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Wigan West Edition

May/Jun 2014

Wigan to Ypres Air Cadets’ Charity Walk Where Are They Now? Maurice Whittle

Photo by David Sudworth

Wigan Borough Council 40 Years On

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Local. Valued. Trusted.

Ten Bob...

In this issue

That’s roughly how much it costs to produce your Local Life magazine and deliver it to you. That’s 50p for those of you who are from a post-decimal age. So, I’m going to be cheeky now and ask a favour in return. Don’t fret, it doesn’t involve you putting your hand in your pocket, all I want to ask if you could spare five minutes to do our 2014 Editorial Survey on our website.

18 22 32 44 50 56 62 68 72 74 76 80 82 86 94

You see, we want to be absolutely sure we’re covering the sorts of topics you want to see. For all we know, you may be sick to the back teeth of Jack and his Tracks and be itching to try Tuvan throat singing. That’s why it makes sense to actually ask you what you like and dislike about Local Life every now and again. By doing this, you stand a chance of getting a publication through the door that you really want to read. Also, if you do the survey at www.locallife247., you could even win the £100 cash that we are giving away to one lucky reader who completes the survey. You might not win, but then again if you don’t try you’ll never know. So here’s that website again Oh, and you might be wondering exactly where the 50p comes from to pay for your mag? That’d be from our loyal band of advertisers, who pay every month for an advertisement in the magazine. So if you do value your Local Life, then please support them by making sure that Local Life is your first port of call whenever you need a product or service. See you next time

Slow-Cooked Chicken Tikka Masala Best Feet Forward Class from the Past Puzzle Corner Planning Matters Party On Where Are They Now? Jack’s Tracks visits Bretherton Love Your Pets What’s On Angie Barker Win Family Tickets to Martin Mere Test Drive - Chevrolet Trax Good Trader Guide Useful Numbers

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

@ W

Sales : Chris Pearce,  Editorial: David Sudworth Design & Production: Peter Bretherton

Distribution: Sally Boon

Accounts: Sam Garrahan

Local Life is published every month. The magazine will be distributed into the following edition areas on an alternate monthly basis. The Wigan West edition is delivered to over 13,000 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 13,000 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, Chorley and St Helens areas.

Next issue - June

Advertising deadline - Friday 7 May Published - Thursday 22 May Local Life Media


Whilst every care has been taken to ensure that the data in this publication is accurate, neither the publisher or its editorial contributors can accept, and hereby disclaim, any liability to any party to loss or damage caused by errors or omissions resulting from negligence, accident or other cause. No part of this publication may be copied or reproduced without the prior written consent of Local Life 247 Ltd.

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


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Paul’s Pedal Power! An Orrell man is hoping to sign up 1,000 people for a charity bike ride in aid of the Joining Jack charity campaign. Paul Holden, 43, of Shirewell Road, is raising funds for the organisation inspired by Jack Johnson, the son of former Wigan and Salford rugby forward Andy Johnson. Jack, 5, has the terminal muscle-wasting disease Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, and the Joining Jack campaign was set to raise funds and awareness of the condition. The circular ride takes place on Sunday, August 31, over either 100 miles or 100km from Wythenshawe Park in South Manchester. Dad-of-three Paul, (pictured) who works for St Helens Police, said: “Last year’s ride saw 505 people taking part, and this year we’re hoping to get 1,000 people signed up.” To take part, email or visit www.

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Crowning Glory Up Holland’s Community Bowling Green is now open again following the winter break. The Hall Green facility remains open until September. The annual charge is £16 or £12 for those over 60 or under 16 years old as of April 1. Those not wishing to pay the annual fee can use it at a charge of £2 per person, per hour. For more information, call into Up Holland Library or call David Hughes, Clerk to Up Holland Parish Council, on 01257 251775.

Plans Approved Plans to build homes on the old Farmoor Residential Care Home site in Orrell have been passed by Wigan Council. Oaktree Developments Ltd was given the green light for seven detached dwellings at the Church Street location. The old buildings have now been demolished. A report from council officers stated that representations were received from six local properties. Among the claims made were that not all the residents who may be affected by the development were notified, and it was claimed that the development will increase local parking congestion. There was also concerned about the loss of trees. However, officers rejected these claims, saying that the council’s procedure for alerting the public to application has been followed, the provision made for off-road

parking would not ‘intensify’ on-street parking issues on Farm Meadow Road, the loss of trees is minimal and that a ‘green’ frontage onto Church Street would be maintained. They added that a number of residents were pleased at the plans due the state of the old site, and the problems of vandalism and anti-social behaviour it brought. The planning application was approved with conditions.

New Shop? A community grocery shop could be opened in Orrell. Billinge & Orrell Transition Group, which has spearheaded local projects such as the volunteer-run Greenslate Community Farm, is looking at an outlet where affordable, ethical and sustainable products are available . It’s envisaged the project will be set up as a co-operative but members say it is at an early stage and more research into its viability needs to be done.

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Run 4 A Life Wigan Rotary Club’s 5k family event Run 4 A Life is being held at the DW Stadium on Sunday, July 6. It starts at 11am and the cost is £10 for adults, £7 for under 18s (who must be accompanied by an adult) and a family of four costs £25. To book a place call 07813 471000 or visit

All the latest

All Smiles Orrell and District Townswomen’s Guild presented Karen Rainer from the charity Miles of Smiles with a cheque for £1,212 recently. The money was raised by members during the year with raffles and donations and with the support of members of the public who attended a coffee morning in September. Special thanks go to the donors of raffle prizes at the coffee morning, meals from The Mount, Lovels, Houghwood Golf Club, beauty treatments from Venus Beauty Studios, Mind and Body and Lakeside Hair Studios and individual donations from S.Gee, N. Harrison and M. Butler from the Guild.

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Pain For Gain Billinge mum Carol Littler battled through the pain barrier twice in a week for good causes linked to her mum and son. Carol, 44, of Greenways, ran the Greater Manchester Marathon for Christies Hospital as her mum, Joan Appleton, 70, of Smethurst Road, is undergoing cancer treatment there. Then a week later, Carol took on the London Marathon – for a second consecutive year – in aid of JDRF, a charitable funder into research for Type One diabetes, a condition her son Tom, 13, has had since the age of two. In total, she has covered more than 52 miles and raised over £1,000, but needs to raise a further £1,000. Ex-St James Primary pupil Carol, who now runs Slimming World classes in Pemberton and Parbold, said: “It was really tough going, I had blisters on my feet from Manchester. I got into the London Marathon by being on the reserve list and there was no way I was going to turn it down. The atmosphere was amazing.” Joan, who worked as a cleaner at Bispham Hall Bowling Club for 44 years, was diagnosed with cancer a year ago. She has lived on Smethurst Road with husband Brian, a retired Skelmersdale CID officer, for more than 40 years. “I don’t know how she’s done it all,” says Joan. “She’s been hobbling all over the place but I’m really proud of her.”

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Carol with her mum Joan and daughter Caitlyn, 11

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Tea Parties

Music Festival

Monthly tea parties aimed at lonely over 75s are being launched in Wigan – and organisers want those interested in getting involved to get in touch. National charity Contact the Elderly operates by forming small local groups made up of guests and volunteers. One Sunday afternoon a month each group meets for tea, cake and company. Hosts take it in turns to welcome guests, usually once or twice a year and volunteer drivers take guests safely to the tea party and then home again.

A fundraiser for Wigan & Leigh Hospice takes place in Wigan town centre on Saturday, June 28. Wigan Music Festival is being held at Kaff Nightclub, Clarence Yard, Wallgate, from 7pm until late. Confirmed acts include Mossley’s Band, Mid Life Crisis, Rif Riders, Shannon Gillespie, Emilia, Kirsty Fourace and Malc Kay, as well as a special performance from Exley’s Dance Academy. Tickets are £5 and the event is for those age 14 plus. For more information, contact 07977 689099 for tickets.

This is a free service. The first tea party is scheduled for Sunday 11 May from 3pm until 5pm and will take place at a location in Wigan. Contact the Elderly’s Regional Development Officer, Gwen Lightfoot, would like to hear from anyone interested in joining the new group as a guest and can be contacted via 01925 728 969 or

Taster Session


A drawing and painter taster session is scheduled to take place at Up Holland Library on Hall Green this summer. Lancashire Adult Learning is hosting the session, from 10am-noon on Tuesday, June 17. To enrol, call 0845 600 1331.

Inspirational Aimee An inspirational Orrell woman who has four relatives battling Alzheimer’s Disease is holding a fundraiser in May. Aimee Williams, of Oxford Road, decided to organise the event as her gran Doreen Williams, her great auntie Edna Cockbain, and her cousin’s grandma, Phyllis Hilton, have been diagnosed with the condition. Another of Aimee’s great aunties, Kay Walsh is battling the illness. Kay lost her own husband, Frank, to Alzheimer’s around six years ago.

Aimee with grandparents Betty and Jim Cockbain as well as cousins Oliver and Lucy Partington and Tom and James Hilton

Aimee, 21, told Local Life: “The night is in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society as it is a cause very close to our hearts. My nana and granddad do a lot for our relatives who suffer from this disease so I am hosting this charity night on their behalf. It is something they have been thinking about doing for years now, and so I decided to take action.” The event takes place at St James’ Club in Orrell on Friday, May 16. It starts at 7.30pm and there’ll be two acts playing, band Trapped In Autumn and local duo Crawford and Brown. There will be a disco afterwards and a raffle.

balls, Gulliver’s World tickets, Tesco vouchers, and a few handmade hampers. We are still hoping to receive a donation to provide food on the night, otherwise we, as a family, will be putting together a buffet.” Tickets are £5 per person and under 5s go free. They can be purchased from behind the bar at St James Social club, via email at or by calling 07817 034363 prior to the event. If there are tickets, left people will be allowed to pay on the night.

Aimee, a former St Teresa’s Primary and St Peter’s High pupil, added: “I have been writing to people about donations for raffle prizes and have received a few good prizes such as signed Wigan Warriors and Wigan Athletic

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Organiser Mervyn Reeves explained: “There will be music all day from a stage in Market Place including the Wigan Youth Jazz Orchestra, Wigan Community Choir and Willpower Theatre Group. All we ask is that the groups pay a £10 deposit to book the stall, which will be returned to them if they appear on the day, and observe a few simple rules.” The event runs from 10am until 4pm and full details and booking form can be obtained either by going to the website www.wiganrotaryclub. or by ringing 07813 471000.

Wigan Music Society presents a concert with the Dulcian Wind Quintet on Saturday, May 10, at Trinity United Reformed Church, Milton Grove, starting at 7.30pm. Tickets are £8 for members and £10 for visitors. For further information telephone 01942 238520

Spread The Word Local community groups and charities are being offered the chance to spread their message to a wider audience on Saturday, July 12. That’s the day when Wigan Rotary Club has planned to hold an event in Wigan town centre. Groups will have a free opportunity to erect a table, gazebo or mobile display on Market Place or Standishgate to raise their profile, recruit new members or volunteers, raise funds, promote their cause and provide information and advice.

