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Your local magazine

xury u l a n i W mper! a H s a m Christ -see page

Wigan Edition

61

December 2011

A Merry Ch ristmas and a Happy New Year to all our readers !

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Local Life

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Publisher: Local Life 247 Ltd P.O. Box 631 Wigan WN1 9HF Advertising: Chris Pearce 01257 498329 chrisp@locallife247.co.uk Editorial: Nicola Gray 01257 498329 nicolag@locallife247.co.uk Accounts: Sally Boon 01695 627999 sallyb@locallife247.co.uk The January edition of Local Life will be published on Thursday 5th January. The copy deadline for this issue is Tuesday 6th December. Local Life is published every month. Distribution areas will alternate each month between two separate edition areas; Edition 1 is delivered to over 12,500 private homes and businesses in Standish, Whitley, Shevington, Appley Bridge, Parbold, Wrightington, Newburgh and Hilldale. Edition 2 is delivered to over 12,500 private homes and businesses in Orrell, Billinge, Winstanley, Up Holland, Highfield, Marus Bridge, Roby Mill and Pemberton. You can also pick up a free copy of Local Life, on or around the first weekend of the month, at Tesco Extra in Wigan or at Sainsbury’s in Marus Bridge. Or you can check out our online publication at www. locallife247.co.uk. Whilst every care has been taken to ensure that the data in this publication is accurate, neither the publisher or its editorial contributors can accept, and hereby disclaim, any liability to any party to loss or damage caused by errors or omissions resulting from negligence, accident or other cause. No part of this publication, including pictures, may be copied or reproduced without the prior written consent of Local Life 247 Ltd.

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

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Merry Christmas?

Let’s be honest, the run in to Christmas can be a bit of a nightmare if you’re the one left doing the bulk of the organising. The burden is a heavy one, the success (or otherwise) of the entire family Christmas lies on your shoulders and even when the big day is here, you’re still running around at 90 mph trying to keep everyone happy. Do try and get some ‘me’ time in the next few weeks though, even if you do have to improve your delegation skills (I find threats and blackmail particularly effective!). Visit a couple of Christmas Fairs, take the kids ice skating, have a night out with friends, take in a Christmas concert or two; it all helps you to wind down for the Christmas break. There’s lots going on in the next few weeks – this issue has details of much of the local action, along with offers galore, a great Christmas Hamper competition and a few interesting pieces on what to do and where to go. This is the last issue before Christmas, so I’d like to pass on my personal thanks and seasonal greetings to those who make Local Life possible; our trusty distributors, our talented staff and also our enthusiastic advertisers, without whom the magazine simply wouldn’t exist – please give them your support if you enjoy reading Local Life. Have a lovely Christmas – see you in 2012!

Chris Pearce - Publisher chrisp@locallife247.co.uk

In this issue Free Gift Offer at Monkey Socks! £10 CACI Taster sessions Natura – the Natural Solution Get Cruising with Got 2 Go Travel! Local Life meets Shaun Wane Talking Turkey with John Chadwick Free Coffee at the Craftwork Studio Fun for all at Heskin Farmers Market Investment Tips from Prosper Choosing an Accountant – CMA Rotary Club Profile Homeless Help at the Brick Jack Tracks to the Beacon Win a Christmas Hamper! What’s On Angie’s Garden Diary Super Cooper – the Road Test Homes Services Section Jobs Green and Clean’s Useful Numbers

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Christmas Fair

Don’t miss the Parbold Christmas Fair next Saturday (3rd December)! The fun starts at the Village Hall in The Green at 2pm and proceeds from the Fair go to the Hut-On-The-Hill. There will be lots of stalls in the main hall selling all your favourite Christmas goodies, from craft items and jewellery to knitted items and decorations; in fact everything you need to stock up for a perfect family Christmas.

Quick on the Draw?

If you’re interested in drawing or enjoy turning your hand to a bit of sketching then pack up your pencils and pop down to Shevington Library. All potential Picassos are welcome at the Library each Friday between 2pm-3.30pm - and with materials and refreshments already provided you really have no reason not to go! For more information, call the library on 01257 252618.

There will be lots of activities for the kids too including face painting, games and Christmas activities. The word on the street is that Father Christmas might be popping by to pay a preChristmas visit to all the children! Refreshments will be available so you will have a chance to sample some delicious bacon butties and home-made scones. This is a great chance to do your Christmas shopping locally, enjoy a spot of lunch and enjoy the festive spirit whilst helping to support the local Guide and Scout units – see you there!



Local Life

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Flower Power

From decorative door wreaths to floral centrepieces, flowers are traditionally a big part of Christmas, so if you would like to learn how to arrange your own floral decorations in time for Christmas then get yourself down to Standish Library! There will be 2 floral decorating sessions available on Thursday December 22nd between 2pm3.30pm and 4pm-5.30pm; you can book on to one or to both of the sessions and the cost is just £6 per arrangement. There are limited places available, so be sure to book your place quickly by contacting the Library on 01257 400496.

Tunley Christmas

‘Tis the season to be jolly, so don’t miss the Christmas Fair at Tunley United Reform Church in Wrightington this Saturday (26th November) from 11am-1pm. Everyone is welcome to this Christmas extravaganza, and if you’re looking for inspiration for Christmas presents you might just find the perfect gift! On offer will be Christmas gifts, cards and paper, homemade cakes and chutneys and you will also have a chance to win a Christmas cake! Light lunches will

be available and Santa will be paying a visit, so bring along the kids or grandkids!

Lancashire Night

Get yourself ready for Tuesday 6th December as St Wilfrid’s Parish Hall in Standish will be bringing you a fantastic Lancashire night. Widely billed as the one man Houghton Weaver, Rob Mason will be providing an excellent night of entertainment with a medley of songs and ditties from the Red Rose county. A Hot Pot supper is included in the £6 ticket price, but please bring your own drink if you fancy one. Admission is by ticket only and will be available from the parish office or any member of the social committee. 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.

Stuck for what to give for Christmas? Susan Dingle

Portraits

Why not have a photo of a family member or pet transformed into a beautiful pencil portrait? They’ll love it and so will you! For more information please call: 07541 300378 or email at: dinglesusan@rocketmail.com www.locallife247.co.uk

Local Life




Church Tour

You’re invited along to a conducted tour of St. Wilfrid’s Church in Market Place in Standish on Thursday 8th December 2011 at 10.30am. This conducted tour of the church, Wigan’s only Grade 1 listed building, touches on its history, architecture, memorials, and many of the characters associated with it over more than 800 years. St Wilfrid’s is believed to have been constructed between 1582 and 1584 and designed by L. Shipway. Please come along - you will be very welcome. There’s no charge for this heritage tour, but a donation to Church funds would be greatly appreciated.



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Murder at the Manor

If you’ve got a free space in your diary this Friday and Saturday (25th & 26th November), don’t miss the Douglas Drama Group’s production of Peter Gordon’s exciting comedy thriller, ‘Murdered to Death’. This hilarious spoof is set in a manor house in the 1930’s and features the inept and bungling Inspector Pratt, who battles against the odds and his own incompetence to solve the murder of the house’s owner. It soon becomes clear that the murderer isn’t finished yet, but will the miscreant be unmasked before everyone else has met their doom, or will the audience die laughing first? The production takes place at the Parbold Women’s Institute, starting on both nights at 7.30pm. Tickets are priced at £6 and are available from Do It Yourself Centre and Parbold Fruit & Veg. For more information please call Sandra on 01257 462430 or Alan on 01257 464426.

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70

UP TO

%

bespoke fused glass design

morpheus glass

OFF

Open Studio Weekend Sale Saturday 3 rd & Sunday 4 th December

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 3rd & Sun 4th December 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




Shevington Blooms

Organisers of Shevington in Bloom will be hosting a Christmas Wreath workshop at the Youth Club on Shevington Lane on Saturday December 10th from 1.30-3.30pm. This event will set you back just £3, potentially saves you a big bill from the florist! Everything you make during the session will be yours to take home and display proudly for your family to see. All proceeds will go towards Shevington and District in Bloom 2012. For more information or if you would like to get involved with the project please call Eileen on 01257 402097 or e-mail shevingtoninbloom@gmail.com

Prospect Brass

Dragon Boat

Starting at 7pm, the festive concert from this popular band will feature all your favourite carols. Tickets are just £5 with refreshments included and are available from the good folk at Prospect Garage on Bradley Lane in Standish. Proceeds from the night go two local charities, the Amanda Penk Fund and Gordon Cottage.

Christmas Fair

Yes, I know the supermarkets have been stocking Christmas selection boxes since last February, but if, like me, you won’t believe it’s Christmas until you hear the first carol being sung then you need to pop along to Standish Methodist Church on High Street next Saturday (3rd December) where the Prospect Brass Band will be performing.



Local Life

If you, or a member of your family, have been touched by breast cancer then you might be interested to hear about the Wigan-based Dragon Boat Group. The group helps sufferers to rebuild their health and fitness, and also boosts their confidence by working out together on a dragon boat. You can get fit, have fun and share experiences with people who have, well, been in the same boat. For more details on the Dragon Boat initiative please call Pat Rigg on 01942 236337 or email her on pat.rigg@btinternet.com. Members of Gathurst Golf Club, which is located on Miles Lane in Shevington, are holding a Christmas Fair at the Club next Wednesday (30th November) at 1.30pm. Everyone is welcome and entry is free – come along and join in the fun!

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Local Life




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Watch Out!

With Christmas fast approaching and the annual dash to the letterbox nearly upon us, Royal Mail have issued a warning to all house owners not to fall foul of the latest festive scam. Unsuspecting home owners have had a card posted through their door from a company called PDS (Parcel Delivery Service) suggesting that they were unable to deliver a parcel and that they needed to be contacted on 0906 6611911, which is a Premium rate number. People are being warned this Christmas not to call this number, as this is a mail scam and cost you a

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lot of money. If you call the number and you start to hear a recorded message you will already have been billed an astonishing £315 for the phone call. If you do receive a card with these details, then please contact Royal Mail Fraud on 020 7239 6655.

