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Neston - The Year in Review - 2017

Author: Carrie Spacey Published: 20th December 2017 09:04

Month by month, we look back at the events, news and features published on AboutMyArea CH64 during 2017.

Neston the year in review 2017Snowy Parkgate. Photo by Bernard Rose.

As ever, community spirit came to the fore, with particular highlights being this year's CH64 Big Lunch, Village Fair and Ladies Day, accompanied for the first time by the amazing ParkgateFest and Parkgate Carnival.

Click on the highlighted words to read more about any particular story then use the 'back' button on your browser to return to this article. You can also scroll through our entire News Archive here.

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Huge thanks to all our contributors and advertisers for your support in 2017. Particular thanks to Bernard Rose, whose photos never fail to enhance the stories we publish.


We caught up with a couple of stories from the Christmas period, including caring and sharing at the Neston Community Christmas Dinner and the fundraising of the Neston Christian Aid committee.

Community Christmas Dinner 2016Volunteers had put on a fabulous Community Christmas Dinner in Neston.

Stories from our local schools during the month included news that Woodfall Primary had come in the Top 10 for SATs results in Cheshire; Neston High students Charlie and Harry were hoping to make a difference in Africa; there was some good Ofsted news for Bishop Wilson Primary and a number of VIPs were spotted at Neston Primary. Budding basketball players at St Winefride's brought home the golden ball and dragons were spotted at Parkgate Primary as they celebrated Chinese New Year.

Review of the Year 2017One of many 'VIPs' spotted at Neston Primary School's Famous Britons Day.

Cheshire Police and British Transport Police joined forces to tackle problems at Neston Railway station and a potentially life-saving defibrillator was installed on Parkgate Parade.

It was a murderous start to the new year for Neston Riverside WI, the Neston Flower Society AGM featured charitable gifts and Neston Town Council provided a grant to ensure the continuation of the annual NADAS art show.


The month began with a ghostly tale from the Tea House on Parkgate front.  Then we heard about a call out for local people to support the WASPI group and we heard the disappointing news that the monthly Farmers' Market was to be shelved.

Meanwhile, a new hair salon, Towey's, opened in the High Street, the first of many new businesses welcomed to the town centre during 2017.  We also heard that Marsh Nurseries in Parkgate were proud to be sponsoring Neston Nomads.

Review of the Year 2017Russ Brooks from Marsh Nurseries, sponsoring Neston Nomads this year.

Children at St Winefride's went crazy for CAFOD, young people at Bishop Wilson primary quizzed local MP Justin Madders, Neston High received a 'flawless' OFSTED report, Woodfall Primary hosted a day of living history and Neston Primary provided us with a round-up of a busy half term.

Review of the Year 2017Justin Madders MP visited Bishop Wilson Primary School in Burton.

The Friends of West Vale Park were taking care of wildlife, the first of several 20mph zones came into play in Little Neston and Parkgate residents attended a community forum.

Stormy weather resulted in the uprooting of a large tree in Neston churchyard and we heard about the dramatic rescue of a Parkgate-based sailor in the mid-Atlantic.



 We were delighted to hear that Neston Community Youth Centre had been awarded a grant from the Postcode Lottery, to continue their inspirational garden project.  

In another inspiring story, we heard how local DJ Dave Bladen had been on a 'life-changing' trip to the OAKS Charity school in West Africa.

Review of 2017Dave Bladen (centre) visited OAKS Charity School in Bo, Sierra Leone, with Nic Phipps (far left).

Neston's Air Cadets were getting muddy, whilst a community spring clean of Parkgate resulted in the collection of 40 bags of rubbish.

Neston Nomads celebrated a historic win over Poynton FC, taking them into the final of the prestigious Cheshire Amateur Cup.

Neston, the year in review 2017Neston Nomads celebrate a historic victory.

Burton schoolchildren dressed up for World Books Day, Parkgate pupils were fundraising and a local PCSO went on a knicker-theft hunt at Neston Primary. Meanwhile, head teachers from schools throughout the area joined forces to fight changes to funding in education.

Review of 2017Neston area head teachers and Justin Madders MP met to discuss their concerns over changes to school funding.

It was all gladrags and dancing at the Air Cadets' annual 'do', two Neston sisters did the town proud at a Wirral dancing event and Neston's Fairtrade champions were going bananas again.

Neston Female Society announced that the starting point for this year's walk would revert to the Malt Shovel, local professional photographer Bernard Rose was celebrating another string to his bow, attaining his 4th Dan in Karate and we heard that investment in Neston Recreation Centre's refurb had been increased.

Hawk Boutique opened in Neston - a welcome addition to Brook Street and the town as a whole.

Review of the Year 2017

Red Noses were donned all over town for charity and OAKS Charity raised thousands at their annual ball.

