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Wigan Hospice Star Trekkers 8th June 2013 - See advert on Page Three

Courier The WIGAN

Borough to host new music festival

email: info@courier-online.net

Wigan’s Good News Paper

March 26th 2013

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Issue no 216

Make the most of your smallest room

Visit our showroom for more information

By Hannah Smith

A MAJOR new music festival is coming to the Borough this summer- Wuchiefest.

NOW OPEN STANDISH BARBERS

Woodshaw Park, Aspull, will play host to the brand new festival, from Saturday August 10th- Sunday 11th. The festival line-up is still to be confirmed but the two-day festival will welcome acts both fresh and established from all over the world. Wuchiefest will see artists play over three stages per day and will host exciting acts across the two rugby pitches, comprising of the main stage, an acoustic area and a marquee holding up to 3,000 people, collectively. Organised by Martin Jump Aspull RFC Chairman, alongside Fraser Boon, owner of music venue Mad Ferret in Preston, and Gareth Butterworth, founder of music promoter The Ark Preston, Wuchiefest will be held in Woodshaw the home of Aspull RFC since 1972. It is thought the festival will attract between 2,500- 3,000 people over the weekend.

Chairman of Aspull RFC, Martin Jump told the Courier: “I never envisaged the festival to be as big as it will be. We have a mixture of acts from across the different music genres playing at the festival. “One of our headline act is a successful 80s and 90s band who are now back performing. “We are also wanting to showcase local talent. Once our website is launched bands can put themselves forward to play at the festival.” Martin is keen to use local suppliers, to help boost the local economy. Shuttle bus services from train stations in Horwich and Wigan to Aspull will be running. A park and ride service will also be provided. Ticket details and acts will be announced in the next few weeks. For more information join the facebook page: www.facebook.com/wuc hiefest or follow the festival on twitter @Wuchiefest

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PJ Day at Wood Fold for Comic Relief

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‘COME dressed in your pyjamas or Onesies!’

That’s just what the pupils and staff at Wood Fold Primary School did to raise money for Comic Relief on Friday 15 March. As part of the Year 6 curriculum, the children organised a whole school dress up day and took part in a sponsored obstacle course. The school is still awaiting a final total for the money raised, but everyone had a laugh in their PJ’s - The older children tried the ‘cool’ approach with their onesies, whilst KS1 look amazing as Spider Men and cute cows or zebras.

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Wigan Courier01257 400026 info@courier-online.net 4

In Brief

Coffee Morning

A COFFEE Morning will be held on Friday 5th April at 10am until 1pm at Mossy Lea Village Hall, Wrightington. Everybody is welcome for a coffee and a catchup.

Giving Blood

TWO BLOOD donor sessions will take place on Thursday April 4th at Kilhey Court, Standish. An afternoon session will take place from 1.15pm-4pm and an evening session from 5.15pm-7.30pm. A further blood donation session will take place on Monday April 8th at DW stadium from 1.15pm-3.30pm & 5.15pm-7.30pm. For further information or to make an appointment call 0300 123 33 23 or visit: www.blood.co.uk

Art attack..

AN ART competition has been launched in Wigan to mark the Rugby League World Cup. The competition is open to any individual or group within Wigan Borough. All entries will be judged by an independent panel and the winner will be awarded £100 worth of vouchers, second place £50 and third place £30. All entries must be completed and ready for collection by Friday 30th August 2013. Please call Nick Burdekin on 07774090637 to arrange collection of your work when complete. For full competition rules please visit www.wigan.gov.uk/rlwc artcomp.

HAVE YOU GOT ANY “GOOD NEWS” YOU WOULD LIKE TO APPEAR IN THE PAPER? EMAIL: INFO @COURIERONLINE.NET

Winstanley students step up

YOUNG PEOPLE in Wigan have been finding out how they could become lifesavers as part of a regional campaign to recruit more blood donors – Step Up, Sign Up, Share. Students at Winstanley College, Winstanley Road, Billinge, Wigan were visited by NHS Blood and Transplant staff, as part of Step Up, Sign Up, Share, who told them more about blood donation and encouraged them to sign up and spread the word. Student donors and those who know recipients also shared their stories. NHS Blood and Transplant needs more than 1,000 new registrations every day to replace those donors who can no longer donate. Young people are especially important as they make up around 40% of new donors. The number of 17-24 year olds registering has fallen in recent years, prompting a drive to recruit more lifesavers of the future. Among those who signed up was April Holmes, aged 16, from Beech Hill. She said: “I’ve signed up because I wanted to help. I’d say to others to do something good.” Christian Harrison, aged 17, from Horwich also stepped up. He said: “I’ve just signed up because of the blood drive. Giving blood could save someone’s life.” Nearly 150 students stepped up and signed up at Winstanley College on Monday. Students were also urged to use social media to encourage others to join them. Barbara Blanche, NHS Blood and Transplant’s lead donor relations manager for the

area, said: “We are really grateful to and in maternity care. Hospitals across the students and staff at Winstanley England need 7,000 units of blood College for signing up and supporting every day and each unit can this campaign. We welcome all potentially save or improve the lives eligible new donors but especially of up to three people. need young people to come forward – You can sign up at one of our they are the lifesavers of the future. campaign recruitment events this Angela Gregory, in Careers and week, visit Progression at Winstanley College, www.blood.co.uk/news/events/stepup said: “Winstanley College students to find out more. Or visit are delighted to support the campaign www.blood.co.uk or call us on 0300 which they hope will be a big 123 23 23. success.” Once signed up please help us Blood donations are a vital resource spread the word on Facebook (NHS to help treat health conditions Blood Donation page) and Twitter including cancer and long term (@GiveBloodNHS and illnesses, people involved in accidents #signupgiveblood)

Anyone already registered or who signs up is urged to book an appointment to donate soon or over the Easter holidays. The newly launched application for Android and Apple Smartphone and tablet devices enables donors to search for their nearest blood donation sessions. The app is called NHSGiveBlood and can be found at the Apple app store and the Google Play Store. Our picture shows students at Winstanley College show their support for Step Up, Sign Up, Share and help spread the word...

Proceeds of RUN4LIFE event handed over to Men Matter

Rotary helps to raise men’s cancer cash

WIGAN Rotary Club President Mr Venk Mani was delighted to present a cheque for £3500 to Men Matter Chairman Bernard Edmunds as the proceeds from last year’s RUN 4ALIFE.

The five and ten kilometer runs open to everyone, now in its eighth year, have so far raised approaching £80,000 for men’s cancer research. Bernard Edmunds thanked Wigan Rotary Club for the donation. He said: "this money will help us to continue funding men’s cancer research at The

Christie Hospital which is well known to Wigan folk, and one of the UK’s leading cancer hospitals." President Venk Mani added: "I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who took part and their sponsors,

and to Wigan Athletic, DW Sports Fitness and Wigan ASDA whose staff took part on the day and raised sponsorship separately for the Everyman Charity.’ Men Matter want everyone to spread the word to all men

about the importance of early detection of all men’s cancers. There was recent publicity on the ‘This Morning’ programme about testicular cancer, and prostate cancer is 20th in the league table of research funding even though it has a similar death rate as breast cancer. Arrangements are in hand for RUN 4 A LIFE 2013 with full details to announced in June with some major changes planned for the event. Our picture shows Mr Bernard Edmunds receiving the cheque from Wigan Rotary President Mr Venk Mani.

Contract win for WWL NHS WRIGHTINGTON, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust (WWL) is delighted to announce they have won a two year contract to provide occupational health services to Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Trust.

The Trust already provided occupational health services to the 1,200 staff who work in Ashton, Leigh and Wigan but from 1st April 2013 this will be extended to nearly 3,400 staff including those working in St Helens, Halton and Warrington. Chris Samosa, Director of People,

Next edition

The next Courier is published on

Tuesday April 16th

Council’s horsemeat scandal assurance

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

Courier

Deadline for advertisers: Monday 15th April 12 noon

Planning and Development, said: “We are pleased to confirm that we have appointed WWL to provide our Occupational Health Services to our 3,400 staff working across Wigan, Warrington, Halton and St Helens and in the boroughs where we provide community dental services. We look forward to working with them to promote health and wellbeing of our staff.” This is fantastic news for the Trust and our Occupational Health and Wellbeing Team who had to compete with a number of other potential providers in a public procurement exercise. The Trust’s recently awarded SEQOHS accreditation played a key

The ONLY independent newspaper in

• Wigan • Standish • Shevington • Scholes • Aspull • Wrightington • Highfield • Ince • Orrell • Appley Bridge • Winstanley www.standishmedia.co.uk

part in securing this work. The services WWL will provide include an Early Absence Support Program service along with other innovations that will help prevent illhealth, promote health and improve the effectiveness of the host Trust. Jon Lenney, Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development, said: “We are delighted our bid for the Bridgwater contract has been successful. “We offer a high quality consultantled occupational health service to all our clients and we look forward to working with colleagues at Bridgewater in promoting health and well-being at work.” Advertising & Editorial

Tel: 01257 400026 Fax: 01257 400078

Suite 107 The Standish Centre, Cross Street, Standish, Wigan, WN6 0HQ

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info@courier-online.net

IN LIGHT of the horsemeat scandal, Wigan Council has taken steps to ensure the school meals it provides thousands of pupils are unaffected. Tests have been carried out and our supplies have been found to be free of horsemeat.

MetroFresh is the main supplier of school meals in Wigan Borough. Debbie Clarke, Service Manager for MetroFresh at Wigan Council, says:

“MetroFresh is a member of the Local Authority Caterers Association and we take the standard of the food we supply to children very seriously and conform to the strictest food safety guidelines. "When the news of the issues with beef supplies to supermarkets broke, we acted immediately to ensure the food we provide in schools is unaffected. "Although we only use a small number of beef products, we received immediate assurances that the products supplied to us do not come from the affected suppliers or distributors. "As an extra precaution, some of our suppliers have tested their products and have produced clarification that none of the products supplied to us are affected in any way.”


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‘Buckets of Love’ Courier

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

SHEVINGTON Vale Primary School in Appley Bridge held a ‘Bucket of Love’ week at the school recently.

A warm welcome awaits you

The staff and children filled buckets with numerous items including toothpaste and brushes, combs, hairbands, soap, sweets, pens, pencils, notebooks, string, first aid plaster, plastic cups and plates and lots more.

G OOD FRIDAY

Fresh F is h Extravag anza

The buckets were provided by Blythswood Care and they are distributed to people who live in poverty in the slums or Africa, Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. The children will make a big difference for one or more families by providing the ‘Bucket of Love’ and Blythswood Care will deliver the buckets to a family in one of the needy areas to brighten their day. Well done to Shevington Vale Primary School for their great efforts. • In the last edition of the Wigan Courier mistakingly Shevington CP was the school mentioned NOT Shevington Vale. Our apologies to the school.

Over 30 delicious FR ESH FISH dishes (In di vid ua ll y p ric ed m en u)

EASTER SUNDAY & BANK HOLI DAY MONDAY Open Al l D ay 1 2 No on - 8 p.m .

