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The number one local choice!

September 2010

Win family tickets to

St Helens & Ashton Edition

Local Life

Welcome back! Publisher: Local Life 247 Ltd Contact Chris Pearce 01744 649722 Advertising packages start from just £15 (+VAT) per month! For further information, visit our website The October edition of Local Life will be published on Thursday 30th September. The copy deadline for this issue is Thursday 16th September. Call 01744649722 for more details. This issue will be delivered to over 12,000 private homes in Eccleston, Eccleston Park, Nutgrove,Prescot, Rainford, Rainhill, Windle and surrounding villages. The November issue of Local Life will be published on Thursday 28th October. The copy deadline for this issue is Thursday 14th October. This issue will be delivered to over 12,000 private homes in Ashton, Billinge, Garswood, Haydock, Moss Bank and Newton-le-Willows. Copies of Local Life are available to pick up free from Tesco Stores in St Helens, Prescot and Haydock, along with most main libraries in the St Helens area. Local Life also publishes a Wigan edition, which is delivered to over 13,000 private homes in Billinge Higher End, Highfield, Orrell, Up Holland, Winstanley and neighbouring villages. 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.

And if you’re one of our new readers in Newton-le-Willows, Haydock or from just over the border in Ashton in Makerfield, welcome to Local Life! The magazine is distributed to approximately 24,000 private homes in the St Helens, Prescot and Ashton areas over a two month period. In addition, we publish a second magazine which is distributed to 13,000 homes in the Wigan area. As you’ll see, Local Life is packed with local news, a what’s on guide, competitions, cars, travel, foods, walks, useful numbers, and handy home services. Once you’ve read our little magazine - keep it handy -- you never know when you might need it! To readers; Local Life relies totally on the support of our advertisers, so if you enjoy reading the magazine and you’d like to continue receiving it, then please support our advertisers. If you don’t like the magazine, then please support them anyway – a strong local economy benefits all of us! To businesses; Local Life can help you promote your business throughout the St Helens and Wigan areas for as little as £15 + VAT per month. The magazine is read, retained and referred to long after the local papers have hit the recycling bag. It’s a no-brainer – call us now on 01744 649722. To local community groups; We want your news! If you want to publicise your event or even your existence in Local Life free of charge then please email your details along with a contact phone number to October’s issue of Local Life will be delivered to our other distribution area on 2nd/3rd October, but if you’d like to get hold of a copy, you can pick one up from Tesco Stores in Haydock, St Helens or Prescot, or from your local library, or simply read the e-magazine on our website November’s issue of Local Life will be with you on Halloween weekend (30th/31st October). See you then!


In this issue Billinge Fete Pics Picking Pasquale’s! Heritage Open Days Free Wine Offer at the Red Cat Big Society in Newton Vegas Travel Feature First and Last – Cllr Neil Taylor Lancashire Walk Angie’s Garden Diary Win tickets to Martin Mere! What’s On Guide Honda CRZ Test Drive Body Shop Boys Home Services Useful Numbers

12 14 22 23 24 26 30 33 36 38 40 44 46 48 50 Local Life

Local Life

30th Birthday for Rainford Show

The 30th Anniversary of the Rainford Show takes place this Saturday (4th September) at the Village Hall in Rainford. This is one of the highlights of the Rainford social calendar and is well worth a visit to marvel at the efforts of talented locals. Along with the usual displays of flowers and vegetables, the Show has many other different sections, including floral art, some fabulous photography, confectionery and preserves, and handicrafts. Entries for juniors are welcomed too, with several awards for junior floral art, crafts, photography, scarecrows and tallest sunflowers. The show is organised jointly by the Rainford Horticultural Society, Rainford Flower Club and other enthusiasts and runs from 1.30pm to 4.30pm.

School Reunion

Did you leave Ashton Grammar School in 1976 after your ‘O’ Levels or in 1978 after your ‘A’ Levels? If so, don’t miss the reunion this Saturday (4th September) at the Caledonian Pub on Bolton Road in Ashton, which is being held to celebrate you and your fellow pupils 50th birthdays! The party starts at

£7.30pm and admission on the door is £5. For more details call Paul Ogden on 01942 711283 or Val Taylor (nee’ Slater) on 07766 627849.

Treasure Pleasure

The first annual Moss Bank Community Treasure Hunt will take place this Saturday (4th September) starting at 1pm. Groups will search the Moss Bank area of St.Helens taking part in activities and collecting valuable items and information to complete the treasure trail adventure. So hammer your contacts list and get a team together to join the hunt. The hunt is suitable for all ages, but each participating group must contain one member over 16 years. Please note registration is necessary for participation. For further information and to register your group please visit Moss Bank Library, Bowness Avenue prior to the event. For more information contact Moss Bank Library on 01744 677988 alternatively you can email billyrushton@ or If you work with a charity or a community group and you’d like to publicise your event free of charge to Local Life readers, please email details of the event, along with a contact name and number to editorial@

Local Life

Car Boot

If you’re looking for something to do this Saturday (4th September), then St Peters Church in Newton is holding a Car Boot on their car park, just off the High Street in Newton. The gates open to cars and stalls at 7.45am and the advance cost for exhibitors is £10. Customers can enter the site free of charge and refreshments will also be available. All proceeds from the sale go to the Church Maintenance Fund, so please come along for a warm welcome.

Wheeling Free from Moss Lane

New guided cycle tours, with bikes and safety equipment provided, have been introduced from Liverpool St Helens RU Club at Moss Lane running every Tuesday between 9.30am until 12 noon. They are the latest additions to the Cycle for Health programme. Elsewhere, other Cycle for Health rides continue on Tuesday afternoons from 1-3.30pm at Sutton Manor, starting at Four Ways Children’s Centre, and Wednesday afternoons from 1-3.30pm at Haydock, starting at Sankey Valley Visitors Centre, off Blackbrook Road. The rides are led by staff from St Helens Council, Halton and St Helens PCT and volunteers from the local community. Everyone is welcome to join in, and newcomers will be expected to have a free health check, which is provided by the local Health Improvement Team. Rainford cyclists can also benefit from a new programme of bike maintenance courses, held on Thursdays between 6-8pm at the Rainford Scout Hut on Church Road. Maintenance courses also take place at St Luke’s Church at Knowsley Road in Eccleston on Tuesdays between 10am-12noon and at St. Ann’s Millennium Centre in View Road, Rainhill on Wednesdays between 6.30 - 8.30pm. For more information about the rides or the maintenance courses, please call Samantha on 01744 671656.

Club Fun

If you’re fed up of hanging around the house watching TV, and you want to improve your social life and meet new friends in a welcoming atmosphere, then Haydock Women’s Club want to hear from you! The club meets at Haydock Cricket Club, off Piele Road every Tuesday from 8pm. There are lots of activities going on at the club, such as quiz nights, social evenings, guest speakers and film shows. Members can also look forward to outings, theatre trips and holidays too, so if you’re at a loose end on Tuesday nights, make your way down to the club where you can expect a warm welcome. 

Local Life

ASHTON IN MAKERFIELD Byrchall High School, Warrington Road, Ashton In Makerfield Monday 6:00 - 7:30 pm Monday 7:30 - 9:00 pm (Slim & Salsacise) BRYN Our Lady Immaculate RC Primary School, Downall Green Road, Bryn Thursday 6:30 - 8:00 pm

HIGHFIELD Highfield St Matthew’s Primary School, Billinge Road, Highfield Tuesday 6:30 - 8:00 pm WINSTANLEY St Aiden’s Social Club, Highfield Grange Ave, Winstanley Monday 10:00 - 11:30 am Classes also in Abram, Hindley, Hindley Green & Whelley

Please ring to reserve your place!

Call Chris on 01942 824557 or 07968 608861

Email: Website: * When you pay £28 for 5 consecutive weeks or join our Premier Club at £21 per month. Class Fee £5.70. Valid until 30/09/10. Ref: STHL

Local Life

Grow Show!

Newton-Le-Willows Gardeners’ Association will be holding their Annual Grand Flower & Vegetable Show next Saturday (11th September) at St Aelred’s R.C. Technology College in Birley Street, Newtonle-Willows. The show runs from 2.00pm until 4.30pm and there will be competitive classes for flowers, pot plants, vegetables, fruit, photography, art, cookery and jam as well as plant stalls, sale of spring bulbs, book stall, tombola, and raffle. Refreshments are also available. The prize giving ceremony will be held at 4.15, followed by an auction of the produce. Everyone is welcome and admission is free!  Should anyone wish to enter the Show as an exhibitor, please contact Ursula Harrison, the Show Secretary on 01942 708171 or email, ursula.harrison@hotmail. com and she will explain the procedure.  Alternatively, go to the website at where you can learn all about the Show and the website also details the many benefits of being a member of the Newton-le-Willows Gardener’s Association.

