservices.co.uk

TV Aerials installed & repaired

Sky, Freesat, Talk Talk & BT

Setup Service

Telephone/Broadband repair

Tv Wall mounting & CCTV

Ring Paul on www.wiganaerials.com

01942 514532 - 07709 490095

Need a new look

for your home?

Skilled interior and exterior work

undertaken at reasonable prices!

Chris Smith - Painter and Decorator

01942 518126

or 07545 065119

Orrell based business

SG

PAINTING & DECORATING

Interior painting & decorating

Specialise in standard wall coverings, extra wide vinyl, lincrusta & coving

Free estimates. References available upon request

07714 363 377 / 01942 749 971

Sefton Road, Orrell, WN5 8UP


91

Boost your Business

in 2018

We are looking for;

Builders

Cleaners

Decorators

Fuel suppliers

Garden Maintenance

Gates & Railings

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Landscaping Companies

PC Doctors

Plasterers

Removals

Tilers

Upholsterers

Waste Disposal

To join our growing group of

classified advertisers in our

Wigan magazine

Why Local Life?

Save time and fuel costs by

working in the Wigan area

Delivered regularly to over

26,000 private homes in the

Wigan area. Also available

for pick-up FREE at Tesco and

Sainsbury’s

Free professional artwork

Advertising starts from just

£39 + VAT

LocalLife

Give your company a BOOST in 2018, call us

today on 01695 627999 for further details.

locallife247.co.uk


92

Boiler & Central

Heating Experts

A Genuine Family Run Business

With Friendly & Courteous Staff

SPECIALISTS IN CENTRAL

HEATING INSTALLATION, BOILER

REPLACEMENTS AND UPGRADES

Accredited Installer & Service Partner

• Annual Boiler Servicing

• Landlord & Home Owner

Gas Safety Checks

• Gas Fire & Cooker Installations

• Under Floor Heating Specialists

• Home Efficiency Control Upgrades

10 YEARS

EXTENDED

WARRANTY

ON SELECTED BOILER

INSTALLATIONS

Registration No.

88604

Telephone:

WE REPAIR

ALL MAKES

OF BOILERS!

01257 421 660

TEL: 01942 504 429

MOB: 07515 505 501

www.fgwelch.co.uk

• Repairs & installations

• Maintenance & servicing

• Power flushing

• Mechanical Ventilation

• Gas Safety Checks

For an effective and friendly

service call Haigh Energy

01257 424 166

www.haighenergy.co.uk

Unit S7, Standish Court , Bradley Lane Trading Estate, Standish, WN6 0XQ

Plumbing & Heating Specialist

Complete Bathroom

& Tiling service

John Bailey - 01942 495785

or 07721 040620 & 07710 153238

Based in Kenyon Road, Wigan

• Bathroom Installation, Full Bathrooms & En-Suites

• Plumbing Services • Wall & Floor Tiling • Ceiling Panelling

01942 397173 / 07803 057940

Douglas Drive, Orrell, Wigan

www.ljplumbingandbathrooms.co.uk

Elite Bathrooms

Installation & Tiling

• Bathrooms

• Wall Tiling

• Floor Tiling 07703 448890

FREE Estimates 01942 208926


93

IAIN LOWE

01695 623236

• Central Heating

• Plumbing

• Gas Appliances

• Gas Safety Checks

• Landlord’s Certificates

• Maintenance/Breakdowns

No

call out

fee

• Central Heating Installations

• Boiler Installations

• Maintenance & Servicing

• Power Flushing

186237

Your one stop shop for central heating

434 Ormskirk Rd, Wigan, WN5 9DF

01942 221221

info@premiergas.com / www.premiergas.com

Free Nest with

a new boiler!

• Repairs • Installations • Services

Smart control specialist – save £££’s

www.wiganboilerrepair.co.uk

01942 387006 / 07539 449 006

569287

C&

D

Plumbing and Heating

Heating & Bathroom Specialist

Chris Heaton M.I.P.H.E.R.P

07973714222

01695625171

Great Value Bathrooms!

Full Bathrooms & En-Suites

Showers, Trays & Cubicles

Relocation of Bathroom Suites

25 years bathroom experience

Call Chris now for a free quotation

C L Bathrooms

01942 749085

or 07801 295483

www.clbathrooms.co.uk

brand New bathrooms

boiler + Central Heating

Installs, servicing + Repairs

Extended warranties available

24 Hour Call-out

Domestic + Commercial

Freephone 0300 3030121

Dave 07769 942218 / Matt 07969 183809

21 Naburn Dr Orrell wN5 8sb

Email: info@orrellheating.co.uk

www.orrellheating.co.uk

Specialists in boiler installations, repair & maintenance

All work fully warranted

Email ops@hotmail.co.uk

506515

Book a boiler health check for £65

& get a carbon monoxide

alarm (RRP £29) FREE!