Table Top Sale Up Holland Methodist Church on Alma Hill is holding a table top sale on Saturday, May 31.Tables cost £10 each and because places are limited early booking is recommended. Ring Linda on 01695 622414 or Dennis on 07587 148579.

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Stewart’s The Business! A Billinge man’s company is among the best in the business – and that’s official! Stewart Ashcroft, of Westdene Landscape Gardening, was the highly commended newcomer in Wigan Council’s Good Trader of the Year Awards 2014. Stewart, 53, (pictured) who lives on Winstanley Road with partner Bev, started up Westdene around nine years ago after 28 years’ service in engineering – a skill which has stood him in good stead for landscape gardening. “I was always interested in gardening and doing things like patios for friends and family,” says Stewart, who grew up on Moss Road, Orrell, and went to Up Holland High School. “It was a complete surprise to win this award. I only joined the Good Trader Scheme last year so I’d like to

say a big thank you to my fantastic customers because without them I would not have won it.” Stewart is among many local companies who advertise with Local Life and have been honoured in the Good Trader Scheme Awards 2014. Other winners include Paul Burns general handyman; Expert Computers; Andy Hidden, domestic electrician and David Hobson of Hobson Roofcare.


Function Rooms for Hire Perfect for weddings, birthdays, dinner dances, conferences and funerals. Main room Seats up to 150 guests Fully sprung dance floor Fully stocked Bar Second room Seats up to 50 guests Fully stocked Bar Secure car park for up to 60 cars Full disabled access throughout Hot/Cold full catering service also available via Waterford Catering

Pull Up A Pew Chair exercise classes are being offered at St Aidan’s Social Club, on Highfield Grange Avenue, every Tuesday from 11.30am-12.30pm. The classes teach you gentle exercise and they are suitable for anyone as it is all done from the comfort of a chair. The cost is £3.50 including tea/coffee and biscuits. For more information, ring Linsey on 01942 519077.

Lunch Time Alma Hill Methodist Church in Up Holland holds regular get-togethers for over 55s. On the last Thursday of each month, they offer a chance for over 55s to join other friendly people for a three course lunch in the church hall. It starts at 12.30pm and the cost is £4. To book a place, contact Marian on 01942 538468.

Winstanley Park Cricket Club welcome new players of all ages and abilities for the 2014 season Senior teams play on Saturday (Southport League) & Sunday (West Lancs League). U9, U11, U13, U15 junior teams play in the Wigan league. Designated centre for the development of girls cricket. Lovely safe, rural location down Hall Lane, off Winstanley Road, Orrell.

For further information please contact

Tony Dillon on 07791 761715 or Gary Darbyshire on 07793 131253

Pemberton Masonic Hall Chapel Street, Pemberton, Wigan WN5 8JP

01942 211316 / 07858 604 590 email:


Winstanley Park Cricket Club

Warm Welcome The new cricket season is now upon us and Winstanley Park Cricket Club extends a warm welcome to new players of all ages and abilities. The Winstanley Road club has a thriving junior section with under 9s, Under 11s, Under 13s, and U15s teams plus two senior teams play on Saturday in the Southport and District League and a Sunday XI in the West Lancs League. The club are also a nominated centre for the development of girls cricket. For further information, ring the chairman Tony Dillon on 07791 761715 or Gary Darbyshire, club captain, on

07793 131253. The club’s website can be found at www.


Recipe of the month

Slow Cooked Chicken Tikka Masala One of the many great advantages of the slow cooker is that there’s no need to marinate dishes that normally require it. This gentle lengthy cook enables flavours to develop and mingle together naturally during the lengthy cook. This is wonderful to come back to after a hard day at work or play.

Ingredients • 4 chicken breasts, cubed • 2cm fresh ginger root, peeled and grated • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed • 1 small red chilli, chopped and deseeded • 1 teaspoon ground coriander


• 1 red bell pepper, deseeded and cut into chunks

In a processor place the ginger, garlic, chilli, ground coriander, garam masala, red bell pepper, onion and sunflower oil.

• 1 medium sized onion, peeled and chopped

Process until you achieve a paste.

• 2 tablespoons sunflower oil • 1 can plum peeled tomatoes

Put the chicken in a bowl and add the paste. Stir and coat each chunk of chicken in the mixture.

• 2 tablespoons tomato puree

Mix the tomato puree with the canned tomatoes.

• 100ml creme fraiche, or sour cream

Place the chicken into the slow cooker and pour the tomato mixture over the top.

• 2 teaspoons garam masala

• Good handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped ( garnish)

Equipment Processor


Cook on a medium heat for 4 -5 hours until the chicken is beautifully tender and succulent When ready to serve gently stir in the creme fraiche whilst still in the slow cooker and serve on a bed of wild rice, garnished with the chopped coriander.

No Flash In The Pan! Two former Up Holland High School pupils cooked up a storm in the North West Commis Chef competition. Katie Jane Webster scooped Gold in the Commis Chef category, with Lucy Allcock picking up Bronze in the Commis Pastry Chef. Katie clinched the top spot after serving judges a chicken roulade, with a wild mushroom risotto, along with prawn and crab linguine. Lucy clinched her prize position after wowing judges with her opera gateau, a classic almond, chocolate and coffee gateau. They both now go to St Helens College and took part in the event at Hopwood Hall College, Rochdale. Katie Jane said: “I am honoured to have clinched first prize. The competition has certainly boosted my confidence and self-esteem, as well as helping me develop new skills with the aid of college tutors.”

Lucy said: “I am delighted to have come third in such a tough category. I’ve seen a noticeable improvement in my skill, food presentation and confidence since practicing for the competition.”


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Blowing Hot & Cold If there’s one room in your home which is a joy to be in at the moment, it’s the Before conservatory. Seeing your back garden turn to lively colour whilst you enjoy the pleasant temperatures is one of the joys of Spring. But how long will it be though before you’re sweltering from extreme summer heat or closing the door on the conservatory for the winter months, driven out by the cold?


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Stop blowing hot and cold - make 2014 the year when you convert your conservatory into real living space!

So what are the key features & benefits of a tiled conservatory roof solution?

And here to help you is HomeSafe Roof Solutions, a 5 star rated conservatory roof replacement company based in Hindley. They don’t believe in high-pressure sales techniques, but instead HomeSafe offer low prices all of the time. The company has recently been featured on the BBC’s Crime Scene Rescue and C4’s Grand Designs.

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How do you make the step to convert your conservatory into real living space? HomeSafe owner John with Kevin McCloud from C4’s Grand Design.

HomeSafe Roof Solutions will replace your existing polycarbonate or glass conservatory roof with a fully insulated lightweight roof that will keep the heat in during winter months and prevent the sun from overheating your conservatory during the summer months.


Simply call HomeSafe Roof Solutions on 01942 522 283 and the owner John Jones will visit your home and give you a free, no obligation quotation for the job. There’s no hard sell, just honest and friendly advice on your conservatory roof replacement!

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From Wigan To Ypres A group of friends are marking the centenary of World War I by making a poignant pilgrimage from Wigan to Belgium… on foot.

Harrison, Rohan, Jack and Tara are walking to Ypres Tara Griffin, 15, Harrison Clarke, 15, Rohan Stevenson, 16, Jack Finch, 17, Jacob Kenyon, 15, and Mathew Owen, 16, will go by foot from Wigan Parish Church across to Hull, where they will catch the ferry to Zeebrugge. Once on Belgian soil, they will make their way to the Menin Gate at Ypres. The gate, unveiled in 1927, is dedicated to the British and Commonwealth soliders who were killed in the Ypres Salient, but whose bodies were never recovered.

The Menin Gate destination

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The friends are all Air Cadets at 723 Squadron, which meets on Canal Street, off Woodhouse Lane. Their aim is to raise £10,000 for the Poppy Appeal.

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Abraham Guest pupil Rohan, of Bradshaw Street, Orrell, said: “The good thing is that we all get along which is just as well as we’ll be with each other 24 hours a day for over a week!” Ex-St James’ Primary pupil Tara, of Mersey Road, Orrell, added: “It was Jack’s idea, apparently one night he couldn’t sleep and it just came to him. I’m really looking forward to it now. We’ve already raised about £2,000 but we really want to get the full £10,000.” The trek starts on Monday, July 28, and finishes on Tuesday, August 5. To sponsor them, visit www. or Cadets-723/ or call 07544 115512.

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Centre Court It’s all happening at Winstanley Tennis Club! The venue, on Hall Lane, off Winstanley Road in Orrell, kicks off its junior season on Friday, April 25, from 4.30pm-7pm. The first night is free, and all are welcome. then on Saturday, May 3, the summer season Grand Open Day is being held from 1.30pm-5pm. There’s free tennis, refreshments and a clothes sale available.

fo FR r EE 34 PL ye AC ar E ol S ds !

St Peter’s pupil Harrison, of Pine View, Winstanley, added: “It’s about 111 miles to Hull and should take us three to four days. We’ve been training for it by starting off doing small walks down the canal and then building up gradually from there.”

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£15k Repairs Bispham Methodist Church in Billinge has become the latest place of worship to issue a plea for funds. The 169 year old landmark, at the corner of Crank Road and Upholland Road, needs to raise £15,000 for essential repairs and renewals, with some of the work being described as long overdue. Last year, Local Life reported on how St Luke’s Church in Orrell was facing a similarly difficult financial position. Church leaders at Bispham say their plight is partly down to being a victim of its own success as the venue is so popular. Not only is it used by Scouts, Guides, Cubs, Brownies and Beavers, but there’s also a strong demand by other groups as well as it being the venue for the church’s own outreach activities through its fortnightly Take-a-Break coffee and book sale/exchange mornings (group pictured) and seasonal fairs. If anyone is able to offer financial help in any way, please contact in the Rev Daniel French via email dankfrench@ or telephone him on 01695 628033.

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Bispham Events

Board Room!

Bispham Methodist Church has two events taking place between now and June. They are as follows:

Put down your iPads and tuck away your Tablets, Up Holland Library is helping families take part in some good-old fashioned fun. The Hall Green venue holds After School Board Games sessions every Friday from 3.30pm-5.30pm. All welcome.

Saturday, April 26: Coffee morning from 10am-noon. Activities include car wash, household products, books, and end of line stalls. All proceeds for the church hall’s refurbishment fund. Saturday, June 7: Summer Fair from 11am-2pm. Cafe, plants, pictures, books, fresh fruit and veg, toiletries, toys and games, bric-brac, jewellery and a raffle.

Keep Toned

Foxton in Wigan He was part of the iconic 70s punk Mod outfit The Jam, and now bass player Bruce Foxton is bringing their music to Wigan. From The Jam, featuring Bruce, now 58, are on at The Kaff Nightclub, Clarence Yard, Wallgate.

