Neston - The Year in Review - 2014
|Author: Carrie Spacey||Published: 23rd December 2014 11:13|
2014 - the year the country looked back 100 years to the start of the 1st World War.
Here in Neston, we were also looking back a further 100 years, as on June 5th we celebrated the 200th anniversary of Neston's unique Ladies Club Day Walk.
For such a relatively small market town, there was certainly no shortage of activity throughout the year. Below we take a month by month look at what's been going on.
This Review is dedicated to the memory of Marion Canfield-Evans (1937 - 2014).
High tide at Parkgate in January 2014. Photo by Bernard Rose.
The story that had dominated local headlines since the week before Christmas took another turn when Cheshire West and Chester Council pledged, at an extraordinary meeting of Neston Town Council, to suspend the controversial works on Cuckoo Lane in Little Neston.
We heard that Neston's very own Andrew's Estates was expanding, with another new branch, this time in Little Sutton and Neston & District Chamber of Trade launched a new website and branding.
Three Neston Town Councillors stood down, for a variety of reasons, including your Editor, as work and family took precedence.
Neston Rotary Club helped to launch the very first Rotakids Club in the North West, at Neston Primary School. They would soon be joined by more local clubs, at Woodfall and Parkgate Primary Schools.
Neston Civic Society launched an updated version of their very popular Town Trail and Neston Parish Church's regular coffee morning was temporarily shifted to Bridge Court while the heating system was overhauled.
There was news of successes for pupils at both Woodfall and St Winefride's Primary Schools.
Neston Flicks took us back to the 70s with their fancy-dress-enhanced showing of Mamma Mia!
Organisers and film-goers alike dressed up for Neston Flicks' showing of Mamma Mia!
The month ended, as it had begun, with yet more controversy over Cuckoo Lane...
Just as High Tides at Parkgate attracted a large crowd at the beginning of the month, it was reported that two youths had been prosecuted for the arson attack that led to a serious fire on the marsh at Parkgate the previous April.
Confirmation came that improvements to the Public Realm in Neston Town Centre would be commencing during February.
The local business community came together for the first ever Neston Business Awards, with honours going to, amongst others, Gordale, Phillip Bates and Elephant Coffee.
Winners at the inaugural Neston Business Awards. Photo by Linda Pelling.
Cuckoo Lane campaigners claimed victory as Cheshire West agreed to terminate the works and restore the Lane (as best they could) to its former glory.
Neston Town Council moved into the Town Hall. Later in the year this would lead to a manned desk being open to local residents for enquiries, from 9am to 1pm each weekday.
Local film-maker James Chalmers published a Kindle book on the early life of Lady Macbeth. Meanwhile Neston High School students enjoyed meeting best-selling author Cathy Cassidy.
Neston Mums on a Mission were celebrating the news that their campaign for a zebra crossing on Burton Road had been successful. The crossing, along with an additional one on Liverpool Road, was eventually installed and opened for use in September.
At the end of the month we heard that Neston High student and skilled rugby player Joel Gibbs would be gracing the hallowed turf of Twickenham, wearing an England shirt he helped to design.
Several readers sent in their lovely Spring photos.
Park Street, Neston. Photo by Bernard Rose.
Willaston Festival Society celebrated the news that they had been successful in securing a grant to enable the village to run a project to remember its First World War Fallen.
As 2014 was to include the 200th Anniversary Neston Ladies Club Day Walk, a Heritage Project had been brewing since September 2013, co-ordinated by Hip and Harmony CIC. In March, progress was reported and residents invited to bring their photos and memorabilia to collection days at the Library.
Workshops got underway to create the designs for Neston's bespoke Ladies Club Day bunting.
Trish Carter told us about the Wildflower Garden to be planted at Neston Methodist Church and Community Centre to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of WW1. Updates were published throughout the Spring and Summer.
Sport Relief benefited from a weekend of fundraising at Sainsbury's in Neston.
It was announced that the Cheshire Building Society would be closing its Neston office - a big win for the Skipton! The article prompted a lot of comments.
