2000 – 2006

2000-2006

2000 RAF Burtonwood played host to the 60th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain with a ceremony attended by 50 veterans of the forces.

2000 A residential retirement village to be built on the former Rylands Recreation Ground is named Ryfields.

2000 Warrington by the Sea summer activity centre for children launched at Golden Square.

2000 Light Elite Academy of Dance established.

2000 MAR 20 Peace Centre opened by the Duchess of Kent.

2000 APR 16 St Anne’s Church opened on Central Avenue, Orford. The original church building on Winwick Road was converted into the Northwest Face climbing centre.

2000 Warrington Friary site excavated by Lancaster University archaeologists before The Friar Penketh pub is built by J D Wetherspoon.

2000 The 18th century Cheshire Cheese pub in Latchford joined a millennium archive organised by the National Monuments Record.

2000 Former Mayor of Warrington, Harold Edwards MBE, died, aged 98. His MBE was awarded for his part in setting up the Citizens Advice Bureau in 1939.

2001

2001 Historic Bewsey Old Hall is refused a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

2001 Former pop singer Kim Wilde planted a tree in Winwick after Winwick Hospital closed. The 75 feet high tree is called Plane Ace and was transported from Belgium to Warrington at a cost of £60,000. It is in the Guinness Book of Records for the tallest tree transported and replanted.

2001 Home Secretary Jack Straw visited the town.

2001 MAR Longbarn Community Lodge officially opened.

2001 Former IRA chief Martin McGuinness apologised for the 1993 Warrington Bomb, which Wilf Ball, who lost his son in the disaster, said was too little, too late.

2001 Historic buildings in the town have been safeguarded by the creation of a new conservation area (it’s a pity the Old Boteler Grammar School on School Brow and the Bay Horse pub on Winwick Street weren’t included. Both disappeared within a year of each other in 2004 and 2005 respectively).

2001 OCT Timberland Trail (Runcorn to Oughtrington) officially opened.

2002

2002 Warrington’s ancient castle on Mote Hill came into the news again when an application to build 15 properties on the site was presented to the Council.

2002 The first sod was cut in the building of the new Warrington Wolves Stadium on the former Tetley Walker brewery site. I photographed it all from beginning to end – see photos on the Warrington Wolves page.

2002 Paul Cullen became the new coach of Warrington Wolves rugby league team.

2002 Warrington MP Helen Southworth launched the RAF Burtonwood heritage centre.

2002 The Pyramid Arts Centre staged its first performance, a new presentation of “The North Face of Longshaw Street”. Gordon Gandy was one of the performers in this version. Notice he didn’t say actor!

2002 Warrington MP Helen Southworth launched the RAF Burtonwood heritage centre.

2002 Heavy rain brought flooding to parts of Penketh.

2002 Warrington Borough Transport re-enacted the journey of the very first tram journey in the town. The trip, with modern buses, began in Rylands Street on Sunday 21 April at 7.40 a.m. on its run to Latchford.

2002 Down’s syndrome teenager Salma Saleem dies after falling from a Ferris wheel ride at Gulliver’s World theme park in Westbrook (update).

2002 Fury erupted as a listed building, an old Georgian house at 31a Winwick Street, behind the former American Pool Centre, was demolished. It was hoped English Heritage could have renovated it, but the council said it was pulled down for safety reasons.

2002 Ryfields Retirement Village opened in Orford.

2002 SEP 23 Earthquake tremors felt throughout Borough. No damage reported.

2002 OCT 13 £250,000 “Encounter” monument erection completed at Birchwood.

2002 OCT 21 Earthquake in Manchester. Slight tremors felt in Warrington.

2002 OCT 27 High Winds. Fallen Trees in many parts of town.

2002 NOV 22 The Pyramid Arts Centre staged its first performance, a new presentation of “The North Face of Longshaw Street”. I was one of the performers in this version. Noticed I didn’t say actors! The building itself was originally Warrington Magistrates Court.

2003

2003 Both Members of Parliament for Warrington, Helen Southworth MP and Helen Jones MP back Prime Minister Tony Blair on the controversial war in Iraq.

2003 Another change for Birchwood’s Spectrum Arena, as betting giant Fred Done moved his business empire to the site from Worsley, Greater Manchester.

2003 The town lost another Grade II listed building when the former British Legion building on St Austin’s Lane was demolished. See a photo in Tour 2.

2003 Channel 4 TV programme Time Team comes to Warrington to assist pupils of St Barnabas Primary School in their search of the school grounds.

2003 Objects from the old Winwick Hospital are preserved at the Museum. 

2003 Geoff Allcock from Warrington won £64,000 on ITV’s Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?

2003 Warrington comedian and compere Peter Robinson died aged 71 (I had the pleasure of working with him on a Friends & Neighbours Travel Club holiday in the 1990s).

