Planet spotting in
Photo by Steve Berry, of Euxton
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have a confession - I have absolutely no idea what my home telephone number is. Since being installed two years ago, I’ve used it fewer than a dozen times. All it does is gather dust on top of my bookcase. My lack of devotion to landline telecommunications doesn’t mean I’m not a little sad at BT’s plan to tear out 30 in the Chorley area (see page six). See, for me, landlines are a bit like the church; I have scant need for one but, nevertheless, am comforted by the fact they are there. I recall the excitement on my first day at high school upon discovering I would have access to a payphone. At morning breaktime, the queue stretched around the science block with kids ringing their parents to tell them how they were settling in. I even got myself a phonecard, which was useless in all but one phonebox in the centre of town! Some people even used to collect them - and remember how useful they were abroad? How times change. I recall one tale years ago, long before mobiles, of a man who lived near a remote motorway junction in Lancashire and was frequently pestered by motorists who knocked on in the dead of night, asking to use his phone because they’d broken down. Eventually, the poor sleep-deprived soul got so fed up he campaigned for British Telecom to install a payphone outside his house. “Job done,” he thought until yet another knock on the door at 2am. Again, it was a stranded motorist. But this time, he didn’t want to use the gentleman’s phone, but needed change of a £1 note to make a call. You could call it the price of progress!
David Sudworth, Editor
In this issue Out of this
Regulars 36 Planning 38 Puzzle Corner
50 Test drive 54 Whatâ€™s On
42 Class From The Past 67 Garden Diary 49 Eating Out Guide
Sections 6 Local News 40 Education 46 Food & Drink
62 Pets 67 Gardening 63 Home Services
Next issue - December 2016
Advertising deadline - Thursday, 10 November
46 Win tickets to see
Simply Red 52 Test Drive - VW
Golf GTI 50
Jackâ€™s Tracks visits
Published - Thursday, 24 November Local Life 247 Ltd Unit 8, Hewitt Business Park, Winstanley Road, Orrell, WN5 7XB
Telephone: 01257 498 329 Publisher: Chris firstname.lastname@example.org Sales: Lisa, Nicola email@example.com Editorial: David firstname.lastname@example.org Design: Peter, Dylan email@example.com Distribution: Sally firstname.lastname@example.org Accounts: Sam email@example.com Local Life is published every month and distributed into the following areas on an alternate monthly basis. This edition is delivered to 12,500 homes and businesses in Astley Village, Buckshaw Village, Clayton-le-Woods, Euxton, Whittle-le-Woods, Wheelton, Heapey, Brinscall and Withnell. The next edition is delivered to 13,515 homes and businesses in Chorley, Coppull, Eccleston, Croston, Charnock Richard, and Heath Charnock. You can also pick up a free copy at Morrisons or Tesco in Chorley.
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Whilst every care has been taken to ensure that the data in this publication is accurate, neither the publisher or its editorial contributors can accept, and hereby disclaim, any liability to any party to loss or damage caused by errors or omissions resulting from negligence, accident or other cause. No part of this publication may be copied or reproduced without the prior written consent of Local Life 247 Ltd.
Payphones at risk Scores of payphones across Chorley could be axed. BT has identified 30 phones which it says are surplus to requirements. Some of them haven’t been used once in the past 12 months. They include (number of times used in the past year in brackets): • Junction of Bett Lane/Blackburn Road, Higher Wheelton (0) • Junction of Oakmere Avenue/Chorley Road, Withnell (0)
cent in the last decade and the need to provide payphones for use in emergency situations is diminishing all the time, with at least 98 per cent of the UK having either 3G or 4G coverage. This is important because as long as there is network coverage, it`s now possible to call the emergency services, even when there is no credit or coverage from your own mobile provider.” A consultation is now open - have your say by contacting Chorley Council’s planning department via www.chorley.gov.uk
• Outside shops on Runshaw Lane, Euxton (27) • Junction of Preston and Swansey Lane, ClaytonLe-Woods (13) • Junction of Chorley Old Road/Hillside Crescent, Whittle-Le-Woods (16) • Near Ordnance Pub, Wigan Road, Euxton (2) • Bryant Homes, East Terrace, Euxton Lane (51) Rick Thompson, BT payphone planning officer, said: “Use of payphones has declined by over 90 per
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Beer and biscuits Buckshaw Village Church, which is based at the community centre on Unity Place, is holding a Men’s Evening of Beer and Biscuits! Organisers want people to simply take along some craft beers and unusual biscuits in what they say will be a great night of fun and friendship. It starts at 7.30pm on Friday, November 11. For more information, email info@BuckshawVillageChurch.org.uk
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Distributors Required Local Life magazine seeks distributors for delivery of this magazine and leaflets in the following areas; Chorley – Maple Grove, Linden Grove, Pine Grove, Hazel Grove & Hartswood Green. Withnell – Bury Lane, Monks Drive, New Street, Salisbury Road & Railway Road. Euxton – Wigan Road, Euxton Hall Gardens, Park Avenue & Church Walk. Buckshaw – Worden Brook Court, Sunningdale Drive, Park Drive & Silverstone Street. Good rates paid, delivery bags and maps provided. You will be at least 13, healthy, energetic and prepared to work for 2/3 hours once every eight weeks.
Natural history talks Chorley and District Natural History Society has announced details of its final two talks in 2016. Wildlife of the Pennines by Tim Melling, an RSPB conservation officer, will be held at St Mary’s Parish Centre, West Street, Chorley on Thursday, November 17, from 7.30pm. And on Thursday, December 15, Dr Irene Ridge will be giving a talk entitled Woodland Ecology again at 7.30pm at the same location. Dr Ridge is an authority on botany and on mycology. She has previously visited the society to talk about fungi and orchids. Non-members are welcome. For more details, visit www.chorleynats.org.uk call Keith Woan on 01257 278759.
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Tell us your story! Local Life is always on the look out for news stories from the local communities we serve. Are you raising money for charity? Are you a member of a community group with something to shout about? Maybe you’ve got an unusual talent, or have a claim to fame? If so, let us know and you could be appearing in the next edition! Simply contact us on chorleynews@locallife247. co.uk or call us on 01257 498329.
Panto time Buckshaw Village Amateur Musical Performers (VAMP) are staging their annual pantomime across four nights in December. Aladdin will be held on Saturday, December 10, at 5pm; Sunday, December 11, at 2.30pm; Saturday, December 17, at 5pm, and Sunday, December 18, at 2.30pm. All performances will be at Buckshaw Community Centre, Unity Place. Tickets are £8 for adults, £6 for children and a family ticket is £20. Booking is via www.eventbrite.co.uk
Cop this A police fun day is being held at Euxton Library, St Mary’s Gate, on Thursday, November 3, from 2pm-4pm. Activities include a dodgeball pit ,colouring and face painting. There will also be opportunity for children to try on and dress up in police uniform.