Call the team on

01744 892437


94

Complete Driveways

& Landscapes

Landscapes

Gardens designed. Paving laid, artificial turf

fitted, garden walls built, all aspects of fencing.

Driveways

Block paving, flagging, printed concrete

driveway specialist.

‘the complete answer

for driveways & landscapes’

Call Gary for a free, no obligation quote;

01942 355 993 07712 352 411

GDR Driveways

Flagging • Block paving

Concreting • Fencing

Call Gareth for a FREE quotation

01942 217 113 | 07715 177 754

JJ Driveways

Imprinted Concrete Specialists

Huge range of colours & patterns

• Resin Driveways • Block Paving

• Indian Stone • Flagging

We can also revive your old drive!

Ask about our sealing service

Call Joe for a free quotation on

01942 621 959 / 07867 697 972

www.jjdriveways.co.uk

Brickwork & Property Maintenance

M

Marc Mulligan

01942 248 537

07749 806 566

• Brickwork, Extensions, Re-pointing

• Garden Walls, Decorative Walls

• Platform Steps, Paths & patios

Disabled Adaptations & Access

• Wall to Floor Rails, Floor to Floor

Rails & Path Rails

Fully Qualified - 28 Years Experience

• Conservatory repairs

• Locks, handles and hinges

• Replacement glass

• Windows and doors installed

• Replacement conservatory roofs

Call MARK now on

01942 737 381 / 0776 315 1720

conservatoryrepairs@gmail.com

www.fixmyconservatory.com


95

Home Improvements

• Fitted Kitchens & Bedrooms

• Garage & Loft Conversions

• Floors, Doors & Windows

• Garden Gates

For all your home improvement needs call David on...

01942 203 804

07851 225 876

DS Joinery

Number One for House Maintenance!

• UPVC WINDOWS, DOORS & ROOFLINE

SUPPLIED AND FITTED MISTED UNITS

REPLACED

• GUTTERS AND UPVC CLEANING AND

REPAIR SERVICE

• FLAGGING, FENCING AND POINTING

• GARDENS CLEARED

No job too small!

Call Mike Darbyshire on

01942 513 584 / 07917 352 181

Orrell based

PLANS TO IMPROVE

• Plans drawn and submitted.

• Extensions, conversions, structural alterations.

• Structural calculations.

E mail info@stuartsplans.co.uk

Call Stuart on 07973143289

Easy Mix

Easy Mix

Ready Mixed Concrete

• Delivered or Collected • Perfect for builders & DIY

01942 224571 for advice

Lamberhead Ind. Est., Pemberton

TELEPHONE: 01942 832747

Mobile: 07747 725999

01257 422317 or 07852 202867

www.mtjoinery.co.uk

Ashurst Building &

Roofing Services

All types of building and roofing

work undertaken including;

Brickwork, Joinery, Flagging

Plastering & Renovations

Family run business with

25 years of experience

Call David today for a free quotation

TELEPHONE: 01942 832747

Mobile: 07747 725999

PLASTERER

Re-skims Dot & dab Rendering

2 coat work Unwanted artex

For a free quote, call Ian Ridley on

01942 218 160

or 07958 695 116


96

• WILSON BROS •

Est. 1985

Roofing & Roofline Specialists

• All aspects of maintenance & repair

• Fascia & soffit installation

• Guttering and felting services

Call us now for a free estimate

01695 633173

Colin: 07958 302 166

Brian: 07760 160 988

www.wilson-bros.co.uk

All our work is fully insured & guaranteed

References available on request

Call now for a free quotation

House Extensions

New Kitchens

& Bathrooms

Garage Conversions

Full Refurbishments

All aspects of roofing & roofline

NEW ROOFS REPAIRS

FASCIAS, SOFFITS & GUTTERS

Rubber Cover

Roofing Specialist

Guaranteed 50 years

T: 01942 864 624

M: 07894 687 384

M: 07868 713 520

K Stone

Building Services

All types of building

work undertaken

25 years experience

Dormers

and Garages

Call for free

quote

• Brickwork

• Pointing

• Garden Walls

• Patios

• Roof Repairs

• Flagging

• Alterations

• Driveways

01942 495412 / 07974 496676

Don’t Move – Improve!

I’m Stuart Collier, a local

builder with over 25 years

experience in house

renovation.

I can design and create extra

living space in your home.

Call me for advice and a free quotation

01942 561 848 | 07725 909 257

www.freshbuildconstruction.co.uk

01257 251 534

07973 143 289

www.sjcollier.co.uk


97

M H Roofing

Established over 15 years

Friendly advice and competitive rates

No job too small

• High Performance Felt Flat Roof Systems

• Storm Damage and Insurance Work

• Slating and Tiling full roofs

• Poiniting and Guttering • Fascia Boards

Call 01744 884117

or 07702 693225

www.mhroofingltd.co.uk

B.A. Berry

Building & Roofing Specialists

•All building work undertaken.

