Jan 2011

2011 JAN 2 Warrington-born actor Pete Postlethwaite died aged 64. He was diagnosed with testicular cancer in1990 and passed away peacefully in his sleep after a lengthy illness. Read his profile in Entertaining People.

2011 JAN 4 Former Radio City and Rock FM DJ Roy Basnett took over the breakfast show on Wire FM, the radio station for Warrington, Runcorn and Widnes, which broadcasts from Wigan.

2011 JAN 5 Plans to reopen Kenyon Junction rail link were discussed at a meeting.

2011 JAN 6 Bob the Builder creator, Curtis Jobling, a former Penketh High School pupil, released Rise of the Wolf, the first book in his Wereworld series.

2011 JAN It is announced that Warrington Borough Council spent £14,000 on 24 i-Pad computers last year to save money on printing costs.

2011 JAN Oliver Cromwell’s statue at Bridge Foot has been repainted. It was cast for the International Exhibition in London in 1862 and stood behind the gates rejected by Queen Victoria – our Golden Gates outside the town hall. Read a profile on Oliver Cromwell on the Warrington People page. ADD IMAGE.

2011 JAN Plans to divert 999 calls to a centre at Lingley Mere are scrapped by the Government. Delays and increasing costs amounting to a reported £3 million forced the decision to close the building, which officially opened in April 2009.

2011 JAN 9 Warrington celebrities Kerry Katona, Steven Arnold, Denise Welch and Radio One DJ ‘Comedy Dave’ Vitty took part in ITV’s Dancing On Ice.

2011 JAN 10 An edition of BBC Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time was recorded in the BT call centre at Gemini Business Park.

2011 JAN 10 Birchwood fire station began operating part-time. This came a week after the fire service defended its decision to spend £26,000 on an inflatable fire engine in 2009 for use as a teaching aid.

2011 JAN The Lower Angel pub on Buttermarket Street set up a micro brewery. The pub was one of Pete Postlethwaite’s favourites.

2011 JAN Work begins on replacing escalators in Golden Square after they were out of action for about eight months. Some shoppers told me personally that during the period of shutdown they turned around and shopped out of town.

2011 JAN Pupils from Dallam Primary School produced their own internal newspaper, The Dallam Planet, with tips from journalists at the Warrington Guardian.

2011 JAN A Freedom of Information request by the Warrington Guardian reveals that more than 5,000 crimes have been dealt with through restorative justice (RJ) since the scheme launched in 2008. RJ allows the criminal to apologise to the victim rather than face prosecution.

2011 JAN Warrington’s Youth Council, Impact, received the Diana Certificate of Excellence, a national award which recognises the outstanding contribution of young people, aged 12-18, who work together in groups to improve their communities, organisations or schools. The award was set up after the death of the Princess of Wales in 1997.

2011 JAN A local resident spotted an otter sheltering at Rixton Claypits Nature Reserve. The ranger said they have no previous records of such an event at the reserve but say otters are shy nocturnal creatures, so could go unnoticed. See photos of the Claypits in Warrington Green 2.

2011 JAN 17-year-old former Great Sankey High School pupil Jack Worden picked up the Bentley Apprentice of the Year 2010 award. He was chosen from all first year apprentices over 20 dealerships across the UK.

2011 JAN Councillors voted to close down three libraries in the town from 1 April 2011 to save money. Those affected were Grappenhall, Great Sankey and the mobile service.

2011 JAN 13 Former Penketh High School pupil and creator of Bob the Builder, Curtis Jobling, returned to the school to showcase his first novel, Wereworld: Rise of the Wolf.

2011 JAN 14 Former Warrington rugby league player, Fred Higginbottom, died aged 91 from a brain tumour. He played 90 games for the Wire between 1939 and 1947.

2011 JAN St Oswald’s Church in Winwick launched an appeal for funds to save the 13th century church after death watch beetles infested the building’s nave and wooden roof structure in 2010. The estimated cost of repairs is £200,000 and by September 2011 £47,860 had been raised.

2011 JAN 17 Warrington Wolves rugby league club became only the fifth to be made honorary citizens of the borough of Warrington for winning the Challenge Cup two years in succession. At the same time, images of the Welcome to Warrington: Home of Warrington Wolves sign were revealed. ADD IMAGE AND CAPTION: Welcome to Warrington sign on Winwick Road

2011 JAN Actor Pete Postlethwaite was nominated for a posthumous BAFTA after his death earlier this month.

2011 JAN Parents began protests over the council’s decision to close Westy Sure Start Nursery in March 2011 due to the budget crisis. At a meeting in March 2011 a vote of 29 votes to 28 sealed the centre’s fate.

2011 JAN Former Warrington model, Amanda Davies, who featured in many national magazines and newspapers, and was once managed by model Linda Lusardi, launched her Lush Modelling Agency. See more at www.lushmodelagency.org.uk.

Feb 2011

2011 JAN The Cheshire Police Museum, based at Arpley Street police station, received a £37,000 cash injection from the Landfill Communities Fund, Biffaward and WREN (Waste Recycling Environmental).

2011 JAN 27 The first international conference organised by the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace took place. The event, International Approaches to Building Peace: From Global to Grassroots, had speakers from South Africa, Norway and Northern Ireland.

2011 FEB 9 Two pubs, The Howley in Howley and The Poplars in Orford, teamed up with the NHS Warrington and Cheshire and Merseyside Partnerships for Health to offer men free cholesterol, weight and blood sugar level tests, with further advice about drinking.

2011 FEB 12 Nicola Long appeared on ITV dating show Take Me Out. Later in the series Dan Foden, a property developer, also appeared on the show and was linked with Kerry Katona when they we seen together at the Halliwell Jones Stadium. Kerry later confirmed they were together.

2011 FEB Britain’s Got Talent winner George Sampson hung up his dancing shoes to walk the boards into BBC drama Waterloo Road.

2011 FEB Warrington Borough Council announced it will make £50 million in cuts over the next three years.

2011 FEB 12 Pop mogul Pete Waterman visited Penketh Model Railway Centre on Maple Crescent to perform the opening ceremony of the shop’s extension.

2011 FEB NHS Warrington has approved the finances to build the Orford Park Primary Care Resource Centre in the Orford Park Project.

2011 FEB 12-13 Former Liverpool FC player John Barnes chatted to members of Eagle Junior Football Club in Penketh at the launch of the FA Community Awards.

2011 FEB The future of Europe’s biggest disability awareness event, Disability Awareness Day, was thrown into doubt when its main sponsor, the Northwest Regional Development Agency, cut funding by £45,000. However, NHS Warrington later gave £10,000 towards costs and by May 2011 it was just £3,000 short of its target. mywarrington would like to stress that the event is still running successfully to this day.