2003 Wilderspool Stadium’s 105-year association with 1st team rugby league ended as the club moves to new premises at Winwick Road.

2003 The Warrington Bomb blast is remembered in a service at Holy Trinity Church at Market Gate.

2003 Lord Roy Jenkins MP, who famously campaigned in Warrington in 1981, died aged 82.

2003 The Rev Steve Parish, from St Ann’s Church in Orford, requested that the Armitage & Rigby chimney top should be incorporated into the new bus station as a memory to Warrington industry. It stood on the corner of Winwick Street and Golborne Street before the Golden Square redevelopment began. See New Temporary Bus Station section of On The Buses for photos.

2003 The Earl of Wessex, Prince Edward, visited Ryfields Retirement Village.

2003 Railway fans witnessed 6201 Princess Elizabeth steam locomotive pulling into Warrington Bank Quay on her way to the Settle and Carlisle line.

2003 APR 9 Warrington Guardian newspaper celebrated its 150th Anniversary.

2003 JUL 31 Legh Street swimming baths closed. Opened 1866.

2003 OCT A 73-year-old man serving a jail sentence in the Middle East for manslaughter confessed to strangling Warrington prostitute, Patricia Simpson, known as the Silver Queen, in November 1963. The news has only been made public now, four years after police obtained the confession.

2003 OCT Manchester property developer, Modus, announced plans to resurrect an idea to breathe new life into a run-down section of Winwick Street opposite Warrington Central railway station.

2003 OCT Irish rock band U2 were invited to play at the Peace Centre in Great Sankey after they gave permission for one of their videos to be included in a promotional film made by students of University College Chester, Warrington Campus.

2003 NOV Skatepark opened in Victoria Park.

2003 DEC Pool Park, Causeway Park & Latchford Community Centres & Burtonwood Youth Centre closed.

2004

2004 FEB Culcheth Youth Base closed.

2004 FEB 6 Life For A Life charity opened Mersey Meadows in west Warrington to allow the planting of trees to commemorate the lives of loved ones. See photos in Warrington Green. Check out the charity’s website www.lifeforalife.org.uk.

2004 FEB 21 Warrington Wolves rugby league club played its first game at the Halliwell Jones Stadium on Winwick Road. They beat Wakefield Wildcats 34-20 in a match televised on Sky in front of 14,206 spectators.

2004 Exam documents dating from 1884 were found in the old Horobin newsagent shop on Sankey Street when it closed. See a photo of the shop in Tour 2.

2004 Former Olympic swimmer Helen Slatter expressed her sadness at Legh Street baths closure. She trained there with the Warriors of Warrington.

2004 Chapelford Urban Village, to be built on the old Burtonwood Air Base, was unveiled by Warrington Borough Council. A new railway station is planned.

2004 Wendy Parry, who lost her son Tim in the 1993 Warrington Bomb, was invited to Buckingham Palace as one of 200 Women of Achievement.

2004 Warrington actor, Pete Postlethwaite, received an OBE from the Queen.

2004 Countess Sophie of Wessex unveiled a plaque at the entrance to the Warrington Deaf Centre on Wilson Patten Street.

2004 It was announced that Stockton Heath Walking Day was to end after 150 years. However, a change of heart from the authorities kept it going. See a photo from the 2006 event on the Memory Lane page.

2004 MAY Refurbished Greystone Recreation Ground, Penketh, opened.

2004 JUN 24 The Brian Bevan Wall was unveiled at the Halliwell Jones Stadium on the 80th anniversary of his birth. The wall was made up of commemorative engraved bricks for which fans paid either £24.95 or £34.95 to have their named added. It became known locally as the ‘wall of fame’. ADD IMAGE

2004 JUL Wilf Ball, who lost his 3-year-old son Johnathan in the 1993 Warrington Bomb, died, aged 71. Link to the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace website.

2004 AUG 10 Heavy rain causes flooding in Winwick, Great Sankey, Penketh, Orford, Longford and Appleton.

2004 NOV 1 Gateway Advice Centre, Sankey Street, officially opened.

2005

2005 The Legacy Project was set up by Children of Peace to record oral memories of the 1993 Warrington Bomb. Link to the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace website.

2005 JAN 1 Tornado at Lymm. Four cottages badly damaged. Mersey Street closed due to flying slates in high wind.

2005 FEB 2 Queens Gardens renovation is unveiled in a ribbon cutting ceremony.

2005 Roads Minister, Tony McNulty MP, visited the town to lend support for a Bridge Foot bypass.

2005 FEB 24 BBC’s Question Time show is recorded at The Pyramid Arts Centre.

2005 APR 1 Grappenhall and Thelwall Parish Council take over Grappenhall Heyes Walled Garden.

2005 APR 8 John Graham Smith, founder of Mr Smiths nightclub at Bridge Foot, died.

2005 Warrington Market celebrates 750 years of its Royal Charter presented in 1255. Read more on Warrington Market page.

2005 Greenall’s vodka and gin distillery on Wilderspool Causeway was devastated by fire. Investigators confirm it was no accident, and later charged a man with arson.

