Jan 2012

2012 JAN 1 New Year’s Honours go to Dorothy Pritchard (MBE, MENCAP volunteer), Hillary Thomson (MBE, Fairtrade campaigner), Jefferson Welsby (MBE, HMP Kennet physical education senior officer), Roger Moray (MBE, St Rocco’s Hospice volunteer and trustee), Christopher Upham (MBE, National Association of Retired Police Officers in Cheshire volunteer) and Bill Holroyd (CBE, Warrington Wolves Director).

2012 JAN An appeal on behalf of the RSPCA through the Warrington Guardian newspaper raises £30,000 in two months to keep the Warrington branch running.

2012 JAN 2-15 Aladdin is this year’s pantomime at the Parr Hall.

2012 JAN 5 Skiers from Warrington became part of a group to receive a Guinness World Record certificate for their part in forming the longest chain of skiers. The group achieved their certificate at Chill Factor in Manchester and to win their award there had to be more than 50 people linked together for more than 100 metres. They managed 60 people on the eighth and final attempt.

2012 JAN 5 Bob the Builder creator, Curtis Jobling, a former Penketh High School pupil, released Shadow of the Hawk,the third book in the Wereworld series. The first was called Rise of the Wolf and the second was called Rage of Lions. The fourth book in the series, Nest of Serpents, will be released on 7 June 2012.

2012 JAN Warrington Collegiate announced a new course in rugby league from September 2012. The BTEC national diploma includes coaching, refereeing, sports science, fitness and tactics.

2012 JAN 10 Schoolchildren escaped injury when a double-decker bus had its roof sliced off under a low-level bridge in Grappenhall when the driver apparently took a wrong turn.

2012 JAN Councillors discussed the regeneration of historic canals running through Warrington.

2012 JAN 13 One of the survivors of the stricken cruise ship Costa Concordia, which hit rocks off the coast of Italy, is revealed as dancer Sarah Hudson from Warrington.

2012 JAN 13 Former editor of the Warrington Guardian, Ernest Buckley, died aged 82.

2012 JAN The council announced that Fordton Leisure Centre would be converted into a community hub and supermarket when the existing facility moves into the Orford Park Project, which is due to open on 1 May 2012.

2012 JAN 17 A new arts centre was unveiled at Priestley College in Wilderspool.

2012 JAN Warrington “gentleman’s” Club welcomed its first female member, bank manager Lesley Cozens. Founder members of The Warrington Club in 1876 included businessman Frederick Monks (who donated the town hall gates and Cromwell’s statue to the town).

2012 JAN 21 Paul Ricc, 54, who oversaw the redevelopment of Bridge Street following the IRA bombing in 1993, died after cancer.

2012 JAN 21 Tomlin’s bakery on Amelia Street, Orford, was gutted by fire. Police later confirmed it was arson. See update.

2012 JAN 22 Tetley Sports and Social Club celebrated its 50th anniversary at its Long Lane site. Its previous home was on Orford Lane, which is now the Irish Club.

2012 JAN 23 A man who pleaded guilty to stealing cash from Remembrance Sunday Poppy Appeal collection boxes last November was jailed for eight months, but will serve half that for admitting to his crime.

2012 JAN 23 The annual report by the Centre for Cities group ranked Warrington 12th out of the 64 biggest towns and cities for recruiting business, but 60th worst for CO2 emissions.

2012 JAN Families of residents at Woodleigh Community Support Centre in Callands, which offers support for people with dementia, expressed concern regarding a council proposal to transfer the residents to alternative providers as part of a budget review. A consultation period on the proposal ends on 31 January 2012. The council eventually backed down in March 2012 and the home remains open.

2012 JAN Gulliver’s World theme park in Westbrook announced it will host a Sport Relief Mile run on 25 March 2012.

2012 JAN Christ Church CE Primary School and St Oswald’s Catholic Primary School, both in Padgate, received ‘outstanding’ awards in their recent Ofsted reports.

2012 JAN Former Miss Cheshire Holly Ikin opened The Dress Studio on Glaziers Lane in Culcheth.

2012 JAN Oil paintings from Warrington Museum joined thousands of others on the BBC Your Paintings website.

2012 JAN 21 The 21st year of Live at St Wilfrid’s, a series of live classical music performances at St Wilfrid’s Church in Grappenhall village, began with pianist Martin Roscoe, who has worked with Simon Rattle and performed at the Proms and on radio.

2012 JAN 25 Former Warrington rugby league player Len McIntyre died aged 78. He made 80 appearances for the club in the 1960s and also played at St Helens, Oldham and Wigan.

2012 JAN 26 An envelope posted from Exeter on 4 November 1850 addressed to Mr Peter Stubbs, Steel Works, Warrington, sold for £400 at auction. It was one of the first envelopes with a perforated postage stamp sent to Warrington.

2012 JAN Low Carbon Lymm received a £47,000 grant from the Government’s Local Energy Assessment Fund. The money will be put towards surveys and other initiatives to reduce energy bills in the village.

2012 JAN 27 A temporary driving test centre at Paddington House hotel has been approved by the council, despite protests from the public.

2012 JAN 27 Construction work began on the £4.8 million Great Sankey Primary School near Liverpool Road. The original Victorian school building will be retained and used for some other purpose.

2012 JAN 28 The Piano Bar nightclub on Bold Street hosted a charity casino night to re-launch the venue. Proceeds went to Warrington Disability Partnership.

2012 JAN Warrington Town Football Club began a community partnership with United Utilities to increase participation in sport in the town.

2012 JAN 31 Warrington-born actress Polly Walker starred in the six-part BBC1 drama Prisoners’ Wives.

2012 JAN Birchwood-based G&J Greenall received a total of five awards for its spirits at the prestigious Drinks International’s Pre-Mixed Drinks Challenge. It received two silver medals for its Gin and Pink Grapefruit Juice and Gin Sin brands and three bronze medals (Gin FizzGreenall’s Gin and Tonic and Greenall’s Gin and Diet Tonic).

Feb 2012

2012 FEB 1 Residents in Penketh and Sankey campaigned outside the Town Hall against the extension of Arpley landfill site. If approved, rubbish will be dumped at the Arpley site until 2025.

2012 FEB 1 Nature lovers at the Ferry Tavern in Penketh were treated to an appearance of a seal which was sunbathing on the mud beside the River Mersey.

2012 FEB 2 Warrington-born actor Warren Brown starred in the four-part BBC1 series Inside Man, the story of three employees of a security depot who plan a multi-million pound cash heist.

2012 FEB Warrington Borough Council announced that Bank Park will undergo a £176,000 revamp in time for the Olympic Torch Relay procession through the town on 31 May 2012. Work started in mid-February.

2012 FEB 4 Snow in Warrington – or was it? I wasn’t quite sure. I woke up to white on the ground but it turned into sleet, hail and rain very quickly.

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

2012 FEB Children from Cinnamon Brow CE Primary School buried a time capsule under the new entrance hall. Future generations will be able to retrieve items including the current school uniform, coins, workbooks, the school newspaper and a video of day-to-day life in the school.

2012 FEB 7 Warrington-born actress Rachel Priest appeared in an episode of Channel 4’s Hollyoaks where she played a flatmate from hell. Previous TV acting parts for her have included Coronation Street and other ITV dramas Blue Murder and Cold Blood. She is due to appear in BBC One’slater in the year. Rachel was a former member of Warrington Youth Theatre.

2012 FEB Children from Gorse Covert Primary School performed a re-enactment of the 1953 Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, followed by a street party.

2012 FEB The Bishop of Warrington, the Right Reverend Richard Blackburn, announced that weekly church attendances have increased from 27,100 to 27,800 in the Diocese of Liverpool, which includes Warrington. The national average was 22,800.

2012 FEB 11-12 Holy Trinity Church of England minister the Reverend Steve Parish announced a series of special events across the town’s churches to mark the 350th anniversary of the introduction of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer.

2012 FEB 10 Warrington Borough Council leader Cllr Terry O’Neill tried his hand at bricklaying when he helped to promote National Apprenticeship Week at Warrington Collegiate on Winwick Road. The council also announced a new apprenticeship scheme for 16 to 24-year-olds with funding coming from the Coalfields Regeneration Trust.

