Jan 2009

2009 JAN Warrington is named among six towns across the country to benefit from a new £15 million flood management programme.

2009 JAN Plans to demolish the derelict Grade II listed Black Bear pub on Knutsford Road and turn the space into 5 homes have been withdrawn by the developers. Later in the month an electrical company made an application to convert it into an office.

2009 JAN Justice Secretary Jack Straw said in a letter that a Titan prison on the Omega Business Park site in Burtonwood could bring in £15 million to the local economy. This follows a secret visit he made to the area in November 2008.

2009 JAN 5 Woolworth’s store on Sankey St closed its doors for the last time after 90 years of trading in the town. 807 stores nationwide closed as administrators failed to find a buyer when the company went into liquidation.

2008 JAN 7 Hood Manor shopping area in west Warrington is to receive a £50,000 makeover. Broken flags will be replaced and the area will be landscaped.

2009 JAN 8 Ed Milliband, energy and climate change secretary, visited renewable energy company Novera at Centre Park, Arpley Meadows.

2009 JAN 9 Warrington comedian Jimmy Bright, aka Dominick Reardon, pleaded guilty to importing a Class A substance into Jersey and received a nine month jail sentence.

2009 JAN It was announced that the former Holy Trinity vicarage on Palmyra Square was to be turned into a five-storey restaurant and office facility.

2009 JAN A commemorative bench was unveiled in Warrington Market in memory of market trader Russell Willis who ran the Sausage Shop until his death in September 2008.

2009 JAN 14 Hall Motors on Folly Lane, Bewsey, went into administration with the loss of 40 jobs. Sid Hall set up the Peugeot franchise in the 1960s. The site has since been taken over by a new Peugeot dealership. ADD IMAGE.

2009 JAN The Co-op Late Shop in Fearnhead began to play classical music through loudspeakers to disperse groups of teenagers who hang around the entrance.

2009 JAN A planning inspector gave permission for a private airstrip to be opened in Rixton, overturning a previous refusal from Warrington Borough Council. The site will be monitored for 18 months (until July 2010) to make sure there is no disruption to wildlife or residents. The airstrip was made permanent in August 2011.

2009 JAN Police spoke out against a 99p-per-pint alcohol promotion by J D Wetherspoon’s The Friar Penketh on Barbauld Street. The pub hit back by saying they were only trying to help those suffering the economic slump.

2009 JAN 17 Helen Newlove appeared on the Noel Edmonds Sky One TV show Noel’s HQ and was presented with £40,000 worth of equipment for a community radio station.

2009 JAN 28 Billy Ocean performed at the Parr Hall. He has sold over 30 million records worldwide.

2009 JAN 29 Virgin Media chose Warrington as the first place to launch its 50 megabits per second broadband service. And I thought my 3.5 Mbps speed was fast!

2009 JAN Royal Mail defended its decision to move the post box in Winwick to a location on Golborne Road. Residents said they now had to cross a busy road on a blind bend to use it. Royal Mail eventually backed down and moved it to a different location. ADD IMAGE.

2009 JAN 30 Workers at Fiddlers Ferry Power Station joined a national walkout in a protest against foreign workers.

2009 JAN Culture Secretary Andy Burnham MP visited Crosfields Sports Club to see plans on expanding the leisure facilities.

Feb 2009

2009 FEB Schools minister Jim Knight told Warrington Borough Council to use its powers to claw back surplus money from schools after a Warrington Guardian Freedom of Information request reveals £4.7 million was left in the bank at the end of March 2008.

2009 FEB 1 Snow fell in Warrington.

2009 FEB Steve Wakefield published his book Living The Dream, Moving The Mendips, to highlight his life on the railway at Dallam shed. See photos of Dallam shed in Making Tracks 1 and Making Tracks 2.

2009 FEB Warrington Museum received a grant of £247,500 from Waste Recycling Environmental Limited. The cash allowed the refurbishment of some of the galleries and work started in the autumn of 2009.

2009 FEB Penketh High School became the first school in Warrington to sign up to Sky Sports Living For Sport, a joint initiative between the Youth Sport Trust and Sky Sports to give students an opportunity to learn new sports.

2009 FEB 9 An 18-month trial on 140 of Warrington’s roads began to see if a 20 mph speed limit helps to reduce accidents.

2009 FEB A £4 million primary school for Chapelford, west Warrington, is being considered as part of council budget discussions.

2009 FEB 12 The Warrington Guardian reveals they have received a secret email saying talks have been held into building a waste incinerator at the Omega Business Park site in Burtonwood.

