2014 JAN 1 The Chair of Warrington-based Your Housing Group, Kathy Cowell, was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours. Read more in Warrington-Worldwide, which also reports that international pianist Stephen Hough, a former pupil of Thelwall Junior School, was made a CBE for services to music. Meanwhile, ex-rugby league referee and former Warrington Cricket Club man Stuart Cummings, was awarded an MBE. Another Warrington-born citizen honoured was former Lymm Grammar (now High) School pupil Martin Coyd, who received an OBE after playing a leading role in the development of wheelchair rugby and for establishing rugby league as an official sport within the British Armed Forces. See the Warrington Guardian for another story about his achievements.
2014 JAN 2 It is reported in Warrington-Worldwide that the site of the former Garven Place clinic in town centre will become a temporary car park for 60 vehicles. Read the report, which includes some interesting information on the town’s history.
2014 JAN 3 Warrington Worldwide reported that workers in Warrington had been hit harder by the recession than anywhere else in the North West, according to the GMB union. The report said that the real value of average earnings across all employees had fallen by 24 per cent in Warrington since 2008, compared with 13.4 per cent for the region as a whole.
2014 JAN 3 As many parts of the country struggled with flooding, Warrington was put on alert but escaped the worst. See photos at the Warrington Guardian of some of the areas affected.
2014 JAN 4 Orford couple Michael and Margaret Sampson won £585,956 for matching 5 plus the bonus ball on the National Lottery Lotto draw.
2014 JAN 6 An episode of Michael Portillo’s Great British Railway Journeys, part of which was recorded in Warrington, was broadcast on BBC2.
2014 JAN 7 Campaigners rallied together to try and save the Bridge Inn pub on Phipps Lane in Burtonwood after the owners Marston sold it to an undisclosed buyer. It was demolished 12 months later after authorities deemed it too dangerous to be left standing.
2014 JAN 7 Figures show that there were more than 1,000 women and over 300 men aged 90 or above living in the town. It is also estimated that 37 people have celebrated their 100th birthday. The Office for National Statistics predicts that the number of over-80s in the UK is set to double to six million by 2037.
2014 JAN 9 The town’s MPs welcomed an extra £10 million from the government towards schools as part of a £2.35 billion national scheme over the next four years. Read more at the Warrington Guardian.
2014 JAN 9 Broomfields Youth Project was granted permission for a new centre despite complaints from nearby neighbours. The council approved the plan after Cheshire police reported the number of anti-social behaviour incidents had been reduced from 250 in 2012 to less than 100.
2014 JAN Rixton with Glazebrook Parish Council handed in its report to Warrington Borough Council highlighting the pitfalls of the proposed HS2 railway line, which would see high speed trains running through the two villages.
2014 JAN Figures show that just 25 homes in Warrington now have a black and white TV licence out of a total of 11,550 nationally.
2014 JAN Former Penketh High School pupil Ian MacKinnon marked 20 years in the TV animation industry after winning a competition in the Warrington Guardian in 1985. He was spotted by Cosgrove Hall, the Chorlton-based company that created Chorlton and the Wheelies, and has since set up his own company with business partner Peter Saunders. A lifetime achievement award was recently presented to 45-year-old Ian. See mackinnonandsaunders.com for more.
2014 JAN Cheshire Police in Warrington began a pilot scheme for wearing body cameras to record incidents in the town.
2014 JAN Local writer Gill Hoffs published her book The Sinking of RMS Tayleur: The Lost Story of the Victorian Titanic. The book is on sale in the town’s bookshops or direct from the publisher Pen and Sword. See also my report in On the Waterfront 2.
2014 JAN A pilot scheme restricting speed limits to 20 mph on residential streets in Great Sankey, town centre and Orford was deemed a success and will be rolled out across the town.
2014 JAN 18 JC Dance Academy was launched in the former Causeway Community Centre in Wilderspool. Hollyoaks star Kieron Richardson was invited to the opening.
2014 JAN Campaigners try to find a solution to bridge swings at peak periods over the privately-owned Manchester Ship Canal in south Warrington.
2014 JAN 19 A new monthly artisan market started at Lymm Youth and Community Centre. The market is run by Patrick Smith and Alison Lyons.
2014 JAN A syndicate of six women who previously worked together in Birchwood won £1.7 million between them from a National Lottery jackpot that had gone unclaimed since 30 November 2013.