2005 A six-strong partnership submitted a planning application to redevelop Time Square retail area.

2005 THU 12 MAY mywarrington website launched.

2005 JUL Peel Holdings, owners of the Manchester Ship Canal, made adjustments to the swing bridges to help when the metal expands in the heat of summer. They used grinders to increase the gaps between the bridge and the buttress. Normally the fire brigade are called out to spray water on to ease the traffic hold ups.

2005 JUL 9-11 Latchford Swing Bridge sticks due to temperature at 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

2005 AUG Official opening of Brickfield Community Park, Orford.

2005 AUG 27 Georgie Fame performed at the Old Fish Market in Golden Square with Wigan Youth Jazz Orchestra, in a free concert arranged by Pyramid Parr Hall.

2005 NOV 18 Prince Charles visited Warrington to present medals to members of the Territorial Army for their services in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. See photos on the Events page.

2005 NOV 20 Kerry Katona switched on the Christmas lights.

2006

2006 FEB 26 Danielle Lloyd, Aged 22, is crowned Miss Great Britain in a ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London hosted by Noel Edmonds.

2006 FEB 27 Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, visited the town to unveil a commemorative plaque marking the official opening of The Gateway (the former Warrington Guardian newspaper office on Sankey Street).

2006 FEB 28 A book about local stories of World War II published by Newsquest, owners of the Warrington Guardian, raises over £12,000 for the Royal British Legion.

2006 FEB 28 Warrington dentist, Khalid Anis, received an MBE for his services to dentistry.

2006 FEB Cab Company, a new initiative run as a type of workers co-operative, is set up with ten cars. Callers are assigned by computer directly to the drivers without a controller.

2006 FEB Glamour model Emma Hayes, from Orford, appeared on the front cover of February’s Maxim magazine.

2006 MAR 2 Folk-rock group Fairport Convention performed at Parr Hall as part of their 30-date UK tour.

2006 MAR 2 Blackpool Comes to Warrington – mobile fairground sets up at Winwick.

2006 MAR 4 Snow falls in Warrington for first time in 5 years.

2006 MAR 8 Singer Peter Andre performs at Chicago Rock Cafe. His wife Jordan also attended. They split up in 2009.

2006 MAR 8 A Securitas truck carrying £½ million in cash was raided at Woolston Grange, echoing the £50 million raid in Kent 2 weeks previously, also on a Securitas truck. Three West Yorkshire men were convicted of the crime on 1 February, 2010.

2006 MAR 14 Warrington rock group Death by Decibels helped to rescue people affected by tear gas as rioting broke out during the British Invasion punk festival at San Bernardino, California.

2006 MAR 19 Brother and sister Geoff & Jo Armstrong from Grappenhall appear on Channel 4’s Shipwrecked reality TV show.

2006 MAR 20 Historic Stockton Heath Primary School was saved from demolition after 5,000 protests were received by the council. Sadly, it was short-lived as the school was eventually demolished.

2006 MAR Manchester City Council dropped its legal challenge to the Omega Business Park development going ahead in west Warrington, provided the plans are revised.

2006 MAR After a 12-month campaign, Warrington is named a Fairtrade Borough. The movement ensures producers from developing countries get a fair price for their goods and labour.

2006 MAR 30 A solar eclipse is cited as the reason for unusual rises in the levels of the River Mersey. Flooding was the result in many parts of the town.

2006 MAR 31 Music maestro Pete Waterman officially opens a new £2.9 million cardiac catheter suite at Warrington Hospital.

2006 MAR Granada TV’s Paul Crone attended a charity ball at the Halliwell Jones Stadium to receive donations of £13,654 from staff at J & K Ross Ltd on Kerfoot Street for the When You Wish Upon A Star charity, of which he is patron.

2006 APR 1 Wire FM performed an April Fools’ Day prank on listeners by suggesting that Led Zeppelin will be reforming for a concert in Warrington or Halton hosted by Noel Edmonds.

2006 APR Liverpool City Council dropped its opposition to The Omega Business Park project, planned for the next 20 years of redevelopment in west Warrington.

2006 APR Warrington Borough Council launched a roadshow to promote plans to regenerate Orford Park.

2006 APR Warrington Museum launched their Warrington People exhibition.

2006 APR New police radio systems are launched to help officers get to crimes quicker. Residents have always complained about how long it takes to get a response to a reported crime. In the past the frequencies were shared between other emergency units.