2009 FEB 13 The revamp of Bank Quay railway station was unveiled by Warrington’s MPs Helen Southworth and Helen Jones. At the same time a ‘kissing zone’ was set up for couples to say their goodbyes, with a plaque being applied to a wall outside the station.

2009 FEB BBC Radio 2 broadcaster and writer Stuart Marconie visited Reactive Studios on Knutsford Road to record an audio version of his best-selling book Pies and Prejudice.

2009 FEB Warrington Market is named the Best Indoor Market in the UK for 2009.

2009 FEB A 6-month £300,000 restoration project began on St Thomas’ Church, Stockton Heath, which saw the roof replaced and internal repairs to the building and organ.

2009 FEB Birchwood Juniors football club players protested when the Football Association stopped two girls playing in their side. The FA eventually backed down and blamed an admin error when insurance documents went missing.

2009 FEB Celebrity chef Mark Earnden returned to his roots at Bruche Primary School to deliver his interactive ExpoChef lessons.

2009 FEB 15 Warrington author Chris Kirwan discussed his novel Shadowers Crossing on Roger Philips’ BBC Radio Merseyside’s show The Philips Hour. The story is about two young boys separated by a river, who meet 1,000 years later to save their communities.

2009 FEB 20 A 10,000-name petition against a Titan prison being built on the Omega Business Park site in Burtonwood was handed in to 10 Downing Street.

2009 FEB 27 After 39 years of serving the district of Bewsey, R & J Allcock local food store transferred the business to new owners. They were very well respected in the community and mywarrington wishes the family all the best for the future. ADD IMAGE

Mar 2009

2009 MAR St Mary’s Priory Church on Buttermarket Street introduced a junior choir to join the established adult one.

2009 MAR Cheshire Police Authority announced plans to buy its first helicopter to replace the aeroplane it currently uses.

2009 MAR The borough council announced plans to close Longbarn Primary School in August 2010.

2009 MAR 7 The Warrington Fairtrade Steering Group invited residents of the town to the Old Fish Market in Golden Square to take part in a world record attempt at the most Fairtrade bananas eaten in a 24-hour period. Groups from around the world are also taking part and it is hoped 250,000 bananas will be eaten.

2009 MAR 9 The new day unit at St Rocco’s Hospice in Bewsey was opened.

2009 MAR Warrington Register Office was given top marks in an inspection by the General Register Office for England and Wales.

2009 MAR Conservative MP, Baroness Warsi, shadow minister for community cohesion and social action, visited the Guru Nanak Gurdwara Sikh Temple on Dover Road in Latchford.

2009 MAR Voters in Hatton will no longer be required to travel to Stretton on election days as a campaign to set up a polling station in the Hatton Arms pub is approved.

2009 MAR The empty Railway Inn pub in Latchford could be turned into offices if plans go ahead.

2009 MAR 14 Comedian Jimmy Carr performed at the Parr Hall.

Apr 2009

2009 APR 4 TV antiques expert Adam Partridge from the BBC’s Flog It programme attended a coffee morning at Penketh Methodist Church in Penketh. He valued antiques at £2 per item with proceeds going to the new church building fund.

2009 APR 16 Conservative shadow Foreign Secretary William Hague visited Warrington and added his support to the campaign against a Titan prison.

2009 APR 17 Twenty cars in Dallam had their windows smashed or tyres slashed in a spate of vandalism during the early hours of the morning. At Warrington Magistrates’ Court on 1 July, 2009, a 35 year old man was found guilty of causing criminal damage. He received a four-week suspended sentence and a six-week curfew. The car owners and other residents expressed their disgust at the verdict.

2009 APR 26 Warrington Rugby Union Under 13s squad won the Lancashire Cup for the first time in 90 years when they beat Manchester Rugby Union Club 39-0.

2009 APR 27 Campaigners were celebrating after Justice Secretary Jack Shaw announced the scrapping of a proposed Titan prison at Omega Business Park in west Warrington.

2009 APR 27 The new fire service control centre at Lingley Mere in west Warrington was officially opened.

2009 APR Padgate High School was renamed Lysander High School from September. The name was chosen because the Westland Lysander was an aircraft used by the RAF and the school is built on the former RAF Padgate site.

May 2009

2009 MAY Shadow Work and Pensions minister Steve Webb visited Warrington Age Concern to discuss requirements and concerns with senior citizens.

2009 MAY The council considers closing down the information centre at Warrington bus station.

2009 MAY 9 More UFOs are spotted over Warrington, this time in Stretton. Next…

2009 MAY 11-17 The annual Local Newspaper Week took place across the country to highlight the important contribution these companies make to the community.

