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Your local magazine

August 2011

A summer’s evening in Parbold

Wigan Edition

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Local Life

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Life is Local!

Welcome to your new look community magazine, Local Life! Publisher: Local Life 247 Ltd P.O. Box 631 Wigan WN1 9HF Advertising: 01257 498329 advertising@locallife247.co.uk Editorial: 01257 498329 editorial@locallife247.co.uk Accounts: 01695 627999 accounts@locallife247.co.uk The September edition of Local Life will be published on Thursday 25th August. The copy deadline for this issue is Thursday 11th August. Local Life is published every month. Distribution areas will alternate each month between two separate edition areas; Edition 1 is delivered to over 12,500 private homes and businesses in Standish, Whitley, Shevington, Appley Bridge, Parbold, Wrightington and Newburgh. Edition 2 is delivered to over 12,500 private homes and businesses in Orrell, Billinge, Winstanley, Up Holland, Highfield, Marus Bridge, Roby Mill and Pemberton. You can also pick up a free copy of Local Life, on or around the first weekend of the month, at Tesco Extra in Wigan or at Sainsbury’s in Marus Bridge. Or you can check out our online publication at www. locallife247.co.uk. Whilst every care has been taken to ensure that the data in this publication is accurate, neither the publisher or its editorial contributors can accept, and hereby disclaim, any liability to any party to loss or damage caused by errors or omissions resulting from negligence, accident or other cause. No part of this publication, including pictures, may be copied or reproduced without the prior written consent of Local Life 247 Ltd.

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We’re passionate about the people, the places and the wonderful countryside in this corner of Lancashire, and we’re going to do our utmost to inform and inspire you! We’ll bring you news and information from your local area, and we’ll throw in a few interesting features too. Our local circular walks, Jack’s Tracks, are particularly popular with walkers, we also regularly run competitions to win tickets to the North West’s most popular attractions and our Taste Tests are poured over by those who enjoy eating out. In addition, you’ll be provided with a What’s On section in every magazine, a Useful Numbers section which contains every local useful number you need, bar the baker and the candlestick maker. We have a Home Services and a Garden Services section, containing a comprehensive selection of local tradesmen, and lots more useful information, so please keep hold of the magazine until the next one arrives, because you never know when you might need it! Community groups and charities can expect our full support; if you need publicise an event or raise your profile, we’ll help you if we can and there will be no charge for our services. Please email editorial@locallife247. co.uk for details. Finally, we depend entirely on our wonderful advertisers to bring this magazine to you. So if you do enjoy Local Life, then please support those who support your local magazine! Hope you have a great summer – see you next time!

Chris Pearce - Publisher chrisp@locallife247.co.uk

In this issue

Who is tops for Food Hygiene? 50% off Perfect Fit blinds! Appley Bridge pub wins food award! Free Tea or Coffee at Pimbo! Haigh Show returns Taste Test – Dicconson Arms What’s On at the Picture House? £100 trade in offer at Billinge Furniture! Have you got the Summer Holiday Blues? Southport Flower Show Top Tax Tips from CMA Only the best from Orrell Roofline! Jack’s Tracks to Parbold Kids Page Win Tickets to Knowsley Safari Park! Road Test the new Saab 9-4X Motoring Section What’s On Angie’s Garden Diary Home Services Section

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the lay-by on the A5209 opposite the entrance to Fairy Glen. And next Saturday (14th August) you can discover the many hidden delights of Skelmersdale on an 8 mile circular walk, which leaves from Nye Bevan Swimming Pool at 10am.    For all of the walks please wear sturdy footwear and clothing to suit the weather conditions. Dogs on a lead are welcome. Contact the West Lancs Rangers on 01695 622794 for more information or visit the website www.westlancsdc.gov.uk.

Seaside Rock

Step Out

Walkers at a loose end this week can lace up their boots and join in the final week of the West Lancs Annual Walking Festival, which runs from Monday 1 Sunday 14 August. There’s a wide range of walks on a daily to suit all ages, abilities and interests, and we’ve picked out details of just three fairly local walks; This Monday (8th August) you can join in the Lathom Circular Walk, a 10 mile walk which leaves Ruff Woods in Ormskirk at 10am. A shorter Fairy Glen walk, which is five miles long, takes place on Wednesday (10th August), leaving at 10am from



Local Life

Parbold’s Evangelical Church are staging their annual Holiday Bible Club, Seaside Rock, later this month at their base in Chorley Road in Hilldale. Running from Monday 22nd to Friday 26th August, the club will cater for children aged 5-13 years old and activities include crafts, stories, games, music and competitions. Sessions start at 10am through to 12.30pm, and doors open at 9.50am. For more details, call 01257 463423.

Highland Fling

If your child loves dancing along to their favourite tunes, then the local Scottish County Dancing troupe would like to hear from them! They can offer youngsters aged 5-15 a great time at their weekly meetings, which feature a mix of fun, exercise and dance, and of course, a chance for them to meet new friends. The sessions take place on Tuesday evenings from 6.30 to 8pm at the Trinity URC in Milton Grove off Wigan Lane. For more details call 01942 861539 or 01942 247403.

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Volunteers Required

What have Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles, Simon Rix (Kaiser Chief’s bassist), actor Phillip Glennister (Gene Hunt in Life on Mars) and Phillip Schofield got in common? They all spent the first part of their careers working in hospital radio! Hospital Radio Wrightington, which broadcasts daily to Wrightington Hospital and to Wigan Infirmary, are looking for volunteers to help in their efforts to brighten up the day of hundreds of sick Wiganers. If you don’t fancy taking the mike for a session in the studio, then maybe you’ll fancy emulating sports commentators such as John Motson by helping to bring reports on Latics or Warriors matches direct to people’s bedsides?

Parish Walk

Shevington’s Annual Parish Walk takes place this year on August Bank Holiday (Monday 29th August). All residents are welcome on this eight mile walk, which sets off from St Anne’s Parish Centre on Church Lane in Shevington at 10am, and finishes between 1-2pm back at the centre, where there will be refreshments available. Sponsorship this year is in aid of Derian House Children’s Hospice and Wigan and Leigh Hospice. For further details, please call Mrs Pilkington on 01257 473022 or email clerk.shevingtonpc@ yahoo.co.uk.

And if talking into a microphone really isn’t your cup of tea, there are lots of other ways to help, such as visiting the wards, helping out in the studio and fundraising to support the organisation, which celebrates 40 years on the air next year. If you’re interested in helping out, then call the station on 01257 252435 in the evenings or 01942 703491, or email hospitalradiowrightington@yahoo.co.uk.

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On the Road

Wigan Little Theatre’s season kicks off with a performance of the 1986 Jim Cartwright play, Road. Under the guidance of the rum-soaked wideboy, Scullery, the audience is taken for a tour of a scruffy, depressed road in a small Lancashire town. Moving from street corner to living-room, from bedroom to kitchen, we explore the lives of the people during the government of Margaret Thatcher. Described as a sharp, sad, funny and angry play, this sometimes explicit production was considered extremely effective in portraying the desperation of people’s lives at this time as well as containing a great deal of humour. It was later made for television by renowned director Alan Clarke and starred many young actors who later became well-known including Jane Horrocks, David Thewlis, Moya Brady and Lesley Sharp. The production runs from Wednesday 7th to Saturday 17th September at the Crompton Street theatre. Bookings can be made by telephoning the box office on (01942) 242561, in person at the box office or by completing a postal booking form, which you can download from the theatre’s website www.wiganlittletheatre.co.uk.



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Tennis Camps

If your child fancies themselves as the next Andy Murray or Laura Robson, then they might be interested in trying out a Tennis Camp this summer at Robin Park Tennis Centre. The sessions are being held as follows: For children age 4-8 years at a cost of £5 per session - Monday 15th August (10am-12pm) and Wednesday 31st August (11am-1pm). For children age 9-14 years at a cost of £10 per session – Wednesday 24th August (10am-2pm) and Friday 2nd September (10am-2pm). For more details on the tennis camps or to book a place, contact Robin Park Sports and Tennis Centre on 01942 828550 or Alasdair Upton on 01942 824758.

