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xury u l a n i W amper! H s a m t Chris 31 -see page

St Helens and Prescot Edition

December 2011

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

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Advertising Nicola Gray 01744 649722 nicolag@locallife247.co.uk Editorial Chris Pearce 01744 649722 chrisp@locallife247.co.uk Accounts/Distribution Sally Boon 01695 627999 sallyb@locallife247.co.uk For further information, visit our website www.locallife247.co.uk The January issue of Local Life will be published on Friday 6th January. The copy deadline for this issue is Tuesday 13th December. Local Life is published every month. Distribution areas will alternate each month between two separate edition areas: The St Helens and Prescot edition is delivered to over 12,500 private homes and businesses in Rainhill, Eccleston, Prescot, Eccleston Park, Windle, Knowsley Village, Prescot Road and part of Nutgrove. Copies of this edition are also available to pick up free from Tesco Extra Stores in Peasley Cross and Prescot. The St Helens and Ashton edition is delivered to over 12,500 private homes and businesses in Rainford, Billinge, Newton-le-Willows, Garswood, Crank, Kings Moss and parts of Ashton and Moss Bank. Copies of this edition are also available to pick up free from Tesco Stores in Haydock and Earlestown. 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.

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 of Local Life has details of much of the local action, along with offers galore, a great Christmas Hamper competition and a few interesting suggestions on what to do and where to go this Christmas. 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

chrisp@locallife247.co.uk

In this issue Free Rug offer from United Carpets! 20 Days for £20 – Fitness Centre offer Panto Round Up Rotary Club at Christmas 3 for 4 offer - Jessie’s Jewell’s What’s On Angie’s Garden Diary Win a luxury Christmas hamper! Profile on Parr Brass Band Super Cooper Test Drive Home Services Tell Us Once – Useful Numbers

2 9 14 18 24 26 28 30 32 34 38 42

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

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Art Attack

For something that’s fun for all the family, try the free arts workshops billed as ‘Library of Dreams’ sessions being held jointly at St Helens Central Library and the Godfrey Pilkington Art Gallery each month. The workshops are held on the 2nd Saturday of the month from 11am-3pm and the contents vary each time. You can look forward to sessions including illustration, animation, model making and music, and lots more too! The next session, called St Helens Sounds, is on Saturday 10th December and promises to be a magical winter event creating poetry and seasonal sounds. You can record your words and sounds, add all kinds of effects, loop them and make a soundscape to amaze friends and family.

Christmas Bingo

Get your eyes down for a festive bingo night this Friday (2nd December) at St Ann’s Millennium Centre in View Road in Rainhill. The fun starts at 7.30pm and the cost is just £2, which includes the first book. You’ll also find refreshments and handmade jewellery for sale at the event; so pop along for a bit of festive fun!

Brass at Christmas

The Skem Prize Brass Band will be coming to town this Saturday (3rd December) for a Brass at

Christmas concert being held at Prescot Parish Church, in Church Street, Prescot. The concert starts at 7.30pm and tickets are £6 on the door. Christmas refreshments will be served afterwards and the proceeds from this concert go to Prescot Festival.

Letter from Santa

There’s nothing guaranteed to light up a child’s face as much as when they receive a letter from Santa! It’s the gift that they will never forget, a personalised letter from the big guy himself, and you can bet that they will delight in telling the tale to the rest of the family. The NSPCC are running a ‘Letter From Santa’ initiative this year and if you order a letter from their website before 16th December, they will ensure that the letter arrives before the big day. They have even got a special letter for Baby’s First Christmas’! The suggested donation for the service is £5 and the proceeds go to the NSPCC.

Distributors Required

Local Life requires distributors (aged 13+) to deliver the magazine in the Rainhill area. We are particularly interested in recruiting distributors who live in or near to the following areas; the Deepdale Drive estate, the School Lane/Fawley Rd estate, the Old Lane/View Road area, the Ashton Ave/Galston Ave area, the Calder Drive/Lowther Drive area and the Dunbeath Ave/Toftwood Ave area. Distributors will typically work for 2/3 hours every 8 weeks, and will be fit, enthusiastic and reliable. If you’re interested in this work, please email your name, address, landline number and date of birth to sallyb@locallife247.co.uk.

