Local Life - St Helens - Jan/Feb 2022

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

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

<strong>Jan</strong>/<strong>Feb</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />

WIN<br />

Saints<br />

<strong>2022</strong><br />

Memberships<br />

Go Active in <strong>2022</strong><br />

Pages 38-43<br />

Win Ed Byrne Tickets!<br />

Page 30<br />

Reduce your Meat Intake<br />

Pages 16-17<br />

Adventure of a <strong>Life</strong>time<br />

Pages 34-36<br />

LOCAL NEWS | EVENTS2GO | FOOD | HEALTH | WALks | competitions | home & garden SERVICES


3<br />

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Carpets and Rugs<br />

Laminate Flooring<br />

Hard Wood Flooring<br />

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No.2 The Old Smithy, Church Road,<br />

Rainford WA11 8HD<br />

01744 88 55 14<br />

Bespoke Flooring is the trading name of WJD Retail<br />

& Online Solutions Ltd – Company Number 1248484

4<br />

As I sit here re-writing this on the 16th December,<br />

the nation’s plans for Christmas are quickly<br />

disintegrating due to the new Covid variant. I<br />

hope that, by the time this magazine reaches you, you’ll<br />

be looking back at an enjoyable Christmas period which<br />

wasn’t as disastrous as many initially feared.<br />

Right now, my heart sinks for those local businesses<br />

who have again had Christmas obliterated by events<br />

out of their control. During the lockdowns, many local<br />

businesses went over and above to help those customers<br />

who needed their products and services. Many attracted<br />

new customers as a result, but as the pandemic eased,<br />

these customers drifted away.<br />

Once the wave recedes and restrictions lift this year,<br />

please consider #shoplocal as your resolution for the<br />

new year. Whilst variants of this damn virus come and go,<br />

many vulnerable people need local businesses to survive<br />

and thrive, so please #shoplocal when you can.<br />

Best wishes for a happy and healthy<br />

New Year.<br />

Chris Pearce, Publisher<br />

chrisp@locallife247.co.uk<br />

Keep in touch with the<br />

<strong>Local</strong><strong>Life</strong> Team!<br />

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

Telephone: 01744 649722<br />

info@locallife247.co.uk<br />

locallifemagazine247@locallifemedia<br />

<strong>Local</strong> <strong>Life</strong> 247 Ltd, PO Box 779, Wigan WN1 9UB<br />

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

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

or damage caused by errors or omissions resulting from negligence, accident or other cause. No part of<br />

this publication may be copied or reproduced without the prior written consent of <strong>Local</strong> <strong>Life</strong> 247 Ltd.

5<br />

This month’s highlights<br />

38. Go Active in <strong>2022</strong><br />

Contents<br />

16. Reducing Meat Intake<br />

30. Win Ed Byrne Tickets<br />

10. Beauty<br />

Resolutions you’ll want to keep!<br />

14. Recipe<br />

Chilli and lemon seafood spaghetti.<br />

18. Tech<br />

Now we’re cooking.<br />

19. Baking<br />

Blueberry custard tarts.<br />

24. Education<br />

Choosing a nursery.<br />

26. Health<br />

Is sitting the new smoking?<br />

46. Home<br />

Fresh new year & choosing neutrals.<br />

52. Win <strong>2022</strong> Saints Memberships<br />

64. Puzzle Pages<br />

Try these brainteasers for size!<br />

70. Home & Garden Services<br />

Find the best local traders for you.<br />

34. Icelandic Adventure<br />

66. JT to Darwen Moor<br />

Want to<br />

promote your<br />

business in<br />

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

Next Issue - Mar/Apr <strong>2022</strong><br />

Advertising deadline - 16th <strong>Feb</strong>ruary<br />

Published - 2nd March<br />

01744 649722<br />


6<br />

New Choristers Appeal<br />

If pursuing a new pastime is on your list of New Year’s<br />

resolutions, you might be interested to know that<br />

Haydock Male Voice Choir are looking for potential new<br />

members?<br />

This award-winning choir were founded just after the<br />

First World War and they celebrate their centenary next<br />

year in 2023.<br />

No previous experience is required from new members<br />

and it’s an excellent opportunity to boost your singing<br />

skills. Other benefits include the chance to get fitter and<br />

healthier, and to have some fun along the way with this<br />

friendly group.<br />

The choir rehearse on Tuesdays at Haydock Conservative<br />

Club and on Thursdays at the United Reform Church in<br />

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

You can check out some audio of their performances<br />

on www.haydockmvc.com. For more information<br />

about rehearsals call 07742 312565 or email secretary@<br />

haydockmvc.com.<br />

Hamper Winner<br />

The competition<br />

to win a<br />

Lancashire Day<br />

hamper, featured<br />

in the Nov/Dec<br />

issue of <strong>Local</strong><br />

<strong>Life</strong> was won by<br />

Georgina Wilding-<br />

Platt from Bushey<br />

Lane in Rainford.<br />

Here’s Georgina<br />

pictured with her<br />

twin daughters,<br />

Nyla and Eliza. Thank you to all who entered.<br />

In this issue, we have two competitions for you! You can<br />

win a pair of Saints <strong>2022</strong> Memberships worth over £600 –<br />

check out pages 52 and 53.<br />

And on page 30, we have a competition to win a pair of<br />

tickets to the Ed Byrne concert at <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> Theatre Royal<br />

on 25th <strong>Jan</strong>uary.<br />





Everyone should make a Will and we can give advice and guidance as to the<br />

most appropriate form of Will for you to cover your individual requirements<br />

and to try to minimize, where possible, the impact of Inheritance Tax.<br />

WILLS<br />

TRUSTS<br />





7<br />

Time to Talk<br />

The Time to Talk Day, an initiative that encourages<br />

everyone to talk about their mental health, takes place<br />

this year on Thursday 3rd <strong>Feb</strong>ruary <strong>2022</strong>. The day is<br />

about creating supportive communities by having<br />

conversations with family, friends, or colleagues about<br />

mental health.<br />

Seneley Green Parish Council, and in particular Cllr<br />

Pete Peers and their Health & Wellbeing Group working<br />

alongside Kate Andrews, a Mental Health Professional at<br />

Garswood Surgery, will be leading the way by hosting an<br />

event for Time to Talk Day.<br />

The event will take place, subject to Government &<br />

NHS England regulations at the time, on Thursday<br />

3rd <strong>Feb</strong>ruary between 10am-1pm at Seneley Green<br />

Community Hall on Billinge Road in Garswood.<br />

The Parish Council is also open to facilitating further<br />

events for people suffering with their mental health and<br />

their friends and families. For details about this and a<br />

list of mental health support agencies, please visit the<br />

website www.seneleygreenparishcouncil.org.uk.<br />

New Hall for Billinge PC<br />

After almost 3 years of negotiation, Billinge Chapel End<br />

Parish Council has secured the purchase of the former<br />

Methodist Church in the centre of the village. The site of<br />

the former Public Hall on Pingot Road will be developed<br />

into two bungalows.<br />

The new Public Hall is next to the Millennium Garden<br />

which the Parish Council already owns. The small<br />

graveyard on the site of the church will be maintained by<br />

the Parish Council.<br />

At the first Parish Council meeting at the new Public<br />

Hall, Parish Chair Cllr Dennis Mc Donnell said “This is an<br />

historic occasion and I sincerely hope that, in a hundred<br />

years’ time, our successors in the Parish Council will be<br />

celebrating the centenary of the site”.<br />

He also thanked the Councillors for their efforts to secure<br />

the site and, in particular, the previous Parish Clerk, Tom<br />

Kelly and present Clerk Hazel Broatch.<br />

The Parish Council will be consulting with residents on<br />

proposals to develop the site for community needs.<br />

Any suggestions or ideas would be welcome for<br />

consideration as part of the process. The Parish Council<br />

meets at 7.30 pm on the third Monday of every month.<br />

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8<br />

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Simply contact us on editorial@locallife247.co.uk<br />

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9<br />

The outstanding achievements of over 180 students from<br />

University Centre <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> were celebrated at <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong><br />

Parish Church. Graduates from the class of 2020 and 2021<br />

put on their caps and gowns before processing through<br />

the town centre led by the Parr Band, Valley Brass Band<br />

and Town Crier, bringing Saturday morning shoppers to<br />

a standstill.<br />

Class of 20/21<br />

At the ceremony, Simon Pierce, the CEO and Principal<br />

of SK College Group, introduced motivational speaker<br />

and published author, Andy Grant. Andy, a former Royal<br />

Marine, who was severely injured by an IED that left him<br />

with life changing injuries during his service in Iraq and<br />

Afghanistan, told graduates: “As you enter the next stage<br />

of your life, try to remember life is 10% what happens to<br />

you and 90% how you react to it.”<br />

Each year, <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> Rotary Club present an award to<br />

a graduate who has demonstrated dedication and<br />

commitment in overcoming adversity to obtain their<br />

qualification. This year’s winner was Joanna Leech,<br />

who graduated from FdSc Applied Microbiology with a<br />

distinction. Joanna managed to find the time to study,<br />

alongside working full-time and juggling family life.<br />

Special recognition for outstanding achievements was<br />

also awarded to graduates; Ashutosh Neerunjun Mohun,<br />

Jessica Denson, Lucy Kelly, Priya Luxmee Murphy, William<br />

Hayes and Christine Moles.<br />

Those people considering a career change, or looking<br />

for career progression can apply now for <strong>2022</strong> entry on<br />

a range of full and part-time degree courses, including<br />

flexible evening study. Visit www.sthelens.ac.uk/ucsh for<br />

further information.

10<br />

7 Easy<br />

You’ll want to keep<br />

Supercharge your bath<br />

Who doesn’t love<br />

a soak in the bath<br />

on a cold winter’s<br />

night? Make yours<br />

a treat for your<br />

skin and senses<br />

with a handful of<br />

fragranced bath salts. Dove’s are a<br />

good choice. They’re made from<br />

pure sea salt to ease aching muscles,<br />

with added natural moisturisers<br />

to boost hydration. And you have<br />

a choice of three aromatherapyinspired<br />

fragrances, at £6.99<br />

from www.boots.com and www.<br />

superdrug.com.<br />

Use SPF<br />

Your skin doesn’t need to be at risk<br />

of burning to be damaged by UV<br />

rays. So it’s important to protect it all<br />

year around. A good facial sunscreen<br />

shouldn’t feel greasy or block pores.<br />

Alternatively, you can just opt for a<br />

moisturiser with added SPF, but to<br />

get the full benefit, you may need to<br />

use more than usual.<br />

Give your nails a break<br />

Gels and acrylics<br />

are great, but your<br />

nails do need a rest<br />

now and then to<br />

recuperate. If your<br />

nails are feeling<br />

brittle, file them short<br />

to reduce the risk of breakage. Treat<br />

them to a weekly nail-strengthening<br />

treatment and a daily cuticle oil. If<br />

you want some colour, choose a<br />

gentle nail polish. Nailberry polishes<br />

(£15, www.nailberry.co.uk) are<br />

breathable and free from alcohol,<br />

phthalates and harsh chemicals.<br />

Treat your hair<br />

If you struggle to find<br />

the time for a weekly<br />

hair mask, try an<br />

overnight one. JOICO’s<br />

Defy Damage Sleepover<br />

Treatment contains<br />

moringa seed oil to<br />

add shine and softness,<br />

along with other natural<br />

ingredients that help to strengthen<br />

hair and protect it from further<br />

damage. It’s non-greasy and you<br />

don’t even need to rinse it out the<br />

following morning. It costs £20 at<br />

www.lookfantastic.com.<br />

Try something new<br />

It’s all too easy to get stuck in a<br />

beauty rut. If you fancy trying<br />

something new, book yourself in<br />

for a skin consultation or mini<br />

makeover at a cosmetics<br />

counter. Or visit a few<br />

counters and ask for their<br />

recommendations. You<br />

could also sign up for a<br />

beauty box subscription,<br />

like those by Birchbox, Glossy<br />

Box and Look Fantastic, which will<br />

give you the chance to sample lots<br />

of different brands.<br />

Switch to green beauty<br />

It’s simpler than you might think<br />

to make more eco-conscious<br />

choices. To start with, look for easily<br />

recyclable, zero-waste packaging.<br />

Check that the brands you use are<br />

certified cruelty-free. And swap<br />

disposable products for reusable<br />

ones, such as a bamboo razors,<br />

refillable deodorants and washable<br />

cleansing pads. To make life easier,<br />

buy from retailers that have strict eco<br />

policies, like www.biggreensmile.<br />

com, www.naturalcollection.com<br />

and www.lovelula.com.<br />

Feed your skin<br />

Boost a healthy diet with a vitamin<br />

supplement. Manifesto’s Beauty<br />

gummies (£39.90, www.manifestonutrition.co)<br />

are a good choice as<br />

they’re packed with vitamins and<br />

antioxidants and taste great. The<br />

hero ingredient is astaxanthin,<br />

which has been found to improve<br />

skin’s elasticity. There’s also zinc,<br />

biotin and Vitamin A to help<br />

strengthen your hair<br />

and nails, collagen<br />

boosting Vitamin<br />

C, and other<br />

ingredients<br />

your skin will<br />

thank you for.