Rambling On

Parbold Ramblers are looking for new members to join this friendly and sociable society. The group meets on the first Sunday of the month at the shops on The Common in Parbold, and car-share to various distant pastures for a day’s walk. Annual membership is £15 and a one off trail membership is just £1.25. For further details and a list of forthcoming walks call Jimmy on 01257 463057 or Liz on 01257 462121. If you’re a member of a community group and you want to publicise your next event free in Local Life, then just email details along with a contact name and number to editorial@locallife247.co.uk.

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At the other end of the hygiene scale were fast food takeways Petra in Shevington, Sofra on the High Street in Standish and a clutch of food establishments on Wigan Lane; Bel Air Hotel, Ainika Indian Takeaway, Kebab King and Roosters, all of whom attracted a paltry single star in the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme. It’s worth pointing out though that these inspections have been carried out over a two year period, and are a snapshot of a particular moment in time. Some outlets may have changed hands or made the necessary improvements since the inspection. To check out the hygiene ratings for your local food establishment, visit the website www.food.gov.uk and click on the Food Hygiene Rating button.

Hygiene Rankings

Local food outlets have been anxiously pouring over the new Food Hygiene Rating Scheme results just released on the Food Standards Agency website. Wigan Council is participating in the scheme for the first time and has released results of food hygiene inspections carried out by their food inspectors at hundreds of premises across the borough. Whilst visiting businesses, the food inspectors from both Wigan and West Lancs Council were on the lookout for issues such as food storage, staff hygiene, pest control and the overall cleanliness of the premises. Diners are being urged to look for the green and black food hygiene stickers which will be a regular feature in the windows of the town’s restaurants and fast food outlets. Categories range from a zero rating meaning that ‘Urgent Improvements’ are required for the business to keep trading, to a five star rating of ‘Very Good’.

Get Crafty with Clay

Standish and Shevington Libraries, in conjunction with artist Brian Rollins, are running craft sessions at the back end of the month. These popular sessions are a great way to entertain the kids, who will learn how to use special techniques to build their own clay sculpture. The Shevington session runs on Monday 22nd August from 3.30pm-4.30pm and the Standish one follows on the Thursday of the same week(25th August). Sessions cost £1 each and demand is sure to be high so call Shevington on 01257 252618 or Standish on 01257 400496 to book your child’s place.

Local restaurants celebrating a five star rating include Ashfield House, The Beeches, Gallimores, the White Crow, the Rigbye Arms, Giuseppe’s and the Mulberry Tree. Other local establishments achieving a five star rating include The Chippy on Pole Street, and also Deli-cious and Chinese Delights on Preston Road, all in Standish, and the Café at Golden Days Garden Centre in Appley Bridge. Katie Street, the owner of Ashfield House in Standish, who is pictured celebrating with Head Chef Mike Daniels, said she was “delighted, but not at all surprised” to achieve the 5 star rating. Mike added “when you’re making everything from scratch, like we do at Ashfield House, hygiene is of paramount importance”. Food preparation areas at Ashfield House were used back in 2006 in a photo shoot for the Food Standards Agency to demonstrate ‘best practice’. www.locallife247.co.uk

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Another Award for Arms

It’s received rave reviews and a clutch of awards in recent years, and now the Dicconson Arms has another reason to celebrate! The Appley Bridge based restaurant has been named Wigan Food and Drink Restaurant of the Year. Following hundreds of entries in this year’s competition, judges picked the fine eatery for its outstanding menu and rave reviews by diners during March’s Food and Drink Festival. The win adds yet another accolade for the restaurant, which has celebrated a number of triumphs in recent years, including Marston’s North West Food Pub of the Year 2010 and Pub Chef of the Year 2007. The pub has been transformed since being taken over by husband and wife team Mike and Caroline Gray. Mike said “We’re delighted to have won this award. The Wigan Food and Drink Festival really does celebrate the great restaurants emerging across Wigan and Leigh and we’re thrilled that people enjoyed their experience here so much that they voted for us”. Celebrity chefs, live music, real ale and scores of special restaurant events ensured an estimated £200,000 was spent in the local food and drink economy during the Wigan Food and Drink Festival. More than 4,500 people, an increase of 26 per cent on 2010, flocked through the doors of the 24th Wigan Beer Festival which kick-started the event whilst a phenomenal 1,300 tickets were sold for the 17 special events held in restaurants, a 62 per cent increase on

2010. Support from local businesses once again ensured that this year’s event went ahead and the main sponsor was local food producer, Hazeldene. Richard Fulwell, Hazeldene’s Finance Director, said “In terms of the quality of food and service provided, we felt that The Dicconson Arms fully deserved to be named Restaurant of the Year. We are proud to be associated with the Wigan Food and Drink Festival. It’s gone from strength-to-strength and is a real showcase for the food and drink sector of the borough raising the profile nationally.” Local Life decided to pop along to Appley Bridge and check out the restaurant; check out our Taste Test on pages 16 & 17. Pictured are Mike and Caroline Gray being presented with the Wigan Food and Drink award by Richard Fulwell.

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Rigby’s Coffee Shop

NOW OPEN at Pimbo Garden Centre

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GARDEN CENTRE Located off junction 5 of the M58 Follow signs for Pimbo Garden Centre www.pimbogardencentre.co.uk

Or why not try one of our quality coffees, made using some of the finest award winning coffee beans in the world.

Garden Centre Opening Times: Mon - Fri 9.00am-5.30pm Sat & Bank Holiday 9.00am-5.00pm Sun 10.00am-5.00pm

Coffee Shop Opening Times:

Mon - Fri 9.30am-4.30pm & Sun 10.00am-4.30pm

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Offer valid until Friday 30th September 2011 Offer limited to 1 ‘FREE regular pot of tea for 1 or filter coffee’ promotion per customer. Not to be used with any other offer. Original vouchers only. No cash alternative. Your details will only be used for the purpose of distributing our Newsletter and current promotions and will not be passed on to any other source. Please tick here if you do not wish to be added to our mailing list.

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Competitions taking place on show day are open for anyone willing to compete and who knows; you could take home a trophy that night along with happy memories of your day at Haigh Show! You can print off a schedule of the show’s events from the website, www.haighshow.com, along with instructions on how to prepare and present your exhibit. If you own a business, then it’s not too late to apply for a trade stand on the show day. Visit the website www. haighshow.com, where you can apply online or you can also contact Mrs Southworth on 01942 832030 or email: carol.southworth@blueyonder.co.uk The event organisers are always looking for extra help to organise the show, so for more details and any further general enquiries, please contact the secretary of the event, Gina Fisher on 07900 955688 or e-mail haighshow@hotmail.co.uk.

Haigh Show

This year’s Haigh, Aspull and Blackrod Agricultural Show, or the Haigh Show as it’s more commonly known, takes place on Sunday 21st August from 10.30am-6.00pm and it promises to be the best show since it started twenty two years ago, back in 1989! Many of the most exciting activities take place in the main show ring. There’s a flying display by Lancashire Hawks and Owls, performances by a Scottish pipe band, a parade of vintage tractors along with a parade of Shire horse turnouts and a visit by Lancashire’s Holcombe Hunt. Other attractions include a cattle parade, young farmers’ club activities, a supreme horse championship and a tug of war! This is all in addition to the usual competitive classes for horse, cattle, sheep, poultry, rabbits and dogs, and so much more!