Kumon for a Try!

The children’s education provider Kumon, who run after school study sessions, are running a free two

Local Life

week trial between 21st-August and 20th October for any child who is interested in trying out their Maths and/or English programmes. The tutors run two sessions a week and students generally drop in for about 30 minutes for each session. Local contacts include; Pauline Cooper (01942 203847), who runs sessions at St Aidan’s Social Club in Winstanley on Tuesdays and Thursdays; Jane Kerfoot (01925 419599), who runs sessions at Winwick CE Primary at Myddleton Lane in Winwick on Tuesdays and Saturdays; and Carol Day(01744 24824), who runs sessions at De La Salle school in Eccleston on Mondays and Wednesdays. For session times, prices and further details about the Kumon courses please visit the website www.kumon.

Rambling On

If you’ve ever fancied walking in the Lake District, North Wales, Yorkshire Dales or the Peak District, then the St Helens and District Rambling Club are looking for new members! It’s a great way to see the best of the English countryside, meet new friends and take some healthy exercise too. The walks are graded between 6 and 15 miles, so however fit (or unfit!) you are, the club’s got a suitable walk for you. This friendly club organises fortnightly Sunday coach rambles and if you’re interested in taking part, the venues for September include Anglesey on the 12th and Trefriw the 26th. The October walks are on the 10th at Haworth and on the 24th at Shap. If you would like any more details call the Membership Secretary between 6pm and 8pm on 07535 953488.

to return to St Helens after graduating to contribute to the local economy. Newton-le-Willows graduate Carri-Ann Taylor, former pupil at St Aelred’s in Newton, left university in Liverpool with a first class honours degree in English, and has now secured a permanent job within the conferencing and sales department at Haydock Park Racecourse thanks to the scheme.

Car Boot Success No Place like Home

Graduates returning to their home town of St Helens after university have found jobs thanks to a placement programme introduced by St Helens Chamber and St.Helens Council. Despite the recession hitting young people the hardest, 30 graduates have found work after recently successfully completing work placements this spring. The Chamber and the Council developed the programme to encourage young people

Local organisation, Friends of Rainford High (FORH) send out a big thank you to those who attended the Car Boot Sale in July held at Rainford High Technology College on Higher Lane in Rainford. Despite the bleak, wet and windy weather it turned out to be a very successful morning and ÂŁ529.99 was raised, and this amount was immediately double via match funding from Barclays Bank.Next up for the fundraising team is an indoor sale, which is scheduled for Saturday 27th November. You can book your stall early by calling Janet Hill on 01744 887320.

Local Life

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10 Local Life

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Local Life 11

Bygone Billinge Fete

It was a wet and wild morning, but thankfully the rain clouds disappeared around lunchtime and the crowds appeared to take part in the 2nd Bygone Billinge fete. Like all these things, the success is in the planning, and the people behind the scenes spent the best part of a year organising the event. These people were; Councillors Sue Murphy and Joe Pearson, Billinge Parish Council, the Mature Billingers, The Buddy Group TRA and the Billinge Residents Associations. Opened by the new Mayor of St Helens, Neil Taylor, the main aim of the fete is obviously to provide some summer fun in the sun for the villagers, but the fete


Local Life

also gives local organisations a chance in the spotlight to attract members and also to raise some muchneeded funds. The Bygone Billinge Fete organisers passed on their thanks to Mrs Cropper, head of St Mary’s School, Anne and Tommy at St Mary’s Club, Mark Jennings for his help organising the football tournament, magazine publisher Local Life for their help with advertising and fundraising and to the following business people and local organisations for donating cash and prizes for the raffle; Billinge Parish Council, Billinge East and West RA, Billinge Furniture, De Reve Kitchens and Bathrooms, Tom Saxon’s Dentist, Marken Travel, SGN Autos, Village Hair, Expressions of Beauty, Houghwood Golf, Billinge News and Booze, Windy Arbour Farm Shop, Daniel’s Hair, Shine Hair, Billinge Health and Fitness Studio, George Wright Brewery, Paul Darbyshire Construction, Eagle and Child, Fir Tree Farm and Buttylicious.

Local Life 13

Picking Pasquale’s

As foodie heavens go, it’s not exactly the most prominent of places, but deep down in a basement of old building in the ancient town of Ashton-inMakerfield, something is stirring.....! Sat by the traffic lights at the corner of Warrington Road (A49) and Gerard Street in Ashton, Pasquale’s Italian Restaurant has been open now for 6 months and is now attracting a regular clientele from miles around. Pasquale’s is a friendly, very unpretentious, place, run by two people (Pasquale and Ken) who can include such esteemed places as the High Moor in Wrightington, The Angel in Ribchester and Heathcotes in Manchester on their career resumes. As you walk in to the place, the kitchen is the first thing you see; a hub of industrious chefs against a backdrop of stainless steel. As you descend the stairs into the basement, the character of this place comes to the fore as bare brick walls encase an intimate dining area that can comfortably seat around 40 diners. The place has an intimate, get-away-from-it-all feeling; even the phone network coverage down here is virtually non-existent. 14

Local Life

Yes, it’s the ideal spot to bring your lover for a romantic meal, but expect to bump into happy families, busy businessmen and groups of friends out for a good time too. And with Peroni on tap, a wide selection of Italian wines and easy listening Italian music playing quietly in the background, Pasquale’s is undoubtedly the real deal, but what about the food? To kick off with, we tried the Portobello Mushroom dish. When the large mushroom arrived it was topped with red onion relish and then a slice of melted goats cheese, and was perched on a bed of leaves with couple of cherry tomatoes and some chopped red peppers. This well proportioned dish represented a wonderful start to the evening; the sweetness of the red onion relish contrasted amazingly well with the meatiness of the mushroom and the creamy, yet slightly nutty, flavour of the melted goats cheese. The second starter we shared was the bruschetta, a dish that we use as a bit of a benchmark whenever we eat Italian food. The toasted bread was clearly handmade and was served with freshly chopped beef tomatoes, red onion, garlic, basil and topped with a couple of chive stalks. This was delicious; a perfect light starter that tasted as good as it looked! We also sampled Pizza all aglio Kenny-style! Created by Head Chef Ken at the end of a long night, this is an absolute masterpiece; a simple dish with enough

of a kick to bring a tear to your eye. Gorgeous, freshly made dough with garlic, mozzarella cheese, mushrooms, chilli and arrabbiata sauce. Next up for me was Porchetta in Salamoia – a confit of pork belly served with black pudding mash served in cider and rosemary sauce. Meat fans will love this combination; the layers of succulent pork, fat and crackling, but the black pudding mash added in another element. I’ve often been disappointed with black pudding mash, but this mash is more evenly split between black pudding and potatoes, leaving a creamy mash, generously interspersed with chunks of black pudding. And to top it all, the cider and rosemary sauce was exquisite, a sauce you will want to throw yourself into! My partner went for a Linguine allo Scoglio, pasta served with mussels in garlic, white wine and cherry tomato sauce. The mussels slipped out of the shells easily, with no need to wrestle with them, and they were tasty and fresh, with just a hint of the sea about them. The sauce is light, with a hint of spiciness about it and the dish was served with some lovely fresh vegetables.

So next time you’re off out for a meal; pick Pasquale’s! One thing is for sure; once you sample the food on offer, you’ll want to return again and again!

We sat back for a breather, taking in the atmosphere at Pasquale’s. It seems to be the best of both worlds – the service was excellent and unobtrusive throughout the meal, but at the same time, it’s a very laid back sort of place, there’s no-one rushing you along and it’s ideal for a relaxing meal.

Open 5-10pm Tues-Sat & 5-9pm Sunday Also open 5pm-10pm Mondays (as from 13th September)

Pasquale’s Italian Restaurant 1 Warrington Road, Ashton-in-Makerfield 01942 270308

Finally we chose our desserts. The decent sized portion of tiramisu was exceptionally light and spongy, very easy on the palate and thankfully, not overpowered by liqueurs. The lemon cheesecake was very tasty indeed, topped by shavings of white chocolate and served with some delicious ice cream. And the verdict? Against some stiff opposition, Pasquale’s is rated by as the best Italian restaurant in the Wigan area, and on this showing it’s no wonder! The menu was imaginative; some would even say ambitious, but the quality of the food on offer was excellent. If you’re on a budget, there’s a £4.25 pizza or pasta special on Tuesday and Wednesdays, and on Thursdays and Sundays you can sample 2 courses for just £9.95.