Neston Town Council officially took control of the Town Hall and Market Square in a 3 year trial arrangement with Cheshire West and Chester Council.
Locals were shocked to hear that archived legislation uncovered during the handover of the Town Hall to Neston Town Council revealed that drinking habits were about to be severely curtailed!
The Friends of Park Fields reassured residents that the spraying that had been taking place on the wildflower meadow was perfectly safe and necessary to rid the area of unwanted weeds.
Wildflowers at Park Fields, by Roy Wilson.
Tots at Parkgate Pre-School enjoyed an Easter Parade.
We heard that local resident Richard Hughes and his son Jack would be scaling dizzy heights to raise money for Claire House. Also, Sainsbury's gave us an update on the grand total raised for Sport Relief.
There was a spot of drama in Parkgate when police swooped on Station Road following reports of a man with a firearm. Meanwhile, drama of a very different sort at Neston Primary School as pupils brought the houses down with a re-enactment of The Great Fire of London, in miniature.
Neston Primary School re-enacted the Great Fire of London.
The Cuckoo Lane story rumbled on...this time with news of the re-landscaping work that was commencing. Even that didn't please everyone though, as the comments on the article indicated. Towards the end of April, campaign leader Anthony Annakin-Smith signalled the end of the matter with a final article.
Ness was in the news as we heard that improvements were to be made to the Village Hall thanks to a grant from Adactus Housing and this year's borough-wide Schools in Bloom competition was launched at Ness Gardens.
Neston Air Cadets were busy throughout the year as usual. This month we heard of two Gold award-winning achievements.
Neston South Wirral became European Hockey Federation Club of the Year, whilst Neston Nomads celebrated being the first club ever to win the Wirral Sunday Premier League three times in succession.
A new trail was opened at RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands and Cheshire West and Chester Council launched a 'Share With Care' campaign following some issues between different users of the Burton Greenway path.
Burton Greenway was officially opened and all users encouraged to 'share with care.'
Neston Civic Society's Rob Ward asked for readers' help with a couple of mysteries.
One of my personal highlights of the year came with Hip & Harmony's Flash Mob performance of 'Happy' in the Market Square on Good Friday.
Hip & Harmony CIC dancers and singers descended on the Market Square for a flash mob.
Neston Flower Society celebrated their Emerald (55 years) Anniversary with a special lunch at Neston Town Hall.
Cyclists gathered at the Malt Shovel in Neston for the third annual charity bike ride to Llandudno.
The search began for descendants of the founding members of Neston Female Society, as part of the 200th Anniversary celebrations. Later, in May, further information was shared by Ian Norris, a local historian and yet more by another local historian, Stella Young.
At the end of the month we welcomed a new Police Sergeant in Neston - Daniel Greenhalgh - who would go on to preside over a number of new initiatives and positive policing outcomes over the following months.
Local resident Caroline Howe was nominated for 'Cheshire Woman of the Year' for her amazing work running Wirral Hedgehog Rescue.
Drugs raids were carried out by Neston Police this month, resulting in arrests and the seizure of illegal substances.
Little Gems Pre-School - Superheroes Day.
Little Gems Pre-School raised money with a very cute Super Heroes Day and Neston Primary Rotakids handed over money raised through flower sales. Parkgate Rotakids made their first cheque presentation a few days later and Woodfall Rotakids turned cakes into cash.
Neston Nomads' Under 9's won the Wirral Mini & Junior League Real Madrid Cup.
Members of Willaston's Derby & Joan Club visited Cheshire Military Museum as part of the Festival Society's First World War project.
Local resident and film-maker Kiran Fulton cut off her hair to raise money for charity.
Cllr Janet Griffiths became the new Mayor of Neston at a special event at Neston Town Hall.
Cllrs Wayne Sharkey and Janet Griffiths became Deputy Mayor and Mayor of Neston.
We heard that the famous carillon of bells from Mostyn House School had been successfully moved to and installed at Charterhouse School.
Neston High School's dance students put on a fabulous show.