Christmas Fair

The Church Lads and Girls Brigade will jointly be hosting a Christmas Fair outside of St Wilfrid’s Church in Market Place in Standish next Saturday (3rd December) from 9am-12pm. There are whole host of Christmas activities to entertain the whole family including games and tombola, and stalls will be selling goodies such as homemade cakes and much, much more – don’t miss it! 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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As well as popular Botox, dermal fillers, lip sculpturing and laser hair removal, Natura is the only clinic locally to provide leg vein removal with guaranteed results. They are also the only place in the UK that can offer you Multi-Layer Skin Rejuvenation, an exclusive treatment using medical lasers for smooth, refreshed skin. Established local GP, Dr. Carlos Xavier, set up Natura after identifying a common problem among patients. He told Local Life, “Lots of my patients came to me unhappy with their appearance or with dermatological problems, and complaining of low self-esteem. They were considering plastic surgery but I felt this rather extreme as non-surgical alternatives achieve similar results.” Oxford-educated Dr. Xavier set up the Aesthetic Laser Centre in 2004 alongside his NHS practice to treat skin conditions but decided to re-launch as Natura Skin Clinic, in response to an overwhelming demand for his expertise and a wider range of procedures. The new clinic is stylish and friendly. Dr. Xavier added, “As a privately owned, family-run clinic, every patient is assured of the highest standards of service and care.”

Banish the signs of time We all know that sinking feeling, when you look in the mirror and you’re not 100% happy with what you see. It can be an up-hill battle for some of us and after trying every lotion and potion that promises to turn back the clock you could be forgiven for being a little bit sceptical. Don’t be too hasty though, because we might just have found a new weapon for your armoury against ageing. If you’re looking for beautiful age defying results then you simply must read on.

Dr. Xavier believes he can help you to achieve your perfect self with visible yet natural looking results. A free skin evaluation is provided by a doctor who will then make treatment recommendations and all treatments are followed up with on-going consultations ensuring you get the very best outcome. If you’re looking for a place where you can feel comfortable having treatments in total medical safety, feel cared for and leave feeling happier and looking younger, we’ll let you into a little secret... it’s called Natura Skin Clinic! To book your free skin evaluation at Natura Skin Clinic or if you want more information, please call 01925 393240 or visit www.naturaskinclinic.co.uk.

Natura Skin Clinic on Newton Road, Lowton, near Warrington, can offer you a wide range of non-surgical treatments, so if the thought of full blown cosmetic surgery leaves you feeling cold then there’s no need to worry, this revolutionary clinic has a few tricks up its sleeve! Natura specialises in non-surgical face and body treatments using the latest techniques and technology and you can rest easy in the knowledge that unlike other back-street beauty salons or spas, every procedure at Natura is carried out by a doctor. 12

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Comfort & Joy?

The next production at Wigan Little Theatre is the perfect antidote to a wet and windy winter’s night. Comfort & Joy, written by the Rochdale Cowboy himself - Mike Harding (pictured), is a British comedy which everyone can relate to. It’s Christmas and relatives you hardly ever see arrive at your house for the festivities. Long-buried resentments rear their ugly head as the alcohol flows and tongues are loosened, and this comedy is painful in parts but will be amusingly familiar to many! Tickets for Comfort and Joy are now on sale and the production runs from 30th November to 10th December.

matinee performances on 7th and 14th January. Bookings for these productions can be made by telephoning the box office on 01942 242561, in person at the box office or by completing a postal booking form. If you would like more information about what’s on, prices or how to book then visit the website at www.wiganlittletheatre.co.uk

Loose Lips

If your hearing isn’t what it used to be then come and join a friendly group and develop your lipreading skills. Standish Lip-Reading Society meets every Tuesday morning between 10am and 12pm at Standish Community Centre in Moody Street. The meetings will feature tuition in communication skills, advice and information for the hard of hearing in Wigan. This is a great opportunity to meet other people with hearing problems in a safe and friendly environment. Everyone is welcome so there is no need to struggle on your own; for more information please ring Olwyn on 01257 424249 or Stan on 01942 223092.

If you like a bit of panto over the Christmas and New Year period then make sure you book tickets for the WLT’s pantomime, Dick Whittington. Slapstick comedy, romance, dancing and singing abound in this festive treat for all the family. The pantomime runs from Friday 6th to Saturday 21st January, with

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Two great local businesses under one roof! Your one-stop shop for all your Christmas hair and beauty requirements‌call us now to book your December appointments.


Welcome to the Fun! Carnival has always been known for their fabulous ‘Fun Ships’ – and ‘Fun’ is the first of many great reasons to choose a cruise with Carnival! With a fleet of 23 spectacular ‘Fun Ships’ to choose from – resorts at sea that offer delicious dining, glittering nightlife, some of the highest rated health and fitness facilities afloat - and a lifestyle that’s laid-back yet adventurous; you can’t beat Carnival for a Caribbean or Mediterranean holiday that provides great fun and value! Onboard a Carnival ‘Fun Ship’, you can relax in sparkling pools, air-conditioned bars, bistros, restaurants and nightclubs. You can enjoy state of the art sports and leisure amenities, find your perfect spot in the sun, chill in the spa, watch a movie or scan the daily programme and join your choice of activity – from wine tasting and quizzes to Pilates and volleyball tournaments. By night you can enjoy first class cuisine in Carnival’s elegant restaurants, dine more casually in the Bistro at Sea, order a freshly made pizza, or reserve your table at the intimate Steakhouse - then be dazzled by thrilling shows. Carnival is the ideal holiday choice for every age and lifestyle. Couples of all ages, multi-generational families and groups of friends will find their own perfect personal blend of leisure and activity; while kids aged 2 upwards will love ‘Camp Carnival’ - one of the best and most exciting children’s free entertainment programmes afloat, including Circle C for the 12-14’s and cool venues especially created for teens! 16

It’s a BREEZE in Summer 2012! New for summer 2012 is an extended season of Mediterranean cruises from Barcelona and Venice onboard the all-new Carnival Breeze! You can see some of Europe’s most culturally rich destinations as never before, from the comfort of a spectacular new ‘Resort at Sea’, debuting in June 2012! Spanning 15 fun-filled decks, Carnival Breeze will offer a wraparound promenade with whirlpools that extend out over the ship’s sides; stunning new entertainment venues plus innovative accommodation including two-bath, five-berth staterooms that are ideal for larger families. As well as a mouth-watering choice of formal and casual dining, there’s the Caribbean inspired RedFrog Pub, featuring its own private-label draught beer and tasty snacks; an authentic trattoria that brings the heritage of Carnival’s Italian captains to the table, the BlueIguana – a Mexican Cantina and tequila bar, serving tacos and burritos; plus Guy’s Burger joint. Enjoy the relaxing Serenity adults-only retreat, or some special pampering at the Cloud 9 Spa, one of the largest health and wellness facilities at sea. For thrill seekers there’s a huge outdoor sports complex featuring a high ropes course, a weight lifting

Travel brought to you in association with Got 2 Go Travel


holidaymakers, with prices starting from just £729 (cruise only) per person for a 12-night cruise. Itineraries feature calls into Monte Carlo, Livorno, (Florence and Pisa), Civitavecchia (Rome), Olbia in Sardinia, Naples, Messina, Dubrovnik and even overnights in Venice! A cruise onboard the Carnival Breeze is the ultimate way to travel between gorgeous resorts and cities - and to make your European holiday sparkle with fun!

area and 500-gallon water dump bucket – part of the fun-tastic WaterWorks aqua park! There’s a choice of leisurely 12-night itineraries throughout summer 2011 that are ideal for all

Carnival Cruise have joined with Got 2 Go Travel in Standish to bring you these fantastic cruise offers – call in now or come along to our special Cruise Night on Thursday 1st December! We’re open until 10pm and free refreshments are on offer! Just come along, pick up your cruise brochures, check out the Carnival Cruise DVD and talk to our staff about your holiday of a lifetime!

Special Offer! California & Mexico  12 Night FLY/CRUISE From only £998pp Special Offer! Grand Mediterranean  12 Night FLY/CRUISE From just £899pp

Special Offer! Exotic Caribbean 10 night FLY/CRUISE From only £899pp

Thinking of a cruise next year? Come along to our Cruise Night on Thursday 1st Dec We’ll help you pick out your dream cruise! Open until 10pm. Free nibbles too!

22 High Street, Standish. WN6 0HL 01257 472113 www.got2gotravel.co.uk Visit us online at www.got2gotravel.co.uk 17


Troops Shoebox Appeal

To date, the Standish branch of the Royal British Legion has sent more than 6,500 shoeboxes to our serving soldiers in both Iraq and Afghanistan – a fantastic effort by all concerned. The organisation are launching their latest Christmas Shoebox Appeal next Friday (2nd December) and any help you can give would be gratefully appreciated, not least by our brave service men and women in the line of fire. If you can help, the recommended goods list for shoeboxes contains the following items; Soap, razors, toothpaste, shaving foam, tissues, wipes, powder, shower gel, foot cream, face and hand cream, sweets, socks, deodorants, foam bath, shampoo, nail brushes, cup-a-soups, biscuits, Uncle Joe’s (or other boiled sweets), paperback books, magazines, biros, pencils, writing paper, wet wipes, cotton buds, combs, hair brushes and DVD’s.

Next year is set to be a landmark year for the Standish Branch of the Royal British Legion as they are planning a big celebration for the 90th anniversary in February. If you have any information or old photographs about the branch, the committee would like to hear from you. Please contact Branch Manager David Williams on standishrbl@hotmail.co.uk

Ding Dong

If you enjoy a spot of caroling during the festive period then pop along to Parbold Village Hall on Wednesday 7th December for a traditional vocal celebration. Joining you will be the Hesketh Bank Silver Band, local school children and uniformed groups with traditional Christmas refreshments for everyone to enjoy. The fun starts at 6.30pm. If you fancy joining in then do wrap up warm and bring a torch. For more information please contact Joan Sanders on 01257 464431.

The Standish British Legion have teamed up with Northwood UK and boxes can be left at their office in Market Street, Wigan during opening hours or at the Standish Community Centre in Moody Street from Monday to Friday 9.30am-12noon. For more information please call David Williams on 01257 401274.

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Shaun Wane Introduction

Shaun Wane’s story is a classic ‘local lad made good’ tale. After signing for Wigan from local amateur side St Pats, Shaun played 149 games for the Warriors through the glory years of the late 1980’s. He moved to Leeds in 1990 where he spent three seasons; he then joined Workington Town for his final playing season before retiring in 1994. In 2003 Shaun took charge of the Wigan Academy Under 18’s, and his role in developing young talent was rewarded in 2009 when he was appointed as the assistant coach of Wigan Warriors. A popular figure at the DW Stadium, it was no surprise when Shaun was appointed Head Coach at Wigan Warriors last month when Michael Maguire stepped down from the post to return to coaching in Australia. He currently lives in Standish with his wife Lorraine, children Beth and Megan, and his two dogs.