2011 FEB Unions began advising teachers of the perils of using social networking sites.

2011 FEB Bents Home and Garden presented a cheque for £11,722 to Ronald McDonald House at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool after a record-breaking year of fundraising.

2011 FEB Little Acorns Children’s Day Nursery on Stocks Lane, Penketh, received a YMCA Employer of the Year award. ADD IMAGE AND CAPTION. Little Acorns Day Nursery

2011 FEB 19 The 60th anniversary celebrations of the Mencap charity in Warrington began with a Valentine dance.

2011 FEB 21 Warrington Wolves apologised to fans for the delay in entering the ground for the match against Hull KR due to a change in policy on checking tickets. Season ticket holders must now bring the whole booklet with them and not just the ticket for that day’s match.

2011 FEB Warrington Borough Council received a £5,000 fine from the Health and Safety Executive for failing to ensure the safety of children when a glass beaker containing ethanol exploded during a chemistry lesson on 16 June 2009. Eleven pupils were injured in the incident. The council also had to pay costs of £4,717.

2011 FEB 28 Fairtrade Fortnight began in Warrington. The movement ensures producers from developing countries get a fair price for their goods and labour. See more at Fairtrade Foundation.

Mar 2011

2011 MAR Warrington Wolves announced a £2 million plan to increase the seating capacity of the stadium to 15,000 by filling in the two east corners. Work started in the summer of 2011.

2011 MAR PTS Properties applied for planning permission to demolish Garnett’s Water Tower in the centre of town. The tower is connected to the former Garnett’s Cabinet Works whose showroom was later used by Woolworth’s on Sankey Street.

2011 MAR Three Penketh High School Year 13 pupils (Chris Bingham, Callum Anderson and Louis Dougherty) won a once-in-a-lifetime chance to teach football skills in the United States of America in the summer of 2011 after impressing the David Campbell Soccer School.

2011 MAR The council announced two memorials to actor Pete Postlethwaite – a room dedicated to him at the Pyramid Arts Centre and a willow statue in Orford Park. A reader of the Warrington Guardian later described it as “a pathetic gesture”.

2011 MAR 5 Three Bonzos and a Piano, a trio featuring three of the original members of the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band from the 1960s, performed at the Pyramid Arts Centre on Palmyra Square. See www.threebonzosandapiano.co.uk.

2011 MAR Warrington’s first 24-hour gym, Pure Gym, opened at Chetham Court at Winwick Quay.

2011 MAR 6 Warrington Hedgehog Rescue charity organised a fundraising session at Lymm Youth Centre to buy new cages in time for spring. I bet you didn’t know the charity existed, did you? Neither did I.

2011 MAR 6 Twenty-one-year-old fashion student Lucy Lambert appeared alongside Gok Wan on his Channel 4 show Gok’s Clothes Roadshow.

2011 MAR Warrington-based specialist theatre drapes company Cameo Curtains were called upon to run up some 24-foot curtains for the latest Boyzone tour. The company has also made drapes for Cliff Richard and Strictly Come Dancing.

2011 MAR Penketh High School pupils interviewed Bob the Builder creator Curtis Jobling on Radio Warrington. Tune into the online station at www.radiowarrington.co.uk.

2011 MAR Four-piece band The Fireflys, fronted by Great Sankey guitarist Matthew Chapman, recorded their second album Cathedral For Your Ashes after being signed up to Ravenheart Management. Their first album, Better to Burn Out is still available.See www.thefireflys.co.uk.

2011 MAR St Helen’s Church of England Primary School in Hollinfare received a silver medal from EDF Energy as part of their eco-schools initiative.

2011 MAR Warrington Borough Council confirmed that a waste incinerator would not be built in the town.

2011 MAR  A baby memorial garden in Fox Covert cemetery at Hill Cliffe was spruced up after visitors complained to the council about its shabby state.

2011 MAR Plans to create a £10 million solar farm in the town were put on hold. Councillor Mike Biggin said: “The solar farm was an aspiration at one time and a useful way of looking at a business plan but as it’s turned out it’s not viable at the moment, but it is viable in the future.”

2011 MAR 14 Police were hoping that new scientific techniques will lead to the killer of “Baby Callum” who was strangled and dumped in woodland at Callands 13 years ago to the day.

2011 MAR 16 Young people and members of Unison demonstrated outside the Connexions office on Sankey Street over funding cuts. The service helps young people into education, employment and training.

2011 MAR 17 The mother and sister of Tim Parry, who was killed in the IRA bomb in 1993, set off to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa, to raise funds for the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace.

2011 MAR 21 Warrington Wolves achieved their highest score to date at the Halliwell Jones Stadium when they beat Harlequins 82-6.

2011 MAR 24 Halo nightclub was put up for sale at auction in London with a guide price of £500,000. It eventually sold for £1 million and reopened as Mr Smiths on 1 October 2011.

2011 MAR Warrington Wolves announced plans to create another tribute wall after fans presented requests for the current Brian Bevan Wall to be ‘unsealed’ so they can add more tributes.

2011 MAR 27 Cast members from Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks took part in a charity match to raise funds for Broomfields Youth Project and Warrington Town Football Club.

2011 MAR BBC TV show Cowboy Trap visited Warrington Collegiate. The show aims to catch out rogue traders guilty of shoddy work and also offers tips and advice.

2011 MAR All 130 market traders sent letters of appeal to the Valuation Office Agency, part of the HM Revenues and Customs, over plans to increase business rates by a massive 79%. The charges were previously levied on the building as a whole and paid by the landlord (the council), but now it is calculated on a stall-by-stall basis.

2011 MAR It was announced that Collins Green play area is to be revamped after it was awarded a £40,000 grant from Waste Recycling Group Ltd. ADD IMAGE AND CAPTION: Collins Green play area

2011 MAR Penketh Pool is now the only swimming pool in Great Britain owned by a parish council, according to the minutes of Penketh Parish Council for March 2011.

Apr 2011

2011 APR 1 Tributes were paid to musician Eric Pepperall who died today aged 84. The Eric Pepperall Band was well known on the 1960s Warrington music scene. The talented pianist, organ and keyboard player put together arrangements for Harry Goulden (another local bandleader) and for the weekly Billy Mayer BBC Radio Merseyside programme.

2011 APR 2  “They came, they raved, they cleaned up after themselves”. So said the headline in the Warrington Guardian to describe a ‘free party’ underneath Thelwall Viaduct. Revellers enjoyed themselves and cleaned up the site themselves in a peaceful event, although readers of the Warrington Guardian dispute this. The event was publicised secretly via phone and text messaging.