Excitement was building towards Ladies Club Day as the 200th Anniversary Heritage Project gathered pace. An update told us about progress on the Anthem, Bunting and other elements of the project. Then, at the end of the month, a special Exhibition was launched at Neston Library, prompting both laughter and tears.
Members of Neston Female Society Committee with Hip & Harmony CIC's Paula Prytherch at the Ladies Club Day 200th Anniversary Exhibition launch event. Photo by Linda Pelling.
Over at the Civic Hall, Neston Players began their self-penned production, 'A Walk Through Time (1814-2014)' to commemorate the bicentenary - the reviews were amazing!
Neston Players brought us 'A Walk Through Time' - a play to commemorate the 200th Anniversary of Neston Ladies Club Day
Whilst there were, of course, other things taking place during June, the undoubted highlight of both the month and the year was the 200th Anniversary Neston Ladies Club Day. It was a glorious day, both in terms of the weather and the content. Neston really does know how to throw a party!
Olympic athlete Beth Tweddle attended the 200th Anniversary Neston Ladies Club Day to hand out commemorative medals to all the children. Photo by David Sejrup.
So, in other news...two green-fingered families opened up their gardens in Little Neston for charity, raising over £1500. Local Brownies took part in a parade in Ellesmere Port, during their 50th anniversary year.
For the fifth year in a row, the CH64 Events Group organised a Big Lunch in Stanney Fields Park - once again it was very well attended by local residents who brought their picnics along and enjoyed a variety of entertainment.
The CH64 Big Lunch - photo by Linda Pelling.
In the same week we heard about a range of improvements that had been made to Stanney Fields and it was announced that Woodfall Lane's play area would be getting a facelift.
Local historian Geoff Wright shared information about two mysteries solved at the recent Neston Ladies Club Day.
Neston Nomads Knights won the Elliott Wild Plate for the second time running.
A D Day Commemorative Service took place at the Parish Church and Neston Methodist Church celebrated 115 years of worship at their location in Park Street.
The annual Neston Village Fair was hugely successful, with over 2000 people enjoying all the stalls and entertainment on offer. It was also the first public outing for the Dee Sea Scouts' new boat, which went on display on Comrades Field for the day.
Fun and games at Neston Village Fair. Photo by Rob Clive.
We commenced a series of fascinating articles by local historian Susan Chambers, charting the course of life in Neston 100 years ago, as the Great War began.
The first Big Colour Run took place between Willaston and Parkgate - a very colourful spectacle, despite the pouring rain!
Sainsbury's colleagues, family and friends turned orange at the first Neston Big Colour Run. Photo by Rob Clive.
Rotakids at Neston, Parkgate and Woodfall Primary Schools were all keeping busy and the Rotary Club of Neston announced a new President.
Traders in Parkgate protested over the poor handling of a road closure that resulted in lost business and huge inconvenience to residents and visitors.
Parkgate Traders protested over the closure of Boathouse Lane
Neston Community & Youth Centre held a celebration to mark the end of the first Seeds of Change project whilst CAN Group launched a brand new 'Neston Angels' initiative and called on local residents to help out.
St Winefride's Primary got lucky with the weather for their Summer Fair, a Fun Day was held at the Lady Hamilton pub to raise money for Alder Hey Hospital and it was a case of 'Singing in the Rain' at the Stanney Fields Jazz Picnic.
Parkgate was chosen as the location to launch a new logo for Neighbourhood Watch, marking the 50th anniversary of the organisation in the UK.
Launch of the new Neighbourhood Watch logo in Parkgate
Hip & Harmony CIC showcased the talents of their singers and dancers at a Summer Show at the Civic Hall.
July ended in considerable style as Emma and Adam Mitchell opened the doors to Elephant Lounge & Bar on The Parade at Parkgate.
Elephant Lounge and Bar opened in Parkgate
Students at Neston Primary received accolades for their efforts in promoting road safety. Residents were encouraged to help support the local Food Bank and Sainsbury's announced that their new charity partner for the next year would be the Joseph Windsor Heart Trust. The previous year's charity, the Wirral Fund for Children with Special Needs, thanked the store and the community for their support.
