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Neston - The Year in Review

Author: Carrie Spacey Published: 19th December 2012 09:30
2012
                               

2012 was an epic year throughout the UK, and here in Neston there was plenty going on! We hope you enjoy our recap of some of the news highlights from the year.

These are just some of the stories we covered during 2012.  More can be found in our current Local News here and in our News Archives here.

All the links have been set up to open in the same window, so once you've read a story that catches your eye, simply use the 'back' button on your browser to return to this Review.

January

Neston High students received grants from the Fred Venables TrustNeston High students received grants from the Fred
Venables Trust

The year opened with the news that the Rotary Club of Neston had raised over £3000 for charity through their Christmas collections.

Residents were urged to join a campaign to prevent an incineration plant being built across the Dee in Flintshire. Despite strong objections, later in the year the project was given the green light.

Eleven students from the local area were given grants by the Fred Venables Trust to assist with their Higher Education.

Two local groups, CAN and the Neston Air Cadets, received Rural Support grants. In the case of CAN, this resulted in the provision of innovative play equipment that was used throughout the year in the Market Square and at community events.

Pupils from Woodfall Primary School told us about their participation in 'Young Voices' at the MEN in Manchester.

At the very end of the month, celebrations took place as Community Interest Company Brio took over the running of local venues in the borough, including Neston Recreation Centre and Neston Civic Hall. 

February

Young people were given the opportunity to form a Youth Forum - an initial event facilitated by CAN Group on behalf of Neston Town Council was hailed a success.

A report was published on the new 'Brand' for Neston, after local groups, individuals and businesses took part in a workshop.

20 years of friendship between Neston High School and its partner school, the Louis Pasteur College in Graulhet, were celebrated, with the Mayor of Neston presenting commemorative plaques and medals to students.

Wind damage was suspected as the cause of damage to Mostyn House School, leading to a partial road closure that is unlikely to be lifted until April 2013.

Spring was in the air as local photographer Bernard Rose shared this lovely picture with us:

Springtime in Neston - Bernard Rose

March

Sport Relief 2012 at Neston Cricket ClubSport Relief at Neston Cricket Club.

Neston Primary pupils celebrated World Book Day by getting down in the dumps...'Stig of the Dump' to be precise!

Neston High School was the venue as local Zumba instructor Jennifer Emery allowed Heart Radio to hijack one of her classes - all in a good cause as money was raised for the 'Have a Heart' appeal.

Sadly Burton Nurseries closed this month.  In happier news, Liz Carter from Burton announced her 20th annual open day at Briarfield Gardens and Pat Wood from Neston Flower Society told us that £9000 had been raised for paediatric oncology.

Olympian Duncan Goodhew visited Neston Recreation Centre to give swimmers some tips on training for a Swimathon Weekend.

Neston Town Council commissioned a clean up of the town's War Memorial and announced that a collaboration between them, Cheshire West and Chester Council Highways Department and Ness Gardens had resulted in a safer walking route through to the award-winning botanic gardens.

Local schools were very busy in March, focusing on Road Safety at Neston Primary, Science Week at Woodfall Primary and the annual Rotary Club of Neston Technology Tournament at Neston High School.

A second cannabis farm was raided in Neston (the first having been uncovered back in January.)

On what would turn out to be one of the very few warm and sunny days this year, Sport Relief prompted hundreds of local residents to go the extra mile at Neston Cricket Club.  The cause also benefited from fantastic efforts by Neston Primary School and ZumbaJen's special class held in the Market Square.

April

Great news at the beginning of the month, when we heard that Neston's annual Shepherd's Club Parade was to be reinstated...or was it???

The Big Neston Litter PickVolunteers took part in the Big Litter Pick.

The 250th anniversary of John Wesley preaching in Neston was marked with a gathering at the Donkey Stand in Parkgate.

Meanwhile the Friends of Ness Gardens announced celebrations around their 50th anniversary.

A large number of local residents of all ages took part in a Litter Pick in Neston, as suggested by young people who had attended the Youth Forum earlier in the year.