2012 FEB 23-25 The Bridgewater Players drama company from Thelwall performed their Aladdin Dot Com pantomime, a modern-day panto based on the computer world. Read more about the company on the Community page. Link to their website www.bridgewaterplayers.co.uk.

2012 FEB Warrington Borough Council announced £75,000 a year extra funding over the next three years to extend 20 mph zones on residential roads across the borough.

2012 FEB It is announced that the Queen will re-visit the town on 17 May as part of her Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

2012 FEB Plans to relocate Green Lane and Foxwood special schools to the site of Woolston High School were announced by the borough council. Meanwhile, Green Lane School was presented with the ICT award from the professional ICT body Naace for how it uses computers to make lessons better. Read more about the award at www.naace.co.uk/ictmark.

2012 FEB Campaigners said more needed to be done to keep traffic moving if the number of boats on the Manchester Ship Canal is doubled. Four thousand people have already signed a petition against the plans.

2012 FEB Three students from Priestley College have been offered places at Oxford or Cambridge this coming September. They are Joseph Brown (Oxford), Katherine Stephenson (Oxford) and Grace Macklin (Cambridge).

2012 FEB Plans were submitted to extend the floor space of Bank Quay House on Sankey Street. The building was formerly known as Priestley House and once housed the council’s Social Services department.

2012 FEB A landowner has been ordered to unblock footpaths leading to Bennett’s Rec in Padgate after they were given official approval as public rights of way. The paths have been used by the public for over 30 years.

2012 FEB A group of 37 Beavers and Scouts from the Warrington East Scout District were presented with their Chief Scouts bronze and silver awards at a ceremony hosted by Warrington South MP David Mowat at LA Bowl on Winwick Quay. The district is made up of the 3rd Culcheth, 6th Thelwall, 12th Birchwood, 13th St Elphin’s, 25th Grappenhall and 27th Woolston Scout groups.

2012 FEB 22 The town centre and Birchwood branches of fashion retailer Peacocks became the latest victims of the economic slump. Two hundred branches of the chain closed nationally. The company had been in administration since 19 January.

2012 FEB 24-26 The Culcheth Players drama company performed their pantomime version of Treasure Island at Culcheth Sports Club. Link to the company’s website www.culchethplayers.co.uk

Mar 2012

2012 MAR Boston Boulevard became the first piece of land in Chapelford Urban Village to be acquired by the borough council.

2012 MAR Golden Gates Housing Trust began a programme of installing solar panels to their 9,000 properties which could save tenants around £100 a year in energy bills.

2012 MAR A local resident suggested the transporter bridge at Bank Quay be moved to Widnes to make the new Mersey crossing more appealing to tourists. Well, from what I have heard, if the toll bridge goes ahead, many drivers won’t use the new crossing and will instead travel via south Warrington to cross the Mersey, so they will not see the bridge from Widnes. Therefore, leaving it at Warrington as one of only three in the country will continue to give it a local talking point and retain some of our history. Anyway, Widnes didn’t want their own transporter bridge – they pulled it down when they built the Jubilee coat hanger bridge… See what readers of Warrington-Worldwide and Warrington Guardian think. ADD IMAGE.

2012 MAR 5 Driving tests officially returned to Warrington when a temporary facility opened at Paddington House Hotel in Woolston.

2012 MAR 6 Private Daniel Wade, aged 20, from Latchford, from the 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of Wellington’s), was killed alongside five other colleagues in southern Afghanistan.

2012 MAR A £10 million scheme to replace a water pumping station at Bewsey Bridge near Sankey Valley Park was announced.

2012 MAR Golden Gates Housing Trust began a 12-month scheme to make improvements to properties in Longford. The old ‘castle walls’ around some gardens will be replaced. In a separate scheme by Warrington Borough Council, footpaths and street lighting will be upgraded.

2012 MAR 8 BBC Radio Merseyside’s Roger Phillips broadcast his radio show live from St Joseph’s Club, Meeting Lane, Penketh.

2012 MAR 13 Double Olympic rowing gold medallist James Cracknell unveiled a new Health and Wellbeing Centre at Jackson Avenue, Culcheth.

2012 MAR Warrington author James Anderson published his book The Birch Trees, a story set in the fictional village of Bjorkvard, a Nordic renaming of Birchwood. Some of the story is based on the working life of a girl who worked at the Royal Ordnance Factory in Risley on which the district of Birchwood is built. To read extracts from the book on Facebook click here.

2012 MAR Warrington Borough Council changed its mind on opposing schools wishing to becoming academies. It now says “any school that feels that conversion to academy status is appropriate will continue to be supported”.

2012 MAR Over 6,000 signatures have now been collected by Arpley Landfill Opposition Group opposing plans to keep Arpley landfill site open for a further 12 years. The group is supported by all three main political parties. For more see www.alog.org.uk.

2012 MAR 16 Bewsey Lodge Primary School on Lodge Lane received the Eco School award for their efforts to help the environment.

2012 MAR 17 The Fairey Brass Band gave a performance at the Salvation Army Citadel on Academy Street as part of the band’s 75th anniversary. Read about the band at www.faireyband.com.

2012 MAR 18 Warrington Wolves unveiled a £2 million extension to the ground at the home game against Wakefield. The two new corners on the east side added about 2,000 to the capacity.

2012 MAR 22 The front page of the Warrington Guardian reports on the council spending £2,700 to send 10 staff to London for an awards dinner at the Grosvenor House Hotel.

2012 MAR The first sod was cut on the new £4.7 million primary school at Chapelford estate in west Warrington.

2012 MAR 29 Warrington Borough Council approved plans to build 220 homes on the site of the former Bruche Police National Training Centre.

2012 MAR 31 Penketh Bowling Club celebrated its 30th anniversary. See their website at www.penkethbc.co.uk.

2012 MAR 31 The Centre Park-based Northwest Regional Development Agency was officially wound up by the government. The agency, which was launched in the town in 2002, will be replaced by a local enterprise partnership.

2012 MAR 31 A mink was seen on the Sankey Canal between Bewsey Old Hall and railway arches. A Warrington Guardian reader said they had also seen one at Woolston.

Apr 2012

2012 APR It was announced that the New Horizons School in Longbarn has passed its first OFSTED inspection. The report, undertaken on 28 February this year, gave a ‘satisfactory’ rating. There are four levels of rating: 1 (Outstanding), 2 (Good), 3 (Satisfactory) and 4 (Inadequate).

2012 APR 2 It was announced on ITV’s This Morning that Padgate-born actress Sue Johnston was to join the cast of ITV’s Coronation Street.

2012 APR 5 Filming took place outside McDonalds in Bridge Street for a new TV advert. The management refused to say what the advert was about but everybody was dressed in Mexican gear. So, it’s not doing a line in Lancashire Hot Pot then, is it?

2012 APR 8 The Ferry Tavern in Penketh held a memorial boat race to mark 100 years since two men died whilst competing in a yacht race on the River Mersey alongside the pub, known as the Ferry Inn at the time. See www.theferrytavern.com for a history of the pub.

2012 APR 8 A Taste of America, a themed stall, opened in Warrington Market. The stall sells all-American treats such as Lucky Charms, Mountain Dew and pumpkin.

2012 APR 9 The annual Lymm Duck Race took place in the village. Punters placed stakes on which plastic duck reached the finish line first. This year’s event raised £5,000 for charities in south Warrington.

2012 APR According to www.gadget-cover.com insurance company, Warrington is the second-worst town in the country for dropping, losing or misplacing laptops, mobile phones and other electrical gadgets. Redcar in Cleveland was reported as the worst. 

2012 APR 11 Warrington-born Britain’s Got Talent winner George Sampson opened his Access 2 All Areas dance studio on Crown Street by Warrington Central Station.

2012 APR Warrington Youth Club (formerly Warrington Boys Club) celebrated its 60th anniversary with a BMX and cycle competition at Orford Skate Park on Orford Park. The club is based at the Peace Centre on Peace Drive off Cromwell Avenue.

2012 APR 13 The business breakfast launch of the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy took place at Warrington Collegiate on Winwick Road. The academy, a first for Warrington, will gives students an opportunity to ‘turn their business dreams into a reality’.

2012 APR 15 The first Lymm.com 10k race took place in the village with 400 runners taking part.

2012 APR The Plough pub on Mill Lane, Houghton Green, was announced as runner-up in the north Cheshire Pub of the Year 2012 by CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale. The pub was built in 1774.

