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Courier The WIGAN

Merry Christmas and a Happy 2013 from us all at the Courier email: info@courier-online.net

Food Festival is back on the menu Wigan companies step in to guarantee landmark event

Wigan’s Good News Paper

December 18th 2012

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Issue no 211

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WIGAN'S CULINARY showpiece is back on thanks to the support of local businesses!

The 2013 Wigan Food and Drink Festival was threatened with the axe as a result of funding pressures. However, following a media announcement in November three local food industry companies have come to the event's rescue.

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Sponsors of the 2013 Wigan Food and Drink Festival are pictured together at Haigh Hall with a celebratory pie: left to right Chief Executive of Poole's Pies, Neil Court-Johnston, Mark Holmes, Executive Chef MetroFresh, Euromark Managing Director - Shaun Luck, Mark Ashley - Managing Director Standish Media Services, David Young, Manager of Sharpy's Fish and Chip Restaurant, Charles Graham - News Editor, Lancashire Publications, and Michelle Gray, Marketing Manager, Euromark.

Wigan's famous Poole's Pies and curry producers, Patak's will join a number of other local businesses as sponsors of the twoweek food and drink bonanza. Other sponsors who have come forward with support include

Metrofresh, Wigan Town Centre Management, Ellsey's and Co, the Grand Arcade, Sharpy's Fish and Chip Restaurant, the Wigan Observer and the Wigan Courier. Euromark Managing Director, Shaun Luck, said: "We have known of the Wigan Food and Drink Festival for a number of years, and we are aware of the contribution it makes to Wigan. So we couldn't see it finish. "This festival will give us the chance to support local businesses and the community to shine a spotlight on local restaurants, talented chefs, suppliers and producers in a genuine celebration of what is good about Wigan Borough's food and drink industry. “We're exceptionally honoured to be involved in serving up what we hope will be a delicious festival!" Chief Executive of Poole's Pies, Neil CourtJohnston, agreed. He said: "The Wigan Food and Drink Festival is probably the largest event that the borough now puts on, and attracts over 40,000 people each year, contributing more than £250,000 to the local food and drink sector. We didn't want to see an event of this value lost." Gary Brookes, General Manager of Leigh based AB World Foods, producers of Patak's spices and indian food

products, added: "Not only does it prove that there is interest in food and drink locally, but it also shows that there is a real pride and passion in Wigan's food heritage. We share that, and that's why we wanted to help it happen next year." Thanks to the new funding, the 10 day treat will take place for its sixth year from Thursday 28 February to Sunday 10 March. The theme of 2013 will be "Lancashire on a Plate" and organisers at Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust are promising a bigger and better programme of events. WLCT’s Festival Organiser, Keith Bergman, said he was thrilled to have the event back on. "Everyone at the Trust was disappointed to have to cancel the event. So much hard work has gone into establishing the Festival as one of the largest and most popular in the region. It was heartwarming to receive emails and posts on social media and in print all supporting the Festival and wanting us to find a way of getting it back on. "Thanks to the generosity of our new business partners and our existing sponsors, we are pleased to say that we will once again, be cooking up a treat for the people of Wigan next March." The full programme will be announced in January.

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Food and Drink celebrations to go ahead THE WIGAN COURIER - WIGAN’S ONLY FREE NEWSPAPER THAT COVERS LOCAL SPORT

Courier

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MARK ASHLEY smacks his lips at the thought of the 2013 Festival going ahead... WE'RE not ones for publishing bad news in the Wigan Courier as people know.

Excellently organised by the Trust in association with private sector partners, the Festival has been extremely popular since it was introduced in 2007. But the amount of support from private sector sponsors had reduced by £10,000 in 2012, which meant that the festival was goosed.

But the announcement a month or so back that Wigan’s annual Food and Drink Festival would not take place in 2013 due to a lack of sponsorship and financial cutbacks saddened us, and led to a determination to support Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust's promise to review the prospects for the festival by being the first local company to pledge sponsorship for a revived Festival in 2013.

Lisa Nandy

MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT FOR WIGAN Lisa will be holding Advice Centres by appointment for constituents on the following dates From January to May 2013

14th January

Wigan Town Hall, Library Street, Wigan

1st February

Ince Clinic & Community Centre, Manchester Road, Ince, Wigan

11th February

Wigan Town Hall, Library Street, Wigan

22nd February

Shevington Children’s Centre, Shevington Community Primary School, Miles Lane, Shevington, Wigan

4th March

Wigan Town Hall, Library Street, Wigan

15th March

St Cuthbert’s Primary School, Thorburn Road, Norley Hall, Wigan

22nd March

Beech Hill Children’s Centre, Beech Hill Avenue, Beech Hill, Wigan

8th April

Wigan Town Hall, Library Street, Wigan

12th April

Lamberhead Green Library, Abraham Guest High School Specialist Sports & Arts College, Greenhey, Orrell, Wigan

26th April

Aspull Civic Hall, Woods Road, Aspull, Wigan

17th May

Standish Library, Cross Street, Standish, Wigan

20th May

Wigan Town Hall, Library Street, Wigan

know only too well the quality of local food produced and served in the Borough by a multitude of local producers and pubs and restaurants." "The Festival is a showcase of just how good a place Wigan is - a Borough that can produce the variety and quality of A spokesperson for foods and meals and drinks WLCT spelt out the that we can is also a serious situation : “It is an contender for firms looking extremely difficult to relocate or start up, or financial environment for organisations looking to everyone at the moment, hold events, meetings or including ourselves, and conferences, and a damn we are not in a position to good place to live." cover this shortfall or offer " This is the town that the same amount of produces Uncle Joe's financial support as in Mintballs, Allgate and previous years. Prospect real ales, Poole's “WLCT are extremely Pies, Ellseys Vinegars, and proud of this festival, that has eating establishments we introduced in 2007 and Managing Director of Poole’s Pies Neil Court-Johnson and like The Crown at which has since developed Worthington, the White into one of the region's Wigan Food and Drink Festival organiser Keith Bergman Crow at Worthington, pictured with a selection of Poole’s finest.... largest.” Gallimore's in Wigan, The An estimated 40,000 Beeches in Standish, people experienced the event this year, and more than £300,000 Ashfield House in Standish, Franco's in Wigan, Standish Tandoori, Casa was spent in the local food and drink sector during the 10 days Carlos in Wigan, La Mama in Standish, and many more." of the Festival. " We hope that other Wigan businesses will want to help get the Festival The Wigan Food and Drink Festival sets out to prove there’s back up and running, and support the hard work of the Trust in flying the much more to the borough’s cuisine than our traditional flag for our Borough." magnificent pies. Top names from the world of food to have "And if this doesn't get me a free pie from Poole's, I'll eat my hat....." appeared in previous years include Antony Worrall Thompson, PIENOTE: following the press call at Haigh Hall the MD of Poole’s Aldo Zilli and Simon Rimmer. In 2010 it was named as one of Pies, Neil Court-Johnson, generously supplied me with a couple of the World’s Best Local Festivals by the Guardian Travel samples of his new line, the Chicken Methi pie, which were devoured supplement. Making the pledge of sponsorship, Wigan Courier publisher within hours. Verdict - absolutely moorish, a superb curry pie that Mark Ashley said: "I am a fully committed pie eater, and whilst really hits the spot, especially on a cold winter’s day. Pooles is also I am never happier than when tucking into one of Poole's finest, launching a Chicken Desi pie to further satisfy the burdgeoning curry or secretly preparing my own version of the Wigan Kebab, I pie market. Marvellous.

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Wiganers urged to choose well

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Courier

WITH twelve per cent of Wiganers admitting to have used A&E when they knew they didn’t need to, local hospitals are asking the public to think twice before they dial 999 this winter.

Dr Tim Dalton, local GP and Chair of Wigan Borough Clinical Commissioning Group (WBCCG) told the Courier: “We know that over the winter, the number of serious and life-threatening cases will go up if temperatures fall below 12 degrees celsius. That’s people with breathing problems, strokes and heart-attacks caused by the cold weather. What we don’t need at such a busy time, are people calling 999, turning up at A&E at the Royal Albert Edward or going to their GP when they don’t need to be there.

THE WIGAN COURIER - WIGAN’S ONLY FREE NEWSPAPER THAT COVERS LOCAL SPORT

“It’s not just A&E and 999 teams who feel GPs and the pressure over winter. community nursing teams are a vital part of the care needed by people who return home after having suffering a life-threatening emergency.” The Choose Well campaign aims to educate and inform people about the different NHS services available to them. It promotes self-care and the use of local high-street pharmacy for common complaints such as coughs and colds, flu, stomach upsets and general aches and pains. The campaign has been developed by NHS teams and has been growing in the past couple of years. Over the winter months information will be distributed by NHS teams throughout the community, and promoted via social media. Dr Dalton added: “Most common complaints will begin to get better within a couple of days. We know that people can sometimes get confused about which NHS

service to use. But going to A&E because your toe-nails need cutting, calling 999 because of period pain or going to your GP with a common cold? “The NHS carried out a quick on-line survey over the summer and 94 per cent of those who answered said that people should do more to self-care for common complaints, such as coughs, colds etc. “We are working with the National Self Care Forum, the Royal College of GPs and the National Pharmacy Association to try and get this important message across”. Advice and information about a range of common winter health complaints, including how long symptoms will last and how to relieve symptoms is available from NHS Choices at www.nhs.uk. You’ll find an easy to use symptom checker, can search for your local services and use the interactive First Aid toolkit. A mobile phone friendly weblink is also available at http://bit.ly/nhsnwQ

Help for Heroes charity donation

EACH year the Captain and Lady Captain of Gathurst Golf Club in Shevington choose a Charity that they wish to support during their term of office and for 2012 this was Help for Heroes and the total money raised was £6,300. The money was raised through a variety of social events throughout the year, including barbecues, dinner dances, Summer Ball, Sportsmans Evening and raffles to name but a few.

Gathurst member, Steve Gaskell and his partner Diane Rimmer-Phillips also raised money by doing a bike ride from John O Groats to Lands End, pedalling approximately 80 miles per day, travelling a total of 955 miles. Our photographs shows Diane Rimmer-Phillips, Captain Peter Davies, Dave Roberts (Help for Heroes volunteer), Lady Captain Angela Hurst and Steve Gaskell.

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Haigh market success

HAIGH Country Park’s first Christmas Market was a huge success, with more than 200 people visiting the market. Wigan’s Mayor, Cllr Myra Whiteside was on hand to formally switch on the Christmas lights.