2011 APR Warrington Borough Transport (Network Warrington) purchased six Optare Solo minibuses for use in the Penketh area at a total cost of £750,000. The low-floor buses have space for a wheelchair/buggy and give a very comfortable ride.

2011 APR Swedish Furniture store Ikea has applied for planning permission to install 16 solar panels on its Westbrook store to generate electricity. The council later granted permission. I only mention that because it seems bizarre that you must get permission from the local council to save the planet!

2011 APR An investigation took place to discover why parts of the site of the Orford Park Project have experienced subsidence. My source informed the authorities that the site was a former landfill site.

2011 APR Protesters descended on the Bobby Roberts Circus when it visited Glazebury to object to the treatment of animals, after footage appeared on the national news showing an elephant being abused.

2011 APR Planning permission was granted for construction of a residential home on the site of the former G & J Greenall’s brewery on Loushers Lane in Latchford.

2011 APR 16 Demolition of Legh Street Baths began. A new £7 million Garven Place medical centre will be built on the site. See Legh Street Baths page for more.

2011 APR 16 Nineties boy band 911 performed at the Parr Hall to celebrate the 15th anniversary of their first single. Group member Simon “Spike” Dawbarn is from Orford and went to William Beamont School.

2011 APR (18) Warrington Borough Council backed a plan to transform Walton Hall and Gardens into three leisure facilities. The hall itself was originally built and occupied by the Greenall family of brewers. See more in Warrington Green 2.

2011 APR 18 Residents of the town expressed concern over plans to expand Gulliver’s World theme park into Sankey Valley Park. They said they had no idea about the proposed £27 million plan which would also see holiday homes built. The scheme was scrapped later in the year.

2011 APR University of Chester at Fearnhead announced they would charge the full £9,000 annual fee for tuition from September 2012. MPs and unions criticised the idea.

2011 APR 26 Budget cuts of £2.2 million at Warrington Collegiate on Winwick Road will mean the loss of 30 jobs.

2011 APR The Local Government Ombudsman condemned and fined Warrington Borough Council for destroying some planning records from pre-1996. Some people said the police should also have investigated the matter but the council later said they would be holding their own internal investigation. An independent inquiry into the event began on 3 December 2011.

2011 APR Pupils and teachers at Penketh Community Primary School created a memorial garden dedicated to former pupil Private Tom Sephton of 1st Battalion Mercian Regiment, who died in July 2010 whilst serving in Afghanistan.

May 2011

2011 MAY St Rocco’s Hospice held a Will Week where supporters had their will drawn up with participating solicitors and the fee was donated to the charity.2011 MAY The council agreed to tidy up the Forget-Me-Not baby garden at Warrington Cemetery on Manchester Road after parents complained about its poor condition.

2011 MAY 5 Local election results give Labour overall control at the town hall for the first time since 2006. Daniel Price, aged 21, became Warrington Borough Council’s youngest councillor when he was voted as representative for Great Sankey North. In the referendum on the Alternative Vote for the way MPs are elected to Parliament in a general election, the town echoed the national trend with a 2 to 1 vote against any changes. Warrington’s results are as follows:

Local ElectionTurnout 39%2010/11Referendum on Alternative Vote  Turnout 39.4%
Labour34 seats28 seatsYes19,134
Liberal Democrat17 seats23 seatsNo40,442
Conservative6 seats6 seatsTotal Votes Cast in Referendum59,576

The total number of votes cast in the local election is as follows:

PartyLabourConLib DemGreenUKIPBNPTotal
% of Votes47.25%27.07%23.15%1.28%1.05%0.2%100%

2011 MAY 11 The Co-operative group hosted its annual members meeting at the Village Hotel in Centre Park.

2011 MAY  The mystery creator of a website claiming to have new plans for Arpley landfill site apologised for any upset caused to opposition groups in raising awareness and initiating debate on the possibilities for the site. The website is no longer online.

2011 MAY Golden Square shopping centre took part in national event to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible. Members of the public were guided into creating a Bible for the People using recycled paper, which would then be bound into a number of hard-back copies with approximately 8,000 other pages from around the country.

2011 MAY Kristian Poyner, a 21-year-old student at Warrington Collegiate, won the UK Plumber of the Year Award in London in an event organised by Heating Installers and Plumbers UK.

2011 MAY Construction began on Warrington Town Football Club’s ‘Centre of Footballing Excellence’ after Waste Recycling Environmental Limited (WREN) awarded £50,000 towards the cost of building two 3-G all-weather pitches at the Cantilever Park stadium.

2011 THU MAY 12 mywarrington website 6th birthday

2011 MAY 29  Warrington Wolves took on St Helens in a dragon-boat race on the Mersey to raise funds for the Steve Prescott Foundation. Steve, a former St Helens player, was diagnosed with Pseudomyxoma Peritonei, a rare form of cancer, in 2006. He received an MBE in 2010 for his services to Rugby League and charity work.

2011 MAY 31 Everton football coaches Julian Gbdago and Les Foster visited Golden Square shopping centre to offer free sessions for children aged three to eleven.

Jun 2011

2011 JUN The council took ownership of a new electric van for use in its courier service. The council estimated it would save £1,700 a year in fuel costs as well as 1.5 tonnes of carbon.

2011 JUN Sixty fundraisers took part in a kayak challenge to raise £2,500 towards the ongoing costs of hosting Disability Awareness Day.

2011 JUN Warrington Wolves majority shareholder, Simon Moran, was named in the top 10 of the Music Power 100, the first list of the most influential people in music, produced by the Guardian newspaper in London.

2011 JUN 4 Samantha Collins and Tim Tate became the first couple to be married at the Blessed John Henry Newman Church in Latchford. The church opened in 2010.

2011 JUN 5 The annual Birchwood Carnival took place.

2011 JUN 8  Warrington’s Centre for Independent Living on Beaufort Street reopened after a £1.2 million refit. Warrington Disability Partnership received £922,055 from the Big Lottery Community Assets Fund towards the work.

2011 JUN 11 The annual Lymm May Queen parade took place.

2011 JUN 12 Over 200 runners took part in the new 5K Legacy Event at Victoria Park to raise money for local charities.

2011 JUN 17 The annual St Rocco’s Hospice Starlight Walk took place. The 13-mile route started and ended at the Halliwell Jones Stadium and took in town centre, Latchford, Padgate and Orford to raise £167,000. Over the past six years the event has raised over £1 million.

2011 JUN 18 The annual Thelwall Rose Queen gala took place. This year the title went to 12-year-old Clair Berry. See photos on Flickr.

2011 JUN 18 Christ Church, Latchford, celebrated its 150th anniversary. The event at the Wash Lane church included the crowning of the Rose Queen.

