Page 1

Wigan North Edition

Apr/May 2013

Sharing chips with..


Appley Bridge’s

Skull House Jack’s Tracks visits

Hunters Hill

W in!

family tickets to

Gulliver’s World


uzanna’s Pub and Restaurant is a beautiful restaurant and pub (formerly known as Gallaghers) only five minutes drive from the A49 at Standish. After a full and sympathetic refurbishment, Suzanna’s opened for business in September 2011, and has already gained a regular clientele from both near and far. The pub is open every day and food is served every day except Monday. A single menu ranges from pub classics such as fish and chips, burgers and sandwiches to full three-course à la carte dining. Vegetarian options are a specialty, as is our Sunday afternoon Roast. Real ale beer and a range of lagers are available, as well as an extensive wine list. Happy Hour (heavily reduced drink prices) runs every afternoon. Suzanna’s is also available for private functions and conferences, with a complete range of set menus and buffets and full audio-visual facilities. We also run special evening events from time to time, for example a Ladies Evening - Thursday 18th April 2013. Full details of this and all our events and functions are listed on our website.

opening hours Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

Pub Hours 15:00 - 23:00 12:00 - 23:00 12:00 - 23:00 12:00 - 23:00 12:00 - 01:00 12:00 - 01:00 12:00 - 23:00

Food Service Closed 12:00 - 20:00 12:00 - 20:00 12:00 - 22:00 12:00 - 22:00 12:00 - 22:00 12:00 - 20:00

Happy Hour 16:00 - 23:00 16:00 - 19:00 16:00 - 19:00 16:00 - 19:00 16:00 - 19:00 16:00 - 19:00 16:00 - 22:00

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Planning Ahead Publisher: Local Life 247 Ltd Unit 8, Hewitt Business Park Winstanley Road Orrell Nr. Wigan WN5 7XB T 01695 627 999 @


Sales & Editorial: Chris Pearce Nicola Gray Design & Production: Peter Bretherton Accounts & Distribution: Sally Boon The May issue of Local Life will be published on Thursday 25th April. The copy deadline is Thursday 11th April. Local Life is published every month. The magazine is distributed into the following edition areas on an alternate monthly basis. The Wigan West edition is delivered to over 12,500 private homes and businesses in Orrell, Billinge, Winstanley, Up Holland, Highfield, Marus Bridge, Roby Mill and parts of Pemberton. The Wigan North edition is delivered to over 12,500 private homes and businesses in Standish, Shevington, Whitley, Appley Bridge, Standish Lower Ground, Parbold, Newburgh, Wrightington and Hilldale. You can also pick up a free copy of Local Life at Sainsburys or Tesco Extra in Wigan. Local Life is also published in the West Lancashire and St Helens areas. 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, including pictures, may be copied or reproduced without the prior written consent of Local Life 247 Ltd.

When you receive the new edition of Local Life - remember to recycle the old one.

I just love it when a plan comes together. Every month, we sit down at Local Life HQ for an editorial ‘conference’ (usually two people scribbling suggestions for the next three issues on the back of an envelope). Glam, it ain’t, and sometimes those suggestions come off, usually not, but this issue is everything we planned it to be! On the eve of the Latics historic visit to the new Wembley, we interview Manager Roberto Martinez. We’ve got the history behind Appley Bridge’s macabre skull house and a local wildlife guide pulled together with the help of Lancashire Wildlife Trust. There are also the usual favourites such as Jack’s Tracks, What’s On, Martin Lewis’ Money column and all the news from around the local area. One final feature (pages 76-77) which was put together just minutes before the presses started rolling was the awards ceremony of the Good Trader scheme. Of the 250 tradespeople in the scheme, just 40 were shortlisted and invited along to the ceremony in Hindley last week. It was like the Tradespeople’s’ Oscars and we were there to capture the drama, the tears and the jeers, and also to present the award that Local Life has sponsored - Wigan’s Best Good Trader. With that in mind, let me just remind you that Local Life is the only publication carrying a Home Section (pages 74-83) which is exclusively populated by tradespeople checked out by Trading Standards officers in Wigan, St Helens and Lancashire. So please, for your own safety, do make Local Life your first and only port of call if you need the help of a tradesperson. Do have a lovely Easter – see you next time.

In this issue 20 26 28 36 48 50 52 54 56 60 66 69 70 74 76 82

First and Last – Roberto Martinez The Skull House of Appley Bridge Puzzle Corner Recipe – Buttermilk Scones What’s On Taste Test – The Star in Roby Mill Hot Air Ballooning Martin Lewis Money Column Jack Tracks to Hunters Hill Love Your Pets Win Family Tickets to Gulliver’s! Win Lawn Treatments for a year! Wildlife in Wigan Home Services Good Trader Scheme Presentation Useful Numbers


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Baby Joy

Worm Charming

Are you looking for something special to do with your baby? Award-winning Baby Sensory classes for babies from birth to 13 months have just been launched in the Wigan area and offer a myriad of colourful sensory experiences and sensations. Imagine taking your baby on a jungle, water or space adventure, to a winter wonderland or to a world of light and magic? There are wonderful games and activities for parents and babies to enjoy together in the first precious year. Every week is different and there are lots of simple ideas for use at home too.

A fund raiser with a difference is being held on Sunday 21st April at St Elizabeth‛s Parish Hall in Aspull, starting at 1.30pm. Who's up for a spot of worm charming? This isn't an April Fool; the church is holding the first ever Aspull Worm Charming Championships where entrants have to charm as many worms as possible out of a pre-defined 'plot' within a set time scale. Just how do the entrants charm the worms out of the ground? Grunting, fiddling or twanging remain the tried and tested methods, but these are Wigan worms so maybe a whiff of a meat and potato pie will do the trick!

Babies learn more in their first year than at any other time, so it’s never too early to start Baby Sensory. Your first session is completely free- so what have you got to lose? Come along and join in the magic of Baby Sensory at St Anne’s Parish Centre in Shevington on Wednesday mornings (10.30-11.30am) or at Pipsqueaks Play Café at Abbey Lakes in Orrell on Wednesday afternoons (1.30pm-2.15pm) and also at Rainford Scout Hut on Tuesdays. Full details can be found on www.

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Bring along your friends and family down to the event, and see if you can go home with the Worm Charmer Title. The day starts at 1.30pm on Sunday 21st April. In addition to the worm charming, you can shop at the stalls, join in the games and partake in the food and drink - all in a good cause too. Check out Aspull Worm Charming on Facebook for more details of what‛s happening on the day and how you can register for a plot.

Get a mention! If you’re a member of a community group and you want to publicise your next event free in Local Life, then just email details along with a contact name and number to

Haigh Easter For a special Easter Sunday out - head up to Haigh Hall where a day of activity is planned for all the family. Egg decorating will take place in the Stables from 11am-4pm and there will be a prize for the best decorated egg. A Haigh Easter Trail Hunt will take place at the front of Haigh Hall from between 1-3pm - all entrants win a prize and there will also be a free prize draw for a large chocolate egg too! You can listen to the traditional street organ, or visit the many stalls, enter the raffle or try the tombola!

Quiz Night Get your grey matter juiced up for the Quiz Night being held next Friday (5th April) in Standish. Teams of up to four people are invited to take part in the event, which starts at 7pm (for 7.30pm) at St Wilfrid’s Parish Hall, next to the church. Tickets are priced at £6 for adults and £3.50 for children under 12, and a hot pot supper is included in that price. Please book your team onto the Quiz Night by calling in with details and ticket money at the Parish Office by Tuesday 2nd April.

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organisers are hopeful that they can create a Youth team from the participants. Each session is run by a qualified coach, there’s no charge for the session and all the bowls are provided too. All you need to do is turn up in flat shoes or trainers. To book your place or for more information, please contact organiser John Fowler on 01257 423550.

Easter Dance Bowl You Over It might look like an old folk snooze fest to you young uns, but Crown Green Bowling is a sport that requires great judgement, skill and nerve. Believe it or not, the game brings great excitement to participants and spectators alike. If you’re aged between 6-16 years old, why don’t you check this sport out at St Marie’s Bowling Club on Almond Brook Road in Standish? The youth sessions are being held on Saturday mornings, starting 13th April, between 10.30-11.30am, and

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If you’re over 45 and on your own this Easter and you’d like someone to sweep you off your feet, check out this Easter Dance which is being held on Easter Saturday (30th March) at St Teresa’s RC Club, College Road in Up Holland. Hosted by the Wigan Phoenix club, the event consists of sequence and ballroom dance with a little bit of line dancing too. If you can’t dance just enjoy the music and make new friends in a safe, relaxed, friendly atmosphere. The Phoenix Club is a non-profit making organisation dedicated to bringing together people over 45 who are single, divorced, separated or widowed. The dance starts at 8pm and there is no admission after 9.15pm.

Easter Fun If the little ones have overdosed on Easter chocolate and need to work off all that energy, then why not take a trip down to Mesnes Park this weekend? On Saturday (30th March) you can enjoy a couple of hours of musical entertainment between 1-3pm when a brass band play on the bandstand. And on Easter Monday (1st April), there’s a Family Fun Day taking place at the park between 12pm-3pm. There will be activities for all ages and you’ll also be able to take a look at and read up on the restoration of this grand Victorian park.

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Competition Winners The Shevington history DVD competition that we ran in the last edition of Local Life generated a lot of local interest. We had ten DVD’s to give away and these readers were the lucky winners; Joan Jones (pictured) from New Miles Lane in Shevington, Dorothy Nelson from Greenslate Avenue in Appley Bridge, Mrs Henry from Wigan Lower Road in Standish Lower Ground, Duncan Wood from Barons Way in Euxton, Joyce Edwards from Orchard Close in Shevington, Lynn Lowe from Churton Grove in Standish, Brian Swift from Highgate Crescent in Appley Bridge, Cyril Barnett from Whitley Crescent in Wigan, Deborah Williams from Scarisbrick Avenue in Parbold and Trish Grimshaw from Ash Grove in Standish. Well done to all the winners – turn to pages 66-67 for a competition to win family tickets to Gulliver’s World in Warrington If you’re a member of a community group and you want to publicise your next event free in Local Life, then just email details along with a contact name and number to


Parbold Picture House

Lunch Club

007 comes to the Parbold Picture House this Sunday (31st March) in the guise of his latest movie, Skyfall (12A). Premiered in October 2012, Skyfall was positively received by critics and at the box office, becoming the first Bond film, to cross the $1 billion mark worldwide. The film stars Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Javier Bardem, Albert Finney and Ralph Fiennes.

Did you know that Age UK hold a lunch club in the Appley Bridge area every fortnight? The Appley Bridge Lunch Club is held every second Thursday between 11.45am2pm at the Appley Bridge Village Hall on Appley Lane North. For just £3, pensioners can enjoy a 2 course hot meal and drinks, and the session also has the occasional speaker and various activities. For more details call Age UK on 0300 303 1234.

This is followed by another thriller, Argo (15), which is screened on Sunday 14th April. Starring Ben Affleck, John Goodman, Bryan Cranston and Alan Arkin, Argo is (according to the US!) based on a true story about the escape of US diplomats trapped in the middle of the Iranian Revolution. Doors at Parbold Village Hall open at 6.30pm and the screenings start at 7pm. The admission change is just £3 and tea and coffee are available. For more details on the Parbold Picture House, call 01257 464533 or check www.


Lip Service The Standish Lip Reading Society is seeking new members. All hearing aid users find lip reading skills an invaluable aid to successful communication and the Standish Lip Reading Society is dedicated to helping people develop these skills. A qualified teacher is present at each meeting. The group meets every Tuesday at Standish Community Centre at 10am. Everyone is welcome, so do pop along if you are interested in finding out more. For more details please contact Olwyn on 01257 424249 or Stanley on 01942 223092.

Comedy & Curry And now for something completely different! Get suited and booted for a Comedy and Curry Night being held at St Aidans Social Club, Highfield Grange Road in Winstanley. The event takes place on Saturday 6th April and the acts on the night include Frankie Allen, Micky Finn and Mark Langley. Tickets are priced at £15, which includes the curry, are available to purchase from Baguette Fraiche, St Pauls Avenue in Worsley Mesnes, or call 07982 996423.