Strung Up Bare to play at DW Stadium

THERE’S a big day in store for an innovative new Standishbased band StrungUp Bare, who are set to appear at the Wigan Warriors v St Helens derby match on Good Friday, March 29th.

The multi-talented trio comprises Tim Critchley who plays guitar, bass and mandolin, and also sings, Elinor Darlington, who plays violin, guitar and mandolin and also sings, and Matt Hallsworth, who plays bass guitar, guitar, and adds his voice to the mix as well....

StrungUp Bare are not your average band: between them they boast three music degrees, two music scholarships, and share a musical lifetime experience from their time at Chethams School of Music. The band got together nine months ago, and are now gigging regularly in the area -

in fact they appeared at the Swan and Railway in Wigan town centre on Saturday evening March 9th, with other gigs in the pipeline and a booking for the Broadstairs Folk Festival in Kent in August this year. The Wigan/Saints game offers the young musicians an excellent platform to reach a wider local audience with a 20,000 plus crowd expected at the game, and quite rightly it has caught their imagination: Elinor Darlington told the Wigan Courier: “When told we where going to play at the Derby we where so ecstatic, we’re already playing at one major event this year, I honestly thought nothing would beat that!” And Tim Critchley added: “I just couldn’t wait to tell Matt Hallsworth to book another date off work... the guy’s brilliant, he’s practically used all his holidays on this band...” Details of upcoming gigs and info about the band can be found at www.strungupbare.co.uk or on FB @ strungupbare we wish them every success.

Parbold Picture House listings

PARBOLD Picture House Listings for March and April.

Sunday March 31st at 7pm Skyfall. One of the very best of the Bond series and an exhilarating yarn that draws on all the great British Spy thrillers. Cert 12A 137 min. Admission: £3 Sunday April 14th at 7pm. Argo Based on a true story, which the Iranians now claim is ‘unrealistic’. Question: “How do you arrange the escape of US diplomats trapped in the middle of the Iranian Revolution?”

Answer: “You use the best bad idea you’ve got!” Cert 15 120 min. Admission: £3 Sunday April 28th at 7pm Silver Linings Playbook Admission:£3.00. Oscar & Pat, recently returned home from a mental institution, finds comfort from his illness with the similarly troubled Tiffany. Cert 15 122 min. Doors open 30min. Tea and coffee available before screenings. For more information please telephone 01257 464533, or email parboldpicturehouse@gmail.com or visit www.parbold.info

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View all our menus & o peni ng times online ww w.rigbyearms.com 2 Whittle Lane, Wrightington, Wigan, WN6 9QB

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Courier

Courier

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Club

Corner

Crazy golf open for Easter

THE BEGINNING of the Easter holidays will see the reopening of the crazy golf at Haigh Country Park, thanks to a local community group.

Friends of Haigh Country Park (FOHCP) have cleaned up the crazy golf at Haigh Country Park and are now waiting for the return of the obstacles, which are being renovated by apprentices at ProCo. The reopening of the crazy golf will take place during the weekend before easter, which coincides with the school holidays. On Easter Sunday, there will be an Easter market in The Stables complex, with various stalls and activities including Easter egg painting competition, a tombola and a raffle.

Adult Crown Green Bowls

WANT to try something different?

Chairman of Friends of Haigh Country Park, John Hulme at the park’s crazy golf

Wigan Thistle Society success

If you would like to learn how to play and enjoy bowls, meet other people and keep fit and active the come along to St. Marie’s Bowling Green. Free sessions will be hell at the bowling green, on Almond Brook Road, Standish, every Wednesday 10.30am-11.30am starting from Wednesday April 10th. Each session is run by a qualified Coach and all the bowls are provided, however, you will need to wear flat sole shows or trainers. To book a place or for more details ring John Fowler on 01257 423550, or Dave Woods on 01257 400621 or Steve Ashcroft on 01257 422690

Game show themed night

ST. WILFRID’S Church Lads’ and Church Girls’ Brigade are hosting a Game Show-themed evening, in April.

WIGAN’S Thistle Society attended the annual Festival of For a night of fun, games, quizes and to compete Music, Arts and Crafts and Ceilidh was held on Saturday in your favourite TV game shows get down to the March 16th at St. Hilda’s High School, Liverpool. Labour Club on Friday April 19th at 7.30pm. Organised by the Lancashire & Cheshire Federation of Scottish Societies, the festival celebrated music, arts, crafts and baking.

Competition entries included cakes, pies, shortbread, scones, pancakes, jam, curd, marmalade and jelly, as well as knitting of all different sorts, crochet, dressmaking, canvas work, embroidery. While the judges were doing the judging and enjoying tasting all the cake a a Ceilidh (concert) was taking part in the main hall. members of Wigan Thistle Society took part in the Scottish Country Dancing, two lovely songs were sung by Josie Bretherton, and one of Wigan’s members Susie Olsson played her guitar while she sung a Swedish song.

It was a successful day for Wigan’s Thistle Society, their day’s achievements included: Oil /Accrylic painting: 1st Maureen Farrell Crochet item:1st Ann Gregory Chocolate cake: 2nd Mavis Simmons Fresh Flowers: 2nd Jen Connelly Computer Aided Design Poster advertising Holidays in Scotland: 2nd Frances Southern Cox

Your favourite TV gameshows including, Play Your Cards Right, Family Fortunes and many more will be organised throughout the right. Tickets cost £5 adults and £3 children, including a hot pot supper (vegeterian option available on request) and hot dogs for children. For ticket and further information call 07725 472589

Hand Knitted Baby Garment: 2ndMavis Simmons Photography (Federation Event): 3rd Kathleen Merchant Photography |(Scottish Scene): Highly Commended Kathleen Merchant Home Made Jam: Highly Commended Josie Bretherton Matinee Coat: 3rd Mavis Simmons

Standish Probus

Members of Standish Probus on the impressive Haigh staircase during their tour of the Hall MEMBERS of the Probus 10.30am on the second Tuesday of each month.

Club of Standish recently enjoyed an informative History Tour of Haigh Hall followed by a traditional hotpot lunch in the Ballroom.

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The visit is just part of this year’s interesting Club schedule. Potential new members are invited to the Club’s regular meetings held in the function room of The Crown, Platt Lane, Worthington WN1 2XF at

A short presentation on motoring nostalgia follows the AGM at April’s meeting and the programme of talks continue with “The Sinking of the Titanic”, “The Nail Makers of Orrell” and “Iceland –Land of Ice and Fire” at the May, June and August meetings. Also included in the 2013 calendar are a coach excursion to Dalemain House near Ullswater in May and a social Summer Lunch, planned for July 13th. For further details kindly contact the Club Secretary on 01257 424994.


Courier

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Courier

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• Traditional • Modern • Contemporary •

HAND-BUILT BESPOKE FITTED KITCHENS

Club

Corner

Busy months for Friendship Group

By Margaret Rowe

FEBRUARY was a busy month for the group.

On 14th we celebrated Valentine’s Day with a party, roses on the table, delicious freshly made cup cakes and a wonderful group called “The 4Ms”, Mavis, Maureen, Mel & Me, otherwise Ralph Livesey, to entertain us with their delightful singing. There were delightful solo items by Mavis &Mel

Youth Crown Green Bowling

ARE you a young person aged six-16 and want to so something different?

Why don’t you try Crown Green Bowling. If you would like to learn how to play and enjoy bowls with a prospect of forming a Saturday Morning Youth Team, then come along to St. Marie’s Bowling Green commencing on Saturday April 13th 10.30am11.30am. The free session will be held weekly. Each session is run by a qualified coach and all the bowls are provided. Just turn up in flat shoes or trainers, To book a place or for more information ring John Fowler on 01257 423550

accompanied by Maureen and Ralph as MC. At the end of the afternoon everyone went home with a rose. On our Leisure afternoon we played Beetle. Members also got a chance to watch how to do Gift Wrapping with a Difference given by Elaine Cuzner. Such simple and effective ideas, without much expense involved, were shown. I am sure many of the ladies will be trying out these ideas! We also enjoyed a visit to Whittles Farm in Tarleton where, after a look round the lovely shops within the complex, tea and toasted teacakes were served. Then time to look round again to find little things which were a bit unusual and maybe to purchase some item of clothing from their lovely range of items. In March we were given a talk titled, “My Childhood at Turton Tower”. and of course recently Turton Tower has been in the news, so this will be very interesting, an opportunity to look at photos of past events on the screen and to do a quiz or some activity together. Remember you are always welcome to come and join us, 1.15pm to start with notices at 1.45pm, a speaker or activity and a cup of tea at 3pm before you go home. For more information ring Margaret on 01942 247403

White Crow The

01257 474344

We look forward to seeing you.

Beer, Beautiful Beer.....

Over the next few weeks, we will be featuring Copper Dragon, Prospect, Black Sheep, Theakston, Moorhouses and many other micro-breweries from the region that have been sourced by Stuart. Time to stop, take stock, and savour a pint or two at The White Crow - where the beer festival is on all year round....

Appliances at unbeatable prices 100s of appliances on display

MA KITCHENS LTD

701 Ormskirk Rd, Pemberton, Wigan 01942 Open 6 days www.makitchens.co.uk

Easter is a time to take the whole family out for a much-deserved treat! - bring everyone along to the family gastropub that guarantees you a warm welcome. We are open throughout the Easter holidays, all day, every day from 12 noon, with our full food menus, serving healthy, homecooked food, great real ales and excellent wines. We look forward to welcoming you to the White Crow!

Open throughout the May Bank Holidays as well!

Open for Food: Sun - Thurs 12noon - 9pm. Fri & Sat 12noon - 10pm Bar Open: Mon - Sat 12noon-11pm. Sunday 12noon - 10:30pm

EVERY THURSDAY

A fun quiz and a FREE SUPPER a fun evening, with loads of prizes! Starts 9pm. FREE ENTRY!

All proceeds to Derian House Relax and enjoy Wigan’s History and Tradition in our friendly, local, family run pub, an Old Coaching Inn set in the lovely Wigan countryside.

PLEASE NOTE - we are

delighted that the local authority is at last tackling the problem of localised flooding with some major drainage work on the main road. WE ARE OPEN THROUGHOUT AS USUAL - don’t worry about the Portakabin on the car park - that’s us trying to help the lads doing the job.

The White Crow, Chorley Road, Worthington WN1 2XL. www.thewhitecrow.co.uk

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MEGA FUN QUIZ!

Easter Holidays

Stuart and Helen welcome you to Wigan’s Coaching Inn in the Country...

Everything about the White Crow is local: superb food home cooked from local suppliers, superb real ales from local breweries, our food cooked and served by home-trained, local staff - lovely people! Come and enjoy the atmosphere, food, beers and service this holiday time and indeed any time at all, all day, every day! -

Hand-built bespoke fitted kitchens More than 15 kitchen displays Free home visits No pressure sales Full fitting service or supply only Complete package available ie building work, plumbing, electrics, plastering, tiling etc Free planning, computer aided 3D design & quotation 10 year insurance-backed guarantee scheme Local family firm established for 28 years

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Church Chatter... Courier

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Open Mon-Fri 8am - 5pm. Sat & Sun 10am - 2pm

WIGAN residents are invited to attend an Easter Eggstravaganza event at Today’s Community Church on Saturday March 30th from 2pm- 4pm.