2009 TUE 12 MAY mywarrington 4th birthday.

2009 MAY Pupils at St Matthew’s Primary School in Stretton brought the Kenneth Grahame book The Wind in the Willows to life in a performance carried out by touring drama group Image Musical Theatre.

2009 MAY Plans to reclaim derelict sections of the New Cut Canal in Woolston were submitted to the council. Permission was granted later in the year.

2009 MAY Birchwood Youth Club was handed a special award and £1,000 by the housing group Frontis in recognition of work done in the community.

2009 MAY The legal aid bill for the three murderers of Garry Newlove in August 2007 totalled more than £500,000.

2009 MAY 18 Ed Balls, Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, visited Westy Sure Start Children’s Centre.

2009 MAY A Laurel and Hardy Sons of the Desert fan club opened at The Albion pub on Battersby Lane.

2009 MAY The Friends of Latchford Parks was a new group formed by residents of the south Warrington village in response to the Ranger Service being withdrawn from Black Bear Park.

2009 MAY 20 A party of visitors from Lymm’s twin town Meung-sur-Loire spent 4 days in the village.

2009 MAY 23 Sinatra’s Bar and Grill opened in the former Picturedrome/Cameo cinema on the corner of Sankey Street and Springfield Street.

2009 MAY Four Warrington primary schools have been named on a list of the north west’s outstanding schools. They are Cinnamon Brow CE Primary School, Gorse Covert Primary School, St Monica’s Catholic Primary School in Appleton and Thelwall Community Infant School.

2009 MAY 25 The annual Warrington Horse Show took place in Daresbury.

2009 MAY 27 The former Silver Birch pub on Dewhurst Road in Birchwood was converted into a new base for Birchwood Community Church. Planning permission was granted in February 2009. The building was demolished in 2017.

2009 MAY 31 Fire destroyed Attic Studios recording studio on Longford Street, Orford. The building was empty at the time of the blaze.

2009 MAY A new play area opened up in Dallam on land by Massey Avenue which was formerly occupied by garages.

2009 MAY – JUN Route 29, an exhibition of paintings by a local artist who travelled on the number 29 bus from Warrington to Collins Green was exhibited at Warrington Museum. The exhibition ran until June 2009 and the paintings were later sold, with proceeds going to St Rocco’s Hospice.

Jun 2009

2009 JUN Warrington Museum won the 2009 Museums and Heritage Awards for Excellence for its Mr Smithies and the Lost Tombs of Peru exhibition last year. It won the prize for the project on a limited budget section for its Bringing the Wow Factor to Warrington Museum display.

2009 JUN Nine red squirrels were born at Walton Gardens Children’s Zoo, the first since a breeding programme was set up in 2006.

2009 JUN Cheshire Dogs’ Home in Grappenhall celebrated its 10th anniversary.

2009 JUN 2 Sixteen-year-old Temi Abimbola drowned in Appleton Reservoir. School friends at Sir Thomas Boteler High paid tributes to the boy whose ‘smile could light up any room’. An inquest on 27 November 2009 gave the verdict of accidental death by drowning.

2009 JUN 7 The annual HMS Blackcap service took place to commemorate those who served at the Stretton base. Read more about HMS Blackcap in RAF Burtonwood page.

2009 JUN 7 Birchwood Carnival took place at Birchwood Forest Park.

2009 JUN Former Penketh High School pupil, and now Warrington sailor on HMS Illustrious, Able Rate David Parr took part in Fly Navy 100 in London, a celebration of 100 years of Naval Aviation.   ADD IMAGE AND CAPTION: HMS Illustrious at Liverpool on 24 October 2009.

2009 JUN 13 The annual Lymm May Queen festival took place.

2009 JUN 15 & 17 Staff and pupils at a school in Warrington were given antiviral drugs after two children contracted swine flu. Both children recovered from the illness.

2009 JUN 15 Warrington South MP Helen Southworth announced she is standing down at the next general election to spend more time with her family. She has represented the constituency since 1997.

2009 JUN 18 Unofficial strike action took place at Fiddlers Ferry Power Station in a row over job losses at other plants in the UK.

2009 JUN 20 The annual Bawming of the Thorn ceremony took places at Appleton Thorn. Read more about the ceremony on the Events page.

2009 JUN 20 The Friends of Grappenhall Heys Walled Garden held a Picnic in the Park concert. Bactiguard Wire Brass performed at the event.

2009 JUN 20 Warrington Wolves beat Catalans Dragons in Barcelona by 24 points to 12 in the first-ever Super League game played in Spain.