230c Newton Road, Lowton, Warrington WA3 2AD t: 01924 398 304 w: e:


Twinkle Tots Wigan based church, Today’s Community Church, are running a free fortnightly Parent and Baby/Toddler Group for their local community called Twinkle Tots. The group meets at Today’s Community Church, The Pier Centre, Pottery Terrace, Wigan, WN3 5AB and has full facilities including plenty of toys and activities to keep your little ones entertained. Admission is completely free and is run by three mums from the church. Jane Fisher, mother and one of the organisers, said “Me and a few other mums wanted to start this free mother and baby group to give parents or carers, and of course their children, a safe friendly place to come

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together. Being a new mum can sometimes isolate you from the outside world. This group gives our local mums somewhere to meet other mums, compare stories and talk in a relaxed environment.” Twinkle Tots is open every other Friday, with the next gathering on Friday 5th April (Craft and story time), and Friday 19th April (Biscuit baking and decorating). You can drop in any time from 9.30am – 12pm either on your own or with a friend. The Pier Centre is accessible from Pottery Terrace where there is also free car parking. For more information contact Jane Fisher on janefisher209@

Charity Open Day Derian House, the Chorley-based children’s hospice, is due to benefit from an Open Day thrown by a successful local business to celebrate moving to new premises. Chorley Bottle Gas, along with sister company, is moving from their compound in Mill Lane in Coppull to the old Methodist Church in Adlington over the Easter weekend. The move is taking place to allow the businesses to expand into the fancy dress market – the space in the old Methodist church will allow a large range of fancy dress and fancy dress accessories such as wigs, masks and much more. The Open Day is on Saturday 6th April and will run between 9.30am-3.30pm. There will be lots for the kids to enjoy, such as a bouncy castle, a balloon artist and face painting. Food and drinks will be served and there will be special discounts on purchases. A raffle will also be held and there are some super prizes to be won, including a meal for two at Luciano’s! All profits on the day made in theballoonshop will be donated to Derian House, so do come along and join in the fun! A One-Stop Party Shop! Balloons Balloon Gas Fancy Dress Party Goods Face Paints Tableware Wigs & Accessories Venue Dressing Bouncy Castle Hire For all your party goods! CJM Garage Doors Ltd, Unit 10, Hewitt Business Park Winstanley Road, Orrell, Orrell, Wigan WiganWN5 WN5 7XB 7XB t: 01942 01942 738347 738347 w:

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68 mm x D 115 mm Advert - SeceuroGlide (additional logos).indd19/07/2012 1 11:18

Rotary Funding for Community Groups Wigan Rotary Club is again looking to donate cash to local community groups with a ‘Dragons Den’ style event. Following the success of this event in the past few years, local groups based in postcode areas WN1, WN3, WN5, WN6 are invited to submit their request to Wigan Rotary Club. Following an initial consideration, those groups selected will be invited to put their case to ‘The Dragons’ in a three minute presentation. Wigan Rotary Club President Venk Mani said ‘ In these difficult times when we are all having to tighten our belts, I am sure there are local groups in the Wigan area who could really use a donation of a few hundred pounds to help them with a project or event they wish to undertake. Last year twelve groups were successful, but the dragons unfortunately had to decline several applications.’ Bids of up to £500 can be considered and Venk continued ‘We don’t expect a presentation to come from a person trained in public speaking, we want to hear from members

of the group who are looking for the money. Last year’s groups ranged from an Over 60’s group to a Mother and Toddler group. Full details and an application form are available either by going to the website www. or by ringing 07813 471000. The closing date for entries is 20th April.

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Standish WI An appeal in the February issue of Local Life for residents to support the formation of a Women’s Institute group in Standish was a big success, with over 40 readers turning up at a preliminary meeting. The group now meet on the second Thursday of each month at St Wilfrid’s Parish Hall in Standish. The next meeting is on 11th April, starting at 7pm. If you are interested in joining the newly-formed group, then do pop along to the meeting.

Green Fingers As the days grow longer and slightly warmer, thoughts turn to all things green. If you’re keen on gardening and you’d like to get together with like-minded enthusiasts, then the Shevington Gardening Association would like to hear from you. The club meet each month in St Anne’s Church Hall on Church Lane in the village on the second Monday of every month, beginning at 8pm.

Their meetings frequently host an expert who will speak on a gardening related topic, and the group occasionally have trips out to flower shows or visit gardens of country houses. Everyone is welcome to come along to meetings, even those who have no wish to join the Shevington Gardening Association. For more information, contact Ted Unwin on 01257 255171 or email

Murder Room Get out the greasepaint and set out the chairs because the Douglas Drama Group is back in Parbold with its latest production. The Murder Room, written by Jack Sharkey, is a mystery farce concerning newly-weds Edgar and Mavis. Two days after their wedding Edgar discovers that Mavis, who is by all accounts a nasty piece of work, is being unfaithful. After her first attempt to kill him by poisoning his cocoa fails, Mavis resorts to shooting him and then returning to her lover. But is he dead? The Murder Room runs on the 25th, 26th and 27th April at Parbold Women's Institute, starting each night at 7.30pm. Tickets are just £6 and are available from the DIY Store on The Common or from Parbold Fruit & Veg. For more details, please contact Sandra on 01257 462430.


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Shevington Fair A Spring Fair with a difference is taking place at St Bernadette's School in Church Lane, Shevington this month. The fair takes place on Saturday 20th April from 12 noon until 5pm and, in addition to the usual attractions, will have a big top circus! Entrance to the fair itself is free and visitors will enjoy a bouncy castle, stalls such as hook a duck and beat the goalie and a face painting and tattoo artist will be on hand to transform the looks of your children. For adults, there will be food and refreshments galore, including a stall where you can buy real ale and Pimms! The big top circus will be run by a company called Circus Sensible - see – who will run two comedy circus shows at 12.30pm and 3.30pm. Entrance to the circus costs £3.50 per person, or £12 for a family of four, with children under 2 years of age admitted free. In addition to the big top shows the circus will be offering circus skills to all of the children throughout the event; juggling, stilts, plate spinning and much more. As we all know, the one ingredient that can ruin the best of school fairs is rain. In this case though, the show will go on whatever the elements throw at it - the fair will simply move under cover and the circus will be under the big top, so don’t miss out on this fabulous afternoon out for all the family!

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Grand Pro Wrestling

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You can experience the unparalleled excitement and heart stopping energy of live professional wrestling at The Rose Club (formerly the Monaco Ballroom) on Atherton Road in Hindley. This event, which is held on Friday 19th April, is a mix of high flying action, hard hits, amazing stunts, colourful characters, emotion and comedy all come together to deliver a breath taking family friendly production. The doors open at 7pm, the show will start at 7.30pm and the show will finish at approximately 10pm. Tickets for the show are £9 per person or £29 for a family of 4 (2 children under 13), and can be ordered online at www. grandprowrestling. For more details about the show, call 07703 312146.

Residents living in in West Lancashire will have the chance to meet their Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) at a series of April meetings to launch the fledgling NHS organisation. Clinical commissioning groups are groups of GP's that will, from this month, be responsible for designing local health services, and buying in health and care services for the West Lancashire area. These 60 minute events will allow you to meet some of the local GP's involved in the organisation and some of the management team, and there will be a chance to question the GP's directly. On Tuesday 9th April, the CCG will be at the Ecumenical Centre on Northway in Skelmerdale between 2-3pm. The following day (Wednesday 10th April) the CCG are in the Sports Pavilion in Carr Lane in Tarleton from 5-6pm. On Thursday 18th April, residents of Ormskirk will get a chance to meet the CCG at Brookside Retirement Living Village in Aughton Street in Ormskirk between 6-7pm. The CCG come to Parbold on Wednesday 24th April, meeting villagers in the Village Hall between 5-6pm. Their final event will be held at Digmoor Community Centre in Birleywood, Skelmersdale on Tuesday 30th April between 6-7pm. If you would like further information on NHS West Lancashire CCG. please visit www.westlancashireccg. or call 01695 588000.

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The group are also working on various sites across Wigan and West Lancashire carrying out tasks such as tree planting, habitat management, access improvements, establishing wildlife gardens in schools and lots more. You don’t need any prior experience on conservation and the environment, just some enthusiasm and a love of the outdoors! The Conservation Volunteers also run workshops and courses in all sorts of topics from veggie growing to straw bale building – see their website for more information at or contact Hannah Morris on 07739 447949.

Conservation Volunteers

Big Band go Bang?

The Conservation Volunteers have appealed to Local Life readers for help on a couple of projects they are working on at the moment. The group, which have been established since 1959, are currently working on a community allotment in Worsley Hall. They need volunteers to come and help look after the vegetables and fruit areas, and also take care of hens and bees. All volunteers will be able to take home a fair share of the produce too.

The West Lancs Big Band is desperately seeking new musicians to join their band as they battle for survival. Several members have recently departed and have left the band unable to fulfil their existing bookings. This popular band, which has a large following, would like to hear from musicians who can play trumpets, trombones, saxophones, piano or keyboards. If there is anyone out there who can help, please contact Ruth McDonald as soon as possible on 01695 575816 or 07733 477 926.

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First & Last By Nicola Gray

Last week Local Life caught up with Roberto Martinez, the Wigan Athletic boss, at Sharpy’s Fish & Chip Restaurant at the DW Stadium. Roberto’s love affair with football started when he was just a nipper. He played his first competitive match for his home town team, CF Balaguer at the age of nine, before moving to Real Zaragoza at the age of 16. In 1995, Dave Whelan brought Roberto to Wigan, where he completed the trio of Spanish players known as ‘The Three Amigos’. Roberto spent six years at the club as a player and was part of the Latics team that won the 3rd Division in 1996 and also played a part in their Football League Trophy win in 1999. After spells at Motherwell, where he met his wife Beth, and at Walsall, Roberto moved to Swansea, a club where he began his managerial career in 2007. In his first season in charge Roberto led the Swans to a League One champions win, and in 2009 he re-joined Latics, this time as Manager. With Roberto at the helm, Latics have managed to confound the pundits by staying in the Premier League, sometimes by the skin of their teeth, and are now looking forward to a historic visit to the new Wembley Stadium for the FA Cup semi-final against Millwall. Roberto currently lives in Hilldale, near Parbold, with his wife Beth. First memory you have My first memory is of playing football with my dad. We always played football together, I remember we played on the beach and I must have been about 2 years old! First school you attended This was Carmelitas Catholic School in my home town of Balaguer; I loved school and I was a good student. The only time I ever got into trouble was after PE lessons when we kept playing football instead of going to the next lesson.


First job you had This was a work experience post when I was training to be a physiotherapist. I worked for 3 months in my local hospital and I only got paid after I took on some private patients after I had finished my training. First car you bought My first car was a Renault R5; I paid £2,000 for it and I loved it! It had that many gadgets I thought it was just like the Knight Rider car. First house you bought I bought my first home in Balaguer and I have actually never lived there! I bought it just before I became a Wigan player in 1995. First pub or club you visited I was 18 when I first visited a pub; I went out with my team mates from Real Zaragoza and I had an orange juice! I have always been tee-total; I think the last drink I had was a glass of champagne at my wedding. I love all the little pubs in Hilldale and Parbold though. First record you bought This was the sound track to the film Ghost; I was obviously feeling romantic that day! I like easy listening music really, and anything modern. At the moment I like listening to Emilie Sande. First best friend My best friend was a boy named Joseph Maria. We lived next door to each other and I blame him for always being late for school; we were always too busy kicking a football! I am still in touch with him, but we don’t get in so much trouble these days!

