Local Life - St Helens - Jan/Feb 2020

locallife247

St Helens FREE local lifestyle magazine.

LocalLife

St Helens Edition

Jan/Feb 2021

Jack’s Tracks

Carr Mill

Pages 24-25

Image by Ian Bonnell Photography

The Book Stops Here

Pages 14-15

Willowbrook Hospice

Pages 18-19

5 a Day for your Child

Pages 22-23

LOCAL NEWS | EVENTS2GO | FOOD | HEALTH | WALKS | COMPETITIONS | HOME & GARDEN SERVICES


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2020 was the year when our feelings and emotions

went up and down like a rollercoaster depending

on the news cycle of the day. As I write this on

Day 3 of Lockdown 3.0, the two dominant emotions

coming to the fore are relief and hope - the relief that the

vaccines are lighting up a way out of this and the hope

that, sometime soon, we’ll be able to resume our normal

daily lives.

As the virus threat eases, many will be determined to

make up for lost time, some will take time to plan sunshine

holidays and big celebrations, whilst others will take time

doing the simple things that we all took for granted, such

as watching Saints play live, going down the pub or to

the cinema.

Whatever your plans are for this year, please spare a

thought for those vulnerable people receiving palliative

care who don’t have the luxury of being able to make up

for lost time, and support Willowbrook in their efforts to

make their remaining time comfortable.

Willowbrook’s 2020 events calendar was decimated,

and the hospice desperately needs our support to

recover in 2021. The centre pages of this issue showcase

Willowbrook’s events calendar for 2021, so please take

some time to read through this and do everything you

can to ensure Willowbrook thrives this year.

All the very best for 2021,

Chris Pearce, Publisher

chrisp@locallife247.co.uk

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Keep in touch with the

LocalLife Team!

LocalLife

Telephone: 01744 649722

info@locallife247.co.uk

locallifemagazine247@locallifemedia

Local Life 247 Ltd, PO Box 779, Wigan WN1 9UB

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.


5

This month’s highlights

28. Jack’s Tracks Carr Mill

14. The Book Stops Here 18. Willowbrook Hospice 22. 5 a Day for your Child

Billinge & Beyond

This month’s cover picture is just one image featured in the

popular Billinge & Beyond calendar (pictured) published by

lensman Ian Bonnell, with some graphic design help from

daughter Faye. An engineer by trade, Ian has lived in Billinge for

most of his life and started taking photography seriously when

his wife bought him a new camera for his 40th birthday.

He now uses a Canon 90d camera with either

a Tamron 18-400mm and a Canon 10-

18mm lens and regularly posts his

images on social media. The 2021

calendar is still available, priced

at £10 from Billinge News and

Booze or direct from Ian

via Facebook at https://

www.facebook.com/

IanBonnellPhotography/

Want to

promote your

business in

LocalLife?

Next Issue - March/April 2021

Advertising deadline - 17th February

Published - 3rd March

01744 649722

www.locallife247.co.uk


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Chamber Kickstart

St Helens Chamber has been approved as a Kickstart

Scheme Gateway organisation to help local businesses

create new opportunities through this new Government

scheme.

The Kickstart scheme gives local businesses the

opportunity to recruit unemployed young people aged

16-24 who are registered with their local job centre. The

Government will pay National Minimum Wage for 25

hours per week for every young person a business hires;

with funding lasting for a 6 month period.

Additionally, employers will receive a £1,500 grant to

support with recruitment and training costs.

commented: “We already have over 140 vacancies pledged

by local companies who are looking to rebuild their

businesses post-lockdown. It’s really encouraging to see

these organisations wanting to take on local young people

and it will certainly be a great boost for our local economy.”

St Helens Chamber is encouraging any businesses who

would like to take advantage of the scheme in 2021 to

express their interest now.

To find out more about the Kickstart Scheme and how to

pledge a vacancy for a young person aged 16-24 years

old, call St Helens Chamber on 01744 742021 or email

kickstart@sthelenschamber.com.

The process to apply for the Kickstart funding starts with

interested businesses contacting the Chamber.

The Chamber will then apply for the Kickstart Scheme

funding on behalf of each local business – and can also

manage everything from finding candidates to dealing

with payments.

Tracy Mawson, Chief Executive at St Helens Chamber,

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A Rainford-based company

marked the festive season

by donating 20 tablets and

smartphones to youngsters

in the process of leaving

care for the first time.

Communications Plus Ltd,

based on Ormskirk Road in

the village, has been working

with St Helens Borough

Council to develop a plan

to support care leavers, not

just at Christmas, but all year

round.