11<br />

Everything you need for a<br />

New You!<br />

Revolutionary, non-invasive<br />

treatments from the award winning<br />

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4 Removes Fat<br />

4 Tightens Skin<br />

4 Reduces<br />

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4 Removes up to 90% of<br />

thread veins in a single<br />

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4 Minimal discomfort<br />

4 No skin damage<br />

before<br />

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4 Shapes your body<br />

4 Tones muscles<br />

4 No exercise<br />

required<br />

4 Advanced laser<br />

hair removal<br />

4 Suitable for<br />

most skin types<br />

10%<br />

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Call now to arrange your consultation 01744 894 214<br />

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12<br />

Wedding Fayre<br />

A Healthy<br />

Dog is a<br />

Happy Dog!<br />

Our one-to-one hydrotherapy<br />

sessions can help dogs with;<br />

• Arthritis & Other Degenerative Conditions<br />

• Pre/Post Operative Recovery<br />

• Weight Management<br />

• Fun & Wellbeing<br />

Pool Now Open!<br />

Call for details<br />

07724 019 103<br />

www.northwestcaninehydro.co.uk<br />

debbie@northwestcaninehydro.co.uk<br />

Inglenook Farm | Moss Nook Lane | Rainford | WA11 8AE<br />

Make her day special<br />

with a gift of flowers!<br />

Valentine’s<br />

Day<br />

14th <strong>Feb</strong>ruary<br />

If you heard the sound of wedding bells last Christmas<br />

and Santa left an engagement ring for you under the<br />

tree, then you’ll be interested in the Bridal Fayre that<br />

takes place on Sunday, <strong>Jan</strong>uary 30 at the stunning<br />

Lancashire Manor Hotel on Prescott Road, Pimbo, near<br />

Skelmersdale.<br />

This is a great chance to view everything on offer,<br />

including the beautiful banqueting suites and bridal<br />

suites. There will also be a chance to have a chat with<br />

the team’s preferred suppliers who can help you with<br />

everything from photography, venue dressing, hair,<br />

make-up, entertainment and not forgetting the allimportant<br />

bridal gown!<br />

On the day there will be a fashion show put together by<br />

Trudy Smith Bridal Boutique, to give you all the latest<br />

ideas and trends in bridal gowns and grooms wear.<br />

Pop down between 12-3pm on the day and make your<br />

wedding dreams a reality.<br />

For more information, please call the hotel on 01695<br />

567260.<br />

30 Years for Anne<br />

A Prescot music teacher is celebrating 30 years of<br />

coaching some of the area’s brightest prospects.<br />

Anne Turner, from Columbia Road, teaches piano, voice,<br />

keyboard and music theory in everything from folk to<br />

music theatre and classical.<br />

Since 2011, Anne has also taken up the role of Music<br />

Director for several local singing groups, many of whom<br />

have taken part in charity events, raising money for good<br />

causes, and promoting health and wellbeing through<br />

music.<br />

Anne said, “I’m pleased to have served the local<br />

community for so many years and would like to thank<br />

students past and present for their loyal and continued<br />

support.”<br />

To contact Anne, call 0151 4266606, 07767 815916 or<br />

email j.anneturner@btinternet.com<br />

National &<br />

International<br />

01744 885 363<br />

29 Church Road, Rainford, WA11 8HE<br />

Open: Monday - Saturdays, 8.30am - 5.30pm<br />


13<br />

Madness Return<br />

The Jockey Club Live have announced<br />

three <strong>2022</strong> dates for the return of their<br />

popular live music nights at Haydock<br />

Park Racecourse. Paloma Faith will<br />

be appearing on Friday 1st July, Olly<br />

Murs will return on Friday 5th August<br />

and iconic 80’s band Madness will be<br />

appearing on Saturday 16th July.<br />

2021 saw a season of incredible live shows at The Jockey<br />

Club racecourses, ranging from a sold-out show for<br />

Tom Jones at Haydock Park to an afternoon of joyful<br />

singalongs with McFly at Newmarket Racecourses.<br />

Despite the challenges of staging a<br />

season in 2021, the events marked the<br />

return to live music for thousands of fans.<br />

Having last headlined at Haydock in<br />

2015, Madness have become one of<br />

the music industry’s best loved British<br />

bands. Fronted by the charismatic<br />

Suggs, Madness’ ability to write songs<br />

that sparkle with the stuff of British life, that find poetry<br />

in everyday reality, has led them to their many hits.<br />

Tickets for the events at Haydock Park are now available<br />

at www.thejockeyclub.co.uk/live/<br />

Available 2 nd <strong>Jan</strong>uary - 28 th <strong>Feb</strong>ruary <strong>2022</strong><br />


01744 813 149 | info@theparkbarandkitchen.com | Sherdley Park Golf Course, <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> WA9 5DE<br />

*Discount not available in conjunction with any other offers.

14<br />

Chilli & Lemon Seafood<br />

Spaghetti<br />

Serves: 4<br />

Ready in: 20 mins<br />

Ingredients<br />

400g spaghetti<br />

2 tbsp virgin olive oil<br />

2 garlic cloves, crushed<br />

Small pinch of dried crushed chillies<br />

2 whole dried chillis, halved lengthways<br />

Zest and juice of 1 large lemon<br />

100ml dry white wine<br />

150g raw king prawns<br />

150g squid rings, thawed if frozen<br />

Handful fresh mussels, cleaned (see TIP)<br />

2 tbsp fresh finely chopped coriander,<br />

plus extra sprigs to garnish<br />

Salt and freshly ground pepper<br />

Handful fresh basil leaves, to garnish<br />

On the table in less than 30 minutes, this is a a great<br />

speedy supper to serve any day of the week. Serve<br />

with slices of toasted ciabatta and a rocket salad.<br />

Method<br />

1. Bring a large pan of lightly salted water to the boil. Add the pasta and cook<br />

for 12 minutes, or according to the packet instructions, until just tender.<br />

2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large, deep pan over a medium heat. Add<br />

the garlic and stir for 2–3 minutes until soft, but not brown. Add the chilli<br />

flakes and whole chillies and cook for 1 minute then stir in the lemon<br />

zest and juice and wine. Bring to the boil and let the liquid bubble for 1<br />

minute.<br />

3. Add the prawns, squid and mussels to the pan and cover and simmer for<br />

5-6 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally, until the prawns are pink and<br />

the mussels have opened (discard any that remain closed).<br />

4. Drain the pasta and add to the pan with the chopped coriander. Toss well<br />

to coat the pasta in the pan juices. Season to taste with salt and freshly<br />

ground black pepper. Serve in warmed pasta bowls garnished with the<br />

coriander sprigs and basil leaves.<br />

TIP: Scrub the fresh mussels clean and pull away the straggly ‘beards’. Discard any that don’t shut tightly when<br />

firmly tapped.


16<br />

Reducing your<br />

Meat Intake<br />

The headlines about meat-eating are<br />

all about why you shouldn’t. The main<br />

focus is on how rearing animals for<br />

food is a major contributor to climate<br />

change, but you don’t have to look far<br />

to understand that animal welfare and<br />

personal health are also significant<br />

motivators for the increased adoption<br />

of a more plant-based food intake.<br />

It was recently reported that over the last decade, the UK’s<br />

meat consumption dropped by 17%. That’s a great start,<br />

but although we know why we should consider this new<br />

way of eating, the how seems to have less attention. Let’s<br />

look at some simple changes that might help in making<br />

your diet less focused on animal products.<br />

Cooking from scratch<br />

The easiest option is to eat pretty much as you always did,<br />

but to use meat-free alternatives.<br />

Mince, burgers,<br />

sausages, fish and<br />

chicken all have<br />

vegan substitutes<br />

available and in<br />

some cases it’s really<br />

quite difficult to spot<br />

the difference. Even when it’s not a perfect replication<br />

of meat, it’s just as tasty so you won’t mind the change.<br />

Beyond Meat burgers are a good example of this and are<br />

available in some supermarkets and in many pub and<br />

restaurant chains.<br />

Giving up dairy and eggs takes a bit of getting used to.<br />

Oat milk is the winner for its sustainability credentials,<br />

with almond milk now generally frowned upon. Butter<br />

substitutes have been around for years; vegan cheese is<br />

available but is a bit of an acquired taste. Replacements<br />

for eggs depends on the recipe, so you’ll have to do your<br />

research.<br />

If this way of eating is going to stick, you’ll want to try<br />

some new recipes. The internet is full of vegetarian and<br />

vegan cooking ideas, but you’ll notice they typically have<br />

considerably more ingredients than meat-based meals<br />

do, including herbs and spices. If you love cooking and<br />

have lots of jars of flavourings in your cupboards you<br />

won’t mind this. Otherwise, you might want to consider<br />

a ready-to-cook option.<br />

For this, the booming market of recipe boxes is a great<br />

start. British company Gousto offer around 60 recipes<br />

each week, with 20% vegan and a further 30% vegetarian<br />

(meaning over half the meals don’t contain meat).<br />

Around 80% of HelloFresh meals contain meat so they are<br />

not a great choice but their sister brand GreenChef and<br />

another company Mindful Chef are both worth a look.

17<br />

Ready-to-eat<br />

The supermarkets have a selection of plant-based ready<br />

meals, which is particularly good if you need something<br />

quick or are eating alone. Frozen meal deliveries are<br />

available from a number of companies, including Planty<br />

and Allplants.<br />

Take-away food is a bit more challenging – chicken,<br />

pizza and kebabs feature at the top of the list of the most<br />

popular purchases. It is possible though and the online<br />

menus should offer a clear indication of which of their<br />

options are vegetarian and vegan.<br />

Eating out<br />

What you don’t want is to go to a pub or restaurant where<br />

there are just a couple of non-meat choices tucked away<br />

at the bottom of the menu. You should be offered many<br />

of the same options as usual but in a veggie version, and<br />

some recipes that are specifically targeted for non-meat<br />

eaters. Even better is a restaurant that has a specific vegan<br />

menu, and Wagamama deserve recognition for having<br />

introduced this at the start of 2021.<br />

Ideally, choose a vegetarian restaurant that is guaranteed<br />

to have vegan choices too. You can search on TripAdvisor<br />

for ‘Vegetarian friendly’<br />

and ‘Vegan options’<br />

from the dietary<br />

requirements. However,<br />

the eatery can qualify<br />

for this even if they only<br />

have a couple of dishes.<br />

A better place to start<br />

would be Happy Cow<br />

(happycow.net) as<br />

there’s far more of a<br />

focus on plant-based<br />

restaurants and cafes.<br />

A general Google search is also useful, or your local<br />

Facebook group will have lots of people giving you<br />

recommendations (or ‘avoids’).<br />

Be realistic<br />

Like any new regime, a wholesale overnight change will<br />

be challenging and will often lead to failure. But even<br />

if you could just do one no-animal-products day each<br />

week, you will have cut your meat intake by 14% and<br />

in time you’ll realise that you often prefer the veggie or<br />

vegan option.<br />

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18<br />

Now we’re<br />

Cooking<br />

Panasonic SD-<br />

YR2550sxc<br />

There are bread makers, and<br />

then there are bread makers<br />

that can also make cakes<br />

and pizza dough and pasta<br />

dough. If you can bake it, this<br />

Panasonic can make it.<br />

£199, johnlewis.com<br />

<strong>St</strong>irr<br />

Say goodbye to the tyranny of pots<br />

that need constant stirring: <strong>St</strong>irr does<br />

it for you so you can do something<br />

more fun while your sauce thickens or<br />

your soup cooks.<br />

£21.99, uutensil.com<br />

Top tech<br />

for every<br />

kitchen<br />

Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1<br />

If you haven’t tried Instant Pot<br />

boiled eggs you don’t know<br />

what you’re missing. It’s also<br />

great for making soup, stews,<br />

chilli, rice and even yoghurt.<br />

£59, Amazon.co.uk<br />

Sage The Smart Oven<br />

This brilliant multi-cooker is<br />

great for small spaces because<br />

it does so much: it’s a grill, an<br />

oven, an air fryer, a toaster,<br />

a food warmer, a pizza oven<br />

and more.<br />

£249, sageappliances.com<br />

Thermomix<br />

It’s not cheap but when you consider all<br />

the things the Thermomix can do, from<br />

weighing and chopping ingredients to<br />

sautéing and even frying, it’s incredibly<br />

useful.<br />

£1,099, vorwerk.co.uk<br />

Brilliant buys for every kind of cooking<br />

From setting alarms on our smart speakers to using<br />

an instant-read digital thermometer to check our<br />

roasts are the perfect temperature, technology has<br />

helped us make countless meals.<br />

Some of the cleverest tech is also very simple.<br />

Take the Meater, for example. It’s a thermometer<br />

with a built-in Bluetooth connection that sends<br />

temperature information to your phone and rings<br />

an alarm when it’s time to take your roast out of the<br />

oven or barbecue; its case doubles as a charger so<br />

it’s always ready to help.<br />

Technology has revitalised lots of devices. The<br />

Panasonic SD-YR2550SXC is a newer version of<br />

BBC Good Food’s favourite bread maker, with<br />

programmes not just for bread but for pasta and<br />

pizza dough and cake too, while the £22 <strong>St</strong>irr gives<br />

the humble wooden spoon an upgrade: it’s an<br />

automatic stirrer you put in your pot to prevent<br />

your soup sticking or your gravy getting lumpy.<br />

If you prefer do-everything devices, you’ll love<br />

the Vitamix. It’s not so much a gadget as an entire<br />

food preparation system that’s capable of doing<br />

pretty much anything: weighing ingredients,<br />

blending vegetables, grinding spices, boiling and<br />

simmering, kneading dough, whisking sauces,<br />

grating vegetables and cheese, chopping meat,<br />

caramelising onions and much more.<br />

Two kinds of device have become incredibly<br />

popular in the last few years: the Instant Pot and<br />

the air fryer. The former is a programmable one-pot<br />

electric pressure cooker that can do multiple kinds<br />

of cooking: slow cooking, rice cooking, steaming,<br />

sautéing, yoghurt making, soup making and much<br />

more, and with prices under £60 for the entry level<br />

model it’s a brilliant buy.<br />

An air fryer uses heat and air to get the same effects<br />

as deep frying without the oil: instead of immersing<br />

the food in a vat of boiling oil you just give it a little<br />

spray with cooking oil. The results are superb for<br />

almost everything apart from wet batters, which<br />

tend to fall off, and there are stacks of models: our<br />

current favourite, Sage’s The Smart Oven, is an air<br />

fryer, oven, grill, toaster, pizza oven, slow cooker and<br />

much more. You can even get an Instant Pot with a<br />

second lid that turns it into an air fryer: the Instant<br />

Pot Duo Crisp & Air Fryer is currently around £199.

19<br />

Blueberry<br />

Custard<br />

Tarts<br />

These fruity tarts have a rich<br />

creamy custard filling with a<br />

crisp pastry case. If you prefer<br />

you can use shortcrust pastry.<br />

Makes: 8<br />

Ready in: 1 hour, plus cooling<br />

Ingredients<br />

75g caster sugar<br />

3 medium egg yolks<br />

2 tbsp cornflour<br />

1 tsp vanilla extract<br />

350ml milk<br />

500g puff pastry, thawed if frozen<br />

Flour, for dusting<br />

100g fresh blueberries<br />

Method<br />

1. Whisk the sugar, egg yolks, cornflour and vanilla extract together<br />

in a heatproof bowl until smooth. Heat the milk in a pan over a<br />

medium heat until almost boiling. Whisk the hot milk into the egg<br />

mixture then pour back into the pan. Gradually bring the mixture to<br />

the boil, stirring all the time, until a smooth custard forms.<br />

2. Remove the pan from the heat and cover the surface closely<br />

with greasproof paper to prevent a skin forming. Leave to cool<br />

completely.<br />

3. Meanwhile roll the pastry out on a lightly dusted surface to a 3mm<br />

thickness. <strong>St</strong>amp out eight 12cm rounds of pastry and use to line<br />

eight 8cm fluted tartlet tins. Prick the bases with a fork and chill in<br />

the fridge whilst the custard is cooling.<br />

4. Preheat the oven to 200C, 180C fan, gas mark 6. Divde the cooled<br />

custard mixture between the pastry cases and scatter over the<br />

blueberries. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and<br />

golden. Serve warm or cold.<br />

TIP: Place a baking sheet in the oven to heat up then place the filled tartlet tins on it for baking. The extra burst of<br />

heat will help to ensure a crisp pastry base.