Courier

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Wishing all our customers and readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

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Wigan band through to regional finals of battle of the blues The UK-wide talent search has reached its second stage and the band is hoping to get through to the London final in March. The regional stage of the competition will take place at the True Blues Club, Newton-le-Willows on January 11th as the acts go head to head in a heat to find Britain’s best unsigned and original Blues artists.

WIGAN

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Tuesday 8th January

News in Brief

Deadline for advertisers: Monday 7th January 3pm

WHY not get “Wrapped up” for Christmas? Wigan Rotary Club has joined forces with soul singer AJ Brown and Wigan’s very own music man Ian Darrington, to make a Christmas song in aid of charity, End Polio Now.

All funds raised by AJ Brown’s Christmas single, Wrapped up, will go towards the charity’s campaign, Polio Plus Campaign. You can download the song via the Rotary’s website www.wiganrotary.org.uk

CHILDREN with hearing impairments will benefit from investment in new equipment following a generous donation to the borough’s Children’s Audiology Service.

Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Trust (Bridgewater) has been able to buy a range of new specialist equipment after a generous individual left more than £40,000 in their will to support services for the hearing impaired.

The investment has allowed the service to extend access to hearing aid clinics to Leigh Health Centre and upgrade the equipment used in clinics at Worsley Mesnes Health Centre.

WIGAN band The Brandon Lee Webb have been chosen as one of six blues acts from across the region to compete in the North West heat of The New Brunswick Battle of the Blues.

The winners of the five UK heats and a ‘judges choice’ will compete to be the overall winner of the competition and will be flown out on an all-expenses paid trip to New Brunswick, Canada, to perform on the main stage at the province’s great Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival in September 2013. For more information about the province of New Brunswick, the North West heat and how to attend on

MP wants to give dogs a paw-fect Christmas

ANIMAL-LOVING MPs attended an dog, especially during the festive season. Fovargue MP said: “Dog’s make wonderful event in Westminster organised by andYvonne loving pets and in return they need responsible Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog owners who understand the needs of the dog and can welfare charity, to raise awareness of its provide a loving home for the long term. purchases can “Impulse annual Christmas responsible dog undermine campaign. ownership and the Dog’s Trust is The event aimed to right to highlight this issue as we highlight the famous approach Christmas.” Dogs Trust slogan; “A Laura Vallance, Public Affairs Dog is for Life, Not Just Manager at Dogs Trust said: “We are really pleased to be raising for Christmas” in a bid to awareness about this important combat the problem of issue in Westminster. It is vital that dogs being given as gifts dog ownership is seen as a longat Christmas only to be term commitment and not just an later abandoned in impulse buy, especially at January. Christmas time. We see an influx of The event gave attendees dogs being handed in to our the opportunity to open a rehoming centres over the window on the charity’s ‘12 Christmas period and we aim to Strays of Christmas’ advent curb this problem by educating calendar and learn more about its campaign to MP Yvonne warns Wiganers a Dog people on responsible dog ownership and the potential risk of encourage people to think is for Life, Not Just for Christmas buying pets online on an impulse.” carefully before taking on a

Kidz 4 Kidz raise money for Children in Need

LOCAL charity, Kidz 4 Kidz Charity Productions presented their new production, Park Life, to raise

money for BBC Children in Need charity.

THE Brick Project is appealing to Park Life Production, about a day in the park and all the people who go there through the day, included Wiganers to help collect food for the songs, dances and short drama sketches. Vimto kindly donated more than 300 bottles for Kidz 4 Kidz Charity to sell as refreshments, a hamper and some homeless.

Based in the centre of Wigan The Brick project has seen a large increase in the demand for food parcels. The food is available by referral only.

Each food parcel consists of three days food and toiletries. The Brick welcomes assistance to stand outside shops to collect food by arrangement with the shop; or to have a collecting box in your Church, school or workplace to encourage people to donate an extra item each week from their shopping. If you can help to collect food or you are an Agency that would like to use The Brick’s referral system,

lollypops, which are given out to children who watched the show. The total raised for Children in Need is not finalised. Pictured are members of the Kidz 4 Kidz Production Charity in costume holding a sign saying Thank You Vimto. For more information visit www.freewebs.com/kidzcharity

please contact by emailing enquiries@thebrick.org.uk

WIGAN Life Centre was awarded the North West regional award for Conservation and Town Centre Regeneration by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI). RTPI is the largest planning institute in Europe with more than 23,000 members to its name, and is responsible for maintaining professional standards and advancing the science and art of town, country and spatial planning.

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the night, visit www.tourismnewbrunswick.co.uk or www.truebluesclub.com. To follow the progress of the competition, go to www.facebook.com/NewBrunswickBattleoftheBlues Pictured are Wigan band The Brandon Lee Webb

Cllrs George & Gareth Fairhurst Standish Independents 3 Woodland Drive Standish Wigan To all Standish residents, On behalf of Cllrs George and Gareth Fairhurst we would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Yours Cllr George Fairhurst Cllr Gareth Fairhurst

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Care home raise funds for Alder Hey

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RESIDENTS at Lakeside Care home, Worthington, have donated items to the Alder Hey Hospital’s imgaine Appeal this year.

Irene Axon from Alder Hey was amazed and thrilled with the quantity and variety of items we donated.

Wigan man’s Blood donation history appeal sessions

The photograph shows residents with the donations given to Alder Hey.

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MARK Gaskell, of Bolton, is appealing TWO blood donation sessions are to Wiganers to share their WW2 taking place on Thursday 27 December 2012 at St Wilfrid‘s Parish Hall, memories. If you have any memories, information, Church Street, Standish from 10amphotographs, artefacts of the following WW2 sites: 12.30pm and 2pm- 4pm. Ministry of Supply ICI ammunition factory at Bradley Hall, Standish, Royal Ordnance Factory at Beech Hill, No 50 Prison of War Camp at Ashton in Makerfield, Mark wants to know.

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Both new and regular donors can make an appointment to donate, or to find out more information about giving blood, by calling 0300 123 23 23 or by visiting www.blood.co.uk

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THE WIGAN COURIER - WIGAN’S ONLY FREE NEWSPAPER THAT COVERS LOCAL SPORT

Church Chatter... Courier

help people take time to gather their thoughts about the people they as well as love themselves. It contained different sections, in which people could experience different created by groups from within emotions by doing a the church. range of activities which were fun and t h o u g h t provoking. Once they had been around the maze, guests had the opportunity to enjoy delicious mince pies and wine mulled while listening to a variety of music from, Wigan Youth Brass A quiet room was also set up for Band, Trinity people to gather their thoughts URC’s Choir and Aimée. The More than 200 people walked guests also had the through a fantastic maze, to opportunity to hear a preview of the upcoming production of Joseph and the amazing Technicolor

Christmas Experience at Trinity URC By Hannah Parker

TRINITY URC, Wigan, played host to a magical Christmas on Experience 8th Saturday December.

The festival raised more than £800 for homeless chairties, Swap, The Brick, and Shelter. There was certainly a lot to see to get you into the

Christmas decoration where placed around the church to make a christmas maze

Christmas spirit whilst reflecting on the year of 2012 and the world around us.

New members for St. Peter’s choir The church was filled with dozens of wonderfully decorated Christmas trees, each

Dreamcoat by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, performed by Trinity Players. The show will take place on 22nd- 23rd March 2013 and all our welcome! The church was filled with numerous stalls selling crafts and homemade goods. An interactive prayer was space created by Christine Grundy, the Church Family worker, with different elements to offer thanks, prayers and take communion. Thank you to Christine church family the worker, the Reverend Chris Parker, Jenny and Angela for creating such a successful event which truly captured the spirit of Christmas. Trinity URC is holding a candle-lit carol service at 6pm on Sunday 23rd December following the morning nativity service.

Messy Church at St. Luke’s

Christmas services in Standish

After many years of the nation struggling to maintain church choirs, St. Peter’s celebrated the presence of eight young girls and boys into their numbers. These children have been attending practices for eight

weeks and, helped by many members of the adult choir, learned songs, hymns, basic musical notation and knowledge about singing in a church choir, before being presented to the Vicar, Revd. Stephen Mather, who led a short formal service of membership. Dressed in their new Albs, the young people proudly joined the adults to take part in singing their first service and sang their first short anthem to a captivated and packed congregation which included parents, grandparents, baptism families in addition to the usual Sunday Congregation. Pictured are the new members of the choir at the membership service.

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THE Parish of Our Lady of the Annunciation, Standish, and St Bernadette’s, Shevington, held a Parish Mission, from Thursday November 29 to Saturday December 1.

Led by David Payne the Director of Catholic Faith Exploration (CaFE), The Mission uses a wide variety of modern and attractive DVD resources.

David is a well known and entertaining retreat giver and a Catholic film producer, and was accompanied by Steve Murray, international mime artist and inspirational speaker. Daytime and evening sessions took place on Thursday and Friday, involving all sections of the parish community, including sessions for schoolchildren at St Marie’s and St Bernadette’s during Friday. On Saturday, there was a Parish Retreat Day, which included Mass at St Marie’s, two further sessions and lunch. Each session included testimony, mime, DVD clips, refreshments, times for prayerful reflection and lots of laughs. CaFE is based in the Westminster Archdiocese, where it produces TV quality DVD resources for parishes and schools. For more information about CaFE, visit www.faithcafe.org

Christmas Services in Orrell

ST. LUKE’S Church, Orrell, will be holding its third Messy Church event, on Friday 18th January 2013, in the church hall on Lodge Road at 4.30pm Bispham Methodist Church to 6.30pm. Upholland Road, Billinge: 01695 628033

Now its third event, the Messy Church programme has proved to be to be a great success. Everyone is welcome, children must be accompanied by an adult. If you want to experience an alternative way of doing church, go to Messy Church. For further details phone 01695 623 410 or email st.luke.orrell@btinternet.com

ST. PETER’S Church, Hindley, have welcomed eight new additions to their choir.

Parish Mission at St. Marie’s and St Bernadette

Churches together in Standish Christmas Eve: 11am: Carol singing around the village 2.30pm: Crib Service at St. Wilfrid’s 6pm: Short family service at Standish Methodist 7pm Christmas mass at St. Marie’s 9pm: Christmas mass at St. Bernadette’s 11.30pm: Midnight Eucharist at St. Wilfrid’s 12 midnight: Midnight mass at St. Marie’s Christmas Day: 8am: Holy Communion at St. Wilfrid’s 9am: Christmas mass at St. Bernadette’s 10am: Parish communion at St. Wilfrid’s 10.30am: Christmas Mass at St. Marie’s 11am: Family Service at Standish Methodist New Year’s Eve: 11.30pm: Watchnight Service at Standish Methodist

New Christmas Eve service at All Saints’

ALL Saints’ Church, Appley Bridge, is hosting a new Christmas Eve service, ‘Waiting for Jesus.’