The generous act comes on top of a toy and gift donation

made by the company which helped toward St Helens

Borough Council being able to put together 450 toy

hampers for disadvantaged children and families at risk

of waking up on Christmas day without a present.

Natasha Atherton, a 21-year-old care leaver is just one

Mersey Forest Expands

In the next five months, The Mersey Forest will be one of

ten Community Forests across England planting trees to

help deliver the Government’s tree planting targets.

Tech Giveaway

11

young person to benefit

from the gesture, said:

“Words cannot describe

how much this means to me.

I’m expecting my first child

soon and my phone was old

and broken so I don’t have

to worry now about calling

anyone or using the internet

which will be an absolute

godsend when it comes to

arranging health checks and

things like that.”

Steve Roberts, Managing

Director and Gary Scouller, Business Development

Director at Communications Plus Ltd, commented:

“Supplying smartphones, tablets and sims will allow care

leavers to keep in touch with loved ones, friends and the

support network they rely on, especially in the current

climate where meeting up in person isn’t always possible.

We hope this will make a big difference to their lives.”

The organisation is aiming to plant nearly 40 hectares of

new woodland around Merseyside and North Cheshire,

within urban parks, green spaces and on farmland.

Landowners should contact The Mersey Forest Team if

they have land suitable for tree planting.

Paul Nolan, Director of The Mersey Forest, said, “The Trees

for Climate programme will plant more trees targeted

at areas in St. Helens where they can make the greatest

difference. We’ve shown how trees and woodlands boost

our local economy, reduce flooding, create new habitats

for wildlife and increase community spirit.”

As well as funding the tree planting activity itself, the

£12 million grant will enable each of the Community

Forests to manage all aspects of the new woodland

creation carefully. New approaches to woodland creation

and long-term management of woodland will also be

developed.

For more details about the Mersey Forest and the Trees for

Climate initiative visit www.merseyforest.org.uk

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14

The

book stops here…

by Nicola Gray

The truly remarkable thing about books, for me, is that they

let you travel without moving your feet; they are the plane,

the train and the road. Maybe this is why we read, to escape

and find the happiness in getting lost in a good book.

This, and raising local literacy levels in the area, is the

main driver behind a community benefit society set up

in St Helens. Since the demise of Wardleworths in 2019,

the town sadly does not have a dedicated bookshop and

the group is hoping to rectify that by creating ‘The Book

Stops Here’; a book shop for the people, owned by the

people. Headed by six St Helens residents; Brian Leyland,

Steven Davies, Julia Cadman, Anna Peacock, Nigel

Wimpenny and Mike Gaskell, the aim is to raise enough

funds to open an independent bookshop, that will offer

something for everyone and become a community hub.

In order to get this project off the ground the group had a

target to raise a minimum of £45,000 and to do this they

needed the help and support of the local community.

Interested locals could become a member of the society

and buy their own share of the bookshop for a minimum

investment of £50. At the time of going to press the

crowdfunding account had raised £45,200 from 330

investors.

Brian Leyland, Director of Hometown Plus Ltd and Counter

Community CIC, has been an advocate for community

revival work for many years and he told Local Life, “It is

our intention that the bookshop should be owned by

the community, run by the community and exist for the

Sketch by Vicci Redfern


15

benefit of the community. It is great that

so many people want to be a part owner of

the bookshop and join us on our journey to

create something of permanent benefit for

the town.”

There have also been a few notable names

who have thrown their support behind the

project, recognisable names such as, awardwinning

author Frank Cottrell Boyce, war

veteran Andy Reid, ex St Helens captain Paul

Sculthorpe and ex Premiership referee Chris

Foy.

Local Life caught up with Frank, who said,

“Since the days when its wealth was founded

by digging coal out of the ground, St.

Helens has excelled at bringing light out of

the darkness. I’m thrilled but not surprised

that the community bookshop is lighting

a beacon of hope in the middle of the

pandemic. If we’ve learnt one thing during

this year it’s that when we are locked down,

stories give us hope and free us from our limitations. The

community bookshop is a great story itself but it’s also

the doorway to all the stories in the world”.

St Helens Council has also been a big support to the

project and helped in the process of identifying a suitable

unit. Leader of St Helens Council, David Baine told Local

Life, “The community book shop is a terrific idea and I’m

proud to support it. Brian and all those involved deserve

huge credit for their efforts to bring a high-quality book

shop to St Helens town centre and I can’t wait for it to

open!”