2012 APR 15 All Saints Church, Glazebury, celebrated its 160th anniversary with a special service.

2012 APR 15 TV presenter Judith Chalmers (ITV Wish You Were Here…?) presented a minibus to Foxwood School, Birchwood, on behalf of The Lord’s Taverners charity.

2012 APR 16-19 A public inquiry took place into whether a stretch of land in Stockton Heath called Cartwright’s field could be save for community use. See Community page for more.

2012 APR 17 Seven-year-old Ciaran Geddes of Locking Stumps collapsed and died whilst playing football on his local school field. Since then £35,000 has been raised (by November 2012) in his memory to buy a defibrillator for each of the 69 schools in the town at a cost of around £500 each. So far, 12 defibrillators have been handed to Warrington schools.

2012 APR Warrington Borough Council Chief Executive Diane Terris announced she would be stepping down from her post in Warrington and moving to a new post in Barnsley, West Yorkshire. One of her main achievements was the transfer of housing stock from Golden Gates Housing to Golden Gates Housing Trust on 29 November 2010.

2012 APR Singer Olly Murs donated £5,000 to Brainwave,  a charity with a branch in Birchwood, for which he is patron. He appeared on a celebrity edition of Channel 4’s Deal Or No Deal but went away with just fifty pence and promised to make up the money himself.

2012 APR 18 Paralympian archer John Stubbs visited St Anne’s Primary School in Orford to help teach children the importance of Olympic values. Read his profile in Sporting People.

2012 APR 19 The council approves a £23 million Environment Agency flood defence plan for the River Mersey.

2012 APR 20 – 5 MAY The River of Life plaque erected in memory of Tim Parry and Johnathan Ball, who were killed in the 1993 IRA bombing of the town centre, was stolen from its site on Bridge Street. Two men were later charged with the theft and The Sun newspaper commissioned a replacement. The original was recovered and will be put on display at the Peace Centre in Great Sankey. Link to the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace website.

2012 APR 29 The annual RSPCA Warrington dog walk event took place. The five-mile walk started at the Slutchers Lane animal centre.

May 2012

2012 MAY Culture Warrington became the new name for culture services in Warrington. The services transferred from Warrington Borough Council to a brand new company limited by guarantee and are currently going through the process of becoming a registered charity. They will be responsible for running the museum, Parr Hall and Pyramid. In a similar move Live Wire became responsible for local leisure, libraries and lifestyle services.

2012 MAY 3 Local election results gave Labour 41 seats on the new borough council, Liberal Democrats 12 seats and Conservatives four seats. Turnout was low – only two wards had more than 30% of the electorate voting. One had less than 18% voting.

2012 MAY 4 Tomlins Bakery on Synge Street, Orford, reopened after a fire caused by arson in January. Return to January story. ADD IMAGE.

2012 MAY 7-11 Representatives from the Samoa rugby league team visit the town in preparation for the Rugby League World Cup in 2013, which has at least two of the matches at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, home to Warrington Wolves.

2012 MAY A report said that the condition of the Town Hall Golden Gates was in decline and that it would cost £110,000 to put right if action wasn’t taken soon. This came from David Thelwell who restored the gates 19 years ago. The council responded by saying they were considering options for their restoration.

2012 MAY 11 The funeral of Private Daniel Wade, 20, who died on 6 March 2012 in a bomb attack while serving in Afghanistan, took place.

2012 SAT MAY 7 mywarrington website 7th birthday.

2012 MAY 13 A memorial football match took place for seven-year-old Ciaran Geddes at Chester Football Club. Comedians John Bishop and Jason Manford took part in the charity event to raise funds for the British Heart Foundation. In the same week the Warrington Guardian launched a campaign with Hand on Heart to help make Warrington the first town in the country to have defibrillators in every school.

2012 MAY 17 Her Majesty The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visited Warrington to officially open Orford Jubilee Park off Winwick Road as part of her Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

2012 MAY 19 School boy Lloyd Horne, age 10, from St Margaret’s Primary School, beat 100,000 other youngsters to become UK Top Trumps Champion at John Lewis in Stratford in the Stadium Suite which overlooks the Olympic Park. He received his award from five-times Olympic champion Sir Steve Redgrave at the event. Read more here.

2012 MAY (21-25) Bob the Builder creator Curtis Jobling visited an adult learners workshop at Golden Square shopping centre to offer his advice and support.

2012 MAY 21 Cllr Steve Wright was sworn in as the 129th Mayor of Warrington.

2012 MAY 23 Indie band The Stone Roses performed a surprise show at the Parr Hall in front of 1,000 people.

2012 MAY 24 The government announced the new Universal Credit benefit would be trialled in Tameside, Oldham, Wigan and Warrington from April 2013. It would then be rolled out nationally from October 2013.

2012 MAY 24 The Prime Minister David Cameron condemned the theft of the Bridge Street memorial plaque. Warrington South MP David Mowat asked Mr Cameron about legislation to prevent the sale of scrap metal for cash. Of course, that would be unfair to genuine sales of scrap metal, so caution would have to be the order of the day.

2012 MAY 26 The annual Warrington Horse Show held in Daresbury every year was cancelled this year due to adverse weather conditions. The cancellation of the event was announced in advance. Sadly, this looks like a regular occurrence in future years due to global warming. Visit their website.

2012 MAY 26 A Roman-themed community day took place on Causeway Park off Wilderspool Causeway. Attractions included a gladiator demonstration from historical re-enactment group Comitatas, a Roman couple demonstrating ways of living, falconry, a dog display and a choir from St James’ CE Primary School. The event was organised by the South Area Stronger Together team.

2012 MAY 31 The 2012 Olympic Torch Relay stopped off at Warrington. See Events page for photos. ADD IMAGE.

Jun 2012

2012 JUN 3 The Oughtrington XI took on stars from Hollyoaks and Coronation Street in a charity 20-20 cricket match at Oughtrington Park Cricket Club in Lymm to raise funds for Help For Heroes. The event also featured a 20-minute set from former Blue singer Anthony Costa during the interval.

2012 JUN 4 The opening of Dakota Park in Chapelford took place. The RAF Burtonwood Association unveiled a photographic display and there were military vehicles on show.

2012 JUN 4 High Warren Service Reservoir in Appleton was one of the sites chosen for the Diamond Jubilee Beacon celebrations to mark the Queen’s 60-year reign.

2012 JUN 7 Manchester United legend Denis Irwin launched the first BTEC football excellence and coaching programme at Orford Jubilee Park. The course for 16 to 24-year-olds would take place at Warrington Collegiate from September 2012 in partnership with Manchester United Soccer Schools.

2012 JUN 9 The annual Lymm May Queen festival took place.

2012 JUN 9 The annual Thelwall May Queen festival took place.

2012 JUN 9 A Jubilee lunch was held in the town centre. Punch and Judy and a parade of giant queen figures were part of the fun.

2012 JUN Warrington became the first town in the UK to be granted “Health City” status. The borough joined 15 cities across the UK network and 30 others across Europe tackling issues surrounding health and wellbeing.

2012 JUN 16 The annual Bawming of the Thorn ceremony took place in Appleton Thorn. Read more about this unique event on the Events page.

2012 JUN 16 The annual Orford Festival took place at Orford Jubilee Park. This year’s event did not include a Walking Day.

2012 JUN 16 The annual Thelwall Rose Queen gala took place. This year’s recipient was twelve-year-old Larissa Melia.

2012 JUN 16 Chapelford Farm pub opens on Santa Rosa Boulevard opposite Sainsbury’s in the district.

2012 JUN 18 Work started on the demolition of Fordton Leisure Centre in Orford. All facilities were transferred to Orford Jubilee Park on 1 May 2012. See photos and the story of Fordton on the My Warrington page.

2012 JUN Dallam-born Mike Hill, who makes monster models for the movie industry in Los Angeles, won The Henry Alvarez Award for creative design. On 19 June 2011 he unveiled a statue of Christopher Reeve as Superman.

2012 JUN Five Mountain Ash trees known as ‘Olympic Flame’ were planted in Victoria Park in the iconic five-ring pattern to mark the start of a refurbishment plan for the park and to commemorate the Olympic Torch Relay which visited town last month.

2012 JUN A refurbishment of the town centre around the Cultural Quarter of Palmyra Square and Cairo Street areas was unveiled by the council. New taxi ranks, cycle routes and pedestrian zones are included in the plan due to start in July.