Orrell folk can learn to keep fit and active at Dance ‘n’ Tone classes for adults. They are held on Thursdays, 8pm-9pm at Salem Church Hall on Church Street. For further details, call or text Amanda on 07789 521248.

The Jam are regarded as one of the most important bands of their day. Fronted by Paul Weller, they had hits with tunes such as Going Underground, Town Called Malice, Start and News of The World, which is now the theme tune to BBC satirical quiz show Mock The Week.

Urgent Plea

From The Jam are performing on Friday, May 9. Doors open at 7.30pm. Tickets are £18 in advance via www.

Wigan Samaritans urgently need new volunteers and will be holding information sessions for anyone interested in becoming a volunteer. They are on Thursday, June 5, at 7pm and again on Sunday, June 15, at 1pm at the Wigan branch on 73 Dicconson Street, Wigan. Please call 01942 492222 or e-mail for further details.

School’s Out Places are now available in both the mornings and afternoon at the Hope Out of School Club. Call 01942 824150 or 07804 657004 for more details.

r Make yoaurty child’s p able unforgettbrilliant with our astles! bouncyelecction of

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Lots of Fun

Library Volunteers

Pre-School playgroups are held on Thursdays at 9.15am at Bethel Church on Norfolk Street, Newtown. There’s plenty for the little ones to do with toys and games, and fruit, toast and drinks are also available. The cost is £1.50 per child and they must be accompanied by an adult.

Hope Library, on Highfield Grange Avenue, Marus Bridge, is particularly interested in hearing from new volunteers who can help out on Tuesday evenings, Thursday evenings or Saturdays. To find out more, call 01942 777545 or email

It’s a Hoot!

Where The Art Is

Wigan-based Owls Motorcycle Club meets every first Thursday of the month in the upstairs function room at The Globe pub, Standish, starting at 8.30pm.

Are you a dab hand with a brush and pallet? Winstanley Art Group meets on Tuesdays from 7pm-9pm at Hope School, Highfield Grange Avenue, Marus Bridge.

A number of current members are from the Orrell and Billinge area, and more are welcome. Visit www. for more details.

You can use the opportunity to have some tuition or just simply go at your own pace. The cost is £3 including refreshments. Call 01942 228433 for more details.

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Magical Makeovers Ask anyone in the know. Harmony offers the widest range of window products in Wigan. Over the last 11 years the company, run by Winstanley couple Gary and Shelley Parrish, have expanded the range of window fashions carried by their Pemberton showroom to include wooden shutters, curtains and the amazingly popular Perfect Fit® blinds. And now, after a total revamp of their Pemberton showroom, Harmony has introduced a fantastic new range of coordinated homeware for your living rooms and bedrooms. No longer should you despair about the décor of your home. You can plan to give your tired rooms a magical makeover in minutes at Harmony’s Pemberton showroom. Harmony now offer a range of carefully coordinated collections consisting of wallpaper, cushions, curtains, wall art, bed linen and blinds – everything you need, in fact, to transform your home. Creating beautiful interiors have never been easier. Call into their Pemberton showroom (near Lloyds TSB Bank on Ormskirk Road) today. The showroom is open from 9am-5pm MondayFriday (til 8pm on Thursday) and 10am-4pm on Saturday.

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Lifesaving Advice A leading Pemberton business has welcomed tough new standards aimed at stopping child deaths from looped cords on window blinds. Harmony Blinds, on Ormskirk Road, says the new European directive will save lives, but also hopes it will raise awareness among those who have older style blinds already fitted. Research shows there have been at least 27 blind cord deaths across the UK since 1999 - 14 of which have occurred since the start of 2010. The new standard amends a previous European edict so that it covers not only venetian blinds, roller blinds, vertical blinds and pleated blinds, but also honeycomb blinds, Roman shades, Austrian/Festoon blinds, panel blinds, plantation shutters and roll-up blinds. Gary Parrish, owner of Harmony, told Local Life: “As a company, we wholeheartedly support these new standards which require that new blinds must be ‘safe by design’ or be supplied with the appropriate child safety devices installed. This means that where there is a loop present in a blind, it must be fitted during

manufacture with a safety device that will break under pressure. Safety devices will also be supplied to secure the cord to a wall and the standard also imposes a maximum cord and chain length. “We already stock a wide range of standard compliant blinds and can give advice to those who may already have the older style loops.” For more information, and to download a free blind cord safety leaflet, visit

Improve your home in 2014 Vale of Wigan can replace or modernise your existing staircase with a traditional oak staircase with wooden spindles, a more contemporary staircase with glass and chrome or a bespoke design of your choice. Call Vale of Wigan now for a free no-obligation survey. • Add instant value to your home • A typical install takes 2/3 days • Fully guaranteed for 10 years • Family run business est.1998 Rear Mill, Wood Street, off Chapel Lane Wigan WN3 4HL

Call - 01942 246 553 or email -


Class from the Past - St Matthew’s, Highfield

This month’s Class from the Past comes from St Matthew’s, Highfield in the late -1960s . It looks like it was a sunny day when this photo was taken. Then again, in 1960s Britain the future was very bright! After all, The Beatles and Rolling Stones ruled the music world, and Geoff Hurst ensured that from a sporting

perspective, England were at the top of the footballing tree. Remember, if you have an old class photo you’d be happy to share, we’d love to hear from you. Ideally, the photo should be from anytime between 1930 and 1990. If you can help, please email us your photo to David Sudworth

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Coffee Time A coffee morning and book stall is held on the first Monday on the month at Orrell Post Methodist Church, Orrell Road, from 10.30am-noon. All welcome.

Friendly Chat School-run parents are invited to have a cuppa and friendly chat at the Parish Rooms on Billinge Road, Highfield. The drop-in takes place on Mondays between 2pm and 2.30pm. All welcome.

All Welcome Orrell & Billinge Network holds coffee mornings on the last Friday of the month, from 10am-noon, at the Methodist Church on Church Drive, Orrell. Among the attractions are homemade cakes, books and bric-a-brac. All welcome.

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Helping Hand Representatives from The Brick are on hand between 2pm and 4pm on Wednesdays to give advice on homelessness, housing issues, food shortage and debt problems. Simply call in to see them at Hope Library, Highfield Grange Avenue, Marus Bridge.

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Homes Plan

Under Pressure?

Residents are to be given their say on plans for more than 100 homes on the old Abraham Guest School site. Wigan Council chiefs say they are planning to develop the Orrell Road site into accommodation for the elderly.

Free blood pressure tests will be available at Tesco Wigan on Saturday, April 26. The event, between 10am4pm, is being organised by the Rotary Club of Wigan as part of Stroke Awareness Day. All welcome.

Subject to planning permission, it’s anticipated there would be 30 bungalows and a care housing scheme with approximately 100 flats. As part of this care scheme, there would be 24-hour on site care available to residents. The plans also include a range of facilities for the community including a café. The plans could be formally submitted next year and if they are passed, the homes will be ready in 2016. Wigan Council is assuring local people that they will be able to have their say on the plans before any application is submitted.

Acoustic Sounds The sound of acoustic guitars will fill the air at Wigan Parish Church, Crawford Street, on Friday, May 9. That’s the date when there will be a Home Service Concert with special guests Ruth Angell and Sid Peacock. Doors open at 7.15pm and tickets are £15 in advance. They are available from, by calling 01942 824291 or from Symphony Music at 66 Market Street, Wigan. Alternatively, the can also be picked up at The Coven at 43 Hallgate.

Christian Aid Wigan Community Choir will be giving a varied concert at 7.30pm on Saturday, May 17, at Trinity United Reformed Church, Milton Grove, Wigan, to mark Christian Aid Week 2014. Tickets are £7 with £5 concessions. For further information and tickets, email, call 01942 223575 or buy them on the door.

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Are you looking for a new independent financial adviser? Due to changes introduced by the Financial Services Authority there has been a reduction in investment and pension advisers. Consequently, there are now even more “orphan” clients than ever that need to seek out a financial adviser that they can trust to look after them over the long term.

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

How can this happen?

We are based locally (on the High Street in Standish) and have been looking after the investment needs of local clients for over ten years.

Our business is designed around the long term interests of our clients and not the short term interest of our advisers. As a result we now review in excess £75 million on behalf of 350 individual and corporate clients throughout the Wigan area and beyond. Are our services suited to you?

• Your adviser has now retired and sold out resulting in you becoming a client of a much larger firm with typically no local presence. • High Street Banks no longer offering financial advice • Advisers moving offshore i.e. Cyprus, to avoid the new tougher regulatory regime.

Entrust your financial future to Wigan’s only Chartered Financial Planners. Call us today to arrange a consultation with one of our friendly experts…

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About Us?

• Do you want someone to advise you rather than being sold to? • Are you about to retire or have you already retired and need an adviser to manage your financial wellbeing throughout retirement? • Have you been orphaned by your previous adviser and been left with investments and pensions that you think may need reviewing? Whilst we do not require a minimum investment level for our services you would ideally have at least £75,000 liquid funds to invest or have existing investments at this level? If you feel that we can be of assistance please do not hesitate to get in touch. The initial meeting is at our expense and is without obligation.

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


Tai Chi for Health If you’re not as young as you used to be, but you’d like to introduce some gentle exercise to your life, then why not consider going to the Tai Chi classes in Shevington which start on Monday, May 12? Depending on your current state of health, you will have two classes to choose from, both of them with a fully qualified Tai Chi for Health instructor. Seated Tai Chi for Health is ideal for anyone who has limited walking ability or unable to stand for very long or has difficulty in breathing, getting over a stroke or heart attack, and Tai Chi for Health is for anyone who can walk and stand unaided and requires gentle exercise to help improve The classes are held at Shevington Youth Club & Community Centre on Highfield Avenue near the shopping parade. The Seated Tai Chi starts at 1pm and

the Tai Chi starts at 2pm. The first lesson is completely free when you book your place with Lyn on 07936 527 924. For more details visit the website www.

Wigan at War To mark the 100th anniversary of World War I, Up Holland & District U3A’s Variety Theatre Group are holding a Wigan at War event over two nights in May. It will contain a revue of The Great War in song and dance with snapshots of the town at war. Wigan at War will be held on Friday, May 30, and Saturday, May 31, at St Teresa’s Club, College Road, Up Holland. Doors open at 7pm and tickets are £5 for adults and £2.50 for under 16s, which can be obtained from 01942 386709. Organisers stress this is a community performance so all are welcome.