2011 JUN 18 St Oswald’s church held a fun day and gala, which included the crowning of the Rose Queen.

2011 JUN 18 The annual Bawming of the Thorn ceremony took place in Appleton Thorn. See the Events page for the story of this unique event.

2011 JUN 18 57-year-old Dallam family man Harry Morris was attacked and drowned whilst taking part in a fishing match in Sankey Valley Park. Anthony Ogburn, 41, was later arrested for his murder. On 12 December 2011 Mr Ogburn pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility after the court dropped the murder charge due to his mental condition. He is being held in a secure mental health unit.

2011 JUN 19 Orford Walking Day took place. Music was provided by the Red Rose Brass Band from Preston.

2011 JUN Britain’s Got Talent stars Kate and Gin the dog ran a series of dog training sessions in the town.

2011 JUN 20 Former Warrington Wolves player and coach Paul Derbyshire died peacefully in his sleep eight months after being diagnosed with motor neurone disease. He was 41.

2011 JUN 23 MUSE Developments Limited is named as the development partner in the plan to regenerate Bridge Street. The scheme will involve demolishing and rebuilding the market and will create a new a new shopping area, restaurants, cinema, cultural centre and council offices. Work could begin in 2013.

2011 JUN Danielle Brookes, a stylist at MC2 in Stockton Heath, won the under-25 award at the Société Française de Biosthétique (SFB) Young Total Beauty Awards 2011.

2011 JUN The future of the Cavaillé-Coll organ was in the balance as Sheffield Cathedral had expressed an interest in buying it. It was installed in the Parr Hall in 1926 and valued then at £2,000. It is thought to be one of only three left in the world. In September 2011 it was reported that talks between the council and the cathedral had collapsed.

2011 JUN Golden Gates Housing Trust was named as Human Resources Team of the Year at a ceremony organised by Inside House magazine and the Chartered Institute of Housing.

2011 JUN Villagers from Lymm marked the 43rd anniversary of their twin town partnership with Meung-sur-Loire in France by taking a group of visitors from their twin town to Warrington Town Hall and then on a trip to the Lake District.

2011 JUN 25 Padgate Walking Day took place.

2011 JUN 25 Grappenhall Walking Day took place.

2011 JUN 25/26 Burtonwood Art Show celebrated its 10th anniversary.

2011 JUN Former Warrington rugby league player Tommy Sale was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday honours. He played for the club from 1945-46 and is a member of the Past Players’ Association.

2011 JUN Picton and Sons Highfield Farm shop on Waterworks Lane, Winwick received a prestigious Food NW Gold Heart Award for its best-selling product of dry-cured bacon. It also won a Food NW Heart Award for its T-bone steak. Other Food NW Heart Award winners were Home2Home dining for its Champagne pâté, Kenyon Hall Farm for its Seville orange marmalade and Pam’s Jams for its rum and blackcurrant jam.

2011 JUN Pete Postlethwaite’s autobiography, A Spectacle of Dust, was published by Orion.

2011 JUN The Driving Standards Agency considered a U-turn on taking driving tests in Warrington after high demand in the area. They closed the original centre on Long Lane in 2008.

2011 JUN Former Warrington rugby league player John ‘Jack’ Norburn died aged 95. He played for the club between 1946 and 1947.

2011 JUN 30 Public sector workers from the Crown Court, Job Centre, Government pensions offices and schools staged a one-day strike over pensions.

2011 JUN The Fiat car spares warehouse on Winwick Road closed. Nearby Alban Retail Park owners, Derwent Holdings Ltd, later applied for planning permission to extend the shopping park into the space (Aug 2010).

Jul 2011

2011 JUL 1 Warrington Walking Day took place.

2011 JUL Plans were submitted to build a clay pigeon shooting range close to Risley Moss. Residents opposed the idea saying it will disrupt wildlife.

2011 JUL The Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace at Old Hall will receive £300,000 from the Big Lottery Fund over the next two years.

2011 JUL The new £1.2 million Penketh Methodist Church building was officially opened to the public.

2011 JUL MPs and members of the public expressed their disgust at a £7,105 pay rise for Warrington Borough Council’s chief executive, Diane Terris, when millions are being cut from budgets. Warrington North MP Helen Jones described the payout as ‘scandalous’.

2011 JUL 2 Croft Carnival and Rose Queen crowning took place.

2011 JUL 7 Bob the Builder creator, Curtis Jobling, a former Penketh High School pupil, released Rage of Lions,the second book in the Wereworld series. The first was called Rise of the Wolf.

2011 JUL 7 Warrington cyclist and cycle shop owner, Ron Spencer, died aged 69. The owner of Ron Spencer Cycles on Orford Lane was a former GB international rider, who cycled the Tour of Holland in the 1960s and president of the Warrington Road Club until his death.

2011 JUL 7-10 The four-day Stockton Heath Festival took place. Events included Stockton Heath Walking Day on the Saturday (9th), an outdoor showing of Toy Story 3, Warrington Male Voice Choir, a fashion show, a Ceilidh band and hot pot supper.

2011 JUL Warrington rock band Exile Parade provided the soundtrack to the film Screwed, a story of life in Britain’s prisons, released by Liongate. The band’s website is www.exileparade.co.uk.

2011 JUL 9 The Glazebury Gala Queen was crowned at the annual village celebrations.

2011 JUL 9 Stretton Walking Day and Rose Queen crowning took place.

2011 JUL 9 Warrington Market’s Classic Transport Show took place. See Classic Motor Shows page for more.

2011 JUL 10 The 8th Annual Fiddler’s Ferry Classic Vehicle Show took pace near Fiddler’s Ferry Yacht Haven. See photos of the fourth event in Classic Motor Shows page.

2011 JUL 10 The 20th annual Disability Awareness Day event took place at Walton Hall Gardens. Part of the spectacle included a flypast by an RAF Dakota bomber.

2011 JUL Reception class pupils at Penketh Primary School were delighted to receive a written reply from Prince William and Kate Middleton when they sent a good luck message to the Royal couple for their wedding.

2011 JUL 14 Staff at Warrington-based Bessie Ardern bakery agreed to take over the business after the recession threatened to close it down. It now trades as M & K Bakery.

2011 JUL A report published on behalf of the Department of Health revealed that 5,985 children in the town live in poverty and the life expectancy of men in deprived areas is 9.3 years less than in wealthier parts of the borough.

2011 JUL Transport minister Theresa Villiers MP officially opened the revamped Warrington Central Station. That just leaves Birchwood to upgrade now…

2011 JUL Lysander High School became the third school in the town to apply for academy status, along with Culcheth and Woolston, who announced their intentions earlier in the year.