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Par Excellence Foodies amongst you will know that smug feeling you get; the one when the restaurant you’ve publicly backed as the ‘next big thing’ starts to receive awards for the quality of its food. It’s a similar feeling to successfully backing a 20-1 outsider to win the 3.30, but on a far more personal level. So when the Dicconson Arms in Appley Bridge won the Wigan’s Restaurant of the Year 2011 award (in addition to the Marston’s North West Food Pub of the Year 2010 award), a big cheer went up in our household because we’ve been recommending the place for a couple of years to anyone who would listen! After our customary warm welcome, we settled down to read the menus. The choice was as plentiful as usual, and there’s a separate fish menu which changes daily, depending on what’s been landed at Fleetwood that morning. On the face of it nothing had changed since our last visit, but we were eager to see if all this awards success had gone to their heads. Those fears were dispelled with the first bite of the goats’ cheese en croute, our first starter. The baked 16

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Ravens Oak cheese, encased in puff pastry, was creamy and luscious with a hint of almonds and white wine. To say that the sweet tangy flavour of the grape chutney contrasted perfectly would be the understatement of the year; the dish was simple, but the combination of flavours and texture encapsulated the creative process behind the success of the Dicconson Arms. For my starter, I plumped for the seared scallops on a bed of fennel and served with orange segments, and crispy bacon. Cooking scallops can be a trial for a busy kitchen, overcooking them even for a few seconds can result in a rubbery texture, so I was relieved when the scallops were sweet, light and tender; oh and delicious too! The tasty bacon added texture and the juicy orange pieces highlighted the essence of a perfect summer starter. As our plates were cleared, we sneaked a look around the place. Though the place was quite full, it was eerily quiet, with the main resonance coming from the appreciative murmurings of our fellow diners! Listening to the comments coming from nearby tables, it wasn’t difficult to conclude that the word has indeed spread about the quality of its food at the Dicconson. www.locallife247.co.uk


Hmm, I was brought swiftly back to reality when my main course landed. I have an irrational fear of eating something that stares at me, and now I was being forced to confront it as my first ever turbot arrived, complete with head and its all-seeing eye. Supposedly Rick Stein’s favourite fish (and he should know!), the turbot was served in a butter sauce with grilled tomatoes and asparagus, and a separate pot of potatoes. I put aside any misgivings and tucked in. The turbot was absolutely heavenly; succulent, smooth, white flesh which flaked perfectly and tasted divine in the butter sauce. Truly, I was in awe that fish could ever taste this good! I looked across at my dining partner, who was gamely tackling a 14oz Pork T-Bone steak, accompanied by chive mash, curly kale and an apple and apricot chutney. Being a helpful sort of chap, I grabbed my fork and helped her clear the plate! Again, the pork was superbly cooked, so tender and tasty, and the chutney alone was worth a prize! The mash was to die for, and the curly kale, a kind of cabbage that I hadn’t encountered before, was sweet, flavoursome and added texture to the dish. Regular readers will know I’ve got a bit of a pet hate about restaurants buying in desserts from suppliers and tarting them up just prior to serving, with a dusting of this and squirt of that. To the customer, it often means that the last impression they have of the place is something that began life at Costco earlier that week.

However, at the Dicconson Arms, all the desserts are made freshly on the premises. In fact, one of the desserts we ordered, the Chocolate Fondant with Strawberries, is actually made whilst you wait. It sounded wickedly decadent, and so it proved to be! The light, delicate sponge encased the runny chocolate, and the fresh tasty strawberries were a delight to eat; this is food porn at its finest! As a contrast, I opted for a traditional favourite of mine; rhubarb and apple crumble with a scoop of Fredrick’s vanilla ice cream. The rhubarb and apple filling was presented in a deceptively large dish, with a healthy sprinkling of crumble on top. Absolutely delicious! You couldn’t ask for much more from the Dicconson Arms; they serve the finest of fresh foods, the menus are varied, imaginative and seasonal, the presentation is great, and the service is a delight. I think it’s my very favourite local restaurant because, despite all the awards and plaudits that have come their way in the past few years, there’s no air and graces about this place. The quality of the food is par excellence and the prices are modest in comparison with other similar establishments. If you haven’t yet tried the Dicconson Arms; give them a call now! Dicconson Arms 206 Appley Bridge North Appley Bridge WN6 9DX 01257 252733

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Parbold Apolcalypse

The next film to be screened at the Parbold Picture House is Apocalypse Now, a 1979 US Vietnam war film based on Conrad’s novel ‘Heart of Darkness’, and dubbed “the greatest action film of all time” by The Guardian. Martin Sheen plays a captain who has been serving in Vietnam for 3 years, and Marlon Brando plays a highly decorated Special Forces officer. Apocalypse Now will be screened at 7pm next Sunday (14th August) at the Village Hall, located on The Green in Parbold. Doors open 30 minutes before the film commences, all seats are £3.00 (admission on the door) tea and coffee available. Other films being screened in August and September include;

Life Offers!

The clock is ticking away towards the opening day launch of the Wigan Life Centre, the huge development on the site of the old Wigan Baths on Library Street. This state of the art fitness centre and swimming pool is due to open on Saturday 28th August. There are a couple of special offers available for those interested in joining; the first 500 members to join can do so for a special lifetime guaranteed price, and also; if you join before Sunday 29th of August, there’s no joining fee! Visit the pre-sales desk in Wigan Library for further details or call 01942 488424.

Art Exhibition

Ashton Art Group are holding their Summer Exhibition this year from Saturday 6th to Saturday 13th August at St Thomas’ Church Hall on Warrington Road, Ashton. Admission is free and opening times are as follows; Saturdays 10am-6pm, Sunday 12 noon-2pm, Monday-Friday 11am-7pm.

Sunday 28th August 7.00pm Animal Kingdom A 2010 Australian crime drama telling the story of seventeen year old Josh Cody trying to find his way of surviving amongst an explosive criminal family Sunday 11th September 7.00pm Local Hero Local Hero is a 1983 Scottish comedy-drama film. It follows an American oil company representative sent to a fictional village on the west coast of Scotland in an attempt to purchase the town and its surrounding property for his company to build on, but things do not quite go to plan. For more details, visit www.parbold.info or call 01257 464533.

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Haigh Opera

Whilst the world’s perception of Wigan seems limited to pies, pits and rugby, one of its most famous old homes is fast becoming known as a regular scene for something considered a little more high brow – opera! The Earl of Crawford’s old pad, Haigh Hall, is the venue for two forthcoming operas performed by Heritage Opera, a northern based touring opera company. Mansfield Park, a chamber opera by Jonathan Dove based on the Jane Austen novel, is premiered by the company in August and it arrives at Haigh Hall on Sunday 7th. Accompanied by the Heritage Opera Ensemble, the company replicates Fanny Price’s vision of the world of Regency high society. Spanish heat and gypsy passion come to Haigh Hall this autumn in the shape of the famous Bizet production, Carmen. Packed with some of the most loved and memorable music in opera, the production is staged at the Hall on Friday 21st October.

New participants can take advantage of a free taster session, and each session thereafter is £5 each time. For more details, call Maureen on 01257 424095.

Crafty Club

Shevington Library are hosting two Summer Craft Clubs at the library this Monday (8th August), next Monday(15th August) and also on Saturday 27th August. The sessions run from 1.30-2.30pm and the cost per child is just £1; all materials are provided. Places are limited, so book your child’s place by calling the library on 01257 525618 as soon as possible. If you’re a member of a community group and you want to publicise your next event free in Local Life, then just email details along with a contact name and number to editorial@ locallife247.co.uk.

Tickets for the productions are priced at £20 and are available from www.heritageopera.co.uk.

Free Taster!

If life stresses you, maybe you need a great dollop of Tai Chi in your life? If you’d like achieve inner peace of mind, and strengthen and revitalise your physical and emotional self, then try out the Thursday afternoon Tai Chi session at Standish Methodist Hall on the High Street in Standish! The session runs between 1pm2.30pm and beginners are welcome to come along.

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History Weeks

Imagine life as a Viking, joining in with fierce raids on homes and farms back in 880AD and establishing a new Viking settlement across much of Northern England, which eventually became known as Danelaw. Imagine no more, because for the next two weeks at Martin Mere you can take a step back in time to discover how Vikings lived on the banks of the Mere Tun.

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History Weeks runs from 8th to 21st August at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust site on Fish Lane near Burscough. You can experience life as a Viking, learning how to repel Anglo-Saxon attacks on your village, learn weapons training and ancient crafts, soak up the atmosphere round the camp fire and dress up in Viking clothing. For more details on History Weeks, visit the website at www.wwt.org.uk or call Martin Mere on 01704 895181.

Art Class

If you’ve always wanted to develop your art skills, then here’s your chance! Standish Library has places available at their monthly art class, which are held on the 1st Thursday of the month at the library is Cross Street Standish. The sessions run from 10am-12 noon, the charge is £2 per session and the next class is on Thursday 1st September. For more details, please call the library on 01257 400496.

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The event’s being sponsored by Rufford Old Hall, with Glenburn Sports College providing the staging, and Costco providing cakes and raffle prizes.”Tickets are going well and it promises to be a fantastic evening,” said Ann England, mayor’s PA. Tickets are £8 (£7 concessions) with accompanied children under 12 free. Don’t forget to bring your own picnic, chairs and gazebos; the famous Tea Rooms will be open too. Call Ann on 01695 585033 to reserve your tickets.

Great Offer!