First memory you have:

My first memory is of going on holiday to Devon. We went in a transit van, and I travelled with my brother and sisters in the back. The journey took hours and hours!

First school you attended:

I went to St Edwards Primary School in Worsley Hall and I hated it. I was probably the worst behaved one there - I always sat near the window so I could see outside, because that’s where I wanted to be.

First job you had:

I signed for Wigan at 16 straight out of school. Back in those days, in addition to playing and training, you also had to help out around the place. I remember working at Central Park, helping keep the pitch in tip top condition.

First car you bought:

I bought a 2L Ford Granada 12 months after I joined Wigan, after eyeing up this car for a good while. I drove it off the forecourt and managed to get 100 yards down the road before a gypsy’s horse wrote it off. The gypsy caravan that the horse was towing scraped the side of the car, the horse panicked, reared up and trampled all over the front of the car – that was the end of that!

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First house you bought:

I still live in the first house I ever bought in Standish. I bought it when I was 21 and we decided to refurbish the whole house, it took us about 3 months to finish it. I remember we only had the bedroom to live in at first and we sat on the bed eating pizza and drinking wine.

First pub or club you visited:

I was thirteen when I first went out, and me and some friends managed to get into the Plough and Harrow in Scot Lane in Newtown. The beer was awful though!

First record you bought:

The first record I bought was by Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel, Come Up and See Me and I still love it today! I love music and listen to a lot of different bands and artists; I spend a fortune on i-tunes.

Last time you went shopping:

The last thing I bought was Steve Jobs’ biography but apart from that I don’t do any shopping. My wife buys all my clothes because I just hate doing it so much.

Last holiday you had:

We holidayed in Italy last year. We went to Tropea, Calabria for 10 days and we absolutely loved it. We would definitely go back as well; it wasn’t a tourist destination at all, so we really got a feel for the place.

Last sporting event you attended:

I went to Wembley to watch the England v Australia match. I didn’t really enjoy it because we lost! Going to watch a match never feels like work to me because I just love the game, so I really enjoy it.

First best friend:

My first best friend was a lad called Brian (Barney) Roscoe and he lived across the road from me in Worsley Hall. I still see him from time to time when I get a chance.

First kiss:

My first kiss was with a girl called Bernadette Bragg, we were both 10 years old and we had a bit of a kiss after class at school. We were caught by the teachers and got told off!

Last restaurant you visited:

I recently went to the Dicconson Arms in Appley Bridge with my wife and friends; we love it there, it’s definitely one of our favourites and we eat there quite regularly. I also love the Curry Mile in Rusholme!

Last DIY task you attempted: I am shocking when it comes to DIY, so I don’t bother now! We’d had a new kitchen recently and one of the units failed. I had a go at fixing it, messed it up and had to call out a joiner!

Last film you watched at the cinema:

I love films - we go to the cinema quite a lot. The last film I saw was Insidious but it was rubbish! I don’t really watch scary films I’m more of a comedy man and I like true stories as well. My favourite film of all time is Midnight Express.

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December Walk

South Lancs Long Distance Walkers are running their annual Christmas Charity Walk on Sunday December 11th. There are two circular routes; one running for 14 miles and a shorter route of 6 miles. Both walks start at 10am at Wigan Rugby Union Club on Wingates Road, which is off Leyland Mill Lane in Wigan. The longer route visits Worthington Lakes, Blackrod, Haigh Village and Haigh Hall, whilst the shorter route is along tracks and paths in the grounds of Haigh Hall. Advance entry fees for adults are £4 for the longer route and for the shorter one. Children pay £1 on both

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routes, though those under 14 must be accompanied by an adult). The fee includes a certificate and refreshments during the walk and at the finish. Entry forms for the walk are available from Cliff Roby at 13 Coach House Drive, Shevington (01257 400638). Please enclose a stamped, addressed envelope and cheques/ postal orders should be made payable to South Lancs LDWA. All proceeds from the walk will be going to Derian House and Dr Naqvi’s Heartbeat Appeal.

Red Cross

If you’ve got a few hours to spare in December and you’d like to soak up the Christmas atmosphere in shopping areas, then the British Red Cross would like to hear from you. They urgently need help with their December Christmas bucket collections at local supermarkets, so if you’re willing to help please call Jackie on 0161 888 8915 or 07710 733196 or e-mail her on jpickersgill@redcross.org.uk.

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Band Concert

Old Hall Brass will be performing their annual Christmas Concert at St Teresa’s Catholic Club in College Road in Up Holland on Sunday December 18th starting at 2pm. Tickets are available from band secretary, Debbie Sudworth on 01942 715684. And all this festive cheer is up for grabs at just £6 a ticket and £2 for under 16’s.  All are welcome! Further details about Old Hall Brass can be found at www. oldhallbrass.co.uk Old Hall Brass are currently looking for a soprano cornet / Bb cornet, 2nd Baritone and Bb Bass player to complete their line-up. Based in Roby Mill, the band has a busy Christmas concert schedule in 2011, so if you’re interested, please Paul Sudworth now on 07889 271291 or you can get in touch via e-mail at debbie@oldhallbrass.com . All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Rainbows Appeal

The Standish group of Rainbows are now looking for new members to join! The friendly group meets every Thursday evening from 6pm at St Wilfrid’s Parish Hall and they follow a programme of organised games, crafts, activities and trips. Lots of fun is guaranteed! If your daughter is interested in joining the Rainbows and would like to find some more information then please contact Helen Sharples on 07747 883006 or e-mail helen@only1bubbles.org.uk.

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In Bloom

Standish Community Forum is celebrating another great year at the North West in Bloom Awards, after scooping the Bronze Gilt award for Best Large Town. The annual competition, which is organised by the RHS, looks at eco schemes, community projects and sustainability at a local level. After a lot of hard work and dedication the forum have won an award for the second consecutive year, the award was presented to the community group at a ceremony in Southport earlier this year.

If you’d like to be involved in the benefit that the Standish Community Forum brings to the area; the group meets on the second Thursday of every month at the Standish Community Centre in Moody Street. The meetings start at 7pm and all Standish residents are welcome to come along. Our picture shows from left to right: Kathleen Jones, Damian Jenkinson, James Hagan, Elaine Parker, Graham Willcock, James Hart, Keith Douglas and Malcolm Robinson.

During July, judges from the RHS spent a full day touring projects all around the borough during the summer and were obviously delighted with what they saw in Standish. Damian Jenkinson, Borough in Bloom coordinator for Wigan told Local Life, “The aims of North West in Bloom are to encourage local communities to improve and care for their environment and to bring communities together. The Standish Community Forum has won their award independently of Wigan Borough and this is a great achievement for them.”

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workshops, jewellery design, making mosaics and batik design. This is a fantastic way to enhance your home and to create personalised gifts and accessories, and places on these workshops are filling up fast, so please reserve your place as soon as you can – call Elizabeth on 07904 931003 for further details.

Parties

Getting Crafty at the Craftwork Studio!

There’s a wide range of activities on offer when you book a children’s party at the Craftworks Studio – children can paint an assortment of ceramics, they can make their own mosaics, they can design and make their own jewellery or make a scarf using Batik. With party catering on offer too, all you need to do is bring a cake!

What’s a girl to do? When the family business was sold off a few months ago, Elizabeth Griffiths found herself at a bit of a loose end. Not content with running the Girl Guide unit at Standish Methodist Church, which she’s been doing for the past seven years, Elizabeth started to examine the feasibility of an idea she came up with a decade ago – a craft centre for Standish!

It’s a great party location for other ages too! Hens, community groups and schools will have a great time at the Craftwork Studio – there’s just so much to do! A warm welcome is guaranteed at the Craftworks Studio – pop in soon and see what it’s all about!

Standish-born and bred, and with three young children, Elizabeth knew the area well and acted quickly when a suitable unit came up for grabs at the back of Standish Print Services on Preston Road. With six weeks, the Craftwork Studio was up and running and this excellent new facility is fast becoming the place to go in Standish for craft lovers of all ages!

The Craftworks Studio Rear 22 Preston Road, Standish, WN6 0HS www.thecraftworkstudio.co.uk Opening hours: Monday-Friday - 9.30am to 4pm Saturday -10am to 4pm Sunday - Parties by appointment only

Facilities at the Craftwork Studio are split into three;

Drop-in Sessions

The studio is open from Monday to Saturday for drop in sessions. You can pop in and paint-a-pot whenever the fancy takes you! There are lots to ceramic pieces to choose from; from plates, bowls and cups to dinosaurs, fairies and much more! Simply pick a piece and paint! The studio will fire your creative efforts in the kiln and your skills will be on display in your own home within seven days! There’s also a little coffee shop in the corner of the Studio, which will be selling hot drinks, delicious homemade cakes, paninis, sandwiches and toasties and will be open to everyone. There’s plentiful free parking available too.

Workshops

A list of the Studio’s current workshops is displayed on the opposite page. Though some of the workshops are ceramic-based, there will also be floristry www.locallife247.co.uk

Local Life 27


QUALITY INTERNAL DOORS Wide range of

on display + much more Timber and Builders Merchants

NWTT

The Vale

If you’re looking for a playgroup to entertain your toddler The Vale Pre-School Playgroup would like to hear from you. Located in the hall at The Vale Methodist Church on Skull House Lane in Appley Bridge the playgroup has been established since 1972 and the group meets every day. They take children from two years until school age and the Pre-School children enjoy many local outings. If you’re interested, give their staff a call on 07882 053534 or just pop in at anytime - you will always be welcome.

Online Shopping

If you fancy doing your Christmas shopping online but you haven’t a clue where to start, then Standish Library is here to help. You can pop along to their weekly drop in sessions on Thursday mornings between 10.30 and 11.30am. By learning to use websites such as Ebay and Amazon for shopping you can learn how to shop safely and pick up some great tips on how to get the best online deals. You will also be taught how to set up and use your own e-mail account too. No booking is necessary – just call in!

OTHER INTERNAL PRODUCTS INCLUDE: •Softwood Casing Sets •Skirting Boards/Window Boards •Architraves & other machined softwood items •Primed MDF products Local delivery charges apply. All prices are subject to VAT and are correct at time of going to press

Wigan Branch: NWTT House, Lockett Road, South Lancs Incustrial Estate, Ashton-in-Makerfield, Wigan, WN4 8DE Open: Mon-Fri 7am-5pm, Sat 7am-12 noon Branches also in St Helens, Skelmersdale & Walkden

www.nwtt.co.uk

t: 01942 720777 f: 01942 721247

e: sales@nwtt.co.uk

QUALITY PRODUCTS AT COMPETITIVE PRICES 28 Local Life

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??????????????????????????????????????????????????