The service, led by the Rev. David Banbury, starts at 4pm and lasts forty minutes.

The family service will share the excitement and anticipation of Christmas Eve, and will feature a lighthearted side with some games and a few surprises. For more details visit. www.allsaintschurch.co.uk

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Christmas Eve Communion: 11pm Christmas Day Service: 10.45am Orrell Methodist Church Church Drive, Orrell: 01695 628033 Sunday December 23rd Carol Service: 10.45am Christmas Eve Communion: 6pm Orrell Post Church Church Drive, Orrell: 01695 628033 Christmas Day Service 11am Salem United Reformed Church Church Street, Orrell: 01257 421457 Sunday December 23rd Carol Service: 2.30pm Christmas Day Meditation: 10am St. James’ Roman Catholic Church St. James’ Road, Orrell: 01695 622476 Christmas Eve Carols: 7pm Mass: 7.30pm Christmas Day Mass: 8.30am and 10.30am St. Luke Church of England Lodge Road, Orrell: 01695 623410 Christmas Eve Communion: 11.30pm Christmas Day Communion: 8am & 10am

Christmas at Jireh Baptist Church

JIREH Baptist Church, Orrell, will be hosting two carol services on Sunday December 23rd.

A family carol service will take place at the church at 10.45am and an evening carol service will take place at 6pm. The Christmas Day service will be at 10.30am. Everyone is welcome to all services.

Any new from your church for our readers? - contact Hannah Smith on info@courier-online.net, or find us on Facebook - Wigan Courier


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HELEN and STUART BIRCH would like to thank all their customers for their support during a very difficult year for the family, and wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year

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SPICY CHICKEN GOUJONS

£5.25

Chicken fillet in a homemade spicy batter deep fried and served with green salad garnished with mayo.

BLACK PUDDING, BACON & CHEESE £4.95

Slices of black pudding topped with chopped bacon and cheddar cheese, served with green salad garnish.

PATE

£3.95

HOMEMADE SOUP

£3.95

PRAWNS MARIE ROSE

£5.25

Smooth liver pate served with crusty baguette and green salad garnish

Chef’s homemade soup served with a warm bread roll.

Top Quality Greenland prawns served over green salad with Marie Rose Sauce and a toasted baguette.

SPICY CHICKEN GOUJONS

£5.25

Chicken fillet in a homemade spicy batter deep fried and served with green salad garnished with mayo.

BLACK PUDDING BACON & CHEESE £4.95

Slices of black pudding topped with chopped bacon and cheddar cheese, served with green salad garnish.

PATE

£3.95

Smooth liver pate served with crusty baguette and green salad garnish

TRADITIONAL

BEEF IN ALE PIE

£8.95

Homemade with British diced beef in a rich stout gravy, topped with puff pastry served with your choice of new potatoes, chips and vegetables of the day.

CUMBERLAND SAUSAGE RING & EGG £8.95

Hand made Cumberland ring topped with a free range fried egg, served with chips and vegetables of the day.

LAMB AND MINT SUET PUDDING £8.95

Diced lamb and mint gravy in a shortcrust suet pastry, served with mashed potatoes, vegetables of the day and homemade mint gravy.

FILLED YORKSHIRE PUDDING

£8.95

5” Yorkshire pudding filled with our homemade beef in ale, served with chips or new potatoes and vegetables of the day.

BRAISED STEAK

£9.95

Home braised prime steak with a rich red wine gravy. Served with new potatoes or chips and vegetables of the day.

SIGNATURE DISHES

ABERDEEN ANGUS CHEESE BURGER £8.95 Exactly the same as above but topped with cheddar cheese.

WHITE CROW MIXED GRILL £17.95

CHARGRILLED CHICKEN BURGER £8.95 Chargrilled chicken fillet breast garnished with shredded iceberg lettuce served on a white bread bap with chips and a green salad garnish.

GAMMON’S A FIRE

All our steaks are chargrilled and everything from the grill is served with your choice of chips or new potatoes, plus vegetables of the day or salad garnish.

A mixed grill consisting of a 4oz rump steak, a 4 oz gammon steak, half a chicken breast, 2 sausages, 2 slices of black pudding and a free range fried egg accompanied with a tomato, onion rings, mushrooms, chips and garden peas.

£9.95

Fresh gammon steak topped with our home made hot Chilli Con Carne & melted spicey cheese, served with chips & vegetables of the day.

HUNTER’S CHICKEN

£9.25

Chicken fillet topped with bacon, BBQ sauce and melted cheese, served with a choice of chips or new potatoes and vegetables of the day

PEPPERED CUMBERLAND SAUSAGE £8.95

Handmade Cumberland ring served on a bed of mashed potato with a creamy pepper sauce and vegetables of the day.

FAROE SALMON

£12.95

Poached salmon in a creamy white wine sauce with onions, mushrooms and peppers, served with a choice of chips, new potatoes and vegetables of the day.

LAMB HENRY

£16.95

TEWKSBURY BEEF

£10.95

Home braised lamb shoulder slow cooked and served on the bone in mint gravy with your choice of new potatoes or chips and vegetables of the day.

Best British braising steak topped in a creamy homemade sauce with onion, mushroom & English mustard. Served with chips & vegetables of the day.

PUB FAVOURITES

SWEET & SOUR CHICKEN 8.95

Diced chicken fillet battered and deep fried, served in a sweet and sour sauce with onions, peppers, tomato and pineapple on a bed of fresh rice.

LASAGNE

£8.95

Prime minced beef in a spicy Bolognaise sauce, layered between sheets of pasta, topped with melted cheese, served with a salad and a garlic baguette.

HOT CHILLI CON CARNE £8.95

Homemade with prime minced beef, onions, chillies, peppers and tomatoes, served on a bed of fresh rice.

CHICKEN TIKKA

£8.95

Homemade with diced chicken fillet in a in a creamy spiced tikka sauce, served with rice and a naan bread.

ABERDEEN ANGUS BEEF BURGER £8.75 6oz patty of prime minced Aberdeen Angus, served on a white bread bap with chips and a green salad garnish.

FROM THE GRILL

PRIME ENGLISH STEAKS 8oz SIRLOIN STEAK £14.95 8oz RUMP STEAK £12.95 10oz RIB EYE STEAK £15.95

Top quality English steaks cooked to your preference served with mushrooms, onion rings, tomato and a choice from above.

PEPPERED PORK LOIN

£9.95

CREAMY PEPPERCORN CHICKEN

£9.25

BBQ CHICKEN

£8.75

GAMMON STEAK

£8.95

CROFTER’S CHICKEN

£8.95

Pork loin smothered in our homemade creamy pepper sauce, served with your choice from the above.

Chicken fillet topped with creamy homemade pepper sauce served with your choice from above.

Chicken fillet topped with barbecue sauce and cheese, served with your choice from above.

8oz gammon steak topped with free range fried egg OR pineapple, served with your choice from above.

Chicken fillet topped with bacon and melted cheese, served with your choice from above.

FISH

SALMON LIME & CORIANDER

FRESHLY BATTERED HADDOCK

£9.95

FISH PIE

£8.95

WHOLETAIL SCAMPI

£8.95

Fresh haddock fillet battered in the kitchen and deep fried served with chips and mushy peas.

Chunks of salmon and haddock in a creamy white wine and dill sauce topped with mashed potato served with chips and vegetables of the day.

Finest quality wholetail scampi, breaded and deep fried, served with chips, mushy peas and a green salad garnish.

SIDE ORDERS

PORTION OF CHIPS £2.50 ONION RINGS £2.25 BREAD AND BUTTER £1.25 COLESLAW £1.50 SPICY POTATO WEDGES £2.95 1 /2 BAGUETTE & BUTTER £1.25 GRAVY BOAT £1.75 FRIED EGG £1.00 GARLIC BREAD £3.75 SIDE OF VEGETABLES £2.50 NEW POTATOES £2.50 GARLIC BREAD & CHEESE £3.95 SIDE OF SALAD £2.50 PORTION OF RICE £2.50

The White Crow, Chorley Road, Worthington WN1 2XL www.thewhitecrow.co.uk Tel: 01257 474344

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£10.95

Salmon supreme marinated in lime and coriander served with chips and vegetables of the day.


Courier

Wigan Women’s Friendship group gets festive

Courier

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Club

Corner

THE WIGAN COURIER - WIGAN’S ONLY FREE NEWSPAPER THAT COVERS LOCAL SPORT

MEMBERS of the Wigan Women’s Friendship Club have been getting in the Christmas spirit.

Members have been designing their own Christmas cards and calendars, enjoyed a Christmas lunch and have organised a Christmas party on their last meeting of 2012.

Ken Gibson entertained members by playing his guitar. Wigan Central Councillor Davies provided George

funding for the party from his Brighter Borough Funding. Ian and Kelly Mills, who provide the group with a venue for their meetings, are leaving before Christmas and moving to Devon. The group would like to thank them for all they have done for them and to wish them good luck and happiness for the future. The Club restarts on 17th January with a talk about Harry Secombe. Pictured is the group enjoying their Christmas meal and party.

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Members of Standish Probus learn more about optical illusions from visiting speaker Peter Turner following his talk The Art of Magic

MEMBERS of the Probus Club of Standish were captivated by “The Art of Magic” presented by professional magician Peter Turner.

Peter involved the audience in entertaining demonstrations of the elements of his craft. A fascinating optical illusion even had one club member confident that an image of Marilyn Monroe was a likeness of Albert Einstein.

In the coming year members are looking forward to a programme of informative speakers on a variety of topics along with a number of excursions, visits and social lunches. Regular meetings are held in the function room of The Crown, Platt Lane, Worthington WN1 2XF at 10.30am on the second Tuesday of each month. The club is now open to all men and women from Standish and the surrounding areas. Potential new members are welcome at any of the monthly meetings, kindly contact the Club Secretary on 01257 424994 for further information.

Friends of Haigh receive high-vis vests

FRIENDS of Haigh Country Park have received a donation of 20 high visibility vests from Wigan bread factory, Premier Foods.

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The vests will allow members to carry out safely much needed work within the grounds, working closely with Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust staff. Barry Cusick, member of Friends of

Haigh Country Park and employee of Premier Foods, received the donation.