2014 JAN Warrington Borough Council loaned Omega Warrington Ltd £7.5 million towards a new road and infrastructure at the Burtonwood business park. The money will be repaid over seven years with interest and any money made will go towards front-line services.
2014 JAN 23 Warrington Borough Council turned down a planning application from FCC to extend the life of Arpley Tip by five years.
2014 JAN Warrington Borough Council agreed a deal to lend £90 million to St Helens-based Helena Partnerships who wish to build 1,000 social and affordable homes in the region.
2014 JAN Spud Wood in Oughtrington was one of the first woods in the country to become a wood allotment. It allows visitors to harvest their own wood for fuel. See photos of the wood in Warrington Green 2. See woodallotments.com for more on this idea.
2014 FEB Residents of Warrington express their disgust as five of seven local authorities kept quiet when invited to visit Arpley landfill site to discuss the future of the tip. Leaders of St Helens, Sephton, Knowsley, Wirral and Halton councils, who all dump their rubbish at Arpley, were invited by Warrington South MP David Mowat.
2014 FEB 7 Drugs baron Richard Brookhouse and his wife Diane were jailed for a total of 34 years at Warrington Crown Court for running a £100 million international drugs operation. Mr Brookhouse was sentenced for 20 years and his wife 14 years. Eight members of the ‘sophisticated’ smuggling ring were jailed for a total of 217 years.
2014 FEB 7 Residents and councillors called for Peel Ports, the owners of the Manchester Ship Canal, to consider reducing the number of ships passing through the south of the town at peak periods. Labour’s Nick Bent also condemned the Coalition Government for refusing to consider a review of the Manchester Ship Canal Act.
2014 FEB 7 Tributes were paid to Northern Rail employee Sandra Pritchard who died the day before she was due to retire. Mrs Pritchard had worked on Sankey for Penketh station since 1979 died on 6 February 2014, aged 62.
2014 FEB 7 Work began on a £2.2 million facelift of Bank Park in town centre, which includes returning the paths to how they looked 150 years ago. A new pavilion and bowling greens are also part of the plan.
2014 FEB 13 After a bitter three-year battle with the council over the building of a free school on Hillock Lane in Woolston, bosses at King’s Leadership Academy won an appeal for the school to go ahead. See the Warrington Guardian for more.
2014 FEB A new club for people aged 60+ in Latchford and Westy started. The Silver Service Club runs every Friday from 10.30am to 1.30pm at Westy Community Centre.
2014 FEB 23 Members of Warrington British Sign Language Signing Choir performed with Mike Rutherford, formerly of Genesis, at the Parr Hall as part of Mike and the Mechanics 25th anniversary tour The Living Years.
Events from now will be updated as soon as possible
2014 MAR 31 The inquest into the Hillsborough football stadium disaster of April 1989 opened in Birchwood, Warrington. The accidental death verdicts on all 96 men, women and children who died stood for more than 20 years until they were quashed by the High Court in December 2012.
2014 APR 13 Great Sankey mum Sue McHugh ran the London Marathon to raise money for Children with Cancer UK, while her six-year-old daughter Holly ran the same distance, a mile at a time over a period of time. Holly was joined by Olympic cyclist Chris Boardman for a one-mile stretch around Media city in Salford in February. Holly’s final mile was run alongside her mum in London.
2014 MAY 13 The new office building for Golden Gates Housing Trust was officially opened in Bank Park by the mayor, Peter Carey. A time capsule was buried in the grounds.
2014 MAY 30 Whites Sports shop in Warrington Market entered the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest sports shop. They have traded since 1913 and were presented with the honour at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
2014 MAY 14 A lorry crashed on the M62 between Junction 11 at Birchwood and Junction 12 at Eccles saw 6,000 chickens spill onto the road, 1,500 of which were killed. Have a look at the chaos on the Warrington Guardian website.
2014 JUL TV cameras visit Lymm as The Royle Family creator Craig Cash recorded scenes for his new Sky comedy After Hours.
2014 JUL 2 Ofcom announced that it had approved Radio Warrington’s application for a licence to broadcast on AM (medium wave).