Neston's very own Andrew's Estates made it 8, as they opened their latest branch, in Bromborough.


Neston was annointed 'Penny Farthing Town' (or was it.....?) It was quickly followed by an Ode to Bollards in Parkgate.  You almost couldn't make it up!

Review of the Year 2017

Sadly, a lamb became the victim of a dog attack on a farm in Neston and the borough council said they would act on issues raised over Hallwood Court.

World War II broke out in Burton, Neston Primary told us about another packed few weeks of activities, and members of the CH64 Events Group took a tour of the new High School building. We heard about St Winefride's Primary School's winning wonders and Parkgate pupils got into the community spirit by designing public information posters.

Review of the Year 2017

There were 50th anniversary celebrations for Neston Probus Club and Northern Lights Childrens' Charity  received endorsement for their 30th anniversary plans.

Neston Air Cadets grabbed silver in a regional adventure activities event,  a member of Neston Royal British Legion received the prestigious French Legion of Honour, Ness Gardens picked up a well deserved gong at the Wirral Tourism Awards and Elephant Collective added to their trophy cabinet at the Taste Cheshire awards.

Review of the Year 2017The Ness Gardens team picked up an award for Sustainable Tourism.

We had to say goodbye to Sgt Dan Greenhalgh as he was promoted to an inspector-level post at Cheshire Police HQ.  He had provided the town with an incredible service for three years and would be missed.

In one of several stories throughout the year from the Friends of Hadlow Green Station, we heard they had been successful in raising money to restore gates at the site.  Meanwhile there were Easter bonnets on parade at Neston Market and a new bench was installed in Park Street, sparking some debate.


Neston's InterACT Youth Theatre swept the boards at a drama festival, there was Tea Party success at Neston Cricket Club for North West Cancer Research and we heard that leading accountancy firm Phillip Bates & Co had been offering their support and expertise to one of the town's long standing businesses. 

On the one hand we celebrated the installation of new planters in Parkgate, whilst on the other, vandals caused pointless damage to the Neston Countryside Trail.

Review of the Year 2017Attractive new planters were installed in Parkgate.

All in one article we saw the inauguration of the first Junior Mayor for Neston, whilst outgoing Mayor Mike Shipman resigned from the Council after serving on it since its inception.

Review of the Year 2017Outgoing Mayor Cllr Mike Shipman with new Junior Mayor of Neston, Grace Jones and her deputies, Cameron McPhail (l) and Luka Quayle (r).

We heard about the Dee Sea Scouts' fundraising cycling success, Mr G from Neston Primary made the shortlist for Cheshire Head Teacher of the Year and Bernard Rose offered valuable photography tips to Neston pupils.

Neston Nomads Vets and Under 19s both celebrated winning League titles for the season.

Neston, the year in review 2017Neston Nomads Vets won the League title.

Neston Rotary Club recognised the efforts of volunteers at their annual Charter Dinner, the Club donated funds for a RNIB Talking Book and one of their own members received a High Sheriff's Award.

Parkgate resident Carol Morris-Lewis picked up the Wirral Third Sector Employee of the Year award.


This month was to give us huge reminders of just how good Neston is at community events.  First we had the annual Ladies Day celebrations, on a beautifully sunny day, with a wonderful atmosphere throughout.

Review of the Year 2017Four ladies, including the Mayor, Cllr Pat Kynaston, re-created a somewhat well known pose on the first Thursday in June.  Photo by Bernard Rose.

Next up came the phenomenally successful first outing for ParkgateFest. Organised by a group of local residents and businesses, it was the sucess story of the year, with over 5000 people enjoying two days of fun, live music and refreshments served up by local businesses.

Review of the Year 2017Steam engines on the Parade - one of many enduring images from ParkgateFest 2017.  Photo by Bernard Rose.

As if those two were not enough, we then witnessed the delights of the CH64 Big Lunch in Stanney Fields Park, organised by the CH64 Events Group and NCYC.  A fabulous day of family-friendly fun and home-grown entertainment.

Review of the Year 2017More fun in the sun, this time at the CH64 Big Lunch.  Photo by Bernard Rose.

In other news....Justin Madders was re-elected as MP for Ellesmere Port and Neston.  We heard that contracts had finally been exchanged in the sale of Burton Manor, which was set to be converted into residential dwellings, though that became less clear as the year went on and a contentious housing development application in Neston was given the green light by planners.

We sadly bade farewell to long-time Neston Players' member and retired Mostyn House School teacher Cliff Inns.

Neston Primary School won a prestigious national literary prize; Bernard Rose picked up the Ladies Day photo prize; Burton school-children learned self-defence and Neston Nomads were looking dapper in their new kit.

Neston & District Community Fund gave their backing to Neston Air Cadets, who this month had an Armed Forces Day to remember and saw one of their members do the squad proud in athletics.