2006 APR A new-style bus-come-tram is considered by Warrington Borough Transport for use on a route from the future Omega Business Park via Cromwell Avenue to the town centre.

2006 APR Warrington Borough Transport, owned by the Borough Council, announced that passenger numbers have increased by around 2 per cent, whilst elsewhere in the country, apart from London, levels are dropping.

2006 APR An appeal to save the tower of picturesque St Wilfrid’s church in Grappenhall village is launched. Link to the Church Website here.

2006 FRI 12 MAY mywarrington website 1st birthday.

2006 MAY 21 2,000 women run a 5-kilometre race at Arley Hall to raise money for Cancer Relief UK.

2006 MAY 27 Warrington’s Festival of Football starts to celebrate the Football World Cup Finals. It is supported by Roger Hunt, who was part of the winning England squad of 1966 and now lives in the town.

2006 MAY 30 Warrington Borough Council approves plans to reshape Time Square retail area, which will include the return of a cinema to the town centre.

2006 MAY Making Tracks, a 3 minute film highlighting problems of playing on the railways, wins an award for Penketh High School in a safety campaign organised by Network Rail.

2006 JUN Urban Splash revealed plans to revamp Bewsey Old Hall. The Bewsey Old Hall Conservation Project had raised £800,000 to keep the hall and grounds in the public domain, but it wasn’t enough.

2006 JUN Warrington Hospital promoted fruit and vegetables as part of the national Cancer Prevention Week.

2006 JUN Former Warrington rugby league player and coach, Derek ‘Nobby’ Clark died after a long illness. He spent over 40 years with the club and was chairman of the Past Players Association.

2006 JUN Miss Warrington 2006 is named. She is 18-year-old Ashley McKeever – and she comes from WIGAN!

2006 JUN Historic photos of the allied occupation of Germany after the war are unearthed by a Warrington man. They feature images of the Berlin Wall and a visit from the Queen.

2006 JUN Pink Ladies, the Warrington-based ladies-only taxi firm, launched another franchise in Carlisle, Cumbria, to add to their fleet in Liverpool, the Wirral, London and St Helens. The scheme does not deal in cash for fares, but uses a membership scheme instead. The company closed down in later years due to licensing issues.

2006 JUN As World Cup Football Fever grips the nation, Warrington Primary Care Trust, the Borough Council and Cheshire Police join forces to launch a decorated taxi scheme to promote responsible drinking.

2006 JUN Children from St Monica’s in Appleton won a £300 top prize in the Warrington Yellow Woods Challenge to promote a recycling. Runners-up were St Andrew’s winning £200 and third were Green Lane Community Special School with a £100 prize. The competition was run by Yellow Pages, the Borough Council and the Woodland Trust. In total 9,688 old Yellow Pages directories were collected by 53 schools and one tree was planted for every pound awarded to the schools.

2006 JUN 5 Flash floods hit Warrington. Classrooms and the hall of Ravenbank Primary School in Lymm were affected.

2006 JUN 17 Bawming of the Thorn ceremony takes place at Appleton Thorn. The unique annual ceremony takes place on the Saturday nearest to Midsummer’s Day. See photos on the Events page.

2006 JUN Disability Awareness Day, Warrington’s annual, and Europe’s largest, voluntary-led disability awareness event, received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services (an award created in 2002 to mark the Queen’s Golden Jubilee).

2006 JUN 28 Granada TV’s Fred Talbot officially opened ‘Our Wood’ community woodland in Westbrook.

2006 JUN Former Conservative Prime Minister John Major visited the Warrington South Conservative Association in Stretton.

2006 JUN A four-day Bible-reading session took places at St Wilfrid’s Church, Grappenhall, to raise funds for the repair of the bell tower. I have since been informed that the event was a great success. Link to the Church Website here.

2006 JUL 3 Warrington residents report an unidentified flying object (UFO) over Orford at 10.35pm. It was ME with a torch on the end of a kite. Well prove it WASN’T! And why do we only ‘see’ these UFO sightings at night? And only since powered flight?

2006 JUL 100-year-old machinery which stood outside The Forge Shopping Centre in Stockton Heath was thought to have been destroyed during redevelopment of the site. Thankfully, it was found soon after. See a photo of it on the My Warrington page. Linking story.

2006 JUL 17 Warrington Borough Council adopted a controversial new policy on collection of rubbish. If a bin lid is not fully closed, the bin will not be emptied. Warrington North MP Helen Jones is furious when her own rubbish is left uncollected.

2006 JUL 20 Coronation Street stars took part in a charity football match against Warrington Town Football Club to raise funds for St Rocco’s Hospice.