Search for young citizen
Chorley dodges shake-up
The search is on to find Lancashire’s Young Citizen of the Year 2017 as part of a countywide competition
Chorley’s parliamentary boundaries are set to be unaffected in the shake-up recently announced by the Government. There are no proposals to alter the size or shape of the constituency, which has been held by Lindsay Hoyle since 1997. However, Eccleston - which is currently part of the neighbouring South Ribble constituency - could be moved into West Lancashire. The Buckshaw part of South Ribble would be unaffected. A public consultation on the plans ends on December 5 visit www.bce2018.org.uk to have your say.
The awards take place every year and involve the High Sheriff John Barnett inviting applications to find a young person, ideally aged up to age 21, who has helped either their local neighbourhood, an individual, family member or local organisation. All finalists will be invited to attend a presentation at Lancashire Constabulary Headquarters in March where the winner will receive £500 along with a specially commissioned trophy. The scheme is being administered by the Lancashire Partnership Against Crime charity on behalf of the High Sheriff. Application forms can be completed online at http://socsi.in/biWMM. For more information, contact Al Yusuf from LANPAC on 01772 412796. The deadline for nominations is January 31.
WI invite Buckshaw Women’s Institute is looking for new members. The group, which started five years ago, meets on the second Thursday of the month, 7.30pm at Trinity School in Buckshaw Village. For more information, visit www.buckshawwi. wordpress.com
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Totally Locally launches A campaign encouraging people to shop locally has been launched in Chorley. Independent traders are leading the Totally Locally campaign that encourages people to spend their money where it will benefit the local community. Campaign co-ordinator Victoria Garside, of Chocobella, said “I’m delighted that so many traders have bought into the scheme because that is all about showcasing local businesses and supporting
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local talent. If every adult in Chorley spent just £5 per week in their local independent shops, it would be worth an extra £29million per year going into the local economy – money which would go towards supporting jobs.” For further information, email victoria@chocobella. co.uk or call 01257 460124.
Support available A new wellness clinic, called All Of Us, has been started up in Buckshaw. Supported by NHS Community Restart and Buckshaw Village Church, it is offering those who feel they need support a brew, chat and a friendly face. It takes place at Buckshaw Village Community Centre on Tuesdays from 11.15am-12.30pm.
Frightfully good event A Halloween craft event is taking place at Euxton Library, St Mary’s Gate, from 2.30pm-4pm on Wednesday, November 2. Entry is £1 per child up to £2 per family. All welcome.
MP to open fair Chorley MP Lindsay Hoyle is set to open St George’s Church’s Christmas fair on Saturday, December 3. It will be held in the church hall, on Halliwell Street, from 10.30am-1.30pm. Admission is 50p, but accompanied children go free. There will be various stalls, games, a chance to meet Father Christmas and also an auction. Refreshments served all day.
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The state of local Public Rights of Way is getting worse, according to the body which looks after them. Statistics revealed by Lancashire County Council shows that just over half are classed as ‘easy to use’. Since 2008, there has been a gradual decline in the amount of Ways in good condition - from 70% in 2008/09 to just 55% in 2012/13. The figures emerged in an Improvement Plan published by the county council, which is responsible for keeping Public Rights of Way open. The plan, which has been signed off by councillors, said: “Our data reveals that overall satisfaction has declined over the last five years. This is borne out by reports of defects and requests from users. The poor surface condition and standards of maintenance of routes across the county has been raised consistently as an issue. We need to identify key user routes and prioritise our maintenance in order to secure improvements on the most heavily used, or potentially used, routes.” It adds: “The historical network in the vicinity of new developments is often no longer fit for purpose both in its connections and construction - parents taking children to school cannot push a buggy or keep school uniform clean using a footpath over a stile and across an arable field and the footpath may not start from the housing estate.”
On display solo exhibition of water colour paintings by local A artist Irene Nicholas can be seen at the Café Gallery, Avant Garden Centre, Wigan Road, Leyland, from November 1 to November 30.
Market on the
Chorley’s Flat Iron market could be moved temporarily. The borough council is consulting on plans to relocate the market along the town’s shopping streets while the Market Walk extension works are underway. A spokesman said: “It provides an opportunity to see how incorporating the market in a different location could boost footfall for traders and other town centre businesses. Based
on evidence of other markets in pedestrianised areas the move is expected to have a positive impact on the market and surrounding shops. This consultation also asks for opinions on how we could develop and strengthen Chorley’s covered and specialist markets.” The consultation is open until Friday, November 4. Have your say by taking part in a questionnaire at www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/chorleymarkets
Tributes to Maureen
Tributes have flooded in for a tireless Healey Nab campaigner who has died aged 75. Maureen Hall fought for years to protect the Nab and other green spaces in the Chorley area. Mrs Hall, who lived on Seymour Street, was also a dinner lady at Sacred Heart Primary School and Holy Cross High School.
Two new zebra crossings are to be installed on Runshaw Lane, Euxton. Highways bosses have confirmed one will be sited near to the shops, almost opposite St Mary’s Gate junction and the other near to the Primrose Hill Road junction. Both will be installed next summer.
Police Pop In
Buckshaw, Euxton or Astley Village locals are invited to attend the next Police Pop In events, which take place on Monday, November 7, and Monday, December 19. They are held from 6pm at Euxton Library, St Mary’s Gate.
Clayton Green Scout Group is holding a ladies’ fashion show and pop up shop at Manor Road School, Clayton-Le-Woods, on Saturday, November 26. The fun starts from 7.30pm (doors open at 7pm) and tickets are £5. There will also be a charity raffle with prizes to be won on the night. For any further information, call 07749 327259 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Coffee time Tesco’s Buckshaw store holds a community coffee morning on the last Monday of the month from 10.30am-noon. Entry is £1.
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In a spin Chorley Football Club is holding a dance night on Saturday, November 26. Resident DJs Derek Smith and Jem Booth will be spinning the decks with a variety of Northern Soul, Modern Soul and Motown at the Duke Street club from 8pm-1am. It’s £5 pay on the door and for more information call Derek on 07870 613446 or Dave on 07804 145055.
Somme talk St Laurence’s Church Hall, Union Street, is the venue for an illustrated talk by local World War I historian and author Steve Williams about the 1916 Battle of the Somme. It takes place on Sunday, November 6,
from 2pm to 3.30pm. All welcome, admission £2.50, payable on the door. Further details are available from 0345 193 1418.
