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18th December 2015
THE GREEN LINK ROAD…the saga continues.
Reported by: Andrew Barnes

In July 2015 a public meeting was held in the hall at the Our Lady Help Of Christians Catholic Church on Hesketh Lane, the purpose of that meeting was to discuss the then current situation regarding Lancashire County Councils deferment of this previously sanctioned project. One action which was agreed in that meeting was a transport risk assessment would be done for the roads through the villages. It was agreed this would be led by that two independent Transport Consultants, Mr John Taylor MBE formerly Head of Engineering & Transport Lancashire fire and Rescue Service and Mr Tom Hastey former head of Fleet Services at LCC.

That report, written with the help of 8 local residents was completed in Oct 2015 (Click here to download the report) and subsequently presented to the Cllr Fillis Cabinet member for highways by Cllr Malcolm Barron.

Following on from the Independent report Cllr Fillis commissioned another report from the council which basically rejects the Green Lane Link as not being justified at this time. This brief report and subsequent press release can be viewed by following the links; LCC Report and press release presented in the LEP on the 7th December.

However the council report specifically makes no mention of the 42 collisions resulting in 81 casualties 21 serious and one fatal which occurred on the A565 in a 5year period.

The Link was approved in 2010 for completion in 2015/16 and over £250,000 has already been spent.

It is therefore planned to hold another public meeting, again in the Hall at the Our Lady Help Of Christians Catholic Church on Hesketh Lane on Friday the 8th Jan at 8:00PM, at this meeting the independent report will be presented to the public, and the next course of action agreed, to get this urgently needed relief road built. We intend to invite several of the LCC officials and councillors to this meeting, and the MP for South Ribble, Mrs Seema Kennedy will be present at the meeting.

Please feel free to attend to show support and voice your concerns. An outline agenda for the meeting will be made available on this website prior to the meeting.

17th December 2015
new book from Local author Peter Lynas
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Local author and illustrator Peter Lynas and Charlie Roberts have just released their second book together called Can You Draw The Dragosaur?

Can you draw the Dragosaur?It is part story, part activity book and is already proving to be a hit with children from ages 3 to 9. It’s not too late to order a copy in time for Christmas and can be ordered from online booksellers. (Click here to order)

Peter and Charlie’s first book together, Madeleine Goes to the Moon, was released in September 2014, and was recently awarded the Inkspokes Select Award for the 3 to 6 age group. Inkspokes is the leading review website for books published through small publishers and so this is a fantastic award to win and was an unexpected surprise.

In addition to this, Madeleine Goes to the Moon has been nominated for the Winter 2015 People’s Book Prize in the Children’s category. This is a tough award to win as it is voted for entirely by the public, but the winner is reported on Sky News and so it is worth the effort. If everyone could please help vote for a victory for Hesketh Bank it would be massively appreciated.

There is only one vote allowed per email address, so every vote really does count. Voting is open until the end of February 2016 so being busy over Christmas is no excuse! Click here to vote.

16th December 2015
GP appointments over Christmas and New Year
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During the festive period, people in West Lancashire are able to make an appointment to see a GP when their normal practice is closed.

To support the increased demand for health services at this time of the year, the local GP out of hours service is offering routine GP appointments during the day over Christmas and New Year.

Appointments will be available 9am – 5pm from 26 to 28 December 2015 and from 1 to 3 January 2016.

To book a routine GP appointment on the above dates, please call 01695 574634. These appointments are being offered at either West Lancashire Health Centre in Ormskirk or at Skelmersdale Walk-in Centre.

Dr John Caine, local GP and Chair of NHS West Lancashire CCG said ‘’As demand for health services can be high during peak times over winter, these additional appointments for residents of West Lancashire will help reduce pressures on our A&E departments which should be accessed for serious illnesses and life-threatening injuries only’’.

If you need a GP appointment outside of these hours (9am-5pm), the GP out of hours service is available for urgent appointments by calling NHS 111.

14th December 2015
Hospitals lift restrictions on visiting hours
Reported by: Hubmaker
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Friends and family will be able to spend much longer with patients at Southport and Ormskirk hospitals from 18th December 2015.

Wards will open for visiting at midday and stay open until 8.30pm, seven days a week.

The decision by Simon Featherstone, Director of Nursing and Quality, follows a successful trial at Southport hospital earlier this year.

“The support and company of friends and family is an important part of any patient’s recovery but traditional visiting times don’t always fit round people’s working lives and personal commitments,” said Simon.

“We also know some visitors want to play a more active role in the care of the patient they’re visiting, such as helping at mealtimes and providing a familiar voice in unfamiliar surroundings, so I hope this more flexible approach will help them.”

He added: “To make this work, we also need visitors to help us too. We ask that there should be only two visitors per bed and, from time to time, we may ask visitors to leave the bedside during personal care for patients or consultant ward rounds.”

2nd December 2015
Green LANE Link road not justified by safety case
Source: Southport Visiter

A study has revealed the proposed West Lancashire link road 'would not significantly reduce casualties'.

The Green Lane Link Road has been proposed to relieve congestion problems in villages such as Tarleton , which currently suffer heavy traffic due to HGVs passing through. The new road would connect agricultural and horticultural businesses to the A565.

Lancashire County Council's current timetable for the scheme proposes building it in 2019/20, with work taking place in the interim to develop the business case, and secure funding.

A debate took place at a Full Council meeting earlier this year about the potential business case for delivering the road at an earlier date in order to improve road safety, and therefore prevent casualties.

An accident investigation study has indicated that the link road may lead to a reduction of two injury collisions a year, equivalent to a 7% fall on the portion of the road network covered by the study.

County Councillor John Fillis, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: "The Green Lane link road would not make a significant contribution to the reduction of collisions, and at £4m it is not cost-effective.

"The county council's published highways and transport masterplan for West Lancashire recognises the value of the Green Lane link road scheme and it's one of a number of new roads we're working to deliver across the county in the coming years, subject to further work to develop the business case, and funding being available.

"However the study confirms that the potential road safety benefits are not a viable justification for bringing the scheme forward as has been suggested."

The study has been carried out independently as far as possible. It covered the local road network in Tarleton and Banks north of the A565 to the district boundaries of Southport and Preston, and looked at all the recorded injury collisions in the area over the previous five years.

An analysis of each of the collisions looked at factors including speed, vehicle movements, and weather conditions.

26th November 2015
Junior doctors’ industrial action

The public is being asked to use NHS hospital services responsibly ahead of a strike by junior doctors planned for Tuesday 1st December.

It is the first in a series of three strikes junior doctors have planned in their dispute with Government over a new contract.

Rob Gillies, Executive Medical Director at Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust, said the Trust was working with nurses, doctors not affected by the strike and other clinical staff on robust plans to ensure that appropriate care is delivered.

“With the exception of dermatology, ophthalmology and maxillo-facial care, many of the planned services our hospitals provide will be affected and we are in touch with the patients concerned,” said Mr Gillies.

“Put simply, our message to patients with appointments is: ‘if you haven’t heard from us, we still want to see you on Tuesday’.”

Mr Gillies added: “Patients in need of emergency hospital care will continue to receive the treatment they need, when they need it. In all cases priority will be given to those patients with the most pressing health needs.

“A&E is for people facing life-threatening and emergencies such as serious accidents, serious burns, breathing problems, heart attacks and strokes.

“Anyone who needs help in such circumstances should not hesitate in calling 999. There are other healthcare options available for less serious situations – such as visiting your pharmacist or GP, calling NHS 111 or using NHS Choices

The first junior doctors’ strike will last for 24 hours and start at 8am on Tuesday and affect all hospital services except emergency care. Two all-out strikes are planned for Tuesday 8th December and Wednesday 16th December between 8am and 5pm.

12th November 2015
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A donation was made this week to the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association (GDBA) by Mere Brow Methodist Church. 
This money was part of the amount raised by the church's Open Gardens Day held earlier in the year.

Mere Brow Open Gardens donation to the Guide DOgs For The BlindRepresentatives from the newly-formed fundraising group in Preston and Leyland attended to receive the cheque, accompanied by two of the puppies at present being trained to be guide dogs, namely Zebedee and Sherwood.

GDBA is a national UK charity providing guide dogs for blind people who can't go out from home unaccompanied due to their sight loss and, at the moment, there are 5000 working guide dogs in this country.

GDBA have to find £1m a week just to keep going and, as there is no government funding, up and down the country there are fund-raising groups out and about in the community gathering funds from giving and making talks to schools, adult groups, sponsorship from local businesses etc. 

Volunteers will be made most welcome so, if anyone is interested in helping, or just want to learn more about the great work of the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, please email who will be pleased to answer any queries.

5th November 2015
NHS & Macmillan team up for people affected by cancer
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The NHS is joining forces with Macmillan Cancer Information at a free health and well-being clinic in Southport on Thursday 12th November.

The event at Southport Theatre and Convention Centre is an opportunity to find out how to access local support, information and advice to help patients and their families adjust to life with and beyond cancer. It will run from 1pm to 3.30pm.