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Coffee Morning

St James Methodist Church in Rainhill are holding a coffee morning / bring and buy sale at the church next Saturday (10th December). The event runs from 10am12 noon and admission is ÂŁ1. Proceeds from the event go to church funds and refreshments are available. The church is based on the corner of St James Road and Warrington Road in Rainhill, and everyone is welcome to attend.

Like Singing?

If you enjoy singing and think you can hold a tune, but you don’t fancy your chance on next year’s XFactor, then Rainhill High Notes want to hear from you! This new group meets at Rainhill High School on Warrington Road on Wednesdays between 6.30pm and 8pm, and sings a variety of music to suit all tastes; sometimes they are accompanied, but mainly they sing acapella. If you’d like to join the group and you want further details; please call Julie on 0151 426 9875 or Val on 0151 426 1409.

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St Helens Christmas

The new European Christmas market is now open for business until next Saturday (10th December).  Wooden chalets, trimmed with fairy lights are lining Church Street and Church Square with stallholders selling a mouthwatering array of continental cuisine and stylish gifts. As well as silk and soaps, hats and scarves, there are traditional wooden Christmas gifts.

Rainhill Remembered

Pack up your earliest Christmas memories (along with pictures if you have any) and join members of the Rainhill Civic Society at the St Ann’s Millennium Centre on Tuesday 13th December for an informal chat and a cuppa to discuss the old days. This get –together takes place on Tuesday 13th December from 1.30pm to 3.30pm; for further details, please call Anne on 0151 426 4455, Judy on 0151 426 2583 or Rose on 0151 430 9947.

For food lovers, there are German sausages, an Italian deli (with cheeses, ham, dry cured meat, olives, pasta), Spanish paella, sweets, nuts and crepes. The European Christmas market is open daily from 9am to 5.30pm, with extended hours for late night Thursday and Sunday opening. Don’t miss a trip to St Helens next Saturday (10th December) where you’ll find festive entertainment galore from the street entertainers; balloon modelling elves, Christmas fairies, lollipop man for reindeers and the amazing stilt-walking jacks of frost. Also on in St.Mary’s Market next Saturday (and also the following Saturday 17th December) is free festive face painting for the kids and a special appearance from two of Santa’s elves, whilst you can get in the festive mood listening to the Valley Brass Band performing some Christmas favourites.



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Run Again

If you’re expecting to over-indulge this Christmas and you know you’ll want to get into shape in 2012, why not make an early New Year’s resolution now and put your name down for the 2nd annual St Helens run? The organisers of the run are the Steve Prescott Foundation and next year’s main sponsors are GPW Legal Services. After a fantastic turn out last year the 10k run will return on Sunday March 11th. The route will start at Langtree Park, the new Saints stadium, before passing through the town centre and up North Road and Victoria Park, before ending at the Langtree Park stadium where runners will do a lap of the new pitch to finish the run! Steve Prescott told Local Life, “The Foundation is really excited about next year’s run; the prospect of finishing at the new stadium was always our intention. It is great to see local St Helens businesses & Saints RLFC supporting our philosophy of providing a stage to promote health and well- being to the St Helens public.”



Local Life

The main sponsor of the run will be St Helens based business GPW Legal Services, a branch of one of the premier recruitment firms in the region. Managing Director of GPW, Mark Parish, said, “We are very excited to be sponsors of the St Helens 10K Run 2012, a number of staff from GPW took part in last year’s run and really enjoyed it. It is an honour to be working with the Steve Prescott Foundation and we will pull out all the stops to ensure next year’s run is a massive success.” If you like to do your bit for charity each year, then please help this worthy cause. In addition to helping the Steve Prescott Foundation, you will also be helping five other local charities including Willowbrook Hospice, Tunza’s Pride, Honeyrose Foundation, Andy Reid’s Soldiers Charity plus the Saints Foundation. To enter your application please visit www.sthelens10krun.org.uk or contact Martin Blondel on 07971 792859.