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Bright Sparks

When it comes to finishing off that newly decorated or furnished room, it’s vital not to underestimate the value of lighting, because good lighting will bring to life the most humdrum of design schemes. Choosing a fantastic light fitting is just one element of the job. Where you place it, how it operates and the effect it has on a room is twice as important. Ask yourself this - do you really want the centrepiece of your new room to be a mass produced, common or garden light fitting available from your local DIY hyperstore? Or do you want to choose from a comprehensive range of design masterpieces which will literally light up your home? Based on Ormskirk Road in Pemberton, Pemberton Lighting have an almost unbelievable range of traditional, modern and contemporary lighting products on offer, some on site and many more available to order. The lights illustrated on these pages are just a tiny selection of the thousands of light and lighting products available. Pemberton Lighting has been trading for over 30 years and has amassed a reputation for quality and service. The owners, Alison Glover and Allison Pyke, possess an enviable knowledge based upon their many years experience and are able to offer specialised advice on what type of lighting will suit your home. It’s no wonder that many local housing developers turn to Pemberton Lighting to add the finishing touches to their showhomes. Call in and see them today – you’re guaranteed a warm welcome

Pemberton Lighting 808 Ormskirk Rd, Pemberton, Wigan WN5 8AX.

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Tax Alert Wigan residents are being warned to ignore a company claiming they can receive a council tax refund. A number of people have been contacted by a firm who are telling them they are owed a council tax refund. They state that their property is in the wrong council tax band. Council chiefs say the claims are false and are telling residents to not listen to them, as they are not working with any company regarding council tax refunds. Residents can find out for free if the council owes them money – they do not need to pay a commercial firm to find out for them. A spokesman added: “Council tax bandings are rarely altered and any change would be highly publicised.” Residents who want to know if they are paying the right amount, or if they are owed a refund, can find out by


contacting the Valuation Office, who investigate such enquiries for free, by calling them on 03000 503 600. To report incidents of bogus callers, call the police on the non-emergency number, 101. For further advice, contact Consumer Direct on 08454 040506.

Bowled Over Young crown green bowlers aged five and upwards are needed at the YMCA on Winstanley Road, Orrell. Tuition is available by contacting manx.patgrundy@btinternet. com

Allstars Recruitment Pemberton-based Allstars FC are looking to recruit boys and girls aged between four and seven. For further information, contact Mike on 07783 965990.

Irish Festival The Wigan Irish Festival in aid of Macmillan Cancer is being held over three days from Friday, May 2. The festival is being held indoors at a variety of locations in Wigan. Friday’s entertainment will be held at Sharpy’s Restaurant at the DW Stadium. The entertainment for Saturday afternoon will be held at St Jude’s Rugby Club, Morton Avenue, alongside the Gaelic Football matches.


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On Saturday evening, both the meal and evening entertainment will be held at the DW Stadium. Sunday afternoon’s Darts Tournament with music by Ged Graham will be held at The Honeysuckle in Swan Meadow Road, Poolstock, with the weekend coming to a close on Sunday night at the DW Stadium. Tickets on sale online at or by phone on 00 35 3762 23232.





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Guess where? Photo courtesy of Paul Hobson

Find all the tastes of Italy Salami Olive oil Tortellini Ravioli Gnocchi Pizza Polenta Tiramisu Risotto

Panettone Tagliatelle Truffles Carasau Prosecco Bruschetta Gelato Espresso Limoncello

Answers are on page 93 of this magazine

For a top quality deep clean carried out by experienced specialists Traditional service - state of the art results Shevington based family business 5 star rating with Wigan Trading Standards Good Trader Scheme plus Awarded the CertiďŹ cate of Excellence in recognition of consistently high standards of feedback from customers in 2009/10/11 The most thorough clean, or it’s free! Call today for a free consultation & no obligation quote


Have A Heart

Big Dig

Got any unwanted electrical goods? The British Heart Foundation’s shop at The Concourse, Skelmersdale, will take old fridges, freezers, dryers, dishwashers, ovens, TVs, DVD players, hi-fis and other small electrical items. Call 0844 8489613 or book online at collection

Roadworks on Sandbrook Road in Tontine are expected to last until the end of April. Highways bosses say the road is being dug up by Electricity North West between numbers 63 and 20 for a 132kv cable. They state that two way signals will be in place until April 30.

Good Friends The Friends of Mesnes Park are looking for volunteers to help set up and run an exciting programme of events this year. The groups offers free training and hands-on experience in event management. If you are interested, please contact Allan Foster 01942 703251 or email allan.

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Half Price* Consultation Step forward for a podiatry consultation at our Podiatry Chiropody Clinic and save £14! Normal price £28 – offer price £14! Offer limited to Local Life readers – please mention the magazine when booking. *Offer limited to new clients first consultation - ends 31/05/2014

• Corns & callus • Nail surgery • Verrucae • Podiatric Acupuncture Shoe fitting & ordering service available Appointments are not always necessary, but booking is advisable.

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Planning Matters Orrell 16 Parkside Crescent: Plan to extend dwellinghouse two storey to side following demolition of existing garage (ref: A/14/79158). The consultation deadline is April 25.

doors. ( Resubmission of A/14/79048 Withdrawn). The consultation deadline is May 4.

Car park, Church Street: Outline application for the erection of residential block containing four self-contained apartments (ref: A/14/79171). The consultation deadline is May 1.

42 Foundry Lane: Proposal to extend dwellinghouse two storey to rear following demolition of existing conservatory (ref: A/14/79186).The consultation deadline is May 3.


Up Holland

Fairhurst Mower Centre, 13 White Street: Proposals for a new shop frontage (ref: A/14/79183). The consultation deadline is May 2. 27 Orrell Road: Change of use from fruit and veg shop to dwelling, together with alterations to roof to increase height dormer to rear and alterations to window and


1 Woodside Close: Single storey extension to side/rear (ref: 2014/0181/FUL). The consultation deadline is May 1 For more information on the Orrell, Pemberton and Winstanley applications, visit For details on the Up Holland application, visit www.


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

The 8 most important points from the 2014 Budget What were the real big announcements during The Budget 2014? We summarise the 8 main points:

5. Small pension limits increased

1. Changes to pensions mean many more options than just buying an annuity

Until April 2015 for any small pension pots currently held, there was an increase in the total amount to £30,000 that can be taken as a lump sum, or up to 3 individual pots of up to £10,000.

In measures to be introduced in April 2015, pensioners will have complete flexibility on how much of their pension they want to take at retirement. This opens up many more options for what to do with your pension in your retirement years and increases the need for advice. 2. ISA revisions are great for savers The ISA limit was increased to £15,000 a year and it was announced that Stocks & Shares ISAs and Cash ISAs would be merged into a New ISA. Again, this gives savers much more flexibility and potentially allows more of their income to be shielded within the tax free accounts. 3. New additions to the bonds market A new Pensioners Bond will be introduced at the start of 2015 with what were described as ‘market leading rates’, thus giving pensioners another option for what to do with their newly released pension savings! There were also changes to Premium Bonds, with an increase in winners promised. 4. Personal tax allowance increase The personal tax allowance was confirmed as increasing to £10,500 in April 2015, with the increase at the start of the tax year in April going to £10,000. Good news in that a little more of our money is saved away from taxation!

David K Barton APFS Cert CII(MP)

6. Flexible drawdown limits reduced In yet another pensions related matter for what was a busy Budget for the industry, savers now only need to have £12,000 (as opposed to £20,000) pension income in order to access flexible drawdown immediately. 7. Small measures for individuals and businesses; fuel duty, minimum wage and apprenticeships Whilst these might not be the headline grabbers, they will have an impact for many individuals and businesses. Fuel duty has been frozen in another attempt to get the current high costs down, whilst both the minimum wage and the number of apprenticeships were increased. 8. The new pound coin! Perhaps it’s not actually one of the most important points, but it will certainly be one of the more visible ones when the new coin starts to enter circulation at some point around 2017. If you require any further clarification on how the new pension rules affect you, or any other investment advice then please contact Prosper on 01257 423800.

Entrust your financial future to Wigan’s only Chartered Financial Planners. Call us today to arrange a consultation with one of our friendly experts…

01257 423 800

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

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Great Access! While regular Local Life readers know how hard we work to promote Wigan’s Good Trader Scheme, we were recently contacted by Graham Ormesher, whose company Access4lofts has just won an award for positive customer feedback in a similar scheme called the Safe Trader scheme, which is run by Trading Standards at Lancashire County Council.

loft, insulate and even put in a light, and often in just one day! Examples of the type of feedback (including details on how punctual and tidy they are!) that won Access4lofts their award are detailed on their website If you need extra storage space and you’ve not fully utilised your loft space, or you need to install safer access whilst using your current loft then do give Graham a call on 01772 811611; he’ll pop along to look at the work involved and provide you with a fixed guaranteed quote in writing to do the work. Accees4lofts covers the entire North West area.

Graham, a carpenter with over twenty years experience, set up Access4lofts to provide home owners with access to their lofts, so that they can store their belongings. Access4Lofts can install a loft ladder, loft hatch, board out your

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Accountancy - by Chris Alcock ACMA

Hands On Guide to Business Finance CMA is a proactive accountancy firm based in Appley Bridge. We provide the usual services such as company accounts, personal tax, VAT and payroll services. We can also help you with your bookkeeping if you prefer to focus on growing your business and hate doing this!! This month we are reviewing a few recent announcements that affect individuals and businesses. • Personal Allowances increased to £10,000 for everyone from 6th April 2014. It is important to check that you have the correct tax code on your wage slip. The personal allowance will rise to £10,500 in April 2015. • RTI Penalty Update – Some employers are struggling to get up to speed with this and therefore HMRC have delayed implementing automatic penalties until October 2014. CMA offers a full outsourced payroll service for businesses who wish to hand this responsibility over. • Homeworkers and Travel Expenses– A recent HMRC tribunal held that some journeys for homeworkers may not be allowable for tax purposes. If you fall into this category and need advice please contact us for more information. • Company Car Drivers – The tax paid on the benefit of having a company car will increase. There are incentives for choosing a car with low CO2 emissions and these should be looked into when selecting your next car. • Business Capital Allowances - The amount of money a business can spend on capital equipment has

increased to £500,000 per year. This is a very important area for tax planning if you are a small business and can save you £000’s if implemented correctly. • VAT – The main rate of VAT remains at 20%. If you are a business, the threshold for registering for VAT has increased to £81,000. If you are starting a new business then don’t forget to consider the flat rate vat scheme as this could save you both time and money.

Special Offer During May CMA are offering a free business review for companies who wish to kick start their finances.

Tax Tips of the Month Are you a business and employ staff? From 06 April 2014 all employers qualify to receive a £2,000 Employers Allowance that may be offset against Employer’s NIC, so reducing the cost of employing staff. If you need details of this scheme please contact CMA for further advice. 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.

To see how we can help you please get in touch:

CMA is a proactive accountancy firm based in Appley Bridge. We provide the usual services such as accounts and payroll services. We can also help you with your bookkeeping if you hate doing this!!