Gala fundraiser Chorley Astley Inner Wheel is hosting a charity gala night in aid of spinal condition Ankylosing Spondylitis. The event will be held in the Park Suite, Park Hall Hotel, Charnock Richard, on Saturday, November 12, from 7pm to midnight. Entertainment comes in the form of a light opera and songs from musicals, such as Bring Him Home from Les Miserables, Tosca’s E Lucevan Le Stelle and La Donna E Mobile from Rigoletto. Tickets are £25 to book contact 01772 432357.
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Nearly New Sale
The 33rd Sweatshop Through the Villages Race takes place on Sunday, November 6. This tough annual run starts at 10.30am from the Dressers Arms, Briers Brow, Wheelton. The 8.45 miles road race takes you through the villages of Wheelton, Brinscall, Abbey Village, Withnell and then back to the start. Free food at Village Hall after the race, medal to all finishers. The entry fee is £11.50 and for more information, call Terry Dickenson on 01254 830591.
The Chorley & Leyland branch of the NCT (National Childbirth Trust) is holding its next Gold Standard NCT Nearly New Sale on Saturday, November 12. It takes place at Parklands High School from noon-1.30pm with early entry for NCT members from 11.30am. Entry fee is £1. For more info or to register as a seller or volunteer, contact nns. email@example.com
Chorley United Reformed Church, on Hollinshead Street, Chorley, is holding a Christmas fair on Saturday, December 3, from 11.30am-2pm. The fair features stalls, tombolas, children’s activities, as well as a Christmas model railway and a visit from Father Christmas. You can also enjoy a bite to eat, with lunches on offer including soup, bacon/sausage sandwiches, cold buffet, cakes and beverages. Everyone welcome.
Locals are invited to a Christmas Exhibition Preview Evening at The Picture Shop, Pall Mall, Chorley, on Friday, November 11, 6pm-8pm. The shop will be showcasing some of Chorley’s established and upcoming artists, along with a new range of prints. The exhibition will run for two weeks. All welcome to attend.
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Out of this
world Local Life editor David Sudworth goes for a spot of star-gazing in Euxton...
s a keen astronomer, Steven Berry is used to the unexpected. But when he put word around that he was looking to start a group for other like-minded folk in Euxton, he was flabbergasted with the response.
That was two years ago, and since then Euxtronomy has, forgive the pun, grown astronomically. “It’s become a social group as well as just for astronomy,” says Steven, 47. “I set it up basically because I’m Euxton born and bred. I went to playschool in the Parish Church Community Centre, where we hold our meetings, and went to St Mary’s school then onto Runshaw College. I love the place but there was nothing here associated with astronomy. That’s why I decided to do it here.” Steve’s interest in goings-on above our heads started when he was young: “It was while I was at school; I bought a small telescope. In my teens, I discovered girls and then obviously you grow up, have a family and just don’t have time. “Once the kids get older, you have chance to do more stuff so I got into astronomy again, that’s why I decided to put out a small advert, and you very kindly gave it a mention in Local Life as well. I didn’t think there would be so much interest; I knew of people locally who were interested in astronomy but didn’t expect it to grow.”
Photo by Rob Ince
The group soon became well known, pulling in people from far and wide. One of its members is the well-known astronomer and professional scientist Rob Ince, who lives in Bamber Bridge.
Rob was the resident astronomer and manager of the Scottish Dark Sky Observatory in the Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park. He now holds talks right across the country.
“Astronomy isn’t all old men in armchairs” Rob, 52, said: “There are a lot of myths about astronomy, one of them being is that you need to spend thousands on equipment. That isn’t the case. Galileo had a telescope which was just an inch in diameter, and you can get some for under £100.”
Steven Berry and Rob Ince
Steven agrees: “Some people are worried that when they come to the meetings, they’ll be expected to pull out some massive telescope. “There’s also a myth that it’s for old men in armchairs. That’s probably down to Sir Patrick Moore and The Sky At Night, but actually, it’s something that young people are interested in. “I remember a while ago, we were up at Anglezarke and you get teens there with their mates. One of the lads was amazed with what they could see through a telescope, and even asked if he could take a picture of it with his iPhone.
Summer star trail by Amanda Cross, of Euxton
Jeffrey Hill trail by Rob Ince
Some of the Euxtronomy group members - numbers have risen since the beginning “Our group has everyone from the age of 10 right up to people who are retired. We also have about a 50:50 split of men and women.” And it seems that Euxton is the perfect base from which to keep an eye out for intergalactic action. “We do have a fair amount of light pollution from places like Blackburn, Preston and Manchester, there are some good places nearby, particularly in Ribble Valley,” says Rob. “There are some nights when, if it’s clear, you can see shooting stars every two minutes. The light from the closest star to us takes about four years to get to earth, but some take hundreds of years. People are amazed by these sorts of facts; especially when you tell them the light from the sun takes eight minutes to get to us, and is 110 times bigger than the earth.” Although the group has an educational and social aspect to it - as well as a lending library - members also have their eyes on a very big goal; the creation of an observatory in Euxton.
Hodder Bridge by Rob Ince
“It will take a long time and cost a lot of money, but it would be great to have something like that in Euxton,” says Steven.
“Plan for an observatory in Euxton” “The main thing is that we want to encourage as many people as possible to come along. We’ve had people coming along who were novices and, because of the myth about having to spend a lot of money on equipment, a bit wary. But they’re now at a point when they can look through a telescope and know the names of the things they are seeing.” Euxtronomy’s next meeting is on Friday, November 11, 7.30pm at Euxton Parish Church Community Centre, Wigan Road. Visit www. euxtronomy.org.uk for more information.
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Group on the move Chorley’s musical social enterprise has moved its Tuesday market day session to a new venue. The music making for the over 50s, Life Long Song, is now at Galloway’s Centre in Farrington Street and
is from 1.30pm until 3pm. For more information on Life Long Song, call 01257 276178, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit them online at www.facebook.com/lifelongsongchorley
An Euxton doctor has backed an initiative to help older people in the parish. Professor Romesh Gupta, former consultant in elderly medicine at Chorley Hospital, is supporting the move by Euxton Library to hold local health and wellbeing meetings. He joined locals at their first meeting recently, where they discussed how to maintain and enhance their own healthy life styles focusing on the particular problems associated with trips and falls.
Prof Gupta said: “I really welcome the opportunity to become involved in this important community initiative. By 2020, one in five of the population will be over age 65; more than the number of under 16 year olds. “Increased individual awareness of the importance of healthy life styles has an important part to play in reducing the pressures on the NHS and in this series of meetings we will hope to build up this awareness and so promote the health and wellbeing of Euxton residents.” The next meeting is on Wednesday, November 9, from 10.30am-11.30am at the library on St Mary’s Gate. All welcome.
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RETIREMENT PLANNING ARE YOU RETIREMENT READY?