Local Life 15

Competition Winners

Well done to the winners of the competition in our last issue who received tickets to attend the recent Southport Flower Show. Pictured is winner Brian Heaton from Claremont Road in Billinge with his son Harry, and the other winners were; Mrs Cross from Leyland Road in Rainford, Dot Garner from Moss Bank Road in Moss Bank, Julie McMurray from Rainford Road in Windle and Emma Cutler from Croxteth Drive in Rainford. This month’s crossword is on pages 38 &39 and you can win tickets to local nature reserve, Martin Mere.

Pilates Class

fancied giving Pilates a try, then you don’t have far to go! Carol Platt runs classes in Pilates, which is an exercise method that’s designed to elongate, strengthen and restore the body to balance. The class is held at Haydock Conservative Club, which is based next to Tesco on Branch Way in Haydock. The sessions run every Monday from 7-8pm and the cost is £5 per session. Please bring your own mat to the class. For more details call Carol on 07745 925086.


If you’re a lover of literature and you’d like to meet up with others who share your passion then make your way to Ashton Library, where they are running a series of Sunday morning Bookchats. These sessions allow you to share your comments about the books that you read and listen to other people’s views on books too. The Bookchats are held on the third Sunday of the month from 10am-11am at Ashton Library, and the next session is on Sunday 19th September.

If you’re a bit out of shape, and you’ve always


Local Life

London Trip for De La Salle Trio

A project aimed at raising awareness of hate crime has earned pupils from De La Salle High School a top five place in a parliamentary awards scheme. The School Council Awards were open to every primary and secondary school in the UK and they recognise those school councils that enhance their school’s relationship with the community or the environment. De La Salle made the grade with a project that aimed to remove the barriers created by racism and intolerance of just being ‘different’, and school council members made the journey to Westminster for the awards final, where they were pipped at the post in the 11-16 age group by a London school. The competition was run by the office of the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, who hopes to make it an annual event. While they were there, the De La Salle youngsters met Mr Bercow and toured the House of Commons. When they returned to St Helens, there was more civic recognition – with a reception in the Mayor’s Parlour. School Council members Stephen Pennington, Catherine Brown and Rachel Eden are pictured with the Mayor and Mayoress of St Helens, Councillor Neil and Ginny Taylor, and teacher Lily Graney.

RL Girls Needed

A call has gone out to girls aged 6 and over who would like to play rugby league. If you have a daughter or a granddaughter who fits this bill, then Collette would like to hear from you on 0773 408 6833. Her club trains on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6pm-7.30pm at Thatto Heath’s new clubhouse in Close Street off Elephant Lane in St Helens. For more details, e-mail Collette on If you work with a charity or a community group and you’d like to publicise your event free of charge to Local Life readers, please email details of the event, along with a contact name and number to

Local Life 17

Rainford High Technology College

Open Evening 2010

Principal: Ruth Halsall

‘We want the best for all our students’ Thursday 23rd September 6.00pm to 8.30pm A warm welcome to all students and parents

‘committed to learning, achievement and success’

We welcome individual appointments, if this date is inconvenient please contact us: Rainford High Technology College, Higher Lane, Rainford, St.Helens WA11 8NY 01744 885914 or For more info visit:


Local Life

Food of Heaven

The St Helens CAMRA are holding a Beer, Cider and Pie Festival at Volunteer Hall in Mill Street from Thursday 30th September through to Saturday 2nd October. There’s a wide range of the finest of real ales, ciders and perries on offer for you to try, and some of the local bakers will be bringing a selection of pies and other produce along too. Tickets for afternoon and evening sessions are available for a range of prices from £4-£7, depending on the session, and advance tickets are available from The Citadel or at their website www. Also appearing at the festival will be Hoochie Coochie Man and the Lazy River Jazz band.

Residents Tackle Problems

Local residents at the newly formed Seneley Green Residents Association have hit the ground running,

tackling a number of issues on behalf of local residents. Northern Rail have been approached to resolve the access problem for Liverpool-bound disabled customers at Garswood station. Since the removal of a railway sleeper walkway at the end of the platform a few years ago, Liverpool-bound disabled customers face a rail journey into Wigan, before travelling back through Garswood into Liverpool, incurring extra time and expense. Other issues raised involved speeding in and around the village, and whilst an appeal for a universal 20 mph throughout the village is unlikely to happen, certain areas near primary schools could see the lower speed limit imposed in the future. If you’d like to get involved with the association and do your bit to improve the Seneley Green area, then you’re welcome to come along to the next meeting of the Residents Association, which is scheduled for Monday October 4th at the Community Hall on Garswood Road.

Local Life 19

No Need for the Knife Unless you’ve been living on a deserted tropical island for the last two years, you’re quite aware of the Big R: Recession. People are cutting back on everything from travel to buying new appliances, rediscovering frugal activities like gardening and do-it-yourself repairs, and clipping every coupon in sight to try and save money. 

salons can keep up with the level of investment needed to bring these treatments to their customers. The salon has just invested thousands of pounds in a CACI Ultimate, which is a non-surgical anti ageing treatment system that has been extensively used by the Channel 4 programme ’10 Years Younger’ with presenter Myleene Klass.

But there’s one thing that people – and women in particular – aren’t willing to sacrifice; their looks, and specifically, paying for the various treatments that they use to enhance those looks. You simply can’t put off preservation totally, but what you can do is ensure that your hard earned cash is put to best use in the quest to retain the body beautiful. Fortunately for local residents, one of the top beauty salons in the entire region, Expressions of Beauty, is situated on the doorstep in Billinge. The salon was established 17 years ago in Carr Mill Road in Billinge, but since their move to new, bigger premises at 161-171 Main Street (formerly the home of Billinge Gas Showrooms) the salon has further expanded the range of treatments on offer. Constant research and development in the beauty industry means that new and better products are being launched every year, but only the top beauty 20 Travel brought to you in association with Marken Travel

The CACI Ultimate is an effective non surgical treatment method to redefine facial contours, plump out deep lines and wrinkles as well as tackle a range of skin imperfections. It is the very first treatment system to combine micro-current facial toning, crystal free micro-dermabrasion, and LED photo rejuvenation. The procedure has twenty years of medical research behind it and works by re-educating, toning and firming the facial muscles. The micro-dermabrasion removes the outermost surface of the skin by light abrasion firing jets of fine particles directly onto the face. The LED photo rejuvenation uses wavelengths of light to stimulate the skin cells and reduce the signs of aging, whilst the micro-current facial toning retrains the muscles to their former glory to help lift any saggy skin. Following the first treatment, you can expect dull skin to appear brighter, but a course of ten treatments is recommended for serious age-busting results, as illustration by the pictures on this page. The introduction of CACI Ultimate is a real coup for the salon and presents an attractive and very effective alternative to those people who don’t want to face the terror of invasive surgery. This financial investment reinforces the commitment made by Expressions of Beauty to consistently surpass their customers’ expectations; the salon attracts customers from miles around simply because it’s the finest beauty salon for miles around. Leading international beauty products company Clarins recognised this when they awarded the salon Gold Salon status in 2005, one of only 70 such salons in the country to receive this accolade. With the seeming never ending stream of beauty treatments constantly coming on the market, it can

difficult for consumers to keep track of the latest technologies. How do you know that the treatment at your local beauty salon is the most effective on offer? The fully trained professionals at Expressions of Beauty are available six days a week to offer advice on the treatments available and if you want a free consultation to talk to them about CACI Ultimate or any other beauty treatment, please give them a call on 01744 894214.