Friends of Haigh Country Park formed in the summer in an effort to revive the park’s amenities. Many projects are now in the development stage and there are busy months ahead to restore some of the original features of the park. The next meeting of Friends of Haigh Country Park will be on Tuesday 22nd January, St David’s Parish Hall, Copperas Lane, Haigh, at 7.30pm.


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Courier

THE WIGAN COURIER - WIGAN’S ONLY FREE NEWSPAPER THAT COVERS LOCAL SPORT

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Young people take over Wigan Borough THE WIGAN COURIER - WIGAN’S ONLY FREE NEWSPAPER THAT COVERS LOCAL SPORT

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Young people got stuck into the world of work as Takeover Day 2012 hit Wigan borough in November.

“It is a two way thing - they get to know more about the company and we get some fresh ideas and a different way of looking at things.” At Atherton St George’s CE Primary School, Teenagers were in charge of housing, care plans, Thomas Kristofferson, 10, and Rosie Simpson, 7, catering and even running a school as workers took over the running of the school for the day. Thomas took the job as headteacher from Mrs across the R a c h a e l borough let young Coulthard for the people take day, whereas charge for a day. Rosie relieved T i n a s h a Miss Lisa Young Gallagher, 15, from her duties as spent the day with deputy head. at Wigan Life Rosie said: “We with Centre have had loads of B r i d g e t different jobs to Hollingsworth, do today and I Wigan Council’s have been going service manager round to all the for community classes and mental health and Martin Ainscough with Lucy Wood, 15, Luke White, seeing what has social work teams. been going well 14, Joe Ashurst, 13, and Emma Buckley, 15, Tinasha said: and what could be “This is the kind of better. work I want to do when I’m older so I’m really happy “I’ve decided I would like to improve the school by to be here. “I want to help people come through the care system making sure lessons are always fun and full of as I know what it is like. We have already looked humour.” Local businessman Martin Ainscough set his four through some examples of care plans today and how they can help people, so I feel like I’m learning a lot. young Takeover Day workers an Apprentice-style Bridget also commented: “It is a real privilege to task for the day at his Bradley Lane offices in have Tinasha here today. We are passionate about Standish. Martin is one of the driving forces behind the new what we do so to have her come along and say this is Youth Zone development and he asked Lucy Wigan the kind of work she wants to do after school is Wood, 15, Luke White, 14, Joe Ashurst, 13, and fantastic.” At Wigan’s Unity House, Adrian Speakman, 21, and Emma Buckley, 15, to look at the potential cafe and David Stacey, 20, spent the day at Wigan and Leigh tuck shop facilities that will be in the new facility. He said: “I asked the young people to plan the café Housing learning about the challenges of managing at the new Youth Zone - what they would serve, how and building homes. Chief Executive Ashley Crumbley said: “We have a would they keep it healthy, thing like that. I sent them long standing commitment to helping young people away and then they had to come back at the end of learn about the world of work. We already have an the day and pitch something to me.” Luke added: “I do business solutions at college so apprenticeship programme but when we heard about Takeover Day it seemed like a great opportunity for this has really helped me get better knowledge of how things work.” both us and the young people.

Jake Ashall, 16, spent the day with Wigan Council’s Corporate Director of Adults, Families and Children Nick Hudson at a conference at the Etihad Football Stadium in Manchester. Wigan Council Chief Executive Donna Hall also had Kristina Nicolson, 15, shadowing and helping on her busy day at Leigh Sports Village.

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As you enter the salon you will see the sales and waiting area, in the secure 2nd part of the salon you can watch your dog be cut, clipped, hand stripped. In the 3rd part of the salon is the wet room and relaxation room.

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01942 236623 24hrs www.waggs-boutique.co.uk 11


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Courier

THE WIGAN COURIER - WIGAN’S ONLY FREE NEWSPAPER THAT COVERS LOCAL SPORT

Standish Computers and Inks celebrates first birthday

Courier BUSINESS

STANDISH Computers and Inks celebrated its first anniversary in December.

Tony and John opened the doors of the business which provides a great quality of service and second-to-none advice to help you with your IT problems.

Experts in PC repairs and upgrades, hard drive formatting, installing operating systems, virus removal and data recovery, Tony and John are computer whizzes. You can take your computer to the shop, which is situated on High

Street, for a health check and home delivery and installations are also available. If they are unable to diagnose or fix your problem they will advise you who or where to go next. John and Tony feel that the success of this year is, in part, due to their strong commitment to customer service, which they feel can be lacking in larger stores. John said: “We have received lots of excellent feedback from customers who continually inform us that they are unhappy with advice or sales patter which does not meet their needs. “We have a no-nonsense, ‘no techy-talk’ policy which our customers respect.”

The well-stocked shop is brimming with computer products from inks to discs, memory cards to USB sticks, to name but a few. The thriving business has made a name for itself in the village of Standish, and hopefully, will be celebrating many more anniversaries in the years to come. Pictured are Tony and John of Standish Computers and Inks.

Pets at Home fundraising success

THE TEAM at the Pets at Home, Wigan, is celebrating after helping to raise more than £237,000 following its nationwide fundraising drive.

All of the money raised by the Wigan store will be donated to local animal charities.

Of the £237,000 raised nationally, the Wigan store raised £440 through its own efforts. Store manager Barry Winrow, said: “It’s fantastic that we’ve managed to raise more than £237,000 nationwide, all of which will go towards helping abandoned animals and encouraging and raising awareness of pet adoption. “I’d like to thank my colleagues for getting behind the initiative with so much enthusiasm and, of course, our customers who helped our store raise £440.” The store held a number of activities for customers to take part in, including a nationwide raffle, the sale of charity wristbands and suppliers Iams and Eukanuba donated five per cent from every product sold during October to the campaign. The fundraising drive was an appeal run by Support Adoption For Pets, the charity Pets at Home established and supports.

Local businesses get Active@work

NINE local businesses have been recognised for working towards the Active@Work : Good Heath Chartermark programme.

The programme, supported by Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust (WLCT), works with businesses, visiting workplaces and offers free health checks and training for ‘Workplace Champions’.

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Heinz, Murphy Group, Wigan & Leigh College, Wigan Council, Ash Hire, Garton Limited, Health First CIC, Dr Russell & Kumar Practice and Pure People Limited were presented with the charter at an awards ceremony. To achieve this, they had to prove how they promote healthy eating, physical activity, positive mental health, stopping smoking and other health issues to their staff.


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Top marks for Liam THE WIGAN COURIER - WIGAN’S ONLY FREE NEWSPAPER THAT COVERS LOCAL SPORT

Courier

Courier BUSINESS LIAM Dempsey of local Funeral Directors R Banks and Sons has been awarded the highest possible mark in the National Association of Funeral Directors’ Funeral Directing Examination. Gaining top marks in the both the practical and written exams of a Funeral Directing Diploma out of more than 100 people, Liam, 29, was awarded The Scales award. Working in the industry for more than 14 years, Liam is over the moon at his achievement.

Focus Insolvency Group are Joining Jack in the New Year

FOCUS Insolvency Group are delighted to announce that they have chosen to support the Wigan based charity ‘Joining Jack’ as part of their continuing charity work in the coming year. Each year Focus Insolvency Group chooses a local charity to get behind by raising awareness and money for their cause. Previous events have involved taking part in the Great Manchester Run and the X-runner Wild Thing obstacle course and mud run.

Joining Jack was set up by former Wigan Warrior Andy Johnson and his wife Alex in aid of their son Jack who suffers from Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), a rare and incurable muscle wasting condition. The charity began in May this year to raise awareness Anthony Fisher, and fund research Managing Director of to find a cure. Anthony Fisher, Focus “wants to help M a n a g i n g this most worthy Director of Focus cause” Insolvency Group met the Joining Jack team at this year’s Wigan Business Expo. Anthony said, ‘It was great to meet the Joining Jack team supported by Andy’s fellow Wigan Warriors legend Jason Robinson at the Business Expo. The Joining Jack campaign has raised a lot of awareness in our area and I want us to help next year with this most worthy cause’ Andy Johnson, founder of Joining Jack said of the announcement, “I’m incredibly grateful to hear of the support Focus Insolvency Group have offered to give us as their charity of the year 2013. We really appreciate businesses choosing to help Joining Jack. As a family we had no choice, we could not sit back and allow this terrible condition destroy the life of our son but one of the things that has really moved us is the willingness of other people to put their hands up and say that they are willing to join our fight. Thank you.” Focus Insolvency Group leaves behind an amazing and successful year of support for their charity of 2012, Derian House Children’s Hospice.

He told the Courier: “I can’t believe it. I was in complete shock when I received the letter informing me I had not only passed the diploma but I had achieved The Scales award as well.

Pay Only What You Can Afford This is Your Legal right

You Should not be trying to make debt payments you cannot realistically afford. The Government has put legislation in place to help the thousands of UK citizens who are finding it difficult to meet debt repayments.

You must pay all of your day to day living expenses before making debt payment. For more information and to find out how much you should really be paying call us at women in debt 01942 375050 or fill out our form on our page. You will receive an email in less than 20 mins after completing the form. The government have made sure that debt help is available. Government Debt Help is available in the form of schemes that the government have put introduced or regulated to help reduce payments, freeze interest, some of the options are Debt Management Plans, IVA (Individual Voluntary Arrangement) Debt Relief Order and Bankruptcy.

For more information on any of these solutions or just to find out what you should be paying each month complete the form on our page or call us. Donʼt worry if you are a male either, we have debt help for every gender!!

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“I didn’t know what questions to expect in the exam, I had to go into the exams

knowing everything an undertaker could possibly know,” said Liam. “I hadn’t

expected to get The Scales Award but it was a superb surprise!”

After gaining the award Liam is hoping to join the National Association of

Funeral Directors and become a course tutor.

Liam’s wife Marcella, is delighted by the news. He added: “My wife is so pleased

for me, I couldn’t have done it without her support. It has been a lot of hard work.

“I would also like to thank my colleagues, who supported me with my revision

and my coursework in order to pass the diploma.”

Liam of R Banks Sons Pemberton branch is pictured left.


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Candlelit vigil for victims of abuse Courier

THEY were a beacon of light in the darkness. Dedicated campaigners assembled at two candlelit vigils last week to raise awareness of

THE WIGAN COURIER - WIGAN’S ONLY FREE NEWSPAPER THAT COVERS LOCAL SPORT

domestic abuse and to show solidarity with victims and their families.