20<br />

Hall to Convert<br />

Rainford Hall in Crank, developed<br />

by Colonel Richard Pilkington in<br />

1875, is to be converted into a<br />

luxury residential retreat with 19<br />

guest rooms, gymnasium, spa, two<br />

beauty rooms, therapy programmes<br />

and wellbeing services for those<br />

suffering with stress, depression,<br />

addiction and anxiety.<br />

<strong>St</strong>eps Together Group has signed a 20-year lease for the<br />

hall which, up until a couple of months ago, was the base<br />

for several local businesses on short term leases. The<br />

building and surrounding estate continues to be owned<br />

by the Pilkington family.<br />

TJM Projects of Jackson <strong>St</strong>reet, <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> are one of the<br />

main contractors working on the conversion of the hall.<br />

The <strong>St</strong>eps Together Group have vowed to safeguard the<br />

stunning features within the building, and <strong>St</strong>eve Jones,<br />

the Deputy CEO of <strong>St</strong>eps Together, issued this statement;<br />

“Rainford Hall is the perfect environment for our work,<br />

and we are delighted to be working<br />

alongside our local contractors to<br />

sympathetically convert the Hall for<br />

our business needs.<br />

“During the coming months we<br />

will be working closely to further<br />

develop relationships with local<br />

suppliers and support local<br />

businesses.<br />

“We are also excited to find new and innovative ways to<br />

support our Health Care & NHS colleagues, ensuring their<br />

patients are able to secure excellent private treatment at<br />

<strong>St</strong>eps Together.”<br />

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24<br />

Choosing a nursery<br />

Looking for the perfect nursery? Here’s a few things to keep in mind…<br />

Decide your priorities<br />

Everyone wants their child to be safe and happy. Beyond<br />

that, what are your main priorities? Are you looking for<br />

a small nursery where all the children play together or<br />

one where the children are split into groups depending<br />

on their age? Do you want your child to go to a nursery<br />

that follows the government’s EYFS framework, or one<br />

that follows a different approach, such as Montessori or<br />

<strong>St</strong>einer Waldorf? Perhaps you want a nursery with plenty<br />

of outdoor space?<br />

It’s OK if you don’t have all the answers just yet, but it’s<br />

a good idea to have at least a rough idea of what you’re<br />

looking for.<br />

Consider location<br />

People tend to focus on nurseries near their home, but<br />

it may actually make more sense to choose one that’s<br />

nearer to your workplace. However, do consider what<br />

will happen if you move jobs or want to work from home<br />

more often. If you and your partner work in different<br />

locations, it may be easier having a nursery that’s closer<br />

to home, so that you can take turns dropping off and<br />

picking up. A nursery close to home may also mean your<br />

child moves up to primary school with a<br />

group of friends, which could make<br />

the transition easier.<br />

Ask around<br />

The best recommendations<br />

usually come from friends,<br />

as they’ll likely share many<br />

of your views on childcare.<br />

However, it’s also worth<br />

asking for opinions on<br />

your local Facebook<br />

group and other social<br />

media channels, and checking<br />

websites such as www.<br />

daynurseries.co.uk.<br />

Once you have a shortlist<br />

of nurseries, you’ll want to read each one’s OFSTED report<br />

at reports.ofsted.gov.uk.<br />

Check the small print<br />

Scrutinise the different policies and websites of the<br />

nurseries you’re considering. You’ll want to compare:<br />

• Fees and any extra costs, such as meals and<br />

penalties for late pick-up<br />

• Opening and closing times<br />

• <strong>St</strong>aff-to-child ratios<br />

• <strong>St</strong>aff qualifications<br />

• Holiday policies<br />

• First aid training<br />

(It’s also worth downloading the checklist at www.<br />

childcare.co.uk/information/nursery-is-your-child-ready.)<br />

Visit your shortlisted nurseries<br />

Even if you have your heart set on one particular nursery,<br />

it’s worth visiting at least three so that you can compare<br />

them. Write down any questions you have before you go.<br />

You’ll want to see whether the children look happy and<br />

engaged, how friendly and knowledgeable the staff are,<br />

what different activities the children are offered<br />

and how clean and safe the setting<br />

seems. You’ll also want to check<br />

where and when your child<br />

will take their nap, what<br />

type of food they’ll eat<br />

and whether there are<br />

quiet areas they can<br />

retreat to if they’re<br />

feeling overwhelmed.<br />

Ultimately, you want<br />

to be armed with all the<br />

information you need<br />

to make the right choice.<br />

However, there’s also a lot to<br />

be said for trusting your<br />

gut instinct. Which nursery<br />

feels right for your child?

25<br />

Could you be one of tomorrow’s<br />

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Individuals who are<br />

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Join us at our open evenings<br />

Monday 17th <strong>Jan</strong>uary <strong>2022</strong><br />

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For more information and updates please visit www.wcpsd.uk and www.saintpatricks.wigan.sch.uk<br />

To search the course please visit the ‘get into teaching’ website https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/<br />

and search using the following provider and course codes.<br />

Provider code 2A4 Primary course code (Age 5-11) 2XT7 EYFS course code (Age 3-7) AP55<br />

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

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

always on the<br />

look out for<br />

news stories<br />

from the local<br />

communities we<br />

serve. Are you<br />

raising money<br />

for charity? Are<br />

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of a community<br />

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or call us on 01744 649722<br />

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Email: j.anneturner@btinternet.com<br />

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26<br />

Is sitting the<br />

new smoking?<br />

According to a growing number of experts, sitting is<br />

the latest health hazard to look out for. But why is a<br />

sedentary lifestyle so bad for us, and what can we do<br />

about it?<br />

Working from home, online shopping and periods of<br />

self-isolation: since the first lockdown struck, many of us<br />

will have noticed that we’re sitting down more than ever<br />

before.<br />

Unfortunately, this change of lifestyle comes at a cost.<br />

Evidence suggests that excessive sitting can expose us to<br />

a range of health issues, from backache and varicose veins<br />

to diabetes. The reason? Humans were built to stand, with<br />

the heart, cardiovascular system and bowel functioning<br />

far more efficiently when we’re upright.<br />

Now, this isn’t great news for the thousands of us that<br />

have desk-based jobs – but don’t lose hope just yet. There<br />

are lots of things you can do to help:<br />

Invest in a standing desk<br />

If you work in an office or from home, one of the easiest<br />

ways to reduce your sitting time is to invest in a standing<br />

desk.<br />

<strong>St</strong>anding is certainly better for us than sitting. However,<br />

there is evidence to suggest that standing still for long<br />

periods of time isn’t hugely beneficial to our bodies either.<br />

Balance is key; start by standing for 30 to 60 minutes a day<br />

and gradually increase until you’re alternating between<br />

standing and sitting every hour.<br />

Take regular breaks<br />

It can be hard to motivate yourself to leave your desk<br />

during the working day. However, taking regular breaks<br />

– even if it’s just to grab a cuppa – can make a world of<br />

difference.<br />

In the office and need to send an email? Get away from<br />

your desk and relay the message in person. Working from<br />

home and fancy a coffee? Treat yourself by taking a walk<br />

to your local cafe. And on days when you’re too busy to<br />

take a lunch break, set a timer to remind you to stretch or<br />

have a little walk around.<br />

Sit the right way<br />

If you’re spending much of your working life at a desk, it’s<br />

important to invest in an office chair that will help you<br />

perfect your posture.<br />

Choose a chair with lumbar support to ensure your lower<br />

back curves to the shape of the chair, and make sure it’s<br />

adjusted so your feet are resting on the floor. You should<br />

also avoid crossing your legs and try to keep your back<br />

straight as much as you can. Doing so will make the hours<br />

you do spend sitting as comfortable as possible.<br />

Get some exercise<br />

Evidence suggests that we need between 60-75 minutes<br />

of moderate-intensity activity per day to combat the<br />

dangers of excessive sitting – but the more frequent the<br />

better. You’ll be glad to hear that this doesn’t mean you<br />

have to hit the gym every day. Moderate exercise could<br />

be a brisk walk on your lunch break, a light bike ride or<br />

even those slightly more exerting cleaning duties, such as<br />

vacuuming, window cleaning or mopping the floor.

27<br />

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• Gait analysis &<br />

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Sutton Clinic: 01744 814789<br />

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30<br />

Win Tickets to<br />

Ed Byrne!<br />

A household name teetering<br />

on the brink of national<br />

treasure status, awardwinning<br />

comedian Ed Byrne<br />

enjoys worldwide acclaim for<br />

his stand-up. With 25 years<br />

under his belt, Ed is a regular<br />

on Mock The Week and The<br />

Graham Norton Show, and<br />

has recently co-presented<br />

Dara & Ed’s Big Adventure<br />

and its follow-up Dara & Ed’s<br />

Road To Mandalay.<br />

Ed’s new stand-up show,<br />

‘If I’m Honest’ arrives at the<br />

Theatre Royal in <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> on<br />

Tuesday 22nd <strong>Jan</strong>uary and<br />

we’ve got a pair of tickets<br />

to give away in our latest<br />

competition.<br />

Photo credit: Idil Sukan<br />

A quarter of a century at the<br />

comedic coalface has equipped Ed with a highly evolved<br />

story-telling ability and a silky mastery of his craft. Yet his<br />

wit, charm and self-deprecatory observational humour is<br />

often underpinned by a consistently hilarious vitriol and<br />

sense of injustice at a world that seems to be spinning<br />

ever more rapidly out of control.<br />

Ed’s new show digs ever deeper into a father’s sense of<br />

responsibility, what it means to be a man, and whether he<br />

possesses any qualities whatsoever worth passing on to<br />

his two sons. Whilst Ed is occasionally accused of whimsy,<br />

If I’m Honest is a show with a seriously steely core.<br />

As ever, Ed manages to provoke without being overly<br />

polemical, a balancing act that only someone of his huge<br />

experience can really pull off. ‘I did stuff about Trump<br />

and the Pizzagate right wing conspiracy,’ he says, ‘and a<br />

couple of the reviewers said, “Oh, I would have liked to<br />

have watched a whole show of this”. And I think, ‘well you<br />

might have, but the average<br />

person who comes to see me<br />

would not like to see that’.<br />

‘People who come to see<br />

me are not political activists<br />

necessarily, they’re regular<br />

folk. If you can make a<br />

point to them, in between<br />

talking about your struggles<br />

with aging, or discussing<br />

your hernia operation or<br />

whatever it is, you can toss<br />

in something that does give<br />

people pause as regards to<br />

how men should share the<br />

household chores.’<br />

Age, it seems, has not<br />

withered him. Especially now<br />

that he’s figured out how<br />

to head off ailments before<br />

they become a problem.<br />

‘You see comics who are my age and older but are still<br />

retaining a level of “cool” and drawing a young crowd. I<br />

can’t deny that I’m quite envious of that. But there’s also<br />

something very satisfying about your audience growing<br />

old with you.’<br />

To enter the competition to win a pair of tickets to Ed<br />

Byrne’s show at Theatre Royal in <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong>, simply visit<br />

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

and then on ‘competitions’ and then answer the following<br />

question;<br />

What’s the name of Ed’s new stand up show?<br />

The expiry date for the competition is midnight on Wednesday 19th<br />

<strong>Jan</strong>uary <strong>2022</strong> and the winners will be notified within 48 hours. Entrants<br />

must be over 16 years of age. Only one entry per household. <strong>Local</strong><br />

<strong>Life</strong> 247 cannot accept responsibility for entries that do not reach us.<br />

Employees of <strong>Local</strong> <strong>Life</strong> 247 Ltd and their families are not eligible to<br />

enter this competition.<br />

Ed Byrne is touring nationwide. For more information, please visit http://edbyrne.com

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32<br />

Review Of<br />

The Year<br />

QUIZ<br />

1. Which computer pioneer and codebreaker<br />

features on the new Bank of England 50 pound<br />

note that entered circulation in 2021?<br />

2. Before later admitting it was an April Fool’s joke<br />

to help promote its upcoming electric cars,<br />

which car manufacturer said in a press release<br />

that it was changing the fourth letter in its name<br />

to a “t”?<br />

3. At the 2021 Brit Awards, who became the first<br />

ever all-female group to win the Best British<br />

Group award?<br />

4. Which online fashion retailer bought the brand<br />

Debenhams in <strong>Jan</strong>uary and the brands Burton,<br />

Wallis and Dorothy Perkins in <strong>Feb</strong>ruary?<br />

5. Name the only two players to score for England<br />

in the penalty shoot-out of the UEFA Euro 2020<br />

Final.<br />

6. Which British city was stripped of its UNESCO<br />

World Heritage status in 2021 due to<br />

developments along its waterfront?<br />

7. In 2021, El Salvador become the first country in<br />

the world to make what legal tender?<br />

8. Instead of its usual course on the River Thames,<br />

the 2021 University Boat Race was held in<br />

Cambridgeshire on a stretch of which river?<br />

9. 2021 saw which 83-year-old become the oldest<br />

ever person to win an Academy Award for acting?<br />

10. Name the three countries who finished above<br />

Great Britain in the medal table at the 2020<br />

Summer Olympics.<br />

Engineering Centre Open<br />

<strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> College recently welcomed <strong>St</strong>eve Rotheram,<br />

Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, to officially unveil<br />

their new Centre for Precision Engineering at the STEM<br />

Centre, Technology Campus.<br />

The £1m investment, partially funded by the Liverpool<br />

City Region Combined Authority, supported the<br />

installation of brand-new industry standard machinery<br />

and equipment such as Wi-Fi enabled Haas CNC<br />

Machines, Axis Lathes, Milling Machines and Haas<br />

Simulators, to provide students and apprentices with the<br />

opportunity to develop their skills and learn all aspects<br />

of modern precision engineering including design,<br />

testing, manufacturing and operations.<br />

<strong>St</strong>eve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region,<br />

said: “As someone who is especially passionate about<br />

skills and technical subjects, it’s fantastic to see our £1m<br />

investment in the college paying off. The new equipment<br />

is absolutely world class; I’m sure that our young people<br />

will benefit from it.” Hopefully they will develop a passion<br />

for STEAM subjects and go on to be the engineers of<br />

tomorrow!”<br />

Rebecca (pictured, a Mechanical Engineering Apprentice<br />

at Cheshire Seals and Components, commented: “It’s an<br />

incredible environment to learn in – you are learning<br />

to use real machinery and equipment that meets the<br />

training and knowledge requirements expected by your<br />

employer, so it means that I’m able to train effectively in<br />

my role and hopefully, progress forward in my career.”<br />

Simon Pierce, CEO and Principal at <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> College,<br />

said: “The Centre for Precision Engineering is a great<br />

asset for the College and our community. It will enhance<br />

our students’ learning and career prospects, support<br />

local businesses to grow and expand and support the<br />

growth of our local economy.”<br />

Quiz solutions can be found on page 80 of this magazine


34<br />

Adventure of a <strong>Life</strong>time<br />

Experiencing travel in the<br />

past few months has been<br />

like riding a rollercoaster.<br />

The excitement of once<br />

again being able to travel<br />

has been thwarted by the<br />

need to produce passenger<br />

locator forms and adhere<br />

to ever-changing traffic<br />

light guidelines.<br />

If there’s one upside for<br />

those who have reduced their travel in 20/21, it’s that<br />

most have increased funds available to spend on future<br />

holidays. The expectation of the travel industry is that<br />

we’re likely to be more discerning when choosing future<br />

holiday locations.<br />

So, who’s ready for the adventure of a lifetime? Welcome<br />

to Iceland.<br />

One of Europe’s most magical and unforgettable spots,<br />

Iceland is a picture-perfect destination for travellers.<br />

Dubbed the land of fire and ice, Iceland is a captivating<br />

country where volcanoes, glaciers come together to<br />

create a landscape that is like nowhere else on Earth. With<br />

friendly locals, spectacular scenery, lots of adventure, and<br />

a lively party scene, everyone should experience Iceland<br />

at least once in their life.<br />

From the seasoned city<br />

break traveller looking<br />

for something new, to<br />

the adventurous family<br />

set on a road trip round,<br />

and the hedonistic party<br />

lover looking for an<br />

‘Instagrammable’ hotspot<br />

– Iceland is a destination<br />

for all.<br />

Iceland is also becoming<br />

an increasingly popular cruise destination, especially for<br />

those who want to reach Iceland’s natural wonders and<br />

wildlife. A selection of cruises from Fred.Olsen depart<br />

from Liverpool and allows tourists to explore Iceland’s<br />

most incredible highlights.<br />

Here’s eight places that should be on your ‘Must Visit’ list<br />

for Iceland:<br />

Reykjavik blends Nordic heritage with a contemporary,<br />

distinctly unique style, and this lively city is compact,<br />

cosmopolitan and refreshingly different. Its charming<br />

downtown of painted timber homes is watched over by<br />

the soaring and unforgettable spire of the Hallgrimskirkja<br />

church, while oodles of hearty Scandinavian vodka bars<br />

and taverns litter the streets.<br />

Mt. Kirkjufell

35<br />

Seljalandsfoss Falls<br />

Twenty-five miles from the capital is Iceland’s most visited<br />

tourist attraction, The Blue Lagoon. Despite its<br />

volcanic nature, the site was formed from the remnants<br />

of a geothermal power plant in the 1970s. The mineralpacked<br />

waters, – the reason for the shimmering, whitish<br />

hue of the lagoon – is the driving force behind the spot’s<br />

famed healing powers.<br />

The majestic Gullfoss Waterfall roaring over the<br />

escarpments and bluffshas long been a highlight for<br />

tourists. It’s famous as one of the world’s most dramatic<br />

waterfalls, and cascades over a series of stepped rocks<br />

and terraces before plunging over a 100ft high gap<br />

seemingly disappearing into the Icelandic subterrane.<br />

The waterfall can often be arched over by rainbows<br />

or shrouded in plumes of mist, added to the graphic<br />

effects.<br />

As the self-proclaimed capital of Iceland’s North,<br />

Akureyri boasts one of the most beautiful harbours<br />

in the country, whilst the town and its surrounding fjords<br />

and mountains make it one of the most charming places<br />

to visit. This fishing port and seaside gem is packed with<br />

interesting independent cafes and teahouses, while<br />

Presentation Evening<br />

Tuesday 25th <strong>Jan</strong>uary - 6pm start<br />

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36<br />

Husavik<br />

Skaftafell Ice Cave<br />

the Hafnarstraeti shopping street offers up countless<br />

boutiques and craft stores.<br />

An easy 50-minute drive from the capital, <strong>St</strong>rokkur<br />

Geysir (after which all geysers are named) is the most<br />

popular fountain geyser in Iceland. This highly active hot<br />

spring area lies by the Hvítá River and is a popular stop for<br />

tourists. Boiling mud pits and around 100 other smaller<br />

geysers are waiting to be explored here. ‘Hot Spring’<br />

bread is popular with visitors too, rye bread that’s been<br />

baking in hot springs for 24 hours.<br />

Fully expanding on the multitude of attractions in<br />

Iceland would have filled this issue of <strong>Local</strong> <strong>Life</strong> and a<br />

few more besides. If there’s anything that the past two<br />

years have highlighted though, it’s the importance of<br />

making the most of your holiday time. In fact, it’s time<br />

to ditch holidays and go on adventures instead – and<br />

Iceland certainly qualifies as an adventure not to be<br />

missed!<br />

Vatnajökull National Park is one of three national<br />

parks in Iceland and consists of glaciers and stunning ice<br />

caves. The best time to visit Skaftafell Ice Cave is during<br />

winter after heavy rain has washed the top layer of the<br />

glacier away. If seen at the right time, the cave is bathed<br />

in spectacular blue light. If you are in healthy shape, you<br />

might consider doing a glacial trek in the park with an<br />

experienced guide.<br />

Grundarfjördur is approximately 2½ hours from<br />

Reykjavik and is a small town centrally located on the<br />

north coast of Snaefellsnes peninsula. The town lies in<br />

a picturesque fjord, surrounded by mountains, with<br />

Mt. Kirkjufell looming as a striking landmark. Eyrbyggja<br />

Heritage Centre holds exhibitions on Grundarfjördur’s<br />

seafaring history and this is the information centre for the<br />

whole peninsula.<br />

Húsavík is known as Europe’s number one spot for<br />

whale and dolphin watching; in most summers, the tour<br />

operators have 100% sighting rates. This picturesque<br />

town, which enjoys gorgeous views over Skjálfandi Bay,<br />

has many cute cafés and restaurants. Close by is Lake<br />

Mývatn, a shallow volcanic lake known for its flora and<br />

fauna, and Vatnajökull National Park.<br />

Beautifully furnished<br />

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37<br />

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Opening Hours: Monday - Friday 9.30am-4.30pm; Saturday - 10am-4pm • email: flamesuk@outlook.com

38<br />

Active<br />


39<br />

It’s been almost two years since<br />

Covid-19 entered our lives and<br />

changed them for the worse. A<br />

Covid-free world doesn’t appear<br />

to be happening any time soon,<br />

so we’ve been out and about<br />

looking for some inspirational<br />

activities for you to try in <strong>2022</strong>.<br />

As the saying goes, life is not<br />

a dress rehearsal, so let <strong>2022</strong><br />

be the year when we embrace<br />

activity, healthiness, and<br />

happiness!<br />

A rt<br />

Where better to start our <strong>2022</strong> awakening than<br />

art? Ashton Art Group are a well-supported<br />

and established group, and this is a great place to discover<br />

your inner artist. The group meets weekly every Tuesday<br />

evening at 8pm until 10pm at the Community & Childcare<br />

Centre in Hilton <strong>St</strong>reet in Ashton-In-Makerfield (formerly<br />

the YMCA). There is no formal tuition, but the group runs<br />

demonstrations and workshops which help to develop<br />

skills and ideas, and also run regular life model sessions.<br />

www.ashtonartgroup.co.uk<br />

B adminton<br />

In the world of theatre in the United <strong>St</strong>ates, all<br />

roads lead to Broadway. Equally, in the world of<br />

badminton in <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong>, all roads lead to Broadway - that’s<br />

the Badminton Centre in Grange Park.<br />

The Broadway centre hosts no less than eleven group<br />

sessions of badminton each week. Men, ladies, children,<br />

able-bodied, disabled, family groups and four local clubs<br />

all play at Broadway Badminton Centre. And if you don’t<br />

fancy playing as part of group, you can turn up and ‘pay<br />

and play’ with a partner of your choice.<br />

www.facebook.com/broadwaybadminton/<br />

C<br />

ooking<br />

Colours, <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> College’s fully operational,<br />

training restaurant on Waterloo <strong>St</strong>reet has a<br />

Cookery School which offers a varied selection of themed<br />

short courses, run on evenings and weekends, for aspiring<br />

cooks, chefs and bakers at all levels?<br />

Anyone up for Chinese? Italian? Mexican? Curries of the<br />

World? Tapas? Colours Cookery School runs all these<br />

short courses and many more, all taught by passionate<br />

and experienced chefs. They even do Gin and Wine<br />

tasting masterclasses!<br />

www.sthelens.ac.uk/colours<br />

D<br />

ance<br />

Surely one of the world’s most enjoyable<br />

forms of exercise, dance has health benefits of<br />

varying degrees. Operational since 2005, the Silhouette<br />

Dance Club in Boundary Road is one of the town’s longest<br />

established dance club and has classes for all styles of<br />

dance to suit all ages. The dance genres taught at the club<br />

include ballroom, Latin, salsa, sequence and rock and roll.<br />

For the more enthusiastic and flexible, there’s pole<br />

dancing! Rock ‘N’ Pole is based at the Hamma Gym on<br />

North Road in <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong>, pole dancing classes run on<br />

Tuesday and Friday evenings, and the occasional Sunday<br />

session too.<br />

www.facebook.com/silhouettedanceclub/<br />


40<br />

E<br />

ducation<br />

There’s a whole host of opportunities to further<br />

your education and expand your knowledge<br />

with <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> College, <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> Council and Carmel<br />

<strong>St</strong>reet. Then you made that drink-fuddled resolution to<br />

get fit in <strong>2022</strong>. Now what? For many people Couch to 5K,<br />

which aims to get someone to run 5km continuously after<br />

nine weeks of training, is the beginner plan of choice.<br />

However, if you’re not in great shape, you might want to<br />

try a ‘lite’ version of this idea called None to Run, which is a<br />

free alternative that takes things at a slower pace. There’s<br />

also a paid-for app which can guide you through each run<br />

on your iPhone or Apple Watch.<br />

www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/couch-to-5k-week-byweek/<br />

www.nonetorun.com/<br />

University Centre, to name a few! You’ll be faced with an<br />

assortment of ways to gain qualifications and improve<br />

your career, but there are also a multitude of openings<br />

to enhance your life too. With everything from digital<br />

skills, short online courses to jewellery making and<br />

photography on offer, you’re sure to find something that<br />

fits your brief. Check out the websites for more details:<br />

www.sthelens.ac.uk/adults/adultcourseguide<br />

www.sthelens.gov.uk/schools-education/adult-andcommunity-learning<br />

or<br />

www.carmel.ac.uk/carmel-university-centre<br />

F oraging<br />

You can take part in foraging and other<br />

sustainable activities with the Green Town <strong>St</strong><br />

<strong>Helens</strong> crowd. Bee workshops, planting trees, making<br />

terrariums, blending herbal tea and making bug hotels<br />

are just some of the actions taken by the group. Join the<br />

Facebook group below or pop along to Momo’s café on<br />

Westfield <strong>St</strong>reet on the last Friday of every month at 11am<br />

for an informal meeting and presentation.<br />

www.facebook.com/greentownsthelens<br />

Go Active<br />

If sport and fitness is a big part of your life then<br />

you should already be aware of Go Active, the<br />

sports facilities run by <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> Council. Queens Park<br />

Health and Fitness has a swimming pool, a fitness suite with<br />

sauna & steam rooms, plus a host of fitness classes. Sutton<br />

Leisure Centre has a multitude of racket sport and athletic<br />

facilities, and a brand new 3G pitch too. Visitors to Newtonle-Willows<br />

Health and Fitness can enjoy a 90-station fitness<br />

suite, a 25-metre swimming pool, a cycling studio, a group<br />

exercise studio and an outdoor pitch!<br />

Best of all, there’s a range of membership options where<br />

you can take advantage of all the facilities across all the Go<br />

Active sites! Membership starts from just £13.95 per month.<br />

www.goactive.sthelens.gov.uk<br />

H iking<br />

If you think that local walking groups are<br />

generally populated by walkers who have,<br />

quite literally been round the block a few times, you’d<br />

be right. Fillyaboots however, is a popular Merseyside<br />

walking group with a difference. Most of the 1,000+<br />

members are in their 20’s and 30’s and they relish their<br />

walks, enjoy socials, making new friends and the odd<br />

weekend away too.<br />

www.fillyaboots.org.uk<br />

In Bloom<br />

This horticultural competition, first established by<br />

the British Tourist Board, has been running across<br />

British villages, town and cities for almost 60 years. But<br />

In Bloom is more than a competition, it gives residents<br />

a chance to work with their neighbours to make their<br />

neighbourhood a more aesthetically pleasing place.<br />

There’s a group already established in Rainford, but if you<br />

want to set up a group in your area, you can do this via the<br />

RHS at www.rhs.org.uk/get-involved/britain-in-bloom/<br />

register<br />

www.facebook.com/RainfordinBloom<br />

J ogging<br />

You’ve spent the entire Christmas holiday bingewatching<br />

Netflix and finishing off the Quality


42<br />

K<br />

arate<br />

<strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> Shotokan Karate Club was formed<br />

in 1966, and over the years has launched the<br />

careers of many martial arts champions at different levels.<br />

But if your ambitions aren’t that lofty, that’s fine too,<br />

most members share goals of fun, exercise, and fitness at<br />

their base at Sutton Leisure Centre. Adults and children<br />

welcome – check out the Facebook page for details.<br />

www.facebook.com/<strong>St</strong><strong>Helens</strong>SKC<br />

Litter Picking<br />

If you’re looking for inspiration to make your<br />

community tidier by picking up litter, just<br />

check out the story of one man and his litter picking<br />

experiences in <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong>. Ian Roberts’ Facebook page, ‘<strong>St</strong><br />