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expected! It was fun and I learned lots of new things. It was one of the best days yet. Thank you!” Sessions at the new club run from 6.45pm to 9pm every Friday evening. For more information call Michelle Ford on 01744 675124 or e-mail michelleford@sthelens.gov.uk.

Charity Concert

New Rainhill Youth Club

A new youth service-run youth club in Rainhill is already proving popular with locals. Young people turned up at 4F Centre recently for the first session, where DJ-ing and street art vied with nail art and manicures to grab the youngsters’ attention. Organiser Helen McCabe said: “There was obviously a clear need for some organised provision in the area and we’re delighted with the response from young people. Hopefully word will spread and we’ll see even more here next week.” One of those who attended the first session said: “I absolutely loved it! The DJ-ing was awesome, I loved the street art, made a key ring for my nan and got my nails done. I absolutely love it here and will definitely come next week and tell my friends.”

The Mayor of Prescot’s Annual Charity Christmas Concert takes place at St Paul’s Church on Bryer Road in Prescot on Thursday 15th of December. This popular concert, which will include performances by the Knowsley Youth Orchestra, Prescot Methodist Choir, Prescot Parish Church Choir and children from St Mary and St Paul’s school, starts at 7.30pm and tickets are £ on the door. For more details visit the www.prescotfestival.co.uk website.

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!

Another added: “It was great – and better than I

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Local Life




Competition Winners

The winners of the competition to win a family day out at Gulliver’s World were as follows; Mr McCarthy (pictured) of Padstow Drive in Windle, Mrs Lloyd from Warrington Road in Whiston, Yvonne Metcalfe from Ormskirk Road in Rainford, and Sheila Kelly from St Helens Road in Eccleston Park. Well done to all our winners!

Saturday 17th December. Tickets start from just £5 and are available online from www.citadel.org.uk, or from the box office at the Citadel, which is located in Waterloo Street in St Helens town centre. Across town, the Theatre Royal has Aladdin playing from Friday 2nd December right the way through to Sunday 8th January. Tickets are priced at £11-£13, though there’s a Christmas Cracker Special at certain performances from just £7. For further details visit www.sthelenstheatreroyal.com or call 01744 756000. Over in Runcorn, the Brindley’s festive pantomime is Cinderella, which features Philip Olivier and Sarah White from Brookside as Buttons and the Wicked Stepmother. The show features live ponies and runs from next Friday (9th December) through to Sunday 8th January. Visit their website at www.thebrindley.org. uk to reserve your tickets.

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 picture on front cover). Entries for this popular competition need to be received at Local Life HQ by 14th December, so get your skates on and turn to the competition pages on pages 30 and 31! Remember – you’ve got to be in it to win it!

Panto Fun

Brace yourself for some good old fashioned family fun in the panto season in St Helens. The Citadel has Alice in Wonderland playing from Wednesday 7th to



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Be safe this Christmas!

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 lot of money. If you call the number and you start to hear a recorded message you will already have been billed £315 for the phone call. If you do receive a card with these details, then please contact Royal Mail Fraud on 020 7239 6655. For more information, see the Crime Stoppers website www.crimestoppers-uk.org/crime-prevention/helpingprevent-crime/scams/postal-delivery-scam 



Local Life

Santa Saturday

A real treat is in store for you at on Saturday 17th December in Rainhill when the Merseyside YouthBank hosts Santa Saturday. The event will consist of lots of stalls, Christmas tombola and there are refreshments too, including ...wait for it...a chocolate fountain! Santa will be in attendance too, in his grotto, and he might even bring a few presents with him! The event is being staged to raise money for youth groups across Merseyside for projects that will give them the opportunity to make a positive difference within their communities. Santa Saturday runs from 1pm-4pm at St Ann’s Millennium Centre in View Road, Rainhill.