2011 JUL Minister for Civil Society, Nick Hurd MP visited Warrington Disability Partnership headquarters at Beaufort Street in Sankey Bridges.

2011 JUL 16 Christ Church, Latchford celebrated its 150th anniversary.

2011 JUL 16 Stretton Walking Day and Rose Queen ceremony took place.

2011 JUL 16 The annual Winwick Carnival took place, attracting over 3,000 visitors. Howley Carnival took place at the same time.

2011 JUL 16-17 The fifth annual Warrington Music festival took place in Queens Gardens and the Old Market Place in Golden Square. Performers included Exile ParadeDientesThe AnimusChaos in the RainThe K’sThe Ambersons and The Stocks.

2011 JUL Golden Gates Housing Trust announced a green plan to install solar panels on 600 properties, which was expected to save each resident £112 a year in fuel costs.

2011 JUL 21-24 Stockton Heath Festival took place.

2011 JUL 22 Stockton Heath Primary School became the first school in Warrington to fail an Ofsted inspection twice. Its first failure was in 2008 but performance improved by 2009.

2011 JUL Woolston Community Primary School pupils won an award at the RHS Flower Show at Tatton Park with their Russian creation in the international-themed front-to-front gardens section.

2011 JUL 24 Warrington Ethnic Communities Association held a Mela festival in Queens Gardens. A Mela is a cultural festival consisting of music, fashion, food, dance and other entertainment. A Mela is traditionally an Asian festival but the Warrington event was open to all.

2011 JUL 31 Stockton Heath fire station staged an open day. The event included a dramatic chip pan fire demonstration. See the Events page for photos of a similar demonstration at Winwick Road fire station.

2011 JUL 31 The third annual St Rocco’s Hospice Dragon Boat Race took place at Warrington Rowing Club on the Mersey at Howley.

Aug 2011

2011 AUG 3 National Playday event took place. In Warrington the market featured a helter-skelter and a replica Spitfire. See the Events page for more.

2011 AUG 11 Churches Together Lymm and District organised a family fun day at Ridgway Grundy Park in the village. ADD IMAGE AND CAPTION: Ridgeway Grundy Park.

2011 AUG 11 KW Golf shop in Bewsey became the victim of arson for the second time in three years after fire raged through the shop at 2 a.m. Two men were later arrested and bailed.

2011 AUG 14 Warrington Fire Station on Winwick Road staged an open day.

2011 AUG 14 The annual Lymm Rushbearing Festival took place. Read more about the ceremony here.

2011 AUG 16 A Warrington man was jailed for four years for inciting riots through the Facebook social networking site. It followed scenes of rioting and looting in London earlier in the month. Some said the sentence was too harsh. Others said throw away the key.

2011 AUG 18 Yours truly featured in a Warrington Guardian story about a plaque presented to me by the demolition crew at Legh Street Baths. The plaque commemorated the visit of Olympic swimmer Adrian Moorhouse in 1994 when he opened a new gymnasium at the centre. But don’t look on the Warrington Guardian website – it was only in the printed edition. However, the photo I supplied to them (seen right) is on Page 2 of my Warrington Worldwide Forum thread about Legh Street Baths memories. ADD IMAGE AND CAPTION: My plaque.

2011 AUG Following requests from fans, Warrington Wolves rugby league club announced plans for a second commemorative wall when the new corner extensions are completed in early 2012. The first one features the face of club legend Brian Bevan. ADD IMAGE.

2011 AUG Warrington Borough Council announced plans to build a new primary school in Chapelford Urban Village, west Warrington, by 2013. It will replace the existing Sycamore Lane Primary School. It was suggested in October 2011 that the site of the Sycamore Lane school should be used for allotments after the pupils are relocated.

2011 AUG St Oswald’s Church in Winwick received £17,759 from Warrington Historic Buildings Trust towards their £200,000 appeal to restore the nave roof.

2011 AUG 20 A Bikini car wash was organised at the Dog and Partridge pub in Paddington to raise £1,000 after 26–year-old Candice Roberts from Appleton died from Guillain-Barre syndrome. See also the entry for 30 Aug 2011.

2011 AUG 21 Risley Police Station on Delentry Drive staged an open day.

2011 AUG Network Warrington (Warrington Borough Transport) announced a free bus service from the rear of Warrington Market on Academy Way to the bus interchange.

2011 AUG Warrington Disability Partnership’s mascot, Ollie the Owl, took on the role of Warrington Town Football Club mascot for the 2011/12 season when the football club’s original mascot, The Legend, went missing after being lent out to a former sponsor.

2011 AUG 26 Department store TJ Hughes on Sankey Street closed its doors for the last time as the recession continued to bite.

2011 AUG 26 The Postlethwaite Studio opened at the Pyramid Arts Centre on Palmyra Square South in memory of the Orford-born actor who died in January 2011.

2011 AUG 30 England cricketing legends Michael Vaughn, Andrew Flintoff and David Lloyd visited Grappenhall Cricket Club on Broad Lane to play in a charity match which also featured former Pakistan player Wasim Akram. The event raised £10,000 for the Andrew Flintoff Foundation and the Candice Roberts Foundation. See also the entry for 20 Aug 2011. ADD IMAGE.

2011 AUG A temporary airstrip built alongside Marshalls Farm at Rixton Moss in January 2009 was made permanent by Warrington Borough Council, despite protests.

2011 AUG The once-polluted River Mersey is named in the Environment Agency Top Ten most improved rivers in England and Wales after 20 years of clean up operations with the Mersey Life project.

2011 AUG Simon and Deborah Chappel became the first couple to be married at the Warrington Wolves Halliwell Jones Stadium since it received its licence to hold marriage ceremonies at the ground in late 2010.

2011 AUG Derwent Holdings Ltd, owners of Alban Retail Park at Hawleys Lane, Dallam, submitted a planning application to extend the shopping park into the former Fiat car parts warehouse next to the centre.

2011 AUG Police confirm that Nick Bent, the Labour parliamentary spokesman for Warrington South, was targeted by phone hacking at the News of the World newspaper in 2005. The newspaper was closed down in 2011.

2011 AUG Former Greenall Whitley employee, Tracy Banner, who emigrated to New Zealand in 1994, and now that country’s leading woman head brewer, picked up the biggest haul of medals at the International Beer Awards for any New Zealand brewery. She is the co-owner of the Sprig and Fern Brewery and picked up 10 awards.

2011 AUG Work was completed on a £40,000 revamp of the children’s play area in Collins Green. Funding was provided by Waste Recycling Group (WRG) landfill operations via the Landfill Communities Fund. Groups hoping to benefit from the fund must live within ten miles of a WRG landfill site.