The fun-packed event welcomes all families to come down and take part in Easter crafts, egg hunts and the chance to win some great prizes.

There is no need to register for this event and it costs just £2 per child, with adult entry free. Adults with young babies can relax, chat and take it easy in the centres coffee bar, Koko, which serves

affordable fresh Illy coffee and cold drinks. Parents can get involved together with their family in the activities, assured that their child is being taken care of by CRB checked workers with lots of experience of looking after young ones. Event organiser Rachel Belfield said:“We are really looking forward to putting on this special Easter Eggstravaganza. Our doors are always open and we hope this event will really help bring the community together. It’s sometimes hard for parents to think of new activities to keep their little ones amused, so we hope this event will fill that gap. “We are really fortunate to have so many people involved in this event who have vast experience of child care, including both mothers and teachers, so we know that the whole family will find this day lots of fun, giving them a chance to meet some new people.” The event is being held at Today’s Community Church, The Pier Centre, Pottery Terrace, Wigan, WN3 5AB. For more information info@tcclife.com or dial 01942 244460 to speak to organiser Rachel Belfield.

St. John’s hosts Easter at St. Peter’s Church Wedding Fayre

ST. JOHN the Evangelist Church, Abram is hosting a Wedding Fayre on Saturday April 27th.

Local cake makers, florists, dressmakers, photographers and hairdressers, amongst others, will be on hand to talk to couples. Visitors can also look around the church and have an informal talk with clergy about a church weeding. Rev Ann Stein from St John the Evangelist said: “The main aim of this fayre is to show how a wedding can be organised without

TO CULMINATE Holy Week, St. Peter’s Hindley, will host a special being too expensive, which service, on Easter Sunday. is especially important in today’s climate. We are very happy to be working with local businesses to show that you can find everything that you need for your wedding – local to the area.”

Revd. Ann added: “We also hope that the informal atmosphere will also encourage couples to pop in to ask questions about marrying in church, which is now easier than it has ever been before. There will also be plenty of information on offer to take away.” For more information about the fayre contact 01942 208828

Devised by James Archer, the service ‘To the cross and beyond’ will feature much of the music from Stainer’s ‘Crucifixion’. The service starts at 2pm.

St Peter’s Alpha course will start after Easter. This is an opportunity to explore your faith or find out more about the good news of Jesus and will be very informal in nature with no demands made on anyone. The course will take place at St Peter’s Pavilion, Hurst Street, on a Monday

evening from 7.45pm-9.30pm. Vocal-Eyes, the Community Choir is currently rehearsing on a Monday evening in St’ Peter’s Pavilion from 6.45pm-7.45pm. Music of all styles is designed to appeal to people of all ages. The event is a Community Event as is open to all – no need to read music. For more information visit www.vocal-eyes.co.uk”. The Mustard Seed Food Bank is looking for helpers to distribute food parcels and to make regular monthly pick-ups from Asda. Visit St. Peter’s Church website www.foodbank.stpeter-online.org.uk

St. Andrew’s Beetle Drive

ST. ANDREW’S Social Committee are organising a Beetle Drive on April 22nd at St. Andrew‘s Parish Centre, 7pm start. Cost will be £2 per adult and £1 per child, payable on the door. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Light refreshments will be provided. The Parish Centre is situated on Woodhouse Lane, Springfield, Wigan WN6 7LZ.

OPEN GOOD FRIDAY, EASTER SATURDAY AND EASTER MONDAY We are NOT just for beds - have a look at our bedroom furniture too with a selection of SPECIAL OFFERS

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visit us at: www.dreamersbeds.co.uk

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Warm welcome for Matthew at Jireh Baptist Courier

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Pastor of Jireh Baptist, Matthew Gray

BY Hannah Smith

THE hard, stonyfaced realm of finance and the caring, nurturing world of Christianity seem

worlds apart, well not for one manmeet Pastor of Jireh Baptist Church, Matthew Gray.

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Ten years ago Matthew, aged 35, was Director of a Financial Advice company in the North West now he is Pastor, or Church Minister as he calls himself, at Jireh Baptist Church in Orrell. It’s hard to picture Matthew as a financial director. Sat in a small office, its walls laden with books, old and new, Matthew seems to be content with life. Every word he says is felt with passion and love for his job. “Although it is a completely different working in finance than in the Church, it gave me good life experience,” explained Matthew. “It’s an industry where, sadly, not many follow biblical principles in recent years. I have always felt a call to preach in a Methodist Church, but due to one thing or another I worked in

finance.” A Northern lad, Matthew was born at Billinge Hospital, and grew up in Rufford, but it seems he can’t bring himself to leave the North West. Studying Hebrew and Geography at St. Andrew’s University, Scotland, it helped Matthew with his Christianity. After studying his degree, Matthew moved back to the North West, where he lived in Southport. Leaving the financial world behind, Matthew began his pastoral ministry at Grace Baptist Church, Southport, where he was a member for ten years and a deacon for six years. He moved to Orrell with his wife, Helen, and three children, after being made Pastor of Jireh Baptist Church last September, and he hasn’t looked back since.

St Michael’s host Easter Holiday Curtain’s Up’ Bible Club

WIGAN Musical Theatre Group present Curtain’s Up, a musical review of old and new songs, including Sister Act, Mama Mia and Lion King.

The performance will take place between Wednesday April 24th- Saturday 27th at St. Michael’s parish Hall, on Shaw Street, Wigan. Tickets are priced at £7. £6 for concessions. For tickets dial 01942 706106

Messy Church at St. Luke’s

FOLLOWING the success of the Messy Church programme, St. Luke’s church, Orrell are holding a further three events.

The Messy Church events will take place in the church hall, on Lodge Road, on Friday April 19th, Friday May 17th and Friday June 21st from 4.30pm-6.30pm.

Messy church is an alternative to ‘tidy’ church where everyone can experience worship in a relaxed atmosphere and share in a meal. Everyone welcome (children must be accompanied by an adult). Why not come along , just turn up, no need to bring anything except yourselves.

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

JIREH Baptist Methodist Church, Orrell, are holding an Easter Holiday Club during the Easter holidays.

The club, Xpedition Force, will use provide crafts, games and stories for children to learn about Jesus.

Xpedition Force will meet at Jireh Baptist Church, Chapel Street, Orrell, on Tuesday 2nd to Thursday 4th April from 6pm to 8pm and is open to infant and junior school children. A Parents’ evening will take place on Friday April 5th from 7pm, where the children show their parents what they have learnt. The club costs 50p per child each day or for tow or more children from the same family £1 per day.

Since becoming Pastor of the Church, Matthew has given weekly teaching of the bible, something which he is passionate about and, along with his wife, has set up Toddlers Time. A bible discussion group has also been set up, where people, who have little knowledge of the bible, discuss the Bible as a group. Describing his time at Jireh Baptist Church so far, Matthew said: “It’s been welcoming, strenuous and enjoyful. The Church has been very good to me, but it has been hard work. I work long hours, including evenings and weekends, so it is demanding but I enjoy it.” Matthew’s passion for the Church and his religion has united the whole of the community, and the Church feels, very much, a community focal point. With the Church hosting Bible study groups, knitting groups, as well as children and toddler groups, Jireh Baptist Church is finding new ways to preach about God. Upstairs in the Church is a snooker table and ping-pong table, for children to play as well as learn about God. Although Matthew

Easter Services at IM Churches

E A S T E R activities at the Independent M e t h o d i s t Churches in Pemberton, Orrell and Newtown are as follows: Good Friday 29th March: Joint Morning Service at Lamberhead Green I M Church, Loch Street, Orrell- 10.30am

Choir Cantata ‘Craddle to Cross at Bethel I M Church, Victoria Street, Newtown- 7.30pm Easter Day 31st March: Morning worship at Mount Zion, Lamberhead Green and Bethel I M Churches10.45am Evening Worship at Mount Zion and Bethel I M Churches- 6pm

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Jireh Baptist Church, Chapel Street, Orrell

has started different church groups, he is determined to change the image of the Church. He explained: “People think church is for good, religious people, but it is also for bad people who know

they need something better that they can do for themselves. “I want the church to grow, and reach local people. I want to see their lives transformed by God’s truth.” Visiting the Orrell

Church it seems that Jireh Baptist Church and its congregation is relishing the passion and enthusiasm of its new Pastor and his family, and will do for many years time.

Easter at St. Elizabeth’s

EASTER Services at St. Elizabeth’s Church Aspull are as follows:

Good Friday 2pm The Final Hour Easter Sunday 11 am with Easter Eggs and Balloons for the children Once again during the year St Elizabeth’s will be open to visitors on Thursdays and Saturdays starting on Thursday March 28th.

Times are 10am-3pm on Thursdays including a short Communion Service at 11am and 10am-2 pm on Saturdays. This part of the condition for receiving grant aid from English Heritage. More work will commence on April 15th so these openings may have to be curtailed for health and safety reasons. For more details contact David Jones on 01942 523494 St Elizabeth’s will be holding the first

ever Worm Charming Championships in Wigan on Sunday April 21st from 1pm. Worm charming is a method of attracting earthworms from the ground. The activity is usually performed to collect bait for fishing but can also take the form of a competitive sport. The event will be held at the Parish Hall on Bolton Road, Aspull. Plots are £5 each for a Charmer and their Gillie. It is expected that more than 100 plots will be taken up. Anyone interested should book a plot as soon as possible. Full details can be found on the special web site set up at www.aspullwormcharming.co.uk or contact Ruth by writing to St.Elizabeth’s Church, c/o 5 Hope Street Aspull Wigan WN2 1QH

WAGGON& HORSES

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3 course: £8.95 per person Daily Carvery Monday-Saturday from 11.30am-3.30pm Small- £2.99 Regular- £3.99 3 course- £6.50 Fosters £2.35 a pint Marston’s smooth bitter- £2.25 a pint Selection of real ales - £2.39 All day Sunday traditional Sunday Carvery 1 course - £7.29 Two course- £8.50 3 course- £9.95

Karaoke with Nicky every Saturday from 9pm ENTERTAINMENT ALL OVER THE EASTER BANK HOLIDAY WEEKEND


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Imagine Courier

A complete start to finish Kitchen and Bathroom service

YOU really have to see Imagine Kitchens to believe it! Billy and his team provide their customers with high quality, bespoke services from designing to installing the finest kitchens in the area. Here at Imagine Kitchens we have built up a great reputation in assisting families and homes with a friendly, reliable and very honest service to give them that new kitchen that they are looking for to complete their home. Our service is a start to finish professional and personally overseen procedure were everything needed to refurbish your kitchen is done by our fully qualified tradesmen. This includes: • Fully Fitting Service • Electrics • Plumbing • Plastering • Tiling • Painting If all the above is not required we also offer a supply only service. Also if you’re looking for a new bathroom you’ve come to the right place. At Imagine Kitchens we pride ourselves in offering a

huge range of quality, affordable bathroom products in a variety of styles. Whatever your requirements you’re sure to find what you are looking for, from designer suites and stunning freestanding baths through to quality shower enclosures, taps and accessories. As customers of Imagine know, the company caters for all tastes incorporating modern and contemporary to traditional and practical but far more importantly they always focus on the quality of the product and installation. There is a wealth of exquisite stock to view and all kitchens are made to order and built by cabinet makers, no mass production here! The kitchen of your dreams is available under one roof, all it takes is a no fuss 30 minute home survey with none of the pressure of the hard sell tactics. We are open 6 days a week for customers convenience to take a peak and to obtain some styles and ideas. For further information on our services visit our webiste www.imaginekitchenswigan.com Book a FREE design appointment call Billy on 01257 403003 or Mobile: 07835 639759.