2012 JUN 22 The 7th annual St Rocco’s Hospice Starlight Walk set off from Orford Jubilee Park as 1,400 woman walked the 13-mile route around town. Over £150,000 was pledged by supporters of the event.

2012 JUN 22/26 Pupils from Sir Thomas Boteler CE High School raised £80 for the children’s ward at Warrington Hospital with a sponsored car wash. The event also helps with their Archbishop of York Young Leaders Award, a scheme which emphasises the importance faith plays in the community.

2012 JUN 23 Winwick Church and School summer fete took place.

2012 JUN 23 The annual Padgate and Woolston Walking Day took place.

2012 JUN 23 Grappenhall Walking Day took place which also saw the crowning of the Rose Queen.

2012 JUN 29 Warrington Walking Day took place in the town centre. Read how it all started on the Memory Lane page.

2012 JUN It was announced that the Salvation Army will no longer run James Lee House on Brick Street after Brighter Futures put in a successful tender to run the hostel when the current 25-year contract runs out on 31 July 2012.

2012 JUN (27) A bike meant for a charity ride from the Eiffel Tower to Blackpool Tower to raise funds in memory of seven-year-old Ciaran Geddes of Locking Stumps, who died in April after heart problems, was stolen from the family shed.

2012 JUN 30 – 1 JUL Burtonwood Art Show takes place.

Jul 2012

2012 JUL 3 The Met Office announced that June 2012 was the wettest in over a century. Provisional figures for June show double the average amount of rain has fallen, making it the wettest June since records began in 1910. Read their report here.

2012 JUL 5 Warrington-based backing track producers Ameritz.co.uk were featured on BBC Radio One’s Newsbeat programme.

2012 JUL 7-15 Radio Warrington, the town’s online community radio station since March 2007, began broadcasting on 87.8 FM on a temporary community licence. They will do the same again later this year and to apply for a five-year license next year.

2012 JUL 7-13 DJKenny announced on Radio Warrington 87.8 FM that a fire had started at the Boots store on Gemini Retail Park, Europa Boulevard, at 8.25pm on Saturday. Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service later said building inspectors were concerned about the safety of the building and were set to meet the owners to discuss possible demolition, which included the Next store alongside. An investigation began on Tuesday 10th July and it was revealed on Friday 13th July that the fire was caused by an electrical fault. The Boots store was eventually demolished and the company began trading from Alban Retail Park off Winwick Road and Hawleys Lane. Next continued to trade from the original location.

2012 JUL 7 The annual Croft Carnival and rose queen crowning took place.

2012 JUL 7 The second Warrington Mela event took place at Parr Hall and Queens Gardens. A Mela is a cultural festival consisting of music, fashion, food, dance and other entertainment.

2012 JUL Lymm and District Round Table announced a record-breaking year of fundraising for the period 2011/12 as they raised over £13,000 for good causes from events such as Lymm Duck Race, Big Lymm Bonfire and Lymm Beer Festival.

2012 JUL A team of 40 cyclists completed a 200-mile charity trip from Warrington to Somerset. The event raised £15,000 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Brainwave charity, which has an office in Birchwood.

2012 JUL 8 Stockton Heath Walking Day took place.

2012 JUL Doctors, nurses and receptionists at Penketh Medical Centre raised £4,100 for Great Sankey soldier Tom Coleridge to support him on the road to recovery after he was injured in Afghanistan. They completed a fundraising trek up Snowdon.

2012 JUL The Reverse Rett Mountain Goats raised £4,000 for the Rett Syndrome Research Trust by climbing 15 peaks in 24 hours. Andy Stevenson set up the charity after his daughter was diagnosed with the disease, which causes severe physical and learning difficulties.

2012 JUL 10 Property developers Satnam submitted a planning application to build 150 homes on the site of Peel Hall in north Warrington. The public have always been opposed to the idea, which would see houses built on one of the last remaining green areas of north Warrington. The consultation over the plan was later branded a sham by local councillor Steve Roberts, according to the Warrington Guardian.

2012 JUL 10 The two men arrested for the theft of the River of Life plaque in Bridge Street in April 2012 apologised to all concerned and accepted restorative justice as an alternative punishment. Read the Warrington Guardian report.

2012 JUL The Sportsman’s Arms pub on Warrington Road in Penketh won the award for best community pub in the Marston Pub Company northern awards.

2012 JUL 10 Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School on Selby Street in Whitecross celebrates its 40th anniversary with a 1970s-themed fancy dress event which saw the burial of a time capsule.

2012 JUL 11/19 Almost a decade after the project was announced, the Warrington Guardian reports that the first occupant of Omega business park on the former site of RAF Burtonwood could move in within the next 12 months. The company was not named at the time but one week later the newspaper named Brakes Brothers, a food distribution company, as the future occupiers, with a warehouse creating 600 jobs in 2013. ADD IMAGE.

2012 JUL 11 A special study of how towns and cities have developed during the past century has revealed Warrington as the top town in Britain for economic growth. The report was published by the ‘Cities Outlook 1901‘. Read more at Warrington Worldwide.

2012 JUL 14 Howley Carnival took place in Howley Park.

2012 JUL 14 Stretton Walking Day takes place.

2012 JUL Grappenhall Heyes Walled Garden received £961,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to restore the Foster and Pearson glasshouses to their former glory.

2012 JUL The former Hollybush nursing home on Lovely Lane, Whitecross, will become a multi-occupancy residence as plans were approved by the council’s planning department. It followed an inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in July 2011 which revealed poor care practice. Residents were moved out in September 2011.

2012 JUL 14 Warrington Music Festival took place. Acts included Old Town Quartet, White Vinyl, Blast Tyrant, Back to Basics, Tainted Memories, Nukelacity and Greg Dixon. The event took place on four stages across the town centre, including Queens Gardens and Golden Square.

2012 JUL 14 HMS Turbulent, based in Plymouth and twinned with Warrington for the past two decades, was formally decommissioned in a ceremony on deck featuring TS Obdurate, the Warrington sea cadet unit based on Wilderspool Causeway.

2012 JUL 15 The 21st Disability Awareness Day took place at Walton Hall Gardens.

2012 JUL 15 Warrington Pipe Band filmed scenes for a new six-part ITV1 drama Home Fronts at Peninsular Barracks on O’Leary Street, Orford. The drama, about soldiers returning from Afghanistan, was aired in autumn 2012.

2012 JUL Clare Bottle completed a 500km cycle ride around the island of Madagascar to raise £10,000 for Transaid, a charity which offers transport for people in African countries who live far away from medical treatment.

2012 JUL 18 The Duke of Gloucester visited Warrington Youth Club to celebrate their 60th anniversary.

2012 JUL 19 Warrington’s now has a population of 202,200 (101,900 women and 100,300 men), according to the 2011 Census. This is an increase of 11,116 or 5.8% on the 2001 Census figure of 191,084.

2012 JUL Shelly’s Restaurant was awarded five stars – the highest possible – in Warrington Borough Council’s Scores on the Doors website for health and hygiene.

2012 JUL Three Warrington parks and green spaces were awarded the 2012 Green Flag Award. The three are Fox Covert Cemetery, Hollinfare Cemetery and Bewsey Park, which all join Walton Hall Gardens, Lymm Dam, Alexandra Park in Stockton Heath, Risley Moss, St Peter’s Park, Walton Crematorium, the Walton Lea Project and Burtonwood Cemetery, making 11 in total. Click here for details of the national scheme.

2012 JUL William Beamont High School applied to become an academy under the control of Warrington Collegiate.

2012 JUL 22 The second Warrington 5K legacy event took place in Victoria Park.

2012 JUL 22 Dentist Ben Marlow completed the gruelling iron man challenge in Bolton to raise £1,300 for the Love Hearts Appeal at Great Ormond Street Hospital after a friend had a life-saving transplant there in 2006 at the age of 15. The iron man challenge involves a 2.4 mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride and a 26-mile marathon run, all completed in one day, which he managed to do in 14 hours and 20 minutes.

2012 JUL Staff from Northern Commercials raised £1,630 for the Warrington & Widnes District Society for the Blind by completing a 54 mile bike ride from Irlam to Brighouse in West Yorkshire. Meanwhile, Warrington Independent Darts and Dominoes League raised £1,137 for St Rocco’s Hospice and Bridges pub on Bridge Street raised £395 for Armed Forces Day by holding a sponsored shave.