The vigils in Leigh and Wigan town centres were organised by Wigan Council’s Community Safety Partnership Team as part of End the Fear, a joint campaign which brings together Greater Manchester Police, the NHS, local authorities across Greater Manchester and many third sector organisations and charities who work with victims, families and perpetrators. The campaign is rolled out at certain times of the year to address anticipated spikes in incidents, typically when increased tensions between partners and families lead to a rise in number and severity. “Christmas and the New Year is one such anticipated spike,” said the Mayor of Wigan Borough, Cllr Myra Whiteside, who attended the vigil in Leigh outside Spinning Gate shopping centre. “Emotions run high. The financial cost of and people’s fairytale Christmas expectations also add to the pressure. And of course alcohol is a significant factor in many incidents of domestic abuse. “The iconic image of four candles, with one snuffed out, is a graphic reminder that 1 in 4 women will be a victim of domestic abuse at some point in their lives. “But it doesn’t end there. Domestic abuse is widespread and shows no distinctions, regardless of age, gender, social class, nationality or sexuality. It blights our communities and the human cost is immeasurable. “This vigil is a chance to remember those

victims of domestic abuse and violence who have been murdered by their partners or expartners in the past 12 months.” The vigils were held during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, an international campaign which was started by the Centre for Women’s Global Leadership in 1991. The 16 Days ran from November 25th, International Day Against Violence Against Women to December 10th, International Human Rights Day, symbolically linking link violence against women and human rights, to emphasise that such violence is a violation of human rights. Cllr Susan Loudon, cabinet member for children and young people, attended the vigil in Wigan town centre. She said: “Sadly, in some communities there’s a culture where domestic abuse is often casually dismissed as ‘something that just happens’ and we need to challenge this perception. We don’t want to break families up.

“We will do everything we can to support the whole family. We want to halt the abuse and prevent it from passing on through future generations. Help us to End the Fear of domestic abuse.” For more information about the services available to help stop domestic abuse, visit www.endthefear.co.uk or call the Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0161 636 7525. Those responsible for abuse can also get help by contacting the Respect Phoneline on 0845 122 8609. Pictured are officers from Greater Manchester Police (Leigh Neighbourhood Policing Team) flank supporters, including local ward member Cllr Anita Thorpe, Wigan Council officer, Andrew Sharrock (Operational Partnership & Locality Development Manager), the Mayor of Wigan Borough Cllr Myra Whiteside, Stephen Ruffley representing the Leigh Neighbours Project and Ayrton Westwood, Centre Manager of Spinning Gate Shopping Centre.

Wigan’s crime cracking Christmas

POLICE in Wigan have launched their Christmas crime crackdown this December.

The initiative launched from 1 December to 2 January is part of the Forcewide Operation Advent. It sees the police, Wigan Council and other agencies continuing to work together to ensure that people living, working and socialising in the town centre can go about their business trouble-free over the festive period.

Officers will be increasing their high-visibility patrols across the area to target shoplifting and bike theft as well as violent crime and assaults in the evenings. They will also target known offenders by carrying out home visits and bail checks. Officers will also visit victims of crime and offer crime prevention advice to them and their neighbours. A specific emphasis will be placed on policing the town centre at night to keep revellers safe. Plain clothes officers, police community support officers and special constables will be working in hotspot areas to capture intelligence and

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evidence of criminal activity and that they are not selling and stop and searches and stolen goods.The holiday season direction to leave notices will be is not a time to rest on our issued if someone is acting laurels by working together and suspiciously or disrupting the taking sensible precautions we peace for the community. can keep Wigan safe during the Members of the Pemberton festive period. “If you’re going out and about Neighbourhood Policing Team will be out in the town centre my advice is simple. Pace your drinks, stay with where they will be friends, plan your issuing purse bells route home, look for those shoppers after your with handbags and belongings, drink offering crime sensibly and know prevention advice. your limits. When Chief Inspector of out doing your operations for C h r i s t m a s GMP’s Wigan Division, Gareth shopping, motorists should remember Hughes, said: not to leave any “There will be lots of activity taking Chief Inspector valuables in cars. place throughout of operations for R e m e m b e r Christmas is also a the festive period, GMP’s Wigan time for criminals.” to ensure that Other initiatives people are out Division, Gareth shopping, working Hughes warns being carried out by police in Wigan or socialising Wiganers during the festive across Wigan, they “Christmas is period include can do so safely. Stay “Our officers, also a time for Operation Safe. It sees together with staff criminals” officers working from Trading Standards, will be visiting with partners at the council’s second hand stores to ensure antisocial behaviour team, the premises are licensed to sell the housing authority and local goods, they are not selling to authority to tackle antisocial under-16s, a full log is made of behaviour and the issues that the items they have obtained arise through the night time

economy. The Division will also continue to work with homeless shelter The Brick in Wigan Town Centre and Leigh Town Centre. Cllr Kevin Anderson, cabinet member for neighbourhoods, said: “Christmas can be a gift for criminals. There’s rich pickings under the tree for unwanted house guests. Bags of parcels left on the back seat of your car make great window shopping for opportunistic thieves. Whilst people who usually show common sense can sometimes throw caution to the wind, ending up either the victim or even the perpetrator of crime or anti-social behaviour. “Wigan Council supports Forcewide Operation Advent and urges people to keep their wits about them.” People can follow what police are doing for Operation Advent by searching GMP’s Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube and audioBoo. To report crime, please call police on the new nonemergency number 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. Use 999 only in emergencies where there is a threat to life or property or a crime in progress.


Charity single released in memory of Wiganer

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Courier

THE WIGAN COURIER - WIGAN’S ONLY FREE NEWSPAPER THAT COVERS LOCAL SPORT

A CHARITY single recorded by Jimmy Higham, who lost his battle with cancer last year, has been released to raise money for a fund set up in his name.

Former Standish Community High School pupil, Jimmy, died last year after being diagnosed with prostate cancer, recorded Steve Wonder’s Isn’t She Lovely just before his death. The song has now been released to raise money for a bursary fund.

Jimmy was a gifted rugby player, playing for Aspull, Sedgley Park and Durham’s University first XV, and landed a job as a sports coach at Wellington College, Berkshire. The Jimmy Higham Fund has been set up to support 16 year-olds from the North West to attend Wellington College. Jimmy’s Dad, Colin Higham, told the Courier: “The memories he left will not be forgotten. Jimmy was just a normal lad from a village in Lancashire. He was a down-to-earth Wiganer who threw himself into everything. “He blossomed into a talented sportsman, a hard working student but also a well-rounded young man who had time for everyone. His humour and friendship is missed by us all, but his memory lives on and we are all the poorer for our loss. “To mirror the chance that his sports scholarship gave him, Wellington College has set up the Jimmy Higham Bursary Fund to provide funded places for talented north west sportsmen to play, study and blossom at Wellington.” 2012 has been a year of non-stop funding raising. Last week more than 330 people attended a dinner to help fund the bursary. Ex England internationals, Will Greenwood, Will Carling and Lawrence Dallaglio, attended the event and helped raise more than £50,000. Staff and pupils at Wellington College have recorded a CD of some of

Appley Bridge WI

Jimmy “a one-off and a force for absolute good.”

MEMBERS of the Appley Bridge WI were treated to a make up and skin demostration by Jan Newton, at their last meeting,

One of the members volunteered for a make over whilst Jan gave tips on how to apply make up and where to buy different products Jan uses.

Jan did a really good job at showing us how this can be done. Appley Bridge WI would like to thank Jan for a relaxing evening. In December many of the walking group are meeting for their usual monthly walk followed by a meal at the Farmers Arms Heskin. The WI’s Christmas meal is to be held in January. The next meeting will be on Wednesday 9th January at Appley Bridge Village Hall, Appley Lane North at 7.30pm. The speaker will be Alex Miller on Wigan Archive Services.

Wigan MP backs Living Wage campaign

LOW-PAID council workers could get a £7.45 living wage if Wigan Council chiefs support a new campaign, backed by Wigan MP Lisa Nandy.

Councillor Damian Edwardson, who is also a Local Ambassador for Save the Children like Lisa, launched the campaign, calling for the Council to adopt a wage that provides a basic standard of living for workers and their families. Campaigners say applying a ‘living wage’ could mean an extra £40 a week in the pockets of low-paid workers, and is likely to be spent in the local area, providing a boost to the economy.

Wigan MP Lisa said: “In such tough economic times it’s a big ask for councils to pay the ‘living wage’ to employees, but councils who have done it have found it boosts the local economy, and improves staff retention, productivity and morale.” More than one in five local authorities now pays a ‘living wage’, which is independently set and calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK. Employers voluntarily choose to pay the £7.45 per hour (£8.55 in London) wage compared to the National Minimum Wage, which is currently set at £6.16 per hour. Councillor Edwardson said: “I was honoured to be asked by Save the Children to be their Local Ambassador for the ‘living wage’. “ I hope our campaign begins the process for Wigan Council to follow other North West local authorities in establishing a ‘living wage’ which will help to support our low paid families and tackle child poverty.” A report by accountants KPMG this week revealed that 22% of workers in the North West are paid less than the ‘living wage’, with five million UK-wide employees falling below the threshold. The news comes in time for the first Living Wage Week, which takes place from November 4-10, to celebrate employers who have already adopted the policy and to encourage more to do so. Lisa added: “I am delighted to back this campaign, which will have substantial benefits for Wigan.”

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Jimmy’s favourite music, with the proceeds going to the Everyman Cancer Charity. His many friends have also rallied round and social events took place in Wigan, Rossall, where Jimmy went to college, Durham and Wellington and so far form these events more than £30,000 has been raised for Everyman Cancer Charity. Some even cycled ‘Jimmy’s Journey’ from Wigan, via Fleetwood, Durham and down to Berkshire. Radio Two DJ, Chris Evans played Jimmy’s song on his radio show and backed the single to get Christmas number one! One of Jimmy’s colleagues also commented: “Jimmy was a one-off: full of northern grit and soul. He wasn’t the most diplomatic, certainly not one to pander to anybody, but you knew where you stood and certainly knew where he did. His passions were what drove and defined him. “Rugby coursed through his veins both as player and coach. In the sessions where I had the privilege to watch him at work, I have never seen players so alive on a rugby pitch. He had them in stitches one minute with his one-liners and doing things they didn’t know they were capable of achieving the next. “Music was another passion but it had to have soul; if he could break into falsetto when singing along then even better. Anyone who heard him perform at his bowing-out birthday bash saw for themselves just what a voice this lad had. The album we made, with many of the songs chosen by him before his death, stands in testament and respect. “That just about sums him up. Jimmy Higham: a one-off and a force for absolute good.” To download Jimmy’s single go to: itunes.apple.com/gb/album/isntshe-lovely-single/id580686040


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THE WIGAN COURIER - WIGAN’S ONLY FREE NEWSPAPER THAT COVERS LOCAL SPORT

Courier CHRISTMAS

School choir brings Christmas cheer to Linacre centre

THE Deanery High School choir visited the Thomas Linacre Centre to perform Christmas songs as part of the festivities.