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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

www.locallife247.co.uk

Local Life 31


In Bloom Success

especially all the practical hard work of a small but invaluable group of volunteers.

Only a year ago the thought that Shevington could be part of a NorthWest in Bloom entry was just being planted. Now, 12 months later, the working party are still reeling from the surprise that their efforts have been so successful.

Building on this success is not going to be easy, but the working party are keen to take the ‘In Bloom’ treatment to the wider district – to Shevington Vale, Shevington Moor and Standish Lower Ground - as well as offering continued support to Crooke who are already successful ‘old hands’. Eileen said, “Our current volunteers are stretched at busy times of the year just to maintain our planting areas. So we would love to hear from anyone, whether or not you feel you have any skills, who would be willing to offer help on projects local to you.” Eileen can be contacted on 01257 402097. Pictured are Eileen, Margaret and Barry, along with fellow volunteer Christine Rotherham

At a recent awards ceremony in Southport, the working party of Eileen Longmore, Margaret Carter and Barry King were delighted to receive a Highly Commended award by the judges, and also a prestigious Silver Gilt medal in the Best Town category. They were told by other groups attending the presentations that it is highly unusual for a newcomer group to receive any award, let alone two! When Local Life spoke to her, Eileen said that their work had been much appreciated by residents, but she was quick to point out that none of it could have been achieved without the help of Shevington Parish Council, the support of Damien Jenkinson of Wigan Borough in Bloom and of Moss Bank nursery, and

32 Local Life

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Local Life 33


Art Group

Standish Art Group meets in the Standish Community Centre on Moody Street in Standish and they would like any budding artists to join them for a spot of painting every Wednesday evening from 7-9pm. A basic knowledge of drawing and painting is required as the group isn’t a teaching medium but they are a group of people who get together to enjoy anointing with like-minded people. The group always strives to encourage improvement with a range of planned activities such as demonstrations, live models and occasional workshops. For further information on the group please contact the secretary Ron Lidgard on 01942 321672.

of wine. The lunch will take place next Saturday (3rd December) at 12 noon and tickets are available by contacting Roger Swire on 01257 253792 or District Councillor May Blake on 01257 463636.

Christmas Spirit

Fancy a good night out being entertained by talented performers? Come along to ‘Christmas Spirit’, the Christmas Charity concert from the Orrell Musical and Dramatic Society. The concert will feature a wide selection of Christmas songs from carols and Christmas number ones to a collection of religious songs from Graham Kendrick’s work ‘Rumours of Angels’, plus a few surprises! The concert takes place on Friday 9th and Saturday 10th December at Trinity Methodist Church in Pemberton. Tickets cost £6 including refreshments and are available for purchase by calling 01695 632551.

Lions Feast

If you’re a pensioner who likes a good get together and a fantastic meal, The Douglas Valley Lions Club would like to invite you to Farmers Arms in Bispham Green for their annual pensioners Christmas lunch. You will be treated to soup, traditional turkey dinner and Christmas pudding with a pint of beer or a glass

Beer World

Greetings ale drinkers, Here’s the news from beer heaven (also known as The Crown at Worthington!). This time of year we look forward to the special winter brews that appear, from pale icy refreshing pale session beers to dark, complex, strong spiced winter warmers, all of which are featured in our Winter Ale Festival which is held at The Crown from January 13th to 15th – mark the date in your 2012 calendar now! Pale low gravity beers have a short shelf life and need to be served young and fresh. Strong dark beers however, can be kept to mature, gathering flavour and strength, so I have been collecting strong ales over the last year and letting them mature in the dark recesses of our cellar ready for January. 34 Local Life

The two ‘stars’ of the Winter Ale Festival are the last cask of Liverpool Organic Breweries Imperial Russian Stout 7.9% (brewed with lots of mad ingredients like organic liquorice sticks), and Durham Breweries Nuptials Old Ale 10% brewed to a traditional old English Recipe especially for the Royal Wedding. Only 4 casks were produced and I got one! The head brewer said it would be ready in June but better still if I left it, so I did!! Don’t miss this one; I’ve got customers coming down from Durham to try it! Our brewer of the month for December is Phoenix Brewery in Heywood. Phoenix is a great stalwart of the micro brewery scene and are also brewers of the famous Wobbly Bob, a very popular pale ale Arizona, and lots more. Every beer they brew is spot on and all Phoenix beers will be £2.59 a pint regardless of ABV. See you soon and wherever you be drinking good ale, let me know your ale tales! www.crownatworthington.co.uk www.locallife247.co.uk


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Chance to Dance

If you’d like to brush up on your sequence dancing skills and you fancy adding a regular dance night to your calendar, then Tontine Methodist Church in Orrell is the place to be! A regular fortnightly sequence dance takes place at the church, which is opposite the Delph Tavern in Tontine, on Wednesdays from 7.30pm. This is a friendly group and you’d be assured of a warm welcome. Admission is just £1 and the next dance night is on Wednesday 7th December. For more details please call 01695 624801.

Rambles Galore

If you would like to explore Parbold and its surrounding areas, try the West Lancashire Footpath

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Group. The group organises many a ramble each month and you’re just in time to join them for the November 29th outing in Rufford. The group will be meeting at 1.30pm at Rufford Railway Station. Looking ahead to December you might want to get in on the action in Burscough on Saturday 10th December (meet at Platts Lane) and Parbold on Tuesday 20th December (meet at Fairy Glen Lay-by on the A5209). For more information please contact Mrs Waring on 01257 425776.

Open Studio

Don’t miss the Open Studio Weekend Sale at Morpheus Glass on the weekend of 3rd and 4th December! The studio, which is located within the Hewitt Business Park off Winstanley Road in Orrell, has a range of great individual Christmas gifts including; bracelets, jewellery, sculptures, glass bowls, mirrors, coasters, wall panels and much more. You can get up to 70% off your purchases on the Open Studio weekend, so make a date in your diary now!

Local Life 37


Competition Winners

The winners of the competition to win a family day out at Gulliver’s World were as follows; Victoria Walder of Copeland Drive in Standish (pictured with her family), Mrs Saunders of Eastdene in Parbold, Lyndsey Makepeace from Runshaw Avenue in Appley Bridge and Dawn Zabel from Spencer Road in Wigan. Well done to all our winners!

Also pictured is Carolyn Davies with her daughter Philippa from Glenside in Appley Bridge, who won a ticket for our Knowsley Safari Park competition in the August issue, but we omitted her picture from the last issue due to space restrictions. Sorry about that! This issue contains our biggest and best competition of the year – the chance to win one of ten luxury Christmas Hampers stuffed with local and regional goods (see front cover). Entries for this popular competition need to be received by Local Life by 7th December, so get your skates on and turn to the competition pages on pages 60 and 61! Remember – you’ve got to be in it to win it! 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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Now Open! 38 Local Life

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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 39


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 40 Local Life

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Local Life 41


Money & Investment

Investing by Asset Allocation A significant number of people that have contacted us recently and have subsequently become clients have typically started the conversation on the phone as follows, “We wonder if you can help. Our money is already invested in the markets but we are not receiving any ongoing advice. With the current market uncertainty we wonder if we have it invested in the right areas? Is this something you can help us with?” or “I have built up quite a large pension fund and I intend to retire within the next few years. It has dropped quite a lot in value recently and I am wondering what I should do? Unfortunately a lot of the investing public end up having to manage their own affairs as a result of their financial adviser either moving on to other companies, retiring, or leaving the industry. At Prosper Independent Financial Advisers, we believe that the “ongoing management” of client portfolios is absolutely critical to ensuring that client objectives are constantly being met and that the risk profile of the client’s investments remains consistent with their overall attitude to risk.

ASSET ALLOCATION

Basically, asset allocation is a term used to describe the investment asset mix held within an investment portfolio. Independent research has shown that the right types of investment assets (Asset allocation) can create 94% of the long term investment performance success. Stock selection contributes 4% and stock market timing 2%. Source -Institutional investment in the United Kingdom. A Review Paul Myners, March 2001. You should never look to place your entire portfolio into just one asset class. Whilst a single asset type can provide you with the highest short - term returns, due to timing issues this could well be at the expense of achieving your longer term investment goals. In order to achieve these longer term goals you will need to ensure that you are holding the right mix of asset types, something which is determined by both prevailing market conditions, your stage in life, and of course your attitude towards investment risk.

WHAT ARE THE MAIN ASSET CLASSES? Cash – Low risk Ordinarily this is a very stable form of investment, however over the longer term it offers the lowest real rates of return. Cash ISAs, Internet Accounts tend to provide the better interest rates. Everyone should

42 Money & Investment brought to you by Prosper Independent Financial Advisers


have a holding in this asset class. Fixed Interest Securities – Low to medium risk Gilts and Investment grade corporate bonds are in the main relatively stable investments, but tend to give a modest return. Ordinarily they have a negative correlation to equities and will tend to perform poorly when equities are doing well. Gilts are loans to the government for which a fixed rate of return is paid at a set point in the future. Property – Low to medium risk Commercial property tends to be un-correlated with other asset classes, except perhaps in the level of yield obtainable, and therefore offers performance unrelated to how the rest of your portfolio is doing. Equities – High risk Stock and shares are relatively volatile. Timing and stock selection is a critical component to obtaining superior returns.

ARE YOU CAUTIOUS, BALANCED OR ADVENTOUROUS?

Asset allocation will be driven by your attitude towards investment risk as well as the life stage you are now at. The following examples demonstrate the two ends of the spectrum.

above examples are likely to be quite different as the age and risk profile of the individuals need to be reflected within any portfolio model. HOW WE CAN HELP YOU Our approach to looking after clients is very simple Stage 1 Understanding your circumstances and attitude to risk Stage 2 Identify your objectives, short and longer term Stage 3 Apply asset allocation modelling Stage 4 Research and select investments within each asset class. Stage 5 Keeping in touch through regular reviews and our client newsletter “Outlook” If you would like to have a free initial consultation without obligation please do not hesitate to give us a call on 01257- 423800. It is important for you to be aware that any stock market investment should be for the long term and that the value and any income generated can go down as well as up. You may not get back the full amount invested. Past performance is not a guide to future returns.