A lease has been signed for a premises on Bridge Street

and work will hopefully start mid-January. The team are

hopeful that the shop will be able to open its doors on 4th

March, in time for World Book Day. Brian tells me, “We are

looking at a stripped back, industrial look for the shop to

fit in with the heritage of the town and also that way we

can really concentrate on the star of the show, the books!”

Brian continued, “Our books will comprise both fiction

and non-fiction of all kinds and will range from bestsellers

and serious textbooks to children’s stories and travel

literature. We will also have a section devoted to local

history, where we will celebrate the rich heritage of St

Helens.”

A particular focus of the shop will be to introduce children

to the enjoyment of books and the joy of reading, Brian

Linsey Leyland, Vicci Redfern, Nigel Wimpenny, Brian Leyland, Anna Peacock

(Ex-Manager at Wardleworths), Steve Davies and Julia Cadman.

said, “We hope to have a full area dedicated to children

and activities that they will enjoy. We have done a lot of

research in this field and there is a direct link between

literacy and enjoyment and poor levels of literacy and

mental health problems. If we can introduce the joy

of reading at an early age, then hopefully children will

engage with this and stick with it.”

The shop will also be running regular children’s reading

groups as well as reading groups for adults. There will be

second-hand books on sale as well as cards, posters and

diaries, especially those with a local connection. Brian

added, “There will be a tea / coffee area which will be

run on our behalf by the community cafe Momo’s, where

people will be encouraged to stay and browse.”

Brian continued, “There will also be an events area, which

will host book club meetings, author book signings, talks

and other evening activities. It is the intention to make

this space available to other community groups to use

for their own gatherings. “Our objective is to create a

destination where people feel welcome and comfortable

- in short a community hub which will play its own part in

the revival of the town centre.

Anybody interested in volunteering in the shop, or

helping in any way to bring the St Helens community

bookshop to life, can do so by going online at www.

sthelensbookstop.co.uk


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What’s on at

Willowbrook...

2020 was an unprecedented time for most of us, with

many people and businesses facing financial hardship.

Willowbrook Hospice and the dedicated staff and

volunteers have found themselves in the same position

and now, more than ever, they need your help.

The Hospice faces a very financially challenging

situation but with a little help from everyone, they will

find a way to meet their £400,000 in monthly costs

and continue providing palliative care for seriously

ill patients. As ever, the team at Willowbrook Hospice

have big plans for 2021 and have put together a

multitude of events that everyone can enjoy.

Willowbrook is hoping to have a packed year –

but the list is provisional, based on what they can

do within the local and government restrictions

surrounding Covid-19. Keep checking the website

and social media channels for announcements on

the dates and costs.

January 2021 diaries

There are two designs available to buy this year. You

might recognise one of these designs as a picture of

the wonderful Hospice Gardens. The diaries are priced

at £2.50 each and are available in the charity shops,

Willowbrook Hospice and The Living Well.

Golf Raffle Drive into 2021 with Willowbrook’s

fabulous golf prize. Willowbrook are giving away 1x male

and 1x female year membership at Houghwood Golf Club.

The competition is worth over £2,000 and you’ve got to

be in it to win it! You can enter the competition by texting

BIRDY to 70085,

entries cost £10

plus the standard

network rate.

By Nicola Gray

February Valentine’s Disco

& Bananaz Bingo

March Mothering Sunday

Registered Charity N

Afternoon Tea

Join us for an Afternoon Tea and enjoy feasting on cakes,

sandwiches, tea and coffee whilst celebrating your Mum

on Mother’s Day.

April Bingo Afternoon &

Spring Open Garden

May Darts & Bring & Buy

Plant Sale

June Moonlight Memory

Walk & Car Boot Sale

Come and join the

Moonlight party and

commemorate your

loved ones. It is great

fun for all the family,

and you can even

bring your dog along!

There are two routes

to choose from (10k

or 6.5k) with entry fees

being £15 for adults and £5 for children under 16 (dogs

go free!)


July Bananaz Bingo, Summer

Open Garden, Liverpool

Cathedral Abseil & Gin Festival

August Summer Raffle

September Mystery Lunch

on the Northern Belle

September will

hopefully be a bumper

month of activities

with a Skydive, Golf

o.

Day,

1020240

Autumn Open

Garden, Car Boot Sale,

Clay Pigeon Shoot, Big

Afternoon Tea Party

and Murder Mystery

Lunch on the Northern

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immersive mystery.