Carol Concert

Don’t miss the Sinfonietta’s annual Carol Concert, which is being held at the United Reformed Church on King Street in St Helens on Saturday 17th December from 7.30pm. Joining with the Sinfonietta at this special time of year will be the New Cross Singers. Tickets are £8 – to get your hands on these, please call the United Reformed Church on 01744 28314.

Titanic Talk

Its 99 years since the Titanic sank off the coast of Newfoundland, losing the lives of over 1500 people. Ken Pye comes to Rainhill next Tuesday (6th December) to give a talk on one of the deadliest maritime disasters in world history. Organised by the Rainhill Civic Society, the talk will take place at St Ann’s Millennium Centre from 7.30pm and will be followed by a raffle and seasonal refreshments.

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Raring to Go? By Nicola Gray

If you were to tell me you weren’t quite sure what the Rotary Club of 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 some time speaking to members of the Prescot and Rainhill branches it became clear just how active they are. It is staggering to realise just how many local causes the men and women of the Rotary help on an annual basis, and just because they’re not always shouting it from the rooftops doesn’t mean it isn’t happening! The members of both the Rainhill and Prescot branches have an enormous capacity to help their local community and they definitely put it to good use. 

Local Life

The Rotarians volunteer their efforts to improve the quality of life for people in their own communities; they meet weekly and help to set up community projects that address many of today’s most critical issues, such as youth issues, the environment and illiteracy. Prescot Rotary have helped many local causes over the years, including donating over £40,000 to Willowbrook Hospice and in excess of £20,000 to Zoe’s Place. Recently Prescot Rotary also donated £2,500 worth of folding beds to Whiston Hospital to make it easier when parents stay with their poorly children

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Rainhill Rotary Club raised a massive £11,000 last year which was donated to local charities and good causes. Rainhill Rotary would like to thank everyone for their generosity and hope you can help again this year. December is a major fund raising time for all Rotary clubs when Father Christmas and his sleigh tour the area. This is the biggest fund raiser for the Rotary and it’s just around the corner so we’re urging everyone to go out and give them as much support as possible.

Santa doing his rounds has proved to be very popular with families and especially the kids so wrap up warm and check out when Santa will be making his way down a street near you! The Rotary is always looking for worthy causes that could benefit from their help or if you would like to go along to one of their meetings please have a look at the main Rotary website at www.ribi.org where you can find local contacts.

Santa’s coming down your way! Prescot Rotary Christmas Float Dates (weather permitting)  Sunday 11th December – Knowsley Village – 5pm  Monday 12th December – Arbour Rd area (Whiston) – 6.30pm  Tuesday 13th December – Cartmel Drive area (Rainhill) – 6.30pm  Wednesday 14th December – Sandstone Drive area (Whiston) – 6.30pm  Thursday 15th December – Kings Avenue area (Prescot) – 6.30pm  Sunday 18th December – Central Avenue area (Ecclestone Park) – 4pm  Tuesday 20th December - Scotchbarn Lane area (Eccleston) – 6.30pm  Wednesday 21st December – Manchester Road (Prescot) – 6.30pm  Thursday 22nd December – Rainhill Road area (Rainhill) – 6.30pm Rainhill Rotary Christmas Float Dates (weather permitting)  Saturday 3rd December – Tesco St Helens  Sunday 4th December – Tesco Haydock  Monday 5th December – Toll Bar/Prescot Road area  Tuesday 6th December – Behind the Old Grange Park Hotel  Wednesday 7th December – Brown Edge  Thursday 8th December – Thatto Heath Labour Club  Saturday 10th December – Tesco St Helens  Sunday 11th December – Asda St Helens  Tuesday 13th December – Brown Edge  Wednesday 14th December – Boars Head  Saturday 17th December – Morrisons Boundary Road  Sunday 18th December – Morrisons Boundary Road  Monday 19th December – The Victoria – Rainhill  Tuesday 20th December – Village Hall – Rainhill  Wednesday 21st December – The Ship at Rainhill Stoops  Thursday 22nd December – Junction of Ashton Avenue & Stoney Lane (Rainhill)  Saturday 24th December - Rainhill Village