First kiss My first kiss was with a girl I went to school with, I can’t remember her name! She was older than me, so I think it’s fair to say she was giving me the kiss instead of the other way round. Last restaurant you visited I went out my wife Beth to the High Moor Restaurant in Wrightington. We had an outstanding meal and we will definitely be going back. I love eating out, it’s fantastic to get out, enjoy great food and spend time together. Last DIY task attempted I tried to fix the desk in my office; let’s just say it hasn’t been fixed! Beth does all the DIY, but I do love to try. When I retire, I am going to finish all the jobs I don’t have to time to do now! Last film you watched I love films; the last one I watched was Looper starring Bruce Willis. I watch all types of films when I get the chance; it’s a great way to switch off, for 2 hours all your problems are gone. Last disagreement you had My answer to that would be every day! Whether it’s at the training ground or sorting out schedules, there is always something to sort out and sometimes it ends in a disagreement. Last time you went shopping I hate to say it but Beth does all that too! I’m not a big fan of shopping really unless it is to buy the latest gadget; I get a bit excited then. I’m not keen on spending money really. Last holiday you had Beth and I went to Poland last year. I only told her after it was booked that I would be covering the Euros for TV too! We did a bit of sightseeing though in the local museums though and we visited Auschwitz too. Last sporting event you attended I was at the Wigan vs. Everton match at Goodison Park for the quarter finals of the FA Cup; I believe the away team played very well!


Standish; winning the award for best domestic extensions and the overall prize for building excellence. The awards were established as a way of recognising the high standards of building work across the borough, and also to commend the high standards of construction, workmanship and customer satisfaction. John told Local Life, “It’s such a great feeling to be recognised for our hard work and dedication. The awards are designed to reward companies like ourselves who are committed to meeting building standards and we’re over the moon to have won an award for the fourth year in a row!”

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Building Excellence Local businessman, John Greenhalgh, from Standish is celebrating after his recent win at the Wigan Council Building Excellence Awards. John’s joinery company was commended for their work on the Old Prospect Brewery in

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Scarisbrick Food Fayre Make a date in your diary now for the very first Scarisbrick Food Fayre which will be held in May at Vincent’s Garden Centre on Southport Road in Scarisbrick. The Fayre will showcase a selection of Lancashire’s artisan food producers. There will be a range of stalls selling fresh local produce, pies and chutneys and lots more. To tickle your taste buds even further, there will also be a gourmet BBQ too. The Scarisbrick Food Fayre will be held on Sunday 5th and Bank Holiday Monday 6th May from 10am-4pm. Entry is free and there will also be activities for children, including a play area. If you would like any further information about taking part in the Scarisbrick Food Fayre, please email or visit our website

Rainbow Ramble The 5th annual Legacy Rainbow House Rainbow Ramble event takes place on Saturday 27th April. Starting and finishing at Bishop Rawstorne High School in Croston, eager runners and walkers will take to the roads of the local villages surrounding The Legacy Centre in Mawdesley. Over 300 people took part in last year’s event and a magnificent £18,000 was raised for the charity. The Ramble starts at 10am, and registration is open from 9am. You can choose from either an 11 or 1 mile route and entry is £15 for adults, £5 for under 18’s and children being pushed in wheelchairs or prams go free. All finishers receive a medal and goody bag too! You can download an entry form from the website or via the Facebook page (Legacy Rainbow House).

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There is a macabre thread running through the last 600 years of England’s history and it belongs to the phenomenon called Screaming Skulls. Legend has it that if a skull causes great havoc, such as unearthly screams, storms or poltergeist activity, when it is removed from its pride of place within an ancient abode, it becomes known as a Screaming Skull.

Screaming Skulls The best known example of a Screaming Skull is right on our doorstep in Appley Bridge. One of the old cottages in Appley Bridge houses a Screaming Skull with a fearsome history. Whilst Local Life knows the location of the cottage and recently had a long chat with the owner, we have agreed not to publish details of the exact whereabouts of the cottage in question, but as you’d expect, it’s not a million miles away from Skull House Lane.

So how did the resident skull come to take up home in the quiet village of Appley Bridge? The common belief is that the skull dates from the war between the Roundheads and the Cavaliers, when Oliver Cromwell ordered that the monks of England should be driven out of their monasteries and killed. One monk fled from his monastery and took refuge in a large cottage in Appley Bridge. To avoid discovery by Cromwell's Roundheads, the monk hid in a small cubbyhole halfway up the house's chimney. He hid there for some time, until the Roundheads eventually discovered him, and drove him out by lighting a fire. Ever since then, the monk's skull has remained on the mantelpiece of the house, in the living room.

The flaw with this version of events is that it is based on confusion between Oliver Cromwell and Thomas Cromwell, the man who was responsible for the Dissolution of the Monasteries under Henry VIII. There were no monasteries left in England at the time of Oliver Cromwell and the Civil War, so it seems unlikely that the skull belongs to a monk. Although there is no firm evidence as to how the skull ended up in Appley Bridge, local residents tell that, throughout the history of the house, there have been many residents who have tried to get rid of the skull, and all have experienced disastrous results. According to the legend, one man threw it into the River Douglas at the bottom of Appley Lane North. Shortly after, the skull returned to the house and the offending resident drowned in the river. Another tried to get it as far away from the house as possible, and shortly after, the skull returned once again and this time, the house's inhabitant fell down the stairs and severely injured himself. Others have tried in many ways to banish the skull, and all have met with misfortune or fatality. The skull still sits firmly on the mantelpiece of the cottage and woe betides anyone who tries to move it. Whilst we may never now reveal the true history of the skull, the current owners of the cottage tell us, quite understandably, they are in no hurry to move it any time soon!


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After Legends of the 80’s Haydock Park will be turning back the clock on Saturday 22nd June with their musical tribute to the 80’s. Guests will be entertained by four iconic artists; ABC, Marc Almond, Paul Young and local artist Rick Astley. Join the team for an evening of racing topped off with an open-air live concert to remember. Tickets are £30 and are on sale now – to book your place please call 0844 579 3006 or visit the website at

Spring into Music Croston Methodist Church on Westhead Road in Croston are holding a ‘Spring into Music Concert’ on Saturday 27 April at 7:30pm. Entrance is £6 including refreshments. Performing at the Concert will be the Rossall School Chapel Choir from Fleetwood who will be singing a wide selection of music under the direction of their Choral Director Margaret Young. In recent years this outstanding choir has performed at numerous Cathedrals across Europe and North America. Also appearing at the Concert will be the Sax and Relax Quartet who will entertain on both clarinets and saxophones.

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Share your Pics! St Helens & Ash

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We always enjoy receiving your fabulous photographs at Local Life, and we’d like more readers to show us life through their lens! To help storage issues, we have recently joined the world of Flickr and have our own group; just search ‘Local Life’ to join us. Share your pictures of the local area with us, and if they’re good enough we may even use them in the magazine, or even on the front cover! Photos must be uploaded as high resolution and must have a local theme. We prefer photos to be of a portrait aspect. If you want to try for a front cover, please allow room for the Local Life masthead at the top of the image, and ideally a focal point should be slightly off centre to allow room at one side for the text we use on the front cover. We look forward to seeing your efforts!

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Blinds at 2003 Prices! Harmony Blinds are celebrating their 10th anniversary at their premises in Pemberton with a brilliant blinds bonanza: all blinds ordered in March or April will be reduced to their 2003 price! Winstanley couple Shelley and Gary Parrish have been selling blinds in the Wigan area for over 20 years, but it was in 2003 that the couple moved into their Pemberton showroom. Working seven days a week and up to 9pm at night, the couple have seen the business grow and grow. The company now has five full time staff and three vans on the road. Harmony offers the widest range of window products in Wigan. So confident about the quality of their blinds, Harmony offers an unbeatable 5 year guarantee – in an industry where the average guarantee is just 12 months.

The choice of window fashions is almost endless at Harmony – different types of blinds such as venetians, Romans, verticals, rollers and pleated, and, for the traditional-style room, a range of exquisite handmade curtains too. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of their Pemberton showroom and to thank their customers for their support over the past decade, Shelly and Gary are offering their entire range of blinds at 2003 prices or 10% off – whichever price is lowest. This fantastic offer is available on all blinds ordered before 30th April 2013 – so pop into the showroom on Ormskirk Road in Pemberton or call 01942 743203 for a home visit.

The company have introduced Perfect Fit® blinds to the Wigan area – stylish and innovative blinds that clip to window frames to free up space, increase your privacy and keep you warm. Perfect Fit® blinds have proved amazingly popular with home owners, particularly those with conservatories. Brand new this year at Harmony is a range of quality wooden shutters – a perfect blend of aesthetics and function for the more discerning householder, and also Vision blinds, which allow you light control without losing privacy

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In Bloom

Haigh Display

Shevington Women's Institute are holding a coffee morning in April to raise funds for Shevington in Bloom. The event takes place on Saturday 13th April at Shevington Methodist Church, and runs from 10am12 noon. Admission is £1.50 per person. Everyone is welcome, so do come along and support the efforts to ensure that Shevington is blooming again this summer!

Haigh Hall will be the venue for an awareness event held by children’s charity, Barnardo’s. The event takes place at the Hall on Thursday 11th April. Members of the public are invited to learn about the history of the charity and learn about their ground-breaking work with younger children and their families.

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Speakers at the event will include Alan Dearman, a former Barnardo’s resident, children’s services representatives and a solicitor from Quality Solicitors. The event starts at 10.30am for an 11am start and will be followed with a complimentary buffet lunch and a short talk on Haigh Hall. Places are limited, so book your place quickly by calling Dylan Carroll on 0121 458 3618 or send an email to

Get a mention! If you’re a member of a community group and you want to publicise your next event free in Local Life, then just email details along with a contact name and number to

d? CV to Email your ; or post to 7 Ltd Local Life 24 Business Park itt Unit 8 – Hew d Roa Winstanley Orrell Wigan WN5 7XB

Closing date 10 May 2013


Rugger Girls

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Wigan St Patrick's Women's RL are looking for new players for the new season. The team is open age, play on Sunday afternoons and train on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. No experience is needed, just a willingness to learn and having a high pain threshold helps too! For more details call Mandy on 07939 835877 or email

Standish Labour Club in Smalley Street is the venue for a great night out in April! In conjunction with St Wilfrid’s Church Lads and Church Girls Brigade, the club are hosting a Game Show themed evening on Friday 19th April, starting at 7.30pm. Tickets are £5 for adults and £3 for children and the price includes a hot pot supper and a hot dog for children. For more information and to buy your tickets, please call 07725 472589.


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Recipe of the month

Buttermilk Scones with Fruit Compote Method Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Sift the flour and salt together. Rub in the butter until the mixture is like fine crumbs. Stir in the sugar and raisins or sultanas if using. Gently warm the buttermilk (don’t throw away the pot) and vanilla in a microwave or pan. Using your largest bowl, quickly tip in some of the flour mix, followed by some of the buttermilk mix, repeating until everything is in the bowl. Use a knife to quickly mix together to form a dough - don’t over-mix it.

Makes 10-12 Preparation time 15 minutes Cooking time 15 minutes

Ingredients Scones

Tip onto a floured surface and lightly bring together with your hands a couple of times. Press out gently to about 4cm thick and stamp out rounds with a 6cm or 7cm cutter. Re-shape trimmings, until all the dough is used. Place scones evenly on to a lightly floured baking sheet or two. Add a splash of milk into the buttermilk pot, and then use to glaze the top of each scone. Bake for 10-12 mins until golden and well risen.

• 450g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting

To Make The Fruit Compote:

• ¼ tsp salt

Place as much of the frozen fruit as you need in the saucepan, on a gentle heat on the hob on top of your cooker. Simmer the fruit until it starts to soften; stir gently now and again just enough so that the fruit does not stick to the pan; do not allow it to burn.

• 100g cold butter, diced • 85g golden caster sugar • Handful of raisins or sultanas (optional) • 284ml pot buttermilk • 2 tsp vanilla extract • Splash of milk


Now add sugar to taste - not too much at first. Taste the fruit as you add the sugar so that you do not make it too sweet or leave it too tart. Take care not to burn yourself when testing it! Fruit and sugar get very hot.

• Frozen fruit of choice – summer fruit mix is good, sour cherries are fantastic

Once the fruit has softened, but before it turns to a pulp or goes too mushy, it is ready and you should remove it from the heat to cool.

• Sugar to taste

It keeps for 2-3 days in the fridge.


Distributors Required Local Life requires distributors (13+) to deliver the magazine and associated leaflets on the old Bleachworks estate in Standish, in the Pepper Lane/Old Pepper Lane area in Standish, the Churchfield/Church Lane area in Shevington and the Whitley Crescent/Spencer Road area in Whitley. Distributors will work once every eight weeks for 2/3 hours. You must be fit, reliable and enthusiastic. If you’re interested, please email your name, address, contact number and date of birth to sallyb@locallife247. Local Life also welcome applications from distributors in other areas for our waiting lists.