Jackie Brunton, Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust’s lead cancer nurse, said: “We’re delighted to join forces again with Macmillan, building on the success of previous health and well-being clinics.  We would also be delighted to welcome friends and family to come along as we understand how a cancer diagnosis affects not just the person with cancer.”

Visitors will have the opportunity to find out what local support, information and advice is available to them, their families, carers and friends to adjust to life with and beyond cancer. Clinical nurse specialists will also be on hand. There will also be:

  • Healthy food demonstrations
  • Hand massages from Sefton OPERA (Older Persons Enabling Resource and Action)
  • A benefits advisor
  • Representatives from local cancer support groups
  • A performance by the Living Well Centre/Macmillan Singing Group
  • Expert-led sessions around fitness, wellbeing and Macmillan’s work

Helen Jones, Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Centre Manager, said:

“We understand how patients can often feel they lose the safety net of support they receive while attending the hospital regularly for treatment. These events are designed to help people to return to everyday activities and make the most of the good things in their life. If you have any questions, we are here to help.”

Places are free but limited, booking is essential. For information or to book a place contact Macmillan Information & Support Centre on 0151 288 6793/7 or email Sefton council is offering subsidised parking at 80p per car.

The event is organised by Macmillan Information and Support Centre in partnership with Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust and NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group.

28th October 2015
NHS CCG welcomes views on LOCAL health services
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The NHS in West Lancashire is welcoming views from the general public about experiences of using local community health services.

As part of its ongoing re-procurement of the community services contract, NHS West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) would like to know what is working well locally and what could be improved.  Community health services and primary care includes various local services such as GPs, district nurses, community matrons, mental health services, podiatry, dieticians, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, treatment room services, leg ulcer clinic, continence service, MSK (musculoskeletal) clinics and end of life care teams.

The CCG has launched a survey, which is available online via:  Printed copies of the survey can be requested directly from the CCG by calling 01695 588 203 or emailing

Claire Heneghan, chief nurse of NHS West Lancashire CCG, said:

“As local healthcare commissioners, we must continuously review all the contracts we hold in terms of patient safety, quality and choice, clinical evidence and value.  This procurement is therefore part of normal NHS practice.  This decision to re-procure is part of our vision for joined up care, which will bring improvements in care locally and deliver services closer to people’s homes.

“We will ensure we work collaboratively with everyone, such as hospital and community staff, the voluntary sector and other partners, on our plans and importantly consider the local community’s views as part of this process.   This element of co-design is something we’re committed to.  It is crucial we understand from the people using these local services what is going well, what could be improved and any other experiences or feedback they wish to share”.

The CCG’s website is updated regularly with news on this procurement including a summary of the local NHS body’s vision for joined up care: More information can be requested by contacting the NHS using the details above.

21st October 2015
Tributes paid to crash victim Stuart Anderson
Source: Liverpool Echo

A 37-year-old man who died in a road accident in Tarleton has been described as a "much loved father."

Stuart Anderson died on Tuesday morning after a collision with a silver Mercedes outside the Co-op store.

His family and friends said: "Stuart was a much loved father of two children aged nine and 13. He had recently moved from Blackpool to Tarleton to progress his career as a chef.

Click here for the full Liverpool Echo article

20th October 2015
Lancashire Police Witness Appeal
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Police are appealing for witnesses after a man was killed in a road collision in Tarleton.

Around 12.05am on Tuesday, October 20, officers were called to Church Road after reports of a collision between a man and a silver Mercedes outside the Co-op store.

The man, a 37-year-old male from Blackpool, suffered fatal injuries in the incident and was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.

The female driver of the Mercedes was uninjured and is assisting officers.

The road was closed for more than four hours while accident investigators attended.

Anyone with information can contact police on 101 quoting log number 0009 of October 20.

20th October 2015
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One Fine Day Bridal celebrates their first birthday in style this November by launching their new designer bridal collections.

One Fine Day Bridal, TarletonTwo exquisite collections have been hand-picked for brides. Lindsey is thrilled to announce that both Spanish designer Rosa Clara Two and UK Designed Louise Bentley have elected One Fine Day Bridal to EXCLUSIVELY represent them in Lancashire.

Rosa Clara Two collection is a feminine and elegant with lace embroidery, sensational back details and romantic design.

Louise Bentley is a UK designer who is inspired by vintage but with a contemporary edge. Her dresses are made in beautiful ivory silks and lace.

One Fine Day Bridal is located in the heart of Tarleton village with a spacious and welcoming showroom. They pride themselves in a personal and relaxed service and have an extensive collection of made-to-order bridesmaid, evening and prom dresses from Dessy, Social, Lela Rose and Alfred Sung.

They are also stockist for White Ivy accessories, British made veils by Elizabeth Dickson and French lingerie by Huit. Their re-launch on Thursday 19th November 7.30pm - 9.30pm celebrates a successful first year.

‘An Intimate Affair’ is a relaxed evening with live music and catwalk show, and local wedding experts to hand if needed.

The event will be held in whittles Farm Restaurant for 30 brides and their guest, tickets are available now for £10 each from Lindsey on 01772 816512

1st October 2015
Hesketh Bank power network UPGRADE
Source: Southport Visiter

Residents in Hesketh Bank, are set to benefit from a £260,000 major investment to upgrade and improve the power network to more than 3,000 homes and businesses.

This week engineers from Electricity North West, the region’s power network operator, will be working in the area between Moss Lane, Hesketh Lane and Station Lane to replace aging underground cables which were first installed more than 40 years ago.

The essential ten-day project will install 500m of new underground electricity cables which will help ensure local customers receive a reliable power supply now and in the future.

Click here for the complete Southport Visiter article

25th September 2015
Hesketh Bank Show Photo Album
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Terry Baldwin, Chairman Becconsall U3A, Seema Kennedy MP and Jenny Carley

Some 500+ photos are now available to view on Flickr. Click Here to view them

14th September 2015
Becconsall U3A on show
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Becconsall U3A held a very successful Open Day on Saturday September 12th at All Saints Church Hall in Hesketh Bank. Opened by Seema Kennedy MP, guests included regional and national committee members of the U3A and local politicians. Seema told the audience that she knew all about the important work being done by U3A’s throughout the country as she had members of her family who had joined and were enjoying their membership. The important contribution made by U3A’s in countering loneliness in older people was recognised.

Terry Baldwin, Chairman Becconsall U3A, Seema Kennedy MP and Jenny Carley

Activities including art, gardening, craft, textiles, walking, local history, French, badminton, table tennis as well as the many social activities, trips and more were on show during the day. The programme of entertainment was very popular as were the ‘famous’ Becconsall U3A cakes

Chairman, Terry Baldwin said: “I am delighted with the way our Open Day has gone – it has been a great success. We now have nine new members who have joined us today. The local, and indeed, the wider community has been made much more aware and we hope that many more will join us in the coming weeks.”

5th September 2015
Reported by: Matthew Rhodes

I live in Fermor Road, Tarleton and am classed as blind, but can see a little. I was injured in Germany whilst serving in the British army just after I'd completed a summer tour of Bosnia in 1995.

I am a member of the charity Blind Veterans UK who have been no end of help for me. This charity has been around for 100 years, having starting in 1915 for all the British troops who were blinded by the gas, trenches and explosions they suffered from.

The BVUK taught me to paint, which was a hidden talent I never knew I had! For the BVUK I've just completed a huge painting, 8ft by 2ft, of 13 members of the BVUK; the oldest being 100 in a wheelchair from WW2, all the way down to a 19 year old who lost both legs and his sight in Afghanistan.

Blind Veterans Charity painting by Matthew Rhodes

On Wednesday the 23rd of September this painting will be shown in the Imperial War Museum in London and is then being moved to the Westminster Abbey on the 6th of October to promote my 100 year old charity.

3rd September 2015
Ask your NHS a question
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Members of the public are invited to the annual general meeting (AGM) of local NHS leaders, West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

The AGM will be held at Banks Leisure Centre (Greaves Hall Ave, Banks, PR9 8BL) on Tuesday 22 September at 11.30am (for registration) until 3pm and is a chance to learn more about the local NHS and ask questions directly to the management team in a panel style question and answer session.

Dr John Caine, chair of NHS West Lancashire CCG and local GP, said: “Despite our AGM being a formal requirement, we also view this as a valuable opportunity to highlight our achievements, challenges and plans for the year ahead, and welcome views and input from our community”.

The event is being hosted alongside a health network event of West Lancs CVS.   Greg Mitten, chief officer of West Lancs CVS, said:  “The AGM will involve updates and discussion with the voluntary, community and faith sector and allow both local voluntary groups and members of the public to quiz the NHS management team about a broad range of topics.”

Refreshments will be provided on the day. It is therefore encouraged that places are booked in advance by contacting advising of any special dietary, sensory and venue accessibility needs.

Similarly if anyone is travelling from Skelmersdale, Ormskirk and other areas and would like transport to be provided, please contact us on the above details or phone 01695 588 000.