2012 JUL Volunteers at Lymm Youth and Community Centre complete a deal to take over the control of the community centre from Warrington Borough Council on a 30-year lease.

2012 JUL Mum Maureen Evans handed in a 14,000-strong petition to 10 Downing Street on behalf of two Culcheth primary schools and the Meningitis Trust, who are campaigning for automatic assessments in schools for children who have had the condition and allow after-effects to be flagged up early and the right support put in place. Maureen’s son was diagnosed with the condition in 2009.

2012 JUL 24 David Hunter takes part in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ITV1 Superstar show in the hope of securing a role in the stage version of Jesus Christ Superstar. Sadly, David was voted out of the competition by viewers in the semi-final. However, he was later given roles in The Who’s Tommy and Seussical the Musical.

2012 JUL Penketh and Old Hall Angling Society (POHAS) received Clubmark status from the Angling Trust, a nationally recognised standard for sports clubs. See Community page for more on POHAS. 

2012 JUL Thelwall Parish Hall received a £10,000 Big Lottery Fund grant towards regeneration of the Bell Lane venue.

2012 JUL 25 Katharine Willis from Butler Landscapes received a Silver Gilt medal at the RHS Tatton Show with a garden design created with the help of inmates from Thorn Cross Young Offenders’ Institute. See photos of the garden here (link was live at the time of publishing).

2012 JUL 27 Olympia, a saddleback pig, arrived at Walton Hall children’s zoo on the opening day of the London 2012 Olympics. She later gave birth to piglets, which were named Bolt, Mo, Daly, Ennis, Pearson, Bradley, Piggins, Greg, Jade, Ellie and Hoy after some of this years Olympic heroes.

2012 JUL 27 One Red Shoe, a Warrington-based company headed by Fiona and Neil Osborne, were commissioned to create five of the 83 giant Olympic mascots placed around the capital. They were only allowed to mention the fact after the games had closed. 

2012 JUL Warrington Borough Council was chosen for a study in a bid to win a £24 million ‘future city’ prize. The council was one of 30 local authorities picked in a government-funded examination and was awarded £50,000 to take part.

2012 JUL Oughtrington Community Orchard received a Big Lottery Fund grant of £8,500 towards their Seed to Grow project, which included the purchase of an apple press and educational and skills training in enabling residents to grow their own food.

Aug 2012

2012 AUG Work began this month on phase one of an Environment Agency flood defence programme along the River Mersey at Latchford and Howley. Read more here.

2012 AUG 1 The River of Life memorial plaque was returned to its original place on Bridge Street (photo, right). One anonymous resident expressed his disgust at the two men who stole the plaque (photo, far right) He was quite keen to see his comments displayed for the world to see. ADD IMAGE.

2012 AUG 2 Farmers blockaded the Iceland milk distribution centre at Hardwick Grange, Woolston, in a protest organised by Farmers For Action against the price they are paid for milk.

2012 AUG Electricity North West at Birchwood Park became the first UK business to take ownership of the Toyota Prius plug-in electric car.

2012 AUG 3 The lead singer of Warrington band White Vinyl, Daniel Steven Rimmer, was found hanged in his flat on Lovely Lane, Bewsey. An inquest on 4 February 2013 heard that the 25-year-old was about to be evicted over unpaid rent. The coroner reported that his financial difficulties had caused him ‘great anguish’. The group performed at Warrington Music Festival in 2012.

2013 AUG 3 The parents of Warrington teenager Shafilea Ahmed were guilty of her murder in 2003 at Chester Crown Court. Shafilea’s body was found on the banks of the River Kent in Cumbria after she was suffocated with a plastic bag in an apparent “honour killing”. Iftikar, 52, and Farzana Ahmed, 49, had both denied her murder but the jury returned guilty verdicts against them both. Farzana Ahmed abandoned her attempts to appeal in April 2013. 

2012 AUG 4 The annual charity golf day supporting Bobby Brown from Orford, now three years old, took place at Birchwood Golf Club. Bobby was born with the rare eye disease Peters’ Anomaly.

2012 AUG 5 The fourth annual St Rocco’s Hospice Dragon Boat Race took place at Warrington Rowing Club on the Mersey at Howley.

2012 AUG 7 Your Housing Group and Christian youth group Urban Saints hosted a family fun day at Bennett’s Recreation Ground in Padgate.

2012 AUG 8 Fairbrothers Travel introduced new bus services to rival Network Warrington in two areas. Route 1C covers Westy and Latchford and route 21H covers Orford, Longford, Dallam and Whitecross, both costing £1 per single journey. The company has run bus services in the town since 1984.

2012 AUG Warrington Borough Council announced that Dallam Day Centre on Dallam Lane will close at the end of the year. Users of the centre will be relocated into other specialist community care centres across the borough.

2012 AUG 12 The annual Lymm Rushbearing Festival took place. Read more about the ceremony here.

2012 AUG 14 Warrington Museum was declared a top visitor attraction by Visit England for the sixth consecutive year. An inspector posing as a normal visitor made a detailed study of the facilities before giving the award. Visit the museum website.

2012 AUG 13-24 St Mark’s Church in Dallam began a two week summer scheme in association with Golden Gates Housing Trust, with sports, drama, arts and crafts on offer.

2012 AUG 14 The official opening of the new VIP Centre (Warrington and Widnes District Society for the Blind) took place at Fairfield and Howley Centre on Fairfield Street.

2012 AUG 16 Warrington Borough Council opened up a second Contact Warrington base at Time Square to provide additional services to their main base on Horsemarket Street.

2012 AUG 23 Residents of Croft lost their battle to stop 25 houses being built on land at the former HMS Gosling site on Lady Lane at a council planning meeting at the Town Hall. Rival councillors Sue Bland (Conservative) and Labour’s Chris Vobe later joined forces in a bid to persuade the coalition government to intervene.

2012 AUG 25 Warrington Wolves beat Leeds Rhinos 35-18 in the Challenge Cup Final at Wembley. This is the second time in three years they have beaten Leeds in the Final, and the third win in four years (beating Huddersfield in 2009). They also won the League Championship shield in 2011.

2012 AUG Multi-talented 16-year-old Alessandro Caggegi passed his diploma music exam with honours before setting off to Moscow to study at the prestigious Bolshoi Ballet Academy. He also played the cornet with Golborne Brass Band.

2012 AUG 28-29 Twenty-year-old Samantha Jones carried the Paralympic Torch along Regent Street in memory of Dave Connor, a Great Britain international in wheelchair basketball and a Warrington Disability Partnership employee, who died suddenly in June 2012. Also, Sam Crossley carried the torch on the stretch from Stoke Mandeville to the Olympic Stadium the day before. Samantha is hoping to join Team GB in a future Paralympics.

2012 AUG 29 The Warrington Wolves Charitable Foundation held an Olympic and Paralympic sports event at Victoria Park.

Sep 2012

2012 SEP Work began on turning Bewsey Lodge Primary School into a £2.8 million ‘school of the future’. The project included landscaped and multi-surface play areas, a forest school, large classrooms, learning pods and state of the art ICT equipment in each classroom. The school was opened in 1932. See The Bewsian for a history of the senior school.

2012 SEP Lymm High School was the first in the town to become an academy. It means the school will operate outside council control and choose its own curriculum, opening hours and uniform.

2012 SEP Reverend Jane Proudfoot became the first female rector of St Wilfrid’s Church in Grappenhall. She is the 42nd rector at the church, which dates back to the 12th century.

2012 SEP 1 Warrington Paralympian Gemma Prescott picked up a bronze medal in the F31/32/51 Women’s Club Throw at the London 2012 Paralympics. Meanwhile Paralympic archers John Stubbs and Leigh Walmsley failed to win medals at the event.

2012 SEP Network Warrington came to the rescue by supplying the town’s heritage bus to Claire Johnson and Matt Rawlinson when they were let down by a vehicle supplier for their wedding. The bus is vehicle No 148 (BED 729 C) and is a Leyland ‘Titan PD2/40 Special’. It was purchased in 1965, and built to a narrow width to cope with Sankey Street in the days before pedestrianization. ADD IMAGE.