Swinley Show Haydock Male Voice Choir will be performing at St Michael’s Church in Duke Street, Swinley on Friday 10th May. The choir will be accompanied by guest soprano Janette Monroe, whose has previously worked live with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Band of the Welsh Guard and has sung with Russell Watson in the Passion of the Tenors concerts. Tickets for this concert are priced at £10 and are available from Sheilah Barton on 01942 496070.

Social Club Pensioners in the Appley Bridge area who would like to meet with others on a regular basis should make their way to Appley Bridge Village Hall on Appley Lane North. The Appley Bridge Pensioners Social Club meet at this venue on the second Wednesday of the month at 2pm the next meeting is on Wednesday 10th April. For more details call Mrs Freda Roby on 01257 255856.

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Outspoken journalist, author and broadcaster Will Self is one of the star attractions at Wigan's annual celebration of all things written and spoken – the Words Literary Festival. The 51-year-old self-proclaimed 'psychogeographer', who has been a columnist and contributor for The Times, The New York Times, Harpers and The New Statesman, is probably most recognisable as a team captain on comedy game show Shooting Stars. Self is also a regular on Have I Got News For You and Question Time – recently telling Mail columnist, Peter Hitchens, to 'take a chill pill' during a furious debate about drugs. Witty, opinionated and often televisual dynamite, Self is also an acclaimed author who this year was shortlisted for the Man Booker prize for his ninth novel Umbrella. Self will give a reading from Umbrella as part of the Words Literary Festival at the Mill at the Pier from 7.30pm onwards on Thursday 4 April. Now in its 10th year, the literary festival, which celebrates the best in local and international historical and modern writing, is organised by the Leigh and Wigan Words Together Committee supported by WLCT (Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust) and funded by the Arts Council England's National Lottery Grants for the Arts scheme. It starts on Monday 1 April and boasts a two-week programme packed with entertaining, thought-provoking, interactive events. Words co-ordinator Sharon Lowe says: “It is really fitting that we celebrate the first decade of the festival with


a special guest of the calibre of Will Self. A true social commentator and voice for the arts and contemporary culture, we are delighted to welcome Will to the Words Festival. As well as being a celebration of the written and spoken word, the ethos behind the festival is about encouraging new writers to take inspiration, learn some of the tricks of the trade and get writing. We have some truly great writers who will be passing on their knowledge and experience at the festival. We anticipate that the Will Self reading and many of the other festival events are likely to be sell-outs so we would advise booking in advance.” Other highlights include special sessions with Billingeborn poet and broadcaster Lemn Sissay, MBE. Travel writer Alan Whelan will be revelling in a fascination with Africa that has led to three solo overland motorcycle journeys through the continent, and two books, and for younger fiction fans, poet and children's television star Dommy B will be bringing his show The Dragon Who Hates Poetry to the festival on Saturday 6 April. With folk music, haiku, improvised comedy, lively debate and practical workshops, the Words Festival 2013 promises something for everyone. Words Literary Festival is organised by the Leigh and Wigan Words Together committee in association with WLCT and supported by the Arts Council England's National Lottery funded Grants for the Arts scheme. For a Words brochure visit your nearest library or leisure centre. For more information visit

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Your Health

Cholesterol – Friend or Foe? There’s certainly been a growing purge on cholesterol in recent times. Over the last ten years as a chiropractor, I’ve noticed that for the over 30’s to 40’s amongst us, statins (or cholesterol lowering medications) are taken as regularly as a cup of tea.

Curtain Up Wigan Musical Theatre Group will be holding a musical revue, Curtain Up, of old and new songs including selections from the top shows such as Mamma Mia, Sister Act, Lion King and South Pacific. The show will be held at St Michael's Parish Hall in Shaw Street, Swinley. and runs from Wednesday 24th to Saturday 27th April, starting at 7:30pm each evening. You can buy your tickets (£7 & £6 for concessions) from the ticket secretary on 01942 706106.

Surprisingly, cholesterol is a molecule absolutely essential to our good health. The packaging around every cell in our body is made from it, and all of our hormones are manufactured from it too. So, why is it so often portrayed as the scourge of good health? This is perhaps because cholesterol is something of a split personality. Good cholesterol (also called HDL cholesterol) counters the effects of bad cholesterol (also known as LDL). It’s the bad cholesterol which is the villain of the piece, blocking arteries in the heart and around the body, and in turn increasing our risk of heart disease and strokes. As ever, what we put into our mouths is the single biggest and most important factor in keeping your cholesterol levels in good shape, and should be considered regardless of whether you take statins. Very few foods contain actual cholesterol, with the exception of offal, shellfish and eggs. As you know, shellfish and eggs are still healthy foods. Our bodies’ cholesterol levels reflect what our livers do with the types of food we eat.

Treating the peo ple of Wiga n since 19 81

In particular, saturated fats – found in butter, lard, pies, cakes, biscuits, cheese, ready meals (even those with a side of horse!) – increase our bad cholesterol levels. The easy way to remember these is that the fat is solid at room temperature – and so it will become in your arteries. Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats tend to raise good cholesterol and lower the bad. These are liquid at room temperature and are found in oily fish such as salmon and mackerel, olive, sesame and rapeseed oil. The staple of our diet, carbohydrate, also plays a vital role in your cholesterol levels. Simple carbohydrates, especially those made from white flour, in breads, biscuits and cakes tend to raise bad cholesterol levels. Complex carbohydrates, especially those high in soluble fibre, reduce total cholesterol levels and mop up the bad stuff. The best ones are unrefined cereals such as porridge or oats, brown rice, fruit and vegetables, especially broccoli. Take care of what you eat! Dr Mike Paull, Chiropractor.


• physiotherapy • acupuncture • reflexology • specialist treatment of CFS/ME

physiotherapy clinic

18 Bridgeman Terrace, Wigan, WN1 1TD

T 01942 321235



t Wigan Family Chiropractic Clinic, our team of Chiropractors and therapists can help to relieve most types of muscle, joint and nerve pain. What sorts of problem can you help me with? We can relieve pain that is caused by a variety of muscle, joint and nerve problems. This includes both new and old pain resulting from your job, sports, poor posture, accidents and some types of arthritis or wear & tear. We specialise in treating neck and back pain as well as pulled muscles, stiff joints and trapped nerves.

How can you help me? We always start off with a 45 minute consultation and examination to find the underlying causes of your problem. We then use gentle, safe hands-on treatments to relieve your pain.

How soon can you help me? We are open six days a week and offer appointments the same or the next day. We are open Monday-Friday 8am-7pm, Saturdays 8am-4pm.

Why do we offer gentle treatments? Because we treat young children and senior citizens, we know that people prefer gentle, painless treatments.

Don’t suffer with muscle, joint or nerve pain! Find out how we can help you:

01942 498480

Why do you have a digital x-ray department? We have our own digital x-ray department at the clinic so that we can take and show you your pictures within 24 hours. This helps us to show you the underlying causes of your problem, allowing us to start treatment quickly and get you out of pain.

• Consultation & Examination £62 • Digital X-ray pictures (per area) £62 • Treatment sessions (each) £36

Consultation and Examination

also includes your first treatment, saving you £36

Low back or neck pain? Visit our clinic WIGAN FAMILY CHIROPRACTIC CLINIC



Bring your Conservatory to life with Freedom! If your conservatory is too cold we will make it warm and usable throughout the winter - saving you money on energy bills

Only 5% VAT payable


Yale Lock Upgrade - anti-snap/ anti bumping. Maximum 3 barrels per house or FREE Black Grained Window Sills fitted to your Conservatory by Homesill

JGB Investment Park, Stephens Way, Wigan, WN3 6PG (Next to the Hot Tub Outlet)


No planning or building regulations required All work is fully guaranteed for 5 years with deferred payment schemes available Order now for guaranteed fitting before Christmas! Well done Freedom for the best idea I have seen since double glazing! I now have a 7 metre lounge with Freedom doing a full makeover and that new ceiling looks amazing in the conservatory, especially with the new lighting system that was ďŹ tted. Thanks Mr Dale from Winstanley

We offer deferred payment plans and accept all major credit & debit cards

Conservatory roof before “Conservatory overheats in summer and winter temperatures rival the North Pole!”

Conservatory roof after “ on their energy bills and given them a room that they can use 365 days of the year”

Our conversion will do away with that ugly plastic roof as well as giving you effective soundproofing. Whether it’s a roof conversion or a total transformation package we can manage your project from start to finish - no deposit required - we invoice you when the job is complete. • • • • •

Whatever size your conservatory we can create your dream living space Transform your conservatory into a cinema room, kitchen or bedroom Bespoke Designs available – full transformations from our fully qualified tradesmen Choose from state of the art lighting systems and audio packages Visit our new showroom with fabulous conservatory displays

Freedom did our porch and conservatory and we now have balanced heat throughout the downstairs and I am saving £15.00 per week alone on Gas. The fitting team were brilliant and had it all done in 3 days. Our best room in the house is now our conservatory, which before Freedom came along, was unused - Mrs Gillbanks from Poolstock


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Money & Investments - by David K Barton APFS Cert CII(MP)

Are you an Investment or Retirement Orphan? As a result of changes introduced by the Financial Services Authority on January 1st this year there has been a reduction in adviser numbers within the pensions and investment advice arena. Consequently, there are now even more “orphan” clients that are no longer receiving ongoing professional financial advice.

In many cases, investments such as Pensions, ISAs and Investment Bonds will contain an element of renewal or fund based commission which can be paying anything between 0.5% and 1.00%pa. This is paid to the adviser who originally sold you the Pension or Investment. In other words, an investment with a value of £150,000 may well be paying anything up to £1500 pa to your adviser and therefore in my opinion the following fundamental questions need to be answered.

So what do I mean by orphan clients?

How often do you receive detailed updates from them?

“Orphans” are those individuals that have invested capital into pensions and investments a number of years ago who are no longer receiving ongoing advice/guidance.

What fund changes have been made to your investments to reflect both your attitude to risk as well as the investment market conditions?

Typically this occurs for a number of reasons:

What tax planning has been carried out by your adviser to reduce/ mitigate income, capital gains or inheritance tax?

Your adviser may have retired or moved to another company. As is the case with a lot of the banks at present, new regulation has meant that they have now withdrawn from giving financial advice. Your previous adviser is now more focussed upon attracting new clients rather than looking after your own long term interests. If any of these situations sounds familiar please read on…

When was the last time you saw your adviser?

If you can tick all of the above then it sounds like you are very much on the right track and have the “trusted adviser” relationship which is absolutely key to a successful outcome. At Prosper we believe that regular contact, adequate portfolio management and a desire to build a longterm relationship with clients are a vital element that contributes to successful investing over the longer-term.

Brought to you by David Barton of Prosper Independent Financial Advisers who is a Chartered Financial Planner specialising in investment and pensions advice to the over 50s. David K Barton APFS Cert CII(MP)

Telephone: 01257 423 800


Call Prosper today on 01257 423 800 to arrange your no obligation initial consultation.

Whilst all clients that invest into the stock market should be prepared to take the longer term view (at least 5 years!),this just goes to show that market climbs and falls are never in straight lines. Quite often the bounce back from a fall can be just as aggressive as the fall itself. The old adage of “time in” the market and not “timing” the market remains a very good discipline for investors to follow. Interestingly, I think that our industry is one of the few industries where people become increasingly tempted to buy once prices have risen? As an example, those individuals who are now being tempted back into the markets having moved to cash in June of last year as a result of the political chaos in Greece have already missed a climb of 20% on the FTSE100 from its low point. Whilst nobody has a crystal ball, investors should remain focussed upon the longer term investment goals and not get too distracted by short term volatility which is just a normal part of stock market investing. Should you want to review your existing investments or if you are looking to make new investments please do not hesitate to give us a call. With investment markets showing signs of recovery, there has probably never been a better time to blow the dust off your old investment and pension policies to ensure that they remain fit for purpose. At the time of writing the FTSE100 stands at 6277, a gain of broadly 6.4% from the market close at the end of December 2012. Dependent upon where you have your funds invested you may have seen returns well above or well below this figure over the same time line.

