2013

Jan 2013

2013 JAN Warrington people named in the new Year’s Honours list include Norman Cutter (British Empire Medal for his contributions to music in the town, including the Live at St Wilfrid’s concert series in Grappenhall), former Warrington Wolves and St Helens back rower Paul Sculthorpe (MBE) and Mark Hughes (MBE), the last chief executive at the Northwest Development Agency, based in Centre Park, before it was wound up.

2013 JAN Former Warrington Borough Council leader John Gartside was chosen as a trustee of the Big Lottery Fund’s Spirit of 2012 Trust. The trust looks to fund projects which will continue to inspire generations to come after the success of last year’s London 2012 Olympic Games.

2013 JAN Residents and councillors expressed concern about proposals by Kings Leadership Academy Warrington to build classrooms on the sports fields in Woolston. They say it would be detrimental to the 2012 Olympics legacy of encouraging sporting activity in the young.

2013 JAN A nice story in the press: Cookie the cat was returned to his owners in south Warrington 19 months after escaping from Dogs Pad cattery on Knutsford Road in May 2011, where they had adopted him from. A bit different from being rescued after getting stuck up a tree…

2013 JAN The borough was ranked 21st most Christian out of the 363 authorities in England and Wales under the 2011 Census. 71% said they were Christians, 0.3 per cent of the town’s population declared their religion as Jedi Knights and 52 people chose to worship heavy metal. Here are the figures:

*The population figure on the Warrington Borough Council website is shown as 202,200. Based on other area figures online, it seems the figures on the WBC website were rounded down.

Population202,228*
Christian144,405
Buddhist457
Hindu1,118
Jewish147
Muslim2,097
Sikh361
Other religion513
No religion41,293
Religion not stated11,837

2013 JAN 10 Residents and school children in Orford and Fearnhead submitted a 1,000 name petition to give Peel Hall Park Queen Elizabeth II Fields status to protect it from redevelopment. Councillor Bob Haskew Jones, who runs the Friends of Peel Hall Park group, is quoted as saying ‘On receiving the petition, the council leader told me he was going to do nothing with it [the petition]’.

2013 JAN 11 Staff at the Jessops photographic shop in Golden Square are made redundant as the chain store goes into administration.

2013 JAN The Circus of Horrors troupe, who became famous on Britain’s Got Talent, were forced to advertised for a ‘wolf boy’ for their series of shows throughout the country, including the Parr Hall on 26 January 2013. New legislation meant the job had to be advertised in the job centre. Men with beards or masks were not accepted! See the Daily Mail website for more. ADD IMAGE.

2013 JAN Plans were submitted to built 78 homes on the site of the former George Howard Recycling Centre on Folly Lane. The George Howard company started out as a furniture shop on Froghall Lane in the 1880s and started to buy and sell second hand scrap metal. The company moved to the Folly Lane site in 1921 and finally closed down in 2010. During research for this item I discovered there was an application for 152 houses on the site in 2003. ADD IMAGE AND CAPTION: The site as it looked on 20 March 2011.

2013 JAN 15 HMV became the latest store to go into administration, putting jobs under threat at the Golden Square store. The Warrington store eventually closed in March 2013. After restructuring, some of the shops reopened, including the one in Warrington.

2013 JAN 18 Warrington resident Rob Watson encouraged everybody to get behind his International No Whingeing Day and Fun Friday to raise funds for the Guillain Barre Syndrome Support Group in memory of Candice Marie Roberts, who passed away on 23 August 2010. The syndrome is a rare but serious disease of the nervous system.

2013 JAN 18 Snow in Warrington.

2013 JAN 19 Four students from the Hayward Dance Academy in Culcheth each received an accolade in the Cecchetti National Ballet Competition at Sadler’s Wells in London. The school in Culcheth was set up by Miss Hayward in 2000 and has 80 students. Read more here and here.

2013 JAN The village of Stockton Heath retained its Purple Flag status for a second year. The award is given to places which demonstrate excellent standards in managing the area between 5 p.m. and 6 a.m. while also being visitor friendly.

2013 JAN Thieves broke into the home of Warrington wheelchair fencer Adrian Derbyshire and stole equipment worth around £30,000, which eventually end his career in the sport. He announced his retirement from the sport in April 2013 because he couldn’t raise the money to replace the stolen equipment. Adrian was one of the torchbearers for the London 2012 Olympics. He now plans to dedicate his time to working with children. On 15 April 2013 a man received a four-month jail sentence for handling stolen goods.

2013 JAN Warrington Town Football Club announced ambitious plans to build a state-of-the-art 6,000 capacity stadium on the Omega site in Burtonwood.

2013 JAN Justice Secretary Chris Grayling confirmed that he would not be considering the Omega business park for a super prison. This comes four years after Justice Secretary Jack Straw announced the scrapping of a similar scheme for the area after a public campaign, which included a visit from Conservative MP William Hague in 2009.

2013 JAN A scheme to breathe new life into Bridge Street and Time Square is approved by the council.

2013 JAN Warrington and District Youth Orchestra received a grant of £5,920 from the Gannett Grant Foundation and now hope to run classes to help youngsters interested in learning a new skill.

2013 JAN Birchwood-based G&J Greenall received a total of six awards for its spirits at the prestigious Drinks International’s Pre-Mixed Drinks Challenge. They received two gold medals, one for its taste in Greenall’s Gin and Tonic and another for the design and packaging of its Bloom and Fentimans. It also received three silver medals for its Bloom and FentimansGreenall’s Gin Fizz and Greenall’s Gin Sin, plus a bronze medal for its Greenall’s Gin and Pink Grapefruit.

2013 JAN It was announced that three Blockbuster video stores in Warrington will remain open, despite the company going into administration on 18th January 2013. It was announced that 129 stores across the country would close, but the three in Warrington at School Brow, Westbrook Centre and Walton Road, Stockton Heath were safe. However, a buyer for the company was eventually found in March 2013 and the company was saved. Read more here.

2013 JAN Safe Hands Day Nursery on Hollins Drive, Winwick celebrated its 10th anniversary.

2013 JAN The proposed High Speed 2 (HS2) rail link route was announced by the government and immediately caused concern amongst residents in north-east Warrington regarding their properties. Culcheth Linear Park could be lost if the plan went ahead in its current form – the park was created when the former Wigan Joint Railways was closed and later removed in 1968. The route does not include Warrington as one of the stopping points and the final route will be announced in 2014 after a period of public consultation.

2013 JAN St Oswald’s Church in Winwick received £276,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund towards its roof and ceiling restoration project.

2013 JAN 23 Warrington Borough Council rejected plans to extend the life of Arpley landfill site at Sankey Bridges until 2025 after a two year campaign from locals over smells, health issues and traffic problems. The current licence expires in October 2013.

2013 JAN 24 The funeral of former Warrington rugby prop forward Dave Chisnall took place. In an 18 year career from 1967 to 1985, he played for Leigh, Warrington, Swinton, St Helens, Barrow, Keighley and Mansfield. He passed away on 13 January 2013 aged 64. Dave Chisnall was inducted into the Warrington Wolves Hall of Fame.

2013 JAN 25 Snow in Warrington.

2013 JAN 27 Padgate-born TV comedian Duggie Whitfield died aged 83. He appeared on Granada TV’s The Comedians and also wrote jokes and sketches for the likes of Russ Abbott and Jimmy Cricket. His funeral took place at St Oswald’s Church, Padgate, on 8 February 2013.

2013 JAN 27 A second ‘wall of fame’ was unveiled at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, home of Warrington Wolves. In 2004 fans paid to have their names added to a wall in tribute to Warrington rugby player Brian Bevan. Fans who missed out the first time asked if they could add their names to the spaces at the bottom of the original. The club instead created a new wall, which includes a plaque recording the Wolves victory over Leeds Rhinos in the 2012 Challenge Cup Final at Wembley. ADD IMAGES ANS CAPTIONS.

2013 JAN It was announced the former Total Fitness gymnasium at Gateway 49 on Winwick Road would be converted into The Range home, leisure and garden centre, with the creation of around 120 jobs.

2013 JAN Work started on replacing the 40-year-old duck pond at Walton Hall Gardens children’s zoo. Funding came from FCC Environment through the Landfill Communities Fund distributed by WREN. WREN (Waste Recycling Environmental Limited) was established in 1997.

2013 JAN Pre-School Praise celebrated its 25th anniversary at St Wilfrid’s Church, Grappenhall. The group meets at the church on the first and third Wednesday of each month.

2013 JAN 31 Warrington pop stars Kerry Katona (Atomic Kitten) and Simon ‘Spike’ Dawbarn (911) got together with other stars from the past to take part in ITV2’s The Big Reunion show.