Concert in the Park

Rufford Old Hall is hosting a Concert in the Park next Saturday (13th August) to raise funds for the West Lancs Mayor’s nominated charities. The event promises to be a great afternoon out for all the family, and all proceeds to go the Women’s Refuge and the Community First Responders. The programme features a wide mix of entertainment suitable for everyone including light opera, break dancing, young singers and guitarists. The compere and DJ’s will be Ormskirk Hospital Radio’s finest, and Skelmersdale Brass Band and Skelmersdale Choir will also be on the bill.

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If you’d like to build your self confidence, learn selfdefence and improve your fitness, then Wigan Tae Kwon-do have a great offer for you! Pop along to their session at St Wilfred’s Parish Hall in Church Street Standish on Fridays between 6-7pm and your first lesson is free of charge! The lessons are for all ages and abilities and a warm welcome is guaranteed! If you’re washing your hair on Fridays, then the club also meets on Sundays at St Michael’s Scout Hut in Earl Street in Swinley at the same time. For further details, call Roger Lawrence on 07973 195301.

Cream Tea

You can indulge in the taste of real English summer at St Anne’s Parish Centre in Shevington on Wednesday 17th August when the St Anne’s Mothers Union is holding a Cream Tea event in aid of Mothers Union funds. Admission is just £3.50, which includes refreshments and a ticket to a prize raffle. The session runs from 2pm-4pm, so don’t miss out the chance for a lovely afternoon out.

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Well done! You have almost made it through the dreaded summer holidays without killing the children and running off to Magaluf with the milkman! It’s like this every year; we tear our hair out trying to create and plan interesting days out and activities in desperate attempts to entertain our children and sometimes even their friends as well! Sound familiar? Well, Local Life is here to help and we have highlighted just a few of the region’s less well-known attractions. All these locations are suitable for a great family day out before the schools go back in September. Enjoy! Rachel Abraham

The Crocky Trail is an outdoor adventure footpath one mile in length in the beautiful Chester countryside. There are loads of activities and challenges along the footpath, such as mazes, swings, the slide of doom, bridges, tunnels etc. Can your family overcome the challenges or are you going to find the easy way out? The activities are suitable for all ages and there are some very nice picnic areas situated in the play areas or in the wide open countryside too. The Crocky Trail is open from 10.00am - 5.00pm. The Crocky Trail Ltd, Cotton Abbotts, Waverton, Chester, CH3 7PH Tel: 01244 336161 www.crockytrail.co.uk Travel time from Standish – 48 minutes

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Apple Jacks is an adventure park based on Apple Jacks Farm in Warrington. There are plenty of activities designed to entertain 4 to 13 year olds, such as; an Adventure Hayride, Jack’s Ball Blast, The Jumping Pillow, Pedal Karts, Quad Karts, a Wooden Fence Maze, Racing Zip Wires, an Adventure Playground, an Activity Trail, Roller Skating, Mini Tractors, Archery and much, much more. The star attraction is a HUGE corn maze, covering the size of a whole football field, which will prove fun for all of the family! Applejacks are open daily throughout the summer, you can book online prior to your visit to save a few quid! Apple Jacks Stretton Road, Warrington, WA4 4NW Tel: 01925 268 495 www.applejacksfarm.co.uk Travel time from Standish – 26 minutes

Brockhole has plenty to keep the family entertained for a full day out, with activities in the woods, on the shores of Windermere or in the beautiful gardens. There’s a fantastic adventure playground which includes rope walks, slides, swings, scramble nets and zip wires. If you’ve got a younger child, you’ll be pleased to know that there is a separate area for under sevens, which includes swings and a wacky noise tunnel. And if the weather isn’t on your side then there is a brand new indoor soft play area and a creativity space meaning both parents and children can have fun whatever the weather. You can eat in the many undercover picnic areas or you may wish to purchase some of their homemade food at the Brockhole cafe. The Lake District Visitor Centre, Windermere, Cumbria. LA23 1LJ Tel: 015394 46601 www.brockhole.co.uk Travel time from Standish – 1 hour 6 minutes

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Local Life 25


Flower Show

Gardeners and food lovers alike are making a beeline for the seaside on 18th-21st August as the Southport Flower Show celebrates summer in style. The show venue at Victoria Park is a hive of activity with over 200 trade stands and a programme of events for all the family. One of the most popular attractions at Southport is the spectacular show gardens. A host of innovative designers and landscapers use their horticultural talents to turn simple plots into dazzling showcases leaving you bursting with ideas about how to transform your own garden. Southport is the ultimate celebration of Britain’s obsession with gardening but also has a growing reputation as a festival for

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foodies too. Celebrity chefs will be joining garden experts among the buzzing crowds and the million blooms on display over four glorious days in August. The extended Food Village will this year include demonstrations by TV chef Simon Rimmer and Masterchef finalist Stacie Stewart, known for her retro fashion and Beehive bakery. A visit to the Southport Flower Show is your chance of a perfect day out that will inspire, inform and entertain! For further information and to order tickets for the show, visit www.southportflowershow.co.uk or call 0844 847 1555. Advance tickets cost just £16 and children under 16 go free.

Distributors Required

Local Life require Distributors (aged 13+) for the Standish, Shevington, Appley Bridge, Whitley, Parbold, Newburgh, Hilldale and Wrightington areas. Distributors will typically work for 2/3 hours every eight weeks, delivering to houses in their own neighbourhoods. You must be fit, enthusiastic and reliable. Please email your name, address, landline number and date of birth to sallyb@locallife247.co.uk. If you’re a member of a community group and you want to publicise your next event free in Local Life, then just email details along with a contact name and number to editorial@locallife247.co.uk.

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Local Life 27


Village Fete

All roads lead to Shevington this Saturday (6th August) as the first ever Village Fete is held by the Shevington and District Community Association in the village. The timing of the fete coincides with the Shevington Gardening Club’s Annual Show, so both organisations are working together to bring you and your family a bumper day out!

A craft show will be running throughout the day in St Anne’s Parish Rooms, and many fete stalls and activities will take place on the recreation ground. Other local organisations and community groups enthusiastically committed to the Fete include Crooke and Shevington Heritage, Mid Lancashire Sub Aqua Club, the Fire Service and Greater Manchester Police. So if you’ve nothing planned for this Saturday, gather up the family and head over to Shevington for a smashing fun day out! If you’re a member of a community group and you want to publicise your next event free in Local Life, then just email details along with a contact name and number to editorial@locallife247.co.uk.

The event will be held in the heart of the village; Shevington Methodist Hall, the youth club next door, the recreation ground and St Anne’s Parish Rooms will all play a part in the show. The fete starts at 10am and will run through until 4pm, whilst the Gardening show registration will open from 9am at the Methodist Hall, and will be open to the public between 2pm-4pm to view the exhibits, which will include vegetables, flowers, arts and crafts, and photography. A display of artwork and entries from the Junior Schools Scarecrow competition will be displayed too.

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run4alife

If you’ve overdosed on the pies or the paella this summer and you want to get back into shape then why not consider training for Wigan Rotary Club’s run4alife, which is being held at Haigh Country Park on Sunday 25th September. If you can get sponsorship from friends, family and colleagues, you could add to the amazing £60,000 that the Rotary have already raised towards eradicating testicular and prostate cancer. This year is the seventh consecutive year that the run has been held, and Wigan Rotary Club have introduced a 10k run to the programme. This 10km run starts at 9.30am and is for runners of a more serious nature; the usual family event where you

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can run, jog or walk starts as usual at 12 noon. The register on either run, please visit the website www.run4alife.com.

Volunteers Required

Have you a couple of hours a week to spare? The Wigan and Leigh Hospice shop in Standish is desperately seeking new volunteers to help staff the shop. No shop experience is required, and you’ll make new friends and possibly learn new skills. If you can help out either call into the shop at 16 Cross Street, call Irene on 01942 525566 or email - volunteers@wlh.org.uk. If you’re a member of a community group and you want to publicise your next event free in Local Life, then just email details along with a contact name and number to editorial@locallife247.co.uk.

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Summer Camp

If your kids are crawling the walls with boredom and you’re starting to need a few stiff drinks just to get you through the day, then you’ll be interested to hear Wigan Leisure & Culture Trust are running some rather good summer camps this year with a multitude of activities at five sports centres across the borough. Robin Park is the nearest centre and participants on w/c 8th August at this venue can look forward to dance, tennis, archery, sports and games. Next week (w/c 15th August), they can look forward to hockey, athletics, archery, tennis, football, lacrosse, volleyball and a climbing wall. The camps run from 8.30am to 4.30pm and cost £12 per day or £45 for the week (concessionary prices available). For further details, please call Robin Park Sports Centre on 01942 828550.