Chris Alcock ACMA CMA Accountancy 39 Skull House Lane, Appley Bridge, Wigan, WN6 9DR Tel: 01257 255521 Email



Here, There & Everywhere

Liverpool was once considered the UK’s gateway to a world of diverse adventure – and that’s fast becoming the case again thanks to Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines! The city’s growing reputation as a cruise ship destination means no more hours of travelling down to Southampton or over to Harwich. Not only saving on added expenses, being able to leave from Liverpool means your holiday now starts that little bit sooner! World-renowned for quality, Fred. Olsen believes cruising should be a relaxing experience from start to finish. Liverpool isn’t as busy as some other ports, meaning a less crowded terminal and fewer queues. It all makes starting your holiday a breeze. Fred. Olsen’s traditionally-built, smaller ships are on hand to take you to a wide range of destinations. And there are so many places to choose from.

Fancy combining the sun-drenched Mediterranean with the mysteries of the Maghreb and the historical cities of the former Yugoslavia? The 25 night Centre of Venice and the Adriatic cruise on the 13 April 2015, would be perfect, calling at Gibraltar, Cartagena in Spain, Catania in Italy, Corfu, Kotor in Montenegro, Hvar in Croatia, Venice, Split, Dubrovik, Valletta in Malta, Algiers and Cadiz. Inside cabins from £2,499pp.

*Terms and conditions Fares are per person, based on twin occupancy of the lead-in twin cabin, subject to availability. Offers may be amended or withdrawn at any time without prior notice, are subject to availability & cannot be applied retrospectively. All bookings are subject to Fred. Olsen’s standard terms & conditions, available on our/their website & on request. Some ports may be at anchor, intermediate days are at sea. FOCL reserve the right to amend itineraries for operational reasons. E&OE. The Medieval Cities of Eastern Europe and Icelandic Wildlife & Waterfalls prices based on Anchor fares, full payment is required at the time of booking. 100% cancellation charges apply and guests cannot transfer their booking to an alternative cruise. Cabin grade and number will be confirmed at check-in, not before. Additional discounts do not apply. Oceans Club benefits and discounts are not combinable with Anchor Fares. Dining time will be allocated automatically, guests can choose to book a specific sitting at the time of booking for a supplement of £2pppn. All Inclusive upgrade: All Inclusive Upgrade offer covers selected beers, wines, spirits and soft drinks, subject to availability. Tours, tips, premium drinks, medical facilities and other optional spend, during travel to the ship and while on board, are not included. Any additional expenditure will need to be paid separately. All Inclusive Upgrade Package must be booked at least 8 days prior to departure.


Going even further a field is the fabulous Icelandic Wildlife & Waterfalls cruise for 11 nights, departing on the 17th August 2014. Inside cabins from £799pp How about taking a look behind the old Iron Curtain later this year? Medieval Cities of Eastern Europe tour departing on the 2nd August 2014 for 15 nights represents fantastic value. Inside cabins from just £1099pp* and you’ll see places such as Riga in Latvia, Tallinn in Estonia, Gdansk in Poland and St Petersburg in Russia, as well as calling at ports in Sweden and Germany.

With all the cruises you have the option to upgrade to All Inclusive drinks from just £10pppn* Whichever you choose, you know you’ll be in good hands with Marken Travel and Fred. Olsen. Want to know more about sailing from Liverpool in 2014 and 2015? Then come along to the Marken Travel presentation in association with Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines on Tuesday, May 13. The address is 200 Main Street, Billinge, Wigan, WN5 7PE. Join us for drinks at 6.15pm for a start time of 6.30pm. Call now to reserve your free place on 01744 893291.

Perhaps you’ve always been interested in venturing further north? You can take the option of Cruising the Fjord land in Norway on the 23rd July 2015 for 9 nights. Inside cabins from £1099pp*

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Party On? Wigan Borough celebrates its Ruby anniversary this month, but David Sudworth can’t find anyone cracking open the champers… Today’s spin doctors would never have allowed it to happen. Launching a new local council on April Fools’ Day invites too much ridicule to a part of the public sector which has endured its fair share over the years. But this was 1974; spin hadn’t trickled down fully to local government… and so it came to pass that on April 1 that year, Wigan Borough Council was born.

Its creation was due to Prime Minister Harold Wilson’s decision to reorganise local government. He appointed civil servant-turned-peer John Redcliffe-Maud to look at council boundaries outside of London. His findings, published in 1969, advocated a large scale cull of smaller urban district councils (UDCs), such as Orrell UDC and Billinge & Winstanley UDC and the removal of Wigan from the Lancashire County Council boundaries. In its place would be a newly-created Greater Manchester County Council, which was itself axed in 1986, and also Wigan Borough Council as a lower tier authority.

Wigan Town Hall


Folk in Up Holland, whose lower-tier council services were provided by the unusually-named Skelmersdale and Holland UDC, became part of the new West Lancashire district, whose area stretches as far west as the outskirts of Southport. Highways and educational matters would remain with Lancs County Council. The proposals went down like a lead balloon, and created some unusual scenarios. For instance, certain streets in Tontine, such as Delphside Road and Sefton Avenue, are half in Wigan and half in West Lancashire. This means that, even today, next door neighbours end up paying different council tax rates, having different bin collections, a different police service and so on. Nevertheless, a modified version of the Redcliffe-Maud plan was eventually implemented by Wilson’s successor as PM, Edward Heath.

start of the squeezing out of independent councillors who, even in the late 1960s, had been a regular feature of local politics. At its inception in 1974, West Lancashire had 14 independents, and Up Holland supplied a number of them. That figure has since gone to zero. However in Wigan the reverse has happened. At the outset, there was just one independent member, heavily outnumbered by the 66 Labour councillors and five Conservatives. At the time of writing, there are 10 independents in various groupings on the council. Politics Professor Jon Tonge, of Liverpool University, told Local Life: “Although Wigan is heavily Labour, a fact which hasn’t really changed since 1974, independents and newer parties like Professor Jon Tonge Community Action (CAP) have bucked the trend. The reason was they became organised and tapped in to wider disaffection, but they also tend to fizzle out after a while. They usually have a fairly short shelf life. “Local elections are now seen more and more as an annual referendum on the Government so the parties, from a national perspective, put more central effort in than perhaps they did in the beginning. “Also, people are busier now so there’s less interest in local elections. People who vote in local elections tend to be loyal to a particular party so that’s why others such as independents in some areas don’t usually do well.” One of those ‘outsiders’ who has managed to buck the trend is Gary Wilkes. The 45-year-old painter and decorator with Wrightington Hospital has served on Wigan Council since 2003, firstly as a CAP councillor, and since 2007 as an independent.

John Redcliffe-Maud 40 years on and it would be easier to find Lord Lucan, who coincidentally also disappeared in 1974 along with our district councils, than to stumble across any local celebrations of this Ruby anniversary. It’s perhaps not surprising; many observers point to the changes as the reason for falling turnouts in local elections, which now hover around the 35% mark. Experts also say it was the

He said: “Our strength is keeping it local and being active in our wards. When we go door knocking, people don’t set the dog on us, they’re actually please to see us. We get a lot of people who don’t normally turn out to vote. When they see someone from a party, it comes with a certain amount of baggage which we don’t have. They look at us and think they’ll give us a chance. It also helps if you live in the ward, it certainly means a lot to people who don’t normally vote.”


Gary conceded though that being independent does leave him susceptible to national political swings: “It is hard when local and national elections are held on the same day, as it will be in 2015. We might win a few wards this year, and then find Labour take them back in 12 months’ time.” One of Wigan’s longest serving Labour councillors is 73-year-old John Hilton. Elected in 1986 for the old Aspull-Standish Ward and now a great, great grandfather, he believes there’s been a slight change over the years: “In the beginning there were a few radical left wingers, perhaps I was one of them having been in the train drivers’ union Aslef for 47 years, but it was a different time in the 1980s and people generally were more political. “It’s changed and probably for the better. We’re neither a left nor right wing council, we’re pretty much in the centre. I think it’s well documented that we’re probably one of the best in the country.” One of the side-effects of the changes 40 years ago is the direct loss of the word ‘Lancashire’ in the council’s name. NHS worker Michael Winstanley was an Orrell Conservative councillor for eight years and Mayor of Wigan between 2010-2011. He recognises this loss of local identity irked many: “Most people even now don’t see themselves as part of Greater Manchester and, like me, put Lancashire as their postal addresses. It was a shame they got rid of the old UDCs because they had a real link with the communities they served. People lament the loss of that. It’s also more difficult to effect


change because Wigan only has a third of its councillors up for election per year, so even if Labour lost every seat this year, they’d still be in control of the council. “To be fair though, I can’t complain too much because if the 1974 changes hadn’t come about, as an Orrell councillor at the time, living in Ashton, I wouldn’t have been able to be Mayor of Wigan, which was a tremendous honour.” Since 1974, there have been relatively few changes to boundaries, although from time to time hints are dropped that a fresh reorganisation is on the cards. Whatever changes may lay ahead, Prof Tonge can’t see a return to the pre-1974 system: “It’s true the local government reorganisation created space for smaller parties and independents to thrive but it’s unlikely we’ll ever go back to smaller councils. If anything they are likely to get larger. “However, that doesn’t necessarily mean a loss in political support. For example, Labour in St Helens were good at resisting the whole Greater Merseyside project. They’ve been quite parochial, seeing themselves as St Helens first and Labour second, and that’s why they have a large majority. Independents and the likes of UKIP tend to thrive in places where people feel neglected or overlooked. So in a way, having larger councils has brought localism to the fore.” The next local elections in Wigan and West Lancashire take place on Thursday, May 22. For a full list of candidates, visit and www.

Get In Touch! Are you in a local community group? Do you want to publicise a talk, school fair or charity fundraiser? If so, get in touch with us today!

information, the better the job we can do.

Local Life is distributed to thousands of homes across Wigan, St Helens, Chorley and West Lancashire. Each edition is crammed with stories for local events, and your group could be appearing in our next edition. Not only that, we can also tweet about your event to our 1,900+ followers on Twitter!

David said: “Every month, we give community groups and organisations publicity in our magazines. Our readers enjoy keeping an eye out for local events so if you want to draw a crowd to your club or group’s latest gathering, you need to be in Local Life.”

So how do you go about it? Simply contact our Editor David Sudworth (pictured) with the details of the event - what, where, when, why, who for, how much - and anything else you want to tell our readers. The earlier you can provide the

So don’t delay – contact David today by calling 01695 627999 or emailing him directly at editorial@








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Where Are They Now? - by David Sudworth

Maurice Whittle Wigan Athletic

He’s rubbed shoulders with some of the greatest players ever to grace a football pitch. But it would be easy to hold a two hour conversation with Maurice Whittle without him mentioning it once. “I feel very fortunate and privileged but I don’t go round telling everyone, it’s just not me.” We’re at Maurice’s home in Up Holland. It’s more than 30 years since he arrived back in England fresh from a sun-drenched sabbatical with Florida’s Fort Lauderdale Strikers. During his two years in the States, the Wiganborn defender had played alongside true legends of the game. He counted the legendary George Best, England 1996 ‘keeper Gordon Banks and Peruvian 1970 World Cup superstar Teofilo Cubillas among his teammates. His opponents included the Brazilian great Pele and German 1974 World Cup winner Franz ‘Der Kaiser’ Beckenbauer. I suggest to Maurice it’s actually easier to list the greats who he didn’t play against.