2013 JAN Grappenhall Women’s Institute celebrated its 90th anniversary. The movement in the UK began on 11 September 1915 at Llanfairpwll on Anglesey in North Wales with two aims: to revitalise rural communities and to encourage women to become more involved in producing food during the First World War. Nationally, there are now over 210,000 members in around 6,600 groups. The very first WI movement began at Stoney Creek, Ontario, Canada in 1897 when Adelaide Hoodless addressed a meeting for the wives of members of the Farmers’ Institute.

Feb 2013

2013 FEB The Warrington Guardian reported that around 500 disabled children would lose vital transport links to school in 2013 because of cutbacks in council funding.

2013 FEB 1 Tributes were paid to Nathan Taylor, 18, whose body was found in the Manchester Ship Canal after he went missing on 26 January 2013, having left a 40th birthday party at the Bridge Bar in Latchford. His funeral took place on 20 February 2013.

2013 FEB 1 Chancellor George Osborne visited Latchford to view flood defence work being carried out by the Environment Agency as part of a visit to the region, which also took in nearby Daresbury Laboratory to the south the town to make a £30 million grant to finance research into ‘super computing’.

2013 FEB 8 New 20 miles per hour speed limits in residential areas of the town came into force on this day.

2013 FEB 8 A painting of George Formby called Speed Ace, which was painted by local artist Frances Broomfield and hangs in Warrington Museum, was chosen to promote the BBCs Your Paintings website. It was projected onto buildings such as Exeter Cathedral, George’s Dock Building in Liverpool and MediaCityUK in Salford.

2013 FEB It was reported in the national and local press that Warrington couple Lisa Appleton and Mario Marconi, who got engaged on the set of the ninth series of TV’s Big Brother in 2008 before tying the knot on Channel 4’s Wedding House, were filing for divorce.

2013 FEB Warrington Sports Club on Walton Lea Road received a £50,000 grant from Sport England’s Inspired Facilities (Olympic and Paralympic) legacy fund to help pay for new facilities. Warrington Sports Club has provided sporting activities at the Walton venue since 1968.

2013 FEB 14 The Fairfield Community Association was launched at an open day in conjunction with the Fairfield and Howley Neighbourhood Project at its base on Fairfield Street. The venue on Fairfield Street originally opened on 18 September 2010 when the former school building was handed over to the community following the building of a new school nearby.

2013 FEB 14 Trusted director of Warrington North East Credit Union, Geoffrey Oldham, was jailed for 12 months after he stole £44,491 from the association over a five year period between 2007 and 2012. Thankfully, the money was covered by insurance so the 2,000 members of the credit union did not lose their money.

*mywarrington points out that this particular credit union is not connected to a similar group called Warrington Credit Union.

2013 FEB 14 Lollipop ladies became the latest employees for the axe as the council changed its criteria on how to assess where a school crossing patrol officer is needed. The changes resulted in four jobs being lost, one in Lymm, one in Longford and two in Orford.

2013 FEB 14 The Warrington Guardian reported that Warrington Stop HS2 has been set up by the residents of Warrington in response to the government’s proposed phase 2 plans for the High Speed 2 railway (HS2), which was announced in January 2013. See the group’s website.

2013 FEB 14 Warrington Wolves fans Cynthia and Jock Maguire celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary. They were married at St Joseph’s Church in Sankey in 1953. I used to work alongside them both at the Bewsey and Dallam Help The Needy Over Sixties Club in the 1980s and 1990s.

2013 FEB 17 Premier League darts professional Andy Hamilton visited the region to challenge darts players to a game to raise funds for Haven House Hospice. Warrington venues visited were the Howley Hotel and the Royal Oak Branch on Knutsford Road.

2013 FEB A birthday party was held to mark the 50th anniversary of the 6th Culcheth Brownies.

2013 FEB After a four-and-a-half-year wait, building work on the new home for the Warrington branch of the Cats Protection League began on land near Elizabeth Drive, Padgate. The charity will move from their current base on Slutchers Lane when work is completed.

2013 FEB The Cheshire Chord Company choir won the top prize in the Majestic Open Choir Festival 2013 in Torquay. Their songs included the Beatles classic Can’t Buy Me Love and they won £3,000 and a crystal bowl. They are based at William Beamont High School in Orford.

2013 FEB A new report jointly published by The Municipal Journal and The Local Futures Group rated Warrington as having the second-highest quality of life after York. The groups rate all local authorities in England against each other based on crime measures, health indicators, access to education and the surrounding natural environment.

2013 FEB The Warrington Guardian announces that Warrington Borough Council, as part of a group called the Northern Rail Franchise, has submitted a bid to the government towards a £7 million railway station at Chapelford. It is hoped a station could be opened by 2016.

2013 FEB Evans House on Norman Street off Orford Lane celebrated its 40th anniversary. The Evans family originally made tents and camping equipment at the old Alliance Box Works and in 1970s decided to rent out space in the building to 16 other tenants, including the 147 Snooker Club, O’Malley’s Gym and MC Motorcycle and Scooter Repair.

2013 FEB (22) Stars of TV and sport attended the ribbon cutting ceremony of the opening of the extension to Ilhams Barbers and Hairdressers at 131 Marsh House Lane in Padgate. Celebrities included Samia Ghadie (Maria in ITV’s Coronation Street), local funnyman Charlie Hale, Wolves on-loan winger Rhys Williams and boxer Martin Murray.

2013 FEB The Big Blue chip shop on Knutsford Road, Grappenhall, became the north-west regional winner for the best chippy chips in the Choice Chip Awards.

2013 FEB Appleton teenager Sean Gilchrist, 16, launched his own social networking website called Friendpad. He says he set it up after he had spotted ‘holes’ in Facebook. He began website designing in September last year. He also has a Facebook presence.

Mar 2013

2013 MAR Warrington Hospital announces that up to 200 jobs would be lost as part of a plan to save £11 million in the next financial year.

2013 MAR Campaigners in Sankey have written to Northern Rail and Network Rail asking them to make improvements to Sankey Station. They highlight the current state of the building and surrounding land, including poor lighting, inadequate waiting areas, no electronic displays or PA and pot holes and weeds on the car park. The station was built in 1873 by the Cheshire Lines Committee railway company. See Making Tracks 2 for more.

2013 MAR Warrington-based author, animator and Bob the Builder creator, Curtis Jobling, visited the Pyramid Arts Centre for a special event to celebrate World Book Day.

2013 MAR Garven Place Medical Centre was demolished now that services have moved into the new Bath Street Health and Wellbeing Centre close by.

2013 MAR 11-25 Mental Health Matters opened up a 24-hour, seven days a week free telephone helpline for anyone feeling anxious, low or stressed in connection with the 20th anniversary of the IRA bombing of the town centre. The telephone line did not receive any callers during its period of operation.

2013 MAR 5 International pop singer Rihanna launched her first fashion collection and River Island in Golden Square was chosen as one of the first shops to stock the range.

2013 MAR 7 Warrington Borough Council rejected plans for developer Satnam to build houses on Peel Hall in Orford. The developer did not speak at the meeting but had already submitted their objection to the decision to a public inquiry planned for 29 May 2013 after planners failed to bring the decision to committee within the legal time limit.

2013 MAR The sports hall at Orford Jubilee Neighbourhood Hub has been named after Dave Connor, a member of Warrington Disability Partnership who died last year. He was the driving force behind the Orford Park Project. Cllr Mike Hannon was also recognised with the Mike Hannon Community Room for his longstanding work in the area.

2013 MAR 11 Warrington Borough Council announced they would be spending £1.3 million on Bank Park in a scheme that would see a new bowls pavilion, café, public events space and new toilets. The photos here show part of one of the new benches already installed and a photo from 2004 showing the bowling greens in better condition than they were in early 2013. ADD IMAGES.

2013 MAR The new £4.7 million Chapelford Primary School opened in the village. Children from the former Sycamore Lane Primary School moved into the new building.

2013 MAR 12 Latchford St James’ CE Primary School pupils Jack Arrowsmith and Zac Singleton, who were declared winners of an Environment Agency competition to design artwork for the flood defence scheme alongside the River Mersey, saw their worked unveiled. Their winning design is seen here. ADD IMAGE.

2013 MAR The first sod was cut on a development that will transform the former Greenalls site on Loushers Lane, Latchford, into a state-of-the-art care village. The care facilities will be open for business from summer 2014.

2013 MAR 14 Poundworld Retail Ltd, trading as Discount UK at Riverside Retail Park, were fined in the High Court for playing music last Christmas without a licence. A Phonographic Performance Ltd Licence is required to play records, tapes or CDs in shops, bars, clubs, hotels, gyms, offices and schools.