Willaston's annual Horicultural Show went off without a hitch and in Neston, the annual Fun Day at Stanney Fields Park was a big hit, as was a three day Football and Boxing Camp hosted by Neston Parish Church Youth in the Community. Later in the month there was also a Play Day at West Vale Park. We also heard that Willaston's playground was to be refurbished, thanks to a WREN grant.
Local police joined in at the Stanney Fields Fun Day - photo by Bernard Rose
1st Ness Guides leader Catherine Hilditch reported on the troop's exciting trip to Canada.
The peculiar weather conditions this year had led to increased mosquito activity - Professor Michael Clarkson told us what was going on.
CAN Group (Community Activities in Neston) put out an appeal for more volunteers to join them - they still need you, so please think about getting involved.
Neston Police reported that their summer paintball sessions for young people had, once again, been very well received.
Neston based Northern Lights Children's Charity scooped the first ever Scottish Power Foundation Award, giving them a prize of £7500 to put towards their annual trip to Lapland for children with life limiting illnesses. Meanwhile the Wirral and North Wales Model Railway Club, also based in Neston, picked up a prestigious trophy at a national exhibition.
The first ever Scottish Power Foundation Award was handed to Northern Lights Children's Charity.
Adactus Housing gave a grant to local Guides, whilst the Brownies received an educational visit from local police.
A musical interlude entitled 'Over By Christmas' was performed at Hadlow Road railway station in Willaston, another element of the commemoration of 100 years since the outbreak of World War 1.
Over by Christmas was performed at Hadlow Road in Willaston
Meanwhile in Neston, the Players handed over cheques to the Female Society and Help For Heroes, after raising funds during their 'Walk Through Time' production earlier in the year.
Dee Sea Scouts raised around £700 by completing a 'Penny Mile' in the Market Square and it was announced that Lynne Vaughan had won the balloon race launched at the Village Fair in July, raising money for OAKS charity, based in Neston.
Rounding off the month was the ever-popular Fun Dog Show at Stanney Fields Park, with Cavapoo Molly judged to be top dog.
Molly came top at the Stanney Fields Fun Dog Show.
A report was published to update everyone on the Neston Cycle Town initiative and Neston Town Council announced the appointment of a new Councillor and member of staff. Meanwhile local police sergeant Daniel Greenhalgh gave us a comprehensive report on policing in the local area over the previous few months.
Judges at the Dragons' Den event held at Manchester Airport were very impressed with a presentation by Neston High School students. The school also scooped a silver award in this year's Schools in Bloom competition. There was a lot of planting going on, raising awareness for the Rotary Club's End Polio Now campaign, at Woodfall and Neston Primary Schools.
St Winefride's pupils held their annual Harvest Festival Mass and donated items to the local Foodbank, as did children at Woodfall Primary. There were some lovely displays in St Thomas' Church in Parkgate for their Harvest celebrations, too.
Harvest at St Thomas' Church in Parkgate
We heard that local resident and chef's assistant at the Marsh Cat, Nikki Burnett, had shone at her very first karate competition, under the tutelage of Bernard Rose.
Neston Angels hosted the first Winter Health Fair for the town, giving local residents lots of health and wellness tips for the months ahead.
Local amateur photographer Roy Wilson shared this lovely photo of a starling pinching all the blackberries in Parkgate:
The Malt Shovel triumphed over Sainsbury's in a friendly quiz night to raise money for the Joseph Windsor Heart Fund, Willaston's Joan Butcher was named as a Cheshire Rural Woman of the Year and members of the Neston Air Cadets brought home medals in sports competitions.
A second Cycle Fair on Neston Market Square was a huge success and another highly successful occasion was the charity night for Claire House held at the Marsh Cat restaurant, which raised over £4000.
Neston High students went red, white and blue for charity and received a very special visit from Kenny Dalglish and his wife Marina.
Mr and Mrs Kenny Dalglish visited Neston High School
At the end of the month a lot of information was made available about local initiatives, including Neston Town Council's 'Rail Town of the Future' scheme; an update on the Neighbourhood Plan, Parkgate Vision, Parkgate Community Involvement and the Mosquito Mitigation.
