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November 2011

Billinge – Best of both Worlds? Bonfire Night Round Up Long Live Lanky! Win a Christmas Hamper!

St Helens and Ashton Edition

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Local Life

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Local Life




Making a Difference Advertising Nicola Gray 01744 649722 nicolag@locallife247.co.uk Editorial Chris Pearce 01744 649722 chrisp@locallife247.co.uk Accounts/Distribution Sally Boon 01695 627999 sallyb@locallife247.co.uk For further information, visit our website www.locallife247.co.uk The December issue of Local Life will be published on Thursday 24th November. The copy deadline for this issue is Thursday 10th November. Local Life is published every month. Distribution areas will alternate each month between two separate edition areas: The St Helens and Ashton edition is delivered to over 12,500 private homes and businesses in Rainford, Billinge, Newton-le-Willows, Garswood, Crank, Kings Moss and parts of Ashton and Moss Bank. Copies of this edition are also available to pick up free from Tesco Stores in Haydock and Earlestown. The St Helens and Prescot edition is delivered to over 12,500 private homes and businesses in Rainhill, Eccleston, Prescot, Eccleston Park, Windle, Knowsley Village, Prescot Road and part of Nutgrove. Copies of this edition are also available to pick up free from Tesco Stores in Chalon Way and Prescot. Whilst every care has been taken to ensure that the data in this publication is accurate, neither the publisher or its editorial contributors can accept, and hereby disclaim, any liability to any party to loss or damage caused by errors or omissions resulting from negligence, accident or other cause. No part of this publication, including pictures, may be copied or reproduced without the prior written consent of Local Life 247 Ltd.

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



Local Life

Welcome to our biggest ever St Helens issue; a whopping 68 pages that will keep you busy from here until Christmas! I can remember our first ever issue – it was just 24 pages – and now we’re publishing magazine almost three times the size! Don’t miss the three competitions in this issue – you can win a meal for two, a luxury Christmas Hamper and United Carpets in St Helens are giving away a great prize too – one lucky reader will win a carpet makeover for a room in their house – just in time for Christmas! Whenever I get out and about locally, it never fails to amaze me just how many people there are out there who are willing to work their backsides off to make a difference. A perfect example, and a real inspiration, is the Kidz4Kidz group in Ashton. This group was formed and is run by children who spend a lot of time raising funds for charity. The group are currently busy rehearsing for their annual Christmas pantomime – see page 20 for more details. But Kids4Kidz are not alone; there are so many people locally who give up their time because they feel that they can make a difference to the lives of others; those who help to run voluntary groups and charities, those who care for others, those parents who help run the school PTA’s….the list goes on and on. And as the season of goodwill approaches, why don’t you join me in saying ‘thank you’ to as many of these people as you can. Without their input, the lives of many of us would be a little bit poorer. We’ll be back in January – have a great Christmas! See you next time!

chrisp@locallife247.co.uk

In this issue Bonfire Night Round Up So-Lar So Good with DOC Free Wine Offer at the Red Cat! Billinge – best of both Worlds? Shopping Experience at Heskin Win a Carpet for Christmas at United Carpets! The Big Country – Travel Feature Rainhill Beer Festival Restore your Bathroom for Christmas! Long Live Lanky! What’s On Kids Stuff Win a Christmas Hamper! Road Test – Ford Focus ST Home Services Angie’s Garden Diary Useful Numbers

8 16 22 24 30 36 40 42 44 48 50 53 54 56 60 64 66

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Christmas Extravaganza

You can get ahead of the game and stock up with some early Christmas presents next Saturday (12th November) when there is a Christmas Extravaganza Fayre in aid of Willowbrook Hospice. The Fayre, which is being held at Wesley Church on Corporation Street in the town centre, will have stalls galore which will provide some inspiration for those special presents. You’ll be able to buy original gifts of pictures, cosmetics, embroidered items, seasonal food, handmade Christmas cards, cakes, Thornton’s chocolates, wrapping paper, candles and much more! And to alleviate that ‘shop til you drop’ feeling, there will be scrumptious mince pies and other refreshments to help you unwind, a variety of entertainment as well as a visit from Father Christmas! The fayre runs from 11am-3pm; come along and show your support for Willowbrook. For more information please call 01744 453798 or email events@willowbrookhospice.org.uk

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When the Saints

There’s just over a week to go before the ‘Oh When the Saints’ exhibition closes at the World of Glass, so if you haven’t yet seen it, it’s well worth a visit. The exhibition, which tells the story of Saints Rugby League Club, will be available to view at the World of Glass until next Sunday (13th November). The exhibition showcases objects from the past and the present as well as taking a look at the club’s future plans. For more information please contact The World of Glass on 01744 22766 or visit the website at www. worldofglass.com

Quiz Night

The Hospital Welfare Association of Newton Hospital is holding its very own quiz night on Friday November 11th. The quiz will be held at Viaduct Club on Earle Street where the doors will open at 7.30pm for an 8pm start. Admission is just £1.50 per person and the maximum is six per team. You can buy tickets from the hospital or pay on the door. Dig deep and support a great local cause.

Ashton Switch On

It’s time for Ashtonians to mark the ‘big switch on’ date in their diaries.Friday 25th November is the day that the Ashton’s Christmas lights are being switched on. Trinity Girls Band will be playing carols starting at 6pm in time for the switch on at 6.30pm. There will be lots of festivities taking place with a free raffle and tea, coffee and mince pies will be available at Molly Macs after the switch on.

Local Life




Teen Alert!

Ronan Parke, the runner-up of TV’s Britain’s got Talent, will be in St Helens on Saturday 19th November to switch on the town’s Christmas lights! 13 year old Ronan, who is tipped to become Britain’s answer to Justin Bieber, is sure to generate lots of excitement as he prepares to light up the town just like he did the nation earlier this year with his TV performances. Ronan’s debut album, Ronan Parke, has just been released by Sony.

Christmas Fayre

Local community group, the Friends of Ashton, would like to invite you to their annual Christmas Festive Fayre on Saturday November 19th. You can expect the usual Christmas cheer, lots of stalls, face painting, crafts and entertainment, and some great ideas for Christmas gifts. The event takes place at the Liverpool Road Garden, near the town’s main traffic lights between 11am and 2pm. Please come along & show your support for this voluntary community group who are working hard to improve facilities in the local area.

The switch on will take place in Victoria Square from 4pm on the 19th and promises a wonderful evening of music, entertainment and lighting! There will be a fantastic children’s light projection and lighting show, and a host of other well-known performers will be attending too. This will be a great afternoon of family fun and it’s free too, so don’t miss out!

German Christmas Market

Also starting on the 19th November in the town centre is the popular German Christmas Market, which takes place in Church Street. The market runs every day (including Sundays) until Saturday 10th December from 9am-5.30pm, and will also open late on Thursday nights.



Local Life

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Help for Heroes

Newton Sports Club, based on Crow Lane East, will be hosting a quiz night /disco on Friday November 25th in aid of Help for Heroes. The fun kicks off at 8pm and tickets are just £3 each from the club. Please come along and support this magnificent cause; since 2007 the Help the Heroes Charity have donated over £100 million in practical, direct support for the British Armed Forces. Each quiz team can only have a maximum of six members and the winning team will be awarded a trophy. There will be a raffle on the night and the whole evening is supported by Dave’s Disco so don’t forget your dancing shoes. For more information please contact Ken on rockmusic4charity@yahoo.com

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Christmas Fayre

The Ramada Encore, the Haydock hotel based by the East Lancs Road, are holding their super annual Christmas Fayre on Sunday 27th November. You can buy handmade gifts, Christmas crafts and beauty and pampering gifts from the dozens of exhibitors at the event, which will mainly consist of local suppliers. Refreshments at the event include delicious hot turkey sandwiches, mince pies, mulled wine and hot drinks. The event runs from 11am-4pm at the hotel and admission is free. 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

Local Life




November at the Newton-le-Willows sports club on Crow East Lane. The gates open at 5.30pm and the bonfire will be lit at 7pm with fireworks following at 7.30pm. Admission is £3 adults, £1 for children and £5 for a family pass, suitable footwear is recommended and the club advises that you arrive early to avoid disappointment as spaces are limited.

Bonfire Night Round Up

The fifth of November is here and if you like a good bonfire and want somewhere to take the family then we’ve got the lowdown on all your local bonfire night venues. St Helens Council’s Spark in the Park will once again light up the skies above Sherdley Park in St Helens this Saturday (5th November). Admission is completely free and there will also be a funfair on the site operating between 5pm-9pm. The children’s display starts at 6.15pm and the main firework display starts at 7pm and is choreographed to music. Parking is limited around the park, but is available at a cost of £3 per car at Sutton Leisure Centre, Sherdley Park and Lea Green rail station from £3 per car. Newton-le-Willows RUFC will be hosting a Fireworks, Bonfire and Funfair extravaganza on Friday 4th

The popular St. Marks Community Bonfire & Fireworks Party in Haydock will again take place in Haydock. This year’s event will be held at St. Marks Centre (Park Street, Haydock) on Saturday, November 5th, with gates opening at 6pm, bonfire lit at 7:00pm and the impressive fireworks display at 7:15pm. As well as the fireworks, there will be food & drink on sale and free children’s activities. Tickets will be on sale on the night, prices are £2.50 for adults, £1 for children or £6 for a family pass. One of Rainford’s biggest annual events, Round Table’s fireworks display, takes place at the rear of Rainford Parish Church. The small fun fair will be up and running on Friday November 4th from 7pm onwards and the firework display will start at 7.30pm. Ticket prices are still to be confirmed as Local Life went to press. The display is organized each year by the Rainford and District Round Table and is attended every year by more than 3,000 people. The profits from the event are distributed through the year to local charities and community projects.