2013 MAR 17 The Irish Club on Orford Lane celebrated its 50th anniversary. The day began with a Mass at the club followed by the laying of a wreath at the River of Life in Bridge Street in memory of the IRA bombings in 2003, and finished off with music and food back at the club. ADD IMAGE.

2013 MAR 18 The official opening ceremony of the new Penketh police station took place. The station moved from its old base in Sankey on 17 December 2012 to its new site on Meeting Lane. Former Big Brother contestants Lisa Appleton and Mario Marconi attended the event. The Shannon Bradshaw Trust is also based at the building.

2013 MAR 20 The town marked the 20th anniversary of the IRA bombing of the town centre when Tim Parry, aged 12, and three-year-old Johnathan Ball lost their lives. Bronwen Vickers, 33, lost a leg in the atrocity and died a year later from cancer. A civic service took place on Bridge Street before a minute’s silence was held at 12.27 p.m., the time the bombs went off. Link to the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace website.

*Colin Parry told The Sun newspaper that he could forgive his son’s killers if they wanted to apologise and would even be prepared to meet them in private.

2013 MAR NASA commander Ken Ham visited children at King’s Leadership Academy Warrington on Seymour Drive, Paddington, to talk about missions he had completed in space and flying on a shuttle.

2013 MAR Carl O’Neill, from O’Neills Salon on Warrington Road, Penketh, scooped the top prize in the Lancashire championship hairdressing awards.

2013 MAR Warrington South Conservative MP David Mowat and Warrington North Labour MP Helen Jones announced they both supported the idea for a Royal Charter on press regulation following the Leveson inquiry.

2013 MAR A £190 million scheme to regenerate the Winwick Street area of town was agreed. The outline masterplan for ‘The Stadium Quarter’ would be carried out by Liverpool-based Iliad. An earlier plan for Winwick Street was shelved. See the Wire Works section of the My Warrington page for information on that scheme.

2013 MAR 22 Snow in Warrington.

2013 MAR It was announced in the local press that a 99p Store will open in part of the former TJ Hughes building on Sankey Street. I remember reading in 2008, as the recession started to bite, that when a 99p store opened in one town the £1 shop across the road closed…

*For a more bizarre story on this subject, see this Daily Mail report from twelve months earlier.

2013 MAR Priestley College on Loushers Lane, Latchford, received £49,587 of National Lottery funding from Sport England.

2013 MAR 29 The Range home, leisure and garden centre opened at Gateway 49 Trade Park on Winwick Road.

2013 MAR 29 Lymm chef Aiden Byrne, owner of The Church Green, became one of the winners of the BBC2 show Great British Menu in a Comic Relief-inspired competition.

2013 MAR 31 Local author and fundraiser Wally Barnes passed away aged 88. One of his books was Ghosts, Mysteries and Legends of Old Warrington. I received one of his Citizen of the Week awards for my charity work in the 1980s. His funeral took place on 12 April 2013.

Apr 2013

2013 APR 1 The annual Lymm Duck Race took place. Punters placed stakes on which plastic duck reached the finish line first at the Lower Dam in an event that raised money for charity.

2013 APR 1 Doctors in Warrington officially took over the town’s £233m health care budget. Primary care trusts closed the week before across the country as part of Government reforms.

2013 APR St Rocco’s Hospice at Lockton Lane, Bewsey, received £292,651 from Help the Hospices, which is run in partnership with the government.

2013 APR A house sale in Rixton fell through after the buyer discovered the proposed HS2 railway line could go through the village. The sign of things to come?

2013 APR 3 Fortnightly bin collections started in Stockton Heath, Appleton, Thelwall, Grappenhall and Lymm. The scheme was rolled out across the whole town over the coming weeks in a bid to encourage more people to recycle their waste. Under the scheme, blue and green recycling bins would be collected one week and black household waste bins the next.

2013 APR Work begins on the demolition of the former greenhouse and associated buildings in the northern end of Bank Park in preparation for a new office block that will become the base for Golden Gates Housing Trust, who currently operate from Bank House on Sankey Street. ADD IMAGE.

2013 APR 6 Former Great Sankey High School pupil Alex Buchanan appeared on the BBC talent show The Voice. The 23-year-old sang Chris Brown’s Don’t Wake Me Up for Tom Jones, Danny O’Donoghue, Jessie J and Will.I.Am.

2013 APR 9 The Warrington Guardian celebrated its 160th birthday. It launched a new-look newspaper and separate Weekend entertainment and leisure guide on Thursday 11 April.

2013 APR Work began on the first warehouse at the Omega Business Park on the former RAF Burtonwood site. Brakes food warehouse is due to open in late 2013, creating 600 jobs.

2013 APR 13 The history of Warrington Wolves rugby league club was unveiled in a 100-metre-long timeline at the Halliwell Jones Stadium as part of the Wire 2 Wolves project.

2013 APR 14 The second Lymm.com 10k race took place in the village with 700 runners taking part.

2013 APR 18 Warrington-born Radio 2 presenter Chris Evans visited the town in a replica pink Rolls Royce. He was accompanied by singer Gary Barlow, Professor Brian Cox and Top Gear presenter James May in the FAB1 Million charity promotion to help raise £1 million for breast cancer. Read more about the charity at www.fab1million.co.uk. Link to the Breast Cancer Care website here.

2013 APR 18 The Warrington Guardian revealed that Network Warrington, the town’s bus company, had received a loan of hundreds of thousands of pounds from Warrington Borough Council in a decision held behind closed doors on Monday 15 April 2013. It created an interesting debate on the Warrington Guardian web page. See here for the council’s response a week later.

2013 APR Sir Thomas Boteler High School pupil, Jack Hasleden, was runner up in the Catering Academy National Salon Culinaire Pride Live 2013 in the School Bake Off category.

2013 APR 19 ‘Body in the Boot’ killer John Yates from Padgate received a life sentence for beating his wife of 30 years to death. After years of violence towards her he committed the offence on 18 July 2012 and then drove her body to a police station in Wales. He had denied murdering her because she wanted a divorce, but admitted killing her. He was found guilty by the jury on 26 February 2013 and will serve 18 years in jail, less the time spent on remand.

2013 APR 19 A plan to distribute a defibrillator to every school in the town continued when ten 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.

2013 APR 22 Colin Parry, father of Tim Parry, who was killed in the IRA bombing of the town in 1993, asked Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness to speak at the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Peace Centre. The Northern Ireland deputy First Minister agreed to the visit in principle.

2013 APR 24 Parcel delivery company Hermes announced it was opening a new base at the Omega development on the former Burtonwood Air Base site. Read more here. A week later building merchant Travis Perkins announced they will be opening a regional distribution centre at the site in 2014.

2013 APR 30 Celebrity chef Ainsley Harriot visited Sunshine Children’s Centre on O’Leary Street, Orford, to teach the children about healthy cooking.

2013 APR  Warrington Borough Council announced plans to repair and replace the cobbles in Grappenhall village. The work, in conjunction with the parish council, was due to begin in summer 2013.

May 2013

2013 MAY 6 The annual Culcheth Community Day took on a Doctor Who theme to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the BBC show. ADD IMAGE.

2013 MAY 8 Jane Danson (Leanne Battersby in Coronation Street) was on hand to officially open University Academy Warrington in Padgate.

2013 MAY 9 It was announced in the Warrington Guardian that Warrington Borough Council had bought the vacant Howard Buildings on Bridge Street as part of the future Time Square redevelopment.

2013 MAY Town centre nightspot Baffito’s Bar and Pizzeria won the accolade for being Sky’s Ultimate Venue for the best place to enjoy live sports and entertainment across the North-West, West Midlands and North Wales.

2013 MAY TV presenter and former Tory MP Michael Portillo stopped in Warrington to film part of his Great British Railway Journeys programme.

2013 MAY Dallam County Primary School received £9,950 from the National Lottery Awards For All scheme to build an outdoor adventure trail.

2013 MAY 9 Plans were approved to demolish The Hermit pub on Golborne Road, Hermitage Green near Winwick and build 12 detached homes. Residents were angry that £162,000 of investment into the area from the developer Bloor Homes would go towards the borough and not just the village. ADD IMAGE.

2013 MAY 9 Plans were approved to build 78 affordable homes on the former George Howard recycling site on Folly Lane, Bewsey. ADD IMAGE.

2013 SUN MAY 12 mywarrington website 8th birthday.

2013 MAY Blue Peter presenter Helen Skelton visited Culcheth Primary School to help out as it holds a ‘green day’ to mark its Green Flag status.

2013 MAY 18 Cast members from ITV’s Emmerdale, including Warrington’s Luke Roskell, who plays Sean Spencer in the show, took part in a charity football match at Warrington Town football club. Proceeds were shared between St Rocco’s Hospice and the Warrington Town Community Development Programme.