The CCG will take questions on the day and would welcome any submitted in advance by using the above email address.

The CCG’s board meeting will take place at the same venue earlier in the day at 9.30am.  Members of the local community are welcome to attend to observe the board meeting. Questions relating to items on the agenda, which is published one week prior to the meeting on the CCG’s website, can also be raised by contacting 01695 588144 by noon on Monday 21 September.

There is also the opportunity for attendees to have an informal discussion with some of the board members following the closure of the meeting.

31st August 2015
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The Trustees of Tarleton Endowed School Trust invite persons under the age of 25 who are, or who have a parent or parents, resident within the boundaries of Tarleton Parish, and who are in need of financial assistance, to apply for a grant towards their educational (including social and physical) training costs.

Youth Clubs and similar charitable organisations, based within the Parish of Tarleton that provide services to the target group outlined above, are also welcome to apply for a grant. However, it must be noted that the Trustees will give a higher priority to individual rather than group applications.

Application forms, for individuals and groups, are available from Tarleton Library.

Completed forms must be received by the Secretary, at the following address; Secretary to the Tarleton Endowed School Trust, 18 Delamere Road, Ainsdale Southport PR8 2RD, by Wednesday 30th September 2015.

The Trustees will consider all applications in October / November. The funds available to the Trust are limited and if you have not heard from the Trustees by the end of November 2015 you should assume that your application has been unsuccessful.

The Trustees decision is final and no correspondence and/or dialogue will be entered into regarding individual applications.

28th August 2015
TARLETON ACADEMY Celebrates 'Best Ever' GCSE Results
Source: Tarleton Academy Press Release

Students at Tarleton Academy are walking tall after achieving the school’s best ever results. This reflects a continued upward trend with outstanding outcomes for students across the ability range. High expectations, targeted support and the continued hard work of students in partnership with parents and staff have been instrumental in this year's results. The Academy has forged ahead yet again in a marked lead over national averages as it goes from strength to strength enthusing and inspiring students.

Tarleton academy GCSE results

This year 80% of all entries were A*-C compared to 68.8% nationally, with 20% of all grades A*/A. Students also achieved the school’s best ever 72% of 5 or more GCSE A*-C grades including English and Maths. Over the last few years there has been a particular focus on the individual progress of students from their personal starting points and this is now a well-established area of particular strength at Tarleton.

Maths has emerged as an outstanding faculty over the last four years into a vibrant, energetic and creative area of the school which is now setting the pace nationally and locally. Maths stands out as the jewel in the crown at Tarleton this year with a stunning 90% of students achieving A* to C compared to 62.4% nationally and 22% of all students achieving A*/A (national figure 15%). In secondary schools, students are expected to make three levels of progress from their individual entry points. In this year group an amazing 87% of students achieved this benchmark in Maths compared to 65% nationally last year. A hugely impressive 46% also achieved more than expected progress compared to 29% nationally in 2014.

English has also maintained its levels of excellence at the Academy with 80% of students achieving A*-C in English (61.7% national) including 21% at A*/A. Three levels progress in English was achieved by 85% of students (compared to 70% nationally last year) with an incredible 49% of students surpassing expected progress (compared to 32% nationally last year). English Literature was also basking in the success of 94% of students achieved A*-C with a phenomenal 29% of these grades at A*/A.

The Academy has also maintained its reputation as a centre of excellence for Science. In the last three years the number of students studying a minimum of two academic GCSEs in Science has increased from 46% to 77%. Of these students, 86% achieved a minimum of two A*-C grades. Students studying GCSEs in all three sciences achieved 99% A*-C with a tremendous 33% of these at A*/A. To date these levels of excellence in Science have been achieved in dilapidated science labs, which makes the accomplishment all the more remarkable. From September 2015 the students will be returning to a completely overhauled and refurbished suite of labs following a successful bid for funding made by the Academy.

Other subjects are also celebrating fabulous results, which is an indication of how wide the talents of Tarleton students range.  Other subjects achieving above the 80% A*-C mark include: History (88%), Art and Design (98%), Child Development (95%), PE (80%), RE (80%) and Dance (83.3%). Modern Languages in German, French and Spanish have also improved across the board on last year and we are also celebrating two small cohorts of Polish and Portuguese GCSE with 100 A*/A.

Outstanding individual successes are being celebrated at the very top end for Maddie Marshall (9A*/1A), Alyssa Young (7A*/3A), Rosie Walsh (6A*/5A), Michael Morgan (6A*/4A/1B), Luke Taylor (5A*/5A/1B), Alice Burns (5A*/5A), Robyn Hoskin (4A*/7A), Louise Aspinall (3A*/7A) and Anna Jackson (1A*/8A/2B). Other students across the ability range are also rightly celebrating.

Mrs Gwinnett, the Headteacher at the school has said: “We are tremendously proud of these results and we feel they are a wonderful reflection of the hard work and dedication of our students and staff. The results in Maths, English and Science are particularly incredible when compared with the national picture and is clear evidence of our ability to give our students the best of starts in their adult life. In a year which saw us achieve an Outstanding Inclusion Quality Mark and a glowing Ofsted Report, these results represent the fantastic advances we have made in the last 3 years. It is particularly pleasing to see students achieving grades that reflect them as individuals. This was such a fantastic year group who absolutely deserve this success. I have no doubt they will go on to achieve wonderful things.”

The Chair of Governors, Helen Dicker, is also incredibly proud and has said: "Without the hard work of our students and staff and the support of their parents none of our success would be possible. We have had a tremendous year at Tarleton Academy with a great set of exam results and the completion of £3 million of building works and renovations to the school site. Over the past four years, significant improvements have been made in all aspects of school life and the governing body is delighted to see these impact so positively on our students."

12th August 2015
Broke FMX back at Mere Brow BANK HOLIDAY FAIR
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Broke FMX Motocross DisplayFreestyle Motocross has become a leading spectator attraction since it took-off just a few years ago and is now one of the country’s leading crowd-pullers. And anyone unfamiliar with it need look no further than Southport Town & Country Fair over the Bank Holiday weekend at The Leisure Lakes, the Gravel, Mere Brow.

There will be a packed programme of events over all three days, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, August 29 – 31, but the Broke FMX team will be giving three, breath-taking, displays only on Sunday and Monday.

With the riders performing acrobatic stunts: at up to 35 feet above the ground, or around height of an average house and over ground distances in excess of 100 feet; they will literally be impossible to miss ! And just in case you don’t believe what you are seeing the riders even provide an on-board commentary while performing some of their hair-raising stunts. While between displays show-goers can visit the Broke FMX interactive stand, meet the riders and a get a close-up of both them and their machines.

Leader of the Leyland-based team, John Pearson, commented: “We have spent around ten years traveling the world, pushing the boundaries of FMX and setting new, high, standards for other motorcycle display teams to follow. We came to Southport for the first time last year – to the Country Fair – and we really impressed with how enthusiastic and knowledgeable the crowd were. So we are really looking forward to this year’s show.”

There will be a number of themed areas within the overall site, such as:

Dog arena: fun dog shows (Saturday and Sunday only 13.30 approx.), organised by the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home with prizes and rosettes for the Class Winners. Classes include ‘Handsomest’ dog, best biscuit catcher, golden oldie, waggiest tail and the not-to-be-missed ‘fastest sausage eater’ – so bring along the family’s best friend. Southport photographer Diana Celine will be providing each class winner with a free 10 x 8 ins. portrait of their choice. Demonstration and Scurry by Mere Brow Gun Dogs on all three days. Siberian Huskies, including a main arena parade on Saturday and Monday.

Creature House: ever-popular favourites include the North West Reptile Society, Banks Homing Pigeon Society, ferrets and, still-to-be-confirmed, budgerigars.

There’s a veritable A – Z of Country Pursuits to be found throughout the site: alpacas (Sunday only), duck-racing, ferret-racing, goat-racing, North West Stick-Makers and S&R Birds of Prey static display of hawks, owls and other raptors Sunday & Monday only).

Other attractions range from Jema Leopold’s Performing Horses and Ponies to a display of Ford side-valve vintage cars (Monday only), air-rifle shooting with the Tawd Vale Shooting Club, and antiques and Egyptian artifacts.

14th Southport Town & Country Fair - 10.00 - 17.30, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, August 29 - 31, The Leisure Lakes, the Gravel, Mere Brow, PR4 6JX. Tickets £6.00 for adults or just £5.00 if booked in advance via the Ticket Hotline on 01704 212734. OAPs and the disabled £5.00. Children (over three years) FREE on Saturday and until 12.00 Sunday – and £2.00 thereafter. Family Ticket, for two adults and three children, just £16.00.

12th August 2015
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Villages in Partnership is the trading name of the Rural Community Partnership Trust, Charity Number 1111237, which is based in Eccleston. The Villages in Partnership Board of Trustees are a group of people who are there to govern and oversee the charity’s activities to ensure compliance with charity law.

They are the governing body of the charity and are ultimately responsible for everything the charity does. They are also responsible for setting our short and long term strategic aims and objectives.