Christmas Fayre

Sunday 27th November 11.00am - 4.00pm

Buy unique gifts from local suppliers at our Christmas Fayre! We have invited a wide range of exhibitors from the area all offering individual, locally sourced and produced gifts and foods. Also available to buy on the day will be tea, coffees, FREE mulled wine, mince pies & hot turkey sandwiches. ENTRY

• Handmade gifts • Festive food

• Christmas crafts • Beauty & pampering gifts

This event is organised by Keedays www.keedays.co.uk

Ramada Encore Haydock

Galway Crescent, Piele Rd, Haydock, Merseyside WA11 OGR

01942 290040 www.encorehaydock.co.uk



Local Life

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Local Life




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Transition Group

The Billinge and Orrell Transition Group have got the go ahead to start discussions about their proposal to open a community farm in Billinge. Plans include a Community Supported Agriculture scheme which will involve growing fruit and vegetables, and keeping chickens, pigs and bees, all with the objective of providing local people with a diverse range of seasonal produce from the farm, which is located in Greenslate Road in Higher End. If any school or community group would like to know more about the Transition Town organisation, what its aims are and how it plans to work towards a more sustainable future, then please give Mandy WellensBray a call on 01695 632825. Mandy is a member of the Billinge & Orrell Transition Group and would be happy to lead a presentation about the work of the Transition Town Network. For more details visit the group’s website www.billingeorrelltransition.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

We supply garments with or without print or embroidered personalisation for businesses, schools, colleges, hospitals, sports clubs, hen & stag parties, special events and for wedding & souvenir gifts. Whether you need an individual item, a team style or a range of garments in specific corporate colours contact us on 01744 26977.

Please take a look at our website for our full range of garments and accessories www. topazembroidery.co.uk

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35 Lynton Way | Windle | St Helens | WA10 6EQ CALL 01744 26977 TODAY FOR A COMPETITIVE QUOTE 10

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Dib, Dib, Dib

Climbing, biking, sailing and archery, the Scouts ain’t what it used to be…it’s a whole lot more interesting! If you’re aged 14-18 and would like a bit of adventure in your life then Ashton Explorer Scouts might just be the place for you. The group meets every Wednesday night at the Scout HQ on Liverpool Road between 7pm-9pm, if this sounds right up your street and you would like more information please contact the club leaders at gavin@ ashtonscouts.org.uk or steve@ashtonscouts.org.uk.

Want to Sing?

The Haydock Male Voice Choir is looking for new members to help them raise the roof; they practice at St Helens Parish Church on Fridays from 7.309.30pm and on Tuesdays at Haydock Conservative Club from 8-10pm. This is a friendly bunch; the ability to read music isn’t a necessity but it is an advantage, if you would like to add your voice into the mix please contact Alan Gaskell on 01744 734176 or email alan.gaskell@talktalk.net.

Christmas Fayre

Chapel End Labour Club in Billinge is holding a Christmas Fayre on Saturday November 26th from 1pm. Admission is just 25p for adults and children go free. There will be a variety of stalls on the day including tombola, and a very special visitor is scheduled to arrive during the afternoon, providing he can get some time off from work in Lapland !

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On the Ball!

Does your child enjoy playing football; does he want to be the next Steven Gerrard? Rainford Rangers are looking for new players to complete their squad and are recruiting now. The team trains regularly and has a range of teams from under 6’s to under 16’s. Rainford Rangers have been established for more than 30 years and have FA qualified coaches on board to assist with the training and matches. If you would like more information please contact Graham Fenney on 01744 84524 or contact any team manager at www. rainfordrangersfc.co.uk.

Music Concert

Avid music lovers can catch the Songs of Remembrance concert being held at Prescot Parish Church on Sunday 13th November. The programme includes Britten’s Cabaret Songs & Butterworth’s ‘A

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Shropshire Lad’, and music is perfomed by Laura Hudson and Benjamin Weaver. The concert starts at 3pm, tickets are £6 (£4 concessions) on the door, and the proceeds go towards the Prescot Festival. For further details visit www.prescotfestival.co.uk

Christmas Markets

If you’re planning a trip or two to the region’s Christmas markets to get ahead with your Christmas shopping or sample the unique festive atmosphere, we’ve got the dates for you! Liverpool’s Christmas Markets open on the Thursday 24th November and run until Monday 19th December, Manchester’s Christmas Markets open the week before on Thursday 17th November and finish a couple of days later on Wednesday 21st December. Don’t forget the St Helens German Market in Church Square too, which opens on Saturday 19th November and runs through until Saturday 10th December..

Local Life 13


Talent Search Underway

If you’ve got a talented youngster in the family, get your biro at the ready to complete an application form for them to compete in the borough’s biggest talent show. That’s right, the St Helens’ Got Talent show returns this month! Presented by Riverside Housing and Merseyside Police, the show has grown substantially over the last five years, engaging with hundreds of young people and families from across the borough. The show’s auditions are open to anyone aged between 12 and 23 years with a talent to showcase - singers, dancers, musicians and magicians are just some of those being invited to step into the spotlight and wow the judges. Successful auditions will lead to the next stage - where contestants compete against other young people in their age category. The Grand Final is to be held at the Theatre Royal in St Helens, where young people will perform in front of an audience of 700 people for the chance to win cash prizes.

Social Club in Trent Road, Billinge. The audition dates are Sunday 20 November and Sunday 4th December from 11am - 4pm. To request an application form, email sthelensgottalent@riverside.org.uk or visit www.facebook.com/sthelensgottalent.

Winter Craft Fayre

Church Square in St Helens is the venue for a Winter Craft Fayre that’s being held this week from Tuesday (8th November) until Saturday (12th November). There will be a sparkling array of gifts and delights on display, providing the perfect opportunity to find those extra special gifts for your friends and family. The fayre, which is open from 9am-5.30pm, will offer the perfect pre-Christmas opportunity to purchase unique and beautifully crafted gifts, including stunning jewellery, hand knitted garments, aromatherapy oils, lotions, fossils & minerals. Your taste buds will be tickled by a beautiful selection of cheeses, nuts, olives and confectionary!

To audition, simply complete an application form and take it to one of the auditions at Birchley St Marys

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70

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Need some inspiration for Christmas presents this year? Come along to our open weekend and choose from lots of lovely and unusual gift ideas with upto 70% off many items for this weekend! Christmas decorations, bowls, jewellery, wall panels, mirrors, coasters and sculptures will all be on show at great discount prices. So come along on Sat 12th & Sun 13th November open 10-4 both days.

Unit 11, Hewitt Business Park Winstanley Road, Orrell, Wigan, WN5 7XB t/f 01695 624182 w www.morpheusglass.co.uk e info@morpheusglass.co.uk splashbacks | panels | coasters | jewellery | hangings | sculptures | bowls www.locallife247.co.uk

Local Life 15


Say Hello to Reduced Energy Bills – forever! A ridiculous headline at first glance and more in keeping with the Sunday Sport than Local Life, but remarkably, it’s true. We’re talking about a Government initiative called Clean Energy Cashback, a scheme which guarantees to pay you (or your business) 43.3p for every kWh you generate for 25 years. The 43.3p is guaranteed, index linked and tax free for the entire 25 years, so the value will be maintained throughout. The Energy Savings Trust website illustrates that a typical domestic solar energy system could generate the homeowner £1,700 per year. In practice, you could actually make a net profit from generating electricity! So why are the Government doing this? Well, they have made a commitment to have part of the UK’s energy requirements generated from renewable sources by 2020, so they have offered this generous incentive. They will literally pay you to generate electricity for your own daytime use. That’s an offer so difficult to believe, we‘re going to repeat it. If you generate your own electricity for daytime use, you can give the government the bill! In a sceptical world where nothing’s free, this all seems rather unlikely, but you can thank global warming, climate change and a political passion for sustainable energy for stimulating this unbelievable offer. If you are in the position where you have got a few quid in the bank, it’s a no-brainer to consider this option by assessing your property’s suitability to take advantage of this scheme

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Local Life

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Viewers of the BBC’s Dragons Den recently heard Dragon’s Deborah Meaden’s view on the scheme: “It’s quite simple. If you have any money sitting in the bank earning tuppence, take it out and put some (solar) panels on your roof and you will earn 10% tax free.”

whilst it is still on offer. Everyone’s situation is different though, so it’s important to get good advice from people who understand the technology and match it to individual need. Companies have to be MCS registered in order to fit this technology and amongst the first local companies to receive MCS accreditation was DOC Solar Electrical, a well established electrical company, with an extensive knowledge of electrical engineering and installation, run by Derek and Janet Green. DOC Solar Electrical are at the cutting edge of solar technology and have experienced a huge upload in their solar work since the Clean Energy Cashback scheme, also known as the Feed-in Tariff was launched in April 2010. Prices range from £6,800 - £11,000, depending on your requirements.

For more details speak to Janet Green on 01744 410701 or 07595 420237. Or visit the website www.docsolarelectrical.co.uk . www.locallife247.co.uk

Local Life 17


Competition Winners

The winners of the Martin Mere tickets competition featured in the September issue of Local Life were as follows; Diane Rutherford from Dunblane Close in Garswood, Jane Quinn from Lilac Grove in Billinge, Mrs Mawdesley from Willow Avenue in Newton-le-Willows, Norah Pickett from Lorton Avenue in Moss Bank (pictured with her rather scary grandchildren Emily, Chloe, Lance and Faye!), Kathleen Wane from Roby Well Way in Billinge, Deborah Chapman from Old Lane in Rainford, Marcus Conway from Highfield Drive in Crank (pictured) and Steph Fitzpatrick from Kendal Drive in Rainford. Well done to all the winners, who won a family ticket to Martin Mere in Burscough. You can win a Christmas Hamper stuffed with local and regional luxury foodstuffs in this month’s competition – turn to pages 54 & 55 for details.

Springwoods for Christmas!