161-171 Main Street, Billinge. WN5 7PA 01744 894214 Opening Hours Monday 9am-6pm Tuesday 9am-8pm Wednesday 9am-7pm Thursday 9am-8pm Friday 9am-7pm Saturday 9am-4pm Visit us online - 21

Just Mackintosh

Just Mackintosh will be providing presentations on the life and works of the Scottish architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

The Citadel Arts Centre

Heritage Open Days

Historic buildings across St.Helens will again be opening their doors to the public during the annual national Heritage Open Days from Thursday 9th to Sunday 12th September. Heritage Open Days celebrate England’s fantastic architecture and culture by allowing visitors free access to properties or free events that are either not usually open, or would normally charge an entrance fee. Heritage Open Days are co-ordinated nationally by English Heritage and locally by St.Helens Council. Highlights include:

St.Helens Town Hall

The St.Helens Town Hall will open its doors to the general public for free guided tours. The tour will include the Victorian-styled Mayor’s Parlour; the large Members’ Room, which is still used today by Councillors as a meeting place and office; the impressive and ornately panelled Council Chamber and the magnificent gothic Assembly Hall. In addition to the guided tours of the Town Hall, there will be a Vintage Car Rally and numerous exhibitions.

Town Centre Heritage Trail

St.Helens Guides will celebrate the Guides’ centenary year by launching their Town Centre Heritage Trail. The walking tours will be led by local girl guides, taking in the various historic buildings throughout the town centre.

The Citadel Arts Centre will present a theatrical promenade performance of ‘Citadel Down’t Pit’, a Heritage Lottery Funded Oral History Project delivered by Hands On @ the Citadel. This performance is a celebration of our mining heritage and depicts the social and emotional effects of the Great Miners’ Strike (1985) on the mining community of Sutton Manor.

St.Helens Theatre Royal

Come and enjoy a theatrical tour and hear the history of St.Helens Theatre Royal. You will be escorted around the beautiful auditorium, backstage and other interesting areas of the Theatre that are not open to the general public. You will also have the chance to view documents, plans and photographs of the Theatre, and listen to true stories and see proof of the ‘Theatre Ghosts!’.

The Smithy Heritage Centre

The Smithy Heritage Centre will step back in time and meet Stella and Mary, 1950s domestic goddesses who are preparing cocktails and canapes for a stylish soiree in their lounge. Music, costumes, original artefacts and handling objects bring the era to life.     On Sunday 12th September a free shuttle bus service will link St.Helens Town Centre with some of the venues open for Heritage Open Days. The bus service will depart from and return to the St.Helens World of Glass (outside the Cone entrance).  

If you would like more information, pick up a brochure from the St.Helens Tourist Information Centre, Town Hall or Central Library. Alternatively telephone 01744 755150 or visit www.



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Local Life 23

Big Society in Action When David Cameron rattles on about the Big Society as though it’s a brand new concept thought up in Conservative Party HQ, do you think he knows that there’s a living, breathing example of it right here on our doorstep in Newton? Newton Community Centre, in Park Road South, Newton-le-Willows has been serving the local community for 23 years and is a registered charity staffed by a small team of paid workers and over 60 volunteers! The volunteers come from all walks of life, their ages range from 13 -78 years and it’s a Community Centre in the true sense of the word; run by the community, for the community. Their diverse programme of activities and courses means that there’s something for everyone and there’s a new action packed programme that begins in September. There are several foreign language courses (French, Italian, Spanish) for both beginners and improvers: For those of you who enjoy crafts and hobbies there’s jewellery making, dressmaking, soft furnishings, and (by popular demand) a brand new Knit ‘n’ Natter Group! If you fancy something a bit more energetic, you can trip the light fantastic why not come along to the very popular dance Class, where you can learn many genres of dancing (e.g. Salsa, Tango, Jive, Cha Cha etc) and enjoy the fun social atmosphere. No need to bring a partner as you will be paired up on the night. The Centre is also home to the Scottish Caledonians who meet twice a month – a lively group that welcomes new members too. For those who want to tone up and shift a bit of the old timber, there’s a brand new 10 week course “Fresh Start” which starts in October and is sure to be popular. The first hour of this weekly session will look at healthy eating and nutritional advice, whilst the second hour will be devoted to physical activity. The Centre also runs tai chi, pilates, yoga and meditation classes for those of you who want to improve your general well being. Also in response to 24 Local Life

popular demand the Centre will be running several complementary therapy courses including Indian head massage for beginners and crystal therapy (for beginners and also for level 3). There’s lots on offer the younger end of the community too! A well attended dance class features hip hop and street dancing, there’s guitar lessons, a family martial arts class, an after school club and also family fun time. A brand new drama and singing class will begin this month, as will a dance class for toddlers. Their programme also includes a weekly well baby and Under 5’s clinic, indoor bowls, a lunch club, bridge, SHOOTS food Co-op, police surgeries and also several guidance and advice sessions for those seeking employment or wanting to start their own business. The list goes on and on, and activities are updated all the time. So to see the Big Society in action, pop down to Newton Community Centre where there’s lots to do for all the family ! For more details, pick up a What’s On guide, visit their website at www. or give the centre a call on 01925 224731.

Myguide According to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics, 87% of us use computers, either at home, at work, on the move or at libraries. But if you’re one of the 13% who doesn’t use computers, how can you get help to learn how to? Myguide is a free to use service that provides courses with lessons such as how to use a mouse and keyboard. The courses are designed to help people get to grips with computers and the internet, and local libraries are running free drop-in sessions. There are no exams or timetables, just help for those who need it, free of charge. Billinge Library runs sessions on Mondays from 2.00pm-3.30pm, Wednesdays from 5.30pm6.30pm, Fridays from 10.30am-11.30am and Saturdays from 10.30am-11.30am. For more information contact Billinge Library on 01744 677535 Newton-le-Willows Library runs sessions on Mondays from 10.00am-12.00pm, Tuesdays from 6.00pm-7.00pm, Thursdays from 2.00pm-4.00pm and Saturdays from 10.00am-11.00am. For more information contact Newton-le-Willows library on 01744 677885 Haydock Library runs sessions on Mondays from 5.00pm-6.00pm, Thursdays from 10.30am-11.30am, Fridays from 10.30am- 11.30am and Saturdays from 10.30am- 11.30am. For more information contact Haydock Library on 01744 677801

Garswood Library runs sessions on Mondays from 2.30pm-3.30pm, Wednesdays from 2.30pm3.30pm, Thursdays from 5.30pm-6.30pm and Saturdays from 10.30am-11.30am. For more information contact Garswood Library on 01744 677797. Moss Bank Library runs sessions on Mondays from 10.00am- 12.00pm, Tuesdays from 5.00pm6.30pm, Fridays from 2.00pm-4.00pm and Saturdays from 10.00am-12.00pm. For more information contact Moss Bank Library on 0174 677988. Central Library runs sessions on Tuesdays from 9.30am-12.00pm, Wednesdays from 5.00pm8.00pm, Thursdays from 2.00pm-5.00pm and Saturdays 1.00pm-4.00pm. For more information contact Central Library on 01744 676989. Courses are also available at other libraries – please contact libraries directly for details.

Chance to Dance?

These increasingly popular tea dances, hosted by Alf Christinson at St Helens Town Hall and sponsored by Lancashire Tea, are a great way to spend an afternoon! Held on the first Thursday of every month from 2pm-4pm, the £3 entry fee includes refreshments and entry into a raffle draw for a hamper. These tea dances have proved a well-liked trip out for residents in local care homes, so if you’re a staff member at a local care home and you’d like more information on the possibility of taking your charges along to the tea dances, please call Jennifer McKenna on 01744 676886. Local Life 25

One of a kind! When you’re on the hunt for a particular type of holiday, often there is just one ‘stand–out’ venue, one that’s head and shoulders above anything else on offer. For clubbing, the place to go is Ibiza, for ski-ing there’s none better than the Alps, for a spiritual break Egypt stands high and for pure entertainment you just can’t beat Vegas! An oasis of pleasure and leisure amidst Nevada’s Mojave Desert, Las Vegas is the entertainment capital of the world! From the incredible shopping to the starstudded shows, there’s never a dull moment in Vegas, and that’s before you even step foot inside one of the world’s largest casinos. ‘where else can you visit the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty, play roulette and then nip into a chapel to get hitched, and all on the same street!?’ With so many options, where do you begin to plan your trip to Las Vegas? First and foremost with a walk down the all-famous ‘Strip’. This 4 mile stretch has sprawling casinos, thrilling attractions, luxurious dining and nightlife venues to rival all others. And where else can you visit the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty, play roulette and then nip into a chapel to get

hitched, and all on the same street!? With the astonishing array of resorts ready to cater to your every whim, day and night, almost any wish can be granted in Vegas. A range of hotels are available from the economical options to the many themed hotels, not forgetting the ever-growing luxury selection of 5* properties. There is something to suit everyone’s needs. Vegas offers the ultimate in escapism, where time is irrelevant and every moment presents you with something new. A trip here wouldn’t be complete without experiencing the intoxicating atmosphere inside a casino where you’ll find never-ending buffets, ever-flowing drinks and ever-hopeful gamblers. But the tables aren’t all that Vegas can offer. You can shop ‘til you drop at shopping malls, from high end boutiques to outlet stores. Then, if you’re tired after a hard day hitting the shops why not kick back and relax by enjoying a sumptuous meal followed by one of the many shows on offer? For thrills and spills, you don’t need to look any further than the Aventuredome, America’s largest indoor