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suFFeRING WITH MusCLe, jOINT OR NeRve PAIN?

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

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

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

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

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

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t Wigan Family Chiropractic Clinic, our team of Chiropractors and therapists can help to relieve most types of muscle, joint and nerve pain.

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Unbeatable selection of gas & electric fires and fireplaces Visit our double fronted showroom with fabulous displays over two floors. Traditional, classic and contemporary styles available. Expert advice and customer care Great range of accessories - stylish mirrors and eye-catching pictures Open seven days a week 32 Local Life

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Local Life 33


CMA Guide to Starting Out in Business Hello, my name is Chris Alcock and I am the owner and accountant at CMA Accountancy, a proactive accountancy firm based in Appley Bridge. We advise private individuals and small businesses on how to manage their business so that they pay as little tax as possible; we never forget that evasion is illegal but avoidance is perfectly acceptable! CMA specialise in providing the full range of accountancy services to businesses. Business people are constantly juggling problems, and we can take some of this burden away from you. We can handle your bookkeeping, VAT returns, payroll, tax returns, and year end accounts, which allows you to crack on with running a successful business.

Top Tax Tip

worth renewing? Child Tax Credits – Are they kdated by three bac be only can its cred As tax your claim by 31 ew ren to le isab months, it’s adv tances change ums circ July. This is in case your income falling r you in lting resu r yea later in the below the new limit.

Many people want to run their own business. Some want to be more independent and to obtain the full rewards for their efforts. Others have gone through redundancy and are determined to control their own destiny in future. Whatever your reason for starting your new business, one of the first major decisions you make is the form of legal entity it will take. The three main legal forms are sole trader, partnership or limited company. A sole trader is typically a business owned and operated by one individual, and this is the easiest form of business to own and operate because it does not require any specific legal organisation.

A limited company is a separate legal entity. A limited company has all of the legal rights of an individual and is responsible for its own debts. It must also file tax returns and pay taxes on income from its operations. Most importantly, the owners or shareholders of a limited company are legally protected from the liabilities of the business, which can be useful. There are a number of other things to consider; registering for VAT, employing staff and collecting PAYE tax, and perhaps most importantly, setting up your bookkeeping systems to manage your business finances. CMA Accountancy helps lots of new businesses, so before you put any plans into place, call us now on 01257 255521. We will give you a free and informative guide to starting out in business, we can help you plan the best route to take when starting out, we provide bookkeeping software to customers free of charge, and we’ll even provide account software training absolutely free! If you’re already running a business and you’re not convinced that your accountant earns his/her crust, give me a call on 01257 255521 for a free consultation to see how I can help you save more of your hard earned cash!

In a partnership, two or more individuals run the business. Each of the partners has ownership of company assets and responsibility for liabilities, as well as authority in running the business. 34 Local Life

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Local Life 35


Ready for Business?

If you’re a business person and you like the idea of networking, but you hate meeting the same old boring accountants, solicitors and bankers for breakfast every week at a network meeting, then the Wigan Borough Network Club is for you! The Club meets each month, organises various activities throughout the year, and encourages networking at the events. Meetings are informal and friendly, and open to all types of business, and as most events take place in the evening, a free buffet is organised for the comfort of all members. The Club is currently free of charge and is run by a steering group of local business people, supported by the GM Chamber of Commerce. The next meeting is on Tuesday 6th September at the Yorkshire Bank in Market Place in Wigan, and registration and refreshments are available from 6.30pm for a 7.00pm start. This month’s presentation is Marketing on a

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Shoestring, by Andrew Greenyer of Business Link North West, and there will be opportunities to network before and after Andrew’s presentation. For more details and to reserve your place, please visit www.wiganbbc.org.uk.

The Write Thing

If prose is your thing and you’d like to meet with other writers and develop your skills, the Standish Writers want to hear from you! The group, which was founded in 2009, meets on the 3rd Wednesday of each month between 7pm and 9pm at The Crown Hotel at the bottom of Bradley Lane in Standish The group welcomes all age groups and you don’t need to have any experience, just a love of writing. The group holds regular competitions, workshops and social outings for those who are interested. For more details visit the group’s website http://standishwriters. wordpress.com or email pembertonjacky@hotmail. com.

Photo Shop

Standish Library is planning, if funding is available, to hold a Digital Photography Editing course at the library in September. The course, which lasts six weeks, will highlight how to manipulate images using various bits of software. You can bring your own photograph along or you can use the stock images provided to practice your techniques. A small charge will apply and places are limited, so please call Standish Library to book a place on 01257 400496.

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day from August 15th -19th. Activities include a disco, games, creative activities, songs, drama and lots of fun! The club is open to primary school children and the weekly costs is £15 for one child, £25 for two children and £30 for three children; please call Kathryn Ashton on 01257 421564 for further details.

Nature Walk Zumba Fun

Get fit, join the party and lose pounds this summer in Parbold by taking part in the latest Latin inspired dance/calorie-burning fitness craze, Zumba! Sessions run on Tuesdays from 10am-11am and from Wednesday from 8pm-9pm at Parbold Village Hall. Sessions are just £4 each and you’ll be able to get further details from instructor Cheryl on 0770 8899912 or email chez-fit4life@hotmail.com.

Yoga Class

If you’re in desperate need of some ‘me’ time and you’d like to improve your stamina, posture and flexibility, why not try the Yoga class being run by WLCT at Shevington Vale Primary School on Tuesday evenings? The sessions run from 6.30-7.30pm at the school and you should take along your own mat and a drink. Each session costs £2.50; for more details call WLCT on 01942 828569.

If you’re looking to drag the kids away from the games console, why not check out the Family Nature Walk which is being held at Ashfield Park in Standish this Monday (8th August)? This themed 1½ hour walk, which is run by Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust, leaves the car park at 6pm on Monday evening. The walk is buggy friendly and suitable for beginners. Please call 01942 488481 to book your place. If you’re a member of a community group and you want to publicise your next event free in Local Life, then just email details along with a contact name and number to editorial@ locallife247.co.uk.

Rocky’s Plaice

Local youngsters are urged to sign up early for Rocky’s Plaice, the holiday club at St Wilfred’s in Standish. There are just 88 places available for the club, which runs between 9.15am-12.15pm every

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Local Life 37


See It & Believe It! “You just don’t realise the difference until you see it with your own eyes” enthuses Sean McHugh of Orrell Roofline, trying to convince me of the difference between normal UPVC gutters and seamless aluminium gutters. This is not something that would normally hold my attention for longer than ½ a second, but I agreed to go along and see their latest job to see for myself. And Sean’s right - there’s a huge difference in the look! The house they had just completed had clean and stylish gutter lines throughout, whilst next door’s guttering had several unsightly joins and lots of those fiddly plastic clips which are impossible to clean properly. The evidence was indisputable; the seamless aluminium gutters added such a smooth and elegant finish to the house.

Before

When Sean McHugh and Stephen Shaw formed Orrell Roofline, their joint 40 years experience in the roofline industry led them to focus on providing seamless aluminium gutters to the domestic and commercial market because no other roofline company in the immediate area supplies them. These gutters are made to measure on-site by the duo using a nifty bit of kit that forms the gutters to exact specification, eradicating the need to use any joins. These aluminium gutters are guaranteed to last for at least 25 years, in comparison to their UPVC cousins who will perish in approximately 15 years. The aluminium gutter is powder coated, so will never need painting, just a quick clean with a jet wash every now and then. It comes in three colours, white, black and brown, which complements the standard fascia board colours. So just to clarify things; we’re talking about a product that looks better, lasts longer, is maintenance free, so obviously it’s going to be more expensive, yes? Well, obviously you’re going to pay more and usually it’s around 10-15% more, depending on the quality of the UPVC.

After

2011! Call Orrell Roofline now on 01942 735515 or 07917 352182 and quote Local Life. Orrell Roofline are members of the Wigan Council ‘Good Traders Scheme’ and have achieved a maximum feedback rating of five stars on; the quality of their work, their high level of Customer Service and the time it takes for them to complete the job. So, to summarise; these are good trades people with a smashing product and a great offer too! Oh, and by the way. Fascias, soffits, cladding, dry verge – yes, yes, Orrell Roofline do all that boring stuff too, but those aluminium gutters have to be seen to be believed, and that’s a sentence I never thought I’d write!