• From a broken tile to a full re roof.

• Flat roofs renewed and repaired.

• Extensions, Alterations, Structural repairs

including Lintels.

Your local fully qualified tradesman with

30 years experience

Call us now for a free,

no obligation quote

01695 622 704 / 07968 652 320

www.baberry.co.uk

Fully Insured & Insurance

Backed Guarantees

First Class Workmanship

• All types of re-roofs

• Strip & re-slate or re-tile

• Built up felt/flat roofs, dormers etc.

• Insurance work undertaken

• Roofline uPVC fascias, soffits & guttering

W.Newman

ROOFING & REPAIRS

01695 627 212

MOBILE: 07774 943 706

52 HALLBRIDGE GARDENS, UP HOLLAND

Established Over 30 Years


98

A View From

The Lump

Local gossip, gripes and goings-on

Pass the Peppa

As many readers of a certain

vintage will know, the best thing

about having grandchildren is

the ability to hand them back to

their parents at the end of the day.

That’s not to say we don’t enjoy

having the heirs to Lump Towers

around every so often. In fact, it’s

opened up a whole new world of

televisual pursuits. I’m not quite

sure how I ever got by without

having Peppa Pig in my life. Poor

Peppa though, she appears to

have copped for the blame as to

why doctors’ waiting rooms are

packed full. This is because Peppa,

when she has even the mildest

sniffle, has the family GP, Dr Brown

Bear, at her bedside in a heartbeat.

Some officious GP says that such

story lines are “putting unrealistic

expectations and encourages

inappropriate use of primary care

services.” Quite apart from the

fact I’ve no idea what a ‘primary

care service’ is, how the heck

can a cartoon character impact

anything, other than making 10

minutes of the day go quicker? But

why stop at Peppa? Let’s blame

The Sooty Show for making kids

believe a panda can talk. Let’s

blame Bill and Ben for convincing

a generation of baby boomers that

flowerpots could move of their

own free will. Let’s blame Postman

Pat for promoting the idea that

your mail will arrive sometime

vaguely before 4.30pm. It’s 2018

ladies and gentleman, and the

world has finally gone mad.

Let that be a lesson

Speaking of the kids, I do enjoy a

cold snap of weather, as it brings

out the moaners who claim we’re

breeding a nation of wimps when

a few schools shut for the day. “It’s

health and safety gone mad,“ said

one exasperated retired General.

“Our school never closed, even

when we had 1ft of snow,” claimed

another person with too much

time on their hands. What these

self-appointed experts seem to

forget is the reason schools close

is because, unlike in 1950 when

teachers lived close by, these

days some travel up to 30 miles

each way to work. I’d imagine

its fairly difficult to teach a class

when you’re stuck in traffic. Then

again, maybe the moaners, who

are clearly so concerned about

the plight of education in this

country, might step forward and

cover a few classes. They’d have

to prise themselves away from the

Daily Mail website for a few hours

though...

Lay of the land

12 months on and the Sword of

Damocles remains hanging over

Green Belt land in Winstanley

and at The Bell in Orrell. We know

that the Greater Manchester

Spatial Framework Strategy (the

volumous document which

absolutely no-one has fully

read) is being rewritten, but the

timescales are still somewhat

up in the air. The whole process

has been a mess up to now, with

the Greater Manchester council

leaders rushing ahead - before the

Mayoral elections - and producing

a document which set more hares

running than a Boxing Day hunt.

And surprise, surprise, when

the new Mayor took office, he

immediately ordered a review into

the whole thing. The people I feel

sorry for are those whose homes

are being blighted by this will

they/won’t they debacle. At least

with straightforward planning

applications, it’s pretty much

done and dusted one way or the

other within three months. Here,

we’re one year down the line and

no closer to finding out what the

endgame will look like. No wonder

we’ve got a housing crisis and

plunging trust in the powers-thatbe...


99

Come and visit the largest

showroom in the North West

®

Happy New Year

Quality installations of windows,

doors, fascias, soffits and gutters

First for quality • First for service • First for reliability

No contractors • No salesmen

Just a smile and a honest price from a family run business

®

Rockdoor

Approved

Installer Reg No

02767596

SISTER COMPANY OF FOXWELLS BUILDERS

Established 16 years

Call us for a Free Quote

Office Number: 01942 871 777

Victoria Industrial Estate, Victoria Street, Leigh, WN7 5SE

warmlightwindowsltd.co.uk • info@warmlightwindowsltd.co.uk

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