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Local Life




Down on the Farm

Santa is taking a break from supervising his toymaking elves and is spending the weekend down in Kirkby of all places, visiting the award-winning visitor attraction Acorn Farm. Santa, along with some elves, will be working in the Acorn Farm Grotto between 123pm on Saturday and Sunday 10th/11th December, and will be meeting local children. Tickets to visit Santa are priced at £5, which includes meeting Santa, a small gift and admission to the farm. Acorn Farm is a welcome and fun distraction for your family, away from the whole ‘getting ready for Christmas’ palaver! The farm is home to a wide range of farm animals including sheep, cattle, goats, pigs, horses, poultry, rabbits and guinea pigs. Visitors can pet and feed the animals, work up an appetite by taking the Woodland Walk and enjoy a hot drink and a mince pie at the café. Horse rides are also available at Acorn Farm between 1.30-3pm. Acorn Farm is based on Depot Road on the Knowsley Industrial Park on the north side of the East Lancs Road; call 0151 548 1524 for details or visit the website www.acornfarm.co.uk



Local Life

Christmas Shopping

If you want to avoid the shopping queues by shopping online this Christmas but you don’t know where to start, then pop into Rainhill Library. Courses to help new users to use computers and the internet are available at the library, and the library staff will help you on the right path to conquer your online fears. Call in on Tuesdays from 2.15pm-3.15pm, Thursdays from 11am-12 noon, Fridays from 5pm-6pm or Saturdays from 10am-11am. For more details call the library on 01744 677822.

Raise the Roof

The Haydock male choir is looking for new members to help them raise the roof; they practice at St Helens Parish Church on Fridays from 7.30-9.30pm and on Tuesdays at Haydock Conservative Club from 8-10pm. This is a friendly bunch so the ability to read music isn’t a necessity but it is an advantage, if you would like to add your voice into the mix please contact Alan Gaskell on 01744 734176 or email alan. gaskell@talktalk.net. 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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be celebrating their first anniversary this month. With more than 13 displays in local boutiques and salons you’ll be spoilt for choice; but if you prefer to shop from the comfort of your own home then check out the new website www.jessies-jewels.co.uk.

Jewel of a Business

Do you remember when you were 16 and your parents used to nag you to get a part time job? Well, Louise Gillespie isn’t like most mums; she actually set up her business, Jessie’s Jewels, for her daughter to earn income whilst she was studying for her A-levels! Louise told Local Life, “I wanted my daughter Jessica to have a job and at the same time be able to give her experience of managing a business and educating her on the value of money, as most 16 years olds think that their parents have a money tree growing in the garden!” Louise and Jessica specialise in providing costume jewellery for all tastes and styles at affordable prices, and the Mother and Daughter duo are very proud to



Local Life

Louise and Jessica are also proud to introduce the face of Jessie’s Jewels, Bethany Cammack. Bethany is a young model from the St Helens area and just happened to be Jessie’s Jewels 1000th liker on Facebook. Bethany has many titles to date including stunning photography model 2011 and one of the final 12 in Miss Teen Great Britain to name a few. You can join Bethany by following the business on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jessiesjewelsliverpool. Bethany is pictured wearing items from the Jessie’s Jewells collection – photography kindly supplied by A.P. Imagery. To celebrate their first anniversary Jessie’s Jewels would like to offer Local Life readers the opportunity to buy 4 items for the price of 3 (cheapest item free) when purchasing items through Facebook or their website. Please quote LL123 when ordering.

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Where’s Santa?

For some great fun with the kids on Christmas Eve log onto the website www. noradsanta. org. The site, run by the North American Aerospace Command in conjunction with Google Earth, tracks the whereabouts of Santa and his reindeer through the all the global time zones and is updated every few minutes on Christmas Eve to heighten the anticipation of children of all ages!