Check out the website of Orrell Roofline at www.orrellroofline.co.uk and don’t forget; call them on 01942 735515 or 07917 352182 by 31st December 2011 to take advantage of that special offer!

However, as a special exclusive offer for Local Life readers, Orrell Roofline have agreed to supply and fit aluminium gutters for the same price as UPVC gutters for orders taken up until the end of December

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Local Life 39


Rigbye Arms

ane ey L Ston

High Moor Lane

High Moor

d oa Br

y He

ne La

ane se L Hou Tan

Parbold Station

Wiggin Tree

Parbold Car Park Windmill

Parbold Hall

A5209

Wo od Lan e Stocks Tavern

Parbold Bottle

Appley Bridge

Priors Wood Farm

Welcome to Jack’s Tracks, a series of circular walks published by Local Life that illustrate the very best of the local countryside. What better place to start than Parbold; the history of the village and the terrain surrounding the place make it a natural pick for many walkers from all over Lancashire. We set off one soggy Sunday morning for a stroll through the rolling Douglas Valley. Tucked between the villages of Appley Bridge, Parbold and Dalton, this part of the

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Douglas Valley boasts wonderful views, slow single track lanes, working farms and beautiful houses. It’s a great place to be for walkers, wildlife lovers and photographers. This is a fairly easy five mile walk, just enough to blow away the cobwebs, without tiring you out too much, and for those of little stamina, there’s some of the best country pubs for miles around en route!.

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Parbold to Priors Wood Farm

Park up in the car park on Station Road alongside the Leeds Liverpool Canal. Exit the car park and turn right. Walk the 200 yards to the t-junction by the Stocks Tavern, turn left into Alder Lane and then take the immediate right into Bradshaw Lane. When you get to the bottom of Bradshaw Lane, carry on down the pathway running alongside the equestrian centre. After 150 yards you’ll happen across a stile just before the driveway leading to a house called Douglas Dale. Hop across the stile and follow that path for 200 yards alongside a field. At the bottom right hand corner of the field you will cross another stile, and you’ll now walk on a path running parallel to a small brook. Follow that path for a short distance and then cross the brook at the wooden bridge. After a further 30 yards or so, you’ll happen across a metal gate. Once you have gone through the gateway, you’ll have a choice of paths; you’ll need to turn right at this point. You’ll cross a wooden stile almost immediately and take the clearly defined path straight through the field. Your next stop is a wooden bridge over the River Douglas. Immediately after you’ve crossed the bridge, take a left turn and follow the route of the river. Keep going around the left hand perimeter of the field. In the top left hand corner of the field there is a seven bar gate, hop across the stile at the side of this gate and bear left, walking up an incline towards Prior’s Wood Farm.

Priors Wood Farm to Parbold Hill

Go through the rather ramshackle farm gate at the top of that road, you will now be approaching a working farm. Just before you come to the first farm building on your right, take a right turn downhill along a concrete path. Once you get to the bottom of the slope, just by the cattle grid, you’ll see a public footpath symbol which takes you into a field. Cross the field, heading for the small gate at the other side. Once you’ve gone through the gate, turn left up the driveway. After approximately 50 yards up a slight incline, you’ll need to go through a gate on the right hand side of the driveway. Once you are through the gate, turn left and continue walking uphill. At the top of the hill you are faced with a whole clutch of footpath signs, hop over the stile and turn right, negotiate the seven bar gate, and take the concrete path that is enclosed on both sides by a fence, heading towards some woodland. 550 yards further on, just past the woodlands on the left hand side, you’ll come to a crossroads with four gates to choose from; take the second gate on the left, hop across the stile

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to the left hand side of it and follow that path. After a further 250 yards, you’ll go through a gate and cross a little metal bridge across the River Douglas. Follow the path round to the left and after twenty yards or so you’ll arrive at the Canal. Cross that bridge too, and carry on up the path which bears to the right. You’ll start the long, slow climb up Parbold Hill at this point. Cross the railway bridge and 80 yards further on, you will come to a cross roads. Head straight on, through the wooden gates and into the woods. Go through the woods, going uphill all the way. When you reach a big mound that’s in the centre of the pathway, bear right right and carry on that path until you go through some metal gates to reach the right hand perimeter of the woods. Turn left at this point at carry on uphill. Once you get to the top of the field, take the path on the left and follow that path through all the way to some woodland. Eventually you’ll meet the main A5209 opposite the Wiggin Tree, or Miller & Carter as it is now known. The views on a clear day are magnificent; look out for a stone view map that illustrates the direction of distant landmarks. If you fancy a brief diversion to take in a famous local landmark, the Parbold Bottle, then turn left and follow the main road in the direction of Parbold for 450 yards. On the left hand side you’ll come across a stile by a public footpath sign. Jump over the stile and follow the path for 150 yards and you’ll come across the Bottle. The Parbold Bottle was originally erected to commemorate the 1832 Reform Bill, using local grit stone and has been recently restored.

Parbold Hill to Rigbye Arms

Back to the top of Parbold Hill, you’ll cross over the busy road near the Miller and Carter Steak House and then turn right, walking in the direction towards the M6 for 175 yards. Just before

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Rigbye Arms to Parbold

You’ll follow the single lane Stoney Lane for a good half mile, enjoying some fantastic views on the way. Just after you’ve passed the Parbold sign you’ll come to a lay-by on your left. Cross the stile next to the lay-by and take the clearly defined pathway though the meadow heading toward the church spire of Our Lady’s in Parbold. After 250 yards or so, you’ll cross another stile, and continue down the path eventually meeting up with a small brook. Continue downhill walking parallel to the brook and you’ll then come to a wooden bridge on the left hand side. Take the bridge across the brook and once you get to the other side, turn right. Follow the perimeter of the wooden area, go round a sharp right hand bend and you’ll see Parbold Douglas School appear on your left. Follow that path for 200 yards and you’ll meet a metal gate, cross the stile and 50 yards further on you’ll see another metal gate, behind which is the t-junction of Lancaster Lane and Tan House Lane. Once you go through the gap, cross Lancaster Lane and head down Tan House Lane.

the entrance to Parbold Hall, take the footpath on the left. After 125 yards, there’s an opening on your left. Ignore the opening but hop over the stile 10 yards beyond the opening, continue in the same direction, hugging the right hand perimeter of the field. At the top right hand corner of the field, jump across another stile, cross a wooden bridge over the Sprodley Brook and then bear right. Continue walking up this path along the perimeter of the woods for a further 80 yards or so, and then bear left. In the distance you’ll make out some housing on High Moor Lane, and you’ll notice that the footpath is directly following the direction of some overhead telegraph poles. You will eventually enter a small copse with a pond on the right hand side and pretty soon after you’ll come to a tarmac road; Broad Hey Lane. Despite the public footpath sign pointing left, turn right at this point and follow Broad Hey Lane up to its junction with High Moor Road. Turn left towards the Rigbye Arms and when you reach the pub, turn left down Stoney Lane.

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At the bottom of Tan House Lane, you’ll turn left, passing some shops on the left hand side. Follow that road for 400 yards; go through the level crossing and the car park you started off from is on the right hand side just before the canal bridge. Well done!

Geocachers Alert! There are five geocaches to find on this walk. The references are;

GC1QRGE, GC75CA, GC2NP68 GC24ZQ3, GC2ZWH6 Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online. Geocaching is enjoyed by people from all age groups, with a strong sense of community and support for the environment.