26 Travel brought to you in association with Marken Travel

theme park which is encased beneath a 5 ½ acre pink glass dome! If you’re into gaming, then a trip to GameWorks is an absolute must! This video game playground is a joint venture between Universal Studios and Sega and offers 55,000 square feet of hi tech games for the whole family. If the bright lights get all too much, take some time away from the city and visit the national parks surrounding Vegas,

But for an unbelievable experience that you’ll never forget, you must visit the Grand Canyon! This incredible natural landscape cascades a mile deep into the earth, is 10 miles across and is an amazing 277 miles long. A trip to the Grand Canyon is an awesome spectacle that won’t fail to take your breath away!

such as Bryce Canyon, the Zion or take a trip up to the peaks of the 12,000 ft Mount Charleston and see the wildflowers and waterfalls.

A Vegas holiday though, is full of these experiences that, quite simply, blow you away! It’s a one of a kind holiday, one you’ll never forget! When it comes to entertainment, you can make it happen in Vegas! So roll those dice, pick up the phone and call us now for our special Vegas offers!

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Visit us online - 27

Author Celebrates

Local author Karen Abbott is celebrating the publication of her first hardback full-length novel, ‘A Most Rebellious Debutante’! On Tuesday 14th September at 7:30pm, Karen will be at Billinge Library talking about her interesting career, from training and working as a primary school teacher at places such as Cross Pit Lane County Primary in Rainford and Billinge Chapel End County Primary, then taking early retirement in 1994, which triggered off her desire to be a published author. Since she has taken up writing, Rainford resident Karen has been part of the St. Helens Writers Circle and even took a course on Creative Writing at St Helens College. Her book ‘A Most Rebellious Debutante’ is set in the Regency period and signed copies will be available on the evening for a discounted price of £12.50. Everyone is welcome at the talk, and Karen promises a warm welcome to friends old and new. If you need any more information, or you’d like to pre-order the book please call Karen on 01744 884783.

28 Local Life

50 not out for Rutland

Rutland House Veterinary Practice celebrates its 50 birthday this year, and to commemorate this there’s a special event being held on Wednesday 15th September at 7:30pm at the Referral Centre in Abbotsfield Road in Bold Heath. Everyone is welcome to attend the celebratory evening, there’s no charge and refreshments will be available. John Tandy, who opened the practice on the 1st January 1961, will be the guest speaker for the evening. At a young age, John was interested in animals and after a five year course at Liverpool Veterinary School, he then moved to a veterinary practice in Bristol. After two years, John moved to North Yorkshire where he worked as an assistant veterinary surgeon, in a practice that was adjacent to James Herriott’s (real name Alf Wight) practice. Eventually John returned back home and opened Rutland House, which was once used as flats for American servicemen stationed at Burtonwood airbase. The first 6 months of business were nervously quiet, but then the telephone began to ring and it’s not stopped since! John then invited Ian Hughes to join him as a practice partner and over the years the place has helped many animals, and the practice recently re-located to Bold Heath.

Local Life 29

Neil Taylor Introduction

St Helens Mayor, Neil, was born in Edge Hill in Liverpool in 1955 to Stan and Betty Taylor. Along with his brothers Stan and Ray, and his sister Rona, the family moved to Croxteth in 1962 and then on to Cantril Farm (now Stockbridge village) in 1970. In 1985, he married Ginny and in 1987 the couple moved to Newton-le-Willows and opened a children’s day nursery called Wind in the Willows. The couple now own seven day nurseries throughout Merseyside. Neil was a member of the St Helens Business Club for many years, and helped raise thousands of pounds for charities by taking part in daredevil pursuits such as abseiling, sky diving and a triathlon. In 1998 he became a St Helens Councillor, representing the Newton East ward, and earlier this year he was appointed the Mayor of St Helens. Neil and Ginny celebrate their silver wedding anniversary this month and still live in Newton with their two children Carrie Ann (22) and Gabrielle (18).

First kiss

I can’t remember her name, but I do remember she had long hair which used to get in the way of the kissing!

First memory you have

Playing in the street on a hot day when I was about 3 years old. I remember popping the tar bubbles with a lolly stick and getting tar all over my clothes!

First school you attended

I went to Birchfield Road school, which was just off Edge Lane. It was a large Victorian school split into three floors where infants, juniors and seniors studied together. It had a fantastic swimming pool in the basement, which was apparently used during the war to store milk bottle tops for the war effort.

30 Local Life

First job you had

As a lad, I worked on Saturdays for Waterworths fruit and vegetable store in Old Swan, where I delivered fruit and vegetables to houses. I rode an old bike with baskets front and rear, and when it was fully laden, it was like a tank! One day, I collided with a car door that the driver had opened right in front of me. To the driver’s disgust, the car door was virtually wrecked but the bike was totally unscathed!

First car you bought

I shared a Mark 1 Cortina with my Dad and brother, but the car was a bit of a wreck – every time you braked hard the front seat would roll back! I later

bought a car of my own, a Mark 4 Cortina estate, in a delightful beige colour!

First pub or club you visited

My first local was the Old Post Office on School Lane in the city centre, and it became a regular haunt for me and my friends. Another regular at the pub was the jazz singer, George Melly, who sadly died in 2007.

First record you bought

Brian Hyland’s 1962 hit Sealed with a Kiss was the first single I bought, which funnily enough, included Ginny Come Lately as the B track.

part of 2 days to get back though! We had planned to go inter railing for four weeks in Europe to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary, but that’s been put back now until next year….mayoral duties come first!

Last sporting event you attended

I went to the Youth Games in Liverpool in my official capacity in June, but I like watching football and rugby mostly, following Liverpool and, of course, Saints!

First best friend

This would have been Martin Grandside, a schoolmate who also lived across the road from me in Edge Hill. I’ve no idea where he is now, but if any of your readers know him, please say hello from me!

First house you bought

Ginny and I moved into our first home in Huyton back in 1985 and it cost us just £22,000. It was a semi detached house, which needed a renovation, but we had a lot of fun there too.

Last restaurant you visited

The Fort of India on Newton’s High Street claims this honour. It’s been a particular favourite of ours for years. We also enjoy going to Mr Chan’s and Le Frog in town too.

Last DIY task attempted

I put up a new curtain rail at home a few days ago. I do enjoy DIY and I’m quite good at it, even though I say so myself. I do a lot of the maintenance at the nurseries we own too, so when my term of office ends, perhaps someone, somewhere will give me a job as a handyman!

Last film you watched at the cinema

We went watching Clash of the Titans earlier this year. It was one of those new 3D films, an all action classic and thoroughly enjoyable.

Last time you went shopping

I picked up the lamb chops for tea from Tesco’s last night. I don’t actually mind shopping. As a family, we tend to use Newton’s High Street when we can, but we mostly shop in town.

Last holiday you had

This would have been Tenerife at New Year. We couldn’t believe the pictures we were getting on our mobiles, of the snow back home whilst we were sunning ourselves in the Canaries! It took us the best

Local Life 31


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32 Local Life

Lancashire Walks A 6½ mile walk that, on clear days, takes in breathtaking views of the North West coastline, the North Wales hills and the Pennies. You’ll walk up Billinge Beacon, which is the highest point in Merseyside (and of this particular walk) and affectionately known to locals as ‘The Lump’. Look out for the wind turbines off Crosby, Blackpool Tower, the round brick ventilation tunnels that mark the Tontine Tunnel and the wildflower meadow by Winstanley College.

Make sure you pop into the Robin Hood, which has a deserved reputation for great food and the finest real ales, and also extends a warm welcome for four legged friends in the pub’s lounge area. And at the end of the walk, which takes approximately 3¼ hours, treat yourself to a De Roma ice cream at their parlour next to Bankes Park!