A report has highlighted the positive impact planning and professional financial advice can have on income levels in retirement. The Retirement Income Uncovered report from Old Mutual Wealth found that retirees who used a financial adviser are more than twice as likely to achieve a target income in retirement.
The average income for people who had a target and who took financial advice was ÂŁ26,000. Thinking about where your income is going to come from and having a target in mind clearly makes a difference to your outcome in retirement. So does obtaining professional financial advice. For further information and help with your retirement donâ€™t hesitate to contact us.
To discuss your financial planning talk to us today. Old Mutual Wealth partnered with YouGov to conduct research. Fieldwork was carried out between 10th and 14th July 2014.
Brought to you by Chartered Financial Planner, True Bearing Ltd. Highly qualified independent financial advisors offering a professional yet personal financial planning service, built on trust, experience and transparency.
Telephone: 01257 260011 Email: email@example.com | Website: www.truebearing.co.uk True Bearing Chartered Financial Planners is a trading name of True Bearing Ltd. True Bearing is an Independent Financial Advisory Firm, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
FOR INDEPENDENT FINANCIAL ADVICE Our Services and Charges: An initial meeting is at our expense. To proceed further, advice charges will apply and would be fully discussed with you. Go to our website www.truebearing.co.uk for our terms of business.
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Planning Matters Brinscall 100 School Lane: Proposed two storey rear extension to the rear of properties numbers 98 and 100 (ref: 16/00928/FUL). A decision is due by December 1. Buckshaw 8 Robinson Close: Proposed garage conversion to a bedroom. (ref: 16/00920/FULHH). A decision is due by November 29. 147 Brookwood Way : Erection of a single storey rear conservatory. (ref: 16/00908/FULHH). A decision is due by November 28.
Cedar House, Wigan Road: Erection of a two storey rear extension and change of facing materials to front, side and rear elevation. (ref: 16/00916/ FULHH). A decision is due by December 2. Withnell Old Olivers Farm, Bury Lane: Full application for the conversion and extension of an existing barn to form a single detached dwelling and garage with new access onto Bury Lane. (ref: 16/00921/FUL). A decision is due by December 2. Whittle-Le-Woods 9 Stamford Drive: Erection of a rear conservatory. (ref: 16/00945/PDE). A decision is due November 21.
Visit www.chorley.gov.uk for more details about these, and other, applications ENTER CODE
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Sudoku Answers are on page 66 of this magazine
A final decision will be made in February over whether to admit another 105 pupils to Euxton’s Balshaw Lane Primary. Education chiefs are looking to press on with plans which would raise the admissions from 45 pupil places to 60. If that was made permanent, the capacity of the school would eventually grow from 315 to 420.
need” for extra school places in Euxton, in addition to the recent expansions at Primrose Hill Primary and Trinity CE/Methodist Primary. In the case of Balshaw Lane, the next step is for a Statutory Notice to be published on November 22, following which there would be a four-week representation period until December 19. A final decision would then need to be made within two months and any changes would be implemented in September 2018.
It comes after a report said there was “a sustained
Class from the
This month’s Class from the Past is from Hollinshead School. It’s believed this photo was taken in
Remember, if you have a photo you’d be willing to share, contact us today by emailing chorleynews@
the 1960s. Maybe you can spot a familiar face?
‘No new grammars in Chorley’ No new grammar schools should open in Chorley. That’s the view of a schools chief who voiced her opposition to plans currently under consideration by the Government. County Cllr Nikki Hennessey
said: “The principle of selection by ability is wrong educationally and excludes specifically children from Black and minority ethnic backgrounds and children who qualify for free school meals.”
St Pius X Catholic Preparatory School & Oak House Nursery We kick-start your childâ€™s education in our nursery with enthusiastic, creative and energetic teaching and follow up in our school with a varied, stimulating and aspirational curriculum that sees pupils earn places at leading independent and grammar schools.
Independent Schools Inspectors describe our school and nursery as happy, caring and purposeful. Please visit our website to read their full report. For more information or to arrange a visit, please contact: 200 Garstang Road, Fulwood, Preston, Lancashire, PR2 8RD.
Tel: 01772 719 937 or 01772 713 630 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
f you’re a homeowner, one of your biggest worries is how to maintain your property properly.
Everyone is capable of some DIY, but often won’t possess the skills, the time or the confidence to complete the work required; and then, it’s a case of changing the acronym from DIY to GSI (Get Someone In). Too often though, the process of contacting tradespeople, arranging quotes and being able to check out their past records can be difficult and very time consuming. What is more, with doorstep crime and rogue trader incidents on the increase in Lancashire, it’s important you make the right choice of tradesperson. Step forward Lancashire County Council and their Safe Trader Scheme, which has been operating since 2009 and assists residents of Lancashire to find reputable local traders for property repairs, home improvements,
gardening services, mobility aids and other services around the home. Traders registered with the Scheme have all demonstrated their commitment to fair and honest trading by signing up to our Code of Practice and agreeing to work with us to resolve any problems should they occur. Prior to inclusion on the Scheme checks are carried out by Trading Standards Service officers including a visit to the traderâ€™s premises and checks to ensure they are complying with relevant legislation, have necessary insurance policies in place and are members of regulatory bodies they are legally required to be registered with. Once admitted to the Scheme they will be featured on the Safe Trader website and provided with promotional materials including vehicle stickers and logos to use when doing business. Although using the scheme doesnâ€™t mean things will never go wrong, members will have agreed to work with Trading Standards if they do go wrong. The scheme plays an important part in offering consumers a safer alternative to dealing with the pressure that aggressive cold calling traders can put them under to have work done. In some cases Trading Standards officers manage to track down these rogue traders and prosecute themâ€Ś but in many cases the trader disappears without trace. This is why the Safe Trader register is so important to to many vulnerable consumers who otherwise have nowhere to turn when they want a job doing. For more information on the Scheme or to search for a local trader visit the website at www. safetrader.org.uk or telephone 0303 333 1111
Food & Drink
dessert By Keeley Bolger
he last two years have been rather dizzying for Martha Collison. Back in 2014, aged 17, she competed in the fifth series of The Great British Bake Off, finishing a-not-so shabby fifth place. Since then, she’s baked for the Queen, given the Archbishop of Canterbury a cake masterclass, written her first cookbook, Twist, and put her sweet tooth to good effect as an afternoon tea advisor at Wimbledon. All of which has been pulled off alongside studying for her AS and A-Levels. “It’s been challenging,” deadpans Collison, now 19, with a laugh. “My friends have to book days with me in advance. “It’s strange being a teenager and having to do that, but it’s fine. It’s just like jumping into work life before I thought I would, but there’s nothing bad about that.” If anything, she’s thrilled by her prospects.
unbelievable,” she says. “I’ve had to re-imagine my life, but in a really good way. Bake Off has really helped shape my future, which I’m really grateful for.”