October St Helens

Scarecrow Festival

Homes across St Helens are invited to take part in the

festival to help raise funds for Willowbrook at a cost of £5

per house. Design and create your scarecrow to display

in your window or garden for your chance to win. To

register email ecclestonscarecrow@outlook.com or join

the Facebook group for updates and information.

November Christmas Cards

Willowbrook always have a fantastic line-up of Christmas

cards which come in packs of 10. These cards are available

to buy in the charity shops or by completing the small

form online and returning it to them with your payment.

December Light

up a life

Christmas is a time when we think

about our family and friends, past and

present. The Tree of Lights campaign

is a celebration of life and a symbolic

light will shine on the Hospice Tree

in remembrance and celebration

of your loved one. For your

donation you will receive a Light

Up A Life commemorative

badge and card that you can

display at home.

For more information about any of these events

please contact the fundraising office on

01744 453798

or email

events@willowbrookhospice.org.uk

To donate £5, text

HELPWILLOWBROOK to 70450

19

Registered Charity No. 1020240

Willowbrook Hospice

The Living Well, Borough Rd, St Helens WA10 3RN

www.willowbrookhospice.org.uk


20

Make sure your money

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It’s fair to say that we all want a comfortable retirement.

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22

Helping your child to get their

5 a day

Fruit + vegetables + kids isn’t always a match made in heaven.

These tips might help to make meal times a bit less stressful.

Don’t let meals become a battle field

Studies have shown that putting pressure on kids to eat

can actually lead to worse eating habits a couple of years

down the line. Try to make sure you’re sitting down to

eat as a family at least a few times a week and don’t let

the tension build up until you’re all just focusing on how

much (or how little) your child is eating.

Ultimately, you want your child to have a healthy longterm

relationship with food. That’s going to be so much

harder if they end up getting anxious about dinner time.

And remember that we all have food we hate, even as

adults. So if they really despise something, move on.

Give them a choice

If you can, involve your child in shopping, and let them

pick out some fruits and vegetables that they want to

try. You could also help them to grow some of their own,

even if it’s just strawberries on a windowsill. When it

comes to meal times, try offering your child a choice of

a few different vegetables sometimes, so they feel that

they have some control. And when you have time, involve

them in preparing dinner and then praise them for how

tasty the food is.

Blend it up

Children often complain about ‘bits’, whether it’s the

seeds in granary bread or pieces of mushroom in a pasta

sauce. Blending soups and sauces until they’re smooth

can work wonders.

Let them help themselves

Keep your fruit bowl within reach of children over three,

so that they can help themselves when they want a snack.

You could also keep a snack box of chopped up carrots,

peppers, cucumbers etc. on a low shelf of the fridge.

Try raw

Kids often prefer the taste or texture of raw vegetables

over cooked. My children, for example, will happily munch

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23

on raw carrots and peppers, but loathe cooked ones.

Some vegetables shouldn’t be eaten raw (like potatoes)

but most can be, even ones you wouldn’t usually think of

eating cold, like broccoli.

Prescot Chiropody Clinic

When you are cooking vegetables, it’s worth trying

different methods. My daughter hates steamed kale,

but loves crispy kale (chopped up, tossed in olive oil and

roasted in the oven for 5-10 minutes).

Boost with multivitamins

Multivitamins don’t replace the need for a healthy diet,

but they can provide a handy boost. Look for ones that

include Vitamin D, as our bodies struggle to absorb

enough of it during winter.

Bassetts chewable multivitamins tend to be popular with

kids. Another option is Kendakids Vita-Boost Shakes,

which are fortified with twenty-three vitamins (including

vitamin D). You mix the powder with warm water (it’s a bit

like making up a bottle of baby formula). There are three

flavours to choose from. The chocolate one is basically a

healthier version of hot chocolate, but my son swears the

strawberry is by far the best. See www.kendamil.com.


24

The ideal walk at this time of year comprises of a short route

that is crowded with views, with nature and is mostly firm

underfoot. This three-mile circular walk certainly ticks all

those boxes, and it is a perfect winter walk for all the family.

Look out for the variety of birds and squirrels by the Dam.

Carr Mill

by Chris Pearce

Distance: 3 miles Difficulty: Easy

Park up in the vicinity of the Masons Arms on Carr Mill

Road in Billinge (WN5 7TY). This is a proper old-fashioned

country pub with a roaring fire in winter, a good selection

of real ales and is also dog friendly.