2009 JUN 20 The annual Thelwall Rose Queen crowning took place.

2009 JUN 21 Orford Park Festival took place. The event also included the annual Orford Walking Day procession.

2009 JUN A government report listed Warrington as the 10th most at risk in the country from flooding.

2009 JUN 23 Warrington fire service showed off its latest piece of equipment at the Cheshire Show – a 40ft inflatable fire engine to help teach fire safety. Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service were forced to defend the £26,000 price tag in the face of £6 million budget cuts.

2009 JUN 25 – JUL 4 The 10th Lymm Festival took place. Link to their website here.

2009 JUN 27 Warrington Market hosted the annual Classic Transport Show. See photos in Classic Motor Shows page.

2009 JUN 27 Padgate Walking Day took place. 

2009 JUN 27-28 Burtonwood Art Show took place to raise funds for St Michael’s church.

2009 JUN 28 Woolston Eyes nature reserve held an open day. Read more about the Eyes in Warrington Green 2.

2009 JUN 28 Newlove FM, a community radio station set up by the widow of murdered Garry Newlove, began broadcasts to Warrington from a unit in Golden Square shopping centre. It presented a variety of programmes, with contributions from professional radio presenters and featured an interview with Conservative leader David Cameron. It ran until 12 July 2009.

2009 JUN Pupils at Padgate High School buried a time capsule covering life and events in 2009, which will be opened in 2029.

2009 JUN The government announced that the Omega Business Park is being considered as the Ministry of Justice looks at moving civil service jobs out of London, which could create around 2,500 jobs.

2009 JUN The creator of Bob the Builder, Curtis Jobling, was guest of honour at The Pebbles, a new child development centre in Orford.

2009 JUN Lymm Oughtrington Park Cricket Club celebrated 125 years by publishing a book 125 Not Out.

Jul 2009

2009 JUL 1 A new GP surgery opened at Golden Square on Sankey Street.

2009 JUL 2 The sixth annual North West Casual Classics car show took place at Fiddlers Ferry. For photos of the 4th event, see the Classic Motor Shows page.

2009 JUL 2 The Warrington Guardian was named Newspaper of the Year for the second year running at the O2 Media Awards.

2009 JUL 2 Warrington Market manager Steve Pickering won an award in the innovation category at the 2009 Council Worker of the Year awards in Harrogate. He received his award from John Denham MP, minister for communities and local government.

2009 JULCinnamon Brow Youth Club received a £4,600 grant from the National Lottery to enable them to develop their film making skills and to produce a DVD.

2009 JUL 3 The annual Warrington Walking Day event took place.

2009 JUL 4 The annual Croft Carnival took place.

2009 JUL 4 TV presenter and Warrington author Mark Olly hosted the Party in the Park event at Queens Gardens.

2009 JUL Golden Square’s Ian Cox was named Marketing Manager of the Year at the annual SCEPTRE awards ceremony in London.

2009 JUL 6 McIntyre Learning Centre received a £5,000 grant from the national B&Q One Planet Living Award to help with the New Routes horticulture training site at Victoria Park allotments.

2009 JUL 7 Torrential rain caused flash flooding in Thorn Close, Penketh.

2009 JUL 9 The 4-day annual Stockton Heath Festival began.

2009 JUL 11 Stockton Heath Walking Day took place.

2009 JUL 10 Former world snooker champion Dennis Taylor was guest speaker at the 10th Warrington Business Awards at the Park Royal Hotel in Stretton.

2009 JUL 11 Glazebury Gala and rose queen crowning took place.

2009 JUL 11 The annual Penketh Carnival took place on Greystone Recreation Ground.

2009 JUL 11 Warrington Music Festival took place at Queens Gardens. The event featured performances from Exile ParadeThe StocksBlack ManalishiChina WhiteThe KingswayThe Jokers and The Collision.

2009 JUL 11 Former Emmerdale actress Roxanne Pallett and Calum Best, son of footballer George Best, appeared at the finale of the Go Style Live fashion event at Golden Square shopping centre.

2009 JUL 12 The 18th annual Disability Awareness Day took place at Walton Hall Gardens.

2009 JUL 12 The inaugural Warrington Youth Carnival took place in Queens Gardens.

2009 JUL Two Warrington sports clubs were awarded grants from the National Lottery – Imagine 8 Netball Club received £9.637 and Cheshire Cats Rugby League Football Club secured £7,224.

2009 JUL St Matthew’s CE Primary School on Stretton Road, Stretton, applied for permission to erect a wind turbine. The plan was later withdrawn. The parish council did not object to the application.