2012 SEP 1 Woolston Free School, King’s Leadership Academy Warrington, opened to year seven pupils on the site of Bruche Infant School. Academies are publicly funded schools which operate outside of local authority control and are funded directly by central government. Free schools are schools which will be set up by groups of parents, teachers, charities, trusts, religious and voluntary groups. They will be set up as academies and will be funded in the same way – directly from central government. This information from the BBC website.

2012 SEP Warrington hospital denied there would be a merger with hospitals in Knowsley and St Helens. They said there were ‘no plans’ and there had been ‘no discussion’ about a possible takeover of the St Helens Trust. However, Conservative MP Anna Soubry later revealed that discussions had taken place after Warrington North MP Helen Jones asked for a clarification in response to a written parliamentary question. The Warrington Guardian reported: “A hospital spokesman said officials have been ‘clear’ they have not been involved in discussions and the only ‘partnership discussions’ relate to services already shared”. Helen Jones said, “It is outrageous that people have been misled…”

2012 SEP 2 The annual Woolston Show took place at Woolston Park. Activities included a falconry display by Vale Royal Falconry, a bike show and performances from Earl of Stamford Morris Dancers. The event also featured the 35th Woolston and District Horticultural Show.

2012 SEP 2 Total Fitness gymnasium and leisure centre at Gateway 49 on Winwick Road closed without warning in a move which angered members and staff, who were not told in advance that the two month ‘licence to occupy’ – a short-term rental agreement – had not been renewed on expiry.

2012 SEP 4 Chris Grayling, former Conservative parliamentary candidate in Warrington, who stood in Warrington South in 1997 but lost out to Labour, was promoted to justice secretary in the cabinet reshuffle, replacing Kenneth Clarke. His private secretary will be Warrington South MP, David Mowat.

2012 SEP (6) The Warrington Guardian reported that the Environment Agency had agreed to pump more oxygen into a stretch of water near Fiddler’s Ferry power station after residents reported dead and distressed fish.

2012 SEP A Warrington Market/Warrington Guardian business competition launched in July 2012 to win a market stall for a full year, rent free, was won by Welly Envy, set up by Dave Hughes.

2012 OCT 7 The annual Regimental Sunday parade took place. The event is now in its 65th year, and featured a service at St Elphin’s Church and a march by the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment along Church Street.

2012 SEP 8 The Warrington Antique, Collectors, Vintage and Book Fair took place at Warrington Market. It coincided with an outdoor medieval market featuring stalls and entertainment.

2012 SEP 8 The annual Hatton Show, which took place today,  received a bonus this year in the form of a National Lottery Awards For All grant of £2,000 to help make the event more accessible to disabled visitors.

2012 SEP 8 Warrington Wolves hosted their first ‘new business market’ at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, with around 60 businesses showing off their wares to almost 1,000 visitors.

2012 SEP 8-9 The second Lymm Beer Festival took place at Lymm Village Hall on Pepper Street, raising £2,500 for local charities.

2012 SEP Grappenhall Community Library received a £37,000 grant from WREN (Waste Recycling Environmental) towards the overall bill of £50,000 needed to carry out essential structural improvements to the Victoria Avenue building. Other contributors are the Big Lottery Fund, Grappenhall Parish Council and private donors.

2012 SEP Longford Community Café at the junction of Northway and Sandy Lane received a makeover from 15 to 17-year-old school pupils in the area. They worked with the café staff as part of the National Citizenship Services programme in response to research by Golden Gates Housing Trust earlier in the year.

2012 SEP 9 The annual Winwick Road fire station open day took place.

2012 SEP Orford Seniors bowling club received a £488 donation form the Co-operative Group’s community fund to buy new bowling equipment.

2012 SEP 9 The Glazebury Garden Safari event organised by Bents Garden and Home took place. Thirteen gardens took part in the charity fundraising event, which raised £2,400. The annual event started in 2008.

2012 SEP 9 Walton Hall Gardens Country Fair took place, featuring displays, craft stalls, dog display, fun fair and vintage vehicles.

2012 SEP 9 The fourth annual Spire Healthcare English Half Marathon took place on a circular route starting at Victoria Park and taking in Grappenhall, Appleton and Appleton Thorn.

2012 SEP 9 A coach driver from Warrington and two passengers from Liverpool died when a 20-year-old tyre blew out on a coach on the A3 in Surrey. The coach crashed as it was returning from the Bestival music festival on the Isle of Wight. On 13 December 2013 the coach firm, Merseypride Travel from Speke, had its licence revoked.

2012 SEP Warrington couple Georgina and Ivan Baracskai won a competition organised by Littlewoods.com for their home to receive a £5,000 makeover from Changing Rooms interior designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen.

2012 SEP 10 Olympic champion and Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins rode through Lymm and Culcheth during the second stage of the Tour of Britain.

2012 SEP Warrington Youth Club, based at the Peace Centre in Great Sankey, received a £10,000 grant from the St James Foundation towards an independent living skills course for people aged 14 and over with disabilities and a range of support needs.

2012 SEP Osman Gulum, owner of the Greenwood Fryer on Marsh House Lane in Padgate, appeared on the BBC’s Dragons’ Den to pitch for his flower fountain, a machine that shoots out real flower petals. Unfortunately his idea was rejected by the panel, but Duncan Bannatyne offered to buy one for one of his hotels if they go into production.

2012 SEP Chef Steven O’Connor, proprietor of Tasty Creations, is allowed to display the coveted Great Taste 2012 logo on his Tasty Lancashire Cheese sauce after being judged by a panel of 350 of the nation’s most discerning food experts. The scheme is run by The Guild of Fine Food. Also, Kenyon Hall Farm received the same logo for its raspberry and tayberry jam. A tayberry, for those desperate to know, is a cross between a blackberry and a raspberry and was named after the River Tay in Scotland in 1977. And I won’t try to do a comparison between a Blackberry phone and a Raspberry Pi computer… There must be a joke there somewhere, but I can’t come up with a punchline.

2012 SEP 12 BBC antique expert Nick Hall visited Bents Garden and Home in Glazebury to take part in a charity valuation event. Clair House Children’s Hospice, Bents’ charity of the year, benefited from a £2 charge for each valuation.

2012 SEP 12 Prime Minister David Cameron apologised for failings over the Hillsborough football stadium disaster in 1989 when 96 Liverpool fans died, including four from Warrington. The Warrington victims were Ian ‘Ronnie’ Whelan (aged 19), David Benson (aged 22), Colin Ashcroft (aged 19) and Eric Hughes (aged 42).

2012 SEP 12 A plan to distribute a defibrillator to every school in the town began when ten were given by the charity Ciaran’s Cause. The charity was set up in memory of seven-year-old Ciaran Geddes from Locking Stumps, who died of cardiac arrest while playing football on 17 April 2012.

2012 SEP 14 The Rotary Club organised the second Culcheth Beer Festival at Culcheth Sports Club.

2012 SEP 14 Warrington Market’s Fair Trade stall, Fair 4 All, celebrated its 10th anniversary.

2012 SEP 15 Warrington Hospital opened its doors for the second Family Day to give visitors a look behind the scenes.

2012 SEP 16 Veterans and cadets gathered at Gulliver’s World near Old Hall for the annual Battle of Britain parade.

2012 SEP 17 Warrington Borough Council announced a £1.9 million investment into Walton Hall and Gardens, which would include improvements to the riding school, children’s zoo and the main building. The hall is the former home of the Greenall brewing family.

2012 SEP 17 Warrington Borough Council approved plans for burials to take place at Warrington Cemetery once again. The cemetery had been closed to new burials since 1980 but the council made 1,600 new space available, which should give 30 years of burial space, without affecting existing graves. An estimated 130,000 people are buried in the cemetery, which opened in 1857.

2012 SEP 19 Animal rights protesters gathered at Bobby Roberts Circus on Church Street. This follows a video shown on TV last year when an elephant was seen being hit with pitchforks by staff.

2012 SEP Warrington Borough Council came under fire for the fiasco caused by changed road markings and signs at Bridge Foot costing £25,923, which was meant to improve traffic flow, and which then cost £5,000 extra to put right. Chief executive of the council, Steven Broomhead, later reported that there was a ‘collective failure’ from a number of sources in the council which led to this problem and that it ‘must not happen again’.