Thanks for all you helpful advice & guidence Thanks for a job very well done on time by excellent craftsmen who were pleasent efficient and very tidy. Will use again in the next house Thanks again Ann & Keith Middleton"

Thanks for my lovely Kitchen you designed for me. The installation by the various tradsmen you sent was spot on . I am now waiting for the decorator to come Thanks so much and have a drink on me."

Dont just take our word for it, Imagine Kitchens, Wigan really do go the extra mile for all of our customers. Here are just some of our satisfied customer comments.

Thankyou very Much From Alan and Margaret Sharples A lovely Job" You did a fantastic job All the best Mr and Mrs Heath"

Wigan CCG now all set to deliver town’s health care

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Thank you for revamping my old kitchen, we are very pleased with the finished product and have had quiet a few compliments. Also thankyou very much to mike who did an excellent job in fitting the kitchen. Best wishes for the future and would recommend you to everyone. Peter and Marian

Quality kitchens and bathrooms at realistic prices

W I G A N B o r o u g h C l i n i c a l Commissioning has Group r e c e i v e d authorisation to commission NHS services across the Borough from April 1st.

Dr Tim Dalton, local GP and Chair of Wigan Borough C l i n i c a l Commissioning Group (WBCCG), which takes control of the local health budget from the now defunct Primary Care Trust, said: “We are delighted that from the 1st April Wigan Borough Clinical Commissioning Group (WBCCG) will take over from NHS Ashton Leigh and Wigan PCT the statutory duty of commissioning (or buying) services from provider organisations.

“This change will provide local people and their GPs across the Borough with a larger say in how NHS services are delivered”. Trish Anderson, Chief Accountable Officer for Wigan Borough C l i n i c a l Commissioning Group added:“The CCG are to committed commissioning the best services available to provide efficient, patient centred NHS treatment for local people. “We also welcome input from patients and their carers to influence how we commission NHS services”. Mike Tate, Chief Finance Officer for Wigan Borough C l i n i c a l Commissioning Group also commented: “Ensuring that the annual budget of £420m spent on NHS services across Wigan Borough delivers real value and helps improve people’s health is a job we take very seriously aim to continuously improve each year.”

Trish Anderson: “Efficient, patient centred NHS treatment.”

Mike Tate: “Real value and helping improve people’s health.”

e W om ro th EW a N er b f of

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s

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Wigan for Words Festival 2013

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P O P U L A R , innovative and unique - Wigan Words Festival is back.

Celebrating the best local and international writing and spoken talent, the words festival is now in its tenth year and this year will welcome outspoken journalist, author and broadcaster Will Self and Wigan-born poet and broadcaster Lemn Sissay, MBE. The festival, which starts on Monday April 1st till Saturday April 13th, boasts a two-week programme packed with entertaining, thought-provoking, interactive events, celebrating historical and modern writing talent. One of the star attractions at Wigan’s annual celebration is author Will Self (pictured above ). The

Courier

51-year-old has been a columnist and contributor for The Times, The New York Times, Harpers and The New Statesman, is probably most recognisable as a team captain on comedy game show Shooting Stars. Witty, opinionated and often televisual dynamite, Self is also an acclaimed author who this year was shortlisted for the Man Booker prize for his ninth novel - Umbrella. Self will give a reading from Umbrella as part of the Words Literary Festival at the Mill at the Pier from 7.30pm onwards on Thursday 4 April. Other highlights of the festival, organised by Together Committee, supported by WLCT (Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust) and funded by the Arts Council England’s National Lottery

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Grants for the Arts scheme, include special sessions with Wigan-born poet and broadcaster Lemn Sissay, MBE. Travel writer Alan Whelan will be revelling in a fascination with Africa that has led to three solo overland motorcycle journeys through the continent, and two books:African Brew HaHa, his journey from Lancashire to Cape Town in search of the ultimate cup of tea, and The Black Stars of Ghana, an intimate portrait of the vibrant West African nation. Words co-ordinator Sharon Lowe said: “It is really fitting that we celebrate the first decade of the festival with a special guest of the calibre of Will Self. A true social commentator and voice for the arts and contemporary culture, we are delighted to welcome Will to the Words Festival. “As well as being a celebration of the written and spoken word, the ethos behind the festival is about encouraging new writers to take inspiration, learn some of the tricks of the trade and get writing.”

THE Festival at a glance:

Monday April 1st: Wigan Day of Folk ‘n’ verse Tuesday April 2nd: Poetry- A vehicle for Love, Land and Politics with Patrick GordonDuff-Pennington, Esq, OBE Wednesday April 3rd: A fair Cop with author Michael Bunting Thursday April 4th: Umbrella with author Will Self Leigh & Atherton Writer’s Group Tyldesley Creative Writers Friday April 5th: African Brew Ha-Ha with author Alan Whelan Murakami and the Magic of the Real Workshop with John Togher Saturday April 6th: Do you do haiku? An Honourable Estate with author Elizabeth Ashworth

The Dragon who hates Poetry Family writing workshop Sunday April 7th: Talent Factory presents: Drama Sparks Children’s workshop Whose Line is it Anyway? Live literature open mic readings Monday April 8th: Left Aria: luggage with author Geoff Nelder G u e r r i l l a Monologues with Scriptshop and Friends RISE Workshop with Lemn Sissay Lemn Sissay in conversation with Jane Daniels- a rise event Tuesday April 9th: Coffee, Cake and ‘Write’ Good Do Ben Mellor p r e s e n t s Anthropoetry Creating a novel from historical fact with author Lizzie jones Wednesday April 10th:

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1-2-3- Laugh! Workshop- Day 1 Monkey Poet Murder Mystery show with Matt Panesh Thursday April 11th: From Knutsford to Manchester: the Life and Works of Elizabeth Gaskell 1 - 2 - 3 - Wr i t e ! Workshop- Day 2 The Travesty playWorld P r e m i e r e Performance Friday April 12th: Long, lives Short Stories Writing Workshop with Ian McLoughlin Women or WordsDear Diary Dr Irving Finkel & Alex Miller 1-2-3-Perform! Showcase The Travesty play Saturday April 13th: Words Together Networking Hear the Word Open Mic Theatre SportsWhose lIne is it anyway?

A View From Westminster... Wigan MP Lisa Nandy writes for the Courier

Y O U T H unemployment has become one of the most urgent challenges facing the country, and with over 1 million young people unable to find work, it dominates debate in Parliament.

Creating opportunities for Wigan’s young people is a top priority for the Council, local businesses, charities and Wigan’s schools and colleges. It is a huge challenge as Wigan was recently identified as one of the areas in the country most likely to have young people who are not in education, employment or training. There are over 600 teenagers who are in this situation, many of them from very difficult homes and turning their lives around is no easy task. Many young people find help through school or college but for others, outside organisations can be a lifeline. Recently I visited one of those, Youth Enterprise Services (Y.E.S.), Wigan which is a custom built training centre for young people who are disengaged or excluded from main stream education. It is based in Lower Ince, which is one of the key areas in Wigan where young people are less

likely to be in work or education. Y.E.S. helps young people to get practical skills in construction, motor vehicle maintenance, motor bodywork motorcycle repairs, maintenance and auto electrics - skills that are badly needed in today’s employment market. As well as leading onto work, the course also aims to give young people the confidence and change in their behaviour that will enable them to rejoin mainstream education. I met one of those young people when I visited the project recently, who talked to me with pride about the car he was repairing. He had been excluded before - not just from school but from several other training providers by the time he arrived at Y.E.S. Wigan. Now he is on his way to College. We should never give up on our young people no matter how challenging or difficult their behaviour. Projects like Y.E.S., just like local charity Rathbones and ProCo, show just how true that is and Wigan is lucky to have them. If the Government funded more schemes like this nationwide, we could ensure youth unemployment was not the constant source of concern and pressing problem it is today.


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BUSINESS REVIEW

News from The House with Makerfield MP Yvonne Fovargue

Visit ‘The Big White Events Company’ in Standish 14 High Street, Standish, Wigan, WN6 OHL T: 01257 367003 E: events4uk@yahoo.co.uk www.evententertainment-ltd.co.uk

Just moved in...

The Ministry of Defence has confirmed the newly-designed Arctic Star and Bomber Command gold clasp will be available to almost a quarter of a million veterans or their families and I am calling on readers of the Courier to spread the word. These proud heroes who battled through the Second World War’s hardest and infamous campaigns can now apply for the awards via my constituency office on 01942 824029. The arctic convoys were vital to the allied war effort but Winston Churchill called it the “worst journey in the world.” Between 200 and 400 survivors of the 1941- 5 convoys are

REGULAR termtime events:

Wigan Pier Youth Theatre Hawkley Hall High School £20 per term 6.30pmTuesdays 7.30pm ages 8-11 thought to be alive today but relatives 7.30pm-9pm ages 12-15 Wigan Pier Youth Theatre of deceased convoy veterans can also Hindley Sports Centre

“A victory for veterans of the Arctic Convoys and Bomber Command”

WIGAN veterans of the Second World War Arctic Convoys and Bomber Command will finally receive recognition for their bravery.

Wigan Theatre groups

receive medals on behalf of their loved ones. More than 3,000 died as ships ran a gauntlet of German fire power to keep Russia supplied and fighting at the Eastern Front.

Likewise Bomber Command Crews have waited far too long for official recognition. Only around 5,000 Bomber Command airmen are thought to be alive. But as with the Arctic Star, the clasp can be received by the families of those fallen servicemen. I am lost in my admiration for the bravery of these men who knew that there was a high probability that they may not survive the enemy bombardment and freezing conditions of the arctic or the deadly German defences as they left these shores in the darkness of night.

£20 per term Fridays, 5.30pm-7pm ages 9-14 Platform 16:25 Young People’s Theatre Company Academy of Live & Recorded Arts, Turner Street, Wigan Saturdays 2.30pm-5pm ages 16-25

Wigan Ukulele Club Concert

ST. JOHN The Baptist, Kirkless St. New Springs, Aspull, Wigan are trying to raise money to extend the Garden of Remembrance.

The garden is to be extended for the burial of cremated remains because the existing ones are nearly full.