Taking on Pele for Fort Lauderdale


“I suppose you are right,” smiles Maurice. “But I was very, very lucky and seemed always to be in the right place at the right time.” Now aged 65 and retired, Maurice lives with his wife of 22 years, June, on Parliament Street. He hung up his boots in 1986, having been something of a footballing journeyman. Born on July 15, 1948, Maurice originally lived with his mum Mona, dad John and older brother Fred on the now-demolished Fletcher Street, near Wallgate. He attended the old St Thomas’s Primary on Hodson Street, before going onto All Saints School, on Frog Lane, which is now the Deanery. When Maurice was 10, the family moved to Howard Street, Pemberton. By this time, he was already immersed in football: “My brother Fred watched Latics from a very early age, and my mum and grandmother, Elizabeth, used to do the teas and coffees on match days at Springfield Park. In fact, my grandfather Fred Senior, who died before I was born, was a trainer for Latics and I’ve got his winners’ medal he received when Wigan became Cheshire League champions in 1933/34. It was ironic because exactly 40 years later, in the 1973/74 season, I got a Third Division Championship Winners’ Medal with Oldham Athletic.” Having impressed scouts from Blackburn, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Aston Villa, upon leaving school he had a choice of clubs to sign on with as an apprentice: “I chose Blackburn because they were in the First Division and had very good players like Brian Douglas, Ronnie Clayton and Mike England. Also, my mum didn’t want me going all the way to the Midlands. I played in the reserves and then broke into the first team

and played a few games. At the end of my contract, I was told I’d be going on a free transfer and the choice was either Stockport County or Oldham. I knew an old Blackburn player who was involved at Oldham so I was persuaded to go there.” However, his first six months at Oldham were tough. The Boundary Park outfit had just signed 1966 World Cup winner Ray Wilson who paired with David Bright in defence, meaning Maurice struggled to get a game. However, fate intervened and when Wilson and Bright got injured, Maurice spied his chance: “The manager, Jimmy Frizzell, also switched me from wing half to a left back. From that moment on, I never looked back. We went from the old Division Four to Division Two within a few seasons. We became Third Division champions and as a ‘thank you’ the club took us to watch the 1974 FA Cup Final between Liverpool and Newcastle - the only time I’d ever been to Wembley.” Among Oldham fans, he’s probably best remembered for scoring a winning penalty against Manchester United in the 1974 campaign: “Again, I was fortunate because I’d been injured and my first game back was against United. I managed to send their goalkeeper Alex Stepney the wrong way and we beat them 1-0.” In 1977, Maurice was offered

the chance by former Wigan managerturned-American soccer league agent Les Rigby to cross the Atlantic. “Les said: ‘You’re going to Fort Lauderdale’ and I replied: ‘Where the hell’s that?’ When he told me it was about 30 miles from Miami, I said: ‘That’ll do for me!’

Maurice with his 1973/74 Championship winners’ medal


“It was fantastic; we were training on the beach in 90 degree heat and playing against some of the world’s greatest. After training, George Best and I would see how many times we could hit the crossbar bang on from 20 yards out. George got it every time, I always seemed to just miss…”

nice thing to say. Apparently, Birmingham’s chairman at the time was very big in the FA and when we needed the votes to get elected into the League, he persuaded all the Midland clubs to vote for us.” After leaving Springfield Park in the early 80s, Maurice had spells with clubs such as Barrow (as player/ manager) Macclesfield, Stafford Rangers and even for Finnish side Oulun Palloseura, which has the dubious pleasure of being based in one of the most northerly cities in the entire world: “It was a bit different from Florida in every sense of the word! I had one season there and, again, it was a good experience.”

After hanging up his boots in 1986, former Latics teammate Ian Gillibrand offered him a job alongside him at Robin Park Sports Complex. Maurice went on to work at Ashton Leisure Centre, holding In conversation with George Best and Teofilo Cubillas weekly Saturday football sessions for It was in America where Maurice first donned his youngsters as well as a summer school at Ashton Town famous ‘love beads’ necklace – a present from a fan: FC. He also opened up his own sports shop on Market “I got a bit of stick from the lads when I turned up at Street, Hindley, which he had for several years. Wigan Athletic with them on but it was all good fun.” He eventually went to work for a number of well-known Maurice arrived at Springfield Park to a team on the Skelmersdale companies such as The Snack Factory and cusp of entering the Football League. Although he latterly Hotter Shoes. As we’ve already seen, Maurice played relatively few games for Latics, it’s widely doesn’t go out of his way to make people aware of his accepted his experience helped deliver Wigan to the famous past, but occasionally others have cottoned Promised Land of professional football. Even more on to who he actually is: “When I was working, I’d get than 35 years on, he’s still stopped in the streets by fans colleagues coming in and saying ‘I never knew you who remember his FA Cup second round goal against played professional football’. It’s not that I wanted to Sheffield Wednesday in 1977. That victory earned keep it a secret, I’m very proud of my career but I just them an away tie like to go with the flow. My wife June says that if I was against former any more laid back I’d be horizontal.” England manager Maurice retired from work around three years ago and Alf Ramsey’s nowadays likes to do normal things like go on holidays Birmingham City with June, who he married in 1992 at Wigan Register side. Although Office. Between them, they have five children and three soundly beaten grandchildren. He likes popping out for a quiet drink in 4-0, it’s said this his local club and occasionally goes to see Wigan play. is the match Celebration time with Micky “Football has changed a lot, I’d say it was a lot more which ultimately Worswick, John Wilkie and Ken physical when I was playing. Having said that, I never propelled Latics Morris after beating Sheffield wore shin pads and always had my socks rolled down. into the Football Wednesday in 1977 Nobody ever really pulled me up about it. Mind you, League: “When the match finished, Alf Ramsey came into the dressing room I’m paying the price now with all the scars on my legs. I suppose in a way they’re just actual reminders of a great and said: ‘Well, we scored all the goals, but you’re the time in my life.” ones who’d played all the football.’ I thought that was a


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Jack’s Tracks

Bretherton The villages of rural Chorley and West Lancashire are among the prettiest in the county. Steeped in history, the landscape is virtually unchanged for generations. Coupled with the fact there are no hills to contend with, going for a stroll around these parts is always a pleasure.


We park up by the 19th Century St John’s Church on South Road, Bretherton, and take a very short walk westwards until we see the signage for the public footpath. This path runs on what appears at first glance to be a private driveway, but it soon veers off onto what is unmistakeably a public right of way. It is a little narrow and overgrown in parts so take care. Eventually, the view widens before our eyes and we follow a straight line directly south until we hit Back Lane. Continue across Back Lane and go straight on, where you will be greeted by the full expanse of Lancashire countryside. The best thing about this walk can be found in the fact it’s so versatile. When we went, it had rained almost constantly for a week, yet the fertile soil in these parts did a sterling job to absorb it. Save for a few large-ish puddles, evidence of precipitation was mostly hidden. About half way down, we took a right hand turn which eventually met up with Eyes Lane.



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It’s easy living in built up areas to assume certain things. For instance, electricity cables are always underground, yet here in the agricultural belt, it’s transmitted via pylons. I sense some may think I’m mad, but rather than labelling them as metal monstrosities which detract from nature, they actually add something to the landscape. I’m not saying I’m ready to go all in and join the Pylon Appreciation Society (yes, it does exist apparently – established in 1999 and I’m told membership is £15 a year) but I can understand the attraction. With the right weather, they can also make for some dramatic photo opportunities.

We carry on to the bridges which traverse the River Douglas and the Rufford branch of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal, but not before we do our good deed for the


day and help some poor fella whose car got stuck in mud just off Eyes Lane. Once he was sent on his merry way, wheels now firmly planted on some good old tarmacadam, we crack open an energy replenishing choccie bar as a reward. It’s not long before we come across the delightful hamlet of Sollom, complete with mini village green, beautiful stone cottages and horses grazing in a nearby paddock. You’ll see from the map that we took the Back Lane track between Sollom and Tarleton. If you decide to follow suit, then I’d sound a word of caution – there’s a fair amount of hard core debris on the ground, so you may want to think about crossing over the A59 to use the roadside pavement if you have small children or a dog with you. Soon enough, we arrive at St Mary’s Church, Tarleton, a small chapel which in many ways gives a glimpse into what life must have been like in these parts before the advent of the motor car and ensuing thunderous traffic which rolls past it each day. The traffic on this part of the A59 is relentless but respite is within sight as we go across Bank Bridge which takes us back over the Douglas. We come across the old Bank Hall estate Lodge on the right hand side which, in the early part of the year, is set in a landscape dotted with snowdrops. The adjacent field has a public footpath via a stile which we use to make our way towards the main Bank Hall Estate. It’s worth bearing in mind that the Hall is usually only open a handful of Sundays a year – see www.bankhall. org for more details. After a brief stop, we step back on to Eyes Lane before turning left at Rose Grove Farm and heading north on Back Lane. At the junction, turn right on to South Road and carry on straight back to the car – easier said than done for us as we came across the quaint Old Bakery and its enticing display of cakes, breads and shelves stuffed with preserves. I could hear my belt breathing a sigh of relief when I realised I had no cash with me… I won’t make the same mistake next time though!

At Your Service

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.

At first glimpse, St Mary’s looks like any other functioning church. However, it was last used in 1980 and for the past 32 years has been looked after by the Churches Conservation Trust. Built in the 1717, the site itself was consecrated in the early 1500s when a chantry chapel was erected there. It was eventually demolished and it 1719, Henrietta Maria Legh of Bank Hall donated the land on which the church stands today. It’s said the Grade II listed Georgian building has no electricity but has a number of oil lamps as part of its unspoiled interior, which includes box pews, open benches, stone flagged floors, a reading desk and a west gallery that extends along the south wall, all lit by clear glass in large round-headed windows.


wYour Pets - by Dr Shams Mir Rescuing a butterfly: why not call the vet?


As I was driving to work the other day, an elderly lady whose cat is under my care called for some advice. I pulled over at the first convenient parking spot and returned the call. It was not about the cat. The lady had a butterfly hovering in her bed room for a couple of days and having left the window open thought that it would fly away, but it didn’t. Quite concerned, she called to ask if I could advise how to catch and let the butterfly out safely.

had made of up her mind that rather than having the vets prescribe medications about which she had read “horrendous reports”, she tried various oils and creams for over eight weeks! I am glad to have got to see the dog and hopefully the medication prescribed will safely alleviate his suffering and gradually restore his skin back to normalcy. Just as a part of her research, had the owner called a vet to seek some advice, the possibility is that she would have been told the dog’s immune system had launched an aggressive response to something in the skin and set it ablaze, and unless that “friendly fire” was extinguished, little respite could be expected from oils and creams, and the dog would have not suffered that long. Internet is a great place to look up for information. However, it needs to be used with great caution regarding medical conditions. With all their training, knowledge and diagnostic tools, vets and doctors do not always find it easy to make diagnoses and hit the best treatment regimens straightaway because of the intricate nature of disease development and treatments. When in doubt about something regarding your pet, it may be worthwhile sometimes to give a ring and check with a vet, at least as part of the research one may be doing.