Although she hails from a family of keen cooks, nobody in her immediate circle had been bitten by the baking bug, until Collison showed an interest aged eight. While her friends wanted bikes and Barbies for Christmas, she had her sights set on a blender.
She hopes Twist, in which she details tasty ideas to reinvent a series of baking classics, will be the first of many books. Given her successes since Bake Off, there’s little reason why this shouldn’t be the case - Collison still can’t quite get her head around how everything’s panned out.
At school, she’d daydream about the concoctions she’d try later on, stopping off to buy ingredients on her way home, and remembers her family “gritting their teeth and smiling” when she presented them with her early efforts. “I think they thought it might be a phase,” she adds, grinning.
“I planned all these things to say to the Queen,” she recalls of her time baking mini coffee and walnut, and lemon and elderflower cakes for the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations. “But by the time it actually got to me, I was a bit overwhelmed,” she adds with a giggle. “She told me it was very kind of me to make the cakes for her birthday, and I feel like now I have to always be kind because the Queen has told me that I am!”
Collison’s original ambition was to become a food developer, but appearing on Bake Off changed everything. “It’s just been
Inspired? Here are two Twist recipes to give a whirl..
Twist by Martha Collison is published in hardback by HarperCollins, priced £16.99.
puddings Method Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
Liberally butter eight mini pudding or dariole moulds and lightly dust the insides with cocoa powder. This makes the puddings easier to turn out once cooked. Cut a small circle of baking parchment the same size as the top of each mould and place inside each one to stop the puddings sticking. Melt the butter and chopped dark chocolate in a large heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir together until there are no lumps of either remaining and the mixture is smooth. Crack the eggs into another large bowl and add the extra yolks and the sugar. Use an electric hand-held whisk to whisk the mixture until it is thick, fluffy and very pale in colour. Fold in the melted chocolate using a spatula, then sift over the flour and mix well to combine. Donâ€™t worry if you knock out the air; you donâ€™t want the puddings to rise like a souffle.
Makes 8 Ingredients 125g butter, plus extra for greasing Cocoa powder, to dust 200g dark chocolate, chopped 2 eggs plus 2 yolks 100g caster sugar 25g plain flour Cream and berries, to serve
Spoon the mixture into the prepared moulds, filling each one two-thirds full. Bake the puddings for eight to 10 minutes. When they are ready, there should be a thin crust on the top but the centre should still have a slight wobble. Leave the puddings to stand for two minutes before turning out. I run a small palette knife around the inside edge of each mould to loosen it slightly. If they do not turn out properly, or you want to play it safe, you can always serve the puddings in the mould and just dive straight in with a spoon. Serve with a nice dollop of cream and a few fresh berries.
Key lime pie
Line the base of a 20cm pie dish or a loose-bottomed cake tin with a circle of baking parchment.
Serves 8 Ingredients For the base: 200g ginger biscuits 75g butter, melted For the filling: 1 x 397g tin condensed milk 300g full-fat cream cheese Zest and juice of 4 unwaxed limes 200ml double cream
To make the base, blitz the ginger biscuits in a food processor until they resemble very fine crumbs. Pour the melted butter into the crumbs and blitz again until all the biscuit crumbs are coated in butter. Alternatively, put the biscuits into a plastic bag, use a rolling pin to crush them to a fine powder then put the crumbs into a bowl and stir in the butter. Press the mixture into the base and sides of the prepared tin, pressing firmly with the back of a teaspoon to make sure it sticks together, then chill for at least 30 minutes. Whisk together the condensed milk and cream cheese until smooth. Stir in the lime juice and half the lime zest, then pour into the biscuit base. Ideally, refrigerate for at least two hours, but you could get away with serving this after 30 minutes if you are in a real rush! Whip the double cream into soft peaks, and spoon or pipe it on top of the pie. Garnish with a sprinkle of the remaining lime zest before serving.
guide The Grapes
Old Packet House
Overlooking the River Yarrow in picturesque Croston, The Grapes offers a wide and varied selection of dishes guaranteed to satisfy every taste, with all dishes cooked fresh to order. 01772 600225 67, Town Rd, Croston, PR26 9RA the-grapes.co.uk
A beautiful historic pub overlooking the canal. Whether you’re after a quick lunch, sophisticated evening meal, cask ales or cocktails, value and quality is guaranteed. 01704 807330 29, Liverpool Road North, Burscough, L40 5TN oldpackethouse.co.uk
Shaw Hill Golf & Spa Hotel
Summer afternoon tea, set in an idyllic setting. Join us for our renown afternoon teas. Starting from £17.95 per person. To book call us on 01257 269221. 01257 269221 Whittle Le Woods, Chorley, PR6 7PP shaw-hill.co.uk
£30 + VAT
Call 01257 498329 Rigbye Arms Country Inn
High Moor Restaurant
The Stocks Tavern
Friendly service, delicious food and real cask ales. We offer top quality pub food, and our Feather & Fin restaurant serves the finest quality fresh fish and local game. 01257 462354 2, Whittle Lane, Wrightington, WN6 9QB rigbyearms.com
Based in rural Wrightington, we boast an enviable reputation for superb food, outstanding wines and genuine hospitality. We offer quality ingredients, freshly-prepared food and excellent value for money. 01257 252364 High Moor Lane, WN6 9QA highmoorrestaurantwigan.co.uk
Warmest and friendliest of welcomes with award winning chef Mike Heap, who uses only the finest, freshest, local ingredients to ensure you leave completely satisfied. 01257 462874 16, Alder Lane, Parbold, WN8 7NN thestockstavern.co.uk
by Tim Barnes-Clay
he splendid VW Golf GTI has been in the motoring arena for over four decades, and its appeal is still red-hot.