2006 JUL 25 Warrington taxi drivers brought the town to a standstill in protest at the number of taxi ranks and enforcement of taxi regulations in the town.

2006 JUL Four Warrington buildings have again been named on the English Heritage ‘at risk’ register. They are all Grade II listed buildings – the Gatehouse to Bradlegh Old Hall, Bradley Lane, Burtonwood; Bewsey Old Hall; Hurst Hall North Barn, Hurst Lane, Glazebury and the Transporter Bridge at Bank Quay.

2006 JUL Model Danielle Lloyd won a four-figure payout for a car accident in October 2004 which could have damaged her career. She was crowned Miss Great Britain in February 2006.

2006 JUL Abba Cars taxi firm donated £1,800 to buy a new electric scooter for the Warrington Disability Partnership’s Shopmobility scheme.

2006 JUL 25 NatWest celebrated 175 years of banking in Warrington. See the Events page for more.

2006 JUL Warrington Borough Council won a national award for the computer support it offers schools.

2006 JUL Peel Holdings, owners of the Manchester Ship Canal, defended its decision to monitor Latchford Locks by CCTV rather than using onsite personnel. Concerned residents say that if the sluice gates ever malfunctioned the area could be flooded.

2006 AUG Former Brookside star Dean Sullivan (who played Jimmy Corkhill) became the first celebrity to lend his support for Warrington-based mental health charity Making Space. Their centre is on Allen Street, close to town centre.

2006 AUG 5 TV antiques star David Dickinson appeared at Pyramid Parr Hall to film his new ITV show Dickinson’s Real Deal.

2006 AUG Birchwood Shopping Centre hosted a Birchwood By The Sea event, enabling children to have fun at the beach without leaving the town. It featured magic shows, Punch and Judy and games. Golden Square had staged a similar event in the past, Warrington By The Sea.

2006 AUG 7 Warrington Wolves coach Paul Cullen took over from Salford City Red’s Karl Harrison as the new England coach.

2006 AUG It is announced that Mr Smith’s nightclub (previously the ABC cinema – The Ritz) is to close down.

2006 AUG Warrington Wolves became the first club to donate money from season ticket sales to the Rugby Football League Benevolent Fund.

2006 AUG Former environmental health chief Andy Gilbert travelled around Norway on his motorcycle to raise funds for Hope House Children’s Hospice. Expecting to wear his winter gear, he witnesses evidence of global warming as Norway has one of its hottest summers ever.

2006 AUG The Civic Trust presented Walton Gardens with the Green Flag Award, a national benchmark for top parks and green spaces.

2006 AUG 19 Andy Prior Big Band perform a free jazz concert at the Old Fish Market at Golden Square as part of Culturefest ’06.

2006 AUG 19 Warrington’s temporary bus station operated for the very last time.

2006 AUG 21 Warrington Interchange, the town’s new bus station, opened for business.

2006 AUG 27 Hollyoaks TV star Carley Stenson appeared at the Dallam Youth Festival.

2006 AUG 27 Stretton’s famous Maize Maze teamed up with Macmillan Cancer in a bid to raise £5,000 to help people living with cancer.

2006 SEP 1 The 24-hour Relay For Life fund-raising event for Cancer Research UK raised approximately £6,500 at Victoria Park.

2006 SEP Youngster Shanice Nickle donned a fat suit and prosthetics to take part in TV chef Jamie Oliver’s latest campaign to get children to eat healthy foods.

2006 SEP Mystery surrounds the death of several fish in the Manchester Ship Canal near Fiddler’s Ferry when thousands were seen gasping for air. They came to the surface in a bid to get oxygen from the air as Environment Agency workers tried to re-oxgenate the water with pumps.

2006 SEP Warrington Wolves announces the Wire2Wolves community project to create a timeline of events around the stadium to highlight the history of the club and of the town. The club has applied to the National Lottery Fund for assistance.

2006 SEP Stockton Heath Independent Methodist church on Walton Road celebrated 200 years of service to the community.

2006 SEP 8-14 Two Warrington Hospital doctors, Steve Bentley and Barry Taylor, climb Mount Everest to raise money for CANtreat. Proceeds went to the charity’s £1m appeal to enhance the environment of cancer treatment areas within the NHS.

2006 SEP 9 University of Chester, Warrington Campus, celebrated 60 years of higher education at Padgate.

2006 SEP Warrington Cine and Video Society celebrated 70 years of film-making.

2006 SEP Warrington Photographic Society received a £3,350 National Lottery grant to help preserve its collection.

2006 SEP Coronation Street celebrities Tina O’Brien, Stephen Peacock (Warrington’s own) and Ryan Thomas opened Ibizaar, a new designer clothing shop in London Road, Stockton Heath village.