2014 AUG 18 Belong Warrington, a £9.5 million village specialising in supporting patients with dementia, welcomed its first residents. The village is built on the site of the former G & J Greenall distillery on Loushers Lane and the official opening took place later in the year. Read more here.
2014 OCT 24 The inaugural Burtonwood Beer Festival took place, raising a total of £1,000 for St Rocco’s Hospice and The Steve Prescott Foundation, with a further £150 donated to Warrington Rotary Club.
2014 OCT The 10th annual charity walk around the village of Grappenhall raised £2,900 for Breakthrough Breast Cancer.
2014 NOV Great-grandmother Margaret Isherwood from Fairfield received an MBE from Prince William for services to adult learning.
2014 NOV The Warrington Guardian reports that a rescue package partly funded by the council to create a youth base out of the former Mr Smiths building at Bridge Foot is under threat as there is a 50-50 split on the council’s executive committee as to whether the council can afford it. It seems the council would have to borrow the £3 million for its contribution to the venture and councillors are wary in this time of austerity. A decision will be made in 2015. Personally, I feel they should not have promised the funding before they were sure they could afford it -I was under the impression the funding was already available. Updated here.
2014 NOV 26 John Holt Cancer Support Foundation on Palmyra Square South secured £48,489 from the Big Lottery Fund in partnership with ITV. The funding will be used to give patients and relatives the chance to receive end of life support and experience activities such as therapies and sensory sessions. The group is now based in Museum Street.
2014 NOV 28 Police were called to Tesco Extra on Winwick Road after crowds of people descended on the store on Black Friday as they tried to buy heavily discounted products. The scene was described as ‘carnage’ by one horrified shopper.
2014 NOV 29 The annual Culcheth Victorian Day event took place. The event featured a display of artwork commemorating 100 years since the start of the first World War.
2014 NOV 29 – Dec 1 Dancers of all ages from Felicia Burns School performed at the annual ‘That’s Entertainment’ fundraiser at the Parr Hall.
2014 NOV Pupils from Great Sankey Primary School took part in a week-long We Will Remember commemoration of the First World War by creating artwork, writing information reports and learning war songs.
2014 NOV Pupils from Birchwood Community School and Penketh High School took part in a visit to the Auschwitz concentration camp where they saw the ruins of gas chambers and a Jewish cemetery.
2014 NOV Pupils from Grappenhall Primary School marked the centenary of the start of the First World War with a display of hand-made poppies at Bellhouse Lane Community Centre.
2014 NOV Pupils from Lymm High School planted 100 new trees in Spud Wood at Oughtrington in the latest stage of the community wood success story. The community wood was created out of a old potato field and given the delightful name of Spud Wood – my favourite place name in the whole town. See photos and a brief history on the Warrington Green 2 page.
2014 DEC Children from 20 schools across Warrington created a display in Golden Square Shopping centre to commemorate the IRA bombing of the town in 1993. Read the story in the Warrington Guardian.
2014 DEC Warrington-based European Metal Recycling Ltd was fined £150,000 when an employee from Sheffield sustained catastrophic injuries at their Kingsbury depot in Warwickshire on 12 Oct 2011. The company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 when a barge fell on top of the employee as he was dismantling it.
2014 DEC 4 Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, the Queen’s first cousin, visited Fairfield Old School to look round a variety of projects.
2014 DEC Warrington Stammering Support Group received a grant of £2,800 from the Coalfields Regeneration Trust. The group, which is based at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, used the cash to send ten members to the British Stammering Association conference on employability.
2014 DEC 5 Culcheth High School pupils aged 10 and 11 took part in the international Football Remembers event to commemorate 100 years since the start of the first World War.
2014 DEC 6 Kent Street Community Church in Latchford held a Christmas table top sale.
2014 DEC 6 The Burtonwood Well Good Theatre performed A Christmas Showcase at Burtonwood Catholic Club.
2014 DEC 6 Risley Moss Nature Reserve staged a Village Pre-school Elf Hunt to raise funds for school play areas and to promote the services of the Risley Moss Ranger Service.
2014 DEC 6-7 Bents Garden Centre in Glazebury staged a Christmas fun weekend, featuring fairground rides, face painting, a reindeer treasure hunt and a visit from Father Christmas.
2014 DEC 7 Warrington Town Football Club were beaten 2-0 by Gateshead in the 2nd round of the FA Cup. 1,100 travelling fans were hoping the club could repeat the success of beating Exeter City in the 1st round on 7 November 2014.