Example 1 Mr and Mrs Cautious Retired couple in their 60s, own their own house, moderately well off with a variety of savings and investments. They are looking to maintain their capital and to provide extra income to supplement their pension. The last thing they want to do is to take unnecessary risk. Example 2 Miss Adventurous Age 27 with no dependents. Receiving a good salary with little outgoings. Keen to build up capital. Willing to take risk as she has plenty of time to put things right if she makes a mistake. Clearly, the asset allocations to be used within the

Choosing a financial partner may be the most important decision you’ll ever make. ● Financial Advice ● Investment Solutions ● Portfolio Management ● Inheritance Tax planning ● Regular Financial Reviews Call Prosper today on 01257 423800 to arrange your FREE no obligation initial consultation.

Brought to you by David Barton of Prosper Independent Financial Advisers. David is a specialist in retirement and investment planning for the over 50’s

Prosper Independent Financial Advisers Ltd Prosper House, 99a High Street, Standish. WN6 0HD 01257 423 800 www.prosper-ifa.co.uk

David K. Barton DipPFS

Visit us online at www.prosper-ifa.co.uk 43


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.

44 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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Choosing an Accountant Hello and welcome to the latest article from CMA, a proactive accountancy firm based in Appley Bridge. This month we are looking at the issues that businesses and individuals should consider when selecting an accountant to work with. We are approaching the Tax Return deadline for this year and you may have recently started out in business and need to appoint an accountant. Of all the advisers you are likely to encounter when running a small business, a good accountant is perhaps the most valuable one to have. If your accounts are in order and you are up-to-date with payments, you are far likely to be more able to concentrate on building the business. There is nothing more stressful than feeling behind or not in a position of trust with your accountant, so here are some basic tips on choosing an accountant for your small business:

Tips for choosing an accountant

1) Choose an accountant before you start your business. A good accountant will also provide valuable business advice as we work with a range of businesses. 2) Make sure your accountant is fully qualified, for example as a certified or chartered accountant. Most likely, these qualifications will be displayed on any promotional material or the company’s website, otherwise make sure you ask. 3) It is essential that your accountant works with small business clients. If your business generates a large number of transactions (for example, an online e-commerce business), make sure the accountant has experience with dealing with companies in your sector if possible. 4) How much does the accountant charge? Most modern firms offer a fixed annual or monthly fee to complete all business tax requirements. This helps you avoid any nasty surprise bills! 5) When you first meet a prospective accountant, you will know soon enough if you see eye-to-eye. It is important to develop a good relationship and know

that your finances are being handled by someone you trust. A flexible accountant will come out and see you at your office at a time to suit you. 6) What other services does the accountant provide - can they take care of all your bookkeeping, payroll and tax affairs which leaves you free to grow your business? 7) As a small business, we find that the best accountants are also likely to be smaller in size. They will understand what it’s like running a small operation and will have the resources and time you require to fun your finances properly. 8) Ask to speak to existing clients before signing up. A decent accountancy firm should be happy to arrange. Do they provide testimonials from satisfied clients? 9) Make sure your accountant keeps in touch with your business - not just at year end! It may be too late to take any necessary action after the event! 10) If at some stage you decide to sell your business, you will need a good accountant more than ever to minimise any tax liabilities payable on the sale. The bottom line is that you should expect today’s accountant to be much more than a bookkeeper. A good accountant will help you grow your business and add considerable value. The trick is to separate the wheat from the chaff. CMA offers a free initial consultation, either at our office or yours, at a time to suit you. If you would like to see how we can help please get in touch.

Contact Details

Chris Alcock ACMA, CMA Accountancy 39 Skull House Lane, Appley Bridge, Wigan, WN6 9DR Tel: 01257 255521 Email info@handsonaccounting. co.uk web www.handsonaccounting.co.uk

Top Tax Tip of the Month

Employers can provide employees with bicycles, complete with all necessary safety equipment on a tax-free basis. Please contact CMA for more details. www.locallife247.co.uk

Local Life 45


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Raring to Go?

The next club ramble for the Wigan Rambling and Walking Club is to Grange-over-Sands near Morecambe Bay on Sunday 4th December, whilst members can enjoy a Christmas Party and Buffet on Tuesday 13th December at Wigan Cricket Club. On Sunday 18th December the group will be heading out to Wrightington to enjoy a local walk followed by a meal at the White Lion on Mossy Lea Road in the village. For more information about the club and to view their autumn/winter programme, visit www. wiganwalkers.com or contact the club’s secretary, Jill Shilladay, on 01257 421926.

Christmas Concert

Don’t miss the next event on the Douglas Music schedule, which is a Christmas Concert from the Pemberton Old Wigan DW Brass Band. The concert takes place in the Village Hall in Parbold at 7.45pm on Saturday 10th December, and admission is £12 (£5 for children and students). For more details call the box office on 01257 421526 or visit the group’s website; www.parbolddouglasmusic.org

SCHOOLWEAR | CORPORATEWEAR | SPORTSWEAR | WORKWEAR

E ALIS g N O PERSr Clothin You

with

oidery Embr ting prin

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Local Life 47


Raring to Go? By Nicola Gray

If you were to tell me you weren’t quite sure what the Rotary Club of Wigan was all about I don’t think you’d be on your own. And up until last week I would probably have had the same reaction, but after spending an afternoon with the Wigan Branch of the Rotary Club I now realise how much benefit the organisation brings to the local area. The good men and women of the Wigan branch of Rotary have an enormous capacity to help their local community and work selflessly to improve the quality of life for people in their own communities; they meet every week at The Owls in Standish and help to set up community projects that address many of today’s most 48 Local Life

critical issues, such as youth issues, the environment and illiteracy. The group, who work for Rotary on a voluntary basis organise a number of fund raising events across the Wigan area. One of the biggest events is the annual men only RUN4ALIFE, the two fun runs are held in aid of The Everyman Male Cancer Campaign, which raises awareness and funds for prostate and testicular cancer research. The event is held each year at Haigh Hall Country Park and has so far raised over £60,000 for research into male cancers. Another great community project saw nine www.locallife247.co.uk


community groups in Wigan celebrate receiving a cash donation after succeeding in the recent Wigan Rotary Club’s Dragons Den event. Over 20 groups made applications for funding and the eleven groups selected made their pitch before the three Dragons, Rotary members Aukle Clegg, Colin Wilkinson and Peter Cheetham. The maximum donation was £500 with a total of over £3500 available on the night. December is a major fund raising time for Wigan Rotary club when Santa and his sleigh tour the district. This is the biggest annual fund raiser for the Rotary

and it’s just around the corner – please support your local Rotary and your local community by helping to raise as much money as possible. The Rotary’s Santa will be out in your area doing his rounds (see list below for details) and will also be visiting the area’s major supermarkets, so please pop out and say hello! If you would like to know more about the work of the Rotary Club of Wigan and think you have time to help the group in their fund raising efforts, please contact Phil Hirst on 01257 426354.

Santa’s coming down your way! 

Friday 2nd 6-8 pm - Churchfields, The Oval areas, Shevington

Saturday 3rd 10am-4pm – Billinge Garden Centre

Saturday 3rd 6-8pm - Cressell Park, Broadacre areas, Almond Brook

Sunday 4th 5-8pm - Copeland Drive Estate, Cranleigh areas, Standish

Wednesday 7th 6-8pm - Woodhurst Drive, Green Lane areas, Standish

Saturday 10th 10-4pm Billinge Garden Centre

Sunday 11th 5-8pm Collingwood Street, Bentham Road areas, Standish

Monday 12th 10am-8pm Tesco Extra, Central Park

Tuesday 13th 10am-5pm Tesco Extra, Central Park

Tuesday 13th 6pm-8pm Danesway, Swinley Lane areas

Wednesday 14th 10am-5pm Tesco Extra, Central Park

Friday 16th 10am-8pm – Tesco Extra, Central Park

Saturday 17th 9am-4pm – Asda, Newtown

Saturday 17th 5-8pm - Boars Head, Hartington Drive areas, Standish

Sunday 18th 10am-4pm - Co-Op (formerly Somerfield), Standish

Sunday 18th 5-8pm - Whitley Crescent, Havenwood, Brooklands area, Whitley

Tuesday 20th 9am-5pm – Sainsburys, Marus Bridge

Tuesday 20th 6-8pm - Elnup Avenue, Longbrook areas, Shevington

Wednesday 21st 9am-5pm – Sainsburys, Marus Bridge

Wednesday 21st 6-8pm Woodnook Road, Newgate Lane areas, Appley Bridge

Thursday 22nd 10am-4pm Co-Op (formerly Somerfield), Standish

Friday 23rd 10am-8pm – Sainsburys, Marus Bridge

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Local Life 49


better choosing a more subtle ‘Black and White Night’ theme, where the more extrovert might turn up in a penguin outfit , whilst the more reserved could stick to a dinner suit! Who - Getting the right mix of personalities can make the night, whilst getting it wrong can break it. Avoid inviting just one person or couple who are strangers to the rest of the group. Include a couple of extroverts in the mix to help get things moving, but too many extroverts can spoil it for quieter souls and you might even end up with a battle of the egos on your hands!

Party Perfection

We all love a good party but how many of us feel confident about organising one? The art to throwing a successful party can be easily learned by following the ‘When, What, Who, Where and How’ guide to successful party planning. When - The weeks leading up to Christmas are busy and some guests may not be able to attend then, so why not hold it between Christmas and New Year? There is often a lull during this period and a party to liven things up could be a welcome diversion. What - Themed parties are great when planning decorations, food and entertainment. Fancy dress offers some the chance to let their hair down but others may feel uncomfortable dressing up. Think about your guests and choose the theme accordingly: would a full-on Pirates theme work or would you be

50 Local Life

Where - A party at home might seem like the obvious place, but many a cream-coloured carpet has been ruined by red wine, so be warned! If your party is likely to be lively or the numbers high, consider hiring one of the local church halls. It might involve a bit more work but it could save you a cleaning bill afterwards, and it does offer more flexibility and space for games or dancing. How - Keep the food simple and consider asking your guests to contribute (a chance to get rid of Christmas leftovers!). Games, dancing or a quiz add variety and give guests the chance to mingle. Again, think about your guests and what they would enjoy. The most important thing to remember is that you are organising an event for people, so keep your friends at the forefront of your mind, not the event itself. Have fun!