This article is for general information only and is not intended to be advice to any specific person. You are recommended to seek competent professional advice before taking or refraining from taking any action on the basis of this publication. Past performance is not a reliable guide to future performance. The value of your investments and the income from them can go down as well as up and you may not get back the value of your investment.

Choosing a financial partner maybe the most important decision you’ll ever make. • Investment and Pension Reviews • Portfolio Management • Annuity Advice • Inheritance Tax/Estate Planning Advice • Trustee Investment Guidance

Prosper IFA are the FIRST firm of financial advisers in Wigan to be awarded the prestigious Chartered Financial Planners Status.

Prosper Independent Financial Advisers Ltd. Prosper House, 99a High Street, Standish, WN6 0HD


Ramblers Request Walkers from the French new town Cergy-Pontoise, which is twinned with West Lancashire, are visiting the West Lancs area in October and are in need of host families for their visit. This successful walking group exchange has been running for ten years, and the French walkers will be arriving on Friday October 4th and returning to Paris on Sunday October 6th. If anyone is interested in hosting people from this group, please contact Liz Littler by email or telephone 01704 543674. Please note that walks will be arranged for Saturday and Sunday and hosts are expected to provide packed lunches for guests and also evening meals, though it is likely that a function will be arranged for the Saturday evening. This is an exchange, so there will be a return visit to France in 2015 which you would be welcome to join, but there is no payment for hosting. If you’re a member of a community group and you want to publicise your next event free in Local Life, then just email details along with a contact name and number to

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CMA Accountancy

Hands On Guide to Starting a Limited Company CMA Accountancy, based in Appley Bridge, is not your typical accountancy firm. We provide the usual services such as annual accounts, payroll services, help with your VAT return and of course the dreaded selfassessment tax returns. One of the services that CMA provides is Limited Company Formations. Many of our clients have come to us as a start-up business and we have advised them on the best route to business. In many cases this has resulted in setting up a Limited Company. Some people are put off by the amount of red tape that is involved in running a company. We aim to take this hassle away from you. Here are some of the advantages of a Limited Company compared to a Sole Trader 1 A company has more credibility than a non-limited business. 2 Incorporation normally provides limited liability to the shareholders 3 Directors and shareholders can be paid in dividends which are free of National Insurance and therefore your overall tax payments are lower. 4 Claim on a wider range of expenses such as travel, phones, use of home, equipment, pensions and fees. 5 A company is a separate entity which means it will exist beyond the life of its members as it can be sold or transferred to someone else, including family members. 6 A company can claim a wider selection of reliefs such as Entrepreneurs Relief which reduces the amount of tax due when the business is sold.

Tax Tips of the Month • Mechanics – Have you purchased tools for £1000 or more in the last 4 years? - If you have you could be eligible for a tax rebate. Please contact us so we can see if you are eligible.

These are just some of the benefits of setting up a Limited Company. Here at CMA we offer a free consultation to new and existing business, including sole traders who would like to explore the option of converting to a Limited Company. SPECIAL OFFER If you contact CMA before 30th April and ask us to form a limited company you will receive a discount of 50% off our standard charge. To claim this discount just mention the article when you contact us. If you would like to find out more about any of the issues discussed in this article CMA offers a free initial consultation, either at our office or yours, at a time to suit you. If you would like to see how we can help please get in touch. Contact Details Chris Alcock ACMA CMA Accountancy 39 Skull House Lane, Appley Bridge, Wigan, WN6 9DR Tel: 01257 255521 Email


What’s on in the North West... Saturday 30th March

Monday 1st April

It is the first Bank Holiday weekend of the year, so make the most of it with a visit to Tatton Park, near Knutsford where there is something for everyone in the family. The Easter Country Shopping Fair is again being held inside the huge Tenants Hall, a wing of the mansion house at the heart of Tatton’s parkland. The kids can be occupied by the animals on the farm and the adventure playground. Visitors to the fair are likely to be amazed by hundreds of gift ideas for the family and home. Runs until Monday 1st April.

Join us in the eggcellent egg rolling eggstravaganza and take part in one of Preston’s most unique and historic events! Rolling eggs down the grassy banks of Preston’s Avenham Park has been an Easter Monday tradition for generations of families. There is the Mass Egg Rolling on the hour every hour and an Easter Bonnet Competition.

Time: 10.30am - 5pm Cost: Free event Entry - Tatton Park car entry £5 Contact: Sat Nav Ref: WA16 6QN

Tuesday 2nd April

Easter Country Shopping Fair

Sunday 31st March Cadbury’s Easter Egg Trail

Fun and games in the Orchard at Speke Hall near Liverpool. Complete the Easter trail to get a Cadbury’s Easter Egg reward. Also on Bank Holiday Monday 1st April. Time: 12pm - 4pm Cost: Trail £1.50, Normal Admission applies, Free parking Contact: 0151 427 7231 or visit Sat Nav Ref: L24 1XD Easter Eggstravaganza Weekend Salmesbury Hall near Preston is the perfect family outing on the Bank Holiday weekend with entertainment from Punch and Judy and Merlin the Magician. There is also Face painting and lots more activities for both children and adults with a Food & Craft fair in the courtyard. Also on Bank Holiday Monday 1st April. Time: 11am - 4pm Cost: £4 Adult, £3 Child Contact: 01254 812010 or visit Sat Nav Ref: PR5 0UP Craft and Gift Fair Creative Crafts are holding their fair at the Haydock Park Racecourse with around 70 stalls at this very well established venue. The exhibition is situated over two large halls with ample parking and easy access. Also on Bank Holiday Monday 1st April. Time: 10am - 4.30pm Contact: Sat Nav Ref: WA12 0HQ


Easter Egg Rolling at Avenham Park

Cost: Free Time: 10am – 5pm Contact: 01772 253731 Sat Nav Ref: PR1 8JT CATS

Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s extraordinary recordbreaking, smash-hit musical CATS will be on at the Manchester Opera House. The performance times vary. Adapted from TS Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, this wonderful blend of fantasy, drama and romance is set on the night that the Jellicle Cats meet for the Jellicle Ball in a sparkling fusion of music, dance and verse. With an amazing musical score that includes the timeless Memory, spectacular set designs, stunning costumes and breath taking choreography, CATS is a magical musical like no other. Runs until Tuesday 16th April. Cost: £10 - £42.50 Contact: 0844 871 3018 or visit shows/cats/opera-house-manchester Sat Nav Ref: M3 3HP

Sunday 7th April Vintage and Retro Fair

This spectacular vintage and retro fair will be held at the impressive Haigh Hall. The fair will take place over two floors with a wide selection of stalls selling vintage and retro clothing and accessories as well as collectable items, cupcakes, homemade chocolate and fab retro craft items. This fair is not to be missed. Time: 10am – 4pm Cost: £1.00 Contact: Sat Nav Ref: WN2 1PE

What’s on Guide events key Events & Festivals

Walks & Nature


Special Interest

Sunday 21st April

Friday 17th May

The Great Lancashire Wedding Show is a celebration of fabulous wedding businesses of all shapes and sizes. All brides will receive a complimentary show guide and the first 500 brides will receive a luxury goody bag. The Great Lancashire Wedding Show takes place at the Bolton Arena on the Middlebrook retail/leisure complex, which is just off J6 of the M61.

LightNight is Liverpool’s annual one-night arts and culture festival. Over 50 city centre galleries, museums and venues open until late, staging around 100 special cultural events for visitors of all ages. This year, visitors can look forward to the launch of Look13, Liverpool’s biennial International Photography Festival, the public reopening of Central Library, spectacular light projections, street theatre, and a vibrant myriad of walking tours, open studios, live music, hands-on workshops and much more.

Great Lancashire Wedding Show

Time: 11am - 4pm Contact: Sat Nav Ref: BL6 6LB

Thursday 25th April

Harrogate Spring Flower Show The Harrogate Spring Flower Show takes place at the Great Yorkshire Showground. The perfect opportunity to find inspiration for the garden, as well as all the plants, tools and tips you need make the dream a reality. The Spring show will be offering beautiful new show gardens, plus fantastic exhibits from over 100 leading UK plant nurseries. There will be daily demonstrations in the fantastic Plot to Pot Cookery Theatre, specialist foods, unique crafts, gifts and thousands of garden goods to suit every space and every pocket. Runs until Sunday 28th April. Cost: from £12 Time: 9.30am - 5.30pm Contact: 01423 546157 or visit Sat Nav Ref: HG2 8NZ

Sunday 5th May Tudor May Day Festival

Celebrate spring in Tudor style at Speke Hall, Liverpool! Join us for a May Day Festival including a range of Tudor inspired activities. Festival with food, music, entertainment, lifestyle interpretations and traders. Have a go at Archery, candle making, coin striking, quill writing, and other activities, make something to take home or browse a range of authentic stalls selling all manner of Tudor treats! Cost: Normal admission applies. Free parking. Also on Monday 6th May. Time: 12 noon - 4pm Contact: 0151 427 7231 or visit uk/spekehall Sat Nav Ref: L24 1XD

Light Night Festival

Cost: Free Time: from 4pm Contact:

Wednesday 22nd May Walking With Dinosaurs

After a worldwide tour seen by over 7 million people in 206 cities, the stunning theatrical event is back! Internationally renowned designers have worked with scientists to create 20 life-size dinosaurs, including the terror of ancient terrain, Tyrannosaurus-Rex! Watch them walk! Hear them roar! Runs until Sunday 26th May. Cost: £25, £35 & £45 Time: 11am, 3pm & 7pm Contact: 0844 8000 400 or visit Sat Nav Ref: L3 4FP

Sunday 26th May

Great British Food Festival The Great British Food Festival is being held at Walton Hall and Gardens which is located just south of Warrington on the A49. With live music, chef demos, cake -offs and lots of local producers, foodie types out there will have a fantastic time! Also runs on Monday 27th May. Cost: £4 Time: 10.30am – 5pm Contact: Sat Nav Ref: WA4 6SN

Friday 31st May

Southport Food & Drink Festival The Southport Food and Drink Festival at Victoria Park has an abundance of fresh produce, a wealth of local restaurants, plenty of drink, plus a selection of the region’s finest chefs demonstrating their kitchen skills. Runs until Sunday 2nd June. Cost: Free Time: 11am – 6pm (on Friday opens at 12pm) Contact: 01704 533333 Sat Nav Ref: PR8 2BZ



There aren’t many topics that get my boss excited – but good food is one of them and The Star Inn at Roby Mill is another! The Star Inn, set in the picturesque village of Roby Mill is a thriving Gastro Pub, so when we were invited down for a taste test I was fully expecting a fantastic dining experience and I got absolutely that! At the end of the evening when I walked out of this charming and rustic pub, I left with one important lesson learned; great food created with the best local produce doesn’t mean you have to re-mortgage the house just to take the family out for a meal.