Obviously, I wouldn’t say that this was not something I was taught at the vet school. So, challenging my common sense to deal with this delicate situation, I came up with some ideas to help. No news is good news, I’m glad she didn’t call back to report how it went!

Like most other vets, I would be glad to give some advice, even if it is regarding rescuing a butterfly! Dr Shams Mir BVSc&AH,MVSc,DrMedVet,MRCVS Veterinary Surgeon

A little later a younger lady brought for check to Sunrise a lovely little dog which had developed a skin condition: patchy hair loss, scales and crusts, greasy and smelly hair, and rashes almost all over the body, with a coat on to prevent him from tearing his skin apart!

Sunrise Veterinary Surgery 6 The Common Parbold WN8 7DA Tel: 01257 463 142

The owner had done “a lot of research” on internet and


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A well trained dog is a happy dog! Jo Pay is a fully qualified Dog Trainer who offers:

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What’s On in the North West Sunday, May 4, and BH Monday, May 5 Scarisbrick Food Fayre - Vincents Garden Centre Tantalize your taste buds with the food on offer from artisan producers and local food heroes, selling freshly harvested vegetables to homemade pies, cakes, jams and relishes. There will be fun for all the family with a children’s play area and food-related activity stalls. 10am–4pm. Vincents Garden Centre, 300 Southport Road, Scarisbrick, PR8 5LF. Free entry. Sorry no dogs. Monday, May 5 Bank Holiday Heritage Day Trencherfield Mill Steam Engine will host a bumper Bank Holiday Heritage Day including classic cars, traction engines, funfair rides, canal trips arts and crafts and street drama. Refreshments available at the Red Pepper Cafe in Wigan Investment Centre. Free parking available at the centre as well. Some activities will incur a small charge. 11am-5pm at Trencherfield Mill Steam Engine, Wigan Pier Quarter, Heritage Way, Wigan, WN3 4EF Call 01942 828128 for more information. Friday, May 9 Noah - A Musical Adventure Saltmine Theatre Company presents Noah, a musical adventure with Doug Horley playing the title role. This musical re-telling of the Noah’s Ark story features an engaging script with original music and lyrics by Doug Horley and Mark Reed. The show will be performed by a full cast and will include amazing puppets, dance and innovative scenery. The Guildhall, Lancaster Road, Preston, PR1 1HT. Tickets £12 for adults, £8 for children and a family ticket costs £35 via Saturday, May 10 Bolton Symphony Orchestra David Greed returns to the Albert Halls concert stage, minus his violin, to conduct an all Tchaikovsky programme with the exciting young violinist Rakhi Singh performing the ever popular violin concerto. 7.30pm-10.30pm at The Albert Halls, Bolton, BL1 1RU. Cost is free for under 19s (must be booked), £9 for ages 20 to 59 and £8 for aged 60-plus. Telephone or 01204 334400 or email Saturday, May 10, and Sunday, May 11 Chorley Food Festival Chorley’s very first Food Festival is set to take place in town on the weekend of May 10 and 11. It is due to take place along Market Street and Fazakerley Street with cookery demonstrations and an entertainment stage. Among the guests includes top BBC Fusion chef Aazam Ahmad. Proceeds from the event will go towards funding this year’s carnival and to local charities. Further details can be obtained from www.


Sunday, May 11 Swan Lake - Vienna Festival Ballet One of the best known love stories, performed by the ever popular Vienna Festival Ballet. Lavish costumes, stunning scenery, international stars, and the glorious music from Tchaikovsky make this a night not to be missed. Parr Hall, Palmyra Square South, Warrington, WA1 1BL. Performance starts at 2.30pm. Tickets range from £11.50 to £18.50 via www.

Thursday, May 15, to Saturday, July 5

The Lion King Since its opening on Broadway in 1997, The Lion Ling has been seen by over 52 million people in 15 countries and translated into five languages. One key to its success is the universality of the story. Liverpool Empire, Lime Street, Liverpool, L1 1JE Tickets from £10-£55. Performances at 7.30pm and 2.30pm. Call 0844 844 0444 or visit www. Friday, May 16 Light Night Liverpool This is the city’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. Visitors can look forward to spectacular light projections, street theatre and a vibrant myriad of walking tours, open studios, live music, hands-on workshops and much more. Liverpool City Centre from 4pm-late. Saturday, May 17, and Sunday, May 18 The Tatton Park Country Show Set in the beautiful parkland at Tatton, the family-oriented Country Show really will have something for everyone with a range of arena entertainment including jousting, birds of prey, terrier racing and lots more. 10am-5pm at Tatton Park, Knutsford, Cheshire, WA16 6QN. Adult £7.50, Child £3 (ages 5-16), Concession £6, Family £19. Visit: www.oakleighfairs. or call 01206 263088. Car entry charge applies.

Sunday, May 18 Merchant of Hoghton Farmers Market One of the first historic houses in the country to recognise the importance of promoting high-quality local produce through a market. 10am. Hoghton, near Preston, PR5 0SH. Admission £1 per car to the market. Pedestrians 50p. House open for guided tours including family-friendly tours. Separate charges apply.

Monday, June 16 Formula Fun Family Cycle Event Dig your bike out of the shed and join in this event to celebrate National Cycling Week. Visit the bike doctor, undertake timed laps, tackle the climbing wall and there’s a kiddies bike agility course. From 3pm-8pm at Three Sisters Race Circuit, Three Sisters Road, Ashton-in-Makerfield, Wigan, WN4 8DD. Call 01942 488481 for more information.

Saturday, May 25, and Sunday, May 26 Crafty Vintage Bank Holiday Weekender at Hoghton Tower With over 70 stalls packed with all things crafty and all things vintage, an outdoor artisan and street food market, live music from Kiki Deville and Baxter Rhodes, magicians, DJs, classic cars, vintage pony dressage and rides, not forgetting a pop-up cocktail bar with signature cocktails, there really is something for the whole family to enjoy. Starts 10am. Hoghton, near Preston, PR5 0SH. Admission to the fair is £1 per person with under 5s free. Free parking. Friday, May 30, - Sunday, June 1 Southport Food & Drink Festival Pop along to Victoria Park for three days of chef demonstrations cake decorating. You can also drop the children off at the ABC Family club marquee for some arts and crafts, face painting, football or ballet; while you shop around the local producers and continental markets. Whether you stay an hour or stay all day there will be plenty for you to eat and enjoy. Victoria Park, Rotten Row, Southport, PR8 2BZ. 11am-6pm on all days. Free entry. Friday, May 30, - Sunday, June 1 Southport Country Fair The main attraction takes place on the Sunday with the Broke FMX Freestyle Motorcross display team’s high fly jumping, but there are plenty of other things to see and do. Activities include a Fun Dog Show, food hall, donkey rides, air rifle shooting range, ferret racing and duck herding. Leisure Lakes, The Gravel, Mere Brow, PR4 6JX. Price is £4 per adult, children go free. Friday, June 6, to Sunday, June 8 Chorley Carnival The weekend’s events kick off with a ‘70s Cabaret night in the marquee with Eurovision winners Brotherhood of Man. Saturday will see the Big Parade through the streets making its way to Astley Park. On the park there will be a huge Fun Fair, Catering facilities, Trade Stands, craft fair and demonstrations. Saturday night is live band night featuring Red Moon Jo plus others. Sunday will feature all the same show-ground attractions plus a mystery TV celebrity. Astley Park

Until June 30

Roy Stuart Clarke: The Northern League The latest exhibition from the Homes of Football collection by Stuart Roy Clarke features the players and fans of the Northern League. Commissioned to celebrate the league’s 125th year, Clarke travelled between the league’s two divisions and 45 clubs. His photographs capture the spirit and dedication that survives in amateur football, at the 10th tier of the English game. A film about Stuart’s work will accompany the exhibition in the Hall of Fame, daily at 2pm. National Football Museum, Urbis Building, Cathedral Gardens, Manchester, M4 3BG. Call 0161 6058200. Free entry, open daily. Friday, July 4, to Sunday, July 6 The Northern Home Show Held at Manchester Central, it’s the perfect place to find the right products and services to create your dream home. If you’re keen to learn a new skill then the DIY Workshops should be your first port of call. The show’s workshops are ideal for anyone wanting to learn how to tackle DIY projects around the home as well as learning preventative maintenance skills. Manchester Central, Windmill Street, M2 3GX. Tickets are only £8 per person on the door and children under 16 go free. For more information and advance tickets, visit


Garden Diary - by Angie Barker

Small really can be beautiful I often receive calls from clients who start off by apologising about the small size of their garden and asking whether it would be too small for my input. So many of us these days have a small garden but that doesn’t matter – any outside space is a wonderful addition to a home which is why we should make the most of every inch of space and make our gardens attractive, as well as practical, outdoor rooms. Small gardens do need extra consideration however and here a few pointers when thinking about the design of a small space: First of all decide what style you are going for and stick to that theme. For example should you want a contemporary garden, choose plants which will complete the look – Phormiums and Bamboos for example. A courtyard garden should use Buxus sempervirens (Box) hedges and topiary.

in the design whereas a more traditional style can use sweeping curves Don’t try to cram too much into a small space – less is more! Plants need to earn their keep so choose specimens which have long seasons of interest and a good balance of evergreens. Also limit your colour palette because too many colours in a small garden will make the borders appear cluttered If your garden is shady make the bold decision to remove the lawn as it will always struggle. There is a fantastic range of paving products available now and small cobble setts really suit a small garden You should incorporate a focal point and a large pot – unplanted – can do the trick perfectly. Similarly a bird bath, sun dial or sculpture Use the walls and fences to grow climbers which will green up the space and make it feel larger There are lots of clever storage solutions available these days and screening solutions to hide away those dreaded wheelie bins. Your garden wants to be a relaxing haven so you don’t want to be sat looking at the compost heap! I’m always telling Hubby that the best things come in small packages – he is not very tall at 5 feet 8 inches – but what there is of him is perfectly designed !

A contemporary scheme should use straight lines

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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Call Angie now for your free consultation! Author: Angie Barker Dip GD (Inst GD) BA (Hons) Garden Design For All Seasons Tel: 01942 522 405 Mob: 07857 008 383

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Garden Services

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Family Tickets

to WWT Martin Mere!

This popular Wetland Centre near Burscough is where wilderness and family-friendliness combine. Enjoy each season, from its award-winning Downy Duckling Experience in the spring to thousands of wintering Whooper swans at the enchanting Swan Spectacular.