If you’re already having trouble thinking what to buy your loved ones for Christmas, then Springwoods Health & Beauty might just have the ticket. Salon owner Katy Boyd is hosting a Christmas Shopping Evening this Wednesday (November 9th) at her salon on Church Road, Rainford. You can join her from 6pm til 8pm and enjoy some great 3 for 2 offers on beauty gift sets, perfect for those Christmas stocking fillers. There will be mulled wine and mince pies on offer including a raffle and free good bags on arrival. For more information or to book your spot please contact the salon on 01744 882791

Britain’s Best Blues

The search for Britain’s best unsigned and original Blues talent is coming to Newton-le-Willows! The True Blues Club on Earle Street will be host to the New 18

Local Life

Brunswick Battle of the Blues competition and if you are a budding blues artist then don’t miss out! Newton-le-Willows have been chosen to host the North West heats and successful musicians will come head-to-head in the North West heat, to be held on Friday 13th January 2012. The competition will give the winning band or artist the fantastic opportunity of flying to Fredericton in the Canadian province of New Brunswick to perform on a world stage at the internationally-acclaimed Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival in September 2012. The competition is now inviting bands or singer/ songwriters from the North West to enter the first stage between 15th October and 15th December. All the regional winners will take part in the London final in March and will be judged by a panel of blues greats. Regional runners up will be put to a public vote and the public choices will also get to perform on the London stage. If you think you fit the bill you can enter the first stage of the competition by visiting www. tourismnewbrunswick.co.uk. Artists will need to demonstrate the ability to produce new and original work, though some covers are permitted. To qualify, you will need to be unsigned at the time of the competition; closing date is 15th December.

Knit & Natter

If you like to try something a bit different, then this is the group for you! There is a new group that has just opened its doors to members and they want to hear from you. The ‘Knit and Natter’ get together starts on Tuesday 1st November at 10am at Downall Green Independent Methodist Church, Victoria Road, Garswood. Everyone is welcome from knitters to nonknitters and natterers. You can learn to knit or teach the group how it should be done. For more information please contact Ann on 01942 729772. 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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RAINFORD COLLEGE www.rainfordcollege.org.uk

Head of Post 16 Learning: Danny Hubball B.A. (Hons)

Thursday 17th November 2011 6pm

Post 16 Open Evening ‘Top 5% Nationally for student progress at AS-Level’

100% Pass Rate

74% A*- C Grades

The best things come in small packages! A small sixth form with personalised pastoral support and individual opportunities to ensure you achieve your best. The friendly atmosphere of Rainford College welcomes you. We offer: Outstanding academic results Excellent progression to Higher Education Effective guidance and support A range of enrichment activities A brand NEW purpose built College Unit

We welcome individual appointments, please contact us:

Rainford College, Higher Lane, Rainford,St.Helens, Merseyside WA11 8NY Tel: 01744 885914 info@rainford.org.uk www.rainfordcollege.org.uk

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Local Life 19


Oh Yes it Is!

Think a lorry load of stage make up, big wigs, large people prancing around the stage, and lots of laughter and merriment from the audience. No, we’re not talking about Strictly Come Dancing; we’re talking about the Panto Season, and tickets are now available for the Kidz 4 Kidz Charity Productions pantomime. This year the group, which is a charity raising community group based in Ashton and run by children, will be treating you to the classic tale of Little Red Riding Hood.

the pantomime managed to raise almost £1,500 for the group’s nominated charities and they’d love to beat that this year, so please show your support for a group of benevolent local children and have some real festive fun for all the family!

Yoga Classes

If increasing your body’s flexibility, strength and muscle tone is your thing then you’ll be interested in some new yoga classes being held at Our Lady Immaculate Church in Downall Green Road, near Bryn. The Tuesday class is for intermediate, fit beginners and those who are returning to yoga, whilst Wednesday’s classes are suitable for complete beginners, retired people and the over-50’s. The classes run from 7-9pm on both evenings; for more details call Ann Jackson on 01942 201125.

Performances will be held on Thursday 24th November at 7pm at Stubshaw Cross Labour Club, on Sunday 27th November at 2pm at Golborne Sports Club and on Saturday 3rd December at 2pm at St Thomas’s church. Tickets cost £3 and just £1 for under threes and we would advise booking in advance as they sold very quickly last year! To book or for further information, please contact Jilly on 01942 731891 or email jilly@mckiernan.freeserve.co.uk. Every penny taken from these performances will go to the Downs Syndrome Association and CLIC Sargent, a charity that cares for children with cancer. Last year

20 Local Life

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Bag a Bargain

Seneley Green Carnival Working Group is an organised bunch indeed; they have already begun preparations for next year’s event and they are kicking off their new campaign with a Table Top Sale at The Village Club, Bolton Street, Downall Green this Saturday (5th November). If you’d like to book a table then please email seneleygreencarnival@gmail.com or telephone Geoff on 01942 714721. Pre-booked tables will cost £8 or £10. So if you just want to come along and bag yourself a bargain the doors open at 10.00am til 1pm!

FENCING - DECKING LANDSCAPING + much more

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Autumn Fayre

St. Aidan’s Church in Billinge is holding its annual Autumn Fayre, traditionally a major fundraising event, on Saturday 19th November in the Eddlestone Centre on Main Street. The event will open at 11am and run until 2pm, there will be plenty of stalls with goods for sale, and refreshments will be available too. Local primary schools will provide the entertainment and all the proceeds will go to support church funds in its daily mission in the community.

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Irish Night

St Aiden’s Social Club in Highfield Grange Avenue in Winstanley are hosting an Irish night on Saturday 12th November – and there to make the night go with a swing are Beware of the Pig, an eight piece Irish band who will play the best of contemporary, traditional and original Irish Music. Tickets are just £6.50, which includes a hot pot supper and dancing til late. For more details and to buy tickets, call Pat at the club on 01942 211121.

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Local delivery charges apply. All prices are subject to VAT and are correct at time of going to press

St Helens Branch: 304 Jackson Street, St. Helens, Merseyside, WA9 3AZ Open: Mon-Fri 7am-5pm, Sat 7am-12 noon Branches also in Ashton-in-Makerfield, Skelmersdale & Walkden

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Local Life 21


Floral Demo

Here’s your chance to let loose your creative side and learn how to create festive floral arrangements! Wendy, from Wendy’s Flowers on Church Road in Rainford is holding her annual Christmas Flowers demonstration on Tuesday 6th December at Rainford Library, also on Church Road. Numbers at this very popular event are strictly limited, so if you’d like to learn more about creating floral centrepieces for your home this Christmas, please call the library to book your place on 01744 677820. The session takes place between 11am-noon and festive refreshments will also be available.

Golden Age

Brian Halliwell will again be the guest of honour at the

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Billinge History Society’s December meeting, when he will speak about the ‘Golden Age of Comedy’. Brian will speak about old time comedians from the 1950’s and will also use caricatures of his subjects. The meeting will take place on the Thursday 6th December at Chapel End Labour Club from 7.30pm, and there will be a £2 charge for admission. The Society meets on the 1st Tuesday of each month at the Chapel End Club and has a visiting speaker each month. The meetings start at 7.30pm and finishes around 9pm and the bar is open all evening. Everyone who has an interest in history, and the history of Billinge in particular, will find the meetings interesting – so do come along, you’ll get a warm welcome! 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 23


A Village of Two Halves Sounds like the start of a Shakespearean drama, full of conflict and shadowy characters?

Local Life’s roving reporter Nicola Gray went to delve a little bit deeper. Billinge was created as an urban district by the Local Government Act of 1894, the village contained the parishes of Billinge Chapel End, Billinge Higher End and Winstanley, until the parishes were abolished in 1924 and the district was renamed Billinge and Winstanley in May 1927.

24 Local Life

In 1972 the Local Government Act changed the structure of the village forever. The legislation contained within the act transformed the region into Metropolitan County Councils and Metropolitan District Councils which in turn split Billinge into two areas. Once those changes were implemented in 1974, Billinge Higher End and Winstanley became part of Wigan, and Billinge Chapel End became part of St. Helens. So which side got the better deal – the Higher Enders living in Wigan or the Chapel Enders living in St Helens?

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Billinge Chapel End boasts two village halls, a library, a police station, a football centre, far more shops and pubs, and the beautifully maintained Bankes Park, but pays a slightly higher council tax due to the fact that the area has a parish council. The council has nine voluntary councilors who look after the social, cultural and environmental needs of the area – and as the picture of the Millennium Garden on the front cover shows, it plays no small part in village life, along with the very active Billinge East and West Residents’ Associations. Billinge Higher End has some impressive facilities. Winstanley Tennis Club is located here, and the area is in close proximity to Orrell Water Park. In the absence of a parish council, residents in the area work with its close neighbour Orrell to promote the needs of the community. The Orrell and Billinge Community Network is effectively a lobby group to improve the facilities in the area, and the fairly new Billinge and Orrell Transition group helped to set up St Luke’s Allotments and are on the way to creating a community allotment site at Greenslate Farm in Billinge.

Chapel End - St Helens • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Council tax - £1384.26 (Band D) Approx. 2650 houses Library Bankes Park Police Station Football Centre Village Hall Eddlestone Centre 3 primary schools 7 pubs & 2 social clubs 2 restaurant and 1 café Approx. 30 shops 2 pubs & 1 social club, 1 restaurant & 1 café Approx. 10 shops

Higher End - Wigan • • • • • • •

Council tax - £1368.66 (Band D) Approx. 1800 houses (and growing fast!) Winstanley Tennis Club Cob Moor park 2 pubs & 1 social club 1 restaurant & 1 café Approx. 10 shops

We talked to a few Billingers about their views – and here’s what they said!