Finally in October, we celebrated the 100th birthday of local resident Stella Casson.
Stella Casson - 100 years young!
The month began with news of a new programme of activities being introduced at Neston Community & Youth Centre, under the stewardship of the centre's new manager, Gareth Prytherch.
Neston Primary Rotakids put us on the map with their presentation to the Rotary Club's District Conference. Meanwhile the school itself was exceptionally busy with lots of fundraising activities. Meanwhile, at Parkgate Primary, the Rotakids were busy raising money for the End Polio Now campaign and year 6 pupils enjoyed the annual trip to Kepplewray.
Neston Primary Rotakids at the regional conference in November.
Woodfall Rotakids took gifts to the Ronald McDonald House at Arrowe Park Hospital. Pupils at St Winefride's showed Sainsbury's PR Ambassador Louise Irvine the sports and safety equipment they had received through the Active Kids voucher scheme earlier in the year.
Tickets for Neston Players' Autumn production, 'The Accrington Pals' sold out, and the play was very well received by audience and critics alike.
Neston Players brought us The Accrington Pals.
Neston Cricket Club hosted their annual Sports Awards and President's Dinner - a fine time had by all!
Neston Cricket Club held their Annual Sports Awards evening.
Willaston were first out of the traps for the festive season, with their glittering community Christmas Tree Festival.
Neston Christmas Lights 'n' Lanterns. Photo by David Sejrup.
Neston town centre lit up with the annual Lights 'n' Lanterns event, this year topped off in magnificent style by a performance of 'Let it Go' from 'Frozen' by local schools, Hip & Harmony CIC's adult choir and a live band.
At Neston Library there was a sold-out performance of The Snow Queen and in Parkgate, rain failed to dampen spirits as an outdoor carol singing event took place at St Thomas' Church.
Neston's Love a Local Christmas festive shopping event was a huge success, attracting many residents and visitors to the town for a lovely day of shopping, visiting the Farmers' and Food Makers' Market, entertainment and a Santa's Stops competition.
Street entertainment during Neston's Love a Local Christmas event. Photo by Bernard Rose.
Neston High School picked up a gold award for Investment in People and celebrated a very successful Christmas Fair. Woodfall Primary were also celebrating, having been cited as 'Outstanding' in their recent Ofsted report. Meanwhile pupils from St Winefride's Primary took part in a multi-faith service commemorating the 1st World War.
In much brighter news, the first ever Elephant Santa Dash from Neston to Parkgate raised nearly £900 for Northern Lights Children's Charity. Neston Air Cadets also made a dashing bunch of Santas, taking part in the event in Liverpool.
Elephant Santa Dash. Photo by Roy Wilson
A glimmer of hope for the electrification of the railway line through Neston? Let's hope so.
Children at Neston Primary School were very busy in the run-up to Christmas, spreading lots of festive cheer! We also heard that Hip & Harmony's adult choir would be on Radio Merseyside on Christmas Eve, having taken part in the carol concert recorded at Liverpool Cathedral this month.
And finally...a lovely way to end the AboutMyArea year - a report of this year's trip to Lapland for 16 children, thanks to Northern Lights Children's Charity and everyone who supported and fundraised for them this year. Magical!
So that was 2014 in CH64! The links included above are just some of the thousands of articles we published this year. If you would like to find a particular story on AboutMyArea, see here for an explanation of how to find what you are looking for.
If you would like to make sure you never miss a news story or event in the Neston area, sign up to Neston News - our weekly e-newsletter goes out every Wednesday morning to catch you up on all the latest news and upcoming events. Register here.
I would like to thank all our contributors, in particular Bernard Rose, Rob Clive, Rob Ward, David Sejrup, Susan Chambers, Roy Wilson, Trish Carter, Linda Pelling and Lisa Fields, but also huge thanks to everyone who submitted articles or photos this year.
A big round of applause, please, for our advertisers - we could not bring everyone the news and events coverage that we do without the support of local businesses. Please show them your support and buy local!
Here's to an AMAZing 2015!