On the first Saturday of the month, thousands enjoyed the annual Neston Village Fair - once again a sunny day, with plenty to see and do.

Neston, the year in review 2017Neston Village Fair - photo by Bernard Rose

Next day, another excellent community effort, this time by Neston Community Youth Centre, saw thousands of Liverpool to Chester cycle ride participants coming through the area and enjoying a welcome break at the centre.

Neston, the year in review 2017Thousands of cyclists came through the area during the Liverpool to Chester ride, stopping off at NCYC.

A week later it was time for the fabulous Parkgate Carnival, a day full of fun, music, shopping and refreshments, all to raise money for Northern Lights Children's Charity.

Neston, the year in review 2017Parkgate Carnival - photo by Bernard Rose

In less good news, we heard that the last bank in Neston, Barclays, was going to be closing in the Autumn.  

Better news came from schools, where students at Parkgate Primary showed pride in their allotments; Neston Primary put on an excellent production of 'Oliver' and Bishop Wilson children cooled off with ice pops.

We heard about a project to renovate Willaston Memorial Hall, the Friends of Hadlow Road bagged another grant and an exhibition of  local government history was installed at Neston Town Hall.

Council owned accomodation in the area came under new management, Neston Players had a new Chairman and we also met the new Curate of Neston.

In another outstanding example of Neston community spirit, Neston Players joined forces with Hip & Harmony to bring us an original musical play - 'For the Love Of It', which played to packed houses at the Civic Hall and was showered with amazing reviews.

Neston, the year in review 2017'For the Love of It' - photo by Bernard Rose


Two Diamond Awards were given to recognise the outstanding efforts of Christian Aid volunteers in Neston.

Neston, the year in review 2017Lynne Vaughan, one of the Neston recipients of a Diamond Award for her work with Christian Aid.

Several local politicians expressed their disappointment over the Barclays closure and Justin Madders MP also called for action over Neston's unreliable train services, after the town came 15th in a list of the worst stations in the country for delays and cancellations.

There was fun in the sun at the West Vale Park Family Day and jazz and ukes at the Stanney Fields Picnic in the Park.

Neston, the year in review 2017Hip & Harmony's CH64 N'Ukes performed at the Stanney Fields Picnic in the Park. Photo by Bernard Rose

Neston Cricket Club announced that their first Marquee Fortnight had proved a roaring success and four men from Neston took on a gruelling golf challenge for charity.

Students at Neston High celebrated another successful year of A Level and GCSE results, a rare bird was spotted at RSPB Burton Mere and Neston Primary announced a new Parent Parking Charter that would come into effect for the new school year.

Neston Recreation Centre closed its doors for the big refurbishment programme, with some classes switching to Neston Civic Hall during the works.


At the start of the month, Neston Angels made an appeal for more volunteers to 'Be Like Dy.'  Hip & Harmony launched their classes for Autumn and Neston High School opened the doors to its brand new building for the start of the new school year.

Neston 2017, the year in reviewMrs Tina Phillips - Business Manager, Mr Ben Wolstenholme - Project Manager Morgan Sindall, Mr Steve Dool - Headteacher, Mr Colin Randerson - Deputy Headteacher, on the first day of the new school year.

We heard that even more roads in the Neston area would be slowing down to 20mph and Justin Madders MP slammed the decision to close the NHS walk-in centre in Eastham.

AboutMyArea launched a series of articles about living a low carbon life in the area, we heard that Little Actors would be taking over the old Job Centre building and Parkgate's Marsh Nurseries celebrated their 10th anniversary.

In Willaston, the Memorial Hall had a facelift and Neston Community Youth Centre hosted a very successful Wildlife Festival.

Neston 2017, the year in reviewPlenty of fun was had at Neston Community Youth Centre's first Wildlife Festival.

A positive end to the month came with the opening of a brand new travel agency, Perfect Getaways, in Neston town centre. Just days later, they were to come to the rescue of this year's Northern Lights Children's Charity trip to Lapland, following the collapse of Monarch.

Neston 2017, the year in reviewPerfect Getaways opened in Neston.


Neston Nomads had another new sponsor, this time it was local physio Helen Griffiths. Veteran RSPB man Colin Wells retired after 40 years working at the nature reserve in Neston.

Schools were particularly busy: Woodfall had sweet success at a cake sale and a visit from some Rotary Club members from Australia;  there was fun in the forest for Bishop Wilson pupils;  Neston Primary had a visit from the Navy ; St Winefride's saw off the opposition in an area hockey tournament and Rotakids from several local schools had been planting crocus corms to raise money for their chosen charities.

Neston 2017, the year in reviewTriumphant hockey players from St Winefride's RC Primary School.

A brand new Neston Calendar for 2018 went on sale; a new community group, Ness Neighbours, raised money for Macmillan at one of their monthly coffee mornings and the K6 Telephone Box made a welcome return to Willaston's Hadlow Road Station. 