  • The Trustees’ fundamental role is to determine:
  • The overall direction of the charity
  • Provide leadership
  • Uphold the charity’s fiduciary responsibilities

Villages in Partnership would like to add more trustees to their board. By becoming a trustee you will be joining the charity at a time of growth and development.

We are looking for individuals with the skills, energy and passion to assist with continuing the boards’ work in taking the charity forward. This role requires attendance at the monthly meeting of the trustees, which are usually held on the second Tuesday of each month.

For further information and details of how to apply, please contact or telephone 01257 452698.

22nd July 2015
Source: Lancashire Evening Post

A campaign to force a rethink on a shelved relief road for villages has won backing in Parliament.

South Ribble MP Seema Kennedy has thrown her political weight behind the Green Lane Link near Tarleton after hearing locals consider it “essential” to ease traffic congestion and reduce risks at an accident blackspot.

Click Here for the full LEP article

22nd July 2015
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Hesketh Bank Parish Council has today announced the winners of their very first ‘Best Kept’ competition, awarding them tickets to Southport Flower Show.

The judges, Mrs Tyson of Landsdowne Camping and Duncan Taylor of Arden Lea, were tasked with finding winners in three categories as follows:

Best Kept Business Premises

From a shortlist of 5 organisations, the winner is All Saints School.  Mrs Tyson said “This was an outright winner for us because it is well kept, well thought out and educational.”

Best Kept Front Garden

The judges struggled to come up with just one winner from the shortlist of 11 and so decided on joint the winners being 9 Chandlers Croft and 34 Becconsall Lane.  Duncan Taylor said “We felt that there was merit in awarding a large and small garden because we could not decide between the two.”

Best Kept Allotment

Once again the judges failed to pick one winner from the shortlist of 11 and so settled on joint winners being plots 15 and 37.  Both judges felt that this was the most difficult category to judge saying they were “Impressed by the quality and range of products being grown.”  However, they did point out that some of the best crops hadn’t been harvested, which was a shame.

Councillor Diane Earles, who led the working party for the project said “We would like to thank our judges for their hard work and deliberations.  It is clear that we have a lot of people that take pride in their piece of Hesketh Bank, which is what this competition was all about.”  She continued, “Congratulations to the winners and to everyone in the village that makes it a pleasant place to live.”

16th July 2015
Best Kept Front Garden Shortlist Announced
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Hesketh Bank Parish Council has announced the shortlist of front gardens in their very first ‘Best Kept’ competition.

Judges have been tasked with finding the best kept front garden in the village and have come up with the following, in no particular order, as their shortlist:

      • 188 Moss Lane
      • 4 Delta Park Drive
      • 35 Delta Park Drive
      • 34 Becconsall Lane
      • 11 Ribble Drive
      • 12 Delta Park Drive
      • 28 Moss Lane
      • 1 Sidney Avenue
      • 6 Woodlea Road
      • 9 Chandlers Croft
      • 59 Moss Lane

The judges, Mrs Tyson of Lansdowne Camping and Duncan Taylor of Arden Lea, said “It was a pleasure to go around the village and see so many lovely gardens, but that made it difficult to decide on the shortlist.  The home owners that made it onto the shortlist should be very proud.”

All those shortlisted will be presented with a certificate at the Hesketh Bank Horticultural Show on Saturday 19 September and the winner will be announced on 22 July, taking away tickets to Southport Flower Show as their prize.

15th July 2015
Best Kept Business Premises Shortlist Announced
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Hesketh Bank Parish Council has announced the shortlist of business premises in their very first ‘Best Kept’ competition.

Judges have been tasked with finding the best kept business premises in the village and have come up with the following, in no particular order, as their shortlist:

      • R&J Wright Haulage
      • Hesketh Bank Fish Bar
      • Top Shop Newsagents
      • All Saints School
      • Shore Farm

The judges, Mrs Tyson of Lansdowne Camping and Duncan Taylor of Arden Lea, said “It was really good to see so many businesses taking pride in their premises, but that made it difficult to decide on the shortlist.  The businesses on the shortlist should be very proud.”

All those shortlisted will be presented with a certificate at the Hesketh Bank Horticultural Show on Saturday 19 September and the winner will be announced on 22 July, taking away tickets to Southport Flower Show as their prize.

9th July 2015
A Day at the Races – you can bet on it !
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‘Punters’ after a ‘flutter’ and some fun need look no further than the 2nd Southport Country Fair Race Day at The Leisure Lakes, the Gravel, Mere Brow, on Sunday July 19, 2015.

The show was launched last year by local businessman Kelvin Pye and proved so successful that is back by public demand.

Pig racing‘They’re off !’ at 11.30 and Kelvin has promised a minimum of a 12-race card featuring a range of farm-yard and domestic animals including: ferrets, goats, Indian Runner Ducks, pigs, sheep, Shetland Ponies and even International Formula 5nail . . . for those who like their fun a little less than ‘Fast and Furious’.

‘Honest Joe’ the bookie will be on-site and covering all bets . . . up to a maximum of £1.00 . . . and for the uninitiated it is literally as simple as picking your favourite colour.

“We had a great time last year,” said Kelvin, “Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and I hope it will be even better this time around.”

In addition to the racing there will be a full programme of events throughout the day.  This includes a, musical, horse and pony ‘Liberty’ performance by circus-trained, Jema Leopold, who has been running her own display team since 2006.

The show is very dog-friendly and owners are encouraged to bring their ‘man’s best friend’ along with them.  There will be a Fun Dog Show, organised by the Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, starting around 13.15.

There will be a total of seven different classes and owners entering their dogs into two classes will be entitled to enter a third class for free.

Other canine capers will include a Gun Dog demonstration and scurry from the local Mere Brow Gun Dogs Club and Flyball dog-racing plus Siberian Huskies demonstrating their sled-pulling prowess.

There will also be an air-rifle shooting range, with proceeds raised going to the Royal British Legion.

2nd Southport Country Race Day - 10.00 – 18.00, Sunday July 19, The Leisure Lakes, the Gravel, Mere Brow, PR4 6JX.  Adult tickets £4.50, (or £4.00 if booked in advance via the Ticket Hotline on 01704 212734), OAPs £4.00,and children (over three years) £1.00 or just £11.00 for a Family Ticket covering two adults and up to three children. 

28th June 2015
NHS & Macmillan event for people affected by cancer
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Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust is joining forces with Macmillan Cancer Information at a free health and well-being clinic in Southport on Thursday 9th July.

The event at Southport Theatre and Convention Centre is an opportunity to find out how to access local support, information and advice to help patients and their families adjust to life with and beyond cancer. It will run from 4pm to 6.30pm.

Jackie Brunton, the Trust’s Cancer Services Manager/Lead cancer Nurse, said: “We’re delighted to join forces again with the Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Service, building on the success of previous health and well-being clinics.  We would also be delighted to welcome friends and family to come along as we understand how a cancer diagnosis affects not just the person with cancer.”

Cancer nurse specialists will be on hand to offer advice and support along with local organisations including Sefton Active Lifestyles, local benefits advisors and Sefton/West Lancs Carers Support.

Information on fitness, walking groups, diet, benefits, stopping smoking, and carers’ support will also be available as well as the opportunity to talk to other people living with and affected by cancer. Refreshments will be provided and interactive sessions will include:

  • A presentation on the benefits of physical activity during and after cancer 
  • A tai chi taster session
  • Mini make-up classes from Boots No7
  • Healthy food demonstrations
  • Hand massages from Sefton OPERA (Older Persons Enabling Resource and Action)

Barbara Flowers, Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Centre Manager, said:

“We understand how patients can often feel they lose the safety net of support they receive while attending the hospital regularly for treatment. These events are designed to help people to return to everyday activities and make the most of the good things in their life. If you have any questions, we are here to help.”

Places are free but limited, booking is essential. For information or to book a place contact Helen, Barbara or Sarah at the Southport Macmillan Information and Support Centre on 0151 288 6893 or

A further event will be held on Thursday 12 November between 1pm and 3.30pm.

24th June 2015
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The first weekend in July sees the second Tarleton Beer festival, organised by The Rotary Club of Southport Links, held at Tarleton Bowling Club on Sutton Lane in Tarleton.

Tarleton Beer FestivalStarting at 1.00 pm on Friday July 3rd, with special guest Simon Grayson, Manager of this year’s promotion winning Preston North End, plus members of the squad officially opening the festival between 4.00pm and 5.00pm.

This is the fifth Beer Festival organised by Southport Links Rotary, and they have raised in excess of £20,000 which has gone to help local charities such as Queenscourt Hospice and the Heart Scanner Appeal at Southport Hospital.

All profits from the weekend this year will fund local and national charities including the Prostate Cancer Fund in conjunction with "Menunited", a cause close to the heart of Simon Grayson.

The weekend promises to be full of fun, with two local bands playing – Suttons of Swing on the Friday Evening and the Jules Dutch Band on the Saturday Evening, over 30 real ales, ciders and lagers, a wine bar and excellent food provided by Lisa Hunter from Tastebuds in Rufford.