2014 DEC 7 Stockton Heath Christmas Market took place with stalls outside the Mulberry Tree pub, Red Lion pub, Forge shopping centre and inside Stockton Heath Primary School.
2014 DEC Barclays Bank moved its town centre banking services to Golden Square Shopping Centre near Market Gate, having spent most of the 20th century at 25 Sankey Street.
2014 DEC Seven-year-old Grace Walsh from Warrington raised £370 for Wigan and Leigh Hospice who were caring for her grandad. She raised the money by running completing her own version of a triathlon event by running for one mile, cycling 10 miles and swimming 250 metres in one day.
2014 DEC Great Sankey resident Captain Len Clarke, age 75, was awarded a medal and certificate from Warrington Mayor Cllr Ted Finnegan for 40 years service as skipper on his vessel MV PANARY. The 75-year-old’s duties included transporting wheat from Seaforth Dock in Liverpool to Warburton’s Bakeries in Stockport. He had retired from the role just two years earlier after ill-health.
2014 DEC It was revealed in the Warrington Guardian that the council has written off more than £325,000 of unrecoverable debt for the first time since 2006. The debt is mainly council tax from residents who have either passed away or moved without trace. The figure includes £202,290 of overpaid housing benefit and £122,784 in unpaid council tax.
2014 DEC TV cameras visit Lymm for the second time in six months as Shameless creator Paul Abbott films his new show No Offence in the village. The story follows unorthodox cops who go above and beyond the call of duty to bring down hardened criminals.
2014 DEC Plans to build a 300-seater grandstand at Victoria Park were approved at a council meeting.
2014 DEC Husband and wife Martin and Karen Evans from Appleton and their friend Fiona Buckley from Hale rode 400km from Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam to Siem Reap in Cambodia in six days to raise £3,000 for the Hospice of the Good Shepherd near Chester.
2014 DEC 9 One of the most popular residents of Walton Hall Children’s Zoo, Bobo the donkey, was put to sleep due to ill health. He was born at the zoo on 16 May 1985 and was the oldest zoo resident. One tribute on Facebook reads: Told the donkey all my secrets. He never breathed a word. Good confidante!
2014 DEC Members of Warrington’s Fairtrade Steering Group celebrated the 20th anniversary of the organisation at the town hall. From its humble beginnings in 1994, when just three products bore the Fairtrade logo, residents can now find over 4,500 Fairtrade products. The ethical label helps 1.4 million farmers in more than 70 developing countries to gain a fair price for their goods. Warrington Market has its very own Fairtrade stall. Read more about Fairtrade here.
2014 DEC Orford Jubilee Park received the prestigious Green Flag award. The award is given to areas that are beautifully maintained and have excellent facilities.
2014 DEC 12-14 Newchurch Parish Church in Culcheth staged the ninth annual Christmas Tree and Crib Festival. Around 50 trees were decorated for the occasion, representing a range of Christmas traditions.
2014 DEC The multi-million pound Woolston Learning Village was opened. The centre is the new home for Fox Wood and Green Lane special schools and provides educational needs for people aged four to 18.
2014 DEC Former Blue Peter presenter Helen Skelton visited Sellafield Ltd’s Hinton House in Risley to celebrate employees’ achievements at the Excellence awards.
2014 DEC Gorse Covert Mounds, a popular woodland in east Warrington, received a £13,000 makeover thanks to WREN (Waste Recycling Environmental).
2014 DEC 13 The annual Lymm Dickensian Festival took place in the village. The event included the village’s first Santa Dash, which was organised by the Lymm Runners.
2014 DEC 13 Ellenbrook and Boothstown Brass Band performed a concert at Newchurch Parish Church in Culcheth.
2014 DEC 13 A performance from the Bridgewater Singers entitled ‘Christmas is Coming’ took place at Lymm Baptist Church.
2014 DEC 14 Glazebrook Choral Society performed Handel’s Messiah at Glazebrook Methodist Church.
2014 DEC 14 A children’s Christmas fun day took place at Orford Jubilee Neighbourhood Hub. The event included a two-course carvery lunch, party games and a theatrical performance.