2009 JUL 17 Colin and Wendy Parry received doctorates from Bradford University for their work with the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace.

2009 JUL 18 The 10th annual Winwick Carnival took place.

2009 JUL 18 The 5th annual Burtonwood Bridge five-mile road race and two-mile fun run took place.

2009 JUL 18 The Hawthorn Centre in Blackbrook was re-launched as Hawthorn Community Centre after being closed for 3 years.

2009 JUL 18 The 29th Howley Carnival took place.

2009 JUL 18Stretton Walking Day and Rose Queen festival took place.

2009 JUL 19 The 12th Westy Carnival took place.

2009 JUL 19 Former Warrington Wolves coach, New Zealander Cec Mountford died, age 90, in Gold Coast, Australia. He led the side to the Challenge Cup replay win against Halifax in 1954 and their championship win in 1955.

2009 JUL Work started on solving the flooding problems at Hawleys Lane bridge in Dallam. United Utilities announced plans for similar schemes in Penketh and Great Sankey.

2009 JULThe Warrington Rugby League Referees’ Society celebrated a £9,400 National Lottery Awards for All grant.

2009 JUL 20 Campaigners say the fight goes on as Warrington Borough Council votes to close Longbarn Primary School.

2009 JUL 20 Fire broke out at the empty Greenall’s site in Loushers Lane.

2009 JUL 25 Cast members from Hollyoaks, Nathalie Emmanuel and Sasha Valentine played casualties cut from a car wreck at the annual Fire Station open day on Winwick Road.

2009 JUL 25 Oakwood Local Park was officially opened after a £100,000 investment.

2009 JUL Part-time traffic lights are to be piloted at Cockhedge Green roundabout by Midland Way and Brick Street. The scheme was considered successful and the lights are switched on at peak times.

2009 JUL 27 The largest play area in the town opened at Orford Park in a project funded by the Big Lottery, the DCSF Play Builder Fund and Waste Recycling Environmental (WREN).

2009 JUL Lymm Dam retained its Green Flag status, first awarded to the beauty spot last year. The Green Flag is awarded to parks or green spaces that meet a government standard.

2009 JULOld Hall Primary School received its second ‘outstanding’ OFSTED inspection. It was first awarded the accolade in March 2006. 

2009 JUL 29 A judge at Warrington Magistrates Court ruled that Pink Ladies was operating without appropriate licenses. The company had argued that it was not a taxi service, but a unique club offering safety to women who were members. Since then the organisation secured licensing under Vehicle and Operator Services Agency standards (VOSA) – a Government agency – rather than through the local authority, and operates as a not-for-profit organisation.

2009 JUL Moss Side Farm in Rixton was named supreme farm in the 2009 Cheshire Farms Competition.

Aug 2009

2009 AUG 1 TaskJesus, a festival of music, fun and Christian praise, took place at Victoria Park. Charlie Hale, Warrington comedian and evangelist, was the compere.

2009 AUG 1 BBC rugby league commentator, and former Warrington Guardian journalist, Keith Macklin died, aged 78. Read his profile in Warrington People.

2009 AUG Winwick Athletic under 10s football club was named the National FA Development Club of the Year for 2009 and are invited to Wembley Stadium. Link to their website here.

2009 AUG Warrington Museum hosted the Reincarnated Rubbish exhibition which featured objects made out of recycled materials.

2009 AUG Warrington Disability Partnership’s Wizard Narrow Boat received a £336 grant from Warrington Housing Association to help with running costs.

2009 AUG Housing minister John Healey announced a £1.76 million pedestrian and cycle accessibility scheme for Chapelford and Bruche. It is one of 12 such schemes across the country.

2009 AUG 8 The first annual St Rocco’s Hospice Dragon Boat Race took place at Warrington Rowing Club on the Mersey at Howley.

2009 AUG 9 The traditional Lymm Rushbearing Festival took place. Read more about the ceremony here.

2009 AUG 9 Former Lymm resident and one-time hostage Terry Waite wrote in the Mail on Sunday against changing the law on assisted suicides.

2009 AUG 14 Former Mississippi Showboat owner Paul Keepe began a new venture when Showbar and Secrets opened at the former Brannigans bar on Friars Gate.

2009 AUG Fit Kidz, a community charity encouraging youngsters in Bewsey and Dallam to keep fit and healthy, ran a summer-long series of sporting events.

2009 AUG Plans were announced to demolish Legh Street baths and to build a new health centre on the site. Similar plans were announced in May 2008.

2009 AUG Opendoors submitted an application to turn Patten Hall on Winmarleigh Street into a shelter for homeless people.