Parks Field in Parkgate was recommended for Queen Elizabeth II Fields Status as part of the year's Jubilee celebrations.

Neston High School launched their 'RU1OFR10000' campaign to trace the 10,000 students who have attended the school since it became a Comprehensive in 1972. 

Mayor of Neston's Charity Ball 2012Mayor of Neston Cllr Martin Barker and Mrs Cheryl
Barker hosted a charity ball.

The centenary of the sinking of the Titanic was marked by an incredible piece of street theatre in Liverpool - the Sea Odyssey.  Locally, St Winefride's Primary School played host to a special, topical visitor.

Neston Air Cadets kept us informed of lots of their events and achievements throughout 2012 - here they were celebrating a number of high points, including the last ever enrolment attended by Rev Neill Robb who retired this year.

Local artists were celebrated at the annual Neston & District Art Society Show.

It was a month for highs and lows at Neston Library - on the plus side, a very successful 'Murder in the Library' event marked celebrations of World Book Night. On the down side, we heard of the first of several thefts of lead from the Library roof during the year.

A Charity Ball hosted by the Mayor of Neston, Cllr Martin Barker and his wife Cheryl, resulted in thousands raised for the Northern Lights Children's Charity who were celebrating their 25th anniversary in 2012.

May

Another local organisation celebrating a significant anniversary this year was Neston Players - along with the Queen, it was their Diamond Jubilee.  First of two productions from them in 2013 was 'Cheshire Cats'.

Heralding the arrival of Neston's Giant Queen, Parkgate Primary School showed us their work on her outfit.

New parking signs were finally erected in Neston town centre, thanks to the efforts of a number of local organisations including Neston & District Chamber of Trade.

Neston Nomads Under 15s win League CupCup winners - Neston Nomads Under 15s.

A new Community Car scheme was launched in Neston, giving a helping hand to people needing to get to medical and other appointments.

Neston Nomads Under 15s won their League Cup Final against Wallasey Wanderers.

Neston Town Council announced the launch of a Neighbourhood Plan, with an event subsequently taking place at Neston Town Hall attended by over 150 people.

Sadly we said farewell to local veteran seaman Alan Morton, who had campaigned for the reinstatement of the VE Bench outside the Town Hall.

Karen Jones, Chair of Northern Lights Children's Charity, thanked Chester Half-Marathon runners and told us a bit more about this wonderful cause.  Her daughter, Rebecca, received a Good Citizen Award from the Lord Mayor of Chester.

Neston High School Year 11 students celebrated at their Prom, dazzling in their sharp suits and glamorous frocks.

Neston Olympic Torch RelayAll local schools took part in Neston's own Olympic
Torch Relay. Photo © Linda Pelling

One of my personal highlights of the year was the Neston Olympic Torch Relay, involving all the local schools.  A truly stunning community event that got everyone excited about the forthcoming Games in London. 

The High School were also in celebratory mood when the announcement came that it has been chosen as one of the 261 schools to benefit from a massive 17 billion pound investment in infrastructure.

Sadly this month we said farewell to Father Gerry Courell, who had served as Parish Priest at St Winefride's RC Church for many years. His long time colleague, Bernie Phelan, paid tribute.

The Friends of Burton Manor hosted an event to celebrate the official opening of the Historic Walled Garden and restored Glasshouse.

Tom Marlow and Pat HughesCllrs Tom Marlow and Pat Hughes

Cllr Pat Hughes became the new Mayor of Neston, with Cllr Tom Marlow as Deputy Mayor.

Neston's Giant Queen had a very busy social calendar to fulfil...she was guest of honour at many local community events to celebrate the Jubilee.

June

On the first of the month, coffee-loving residents were delighted to see the opening of Elephant Coffee in Neston High Street, a truly local business that has gone from strength to strength in the months since.