2012 SEP The family firm of Andrew Harris went into administration. The furniture store had traded in the town since the beginning of the 20th century and was based on Bridge Street until it moved to Fennel Street in 1991.

2012 SEP 21 The former Piano Bar nightclub on Bold Street reopened as The Apartment. The new venue has a policy of over 21s only on a Friday and over 25s only on a Saturday.

2012 SEP 21 Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service announced proposals for two new fire stations in Lymm and Penketh and a reduction in the number of full-time firefighters. The plan is expected to save £5 million over the next four years.

2012 SEP Warrington Borough Council announced plans to demolish Bewsey Old School now that staff have vacated the building.

2012 SEP 24-25 Heavy rain causes flooding in Dallam, Longford and Orford. My theory has always been that because not everywhere floods in these areas, then there must be isolated parts that have blocked drains. See the entry for 1 November 2012 for evidence to back up my theory, and also the Wild Weather section of the My Warrington page for photos of previous years.

2012 SEP 25 RAF Burtonwood Association received a donation of £1,000 from David Wilson Homes North West through its Our Space Your Place scheme which provides support to community groups in the area. Chapelford Village is built on the former military air base.

2012 SEP 28 Warrington rugby legend Alex Murphy OBE was special guest at an Older People’s Day event at The Gateway on Sankey Street.

2012 SEP 28 Warrington Contemporary Arts Festival 2012 launched at Warrington Museum with an exhibition of paintings called Mythopoeia. Events also took place at Pyramid and The Gallery at Bank Quay House.

2012 SEP 28 Two nursery workers from Warrington won awards in the Nursery World awards in London. They were Amanda Brown from Kids Planet on Legh Street for nursery manager of the year and Jemma Morris from Beamont nursery on O’Leary Street for newcomer of the year. Read Jemma’s story here.

2012 SEP 28 Wire FM presenter Pete Pinnington broadcast his last show on the radio station to concentrate on his own event management company. The station began broadcasting in 1998, initially from a caravan on the Town Hall lawn by the Golden Gates.

2012 SEP 28 A seal was spotted at Howley Weir on the Mersey. It was suggested it was following the first salmon run of the season.

2012 SEP 29 Warrington’s first Pride event took place at Queens Gardens. See the Community page for more.

2012 SEP Appleton Junior Football Club received the FA Charter Standard Community Club award in recognition of the club’s high standards of coaching, administration, player development and safeguarding children. The club started in the 1973/4 season and are based at Pewterspear Green Pavilion.

2012 SEP 29-30 Cheshire Food Festival took place at Walton Hall Gardens.

2012 SEP 30 Brothers Syd and Anthony Heath appeared on episode four of BBC Dragons’ Den with their Showerfriend invention, which attaches to the button to keep the shower running, thus eliminating the need to keep pressing the button when the water stops flowing. Unfortunately, their request for £50,000 of investment was turned down by all five dragons. Despite this, the two brothers have already received 8,000 orders from around the world and the product is available in 456 outlets.

2012 SEP Penketh High School was the first in the town to be inspected under Ofsted’s new guidelines, which came into effect on 1 September 2012. Previously, inspections received one of four ratings: 1 outstanding, 2 good, 3 satisfactory and 4 inadequate. The new system keeps options 1, 2 and 4, with 3 replaced by ‘requires improvement’.

Oct 2012

2012 OCT 1 Warrington author Conrad Jones released three of his novels, The Child TakerCriminal Revenge and Criminally Insane, as paperbacks and e-books in a deal with London publishers Thames River Press.

2012 OCT 1 The Church Green British Grill on Higher Lane, Lymm, was named as the AA Restaurant of the Year at a ceremony in London.

2012 OCT 1 Network Warrington, the town’s main bus company, launched an extended route for service 17 through Chapelford, which will link Lingley Mere Business Park with Birchwood Park via Gemini Retail Park and the University of Chester Padgate Campus.

2012 OCT 1 Liverpool University football professor Rogan Taylor was guest speaker at the Warrington Literary and Philosophical Society at Friars Green Independent Methodist Church on Cairo Street.

2012 OCT Westbrook-based Alpha Biolaboratories began offering the UK’s first next day paternity test results service. The company also performs the tests on ITV1’s Jeremy Kyle Show.

2012 OCT It was announced that Birchwood Seniors Club, based on Benson Road for the past 40 years, could be closed due to changes in the ‘Fair Access to Care eligibility criteria’. The council is encouraging people to seek voluntary help and to apply for grants. Remind me again, which members of the community saved Britain during the two World Wars…

2012 OCT 5-6 Walton Hall Gardens hosted its first beer festival, which included live entertainment and a new brew named after the hall’s resident donkey, Bobo.

2012 OCT 6 Warrington Wolves were beaten by Leeds Rhinos in the rugby Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford by a score of 26 points to 18.

2012 OCT 11-13 The 16th annual Warrington Rotary Club Oktoberfest beer festival took place at the Parr Hall, raising £17,000. £197,000 has been raised so far from events.

2012 OCT Alf Clemo, an 85-year-old charity worker, received a certificate of recognition in the Age UK Older People Volunteer Awards 2012 at a ceremony in London for his 20 years of service to older people, including the Warrington Older People’s Forum. He has raised over £250,000 for different groups in those 20 years.

2012 OCT The village of Hatton won the Little Gem award for its telephone box library at the Community Action Pride Awards. It was also runner-up in the Best Kept Village Award for villages with a population under 400 and was also highly commended in the Community Spirit Award. The village was offered the telephone box by BT for £1 two years ago and it was converted into a library.

2012 OCT 18 It was reported in the Warrington Guardian that plans to build homes on the site of Cartwright’s Field in Stockton Heath have now been abandoned as the council withdrew the planning application.

2012 OCT Land of Beds, a family-run firm from Penketh of more than 40 years, won the award for independent retailer of the year from the National Bed Federation. They received their award from TV presenter Gyles Brandreth.

2012 OCT 20 Scenes filmed in Warrington for Dom Joly’s hidden camera show Fool Britannia are shown on ITV1 as part of the most recent series.

2012 OCT 24 Seven packs of munitions, each containing four weapons cases, were stolen from a train as it stopped at lights near Folly Lane. They were later found, and three other packs were also accounted for when arrests were made in Birkenhead. The items were found to be missing when the train arrived at Didcot in Oxfordshire.

2012 OCT 25 Prime Minister David Cameron says in Prime Minister’s Questions that he was shocked to hear that the MoD would not pay out compensation to the daughter of Private Daniel Wade from Warrington, who was killed in Afghanistan in March 2012, without evidence, nor will it release the DNA without a court order. The Prime Minister pledged to sort out the problem.

2012 OCT 25 A charity ball attended by Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson and Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers Association, raised more than £30,000 for JUMP Children’s Charity. The charity was set up in memory of Jacob Hawthorn who died in 2004 after having congenital muscular dystrophy.

2012 OCT 27 A Warrington  syndicate based at Great Sankey Leisure Centre celebrated in style after hitting the jackpot with a £2,101,359 windfall on the National Lottery. The group of 10 have always played the same numbers each week.

2012 OCT 27 Hatters Wedding and Lifestyle Centre officially opened its doors in the former Hatters Row shopping arcade on Horsemarket Street with a wedding fair which featured a broadcast from Radio Warrington. See the Hatters Facebook page.

2012 OCT 27 Warrington band The Minor Bird Folk Song Group, who first performed at the Golden Lion pub on Knutsford Road in 1962, performed a one-off gig at the Grappenhall Ex-Servicemen’s Club. The original line-up featured twins Norman and Jack Froggatt, Ken Wilson, Dave Head and Carol Melia.

2012 OCT A trial of life-saving equipment began at Asda stores in Birchwood and Cockhedge. Staff have been trained to operated an automatic external defibrillator (AED) in the event of a customer suffering a cardiac arrest. The trial is in association with North West Ambulance Service. Figures show 300,000 people suffer cardiac arrest in public areas every year. See the British Heart Foundation website for more on cardiac arrest.

2012 OCT 31 Warrington’s Poppy Appeal 2012 was launched at the town hall with a specially painted Network Warrington bus and members of The Royal British Legion Riders Branch. ADD IMAGES.

Nov 2012

2012 NOV 1 Warrington-based computer games developer, Nomad Games, released their first game, an adaptation of the classic fantasy board game Talisman, with the support of high street retailer Games Workshop. The company was formed when a previous Warrington computer games developer THQ closed in 2011 and the five-man development team went it alone.