2013 MAY 18 The United Kingdom’s entry for the Eurovision Song Contest, Believe In Me, performed by Bonnie Tyler, was written by Warrington-born singer songwriter Chris Braide. The UK came 19th with 23 points. Chris, from Woolston has been based in Los Angeles since 2010.

2013 MAY 20 Town Centre nightclub Chicago Rock on Barbauld Street closed as its parent company Atmosphere Bars and Clubs went into administration. The Warrington venue was one of 19 Chicago Rock bars across the country. This comes exactly a week after another Warrington company, Daniel Contractors, also went into administration.

2013 MAY 23 The Marjorie Griffiths Learning Centre was unveiled at the Warrington Disability Partnership headquarters on Beaufort Street, Sankey Bridges. Miss Griffiths was a charity fundraiser, magistrate and head teacher at Bewsey Secondary Modern School. She worked tirelessly for disabled people until her death in 1994.

2013 MAY 27 CBeebies favourite, gardener Mr Bloom, visited Golden Square shopping centre to encourage children to learn about planting seeds and other aspects of gardening.

2013 MAY Plans to open a new railway station at Chapelford were dealt a blow when the government turned down a bid for funding. However, the council still believe funding can be found elsewhere and hopes the station could open within four years. The plan is for the nearby Sankey station to remain open as well.

2013 MAY 30 Wire Choir made its first public performance at Salem Baptist Church on Sankey Street. They rehearse at the Bulls Head pub on Church Street every Thursday night. Find out more about the choir at www.wirechoir.jigsy.com, where you can see video shot by me of their first public performance.

2013 MAY The Black Swan pub on Manchester Road, Hollins Green, was named Community Pub of the Year by the North Cheshire branch of CAMRA (the Campaign for Real Ale) for the second year in a row.

2013 MAY 31 Warrington couple John Traverse and Ruth Carter became parents to the first baby born by the pioneering IVF treatment Eeva (Early Embryo Viability Assessment) at Liverpool Women’s Hospital. Read about Eeva here.

2013 MAY 31 Warrington’s Deaf Museum was officially reopened at Warrington Deaf Club on Wilson Patten Street in the presence of a BBC TV crew, who were filming a documentary on the British Deaf History Society. The free-to-enter museum is open on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday between 9am and 3pm.

Jun 2013

2013 JUN Manchester United star Wayne Rooney visited Rylands FC on Gorsey Lane to film a mobile phone app teaching footballing skills.

2013 JUN 2 Birchwood Carnival took place at Birchwood Forest Park.

2013 JUN Two youths from Dallam were jailed for three and a half years after starting a £500,000 blaze which destroyed the Grade II listed Orford Farm house on School Road, Orford on 12 March 2012. The building was built before 1739 and bought for £287,000 in 2008.

2013 JUN Warrington Older People’s Forum celebrated its 21st anniversary at its base in Warrington Baptist Church, Sankey Street.

2013 JUN 5 The Birches Healthy Family Zone in Trefoil Close, Locking Stumps, was launched by Your Housing Group after receiving a £68,000 grant from environment body WREN (Waste Recycling Environmental Limited). The scheme is run in conjunction with Locking Stumps Primary School and provides a place where families can get together and parents can relax. Link to the newsletter.

2013 JUN Warrington-based award-winning freelance photographer Radka Dolinska launched a photographic exhibition in Warrington Market featuring life at the town centre venue. See her website. Keep up with events at Warrington Market on Facebook.

2013 JUN Lucy Sumner and Philippa Mason are now running successful businesses after they became the first graduates of the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy at Warrington Collegiate. The Dragons’ Den star said “Entrepreneurs are not born, they’re made”.

2013 JUN Priestley College became the first sixth form college in the country to receive STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) assured status.

2013 JUN Warrington Borough Council began an upgrade program at Victoria Park Athletics Arena in Latchford. The work included a new polymeric rubber track and relocation of hammer, discus and pole vault sections.

2013 JUN 7-9Walton Hall Gardens was host to the American Civil War Society as they set up camp for the weekend. Link to their website www.acws.co.uk.

2013 JUN Work started on a housing development on the former HMS Gosling site in Croft. The military base was closed in 1959, and its history will be put on public display at the seven-hectare site. Twenty-five houses will be built there.

2013 JUN 8 Chapelford summer fun day raised £3,781 towards its community centre in an event which saw the seaside come to the district.

2013 JUN 12 Warrington Town Football Club youth team celebrated their Northwest Youth Alliance League title win with an open top bus tour. They also won the Neil Thomason League Cup.

2013 JUN 13 The Warrington Guardian reported on a Freedom of Information request to Warrington Borough Council which revealed that 72 out of 90 school buildings in Warrington still contain asbestos. Asbestos was used in buildings from the 1950s until its use was banned in 1999. The report says that as long as the asbestos is well maintained and not disturbed or disintegrating it does not present any immediate hazard to health.

2013 JUN 13 Plans were put on display for a proposed railway station at Chapelford.

2013 JUN The Tim Parry Jonathan Ball Foundation for Peace published a book called Good Can Come From Evil to help schoolchildren learn about the IRA bombing of Bridge Street in 1993.

2013 JUN 15 CBeebies presenter Katy Ashworth visited Golden Square shopping centre as part of a Cooking Up Some Fun campaign.

2013 JUN 15 The annual Bawming of the Thorn ceremony took place in Appleton Thorn. The 19th century event was revived in 1973 by Appleton Thorn Primary School head teacher Bob Jones. Read about its history on the Events page.

2013 JUN 15 The annual Thelwall Rose Queen ceremony took place. This year’s recipient was 14-year-old Mary Connors.

2013 JUN Warrington SANDS (Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society) was launched in the town by Jane Constantinou, whose daughter lost her baby soon after he was born 23 weeks prematurely. See their Facebook page.

2013 JUN Warrington Museum received a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence award. The accolade, which honours hospitality excellence, is handed only to establishments which consistently get outstanding traveller reviews with five stars on its website. There are more Warrington attractions listed. See here. See also the Warrington Guardian news report on the story.

2013 JUN Probation officer Alan Lilly received a commendation from Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, at Buckingham Palace in recognition of work supporting veterans. Read the Warrington Guardian coverage of the event.

2013 JUN Work began on improving the facilities at Warrington Sports Club on Walton Lea Road, Walton. £98,000 in funding came from the RFU, with WREN (Waste Recycling Environmental Limited) and Sport England’s Inspired Facilities Olympic and Paralympic legacy fund each donated £50,000. The club also raised £35,000 through its own fundraising. Read more on its history at their website.

2013 JUN 19 LifeTime, a not-for-profit group for people aged 50 or over, was launched. The group meets at The Gateway on Sankey Street.

2013 JUN 20-23 The sixth annual Stockton Heath Festival took place in the village.

2013 JUN 21 The eighth annual St Rocco’s Hospice Starlight Walk took place at Orford Jubilee Park. £130,000 was pledged for the event.

2013 JUN 22 Penny O’Hare raised over £1,000 for John Holt Cancer Support Foundation by having her long hair cut. The charity was set up after her dad died of cancer in 2001. Her hair was donated to the Little Princess Trust, a charity providing real hair wigs for children suffering hair loss.

2013 JUN Residents in Orford were delighted when Peel Hall Park was granted Queen Elizabeth II Field status, meaning it cannot be built on. The Friends of Peel Hall had campaigned against a developer building houses on the site, which the council had originally given the green light for.

2013 JUN 22 Padgate and Woolston Walking Day took place.

2013 JUN 22 Grappenhall Walking Day and Rose Queen ceremony took place.

2013 JUN 23 Lymm Historic Transport Day took place in the village. See also the Lymm Festival website.

2013 JUN 23 The Warrington Guardian exclusively revealed that Warrington Wolves plan to increase the seating capacity at the Halliwell Jones Stadium to 20,000 within the next decade.

2013 JUN 27 Dallam playing fields changing rooms were officially opened by Councillor Pat Wright. Cllr Wright had campaigned for facilities at the Longshaw Street site since 2007 when £66,000 in funding for the development ‘disappeared’ from council budgets after receiving the green light in 2006. I originally mentioned this in a Timeline entry for March 2007.

2013 JUN 27 Teachers in Warrington staged a strike over pay and pensions.

2013 JUN
 The town council showed its support for Fairtrade by arranging 5,600 plants into the logo of the organisation at the front of the Town Hall lawn (photo, right). ADD IMAGE.