Local Jubilee celebrations took place over several months, so we will highlight them all in one go.....pupils at St Winefride's enjoyed a 'street party' outdoors, while just a week or so later, the one enjoyed at Neston Primary was forced indoors due to the wet weather (see picture below).  Residents in Parkgate enjoyed a celebration at St Thomas' Church and an Afternoon Tea was held at the United Reformed Church in Parkgate Road.  Neston Flower Society also toasted the Queen during their early summer events. Local card and gift shop Temptation ran a competition for children to draw a picture of the Queen.

Neston Primary School Jubilee Party

The CH64 Big Jubilee Lunch survived, despite the relentless rain, moving at the last minute to Neston Community & Youth Centre and adopting true Dunkirk spirit to ensure the show went on.

Neston Ladies Day 2012 Ladies Day 2012 - rain did not stop play!

It was a sea of pink ponchos as the wettest Neston Ladies Day in living memory took place. A huge number of people braved the inclement weather to ensure the annual, much-loved event was as memorable as ever.  It certainly made for some interesting photo opportunities!

Changes to the local rubbish and recycling arrangements caused some consternation, a new local Neston Connect bus service was launched and the route for a new HVDC cable through the Wirral was announced.

Local accountant Paul McFarlane of Phillip Bates & Co completed a marathon bike ride with his brother-in-law, raising over £4000 for the Oncology Department at Clatterbridge Hospital.  Local agents Andrews Estates took on sponsorship of the Liverpool Vet Netball Team.

Founder members of the Golden Age Swimming Club were applauded for their dedication over a collective 56 years of service.

Willaston Village Festival 2012Willaston Village Festival.

It was a big month for Willaston, as they held a three day Festival to celebrate the Jubilee and the forthcoming Olympics. There were some wonderful fancy dress costumes on display and the events of the weekend were enjoyed by hundreds of people. Joining in the fun were local WI members who organised a 'triathlon' to launch the festival.

July

Neston Rotarian Steve Martin told us about his amazing trip to Brazil on a group study exchange programme.

Neston Village Fair 2012Neston Village Fair. Photo by David Sejrup.

Incredibly, there was a window of sunshine for the annual Neston Village Fair.  A record breaking 2500 people attended, enjoying a fabulous programme of entertainment along with stalls and refreshments galore.  Neave Diamond and Callum & Keeley Cartledge were the victors in this year's Neston's Got Talent Finals held at the Fair, as described in a special report on the fair from our new contributor, Jamie Collins. 

Neston Cricket Club's Family Fun Day and St Winefride's Primary School Summer Fair also squeezed into the brief let-up in the rain.

Neston resident Gill Price was one of four local women who took part in a Snowdon challenge to raise funds for sports charity Regain.

CAN Group's Incredible Edible scheme went from strength to strength, attendees at a talk by expert Kenny Peers heard about the achievements so far and ideas for the future.

Community Variety ShowThe CH64 Singers performed at the Community Variety Show.
Photo © Linda Pelling.

Oh what a night!  An amazing array of local talent came together for a Community Variety Show organised by Hip & Harmony's Paula Prytherch.  Singers, dancers, a rapper, free runners - it was a hugely entertaining event for everyone that took part or went along to watch.

Neston Primary had a busy month, staging an electrifying production of 'Grease' and celebrating as two of their pupils became Junior Road Safety Officers of the Year.  Across the road at NC&YC this month, a community forum discussed parking and speeding issues in the area.

Neston Cricket Club triumphed at the Red Insure T20 Finals Day held at their own ground in Parkgate.

August

Neston's Chris Proudman was appointed as Chairman of the new Rural Regeneration Board for Cheshire West and Chester Council.

Willaston Horticultural Society held their 65th annual show.

Snug Play equipment in Neston Market SquareSnug Play equipment arrived in the Market Square, where children were able to enjoy clambering all over it for several Saturdays during the Summer.

Neston's Stanney Fields Park celebrated receipt of a seventh Green Flag Award and hosted the annual Family Fun Day. It was also the venue for a free Sports in the Park programme during the school holidays. 

There were records broken again for Neston High as this year's A Level and GCSE results were announced.