<strong>Helens</strong> #LitterHeroes’.<br />

If you are interested in getting involved in litter picking,<br />

the council can help you to set up your own community<br />

litter group or put you in touch with an existing group<br />

within the borough. To book litter pickers, orange bin<br />

bags, and a waste collection, please email:<br />

loveyourstreet@sthelens.gov.uk or call 01744 676789.<br />

Musical Theatre<br />

Any budding thespian should check<br />

out these community theatre groups.<br />

Pilkingtons Musical Theatre Company have been<br />

performing in the town for almost a century and are<br />

now based at <strong>St</strong> Luke’s Church in Eccleston. The Rainhill<br />

Musical Theatre Company have been around in one guise<br />

or another since the 1950’s and are based at the Village<br />

Hall in Dane Court. For more details visit:<br />

www.pilkingtonmtc.co.uk<br />

www.facebook.com/RainhillMTC<br />

N etball<br />

If you know your Goal Attack from your Goal<br />

shooter then you’ll know how to play netball,<br />

but did you know that there’s a thriving Netball Club in <strong>St</strong><br />

<strong>Helens</strong>? The Capricorn Netball Club has teams stretching<br />

from Under 11’s right through to Open Age that all play<br />

within the local leagues. The club train on Monday nights<br />

at Sutton Leisure Centre.<br />

www.facebook.com/capricornnetballteam<br />

O ddfellows<br />

If making friends, helping people and getting<br />

out and about is on your list of things that<br />

you like to do, then the <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> and Warrington branch<br />

of the Oddfellows Society is right up your street. For<br />

over 200 years, the Oddfellows has helped its members<br />

forge friendships and offered help in times of need. You<br />

can enjoy social events, go on holidays, volunteer, get<br />

membership benefits and much more besides.<br />

www.oddfellows.co.uk<br />

Pedal Power<br />

If you’re new to cycling or looking for moderate<br />

exercise only, then check out Pedal Power<br />

Experience. This council-backed club operates regular<br />

rides from six venues in <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong>, even supplying bikes<br />

and cycle helmets. If you’re looking for a more highpowered<br />

challenge, then check out the <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> and<br />

Warrington CTC Cycling Club, which operates twiceweekly<br />

rides, mainly round quieter roads in Cheshire.<br />

www.pedalpowerexperience.co.uk<br />

www.sthelensandwarringtonctc.org<br />

Quiz Nights<br />

Not the most active of pursuits admittedly,<br />

but the return walk to the local pub,<br />

and the mental efforts in recollecting the year<br />

when Saints won their first Challenge Cup etc. is<br />

better than sitting on the couch watching Corrie.<br />

Roller Skating<br />

Getting fit can be a tedious slog sometimes, but<br />

here’s one imaginative way to achieve fitness<br />

and have fun too! Roller-skating has wheeled through<br />

many dips and rises since its beginnings in the 1880’s<br />

but is undergoing a new surge in popularity. The IWF<br />

Rollerdome opened on Regent <strong>St</strong>reet in Liverpool in 2021<br />

and Wigan Roller Rink boasts Europe’s biggest indoor<br />

wooden rink. Both venues run lessons for learners.<br />

www.iwf-rollerdrome.com<br />


S nowsports<br />

You can depend on snowsports venues being<br />

all year-round fun, no matter the weather.<br />

Nearby Runcorn Snowsport Centre offers skiing and<br />

snowboarding lessons, including ski, boot and helmet<br />

hire, for those intent on learning how to hit the big slopes.<br />

www.runcornski.weebly.com<br />

Table Tennis<br />

A recent study showed that table tennis improved<br />

more brain function than dancing, walking or<br />

gymnastics. Not only that it’s a great way to keep fit all year<br />

round. Rainford has a vibrant table tennis club with over 60<br />

members, and a proposal is currently on the table to build a<br />

permanent base in the village.<br />

https://www.facebook.com/Rainford-Table-Tennis-<br />

Club-161863097198835<br />

U<br />

3A<br />

If you take one thing away from this feature it’s<br />

this: If you’re no longer in full time work and you<br />

want to get (or stay active), then join the <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> U3A!<br />

U3A is a UK-wide movement of locally-run groups that<br />

provides a wide range activities for its members. The <strong>St</strong><br />

<strong>Helens</strong> U3A, founded just five years ago, has hundreds<br />

of members and acts as a gateway to dozens of activities<br />

taking place across <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong>, far more than we have room<br />

to list here. Members also can enjoy social events and<br />

coffee mornings. Membership is just £15 a year and you<br />

pay an additional £2 for every<br />

activity you participate in.<br />

www.u3asites.org.uk/st-helens<br />

V olunteering<br />

There are dozens of groups in the <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong><br />

area that are looking for volunteers to help<br />

them do their good works. Check out the website below<br />

to help you choose from a selection of local volunteering<br />

opportunities.<br />

www.haltonsthelensvca.org.uk<br />

W I Forget the jam-making and Jerusalem<br />

image, today’s Women’s Institute is a<br />

modern organisation suitable for all ages. During the<br />

pandemic, members rushed to support foodbanks,<br />

arrange book deliveries and create craft kits for families<br />

home-schooling their children. <strong>Local</strong> WI’s meet in<br />

Rainford, Rainhill, <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong>, Eccleston and Burtonwood.<br />

www.thewi.org.uk<br />

X-perience Days<br />

Fancy ticking off a few things on your bucket<br />

list in <strong>2022</strong>? This website contains a glut of<br />

active experiences. Fancy a flying lesson, doing Britain’s<br />

highest bungee jump, rock climbing, quad biking… you<br />

can find these and thousands of other experiences on the<br />

website below.<br />

www.experiencedays.co.uk<br />

Y<br />

oga<br />

The benefits of Yoga are well documented, and<br />

you too can improve your strength, balance<br />

and flexibility in <strong>2022</strong> by completing a yoga course. You<br />

should try a few sessions at different venues to find an<br />

instructor that you’re comfortable with. Yoga <strong>St</strong>eve is well<br />

established in <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> and runs classes at a number of<br />

town centre venues.<br />

www.yogasteve.vpweb.co.uk/classes<br />

Z zzz<br />

43<br />

Experts believe sleep and exercise have a bidirectional<br />

relationship. In other words, the<br />

more active you are during the day, the better quality<br />

of sleep. And getting an adequate amount of sleep may<br />

promote healthier physical activity levels during the day<br />


46<br />

Fresh New Year<br />

<strong>Jan</strong>uary is a great time to catch up on all those household<br />

chores and get going with an early ‘spring’ clean. Make<br />

it more enjoyable and planet-friendly by choosing goodlooking<br />

tools and eco-conscious supplies.<br />

This coconut fibre scourer<br />

has a bamboo handle, both<br />

of which are plant-based and<br />

biodegradable; the stainlesssteel<br />

wire is easily recyclable.<br />

Bambaw reusable bamboo<br />

dish brush, £6, beaumonde.<br />

co.uk.<br />

Good-looking storage makes organisation<br />

more enjoyable.<br />

Matt black steel and bamboo caddy, £10;<br />

all-purpose hob cleaner, £3; bamboo and<br />

plastic scrubbing brush, £2; bamboo round<br />

dish brush, £2; all dunelm.com.<br />

Make light work of house cleaning<br />

• If you can’t bear the thought of tackling all the<br />

cleaning at once, divide it into manageable tasks,<br />

and devote perhaps an hour a week – or else tackle<br />

one room at a time, maybe over a weekend.<br />

Generously sized and made from pure<br />

cotton, this gingham apron features a pair<br />

of handy patch pockets.<br />

Auberge apron in Wedgwood blue,<br />

£16.99, waltonshop.co.uk.<br />

Take the effort out of everyday cleaning.<br />

Long-handle dustpan and brush, £25,<br />

gardentrading.co.uk.<br />

The sustainable<br />

way to clean dirty<br />

dishes. Simply<br />

compost when<br />

finished with them.<br />

Natural latex<br />

rubber gloves, £3,<br />

zerozen.co.uk.<br />

• Be prepared. Have a thorough clear-out and tidy,<br />

change into old clothes and rubber gloves, and<br />

gather the necessary equipment and products.<br />

This is where a sturdy caddy, a tool belt, or an apron<br />

with plenty of large pockets becomes invaluable –<br />

keeping everything with you as you go will save lots<br />

of time.<br />

• As you work, try to be organised, whether it’s one<br />

room at a time or one task at a time. The chores will<br />

generally divide into five main areas: vacuuming,<br />

dusting, mopping/scrubbing, washing and wiping,<br />

and polishing, so bear this in mind when planning,<br />

so as not to miss anything out.<br />

• Don’t forget specific tasks such as turning<br />

mattresses, spot-cleaning upholstery, deepcleaning<br />

the oven, defrosting the freezer, descaling<br />

the shower head and steam cleaning carpets.<br />

• Work from the top of a room to the bottom (in other<br />

words, dust the pendant light before polishing the<br />

table beneath it). Prioritise the hardest-to-clean<br />

item in the room to do early on – then the rest of<br />

the room will be a breeze.

47<br />

This eco-friendly cleaner works on a range of high-gloss<br />

surfaces, and comes in a reusable aluminium bottle along<br />

with a microfibre cloth.<br />

Glass cleaner starter pack, £6.99, wearthlondon.com.<br />

Make light work of dusting without the need for toxic<br />

chemicals.<br />

Living Nostalgia genuine natural ostrich feather duster,<br />

kitchencraft.co.uk.<br />

These heavy-knitted cloths can be used, washed, and used again.<br />

Bleached stockinette dishcloth, £1.79, waltonshop.co.uk.<br />

This lemon-scented washingup<br />

soap bar is 100% natural,<br />

biodegradable, plastic-free and<br />

contains no palm oil.<br />

Dish-washing soap bar in lemon,<br />

£7.99, suusco.com.<br />

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48<br />

Handmade in the UK, this love seat is composed of Scandinavian<br />

birch, with feather-wrapped foam cushions for squishy comfort.<br />

Banoffee love seat, £1,445, Loaf: 020 3141 8300; loaf.com.<br />

For a look that is classically stylish, easy<br />

to live with and works in every room,<br />

choose a subtle palette of whites, greys<br />

and browns.<br />

In a room decorated with neutrals, you will always feel<br />

at home. With an almost infinite range of colours, from<br />

the purest white to pale, mid and deep tones of grey,<br />

beige and brown, they work well for both old and new<br />

houses, and for small or large spaces. Think of the glow<br />

of polished wood, the texture of rattan, the variations<br />

of natural pebbles – these luscious shades, chosen and<br />

combined with care, can be full of character.<br />

This table teams two planks of tactile and sustainably sourced<br />

white oiled oak with black metal legs.<br />

Industrial oak table, £975; Edie dining chairs, £525 (pair); all Nordic<br />

House: 01872 223 220; nordichouse.co.uk.<br />

First, the basics. Pale can definitely be interesting: shades<br />

of not-quite-white offer a surprising range of options,<br />

from fresh, bright and airy to rich, warm and restful. Rooms<br />

painted in pure white can appear bigger and brighter,<br />

thanks to the way the colour reflects light around. A clean<br />

white wall is a great background for vibrant paintings,<br />

for the coloured spines of books, or for a simple jug of<br />

flowers. And if brilliant white is too cold, choose a white


50<br />

with a pink or yellow undertone that warms the space<br />

and is more flattering against the skin.<br />

Beyond white, pale neutrals vary in hue from cream to<br />

sand, through taupe to stone and bleached-timber tones,<br />

while darker neutrals vary from charcoal and ebony to<br />

chocolate – and there is a whole rainbow in between to<br />

choose from, including beautiful greys, from palest dove<br />

to darkest steel. Many people love the laid-back, fresh feel<br />

of a room that puts white on white, or combines a range<br />

of very pale tones, but with neutrals it is also possible<br />

to employ counterpoints of darker tones against lighter<br />

colours, or even to go dark and dramatic all over.<br />

Choose colours by trying them out in situ, using small<br />

tester pots before committing to a bigger purchase. Paint<br />

at least two coats on several pieces of card, and stick them<br />

up on every wall around the room in question. Observe<br />

the colours at the times you’ll usually be in the room, and<br />

with your lights both on and off, as lighting<br />

has a marked effect on neutrals.<br />

soft cotton, warm wool, floaty muslin, fluffy sheepskin,<br />

and so on. Bring out the cosiness of a small bedroom, for<br />

example, with a shaggy rug, matt-painted walls, velvet<br />

curtains and soft woollen throws. Or emphasise a light<br />

and airy living room with satin-varnished floorboards,<br />

glossy woodwork, sheer curtains and silk cushions.<br />

While there is inherent pattern in many of these textures<br />

(the weave of a rug or a wicker basket, for example)<br />

you may wish to introduce some surface pattern, too.<br />

In rooms that are, on the whole, relatively plain, small<br />

pattern features will stand out as focal points. Checks and<br />

stripes, chevrons and zigzags, damasks and geometrics<br />

can all look particularly good. Similarly, the occasional<br />

spot of colour, whether it’s a pale pink cushion, a<br />

turquoise vase or a mustard-coloured lampshade, may<br />

be the perfect finishing touch for an all-neutral room,<br />

adding just a touch of drama and personality to the calm<br />

and welcoming vibe.<br />

The trick is to select layers of colour rather<br />

than just one, creating an interesting, subtly<br />

varied effect. When combining neutrals,<br />

avoid using different hues that are all of the<br />

same tone. An easy way to choose is to take a<br />

colour chart and go up or down (dark to light)<br />

within the same colour family, rather than<br />

working across from colour to colour. You<br />

could use darker tones for woodwork, with<br />

lighter ones for walls or, if you have features<br />

such as cornices and dadoes, perhaps vary<br />

the wall tones with lighter ones above and<br />

darker ones below the divisions. You can also<br />

use different neutrals to provide a gentle<br />

visual link from room to room: perhaps a very<br />

pale colour in a narrow hallway, with slightly<br />

darker hues in a living room and a warm tone<br />

in a dining room, for example.<br />

With paint colours sorted, continue the<br />

layering effect with flooring, wallcoverings,<br />

furnishings and accessories. In any neutral<br />

scheme, it is surfaces that are the star, and<br />

success comes from choosing textures – hard<br />

and soft, rough and smooth, squishy and<br />

knobbly – as carefully as you would colours.<br />

Natural is key, so aim for simple upholstery,<br />

window treatments, bed linen and table<br />

linens, in fabrics that have subtle and<br />

attractive variations in texture – crisp linen,<br />

Inspired by classic wingback chairs, these stately beds have<br />

ample storage space concealed beneath.<br />

Kenley ottoman storage bed in oatmeal fabric, £699.99 (double),<br />

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51<br />



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52<br />

Win a pair 0f <strong>2022</strong><br />

Saints Memberships!<br />

This year, the Totally Wicked <strong>St</strong>adium will see the return of<br />