On Saturday afternoon there is a bowls tournament where the winner will walk away with £100 in cash.

For more information, visit the Tarleton Beer Festival website and come along, join in a cracking weekend and help some good causes.

24th June 2015
Tickets to Southport Flower Show up for grabs
Reported by: @loveheskethbank

Hesketh Bank Parish Council has announced that prizes for its ‘Best Kept’ competition will be tickets to Southport Flower Show.

The Parish Council has again submitted an entry to the Best Kept Village Competition this year.  As part of that, and its continued Love Hesketh Bank Campaign, they are running their own ‘Best Kept’ competition too.

The Hesketh Bank ‘Best Kept’ competition will see judges tasked with finding the best front garden and business premises in the village.

Residents will be pleased to know that they do not have to do anything – other than keep their gardens and businesses looking smart – and the judges will do the rest.  They will have a completely open criteria for their choice but the judges will be asked to give an explanation for their decision. 

Judging will take place during the first three weeks in July and winners will be announced at the end of July with tickets to Southport Flower Show as prizes.

17th June 2015
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The most traditional of ‘cutting-edge’ technologies, the ancient art of scything, will be show-cased at the brand new, one-day, Southport Garden Festival at the Leisure Lakes, The Gravel, Mere Brow, on Sunday, June 28.

Scythe association demo

The Scythe Association of (Britain and Ireland) will not only be staging demonstrations of scything but also ‘peening’: cold-forging the blades using a hammer and anvil to bring them to the razor’s-edge of sharpness necessary for precision cutting.

Jez Hastings – one of the three-man demonstration team – reckons scything is quicker, more efficient, eco-friendly and even safer than using strimmers or lawnmowers.  And he should know.  Jez, who lives in Pitshill in the Peak District has learned to scythe almost 30 years ago.

He was one of the founding members of the Association – a professional order representing scythes-men and scythes-women set up just five years ago - and only about 2,000 years after the arrival of the scythe on our shores.  Then there were only around a dozen members, but today there are 230 spread throughout the British Isles.

At the Festival Jez and his colleagues will be working in and around an over-grown ditch, but Jez says the scythe is ideal for a range of uses from meadows and crops to allotments and even lawns.  He even appeared, briefly, in the film ‘Anna Karenina’ as part of a team mowing the lawn of a country estate with scythes.

“Before moving to the Peak District I lived in the Hebrides for a while and the scythe was still in everyday use.  Done properly it is not hard work and is extremely satisfying” he said, “On one hand there is a group of allotment-holders in Goven in Glasgow, that I was involved with, who have chosen to use scythes as their ‘management tool’.  On the other Prince Charles is obviously known for being very eco-friendly and so scythes are in regular use on his Highgrove estate.”

While harvesting and cutting are obviously important so is planting and growing.  The Association’s chairman, Richard Brown, produces wildflowers and seeds, and so the team also hope to have some available to sell on the day.

A packed programme for the day will also feature falconry and ferrets, a fun dog show – so make sure you bring your family’s best friend along – an unusual display of pig-herding from Jema Leopold, and a pony display set to music.  Plus music from the Ceilidh Folk Band and a stalls ranging from rare and unusual plants, vegetables and fruit trees, to local wildlife organizations and even Egyptian artifacts and antiques.

1st Southport Country Fair - 10.00 - 17.00, Sunday, June 28, The Leisure Lakes, the Gravel, Mere Brow, PR4 6JX.  Tickets £4.00 for adults or £3.50 if booked in advance via the Ticket Hotline on 01704 212734.  OAPs & Disabled £3.50.  Children (over three years) just £1.00.  Family Ticket, covering two adults and three children, only £10.00

15th June 2015
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The Environment Agency will shortly be serving notice on five satellite pumping stations marking the beginning of a two year period before closure.

The stations involved include Rufford, Clay Brow, Boundary Brook, Kew and Banks Marsh.

The Agency is holding a series of engagement events for those directly affected.

The first meeting is aimed at farmers and landowners and will be held on: Thursday 2nd July, 2015, 7.00 p.m. at the NFU Offices, 1 Moss Lane View, Skelmersdale, WN8 9TL.

14th June 2015
Hesketh bank Village Show Schedule Announced
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Hesketh Bank Village ShowLocal gardeners, growers, bakers and crafters can start to plan which categories they are to compete in as the Hesketh Bank Village Show shedule is now available to download.

The show will be held on Saturday 19th September and will include categories for cut flowers, pot plants, floral art, fruit and vegetables, home produce, baking, preserves and arts and crafts.

For more information, a show schedule and entry forms please visit

Download the village show schedule

12th June 2015
Concerns over Primary School Adverts
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Advertising hoardings on School Property

Hesketh with Becconsall Primary School has been criticised for allowing advertising boards to be placed on its property.

The complaints made by parents and local residents centre on it not appropriate for the school to engage in such a practice in the first place and that "ignoring planning requirements is not setting the right example to the pupils".

We contacted both the Headmaster and the Lancashire Education Authority earlier this week but, to date, neither have offered any response.

West Lancashire Borough Council planning enforcement team have today confirmed that they are fully aware of the situation and have already had discussions with the advertiser. An assessment to prosecute the matter through the Magistrates Court will be the next stage should non-compliance continue.

12th June 2015
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Huntapac managed to get a mention yesterday in the maiden speech of newly elected Seema Kennedy, MP for South Ribble constituency.

For a video of the speach click here. For a transcript of the complete speach click here

5th June 2015
Source: Southport Champion

Major refurbishments are planned for the Hesketh Lane Post Office in Hesketh Bank which will see the site provide a more ‘local' service and open for an extra 58 hours a week.

The investment, bosses say, reaffirms their commitment to an ongoing ‘no more branch closures' programme.

Hesketh Lane Post Office, based on Station Road, will temporarily close on June 17 ahead of the refurbishment works which will see the new look store reopen for business on July 3.

The service will be provided at an open-plan counter in the store, where the Post Office terminal will sit alongside the till. 

A focus on more ‘local' services will allow businesses and residents in the community to access a wide range of Post Office and mails services, including Special Delivery, Local Collect, home shopping returns, online banking cash deposits and withdrawals. 

The opening hours which will increase by an extra 58 hours a week with earlier opening and later closing times. Lunch time closures will also cease.

Julie Kemp, Area Manager said: “We are making it easier for customers to get their cash, send and collect their mail and do their banking because we know how important these services are to local residents.

”We are confident that this vibrant new-style Post Office at the heart of the local community will meet customer needs. 

“This modernisation is part of a major investment programme, the largest in the history of the Post Office and will secure services for the future. The investment marks a commitment to our no more branch closure programme.”

Click here for the Champion online

26th May 2015
Source: Southport Visiter

A man from Tarleton, West Lancashire has been jailed for his part in a gang that stole £200,000 worth of Toblerones.

Graham Ascroft, 55, of Higher Lane, Tarleton was found guilty by a jury at Maidstone Crown Court today.

He was part of a group that received sentences totalling more than 25 years for their individual roles in three thefts which took place in April 2013.

In the first, high-value whisky worth £23,000 was stolen from the trailer of a lorry parked in a haulage yard in Dover.

The lorry driver only discovered the pallet of alcohol had been taken when he arrived at the Port of Dover bound for mainland Europe and found the seal on his trailer had been tampered with.

Investigations at the haulage yard found a pair of latex gloves and two holes in the perimeter fence near to where the lorry had been parked.

Lee Gilmore, 33, of Sidney Powell Avenue, Kirkby, pleaded guilty to his role in the theft while Graham Ascroft, 55, of Higher Lane, Tarleton, West Lancashire, was found guilty by a jury.

Click here for the full Southport Visiter Article

22nd May 2015
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Health leaders from the NHS in West Lancashire are holding a series of informal events across West Lancashire and inviting local residents to share their experiences of local community health services.

The events, which work on a drop in basis, will be attended by senior representatives from NHS West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust and Southport & Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust, and will focus on ‘community health services’.  This means anything outside of hospital, for example, GPs, district nurses and community matrons, mental health services, podiatry, dieticians, physiotherapists, occupational therapists etc. 

Greg Mitten, board member of NHS West Lancashire CCG who oversees patient and public involvement, said:

“We hold these events to give everyone a chance to raise their views on community health services.  We don’t just want to hear about what’s gone well, but would also welcome any feedback on what’s not and where we can improve. The events are open to all ages, but we are especially interested in hearing from individuals who are 65 years old and over, with one or more long-term conditions.  Each event runs for two hours but you can drop in any time for as long as you like.  We look forward to welcoming your views.”

Please come along to Tarleton Library between 10am-12pm on Friday 26 June.

21st May 2015
Tarleton WI Celebrate 100 years with Nigel Haworth
Reported by: Anne Ball, Vice President Tarleton WI

On May 20th 2015, Tarleton WI in Lancashire and 130 guests celebrated 100 years of the WI in the British Isles by enjoying canapés and a glass of wine in the company of Lancashire's Michelin starred chef, Nigel Haworth.