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Win Tickets to

One of the region’s leading tourist attractions has just celebrated its 40th birthday and we’ve got five family passes to give away to Local Life readers! Simply complete the crossword on the opposite page and send your entry back to Local Life by 31st August 2011 Knowsley Safari Park, created by the 18th Earl of Derby, opened its gates for the first time on Saturday July 3rd 1971. Knowsley was the UK¹s third safari park, following Longleat and Woburn, but was the first to be built close to a large city - just eight miles from the centre of Liverpool - and the first to be surrounded by suburban housing estates. In 1971 safari parks were a new and exciting concept and the attraction generated a huge amount of interest. By the end of the first month, 200,000 people had visited the park. By the end of the year, this figure had risen to well over half a million. On the first Sunday it was open, the

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approach roads to the attraction were gridlocked. As a result, thousands of people never reached the park. Around 6,500 vehicles actually made it through the gates, containing upwards of 30,000 visitors. The park was so busy that at the end of the day it took many hours for all the cars to leave. The last visitors drove out as darkness fell, well after 10pm. Over the years, Knowsley has experienced some difficult times, especially during the UK recessions of the mid 1970’s and early 1990’s. However, it has enjoyed a new lease of life since the 19th Earl of Derby took over the running of the Knowsley

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1

2

3

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Estate in 1994, heralding the start of a major redevelopment programme. Today, after millions of pounds of investment, the 550-acre park is home to 700 animals, and the attraction is as busy as it was in the early 1970s, welcoming more than 500,000 visitors a year. The 40th birthday is also a personal milestone for General Manager David Ross who has worked for the park throughout its history. In the early days, as Chief Warden, he actually caught many of Knowsley’s original animals in Africa. Looking back at 1971 Mr Ross commented,

“They were amazing days. People converged on the park in huge numbers to see the new safari park phenomenon for themselves and, looking back, it’s difficult to imagine how we coped with the flood of visitors”. “We had the police trying to handle breakdowns and huge traffic jams outside the park, and the motoring organisations trying to deal with hundreds of stranded vehicles in the park - the AA received more than 150 callouts from members here on one day alone”! “However, it is remarkable to think that 40 years on - thanks to Lord Derby and everyone involved with Knowsley over the last four decades - the Safari Park is still here, thriving and with many new and exciting projects in the pipeline for the future” added Mr Ross. Knowsley will mark the 40th anniversary with a number of special events during July and August, including a nostalgic exhibition on the park’s history in its education centre during the school summer holiday.

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6

EclipseCrossword.com Across

1. 3. 5. 6.

Canal runs through village, _ Bridge Standish church, St _ Standish trading estate, Bradley _ Local golf course, near M6

Down

2. Local stone monument, the _ Bottle 4. The Earl of Crawford lived here, _ Hall

Name Address

Post Code Telephone Number Email Crossword Competition Rules 1. Only one entry per household. 2. Entrants must be over 16 years of age. 3. The winners will be notified within 14 days of the closing date. 4. Winners names / photographs will be published in subsequent issues of Local Life and/or on our website. 5. Local Life 247 Ltd cannot accept any responsibility for entries that are delayed or damaged in the post. 6. Employees of Local Life 247 Ltd or their immediate relatives are not eligible to enter this competition. 7. Competition entrants accept that Local Life 247 Ltd may call them occasionally to check receipt of Local Life magazine. Please return completed entries by 31th August 2011 to Local Life 247 Ltd, PO Box 631, Wigan WN1 9HF, or e-mail answers along with your name, address and contact telephone number to crossword@locallife247.co.uk

Local Life 47


SWEDISH FOR

SUV

With all-wheel drive, rugged looks and a focus on prestige and style, Saab’s V6-engined 9-4X aims to take sales from more conventional prestige midsized SUV rivals. Jonathan Crouch checks it out It seems inconceivable that a car company based in one of the world’s coldest countries should have taken so long to get around to bringing us an SUV. Even Volvo managed it just after the turn of the century with their XC90. Though doubtless diesels will be along in due course, but to start with, the 9-4X initially comes with only one engine option, a petrol-fuelled 24valve 2.8-litre twin-scroll turbocharged unit that delivers 300bhp at 5000rpm. It offers 400Nm of torque between 2000 and 5000rpm, for a 0-62mph sprint time of 8.3 seconds and a top speed of 143mph. Power goes to the road via all four wheels and a six-speed automatic gearbox. Saab’s hi-tech XWD all wheel drive system senses which wheels are gaining most grip, as well as which wheels are losing traction, then automatically and continuously adjusts torque accordingly between the front and rear axles.

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Whether in heavy rain, on gravel, or towing, the system constantly adjusts for maximum grip, stability and drive. The technology keeps coming with DriveSense, which is Saab’s adaptive chassis system. This continuously reacts to the road conditions as well as the driving style for optimum comfort and handling and can be adjusted by the driver with the setting options including ‘Intelligent’, ‘Comfort’ , ‘Sport’ and ‘Eco’ . View the 9-4X from the rear three-quarters and you could be forgiven for thinking that this car must have been produced by an entirely different manufacturer from the one responsible for the 9-5 saloon. The 9-4X looks powerful, tall and broad, packed with styling dynamism to the point almost of being showy, not a renowned Saab trait. There is little fuss or styling for the sake of it. Instead you get simple, clean lines. The front certainly is Saab-like with the marque’s distinctive face, three stage grille and big headlights. The windscreen gets a wrapround effect thanks to the hidden A pillars, while to the rear there are stand-out C pillars with the rear spoiler built into the tailgate. Purposeful rhomboid-shaped exhausts either side at the rear hint at the power on tap and the lower part of the car from mid-wheel down gets a protective

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There’s a carbon fibre look for the instrument panel and door handles, plus a standard equipment list that includes bixenon adaptive lighting, cruise control and dual zone climate control, audio and phone controls mounted on the steering wheel, an electric parking brake with rear view camera to ease multistorey nerves, as well as rain sensing wipers and eight-way powered driver and passenger seat adjustment. Information and entertainment is out of the top drawer with a BOSE sound system and Saab’s own Infotainment System.

grey/black application to ensure off-road work doesn’t damage the paintwork. Inside, the cabin reflects its maker’s aero roots, with dials and read-outs that have drawn on aeroplane inspiration for their looks. There are other comfortingly familiar Saab motifs, such as the ignition stop-start button which sits as always between the front seats and next to the gear shift, and the traditional ‘joystick’ control for the air vents. Still in pilot vein, Saab’s ‘Night Vision’ mode allows the driver, like a pilot, to douse all but the most important instruments at night. Designed to seat five adults in comfort, the cabin also offers almost 500-litres of boot space. Versatility and ease of use are the themes and the 60:40-split rear seat backs fold in a single movement for a completely flat load floor. The cargo space can be arranged as needed using the adaptable, telescopic dividing rail and the tailgate can be remotely controlled via a switch on the driver’s door, from the key fob or on the rear hatch itself.

This 9-4X is a luxury SUV crossover that will, initially at least, find a small but possibly very satisfied market in this country. That’s due as much to Saab’s lack of track record in this sector as to the initial Hobson’s choice availability of a single V6 petrol powerplant. Nevertheless, this is an interesting and welcome new contender in this sector, spacious, safe and pretty dynamic thanks to the clever DriveSense system. Plus your neighbour is most unlikely to have one. All reasons to make potential 9-4X owners feel, well, potentially rather smug. Saab delayed too long in bringing an SUV to market. Buy one of these and you could well feel that it’s been worth the wait. Fancy a test drive? Local dealers include; Lookers Saab at 82 Derby Road, Liverpool L20 8LR (0151 933 9777) or Wilson and Co., Manchester Road, Bolton. (01204 389999).

This car targets luxury SUV opposition selling at around the £40,000 price point, hence an up-market equipment list. The upholstery is leather with contrasting stitching and neat touches like the leather-trimmed flat-bottomed steering wheel again point to Saab’s sporty aspirations for the car.