The word ‘hot’ is significant here, because the Golf GTI is the original ‘hothatch’ and it has generated many copycats. This obviously means the VW Golf GTI isn’t the only one in the hot-hatchback division anymore, and it has to try even harder to thrash the (relatively) young new comers that try and knock it down from its perch. Curiously, key adversaries come from inside Volkswagen Group’s inner sanctum. These motors include Skoda’s Octavia vRS and SEAT’s Leon Cupra. Both cars are brilliant in every respect, apart from the absence of the ‘VW Golf GTI’ badge. And, to be blunt, they produce comparable performance for less cash. But, that’s because they are not the celebrity that is the Golf GTI – and Volkswagen knows motorists will fork out more for that reason alone. The modern day Golf GTI is just such awesome fun behind the wheel. It is a grinmaking motor that makes every mile travelled an utter delight. Toss the Golf along motorways and it stays as planted as a 100-year-old oak tree at 70mph. The 2.0-litre TSI 220PS five-door version, on test here, has wads of power on tap, masses of grip, alert and meticulous steering, and virtually no body roll. Regardless of this,
the suspension is efficient enough to keep the hot-hatch comfy. So, as well as being a champ of commuting on the straight sections, picking its way along snaky country roads and making mincemeat of tight bends is where the VW Golf GTI really comes into its own. Under the hood, the 2.0-litre turbo-charged petrol engine, adjoined to a six-speed manual gearbox, gets you from 0-62mph in 6.5 seconds on the way to a maximum speed of 152mph. Stimulating as these numbers are, they’re accompanied by extraordinarily meagre running costs. The GTI manages an average fuel consumption of 47.1mpg, while discharging only 139g/km of CO2 emissions. This mix of parsimony and performance makes the appeal of the present Golf GTI even more delicious. You can instantaneously tell a VW Golf GTI from a standard Golf by the larger 18-inch alloy wheels, the red styling on the lower front bumper, and the attractive roof spoiler. Peep inside and there’s a suggestion of retro, with the archetypal Golf GTI tartan upholstery and the gear knob formed to look like a golf ball. Regardless of the Volkswagen Golf GTI’s sporty standing in the automotive amphitheatre, the fivedoor car is as practical as any other hatchback. The cabin and load space are the same as the ordinary VW Golf. This means the car will seat five people and the boot is big enough to accommodate anything from a baby’s pushchair to family-sized bags of shopping. The Golf GTI comes festooned with interior gadgetry and kit, too. Included is a touchscreen infotainment system, sat-nav, a DAB radio and Bluetooth. Automatic lights, parking sensors adaptive cruise control, keyless entry and automatic windscreen wipers are also part of the standard paraphernalia. At the end of the day, we like a family vehicle to be safe. Well, on top of the rapidity, driving dynamics, economy, pragmatism and comfort, I’m pleased to say that the latest VW Golf GTI scored the maximum five-star rating possible under Euro NCAP crash safety assessments.
0-62 mph: 6.5 secs Combined mpg: 47.1 Engine layout: 1984cc 4-cylinder 16v turbo petrol Max. power (PS): 220 CO2: 139 g/km Price: £27,700
So, what’s not to like about the modern day Volkswagen Golf GTI? It stirs the spirit as much as it ever did – and it still warrants the respect it first netted forty years ago.
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Win tickets to see
imply Red take their classic album ‘Stars’ on the road this November and Local Life have three pairs of tickets to be won to their Manchester show on Friday 18th November. The first half of this special show will feature classic
“After the huge success of ‘A New Flame’, I set myself the challenge of composing a whole album of original songs,” Mick recalls. “I could never have imagined that ‘Stars’ would have the impact it did. Now, looking on after 25 years, it seems only
Simply Red songs with the second half featuring the entire ‘Stars’ album in its original running order. ‘Stars’ was released on September 30th, 1991 and was the best selling UK album for two consecutive years, 1991 and 1992.
fitting to celebrate by performing the album in the original running order.”
Local Life caught up with Mick recently and asked a few questions. Why have you dedicated an entire tour to a particular album?
How has it felt to be back on the road? ‘We finished the last leg of the tour at the Olympic Stadium in Munich the other night and the band were all saying how fresh the whole thing felt , especially after over 100 shows in the past year around the world . We’ve also noticed many more younger people coming to the shows . I guess some
# people are discovering our music for the first time on Spotify and Youtube.’ Any rituals before stage time?
‘It used to be one of our tour rituals to play cricket in the downtime before a show and for a while, I had some cricket nets in my back garden. Nowadays I mostly play it on the PS4 at home but I still love going to see the matches at Lords Cricket Ground when I have a chance.’
2. Early hit, Holding Back the _
You are a settled family man now; will you be bringing them out on the road?
4. 3rd album, A _ Flame
‘Touring is effectively me going back to work, so while I’m sure they’ll be coming out to see a few shows, I think it may get a little boring for them at this point! Luckily, we won’t be too far from home this time so I’ll be able to pop back and see my daughter more often than say, if I were back in Australia.’ THREE of our Wigan readers will each win a pair of tickets to this concert. Simply complete the crossword on the right and return your entry to; Simply Red Competition, Local Life 247 Ltd, Unit 8 - Hewitt Business Park, Winstanley Road, Orrell, Wigan, WN5 7XB Alternately, to save on postage – visit our website at www.locallife247.co.uk and enter the competition online. The closing date for the competition is Friday 12th November 2016. Tickets for the tour are on sale now from www. simplyred.com
3. Front man Mick _ 5. Simply Red’s best selling album 6. Simply Red’s first and only UK number 1 single
Down 1. Mick’s city of birth, and the venue for this concert
Name .................................................................................................... Address .................................................................................................... ....................................................................................................................... ................................ Post Code ............................................................ Phone ...................................................................................................... Email ......................................................................................................
Crossword Competition Rules 1. Only one entry per household 2. Entrants must be over 16 years of age 3. The winners will be notified within 14 days of the closing date. 4. Local Life 247 Ltd cannot accept responsibility for entries that are delayed or damaged in the post. 5. Employees of Local Life 247 Ltd or their immediate relatives are not eligible to enter this competition. Local Life 247 Ltd is registered under the Data Protection Act and abides by the guidelines of the act. We will never sell or pass your data to any third party company. However, we will contact you occasionally to check our magazine distribution in your area.