The extensive menu offered many mouth-watering options; they certainly weren’t making it easy for us to choose! For the traditionalists amongst you there is the pub classics menu including sausage and mash and fish and chips and an extensive steak menu for the meat

connoisseurs. And it doesn’t stop there - the team at The Star have poured their heart and soul in to creating an extra two course menu for £10.99, a sizzler menu and an a la carte menu packed with lamb, chicken, pasta and vegetarian dishes; there really is something for everyone! To start we ordered the Rocket, Beetroot and Goats Cheese Tart and the Grilled Medallions of Black Pudding. The tart brought together the earthy tones of the beetroot and the creamy texture of the goat’s cheese to make a really wonderful pairing; the sweetness of the beetroot really cut through the tanginess of the cheese. Add to this the subtle heat of the peppery salad and it was an outstanding start to the meal. The grilled medallions of black pudding were proudly stacked with a generous helping of smoked streaky bacon running through the centre – the crunchiness of the bacon worked brilliantly with the crumbly texture and intensely rich taste of the black pudding. This delicate starter was served with a quenelle of apple puree


Stardom and surrounded by a wholegrain mustard cream. The sweet apple puree was the perfect partner for the savoury and peppery black pudding. For the main meal I opted for a Sizzling Skillet and sizzle it did! I heard my main course arriving before I actually saw it. This dish was packed with tender sweet chilli beef tossed in toasted sesame seeds with a refreshing hint of lime juice, which really lifted the dish. The beef was finished with a colourful palette of crunchy peppers and fragrant red onions. I like a bit of heat in my food and this bold and zesty dish will definitely please the spicy food lover in your house. Ben opted for the Salmon Papillote; it sounds elegant doesn’t it and let me tell you that the dish was every bit as sophisticated as it sounds! The substantial salmon fillet was cooked and presented in its baking parchment ensuring that the fish was as fragrant as it was flavoursome. The parchment parcel opened with an aromatic haze of lemon, thyme and garlic that made our taste buds sing! The careful choice of herbs married beautifully with the understated flavour of the salmon. The dish was finished with fresh boiled new potatoes and asparagus – mouth-watering accompaniments that enhanced the exquisite fish. But the star of the show definitely had to be the dessert! Now I am a dessert fan and to find out that all the desserts on The Star’s menu are lovingly handcrafted from scratch made me even more ready to try them! Having done the amount or reviews that we have done, believe me the home made dessert is something of a

rarity – the fact that The Star take the time to make their own could only be a good thing.

We went for the assiette of desserts and we weren’t disappointed – the small but perfectly formed trio of goodies was a complete pleasure; perfectly presented and moreish to boot. The Eton Mess was a spectacular explosion of taste; this particular meringue was crunchy on the outside and chewy in the middle just how it should be. The result was an indulgent, sticky creation of tart raspberries and rich ice-cream. The bite-sized brownie was truly decadent, served warm with melting chocolate, definitely one of life’s guilty pleasures! The trio was rounded off with a show stopping blackberry cheesecake; after digging in we found the cheesecake was light, moist and refreshingly zesty. This welcoming and picturesque country inn has seen a remarkable resurgence since re-opening in November 2007. The success has been built on a great reputation for expertly cooked, fresh produce at reasonable prices; The Star is well on its way to stellar stardom and trust me when I say it will tick every box for the discerning diner. The food is out of this world, the ambience warm and welcoming, and if I were to give you any advice it would be to arrive hungry, eat and drink well and you will return home well and truly sated. The Star is the sort of comforting, deeply satisfying place that will have you returning time and time again. The Star Inn, 60, Bank Top, Roby Mill, WN8 0QQ 01257 253355


the the

sky’s limit

Ever since it was first invented, man has been fascinated by the hot air balloon. Today, hot air ballooning is an incredibly fun activity enjoyed by many people from all over the world. If you’re looking for tranquillity and a spectacular view then this might just be the hobby for you!

It doesn’t just take a pilot and passengers to get things of the ground – there is also a need for a ground crew whose role is crucial to help launch the balloon into the air and help it safely home. Indispensable for every flight the ground crew begin by assembling the balloon and laying it out on the launch site. At the finish they sometimes help by guiding the balloon gently down to the ground and assisting in packing everything away. In between, they follow the balloons’ path by road, observing the progress of the flight and keeping in touch with the pilot by radio. When starting out, retrieve crews usually follow behind the path of the balloon as closely as possible on available roads. More experienced crews will try to get out in front of the balloon, anticipating its path; letting it come to them and watching it land. After the packing away comes the celebration of a successful flight, the sharing of the experience, sights and stories.

With a hot air balloon team the sky really is the limit and there is a group in West Lancs that are on the lookout for new volunteers. The team is looking for a driver who must be over 25, able to tow a trailer and have a clean licence. The team would also like to hear from anyone interested in becoming a navigator; all they ask is that you are physically able to help with launch and packing away of the balloon. Full training will be given and you might get chance to go up in the balloon too! Usually the team fly very locally, but there are opportunities to go away with other aeronauts for a weekend of camping. All flights take place at dawn or at the end of the day and are very dependent on weather conditions. If you are interested in getting involved in this fascinating, sometimes challenging and ultimately rewarding sport and would like to know more please contact

Hot Air Balloon Trivia:


The first hot air balloon was recorded in France in 1783 by Joseph & Etienne Montgolfier

The first ever passengers of a hot air balloon were a sheep, a rooster and a duck

The first hot air balloon flight with human passengers, flew for 5.5 miles across Paris for a duration of 23 minutes

Balloons help scientists to study the weather & the atmosphere

Why is it important to instruct a solicitor? You have been involved in a road traffic accident, that wasn’t your fault. You call your insurance company to inform them of this and before the end of the day you have received several unsolicited calls from people seeking to assist you with your claim. Before the end of the next day you have received a call offering you a sum in settlement of a claim for injury if you will make a settlement now and not take the matter further. Whether it is because of icy or wet roads, darker nights or drivers being more distracted you are more likely to be involved in a road traffic accident during the winter months.

If your repairs are delayed or carried out to a below average standard or insurance companies try to force you into their recommended garages – which may not even specialise in your vehicle make or model – without a solicitor you face following an internal complaints procedure, which may ultimately may not give you the end result that you are hoping for. A solicitor on your side means that you have someone who will fight for your rights and compensation all of the way to a Court room if necessary and this means you are much more likely to get what you actually deserve as quickly as possible.

So why bother to instruct a solicitor or take this further if all it is going to mean is that you will be hassled by strangers and spend precious hours in your already busy day dealing with it? The first and most important piece of advice is do not accept the offer made to you over the telephone without seeking legal advice. If you accept this offer you cannot go back and ask for more compensation, even if it later transpires that you have a permanent injury. The next issue may be the repairs to your car. It is often the case that these are not done to a high standard, or an insurance company may claim that you can only have your repairs undertaken at their own recommended garages. This is just not correct or acceptable; however as an individual against a large corporate insurance company fighting just this sort of treatment you will be facing an uphill struggle. How would a solicitor really help in this situation? A solicitor would never advise you to settle an injury claim without obtaining a medical report. This is because the symptoms of whiplash type injuries (which are the most common in road traffic accidents) can vary and fluctuate. You may feel fine for a day or two after a collision only for pain to creep up on you in the week after the incident. These symptoms may then go on to be present intermittently for several months or even years. If this is the case the early settlement of compensation will most definitely not be enough to adequately compensate an individual in these circumstances. It is only a doctor who can accurately predict how long symptoms will last for. Once a claim has been settled it cannot be re-opened as the compensation received was unfair or did not accurately reflect the symptoms suffered. This is why it is extremely important to obtain legal advice before settling any claim. Mistakes cannot be rectified at a later date.

At Craig and Co we specialise in personal injury claims of all types. We guarantee that your claim will only be dealt with by an experienced member of staff who will listen to your concerns and deal with your claim as quickly and efficiently as possible. We act on a “no win no fee” basis and you will keep 100% of your compensation. If you have been involved in an accident call us on 01942 211670 to discuss any potential claim with our local, experienced team.

Call - 01942 211670 19 Queens Court, Wardley Street, Wigan WN5 8BF


Saving by Martin Lewis

Imagine a limbo dancer who’s been lowered down a mineshaft. Saving rates are currently even lower than that. So if you’ve got savings, making them work for you is even tougher than ever. Here are the 6 things you need to cover right now.

a lump sum, drip-feed it from a top easy access account.

1. Even the best easy access account is currently offering only 2% AER

4. The best savings rates come from repaying debts & mortgages

The top paying account is currently from Derbyshire Building Society (, with unlimited no-notice withdrawals. This includes a 1.5% yearlong introductory bonus, which effectively acts as a rate promise for that time. After that, ditch and switch.

Think about it. £1,000 credit card debt at 18% costs £180 a year, but the same in savings, after tax, earns £15 at best. So pay off the debt with the savings and you’re £165 up. Do check there are no penalties for overpaying though. If there are, it’s very likely not to be worth it.

2. Earn 3% AER (plus cashback) in a current account

The benefit of this can be huge: overpaying £100 a month on a £100,000 mortgage at 4.5% saves £18,000 interest over a 25-year term. Work out your own scenario at overpaycalc

Bizarrely, for the best easy access savings, grab a Santander 123 ( bank account. New and existing customers with £3,000£20,000 get 3% on the whole amount. 3. Get 4% AER if you can put money away each month Regular savings accounts offer hot rates, but only let you save a limited amount each month. To save

Get Martin’s FREE tips and money-off vouchers emailed directly to you each week by signing up to

Martin Lewis Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert, is an awardwinning campaigning TV & radio presenter, newspaper columnist and a best-selling author. An ultra-specialised journalist, focusing on cutting bills without cutting back, he runs and founded the UK’s biggest money site, with 13 million monthly users. Each month, Martin will be writing a feature for Local Life - advising our readers how to save thousands of pounds every year! Don’t miss it!


The top deal open to all is Norwich & Peterborough’s 4% AER fixed for 12 months (with max deposit of £250 month). You must pay in every month, and not make more than one withdrawal in the year.

5. Earn 8% interest lending money to others This can work extremely well, earning some up to 15%. Your money’s lent via special sites uk.zopa. com, (which lends to businesses) and They credit-check borrowers can afford to repay, and chase repayments if they fall behind. Many have earned decent returns, but unlike savings, they’ve got no Government protection, so please read my full peer-to-peer lending guide at to see if it’s right for you. 6. Make the most of your tax-free cash ISA savings (get 2.5% AER) A cash ISA is just a savings account you can put £5,640 a year in, where the interest’s tax-free. The top easy-access deal is Cheshire BS’s 2.5%. It also allows you to transfer in past years’ cash ISAs – so you can boost them too. Check yours now, and transfer across if needed. This rate includes a 2% bonus for 18 months, effectively acting as a rate promise for that time, but you’ll want to transfer out afterwards.

Easter Eggstravaganza A family fun event will be held this Saturday (30th March) at Today’s Community Church at Pottery Terrace in Wigan. This Easter Eggstravaganza runs from 2pm – 4pm and this fun packed event consists of Easter crafts, egg hunts and the chance to win some great prizes. There is no need to register and it costs just £2 per child, with adult entry free. Adults with young babies can relax, chat and take it easy in the centres coffee bar, Koko, which serves affordable fresh coffee and cold drinks. Parents can get involved together with their family in the activities, assured that their child is being taken care of by CRB checked workers with lots of experience of looking after young ones. Event organiser Rachel Belfield said, “We are really looking forward to putting on this special Easter Eggstravaganza. Our doors are always open and we hope this event will really help bring the community together. It’s sometimes hard for parents to think of new activities to keep their little ones amused, so we hope this event will fill that gap. We are really fortunate to have

so many people involved in this event who have vast experience of child care, including both mothers and teachers, so we know that the whole family will find this day lots of fun, giving them a chance to meet some new people.” This special event is being held at Today’s Community Church, The Pier Centre, Pottery Terrace, Wigan, WN3 5AB. It is centrally located in Wigan next to Wigan Pier, parking is absolutely free, so why not come down and enjoy a fun packed few hours? For more information, email or call 01942 244460 to speak to organiser Rachel Belfield.

Pussy Galore Can you give a good home to a cat or kitten? The Cats Protection charity, who are based in Atherton, are desperately seeking good homes to place the abandoned cats and kittens in their care. The charity doesn’t have large catteries, but instead rely on their volunteers who all have small catteries in their gardens. One such volunteer, Joan, lives in Standish-LowerGround and if you can offer a home to a kitten or cat in her temporary care, then please give her a call on 01942 745069. For more details about Cats Protection, visit the website Many of the cats awaiting their new home can be seen on the website.