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Read Help

Can you spare a few hours to help primary school children learn to read? Volunteer Reading Help (VRH) is a national charity which provides literacy support for children aged 6 -11 and the organisation is looking for an additional seven helpers to visit local schools. Each of the charity’s 1,600 fully trained reading helpers visit primary schools for 2 x 90 minute visits per week for a school year to help children, one-toone, with their reading.

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The West Pennine Branch of VRH is in its 22nd year of supporting children across Wigan, Bolton, Bury, Blackburn, Rochdale and Chorley. They have a team of 126 reading helpers working in 85 schools, offering much needed support to over 300 children. If you think you can help, please call Emma Mitson or Eileen Edwards on 01204 532421. For more information about VRH, visit the website at www.vrh.org.uk.

Parish Council Meeting

Parbold’s Parish Council meets on the first Friday of each month at 7.30pm in the Parbold Women’s Institute Hall. The agenda for the meeting is placed on the notice board on the Common three days before the meeting, is you want to get involved in the village affairs then why not pop along. The next meeting is next Friday (2nd December); for more information please contact the Parish Clerk, Mrs. Elizabeth Broad on 01695 557678 or e-mail parboldpc.clerk@yahoo. com.

Local Life 51


Parbold Picture House

The Parbold Picture house has a great line-up of films for you to enjoy through the festive period, including the Hitchcock classic North by Northwest. Doors at the Village Hall (on The Green in Parbold village) open 30 minutes before the screening, tea and coffee is available, all seats are £3 and admission is on the door. Sarah’s Key (12A) is screened on Sunday December 4th at 7.00 pm. Starring Kristin Scott Thomas, Méusine Mayance and Nils Arestrup, this is a dramadocumentary style film which uncovers a mystery in modern-day Paris. A journalist finds her life becoming entwined with a young girl whose family was torn apart during the notorious Vel’ d’Hiv round-up of Jews in 1942. North by Northwest (12) is screened on Sunday December 18th at 7.00 pm. Starring Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint and James Mason, a hapless New York advertising executive is mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies, and is pursued across the country while he looks for a way to survive.

52 Local Life

A digitally re-mastered 50th anniversary edition of Hitchcock’s comedy thriller. Little Voice (15) is screened on Sunday January 8th at 7.00 pm. Starring Jane Horrocks, Michael Caine, Brenda Blethyn, Jim Broadbent and Ewan McGregor, this is a comedy drama about a shy girl who can only express herself by singing in the timeless voices of Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe, Shirley Bassey and others. If you’re a committed film buff and you like being in the company of like-minded people, you’ll be interested to hear of the Parbold Film Circle. The group meets every Wednesday afternoon at 2pm at the Village Hall in Parbold. For more information please contact Tessa on 01257 463493.

Eins, Zwei, Drei

Or if you don’t know German, that’s one, two, three. If you’d like to add German to your list of languages then you might be interested to hear that Standish Library are running a German Language course aimed at beginners and improvers. For further information please contact the Library on 01257 400496.

Fun of the Fair

Newfold School in Orrell are holding a Christmas Fair on Saturday 10th December from 11am until 1pm. There is lots to see and do, including a tombola, a teddy tombola, refreshments, cake stall, Santa’s Grotto and Santa’s Gift shop where children will be able to buy presents for their Mums and Dads. Come along and join in the fun!

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Where’s Yours?

Police in Wigan are urging people to download GPS enabled apps on their smartphones and tablets to help officers track them down should they be stolen. The technology, which is free on iPhones and iPads and also available in free versions for the Blackberry and other smartphones and tablets, means that owners can follow the movements of their devices should they misplace, lose or have them stolen.

Further information on downloading and using these apps, and other general advice on safeguarding valuables from thieves, is available on the Where’s Yours? pages of Greater Manchester Police’s website at www.gmp.police.uk/wheresyours Inspector Glenn Jones of the Wigan Neighbourhood Policing Team said: “One in three adults in the UK now owns a smartphone or tablet costing hundreds of pounds.  As well as being valuable they are also portable and easy to conceal and sell on making them ideal targets for thieves. “Owners can help safeguard them from thieves by keeping them out of sight in a secure pocket or bag when out and about and remaining vigilant when using them in public places. They can also use the security locking codes on these devices and download GPS based apps that help owners to find them if lost or stolen.”

Once loaded, the technology allows owners to log their passwords into any other web-enabled computer, tablet or smartphone and work with officers to hunt down the stolen device. Police are not able to use this technology without the owner’s consent and passwords. The tracking applications can also be used by the owner to remotely lockdown and even delete sensitive or personal data from the device to prevent thieves using it for other criminal activity.

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Local Life 53


Homeless at Christmas When you’re tucking into your Christmas turkey, surrounded by your family and enjoying the festive period, spare a thought for those who are not as well off as you and yours; because for hundreds of people in Wigan, Christmas Day is just another day. Being homeless at Christmas is no fun. Thankfully, if you’re in this situation in Wigan, you will at least have somewhere to go to keep warm, have a good meal and find a change of clothes. Wigan’s centre for the homeless is The Bricklayers Arms (affectionately known as The Brick), an old pub which is located on Hallgate in Wigan town centre. The Brick

opened its doors in July 2008 thanks to the hard work and dedication of the Queens Hall Methodist Mission, with the aim of providing homeless and disadvantaged people with a safe and welcoming sanctuary. The staff and numerous volunteers at The Brick work day in and day out, providing a day shelter for some of the most vulnerable people in our community. The Brick helps its clients address the problems that have fast become associated with living on the streets. Trish Green, the Brick’s Project Manager, told Local Life, “We see a lot of people with underlying

54 Local Life

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Alan’s Story

Alan, a 55 year-old from Wigan, was working in pub security when the company he was working with went bust. As his accommodation was provided with his employment, he found himself unemployed and homeless through no fault of his own. Alan spent a couple of nights sleeping rough on the streets, but as he suffered from ill health and the weather was damp, this aggravated his condition and he was admitted to hospital. He was subsequently discharged and again went back to the streets. The very next morning, Alan got talking to someone who attends the Brick and she advised him to go there for help. He arrived at the Brick where he had a shower and food. Intense efforts were made by all the staff to get him housed quickly as his health would ultimately deteriorate rapidly if his situation did not improve. Fortunately, staff were able to locate a space for Alan at a sheltered accommodation site, but the space wasn’t available until the following week. In the meantime, he was given appropriate food and sleeping bag and asked to return again the following morning first thing. Alan returned the next day and, due to concerns about his health, the staff at the Brick took the decision to provide him with bed and breakfast accommodation for the weekend. On Monday Alan moved into the accommodation, and thanks to the co-operation of the Church’s Help Shop, a selection of furniture, bedding and essential items were delivered to him on Monday. Help was also given to him to help him stabilise himself in his new accommodation and to help him feel settled. Alan continues to reside in this accommodation, he’s very happy and settled, and is now an active member of the community. *Alan’s name and picture have been changed to protect his identity. issues that we need to help them address, many of the people we see have a reason for being homeless, and we want to enable them to rebuild their lives.” Trish added, “We’re grateful to many organisations for our funding and I think the people of Wigan are extremely generous. We have been staggered with the amount of love and support that has come from local people. We have had so many donations for our food parcel scheme that we will be able to help many more people this year who are going through periods of despair and deprivation.” The food parcel scheme has been supported by Abraham Guest High School

(pictured) and local branches of the RBS, amongst others. Funding from Wigan Council and the Primary Care Trust funds approximately 50% of the funds needed for the The Brick, and the shortfall has to be met through private donations, fund raising and applying for various pots of money. Every service the Brick offers is essential to recovery; from the drop-in facility and the food parcel scheme to the support sessions for those in need. Trish continued, “The drop-in facility is vital to our work as this is where we build relationships and begin the long process of rehabilitation. We have very little trouble at The Brick as our clients realise we are there to help in whatever way we can.” If you would like to give a donation to The Brick to enable them to continue with their work with Wigan’s homeless or you’re interested in volunteering at The Brick then please contact the Centre Manager on 01942 236953 or visit the website at www.thebrick.org.uk

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Local Life 55


St on eH all La ne

Prince William on ac Be ne La

Beacon Park Golf Course

Farley La ne

e Lan ool Sch The Fox

Crow Lane

ad Ro ght nou nna Sta

56

St Josephs w y Bro Stone

Beacon Country Park

e an ll L Mi

Thousands of cars a week whizz through Roby Mill and up Mill Lane/Beacon Lane (near Up Holland), and yet, in the area between these two busy roads, lies the very essence of England; Wonderful views, slow single track lanes, working farms, beautiful houses, a couple of country pubs, a cricket pitch and lots of other points of interest. This is a 4 ½ mile walk, with a few steep parts, but nothing too strenuous; just perfect for a Sunday afternoon!

Carmelite Convent

College Road

Ashurst’s Beacon

Lon g He ys

Bangham’s Farm

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Roby Mill – Stone Hall Lane

Park up on School Lane, the road right next to the Fox. From School Lane turn right onto the main road through the village and after 175 yards take the first left into Farley Lane. After walking up an incline for almost 600 yards you’ll come to a house on the right called Stoneacre. There are two public footpaths here, one to the right of Stoneacre and the other to the left. Take the one on the right, which goes through what looks like a garden gate. As soon as you go through the gate, head to the left in the direction of another gate, then take the path to the left of this gate. Go down the path, past the assorted livestock, and you’ll come to a field. Follow the path down the left hand perimeter of the field for approximately 350 yards and you’ll eventually come to a stile. Go over the stile and twenty yards further on you’ll happen upon a track. Turn left and head up the track, passing some ruins on the right hand side in Lees Wood. Follow that track for approximately 275 yards. The track bends to the left and you’ll arrive at a barrier gate. Don’t go through the gate, instead turn right just 3 yards before the barrier and hop over some old stones into a field. Walk for 200 yards down the left hand perimeter of the field, on the right in the distance you’ll spot the majestic splendour of Parbold Hall. Once you’ve reached the bottom left hand corner of the field, you’ll exit onto a very rough track which is known as Stone Hall Lane.