2009 AUG 15 The Scottish Brick Society, a film written by 16-year-old Culcheth student George Atkinson, received its premiere at the Pyramid centre in Palmyra Square.

2009 AUG 15 Birchwood Fire Station hosted an open day.

2009 AUG 15 Scott Street Carnival took place.

2009 AUG 15 Dallam Fun Day took place – indoors due to the rain.

2009 AUG 16 Fusilier Simon Annis, aged 22, was killed by an explosion in Helmand province in Afghanistan. He attended Culcheth High School and had been married for just six months.

2009 AUG Members of Age Concern, Penketh, produced a DVD Penketh Past and Present about life in the district.

2009 AUG 22 Burtonwood Catholic Club celebrated its 50th anniversary.

2009 AUG 22 The former Kandi Bar gay pub on School Brow re-opened as The Road House Classic Rock Bar. The building was up for let when I passed by on 10 June 2010.

2009 AUG Christ Church CE Primary School on Station Road received an ‘outstanding’ award by Ofsted in an inspection carried out on 25 June 2009.

2009 AUG 20 Inmates from Thorn Cross Young Offenders Institute won the Brockhouse Trophy for their 1920s-themed garden at the Southport Flower Show.

2009 AUG 21 The second Stockton Heath Library, in Alexandra Park, celebrated its 50th anniversary. The first one on Carlton Street closed in 1957.

2009 AUG Network Rail announced its preferred route for a new high-speed rail route from London to Scotland, with Warrington being one of eight locations where trains will stop.

2009 AUG 29 Warrington Wolves beat Huddersfield 25-16 in the Challenge Cup Final at Wembley.

2009 AUG 30 The Venerable Richard Blackburn is named as the new Bishop of Warrington.

2009 AUG Warrington Borough Transport received delivery of 12 new Volvo buses.

Sep 2009

2009 SEP 1 The funeral of Fusilier Simon Annis took place. He died on 16 August 2009 while serving in Helmand province in Afghanistan.

2009 SEP 6 The annual Woolston Show took place in Woolston Park.

2009 SEP Lysander Community High School opened its doors to pupils in Padgate and Woolston as Padgate High School is rebranded.

2009 SEP The council won a £1.9 million grant to build 30 affordable social houses in the town.

2009 SEP 8 TV personality Myleene Klass visited Marks & Spencer at Gemini in a campervan to promote the store’s latest range.

2009 SEP 11 Plans were unveiled which would see Cockhedge Shopping Park transformed in a £3 million makeover.

2009 SEP 11 Lord Hoyle stepped down as chairman of Warrington Wolves rugby league club after 10 years. Steven Broomhead, chief executive of the Northwest Development Agency, took his place.

2009 SEP 11 Double gold-winning Paralympian Ellie Simmonds visited William Beamont Community High School to officially open a hall named after her.

2009 SEP 12 Cairo Street Unitarian Chapel opened its doors to the public for National Heritage Week.

2009 SEP 12 Fearnhead Fun Day took place at Padgate High School.

2009 SEP 12 The 61st Hatton Show took place.

2009 SEP 14 Sky News presenter Dermot Murnaghan stopped off in Warrington on his Economic Cycle from Liverpool to Cleethorpes, where he asked questions about the recession.

2009 SEP 17 The council’s development committee approved outline planning permission for a £30 million scheme to regenerate Orford Park. The Orford Park Project will include sports facilities, a health centre and shops. Final planning permission is expected in December.

2009 SEP 18 Lymm actor Chris Bisson joins the cast of ITV soap Emmerdale. In a previous acting role he played Vikram Desai in Coronation Street.

2009 SEP 19 The Great Wings Duck Race took place at Gulliver’s World in Westbrook to raise funds for the RAF Association’s Wing Appeal, which supports serving and ex-serving members of the RAF.

2009 SEP 19 TV auctioneer Adam Partridge appeared at Grappenhall Independent Methodist Church to value antiques.

2009 SEP 20Holy Trinity church at Market Gate celebrated its 300th anniversary.

2009 SEP 20 The annual Battle of Britain Parade took place at Gulliver’s World in Westbrook.

2009 SEP 20 Cairo Street Unitarian Chapel hosted its annual academy service to remember its part in the development of Warrington Academy.

2009 SEP Construction work began on a £5.4 million further education centre within the grounds of Birchwood High School. Birchwood College, as it will be known, is scheduled to open in September 2010.

2009 SEP Warrington Band China White performed with New York acts The Furious Five and Kurtis Blow on their UK ‘Legend to Legend’ tour.