Chapel Enders – St Helens

Mrs M, “I remember the 1972 act very well indeed, I was working in the planning office in Wigan at the time before moving over to the St Helens planning office. The true boundary actually fell along Newton road opposite the Stork Hotel and the row of houses opposite were right on the boundary line. In fact their front rooms were in St Helens and their kitchens were in Wigan! There might have been some changes since I left but that was definitely the case at the time. “The changes didn’t seem to cause much uproar but I think things were different back then, if the same thing was to happen in this day and age I think people would fight a bit more, people were a bit more accepting back then.” Jane Allcock, 42. “I didn’t know about the act of parliament as I was only five and I haven’t really heard anybody mention this. I don’t think anyone necessarily got the better deal the amenities are quite equal. There a few confusing points such as my daughter goes to college in Wigan so has to have two bus passes to travel in both towns you think there would be more flexibility from both authorities for people living on a border. There are good points though to living on a border; I shop in both St Helens and Wigan, there are lots more options open to you so you can have the best of both worlds”

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Local Life 25


Higher Enders – Wigan

Barbara Savage, 61. “I have lived in both parts of the village. I used to live in Newton road which is a peculiar case in itself as half of the road came under St Helens and the other under Wigan. I remember people used to moan about the bin services, the bin men from would come half way down the road and stop! I think the problem was the fact that the bin collections were on different days. We didn’t move because we preferred the Wigan end it was just a case of moving to another house, however I do all my shopping in St Helens because I find it easier to get in and out, there’s definitely less traffic”. Joe Roby, 71, retired, “I have lived in Billinge all of my life and have actually lived in both parts of the village. When I was 21 I moved to Longshaw where I still live today. I remember the 1972 act that split the village, Billingers were a bit worried at the time that we were losing parts of the village. We are still a close knit community we just consider ourselves Billingers, so people from the top end are still in touch with people from the bottom end, in fact I can’t believe the changes were made so long ago, I haven’t thought about it for many years.”

26 Local Life

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Roaring Success

New ‘Tiger Turf’ has been chosen to be installed at Selwyn Jones Leisure Centre at Newton-le-Willows after extensive research to refurbish the all-weather play surface. Work started at the end of September to replace the old surface new fencing and refurbished floodlighting. The facility will complement the new Academy facilities and will provide opportunities for most grassbased sports, including football and hockey. A new feature will be provision for a full size football pitch. This will enable matches to be played all year round, regardless of the weather. Construction is on schedule and expected to be completed by November. Councillor Barrie Grunewald, the Deputy Leader of St Helens Council said: “The council is committed to investing in high quality facilities, which we hope all visitors to the centre will enjoy using.   These really

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are state of the art amenities which will be a real sporting boost to the area and beyond.” All enquires for use of the facilities and details of  special winter opening offers should be made to Neil Bridge at Selwyn Jones Sports Centre on 01744 677970 or e – mail neilbridge@sthelens.gov.uk.

Rainford Drama

The Flint Street Nativity takes place in Rainford Parish Church Hall from Wednesday 16th November until Saturday 19th November. For those of you not familiar with this particular nativity, you’re in for a treat! The play is set in Mrs Horrocks’ classroom at Flint Street Primary school where a group of seven year olds are about to perform their nativity play for their proud mums and dads - and the occasional social worker!  Squabbles arise when Gabriel wants to play Mary, the star grumbles that he’s not a proper star like they have at NASA, Herod won’t stop waving to his mum and the subversive innkeeper is determined to liven up the traditional script.  And then, the stick insect escapes.....! The children are played by adults and the scale of the set reflects this.  There will also be some original lyrics set to the tunes of well-known Christmas carols. The show starts at 7.45pm; tickets are priced at £4 each and are available by contacting Keith on 01744 886172 or texting 07748 943903.

Local Life 27


Library Events

Why not save a few quid this year by making your own seasonal cards or presents! ‘Christmas Crafts’, an event that will take place on Saturday December 3rd at Rainford Library, will help you achieve just that. Places are limited so please contact the library on 01744 677820 to book your place. Children, under eight must be accompanied by an adult and the session runs between 10.30-11.30am. Also on Rainford Library in December is Tom Preston, who will be giving a local history talk on Tuesday December 13th between 10.30 - 11.30am. So if you would like to know a bit more about how local people liked to celebrate Christmas in days gone by and how things have changed over the years, please contact the Library on 01744 677820 and book your place now.

Get Active

Adult social dancing is the perfect way to stay active, get fit and have some fun at the same time. You can learn to waltz, do the cha-cha-cha or maybe even tango; whatever you want to learn you can do this every Tuesday at Newton Community Centre between 6.45pm and 8.45pm. Beginners are always welcome and the cost is just £4.75! For more information please contact the centre or call 0800 298 4229.

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Local Life 29


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Our Vision

It was an unlikely dream for Angela Davies and Sarah Speak. These two friends shared a vision to create a visitor’s centre in the heart of Lancashire, comprising of a full time farmers market offering the best of local and regional produce, with a craft centre creating a genuine shopping and leisure experience for their visitors.

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a licensed tea room (also run by Angela and Sarah) where you can relax and enjoy a coffee or sample the fresh local produce on offer. It’s a great place to go for an afternoon out and the wide variety of goods on offer at all the niche stores make it a fabulous place to go for your Christmas shopping! Heskin Farmers Market and Craft Centre is open 6 days a week, from Tuesday to Sunday and on Bank Holidays. Opening hours are 10am-5pm Tues-Sat and 11-5pm Sunday. For more details about the Centre call 07599 831907 or visit the website www.heskinfarmersmarket.co.uk.

It was a tall order and work started on the Centre in May 2008 and the brand new Farmers Market and Craft Centre opened in Spring 2010. It very quickly became a big hit with locals, and the reputation of the Centre has now spread throughout Lancashire. Sarah and Angela agreed “Our first year was a whirlwind! There have been ups and downs plus many obstacles to get through, as there is with any business, but we are so pleased that the centre has become so successful so soon”. Set in the beautiful coutry estate of Heskin Hall, just a few minutes away from the Standish junction 27 of the M6, the Farmers Market and Craft Centre is a retail and leisure destination that will appeal to all the family. Featuring over 30 businesses including a leading art gallery, craft studios, food shop, butchers and lots of niche retail shops, the Centre is a must-visit destination! Unlike the High Street, no two businesses are the same in the Centre, making it an interesting, fulfilling and enjoying shopping experience. The centre is hustling and bustling with life and laughter. Parking is free and plentiful, and there’s even 30 Local Life

Heskin Hall & Farmers Market

A49

Farmers Arms

Mulberry Tree

A5209

M6 J27

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Our Shops

Antique Furniture – Traditional pieces Best Friends Pet Boutique – Pet food and accessories Blossom Lane - Jewellery, shoes, scarves and accessories Bluebell Country Deli - Top quality wines, cheeses, olives, preserves, homemade cakes and pastries Butterflies Dancewear - An extensive range of quality dancer and stage wear Cameo Cottage Crafts - Handmade bespoke cards & handmade wedding stationery Charm - Hand knitted baby wear and children’s clothing Flowers in Thyme - Florists & Plant Centre and wedding specialists Frillies - Ladies clothing and underwear Gift Barn - Fabulous range of gifts for every occasion Good as New – Bring in your good as new clothing & shoes to be sold Hepplestone Fine Arts - Original art and limited edition prints from many of the UK’s best artists Heskin Book Store - Books for all the family Heskin Hall Butchers - High class traditional butcher, selling the best local meats including their own beef and lamb Hopscotch – Baby & children’s clothes and toys up to the age of 8. Ice Dreams – Ice cream parlour, pizzas, tea and coffee Jess Cottage - Jewellery made from semi-precious stones & Swarovski crystal Jewells May – Diamonds, pearls, Pandora, Rolex. Gold and silver bought. Repairs, alterations etc Laura Jayne’s – Reborn lifelike dolls, designer children’s wear, christening gifts Liberty Square - Fashionable ladies clothing including vintage & originals Little Lucy Willow – Exclusive children’s furniture Looking Glass - Exclusive mirrors Mulberry Moon - Shabby chic gifts and furniture NU U Spa - Bodycare and gifts Pedifish Foot Spa – Get your feet nibbled Princess for a Day - Wedding & special occasion cakes and accessories Renu Modha - Embroidered textiles inspired by the rich and vibrant colours of India S&J Market Fresh Produce - Fruit, vegetables and eggs locally sourced plus local jams and curds Scentsations – Fragranced gifts, candles, perfumes and oil lamps Stressless – Holistic & Beauty salon; massage, facials, nails (inc. Shellac), waxing & more The Cushion Cart – Cushions and curtains, soft furnishing specialists The Flooring Shop – Carpets, laminates, solid timber and Karndean flooring The Loft – Menswear and accessories The Wine Shop - Wine and beer hampers Trotters and Pooche – Unique embroidered pictures and handmade cards Truly Chocolates - Handmade chocolates, traditional sweets, fudge and ice cream Two Birds Tea Room - Fully licensed, hot and cold drinks, light bites and local cakes Waterbeds Direct – leather frame, metal frame and soft-side waterbeds for a comfortable sleep Xavier Shoes & Handbags - Stockist of Hotter, Hunter & Lotus shoes, and also slippers and leather handbags

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Local Life 31


That way you can take advantage of special offers and other savings in November that often disappear closer to Christmas. Read through Local Life for local car boot sales or school/church fairs where you could find real bargains in unwanted gifts from last year – often still as new in original packaging. Homemade gifts are often the most treasured. Use a bit of creativity: expensive high street gifts can often be copied for a fraction of the price. Homemade jams and preserves, fleece blankets, car care kits and family photo calendars have all graced our Christmas in recent years. You could also make ‘vouchers’ that can be exchanged for gifts of time or days out.

Christmas on a Budget

For children, Christmas is that mystical time of year when Santa miraculously squeezes himself down the chimney and presents they’ve dreamed of magically appear at the bottom of beds. For adults, the magic of Christmas may turn to misery and the dreams to nightmares as the wonder of giving gifts turns into worry about how to pay for them. Now, perhaps more than ever before, the question of how to pay for Christmas is on everyone’s mind. The answer to that question is simple - set a budget! Take an honest look at your finances and decide how much you can afford to spend on everything relating to Christmas: food, drink, decorations, cards/wrapping paper, clothing, entertainment and gifts. The next step is to make a shopping list and prepare early if you want to get the most out of your money.