Get a mention! If you’re a member of a community group and you want to publicise your next event free in Local Life, then just email details along with a contact name and number to

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& Hunters Hill

Parbold is a well-known mecca for local walkers, who frequent the village each weekend from Spring to Autumn, bringing custom to the pubs and cafes in the village. This walk focuses on the area directly north of Parbold; Hilldale, Bispham Green, Mawdesley and the lofty Hunters Hill quarry, from where you can catch some magnificent views of Lancashire’s countryside. The walk isn’t a long one by Jack’s Tracks standards – just 4.6 miles – but there are a couple of killer hills to experience and your calves will be aching come Monday morning! Hunters Hill to Cedar Farm Park up in the car park at Hunters Hill. Enter the site via a horse stile by the wooden gate, turn right then take a direct left and follow the footpath that runs parallel to the wooden fence. The views to the right are fantastic on a clear day and you can see Liverpool, Southport, Blackpool and beyond. Keep to the path which eventually descends out of the site. The footpath changes to a dirt track; follow the track downhill and it eventually becomes Hillside Avenue in Hilldale. When you get to the end of the road, turn right onto Chorley Road, and carry on along the footpath for 400 yards. Once you reach Springmount Farm on the left, cross over the road and hop over the stone stile where the public footpath symbol is. Walk through the small field for 130 yards until you reach Grimshaw Green Lane. Turn right and follow Grimshaw Green Lane for 300 yards until the junction with Malt Kiln Lane. Turn left and follow Malt Kiln Lane for 450 yards ignoring the public footpath sign on the right. Just before you reach a couple of brick semi-detached houses, take a right turn down a dead end road which leads to Sills Farm. Follow this road for 200 yards then take a left turn at the public footpath sign and go across the fields. Follow this path in the same direction for ¼ mile until you cross a stile and take a few steps down to Back Lane. Turn right down and follow this quiet country lane for just over ¼ mile until you reach Cedar Farm. Turn right into the car park at Cedar Farm. Cedar Farm is a good stopping off point on




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the walk; there is a café and also a rather nice coffee house too. Be warned though, the coffee house is that comfortable, that you won’t want to get up after a drink and some cake! Cedar Farm to Hunters Hill Resume where you left off and head down the path on the right hand side of Cedar Farm. You’ll spot a footpath sign in the far right hand corner. Go left through the gate and follow the path until you reach a track. Turn left again and follow the track for 225 yards until you reach Back Lane once more. As you exit onto Back Lane, turn right and you’ll spot a public footpath signpost 50 yards away. Hop over the stile and follow the path which runs parallel to the line of the trees. When the trees end, carry on in the same direction, heading towards the metal gate. Cross the stile next to the gate and then turn right. You’re now on a quiet country road called Moody Lane. Follow Moody Lane to its conclusion 450 yards later with the


junction with Bentley Lane. Turn left and then first right, heading up a no-through road in the direction of Lower Gauges House. You’ll follow this road, mainly uphill, for 550 yards. Follow the track as far as you can possibly go; and when it bends to the left near the black metal railings there is a gate. Go through the gate which takes you up a narrow footpath with a stone wall on your left. When you get to the top of the path, hop over the little stream and cross the stile. Once you have crossed the stile, take an immediate left turn uphill and then cross the next wooden stile. Try and spot a well hidden public footpath symbol on the telegraph pole to the left, but in any event stay on the left hand perimeter of the field by the wooden fence, heading uphill all the way. Hop over the next wooden stile, again keeping to the left hand perimeter of the field. Once you’re halfway up the hill, the fence will start to veer to the left; carry straight on the path towards the stile in the distance by the perimeter of the woods. Unless you suffer from vertigo, take a look behind you at this stage – there’s a breath-taking panoramic view of Lancashire on offer! Cross the aforementioned stile and follow the fenced path uphill through the woods. Once you reach the stone wall, bear right and head over the large wooden stile. Once you’ve negotiated the stile, turn right downhill. It’s worth mentioning that if you fancy seeing the disused Harrock Hill windmill, then turn left at this point and it’s a couple of hundred yards distance in the other direction.

Hunters Hill

So, you’re heading downhill at this point. When the path forks bear right, and cross the wooden stile into a field. Head downhill down the left hand perimeter of the field, dodging the gorse bushes and you’ll end up at the bottom left hand corner of the field. Cross the stile, and head straight on down the concrete path. Bear to the right and follow that path until it meets the public highway 300 yards later. Turn left down Jackson’s Lane. A few yards further on, you’ll come to a fork in the road; bear right and follow Jackson’s Lane for a further 200 yards until you reach the junction with Bannister Lane. Turn left and head up a steep hill, for a calf- straining 500 yards until you reach the car park. If you want a rest (and you will want one at this point, I can guarantee), take a right turn just 40 yards short of the car park entrance and follow the pathway which leads to a couple of benches where you can have a well-earned rest and take in the magnificent views once more! Please ensure you wear appropriate clothing and footwear whilst walking. Whilst every care has been taken to ensure that the walk is accurate, neither the publisher or its editorial contributors can accept, and hereby disclaim, any liability to any party to loss or damage caused by errors or omissions resulting from negligence, accident or other cause.

This popular nature reserve is now under the ownership of West Lancashire Borough Council, who have introduced paths (including one suitable for wheelchairs), bridleways and parking on the site. Since reaching the end of its working life in 1982, the site has naturally regenerated and is now a haven for wildlife. Fossils dating back to the Carboniferous Period (a mere 293 million years ago!) have been found on the site. The nearby quarry, which is still under private ownership, was worked for its sandstone for 200 years. Since it was flooded through in the 1950’s, the lagoon has attracted day trippers from as far away as Liverpool , particularly in hot weather, and there have been a number of fatalities and serious injuries on the site, which is now fenced off. There are a number of viewpoints at Hunters Hill; all affording magnificent views over the Lancashire Plain and beyond, so do take your camera along!



your pets Act Now to prevent Bunny Heart-Break Often on the insistence of a child, a new rabbit arrives with a hutch (hopefully with a run), food and toys, but regrettably little, if any, information on the upkeep of its longterm health. Sadly, many pet rabbits end up becoming unwell and it is heart-breaking for many to discover that the much loved family rabbit has contracted an untreatable infection and needs to be put to sleep. The owner’s lack of knowledge about the rabbit is compounded by the unfounded perception that a rabbit that doesn’t come into contact with other rabbits is unlikely to contract any horrible infections. Unfortunately this isn’t true and rabbits are prone to infectious diseases. The two most crucial infections that a rabbit might contract are Myxomatosis and Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease (RHD). Both diseases are caused by viruses, implying that they cannot be treated by antibiotics like many bacterial infections. Sadly, both often prove to be fatal. Myxomatosis is the most dangerous infectious disease that a rabbit can catch. The disease is transmitted by insects, such as like mosquitos and fleas, from other infected wild or domestic rabbits. Myxomatosis can be so overwhelming that it may not allow the rabbit time to display any symptoms: a previously apparently healthy rabbit may be found dead or flip and die instantly. But, the most common symptom is the rabbit slowing down, followed by swelling of the eyelids, ears and genitals. Less common and slow progressing form of the disease is manifested by lumps developing in the skin all over the body. Unfortunately, in spite of the best possible intensive veterinary care, most rabbits do not recover and need to be put to sleep. Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease (RHD), is also a deadly disease, which progresses more ferociously and leads to rapid death. Symptoms may include redness of the inner aspects of eyelids (conjunctivitis) before succumbing to death. The disease is transmitted through direct contact with infected domestic or wild rabbits, or through infected


bedding, utensils food, water etc. It can also be carried by wind. The diagnosis of the disease is often made by postmortem observation of bleeding from the nose and occasionally from other body orifices.

Fortunately, both the above described diseases can effectively be prevented through timely vaccination. At ‘Sunrise’ we use a single injection covering both the dreadful disease, which needs to be repeated yearly to keep the immunity up to the mark. Rabbits can be vaccinated from five weeks of age. Those that have never been vaccinated can be vaccinated any time, and best performed before the onset of Spring to ensure they are fully protected before the populations of biting insects may begin to rise. Some rabbits also tend to succumb to serious effects of protozoan infection caused by Encephalitozoon Cuniculi , which often turns out to be fatal when the brain is affected leading to severe neurological signs like head tilt and convulsions. This condition is hard to treat and often proves fatal. However, it is possible to prevent this condition from developing by treating the rabbit with a specific medication at regular intervals. If a bunny becomes unwell, it is likely that the owner will seek veterinary help, but a visit to the vets with an infection like the ones listed above is likely to be a waste of time and will certainly cost more than the preventive vaccination or treatment. Therefore, it makes every sense to take preventive action, and not to take any chances. We would be glad to answer any questions you may have regarding your bunny’s health and vaccination. Please give us a call on 01257 463 142. Dr Shams Mir


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Win Tickets to Gulliver’s Set in 100 acres of woodland around an idyllic lake, with more than ninety rides and attractions that are designed to offer the whole family a full day out of fun and excitement, Gulliver’s World in Warrington is the perfect family day out! Designed for families with children aged between 2 and 13 years of age, Gulliver’s World contains a number of themed areas each containing rides, attractions, shows, restaurants and shops, all of which combine to keep even the most active of children occupied for a full day. With over 90 rides, attractions and shows to see each day, and an entry charge of just ₤15.95, Gullivers World guarantees fun for all the family. Gulliver’s World opens on 23rd March and is then open every weekend until September (plus some weekdays too) and they have some fantastic special events happening throughout the year so be sure to check out all the details on their website Don’t forget to follow them on Facebook and Twitter too!


Local Life has got over £250 worth of tickets to give away to Gulliver’s World. Our four lucky winners will each receive four tickets, so that the entire family can enjoy a great day out at Gulliver’s World! Simply fill in the crossword opposite and return it to; Local Life 247 Ltd, Unit 8 – Hewitt Business Park, Winstanley Road, Orrell, Wigan WN5 7XB. Or send an email with the answers, along with your name, full address and contact phone number to The closing date for entries is Tuesday 30th April 2013 and the list of winners will be published in the June issue of Local Life. If you enjoyed Gulliver’s World, you’ll love the nearby Splashzone! Splashzone is an indoor water play factory where kids go wild and it offers a fun filled two hours for children as they get wet whizzing down the slides, climbing on the frames and shooting from the water cannons. Watch out for the giant water bucket! Parents can sit back, relax with refreshments from our snack bar, and stay dry or get wet by going onto the floor whilst supervising your child.

World! Splashzone also houses the Mickey Mouse Club House Soft Playroom! The first of its kind in the world, the Mickey Mouse Club House Soft Playroom is ideal for toddlers, it promotes active play and fun learning, and gives parents a place to take younger children while older ones enjoy Splashzone. 


And if you fancy taking in both Gulliver’s World and Splashzone, you can even stay overnight at the nearby Gullivers Hotel, which has 56 lovingly created en-suite contemporary rooms. Gullivers Hotel lends itself perfectly for a relaxing stay. Located in peaceful parkland and away from the main road the hotel is still within easy access of the town centre and motorway network. If you are visiting Gullivers World Theme Park and SplashZone they are conveniently just a short walk from the hotel. Please note that the competition tickets will only admit you to Gulliver’s World. For Splashzone and Gullivers Hotel, you will need to pay the appropriate tariffs.

Across 5. Name of indoor water play factory 6. How many rides at Gulliver’s World?

Down 1. Toddlers will love the Mickey _ Playroom 2. Gulliver’s World open from March to _ 3. Closest Gulliver’s World location 4. Place to stay, Gullivers _ 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 would like to contact you occasionally by email with news of great local offers and also to check our magazine distribution in your area. If this is acceptable to you, please tick this box.


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.

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Does your planting scheme have the wow factor? There are certain groups of plants which make a different impact in a garden. For example one group of plants are termed “back bone” planting - generally these are shrubs which provide structure all year round and perhaps a splash of colour during a particular season. Lilacs are a good example. Another group of plants are the star performers. These bloom for a short time only but are so spectacular that we spend all year looking forward to them. They are very good for the soul and provide that wow factor which every garden should have. The large oriental Poppies spring to mind here – Papaver orientale ’Mrs Perry’ is a gorgeous one. Then there are plants which provide terrific value all year round, “good doers” - quietly giving the garden more than one season of interest, for example: Bergenia ‘Bressingham Ruby’ This plant has evergreen leaves which turn ruby red in autumn and winter, followed by pink flowers in spring - it thrives in shade.

Sarcococca confusa A small evergeen shrub with glossy foliage which produces stunningly scented white flowers in late winter. This too does well in shade.