Local Life 33

Bankes Park – Crank Road Park the car near Bankes Park in Billinge. Follow Beacon Road up the hill until you can go no further. Take the public footpath to the left hand side of the chain link fence and 120 yards later, bear right and then follow the shale path upwards towards the tarmac road. Walk past the electricity sub-station and directly after the sub-station, turn right and go through the gate into a wooded area. Continue uphill through the wooded area and eventually you will see Billinge Beacon on your right hand side. Once you’ve left the wooded area, turn right and climb the hill up to the Beacon. Once you have admired the views from the top, walk down the other side of the hill and take the path on your left hand side that heads in the direction of the masts. After the row of conifers on your right hand side, turn right down the overgrown path that runs between the conifers and the chain link fence for 100 yards. Then turn left and follow the path through the farmyard at Beacon House Farm. Turn right just after you pass the farm house and walk 150 yards down the driveway to Crank Road.

Farm, you’ll come to a crossroads. Take a left turn here. After 75 yards or so, you’ll come to a fork in the path. Bear right and after 50 yards you’ll come to another fork. Don’t turn right, carry straight on through the middle of the field. Once you’ve crossed the field go through the archway in the hedge and carry straight on down the pathway running to the left of a wooded area called Pimbo Bushes. When you get to the end of this path, you’ll see a gate with lots of barbed wire. Turn left here and follow the path for ¼ mile until you reach a gate. Go over the stile onto the gravel path and turn right into the hamlet of Higher Pimbo.

Crank Road – Higher Pimbo Take a left turn and head up Crank Road. Go past the ‘Welcome to Rural Rainford’ sign and follow the road round a left hand bend. Approximately 100 yards past the bend you will see a public footpath sign by a farm gate on the right hand side. Take this path, and 50 yards later branch off to the right. Follow the path along the right hand perimeter of the field for ¼ of a mile. Once you arrive at the gate with a stile on the left hand side, cross the stile and carry straight on down the path. Stay on the path for the next ¼ mile, crossing two further stiles until you reach some concrete steps descending to a dirt track. Go down these steps, cross the dirt track and go straight up some more concrete steps on the opposite side. Once you reach the front gated entrance to Mountains 34 Local Life

When you reach the end of the field, take the right turn. This is taking you on an open track towards Longshaw. After about 250 yards, take the left fork towards the telephone mast. A little further on, you’ll need to follow the path as it bends 90 degrees to the left. At the end of the field (about 300 yards), take a right turn and then follow that path for a further 300 yards until you reach the road. Take a right turn and then follow the road into Longshaw village. Higher Pimbo – Robin Hood Pub Walk up the path 50 yards and when you reach Higher Barn, take an immediate left. Head up the hill through the centre of the field. Once you’ve gone up an incline you’ll come across a path on your left with a ‘Private Road’ sign. Carry straight on for 100 yards and you’ll come to a crossroads. Turn left for 40 yards and then after you’ve passed the hedges, take an immediate right turn. Follow this pathway for 400 yards, take the left fork and 100 yards later you arrive in Newfold, a collection of stone houses centered around a courtyard. Go through the courtyard, bear left and then walk the 100 yards to Oxhouse Road. Cross Oxhouse Road and take the tarmac path between house numbers 13 and 15. Walk the 250 yards past the playing fields and down an alley until you reach St James Road. Turn right, cross the road and head up the hill. Turn left opposite the Running Horses pub down Sandy Lane. Walk down the hill and the Robin Hood Pub is 400 yards on the left hand side.

Longshaw – Bankes Park Take a left turn up Longshaw Avenue. At the bottom of Longshaw Avenue, the road bends to the right, but carry straight on up the path. At the end of the path, which is muddy in places, turn right onto Longshaw Common, and then immediately left up a similar path. Follow that path for 150 yards, then turn right again and follow the path up to the main road. Turn left onto the main road and follow this road for 500 yards. Just prior to a bus stop on the left, turn right up the pathway adjacent to Christmas Cottage. This winding pathway will eventually bring you out on Oakley Avenue. Turn left and turn left again when you reach Beacon Road and walk up to the Ice Cream Parlour at the top of the road. That’s it – well done! 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.

Robin Hood Pub – Longshaw After some well-earned refreshments, continue to walk along Sandy Lane, which then bears left and on the right you’ll see the entrance to Orrell Water Park, so cross the road and enter the Water Park. Once in the park, turn right and head towards the bottom of the car park, then take the brown shale path to the left of the notice board at the bottom of the car park. Cross the bridge, and when you reach the play area, take a right turn along a path that runs parallel to the lake. After 300 yards, you’ll reach the sign for Greenslate Water Meadows, so take a left hand fork at this point. After 100 yards you need to take the path on the left that exits the Water Park into a field. Keep to the left hand side of the field, which runs parallel to a brook. Do not cross the brook at the top of the field, but carry on walking, keeping to the left hand perimeter of the field.

Local Life 35

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

Making the most of it! This is the time of year when some people give up on the garden, thinking that the planting season is over and its time to get to the Trafford Centre to start their Christmas shopping! This is partly because summer flowering perennials and shrubs have done their thing and without some autumn interest, the garden can look like it has given up the ghost. Far from it - September and October are wonderful months in the garden (and good for planting) which are quite unlike any other time of year. The sun is lower in the sky and this creates some wonderful light effects in the garden and there is a fantastic range of plants which are doing their thing at this time of year. They have been waiting all summer long for their performance - so don’t miss it. Abelia chinensis is a shrub which produces white/pink flowers at this time of year which are scented. You will need a bit of room as it can reach 1.8 metres and 2.5 metres wide.

‘Goldsturm‘ (you may know it as Black-eyed Susan) and Helenium ‘Moerheim Beauty’. Incidentally both of these plants do well on clay soils. Sedums (Ice plants) are brilliant at this time of year as well and an absolute favourite of mine is Sedum telephium subsp. maximum ‘Atropurpureum’. Succulent stems of dark maroon leaves with flattened pinky flowers - absolutely gorgeous! The first frosts are still weeks away and with a little planning the garden could still be looking good enough to entice you outside and if the air is a little chilly - put a cardy on. (Hubby feels the cold and will often say - even in the middle of summer - shall we put the heating on? I tell him to put a cardy on!) There is still plenty of time for Christmas shopping, so put that list away, take stock of your garden and make the most of it! Author: Angie Barker Dip GD (Inst GD) BA (Hons) Garden Design For All Seasons Tel: 01942 522 405 Mob: 07857 008 383

Grasses like Miscanthus sinensis ‘Ferner Osten’ are still performing well along with late summer flowering perennials like Rudbeckia fulgida

36 Local Gardening Life

lancashire machine sales Mini Digger for hire

operated /non operated at good rates With all groundworks undertaken. Paul Martin Mobile 0775 398 7272 0771 061 7768 Landline/Fax 01942 731389

Local Gardening Life 37

Going Wild at WWT Martin Mere! WWT Martin Mere is where wilderness and familyfriendliness combine. In winter, many thousands of wild ducks, geese and swans are drawn to the internationally-rated wetlands, offering spectacular displays of feather and flight. From 1 November you will be able to see the spectacle of thousands of Whooper Swans feeding on the mere at 3pm and 3.30pm every day until March 2011. The 3.30pm is from a heated observatory and includes a warden’s talk to learn about these amazing birds that migrate all the way from Iceland. This feeding spectacle won highly commended in the Lancashire and Blackpool Tourism Awards 2010 in the Best Visitor Experience category. Local Life has six great prizes to be won, courtesy of WWT Martin Mere! One lucky family will win an annual family membership worth £65 to WWT Martin 38 Local Life

Mere, and five runners up will each win a family trip worth £24.90 to this popular wildlife centre near Burscough. Just complete the crossword on the opposite page and return your entry to Local Life by Friday 24th September 2010. A trip to WWT Martin Mere is a great family day out, but the centre is always developing its tourist attractions. Look out for the following events in the next few months;

New cafe

Martin Mere is opening a brand new cafe in November. It will sit over 140 people and has a decking area overlooking the lake to create a very relaxing atmosphere. The building itself is a log cabin with a green tiled roof so that we can collect the rainwater to flush the toilets, it is completely separate to the current building and will have a lovely selection of home cooked food and cakes.

Meet Father Christmas

4th & 5th and 11th & 12th December Come along to Martin Mere in the first two weekends of December to meet Father Christmas as he flies in with the swans to meet all of our visitors. Father Christmas will be in his own grotto as children can come and meet him, get a present and a free bag of bird food. There will also be a selection of local crafts to purchase, as well as family crafts to do for yourself including designing your own cards and wrapping paper. Other activities include pond dipping, otter talks and swan feeds so there is plenty to do to have a great day out and avoid the Christmas shopping rush.