2013 JUN 28 Warrington Walking Day took place.

2013 JUN 28-30 Pupils from the Bolton Bikers Club at Alderman Bolton Primary School won three trophies at the National Youthbike Competition. The Year Six pupils designed a ‘recycled’ motorbike, a green-themed electric scooter which runs on a clean low-emission electric battery. Read the Warrington Guardian story (see also this Warrington Guardian report). See also bobsbikeclasses.co.uk.

2013 JUN 29 The Territorial Army unit, 75 Engineer Regiment, based at Peninsula Barracks on O’Leary Street, were granted the freedom of Warrington at a medal presentation ceremony in Queens Gardens. Read more about the regiment here.

2013 JUN Pupils from St Barnabas’ Primary School raised over £330 for the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace by taking part in the charity’s Peace of Cake campaign.

2013 JUN 29 St Oswald’s Church and Winwick Primary School joined forces to hold a summer gala at the school on Myddleton Lane.

2013 JUN 29 The annual Warrington Market Classic Transport Show took place. See the Classic Motor Shows page for photos of previous events.

2013 JUN 30 The third annual Mela festival took place in Queens Gardens and Parr Hall. The event is run by Warrington Ethnic Communities Association. A Mela is a cultural festival consisting of music, fashion, food, dance and other entertainment.

2013 JUN 30 The 10th annual North West Casual Classics motor show took place. See the Classic Motor Shows page for photos of the 2007 event.

2013 JUN 30 Birchwood running club Spectrum Striders celebrated their 30th anniversary by running 100 miles around Cheshire, starting and finishing in Lymm.

Jul 2013

2013 JUL Network Warrington bus drivers were balloted on strike action as the company said they would not get a pay rise for the first time in 16 years. The drivers eventually decided on a series of one-day strikes. The dispute was settled on 10 November 2013 with a pay rise as part of the deal.

2013 JUL Travis Perkins became the latest company to take up a space at the Omega North business park. 450 jobs will be created when their 700,000 sq ft regional logistics centre opens in 2015.

2013 JUL 6 Croft Carnival took place.

2013 JUL 6 The Walton Lea Project celebrated its 15th anniversary. The project provides supported employment in horticulture for adults with learning difficulties.

2013 JUL8 KW Golf shop reopened on Lovely Lane, Bewsey, after Karl Wanstall’s business went up in flames in August 2011. Mr Wanstall’s business also suffered an arson attack on 10 June 2008. See the Warrington Guardian reports on the stories here and here.

2013 JUL Appleton Bricklayer Ashley Terron won gold at the Worldskills competition in Leipzig.

2013 JUL St Rocco’s Hospice received an award for the most profitable retail operation for charities with between six and 10 shops at the Charity Retail Association Awards.

2013 JUL 13 The annual Glazebury Gala took place in the village. The event has been held since 1928 and is a major fundraiser for Glazebury Church, Glazebury School, Scouts and other organisations in the district.

2013 JUL 13 Penketh Carnival took place on Greystone Recreation Ground.

2013 JUL 13 Stockton Heath Walking Day took place.

2013 JUL 14 Disability Awareness Day took place at Walton Hall Gardens.

2013 JUL 13 Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham visited Great Sankey to hear views on how the health service should be run. Read his profile in Warrington People.

2013 JUL 19 ‘Madchester’ legends Happy Mondays were the headline act at this year’s Warrington Music festival at the Old Fish Market in town centre.

2013 JUL 19 Council gritters were called out to Phipps Lane in Burtonwood – to stop the road from melting! Read the Warrington Guardian story.

2013 JUL 19-21 Warrington Music Festival took place in the town centre.

2013 JUL Harry Bayley performed a 4,500ft tandem parachute jump from Niederhorn mountain near Interlaken in Switzerland – at the age of 91. Read the Warrington Guardian story. Mr Bayley was a teacher at Bewsey High School in my time, where I learned from him how cartoons were made. He used to make films of his holidays in the snow and one day we watched him moving the characters of the titles of the film across the page. I had never seen or heard of stop motion before then.

2013 JUL 20 Stretton Walking Day took place.

2013 JUL 20 Winwick Carnival took place.

2013 JUL 20 Howley Carnival took place.

2013 JUL 21 More than 1,000 women took part in the annual Race for Life 5k run at Victoria Park to raise funds for Cancer Research UK.

2013 JUL 27 Great Sankey resident Steve Corbett published a book about his times serving in Northern Island during The Troubles in the 1970s. The book, Belfast Diaries. A Gunner in Northern Ireland 1971-74, is available at Amazon and at Waterstones and WHSmith bookshops in Golden Square.

2013 JUL Warrington Borough Council was forced to pull the plug on a £1,500 drugs campaign after Facebook readers complained about a statement used in the promotional material. The statement asked “Did you know that cannabis can be stronger than heroin?” Norml UK, a group working to reform cannabis laws, said the claims were ‘irresponsible and dangerous’. Read the Warrington Guardian report.

2013 JUL 31 A bike hire scheme was launched at three of the town’s railway stations. Brompton Dock bikes are available from Warrington Central, Bank Quay and Birchwood stations in a joint scheme between Warrington Borough Council, Brompton Dock and the railway companies. ADD IMAGE.

2013 JUL Over 100 residents of Agden, Broomedge and Lymm East attended a meeting at Little Bollington to voice their opposition to the government’s HS2 railway project, which would see the proposed line pass through parts of the district. Read the Warrington Guardian report.

2013 JUL 31 A planning inspector rejected an application from developer Satnam to build houses on Peel Hall Park in north Warrington. Locals had campaigned against the plan for over a decade.

Aug 2013

2013 AUG 1 Urban Jungle was broadcast on BBC1, featuring a story on Warrington’s natural beauty and the volunteers who protect it.

2013 AUG Warrington was chosen as one of the towns to pilot the government’s new Universal Credit benefits system.

2013 AUG Warrington Gymnastics Club, based at Evans House on Norman Street, Fairfield, received £50,000 of Olympic legacy funding to update their facilities. The club was one of more than 300 projects across the country to receive lottery investment from the fourth round of the Inspired Facilities fund from Sport England.

2013 AUG 4 CBeebies favourite Mr Bloom visited town centre as part of the Golden Square shopping centre summer camp.

2013 AUG 4 The fifth annual St Rocco’s Hospice Dragon Boat Race took place at Warrington Rowing Club on the River Mersey at Howley.

2013 AUG Warrington cemetery received a Green Flag award from the Department of Communities and Local Government. It is one of eleven sites in the borough to receive the award. Read more at the council’s website.

2013 AUG 4 – SEP 15 Network Warrington operated its Happy Sundays service which saw an extra two hours added to the timetables and a £1 single journey fare across its bus network. There had been no Sunday buses after 5pm since 27 June 2010.

2013 AUG 8 VPX (Victoria Park Experience) took place throughout the month. The event, including coaching for skating, skateboarding, bike riding, sport, dance and DJ-ing, was started in 2007 by Cheshire Police CSOs Tom Reid and Tony Spruce.

2013 AUG 8 Warrington Town Football Club launched their 2020 vision of getting the club into the football league within seven years.

2013 AUG The Maple Lodge Community Project received a National Lottery grant of £75,000 towards the cost of building a new Scout and Guide headquarters in Lymm.

2013 AUG Penketh war hero Ron Fisher, age 91, received his Arctic Star medal 70 years after he earned it. He was on HMS Suffolk, the first ship in the Arctic convoy to sight German battleship Bismarck. Read more at the Warrington Guardian.

2013 AUG 9 Golden Square coffee shop Beoffee closed due to the economic downturn. The New Look store opposite moved to another unit in Golden Square in preparation for a new Primark store, resulting in less passing trade on the east side of the shopping centre.

2013 AUG 10 A fun day took place at the Police Station on Meeting Lane, Penketh. The police station for Sankey and Penketh moved here last December from Liverpool Road, Great Sankey.

2013 AUG 11 The annual Lymm Rushbearing Festival took place in the village. Read more about the ceremony here.

2013 AUG 11 Crosfields Junior Football Club were named community club of the year in the FA and McDonald’s Community Awards.

2013 AUG 11 The 15 Guinea Special steam train ran through Warrington Central station to mark the 45th anniversary since steam was withdrawn by British Rail in 1968. The train ran from Liverpool Lime Street to Carlisle. Read more here.

2013 AUG Risley Moss Nature Reserve received a total of £100,000 in grants to make improvements to pathways. The Forestry Commission and WREN (Waste Recycling Environmental) each gave £50,000 to the project.

2013 AUG Helen Newlove, who’s husband Garry was murdered in 2007, published her book It Could Happen to You.

2013 AUG 27 Work began on improvements to the southern end of Bridge Street in town centre.

2013 AUG A Warrington Guardian Freedom of Information request to Warrington Borough Council revealed that over £30,000 has been paid out in compensation claims for damage by potholes in the past five years.