2006 SEP A Warrington author using the pseudonym Carol Dunning publishes two books: Dining For Lovers and Ghosts of the North West.

2006 SEP Golden Square Shopping Centre sponsored aerial photographs of the town’s landmarks.

2006 SEP Collier Waste Management Ltd are refused a planning application to raise the level of waste in parts of the Moss Side Farm site after residents complained.

2006 SEP 11 Warrington Borough Council announced that Culcheth High School is to be demolished and rebuilt.

2006 SEP 14 Councillor Diane Terris became the first female Chief Executive of Warrington Borough Council.

2006 SEP 14 More controversy in the council’s policy on collecting bins after a 61 year old Locking Stumps resident was told her green bin was too heavy for the council trucks, although she could pick it up herself. Her story was featured on BBC Northwest Tonight.

2006 SEP Warrington Borough Council demanded compensation from contractors into the five-month delay in implementing new £158,000 traffic signs into the town. Twenty signs were erected to inform motorists of accidents and give general information.

2006 SEP Chapelford railway station was dealt a serious blow when developers of the future Omega Business Park in west Warrington told councillors they will not pay the £1.5 million bill towards roads serving the station. It would have replaced Sankey Station in a link to the 2,000 home Chapelford Urban Village.

2006 SEP 15 Granada Reports presenter Paul Crone concluded his charity walk for the Up The Amazon appeal for The Vine Trust at Lymm Cross. He covered over 200 miles in a fortnight to raise over £65,000 to send medical boats along the Amazon to boost the quality of life for locals.

2006 SEP 17 Warrington Wolves announced that past-captain Mike Gregory was to become the latest addition to the Wolves Hall of Fame.

2006 SEP 17 Warrington fire station holds an Open Day to highlight the dangers of fire and to demonstrate the latest techniques in fire and rescue.

2006 SEP 17 The 66th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain was celebrated at Gulliver’s World theme park by members of the RAF, Army and Navy.

2006 SEP 20 A two-day public inquiry into developments on Howley waterfront began at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.

2006 SEP Nobles Amusements took over the building once occupied by Hodgkinson’s on Bridge Street.

2006 SEP Supporters banged the drum for Fairtrade at the final game of the season at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.

2006 SEP A national beauty competition in London has revealed that Warrington is the best place in the country for training models, as students from Warrington Collegiate pick a handful of awards at the annual National Beauty Competition at Earls Court.

2006 OCT 1 Grappenhall actress Amanda Dobson, 21, appeared in ITV 1 Granada’s Cracker police series with Robbie Coltrane.

2006 OCT 1 Veterans of the First World War are remembered in a ceremony at the Parish Church attended by the Mayor Linda Dirir.

2006 OCT 7 ‘Celebrity mum’ Kerry Katona signed copies of her autobiography Too Much Too Young at Waterstones bookshop in Golden Square.

2006 OCT Warrington’s Coach House Brewing Company, run by Managing Director David Bolton, Tony Gandy and Neil Chantrell, won the Champion Beer of Cheshire for their Post Horn bitter at the Nantwich Food and Drink Festival.

2006 OCT 14 Relief Trent class 14 lifeboat “Earl & Countess Mountbatten of Burma” passes through Latchford Locks on its way to Anglesey after attending Manchester Lifeboat Week at Salford Quays.

2006 OCT Warrington Wolves was named Super League Club of the Year.

2006 OCT The Ring O’Bells pub on Church Street next to the Parish Church was named as the borough’s first Fairtrade pub for stocking coffees and wines which ensure a fair price for its producers.

2006 OCT A campaign was launched to save Mr Smith’s nightclub from demolition and turn it into a theatre. The group behind the campaign is known as Theatre 4 Warrington Campaign and is hoping to achieve charity status.

2006 OCT Oktoberfest, the annual beer festival at the Parr Hall organised by Warrington Rotary Club, celebrated its first 10 years of operation.

2006 OCT Warrington Wolves bought New Zealand rugby star Vinnie Anderson from St Helens for £50,000.

2006 OCT 80s pop star Captain Sensible of The Damned visited Warrington with his new outfit Dead Men Walking. The political activist has launched The Blah Party for the ‘disaffected’. He had a number one hit with Happy Talk in June 1982. His real name is Ray Burns.

2006 OCT Hundreds of Warrington people were affected by the collapse of the Christmas hamper company Farepak. The big supermarkets offered to help out those affected. People have passed comment that as the boss of Farepak is said to be worth £30 million, they shouldn’t have to, should they? He has been called to account by the government.

2006 OCT 19 Warrington Borough Council approved plans for the £1bn Omega Business Park in west Warrington. It will be the final stage in the New Town plan which was first started by the Commission for New Towns in 1972.

