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Author: Carrie Spacey Published: 17th December 2009 10:40
Neston review of 2009
  
And what a year it was...full of fantastic community events, the birth of a brand new Neston Town Council, the opening of the Neston Community & Youth Centre and, of course, the commencement of the controversial Town Centre Redevelopment.  Without further ado, read all about it!  

Click on the highlighted phrases to read more about each story featured.

January

Neston Community & Youth CentreNeston Community & Youth Centre was officially opened by Mayor of Ellesmere Port & Neston, Cllr Keith Butcher.

Pupils from Neston High School joined the audience for an edition of Question Time.

February

An archaelogical dig began in the former Brook Street car park, ahead of the Sainsbury's development.

"Our CH64" - A number of community organisations in Neston joined forces to launch a special project to find out what Nestonians' aspirations are for their area.

Local MP Andrew Miller visited Neston Community & Youth Centre.

March

Neston Primary School Red Nose DayPaul Davies, Jean Goodwin and Carol Stott received "Local Champions" awards

Residents were shocked to hear that the local Somerfield store would be closing, to be replaced by ALDI later in the year.

Pupils at Neston Primary School went to school in their pyjamas to raise funds for Comic Relief.

Sixth Form students from Neston High paid a visit to Parliament.

April

AboutMyArea CH64 celebrated it's first birthday. Since then, our readership has more than doubled, clocking up well over 4000 visits to the website every week.

April 1st saw the area come under the control of Cheshire West and Chester Council, following changes to local government arrangements that saw the demise of Ellesmere Port & Neston Borough Council.

A Collieries Trail was launched, one of several events this year to mark the 250th anniversary of the birth of Neston's coal mining industry.  Another key event was the launch of an exhibition - "Blood, Sweat, Toil & Tears."

Neston Spring Festival of St GeorgeBetween April 23rd and 26th, the town celebrated the Neston Spring Festival of St George.

Neston Primary picked up most of the prizes in a St George's Art Competition.

Neston's Little Actors Youth Theatre performed "A Handbag" at the Lowry Theatre in Manchester.

A record number of tickets were sold for the Neston Players' production of "Once A Catholic."

A photograph of the daffodils in Stanney Fields Park was taken to commemorate the work carried out by the late Barbara Williams.

Beautiful wall-hangings created by Neston High students went on display in the Parish Church.

May

Neston Cricket Club2009 was an important year for Neston Cricket Club, with the redevelopment of their club house and the installation of an all-weather hockey pitch.

West Vale Park underwent a major facelift and an event took place to celebrate the re-opening.

It was announced that there would be no election for Neston Town Council as only 16 candidates came forward for the 17 seats available.

HRH Princess Anne visited Leahurst Equine Hospital to officially open their new facilities.

St Winefride's Primary School became Joint National Football Champions after a hard-fought match played at Wembley.

A very special and moving commemoration event took place at The Harp Inn, a tribute to Neston's miners.

June

Inaugural meeting of Neston Town CouncilHistory was made as the brand new Neston Town Council met for the first time.

Neston celebrated Ladies Day with its customary enthusiasm and colour.

Pupils from Bishop Wilson, Neston and Parkgate Primary Schools performed in Manchester with the Halle Orchestra.

The Wombles paid a visit to Ness Gardens as part of the Green Garden Festival.

Neston Library hosted a very successful "Midsummer Feast" of poetry and food.

Neston High School hosted an Eco Picnic - inviting pupils from Primary Schools throughout the area to visit their brand new outdoor classroom.

Neston's Giant Miner joined the Chester Midsummer Watch parade.

July

Neston Village Fair 2009Neston Village Fair was a resounding success, and proved that Neston's Got Talent!

July saw a month of theatrical delights, with Neston Players presenting their tribute to the Mining industry with the playlet "When In A Hole, Stop Digging," Parkgate Primary performing their version of "The Tempest," and Neston Primary's Technicolour extravaganza.

Local Atlantic adventurer Neil Gyllenship and his team-mate Dean Jagger visited Parkgate Primary School.

Neston Cricket Club celebrated their Marquee weekend. Events included a fantastic concert by Rhos Male Voice Choir and the traditional Family Fun Day.

Willaston Festival took place over four days, a very well-organised series of events bringing a great sense of community to the village.