This is a project that will benefit the whole community and not just our church. The Wigan Ukulele Club have kindly agreed to do a concert on Thursday the 25th April starting at 7.30pm in church. Entrance is £4 which includes light refreshments. Tickets from Vince McCarthy 01942243453.

Students praised for canal clean-up

NEW to the wonderful and bustling village of Standish is The Big White EVENTS Company.

The event planning, hire and sales company moved from Wigan Town Centre two weeks ago and are very excited to be working in Standish.

A friendly and caring team of professionals, in venue dressing, artiste promotion, event planning and entertainment, will give you all the help you need in planning your special event. All staff are dedicated to providing Exceptional Levels of Bespoke Services Quality Products and Entertainment Services. The attention to detail and the creative processes will ensure that all their clients will have the most fabulous event. The Big White EVENTS Company produce events for all sizes, so whether it's the smallest of private parties or the largest of corporate events the team can work their magic to make it a memorable occasion. But Remember...... Not every event has a large budget or a predetermined theme in mind, so just book an appointment and leave it to the team.

Brand new studio now open in Standish!

ALAN PRICE is a professional portrait photographer, acclaimed for his ability to capture the personality of every subject he shoots.

He has spent the last 8 years producing high quality portraits for multi-national studios, schools, military events, musical and commercial enterprises. His friendly demeanour has clients feeling instantly at ease, bringing out even the shyest of subjects. Alan believes in making all portrait sessions fun and friendly for everyone and prides himself on his ability to create a relaxed atmosphere. Please feel free to come and have a look at the studio and don't miss out on the special offers and discounts.

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STUDENTS from Wigan & Leigh College have been commended for their volunteer work regenerating a neglected stretch of canal in the North West. The students, studying the Extended Diploma in Public Services at Wigan & Leigh, gained a place with the Canal and River Trust’s towpath walkway team of volunteers as part of the volunteering aspect of the course. The 18 students joined the Trust’s regular volunteers to clean up the walkway along the canal at Wigan’s DW Stadium. Previous to the clean-up, Wigan Council received numerous complaints regarding the amount of litter on the stretch attributed to the high numbers of people who use it, particularly on match days. In just one day, the team of volunteers managed to clear 40 bin bags of litter, filled numerous wheelie bins and retrieved road signs and cones from the area. Katie Jackson, volunteer leader at the Canal and River Trust said: “The students were great to work with and it was so refreshing to see young

people join forces with our older volunteers. “The

clean-up

made

such

a

difference and while work was being

carried out, passers-by congratulated the students for playing their part in making the canal route, renowned for

litter, a much more pleasant area to walk, jog and cycle.”

Ursula Hoyles, Public Services

lecturer, Wigan & Leigh College commented: “This is the first time

students from the course have been

involved

initiative.

with

this

particular

“Volunteering is an important

element of the course as it allows

students who want a career in public services

to

understand

their

community, such real-life experience can really enhance their future employability.

“Due to such positive feedback

from the leaders and the benefits

volunteering can bring; we are keen

to continue the relationship with the Canal and River Trust.”


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Courier BUSINESS

Building Excellence

BUILDING projects across Wigan Borough have been recognised in this year’s ‘Building Excellence and Urban Design Awards.’

The annual awards ceremony, organised by Wigan Council, recognises excellence in the design and construction of new domestic and commercial properties in the borough, as well as refurbishments and conservation schemes. Two overall winners were selected from both the ‘design’ and ‘construction’ category. Winstanley College won the overall Urban Design award for its multi-million pound extension, while Old Prospect Brewery in Standish won overall award for Building Excellence for its sensitive approach to protecting the heritage of the original building. The newly restored café at Mesnes – part of the £6m ongoing restoration – was awarded Best Commercial Building. Representatives from Lost Art, Lambert Walker Conservation and Restoration Ltd and SBS Architects picked up the award in recognition for their wonderful restoration work. Councillor David Molyneux deputy leader of Wigan Council, said: “Every time we hold an event such as this, it gives a clear reminder that successful building and good design is all about partnership. “As a council we cannot make real improvements to our communities without the commitment and expertise of local architects, designers and construction firms. “These awards continue to recognise

and promote construction excellence and good design quality in the borough. I’d like to congratulate all those recognised.” Stuart Murray, Chief Executive for WLCT, praised the restoration work of Mesnes park. He said: “The skill and dedication to detail on this project has been exceptional. We now have a wonderful newly restored pavilion in the heart of a park that once the restoration is complete will be one of the finest in theNorth West.” Architectural and engineering firm, Pick Everard, who delivered the college extension, collected their Urban Design prize from John O’Neill, Chair of the borough’s Heritage and Environment Network and council deputy leader Cllr David Molyneux. The judges John O’Neill chair of the borough’s Heritage and Environment Network and George Hollinsworth from the Wigan Civic Trust commented that the extension enhanced the college’s appearance and provided a new, state of the art media and performance facility. John Greenhalgh, overall Building Excellence winner for the Old Prospect Brewery in Standish also collected his prize, with judges noting the care taken to construct a traditional masonry extension in keeping with the existing building. Councillor David Molyneux deputy leader of Wigan Council, said: “Every time we hold an event such as this, it gives a clear reminder that successful building and good design is all about partnership.

Building Excellence Awards:

Best domestic extension category:Award winner - John Greenhalgh for the extension to the Old Prospect Brewery, Standish.

Best housing category (Large Developer) Award winner - MorrisHomes the residential for d e v e l o p m e n t atWorthingtonPark, Standish Best Housing category (Small Developer) Award winner - Andy McCabe for the development of a bespoke house at Chestnut Farm, Aspull Best healthcare building category Award winner - Whitfield and Brown (Developments) Ltd for the Therapies and Audiology at Leigh Infirmary Best commercial building category Award winner - Lambert Walker Conservation and Restoration Ltd for the restoration of the Pavilion Café Mesnes Park,Wigan Best education building category Award winner - Walter Carefoot and Sons Plc for the development of a detached building at St James Catholic Primary School, Orrell Residential category Award winner - Peter Dickinson Architects for the design of the residential development at Malt Kiln Mews, Standish Urban Design Awards Health care category Commendation with merit – Frank Whittle Partnerships for the NHS Trust Education Facility Wigan Lane, Wigan Award Winner - QAD Architects for the design of the Standish Medical Centre Education category Commendation with merit – NPS North West for the

design of Hindley Green Primary School extension Award winner - Pick Everard for the design ofWinstanleyCollege extension. Commercial category Award winner - Cassidy and Ashton for the design of the Sainsbury’s superstore, Leigh Heritage conservation category Commendation with merit – Goldcrest Design Services Ltd for the The Old Shippen barn conversion Award winner - PYE Design for the restoration of 15 Market Street, Hindley Community category Commendation - Groundwork (Lancashire West & Wigan) for the Plank Lane to Atherleigh Way Towpath Improvements Commendation with merit Standish Community Forum for theJubileeGardens, Standish Award winner - The Friends of Hindley Station for the Hindley Station Gardens restoration Overall award winner for building excellence - John Greenhalgh for the extension to the Old Prospect Brewery, Standish Overall winner for urban design - Pick Everard for the design ofWinstanleyCollege extension

Towns pull together to boost local economy

THIS MONTH, councils across Greater Manchester will come together to consider a plan to boost their local town centre’s economy.

Wigan is one of eight councils looking at ways to attract investment into the town centre, which like others, has suffered with the rise of out of town retail and leisure developments, and online shopping. Council chiefs across the region are working together to produce a plan, which if approved by Greater Manchester’s Combined Authority at its meeting this March, could see a recyclable funding pot used to revitalise town centres, with returns from investments used to fund further town centre projects across the region. Experts in the public and private sectors have worked together to analyse the unique character and potential for development in Altrincham, Ashton, Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, Stockport and Wigan, providing recommendations to boost the local economy of each. The first stage of the plan includes building new offices and commercial developments, residential units and

broadening the leisure and night time economy. Further opportunities include education, new workspaces, investing in the public realm, growing independent businesses and using vacant buildings. Recommendations for Wigan include a cinema and other improved leisure activities and shops aimed at the student population. Leader of Wigan Council and chair of the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA), Lord Peter Smith, said: “Out of town developments and online shopping has changed consumer habits in recent years – having an unprecedented effect on the local shops and economy of town centres. “Although Wigan has been hit less than other places, there has been a loss of footfall with the visible signs of empty shops. Unfortunately the Government is postponing the review of business rates which would have given some relief to shops in Wigan. “It is important that we help local businesses, jobs and amenities with a sustainable for a 21st century town centre.”

Were your savings affected in the 2007 to 2009 Credit Crunch? Promised the highs but only got the lows?

EVERYONE has heard about the payment protection insurance scandal but did you know that the mis-selling of financial products goes much further and has occurred with many other products that you may have been advised to invest in. Gross mis-selling by commission hungry advisors is sadly a fact of life and you may have been an unknowing victim to this. Products such as INVESTMENTS LINKED TO SHARES. WHOLE OF LIFE COVER, ENDOWMENTS, LIFE COVER, MORTGATE PROTECTION, PENSION PLANS, LIFE COVER AND ISA’S have now been found to have been mis-sold as the risks were not fully explained.

Even worse is the reality is that these products can often be pushed onto us when in the most vulnerable situations like retirement (tax free lump sum), bereavement (insurance payouts / inheritance), accidents (insurance payouts) and redundancy. Have you had an investment and received less money back than you paid in or substantially less than you expected ? A recent article in the Daily Mail newspaper highlighted many of the thousands of savers who would have been better off if they stuck with a basic savings account. Given the various failings in the sales process at the vast majority of companies there is a strong chance (though not guaranteed) that you are owed compensation. YOU MAY HAVE BEEN ILL ADVISED BY A SALES HUNGRY BANK ADVISOR TO INVEST IN ONE OR MORE UNSECURE PRODUCTS LINKED TO THE STOCK MARKET THAT HAVE NOW LOST YOU MONEY.

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The recent economic turmoil has seen investments that you may have considered to be safe in cautious funds slashed in value when you thought they were “sound” or “structured” investments. Wigan Claims Advice Centre on Hallgate in Wigan have worked for years in conjunction with Industry experts in legal and other professional disciplines so as to enable its clients to receive the best possible representation in their claims for recompense. They can now offer a No Win No Fee service in this highly specialized area. Claims can be made against financial loses and misguidance on investments where FSA guidelines have been breached unbeknown to our clients. We are currently obtaining refunds from many high street banks and investment companies and have recently secured various high value compensation claims against Lloyds TSB (Scottish Widows Option Bonds). 01942 826866 / 01942 821249 31 HALLGATE – WIGAN – WN1 1LR 01942 826866 / 01942 821249 31 HALLGATE – WIGAN – WN1 1LR Drop in with your details or request a home appointment and they will look into your claim with no obligation. They are located on Hallgate in Wigan (opposite café select and mr. chips) and open 9.30am til 4.30pm Monday to Saturday. Why not pop in for a no obligation chat and see what they can do for you. Drop in with your details or request a home appointment and they will look into your claim with no obligation. They are located on Hallgate in Wigan (opposite café select and mr. chips) and open 9.30am til 4.30pm Monday to Saturday. Why not pop in for a no obligation chat and see what they can do for you.