Stone Hall Lane – Ashurst Beacon

Turn left on Stone Hall Lane and then, after just 50 yards, you’ll take a right turn at the signpost, dropping into The Dingle, a small wooded area with a stream. Cross the stream and go up the other side of the bank, going through a gate en-route. Follow the

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clearly defined pathway for a total of 250 yards and you’ll pass through one farm gate, but at the second gate you will need to turn left and follow the pathway around the perimeter of Banghams Farm. As you pass the farm (and the noisy dogs!) on the right hand side, you’ll spot a gate in the right hand corner near the farm’s drive way – go through this gate and follow the drive up a slight incline until you reach a single track road called Long Heys, sometimes known as Back Lane. Turn left at Long Heys, and walk up the single track road for a total of 300 yards. You’ll pass Catterall’s Farm on the left and just after a right hand bend you’ll see a footpath running across Long Heys, but at a higher level. Turn right and go up the stone steps onto the footpath. Follow the clearly defined footpath round a dog leg bend for 200 yards, eventually running parallel to a brook.

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You then drop down onto a wooden bridge to cross the brook and walk up the bank, and cross a stile onto a field. There’s a footpath that hugs the right hand perimeter of the field, but instead take the path that runs diagonally across the field towards the wooden area and the farm gate 150 yards up the hill. Once you’re through the farm gate, ignore the path parallel to the left hand perimeter and instead take the path upwards through the wooden area. After a few yards up the hill, the outline of the Beacon will appear.

Ashurst Beacon – Crisp Delf

Take the path to the left of the Beacon and after about 125 yards by some yellow gorse bushes, you’ll see a stile on the left hand side. Hop across the stile and follow the footpath past a pond on the right until you reach another stile. Once you’ve crossed this stile, you’re on the driveway to Bradshaws Farm. Cross the driveway and hop across the stile on the opposite side of the driveway and follow the footpath up a slight incline. Hop across another stile and carry on walking down the right hand side of the field until you eventually reach a single track road. Turn right and follow this road past a couple of entrances to Stopforth Farm, then round a right hand bend until you come to a farm gate on the left, you’ll need to pass through the opening to the right of the gate(This is signposted, but not very well). Go down the track, passing the kids playground at the back of the Prince William on the right and subsequently passing the cricket ground too. Go across another stile and stick to the pathway on the left of the field, running parallel to a brook. After 200

yards, you’ll pass through an open gateway onto another field. Use the path on the right hand perimeter of the field for 300 yards – first you’ll go up a slight incline and then you’ll walk down a steep decline, amidst some panoramic views. At the bottom of the hill, hop across a stone stile and 20 yards further on you’ll reach a stone track. Turn right for just over 100 yards and you’ll come to a junction on a bend at the hamlet of Crisp Delf.

Ashurst Beacon

Standing at 570 feet above sea level, Ashurst Beacon (or Ashurst’s Beacon), was originally one of a chain of hills (which stretched from Everton Brow near Liverpool right way up to Lancaster Castle) with bonfires ready to light - to warn the population of the imminent threat of the Spanish Armada back in 1588. Over two hundred years later, England was once again under threat, this time from Napolean. Sir William Ashurst, of nearby Ashurst’s Hall, decided to erect a permanent structure on top of the Beacon. Inside the structure was a cast iron fire box and the structure also had holes in for the smoke to belch out of. Make sure you check out the skyline guide map next to the Beacon, which illustrates such points as the Great Orme in North Wales, Southport, the Isle of Man, Blackpool, Winter Hill and our own Haigh Hall.

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St Joseph’s College

St Joseph’s College, a seminary for Catholic priests was opened at Walthew Hall, considered the geographic centre of the Diocese of Liverpool, back in the 1880’s,. Faced with falling numbers, particularly in the number of Irish boys declining to join the priesthood, the seminary closed in 1975. Right up until 1991, the building housed groups of Catholic students, who boarded there whilst attending school at St John Rigby. The building and land was sold to Anglo International, an Isle of Man based company back in the late 90’s, who subsequently applied unsuccessfully to convert St Joseph’s into 92 apartments and also build on the land around the College. Fascinating photographs of the interior of St Joseph’s are displayed on websites such as www.28dayslater.co.uk. This Grade 2 listed building was featured in a BBC Drama ‘Apparitions’ in 2008, and TV cameras were seen at the College, along with comedian/presenter Eddie Izzard, as recently as last week.

Crisp Delf – Roby Mill

Turn left and follow the single track lane downhill for around 150 yards. On a left hand bend you’ll clearly see a stile next to a two footpath signs on the right hand side of the road. Go across the stile onto the field. You’ll immediately see three footpaths; one on the right, one which bi-sects the field and a path between the two others which that runs diagonally across the field. Take the latter towards the wooden area. Once you’ve reached the corner of the field, follow the path that is signposted for a further 75 yards until you reach another signpost directing you to the right. Ignore this signpost and carry straight on. After 100 yards or so, drop down to the left into the field below. Straight ahead to the left you’ll see the towers of St Joseph’s. Keep to the right hand edge of the next two fields until you reach a gateway on the right. Pass through the gateway and walk up onto a wide track. Follow this track through Rough Park Wood for approximately 500 yards until you reach a farm gate. Pass through the opening on the left onto what appears to be a car park. Stick to the left and head towards another steel farm gate. Hop through the fence at the side of that gate onto the old Stoney Brow road, which is now a pathway between the main roads of Roby Mill and Mill Lane. Turn left and walk down the pathway for approximately 700 yards, passing through the buildings of the deserted College Farm en route. Through the trees on the left, you can clearly see the disused St Joseph’s College.

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Once you’ve reached the main road, turn left and follow the main road for about 950 yards past the Carmelite Convent into Roby Mill until you reach The Fox Inn on the right. Call in for a pint – you deserve it! Please ensure you wear appropriate clothing and footwear whilst walking. Whilst every care has been taken to ensure that the walk is accurate, neither the publisher or its editorial contributors can accept, and hereby disclaim, any liability to any party to loss or damage caused by errors or omissions resulting from negligence, accident or other cause.

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

GC1TEY9, GC1TEYA, GC1TEYH GC22M9B, GC1GJ4G, GC1TEYM GC1TEY8, GC13EXF Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online. Geocaching is enjoyed by people from all age groups, with a strong sense of community and support for the environment.

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Win 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 Wigan and West Lancs!

All I want for Christmas is…

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 Wigan and Leigh Hospice will be presented with a cheque for £500.

A luxu bathro

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 en ew kitch y nWindy k in Shop near is local and regional foodstuffs. Our main supplier Arbour cooFarm A shinis to re su s a plea these goods at cost price. Billinge, and we thank them for their kindnessthinat’supplying 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 Only is second to none. For more details about the store visit their website www.windyarbour.co.uk

39

Stove to nsform Even if you’re not a fan of Christmas hampers,othese hampers make a tra wonderful g days my living ro m re fittin til om to their n present for your nearest and dearest, full of luxury items to bring a little extra u o to g s! Christmas. Simply complete the Christmas Hits crossword Christma 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.

Afraid we can’t help with the teeth, b in time for Christm

to 7th improve your home Your entry must be with us by Wednesday December 2011. Good luck!

Visit our showrooms for inspir we’re open Monday-Saturd

32-34 M

bespoke fused glass design

morpheus glass Steph and Ian would like to thank our customers for all their custom this year and wish everyone a very merry Christmas! Remember, if you’re looking for individual presents for special individuals this year, pop along to our Studio weekend on 3rd/4th December – see page 7 for details. www.morpheusglass.co.uk Morpheus Glass are proud to support the work of Wigan and Leigh Hospice

60 Local Life

Call

Mossy Lea

Damien, Donna and the rest of the staff at De Reve wish Local Life readers a very happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year. For kitchens, bathrooms, stoves and building work in 2012, give De Reve a call or call into our showrooms in Mossy Lea Rd in Wrightington or Main Street in Billinge.

Call

De Reve is pleased to support the work of Wigan and Leigh Hospice

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Christmas Hits 3

1

2

4 5

6

7

Chris Alcock and the team at CMA Accountancy in Appley Bridge would like to wish all past, present and future customers a very happy Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous New Year. www.handsonaccounting.co.uk CMA are delighted to support the work of the Wigan and Leigh Hospice

8

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. Gareth and the team at Watts Electrical would like to wish readers a very joyful Christmas and a Happy New Year. For all your electrical needs, including outdoor lighting for Christmas, think Watts! www.watts-electrical.co.uk Watts Electrical are proud supporters of Wigan and Leigh Hospice

‘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

Bob and Ben at Manor House Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning would like to wish all our past, present and future customers a very happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year. www.manorhousecleaning.co.uk Manor House are proud to support the work of Wigan and Leigh Hospice

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Crossword Competition Rules Only one entry per household. 1. 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 61


The What’s On Guide Now on

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 twotier 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

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 mind-boggling. 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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Wizard of Oz

Follow the magical yellow brick road to the Octagon Theatre in Bolton this Christmas to experience the enchanting story of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The land of Oz will be brought vividly to life as you have never seen before in this captivating new version of L. Frank Baum’s timeless story that has charmed and entranced children and adults alike for more than one hundred years. With original new music performed live and a whole heap of magic, the entire Theatre (audience included!) will be transformed into the incredible Land of Oz. Show runs until 14th January. Time: Varies according to day Cost: £8.50-£19.50 Contact:01204 520661 or www.octagonbolton.co.uk Sat Nav Ref: BL1 1SB

Saturday 26th November

Special Santa Train The Santa Special trains run every weekend from 26th November to the 18th December and each day from Wednesday 21st December to Saturday 24th December at the East Lancashire Railway in Bury. Meet the jolly man himself and his helpers as they hand out presents for the kids and a mince pie and festive drink for the adults. See the beautiful decorations on both the carriages and in the station, enjoy Christmas carols and live brass bands. Prebooking is essential. Cost: £12.50 Adults (over 16’s), £10.50 Child (aged 3+) Contact: 0161 764 7790, 0843 208 0500 or visit www.eastlancsrailway.org.uk

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What’s on Guide events key

Sunday 27th November

Santa Sunday Running every Sunday until Christmas is Santa Sundays at Haigh Hall, where your child can visit Santa’s grotto and receive a present. Join us at Haigh Stables Courtyard for a fun-packed afternoon of craft activities, entertainment, festive food, wine and music - fun for all the family! Time: 12pm-4pm Sat Nav Ref: WN2 1PE

Events and Festivals

Walks & Nature

Family

Special Interest

Wigan Weekend Fayres New indoor Arts and Crafts event with small traders offering unique gifts/products. craft workshop for children and a lovely on site Bistro. Located at Wigan Investment Centre off Swan Meadow Lane in Poolstock. Every Saturday and Sunday until the 18th December. Large range of activities planned including Santa Grotto and portrait photographer. Time: 10am-4pm Cost: £2 Adults, £1 under 12’s and under 5’s free Sat Nav Ref: WN3 5BA