32 Local Life

Why not hold a family gift exchange? As our extended family grew, we introduced the “Secret Cousin” tradition, where each child bought in secret for just one cousin at a previously agreed price. Unveiling the secret cousin presents has become a highlight of our Christmas. Sometimes the best traditions are born out of necessity. And finally, a budget Christmas doesn’t have to mean a poor Christmas, just a different and less wasteful one; and just think how thrilled you’ll feel in the New Year when the credit card statement arrives! 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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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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Local Life 33


Unbeatable selection of gas and electric fires, stoves 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 34 Local Life

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Local Life 35


Have you got a room in your home which is desperate need of a makeover in time for Christmas, but cash is tight? Don’t despair, you can bring a bit of winter warmth back into your life by winning our great competition – one lucky Local Life reader will win a chance to carpet a room of their choice in time for Christmas! Carpet is a great way to change the look and feel of your home. It can make a room appear welcoming and cosy or open and spacious, depending on the colour, texture and pattern. With a huge variety of colours and designs available, it’s easy to find a carpet to suit your style. To enter this great competition, complete the competition entry and return it to the store by Sunday 20th November 2011. United Carpets in St Helens have a great name for selling carpets at unbelievably low prices, but did you know their carpet range also includes a wide selection of Wilton, Axministers, Saxony and pure wool Berbers too – all at prices that simply refuse to be beaten anywhere else in the local area! This is underpinned by the United Carpets price promise – “if we can’t beat any like for like carpet quote, you’ll get the carpet, the underlay and the fitting absolutely free”. Though United Carpets is a nationwide company, most of its stores are run by via a local franchisee. The St Helens branch of United Carpets is run by local businessman Peter French, from Windle, who has pulled together a team of experienced staff ready to serve your needs, seven days a week. The store sells much more than carpets too! Ranges of laminate flooring start from only £5.99 per square metre and there’s also a huge selection of Vinyl flooring in store too, with colours and styles to suit any budget. And last, but certainly not least, is the newly revamped bed section! The store sells a range of beds at fantastic prices, from single beds (only £99!) right up to orthopaedic beds and luxury memory foam divans, from manufacturers such as Silentnight. United Carpets also sells a range of headboards and mattresses ready to take away! If you are looking to transform the look of your home for Christmas, then make United Carpets your first stop. You’ll be spoilt for choice at prices that just won’t be beaten elsewhere!

United Carpets 34 Parr Street St Helens WA9 1JZ Tel: 01744 454400 Opening Hours 9am-6pm Monday-Saturday 10am-4pm Sunday

www.unitedcarpetsandbeds.com/st-he 36 Local Life

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Competition Entry

Which room would you like to carpet? Tell us why (in 30 words or less) .................................................................... .................................................................... .................................................................... .................................................................... .................................................................... .................................................................... .................................................................... .................................................................... Name Address

Contact number e-mail address

elens www.locallife247.co.uk

Please return your entry form to United Carpets, 34 Parr Street, St Helens WA9 1JZ by Sunday 20th November 2011. Competition winner will be notified within 14 days. The judge’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

Local Life 37


Thirteen cricketing legends stepped up to the plate to make the dreams of local lads come true and raise some much needed funds for charity. Local lad Liam Parkinson from Haydock was wicket keeper on the day and despite losing to his heroes he was, “over the moon to be playing in such great company” as was Grappenhall born all rounder Andy “Tinman” Tetlow who went as far as to say, “it was the best day of my life”. Close to two thousand spectators packed the Broad Lane ground and the event raised more than £10,000 for the Andrew Flintoff Foundation and the Candice Roberts Foundation. The Legends team was: Andrew Flintoff, Michael Vaughan, Dean Headley, David “Bumble” Lloyd, Michael Atherton, John Crawley, Graeme Hick, Warren Hegg, Phil DeFrietas, Ronnie Irani and Gladstone Small, Wasim Akram, Muttiah Muralitharan and Neil Fairbrother

History Enthusiast?

Lanky Legends

The St. Helens Historical Society meets every month from September to May at St. Helens Friends’ meeting house on Church Street. The meetings are open to anyone who wishes to go along. The meetings take place on the third Monday of each month, except in December, and the next meeting is on Monday 21st November. For more details please call Mary Presland on 01744 23141.

The clock was turned back recently when some of Lancashire’s legendary cricketers got together to see off a Grappenhall Select in a charity match to mark the Warrington club’s 130th anniversary.

38 Local Life

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Lest we Forget

Local Life understands that residents and schoolchildren in Billinge will be marking Remembrance Day with a service at the new Millennium Garden on Main Street near Billinge Library. The service at the Garden, which is featured on the front cover this issue of Local Life, will take place at 11am on the 11th of November. Prior to the march, residents will join local schoolchildren from St Aidan’s, Birchley St Mary’s and Chapel End to walk to the site, and the children will be carrying flags they will be making in school, referencing their thoughts of Remembrance Day. It is expected that Main Street will temporarily close for the event, though this has not yet been confirmed. The event has been organised by local Councillor Sue Murphy who has been working alongside Merseyside Police to mark Remembrance Day at the Millennium Garden, and Sue is hoping that the walk will become an annual event. Refreshments will be provided at Pingot Hall funded by Billinge Parish Council and prepared by Billinge Buddy Group. 

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Local Life 39


The Big Country

As this global village we live in becomes seemingly ever increasingly smaller and tourists hop about from country to country, there’s one popular tourist destination that still stands out as being different. A visit to the unspoilt frontiers of Australia, whose very name breathes size and distance, can be a life changing experience for many tourists. This destination has something for everyone, from the awe-inspiring national parks, the big city excitement of Sydney and Melbourne, the underwater paradise that is the Great Barrier Reef and the pristine sun-loving coastline. You can visit family and friends and much more – all in one trip! No visit to Oz is complete without a trip to experience the breathtaking beauty of the Great Barrier Reef, off the North-East coast. Cruise on a high speed catamaran to this dazzling kaleidoscope of colour, where you can view the coral and tropical fish from the underwater observatory. You can scuba in the depths, or, if you prefer, snorkel around the surface of the glorious reef, one of the seven wonders of the natural world. Pre bookable day cruises range from £119 p.p. Sydney is a must-see on any Oz traveller’s schedule. You can visit the majestic Opera House and relax in the Royal Botanic Gardens, an oasis on the edge of Sydney Harbour. Book a day trip into the beautiful Blue Mountains National Park, ride the world’s steepest railway or take the cablecar (this is combined with a Sydney river cruise all for £89 p.p.) For those of you who like their holidays a little more high-paced, climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge night or day (prices from £137p.p.). And then there’s the spiritual magnificence of the great Australian outback, where you can discover the real heart of Australia. Capture the magnificence of an Uluru (Ayers Rock) sunrise or sunset, and view rock paintings dating back thousands of years (pre bookable excursions start at £35 p.p). For an amazing contrast with the outback, explore the heritage markets in Kuranda, the ‘village of the rainforest’;

40 Travel brought to you in association with Marken Travel


travel by cable car above the canopy of the Barron Gorge National Park, or enjoy a breathtaking trip to Kuranda on one of the world’s most scenic rail journeys.(day excursions start at £119 p.p.) Australia is famous for its rich diversity of animal and plant life, and if you have time, then highlights on your trip could include cruising on the Yellow Water Billabong to view the saltwater crocodiles or a trip to Kangaroo Island to walk amongst the sea lions at Seal Bay or watch the Penguin Pageantry, when penguins march up the beach nightly to their nesting places. Australia Zoo in Queensland, made famous by the Crocodile Hunter, the late Steve Irwin, is another top tourist attraction. Tour operators AAT Kings has been established in Australia for over 90 years and work with Jetset to provide tours, flights and tailor made holidays for British holidaymakers. In addition to all-inclusive escorted tours, the company can also offer you multicentre “fly-arounds”, city explorers, outback tours, camping safaris and 4WD adventure tours – all you need to create a perfect holiday!  And if you really want a once in a lifetime trip, then plan to arrive in Oz in style with Etihad Airways! You can catch your breath on your way home (or way there) with a stopover in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates and the home of the Etihad

Airline. There you’ll come face to face with warm Arabian hospitality and will be able to experience the many facets of Abu Dhabi; air conditioned malls galore, back street souks, luxury hotels, a Bedouin encampment and world class restaurants or even visit the world’s only Ferrari Theme Park (£46 p.p entry) Tour operators Jetset and AAT Kings have joined forces with Etihad and Marken Travel to present some great travel packages to Australia next Spring. For more details, call Marken Travel now on 01744 893291 or pop into the travel agents at 200 Main Street, Billinge.

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42 Local Life

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Rainhill Beer Festival

It was a bitter blow for the Rainhill Rotarians when, for the second time in eight years, they lost the venue for their very popular Beer Festival, but they’ve bounced back to set up the 2011 Festival, which begins this Thursday (10th November) in Rainhill itself. Over the years this event has proved to be a big draw for real ale fans. When Prescot Leisure Centre, which had hosted the festival for five years, was closed, the Rotary Club were faced with a dilemma – where to hold a three day beer festival? Despite a thorough look through what was available - hotels, village halls, abandoned supermarkets and school assembly halls, nothing seemed to hit the spot for these Rotarians. Understandably reluctant to give up on such a successful fundraiser and unwilling to disappoint all the worthy causes that benefit from the profits, it was time for some radical thinking. And the conclusion was to put up a giant marquee that could accommodate all the real ale enthusiasts!

9th Beer Festival. The Marquee will be raised in November for the start of the festival this Thursday running for three days until Saturday 12th. Delighted that their beer festival is returning home to Rainhill, the Rotary Club are doing everything possible to provide a warm and comfortable environment in which the public will have up to 75 casks to sample from, along with many unusual and exotic bottled beers from all over the world. For more details see the advertisement on the opposite page.