Saints fans for the first full campaign since the pandemic<br />

started, and the Club can’t wait to welcome everyone<br />

back home for more nights to remember!<br />

The Super League and Challenge Cup winning Head<br />

Coach Kristian Woolf is at the helm again for the Saints,<br />

and he’ll be leading the charge for another tilt at even<br />

more silverware to follow the team’s ‘three-peat’ of Super<br />

League titles.<br />

Kristian will oversee a team that’s filled with top-level<br />

talent, including a host of exciting new recruits such<br />

as Curtis Sironen, Konrad Hurrell, James Bell and Will<br />

Hopoate, who join our new breed of homegrown stars<br />

including Jack Welsby and Lewis Dodd.<br />

There’s no doubt that Saints will again be the team to<br />

beat in the Betfred Super League.<br />

As part of the build-up to the start of the season in<br />

<strong>Feb</strong>ruary, <strong>Local</strong> <strong>Life</strong> are delighted to run a competition<br />

to win a pair of <strong>2022</strong> Memberships for the full season of<br />

home matches at the Totally Wicked <strong>St</strong>adium, starting<br />

with the match against Catalans on Thursday 10th<br />

<strong>Feb</strong>ruary <strong>2022</strong>.<br />

The Memberships included in the prize are located in the<br />

Totally Wicked North <strong>St</strong>and Bronze seating, and have a<br />

value of over £600 combined.<br />

For further information about <strong>2022</strong> Memberships please visit www.saintsrlfc.com/memberships

53<br />

To enter the competition to win a pair of <strong>2022</strong> Saints<br />

Memberships, simply visit our website, www.locallife247.co.uk,<br />

click on ‘free stuff’ and then on ‘competitions’ and then answer<br />

the following question;<br />

In the past three years, how many times have Saints won<br />

the Betfred Super League?<br />

The expiry date for the competition is midnight on Monday 31st <strong>Jan</strong>uary<br />

<strong>2022</strong> and the winners will be notified within 72 hours. Entrants must be over<br />

16 years of age. Only one entry per household. <strong>Local</strong> <strong>Life</strong> 247 cannot accept<br />

responsibility for entries that do not reach us. Employees of <strong>Local</strong> <strong>Life</strong> 247 Ltd<br />

and their families are not eligible to enter this competition.

54<br />

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WA11 8JY


56<br />

Home Security:<br />

How safe is<br />

your home?<br />

The ways in which we protect our homes have changed.<br />

From CCTV systems to good old-fashioned burglar<br />

alarms, the list of home security gadgets is endless. But<br />

just how safe is your home?<br />

Last year there were more than 260,000 cases of home<br />

burglary in the UK, the majority of which were conducted<br />

by amateur thieves. <strong>St</strong>atistics show that your home is<br />

five times more likely to be targeted if no visible security<br />

measures are in place.<br />

How do I know if my home is secure?<br />

With an understanding of basic theft prevention and<br />

an assessment of your property’s security, you will<br />

be in a better position than most to know if security<br />

improvements are needed.<br />

Keep valuables out of sight<br />

Removing valuables from an outside viewpoint gives<br />

thieves no reason to target your property. This includes<br />

car keys, smart devices, bags and jewellery. Even the<br />

packaging of expensive items shouldn’t be left outside as<br />

this acts as an advertisement to criminals.<br />

Check for vulnerable entry points<br />

Forcing entry to a doorway is the most common tactic<br />

for burglars to enter your property. Ensure all entrance<br />

points are secured with suitable locking mechanisms.<br />

Windowless doors with a minimum of two locks are best.<br />

Keep sheds and garages secure<br />

Thieves will often enter a rear garden to obtain tools from<br />

a shed or garage. Never give an intruder the opportunity<br />

to use your own belongings against you.<br />

Think like a thief<br />

Attempt to gain access to your own home without using<br />

a key. Understanding your home’s weaknesses will help<br />

you to understand what improvements are needed.<br />

Don’t make it easy for them<br />

If you lose your house keys, replace the locks immediately.<br />

You should never leave house keys under the doormat or<br />

flowerpot; this is the first place intruders will check.<br />

The most effective methods for<br />

protecting your home<br />

Under lock and key – the simplest solutions are always<br />

the most effective. Over 70% of home intruders gain<br />

access to properties by entering the front door.<br />

Always ensure it remains locked, along with all other<br />

entrances, windows, gates and garages.<br />

Let there be light – outdoor security lighting on<br />

timers or infrared motion sensors are a low-cost<br />

solution for deterring would-be intruders. Make sure<br />

you focus on dimly lit areas, which are hotspots for<br />

attacks, muggings and altercations with criminals<br />

who can take possession of your house or car keys.<br />

Smile for the camera – an alternative option to a full<br />

CCTV system without breaking the bank is a wireless<br />

doorbell camera. Burglars tend to knock on the front<br />

door before entering a property, to check if anyone is<br />

at home. With a door camera you will naturally deter<br />

intruders, be able to see who is knocking on your<br />

smart device and have the added benefit of recording<br />

their face should future evidence be required.<br />

Home and away – the longer a house is uninhabited<br />

the more vulnerable it becomes. Use automatic<br />

lighting and timers for electronic devices to come on<br />

in the evenings, to give the illusion that your house<br />

remains occupied.<br />

Play it safe – if all of the above fails and an intruder<br />

has managed to enter your property, fear not. With<br />

a simple safe box your goods<br />

stand a better chance of<br />

remaining in your home. Fixing<br />

your safe securely in place in a<br />

hidden spot is the tried<br />

and tested method<br />

for preventing thieves<br />

escaping with your<br />


57<br />

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58<br />

Fresh starts<br />

Give your New Year’s resolutions a helping hand…<br />

Running Made Easy – Lisa Jackson and Susie Whalley<br />

Whether you’ve got your mind set on running a marathon this year, or you just want to<br />

complete Couch to 5K, this book could prove as invaluable as the right pair of trainers. Within<br />

its pages, you’ll find plenty of tips, running plans and advice, mainly aimed at beginner<br />

runners. Perhaps most importantly, however, you’ll also find lots of motivational real-life<br />

stories of people who’ve used running to dramatically improve their lives..<br />

The Book of Hopes – Edited by Katherine Rundell<br />

This book brings together poems, short stories, essays and illustrations – all designed to ‘comfort,<br />

inspire and entertain’. It’s perfect for dipping into on a coffee break or when you’re in need of a moment<br />

of solace. While it’s aimed at children, there’s no reason why The Book of Hopes can’t be enjoyed just as<br />

much by adults. A beautiful book to give or receive.<br />

Everyday Cook – Donal Skehan<br />

Is your New Year’s resolution to cook more meals from scratch? Most of the recipes in Everyday Cook<br />

are designed to take you from fridge to table within half an hour. (Some dishes can be whipped up in<br />

just fifteen minutes.) There are also meals to freeze for days when you really don’t have the energy to<br />

cook. The recipes might be simple, but they’re far from boring. Think Cheat’s Spring Risotto, Kung Pao<br />

Chicken and Aubergine, and Spicy Prawn Aglio e Olio.<br />

The Wildlife Gardener – Kate Bradbury<br />

British wildlife has declined dramatically over the last few decades. Once common species, such as<br />

the hedgehog, are under threat. If you want to play a role in helping to reverse the decline, this book<br />

is a good starting point. It’s packed with practical tips on encouraging all manner of wildlife into your<br />

garden. You’ll find step-by-step projects, ideas for plants and plenty of gorgeous photography. And<br />

you’ll also be taught how to identify some of your new garden visitors.<br />

Farrow & Ball Recipes for Decorating – Joa <strong>St</strong>udholme<br />

Planning to refresh your home in <strong>2022</strong>? Before you go anywhere near a paintbrush, get some advice<br />

and inspiration from the experts. Farrow & Ball’s no-nonsense guide covers everything from creating<br />

different moods using colour, to tackling common problems such as dark rooms and small spaces.<br />

There are several case studies and tons of photos. Whether you’re craving an ultra-modern living room<br />

or want to bring some country-cottage comfort to your kitchen, this book is for you.<br />

The Sustainable(ish) Living Guide – Jen Gale<br />

Going green can feel pretty daunting, but this book sets out small steps we can all take to help combat<br />

climate change, reduce plastic and cut waste. It’s about making more conscious, informed choices –<br />

from small swaps that you’ll barely notice to more impactful life changes. There are no lectures, no guilt<br />

trips and no preaching – just relatable, easy-to-read advice and ideas.

59<br />

Parkside Plans Go Ahead<br />

Almost thirty years since its closure in 1993, Parkside<br />

Colliery in Newton-le-Willows is about to be transformed<br />

as a major industrial estate and logistics hub.<br />

The Parkside development has been hailed as a project<br />

that will bring ‘significant economic benefit’ by the<br />

Government. In his response approving the plans<br />

Michael Gove agreed with the inspectors that the first<br />

phase of the regeneration of the former colliery site in<br />

Newton-le-Willows would help deliver great benefits not<br />

just for the borough but the entire region.<br />

The announcement also saw approval of the Parkside<br />

Link Road, which will create a direct link between the site<br />

and the nearby M6.<br />

The first phase will cover a 93,000 square metre site,<br />

bringing almost 500 jobs during the construction and<br />

the potential of more than 1,300 new jobs offering a<br />

variety of skills in the completed buildings.<br />

<strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> Councillors are ‘keen to get moving’ on turning<br />

Parkside plans into reality as they approve plans that will<br />

see its transformation start early next year.<br />

<strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> Borough Council’s Cabinet have approved the<br />

next steps for the development which will see Balfour<br />

Beatty start work on the site in early <strong>2022</strong> to create the<br />

Parkside Link Road.<br />

Councillors also approved plans as part of the joint<br />

venture that will support the bringing forward the<br />

construction of phase one of the development.<br />

Councillor Richard McCauley, Cabinet Member for<br />

Regeneration and Planning, said: “Parkside has significant<br />

regional importance as a large scale economic growth<br />

opportunity and will put <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> back on the map as<br />

an economic power.<br />

“Michael Gove on his approval of the plans last month<br />

highlighted the significant economic benefits of a site<br />

at the sweet spot between Liverpool and Manchester.<br />

It is also why Parkside has been identified as the largest<br />

custom and tax site in the Liverpool City Region Freeport<br />

plan.”<br />

Cabinet also approved the release of funding for the link<br />

road along with the necessary additional land acquisition<br />

to make junction improvements at the junction of<br />

Southworth Road and Parkside Road to comply with<br />

planning conditions.<br />

What’s on at<br />

Willowbrook<br />

For further details, events and bookings,<br />

please see willowbrook.org.uk/events<br />

<strong>Jan</strong>uary <strong>2022</strong><br />

Thurs 6th-Fri 14th (weekdays only) –<br />


March <strong>2022</strong><br />

Weds 9th – AFTERNOON TEA **<br />


April <strong>2022</strong><br />

Sun 3rd – THE BIG, BIG TEA PARTY<br />


– at <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> Hotel<br />

May <strong>2022</strong><br />

(date tbc) ANTIQUE VALUATION<br />


Sat 7th – BORN SURVIVOR<br />


Weds 11th – AFTERNOON TEA **<br />

Fri 20th – PLANT SALE **<br />

June <strong>2022</strong><br />

Sat 25th – WILLOWBROOK 25th<br />


July <strong>2022</strong><br />

Sun 3rd – LIVERPOOL TO CHESTER 50<br />


RIDE<br />


ABSEIL<br />

Sat 16th – OPEN GARDENS –<br />

at Willowbrook Hospice<br />

** denotes event at Willowbrook – The Living Well,<br />

Borough Road, <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong>, WA10 3RN<br />

Registered Registered Charity No. Charity 1020240 No. 1020240<br />

Every Contact Counts

60<br />


Newsletter<br />

Friday Quiz Nights<br />

Free Quiz nights will continue in the New Year on 7, 14<br />

& 28 <strong>Jan</strong>uary <strong>2022</strong> and 11 & 18 <strong>Feb</strong>ruary <strong>2022</strong>. Doors<br />

open at 7pm and the free quiz starts at 7.30pm. Book a<br />

table for up to 6 team members by calling 01744 884709<br />

or email office@rainfordparishcouncil.gov.uk<br />

The Christmas Quiz night on 03.12.2021 was a great<br />

evening. Congratulations again to the winning team and<br />

a great big thank you to Andy who sets and presents the<br />

quizzes, assisted by Rob.<br />

On 04.02.2021 there will be a special quiz night to raise<br />

funds for the Parish Council’s Chairman’s charity for the<br />

year, Rainford Heritage Society. Tickets are £7 each<br />

including a hotpot supper. Teams of up to 6. Please<br />

call 01744 884709 to book your table or email office@<br />

rainfordparishcouncil.gov.uk<br />

Parish Council Meetings<br />

Community Liaison Committee<br />

05.01.<strong>2022</strong> and 02.02.<strong>2022</strong><br />

Health & Safety Committee<br />

07.01.<strong>2022</strong> and 04.02.<strong>2022</strong><br />

Finance Planning & Administration Committee<br />

12.01.<strong>2022</strong> and 09.02.<strong>2022</strong><br />

Full Council meeting<br />

24.01.2021 and 28.02.<strong>2022</strong>.<br />

All meetings take place at Rainford Village Hall.<br />

Residents are encouraged to address members on matters<br />

of concern to them and are very welcome to attend<br />

meetings. Further information on the Parish Council<br />

website:<br />

www.rainfordparishcouncil.gov.uk or call 01744 884709<br />

The Beer Festival is Back for<br />

<strong>2022</strong>!<br />

The ever-popular Annual Beer Festival will be held at<br />

the Village Hall 11 – 13 <strong>Feb</strong>ruary <strong>2022</strong>. As in previous<br />

years, we will be showcasing beers from around the<br />

region and, of course, the Gin Table will be available for<br />

those not partial to a pint. Entrance is £3 per person<br />

with tokens for beer available separately. If you are an<br />

individual or business interested in any of the sponsorship<br />

deals available, please contact Vicky Swainbank on 01744<br />

884709 or email admin@rainfordparishcouncil.gov.uk<br />

Business Around Rainford<br />

The next breakfast forum for Businesses in Rainford and<br />

Rainford residents who have businesses will take place on<br />

26.01.<strong>2022</strong> from 8am – 9am at the Village Hall. Come<br />

along, have some breakfast and meet other business<br />

owners in Rainford.<br />

To book a free place call 01744 884709 or email admin@<br />

rainfordparishcouncil.gov uk<br />

The Village Hall<br />

Rainford Village Hall is currently undergoing some major<br />

renovation works. The Parish Council have commissioned<br />

work from stonemasons as some of the stone work on the<br />

front of the building is delaminating. Over the past 12<br />

months, the Parish Council have paid for extensive repairs<br />

to our lovely Village Hall, which is now 115 years old.<br />

The decorative brickwork above the entrance to the bar<br />

area had to be removed as it was leaning at a dangerous<br />

angle and the chimney stacks have been repointed.<br />

Additionally, work has been undertaken on the main roof<br />

and brickwork on the bar side of the building. Although<br />

the hall doesn’t look so good with the scaffolding across<br />

the front, the facilities are the same inside and it shouldn’t<br />

be there for much longer.<br />

Rooms are still available to hire from just £10 per hour<br />

for classes, meetings, parties, anniversaries, events and<br />

Wedding Receptions. Call 01744 884709 or email admin@<br />

rainfordparishcouncil.gov.uk to discuss your requirements.<br />

Rainford Community Cinema<br />

In the New Year, we will be putting together a programme<br />

of Cinema showings for the year. Watch out for the upand-coming<br />

films in the next issue of our newsletter.