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 Drinks Marquee within the Craft and Gift event. Time: 10am to 5pm Contact: www.creativecrafts-online.co.uk Sat Nav Ref: BL6 6JW

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. 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 at this country park near Warrington. 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 www.locallife247.co.uk

Wednesday 7th December

Ladies Night Get some great ideas for Christmas gifts at the Ladies Night being held at Standish Cricket Club on Green Lane. Party Lite and Stella& Dot Jewellery will be there and the bar will be open too! Time: 7pm Cost: £2 includes raffle ticket and nibbles Sat Nav Ref: WN6 0TX

Thursday 8th December

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Running until 2nd January at Southport Theatre is the enchanting tale of Snow White. 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! Cost: From £16.50 Contact: 0844 871 7615 or visit www.atgtickets.com Sat Nav Ref: PR9 0DZ

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Friday 9th December

Robin Hood The legend of Robin Hood comes to life on stage in a traditional Pantomime at Chorley Little Theatre packed with jokes, songs, dances, audience participation and general silliness. Watch Robin battle the villainous Sheriff of Nottingham, fall in love with Maid Marion, and save Jedward from certain doom. This hilarious Panto is brilliant fun for the whole family and a fantastic pre-Christmas treat. (Please note that Jedward are played by actors and are not the real thing!) Runs until 17th December. Time: 7.30pm (2.30pm weekend matinees) Cost: £10 Contact: 01257 264362 or www.chorleylittletheatre.com Sat Nav Ref: PR7 2RL

Saturday 10th December

Mere Brow Farmers Market Christmas Special This delightful village near Southport will be hosting their annual Christmas Farmers Market. The market will be selling fresh local fruit and vegetables, cheeses, homemade cakes, herbs and plants, preserves, speciality meats and pies. There will be a BBQ, hot food and tea and coffee. Children’s face painting and donkey rides. Time: 10am-2.30pm Cost: Free admission and free car parking at the rear of Legh Arms Contact: 01704 212734 Sat Nav Ref: PR4 6JX

Sunday 11th December

Croston Village Christmas Fair A true village Christmas Fair which starts at 1pm with Santa’s arrival, also market/craft stalls, children’s fun fair, Santa’s Grotto, land train, 2 local brass bands, choir, a lone piper, magician, street entertainers, torchlight procession, hog roast, mulled wine, venison burgers and much more. Time: 1pm to 5.30pm Contact: www.crostonfestivities.co.uk Sat Nav Ref: PR26 9RA

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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

Tuesday 13th December

Carol Concert The Choir of Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral return to Haigh Hall for two carol services (2nd on Wednesday 14th December). Also joining the choristers singing will be altos tenors and basses in a programme of contemporary and traditional music Cost: £16 includes mulled wine on arrival Contact: 01942 832895 Sat Nav Ref: WN1 2PE.

Sunday 18th December

Farmers Market Held in the grounds of Hoghton Tower on the 3rd Sunday of every month, this Farmers Market is Lancashire’s largest local producers’ market. It features over 50 stalls offering the tastiest seasonal produce to visitors. Take your pick from a wide variety of fresh meat, fish, vegetables and fruits, as well as delicious home-made cakes and preserves. For the children, there is also a chance to meet Father Christmas on their visit here. Time: 10am-2pm Cost: £1.00 per car. Contact: 01254 852986 Sat Nav Ref: PR5 0SH

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

Have a very merry Christmas! There aren’t many jobs to be done around the garden at this time of year and let‘s face it we have enough to worry about in the lead up to Christmas - like what do I buy for the man who has everything! You can still plant trees and shrubs if you wish as long as the ground is not too wet and not frozen. In fact there are some shrubs which come into their own at this time of year and here are some of my favourites: • Garrya elliptica - a large evergreen shrub with unusual looking silver grey catkins. When I say large I’m talking 4 metres (or around 12 feet in old money) • Elaeagnus x ebbingei ‘Gilt Edge’ - a medium sized shrub which will brighten up any winter garden with its evergreen leaves margined with bright yellow • Cornus sanguinea ‘Winter Beauty’ - a Dogwood which produces bright red stems with the added bonus of autumn colour And don’t think you can’t have scent in your garden at this time of year. There are two shrubs which have evergreen leaves and which produce highly fragranced flowers in late winter. Sarcococca confusa grows to about 1.5 metres and has white flowers and Daphne odora ‘Aureo-marginata’ (sorry it’s a bit of

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a mouthful!) has pink flowers. The former likes shade with the latter preferring sun and a little bit of winter protection - a covering of fleece should be fine. Finally no winter garden should be without Bergenias (Elephants Ears) with ‘Bressingham Ruby’ providing glowing red winter foliage with dark pink spring flowers to follow. As usual Hubby and myself will be in our garden on Christmas Eve, glass of mulled wine in hand (along with the thermos flask for a top up!) The fairy lights in the trees will sparkle and we’ll look at the stars trying to spot Father Christmas‘ sleigh and reindeer. If you’ve been reading my articles for a while, you’ll know I’m an incurable romantic with a very sentimental feeling about Christmas - and I truly hope all of you have a wonderful time and that all your Christmas dreams come true.

Author: Angie Barker Dip GD (Inst GD) BA (Hons) Garden Design For All Seasons Tel: 01942 522 405 Mob: 07857 008 383 www.angiebarker.co.uk

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SWEDISH

R

E P O O C SUPER If you’ve never really been gripped by the prospect of a MINI with a diesel engine, take a look at the latest Cooper SD. It may well have the power to change that perception as Andy Enright reports. In theory a MINI with a diesel engine sounds great but to date, MINI diesels have been a bit worthy and thoroughly overshadowed by the excellent 1.6-litre petrol engine that was co-developed by Peugeot and BMW. That may be about to change with the launch of the 143bhp Cooper SD, a diesel model that gets to 60mph in 7.8 seconds yet returns a mind boggling 65.7mpg. The reason keen drivers will love the Cooper SD is simple. Torque. The first new MINI to get a two-litre engine, it’s a serious piece of kit. The 143bhp power output seems only mildly impressive at first glance, but the twisting muscle this engine serves up takes some beating. At just 1750rpm, it generates 305 Nm, which is more than a Porsche Cayman, and the sprint to 60mph of 7.8 seconds doesn’t begin to suggest how beefy this engine is. All Cooper SD models are equipped as standard with a new super-light six speed manual gearbox offering well-matched ratios and a precise, short shift gear

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lever action. As with all MINI hatch models, turn-in is instant, grip tenacious, body control excellent, the brakes well up to the task. The steering isn’t as meaty as on first generation cars and all-round visibility can be an issue but the MINI remains a very entertaining steer. And the diesel engine in this one doesn’t detract from that one jot. The Cooper SD gets the full gamut of go-faster bits and safety gear that feature on existing Cooper S models. Fitted as standard on Cooper SD versions specified with the 16-inch alloy wheels are run-flat tyres which have a range of at least 90 miles after a puncture and, of course, negate the need for a spare wheel, freeing up valuable space in the boot. If you haven’t yet tried a second generation BMW MINI, you’ll find a vehicle of much greater quality here. Gone are those indicators that felt like you were snapping a biro every time you used them. The enormous centrally mounted speedometer now houses entertainment and, if specified, navigation functions. A start/stop button is also fitted as standard, whilst space in the rear could still be best described as optimistic and the 160-litre boot won’t be much cop when it comes to moving house.

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Cooper SD variants are offered in MINI hatchback, Clubman estate, Convertible, Countryman and Countryman ALL4 variants, but for the sake of simplicity we’ll stick with the hard top hatchback here. Pricing looks fairly reasonable at £18,750 and includes choice extras like stability control, remote central locking, the easy entry function, sports seats, a CD stereo and all kinds of styling features that elevate the Cooper SD above lesser MINI models. Echoing the style of the Cooper S, all SD models get a front spoiler with an extra large air intake and the familiar gaping air scoop on the bonnet. At the back, each SD model sports twin exhaust tailpipes exiting in the centre of the rear apron and a subtle roof spoiler. An optional Sport Pack is also offered for £2,260, which features 17-inch John Cooper Works alloy wheels, Dynamic traction control and an electronic diff lock to work with the existing DSC stability control, a body styling kit and leather trimmings for the cabin. If I told you that this car averaged 30mpg, there would still be a queue of buyers looking for a dotted line to sign. It’s that good. Truth is, the MINI Cooper SD averages 65.7mpg and its 114 grammes of carbon dioxide emitted per kilometre means you pay no road tax. Zero, zip, nada. Company car buyers will also be quids in, with a benefit-in-kind rate of just 13 per cent, including the 3 per cent diesel surcharge. For a car with this much get up and go, that almost beggars belief.

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Is there a more complete supermini package than the MINI Cooper SD? It’s hard to think of one. Yes, you do have to pay for the privilege and space in the back remains a perennial issue, but otherwise it’s hard to think of a small hatch that does so much so well. Demand on the used market for both diesel MINIs and Cooper S variants remains healthy, so residuals looks set to be strong as long as you remain sensible with the optional extras. It also points the way to the immediate future of the small sporting hatch. If we can have this much power and this much fun built into a low emission and high economy vehicle, then perhaps the future doesn’t look so bleak after all.

To book your test drive contact Halliwell Jones, Winwick Road, Warrington 01925 248080 or Williams of Raikes Lane, Bolton 01204 900905.

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Motoring

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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 or Joanne on 0800 043 0722 or 01942 203442. Distributors Required Local Life requires distributors (aged 13+) to deliver the magazine. We currently have vacancies in the Hartington Drive and Wigan Road area in Standish, the Back Lane area of Appley Bridge and the Mill Lane and West View area of Parbold. We are also seeking distributors for the Hilldale and Newburgh areas. We are also welcoming applicants from all other areas for our waiting list. Distributors will typically work for 2/3 hours every 8 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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The Useful Numbers Medical

Boston House Concourse Walk-in Centre Linacre Centre Ormskirk Hospital Parbold Surgery Shevington Clinic Shevington Surgery Standish Clinic Standish Medical Practice Wigan Infirmary NHS Direct Emergency Dental Repairs

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Other Useful Numbers Parbold Library Shevington Library Standish Library Local Life magazine

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01942 244991 01942 404040 01942 487684 01942 486860 01257 407005 01257 407006 01257 407078 01942 486861 01942 486864 07766 478296 01942 487686

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