U-8 Players Wanted

Ashton Athletics U-8’s are looking for new players for their new U-8’s team. The club is offering you a chance to meet some new friends, play a game of football, get help from qualified coaches and make use of some excellent facilities. Training is on a Thursday between 6.30pm and 7.30pm. Your child must have their 8th birthday between September 1st 2011 and August 31st 2012. Anyone that is interested should contact Daniel Halliday on 07769 902167 or email at daniel.halliday@btinternet.com 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

Step forward Rainhill Recreation Club, who willingly agreed to save the day and give the Rotarians the long awaited green light to go ahead and plan their

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Local Life 43


The Meaning of Luxury For some it’s a pair of Jimmy Choos or a Louis Vuitton handbag. For others it’s a weekend shopping trip with friends or a home cooked meal lovingly prepared by your other half. For me, it’s got to be a brand new bathroom – my own sparkling clean private dreamland where I can enjoy a long, hot heavenly soak, away from the stresses of everyday life. As time goes by though, your bath time pleasures will be spoiled when you notice the deteriorating condition of the silicone and the grout; black spots and mould will appear. And even when you put some serious elbow grease into scrubbing away at the grotty bits, you’ll get that ‘painting the Forth Bridge’ feeling - the work never ends, particularly if you’ve got more than one bathroom.

offering a complete bathroom restoration service to home owners. And the result is a series of tried and tested methods, carried out by a skilled team that can restore any bathroom to its original state whilst causing you the minimum amount of disruption. Ian says “We’re genuinely passionate about what we do and we’re eager to show you exactly what can be achieved without replacing fixtures and fittings”. As well as traditional baths and tiles, Ian and his team can tackle almost all bathroom related problems that some tradesmen would shy away from. These might include problem shower trays, shower cubicles and screens, natural stone tiles

Now you might think that the only solution to this is a costly new bathroom every five years or so, but you’d be wrong! We’ve discovered a local company called Total Bathroom Restoration, who can justly claim to put the gleam back into your bathroom at the fraction of the cost of a new one! Since launching in March 2010, Ian Read, the owner of Total Bathroom Restoration has seen his business thrive to become one of the North West’s premier bathroom restoration companies. Ian believes that almost any bathroom can be rescued from the damage caused by unsightly mould and mildew that occurs naturally over time. Ian, who used to present a home makeover show on the Discovery Home and Leisure TV channel, is passionate about the services his company offers. From his experience in property management he realised that most bathroom problems showed a consistent pattern; leaks, grout failure, mouldy silicone, chipped bath trays and cloudy shower screens, and he subsequently embarked on a period of research and development with the aim of 44 Local Life

Before

After www.locallife247.co.uk


This is what our late

st customer had to

say…

Mr Murphy of Rainhill told Local Life, “My sis ter saw my new bathro wishes hers was so cle om makeover and sai an because her showe d how she r cubicle was black wit coming away. h mould and the old silicone was “I decided to give my sister a bathroom ma keover for Christmas, looked at the job and Ian was very friendly agreed a date and tim and informative, e. He and his team cle and grout; they worke aned out all the old mo d very professionally uldy silicone and expertly with all single detail was sco the correct tools and ured and by the end materials. Every of the day the showe sister and her husban r cub icle had been transform d were amazed!” ed and my

and more recently they have expanded their services to include other problem areas around the house such as kitchen worktops, sinks and tiles/grout. Think ice-white silicone & grout, perfect tiles and a bathroom to be proud of; that’s the service that Total Bathroom Restoration can offer to you. If you don’t want to fork out thousands for a new bathroom but want to breathe a new lease of life into the one you have, just call Total Bathroom Restoration now on 01942 375201 or 0800 542 9984 and for more details visit their website www.totalbathroomrestoration.co.uk.

And here are some of our

other testimonials… “…looks like a brand new bathroom!!!” Joe Anthony, Ormskirk Roa d, Wigan “…as good as new” Chris & Allan Birchall, Rai nford “…value for money” Rita & Barrie Critchley, Ecc leston “…surpassed all expect atio Jerry Rowlands, Rainford ns” “…fast, clean and reliabl e” John Hunter, Eccleston, St Helens “…an excellent job” Andy Wood, Billinge “…would definitely recom mend Angela Taylor, Rainhill them” “…excellent work” Mr & Mrs Donaldson, St Ma ry’s Avenue, Billinge “…a professional outfit with a good track record.” John Williams, Wigan “…thank you, thank you Chris Jenkins, Landlord !”

Before

After www.locallife247.co.uk

Total Bathroom Restoration 01744 631307 or 0800 542 9984 www.totalbathroomrestoration.co.uk. Local Life 45


Sing Up

Birchley St Mary’s RC Primary School in Billinge has been named as a Platinum Singing School as part of the national Sing Up awards - which recognise, celebrate and promote schools that put singing at the heart of school life. The school was presented with its platinum award as part of a special singing assembly to showcase the school’s talent. The Sing Up programme is a collaboration between national charity Youth Music, publishers Faber Music and musical education centre The Sage Gateshead. Together they have brought singing to primary schools through a programme of resources and workforce development. The awards are open to primary schools across England and have been devised by arts education professionals in consultation with classroom teachers and music teaching specialists. There are three levels of award - silver, gold and platinum. While schools can enter themselves for the silver or gold, the platinum award is available by nomination only, enabling schools to become ambassador schools. Music teacher Suzanne Taylor said, “Everyone is delighted to become the first

46 Local Life

school in Merseyside to gain a Sing Up award, it’s a tremendous achievement!” Pictured with the award are Rea Siyani, James Appleton, Daniel Jenkins, Emily Leatherbarrow, Matthew Derbyshire, Charlie Adams, Suzanne Taylor, Charlotte Stuthbury, Dr Jeremy Sleith and Claire Cropper

Bispham Events

Diaries are jam-packed for the congregation of the Bispham Methodist Church in Billinge over the next few weeks. Their Remembrance Day Family Service commemoration is being held at the church on the corner of Crank and Upholland Road on Sunday 13 November at 10.30 am. Saturday 3rd December sees the annual Victorian Christmas Fayre from 11 am to 2pm complete with Victorian Christmas Fayre. Cafe lunches will also be available, Father Christmas will be present in his famous grotto and admission to the Fayre is free! You can embrace the spirit of Christmas on Friday 9th December from 7 pm at the Community Carol Event, which is held outside, followed by mince pies and a warm cuppa in the Church Hall. The local brass experts, the Old Hall Community Band, will perform at the Carol Service held at 6pm on Sunday 18th December at the Church Hall, followed by refreshments in the Church Hall. Everyone is welcome to attend these events and a warm reception is guaranteed!

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Local Life 47


DAY Long Live Lanky

As our fair county gets ready to celebrate Lancashire Day, let’s hear three cheers for the county that brought you George Formby, Hot Pot, Coronation Street and Uncle Joes Mint Balls! Nicola Gray takes a closer look at what makes us Lancastrians so unique. Lancashire Day is held on November 27th every year and is a celebration which unites young and old up and down the county, in an event that gives us the opportunity to declare that we are proud of our roots and swear allegiance to The Queen, as the Duke of Lancaster. This landmark event commemorates the day in 1295 when Lancashire sent its first representatives to Parliament by King Edward I of England to attend what later became known as The Model Parliament. For many years the Lancashire Day proclamation has been read out by town criers throughout the county on November 27th and many pubs, clubs, schools and organisations will be holding Lancashire Day events to mark the celebrations so have a scout around your area and see how you can celebrate being a Lancastrian. One of the local Lancashire Day events is being held at Ashfield House Hotel in Standish on Sunday 27th November. The Standish Community Forum will be holding a reception with refreshments in the evening. The Proclamation will be read at 9.00 pm followed by the Loyal Toast. Contact Graham Wilcock for details on 01257 402411.

48 Local Life

The main thing that sets us aside from other counties and strengthens our identities as Lancastrians sits firmly in what is affectionately known as the Lankyshire dialect. As older generation go to the great Lankyshire up above, our dialect isn’t as strong as it was, but you’ll be surprised just how much of the dialect has crept into your everyday vocabulary!

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No matter how metropolitan we try to become, if you recognise, barm cake, mither and doolally as perfectly normal forms of expression then there is absolutely no denying that your roots belong in Lanky.

Lancastrians across the county will be wearing their red roses and donning their flat caps with pride this Lancashire Day, make sure you’re one of them by getting back to your roots and embrace everything Lanky. Long live Lanky! For more details about how you can celebrate Lancashire Day – visit the website www.forl.co.uk

Win a meal for two to celebrate Lancashire Day!

What better way to celebrate Lancashire Day then to fill yer boots with some free food?! We have teamed up with Lovels Restaurant at Holland Hall Hotel in historic Up Holland to give one of our readers the chance to win a meal for two! This is the perfect way to celebrate Lancashire Day, enjoying the fantastic local and regional fayre on offer at Lovels. The building dates back to the 17th century and is surrounded by beautiful Lancashire countryside. All you have to do is match our Lanky phrases with their standard English translation and send your entry to Local Life 247 Ltd, PO Box 631, Wigan, WN1 6HF by the closing date of Sunday 20th November or e-mail your entry, plus your name, address and contact number to competition@locallife247.co.uk. I am soaking wet

Ah’m reet jiggered As’t purrup mi jackbit? Put t’wood int th’ole Eemunt cumineer Tha’z puggl’t thee Ah’m sogginwetthrew

You aren’t very bright Have you prepared my packed lunch? Close the door He mustn’t come in here I am tired out

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Post Code

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Telephone Number ……………………………………………………………………………………………. Email

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Competition Rules 1. Only one entry per household 2. Entrants must be over 16 years of age 3. The winners will be notified within 14 days of the closing date 4. Local Life 247 Ltd cannot accept any responsibility for entries that are delayed or damaged in the post. 5. Employees of Local Life Ltd or their immediate relatives are not eligible to enter the competition Local Life is registered under the Data Protection Act and abides by the guidelines of the act. We will never sell or pass your details to any third party company. However, we would like to contact you by email with news of great local offers and also to check the distribution of Local Life in your area. If you don’t want us to contact you, please tick this box

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Local Life 49


The What’s On Guide Friday 4th and Saturday 5th November For details on local bonfire & firework displays see page 8