2009 SEP 25 Warrington Wolves and Macmillan Cancer Support teamed up for The World’s Biggest Coffee Morning. Last year’s event raised £20,000 in Warrington, and over £7.9 million nationwide.

2009 SEP 29 Fair 4 All hosted a fashion show at Hill Cliffe Baptist Church in Appleton to showcase clothing from Fair Trade suppliers.

2009 SEP Stockton Heath Methodist Church received a grant of £50,000 from Waste Recycling Environmental (WREN) towards redevelopment of the church hall on Walton Road.

2009 SEP New play equipment was unveiled at Sankey Valley Park. The £55,000 ‘space net’ replaced the previous spider’s web, which was removed due to vandalism in 2008.

Oct 2009

2009 OCT 1 Soul singer Mica Paris performed at the Parr Hall.

2009 OCT 2 Former Warrington Guardian reporter Mike Hall, and now the sports presenter on Granada Reports,was named Sports Journalist of the Year at the O2 Media Awards in Manchester.

2009 OCT 4 The New Balance English Half Marathon took place.

2009 OCT 4 The annual Regimental Sunday event took place. The day included a service at the Parish Church and a parade to the war memorial at Bridge Foot.

2009 OCT Students from three Warrington schools produced a film Behind the Golden Gates, the story of Warrington’s links with transatlantic slavery. The film was premiered at the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool and was partly funded with £17,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

2009 OCT 11 Victoria Park staged an It’s A Knockout competition.

2009 OCT 14Channel 4 show The Secret Millionaire featured charities in Warrington.

2009 OCT 16 Sir Bobby Charlton opened the new Brainwave centre in Birchwood. The charity helps children with brain difficulties. The Countess of Wessex unveiled a plaque on her visit on 18 November 2009.

2009 OCT 19 The executive board of Warrington Borough Council approved a consultation on redeveloping Walton Hall Gardens with private money. But they were keen to stress that the grounds would not be sold off.

2009 OCT 28 The council approved plans to demolish Legh Street baths and replace the building with a new health centre.

2009 OCT 30 TV comic Al Murray ‘The Pub Landlord’ signed copies of his new book Think Yourself British at Asda Cockhedge.

2009 OCT Warrington Borough Council announced plans to invest up to £85,000 a year to improve the condition of Warrington cemetery on Manchester Road, which opened in 1857 and houses around 150,000 graves.

2009 OCT Appleton Thorn received a new village sign courtesy of Appleton Parish Council (photo, right). ADD IMAGE.

2009 OCT The Jungle Play Centre, based at Winwick Quay, was named Best UK Family Entertainment Centre under 12,000 sq ft at the annual Awards for the Play Industry Recognising Excellence (ASPIRE).

2009 OCT A government planning inspector ruled that the redevelopment of Bewsey Old Hall can go ahead. Urban Splash plan to turn the Grade II listed building into flats. Warrington Borough Council had earlier turned down the plans.

Nov 2009

2009 NOV 3 Warrington rugby league scrum half Parry Gordon died, aged 64. He made 543 appearances for the club between 1963 and 1981.

2009 NOV 3 John White, former co-owner of White sports shop in the town died peacefully in his sleep, aged 74. The shop moved into Warrington Market when Golden Square shopping centre was built, and still trades to this day. The Sankey Street shop is featured in a photograph in Memory Lane under the section Walking Through Time (Part 3).

2009 NOV 7 Warrington Hospital’s Radio General request service celebrated its 50th anniversary. Link to their website here.

2009 NOV 8 The annual Remembrance Day Parade took place in the centre of town.

2009 NOV 12 It was announced that the person who switches on Warrington’s Christmas lights this year will be a reject from The X Factor! It turned out to be Lucie Jones, who was voted off the show, while Jedward stayed in…

2009 NOV 14 A fundraising walk took place between Warrington and Irlam in memory of former Culcheth High School pupil, Fusilier Simon Annis, aged 22, who was killed by an explosion in Helmand province in Afghanistan on 16 August 2009.

2009 NOV 16 A new bus service between Warrington, St Helens and Skelmersdale was launched. The Strawberry service runs an hourly service from Monday to Saturday.

2009 NOV 16 The executive committee of Warrington Borough Council unveiled a £27 million master plan to regenerate Sankey Valley Park. The scheme included holiday homes, an indoor play park and an expansion of Gulliver’s World theme park.

2009 NOV 16 The council announced Project Victoria Park, a vision for the future of the Warrington beauty spot. The scheme included a city farm, a waterfront promenade, formal gardens and a sports village.

2009 NOV 18 The Countess of Wessex, Sophie Windsor, officially opened the new day centre at St Rocco’s Hospice in Bewsey.