We watched, fascinated, as he demonstrated the brilliance which has made him one of the country's top chefs. Nigel is Chief Patron of the multi-award winning, iconic Northcote Manor in Lancashire and is a familiar face and voice on television and radio cookery shows. He has also been The Winner of the Great British Menu.

During the hugely successful and enjoyable evening, Nigel entertained us with stories of his life and career, cooked mouth watering food and answered the sort of questions we always want to ask famous chefs.

Nigel Haworth helps Tarleton WI celebrate 100 years of the WI
Tarleton President and Vice Presidents with Celebrity Chef Nigel Haworth

There is a saying "Always leave them wanting more" and that is exactly what Nigel achieved. If the ladies of the WI of 1915 had walked through our door, they would surely have felt the evening to be an appropriate way of celebrating what they began.

18th May 2015
Trials bike champion to headline Southport Country Fair
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In the high-octane, high-risk world that is international trials bike riding Steve Colley has won just about everything there is to win

And now the Isle of Man based rider will be show-casing his incredible skills at the 9th Southport Country Fair at the Leisure Lakes, The Gravel, Mere Brow PR4 6JX, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, May 29 - 31, 2015.

Steve, who is known as ‘Mr Showtime’ for his ability to really make things happen when it matters, began his career a two-times winner of the BBC Junior Kickstart competition.  Other titles gathered along the road and down the years have included:

3 times British Solo Trials Champion
4 times winner at Scottish Six Days Trial
11 times winner Manx National Two Day Trial
Winner 2007 Tough One Trials Challenge
3 Times winner Paris Bercy Trials Master Indoor
4 times winner Val De Isere Mountain Pursuit Trial

‘Mr Showtime’ – who is appearing on Saturday and Sunday only - is equally at home riding his bike over cars and even buses indoors as he is up and down seemingly impossible mountain courses.

“This is my first time at Southport,” he said, “But I understand it’s a very friendly and knowledgeable crowd I am hoping to give them something they will remember for years to come.”

Also new for 2015 are a Falconry Display and other Birds of Prey (Friday and Saturday only), budgerigars and parakeets courtesy of the Southport Budgie Society, a display from the Southport Original Cruisers Motorcycle Club.  While for those who tastes are a little more historic there will antique and Egyptian artifacts stalls.

As usual there will be a packed programme of events over all three days including: air-rifle shooting with proceeds going to the Royal British Legion, alpacas (Sunday), Creature House – featuring reptiles, homing pigeons and bees - Donkey Rides and a Show (Sunday), ferret racing, gun dog demos and ‘scurry’, Pony Club Games and musical pony rides (Friday - provisionally), Side-Saddle displays (Sunday) and the Show’s very own Fun Dog Show (Friday and Sunday)

Friday tickets are just £3.00 for adults; Saturday and Sunday tickets: £6.00 for adults - or just £5.00 if booked in advance via the Ticket Hotline on 01704 212734 – OAPs £5.00.  Children (over three years) are FREE all day Friday and up to 12 noon on Saturday and £1.50 thereafter.

11th May 2015
HOSPITAL Nurse recruitment open day
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust is holding two recruitment events for nurses to find out more about working there.

The first event will be held on Tuesday 19 May at Southport hospital, Clinical Education Centre, between 4pm and 8pm. This is a chance for newly qualified and experienced nurses to come along and meet other nurses and team members at the Trust and discover what opportunities are available. Nurses looking to return to practice will also be warmly welcomed. There are vacancies available in all areas.

On the day, the Trust will be holding informal interviews and potential candidates are asked to bring along some identification. There will also be a chance for tours around the hospital and representatives will be on hand from nurse education to explain how the Trust supports nurses in their career development.

Light refreshments will be available for all those attending.

The second event will be held at Ormskirk hospital, Education Centre on 10 June, between 4pm and 8pm.

To view all current vacancies at the Trust visit and search for Southport and Ormskirk.

8th May 2015
Election Results
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Seema Kennedy (Conservative) has been elected as MP for South Ribble taking 46% of the vote from a 68% turnout.

Jim Kay (Conservative) elected for the WLBC Tarleton Ward.

Click here for the results in full

29th April 2015
Tarleton bridge set to be repaired
Source: Southport Visiter

Work will take place in May to repair Bank Bridge near Tarleton after it was hit by a vehicle in April.

The wall remains in place but some stones need to be secured back in position to ensure the bridge stays safe. 

There will be a lane-closure with two-way traffic controlled by temporary lights while the repairs are carried out, but engineers will be working during evenings and overnight to minimise disruption and complete the job as quickly as possible, while keeping the bridge open during the busiest part of the day. 

Work will take place from 8pm to 11pm on Thursday May 7 to allow engineers to lift a pontoon and machinery into the river to prepare for the repairs. 

From Friday May 8 to Sunday May 10 work will take place from 8pm to 6am to remove, clean and re-bed the stonework. 

Click Here for the complete Southport Visiter article

18th April 2015
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The players and committee of Southport Storm, a newly formed Rugby league team based at Carr Lane in Tarleton, are undertaking a 35 Mile fundraising bike ride around the North West’s Rugby league grounds on Sunday 3rd May.

They will start at the DW Stadium, Wigan, and ride to the AJ Bell Stadium, Salford, via St Helens, Widnes and Warrington.

The club are looking for sponsors or donations towards their fundraising, as they raise money for training equipment. Further information can be obtained by emailing or you can sponsor via

28th March 2015
free support for social enterprises in West Lancs
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Have you ever thought that you'd like to start a business that doesn't just make a profit, but also makes the world a better place? Then you might want to think about starting a social enterprise - a type of organisation that combines the business savvy of the private sector with the social mission of a charity.

Big social enterprises that you may have heard of include The Big Issue, Jamie Oliver's chain of 'Fifteen' restaurants, or Divine Chocolate - but there are also lots of much smaller social enterprises that all try to improve the world we live in, in their own particular way.

Like the idea but don't know where to start? Get in touch with a new, free, local service designed to help new social enterprises in the Southport and West Lancashire area. You can get one to one support from a qualified business advisor to help you see if your idea could be developed; access to small amounts of start-up funding (up to £500); plus additional training and development opportunities as your organisation grows.

For more information, email

24th March 2015
Reported by: Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust

Changes to hospital parking and fees:

Parking for patients and visitors should increase by at least 120 spaces at Ormskirk and District General Hospital later this year.

Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust is seeking planning permission to expand parking at the top of the main car park which faces the hospital entrance. The land is currently set aside for helicopter transfers.

Neil Aindow, Capital Projects Manager, said: “There are now few occasions when this facility is needed. By making alternative arrangements we can use this land more productively for the benefit of patients and visitors.”

The Trust also announced charges for some visitors parking at Ormskirk and Southport hospitals will rise from 1 April 2015. It is the first increase since 2013. Parking for staff will also cost more.


Current fee

Fee from 1 April

Less than 20 mins

No charge

No charge

20 mins to 2 hours



2 to 4 hours



4 to 8 hours



More than 8 hours



14th March 2015
Reported by: Hesketh with Becconsall Parish Council

Hesketh with Becconsall Parish Council is delighted to announce the launch of its newly completed Heritage trail. The four mile trail celebrates the fascinating history of Hesketh Bank and incorporates twelve points of interest spread along a picturesque route around the village and surrounding countryside.

Hesketh Bank Heritage Trail

Details of the Launch Event are as follows: 

Saturday 21st March, 10.00 am
Local historian and author, David Edmondson, will unveil the Information Board which is to be permanently mounted on Station Road close to the bus stop outside Booths Superstore with musical accompaniment by Hesketh Bank Silver Band.

10.30 am
A guided walk of the route will be conducted for anyone wishing to enjoy the trail (Please note: Children must be accompanied at all times during the walk). A high tide is due during the morning which should add interest to the riverside part of the walk and an RSPB guide will be on hand to help with bird spotting. Please park at All Saints Church Hall Car Park or the nearby Hesketh with Becconsall Village a community Centre Car Park.

12.45 pm
Guided Walk concludes at site of West Lancs Light Railway, where walkers can enjoy a free ride on one of WLLR's beautifully restored Steam Trains. Following the completion of the trail walk a presentation and display will be held at the nearby All Saints Church Hall Station Road on the theme of "The Evolution of Hesketh Bank from Past to Present" including the following:-

  • Display by West Lancs Steam Railway marking the fiftieth anniversary last year since  the last train stopped at Hesketh Bank Station on the Southport - Preston Line before its closure in September 1964.
  • Photographic Display of Hesketh Bank Past and Present: Illuminating Black and White images of old Hesketh Bank combined with some stunning views of the the Village today.
  • Display by Becconsall U3A's wonderfully creative Craft and Watercolours Groups featuring inspired works of interpretation of Hesketh Bank's Heritage
  • Presentation: "The Development of Hesketh Bank via River Rail and Clay" by Local Historian, Graham Fairhurst.
  • Presentation: "RSPB's plans for the Development of Hesketh Outmarsh" by RSPB Warden, Nick Godden.
  • Video: "Hesketh Bank and Tarleton: When Time Stood Still" - A Short DVD featuring glimpses of Hesketh Bank and Tarleton Past and Present by the late John Crane.