Friday 11th November Spinningfields Ice Rink One of Manchester’s popular Christmas attractions is back again at The Avenue, off Deansgate in the city centre. Watch your friends and family skate while enjoying festive drinks and good food at The Lodge, a new two-tier log cabin themed pop up bar which is adjacent to the Ice Rink. Sessions run for one hour and include skate hire. The rink is open 7 days a week until the 3rd January. Cost: £6-£8.50 Contact: 0843 2081844 or visit www.spinningfieldsicerink.com

Saturday 12th November Golden Youth, Wise Age Concert The latest offering from the St Helens Sinfonietta includes Mendelssohn’s Italian Symphony and a Double Concerto from Brahms. This concert is being staged at the United Reformed Church in King Street. Time: 7.30pm Cost: £10 (Students ½ price & U-16’s £1) Contact: 01744 600846 or 01925 291273

50 Local Life

Open Studio Weekend Glass manufacturer Morpheus Glass host an open studio weekend at their base on the Hewitt Industrial Estate in Orrell, near Wigan, with stock on sale at up to 70% off normal retail prices. Refreshments available. This event also runs on Sunday 13th November. Time: 10am-4pm Cost: Free Contact: 01695 624182 or www.morpheusglass.co.uk Sat Nav Ref: WN5 7XB

Thursday 17th November Manchester Christmas Markets No winter is complete without a wander through the chalet-lined streets of Manchester’s famous Christmas markets. The perfect place to get your evening started, pick up some fabulous Christmas gifts, or relax after a hard day’s Christmas shopping, the markets really have become a very firm fixture of everybody’s yuletide countdown. Running until Wednesday 21st December, the array of stalls at the markets is mindboggling. Try sweet and savoury treats from Dutch mini pancakes and Hungarian goulash to Spanish paella and French profiteroles. Relax with a hot chocolate, warming Gluhwein, German or Spanish beer or French wine. Time: everyday 10am to 7pm Contact: 0161 234 7356 or visit www.manchestermarkets.com

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What’s on Guide events key

Saturday 19th November St Helens Switch On St Helens promises a wonderful evening of music, entertainment and lighting in Victoria Square. Teenage singing sensation Ronan Parke will be lighting up the festive lights, but there’s plenty to do besides including, a children’s light projection, musical acts, performers and pantomime fun! Time: From 4pm Cost: Free Contact: 01744 673488

Events and Festivals

Walks & Nature

Family

Special Interest

Zingzillas Mini Shows Zak, Panzee, Drum and Tang will be entertaining audiences in these free live mini shows beginning at 12 noon, 1pm and 2pm in the Parish Church in St Helens Town Centre. These characters are the stars of Zingzillas, a CBeebies TV music show aimed at the under sixes. Cost: Free Contact: 01744 675492 or visit www.whatsoninsthelens.com

Sunday 27th November Sunday 20th November Vintage, Antique and Handmade Fair Up to 40 stalls of antique, handmade and vintage curiosities at the superb venue - Cedar Farm near Mawdesley, Ormskirk. There is something for everyone here with a coffee shop and restaurant on site, animals, a play area and pottery painting for kids, artist studios and retail shops. Time: 10-4pm Cost: £1 Contact: 01704 822038 or 07711 318466 for stall enquiries Sat Nav Ref: L40 3SY

Saturday 26th November Victorian Christmas Weekend A National Trust Event being held at Speke Hall. Get into the Christmas spirit, see the ground floor beautifully decorated for a Victorian Christmas. Carols in the Great Hall, festive refreshments, tours, activities and more. Guided tours offered after 11am. Children are welcome, under 18’s must be accompanied by an adult. Also running on Sunday 27th November. Time: 1pm to 4pm Contact: 0151 427 7231 or visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk Sat Nav Ref: L24 1XD www.locallife247.co.uk

RNLI Reindeer Run 2011 The RNLI Reindeer Run at Knowsley Safari Park promises to be a feast of festive fun for all the family. There’s a 10k (age 16+) and 5k (age 10+) race through the beautiful parkland of Knowsley Safari Park and Hall, and a 3.5k Santa Saunter walk that’s open to all ages. All entrants will receive free RNLI Reindeer Run T-shirt and medal/certificate, reindeer antlers to run/walk in, as well as mince pies and hot drinks at the finish. There will be lots of Christmas fun on the day for everyone involved, including refreshments and Christmas competitions. Why not get a team together and join in the fun?! Cost: £18 (10k), £16 (5k) or £7.50 (Santa Saunter) Contact: www.rnli.org.uk/reindeer Sat Nav Ref: L34 4AN

Local Life 51


The What’s On Guide Saturday 3rd December Grassington Dickensian Festival This popular festival celebrates its 30th anniversary this year and runs on Saturday 3rd, 10th and 17th December. See the Christmas lights, the village square and the cobbled streets transformed into a traditional market with shopkeepers, villages and visitors dressed in Victorian costume. Enjoy the musicians, dancers, street entertainer and exhibitions of traditional country crafts. There will be an Ice Rink on the 17th to entertain the children. There is a park and ride service from Swinden Quarry Park nearby, as you cannot park in the village. Cost: Free Contact: 0845 0942819 or visit www.grassington.uk.com Walton Winter Wonderland A Victorian style Christmas celebration set in a traditionally decorated cobbled courtyard. Step back in time and enjoy Christmas as it used to be. There will be entertainers, magicians, stilt walkers, live music, Christmas markets, Yule log making, festive fayre, nativity scene and, of course, Santa will be there in his enchanting grotto. Contact: www.waltonhallandgardens.com or 01925 601617 Cost: Free Sat Nav Ref: WA4 6SN

Sunday 4th December Craft and Gift Fair The Creative Crafts Association are holding another well established and very popular event in the massive exhibition hall within the Reebok stadium. This particular fair features a dedicated Food and

52 Local Life

Drinks Marquee within the Craft and Gift event. Time: 10am to 5pm Contact: www.creativecrafts-online.co.uk Sat Nav Ref: BL6 6JW Wednesday 7th December Alive in Wonderland Running until Saturday 17th December at the Citadel in Waterloo Street, St Helens, and this fantastic pantomime will provide fun for the entire family! Cost: £5-£7 Contact: 01744 735436 Sat Nav Ref: WA10 1PX

Thursday 8th December Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs So join us this festive period as we take you through the enchanting tale of Snow White at the Southport Theatre. Running until 2nd January, everyone’s favourite fairy story will be a magical journey, introducing you to a whole host of new & lovable characters, including the lovely Prince Charming, but beware, we’ll also meet the Wicked Queen! Runs until Sunday 2nd January. Cost: From £16.50 Contact: 0844 871 7615 or visit www.atgtickets.com Sat Nav Ref: PR9 0DZ

Monday 12th December Scrooge Starring Tommy Steele at the Lowry Theatre in Salford. This is the ideal Christmas treat for all the family, Leslie Bricusse’s musical extravaganza Scrooge is a heart-warming story based on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Runs until Saturday 7th January. Cost: £22-£32 Contact: 0843 208 6000 or visit www.thelowry.com Sat Nav Ref: M50 3AZ

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Local Life 53


Win a luxury Christmas Hamper! It’s back! The Local Life Christmas Hamper competition returns, and this year we have ten luxury Christmas Hampers to be won by our readers in St Helens and Prescot! Every Christmas we join forces with generous local companies and organisations who are kind enough to sponsor a prize hamper – and this year their generosity has excelled itself because we have also asked each of them to donate £50 which we will present, on their behalf, to the local hospice. This means that Willowbrook Hospice will be presented with a cheque for £500. Messages from five of these companies/organisations are featured on this page and the messages from the other five will be displayed in the December issue of Local Life. We’d like to pass our sincere thanks to these sponsors for their support. Each Christmas hamper will be filled to the brim with luxury products; much of this is local and regional foodstuffs. Our main supplier is Windy Arbour Farm Shop near Billinge, and we thank them for their kindness in supplying these goods at cost price. We chose Windy Arbour Farm Shop as a supplier because it carries a wonderful range of tasty local and regional goods, particularly in the run up to Christmas, and the service is second to none. For more details about the store visit their website www.windyarbour.co.uk Even if you’re not a fan of Christmas hampers, these hampers make a wonderful present for your nearest and dearest, full of luxury items to bring a little extra to their Christmas. Simply complete the Christmas Hits crossword on the opposite page and return it to Local Life 247 Ltd, PO Box 631, Wigan WN1 9HF or email your answers along with your name and contact number to crossword@locallife247.co.uk. Your entry must be with us by Wednesday 7th December 2011. Good luck!

Top qu great, Angie Barker would like to wish all Local Life readers a very happy Christmas! I hope you enjoyed reading my columns this year; for inspiration for your garden in 2012, check out my website www.angiebarker.co.uk Angie Barker Garden Design is proud to support the work of Willowbrook Hospice

54 Local Life

Tony Lowe and staff at Billinge Furniture Outlet would like to thank our customers for all their custom this year, and wish everyone a very happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year. If you want a dining table set for your family Christmas, call into our store at Barrows Farm in Billinge – we’ve got a great deal for you, and we’re open 7 days a week! Proud to Support Willowbrook Hospice

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1

3

2

4 5

Custom Print

6

David Casstles and the team at Custom Print in Liverpool, printers of Local Life magazines since 2008, would like to pass on festive greetings to all Local Life readers and wish everyone a very happy New Year.

7

8

Custom Print are happy to support Willowbrook Hospice.

EclipseCrossword.com Across

1. 6. 7. 8.