Staff from Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust (WWL) came along to join in with the singing and the seasonal fun. Pictured right are the Deanery High School choir, and staff and representatives from WWL’s Chaplaincy and Spiritual department.

Wigan Athletic visits Rainbow Ward

WIGAN Athletic footballers visited patients in Rainbow Ward for the annual Christmas visit to the ward. Manager Roberto Martinez and the players all came bearing gifts for the children who are currently being treated at the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary.

Scotland International Midfielder James McArthur said: “Meeting all the children has been a fantastic privilege for us as players and we all wish them a very Merry Christmas. “As a team, we decided to put our hands in our pockets and provide them with some presents that would put a smile on their faces. It’s a small gesture but one that has hopefully brought them a lot of happiness.”

MP hosts inaugural Christmas Veterans’ Luncheon

MAKERFIELD MP, Yvonne Fovargue hosted her inaugural Christmas Veterans’ Luncheon at St Matthews Parish Hall, Highfield.

Yvonne was joined by more than 170 veterans from across the Makerfield Constituency. Mayor of

Wigan, Cllr Myra Whiteside and her consort, Mr John Hurst as well as Sir Ian McCartney and Lady Ann McCartney, also attended the Luncheon.

The Vicar of St. Matthew’s Parish, the Rev Bob Pearson was on hand to open the event with prayers, followed by the Exhortation led by Mr Mel Lee, of the Royal British Legion and Mr Lawrence Powers of Burma Star Association.

Cross Sreet Arts Christmas exhibition

Cross Street Arts opened the doors of the art gallery for their annual Christmas Exhibition. Guests enjoyed a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie whilst they browsed the exhibition.

Mr John Hurst, Mayor Cllr Myra Whiteside, Yvonne Fovargue MP, Cllr Clive Morgan, Mr Lawrence Powers of Burma Star Association and Mr Mel Lee of Royal British Legion.

Standish children’s Christmas party

The Standish children’s party which is supported by Councillor Emma McGurrin will be at The Pharaohs Childrens Adventure Play Arena, Skating and Party Venue on Saturday 22nd December from 9.30am till 2.30pm.

The coach with pick up at the large Cooperative store car park at 9.20 a.m. (leaving 9.30 a.m.) and return to the car park for 2.30 pm.

Wigan Athletic players visit patient Bethany Davies in Rainbow ward

This is free for children to attend from the ages of 5 to 11 and it is on a first come first served basis. We have 60 places and upto 16 adult volunteers are also welcome. To book a place please contact Councillor Emma McGurrin on 07836506013 or email e.mcgurrin@wigan.gov.uk Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Vale Methodist hosts Christmas Fair

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VALE Methodist Church, Appley Bridge, held their annual Christmas fair on December 1st. Stalls selling homemade products filled the hall.


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Courier

THE WIGAN COURIER - WIGAN’S ONLY FREE NEWSPAPER THAT COVERS LOCAL SPORT

Courier CHRISTMAS

Aspull Church performs Baa Baa Bethlehem

KEY Stage One pupils at Aspull Church school took part in a Christmas Production, Baa Baa Bethlehem.

The shepherds tell their story but think they are not very important until the young shepherds find the stable with baby Jesus.

The Staff and Management of Standish Tandoori

would like to take this opportunity to wish our customers old and new a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

STANDISH TANDOORI A warm welcome awaits at

St. Anne’s perform the nativity

PUPILS of St. Anne’s Primary, of Standish Lower Ground, performed the nativity for friends and family.

Wood Fold celebrates Christmas

WOOD Fold Primary School is getting in the spirit of Christmas.

The Year Two pupils, supported by Year One and Reception gave a fantastic performance of the popular children’s Christmas book ‘The Jolly Postman’, for grandparents on Friday December 14th.

The Jolly Postman gets a welldeserved rest after the production!

There were lots of woolly sheep and shepherds taking part! Many of the parents commented on how wonderful the children performed.

The school also held their Christmas Fair last week, Sofia and Samantha Gravestock help raising a fantastic £1,083 for the school’s PTFA. The at the school’s Christmas Fair school hall was filled with Christmas themed stalls.

Wood Fold’s Reception, Year One and Year Two pupils perform The Jolly Postman

Christmas concert at Beech Hill Primary

FOUNDATION Stage pupils at Beech Hill Primary performed their Christmas Concert for family and friends. All the children have had a wonderful time practising Christmas songs.

We are based in the heart of Standish. Old is Gold We celebrate Don’t forget us for 17 years serving the quality cuisine community in and loyal service January 2013 Why not treat yourself to a Tasty Tandoori this Christmas & New Year

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Family’s charity pledge to keep son’s memory alive

Derian House Hospice benefits as tributes to Dan top £4,500 THE WIGAN COURIER - WIGAN’S ONLY FREE NEWSPAPER THAT COVERS LOCAL SPORT

THE FAMILY of the White Crow gastropub owners Stuart and Helen Birch, who lost their eldest son Daniel in a tragic road traffic accident in March, have paid tribute to the kindness of local folk who have helped them raise more than £4,500 for Derian House Hospice this year in his memory. And they have announced that the charity fund raising efforts at the Worthington hostelry will step up a gear next year, with a memorial soccer match set to become an annual event, and a commitment to raise funds for two worthy causes from now on.

Dan’s Mum Helen Birch told the Courier: “We have been overwhelmed as a family by the support offered to us by our local community in the aftermath of Dan’s passing. “As a result of the soccer match held at Chorley FC, the donations and fundraising by cutomers and friends, and the proceeds of our quiz nights this year, we have been able to give more than £4,500 to Derian House Childrens’ Hospice, a cause that has always been close to our son’s heart. From 2013 onwards, the fund-raising at the White Crow will be split jointly between Derian House and the Boys Brigade in Hindley Green, where Daniel was for many years both a member and a leader. The Hindley Green lads provided the Guard of Honour at Dan’s funeral. The final fund-raiser of the year at the White Crow was the Christmas Quiz Night held on December 13th, when quizgoers donned football shirts as a tribute to Daniel. Our pictures capture some of the flavour of an excellent evening. RAFFLE tickets are still on sale for the White Crow charity Christmas raffle - available at the Worthington hostelry. 1st prize is a generous 3 month’s free membership of the Ladies Only Healthy Living Centre in Wigan - the ideal gift for the woman in your life!!

MP urges Wiganers to call home heat helpline

AROUND 18 per cent of households in Wigan could be entitled to help with their energy costs, and Wigan MP Lisa Nandy is encouraging people to call a free helpline to find out about the assistance available. The Home Heat Helpline (0800 33 66 99) is a free, impartial and confidential service that connects people and families on low incomes and those in poor health with support which is worth an average of £160. The help available includes grants for insulation, new boilers, discount and rebate schemes. Lisa said: "Many people don’t realise what support is available. Anyone in Wigan who is concerned about staying warm should call the Home Heat Helpline and seek advice. I would also ask people to look out for neighbours, friends or relatives who may be in difficulty and make sure that they are aware of the Home Heat Helpline." People can call the Home Heat Helpline and speak to one of the friendly advisers who will provide advice on reducing energy bills. You can also access the service online by visiting www.homeheathelpline.org.uk where a new Energy Checker will help to show if you are entitled to help. Here are also some other simple steps people can take in reducing their energy consumption: · Turning your thermostat down by 1°C could cut your heating bills by up to 10 per cent and save you approx £100 a year. · Turn radiators down in rooms which you only use occasionally · Switch your lights off when you're not using them · Turn appliances like TVs and phone chargers off at the wall rather than leaving them on standby when they're not being used · Replace normal light bulbs with energy efficient ones · Regularly defrost your freezer to make sure it's operating at full efficiency · Draw curtains over windows at night to provide insulation for the room · Move furniture away from radiators and heaters to allow heat to circulate around the room.

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Classified MOTORS THE WIGAN COURIER - WIGAN’S ONLY FREE NEWSPAPER THAT COVERS LOCAL SPORT

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Get your car ready for winter TEL: 01257 400026 to advertise in the motors section

THE nights are drawing in and the weather’s getting colder.

Whilst no one wants a repeat of some of the extreme winters of the last few years, the clocks going back means it’ll get dark earlier.

TO ADVERTISE YOUR

BUSINESS ON OUR MOTORS FEATURE PLEASE RING MICHELLE ON 01257 400026

Parkes Standish Motors Family run business since 1978

As well as asking drivers to watch out for vulnerable pedestrians, Wigan Council road safety experts saying that the clock change is a ‘timely’ reminder to get the car ready for winter. Even if the thick snow doesn’t happen again this year, the advice is if you are out and about in the car, ensure you’re prepared for the journey with a full tank of petrol and fully charged mobile. Take a bit of time now to check your oil, water and tyres. And if a freeze is forecast, inform people when you expect to arrive at your destination and have in the car a torch, shovel and a flask for a hot drink. And if the weather deteriorates, remember that fog or falling snow cuts visibility: use dipped headlights. If visibility is below 100 metres or 328 feet, use fog lights front and back and drive at a speed that’ll allow you to stop within the distance you can see clearly. Cllr David Molyneux, Deputy Leader of Wigan Counci, said: “Wigan Council takes road safety – and pedestrian

Don’t drive whilst tired this Christmas.....

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safety – extremely seriously. The council’s winter maintenance team stand ready to keep the road network running if conditions deteriorate. I am proud of the work done each year on all our behalf by the gritting team.” The depot team are starting their winter rota. The winter maintenance operates from the end of October through to April each year. During this period a fleet of gritters, with a range of specialist equipment, are on standby 24 hours a day ready to treat the roads when required. Duty officers monitor both road and weather conditions around the clock during the winter period, analysing all information available to enable them to make an informed decision on when to grit the roads. If frost or ice is expected to form on roads or snow is anticipated, then the team carries out precautionary gritting of the priority highway network. This involves spreading rock salt onto the carriageway which helps to prevent both icy patches and snow accumulations forming. As well as treating the roads and footpaths on a priority basis, the council also provides highway grit bins on a selfhelp basis for some steep minor roads. The Highways Agency has responsibility for the M6 motorway running through the borough.