Six great prizes to be won 1




Toddler Thursday

Every Thursday Martin Mere hosts a very special day for pre-school children. Every child can get a free bag of bird food on arrival, take part in a toddler trail and there is storytelling with one of our many animal puppets at 1.30pm followed by toddler crafts. There is a different story every week so that you can be sure of a new experience every time you visit. But there is plenty to see and do at Martin Mere all year round, with more than 100 types of rare and endangered water-birds, a family of beavers and enchanting otters in residence, an imaginative playground for young adventurers and an inspirational eco-garden. Seasonal attractions include an awardwinning duckling nursery in Spring, celebrations of local history and wildlife gardening, and a rolling programme of walks, events and talks. Crossword Competition Rules 1. Only one entry per household. 2. Entrants must be over 16 years of age. 3. The winners will be notified within 14 days of the closing date. 4. Winners names / photographs will be published in subsequent issues of Local Life and/or on our website. 5. Local Life 247 Ltd cannot accept any responsibility for entries that are delayed or damaged in the post. 6. Employees of Local Life 247 Ltd or their immediate relatives are not eligible to enter this competition. 7. Competition entrants accept that Local Life 247 Ltd may call them occasionally to check receipt of Local Life magazine. Please return completed entries by Friday 24th September 2010 to Local Life 247 Ltd, PO Box 631, Wigan WN1 9HF, or e-mail answers along with your name, address and contact number to




1. 3. 5. 6.

_ Mere, wildlife centre near Burscough _ Island, name of roundabout for M6/A580/A49 Garden Centre on Newton-Lowton Road (A572) _ Park, start point on walk on pages 33/35

Down 2. 4.

Neil _ new Mayor and Councillor for Newton Home of Ashton Golf Club, Garswood _

Name Address

Post Code Telephone Number Email Local Life 39

The What’s On Guide Saturday 4th September Rainford Show 30th anniversary of the Rainford Show, held this year in the Village Hall on Church Road in Rainford. Flowers, vegetables, cakes, photography, floral art, handicrafts, junk sculptures, ceramics and lots more to see. Time: 1.30pm-4.30pm Sat Nav Ref: WA12 8HB

Sunday 5th September Car Boot Sale Run by Billinge Residents Association on St Mary’s club car park on Trent Road in Birchley, Billinge. Time: 9am-2pm Cost: £8 per car Contact: 01744 603210 or 01744 893260

Saturday 11th September Open Studio Weekend Glass manufacturer Morpheus Glass host an open studio weekend at their base on the Hewitt Industrial Estate in Orrell, with stock on sale at up to 70% off normal retail prices. Refreshments available. This event also runs on Sunday 12th September. Time: 10am-4pm Cost: Free Contact: 01695 624182 or Sat Nav Ref: WN5 7XB Truckfest North West Truckfest North West returns to Haydock Park Racecourse on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th 40 Local Life

September. The hundreds of trucks on site will include high octane main arena action, spectacular American trucks, airbrushed trucks and vintage trucks. Entertainment for the whole family includes a giant fun fair, and weekend campers are also welcome. Time: TBC Cost: £10.50 adults, £6.50 child, £27.50 family Contact: Annual Grand Flower & Vegetable Show Run by Newton-le-Willows Gardeners’ Association, there will be all sorts of flowers and vegetables to admire, but there’s also a lot more going on too! Spring bulbs will be on sale along with plant stalls, a book stall and refreshments will be available too. Exhibits will be auctioned off at the end of the show, which is being staged in St Aelred’s RC College on Birley Street. Time:2pm-4.30pm Cost: Free Contact: 01942 708171 or

Sunday 12th September Charity Craft Fair Event Start your Christmas shopping early at this Charity Craft Fair at St Mary’s Catholic club in Birchley, Billinge! Lots of stalls to browse and there will be refreshments available all day including bar facilites. Time: 11am-5pm Contact: Lisa on 07976 424111/ 01744 675132 or visit Sat Nav Ref: WN5 7QT Rural Crafts Display A peep into the past and great fun for all the family! This rural crafts display in Rainford features demonstrations from tradesmen of yesteryear and displays from gun dogs and birds of prey.

What’s on Guide events key Events and Festivals

Walks & Nature


Special Interest

Cost: Free Contact: 01744 833450 Sat Nav Ref: WA11 7SR

Time: 9am-5pm Cost: £8 per ticket (£5 in advance) Contact: 01704 533333 or

RSPCA Family Funday & Dog Show Great fun for all the family at Taylor Park! Activities include a dog show, fun fair, bouncy castle, exotic pets and lots of stalls. Time: 11am-4pm Cost: Free Contact: 01744 627828/01925 230203 Sat Nav Ref: WA10 3HX

Monster Jam Monster Jam roars into the MEN Arena as part of a brand new UK Arena Show. The high octane Monster Jam is a stunning family show consisting of the coolest monster trucks and freestyle motocross with some of the world’s best drivers, sickest tricks and craziest stunts. Time: 1pm and 6.30pm Saturday and 1pm Sunday Cost: Tickets priced from £15 Contact: Sat Nav Ref: M3 1AR

Haydock Male Voice Choir Concert St Marks Church in Haydock celebrates its 100th anniversary concert with a performance by Haydock’s own Male Voice Choir at the church in West End Road. Time: 7.30pm Contact: 01744 602641 Sat Nav Ref: WA11 0AX

Saturday 18th September Southport Air Show The biggest aviation show in the North West is celebrating its 19th year! With a comprehensive flying programme on Southport sea front including the spectacular Red Arrows, military and civilian aircraft, jets, helicopters, aerobatics and parachute displays, it guarantees to take your breath away. The whole family will be entertained in between the flying activity with the Air Show village, aviation marquee and simulators. The show also runs on Sunday 19th September.

Brass Band Competition Once again, St Helens Council hosts a popular brass band competition in Victoria Square in the town centre. With several local bands in the running, Rainford Silver Band will be looking to hold onto their top spot again this year. Time: From 11am Contact : 01744 755463 Ensemble Blockbuster St Helens Sinfonietta perform a number of blockbusters, including works from Beethoven, Spohr and Dvorak, at the United Reformed Church

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in King Street. Time: 7.30pm Cost: £10 adults, £5 students, £1 u-16’s. Contact: 01744 600846 or 01925 291273 Sat Nav Ref: WA10 1HP

Saturday 25th September Wedding Show St Georges Hall in Liverpool hosts an exciting and vibrant wedding event. You can choose from a host of local and national suppliers providing everything you imagine for a special day. Professional This show also runs on Sunday 26th September and the fashion shows run daily at 12noon, 2pm and 4pm and feature the finest designers of bridal wear, menswear and mother of the bride. Time: 10am-5pm Contact: www. Sat Nav Ref: L1 1JJ

Thursday 30th September St Helens CAMRA Beer, Cider and Pie Festival Running from Thursday until Saturday 2nd October, this year’s festival is being held at Volunteer Hall in Mill Street. A wide range of real ales, ciders and perries will be on offer, plus a chance for sample a few of the local pie-makers wares! Time: Various afternoon and evening sessions Cost: Varies depending on session Contact: www. sthelenscamra. or 01744 755150 Sat Nav Ref: WA10 2BD

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Saturday 2nd October Firework Demonstrations If you’re planning a firework show of your own, this event is a must. The Firework Warehouse, situated just off the East Lancs Road near St Helens, are running free demonstrations nights every Saturday night in October. Refreshments and food will be available. Time: 7.30pm Cost: Free Contact: Sat Nav Ref: WA10 5QG

Thursday 7th October Tea Dance Alf Christinson hosts the popular tea dance at St Helens town hall, sponsored by Lancashire Tea. Time: 2-4pm Cost: £3 including refrshments and entry to raffle Contact: 01744 676886

Saturday 9th October Merseysippi Jazz Band This established and popular jazz band appear at St Ann’s Church on Warrington Road in Rainhill. Time: 7.30pm Cost: £7.50 Contact: 0151 493 9350 Sat Nav Ref: L35 0LE

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CLEAN GETAWAY Can hybrids be sporty? June Neary takes a look at Honda’s CR-Z coupe to find out. Hybrid cars are very commendable and all that but most of the examples we’ve seen so far have been about as much fun as a stubbed toe. Do environmentally-friendly vehicles have to forgo any semblance of excitement? Honda says no and backs up its opinion with the CR-Z coupe, the hybrid that people without hemp sandals and a lentil-based diet will want to drive. The low, road-hugging looks of the CR-Z don’t lead you to expect a voluminous cabin but the car should be roomy enough for two. It’s being touted as a ‘2+2’ but as usual when that old chestnut is wheeled out by a manufacturer, the rear seats aren’t much use to fullgrown adults. They work better with their backs folded down to increase the 225 litre boot to 410 litres.