Hot Food, Tea, Coffee and Delicious U3A Baked Cakes will be served on the day.

The Presentations and Displays are open to all; it is not necessary to have taken part in the walk first. Just turn up at 1pm.

5th March 2015
VIP Network Meeting
Reported by: Villages in Partnership

Villages in Partnership, a local community charity with shops in Eccleston, Longton and Burscough, are holding a network meeting on Wednesday 18th March, 2015 at 4.30pm.

The venue for this one is Longton VM Sports and Social Club, School Lane, Longton.

These meetings are aimed at community groups and small charities as we try and support their growth. We can offer support and advice on fundraising and funding.

If your group would like to attend to see if we can offer them any support, then please feel free to come along, or contact Simon Kenyon, Project officer, on 01257 452698 for more information.

2nd March 2015
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

Last September local author and illustrator Peter Lynas and Charlie Roberts released their first book together called Madeleine Goes to the Moon.

New Madeleine book on KickstarterIt was extremely well received with perfect reviews across the board. Peter has spent much of his spare time since visiting local schools, libraries, nurseries and fairs reading the book to children, and the one question he is always asked is ‘When is the next book coming out?’.

Well, Madeleine’s next adventure is written and is called Madeleine Goes to the Sunken Shipwreck. In it, Madeleine dives to the dark depths and explores the bottom of the ocean in search of hidden treasure. But what she actually finds there takes her somewhat by surprise…..

In order to turn Madeleine’s next imaginary adventure into a reality, Peter will be running a Kickstarter project for 30 days, from 2nd to 31st March. During this time Madeleine Goes to the Sunken Shipwreck will be available to pre-order from the Kickstarter website, and if enough orders are placed to reach the target goal, then work on creation of the book will commence in April.

So how does Kickstarter work? Well, in reality it is quite simple and very easy to use. Here are the basic steps:

  1. Place a pre-order of the book on the Kickstarter website.
  2. Provide payment details but pay nothing now.
  3. If enough pre-orders are taken within the 30 day time limit, the book will be created and payment taken.
  4. The book (and anything else you order) will be delivered in October.

If you are interested in supporting Peter and Charlie in their next project then please click here to pre-order a copy of Madeleine Goes to the Sunken Shipwreck.

23rd February 2015
38% Paid less than living wage
Source: Southport Visiter

The South Ribble constituency which includes Hesketh Bank, Tarleton, Banks and Rufford has come third in a list of living wage black spots in the North West.

In South Ribble 38.1 per cent of of the jobs based there pay less than the living wage. In the neighbouring constituency of West Lancashire, 37.7% of jobs pay less than the living wage.

Across the UK, 26.6 per cent of women are paid below the living wage, rising to 28.9 per cent here in the North West. In West Lancashire the figure is a 48.3%, and South Ribble is 47.9%.

Click here to read the complete Southport Visiter article

12th February 2015
Reported by: Southport Storm RLC

Newly formed Southport Storm Rugby League club will be playing their home games at Tarleton RUFC, Carr Lane, Tarleton this season.

Their first match is at Tarleton on Saturday 14th February against Runcorn, 2pm kick off. Spectators are very welcome.

Storm also train at Carr Lane on Monday and Wednesday nights 7 to 8.30 pm. The club has a squad off 22 but would like more. Contact Dave Oliver on 07720  660533 for more information.

There is another home game on Saturday 28th against Chester Gladiators, 2pm.

5th February 2015
Trial by Operetta CONCERT
Reported by: Hoghton Players

The Hoghton Players, Southport's Gilbert & Sullivan Society, are proud to announce our next concert production - Trial by Operetta.

This will be a concert of two halves...

The first part of our production will feature a sparkling collection of operetta gems including works by Gershwin, German, Strauss, Offenbach and others. There will be several solo spots and full vocal support from the massed voices of The Hoghton Players one of the most melodious and accomplished choral societies in the area.

The second part of our production will feature a full staged performance of Gilbert & Sullivan's much loved one act operetta Trial by Jury. An early collaboration by one of British Music's most revered composer and librettist the operetta deals with a humorous court room drama concerning a trial for breach of promise of marriage between the lovelorn female plaintiff Angelina and her ex-suitor Edwin the defendant.

Currently there are two productions planned which will be performed on the following evenings. Friday 13th March 2015 7:30 PM - Holy Trinity Church, Tarleton Saturday 14th March 2015 7:30 PM - Holy Trinity Church Hall, Southport Tickets for both evening are £6 per person (no concessions) The Box Office contact is Mr. Ray Dutton on 01704 578232

For further information please contact the society's Press Officer Gordon Leek on 07850 144770 or by email at And a splendid time is guaranteed for all!

28th January 2015
Phoenix Rebels named UK's best Country club
Source: Southport Visiter

Phoenix Rebels Country Music Club has been named as the ‘UK’s Best Club’ in a national country music competition.

Awarded by, the title celebrates the best of the UK’s country music scene.

A judge from the radio station, known as ‘Big Jack’ visited the venue and gave it a gold award for ‘The UK’s Best Country Music Club.’

The venue, which opened in 2000, is run by husband and wife team Fred and Julie Jorden, who say they’re “very proud” of the award.

They said: “We’re all very proud with the award. We’ve come such a long way - we started off with around 50 members 15 years ago. Now, we have around 200 members.”

56-year-old Mrs Jorden says Phoenix Rebel’s "all round friendly atmosphere” is the secret to their success.

“We’re always very welcoming to newcomers, and we have such a mix of people that everyone feels welcome. We’re a really friendly bunch and that must be why we’ve been successful

“We don’t worry whether or not country music is popular at the moment - it’s all we’re interested in and so to us it will always be popular,” she added.

Originally, the club was known as ‘Riverside Rebels’ situated at Hesketh Bank Bowling club, however a change of circumstances meant that the club re-located to its current site at Leisure Lake, earning its new name ‘Phoenix Rebels.’

Phoenix Rebels Country Music Club is based at Leisure Lakes Caravan Park and is open on Friday and Saturday nights.

It holds a weekly ‘casual night’ every Friday, with free entry, line dancing, drinks and music, with Saturdays dedicated to live music hosting a different live act each week.

Click here to read the complete Southport Visiter article

28th January 2015
Reported by: Jonathan Spencer

Rare footage of the Hesketh Bank station in the 1960s when the West Lancashire Line was still runnng. Stations shown in the footage include Hesketh Park, Churchtown, Crossens, Banks, Hesketh Bank, Hoole, New Longton and Penwortham Cop Lane. The film also follows the West Lancs line to Ormskirk, Burscough and some stations beyond.

20th January 2015
The BAY HORSE INN at Hesketh Bank
Reported by: Peter Ball

Here is a photo of the Bay Horse Inn at Hesketh Bank. The date is unknown. The photo is taken from the corner of Becconsall lane looking across to the Bay Horse inn, situated on the corner of Newarth Lane / Station Road.

Bay Horse Inn at Hesketh Bank

Following the closure of the pub, years later, it was used as a joiners workshop by Hugh Abram before being demolished to be eventually the plot for the bungalow which still stands today.

Submitted by Peter Ball

12th January 2015
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

Health leaders ask local people to examine their options

NHS leaders across north Sefton and West Lancashire are asking for the public’s help this winter to keep health services available for those who need them.

As part of the Examine Your Options campaign, health and social care providers are working together to advise local communities on the range of health services available to them.

Jonathan Parry, Chief Executive of Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust said: “We are seeing unprecedented demand for care from older, frailer patients and people living with long-term health conditions.

“These patients often require hospital treatment but can take longer to get better and may need care arranging at home, delaying their discharge and limiting the beds available to new patients.

“This is why we are experiencing unavoidable delays in some departments such as Accident and Emergency.”

He added: “Our staff, many of whom are working long hours, continue to demonstrate their tireless dedication and commitment to patients during this challenging period.”

Fiona Clark, of NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), and Mike Maguire, of NHS West Lancashire CCG, said: “As demand for care rises, together with our colleagues from council social services, we are working to ensure patients get the best and most appropriate care. 

“However, we’d also like to encourage local people to consider the health service options available to them and not just A&E.  Walk-in centres and pharmacies don’t require appointments but are available to offer advice and treatment on a daily basis.”

A&E is for people facing life-threatening and serious emergencies such as serious accidents, serious burns, breathing problems, heart attacks and strokes.  Therefore the health organisations are supporting the Examine Your Options campaign, which highlights the range of health services available to people.

Pharmacies. Pharmacists are qualified to offer advice on health issues and medication as well as treat coughs, colds and other common illnesses without an appointment. Private consultation rooms are available. The pharmacy minor ailments scheme means that you can have a consultation with your pharmacist and obtain advice about treatment.