Neston Cricket Club were in the news again as the 1st XI reached the last 8 in the ECB National Club T20.

Neston Nomads celebrated as their President, Frank Heseltine was named Wirral Volunteer of the Year.

It was announced that new, heritage style, lamp-posts would be installed in Neston town centre.  The new lamps will be able to support hanging baskets (to be installed next Spring) and improved Christmas decorations in the future.

Ramps and Drums Day at NCYCRamps, Drums and Dance Day at NCYC

Rain played a part again as the Friends of West Vale Park hosted a fun day, but local residents refused to give in and made the most of the attractions on offer.

Neston couple John and Carol Reddy celebrated a significant win on the Euromillions.

Neston bike racer Chris Morley did well at Aintree on his Bargain Booze-sponsored Super Bike.

Young people enjoyed a hugely successful Ramps, Drums and Dance Day at Neston Community & Youth Centre, thanks to the efforts of volunteers and funding from a number of sources.

We heard from two Neston families who took part in the Paralympic Flame relay through Ellesmere Port, a great day for Claire Irving and Alex Ratnaike.

September

Elephant Coffee sponsors the CH64 Events GroupElephant Coffee sponsors the CH64 Events Group

Thousands descended on Ness Gardens when it played host to BBC's Gardener's Question Time. 

Local businesses were helping the community this month as Constables Estate Agents and Wilde & Co Solicitors launched a charity match fund scheme, Smooth Move/Smooth Store lent a helping hand to Neston Primary School and Marsh Nurseries gave the Sensory Garden at Neston Library a makeoverElephant Coffee announced it would be sponsoring the CH64 Events Group by providing free beverages for the volunteers attending monthly meetings to organise significant community events.

Neston's Carol Dobbins told us of the benefits of volunteering, as Neston Community & Youth Centre urged local people to get involved. NCYC also announced that it had been successful in its bid for a major grant from the Rank Foundation to allow it to employ a full time youth worker.

A new group was launched to appeal for cash and willing hands to assist in the restoration of the War Memorial.

Award Winners from Neston High SchoolAward winners at Neston High's celebration evening.

Neston Primary launched its Welly Project and Neston High celebrated 40 years of comprehensive education at its 2012 Awards Evening.

It was announced that Neston may get its own fire station in a few years, as part of a shake-up by Cheshire Fire Authority.

Spencer is top dog in Stanney FieldsSpencer, a lurcher/whippet cross owned by Paws 'n' Claws owner Gill Morrison was anointed as top dog at the Stanney Fields Park Fun Dog Show.

BAM Nuttall saved the day for the annual Burton & Puddington Fun Run as they swung into action to provide essential road closures for the event at no charge.

October

Another busy month for local schools:  St Winefride's celebrated the opening of their Trail Blazer project, infants at Neston Primary raised money for Macmillan, the circus came to town at Parkgate Primary and CAN Group facilitated Action Transport Theatre's workshop visit to Neston High, where youngsters from three local primary schools enjoyed 'From the Mouths of Babes.'

Opening of St Winefride's Primary Trail Blazer projectOpening of St Winefride's Primary Trail Blazer project

Neston Theatre School announced the continuation of its 'arts for all' policy had been assured by a grant from the Town Council.

Tesco welcomed Andrew Miller MP to present rewards to local schools as part of this year's Schools & Clubs promotion.

Your editor was proud to accept a Cheshire Rural Woman of the Year award for keeping Neston residents, businesses and visitors up to date on local news and events through the AboutMyArea CH64 website,  having been nominated by local Cheshire West and Chester Councillor Andy Williams.

Meanwhile Neston Town Council's Administration Officer, Michelle Suckley, received a Commendation in the Queen's Birthday Honours List for her work at RAF Valley in Anglesey.

Burton Manor hosted a very successful Apple Weekend, when around a thousand visitors enjoyed a variety of seasonal activities.

Parkgate residents aired their views on a number of local issues at a Community Forum held at Neston Cricket Club.