2006 OCT 19 Sir Thomas Boteler High School pupil, Christopher Dickinson picked up a bronze Team Player Award from Dame Kelly Holmes in a ceremony in London. The Living For Sport initiative is aimed at pupils between 11 and 16 who are at risk of opting out of school life by encouraging them to take part in sport.

2006 OCT 21 Former Warrington Rugby star Mike Gregory signed copies of his autobiography ‘Biting Back’ in Borders bookshop at Riverside Retail Park.

2006 OCT 23 The Big Idea, an internet TV channel, launched. It features its very own soap opera, Orford and Pop Factor to showcase the talents of local people.

2006 OCT 25 A small fire broke out in the cellar of the Patten Arms hotel opposite Bank Quay Station.

2006 OCT Plans were announced for a possible £7 million revamp of Parr Hall, funded by public and private investment.

2006 OCT Warrington Borough Transport responded to concerns about the potential Chapelford railway station by having talks with Network Rail.

2006 OCT A women-only night raised £3,000 for Breast Cancer Care at an event held at Polar Ford on Winwick Road.

2006 OCT Virgin Trains boss Carl Belcher announced plans to overhaul Warrington Bank Quay Station at a cost of £500,000.

2006 OCT Sainsbury’s opened a new supermarket in the £1m revamp of the former Culcheth Provisions Stores.

2006 OCT The Forestry Commission launched an autumn photography competition to find the best images of autumn in the region. Check out their website www.forestry.gov.uk.

2006 OCT Mersey Ferries’ Manchester Ship Canal Cruises announced a 20% increase in passengers this year. The company sails between Liverpool and Salford Quays via Warrington every summer.

2006 OCT The Pearl of Africa choir from Kamuzinda children’s village in Uganda performed at William Beamont High School. They were touring the country to raise funds for the village which looks after AIDS orphans.

2006 OCT Plans were drawn up by the Borough Council into how the banks of the Mersey will look in the future. Planning permission has already been granted to redevelop the waterfront near Mr Smiths at Bridge Foot in a scheme resembling other waterfronts in the region, such as Salford Quays.

2006 OCT The Meadow View Fishery at Statham Pool in Lymm benefited from a new platform built by the Environment Agency to allow disabled access.

2006 OCT Warrington Borough Transport and Warrington Cycling Campaign launched a joint-leaflet highlighting safety first initiatives for bike riders and bus drivers.

2006 OCT Warrington Borough Council’s school catering service signed a new supply contract with SET Produce of Stockport for fresh fruit and vegetables. Most of the produce is grown here in Warrington.

2006 OCT The 10th annual Oktoberfest at the Parr Hall raised £14,000 for this year’s charities, Riding For the Disabled in Lymm, The Older People’s Forum, Speak Up Group and Young Carers Group.

2006 NOV The Sankey Canal Restoration Society (SCARS) launched a calendar to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the Sankey Canal, the first in modern-day England (and jolly good it is too!).

2006 NOV Miss Warrington, later Miss Great Britain, Danielle Lloyd, was stripped of her title as it was reveal she had been dating footballer Terry Sheringham for two months before the win. He was one of the judges.

2006 NOV An extra lane will be added to Winwick Road to ease congestion near Tesco. Work will begin on the new section in the new year.

2006 NOV 8 Boat owners blockaded the Bridgewater Canal at Lymm in protest about prices rises by Peel Holdings for licensing and mooring charges. Matthew Corbett, formerly of TV’s The Sooty Show, was the press officer.

2006 NOV Radio Lymm began broadcasting on 87.7FM in the run up to the village Dickensian Festival on 9 Dec.

2006 NOV TV soap stars, husband and wife Kym Ryder (Marsh) of Coronation Street and Jack Marsh of EastEnders, visited town to launch The Club leisure club at the Park Royal in Stretton.

2006 NOV 11-12 Warrington remembered its war dead at the cenotaph at Bridge Foot. On the Saturday, the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month shoppers held a two-minute silence in the town centre.

2006 NOV Theatre For Warrington (T4W) received a massive boost of a mystery £250,000 donation to help turn Mr Smiths night club into a theatre.

2006 NOV 19 The LRK Cultural Centre on Haydock Street celebrated Diwali, a major festival for Hindus and Sikhs. Diwali is known as the Festival of Light and is a symbol of victory of evil.

2006 NOV Status Quo drummer, Jeff Rich, visited Ravenbank Primary School in Lymm to give pupils a master class in the art of drumming.