2013 AUG Latchford History Group launched its latest book Top Class, which traces the history of St Augustines’ Catholic Primary School on Reynolds Street.

2013 AUG Daten Football Club in Culcheth celebrated its 65th anniversary by playing two friendly games against Liverpool FC and Burscough FC.

2013 AUG Members of Stockton Heath Lawn Tennis Club celebrated their centenary with a visit to the All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon.

2013 AUG The Brakes food distribution centre opens up for business on Lockheed Road at Omega North on the site of the former RAF Burtonwood airbase. Lockheed is an American aircraft manufacturer. Read about them here.

2013 AUG DV8 Designs of Birchwood were given the task of preparing a masterplan for the former Garven Place and Garnett’s Cabinet Works sites in Warrington town centre.

2013 AUG Work began on transforming the former George Howard metal processing site on Folly Lane, Bewsey, into a new housing estate after Mulbury Homes Ltd were given planning permission in May 2013.

2013 AUG 31 Warrington town centre staged its annual Farmer’s Market.

Sep 2013

2013 SEP 1 The annual Woolston Show took place at Woolston Park.

2013 SEP 2 BBC1’s Inside Out documentary questioned whether a rogue IRA unit made up of Englishmen was responsible for the Warrington bombings in 1993.

2013 SEP Music and DVD retailer Head opened in the former HMV unit at Golden Square shopping centre.

2013 SEP Warrington regained its fair trade status, which was first presented to the borough in 2006. See their website.

2013 SEP 5 A bridge in Fiddler’s Ferry collapsed after a 20-ton truck drove onto it. Marsh House Bridge across the Sankey Canal gave access to a trading estate. See the Warrington Guardian for more.

2013 SEP 6-8 The third annual Lymm Beer Festival took place at Lymm Village Hall. Around £4,000 was raised for good causes.

2013 SEP 7 Birchwood fire station held an open day.

2013 SEP 7 The annual Hatton Show took place on Old Chester Road in Daresbury.

2013 SEP 7 The second Warrington Pride event took place in Queens Gardens.

2013 SEP 8 The fifth annual English Half Marathon took place in Latchford. Victoria Park was the start and finish venue for 2,500 charity fun runners.

2013 SEP 12 Len Andrews, a leading light in the brass band world, died aged 93. He was awarded an MBE in 2010 for his services to music through Warrington Youth Band. Read more at the Warrington Guardian.

2013 SEP 13 The third annual Culcheth Beer Festival took place at Culcheth Sports Club, raising £8,500 for local charities.

2013 SEP 13 Network Warrington bus drivers staged the first in a series of one-day strikes over a zero percent pay rise. Only contract services for schools and business operated. The dispute was eventually settled on 10 November 2013.

2013 SEP 14 Hold the Front Page, an exhibition celebrating the 160th anniversary of the Warrington Guardian, opened at Warrington Museum.

2013 SEP 14 A farmer’s market was held at the Black Swan pub in Hollins Green.

2013 SEP 14 The Dog and Partridge pub on Manchester Road played host to the Olympic Dragons Strongmen event. Money raised went to the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

2013 SEP 14-15 St Mary’s Catholic Church on Buttermarket was one of the venues in Warrington which took part in this year’s national Heritage Open Days event.

2013 SEP 14-15 RAF Burtonwood Association organised a 1940s weekend which saw military re-enactments, classic vehicles, music, dance and memorabilia.

2013 SEP 15 Air cadet squadrons 1330 Warrington and 70 Croft took part in the annual Battle of Britain parade at Gulliver’s World to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the RAF Association.

2013 SEP Warrington Borough Council announced a £140,000 scheme to fund improvements at Woolston Park. Half the money will be invested in the 2013/14 financial year and the remainder in the following financial year.

2013 SEP Excavation work got underway on land by Bent’s Garden Centre in Glazebury to create environmental gardens. Other plans for the village included a 1,000 sq m children’s play area and around 4,000 sq m of allotments.

2013 SEP Appleton Thorn Primary School received a £10,000 Big Lottery Grant towards the setting up of a gymnastics club for children with disabilities and toddlers from Appleton Thorn Pre-School.

2013 SEP 18 Deputy First Minister in Northern Ireland and former IRA commander Martin McGuinness spoke at the Peace Centre annual lecture. He was invited by Colin Parry OBE, who’s 12-year-old son Tim died in the IRA bombing of Bridge Street in 1993.

2013 SEP 20 Dave Thompson MBE, founder of Warrington Disability Partnership, picked up the Entrepreneurial of Excellence Award for Disability at the National Diversity Awards held at the Queens Hotel in Leeds.

2013 SEP 21 Network Warrington bus drivers staged the second in a series of one-day strikes over a zero percent pay rise.

2013 SEP 23 The 99p Store opened in the former TJ Hughes/Co-op building on Sankey Street.

2013 SEP 26 St Rocco’s Hospice hosted an It’s a Knockout event at Birchwood Park to raise funds for its work.

2013 SEP 26 The annual St Elphin’s Church autumn fair, held at St Elphin’s CE Primary School, raised £6,522.

2013 SEP 28-29 Celebrations took place to mark the centenary of Grappenhall Independent Methodist Church on Knutsford Road.

2013 SEP 29 Network Warrington bus drivers staged the third in a series of one-day strikes over a zero percent pay rise.

2013 SEP 30 It was announced that fresh inquests into the deaths of 96 Hillsborough victims will take place in Warrington. 305 Bridgewater Place in Birchwood Park was later announced as the venue, with proceedings due to start on 31 March 2014.

Oct 2013

2013 OCT Warrington Borough Council announced plans to redevelop Bank Park. The scheme would include a new pavilion, bowling greens and new pathways. Read more at the council’s website.

2013 OCT A mummified Maori head which had been housed in Warrington Museum since 1843 was returned to New Zealand after a ceremony at the Town Hall. Read the Warrington-Worldwide and Warrington Guardian reports. See also here.

2013 OCT Warrington Borough Council announced plans for a new retail market which will incorporate the front of the listed Howard Buildings as part of a wider plan to regenerate Bridge Street. See a video here.

2013 OCT 4 12-year-old Ruby O’Donnell made her acting debut in Channel 4 drama Hollyoaks.

2013 OCT 4 Former Liverpool football player Ian St John was guest speaker at a charity sportsman’s evening at the Penketh Tavern. Money raised went to Penketh Swimming Club and Cromdale Way Pre-School.

2013 OCT 5 A commemorative blue plaque was unveiled at Hillcrest, 143 London Road, Stockton Heath, the former home of entertainer George Formby. The house is now a hotel.

2013 OCT 7 Network Warrington bus drivers staged the fourth in a series of one-day strikes over a zero percent pay rise.

2013 OCT 10-12 The 17th annual Oktoberfest took place at the Parr Hall. Organisers, the Rotary Club of Warrington, raised around £20,000 for local good causes at this year’s event.

2013 OCT 14 A plan to distribute a defibrillator to every school in the town continued when ten more were given by the charity Ciaran’s Cause, which was set up in memory of seven-year-old Ciaran Geddes from Locking Stumps, who died of a cardiac arrest while playing football on 17 April 2012. The Warrington Guardian reported that there were just 17 more schools to donate equipment to and fundraising continues.

2013 OCT 15 The Samoan rugby league team were welcomed to the town by children from Latchford St James Primary School. The team were staying at the Village Hotel in Centre Park during the Rugby League World Cup competition.

2013 OCT 15 Network Warrington bus drivers staged the fifth in a series of one-day strikes over a zero percent pay rise.

2013 OCT Bewsey Old Hall was removed from the English Heritage Heritage-at-Risk Register. The building, which was damaged by fire in 2011, was renovated by Urban Splash and turned into seven apartments. The Grade II listed building was built for the Boteler family in the 16th century. See the Sankey Valley section of the website and the Sankey Valley Park section of Warrington Green 2 for more on the hall.

2013 OCT 17 Warrington Borough Council served a breach of condition notice on FCC Environment after the Warrington Guardian reported that waste was still being dumped at Arpley landfill site despite its licence expiring. The council rejected an application to extend the licence back in January 2013. The notice was withdrawn later in the year. See two reports at the Warrington Guardian here and here.

2013 OCT 23 Network Warrington bus drivers postponed strike action scheduled for this day after management and the Unite union had discussions at conciliation body Acas two days earlier. A planned strike for 31 October 2013 was also postponed.

2013 OCT 23 The Boots store at Gemini Retail Park reopened after the disastrous fire in July 2012.

2013 OCT Figures show that 9.1 million people visited Warrington during 2012. The report, highlighted in the Warrington Guardian, says the tourism industry in Warrington employs 6,002 people directly and indirectly.