Stroll along the peaceful nature trail or take to the water on a Canoe Safari or guided boat tour for some amazing natural encounters. Watch birds from the comfort of the hides, discover mini-beasts at the pond zones, meet the family of otters, see flamingos, splash and dash in the adventure play area and explore the new interactive wetland wildlife exhibit ‘WoW’, is it Weird or Wonderful? You’ll be amazed at how close you can get to fantastic wetland wildlife. To celebrate new life emerging, WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre is holding its annual Downy Duckling Week from Saturday, May 24, to Sunday, June 1. Join in with this award winning egg-to-duckling experience. Take part in fascinating ‘candling’ workshops (where a light is used to look inside an egg), watch chipping eggs in anticipation and meet the newlyhatched fluffy ducklings in the nursery. The event is taking place between 11am and 4pm and included in the normal admission price or free to WWT members. For more information on events and activities taking place at Martin Mere visit or call 01704 895181. Martin Mere is open every day (except Christmas Day) from 9.30am to 6pm during the summer months and 9.30am to 4.30pm in the winter and car parking is free. The centre is situated off the A59, signposted from the M61 (J8), M58 (J3) and M6 (J27), and is also accessible via the Southport to Manchester and the Liverpool to Preston lines by train from Burscough rail stations.

To be in with a chance, simply complete the crossword and return your entry to Local Life 247 Ltd Unit 8, Hewitt Business Park Winstanley Road Orrell Wigan WN5 7XB

So, as you can see, spring is a special time of year at Martin Mere, and Local Life has got its hands on eight family tickets worth over £250 to be won in this month’s competition!

Across 1. Running 24th May to 1st June is the Downy _ Experience 3. Take to water with the _ Safari 5. Famously leggy pink bird 6. Martin Mere is close to the village of _

Down 2. Name of Workshop where you can look in an egg 4. New WoW exhibit stands for Weird or _

Or simply email your answers, along with your name, address, postcode and contact number, to crossword@

Name ....................................................................................................

Your entry must be with us by 5pm on Friday, May 30. Pictures of the lucky winners will appear in a future edition of Local Life.


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.


Test Drive - by Tim Barnes-Clay

CHEVROLET The Trax went on sale in August 2013 and can be yours for as little as £15,495. It’s the newest addition to the Chevrolet family and is available with a diesel or petrol engine. You can also choose to have two-wheel or all-wheel-drive (AWD). I decided to get behind the wheel of the 1.4T AWD LT. At £19,795 this variant is straying away from the ‘affordable’ price-tag, but with 138 horses and a turbocharger under the bonnet, it’s one of best in the Trax line-up. So what is it? Well, it’s cast in the style of a small Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) but without the


archetypal running costs. It all sounds a bit ‘Mickey Mouse’, but you’re in good hands if you buy a Trax. You see, Chevrolet lays claim to inventing the first ever SUV with the introduction of the Carryall Suburban in 1935. Today, nearly 80 years later, the Trax is the modern expression of the company. Yes, it’s got SUV in its DNA, but with a big twist of funkiness to boot. Conveying brawniness, and agility, the Trax looks good. A grille featuring the iconic Chevrolet bowtie logo, prominent wheel arches, powerfully built rear haunches, and a fast, rearward-swept roofline are key elements that define the car’s exterior. The cabin is also well turned-out. It’s practical, wellorganised and characterised by sinuous lines. The rear seat row even boasts an electrical socket that can be used for recharging laptops and other electronic devices without the need for an adapter.



Storage facilities are abundant too. Compartments include an under-seat storage tray and two glove boxes, one of which contains a USB outlet that enables connectivity for your iPod or smart phone.


Max speed: 121mph

The Trax’s boot space isn’t massive because, let’s face it, this car is a compact vehicle. That said, it does a lot with what it’s got. Without a spare tyre, there’s more room available under the cargo floor. It comes in handy for storing items securely – but not so convenient if you get a puncture and have to use the do-it-yourself repair kit, which comes in lieu of the emergency wheel.

0-62 mph: 9.8secs

Combined mpg: 44.1

Engine: 1364 cc 4 cylinder 16 valve turbo petrol

Max. power (bhp): 138 at 6000 rpm

Max. torque (Ib/ft): 147 at 1850 rpm

CO2: 94 g/km

Driving the Trax is a pleasure. It’s been tuned to deliver European driving dynamics and the car flies its own kite when it comes to sophisticated electronic aid systems. The car I drove came fitted with a six speed manual gearbox and petrol saving Stop/Start functionality. 0-62mph is achieved in 9.8 seconds and the top speed is 121mph.

Price: £19,795 on the road

The AWD system adapts to the road conditions and notably improves traction on slippery or gravelled roads. That’s a big bonus if you live in the countryside or you want a car that won’t give up the moment winter kicks in. The strength of its structural design makes the Trax very safe. Should the worst happen and the car rolls over, it’s been engineered to carry more than four times its own weight. What’s more, the Chevy is equipped with Hill Start Assist and Hill Descent Control. Customary kit also includes Electronic Stability Control, Traction Control

and Anti-Lock Brakes. Six airbags and ISOFX anchoring systems for children’s safety seats are equally part of the standard safety features onboard the Chevrolet Trax.


© M93 / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0 (DE)

Motoring Services

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Save £££’s on repairs, servicing and diagnostics at Wigan’s leading independent BMW & Mini Specialist. We can do repairs and services at a fraction of the cost of a main dealer, using the latest BMW & Mini diagnostic software. Our staff have over 40 years experience at the Northwest’s largest BMW dealership. Other makes and models welcome too.

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Ian Martland

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Create your Dream Home today… Our Master Craftsman Derek and his friendly team will help you create your dream home. All aspects of decorating - from simple painting or wallpapering to complex murals. 50 years wallpapering expertise. 100% satisfaction guaranteed. Call Derek today for a free consultation & quote

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Need a new look for your home?

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

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Lady Decorator


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Contact us today for more information 36 Broad Oak Road, St Helens, WA9 2EL

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Arley Cabinet Company Ltd • Kitchens & Bedrooms since 1952 •

We measure we make we fit and have done for 60 years. Visit our showroom or call us today for a FREE estimate

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tel: 01942 246190

plasterer All aspects of plastering undertaken Re-skims Dot & dab Rendering 2 coat work Unwanted artex Domestic & Commercial work welcomed Quality work guaranteed 10 years experience

For a free quote, call Ian Ridley on

01942 218 160 or 07958 695 116 Orrell-based


Great Value Bathrooms!

Full Bathrooms & En-Suites Showers, Trays & Cubicles Relocation of Bathroom Suites 25 years bathroom experience Call Chris now for a free quotation

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Boiler Installations

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Re-Wires Additional Sockets / Lights Home Safety Tests Fuse Board Upgrades all! Security Lighting Sm o o Alarms T Job CCTV No


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Fascias & Gutters


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Conservatories Call Paul at PH Profiles now!


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Fix my conservatory!

• Misted/broken panels replaced • Leaks solved and sealed • Conservatory roof replacements • Warm roof upgrades

Specialists in Replacement Double Glazed Units

Call Mark now for a free quote

01942 737381 (office) 07763 151720 (direct)

Ring with sizes for FREE estimate

Open 7 days 8am - 8pm Established Local Family Company

01942 470 085 / 0800 328 8573


Advertise here

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

Call Ian on or

For more information please phone

01695 627 999

Call Ian on

01942 517703 or 07702 801809

we make it our business to help yours

‘Excellence in Customer Service’ – Winner


7703 01942 51 09 18 07702 80

Need thing somed? move

COMPUTER PROBLEMS? Broadband broken, computer slow, printer packed up, virus/spyware or your keyboards gone kaput

Bodtree Systems fix all types of PC problems in the comfort of your own home

Call Catherine Now 07540 222787

• WILSON BROS • Est. 1985

Roofing & Roofline Specialists • All aspects of maintenance & repair

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

• Fascia & soffit installation • Guttering and felting services Call us now for a free estimate

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


01695 627 212 MOBILE: 07774 943 706

52 HALLBRIDGE GARDENS, UP HOLLAND Established Over 30 Years

Puzzle Corner - Solutions The picture on page 44 is of Sandy Lane, Orrell from its junction with St James Road, taken around 1900.


Restore your bathroyo! m to its former glor At a fraction of the price of a new bathroom After


• Grubby Grout Returned to Ice White • No More Scrubbing at Mouldy Silicone • Tiles Polished to Perfection • Screens Returned to Crystal Clear • Give Your Bathroom the “Wow” Factor with a Mini-Makeover • Experts in Baths or Shower Cubicle Restoration

Useful Numbers

Call Now for Information & Your Quick Pack Quote

sponsored by Total Bathroom Restoration

Medical Pemberton PCT Clinic Concourse Walk-in Centre Bradshaw Street Surgery Church Street Surgery Hall Green Surgery Holmes House Avenue Surgery Hall Green Clinic Orrell Clinic Matthew Ryder Clinic Wigan Family Chiropractic Clinic Wigan Infirmary Ormskirk Hospital NHS Direct 

01942 775 820 01695 588 640 01942 222 336 01695 622 982 01695 622 268 01942 483 213 01695 622 781 01942 775 750 01695 624 042 01942 498 480 01942 244 000 01695 577 111 08 454 647

Dentists Moor Road Dentist Church Street Dentist Tower Hill Dentist Hall Green Dentist St Raphael’s Dentist Emergency Dental Repairs

01942 215 091 01695 625 565 01695 622 410 01695 622 066 01695 627 617 01695 623 334

Police Greater Manchester Police GMP Local Policing Team Skelmersdale Police Station Up Holland Police Team

101 0161 856 7188 01695 566 134 0845 1253 545


01942 375 201 0800 988 7778

Council and Councillors (Wigan) Wigan Council Cllr Ready (Orrell & Billinge) Cllr Arrowsmith (Orrell & Billinge) Cllr Murphy (Orrell and Billinge) Cllr Kenny (Winstanley) Cllr Morgan (Winstanley)

01942 487 675 01942 486 859 01942 487 688 01942 487 677 01942 486 880

Council and Councillors (West Lancashire) West Lancashire Borough Council 01695 577 177 Cllr Moran (Up Holland) 01695 550 256 Cllr Owen (Up Holland) 07908 800 550 County Cllr Fillis (Up Holland) 07811 388 153 Cllr Baybutt (Roby Mill) 01257 255501 Cllr Evans (Roby Mill) 01695 624 683 Libraries Hope Community Library Lamberhead Green Library Up Holland Library

01942 777 545 01942 705 060 01695 622 368

Local Life Magazine Advertising & Editorial Accounts & Distribution

01257 498329 01695 627 999

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 Supply only service available

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 665 270 0774 876 7845 or 0770 221 8867


Crows Nest, Ashton Road, Billinge, WN5 7XX (Near Windy Arbour)

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

Local Life - Wigan West - May/Jun 2014  

Lancashire's FREE local magazine

Local Life - Wigan West - May/Jun 2014  

Lancashire's FREE local magazine