2014 DEC Daniel Miller, an interactive media student at Warrington Collegiate on Winwick Road, won £300 from O2’s Think Big With O2 project to help set up Vibe Youth Radio. The station is aimed at 13 to 25-year-olds.
2014 DEC 14 Hundreds of Santas took part in a 5k dash to raise money for the Brainwave charity in Birchwood.
2014 DEC It was revealed in the Warrington Guardian that the government is likely to scrap the controversial spur of the High Speed 2 rail link between Manchester and Wigan. The route would have cut through part of Culcheth and would have cost £1 billion alone “no longer makes sense” according to a report handed to MPs from HS2 chief executive David Higgins.
2014 DEC The final total for this year’s Poppy Appeal in the Penketh and Great Sankey area was £36,935.66.
2014 DEC 18 Warrington band Starsailor performed an acoustic set at Lizard Inc Records on Legh Street before taking to the stage at the Parr Hall following a global tour.
2014 DEC A section of Bewsey known as the Molyneux Avenue Triangle received a visit from Santa after the area was revamped by Golden Gates Housing Trust as part of the Delivering Wellbeing in Bewsey and Dallam project.
2014 DEC 18 Pupils from Dallam Primary School joined other children from across the north west at the National Football Museum in Manchester to sing Silent Night in English and German. The event launched The Greater Game – Football and World War One, which showcased the stories of the game’s role during the First World War. The schoolchildren appeared on BBC North West Tonight on 23 December 2014.
2014 DEC Online retailer The Hut Group confirmed that it will take up space at Omega South business park in Autumn 2015.
2014 DEC Six venues in the Cultural Quarter of the town centre received an Arc Angel award from Cheshire Police in recognition of nightspots that encourage responsible drinking. The six venues are the Palmyra, Grill on the Square, Mojo’s, the Quarter Bar, the Parr Hall and the Institution.
2014 DEC War veteran James Ronald Fisher, age 93, was presented with the Ushakov medal (Russia’s highest naval honour) for his part in the Second World War’s Arctic Convoys. He had received the Arctic Star medal in 2013.
2014 DEC 22 A male seal became stranded on Red Bank Farm between Winwick and Newton. Dumbledore, as he was named, was rescued by the RSPCA and eventually moved to a sanctuary in Norfolk for observation. The RSPCA said it was the first time they had dealt with a seal in a field. The seal died on 19 January 2015 after failing to respond to treatment. See Warrington Guardian.
2014 DEC Nineteen-year-old Tasha Coates from Appleton battled back to fitness to become the British Disability Gymnastics national champion. Tasha had been rushed to hospital more than 30 times in 2014 after suffering a series of unexpected severe allergic reactions, known as anaphylactic shocks.
2014 DEC 23 A Pop Up Poetry event featuring ’Yorkshire Poets’ Margaret Hodgson and Ian Smith was organised by Culture Warrington at The Howley Hotel.
2014 DEC 25 Workers at the City Link parcel delivery site in Appleton were told that the company has gone into administration and jobs will be lost in the new year.
2014 DEC 25-1 JAN Warrington Open Door at Christmas ran a drop-in centre at St John’s United Reformed Church on Wilderspool Causeway to help feed and clothe the elderly and disabled over the Christmas period.
2014 DEC 25 Siblings Olive De-Loma and Harold Tryner, who grew up in Sankey Bridges with their late sister Madge Tryner, were reunited for Christmas after 68 years apart. Read more at the Warrington Guardian.
2014 DEC 26 Snow fell in Warrington.
2014 DEC 29 Fashion retailer Bank, with a branch in Golden Square, went into administration.
2014 DEC A fundraising meal at The Raj restaurant in Culcheth raised over £1800 for the YMCA in Winmarleigh Street. Warrington businesses donated prizes for the evening’s raffle.
2014 DEC 30 Figures revealed that Warrington hospital failed to hit its four-hour A&E targets. It meant that 81.7% of patients were seen within four hours during the week ending 21 December and in the following week just 79.1% were seen – below the 95% target.
2014 DEC 31 Warrington Wolves rugby player Chris Hill married Kathryn O’Neill at a ceremony in Northwich.
2014 DEC 31 Pink Ladies, which transported vulnerable women who had signed up to the service as a member, and which operated in the town since June 2005, closed down. Founder Tina Dutton was unable to renew the company’s permits due to “unrealistic expectations”.