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The CR-Z sits you low down like a good coupe should and presents you with an array of instruments that could have been lifted out of a spaceship as imagined on a 1980s Sci-Fi show. Chunky controls are mounted within easy reach and displays with bold white fonts shine out from glossy black backgrounds. There’s a tactile Honda steering wheel and deeply sculpted door linings incorporating chrome pulls and storage bins. We won’t go into the ins and outs of the hybrid drive system too deeply because technologically, the CR-Z is anything but straightforward. In simple terms, it has a 1.5-litre petrol engine with 112bhp that’s assisted, when necessary, by a 14bhp electric motor. Do the sums and you’ll realise that together they produce maximum power of 122bhp. That isn’t a lot of power for a modern coupe and the 0-60mph sprint takes a lengthy 10 seconds but the electric assistance helps gives a strong pull from low revs.

Drivers can select Sport, Normal and Economy modes which change the parameters of the hybrid system. The CR-Z is also unusual in that it matches its hybrid powertrain to a six-speed manual gearbox, one with a really slick sporty action that gets you in the mood. There’s definitely fun to be had in this Honda coupe but it comes more from the agility and accuracy of the handling than the pace that the engine can deliver. The CR-Z also removes the sense of guilt and the images of wilting polar bears that come when you mash the throttle in a V8 supercar. Despite its complex hybrid mechanicals, the car weighs just under 1,200kg. This relative lightness is a big aid to fuel economy and the official combined cycle economy is an impressive 56.5mpg with emissions of CO2 measured at 117g/ km. At on the road costs of £17-£20k, depending on the model, the CR-Z appears to be priced affordably for a hybrid sports car but then, there aren’t too many models that meet that description at the moment. It’s available in three trim levels starting with S and

extending upwards through Sport to GT. In line with the high-tech feel of the car, even the basic car gets features like heated mirrors, daytime running lights, climate control, Honda’s Vehicle Stability Assist technology and six airbags. At the very top of the range, there’s a hands free telephone kit, a panoramic glass roof, xenon headlights, heated seats and full leather trim. The CR-Z is a livewire sportscar with sensible prices that uses an electric motor to make its brand of driving thrills yet more accessible through reduced running costs. We’ve not seen its like before but we may well see more of the same in the future.

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Body Shop Blues Long before bath bombs and body butter were invented, the body shop was a scary domain. This male dominated workplace, a place of grimy fingernails, mucky overalls and the obligatory page 3 calendar, was the only option if your car was damaged. After much teeth sucking, you handed over a sum seemingly equivalent to the UK’s national deficit and vowed to take more care next time round. Then along come modern technology and with it a revolution in car body repairs. Whilst big crunches were still the staple of car body shops, the small repairs were now able to be tackled by companies such as Chips Away and Dent Medic. Prices plummeted and the new guys did the job at your convenience rather than the other way round. Today, many main dealers with car body shops sub-contract their minor work to the newcomers, simply because it’s more cost effective for them to do so.

Since both left the Chips Away operation, both have set up their own business working from home, Gary with Auto Cosmetic Solutions and Chris with Cosmeticar, but still remain friends, working together occasionally when faced with a particularly challenging job. Both have years of experience in the repair and refinish industry, and can together offer their customers a mobile body repair service covering St Helens, Wigan and beyond, carrying out small and medium sized repairs for a fraction of the price of traditional car body repair shops. How much can you save? Well, both Gary and Chris are confident enough about their prices to offer their customers a absolute guarantee – they promise that they will beat any

Two of the most experienced people in the local area in ‘SMART’ repairs are Gary Unwin and Chris Banks. They met whilst working for Chips Away and have since remained friends. Gary looked after Chips Away customers in St Helens, whilst Chris looked after Chips Away customers in Wigan. 46 Local Life

written estimate from a similar customer. Unlike some of their national competitors, neither Auto Cosmetic Solutions nor Cosmeticar is VAT registered, so they pass on that saving to their customers straightaway!

looking as good as new. Scuffs to exterior mouldings, bumpers and mirror casings are also restored to their factory finish and both companies also renovate damaged alloy wheels.

It’s not just about the money though! In addition to the savings, customers also save on time as they will come to you, either transforming your vehicle at home or at your place of work, meaning that you won’t be without your car, not even for a single day!

With dents fixed from just £35 and top quality repairs guaranteed, Gary and Chris (and their respective companies) offer you remarkable value for money for all those who like to look after their motor. You too can save money without compromising on the quality, so;

You’ll be amazed by slickness of their operation, specially customised vehicles with what appears to be a small laboratory in the back. It is here that paints are professionally mixed to exacting standards before application. Both Auto Cosmetic Solutions and Cosmeticar can provide perfect colour matches for all makes and models of vehicles.

If you have a WA postcode Call Gary at Auto Cosmetic Solutions 01744 470064 78 75 04 or 07939 44 33 88

A session with Auto Cosmetic Solutions can transform the look and value of your battered car leaving damaged areas such as dents, scratches and chips

If you have a WN postcode Call Chris at Cosmeticar 01942 215 111 or 07969 35 77 51

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48 Local Life - Home Services

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Classified Advertisements Salesperson Required – St Helens Local Life 247 requires a part time sales person (25 hrs per week) to help develop our magazine in the St Helens area. You will present a friendly face to our advertising partners and work with them to market their businesses successfully. Working on your own initiative, but with the support of others in the Local Life team, you’ll need to generate and manage appointments to a successful conclusion in a timely manner. You must be computer literate and possess a good standard of English. Knowledge of media sales and design principles would also be useful. In return for your efforts, you will receive a good basic rate of pay, and if you achieve agreed targets, you’ll also receive a monthly bonus with unlimited commission. You must have the use of a reliable car, for which a mileage

allowance is paid, and you will have the use of a phone and laptop. If you think that you fit the bill, e-mail your curriculum vitae to The closing date is 24th September 2010. 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 – Newton, Haydock & Ashton Distributors required (aged 13+) for the Newton, Haydock and Ashton areas. Distributors will typically work for 2/3 hours, delivering Local Life in their own neighbourhoods. Please email your name, address, landline number and date of birth to

Useful Numbers Ashton

Cllr P Tushingham Cllr W Carney Cllr N Ash Ashton Library Ashton Police Team Ashton Medical Centre Ashton Surgery Ashton Clinic

01942 776060 01942 776114 01942 736216 01942 727119 0161 856 7436 01942 727325 01942 481580 01942 775300

Billinge & Garswood

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


Cllr W Anderton 0787 985 0518 Cllr J Caunce MBE 01744 678909 Cllr J Sheldon 01942 275086 Newton & Haydock Police Team 0151 777 6154/55 Haydock Medical Cen. (Dr Vaughan) 0844 477 8626 Haydock Medical Cen. (Dr Roberts) 01744 22272 Haydock Library 01744 677801

Moss Bank

Cllr J Fletcher Cllr D Kent

Cllr C Kavanagh Windermere Medical Centre Moss Bank Library

01744 678918 01744 739645 01744 677988

Cllr P Astbury Cllr S Knight Cllr N Taylor Newton & Haydock Police Team Newton Community Hospital Dr Pitalia – Comm. Hosp. Dr Pitalia – Bridge St High St Surgery Patterdale Lodge Market St Surgery Newton Library

01744 678960 01744 676103 01744 678965 0151 777 6154/55 01925 222731 01925 220469 01925 225755 01925 290311 01925 227111 01925 221457 01744 677885


General Medical

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

01744 26633 01942 244000 0151 426 1600 01744 627400 0845 4647

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

Other Useful Numbers Gas Leak Water Leakline Floodline Citizens Advice Bureau Local Life

0151 709 6010 0161 872 5050 01744 456789 01942 244991

0800 111999 0800 330033 0845 9881188 01744 737866 01744 649722

01744 884984 01744 731840

Would your company benefit from sponsoring this useful numbers section? Call Chris now on 01744 649722 for details 50 Local Life

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Local Life St Helens and Ashton  

local magazine for St Helens and Ashton