Events & Leisure
What’s The Wind in the Willows
Thursday, 27 October to Sunday, 6 November
Saturday, 29 October 2016
Kenneth Grahame’s wild tale about the lovable menace Mr Toad comes to life in a brand new stage musical with a book by Oscar-winning screenwriter Julian Fellowes. Featuring spectacular stagecraft and a company of over fifty, this sparkling new musical with a glorious original score brings this treasured British classic to life. The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, M50 3AZ 0843 208 6000 www.thelowry.com
Goblins new musical adventure for children ages 3+. With original songs, hilarious physical comedy and dance, Penguin! Elephant! is a magical new show about celebrating differences. Time 2:30pm The Atkinson, Lord Street, Southport PR8 1DB 01704 533 333 www.theatkinson.co.uk
Twopence to Cross The Mersey The new stage play version of Helen Forrester’s Twopence to Cross the Mersey is performed at a number of NW venues this autumn. This much loved account tells the true story of a young girl and her formerly wealthy family as they are suddenly thrown into the poverty-stricken slums of Liverpool during the Great Depression of the 1930’s. Warrington Pyramid & Parr Hall WA1 1BL Friday 28th & Saturday 29th October Contact telephone: 01925 442345 St Helens Theatre Royal WA10 1LQ Monday 7th to Saturday 12th November
Big Bang Tungsten Friday, 4 November 2016 An ‘explosion’ of exhibition darts, for one night only and starring Eric ‘Banger’ Bristow, Dennis ‘The Rocket’ Priestley, Peter ‘Pin Wheel’ Manley and Joe ‘Jumping Jack’ Murman! The perfect alternative night out for darts fans and the rest of the world alike. 7pm-11pm. Rose Club (formerly Monaco Ballroom), Atherton Road, Hindley, Wigan WN2 3EU www.anaudiencewith.co.uk
Chorley Handmade Market Saturday, 5 November The Chorley Handmade Market returns to The Lancastrian Suite at Chorley Town Hall. If you love handmade then this craft market is not to be missed with over 30 talented makers and food producers on display, live music and refreshments. Free entry. 11am-4pm. Chorley Town Hall, Market Street, Chorley PR7 1DP
Liverpool Christmas Markets
Saturday, 5 November
Saturday, 19 November to Thursday, 22 December
A multi-sensory experience about all things spongy. Performance for babies aged from 6 months to children under 4 and their families. 10:00am The Citadel Arts Centre, St Helens WA10 1PX 01744 735 436 www.citadel.org.uk
Over 45 decorated wooden chalets selling festive crafts and gifts brought to you from all over Europe. Sample the ever popular delights of a Continental Christmas with the licensed bar selling Glühwein, German beers and other seasonal specialities such as bratwurst and crepes. Lord Street, Paradise Street, Church Street
Christmas Carol Tuesday, 8 to Friday, 11 November 2016
The Three Towns in Concert
It’s Christmas Eve and mysterious forces are at work! Scrooge, a bad-tempered old skinflint, is visited by the ghost of his dead partner. Faithful to the original timeless classic, this brilliantly adapted musical version perfectly captures the magic of Christmas and positively sparkles on stage. Preston Guild Hall, Lancaster Road, Preston PR1 1HT www.prestonguildhall.com
Striking the right note for everyone with a variety of Songs from the Shows, Broadway, Popular and Classical Music in relaxed cabaret setting. 7.30pm St. Joseph’s Concert Hall, Chapel Street, Leigh WN7 2PR 01942 665615 www.thethreetowns.net
Manchester Christmas Markets Saturday, 12 November to Monday, 19 December 2016 With more than 300 beautifully festooned stalls and chalets in nine separate markets spread across the city centre, the Christmas Markets are free and accessible to all. All Christmas Market Sites will be open 7 days a week from 10am, and close between 7.30pm-9pm. Manchester City Centre – various venues
Swan Lake Monday, 14 November The highly acclaimed Russian State Ballet and Opera House returns with the perfect romantic ballet, performed to Tchaikovsky’s haunting and unforgettable score. Featuring an impressive cast and accompanied by a large live Orchestra with over 30 musicians, this Swan Lake captures, like no other, the full range of human emotions. Preston Guild Hall, Lancaster Road, Preston PR1 1HT www.prestonguildhall.com
Friday 18 & Saturday 19 November
Chester Arts Fair Saturday, 19 & Sunday, 20 November Cheshire’s premier arts event. Visitors can view and buy art from over 50 UK & International galleries and emerging & established artists. The Fair attracts visitors with a genuine passion for art, from serious collectors to those investing in their first piece of original art. 10.30am-5pm. Chester Racecourse, CH1 2LY
Roald Dahl Tremendous Adventures Monday, 21 November to Sunday, 4 December Step in to the Christmas mansion and in to Roald Dahl’s magical world as his extraordinary storytelling weaves itself through the grand staterooms and into the bustling servants’ quarters. Traditional music will accompany your visit as you also enjoy the decorating and kitchen demonstrations. Tatton Park, Knutsford WA16 6QN www.tattonpark.org.uk 01625 374400
Victorian Christmas Weekends Weekends of 26/27 November, 3/4 & 10/11 December Festive fun at Speke Hall! Visit the Hall, decorated for a traditional Victorian Christmas, enjoy lots of family activities including donkey rides and Christmas trails, listen to carols in the Great Hall and pay a call on Father Christmas.11am-4pm. The Walk, Speke, Liverpool, L24 1XD www.nationaltrust.org.uk
Winter Arts Market Saturday, 3 and Sunday, 4 December Merseyside’s largest arts and crafts market is the perfect place to pick up some truly unique, handmade Christmas gifts from over 200 incredible artists, designers and makers. The market also features a range of other activities including a vintage fair, kid-friendly craft workshops and live music. £2 entry, kids go free. 10am-5pm St George’s Hall, St George’s Place, Liverpool L1 1JJ www.winterartsmarket.com
Rainford Christmas Fayre Saturday, 3 December Rainford’s 3rd Christmas Fayre takes over much of Church Street in the village. Market stalls and local shops will be doing their utmost to tempt us into buying their Christmas gifts and crafts, and there will also be food, a fun fair, donkey rides, Santa’s Grotto and festive live music. 11am-3pm. Church Road, Rainford WA11 8HE
Standish Christmas Market Saturday, 3 December This market runs from 11am-8pm and will feature a range of market stalls, an indoor craft fair (running from 11am-5pm), a special Santa’s Grotto, live music and entertainment, a Snowglobe, a Christmas Trail around the village and a beer tent!. Market Place, Standish WN6 0HN 07877 869700
Faulty Towers: The Christmas Dining Experience Sunday, 4 December to Wednesday, 7 December When the audience become diners in the ‘Faulty Towers’ restaurant, pretty much anything can happen – especially with two-thirds of the show improvised. The fun starts as guests wait to be seated, then hurtles along as Basil, Sybil and Manuel serve a ‘70s-style 3-course Christmas dinner with crackers, pudding and a good dollop of mayhem. Expect the unexpected! The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, M50 3AZ 0843 208 6000 www.thelowry.com
Winter Wonderland Manchester Saturday, 10 December to Monday, 2 January A wonderland extravaganza, featuring over 50 family rides and attractions, plus a host of games and stalls all under one roof. Winter Wonderland operates on a session basis, offering families four hours of non-stop fun and entertainment. EventCity (next to the Trafford Centre) www.winterwonderlandmanchester.com
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by David Sudworth
ickerstaffe is one of those names which couldn’t really come from anywhere other than Lancashire. Strikingly unpretentious, it stirs images of a stoic community, free of frippery but warm and welcoming. Its landscape is all of those things and more, which makes for some very pleasant and interesting strolls. Our walk starts on from a free car park on Liverpool Road (WN8 8BS), Old Skelmersdale, and immediate crosses Liverpool Road playing fields, past the changing rooms, turning right on to White Moss Road and then taking the footbridge across the M58. Once on the other side (White Moss Road