GP out-of-hours services. If you need to see a GP when your local practice is closed, simply dial the usual number and you will be automatically redirected to the GP out-of-hours team. 

NHS walk-in centres. With no appointment necessary, walk-in centres are managed by doctors and nurses who are available to deal with minor illnesses and injuries.

  • Skelmersdale Walk-in Centre at The Concourse (01695 554260) is open weekdays 7am to 10pm and weekends 9am to 5pm
  • West Lancashire Health Centre, to the left of the main entrance at Ormskirk hospital, (01695 588800) is open 8am to 10pm weekdays and weekends
  • Litherland Walk-in Centre at Hatton Hill Road, L21 9JN (0151 475 4667) is open 8am to 8pm daily

Emergency dentist. If you need emergency treatment when your dentist is closed, call 01704 548863 from Southport and Formby or 01772 777397 in West Lancashire

To find your local NHS services, go to to use the free service finder.

Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust and its NHS commissioners are easing the pressure on services over winter by investing an extra £3m through the local Care Closer to Home programme. Among the schemes the NHS is funding are:

  • Dedicated nurses to help co-ordinate care for vulnerable patients and offer additional support in community settings
  • A Short Stay Unit at Southport Hospital to treat and discharge frail older people and offer them the specialist care they need
  • Extra staff in A&E, radiography and mental health liaison
  • 38 community beds in local nursing homes to provide appropriate out of hospital care
  • Some additional GP appointment slots, and GPs in local nursing homes to treat people quickly and avoid hospital admissions

7th January 2015
Tarleton Academy OfsteD INSPECTION REPORT
Reported by: Tarleton Academy

Tarleton Academy Ofsted ReportTarleton Academy celebrates successful Ofsted report which recognises “rapid and sustained development” and “Outstanding” leadership and management.

Tarleton Academy was inspected on 4th and 5th December 2014, under the latest and increasingly demanding Ofsted framework. The school was delighted to be told that the programme of ‘rapid and sustained development’ over the last three years has brought them to within a whisker of an overall outstanding judgement.  Although this was limited by historical data that was not quite outstanding yet, it was acknowledged that the Academy was very close to realising its ambition.

When Lesley Gwinnett was appointed Headteacher in September 2011 she set in place what Ofsted have now described as ‘an uncompromising agenda for improvement’ with ‘high expectations for staff and students’. Mrs Gwinnett explains: “In September 2011, we were a school that needed a good shake up to get us where we should be. Over the last three years there has been significant advancement in many key areas including leadership at senior and middle level, standards of teaching and learning, the now excellent behaviour of students and the fantastic progress they are subsequently making. There were a number of crucial ‘legacy’ issues to address but we are now confident that on a day to day basis we are a thriving, enthusiastic, skilled and committed staff who enjoy really positive and fruitful relationships and outcomes with our students, their families and the wider community. With the high calibre of students of all abilities that we have at the school, this is as it should be.”

The Ofsted report states that ‘Since her appointment, the headteacher has reviewed all areas of academy policy and practice. She knows the staff and students well and recognises what still needs to be done to improve’. It goes on to say that ‘inspection evidence shows the progress of students currently in the academy is continuing to rise because leaders and managers have set much more demanding targets for progress and achievement’.

Ofsted also praises the leadership of teaching, describing it as ‘outstanding’ because in recent years senior leaders have tackled issues in teaching rigorously and successfully. This had meant an initially high turnover of staff which has led to a significant improvement in the quality of teaching. This is now recognised as consistently ‘good and outstanding teaching’ on a daily basis.

Maths, English, Science and PE are all recognised as strong subject areas, and the report acknowledges that the school has had to tackle the ‘legacy issues’ in some other subjects. However the ‘newly energised leadership of those subjects’ is now bringing about much improved progress for students across the board and at all levels.

The academy is also increasingly ambitious in its expectations of students who are now studying more academic GCSE’s. More students study Double and Triple Award GCSE science, both English Language and Literature and a modern foreign language than ever before. Computer science has also been successfully embedded and initiatives such as the introduction of a nurture class in Years 7 and 8 have improved some students’ basic literacy and numeracy skills significantly. Middle ability students have specifically been a focus of the school’s development plans prior to the inspection and the strategies already being employed by the school were commended.

Ofsted also praised the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of its students as ‘outstanding’ and noted that ‘thoughtful planning’ has ensured an increasingly positive impact upon the attitudes of students towards their education and towards life in a multi-cultural society. Inspectors also commended the vertical tutoring and House system ‘which brings together students of all ages certainly helps to develop a caring community’.

In the feedback received via the Ofsted website during the inspection, parents’ views were very positive and the school was humbled that some parents also took the time to insist on speaking to the inspectors to express their overwhelming appreciation for all that the school does for their children. Inspectors concluded that parents clearly ‘recognise the current improvements being made at the academy and the positive impact this is having’.

The governance of the academy has also been recognised as outstanding. Mrs Gwinnett is grateful to the Governors for their ongoing support but particularly the genuine challenge that they provide. The Governing body at the Academy has a significantly high proportion of parent Governors and this is also important to the Headteacher who noted:

“We are very privileged to have such honest, open and intelligent representation on our Governing body so that we can appropriately respond to informed feedback from and with our parents”. 

Chair of Governors, Mrs Helen Dicker, who has had three children pass through the school, with another a current student, says: “The changes in the school over the last three years have been astounding and I am delighted that the current generation of children in the school are reaping the rewards of all the hard work that has gone into making it such a superb environment in which to learn and develop as happy, well rounded young people.”

At a time when schools and the teaching profession are regularly under increased scrutiny, the school was encouraged by the many strengths noted in the report and galvanised to continue in its quest to ensure that they provide, as their strap line suggests, ‘outstanding education at the heart of the community’.

Click here to download the full Ofsted report or for more information visit Tarleton Academy

31st December 2014
Source: Ormskirk Advertiser

Plans to build a new church and affordable housing in Hesketh Bank have been submitted to West Lancashire Borough Council.

The current Methodist Church which faces Chapel Road is in a dilapidated condition and the church hall to the back of the building also does not meet the future needs of the church.

The proposal includes the demolition of the existing church and church hall and the construction of a new combined church and church hall on Chapel Road, with associated car parking.

A modern multi-functional building which incorporates a large hall, a worship area and a cafe is envisioned for the new church. The café has its own entrance allowing it to open independently of the church.

Reverend Kevin Jones from Hesketh Bank Methodist Church said: “We’ve been planning this project for seven years and have had to overcome several issues to get this far.

“Nothing has been passed yet but we’re hopeful that this will be passed by the council and the charities commission and we can start building next summer.

Click here to see the complete Ormskirk Advertiser article

24th December 2014
Reported by: Hospital Alcohol Liaison Team

The Hospital Alcohol Liaison Team (HALT) at Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust are encouraging staff and patients alike to take part in Dry January.

Dry January is an initiative by the charity Alcohol Concern that encourages people to take a month off from alcohol following the excess of the festive period. HALT will be hosting a stand at Southport hospital in the first week of January explaining the benefits of going dry for January.

Research has shown that, after completing Dry January:

  • 72% of participants had sustained reduced levels of harmful drinking six months later
  • The 23% of people who had “harmful” alcohol consumption when they started Dry January are now in the “low risk” category
  • 4% of participants were still dry six months on

Mandy Smith, Lead Alcohol Specialist Nurse, said: “People who have taken part in Dry January have reported feeling healthier, losing weight, having more money and taking up new hobbies. There are great benefits to be had from taking part, even if it is just for the month!”

The HALT team also works in partnership with Lifeline Sefton and DISCOVER West Lancashire to provide support for those with alcohol dependency.

For more information on Dry January you can visit the HALT team at Southport hospital, outside the restaurant on the first floor, during the first week of January. You can also visit 

3rd January 2014
Source: Southport Champion

A COMMUNITY group held a Christmas Day meal for any elderly or lonely residents who could have ended up spending the day alone.

The Cropper Gardens Community Centre group in Hesketh Bank held the meal at the Hesketh Bank Christian Centre - and organisers Pam and Dave Nickson praised the ‘true spirit of Christmas’ shown by the volunteers. 

Pam said: “It was lovely to see the helpers, both young and old, who gave up their time on this very special day, by assisting in the kitchen, waiting on, clearing away and providing transport to and from the venue – it really showed the true spirit of giving at Christmas time. 

"They also aim to keep in contact with the guests by organising additional events for them throughout the year - it is important to us that people don’t feel lonely throughout the year and for them to be left feeling that the next event for them to attend would be a meal next Christmas. The guests have welcomed this idea and are really looking forward to meeting up again soon.

"We would like to pass on our sincere and heartfelt thanks to all those who so generously supported this wonderful event. People kindly donated gifts, money, food, transport and their valuable time in order to make this event happen – you all know who you are and we thank you so much."

"Guests were delighted with the venue, food and gifts given and some guests even said that this was the best Christmas Day that they had ever had."

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