‘Stop the Cavalry’ - Jona _ ‘Happy Christmas (War is Over)’ John & _ ‘Do They Know it’s Christmas’ - Band _ ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’

Down 2. 3. 4. 5. Thank you for your custom this year and a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from us all. For great service, excellent quality and reasonable prices for your next bathroom or kitchen, think Designs for Life. Hope to see you all soon at our showroom at 290 Church Road in Haydock. www.designsforlifestudio.co.uk Design for Life are always happy to support the work of Willowbrook Hospice

Janet and the staff at the Unique Kitchen Company in High Street in Newton-leWillows would like to thank everyone for their custom this year and would like to wish everyone a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year! For beautiful madeto-measure kitchens for less than DIY store prices – drop in and see our range today! www.uniquekitchencompany.co.uk The Unique Kitchen Company is proud to back the work of Willowbrook Hospice.

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‘I Wish it Could be Christmas Everyday’ ‘White Christmas’ - Bing _ ‘Mistletoe & Wine’ - Cliff _ ‘Fairytale of New York’, The _

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. Local Life 247 Ltd cannot accept any responsibility for entries that are delayed or damaged in the post. 5. Employees of Local Life 247 Ltd or their immediate relatives are not eligible to enter this competition. Local Life 247 Ltd is registered under the Data Protection Act and abides by the guidelines of the act. We will never sell or pass your details to any third party company. However, we would like to contact you by email with news of great local offers and also to check our magazine distribution in your area. If you don’t want us to contact you, please tick this box

Local Life 55


RETURN OF THE

ST

The latest Ford Focus ST works smarter rather than harder. Andy Enright takes a look. Ford has undoubtedly improved the Focus ST in virtually every regard, this latest 2.0-litre turbo model serving up more power, more pace and better efficiency but is this a car that the British public will draw to their hearts like the last one? Putting a five-cylinder Volvo engine into the old Ford Focus ST probably seemed a good idea at the time, but unfortunately the engine was also very heavy, hard to package and had a quite stupefying thirst. Building a better Focus ST, therefore, doesn’t seem particularly tricky. Fit a modern four-cylinder turbo engine to the latest Focus would seem to cover it. This car may have been easy to build but it’s a mark of the most talented that they make the difficult appear very

56 Local Life

easy indeed. The headline figure is that peak power has been raised from the old ST’s 222bhp figure to a rather beefier 247bhp. You’ll probably expect the torque from a 2.0-litre turbo four to be inferior to that of a 2.5-litre turbo five but where the old car made 320Nm, the EcoBoost engine can muster 360Nm. Less weight, more power and better aerodynamics inevitably translate into better performance and the latest ST will launch to 60mph in less than six seconds. The Focus ST’s Electronic Power Assisted Steering is mated to a Torque Steer Compensation (TSC) system which allows Focus ST drivers to accelerate at full throttle and yet still find grip on roads with uneven surfaces or uneven levels of grip. Drivers will have three modes of ESP to choose from. These can be selected according to weather and road conditions or simply to match the driver’s desire for help from additional driving aids. And yes, you can switch it all the way off. Four colours are offered. The signature paint finish is Tangerine Scream but you can also choose Performance Blue, Race Red and White if orange isn’t your thing. The cabin is well trimmed with a great set of Recaro sports seats with cushion tilt and length adjustment. It’s good to see that Ford has

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poured resource into all the parts you touch, with custom ST steering wheel, gear lever and pedal set. The ST is offered in three distinct trim options;, ST1, ST2 and ST3. ST1 is the standard model, offering key features like cloth Recaro seats, keyless start, front door scuff plates with ST logo and standard ST rear bench with centre armrest. Step up to the Focus ST2 and you’ll find part leather Recaro seats and dual zone Electronic Automatic Temperature Control (EATC). We’ll also get unique ST floor mats, automatic headlamp control, auto-dimming rear view mirror and automatic wipers. The top spec Focus ST3 builds on this with heated leather Recaro seats with 8-way adjustability and pull out cushion, plus the newly developed Recaro rear bench. ST3 customers also benefit from Bi-Xenon headlamps. A genuinely exciting alternative is the Focus ST estate, or ‘wagon’ in Ford-speak. “There’s nothing comparable in the market to the Focus ST wagon,” said Ford’s director of Global Performance Vehicles. “It retains all of the practical elements of the Focus wagon and adds the unique ST performance, handling abilities and refinement of the five-door model. We have high hopes for the ST wagon being a great success.” Let’s face it. Estates are just that little bit cooler.

something intangible that endeared it to all who drove it. It’s pointless to wistfully gaze through rose-tinted spectacles though. If Ford’s track record is anything to go by though, we’ll soon take this new Focus ST to our hearts and forget about the old car. I think I may still be in the denial stage of the grieving process. It’ll pass. For more details about the Ford ST, please contact the following dealers: Gordon Ford, Wallgate, Wigan 01942 823000 Polar Ford, Sherdley Road, St Helens 01744 610600 Polar Ford, Winwick Road, Warrington 01925 651111

The swingeing fuel bills associated with the old ST did much to dent its residual values and the latest car should fare a good deal better. It’s doubtful that you’ll find many insurance brokers willing to give you any presents though, which will nix this as a potential choice for most younger drivers. I once ran one for a few weeks back to back with a Chevrolet Corvette and the 5.7-litre Chevy returned better fuel economy figures. The latest car promises to be 20% better on economy and emissions. I suspect that it’ll be a lot better than 20% better on fuel when you’re trying hard. That the latest Ford Focus ST is a better car than its predecessor is beyond debate. It’s faster, safer, better equipped, lighter on its feet and won’t bankrupt you if you drive it hard. And yet, the old car had

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Local Life 57


Motoring

58 Local Life

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Local Life 59


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Local Life Jobs

Domestic Cleaners Required - All Areas Growing company requires cleaning staff for immediate start. You must be honest and reliable, and all references supplied will be checked. Flexible hours to suit your lifestyle and good rates of pay for the right candidate. For details call Stephen on 0800 043 0722 or 01744 649091. Distributors Required Distributors required (aged 13+) for all areas. Distributors will typically work for 2/3 hours every eight weeks, delivering 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.

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Local Life 63


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

I’m really not a swinger - honestly A plant which

provides good structure at this time of year is Cortaderia selloana or Pampas Grass. Yes they can be an acquired taste but in the right setting they really come into their own. It used to be the fashion in the 70’s to plant one in the middle of a lawn in the front garden (so I’m told) but was so overdone that they soon lost favour. Pampas grass can grow big - for example in respect

of Cortaderia selloana (Sunningdale Silver) I’m talking 3metres tall and 2 metres wide (or in old money up to 10 feet tall and 6 feet wide - Hubby doesn’t do metric). Tall creamy white plumes are produced from late summer well into autumn/winter with a mound of evergreen grassy leaves. The plant makes a stunning statement in a border or planted as a specimen but they do need space. They also benefit from a hard prune in early spring to remove all the old debris and dead stalks ready for new growth. You really should wear goggles and thick gloves for this because the leaves are razor sharp. If you have a small garden and still want to grow a Pampas grass there is a solution and its called Cortaderia selloana ’Pumila’. It is a dwarf version and reaches 1.5metres tall and 1.2m wide (Hubby - that’s 5ft and 4ft respectively). I have one in a border in my front garden and once I was returning home with a friend when he started chuckling to himself. When I asked what was amusing him he said “Are you a swinger?” “I beg your pardon” I cried, and he said “don’t you know, that if you have a Pampas Grass in your front garden it is a signal to your neighbours that you are a swinger”. Well, I didn’t know that - did you? In fact I had to get hubby to explain to me what a swinger was! The result of a catholic education by nuns I’m afraid left me very naïve. Still, don’t let that put off planting one in your front garden! Author: Angie Barker (Dip GD) Inst GD BA (Hons)

64 Local Gardening Life

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Local Gardening Life 65


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10/06/2011

12:22:29

When someone has died, Tell Us Once and we’ll tell all of the relevant services within St.Helens Council plus other government agencies for you. For more information, visit www.sthelens.gov.uk/tellusonce or call 01744 676789.

Useful Numbers

Ashton

Cllr P Tushingham Cllr J Haddley Cllr N Ash Ashton Library Ashton Police Team

01942 776060 01942 487689 01942 736216 01942 727119 0161 856 7436

Billinge & Garswood

Cllr A Bacon 0787 293 8085 Cllr S Murphy 01942 743098 Cllr J Pearson 01942 743021 Billinge Medical Practice 01744 892205 Garswood Surgery 01744 621670 Billinge & Garswood Police Team 0151 777 6054 Billinge Parish Council Clerk 01744 884857 Selenley Green Parish Council Clerk 01744 892167 Billinge Library 01744 677535 Garswood Library 01744 677797

Haydock

Cllr W Anderton 0787 985 0518 Cllr Banks 01744 676109 Cllr A Burns 01744 677295 Haydock Medical Cen. (Dr Vaughan) 0844 477 8626 Haydock Medical Cen. (Dr Roberts) 01744 22272 Haydock Library 01744 677801

Moss Bank

Cllr J Fletcher Cllr Fulham Cllr C Kavanagh Windermere Medical Centre Moss Bank Library

01744 884984 01744 676109 01744 678918 01744 739645 01744 677988

Newton

Cllr S Dyer Cllr S Knight Cllr N Taylor Newton Community Hospital Dr Pitalia – Comm. Hosp. Dr Pitalia – Bridge St High St Surgery Patterdale Lodge Market St Surgery Newton Library

Rainford

Cllr A Jones Cllr B Lowe MBE Cllr D Monk Rainford Health Centre K McRae Health Centre Rainford Library Rainford Parish Council HM Government.pdf

10/06/2011

13:06:59

General Medical

St Helens Hospital Wigan Infirmary Whiston Hospital Minor Injuries Walk in Centre NHS Direct

01744 671900 01925 227669 01925 220104 01925 222731 01925 220469 01925 225755 01925 290311 01925 227111 01925 221457 01744 677885 01744 893367 01744 884891 01744 678032 01744 882855 01744 882606 01744 677820 01744 884709 01744 26633 01942 244000 0151 426 1600 01744 627400 0845 4647

Police & Councils Merseyside Police Greater Manchester Police St.Helens Council Wigan Council

0151 709 6010 0161 872 5050 01744 676789 01942 244991

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66 Local Life

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