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Focus fundraisers plan return

THE TEAM at Wigan-based Focus Insolvency Group have s m a s h e d expectations for their latest charity event aiding local four year old Jack Johnson, by reaching their target with time to spare. The 16 strong fundraising squad from managing director to receptionist and from keen athlete to leisurely dog walker – teamed up with recent acquisition, Phil Stone Consultancy to raise much needed funds for research into terminal condition Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) from which Jack suffers.

The team planned to complete 252 miles (406km), the equivalent distance between their two headquarters over 28 days in what they have dubbed the Focus 400 Charity Challenge. They began on March 1st planning to average nine miles a day collectively, but have managed to cover the impressive distance in just 18 days. The enthusiastic staff have now pledged to attempt a return journey in the remaining days of the challenge in an effort to add to their fundraising total for Jack’s charity, Joining Jack. Anthony Fisher, managing director of Focus Insolvency Group, commented on his team’s efforts. He said: “Everyone has

North west businesses best for tackling stress

BUSINESSES in the north west are the best in the country at tackling workplace stress, a study has revealed.

shown tremendous team spirit in covering this distance in just over half of the allocated time and to come back will require even more commitment over these next few weeks to get back in time. “I am confident that we can all do it and I shall even start to run further and faster myself. We need people to dig deep to make our efforts worth it and help this worthy cause.” Jack is a normal schoolboy but his health will deteriorate as he gets older, he will likely need leg

braces to walk by the age of 10, be confined to a wheelchair by 12 and is unlikely to live beyond the age of 30. Jack’s dad, Wigan Rugby legend Andy Johnson set up the charity, along with his wife Alex, to raise much needed awareness of DMD, a little know yet common fatal genetic disorder affecting around 1 in every 3,500 boys worldwide. The fundraising group have been collecting sponsorship on their Just Giving donation page and posting regular updates

about their progress on the ‘road’ from Wigan to Newhaven on their Twitter and Facebook pages during the challenge. If you would like to support the team in their bid to help Jack you can donate by visiting w w w . j u s t g i v i n g .co.uk/Focus400CharityChalleng e or you can get in touch direct on 01257 251319 for other ways to donate. Staff at Focus Insolvency Group are pictured above.

Nearly a third (31%) of workers in the region say their employers offer stress management support such as free counselling. This compares with 22% of businesses in Greater London offering support, whilst Scotland was the worst performing region with 19%. National employee benefits consultancy and occupational health expert PMI Health Group commissioned global research firm TNS to find out which businesses had systems in place to address stress before it kicked in and address it when it does. Colette Hodkinson, PMI Health Group’s head of occupational health sales and development, said a company “is only as good as its employees” and businesses in the north west “clearly” recognise this.

She commented: “Minimising, and appropriately handling, stress not only fulfils their duty of care to staff but can significantly reduce sickness absence, improve engagement, productivity and the business bottom line.” Thirteen per cent of north west businesses also offer dedicated areas, or rooms, where staff can go to relax and escape their working environment. This compares to a national average of just 6%. However, only 9% of north west employees rated counselling services among their top-three preferred benefits.

Don't be sunk by debt issues

ARE you one of the thousands of people struggling to pay off debts every month, fearing what could happen if you fall behind with repayments? If so, help is at hand from the expert advisers at Debt Advice Solutions.

Falling behind with debt repayments can happen quite easily, for example, a sudden emergency such as your car needing expensive repairs, landing you with an unexpected bill. There are many other situations that can cause people to fall behind with their payments, Events like redundancy, family breakdown, divorce, ill-health and the birth of a child can all cause indebtedness, as can over-borrowing to buy a new house or car. Price shocks on essential items like fuel and food can also lead to higher debt. Missing one payment may be considered an oversight by your creditor, but if you miss two or more, you could be asked what is happening. At Debt Advice Solutions, a team of experts is on hand to help you get to grips with your finances and make your debt situation much easier to bear. If your debt problems aren't significant enough to warrant bankruptcy, you don't have disposable income or you expect an imminent change in your circumstances you can't avoid, a debt management plan from Debt Advice. Solutions could be just what you're looking for. With a debt management plan, you are able to make one affordable monthly payment towards your debit, This is then distributed among your creditors.

As Debt Advice Solutions has established relationships with many established creditors, it may be able to reduce or freeze interest and other charges. Your debt management plan should also be fully flexible and capable of being altered at any time in the future to suit your changing circumstances. You can even choose to cancel your plan at any time with no penalties. To be eligible, you need to be responsible for more than £2,500 worth of debt and have two or more creditors, a minimum disposable income of £80 and be able to supply proof of income.

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Anyone who find themselves in financial difficulty for whatever reason should seek professional help and advice. Calling Debt Advice Solutions for a discussion with one of its advisors could be the best course for you. Let them guide you through your options, which may include a debt management plan, subject to your particular set of circumstances. Let Debt Advice Solutions help you get back in control of your finances without further delay. • Information: debtadvicesolutions.co.uk/call 08000 886 676 or 01942 238214 from a mobile


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Teaching youngsters to waste less food

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Councillor Susan Loudon, Wigan Council's cabinet member for children and young people, added: "It's wonderful to see so many schools supporting these initiatives; teaching children about the environment is important. As the world changes so should the curriculum to ensure that everyone is informed about the issues which affect them and the choices they have to do something about it." Our pictures show the campaign mascots visiting St Wifrid’s School in Standish during the week. G Leftover food should be placed in residents’ food caddy or green bin. A list of the food waste you can recycle can be found at: www.wigan.gov.uk/recycling For tasty leftover recipe ideas visit: www.lovefoodhatewaste.com

SCHOOL Pupils across Wigan are being encouraged to cut down their waste at lunch time.

From 11th of March until the 15th primary schools across the borough took part in EDF Energy’s ‘Waste Awareness Week,’ where pupils learned how to cut waste out of school lunches.

Story by Hannah Smith

Helping to spread the word, Wigan Council officers visited 11 schools giving pupils handy tips such as swapping food bags for a lunchbox and plastic bottles for a flask, while mascots Waste Warrior and Scoop showed them how to pack a 'waste friendly' lunch box. Councillor Kevin Anderson, Wigan Council’s cabinet member for the environment, said: "Research shows that families throw away around £50 worth of food each month. By planning their weekly meals, residents can save money by buying just the ingredients they need, whilst protecting the environment by reducing food waste."

Centre opens doors Transport plans get the go-ahead

WIGAN VOLUNTARY Youth Services Centre is opening its doors for the day.

The Community Centre, on Penson Street Wigan, will hold its Open Day on Saturday March 30th from 11am4pm. Free admission.

Refreshments will be available as well as stalls, face painting, Easter egg decorating competition, and a raffle. Representatives from Food Positive, The Brick,Green Man environmental education, Beech Hill Bookcycle, plus many more, will be on hand throughout the day. Snap up a bargain, meet some great people, have fun and grab something to eat at Penson Street Community Centre.

A NEW innovative blueprint for transport in Wigan Borough has been given the go-head.

The decision, made at the Wigan Council cabinet meeting on Thursday March 21st, will see commuters benefit from a number of initiatives, building on the success of improvements such as the recent opening of the Saddle Relief Road. The proposals are outlined in the new ‘Transport Strategy: Wigan Borough on the Move’ which sets out the borough’s priorities for the next 15 years, including ways to improve and expand existing public transport links to improve reliability, frequency, cost and variety of destinations to passengers. Healthier and environmentally friendly transport options, including cycling and walking, will also be promoted, with plans

New fence for local wood

to improve the health and safety measures in place. Parking provision will be reviewed with the potential for more spaces being made available in the town centre and the installation of electric car charging points aiding the council’s ‘green’ ambitions. Councillor David Molyneux cabinet member for regeneration at Wigan Council, referred to the document as the “blueprint for taking the borough’s transport forward." He commented: “The adoption of these plans will improve the provision and service of transport in the borough – helping residents to move about more freely. "In addition, research shows a direct correlation between improving the transport network and economic growth - with more people able to get to work and more businesses choosing to invest in an accessible town."

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NEW FENCING has been put in place on both sides of the entrance to Bottling Wood dam.

at Rosemary Crescent Whelley by Wigan Leisure & Culture Trust Green Spaces team.

Local Wigan Central Councillor, George Davies , who requested the new fences, said:"I' The fencing was put m delighted that the new on both sides of the fence on both sides is steps leading to the now in place may thanks Bottling Wood and goes to Bill and brenda Da, from the entrance Halliwell who brought

this to my attention and The Green Space Team who did the job. This is putting safety first." A clean up of the Bottling Wood area is to take place in the summer. Councillor George Davies, and Bottling Wood residents, Bill and Brenda Halliwell and Eddie McDermot are pictured with the new fence.

New menu at The White Crow

POPULAR Worthington hostelry The White Crow, run by husband and wife owners Stuart and Helen Birch, has introduced a completely new menu for the spring of 2013. Building on a reputation for excellent, home-cooked dishes and top quality, locally-sourced ingredients, the new menu features on the front page of the Crow’s website, www.thewhitecrow.co.uk. As well as a fine array of choice on the main menu, Stuart and Helen and their colleagues in the kitchen have kept up their healthy eating award standards with a Healthy Choice menu, and of course in keeping with the pub’s reputation as a family eating house continues to provide a very good childrens’ menu. Signature dishes on the menu include the legendary WHITE CROW 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, GAMMON’S ‘A FIRE, a fresh gammon steak topped with home

made hot Chilli Con Carne and melted spicy cheese, served with chips and vegetables, HUNTER’S CHICKEN, a chicken fillet topped with bacon, barbecue sauce and melted cheese, served with a choice of chips or new potatoes and vegetables, and TEWKSBURY BEEF, a rich portion of best British braising steak topped in a creamy homemade sauce with onion, mushroom and English mustard. Served with chips and vegetables. True to form, there is also an extensive range of Pub Favourite dishes, and of course a considerable selection from the Grill and Fish menus. Stuart and Helen are determined to keep that relaxed feel of a country inn going, with special menus on a dayto-day basis depending on what’s available locally, and some pretty intense downhome puddings and desserts for healthy appetites. The busy Easter and Bank Holiday period looms, but all the team at the White Crow are looking forward to welcoming lovers of good food and real ale and their families for the ultimate chill-out pub experience this spring....


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Why choose expensive concrete imitations for your patio when you can enjoy the lasting beauty of real NATURAL STONE for less? New natural Sandstone Paving Slabs £15.00 sq mtr New natural Limestone Paving Slabs £15.00 sq mtr Choice of colours and sizes available from stock also MASSIVE STOCKS of Circle Features, Stone & Granite Cobbles, Stone Walling, Copings, Rockery, Decorative Stone, Troughs, Slates, Bricks, Reclaimed Yorkshire Flags & Much More. At trade prices New Oak Railway Sleepers (Untreated) £20 Old Oak Railway Sleepers (Grade A) £15 All Our Products Are Top Quality & Everything Is Available Ex Stock. Why not let our expert design and installation team create your Dream Garden or Driveway. Our work is second to none. Call now for a free no obligation quotation from the experts. Full masonry workshop facility on site, we can make you just about anything in beautiful natural stone. Please enquire. Visitors welcome to view our display areas. Delivery service available.