Sep 2011

2011 SEP 1 Warrington-born actress Sue Johnston (BrooksideRoyle Family) published her autobiography Things I Couldn’t Tell My Mother. Read her profile in Entertaining People.

2011 SEP It was reported that talks between Warrington Borough Council and Sheffield Cathedral over the sale of the Cavaillé-Coll organ in the Parr Hall had collapsed.

2011 SEP 2 Residents were moved out of Hollybush nursing home on Lovely Lane, Whitecross, after an inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in July revealed poor care practice. The news item featured on the two local TV news programmes and in the press.

2011 SEP 3 The annual Farmer’s Market event took place at Warrington Market.

2011 SEP 3 The annual Grappenhall Village Fete took place at Bellhouse Lane Community Centre (photo, right). ADD IMAGE.

2011 SEP 4 The annual Woolston and District Show took place in Woolston Park. The event is organised by the Friends of Woolston Park and Woolston Parish Council.

2011 SEP 4 The neonatal unit at Warrington Hospital held its 20th annual fun day at Callands Primary School.

2011 SEP 4 An arson attack destroyed the roof of Bewsey Old Hall. The hall was the home of the Boteler family from the 12th century. It was also the place where James I knighted Thomas Ireland in 1617. ADD IMAGE AND CAPTION: The damage caused to the roof of the historic hall.

2011 SEP 7 The parents of 17-year-old Shafilea Ahmed, whose decomposed body was discovered in the River Kent, Cumbria, in 1994, were charged with her murder. The couple deny the charges. They were initially arrested on suspicion of kidnapping her in 2003 but later released because there was insufficient evidence. Return to the first mention of this story.

2011 SEP 9 Warrington Wolves became Super League champions for the first time in 38 years when they beat Hull FC at the KC Stadium. They lost only five of their 27 matches in the season. They scored 1,072 points and are third in the league table of most points scored in a Super League season behind Bradford (1,120 in 2001) and Leeds (1,152 in 2005). One of the nicest touches was from the Huddersfield fans a week later who made a banner to congratulate them on their achievement in the 2011 season. Well done, Huddersfield fans, and thank you. ADD IMAGES.

2011 SEP 9  Kerry Katona took part in the Channel 5 ‘reality show’ Celebrity Big Brother. She came second to My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding ‘star’ Paddy Doherty

2011 SEP 9-10 The first Lymm Beer Festival took place at Lymm village Hall on Pepper Street (photo, right).

2011 SEP 10 The 63rd annual Hatton Show took place in Daresbury. it featured events such as farm, domestic, junior, horticulture, handicraft and a horse show.

2011 SEP Residents in Chapelford Urban Village were annoyed to hear that a promised health centre and community centre for the area may not go ahead because of NHS budget cuts.

2011 SEP  Penketh and Cuerdley could become part of Widnes and Runcorn if proposals by the Boundary Commission for England are approved.

2011 SEP 10-12 The Church of St Cross in Appleton Thorn held a flower festival as part of its 125thanniversary celebrations.

2011 SEP 11 Walton Hall Gardens staged its first country fair. Attractions included a dog display, birds of prey, live music, pottery demonstrations, craft stalls and a re-enactment by the English Civil War Society.

2011 SEP 17 The annual Warrington’s Got Talent final took place at the Parr Hall. The event, organised by Golden Gates Housing Trust, saw singer Lucy Hayes win the 5 to 11-year-olds category and dancer Maria Smooth taking the crown in the 12 to 19-year-olds category.

2011 SEP 18 The town’s third English Half Marathon took place on the streets of south Warrington, beginning and ending in Victoria Park. The first three men and first woman to cross the line were all Warringtonians. Daniel Cliffe won the race in 1 hour 9 minutes and Louise Blizzard came home in 1 hour 22 minutes.

2011 SEP 19-23 Channel 4 cookery challenge programme Come Dine With Me featured residents from Warrington.

2011 SEP It was announced that 50,000 tonnes of waste had been recycled since the council’s blue bin scheme was launched three years ago.

2011 SEP Green Lane school is named as one of only 12 schools in the national “Safeguarding in Schools: Best Practice” report by Ofsted which said the school should be used as a model for the rest of the country because of its ‘exceptionally good’ procedures.

2011 SEP 20 Kerry Katona’s divorce from second husband Mark Croft was made official at the High Court in London.

2011 SEP United Utilities completed an £18 million three-year sewer enlargement project in Penketh and Sankey to prevent flooding. The sewers were enlarged and underground drainage tanks installed.

2011 SEP 21/22 Comedian and TV host Paddy McGuinness (ITV dating show Take Me Out) performs his stand-up routine at the Pyramid Arts Centre.

2011 SEP 22 Tumble Tots playschemes started in Dallam after The Friends of Dallam’s Children at Dallam Primary School receives a National Lottery Awards for All grant.

2011 SEP 26 The Showbar nightclub hit the national headlines when The Sun newspaper reported on the “shockingly irresponsible” promotion “2 Bob Tuesday” where drinks are being sold for the equivalent of 20p per pint. The management defended their decision by saying other pubs had sold drinks for just one penny. The club later changed the charges to £3 entry and drinks 50p each before midnight and £1 afterwards.

2011 SEP The Consumer Council for Water (CC Water) reported that United Utilities, based at Lingley Mere in Warrington, were the worst-performing water and sewage company in England after receiving 39,004 complaints between April 2011 and April 2011. The company said they were not complacent and improvements had been made in the six months since the report was published.

2011 SEP Plans to revive the idea of opening a 999 call centre at Lingley Mere were put forward.

Oct 2011

2011 OCT G & J Greenall celebrated its 250th anniversary. The company is now based in Birchwood, having moved from their original home in Loushers Lane, Wilderspool.

2011 OCT Great Sankey High School became part of the oldest scientific academy, The Royal Society. The school will be part of a network of schools and colleges, which make contributions to the Society’s work and will retain the title of associate school for at least two years.

2011 OCT 1 It was announced that Culcheth High School will become the first academy in Warrington. The model has been criticised by unions and councillors as ‘socially divisive’ but governors say it gives them more freedom to implement teaching and learning. However, in March 2012 this decision was reversed due to a number of issues, including  a £600,000 loan from Warrington Borough Council when the school was rebuilt under the Building Schools for the Future programme.

2011 OCT 1 Liverpool singer Sonia (Evans) topped the bill at One Night Only in the Parr Hall. The show featured songs from the musicals such as Chicago and Hairspray. Sonia became famous as a pop star in the 1980s and represented the United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1993.