61<br />

Rainford Christmas Fayre<br />

The Parish Council, in conjunction with <strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> Rotary<br />

organised the Rainford Christmas Fayre which had to be<br />

moved into the Village Hall at the last minute because of<br />

the adverse weather conditions. Despite this, the Fayre<br />

was a great success with some wonderful stalls, fabulous<br />

entertainment from Rainford Band and The Ladies Choir<br />

and, of course Father Christmas in his grotto accompanied<br />

by some fantastic elves. It was great to have photographers<br />

from Rainford High School keeping a record of the event<br />

for us. Thank you to everyone who helped make the day<br />

a great event.<br />

New Councillors<br />

Rainford Parish Council welcomes 2 new members who<br />

were recently co-opted:<br />

Councillor Tracey Denton (Mossborough Ward)<br />

Councillor Andy Griffiths (Muncaster Ward)<br />

There is still a vacancy on the Council for Junction Ward,<br />

so please contact the Clerk if you would like to know<br />

more about the role and responsibilities of being a Parish<br />

Councillor.<br />

<strong>St</strong> H elens Borough <strong>Local</strong> Plan<br />

Main Modifications public<br />

consultation<br />

The schedule of proposed main modifications for the<br />

<strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> Borough <strong>Local</strong> Plan 2020 – 2035 submission<br />

draft and supporting documents have been published for<br />

consultation.<br />

<strong>St</strong> <strong>Helens</strong> Council submitted the draft for examination<br />

in October 2020. 2 planning inspectors were appointed<br />

and a series of public hearing sessions were held in May<br />

and June 2021. The Inspectors have now considered<br />

all the evidence put before them and have identified a<br />

number of Main Modifications to be made to the <strong>Local</strong><br />

Plan Submission Draft in order for it to be found ‘sound’<br />

in accordance with national policy. Consultation is now<br />

being undertaken on them.<br />

For further details on the consultation, please visit www.<br />

sthelens.gov.uk/localplanmodifications<br />

Community Speed Watch and<br />

Road Safety<br />

The speed watch volunteers are finally out and about<br />

in the village, looking out for speeding vehicles and<br />

illegally parked cars. The aim is to make it unacceptable<br />

to break the speed limit and stop inconsiderate and<br />

dangerous parking throughout Rainford.<br />

Most of the speeding vehicles recorded so far are<br />

Rainford residents! One driver was even caught<br />

speeding twice in the same session!! So, to any<br />

Rainford drivers who think it’s OK to speed through<br />

our lovely Village and park inconsiderately and<br />

illegally, it is not.<br />

To try and get vehicles to slow down, the Parish<br />

Council have wheelie bin stickers for 30mph roads<br />

and 20mph roads. Although these only get put<br />

outside houses once a fortnight, they have been<br />

shown to be very effective in slowing vehicles down.<br />

The stickers are available free of charge from the<br />

Clerk’s Office in the Village Hall. If you and your<br />

neighbours all use them, this will be another way to<br />

tackle speeding vehicles.<br />

If you would like to get involved in the Speed Watch<br />

scheme, please contact 01744 884709 or email<br />

clerk@rainfordparishcouncil.gov.uk<br />


Rainford Village Hall, Church Road Rainford WA11 8HB<br />

01744 884709<br />

clerk@rainfordparishcouncil.gov.uk<br />

@rainfordvillagehall<br />


62<br />

Missing out on Higher-Rate<br />

Tax Relief?<br />

Are you a higher rate taxpayer and investing into a pension?<br />

Did you know that you need to claim the additional higherrate<br />

income tax relief for your pension? A recent study has<br />

found that up to 80% of higher-rate taxpayers have missed<br />

out on a significant amount of available pension tax relief<br />

between the tax years of 2016/17 and 2018/19.<br />

An estimated total of £810 million went unclaimed by<br />

more than 1.5 million higher and additional-rate taxpayers<br />

in the 2018/19 tax year. This unclaimed tax relief, between<br />

the tax years of 2016/17 and 2018/19, totals £2.5 billion.<br />

Tax relief is one of the advantages of using a pension to<br />

save for retirement. It can add a real boost to your pension<br />

and incentivise you to save for the future.<br />

Here’s five things you should know about tax relief;<br />

1. Higher and additional-rate taxpayers must<br />

claim their additional relief<br />

The basic rate of pension tax relief is 20%. So, a £100<br />

pension contribution would cost you just £80, with the<br />

government adding the remaining £20. If you have a<br />

relief-at-source pension, your pension provider will claim<br />

this tax relief automatically. However, it is only the basic<br />

rate of tax relief that is added automatically.<br />

Higher-rate taxpayers are eligible for 40% tax relief.<br />

Additional-rate taxpayers are eligible for 45% tax relief.<br />

This added tax relief is not given automatically.<br />

If you are a higher or additional-rate taxpayer, you will<br />

most likely need to complete a self-assessment, even if<br />

your pension is handled by your employer, to claim your<br />

extra 20% or 25% tax relief. According to research, some<br />

80% of higher-rate and 53% of additional-rate taxpayers<br />

may have failed to claim this additional tax relief.<br />

2. How to claim back the additional tax relief<br />

If you are a higher- or additional-rate taxpayer, you can claim<br />

your pension tax relief through online self-assessment.<br />

In the relevant section of your online tax return, simply<br />

state the exact amount of your pension contributions.<br />

This should be a gross calculation that includes your<br />

contributions and the basic-rate tax relief of 20%.<br />

Alternatively, you can write to your HMRC tax office,<br />

outlining how much you have paid in pension<br />

contributions, and you will also need to provide personal<br />

details so that you can receive the tax relief. You will need<br />

to contact them every time you have changes to your<br />

pension contributions or your salary.<br />

You’ll receive your tax relief as a rebate at the end of the<br />

tax year or a reduction in your tax liability or a change to<br />

your tax code.<br />

3. You can claim back tax relief from the<br />

previous four years.<br />

You must make your claim within four years of the end of<br />

the tax year you are claiming from.<br />

4. Everyone is entitled to tax relief up to the<br />

Annual Allowance<br />

Each tax year, there is a limit on how much you can<br />

contribute into your pension and still benefit from tax<br />

relief. This is known as the Annual Allowance. In the<br />

2021/22 tax year, the Annual Allowance stands at £40,000<br />

or 100% of your earnings, whichever is lower.<br />

It’s also worth noting that once you start to draw flexibly<br />

from your pension, the Money Purchase Annual Allowance<br />

is triggered. This reduces your Annual Allowance from<br />

£40,000 to just £4,000. If you plan to continue paying<br />

into your pension, you may want to avoid drawing from it<br />

early to maintain the maximum amount of tax relief you<br />

can claim.<br />

5. A financial planner can help identify and<br />

manage all your available tax relief<br />

At Callisto we’re here to help you get the best out of your<br />

finances, and to help you achieve your financial goals. That<br />

includes making the most of your pension tax relief. Please<br />

contact us for a complimentary review of your finances.<br />

Andrew Platt<br />

CFP TM Chartered MCSI<br />

A pension is a long-term investment not normally accessible until age 55 (57 from April 2028). The value of your investments (and any income from them) can go down as well as up,<br />

which would have an impact on the level of pension benefits available. Your pension income could also be affected by the interest rates at the time you take your benefits.<br />

The tax implications of pension withdrawals will be based on your individual circumstances, tax legislation and regulation which are subject to change in the future. You should seek<br />

advice to understand your options at retirement.

Planning for your future is hard if you don’t have the<br />

necessary financial expertise.<br />

Callisto Wealth Management will work with you to help you achieve your financial<br />

freedom once you reach retirement.<br />

Take the first step today towards enjoying the rest of your life.<br />

Call us on 01744 881421 to arrange a<br />

no-obligation consultation at our new<br />

Rainford offices. Remote consultations also available.<br />

Callisto Wealth Management Ltd<br />

The <strong>St</strong>ables | Pasture Lane Business Centre | Pasture Lane | Rainford | WA11 8PU<br />

01744 881421<br />

www.callistowealth.co.uk<br />


64<br />

Puzzle Pages<br />


across<br />

3. Onyx marble (9)<br />

8. Crack in a lip caused usually by cold (4)<br />

9. Pretending one set of feelings and acting under<br />

the influence of another (3-5)<br />

10. Glacial period in Earth’s history (3,3)<br />

13. Greek muse of love poetry (5)<br />

14. Painfully desirous of another’s advantages (7)<br />

down<br />

1. Copyist, scribe (9)<br />

2. Implanted device that controls heartbeat (9)<br />

4. Milky plant substance that coagulates on<br />

exposure to air (5)<br />

5. Sell illicit products such as drugs or alcohol (7)<br />

6. Unwanted email (4)<br />

7. Fencing sword (4)<br />

11. Mental illness in which the mind is dominated<br />

by a single thought or idea (9)<br />

12. Of a triangle, having two sides of equal length (9)<br />

14. Container used to store jam, dried fruit, etc (3)<br />

15. Facility caring for the terminally ill (7)<br />

18. Make cloth by interlacing threads (5)<br />

19. <strong>St</strong>rong, forceful wind (4)<br />

20. Mammal having partially webbed feet; valued<br />

for its fur (4)<br />

15. Ugly, evil-looking old woman (3)<br />

16. Citizen who has a legal right to vote (7)<br />

17. Devoutly religious (5)<br />

21. Breathe out (6)<br />

22. Early Christian church (8)<br />

23. Bake in a kiln so as to harden (4)<br />

24. Apiarist (9)<br />

Wordwheel<br />

Using only the letters in the Wordwheel, you have ten<br />

minutes to find as many words as possible, none of<br />

which may be plurals, foreign words or proper nouns.<br />

Each word must be of three letters or more, all must<br />

contain the central letter and letters can only be used<br />

once in every word. There is at least one word that uses<br />

all of the letters in the wheel.<br />

target<br />

Excellent: 20 or more words<br />

Good: 16 words<br />

W<br />

T<br />

N<br />

R<br />

I<br />

E<br />

Fair: 12 words

65<br />


Music<br />

Banjo<br />

Drum<br />

Bass<br />

Flute<br />

Bodhran<br />

Guitar<br />

Castanet<br />

Harp<br />

Cello<br />

Mandolin<br />

Chimes<br />

Oboe<br />

Cittern<br />

Pennywhistle<br />

Clarinet<br />

Piano<br />

Cornet<br />

Cymbal<br />

Didgeridoo<br />

Sitar<br />

Tambourine<br />

Trumpet<br />

Viola<br />

Violin<br />

SUDOKU<br />

word LADDER<br />

Change one letter at a time (but not the position<br />

of any letter) to make a new word - and move from<br />

the word at the top of the ladder to the word at the<br />

bottom, using the exact number of rungs provided.<br />

FOOT<br />


CLUE: to talk<br />

nonsense and say<br />

things that aren’t true.<br />

Trace a path through all<br />

the letters to find the<br />

word or phrase that fits<br />

the clue.<br />

R I A T<br />

T F H O<br />

O O L L<br />

B E F U<br />

YARD<br />

All the puzzle solutions can be found<br />

on page 80 of this magazine

66<br />

Darwen Moor<br />

by Chris Pearce<br />

Distance: 5 miles Difficulty: Medium<br />

To help those of you who are working hard to get yourself<br />

fit for the new year, we headed out to Tockholes for a walk<br />

that is sure to get anyone’s cardiovascular system racing.<br />

At just over five miles, this Darwen Moor walk dips into<br />

the area around Higher Roddlesworth Reservoir, levels<br />

out at Earnsdale Reservoir before the climb to Darwen<br />

Moor, and enjoyed wonderful views across Lancashire.<br />

We start at the car park next to Vaughns Country<br />

Café at the foot of the Moor (BB3 0PA). Please<br />

make sure you use the rear of car park, which<br />

is for the use of walkers, rather than the<br />

front of the car park which is for the Royal<br />

Oak pub next door.<br />

Take the public footpath opposite the<br />

pub and head down the steps, passing the<br />

ruins on the right, and carry on downhill<br />

where you’ll see glimpses of Roddlesworth<br />

through the trees. Once you reach the<br />

wooden fence at the bottom, turn<br />

right to walk around the right-hand<br />

side of Roddlesworth.<br />

After 300 yards, you’ll approach a<br />

fork – take the lesser-used uphill path to the right. Follow<br />

this through the woods until you reach the Tockholes<br />

Road. Turn left and follow the road until you reach Fine<br />

Peters Farm. Cross over and go through the gate at the<br />

left-hand side of the farm, following a track.<br />

The track (Dean Lane) starts to climb, affording super<br />

views, and then dips to a crossroad of paths. Carry<br />

straight on down the cobbled path (Donkey Brow)<br />

and this will eventually bring you out at Earnsdale<br />

Reservoir. Follow the path round Earnsdale and<br />

stay on the tarmacked road uphill until you<br />

reach Waterhouse (1897). Carry on in the<br />

same direction for 50 yards and then take a<br />

right turn up the concrete road.<br />

Just before the second bend on the concrete<br />

road, there’s a gap in the safety barrier; go<br />

through the gap and follow the well-defined<br />

path until you come to a gate, set in a drystone<br />

wall. Go through the gate and<br />

follow the path for 150 yards until you<br />

arrive at a wider path. Turn right and go<br />

through the entrance to Darwen Moor.