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Pumbing/Heating

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National Car Care month

APRIL is National car Care Month, so what better time to get your car in top-tip condition.

Every April is designated as National Car Care Month to encourage owners to give their cars some extra attention, basic maintenance can go a long way towards improving the safety and dependability of your vehicle. As April draws to a close, TrueCar.com recommends the

following 10 basic maintenance procedures to keep your car operating at its best: 1) Check the oil, filters and fluids. Oil should be checked at every fill-up and changed per the owner’s manual recommended intervals. Brake, transmission, power steering, coolant and windshield washer fluids should also be checked regularly. Your car’s filters, including those for the transmission, fuel system and interior ventilation, need regular

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inspection and replacement. 2) Inspect hoses at each oil change and have them replaced when leaking, brittle, cracked, rusted, swollen or restricted. Check V-belts and serpentine belts for looseness and condition, and have them replaced when cracked, frayed, glazed or showing signs of excessive wear. Typically replace the timing belt between 60,000 and 90,000 miles or the interval specified in the owner’s manual to avoid a breakdown or serious engine damage. 3) Check the brake system every year and have the brake linings, rotors, and drums inspected at each oil change. 4) Check that the battery connections are clean, tight, and corrosion-free. The battery should be securely mounted. If it

is three years old or more, the battery should be tested and replaced if necessary. 5) Inspect the exhaust system for leaks, damage, and broken supports or hangers if there is an unusual noise. Exhaust leaks can be dangerous and must be corrected without delay. 6) Schedule a tune-up that will help the engine deliver the best balance of power and fuel economy and produce the lowest level of emissions. 7) Check the car’s heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system as proper heating and cooling performance is critical for interior comfort and for safety reasons, such as defrosting. 8 ) Inspect the steering and suspension system annually, including shock absorbers and struts, and chassis parts, such

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as ball joints, tie rod ends and other related components. 9) Check the pressure of all tires, including the spare, at least once a month. Check the tread for uneven or irregular wear and cuts and bruises along the sidewalls. Maintaining proper tire pressure can also ensure your vehicle’s best fuel economy, as well ensure safe handling while driving. Have your car’s alignment checked at least annually to reduce tire wear and improve fuel economy and handling. 10) Test exterior and interior lights and have bulbs that are not working checked immediately. Replace windshield wiper blades every six months or when cracked, cut, torn, streaking or chattering for optimum wiping performance and safety.

Fuel duty rise scrapped

CHANCELLOR George Osborne has delivered his 2013 Budget statement, and the good news for motorists is that the 1.89p per litre (ppl) fuel duty rise has been cancelled. The increase was originally planned to happen on 1 September but has now been scrapped altogether. Fuel duty rates will instead remain at 57.95ppl until September 2014, in a decision that’s likely to cost the Treasury around £1bn in lost revenue over the next 12 months. The news comes as a welcome relief to motorists, who have seen petrol prices soar to as much as 138.32ppl in February. By scrapping the increase in fuel tax, petrol will be 13ppl cheaper than if the duty had not been frozen over the last two years.

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THE BEST pictures yet of the all-new BMW M3 and M4 Coupe, ahead of their arrival in 2014.

BMW has big plans for its latest M models in 2014. It’s set to release a new M3 next year (pictured), plus a replacement for the M3 Coupe, called the M4. Power for both cars will come from a 3.0-litre turbocharged straight-six engine, producing around 450bhp – that’s up from 414bhp. As ever with M cars, the styling upgrades on both models are set to be subtle, including a more aggressive bodykit, Mspecific alloy wheels and a power bulge in the bonnet.

Parkes Standish Motors Family run business since 1978

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

TEL: 01257 400026 to advertise in the motors section

Details of Goodwood Festival of Speed 2013 announced

DETAILS of the largest motoring garden party in

the world announced week.

was last

Review courtesy Auto Express, your No1 stop for news and information about the motor trade

www.autoexpress.co.uk

Lord March revealed the details of the 20th Goodwood Festival of Speed, on 12-14th July 2013. Several marques and championships have s i g n i f i c a n t anniversaries to mark, 2013 being Lamborghini’s 50th year, while Porsche will commemorate 50 years of its iconic 911 model at the Festival with the centrepiece sculpture outside Goodwood House. The World Rally Championship’s 60th year will be celebrated on a considerably lengthened rally stage, while the Sports Car World Championship’s 60th year - and 90 years of the Le Mans 24 hours race - ensure sports and prototype racers will make up a good number of the cars running up the 1.16 mile hill climb.

Goodwood will once again feature Formula One’s biggest paddock outside a race weekend, with seven teams already having confirmed their attendance. Ferrari, Red Bull, Mercedes, Lotus, Caterham, Marussia and McLaren will all have cars completing the hillclimb. McLaren’s road car division will also show its P1 hypercar in action in front of over 185,000 spectators over the weekend. Since its 1993 introduction - where 25,000 people attended the Goodwood Festival of Speed has grown immeasurably. Thursday 11th July will see the now traditional Moving Show offer Motor visitors test drives in all manner of vehicles. Skoda is promising its new Octavia vRS will debut, while Lexus will bring along its new IS.

Fuel sales lowest for 23 years

The press day saw jJaguar bring along its XFR-S, the first time it’s been seen running driven by Jaguar’s 1988 Le Mans 24 hour winning driver Andy Wallace. Big name drivers are a constant draw at Goodwood, with regulars like Sir Stirling Moss and Derek Bell joined by a glittering AList of Formula One, Rally, Touring, Indy and Sports Car drivers past and present. Motorcyclists won’t be

PETROL SALES fell to their lowest volume level for 23 years in February as cashstrapped Brits cut back on motoring costs.

forgotten, either, with a new dedicated area, while the 20th Goodwood Festival will also celebrate Land Speed Record holders, the Bloodhound SSC appearing just days before it heads off to its record attempt. The usual Cartier, Style et Lux concours d’elegance will celebrate the most beautiful and eclectic cars over the Festival’s 20 years. Tickets are on sale now, via www.goodwood.com

UK drivers consumed 1.431 billion litres of petrol in February, a drop of 8.6 per cent compared with a year ago. Demand was 2.3 per cent less than March 2012, the previous lowest figure when petrol prices reached an all-time high of 142.5 pence a litre, nearly five pence higher than last month’s average. In 2012 demand was pushed up by panic amid fears of a tanker drivers’ strike. “As in the price surges of March and October last year, budgets quite simply snapped. No more money, no more fuel,”

said Luke Bosdet of the AA.

“The petrol price surge in February was the third 8p to 10p-a-litre swing in 12 months. Although not as severe as March 2012, it came at the worst possible time – winter. “Not only could drivers see pump prices ticking up by a 1p or more a week, but cold weather up fuel pushed consumption.” The sales figures are the lowest since January 1990, when Customs and Excise first began forecourt recording sales. Then, with petrol costing 38.1 pence a litre, forecourt sales reached 2,644 billion litres. For the driver of a small saloon, the cost of filing a tank has risen by just under £100 over the past 23 years.

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All about forwards

Warriors overwhelm the Chemics

Courier SPORT

Picture special by Marc Taylor

WIGAN Warriors gave their ex-second rower Denis Betts a torrid return to the DW Stadium when the Cherry and Whites thrashed Widnes Vikings by 62 points to 4 on Saturday night. Sam Tomkins celebrated his birthday with a hattrick, Josh Charnley bagged four tries and Pat Richards scored 22 points in a totally one-sided game that firmly put Betts in his place after some ill-judged comments earlier in the week.

Chris Tuson bursts through to score.

Wigan Warriors: T - Charnley 4, Tomkins 3, Tuson, Farrell, Richards, Thornley. G - Richards 7 Wigan Warriors - Sam Tomkins, Josh Charnley, Darrell Goulding, Iain Thornley, Pat Richards, Blake Green, Matty Smith, Dom Crosby, Michael McIlorum, Ben Flower, Chris Tuson, Liam Farrell, Sean O'Loughlin. Replacements - Jack Hughes, Scott Taylor, Logan Tomkins, Greg Burke

Ben Flower bursts though the Widnes line with teammates in support

IT’S ALL about the forwards this week. When Wigan Warriors commenced the 2013 campaign, we were perhaps getting tired of hearing from terrace experts about how the club had unwillingly lost a shed-load of talent and possibly hadn’t replaced it adequately, but if there was one area where most observers were in agreement that Wigan weren’t especially weak, it was in the steamhouse. Back in February, the Warriors boasted a forward pack that was truly menacing. At any time, it seemed, the Cherry and Whites could put out a starting six (plus several subs) comprised, among others, of any of the following: Sean O’Loughlin, Gareth Hock, Ben Flower, Chris Tuson, Jack Hughes, Epalahame Lauaki, Michael McIlorum, Lee Mossop, Harrison Hansen, Liam Farrell, Paul Prescott, Gil Dudson, Scott Taylor, Logan Tomkins, Rhodri Lloyd, Dom Crosby and Greg Burke. Under those circumstances it was difficult to imagine the young Warriors being dominated, or, in the words of some particularly pessimistic supporters, ‘bullied’ by anyone else in the league. And indeed, in the second game of the season, when Wigan drew 1717 with Warrington in front of 20,000 screaming fans, any concerns at all that the newlook Wigan team might not be physically up to the demands of the top flight, were put to rest.

Paul Finch is

The Insider

Wigan Warriors from the Inside Out... PAUL FINCH bemoans the fortunes of the Wigan front six...

talking coach will not be allowed the luxury of resting or even spelling his charges against either Saints or Hull KR on Easter Monday.

Irony

It’s a curious irony of course that certain sections of the Wigan crowd – apparently wowed by Leeds’s ability to win the title from fifth – have recently been calling for Wigan to save themselves in early season, rotating resources and holding first teamers in reserve, even to the point of sacrificing certain fixtures if it keeps everyone fresh in time for the business end of the season. Hmmm, well … perhaps some people should be careful what they wish for. Still on the subject of Wigan’s forward strength, or lack of it, the Gareth Hock saga we alluded to earlier had a curious sequel last week, with Widnes coach Denis Betts

Thinned

Josh Charnley crosses the line for the first of his four

Dom Crosby on the charge for Wigan

Stunning hairstyles at charity touch event Picture special by Marc Taylor

THE WEDNESDAY night Touch Rugby teams did there bit to raise funds for Comic Relief 2013 by playing last weeks round of matches in Fancy Dress, pictured Hindley RLFC (in white) are taking on Orrell St James Ladies. The competition is open to all levels of ability and teams can be either single sex or mixed and its proving a popular way to keep fit for those who have never played before and for those getting to old for the contact version of the sport its a way to play on longer without the bumps and bruises! Each Wednesday at the Soccer Dome, Robin Park the RFL run competition currently features 12 teams playing in league competition that last 12 weeks. It costs £32 per team per week, for more details or to enter a team please contact either or directly at the Rugby Football League. Fancy dress is optional..