Also in Willaston, some residents took part in the nationwide "Big Lunch" event, holding a lively and colourful street party.

Tragedy struck several local families when a car accident took the lives of four Neston residents.

A man was jailed in connection with the tragic death of Parkgate resident Alan Corney earlier in the year.

August

Stanney Fields Park played host to their annual Family Fun Day.

The community was shocked to hear of the untimely death of Neston Town Councillor Philip Owen,

Neston High School celebrated record A Level and GCSE results.

Neston Company of Archers celebrated success at the British Championships.

September

Burton Manor launched the Glasshouse Project and put out an appeal for volunteers to help with this landmark development.

Neston Youth Choir and Neston Children's Choir were launched to give young people in the area the opportunity to learn new skills and to work towards a special performance at the Christmas Festival later in the year.

Neston Town Centre RedevelopmentThroughout 2009 the Sainsbury's development has been underway, necessitating the moving of the market to Brook Street, and the appearance of an ever-deepening hole where Raby Road Car Park used to be. AboutMyArea was invited to take a tour of the site during September.

 Education Secretary Ed Balls visited Neston High School.

Neston Motorcycle Racer Chris Morley had a great year, including taking the double at Oulton Park.

The University of Liverpool Veterinary Science centre at Leahurst came top of the Sunday Times Good University Guide, in a year that saw a number of significant developments for the campus.

Stanney Fields Park's annual Fun Dog Show took place, with Huskamute "Sky" taking the top prize.

October

CH64 SafariCommunity Organisation ch64inc had a busy month, firstly co-ordinating a tour of the area for Officers and Members of the new Cheshire West and Chester Council, then hosting their AGM and an Open Forum to discuss past and future projects.

Neston Town Council appointed Alison Kunaj to the office of Town Clerk.

CH64 Community Networking was launched at a Coffee Break event.  Follow-up meetings have also taken place, with more planned for 2010.

The Davies family from Parkgate performed as "Red Voix" in a GMTV competition to find Britain's most talented family, reaching the final 5 out of thousands of entries from all over the UK.

The Neston Trefoil Guild celebrated 100 years of Girl Guiding.

OFSTED said Neston High School has "outstanding features."

ALDI opened in Neston, the latest stage of a radical change to the make-up of Neston Town Centre.

November

Moving Remembrance Day Parades took place in both Neston and Willaston.

Sgt Bluck and Sgt PlattenThere was a change at the helm of Neston Police, with the departure of Sgt Paul Bluck to be replaced by Sgt Henry Platten.

"Ken Barlow" (actor William Roache), presided over the official opening of the Renaissance development of the former Police Station in Hinderton Road.

Suzi Grenfell was widely praised for her performance in Neston Players' moving adaptation of "Whose Life Is It Anyway?"

Ness Gardens went back in time with the arrival of its very own "Stonehenge."

December

Neston Christmas Festival 2009Neston Christmas Festival took place over two weeks. Key events included the fabulous Ice Sculpture in the High Street, the Lantern Procession and a Late Night Shopping and Entertainment evening, featuring performances from the Neston Youth and Children's Choirs.  A Prize Draw took place, with the lucky winner receiving a laptop computer courtesy of ALDI.

Ness Gardens launched IllumiNESS, a fantastic sound and light display that attracted visitors from far and wide.

Temptation in Neston High Street won the Best Christmas Window competition.

Children from schools throughout the area took part in a Global Christmas Star competition, resulting in festive bunting that was hung in the High Street during the Christmas Festival.

Judy Pugh became the first democratically-elected Neston Town Councillor in a by-election for the vacant Parkgate Ward seat.

Neston Primary put on a fantastic Christmas show and celebrated the news that Rob Golding has been appointed as their new Head Teacher.

Throughout the year we also covered the Neston Town Centre Redevelopment in words and pictures. We will continue to follow the development in the coming months.

So that's it - 2009 in CH64. We hope you enjoyed our round-up of the news and events of the year, and, as the only media resource based in and devoted to Neston and the surrounding area, we look forward to providing coverage of 2010 for you.

Contributions are always welcome - if you have a news story, an event you would like us to cover, or if you have a hobby or sport that is of particular interest to you, please do get in touch, we are always happy to include as much local information as possible.  Contact Carrie on 0151 336 2734 or by email.

See also - CH64, the Year in Pictures

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