Buxus sempervirens This is Box and clipped into a topiary shape or a low hedge will give year round structure and character to a garden. A real class act. It contrasts beautifully with softer cottage garden type planting schemes and will do well in sun or shade. Rudbeckia x fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ A perennial with yellow daisy like flowers which perform from July right through to October and retain their structure in winter. The butterflies and bees love this plant and it is guaranteed to brighten up even the dullest border on the dullest of days and it even does well in clay soil. Relating plants to people, I like to think of Hubby as good doer and a star performer. He provides me with good value all year round and he makes me smile even on the dullest of days. But does he have the wow factor? What do you think!

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Wildlife Watch You don’t have to be in the middle of the Serengeti to appreciate some fantastic wildlife; in fact you don’t have to venture much further than your own back garden! This is the perfect time of year to get outside with your family and spot the flourishing signs of a world awakening from its long winter slumber. Alan Wright from the Lancashire Wildlife Trust told Local Life, “This is the most exciting time of year for spotting wildlife because you see an abundance of plants and creatures, and the first signs of youngsters arriving with the warmer weather. There are large agricultural areas of Wigan where you can be lucky enough to spot brown hares in the fields and hedgerows and Roe Deer are often spotted in urban areas as they search for food in the early hours of the morning.” Wigan is a hotspot for the UK-threatened water vole because of the number of water courses in the area. Other mammals to keep an eye out for include foxes, stoats, weasels, field voles, mice, shrews, rats and, of course, rabbits.

Marsh Orchid


Peacock Butterfly

Alan added, “This is the time of the year when the dawn chorus is a spectacular noise with blackbirds, robins, thrushes and warblers letting rip. Because of areas like Wigan Flash we have a lot of brilliant wading birds in the area, including lapwing, curlew and the wonderful and rare bittern.” With the help of the Lancashire Wildlife Trust we have created a Nature Checklist of the things you might be able to spot, so arm the kids with some clipboards and pencils and set off on your own wildlife hunting mission. If you would like to know about the activities on offer from the Lancashire Wildlife Trust or would like to become a volunteer please visit the website at


Buzzard Sparrowhawk

Nature Checklist – Wigan Flashes:

Wigan Flashes habitats include large areas of open water, reed bed, fen, rough grassland, wet woodland and scrub. The reserve is part of a larger network of wetland habitats running for approximately 9km along the Leigh branch of the Leeds Liverpool canal. There are several entrances to the site; at the end of Carr Lane near Hawkley Hall High School, one off Poolstock Lane itself and two on Warrington Road. Common Darter

Common Blue Butterfly

Over 200 species of birds including blackbirds, robins and thrushes

Foxes, stoats, weasels, mice, shrews and rabbits

15 species of dragonfly

The bittern is a wading bird and has regularly been recorded at the Flashes

Waterfowl such as grey heron, tufted duck, coot, pochard, goldeneye, gadwall and great crested grebe

Breeding birds including reed bunting, willow tit, reed warbler, sedge warbler, common tern and water rail

The Flashes provide very important feeding areas for bats and support large numbers of noctule and daubenton’s bat

A wide variety of wild flowers such as common spotted orchid, marsh orchids, evening primrose, pale toadflax and viper’s bugloss. Less common species include round-leaved wintergreen, marsh helleborine and yellow birds nest Roe Deer

Photos © Alan Wright except Bitten and Sparrowhawk © Lancashire Wildlife Trust


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In true Oscar- style, awards were also presented to those tradespeople who were considered by the Trading Standards team to be the best of the bunch, and special awards were given to; Good Trader of the Year Wigan – David Hobson from Hobsons Roofcare Good Trader of the Year Leigh – Stephen Lyth of Atherton Tiling Best Newcomer – Brian King of Brian King Flooring

The venue was Hindley, not Hollywood, and there were no long teary speeches, celebrities or TV cameras, but an annual event akin to Wigan’s blue-collar Oscars took place at the Summat to Ate restaurant in Hindley last week.

Highly commended awards also went to;

This was Wigan Council’s 4th Annual Good Trader Awards – an awards ceremony where the borough’s best tradespeople came together and celebrated their success by picking up an award for excellent customer service.

– Trevor Knight of Direct Blinds.

– Steve Grady of G Force Security Ltd – Paul Burke of Advanced Fencing, Paving & Gates – Stewart Walmsley of S.Walmsley Painter and Decorating – Michael McGarr of MJM Landscapes

The Good Trader Scheme is run by Trading Standards, but it’s customer satisfaction that counts! Customers award Scheme members a star rating of up to five gold stars, and the more satisfied the customer, the better the business will be rated. Members’ details are held online at where you can search for traders and see how other customers have rated them by looking at how many stars they’ve been awarded. Just 40 of the 213 members of the Good Trader Scheme picked up this award at the ceremony – all had achieved a 5 star rating scheme, had had excellent comments from customers about the quality of their work and had also made a positive contribution to the operation of the Scheme.

Best Trader Leigh - Highly Commended Stewart Walmsley Painter & Decorator, Winner Stephen Lyth Atherton Tiling Solutions

MJM Landscapes, Expert Computers, Manor House Carpet Cleaning, Top Coat Decorating Service


Best Newcomer Award - Highly Commended Trevor Knight (Direct Blinds), Winner Brian King (Brian King Flooring), Highly Commended Michael McGarr (MJM Landscapes)

Julie Middlehurst, Trading Standards Manager at Wigan Council told Local Life “We are proud of all of our Good Trader members, who work hard to ensure that you receive the best service possible. If you’re looking for a reputable local trader, then look no further than the Good Trader register at or just use the Home Services section in Local Life. Local Life is the only printed publication which has a Home Services section devoted wholly to members of Wigan’s Good Trader Scheme and other similar schemes run by St Helens Council and Lancashire Council.

Wigan Best Trader - Highly Commended Paul Burke (Advanced Fencing, Paving & Gates), Winner David Hobson (Hobsons Roofcare, Highly Commended Steve Grady (G-Force Security)

Trading Standards Team - Helene Mason, Terry Gregson, Julie Middlehurst, Lynn Kendrick


First Class Workmanship • All types of re-roofs • Strip & re-slate or re-tile • Built up felt/flat roofs, dormers etc. • Insurance work undertaken • Roofline uPVC fascias, soffits & guttering

• WILSON BROS • Est. 1985

Roofing & Roofline Specialists • All aspects of maintenance & repair • Fascia & soffit installation


01695 627 212


MOBILE: 07774 943 706


Established Over 30 Years


• Guttering and felting services Call us now for a free estimate

01695 633173 Colin: 07958 302 166 Brian: 07760 160 988



Building services Joinery Specialists

• Conservatories & Orangeries • Extensions • Refurbishments & Alterations • Fencing & Decking

• Garage & Loft Conversions • Kitchens & Fitted Bedrooms • Doors & Windows • All aspects of joinery work

Call Phil - 01257 425997 or 07703 007675

Advertise here

K Stone

For more information please phone

All types of building work undertaken

Advertise your business in this section for £37 + VAT a month

01695 627 999

we make it our business to help yours

Building Services 25 years experience

• Brickwork • Pointing • Garden Walls • Patios • Roof Work • Flagging • Alterations • Plastering

01942 495412 / 07974 496676


Extensions | Conversions Renovations | New Builds Considered Phone: 01257

426966 846211 E-mail:

Mobile: 07801

01257 422317 or 07852 202867 www.mtjoiner


H AT E D E C O R AT I N G ? We don’t - we enjoy it so much that we make a living out of it! We are a husband and wife team, CRB cleared with references available. Awarded a Certificate of Excellence by Wigan Council Trading Standards

• City & Guilds Qualified • Plastering services available • Competitive Rates • Fully Insured

Call Alice or Neil on 01942 740232 or 07810 753062

Peter Pennington

Painter & Decorator 30 years experience City & Guilds qualified Call: 01942 226 408 or 07746 463 073

A J Decorating Services Experienced Painter & Decorator • Internal and External work welcomed • Domestic and Commercial work undertaken • Reasonable rates & free quotes

Call: 01942 747893 or 07749 965 047 w w w. a j d e c o r a t i n g s e r v i c e s . c o . u k


Need a new look for your home?

Skilled interior and exterior work undertaken at reasonable prices! Chris Smith - Painter and Decorator

01942 518126 or 07545 065119 Orrell based business

Lady Decorator

Professional Interior Decorating Service Reduced rates for Pensioners Clean, tidy and conscientious Tel: 01942 366996 or 07962 422856

Just Imagine

Decorating - Interior Design - Soft Furnishings

ARLEY FITTED KITCHENS & BEDROOMS • Manufacturers & Fitters of built-in Bedroom & Kitchen Furniture • Bathroom Units • Replacement Tops & Doors Visit or ring showroom to arrange for FREE estimates

Arley Cabinet Co. Ltd 214a Gidlow Lane Wigan WN6 7BN Mon-Fri: 8am - 4.30pm Sat: 9am - 12pm tel: 01942 246190

Fix my conservatory!

• Misted/broken panels replaced • Leaks solved and sealed • Roof panels replaced or upgraded • Insurance work welcomed Call Mark now for a free quote

01942 737381 (day) 07763 151720 (evening)


Advertise here

Advertise your business in this section for £37 + VAT a month For more information please phone

01695 627 999

we make it our business to help yours


Useful Numbers

...sponsored by Green & Clean

Medical Boston House Concourse Walk-in Centre Linacre Centre Ormskirk Hospital Parbold Surgery Shevington Clinic Shevington Surgery Standish Clinic Standish Medical Practice Beech Hill Medical Practice Wigan Infirmary NHS Direct Emergency Dental Repairs

01942 482000 01695 554260 01942 244000 01695 577111 01257 463126 01257 501300 01257 253311 01257 501320 01257 421909 01942 821899 01942 244000 0845 4647 01695 623334

Police Greater Manchester Police Wigan Policing Team Lancashire Police West Lancs Local Team

0161 872 5050 0161 856 7124 01695 566134 01257 462239

Libraries Parbold Library Shevington Library Standish Library

01257 463769 01257 252618 01257 400496


Councils and Councillors (Wigan) Wigan Council 01942 244991 Wigan Council (out of hours) 01942 404040 Cllr Collins (Shevington) 01942 487684 Cllr Crosby (Shevington) 01942 486860 Cllr Edwardson (Shevington) 01942 487674 Cllr Gareth Fairhurst (Standish) 01942 487671 Cllr George Fairhurst (Standish) 01257 407078 Cllr McGurrin (Standish) 01942 486861 Cllr Davies (Wigan Central) 01942 486864 Cllr Hunt (Wigan Central) 07766 478296 Cllr McLoughlin (Wigan Central) 01942 487686 Councils and Councillors (West Lancs) West Lancs Council 01695 577177 Cllr Pope (Newburgh) 01704 894540 Cllr Blake (Parbold) 01257 463636 Cllr Kean (Parbold) 01695 633396 Cllr Baybutt (Wrigh’ton & App. Bridge)  01257 255501 Cllr Evans (Wrigh’ton & App. Bridge) 01695 624683 Local Life Magazine Advertising & Editorial Accounts & Distribution

01257 498329 01695 627999

For Roofing & Roofline we’ve got it covered! Roofing Emergency repairs General maintenance Full re-roofs Strip and re-slate Flat/pitched roof conversions Installation of Velux windows Roofline Fascias Soffits Cladding Gutters including Seamless Aluminium Gutters

Domestic & commercial work undertaken Flat roof problem? Don’t felt it, GRP it! This new flat roof treatment will last 30+ years!

Protec Roofing is a long established roofing company that serves domestic and commercial customers throughout the North West. Whatever your roofing requirements are, from emergency roofing repairs to new roofs to roofline, Protec Roofing are there to help you. We promise our customers; • No emergency call out fees • Emergency repairs done asap • Free consultation & estimates • Day and evening appointments • Free advice from experienced roofers • A 10 year insurance-backed guarantee If you’re thinking of improving the appearance of your property by installing new roofline, please give us a call. We can supply and fit a huge range of quality products including our revolutionary new aluminium seamless gutters. Because when it comes to roofs, we’ve got it all covered!


01942 514 788 0774 876 7845

or 01942 665 270 or 0770 221 8867


Design and production by Local Life 247 Ltd Publishing • Design & Print • Leaflet Distribution

Local Life - Wigan North - Apr/May 2013  

Lancashire's FREE local magazine