2013 OCT 25 Warrington British Sign Language Signing Choir appeared in Peter Gabriel’s Back to Front tour at the Phones 4 U Arena in Manchester. Peter Gabriel was a member of the group Genesis.

2013 OCT 27 14,965 spectators saw New Zealand beat Samoa 42-24 in the Rugby League World Cup at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, the first of two matches in the competition played at the Warrington Wolves venue. Earlier in the afternoon 500 dancers performed in the town centre to promote the competition.

2013 OCT 29 Warrington Wolves rugby league club announced a four-year sponsorship deal with Emirates airline.

2013 OCT 30 The new athletics track at Victoria Park was officially opened by the 2012 European indoor 800 metre champion Jenny Meadows. Blue was chosen for the track so athletes from Warrington Athletics Club could train on the same colour track as their sporting hero Usain Bolt.

2013 OCT Work began on the construction of a retail park on the site of the former Fordton Leisure Centre off Sandy Lane, Orford. The development includes an Aldi supermarket, a drive-through Costa coffee shop, a Joseph Holt public house and three smaller shop units, with parking for 150 vehicles.

2013 OCT A plan to build a new stadium for Warrington Town Football Club at the Omega site near Burtonwood was cancelled after talks broke down.

2013 OCT The village of Hatton received four recognitions at the Cheshire Community Pride awards, including a little gem award for their wild flower verges and flower beds. Read the Warrington Guardian report.

Nov 2013

2013 NOV 2 Warrington Wolves player Lee Briers published his new book, Off the Cuff: The Lee Briers Autobiography.

2013 NOV 2 Former politician and Strictly Come Dancing contestant Ann Widdecombe was invited to give an after-dinner speech at the Park Royal Hotel in Stretton in an event organised by the Congleton Constituency Conservative Association.

2013 NOV 4 A lion statue stolen after more than 140 years of sitting above the former Golden Lion Inn on Knutsford Road was returned. A Facebook campaign to request its return was started three days earlier. The building is now home to Classic Home Improvements. Read more here.

2013 NOV 5 A fireworks show organised by the parents and teachers association of Appleton Thorn Primary School raised £1,500 for outdoor adventure equipment at the school.

2013 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 £7,500 for local charities. This is £1,000 more than last year’s event. Read more at Warrington-Worldwide.

2013 NOV 6 Seventies singer Leo Sayer performed at the Parr Hall as part of his Silverbird anniversary tour. One fan described it on Ticketmaster as Great entertainer. Voice is amazing. Interacted brilliantly with the audience. Transported me back to me teenage years of the 70’s.

2013 NOV 8 Parents of children at St Philip’s Primary School in Westbrook were angry when a suspected computer error sent out text messages asking them to confirm why their child was ‘missing’ from school. The school apologised and promised an investigation. Read the Warrington Guardian story.

2013 NOV 8 Warrington Wolves rugby player Lee Briers announced his retirement from the game with immediate effect due to a neck injury during the 2013 season.

2013 NOV 8-10 Warrington hospital’s Radio General celebrated 60 years of service with a live 60 hour non-stop broadcast from 10am on Friday 8 November until 10pm on Sunday 10 November. The radio station was set up in 1953 after a report in the Warrington Guardian highlighted a similar idea from a hospital in Oldham in 1952.

2013 NOV 10 A series of strikes by Network Warrington employees over a zero percent pay rise came to an end when the dispute was settled. A three-day strike from Wednesday 13 November to Friday 15 November 2013 had been planned. One driver told me the management had agreed to a pay rise dating back to May 2013 when the dispute began. The rise was a reported 1.5%.

2013 NOV 11 Barclays Bank in Birchwood announced it was to close the branch on Benson Road in February 2014 and move its services into the Asda supermarket in Birchwood Shopping Centre.

2013 NOV 13 Home Secretary Theresa May visited the Peace Centre in Old Hall to meet with Colin and Wendy Parry to find out how the centre tackles terrorism. She was then accompanied by Warrington South MP David Mowat on a tour of the building.

2013 NOV 13 A new play area on land next to St Mark’s Church on Longshaw Street in Dallam was officially opened by councillor Pat Wright. The play area for children aged 8-13 is part of an ongoing regeneration programme of Dallam and Bewsey, which has already seen new changing facilities on Dallam Park.

2013 NOV 13 Lymm scientist Carol Barker-Treasure was awarded a Lush £25,000 training prize for her services to the replacement of animals in testing. She set up XcellR8 in 2008 and the company is based in Daresbury. Read more in the Warrington Guardian.

2013 NOV 14 The death of David Hancock, chairman of Hancock & Wood, one of the oldest businesses in the town centre, was announced in the Warrington Guardian. Mr Hancock started working in the business at the end of the Second World War. He was 90 years old when he died.

2013 NOV 14 Warrington-Worldwide reported on plans for an underground car storage and display facility at the former Royal Naval Air Station Stretton (HMS Blackcap). Read a history of the airfield on the RAF Burtonwood page.

2013 NOV 14 The Christmas lights were switched on at Birchwood Shopping Centre. Pete Pinnington presented the build-up, which included X-Factor finalists Miss Dynamix, members of George Sampson’s mini crew of dancers, singer Jenna Scottow and BBC Apprentice finalist Neil Clough.

2013 NOV 15 The town centre Christmas lights were switched on by CBeebies presenters Sid and Andy. Well, at least they didn’t use X-Factor contestants like Birchwood! The council also added “Merry Christmas” to the lights for the first time since 2001.

2013 NOV 15 Retailer B&M Bargains opened its third Warrington store when it took over the former Comet unit at Cockhedge Shopping Park. The company opened its first store in Blackpool in 1976.

2013 NOV 15 Two families received £6,000 compensation from Warrington Borough Council after their autistic teenagers were denied the speech and language they needed for three years. Read more at the council website and in Warrington-Worldwide.

2013 NOV 17 12,766 spectators saw Fiji beat Samoa 22-4 in the Rugby League World Cup at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, the second of two matches in the competition played at the Warrington Wolves venue. Earlier in the afternoon 500 dancers performed in the town centre to promote the competition.

2013 NOV 20 The Bishop of Warrington, the Rt Rev Richard Blackburn, said it is “fantastic” that the Church of England Synod voted in favour of proposals which could allow the ordination of women bishops in 2014. See the BBC website and the Warrington Guardian for more.

2013 NOV 20 It was announced that pupils from Green Lane Community Special School in Padgate and Fox Wood School in Birchwood will move to the former site of Woolston High School on Holes Lane in an £8 million development. The council originally announced plans for the move in February 2012. Demolition of the existing Woolston High building began earlier this month.

2013 NOV 20 Colin Parry, father of Tim who died in the IRA bombing of Bridge Street in 1993, said calls to end any investigation into The Troubles in Northern Ireland would “almost be an insult” to victim’s families. His statement comes after comments from NI Attorney General John Larkin. See BBC News reports here and here.

2013 NOV 20 Hairdresser Charlotte Johnson, who works at MC2 Hair Design on London Road, Stockton Heath, won the top prize at the Young Total Beauty Awards with her fishtail plait design. Read more in the Warrington Guardian.

2013 NOV 21 A businessman on Bridge Street in the town centre said his profits had been reduced by 90% since the council began refurbishments to the layout of the road in September 2013. read more at the Warrington Guardian.

2013 NOV 21 Warrington-Worldwide reported that Warrington North Conservative spokesman Paul Campbell had called for an inquiry into the workings of bus company Network Warrington. He mentioned a reported loss of £1 million last year, a bail-out ‘loan’ from the council (who own the bus company) and the industrial action held earlier in 2013. Read more at the Warrington North Conservatives website.

2013 NOV 21 Warrington-Worldwide editor stepped down from his role as Chairman of Warrington Town Football Club to concentrate on his increased business commitments at the online daily newspaper.

2013 NOV 21 Residents in Culcheth attended a public consultation at Culcheth Sports Club over the proposed HS2 railway line, which would run across parts of the village. Read more at the Warrington Guardian.

2013 NOV 22 The Warrington Guardian reported that outspoken art critic Brian Sewell, speaking on BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours, said people in “somewhere like Warrington and Croydon” would not appreciate art. He was discussing the sale of a collection of Chinese porcelain by Croydon Council. The comment met with anger from Warrington’s cultural community.

On the same page of the printed edition was a story about taxidermist Polly Morgan’s artistic display at Warrington Museum. Not to my personal liking, but each to their own. Read the Warrington Guardian report for yourself.