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Local Life 49


Motoring

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The What’s On Guide Until 21st August Open Air Theatre Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre, in the heart of Chester’s beautiful Grosvenor Park, is one of only two full time professional open air theatre companies in the country. It was launched in 2010 to rave reviews, and is built around an intimate, purpose built picnic theatre, with spacious picnic terraces. This summer you can choose from Shakespeare’s ‘As You Like it’ and Glyn Maxwell’s comedy ‘Merlin and the Woods of Time’ Time: Evenings 7.30pm (Mon-Sat), Matinee 12pm (Sun) 2pm (Sat), 5pm (Sun) Cost: £12-£25 Contact: 0845 241 7868 or visit www.grosvenorparkopenairtheatre.co.uk

Sunday 7th August Blackpool Air Show Check out the Blackppol Air Show, a free event which takes place over the famous Blackpool promenade. The show will feature the RAF Red Arrows Formation aerobatic display team as well as the Brietling Wingwalkers, The RAF Spitfire, Hurricane (from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight), RAF Falcons Parachute Display Team and the Extra 260 flown by Aerobatic Champion Steve Carver, On the ground will be a full scale Typhoon model, a Hercules Fuselage and a RAF Regiment Climbing Wall. Time: 2pm-4pm Cost: Free

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Tuesday 16th August Joseph the Musical – Manchester Opera House Having enjoyed sensational reviews, Bill Kenwright’s “Amazing”, “Superb”, “Wonderful” and “Brilliant” production of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s sparkling family musical continues to enjoy huge success across the country with standing ovations at every performance. Retelling the Biblical story of Joseph, his eleven brothers and the coat of many colours, this magical musical is full of unforgettable songs including Any Dream Will Do, Close Every Door To Me and One More Angel. Runs until Sunday 21st August. Time: 2.30pm & 7.30pm (1pm & 5pm on Sunday) Cost: £21.75-£31.25 Contact: www.ticketmaster.co.uk Sat Nav Ref: M3 3HP

Thursday 18th August Southport Flower Show Gardeners and food lovers alike are making a beeline for the seaside as the Southport Flower Show celebrates summer in style. The show venue at Victoria Park is a hive of activity with over 200 trade stands and a programme of events for all the family. A host of innovative designers and landscapers use their horticultural talents to turn simple plots into dazzling showcases leaving you bursting with ideas about how to transform your own garden. Show runs until 21st August. Time: 10am-7pm Cost: £21 per day ticket – book online in advance to save £5 per ticket Contact: www.southportflowershow.co.uk or 0844 8471555 Sat Nav Ref: PR8 2BZ

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What’s on Guide events key Events and Festivals

Walks & Nature

Family

Special Interest

Saturday 20th August

Friday 26th August

Classic, Vintage and Sports Car Show This Tatton Park show, which also runs on Sunday 21st, is a great day out for all the family. On site will be around 2,000 Vintage Classic cars, up to 70 top car club displays, special events for the Rolls Royce Enthusiasts Club and Avis Owners Club, car jumble and a collectors car mart for selling or buying the car of your dreams! Lots of general trade stands, children’s rides and refreshments. Time : 10am to 4pm Cost: Adult £7.50, Children under 12yrs free. Car park entry charge applies Contact: 01565 723863 or visit www.cheshireautopromotions.co.uk Sat Nav Ref: WA16 6QN

Manchester Pride Weekend Manchester Pride, the celebration of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender life, will celebrate its 21st anniversary in 2011 with a ten day programme of events. The highlight is the Big Weekend in Canal Street, where Pixie Lott will headline the event compromising of 71 hours of music, comedy, clubs, bars, markets and more! Cost: Book Online before 25/8/11 for Big Weekend tickets £20, Day Tickets £12.50. Contact:www.manchesterpride.com Sat Nav Ref: M1 3WD

Wednesday 24th August Beatles Week Running until Tuesday 30th, this annual celebration of the music of The Beatles features more than 50 bands from all over the world. The festival includes a full programme of live music at the Cavern Pub and Cavern Club and many other venues in the city. The highlight of the event is at the Adelphi Hotel on Sunday; which includes a memorabilia market, live music all day plus guest speakers, video shows and exhibitions. Time: 10am-2am Contact: 0151 236 9091 or visit www.beatlesfestival.co.uk/ Sat Nav Ref: L2 6RE

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Saturday 27th August Tractor Pulling Championships And now for something completely different! You can experience what is billed as the world’s most powerful motorsport, the Tractor Pulling Championships at Great Eccleston Showground! There’s a Floodlit Pull on Saturday evening and an afternoon Pull on Sunday. Tractor Pulling competitions take place on a 100 metre track, and involve the machines pulling a weight transfer sledge. The winner of the competition is the machine that can pull the sledge the furthest. Time: Saturday 6pm, Sunday 10.30am Cost: £11.25 adults, £4 children – book online before 21/8/11 Contact: www.nwtpc.co.uk Sat Nav Ref: PR3 0XA Ormskirk Motorfest - Top of Form Visitors to the Motorfest can expect to see displays of racing, rally, classic and sports cars, veteran and vintage vehicles, together with racing and classic motorcycles, all taking place in and around the town centre. Ormskirk town centre streets surrounding the Clock Tower, together with Coronation Park, will be the main locations for the event. Time: 11am

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The What’s On Guide Cost: Free (£5 per car park and ride service from Edge Hill University) Contact: www.ormskirkmotorfest.com

Monday 29th August Cartmel Family Race Day Celebrate the end of Cartmel’s racing season, and have a fantastic day out with all the family. Against the backdrop of the beautiful English Lake District, you can sample national hunt racing in its most original format. With its party crowds and funfair, Cartmel rekindles the social gathering tradition of the original steeple to steeple chases. Time: Gates Open 10am - First Race 2.20 - Last Race 5.50pm Contact: 015395 36340 or visit www.cartmel-racecourse.co.uk Sat Nav Ref: LA11 6QF

Friday 2nd September Blackpool Illuminations Make sure you don’t miss out on Blackpool’s award winning illuminations, which start on Friday 2nd September. The Illuminations offer you a host of different experiences and ways to view Blackpool’s glittering spectacle; hop aboard an open top tram for the clearest view of the lights, or perhaps a ride in a horse drawn carriage could be a special romantic treat. If the weather is fine, why not walk the 10km along the front, accompanied by a bag of chips and some candy floss! The illuminations run until the 6th November. Contact: www.blackpool-illuminations.net

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Thursday 8th September Heritage Open Days Running until Sunday 11th September, the Heritage Open Days event celebrates England’s fantastic architecture and culture by offering free access to properties that are usually closed to the public or normally charge for admission. It is a once-a-year chance to discover hidden architectural treasures and enjoy a wide range of free tours, events and activities. Cost: Free Contact: Check out www.heritageopendays.org.uk to find out about events in your area.

Friday 30th September (Saturday & Sunday) British Musical Fireworks Championships This three day event (Friday 30th Sept, Sat & Sun 1st & 2nd October) is one of Southport’s biggest annual draws – an action packed weekend where the giants of the pyrotechnic world go head to head to win the competition. Visitors will experience some jaw dropping firework displays, each lasting approximately twenty minutes. Time: 7.30pm Cost: £5-£15 (standing and seated available) Contact: 01704 540011 or visit www.visitsouthport.com Sat Nav Ref: PR8 1RX

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Our resident gardening expert Angie Barker, provides us with some more gardening hints, tips and seasonal selections.

Pottering on Quite often I come across a garden which has to cope with a fair amount of shade. Whether this is from nearby trees or other houses - don’t let this put you off creating an inviting outside space. Shade in your garden is an opportunity to grow a wonderful range of plants. The first thing you need to assess is whether your shade is dry shade or moist shade as this will determine which plants you can grow successfully. For example ferns such as Polystichum munitum (Sword fern) and the Lenten Rose (Helleborus orientalis) thrive in moist shade. Some hardy Geraniums such as Geranium nodosum, Dicentra formosa (Bleeding Heart) and Lily of the Valley (Convallaria majalis) do well in dry shade.

You may find lush foliage more appealing in which case try Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’ - a whopper of a Hosta and Fatsia japonica - you will need space for this one - it will eventually reach 3 metres (10 feet in old money) with large shiny evergreen leaves which will help to bounce light about. If the back of your house is in shade and the sun hit’s the bottom of your plot (or the left or right hand side) that is where you should site your patio or deck. Placing a seating area away from the house gives your garden a sense of journey. It makes you walk through your garden, taking notice of how things are growing, enabling you to potter. Pottering is the most wonderful way of destressing. The only problem being when I tell Hubby I’m going to do 5 minutes pottering in the garden he knows he won’t see me for a couple hours! But when I do eventually come in, he knows I will have a smile on my face, be totally relaxed and let him watch whichever football match he wants to on telly. Author: Angie Barker (Dip GD) Inst GD BA (Hons)

Plants which produce white flowers are brilliant in shade because they shine out. Go for Geranium phaeum ‘Album’, Polygonatum odorata (Soloman’s Seal), Pulmonaria ‘Sissinghurst White’ and Bergenia ‘Bressingham White’ (Elephants Ears).

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Police

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

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Councils and Councillors (West Lancs) West Lancs Council Cllr Pope (Newburgh) Cllr Blake (Parbold) Cllr Kean (Parbold) Cllr Baybutt (Wrigh’ton & App. Bridge) Cllr Gartside (Wrigh’ton & App.Bridge)

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