Head to the bottom of Carr Mill Road and take a right

turn at a large stone cottage and go down the signposted

bridle path. Follow this path for almost ½ mile, passing

Otter’s Swift Farm and a couple of other footpaths on

the left. Once you pass the layby on the right, take the

left turn into Carr Mill and you will immediately spot the

viaduct on the left.

Do not cross the viaduct, instead follow the path around

the right-hand side of the Dam.

The Dam is Merseyside’s largest inland body of water

and it used to be a mill pond built to power Carr’s Corn

Mill, part of Lord Gerard’s estate. It was hugely expanded

in the 1750’s to provide water to the

Sankey Canal, located about a mile away.

Carr Mill was used an entertainment

complex in the late fifties/early sixties,

complete with castle and fairground,

but is now used by walkers, anglers, and

water sports enthusiasts.

Once you reach the pub at the far end of

the Dam, bear left round the banks and

follow the rough surfaces of Garswood

Old Road, which follows the perimeter of


25

the dam for 375 yards until you reach the entrance to The

Boathouse, home to Lancashire Powerboat Racing Club.

Bear right when you reach the entrance, and then go

through the gates on the immediate left.

Follow this path, running parallel to the railway, for a

further 375 yards and then turn right through the tunnel.

The path skirts the woodland and eventually meets a

concrete path.

Carry on in the

same direction for

almost ½ a mile,

then turn left over

the railway bridge.

left when you emerge onto Carr Mill Road and you’ll see

the Masons Arms.

Please ensure you wear appropriate clothing and footwear

whilst walking. Whilst 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.

Chadwick

Green

Goyt

Hey

Wood

Once you pass the

assorted homes

of Hollin Hey, the

road downgrades

Otter’s

Swift

Carr Mill Road

The Goyt

to a path. When

you reach the

wooded area, bear

left downhill and

cross The Goyt.

Follow the path

Caleb’s

Wood

Carr Mill Road

Brown

Health Nook

Caleb’s Rough

Hollin Hey

House

Hollin Hey

Farm

for 150 yards, bear

right and then

take an immediate

Crock

Hey Wood

left 50 yards later

and head for the

housing area in

the distance. Turn

Carr

Mill

Carr Mill Road

Carr Mill

Wood

Carr Mill Dam

For those with the OS Maps

app on your desktop, mobile

or tablet, this walk is named:

JT-Carr-Mill

East Lancashire Road


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27

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Li tle Acorns Nursery is situated in a beautiful woodland

se ting. It is a safe and vibrant place for your child to gain

lots of wonderful educational experiences.

We are big on the great outd ors & being down in the forest

which is g od for your child’s health and we l-being

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29

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Li tle Acorns Nursery is situated in a beautiful woodland

se ting. It is a safe and vibrant place for your child to gain

lots of wonderful educational experiences.

We are big on the great outdoors & being down in the forest

which is good for your child’s health and we l-being

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30

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LocalLife


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LocalLife

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A l staff

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Little Acorns Nursery

QUALITY CHILDCARE YOU CAN TRUST!

Open Mon-Fri: 8am ti l 5.30pm term time

We operate a booking system for the

holidays which saves you money

We deliver 30 hours free entitlement

£29 for a fu l day

Flexible sessions available

We take children from 2 years old

Li tle Acorns Nursery is situated in a beautiful woodland

se ting. It is a safe and vibrant place for your child to gain

lots of wonderful educational experiences.

We are big on the great outdoors & being down in the forest

which is good for your child’s health and we l-being

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A l Saints’ Primary School | Finch Lane | Appley Bridge | WN6 9DT

01257 252647

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31

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32

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Open Mon-Fri: 8am ti l 5.30pm term time

We operate a b oking system for the

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Flexible se sions available

We take children from 2 years old

Li tle Acorns Nursery is situated in a beautiful woodland

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lots of wonderful educational experiences.

We are big on the great outd ors & being down in the forest

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33

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34

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35

Come and visit the largest

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

Representative example: Total cash price £1164, deposit £0, amount borrowed £1164 over 12 months. 12 monthly repayments of £97. Interest

rate 0%. Total repayable £1164. Credit is subject to the lenders T&C. Warmlight Windows, Doors and Conservatories Ltd is authorised and

regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority FRN 7700524. We are a credit broker, not a lender and have a facility with one lender.


36

Tomorrow’s Home Improvements Today!

Quality ~ Choice ~ Value

Windows

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Visit our showroom/factory at; Crows Nest, Ashton Road, Billinge, WN5 7XX (near Windy Arbour crossroads)

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28544

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