Players Wanted

Rainhill United are looking for new talent at Under-9 level to join the Charter Standard club in their efforts to conquer the Warrington Junior League. All coaches at the club are FA Qualified and have CRB clearance, and the club plays at Rainhill Park on Saturday mornings. For further details, please call A Fellowes MBE on 0151 426 7878.

Dog’s Life

The Dogs Trust in Merseyside has launched an urgent appeal, the branch is currently in desperate need of old bedding and tinned dog food. If you would like to help to make some of the dogs a little more comfortable or you have anything that you can donate please either drop items off at the Huyton centre on Whiston Lane or contact Eleanor Burns on 0151 482 6452 or e-mail at eleanor.burns@dogstrust.org.uk

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Local Life




The What’s On Guide Now on

Saturday 3rd December

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

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

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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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 near Bolton. 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

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 For details of other Christmas Pantomimes please turn to page 14

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What’s on Guide events key

Murder Mystery at Croxteth Hall ‘Death at the Hall’ continues in the Library of Croxteth Hall. Billed as ‘Brilliant entertainment, beautiful food, late bar and a good laugh... perfect for a Christmas Party Night out’. Ticket price includes a 3 course meal, and there’s also a late bar. Event also runs on Friday 9th December. Time: 7pm Cost: £35.00 Contact: Tel: 0151 228 6445 or visit www.croxteth.co.uk Sat Nav Ref: L12 0HB

Saturday 10th December Rudolph visits the Palm House Rudolph is a bit different from the other reindeer and doesn’t quite fit in with the rest, until one foggy Christmas Eve when he’s lauded as the hero of the hour when his shiny red nose leads the way through the fog. Fuse Theatre promise lots of songs and laughter at this Christmas production targeted for toddlers and young primary school children. Time: 11.00am, 2.00pm and 5.00pm Cost: £6 Contact: www.wegottickets.com Website: www.palmhouse.org.uk Sat Nav Ref: L17 1AP

Monday 12th December

Events and Festivals

Walks & Nature

Family

Special Interest

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

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

Saturday 24th December Christmas Pyjama Party Lots of fun and games on the night before Christmas at Prendooleys Play Centre in Earlestown. This magical ticket-only event starts with a play session on the multi level play frames before Santa arrives to join in all the fun. Holly Berry, his mischievous little elf, will be there to dish out home-made cookies reindeer food and magic fairy dust. Children will leave with a present and a party bag, and a subsequent early night is guaranteed! Time: 4.30pm Cost: £9.00 per child – tickets only Contact: 01925 299599 Sat Nav Ref: WA12 9AH

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 www.locallife247.co.uk

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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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Win a luxury Christmas Hamper! It’s back! The Local Life Christmas Hamper competition returns, and this year we have ten luxury Christmas Hampers to be won by our readers in St Helens and Prescot! Every Christmas we join forces with generous local companies and organisations who are kind enough to sponsor a prize hamper – and this year their generosity has excelled itself because we have also asked each of them to donate £50 which we will present, on their behalf, to the local hospice. This means that Willowbrook Hospice will be presented with a cheque for £500. Messages from five of these companies/organisations are featured on this page and the messages from the other five will be displayed in the December issue of Local Life. We’d like to pass our sincere thanks to these sponsors for their support. Each Christmas hamper will be filled to the brim with luxury products; much of this is local and regional foodstuffs. Our main supplier is Windy Arbour Farm Shop near Billinge, and we thank them for their kindness in supplying these goods at cost price. We chose Windy Arbour Farm Shop as a supplier because it carries a wonderful range of tasty local and regional goods, particularly in the run up to Christmas, and the service is second to none. For more details about the store visit their website www.windyarbour.co.uk Even if you’re not a fan of Christmas hampers, these hampers make a wonderful present for your nearest and dearest, full of luxury items to bring a little extra to their Christmas. Simply complete the Christmas Hits crossword on the opposite page and return it to Local Life 247 Ltd, PO Box 631, Wigan WN1 9HF or email your answers along with your name and contact number to crossword@locallife247.co.uk. Your entry must be with us by Wednesday 14th December 2011. Good luck!