2006 NOV The Warrington Guardian reported that Lib Dem council leader Ian Banks would like the River Mersey area at Bridge Foot to be utilised as a riverside venue, like other towns and cities have achieved, including Manchester, Leeds and Wigan. With the Theatre 4 Warrington plan to turn Mr Smiths into a theatre, it could be the start of a new lease of life for the area. And what a welcome for visitors into the town when the first thing they see is a bright shiny welcome. In the end, Mr Smiths was turned into Halo nightclub and Theatre 4 Warrington are still looking for a venue.

2006 NOV The council reported that a town centre bypass from Crosfields to Chester Road was being considered. It is something desperately needed in that part of town.

2006 NOV Warrington Hospital announced a rescue plan to save £18 million by cutting 180 beds and 300 jobs.

2006 NOV Gulliver’s World theme park in Westbrook admitted two counts of breaking health and safety rules in 2002 when 13-year-old Salma Saleem, who had Down’s syndrome, died after she fell from a Ferris wheel ride at the park. The company was fined £170,000, which included £90,000 in court costs. Back to earlier story.

2006 NOV TV psychic Dave Wells, famous for his Most Haunted series on Living TV with Yvette Fielding, signed copies of his new book David Wells’ Complete Guide to Developing Your Psychic Skills at Borders bookshop on Riverside Retail Park.

2006 NOV The Omega Business Park, planned for part of the site of the former Burtonwood Air Base to the west of junction 8 on the M62 motorway, finally got the green light. It will take 17 years to complete the project, creating thousands of jobs.

2006 NOV 21 Former BBC Political reporter Jim Hancock hosted a unique debate on the future of Warrington at a public meeting.

2006 NOV 24 Santa’s Grotto returned to Golden Square after an absence of three years.

2006 NOV 25 Culcheth Lions organised the annual Victorian Day in the village. The fun day included the Christmas lights switch on.

2006 NOV 27 ‘The Friends of Real Lancashire’, a group concerned with restoring the original pre-1974 boundaries of the region to maps and road signs, announced they want residents to share a toast for Lancashire Day. Check out their website.

2006 NOV Warrington Borough Council held back £70,000 from electronics company Siemens because of delays in the commencement of new traffic information screens for 6 months. The information screens should have been operational in January, but didn’t start until the summer.

2006 NOV 40-year-old wheelchair bowman John Stubbs picked up an MBE from the Queen for his services to disabled sports.

2006 NOV Borough councillors visited a recycling plant in Huddersfield to see how they create electricity for the national grid by burning thousands of tones of rubbish. The council was hoping to introduce a similar scheme in Warrington.

2006 NOV 30 Eight fire engines were called out to a computer warehouse fire in Appleton Thorn. Nobody was injured and foul play was ruled out.

2006 DEC Warrington Borough Transport set up a free park and ride bus service to run every Saturday in December.

2006 DEC Woolston Grange Avenue, which runs from the A57 Manchester Road to Birchwood Way is to be turned into a dual carriageway at a total cost of £500,000.

2006 DEC Spooky goings on were reported at the Black Horse pub on Liverpool Road, Great Sankey. The owner noticed a bowl had been moved and neither he nor his wife had touched it. It was then noted that an aunt had died 3 days earlier. I wonder if there is any link with the guy who walked through a graveyard at midnight and heard a tapping sound on one of the gravestones. When he got closer he saw a shadowy figure who said “They spelt my name wrong!”.

2006 DEC Borough councillors agreed to a freeze on expenses, despite a recommendation they should increase by 6.1%.

2006 DEC United Utilities were fined over £35,000, plus costs, for supplying water unfit for human consumption in Warrington in 2004. The charges were brought under Section 70 of the Water Industry Act 1991.

2006 DEC The Government revealed experimental figures showing how much carbon dioxide is produced in Warrington. It pumped out 836 kilo tons (kts) of Industrial Co2, lower than Runcorn and Widnes which had 879 kts. Liverpool had 1107. The figures were compiled in 2004 and revealed now.

2006 DEC 4 Middlesbrough developers, Python, began work on transforming the empty Priestley House on Sankey Street into offices. Previously, it was the base for Warrington Social Services department until the lease ran out in the 1990s.

2006 DEC Pink Ladies women-only taxi firm met up with Government ministers to try to work out a way of continuing their service (run without a licence) in light of the new Road Safety Bill, which requires the company to be licensed. Pink Ladies believe they are a private members club and therefore don’t need a licence.

2006 DEC Pink Ladies visited Buckingham Palace and were told by the Queen that their service is a ‘jolly good idea’.

2006 DEC Mayne’s coach firm moved from Battersby Lane to a brand new building on Marsh House Lane to make way for a new housing development on the former site of Carrington Wire (Rylands).

2006 DEC Warrington Borough Transport announced plans for a free parking scheme at the Market in early 2007 on one day per week. Improvements to the market would also be undertaken, but rents for stallholders will increase to cover the cost.