November

Remembrance Day in Willaston 2012Remembrance Day in Willaston

The Hair Spa @ Thornton Hall Hotel had a make-over of its own and announced the recruitment of four new apprentices, including three former Neston High School students.

At a Community Beat Meeting, Neston Police announced a staffing shake-up that would increase the number of officers working in the area.

Woodfall Primary School received a Community Pride Award for their impressive new school gates.

Remembrance Day events took place in Neston and Willaston.  In Willaston the new plaque was unveiled on the War Memorial (replacing the original plaques, stolen in 2011).

Green Day at Woodfall Primary SchoolWoodfall Primary celebrated Green Day.

It was all things bright and dotty at Neston Primary School as they raised over £300 for Children in Need.  Meanwhile pupils at Woodfall Primary had a green day celebration and St Winefride's RC Primary held a very successful Christmas Market event.

Members of the URC 'Make it Monday' group collected more than 100 boxes for Operation Christmas Child and 1st Burton in Wirral Cub Scouts raised over £460 for Help for Heroes.

Gordale was named Garden Retailer of the Year at a national awards event.

Neston Players wowed audiences with their storming production of Aaron Sorkin's 'A Few Good Men.'

Neston Mums on a Mission launched a campaign for a safer crossing on Burton Road between the Primary School and NC&YC.

The beginning of the Christmas season was celebrated in considerable style in Neston, with over a thousand people attending the 'Neston Christmas Lights 'n' Lanterns' Event.

Neston Christmas Lights 'n' Lanterns 2012

December

It was a lovely start to the month when the news came in that David Hannam, a pensioner from Willaston who had been missing from home for a week, had been found safe in Manchester.  The CH64 community had come together brilliantly to assist the police in the search. 

Neston Primary School Wildlife GardenNeston Primary won an award for their Wildlife
Garden.

Neston Primary School won an award for their Wildlife Garden and Neston High School's Joshua Molyneux was one of six winners in a national competition to design a new gadget.

Northern Lights Children's Charity rounded off their 25th Anniversary Year with a hugely successful Charity Ball at Thornton Hall Hotel.

Residents were invited along to a consultation event at Mostyn House School, where they heard about plans to develop the site into up to 100 new homes.  Later in the month, we were asked for our views on how the Chapel might be utilised in the future.

Neston Air Cadets had a busy month - taking part in a Santa Dash and winning a trophy for their fundraising throughout the year.

Cllr Pat Hughes, Mayor of Neston, shared his Christmas Message with us.

And finally....Bernard Rose shared another amazing photo with us...this time of an unusual celestial event captured from Stanney Fields Park.

Celestial event captured over Neston

So that was CH64 in 2012.  Our sincere thanks to everyone that has contributed to AboutMyArea Neston this year. Particular thanks to photographers Linda Pelling, Bernard Rose and David Sejrup. We would also like to thank everyone who has contributed content and all the local businesses who support us through advertising - we simply could not provide the news and events service that we do without you!

If there is a particular article you would like to find on AboutMyArea Neston, see here for an explanation of how to find what you are looking for.

Wishing all our readers, contributors and advertisers a happy and prosperous 2013!

Related content:

CH64 - The Year in Pictures 2012
The Best of Neston/CH64 2008-2011
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Comments

Baz
At 22:50 on 19th December 2012, Baz commented:
There was a lot there I'd forgotten about. You have been very busy! Makes me proud to live here. I think the lights look good this year as well.
Paul T
At 00:02 on 21st December 2012, Paul T commented:
I've had some sad times this year but seeing everything that has gone on in the town cheers me up. Nice one and keep it up in the new year.
Rob Ward
At 15:29 on 21st December 2012, Rob Ward commented:
Well done Carrie, and well done Neston/ CH64!
The next time somebody says there's nothing going on here, I'll refer them to Carrie's Catalogue!
merrymac
At 18:38 on 24th December 2012, merrymac commented:
Thank you again Carrie to both you and all the AMA CH64 team who kept us informed and amused through the whole of 2012. Much appreciated and a Very Happy Christmas and successful 2013

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