2011 OCT 2 The annual Regimental Sunday event took place. Former and current members of the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment (King’s Lancashire & Border), the town’s Army regiment, took part.

2011 OCT 2-6, 9-13 Work began on a right-turn off Midland Way into Golden Square car park.

2011 OCT 6 Warrington and District Society for the Blind began a new life at its new home in Fairfield and Howley Neighbourhood Project after 88 years on Museum Street. The group will be known as the Visually Impaired People’s (VIP) Centre as some of its members do still have some vision.

2011 OCT 8 Arpley Street police station staged an open day, which included mock trials from the 1800s to the present day.

2011 OCT 11 Work began on a £74,000 scheme to extend the play area at Walton Hall Gardens. Most of the funding comes from Waste Recycling Environmental Ltd (WREN) and is supported by Friends of Walton Estate.

2011 OCT 15-16 The first Cheshire Food Festival took place at Walton Hall.

2011 OCT 20 Warrington Wolves rugby league coach Tony Smith and player Matt King join other Australians at Buckingham Palace for a reception held in preparation for the Queen’s visit to that country the following week.

2011 OCT 20 Colin Parry, whose son Tim was killed by an IRA bomb in the town centre in 1993, described the execution of Colonel Gaddafi as ‘a curious form of justice’, and said he would have preferred to have seen the dictator go on trial for his crimes.

2011 OCT 22 A new skate park in Orford Park was officially opened.

2011 OCT 22 Celebrities Kerry Katona and Paddy Doherty (Celebrity Big Brother), Warrington’s Mario and Lisa (Big Brother) and Luther actor Warren Brown from Warrington attended a sportsman’s dinner with boxer Nigel Benn at the Halliwell Jones Stadium to raise funds for the Shannon Bradshaw Trust. (See Community page for more about the charity.) In the same month Warren Brown began filming in Liverpool for his latest role in the BBC drama Savage.

2011 OCT 23 BBC “Voice of the Balls” lottery announcer Alan Dedicoat appears in Culcheth for the annual Children in Need quiz night. This is the ninth year in a row he has supported the Culcheth quiz.

2011 OCT 26 Comedian Tony Berry of the Houghton Weavers staged an evening of entertainment at Winwick Leisure Centre to raise funds for St Oswald’s Church roof appeal.

2011 OCT 26 Mother-of-two Pat Howard appears in the Channel 5 documentary series Dangerous Driving School.

2011 OCT Golden Square shopping centre announced that it is okay to take family photos within the centre for personal, private use. It comes after an internet campaign against Braehead Shopping Centre in Scotland, which prevented a man taking a photo of his daughter.

2011 OCT 28 The Halliwell Jones Stadium hosted the first match of the 2011 Four Nations rugby league tournament. Australia beat New Zealand by 26 points to 12.

2011 OCT 30 Double Olympic gold medallist Dame Kelly Holmes visited the Village Hotel in Centre Park to host a fitness challenge.

2011 OCT The Labour North West website apologised for suggesting the Liberal Democrats had been in secret talks with a property developer about selling land at Peel Hall in north Warrington.

2011 OCT Brother and sister Keith and Sam Hall featured in the BBC documentary Stormchaser: The Butterfly and the Tornado, travelling along America’s Tornado Alley. Sam is the media secretary for the non-profit organisation TORRO (Tornado and Storm Research Organisation).

2011 OCT The Orford Park Project was awarded the prestigious London 2012 Inspire mark, which recognises ‘innovative and exceptional’ projects inspired by the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.

Nov 2011

2011 NOV 1 Horizons school opens in Longbarn, replacing Longbarn Primary School, which was closed last year by the council. Horizons caters for children aged 11 to 16 who have been excluded from mainstream schools.

2011 NOV 6 Warrington’s Wayne Kelly picks up £2,000 for winning the National Scrabble Championship in London. After appearing on Channel 4’s Countdown in 1994, he joined Warrington Scrabble Club, which is based in Bold Street Methodist Church.

2011 NOV 7 It is announced that the Olympic torch will visit the Orford Park Project in Warrington during May 2012. The games begin in London on 27 July 2012.

2011 NOV 7 Reverend Canon Joe Colling, a former Rector of Warrington at St Elphin’s Parish Church for 25 years, died aged 81. He played a vital role in the aftermath of the IRA bombs in the town in 1993 and had also served at Christ Church, Padgate from 1959 to 1973.

2011 NOV 9 Warrington choral scholar Daniel Antonio was among the voices to sing at the funeral of TV host and disc jockey Sir Jimmy Savile at Leeds Cathedral. Daniel is studying music and theology at the University of Leeds.

2011 NOV Peel Ports, the company behind the Mersey Ports masterplan, which would see more frequent operations of the present swing bridges on the Manchester Ship Canal through south Warrington, promised to look at the problem as councillors and the public express concern about the effects on the movement of traffic through the town.

2011 NOV 10 BBC Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time appeared at the Parr Hall as part of the Gardeners’ Question Time Live Tour.

2011 NOV 11 The town centre stood silent for a two-minute tribute to the fallen in all wars. On Sunday, 14 November, Bridge Foot was closed to traffic for the annual Remembrance Sunday parade from the Parish Church of St Elphin to the war memorial.

2011 NOV A councillor suggested the spare land opposite Warrington Central Station could be used to build a university. The land was originally earmarked for The Wireworks development featured on the My Warrington page.

2011 NOV 16 Comedy Dave from Radio One visited Waterstones in Golden Square to promote his new book, Comedy Dave’s Book. Original title, Dave! Dave studied at the University of Chester, Padgate Campus. He called Leicester St, Whitecross, his home.

2011 NOV 18 After years of bringing us X-Factor rejects to switch on the town centre’s Christmas lights, the authorities finally get a proper celebrity to do it – Mysterious Girl singer Peter Andre. However, Birchwood kept up with the X-Factor tradition and had a mysterious girl called Sophie Habibis switching on their lights the day before…

2011 NOV 19 Warrington Christmas Music Festival took place in the Old Fish Market at Golden Square. Entertainment included performances by Conquer Rip, Escape Committee, Amy O’Neill, Cheap Cuts, The Houghton Weavers, Bizmarx, In Blue Skies, A41, Red Mojo, The Ambersons, Bill Davro, Exile Parade, Dropscience and The Stocks. I hope I got everybody’s name right!

2011 NOV A complaint was made to Warrington Primary Care Trust over two Woolston surgeries which have changed their phone numbers from 01925 prefixes to 08433, which cost more. According to the General Medical Services contract, calls to a surgery should cost no more than a local call. The PCT said it was investigating.

2011 NOV 23-24 An Ofsted inspection gave Lysander High School (formerly Padgate High) a score of inadequate for its teaching of maths. The report was published in January 2012.