South) we turn right and walk for a few hundred yards before taking a left onto a public footpath and into a field. Word of warning here; you really need to keep an eye out. A lack of way markers and defined routes can leave you straying on to private land - and believe me, we speak from experience! Luckily, a local farmer who was out bailing some hay at the time pointed out our error, saying we weren’t the first (and, I doubt, the last) to have strayed. So here’s how you stay on track; basically keep on the edge of the field, using the electricity pylons a good few yards away as your guide. Once you go past the
second pylon, turn right about 45 degrees, walk for a few yards and then turn left. From here, stay on the left hand side of the hedgerow - we didn’t and that’s where we fouled up. As keen gardeners, we noticed the soil here was extremely friable; we’re in prime root veg territory here so you do need to watch your footing at times. From here, you’re simply heading south towards Higherend Farm, Once at the farm, bear left towards the woodland. At this juncture, we pass Hey’s Crossing. This was once part of the old OrmskirkSt Helens Railway line which passed through Westhead, Skelmersdale, Rainford, Crank and Moss Bank. Closed to passengers 60 years ago this month (November 5, 1956), this part of the line carried on for a few years as a freight line until finally being dismantled by November 1964. Carry on until you get to the wooded area, then take a right to follow the outline of the wood, going over the footbridge and continue towards the path to the left of the farm. Once past the houses, you’ll be at the end of Holland
Moss. Simply go over the field in front of you and eventually you’ll get to Nipe Lane. Turn right onto the lane (beware, this is a fast road so stay alert and tether dogs) and walk around three quarters of a mile before you find a turning before the last set of houses. This is technically called Holly Fold Lane but actually is grass and could pass for someone’s private property. Go through the gate, up the lane and, at the end take a left on walk for a quarter of a mile until it forces you to turn right on to Holly Lane. We’re now on a stretch which not only has very few cars, but also has some very bonny properties. In the distance, on the left, our cameraman Peter caught a glimpse of the Liverpool skyline against the backdrop of the Welsh hills. At the junction of Holly Lane and Coal Pit Lane, go straight on into the field but keep your eyes peeled for the footbridge as you need to cross the stream. Once on the west side of the stream, follow the path up to Ivy House, where you then bear right and then
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wind your way north towards Colliery Plantation. Once there, go left, then look for the right turning back towards White Moss Road South. Go over another motorway bridge, down to Skelmersdale Road and then take a right onto Liverpool Road. This walk, at five miles, is ideal for those who arenâ€™t fond of climbing up hills but are eager to get off the beaten track. For all the development around it (the motorway, Junction 4 Business Park and Skelmersdale new town), this part of West
Lancashire manages to retain its sense of calm and peaceful, rural life. Which, of course, is exactly how the locals like it... Please ensure you wear appropriate clothing and footwear while walking. While every care has been taken to ensure that the walk is accurate, neither the publisher or its editorial contributors can accept, and hereby disclaim, any liability to any party to loss or damage caused by errors or omissions resulting from negligence, accident or other cause.
Top tips to avoid a festive
s preparations begin for the big day, it’s time to remember that the festive season can be full of potential hazards and stresses for your furry friends: • Too much “festive cheer”? – Remember that all those guests can stress out pets. It is a good idea to make sure your pet has a safe place to slink off and hide when it all gets a bit much. If your dog or cat can become aggressive or upset when approached by someone new, it might be worth making sure all your guests are aware it’s best to let them approach on their on their own terms. • Similarly, loud noises such as music, crackers and fireworks can really frighten some pets. Again, make sure they have a safe refuge to retreat to, perhaps somewhere they have hidden before. Some familiar smelling bedding or clothing may help them feel more at home. Make sure that the house is secure, and don’t walk your dog if you expect fireworks. If your pet’s phobia is severe, you might want to speak to your vet about the many options available to help. • “Decking the Halls” – Christmas trees can be
particularly enticing for cats, who love nothing more than to take a flying leap! Make sure your tree is well secured, and remember that tinsel and beaded string etc, if eaten, can be very serious indeed. Glass ornaments and lights can also be dangerous. If you have a dog (or a greedy cat) you may also wish to avoid edible decorations. • Christmas is a time for over-indulgence – but be careful when it comes to your pet. Cases of stomach upset, and more seriously, pancreatitis are unfortunately common over Christmas. Avoid changing your pets usual diet, and especially avoid high fat foods such as sausages. Also avoid feeding your animal bones which can cause lifethreatening gastro-intestinal obstruction. • Poisons – Chocolate, raisins (in Christmas cakes and puds), alcohol, grapes and onions are all potentially toxic. Keep these foods out of reach of your pets, and remember… If all else fails: all vets have a duty to provide their clients with access to out-of-hours emergency care 24/7, 365 days a year. So if your pet needs urgent care over the festive period, there will always be someone you can call.
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Bucking the by Angie Barker
ur front gardens are disappearing at a rate of knots. Since 2005 one quarter of all front gardens in the UK have been paved over and this includes a significant number in the North West. This is mainly due to the need for off road parking, which is perfectly understandable and a practical consideration in these days of two car families and residents’ parking permits. Having said that, we have to consider that water run-off is a serious problem with street drains struggling to cope with sudden downpours. Previously rain water was absorbed by borders and lawns in front gardens but nowadays the water has nowhere to go because of the large number of front gardens which have been converted to hard standing. Drainage systems simply can’t cope leading to flash flooding. Hence the current planning laws regarding paving over front gardens. (You need to check these out should you be considering converting your front garden into parking space). And it is not just a matter of water run-off but aesthetics. Green spaces make us feel better and plants help to suck pollution from the atmosphere and absorb heat, particularly important in towns
Angie is a qualified award-winning garden designer who will plan your garden to your needs from start to finish, supplying reputable contractors and the ideal plants.
and cities and of course, there is loss of habitat for wildlife. The right plants can also give you privacy, particularly important on modern housing estates. The best solution, as in all walks of life, is compromise and there are lots of innovative ideas to combine practical necessity with a garden space. It just needs careful planning and there is some excellent advice and ideas at the Royal Horticultural Society’s website at www.rhs.org.uk/advice and search ‘permeable paving’. As Hubby will be keen to point out, I am always one to buck the trend and so last year, I had our front drive dug up and in its place created a new courtyard garden. Yes it may be a squeeze to get the cars on the now much reduced drive, but its well worth it – see photo above.
Call Angie now for your free consultation! Angie Barker Dip GD (Inst GD) BA (Hons) Garden Design For All Seasons Tel: 01942 522 405 Mob: 07857 008 383 www.angiebarker.co.uk