But since then, for various reasons, Wigan’s ranks of young bruisers have been dramatically thinned. The injury list alone makes gruesome reading. At the time of this writing, the treatment bench is groaning beneath the combined weight of Lauaki, Mossop, Hansen, Prescott, and as of last week, Gil Dudson – none of whom look to be returning any time soon. When you think about it, you need only add a hooker to that little lot and it forms a monster pack that most other teams in Super League would be proud to field. On top of that, Gareth Hock’s well documented departure to Widnes on loan has more or less ensured that he won’t be reappearing in Cherry and White in 2013, if ever again, and all of a sudden Wigan are now facing what is traditionally the toughest stage of the season – the rapid turnaround of the Easter weekend – lacking nearly all their front-line enforcers. At this stage, one can only guess what kind of team Shaun Wane will be able to turn out against St Helens on Good Friday lunchtime. You can guarantee there’ll be no shortage of motivation whosoever takes the field, but one thing is certain – the tough-

Denis Betts: stoking an ʻadversarial atmosphereʼ

apparently criticising Wigan for not allowing Hock to play against them – even though this was a well publicised part of the deal that originally took Hock to the Halton Stadium at the beginning of this season. Of course, just because this part of the deal was an openly acknowledged fact several months ago, that doesn’t mean Betts had to like it, but it seems odd that he didn’t raise the issue at the time if it was such an irritation to him.

Silence

Possibly it’s that old ‘newspaper talk’ thing, wherein stoking an adversarial atmosphere as the big game approaches is more important than maintaining a dignified silence – and I quite sympathise with that, but on an entirely personal note, it’s a shame that, as a result of this, I now feel a

teensy bit less deferential towards a former great who at one time would have run through brick walls for the Cherry and White. But the forward news is not all unedifying this week. Young back-rower Liam Farrell has been earning recognition for all the right reasons. According to stats provided by Opta – at least up to last weekend (the Widnes game hasn’t happened at the time of this writing) – young Faz made an astonishing 226 tackles in his first seven games of 2013, which is also a 100% record as to date he hasn’t missed a single one. Add to that his deceptive turn of speed and his line-breaking skills, and it looks as if the Warriors have yet another star in the making.

Strength

For quite some time, those in the know have been comparing Faz to Andy Platt – that great warhorse of old, a state-of-theart prop forward who astonished John Monie with his ability to play eighty minutes and never run out of steam – and though you always have to treat such comparisons with a pinch of salt, I’m starting to wonder if there might be something in it. Here’s hoping anyway. With the big weekend coming up, Wigan will need all the strength and determination they can muster from their stable of young forwards. But let’s not cut our throats communally just yet. Those with long memories may recall Good Friday 2003, when an injury-ravaged Wigan turned out a team including nine Academy players to face a truly mighty St Helens side, which featured among a host of other illustrious names, Paul Wellens, Darren Albert, Martin Gleeson, Paul Sculthorpe, Sean Long and Chris Joynt, and despite being ten points down at halftime, went on to win by 24-22. Wigan coach Stuart Raper later named it the finest win of his career. So there you go. Amazing things happen in Rugby League. Enjoy the Easter break! For regular Warriors gossip, look out for my column, TERRACE TOPICS, in the Wigan Warriors match-day programme.

SPORT IN BRIEF...SPORT IN BRIEF...

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 ONCE AGAIN Orrell RUFC junior section is hosting a three day summer camp in 2013. During the summer holidays, itʼs never easy to fill all 6 weeks with fun activities for the kids, Why not pass that responsibillity on to us for 3 days? Working with the RFU, Orrell will be hosting three action packed days of fun games and rugby skills. The Venue is still to be arranged, but if you wish to register your child's interest, please send an email with your details including name and child's age to info@orrelljuniors.co.uk.  WIGAN RUFC Under15s have made it to the Lancashire Plate Final after a fine 17-0 victory over a strong and fancied Sedgley Park team at Douglas valley on Sunday March 17th. The win takes Wigan to Rochdale on 14th April to contest the final against Liverpool Collegiate.  IT PROMISES to be a red letter night at Wigan RUFC on April 19th when the club's Mini and Junior Committee host

WIGAN RUGBY LIONS GOT TALENT NIGHT . The event will give the talented rugby players of the club an opportunity to show their off the field skills, so whether you can sing, dance, eat fire, tell jokes or improve the flat lager behind the bar, club members are being asked to put their names forward. A select panel of judges will decide who is worthy to be crowned 2013 winner, with the event hosted by the club's equivalent to 'ant & dec' - Phil Hulme and Mike Partner. The floor is open to parents and coaches, but no animals please, so Club President Frank Morgan and his dancing dog routine are barred... Refreshments will be served on the night, with the possibility of a 'coaches dance off'as part of the entertainment if messrs Stuart Carter and Lee Butler can find their moonwalking shoes and thriller masks....


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Courier SPORT

Robins back to winning ways Picture special by Marc Taylor

WIGAN ROBIN Park got back to winning ways after losing their two previous games with a 2-1 victory away at AFC Liverpool in the North West Counties Premier Division on March 20th. Joseph Hull grabbed both goals for Wigan, the first coming in the 3rd minute with Hull cooly latching on to a through ball from Quirk to tuck the ball in the bottom left hand corner of the net.

Two goal striker Joseph Hull challenges for the ball.

Colin Quirk is brought down for a Robins penalty.

IT IS, without a doubt, an incredibly exciting time to be a Wigan Athletic fan.

This is the business end of the season, where we (usually) start picking up the points in crucial games. And to top it off, we’ve got a FA Cup semi-final against Millwall to look forward to; a win against the Londoners would secure another away day at Wembley and a place in the Europa League next season. Little Wigan in Europe? It sounds good to me! The league has to be our main priority though, and with nine fixtures still

Sam Oliver looks ahead to a crucial few weeks for the Latics

remaining, there is everything to play for. The game against Newcastle at the DW turned into a fiery affair, and will be unfortunately be remembered for that Callum McManaman challenge. Yes, I agree it was rash and dangerous tackle; Mark Halsey should

FORMER LANCASHIRE, Wigan and Orrell prop Nick Wilkinson (pictured left) is doing the hard yards for the Joining Jack charity (www.joiningjack.org) by taking part in the tough Ironman event in August.

On the 20th minute Quirk again the provider, put a ball into the AFC Liverpool box that caused havoc amongst the defenders, Hull capitilsed on the confusion to double the Robins lead. Quirk was again centre of the action when he was felled in the box, but he was unable to drive home the advantage, dusting himself down to take the penalty, the AFC Liverpool keeper comfortably saved meaning the Robins went in at half time with a 2-0 lead. In the 2nd half the hosts came out all guns blazing and managed to pull a goal back as the ball held up on the heavy pitch wrong footing the Robins defence and leaving a simple tap in for the AFC Liverpool striker. The Robins held on to claim a well earned 3 points on the road, with keeper Jay Foulds picking up the man of the match award. The Robins are next at home on Tuesday 2nd April when they host WIGANER Sally Barker Ashton Athletic in the local derby at the is set to run the Paris Robin Park Arena, all welcome.˚ Marathon for the Stroke

Sally’s run is tribute to Clif

Assocation in memory of her father Clif, who passed away in hospital after suffering a stroke in February.

Robins’ Man of the Match, ‘keeper Jay Foulds, saves a long range effort. Adam Howard heads clear.

have given a yellow card at the very least. The referee missed the confrontation though and the FA have decided to not intervene, letting him off the hook. Referees do make mistakes, and the sight of Newcastle assistant John Carver doing his best to get to McManaman as the teams left the field at half-time was unedifying. Wigan coach Graham Barrow tried to intervene, but he himself was redcarded and dismissed to the stands along with Carver. You can’t help feeling that the

incident wrongly overshadowed a resolute battling display from the Latics. Jean Beausejour grabbed his first goal for the club 18 minutes in following an awful attempted clearance from Davide Santon, but the Italian fought back in the second half, latching onto a clever pass from Papiss Cisse and smashing the ball past Joel Robles. The match turned into a scruffy affair but our defence stood tall, with Antolin Alcaraz particularly having a stand-out game following his recent return from injury.

Nick’s hard yards for Joining Jack

Some 500 people attended Clif's funeral at Wigan Parish Church, a huge tribute to the former prosecuting solicitor, prominent Freemason and former President of Lancashire and Wigan RUFC. Clif, pictured above with Sally, is also father of former Wigan captain Danny Barker, as well as a former player at the club in his own right. Sally, now a Southern Exile,

Three points were desperately needed though. In the 89th minute, McCarthy whipped in a corner from the right-hand side of the pitch. Figueroa used his hand as he leapt into the air, directing the ball into the box and into the path of Kone. The Ivorian scuffed home his ninth league goal of the season, securing a 2-1 win and a big result for the Latics. The referee should have spotted the handball, but it’s somehow satisfying to see luck go our way for once. Roberto Martinez said in a recent press conference that the next few weeks will define the next 20

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years for the club. Come the end of May, we could be relegated to the Championship, or holding the FA Cup and looking forward to a ninth season in the Premier League with the added bonus of European football. But there is still work to be done. After the inconvenient international break, the Latics face similar opposition in the form of Norwich and QPR. Both are must-win games if we are to stay up this season. Nevertheless, if we play to our full potential, I see no reason why we can’t secure all six points and climb away from the dreaded drop zone. In Bobby We Trust!

told the Courier: "I am running the Paris Marathon next month and, since my Dad's death, I have now decided to run in memory of him and raise money for The Stroke Association. "I have set up a sponsorship page at www.justgiving.com/ MarathonSallyB, and hope that Dad's friends would like to make a donation."

Nick, who is Managing Director of Wigan company Fleetsmart, takes the Ironman challenge onAugust 4th, starting at Pennington Flash to swim 2.4 miles, followed by a 112 mile cycle ride around Rivington and the surrounding area, then straight into a 26.2-mile marathon. And if the sheer scale of the challenge wasn't enough, Nick has to complete the three events within 17 hours of the 6am start. Nick told the Courier: "It is a big ask as I am not naturally made for this type of event! Over recent years I have lost in the region of five stone in weight, and worked hard to get to the level where this is anything like possible. "This is my biggest challenge to date, and I hope to raise £10,000 or more to play a small part in destroying this terrible disease! In October 2011 former Wigan Warrior Andy Johnson and his wife Alex received the shattering news that their son Jack has Duchenne's muscular dystrophy (DMD). Failing a medical breakthrough, Jack's life will follow a predetermined path, mapped out by this progressive muscle wasting condition. Nick is selling sponsorship space on his competition clothing and bike, where businesses can place their logo, name or indeed anything they may wish. Nick has set up a Just Giving page at http://www.justgiving.com/nickwilkinsonIRONMAN2013, and sponsors can Text IMAN73 £10 and send to 70070, or email ironmanchallenge @ fleetsmart.co.uk with your details.


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