2011 NOV 24The front page story on this week’s Warrington Guardian was about council cutbacks which would see hundreds of schoolchildren go without a Christmas dinner, even if parents offer to pay for it. Parents reacted angrily to the news.

2011 NOV 25-26 & Dec 2-3 The Felicia Burns School of Dancing hosted That’s Entertainment at the Parr Hall to raise money for charities helping those with Huntington’s Disease.

2011 NOV Warrington Museum received a £672,500 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to redevelop the Bird Room. The work will start in mid 2012 and is expected to be completed by the autumn of 2013.

2011 NOV 26 Culcheth holds its 10th Victorian Day, organised by Culcheth Lions. The proceeds funded a Christmas party for 150 pensioners.

2011 NOV 26 A Christmas market took place in the town centre, featuring camels, Santa and Laurel & Hardy look-alikes. See www.lookalikesmagic.com to book Stan and Ollie for your event.

2011 NOV 28 The Halliwell Jones Stadium is announced as one of the venues for the 2013 Rugby League World Cup. One group game and a quarter final will be played at the Wolves ground.

2011 NOV 30 Iceland opened a new food store in Warrington Interchange. The bus station already has a newsagent and a BHS café available for travellers.

2011 NOV 30 Most Warrington schools were closed when unions went on strike as part of a national protest against the government pension reforms.

2011 NOV Former Status Quo drummer Jeff Rich gave a master class to pupils at Ravenbank Primary School in Lymm.

2011 NOV Penketh Community Primary School was given an ‘outstanding’ award for PE. At a time when many children are obese, this is welcome news.

2011 NOV 27 The name ‘Lancashire’ has been added to the ‘Welcome to Warrington’ signs in recognition of Real Lancashire Day. The Friends of Real Lancashire remind us that although Warrington came under the administration boundary of Cheshire in 1974, and became a unitary authority in 1998, the original county boundary didn’t change and therefore the town is still in Lancashire. ADD IMAGE.

Dec 2011

2011 DEC Bent’s Garden Centre at Glazebury announced a £10 million expansion, which would see 120 new jobs created.

2011 DEC Granada Tonight presenter Lucy Meacock showed her support for the Warrington Guardian/Big Storage Christmas 2011 Toy Appeal. The toys were given to underprivileged children via local charities.

2011 DEC 1 Tommy Sale, aged 92, Warrington rugby league club’s oldest-surviving player, was presented with an MBE from the Queen at Buckingham Palace. He played for the club from 1945 to 1946.

2011 DEC Warrington Wolves players strip for a charity calendar as part of Adrian Morley’s testimonial year. Proceeds went to the Wooden Spoon charity (www.woodenspoon.com), which helps disadvantaged children, and the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.

2011 DEC Warrington Drug and Alcohol Action Team launched a “Stay Safe This Christmas” campaign. See the website at www.warrington.gov.uk/staysafe for information, which is relevant throughout the year.

2011 DEC 2 Comedian Buzz Hawkins, creator of popular 80s radio show, The Bradshaws, performed alongside other entertainers at the Cinnamon Brow Farm Club.

2011 DEC 3 A preliminary hearing into an independent investigation over destruction of planning documents by Warrington Borough Council took place at Warrington Town Hall.

2011 DEC 3 Warrington Youth Café opens at Time Square near Warrington Market after its official unveiling the day before. See their Facebook page and also the council site at www.warrington.gov.uk/youthcafe.

2011 DEC 5 The Coca-Cola truck featured in the TV commercials stopped off at Tesco Extra, Warrington, as part of a six-week national promotional tour.

2011 DEC Warrington Disability Partnership opens a shop in Golden Square shopping centre to offer a wide range of mobility and independent-living products.

2011 DEC The Looking Glass pub on Buttermarket received the Loo of the Year Award for the second year in succession.

2011 DEC 7 Warrington teachers Craig Ward and Seve Gomez-Aspron shared £100,000 on Channel 4 game show Million Pound Drop Live, hosted by Davina McCall.

2011 DEC Proposals have been put forward to demolish the former Police Training Centre at Bruche and replace it with a 220-home estate.

2011 DEC The former Orford home of Radio 2 presenter Chris Evans is honoured in a national scheme. A purple plaque saying ‘Chris Evans, Broadcaster, Lived Here’ was presented by property website www.zoopla.co.uk.

2011 DEC 9 Decathlon, a new sports superstore, opened at the Orford Park Project selling products for 70 different sports. Former Wigan rugby league player Martin Offiah attended the opening.

2011 DEC 11 A Santa Dash took place in Birchwood to raise money for the Brainwave charity. For more information about the charity see www.brainwave.org.uk.

2011 DEC 11 The 26th annual Christmas Dickensian Festival took place in Lymm.

2011 DEC 15 Snow in Warrington.

2011 DEC It is announced that lifts and a new footbridge will be installed at Birchwood railway station – in 2014. The government and Warrington Borough Council will fund the £1.4 million scheme at the 30-year-old facility.

2011 DEC Bosses at Paddington House hotel on Manchester Road said it was business as usual in the run up to Christmas as the owners went into administration. The hotel is the former home of Alderman Arthur Bennett, former Mayor of Warrington in 1925-26-27.

2011 DEC The village of Stockton Heath receives the Purple Flag for its night-time provision. The criteria for winning the award include a welcome to all visitors, a diverse mix of entertainment and leisure facilities, restaurants and bars for all ages and safe ways to get visitors home after a night out.

2011 DEC The Environment Agency submits a planning application to transform Victoria Park with new entrances, new access roads, the relocation of a bus stop and a pedestrian crossing in order to create new flood defences around the Mersey at Howley.

2011 DEC Children from Cherry Tree Primary School in Lymm created The Big Red Juicy Cookbook with a little help from Aiden Byrne, owner of The Church Green, Higher Lane. Aiden is the former star of the Great British Menu and a Michelin star-winning chef. He also wrote the foreword.

2011 DEC The latest book from Janice Hayes at Warrington Museum is published by Amberley Publishing. “Working Lives of Warrington” looks at the town’s industrial heritage over the past 150 years.

2011 DEC 30 The Friends of Grappenhall Library, a group of volunteers, became the official owners of the village library, nine months after it was closed by the council due to spending cuts. The library re-opened with an open day on 4 February 2012.

2011 DEC 31 Warrington scriptwriter Dan Costello won the BBC TV Winter Wipeout series in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and pocketed £10,000 in the process. The show was filmed in November 2011. 

2011 DEC Little Acorns Children’s Day Nursery on Stocks Lane, Penketh, receives the highest marks possible in every category in their latest Ofsted inspection.