2013 NOV 22 A “silent disco” in Queens Gardens brought the third annual Warrington Contemporary Arts Festival to an end. Music fans wore headphones at the dance event. See Warrington-Worldwide for more.

2013 NOV 25 Firefighters Michelle Dalton and Gus O’Rourke took part in the BBC2 programme The Choir: Sing While You Work as part of a 24-strong choir from Cheshire Fire Service. Read the Warrington Guardian report.

2013 NOV 25 Warrington-Worldwide reported on a possible merger between Golden Gates Housing Trust and St Helens-based Helena Partnerships.

2013 NOV Warrington Advanced Motorists group won two awards at the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) National Conference. Read the Warrington Guardian report.

2013 NOV 27 The Lancashire Day Proclamation was read out in the town centre to mark Real Lancashire Day. The event is held every year to commemorate the date in 1295 when the first elected representatives from the county were summoned to Westminster by King Edward I to attend what later became known as “The Model Parliament”. If you didn’t already know, Warrington is still within the county boundary of Lancashire (as are Liverpool and Manchester) – only the administration boundaries were changed in 1974, which ‘moved’ Warrington into Cheshire. The town became a unitary authority area in April 1998. See the Friends of Real Lancashire website for more on Lancashire.

In a separate story, a rare set of playing cards from 1676, featuring maps of the counties of England and Wales, and showing Warrington in Lancashire, were sold for £15,000 at auction at Sotheby’s in London on 12 November 2013. They were originally expected to fetch between £3,500 and £4,500. For more, see Warrington Guardian and the Bolton News.

2013 NOV Students from Lymm-based Gen’Dai Martial Arts received gold and silver medals at the prestigious UK Open Championship. Read more in Warrington-Worldwide and Warrington Guardian.

2013 NOV 28 Eleven-year-old Jamie Reid, from Lymm, successfully auditioned for a place in the National Children’s Brass Band of Great Britain. He plays the euphonium and has also achieved Grade 3 with the cello. Read more in Warrington-Worldwide.

2013 NOV 28 Lymm resident Rod King, founder of 20’s Plenty For Us, a scheme to restrict speed limits to 20 mph on residential streets, received an MBE from the Queen at Buckingham Palace for services to road safety. Read the press release on the 20’s Plenty For Us website.

2013 NOV 29 More than 20 residents lodged objections to detailed plans for 220 houses on the site of the former Bruche Police Training Centre. Most of the objections related to highway matters, including access to the site from Bruche Avenue and Manchester Road. Read more in Warrington-Worldwide.

2013 NOV 29 The £4m Woolston Community Primary School was officially opened on Barnfield Road. The original primary school opened on 12 November 1952 on Hall Road close by. See the Warrington-Worldwide report and link to the school website.

2013 NOV 30 Culcheth Victorian Day took place. The event included fairground rides, Santa’s grotto and the Christmas lights switch-on.

2013 NOV 30 Kids Planet day nursery in Lymm won both the Nursery Indoor Learning Environment and Green Nursery of the Year categories at the 11th annual Nursery Management Today (NMT) Nursery Awards at the London Hilton Hotel. They were presented with their awards by former rugby international and Strictly Come Dancing star Austin Healey. Read more here and here.

2013 NOV 30- DEC 1 The ancient St Andrew’s Fair took place in the town centre featuring fairground rides, Dr Who memorabilia and music. The event, which was revived last year, 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. Prior to last year, it had been over a century since it was last staged.

Dec 2013

2013 DEC Warrington Hospital League of Friends celebrated 50 years of voluntary service.

2013 DEC Warrington Paralympic fencing champion Adrian Derbyshire received a £5,000 grant from the Crime Prevention Fund to buy a hand pushbike. The bike will be used to visit schools to give talks on crimes against disabled people. See Warrington-Worldwide.

2013 DEC 1 A charity event based on the BBC show Strictly Come Dancing raised £27,000 for St Rocco’s Hospice. Strictly St Rocco’s was held at Mere Golf Resort. See photos at the Warrington Guardian.

2013 DEC 4 Professor Steven Broomhead was re-appointed as chief executive of Warrington Borough Council on a permanent basis. He had held the post previously before becoming chief executive of the former North West Development Agency. He returned to the council in June 2012 on a temporary basis when predecessor Diane Terris left for another post. See Warrington-Worldwide for more.

2013 DEC 4 Computer giant Hewlett Packard announced that 483 jobs will be lost at its Birchwood Park site in January as part of a worldwide reduction in its workforce. They say part of the reason is a downturn in sales of PCs as more people buy tablets and other mobile devices.

2013 DEC 5 Fashion retailer Primark opened its Warrington store in Golden Square shopping centre.

2013 DEC 5 Thirty new jobs were created when a 99p Store opened in Birchwood Shopping Centre.

2013 DEC 5 Severe weather conditions caused the River Mersey to burst its banks. The Ferry Tavern Inn at Fiddler’s Ferry was flooded. See the Warrington Guardian photo of the pub.

2013 DEC 6 A Warrington Borough Council report says a total of 5,920 children are living in poverty in Warrington – 15.3 per cent of the 0-15 age group. Read more at Warrington-Worldwide.

2013 DEC 6 Wendy Parry, who lost her 12-year-old son Tim in the IRA bombing of Warrington in 1993, was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s birthday honours list. Mrs Parry’s husband Colin received his OBE in 2004. Mrs Parry was told of the award in June 2013. See the Warrington Guardian story.

2013 DEC The statue of rugby league legend Brian Bevan, which stands outside the Halliwell Jones Stadium, was featured in the sporting publication Immortals of British Sport. Read more in Warrington-Worldwide.

2013 DEC (10) Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust introduced an automated text appointment reminder service for patients with outpatient appointments at the hospitals. See Warrington-Worldwide for more.

2013 DEC 11 Nick Bent, who will stand for Labour in the 2015 General Election, says it is ‘wrong’ that tolls charges – waived for a road extension in Cambridge – will remain on the new Mersey Gateway bridge connecting Widnes and Runcorn, despite concerns from locals that a toll will affect the traffic flow through Warrington. Read more at the Warrington Guardian.

2013 DEC A early keyboard instrument, known as a virginal, which had been kept at Warrington Museum for more than 100 years, was restored for a recital of music composed by local students. Read more and see a photo at Warrington-Worldwide.

2013 DEC United Utilities completed work on a £10 million pumping station at Bewsey Bridge which will move 3,500 pints of sewage per second to the wastewater treatment works at Gatewarth. See the United Utilities website. Hopefully, scenes in my photo of Hawleys Lane bridge (right) will be a thing of the past. ADD IMAGE.

2013 DEC 12 Chris Holt from John Holt Cancer Support Foundation was featured on BBC Northwest Tonight after she was nominated for the programme’s Christmas Star award. Chris set up the charity after her husband died from cancer on 12 December 2001.

2013 DEC 13 Family-run trainer store Shoe HQ opened a store in Golden Square shopping centre. In the same week menswear retailer Scott moved to Golden Square from Bridge Street.

2013 DEC 13 Merseypride Travel, a coach operator based in Speke, had its licence revoked after a public inquiry into a crash on 9 September 2012. The driver from Warrington and two passengers from Liverpool were killed when a 20-year-old tyre blew out, causing the coach to mount an embankment and crash through a fence and into a tree when returning from the Bestival music festival.

2013 DEC 14 The 28th annual Lymm Dickensian Festival took place.

2013 DEC 19 The Warrington Guardian revealed that boyband Five got a shock earlier this year when they visited an Age UK tea dance at the Parr Hall to film for ITV1 show Text Santa. They were asked to change out of their woolly hats, jeans and trainers into tuxedos before being allowed to meet volunteer Pam Rowland’s guests. The show was broadcast on Friday 20 December 2013.

2013 DEC 22 Warrington Wolves rugby star Richie Myler married former Blue Peter presenter Helen Skelton at a ceremony in Kirkby Thore near Penrith, Cumbria.

2013 DEC 24 It was reported in the Warrington Guardian that the cost of crossing the new toll bridge at Runcorn from 2017 will be £2 for each single journey, with a discount for regular users. Charges would also be made for crossing the existing Silver Jubilee Bridge, which was free at the time of writing.

2013 DEC 24 Warrington-Worldwide reported that the playwright and chairman of The Bridgewater Players drama group, Ian Hornby, had passed away. See the Community page for information on the group.

2013 DEC 28 Warrington-Worldwide development in Iraq and Afghanistan as a police advisor with the European Union Police Mission. He had served 40 years in uniform, in the army and as a police officer.

2013 DEC 30 Tributes were paid to Padgate resident Stanley Robinson, who died of pneumonia, aged 76. Mr Robinson started Fife Rangers Junior Football Club on Crab lane in 1969 and coached the children for 19 years.