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short space of time. To avoid this happening you should follow these tips where possible:

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Ten top tips to drive safely this Christmas

DRIVING in winter conditions can be doangerous. Here are ten top tips to help you drive safely this Christmas.

1. Click-in: Wearing a seatbelt saves more than 2,000 lives each year. Almost 300 lives would’ve been saved last year if all passengers had been wearing a belt – roughly one a day 2. Slow down: Help prevent 850 deaths each year by slowing down and obeying the speed limits. Speeding causes 33,000 injuries on the road every year, and 70 per cent of motorists admit to it 3. Expect the unexpected: Be aware of motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians at all times. Take care when overtaking and be prepared for people running across the road. Motorcyclists make up 1 per cent

TEL: 01257 400026 to advertise in the motors section

of total road traffic but account for 19 per cent of road-user deaths in the UK 4. Think before you drink: The legal alcohol limit for driving in the UK is 80mg alcohol per 100ml of blood – this equates to roughly two thirds of a pint of beer, but varies depending on your height, weight and age. Driving while over the limit can result in six months imprisonment, a £5,000 fine and a 12-month driving ban 5. Go hands-free It’s illegal to use a mobile phone while driving – you could receive a fixed penalty of £60, a fine of up to £1,000 and three points on your license. Buy a hands-free kit instead. Using a mobile phone while driving means you’re four times more likely to crash 6. Sleep well: Avoid driving when tired – it lowers your reactions and you could fall asleep at the wheel. Get a good sleep the night before, and try and take a break after each hour spent driving. Pull over into a service station if you need to sleep. Driver tiredness accounts for around one fifth of all accidents on major roads 7. Child safety: Children under 12 years old must use the correct child restraint, whether it’s a baby seat for children under three or a booster seat for children under 12 (or under 135cm in height). Most drink-driving casualties occur between 10pm and 3am

8. Keep control: At this time of the year it’s common for ice and rain to hit the road, which can cause your car to skid. If your wheels lock up and your brakes fail, avoid accelerating or turning sharply. Depress the clutch and turn the steering wheel into the direction of the skid,

while braking slowly and steadily. Always leave plenty of room between you and the car in front 9. Driver experience: New drivers will lose their license if they receive six penalty points within two years of passing their test. Take a Pass Plus course if you’re a new driver to get cheaper car insurance and better road experience. Around 16 per cent more teenage drivers are killed in car accidents now compared to 15 years ago 10. Conditions apply: When driving on rural roads take into account the road’s condition – not just the national speed limit sign. Avoid driving too fast if it’s raining or snowing, or if the road is old, narrow and full of potholes.The people most at risk on rural roads are males aged between 17 and 39

Best ten products to keep in car this winter

AUTOEXPRESS identifies which ten car products are best to keep in your car this winter.

1. In-car coffee machine: The AA recommends you carry a blanket and a flask of hot drink in the car in case you are stranded overnight. You can now buy coffee machines for your car. The machine fits perfectly into a cup holder and creates great tasting coffee. 2. Screenwash: To

freeze if you use a summer coolant. You may need to use a antifreeze/coolant which works all the way down to -37 degrees Celsius. 6. Sat-Nav: Many drivers are likely to be visiting family they haven’t seen since last Christmas, so a satnav is essential to get you to your destination.

7. Breakdown Cover: Always

ensure you have s u f f i c i e n t breakdown cover before driving. 8. Car covers: If you don’t fancy deicing your car each morning, but don’t have access to a wash away the muck garage, you can on your windscreen protect your car you need a different Car covers are a great time saver- no more de-icing with a cover. Car type of screenwash. the car in a morning! covers are found in You can buy a booster most car stores. which you can top up your existing screenwash with. 9. Driving shoes: Many of us switch to warm, 3. Battery Charger: This piece of equipment is sturdy boots in the winter. It is safer to wear shows vital to ensure you car is in good enough condition to with thin soles whilst driving. Keep your driving shoes start on a cold morning. in the car and change to your sturdy boots once you 4. Wiper Blades: The wipers you have been using have arrived at your destination. for most of the year will face a lot of abuse over the 10. Trolley Jack: Switching tyres on your drive can winter so you may need to upgrade your existing ones. be tricky with the kit in your boot, but a good trolley 5. Antifreeze: Chilly nights cause your engine to jack will make the job easier.

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Courier SPORT - Soccer

Convincing St Wilf’s set up new year top clash Picture special by Marc Taylor

Martin Ratcliffe applies pressure as Gidlow Athletic try and clear their lines.

Kevin Roberts slots home Standish St Wilfs 3rd goal of the afternoon.

AS THE Wigan and District Premier League reaches the break for Christmas, Bickerstaffe lead the way in the Garswood Trophies Premier Division.

But the chasing pack have games in hand, Winstanley St Aidans are only 3 points behind the leaders with 3 games in hand and whilst Standish St Wilfrids are 6 points behind in 4th place, they have 4 games in hand, leaving the league poised for an exciting 2nd half once matches resume in the new year. In their last match of 2012, Standish St Wilfrids comfortably beat Gidlow Athletic 30, and whilst the pitch had stood up well to the winter weather, conditions were made heavy as the rain arrived to wash away the recent heavy frosts. All eyes will now turn to the eagerly anticipated Winstanley St Aidans v Standish St Wilfrids game on the 5th January that should kick start the 2nd half of the season with a bang.

Under pressure Gidlow Athletic look Kevin Roberts challenges for a Gidlow try to play the ball through midfield but lose to find a gap. possession. header.

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THE WIGAN COURIER - WIGAN’S ONLY FREE NEWSPAPER THAT COVERS LOCAL SPORT

Looking forward to 2013?

Courier SPORT Paul Finch is

The Insider

Wigan Warriors from the Inside Out... How come so few British players get into the world rankings?

New boxing club opens in Coppull

BROTHERS Michael and are a community gym, encouraging David Jenkins have opened a young people to improve fitness and to exercise.” new Boxing Club in Coppull. David and Michael have both a The boxing gym, which opened on Monday December 10th, is situated in Unit 14 of Coppell Mill, Mill Lane, Coppell.

boxing history. David was an amateur boxer competing in more than 40 amateur matches. Michael has boxed for 24 years and was World Champion. The club will be affiliated with the Both David and Michael will be taking Amateur Boxing Association so the boxing sessions. Junior classes (seven- 15 year-olds) members can compete, but David is keen to stress that boxing is not just will take place on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 5pm-7pm, about fighting in the ring. “We are becoming affiliated with the costing £2.50 per session or £8 a week. Senior classes (16 years olds and Amateur Boxing Association, so if our members want to compete in matches over) will take place on Monday, they can do, but boxing is also about Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 6.30pm8.30pm costing £3 per session or £10 a fitness and discipline. “We’ve set up the club because we week. For more information search ‘Jenkins want to help young people stay out of trouble and get kids off the streets. We Gym’ on Facebook and Twitter.

I WAS interested to see that, earlier this month, two players Wigan came very close to the making Rugby League World XIII, but missed out narrowly.

year. They were Ryan Hall of Leeds on the wing, Sam Burgess of South Sydney in the second row, and James Graham of Canterbury at prop. The complete 13 reads as follows: 1. Billy Slater (Melbourne); 2. Brett Morris (St GeorgeIllawarra); 3. Greg Inglis (South Sydney); 4. Josh Morris (Canterbury); 5. For those not in the Ryan Hall (Leeds); 6. know, the World XIII Jonathan Thurston (North is a creation of Rugby Queensland); 7. Cooper League World, who Cronk (Melbourne); 8. Graham invite the game’s James media to cast votes for (Canterbury); 9. Cameron the top performers of Smith (Melbourne); 10 Sam Kasiano. last season. (Canterbury); 11. Nate It seems that Sam Myles (Gold Coast); 12. Tomkins and Sean Sam Burgess (South O’Loughlin were on the Sydney); 13. Paul Gallen shortlist – at full back and (Cronulla). loose forward On one hand, it’s respectively – but were encouraging to see any pipped at the post by British players making Melbourne’s Billy Slater hay in the world ratings, and Cronulla’s Paul especially with the World Gallen. In fact, overall, Cup due on our shores only three British players next autumn, even if you made the final cut this can’t help suspecting that

Burgess and Graham were more readily picked because the Aussie press see them every week, as opposed to someone like Sean O’Loughlin, who they only see sporadically, and that Hall couldn’t have failed to catch their notice with the stunning tries he scored against the Green and Golds in the Four Nations in 2011. But it’s still a tad disappointing that there isn’t a Cherry and White

Sam Burgess and James Graham celebrate their inclusion in the World Xlll.....

in sight, even though 2012 Man of Steel Sam Tomkins is a nominee for the much coveted Golden Boot, the only previous Wigan players who’ve known such an honour being giants of the game, Andy Farrell (1994), Ellery Hanley (1988) and Brett Kenny (1985). But in so many ways, this seems to sum up the

Aspull continue to climb the table Geoff Lightfoot reports Pictures: Marc Taylor

Bowdon hit back to cross for a try direct from a scrum and added a second going blind from a ruck close to the Orrell line. Wigan 0 Broughton Park 20 Orrell's best attempt came from a break South Lancs & Cheshire div1 by John Presho taken on by Lewis Saturday December 15th 12 Whitfield which took play close to the Following a scoreless first half, during Bowdon line but with the home side which Wigan contained second place clearing the danger Orrell trailed 10-3 at Broughton Park, two second half tries by the interval their line. replacement threequarter Blake Mahovic Bowdon attacked from the restart but finally subdued their challenge. good defending by Orrell kept the home Broughton Park enjoyed territorial side out. However the pressure eventually domination before the break but were kept told as Bowdon went over for a third from at bay by determined defence led by the a catch and drive and with Orrell down to Wigan back row in which Josh Beever 14 due to injury brought up the bonus score justified his late selection. Wigan came also from a catch and drive with a final try close to opening their account with two following a good handling move across the long range penalties by Andy Whittle backline. TOM Wilson tries to break the Broughton Park cover at Douglas which narrowly missed. Due to the Christmas break, Orrells next Valley on Saturday In the second half Broughton Park turned game is at home against West Park on up the heat with Mahovic breaking through Saturday 5th January 2013. Kick Off twice to score under the posts, two 2.30pm. conversions and two penalties completing Aspull 34 Garstang 2nds 0 the visitors scoring. Raging Bull Div 4 N With the clock running down Wigan Saturday December 15th 12 pressed and were unlucky to see a try by A well-deserved win and some good right wing Luke Farrow disallowed, the rugby played by the moe side at referee unsighted. Woodshaw Park despite the heavy Connor Matthews on Wigan's left also conditions. In a tight opening half it Aspull distinguished himself dealing effectively built up a useful 7-0 lead at the interval with a series of high kicks. through a try from David Vaal converted Wigan now take a break before travelling by Oliver Jump. to Crewe and Nantwich on 5th January. In the second period Aspull took full

Bowdon 25 Orrell 3 South Lancs & Cheshire div1 Saturday December 15th 12

Played on Sale Sharks training ground at Carrington, as the Bowdon pitch was unplayable Orrell started well and took the lead with a penalty from Chris Owen.

control, and picking up the pace Chad Boyce went in for a hat trick of tries. Harry Snape brought up the fifth with Darren Whitfield breaking clear to put the supporting Steve Bailey in for the sixth and the try of the match, Jump adding the STEVE Peacock manages to halt the charge of the Broughton Park full back conversion.