Phil and the staff at Prescot Plumbing, Heating & Bathrooms would like to wish Local Life readers a very happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year. For plumbing, heating or bathroom work in 2012, give them a call on 0151 426 9699 or call into their extensive showroom on St Helens Road in Prescot. Prescot Plumbing, Heating & Bathrooms is pleased to support the work of Willowbrook Hospice.



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Ian Read and apprentice Connor Fish of Total Bathroom Restoration took some welcome time out from removing dirty silicone and grout to sponsor this year’s hamper competition. They would like to wish all their customers and Local Life readers a very Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year. Total Bathroom Restoration can be contacted for bathroom work in 2012 on 0800 542 9984 for a FREE quote and survey. 

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Mackrell and Thomas Solicitors from Page Moss are pleased to be associated with Local Life – check out our new legal column in the next issue – and are delighted to sponsor the Christmas hamper competition in support of Willowbrook Hospice. www.mackrellandthomas.com Mackrell and Thomas are pleased to support Willowbrook Hospice

The staff at Tyrers would like to wish all their customers a joyous Christmas and a happy New Year. We hope you enjoyed visiting Tyrers in 2011 as much as we enjoyed serving you. Tyrers is open 7 days a week until Christmas, so do pop in and say hello, you’ll be sure of a warm welcome! www.tyrers.com Tyrers are proud supporters of the valuable contribution that Willowbrook Hospice makes to the local community

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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.

‘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

Designs for Life would like to thank you for your custom this year and wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. If you’re looking for a new bathroom or kitchen in 2012, call into our showroom at 290 Church Road in Haydock. www.designsforlifestudio.co.uk Designs For Life are always happy to support the work of Willowbrook Hospice

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

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Brassed Off If 2012 is all about going for gold at the Olympics, 2011 has been the year of the brass, namely the Parr Brass Band where members are celebrating the 75th anniversary year of the group. With their Christmas concerts still to come, 2011 has been a great year for the band. The Parr Brass Band came into being in 1936 when the clergy at Parr St Peters asked the band to change its name from the Parr St Peters Brass Band. The members of the band were reportedly so upset by this request that they indignantly marched, playing at full crescendo, through the village of Parr to the church where they handed back their instruments to the church, and subsequently raised enough money to buy new instruments and start again as the Parr Brass Band. Since then, this group of dedicated musicians has had its highs and lows; a particular high for the band came when they successfully secured funding through the Arts Council in 1996, which allowed them to purchase a complete set of new instruments and even saw the beginning of a junior band.

The band is extremely involved with the local community; they play at functions, weddings and each Christmas they spread festive cheer throughout the town all whilst raising money for charity. They help to support two particular charities one for children in Romania through Children in Distress, and the other is Willowbrook Hospice in St Helens. Whether you’re a primary school pupil or you’re retired; if you want to learn to play an instrument then this is the group for you. Any experienced player will always be welcome to join in senior rehearsals and if anyone, young or older, wishes to learn to play, they can also come along to either of the Training Band rehearsals. Spare instruments are available for newcomers to try – so pop along and see what suits you! Junior Band meets for a general rehearsal on a Saturday morning and Wednesday evening, and senior rehearsals take place on Monday and Wednesday each week at their specially equipped band room at Viridor Limited on Lancots Lane. If you would like more information about Parr Brass Band, please have a look at the band’s website at www.parrband.webs.com

Monday 5th December – Tree of Lights – Prescot Parish Church – 6.45pm Tuesday 6th December – Tree of Lights –Dovecot Church – 6.45pm Wednesday 7th December – Tree of Lights – Lowe House – 6.45pm Sunday 11th December – Carol Service – Nutgrove – 5.30pm Saturday 17th December – Carol Collecting – New Tesco St Helens – 9.45am onwards Saturday 24th December – Rainhill Ex-Servicemen’s Carols – Rainhill – 4.30pm 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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If you are looking for a communty website visit www.wn6.co.uk For a website you control and your community group members can collaborate on - free!