2009 NOV Warrington Bank Quay was named the fourth-worst English railway station in a government report.

2009 NOV New electronic flood alert signs were installed on Hawleys Lane Dallam. Sensors should alert the system and display a warning message, but one local resident made the following point: by the time you get to the signs you are right on top of the problem area. He suggested they should be positioned further away at both ends of the road as it would give drivers more time to take action. ADD IMAGE.

2009 NOV 23 Planning permission was granted to spend £1.2 million redeveloping 400 metres of the New Cut canal in Woolston. Did you know there was once a glue factory close to the site? I didn’t either!

2009 NOV 25 Birchwood based dance group IndepenDANCE appeared on BBC TVs Blue Peter.

2009 NOV Penketh swimming pool received a makeover with a £30,000 grant from the parish council.

2009 NOV 27-29 The town hosted its first Made in Cheshire Christmas Market.

2009 NOV 28 Culcheth held its annual Victorian Day. The event was organised by Culcheth Lions.

2009 NOV 28 Warrington Market staged an outdoor festive market, which included camels.

Dec 2009

2009 DEC 2 Phoenix Nights comedy star Dave Spikey signed copies of his new book He Took My Kidney and Broke My Heart at Waterstones in Golden Square.

2009 DEC 5  X-Factor duo Jedward appeared at Halo nightclub as part of the X-Factor finalists live tour.

2009 DEC Santa appeared in his grotto at Hancock & Wood’s store on Bridge Street for the first time since the 1970s.

2009 DEC 5 Asco supermarket opened in the old Woolworth’s store on Sankey Street.

2009 DEC 5 Britain’s Got Talent 2009 finalists Stavros Flatley performed at Cockhedge Shopping Park.

2009 DEC The Strawberry Bus Company introduced a novel marketing campaign – red heads travel free until 15 December 2009.

2009 DEC Pupils at William Beamont High School took part in Operation Herrick, a scheme for sending Christmas boxes to troops in Afghanistan.

2009 DEC 8 Artist Brenda Shaw, died in St Rocco’s Hospice, age 71. She raised thousands of pounds for the charity, especially with her calendar of paintings of old Warrington. Link to St Rocco’s website here.

2009 DEC The Albion pub on Battersby Lane wins the CAMRA Cheshire Pub of the Year award.

2009 DEC 11 TV celebrity Katie Price, aka Jordan, signed copies of her new book at Waterstones in Golden Square.

2009 DEC 12 The 24th Dickensian Festival took place in Lymm.

2009 DEC 15 Warrington residents Steve Wakefield and Dawn Bodey appeared in the BBC4 documentary Hop, Skip and Jump: The Story of Children’s Play.

2009 DEC Warrington Borough Council announced proposals to plug a £30 million shortfall in funding over the next 3 years by cutting budgets for things like recycling centres, swimming baths and street lighting.

2009 DEC 15 Twelve staff at the newly opened Asco store were told they no longer have jobs, less than two weeks after the store opened. Bosses say they took on too many workers.

2009 DEC Students from Warrington Collegiate organised a flashmob at Golden Square by placing buckets on their heads and danced to a track by Bucketheads to highlight climate change. A flashmob, for those not in the know, is a group which performs an unusual action for a brief period of time.

2009 DEC 18 Santa took reindeer to St Paul of the Cross Catholic Primary School in Burtonwood, to the delight of youngsters.

2009 DEC 19 Heartless vandals set fire to Christmas decorations, tree and nativity scene at St Andrew’s Church on Poplars Avenue in Orford.

2009 DEC 19 Snow in Warrington.

2009 DEC 20 The council took the decision to temporarily close Fox Covert cemetery because there was no salt to grit the paths during the latest cold snap.

2009 DEC Warrington Borough Council announced a junction improvement scheme on the A49/A50 at Longford roundabout. The work would involve removing the roundabout and installing traffic lights at a new crossroads junction, as well as making improvements to the approach roads. A consultation period will take place in early 2010. ADD IMAGE AND CAPTION The photo shows the roundabout junction on 7 March 2001, taken from E floor of Warrington Collegiate (my classroom in those study days)

2009 DEC The Home Office agreed to take up 157,000 sq ft of office space at Birchwood Park as it created a regional hub for the Whitehall department.

2009 DEC Despite a public campaign, Warrington Borough Council made a final decision to close Longbarn Primary School in August 2010.

2009 DEC 28 Former Victoria Park High School pupil Alison Burrows joined the cast of Channel 4’s Hollyoaks as part of the McQueen family.