2012 NOV 1 A report in the Warrington Guardian says that part of the flooding problem in Dallam during September was caused by plant roots in the drains. I reported on mywarrington SIX years ago that something must be blocking the drains …

2012 NOV 3 ‘Reality’ TV celebrity Amy Childs from TOWIE (The Only Way Is Essex) appeared at Tesco Warrington to sign bottles of her new perfume…

2012 NOV 3 WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) star Brodus Clay visited Toys R Us at Gemini Retail Park to sign autographs and meet fans.

2012 NOV Risley prison was recently criticised in a new report from the prison watchdog. Violent behaviour, drug activity and inmates kept in their cells for 22 hours a day were among the problems reported. The Independent Monitoring Board also said some facilities were not fit for purpose. Prison staff blame cutbacks.

2012 NOV It was announced that former Warrington rugby league player Keith Ashcroft had died, aged 72. The prop/second row forward was originally signed from Bradford and played 109 times for the club between 1965 and 1969. He also played for Wigan, St Helens and Swinton during his 20 year career.

2012 NOV The autobiography of Warrington Wolves captain Adrian Morley was published.

2012 NOV The Best of Northern Art opened on Bank Street near Warrington Market. The art gallery is run by Macintyre, a charity which helps people with learning disabilities.

2012 NOV Warrington Collegiate set up a training academy for bus drivers in conjunction with Merseytravel and Stagecoach as part of the government’s Get Britain Working initiative for the unemployed.

2012 NOV 5 A fireworks display and bonfire at Lymm Rugby Club, sponsored by Kids Planet Nursery and organised by Lymm and District Round Table, raised £6,500 for local charities.

2012 NOV 12 Radio Warrington began a 28-day broadcast on 87.8 FM until the end of Sunday 9 December 2012. The station is available on the internet all year round via www.radiowarrington.co.uk.

2012 NOV 12 It was announced that fashion retailer Primark will be coming to Warrington in 2013, taking a unit in Golden Square shopping centre.

2012 NOV 13 Golden Gates Housing Trust (GGHT) received accreditation for the way it handles tenants’ complaints. In 2011/12 they received 510 complaints, with 91 per cent sorted within prescribed timescales. Two thirds of complainants were satisfied with the outcome of their grievance.

2012 NOV Priestley College student Sarah Palmer received recognition in the Project Life (Leading International Fungal Education) competition, the world’s first art and music competition to educate young people about the importance of fungal research. She was selected from hundreds of entries across the region and received her award from Dr Geoff Scott, chairman of the Fungal Research Trust, at a ceremony at Manchester Museum.

2012 NOV Warrington South MP David Mowat spoke out in the House of Commons over “legal loopholes” which allow travellers to move illegal sites a few yards down the road. He told ministers: “A recent case in Warrington has involved a group of travellers being repeatedly moved on peacefully using section 77 directions to leave orders. But they move only a few hundred metres and the whole process starts again, costing time and money.”

2012 NOV 15 Birchwood’s Christmas Lights switch-on took place. X-Factor finalist Jade Ellis was on stage.

2012 NOV 16 Warrington’s Christmas lights were switched on by celebrity guests including BBC children’s TV presenters Cerrie Burnell, Alex Winters, Mister Maker and Mr Bloom, plus Fireman Sam, street dance duo Twist & Pulse and local singer Lucie Evans. Due to the financial restraints, there were no video screens on the surrounding streets this year, so only ticket holders could see the event in the Old Market Place at Golden Square. 

2012 NOV Warrington becomes an ambassador to the Keep Britain Tidy ‘Love Where You Live’ campaign by installing four talking bins voiced by celebrities such as Amanda Holden and voice-over man Peter Dickinson. What a load of rubbish?

2012 NOV 19 Network Warrington introduced its six new diesel electric eco-friendly buses, which were partly funded by the government’s Green Bus Fund initiative. The buses have a roof pod which contains super-capacitors to store and re-use energy. ADD IMAGE.

2012 NOV The £3.75m Gulliver’s Hotel was officially unveiled at Gulliver’s World Theme Park in Old Hall.

2012 NOV The Labour-controlled council announced that the town’s original crest will once again be used on official documents. It was replaced with the Nike wings logo by the Conservative/Lib Dem council in 2007. ADD IMAGE.

2012 NOV 22 A service took place at St Mary’s Church on Buttermarket Street to honour the 240-year service of the Benedictine monks of Ampleforth Abbey. The monks founded St Alban’s Church on Bewsey Road in 1772, the first post-reformation church in the town. They also founded the churches of St Benedict’s, St Oswald’s and St Mary’s Buttermarket Street, the monk’s final home in Warrington. Ampleforth Abbey announced it could no longer provide pastoral care for the Buttermarket Street church.

2012 NOV 27 The Lancashire Day Proclamation was read out by the Friends of Real Lancashire (FORL) at 11.00 am. Lancashire Day celebrates the tradition boundaries of Lancashire, which includes parts of Warrington. Read more about the custom at the FORL website.

2012 NOV A 140-page book was published to mark 100 performances in 100 years of Handel’s Messiah at Glazebrook Methodist Church by Glazebrook Choral Society.

2012 NOV 28 A plan to distribute a defibrillator to every school in the town continued when 14 more were given by the charity Ciaran’s Cause. The charity was set up in memory of seven-year-old Ciaran Geddes from Locking Stumps, who died of cardiac arrest while playing football on 17 April 2012.

2012 NOV 30 Warrington celebrity Kerry Katona visited WHSmith in Golden Square to sign copies of her second book Still Standing.

2012 NOV Stockton Heath Methodist Dramatic Society performed presented a run of the hit production Calendar Girls. The hit show was written by Stockton Heath-born Tim Firth, who was in the audience to see his mother take part in the show. The event raised £650 for the Leukaemia Cancer Society and £210 for Children in Need.

2012 NOV/DEC Great Sankey-based dance group Felicia Burns School of Dance celebrated their 20th anniversary with a series of concerts at the Parr Hall.

Dec 2012

2012 DEC 1 Chapelford held its first Christmas market with an estimated 2,000 people in attendance. Link to the community website.

2012 DEC 1 The ancient St Andrew’s Fair was revived in the town centre. The event, which last took place more than 100 years ago, was originally one of Warrington’s two annual fairs dating back to the 13th century. It included market stalls, livestock and circus and street performers. The event will become a regular annual event. ADD IMAGE.

2012 DEC 8 The 27th Dickensian Festival took place in Lymm village.

2012 DEC Work began on new changing rooms at Dallam Park on Longshaw Street. The building is part of a wider plan for the area which includes a community hub and redevelopment of Harrison Square.

2012 DEC Sally Dynevor aka Sally Webster, Coronation Street, attended the opening of Womanzone in Culcheth Enterprise Centre. The company specialises in providing made-to-measure lingerie and swimwear for women who have had surgery or breast problems. Sally recovered from breast cancer at the same time as her character in the show. Link to the company here.

2012 DEC 13 Ken Dodd performed his Merry Christmas Happiness Show at the Parr Hall. The 85-year-old appeared at the top of the bill for the first time here in Warrington at the Royal Court Theatre. He also played at places in Bewsey, Latchford and Burtonwood Air Base.

2012 DEC Warrington Borough Council announced that weekly black bin collections will go to fortnightly from April 2013. Black bins will be collected one week and blue bins the next.

2012 DEC 17 Great Sankey police station moved into new premises on Meeting Lane, Penketh, after 104 years on Liverpool Road. The old police station was put on the market for £230,000 in April 2013. See the Sankey Crossroads section of the My Warrington page for interesting information about the four ‘Ps’.

2012 DEC Helen Newlove, whose husband Garry was murdered in Fearnhead in August 2007, was appointed as the new Victim’s Commissioner by the government. The appointment, which runs for three years, will see her engage with victims and witness groups, advise the government on the views of victims and contribute to policy.

2012 DEC Warrington-born writer Mark Gartside, who now lives in America, saw his Warrington-based novel What Will Survive reach the top 10 in Amazon’s best debut novel of 2012.

2012 DEC Warrington Disability Partnership raised over £11,500 this Christmas.

2012 DEC The NHS Bath Street Health and Wellbeing Centre opened on the site of Legh Stret baths.