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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 Great Howard Street, Liverpool 0151 330 2100

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Motoring Join the expanding band of advertisers in our auto section. Prices start from ÂŁ17.50 per month Advertisers urgently required - car audio, tyre retailers, windscreen repairs.

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Is your website being held to ransom? If you have a business website it is important you check who owns the domain. Many website developers register your business domain to themselves. Which means they legally own your business name online and can hold you to ransom if you decide to move to another company.

For a free guide on how to check your website visit www.wn6.co.uk/yourwebsite

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Your Local Directory of

Home Services

www.bodtree.co.uk

See our main advert on page 25

COMPUTER PROBLEMS? Broadband broken, computer slow, printer packed up, virus/spyware or your keyboards gone kaput

Bodtree Systems fix all types of PC problems in the comfort of your own home

Call Catherine Now 07540 222787

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Advertise your business in Local Life for less than ÂŁ4 per week. LIMITED

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JoLo Plumbing & Heating *No job too small* *Time served plumber - 40 years experience*

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All aspects of heating installation and plumbing undertaken

Call Joe on: 0151 430 8673 (Rainhill) or 07803436033

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Market your company in the area’s premier magazine Advertising from £17.50 per month + VAT

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Rainhill UPVC Windows See our main advert on page 16

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See our main advert on the inside back cover

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Are you an artisan? See our main advert on page 41

L.J Telecom Services Ltd business and residential

We are looking to link up with artists, crafters, makers in fact any creative people.

Find out more at

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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 on 0800 043 0722 or 01744 649091. Distributors Required Local Life require distributors (aged 13+) for the Rainhill area as follows; Deepdale Drive estate, School Lane/Fawley Rd estate, Old Lane/View Road area, Ashton Ave/Galston Ave area, Calder Drive/Lowther Drive area, Dunbeath Ave/Toftwood Ave area. 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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Tell us once poster.pdf

10/06/2011

Tell us once poster.pdf

12:22:29

10/06/2011

12:22:29

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

Useful Numbers

Eccleston

Cllr M Haw Cllr G Pearl Cllr T Sims Eccleston Medical Centre Eccleston Library Eccleston Village Hall

Prescot

Cllr R Arnall Cllr S Arnall Cllr Smith Cllrs M & W Sommerfield Cllr Allen Cllr Whiles Aston Healthcare Aston Healthcare Knowsley Park House Medical Care Prescot Medical Centre Prescot Library

Rainhill

Cllr De’Asha Cllr Glover Cllr Grunewald Rainhill Library Rainhill Village Hall Rainhill Village Surgery Longton Medical Centre

01744 29121 01744 678927 0151 426 5118 01744 454454 01744 677575 01744 730744 07950 200344 07840 365002 0151 289 8800 0151 431 0785 0151 430 7835 0151 548 4592 0151 426 6288 0151 546 3458 0151 426 5253 0151 426 5277 0151 4266449 01744 678980 01744 678947 07802 551647 01744 677822 0151 430 9338 0151 511 5672 0151 430 0333

West Park

Cllr Ayres Cllr Quinn Cllr Rimmer CBE

01744 678985 01744 678929 01744 678930

Windle

Cllr Martinez-Williams Cllr W Ashcroft Cllr L Glover Central Surgery, Cowley Hill Lowe House Medical Centre

General Medical

St Helens Hospital Whiston Hospital Minor Injuries Walk in Centre NHS Direct HM Government.pdf

10/06/2011

13:06:59

01744 678465 01744 24738 01744 677069 01744 627660 01744 624999 01744 26633 0151 426 1600 01744 627400 0845 4647

General Police & Councils

Merseyside Police St.Helens Council Knowsley Council

Other Useful Numbers St Helens Central Library Mobile Library – St Helens Mobile Library – Knowsley Gas Leak Water Leakline Floodline Citizens Advice Bureau Local Life

0151 709 6010 01744 676789 0151 489 6000 01744 676952 01744 677898 0151 443 4363 0800 111999 0800 330033 0845 9881188 01744 737866 01744 649722

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