67<br />

Further up the path you reach a fork, here you take the<br />

main left fork and climb the hill until you get to the tower.<br />

Go round the tower to the left and you’ll see a path<br />

running away southwards towards the mast; take this<br />

path and when you reach a junction (look for the bench),<br />

turn left for 150 yards until you reach a marker that<br />

indicates the West Pennine Way/Witton Weavers Way<br />

junction; here you take a sharp right uphill along Witton<br />

Weavers Way.<br />

Tockholes Road<br />

Green Hill<br />

Houghton Farm<br />

Witton Weavers Way<br />

Sunnyhurst<br />

Clough<br />

Sunnyhurst<br />

Tockholes Road<br />

Earnsdale<br />

Reservoir<br />

Higher<br />

Roddlesworth<br />

Reservoir<br />

Tockholes<br />

Number 1<br />

Plantation<br />

Sunnyhurst Hey<br />

Reservoir<br />

Sniddle<br />

Hill Farm<br />

Ryal Fold<br />

Jubilee Tower<br />

Tockholes<br />

Number 2<br />

Plantation<br />

P<br />

<strong>St</strong>epback Brook<br />

Higher Wenshead<br />

Darwen<br />

Hill<br />

Tockholes Road<br />

New Barn<br />

Waterfall<br />

Tockholes Road<br />

Duckshaw Clough<br />

Darwen Moor<br />

For those with the OS Maps<br />

app on your desktop, mobile<br />

or tablet, this walk is named:<br />

JT-Darwen-Moor<br />

Cartridge Hill<br />

White Hill

68<br />

junction; here you take a sharp right uphill along Witton<br />

Weavers Way.<br />

Darwen Tower can get pretty busy with walkers<br />

sometimes, but once you get up onto the top of Darwen<br />

Moor the crowds start to thin out and you can appreciate<br />

the amazing countryside views. Follow the path for almost<br />

a mile until you reach a gate with a bench just the other<br />

side of it. Go though here and wind your way downhill<br />

until you reach a stone marker by a wooden gate.<br />

Go through the gate and take the path that cuts a visible<br />

green swathe through moorlands. Follow this somewhat<br />

muddy path uphill again and immediately after you<br />

have gone through a second gate, bear left downhill and<br />

follow this muddy path down to New Barn Farm.<br />

Bear right when you have reached the farm, so through<br />

another gate and follow that path for ¼ mile until you<br />

once again reach the Witton Weavers path. Take a sharp<br />

left through a gate and then follow that path for a further<br />

½ mile downhill until you return to the car park where you<br />

started.<br />

Please ensure you wear appropriate clothing and footwear<br />

whilst walking. Whilst every care has been taken to ensure<br />

that the walk is accurate, neither the publisher or its editorial<br />

contributors can accept, and hereby disclaim, any liability to<br />

any party to loss or damage caused by errors or omissions<br />

resulting from negligence, accident or other cause.

69<br />

A history of<br />

Darwen Tower<br />

Darwen Tower is a Grade<br />

II listed structure which<br />

was built in 1897/98 to<br />

commemorate Queen<br />

Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee,<br />

but to the people of Darwen<br />

it symbolises something<br />

more fundamental – the right<br />

to access to Darwen Moor.<br />

Back in the 1870’s, the Lord<br />

of the Manor, a Reverend<br />

called Duckworth who lived<br />

in Somerset, instructed his gamekeepers to<br />

block the ancient rights of way onto the Moor.<br />

Coal supplier William Ashton took exception to<br />

this move, he had to supply farmers who lived on<br />

the Moor, and when Duckworth’s gamekeepers<br />

blocked his way, he unblocked it. After a few<br />

bloody skirmishes, the issue went to court and by<br />

1896 the townspeople had<br />

regained the right to use the<br />

moorland footpaths. Ashton<br />

had died a couple of years<br />

earlier, but his three sons led<br />

a celebratory procession up<br />

on to the moors to the spot<br />

where the Tower now stands.<br />

The victory coincided with<br />

the town’s desire to celebrate<br />

Queen Victoria’s diamond<br />

jubilee. An anonymous letter<br />

to the local paper suggested a landmark be built<br />

on the Moor to commemorate the Jubilee and<br />

also to celebrate the freeing of the Moors. The<br />

townspeople rallied behind the idea and the<br />

tower was opened in September 1898 by the<br />

Reverend William Duckworth himself.

70<br />

All the colours of the rainbow<br />

Joy in the winter garden<br />

Create orange and yellow sunshine in<br />

The start of a new year is the perfect time to review your<br />

patch of outdoor space to ensure it fills you with joy. You<br />

need either strong structural design or a wonderful array<br />

of rainbow shades, punctuated by architectural forms.<br />

Planting a rainbow<br />

Aim to provide something that fits into the chart of the<br />

seven visible spectrum colours: red, orange, yellow, green,<br />

blue, indigo and violet. Almost certainly, you will already<br />

have some green, but there are many different shades.<br />

The secret is to have one shade of green set off against<br />

another – dark and light is the classic combination. You<br />

can play with greens all year round, but <strong>Jan</strong>uary is the<br />

month they can really bring the show alive.<br />

Reds for the winter garden<br />

Think about stems and bark as well as flowers, foliage<br />

and berries, and there is a feast of red opportunity. The<br />

fiery stems of Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire’ or Cornus<br />

alba ‘Sibirica’ will set the border ablaze, particularly if you<br />

prune down your cornus in late winter or very early spring<br />

so that the new growth is pleasingly vertical. The rich<br />

mahogany bark of Prunus serrula, or Tibetan cherry, can<br />

look stunning against a backdrop of dark green hedging<br />

or the brown leaves of winter beech. Lower to the ground<br />

you might consider heuchera such as H. ‘Forever Red’ or<br />

H. ‘Paprika’. Then we have rhododendrons, some of which<br />

can be adorned with a blousy show of scarlet this month.<br />

the garden<br />

With ornamental grasses in borders or pots, <strong>Jan</strong>uary<br />

will glow. Clumps of tall miscanthus with its warm,<br />

yellow-orange stems and seed heads will look dignified<br />

in <strong>Jan</strong>uary, providing structure and colour. Choose an<br />

orange-stemmed cornus for vertical accent and dot these<br />

plants around in repeated forms to bring the picture<br />

together. Plant Eranthis hyemalis, the winter aconite,<br />

under deciduous shrubs to create a spreading, golden<br />

carpet and consider Mahonia ‘Winter Sun’, a magnificent<br />

structural shrub with yellow, scented winter flowers to<br />

transform a shady corner.<br />

Beat the winter blues with garden blue,<br />

indigo and violet<br />

Blue fescue is an evergreen grass that can create winter<br />

blues and there are plenty of conifers and shrubs with<br />

steely-blue foliage to provide structure and colour,<br />

including Juniperus ‘Blue <strong>St</strong>ar’ and Pittosporum ‘Wrinkled<br />

Blue’. Eucalyptus gunnii, with its strikingly blue juvenile<br />

leaves, can be tamed by clipping for winter beauty. For<br />

an indigo or violet hue, consider the conifer Cryptomeria<br />

japonica, which turns a pleasing shade of purple in winter.<br />

Evergreen heucheras can provide low mounds of purple<br />

foliage to line paths and provide a safe haven for wildlife.<br />

Your winter garden is likely to be viewed through glass for<br />

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


72<br />

Used car bargains:<br />

the models that are escaping<br />

the big price rises<br />

In recent months, with new car production badly affected<br />

by a shortage of components – namely due to limited<br />

supplies of semiconductors, which are used in everything<br />

from reversing cameras to safety assistance systems –<br />

buyers are flocking to used cars like never before.<br />

It’s having a huge knock-on effect on the prices of used<br />

cars too – especially on the models with long waiting<br />

times for a brand-new version. In fact, recent data from<br />

automotive analysts Cap HPI showed that values rose<br />

by 20.3 per cent in a five month period, with some cars<br />

jumping in value by nearly 50 per cent in that time.<br />

It means that used cars are now pricier than they’ve<br />

ever been. However, there is still a range of models that<br />

continue to offer great value for money. Here are the used<br />

car bargains still available.<br />

BMW X3 M Competition<br />

BMW’s M division is best known for its sports saloons<br />

like the M3 and M5, but these days the brand’s sporty<br />

SUVs play an equally important part. Take the X3 M<br />

Competition, for example, the brand’s entry-level M<br />

model in the SUV line-up – though with its 503bhp twin<br />

turbo 3.0-litre engine under the bonnet, it’s far from basic<br />

in terms of performance.<br />

If you wanted a new model it would set you back an eyewatering<br />

£83,000 (and that’s before you’ve chosen any<br />

optional extras). But by looking at used versions instead<br />

you can save a considerable chunk of money. We found<br />

a 2020 car with just 5,000 miles on the clock for £60,000,<br />

which is a vast saving off the original list price.<br />

Vauxhall Astra<br />

Though Vauxhall’s<br />

Astra might not be<br />

the most aspirational<br />

car in its class, that<br />

has never harmed<br />

its popularity. And it’s this that works to its advantage if

73<br />

you’re looking for a bargain, as with the huge choice of<br />

models available, it helps to guarantee you a great deal<br />

on a used example.<br />

So while the soon-to-be-replaced Astra might cost you<br />

£20,000 new, by looking at nearly-new versions you can<br />

quite easily save yourself well in excess of £5,000. We<br />

spotted a 2020 car with under 10,000 miles on the clock<br />

for just £13,495 – you’d struggle to find a new city car for<br />

that price. While it’s often overlooked, the Astra is still<br />

good to drive, looks good and has a practical interior that<br />

is ideal for families.<br />

Volkswagen<br />

Arteon<br />

Sometimes the best<br />

trick to finding a<br />

used car bargain is<br />

to choose a car that<br />

flies under the radar,<br />

and one great example is the Volkswagen Arteon. It’s the<br />

brand’s most ‘executive’ model these days, yet despite its<br />

striking design it’s often cast aside by buyers who favour<br />

a more premium badge.<br />

By doing so they’re missing out on its refined driving<br />

experience, upmarket interior and efficient engines,<br />

though. However, you can use this to your benefit, as<br />

a 2020 car in high-spec R-Line trim with low miles is<br />

available from around £26,000 – an almost ridiculous<br />

£13,000 less than the list price of a new example. So, while<br />

used car values might be rising at a silly rate, there are<br />

most certainly still bargains that can be had.<br />

Audi e-tron<br />

Due to the increased<br />

popularity of electric<br />

cars, it often means<br />

bargains are quite<br />

rare. One exception to that rule is the Audi e-tron – the<br />

brand’s flagship SUV – which, despite its high-quality,<br />

tech-laden interior and comfortable drive isn’t holding its<br />

value quite as well as you might expect.<br />

But that just makes it a terrific used buy, especially as a<br />

2020 car with under 10,000 miles on the clock can be had<br />

for £45,000 – a huge £15,000 saving on what you’d pay<br />

for a brand-new model. Just be aware that this applies to<br />

the ‘50’ model with the smaller battery option, which only<br />

allows for an electric range of around 200 miles.<br />

Mercedes SL<br />

While Mercedes<br />

might be gearing<br />

up to launch its new<br />

‘SL’ as its convertible<br />

flagship, its recently axed predecessor is well worth<br />

your attention. Though more old-school in its character,<br />

this glamorous drop-top is still dripping in class, with a<br />

punchy engine that would prove effortless on the longdistance<br />

trips this Mercedes is meant for.<br />

Though no longer available to buy new, a factory-fresh<br />

version would have set you back upwards of £80,000. But<br />

today, you could expect to find a one-year-old example<br />

with just a few thousand miles on the clock for around<br />

£65,000. Granted, that’s still a lot of money, but a very<br />

generous saving off the original asking price.

74<br />

Home Services<br />

Call Clint for a free no obligation quote<br />

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for<br />

as<br />

76<br />

Having a Clear Out?<br />

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Man<br />

& a Van<br />

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removals<br />

Haydock<br />

Decorators<br />

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For a free quote & friendly advice<br />

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Haydock Decorators<br />

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Bespoke Fl oring is the trading name of WJD Retail<br />

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

rural Vi lage<br />

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Li tle Acorns Nursery is situated in a beautiful woodland<br />

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We are big on the great outdoors & being down in the forest<br />

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A l Saints’ Primary School | Finch Lane | Appley Bridge | WN6 9DT<br />

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42-44 Rainford Road, Billinge<br />




• Brand New Bathrooms<br />

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Little Acorns Nursery<br />


Open Mon-Fri: 8am ti l 5.30pm term time<br />

We operate a b oking system for the<br />

holidays which saves you money<br />

We deliver 30 hours fr e entitlement<br />

Flexible se sions available<br />

We take children from 2 years old<br />

Ca l Sarah on 01744 86166 for more information or admin@cranknursery.net<br />

Li tle Acorns Nursery is situated in a beautiful woodland<br />

se ting. It is a safe and vibrant place for your child to gain<br />

lots of wonderful educational experiences.<br />

We are big on the great outd ors & being down in the forest<br />

which is g od for your child’s health and we l-being<br />

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77<br />

A Genuine Family Run<br />

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78<br />

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Est.1975<br />

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W.Hurst & Son Ltd<br />



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• All types of electrical work<br />

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WILSON<br />

BROS<br />

• •<br />

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Darlington <strong>St</strong>reet East, Wigan WN1 3BT<br />

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83<br />

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warmlightwindowsltd.co.uk • info@warmlightwindowsltd.co.uk<br />

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

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

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Tomorrow’s Home Improvements Today!<br />

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