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2012 season for Wigan Warriors. They were the nearly men. They almost struck gold but didn’t quite, and afterwards left everyone scratching their heads as to how they’d managed to miss out. Of course, Wigan don’t have a divine right to these things. But I’m still firmly of the opinion, that, if they’d displayed even an nth of the composure, discipline and tenacity they showed at St Helens on Good Friday

(won 10-28), at Huddersfield in May (won 12-32) and at Leeds in June (won 8-50) they would not just have reached the Challenge Cup Final, but the Grand Final as well, and quite possibly would have won them both (and don’t just take my word; the stats predicted this too). But all that is in the past, and a new-look Wigan team has returned from its warm weather training camp in Florida to prepare for the 2013 season. The big question now is what can the fans expect from it? Kris Radlinski’s blogs from the States have been entertaining and informative. He’s certainly put paid to any rumours that the Wigan squad were over there for a holiday, though in truth I don’t know where these stories come from – when Shaun Wane announced that Wigan wouldn’t be doing any cold mountain training during the offseason, the way they did under Michael Maguire, but would be going to Florida, some Wigan fans reacted as if it was a ridiculous and outrageous decision, even though lots of other clubs also opt for warm weather prep. By the sounds of it, the team has been worked very hard, and many aspects of last season’s failure have been addressed. Kris didn’t elaborate, but there have apparently been several very frank sessions assessing the weaknesses the Warriors demonstrated on the occasions of their big matches. Player-wise of course,

it’s going to be a very different outfit that comes strutting onto the DW in February. pitch Looking at the Wigan squad as it stands, my preferred 1-17 would read as follows (though of course I’m not the coach, as if you didn’t know!!): Sam Tomkins, Josh Darrell Charnley, Goulding, Jack Hughes, Pat Richards, Blake Green, Matty Smith, Epalahame Lauaki, Michael McIlorum, Gil Dudson, Harrison Hansen, Gareth Hock, Sean O’Loughlin, Iain Thornley, Liam Farrell, Lee Mossop, Scott Taylor. Is it as strong on paper as it was in 2012? The answer is no, plainly. There is no conceivable way that Wigan could lose Tommy Leuluai, Jeff Lima, Brett Finch and George Carmont without it tearing huge holes in the squad. But these things happen. Life goes on and players want to move. In any case, Rugby League is not just about the 13 men you have on the field. They can be the greatest set of individuals on Earth, but if there aren’t any working combinations between then, they will make no impression. One of Kris Radlinsksi’s notes that I found particularly interesting referred to the amount of work that new halfback pairing Matty Smith and Blake Green have been doing together. This was always the place where Wigan were going to have problems. To lose both your first choice halfbacks, and replace them with two guys who a couple of months ago were strangers to each other, was never going to be easy. Thankfully, Smith has already had time to bed in, while Green, a huge talent in his own right, is less of an organiser than Brett Finch was, but a more flamboyant attacker who will take the line on at every opportunity. His kicking game is also good, (something Wigan have lacked noticeably since the retirement from playing of Paul Deacon). There is certainly a lot to look forward to in 2013, but we have Christmas to get through first, with all its non Rugby League-related ups and downs, so I’m signing off now. The next time I speak to you, we’ll be well into Wigan’s warm-up games in January. Before then, have a great Christmas and a happy New Year!


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Blue White Army Sam Oliver looks ahead to a tough Christmas period for the Latics December. The time of year when people kick back, relax, and enjoy the festive period. Although in the football calendar, it’s a completely different story. It’s the crucial part of the season where key battles are won and lost; where the favourites for the title are decided, and where the relegation zone suddenly becomes that little bit more daunting. An incredibly bad time, then, to still have several key players out injured. In particular, our defence looks the most vulnerable. Caldwell, Ramis and Alcaraz have all missed recent games, and the numbers speak for themselves: In our last three games we’ve conceded seven goals, and we’ve lost five of our last seven matches; not the worst record in the league, but most certainly not the best. In my last column I previewed the game against Newcastle at St. James’s Park. I felt optimistic beforehand and even predicted a cheeky 2-1 win. How wrong I was. For the first 10 minutes we played well, but Maynor Figueroa’s sending off well and truly put the spanner in the works. Demba Ba scored the resulting penalty, and it was always going to be an uphill struggle from then onwards. Ba seemingly danced his way past our exposed defence minutes later, scoring his second goal and the 4,000th in Premier League history. The game was wrapped up in the 71st minute by Gael Bigirimana, who scored a screamer to make it 30 to the home side. All in all it was a disappointing away performance from the Latics that certainly wasn’t helped by refereeing decisions. Surely things would go our way in the next game, against bottom of the table QPR? Well, sort of. McCarthey scored

Opinion straight from the goalmouth

By our Latics columnist Sam Oliver the opening goal with a well struck shot on the 19th minute, but less than 10 minutes later QPR bounced back through Ryan Nelson, who headed in a corner. It’s fair to say neither side were at their best, but Gomez and Jones had a couple of chances that kept QPR goalkeeper Paddy Kenny busy. Lopez, who quite often falls asleep at the back, proved this match was no different by neatly gifting Djibril Cisse a goal in the second half. However, QPR’s lead lasted only three minutes before McCarthey poked in a scrappy goal to clinch the draw. The Scotsman had a corker of a game and rightly picked up the Man of the Match award, once again proving what an indispensible member of the team he has become. He’s still on Liverpool’s radar, but hopefully we can get at least another two seasons out of him before he leaves for a bigger club.

However, he didn’t seem to make much of an impact in the most recent game against Norwich at Carrow Road. He was subbed at half-time alongside Gomez to make way for Maloney and Jones. It’s fair to say that the first half was a shocker for Latics fans, with Pilkington evading Emerson Boyce in the 15th minute to make it 1-0 to the home side. Our defending was once again diabolical and Al Habsi had to make numerous saves to keep us in it. In contrast, the substitutes made at half time completely altered the balance of the game. We looked much more threatening going forward and Maloney, recently back from injury, made it 1-1 with a thunderous strike just five minutes after coming off the bench. We looked the better team, but unfortunately nothing is ever simple for the Latics. Hoolahan headed in the winner on 64 minutes after the Canaries once again gave Boyce the slip, and we came away empty handed once again from an away game. The fixtures don’t get any easier either, with Arsenal coming to the DW on the 22nd. Following that, there’s the Boxing Day fixture against high-flying Everton. It’s not all doom and gloom though. Mark Lawrenson, the Match of the Day pundit, had an interesting point when analysing our recent performances. When asked to summarise Wigan with one word, he chose ‘unpredictable’. As is so often the nature of Wigan Athletic, we’ll lose the easy games and win the difficult ones. Anyone for a 3-2 victory over Arsenal? In Bobby we trust!

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ADVERTISING RATE FROZEN FOR FOURTH YEAR RUNNING IN 2013

The Wigan Courier is delighted to let customers know that we are freezing our advertising rate for the fourth year running in 2013, just £525p per single column centimeter anywhere in the paper ( apart from page 1) for full colour advertising in Wigan’s all-colour good news only newspaper. We know only too well that the last thing businesses want at the start of the new year is an increase in cost

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Publication dates and copy deadlines 2013 PUBLICATION DATES COPY DEADLINE - 4pm Tuesday 8th January

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WIGAN WARRIORS coach Shaun side of the body, but they often last for just a short Wane is urging Wiganers to seek advice time. and support from Stroke Association Warriors coach Shaun Wane supports the charity’s drive to raise awareness of the signs of a charity. TIA, as his Father-inFindings of a new poll Law had a stroke. revealed that thousands of He said: “We were given lots of advice and people in the North West emotional support by the are at risk of stroke because charity’s Information, they fail to recognise the Advice and Support signs of Transient Service in Wigan. I’m Ischaemic Attack (TIA), pleased to be supporting also known as a minithis campaign – if more stroke. people understand the warning signs of TIA and stroke, more people will be able to get effective treatment.” A TIA is a stroke-like event, which is caused by a temporary lack of blood flow to the brain. Like a major stroke, it can be diagnosed using FAST, but the symptoms are only temporary: Facial weakness – has the person’s face drooped, usually down one side, Arm weakness – is the person able to lift both arms above their head, Speech problems – does the person’s speech sound slurred, Time to call 999 – if one or more of these symptoms are present call 999 immediately. For more information visit www.stroke.org.uk

in such difficult times. To get your sales message across to some 50,000 plus readers in Wigan, just give us a call on 01257 400026, or e-mail us on info@courier-online.net. High quality advertising, fast turnarounds, a local office in Standish, and a guaranteed brew if you call in! - here’s wishing you a very Happy Christmas and a successful year in 2013!

The Wigan

Tuesday 12th March

Shaun’s stroke appeal

The Stroke Association survey of people in the North West revealed that: nearly three quarters of people did not recognise the symptoms of TIA, with more than one third believing they were symptoms of a heart attack. Nearly nine out of ten people would be worried if they experienced the symptoms of a mini-stroke, yet more than two thirds wouldn’t take emergency action and go to hospital. Worryingly, more than two thirds of respondents had never heard of TIA and more than one third were unaware that a TIA was a warning sign of a major stroke. More than 46,000 people have a TIA every year in the UK. Symptoms can include facial weakness, speech problem, and pins and needles down one

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Wigan Courier December 18th edition  

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