Neston 2017, the year in reviewThe refurbished K6 telephant kiosk returned to Hadlow Road Station.

Meanwhile, there had been lots of changes on Neston Town Council, a grant from them had helped launch a new all women mental health support group and we heard that the Foodbank would be moving to NCYC in November.

Neston MP Justin Madders expressed his dismay at the announcement of 400 jobs to go at Vauxhall.

Elvis graced Willaston Memorial Hall with his presence and the Parkgate Poet waxed lyrical about Sandstone on the Slipway.


This month saw the opening of the latest and welcome addition to Neston's food and drink offer, with the arrival of Morning Noon Night.

Neston, the year in review 2017Morning Noon Night opened its doors at The Cross in Neston town centre.

There was some pre-budget advice from Neston financial planners Phillip Bates & Co and Neston's MP called for more support for Vauxhall. Meanwhile, Fairtrade awards were given to the Neston market coffee man with a van and a number of local businesses.

We sadly bade farewell to Jerry Harris, one of the founders of neston.org and a long standing active member of the Parkgate Society.

A cascade of poppies was installed in the parish church ahead of Remembrance, which Neston marked with its traditional Remembrance Sunday parade.

Neston, the year in review 2017A cascade of poppies was installed at Neston Parish Church for Remembrance.

Neston Players' latest production 'King and Country' was declared a triumph and Little Actors picked up the Nan Nuttall Memorial Award. Little Actors also celebrated the grand opening of their new premises in the former Job Centre building.

St Winefride's Primary continued their run of sporting success, with a win in the local schools' Tag Rugby competition, seeing them through to the regional final.  Meanwhile Parkgate Primary took learning outside and Bishop Wilson celebrated a cross country win.

Elephant Collective once again put Neston firmly on the map when Elephant Bank scooped the Gold Award for Best Independent Pizzeria in the UK at the PAPA Awards in London.

Neston, the year in review 2017Elephant Bank - Best Indendent Pizzeria in the UK.

Congratulations also went to Alan Johnson from Northern Lights Children's Charity, who picked up the Champion of Champion awards for his fundraising efforts over the past 30 years. Northern Lights also made dreams come true for 10 children with an exciting trip to Disneyland Paris as part of the charity's 30th anniversary celebrations.

Neston, the year in review 2017Northern Lights took a group of children to Disneyland Paris as part of the charity's 30th anniversary celebrations.


We also heard that a bid for funds to improve Neston's Sytchcroft Park had been successful, with the project scheduled to get underway in 2018.


Neston took a step back in time for its second annual Victorian Christmas Festival and on the same day, Northern Lights celebrated its 30th anniversary at the annual ball.

Neston, the year in review 2017Morris Dancers took part in this year's Victorian Christmas Festival. Photo by Bernard Rose.

Burton school children were getting into the Christmas spirit and Neston High School students' spelling was put to the test.

Neston Town Council was calling for major improvements to junction safety on the A540, whilst a by-election decided who would take up the vacant Parkgate ward seat.

Businesses in the area turned out for the annual Christmas get-together, where awards were handed to Towey's, Salon Dene, Elephant Collective and Sion Jones of Station House Nurseries.  The Skipton made a contribution to the local junior netball team.

Neston, the year in review 2017A number of local businesses received awards from Neston & District Chamber of Trade and Neston Town Council. Photo by Bernard Rose.

It was a case of no business like snow business for this year's Elephant Santa Dash, joined for the first time by Elves and raising money for young people's projects with NCYC and Hip & Harmony CIC.

Neston, the year in review 2017140 people took part in this year's Elephant Santa and Elf Dash from Neston to Parkgate. Photo by Bernard Rose.

The 'snowbomb' also led to a number of lovely photos being captured locally.

Neston Players and Hip & Harmony got out and about to entertain some of the older folk in the area, Parkgate Pony Sanctuary helped out at the nativity service for Parkgate & Neston URC and we had some festive words from the Parkgate Poet.

There was a Christmas spectacle at Woodfall Primary School and Neston Primary were celebrating in a traditional way. Hip & Harmony finished a successful year with a Celebration of Youth event at Neston Civic Hall.

Northern Lights Children's Charity carried out another successful trip to Lapland to conclude their 30th anniversary year.

Neston, Review of the Year 2017Northern Lights Children's Charity's 2017 trip to Lapland.

Christmas messages for our readers came from Justin Madders MP, the Mayor of Neston and Rev Alan Dawson.

That, dear readers, was 2017 in Neston! It only remains for us to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a healthy, wealthy and happy New Year.

See also:

CH64 - the Year in PIctures

Local News

News Archive


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At 11:00 on 21st December 2017, Lambster commented:
Well done on another great yaer of news reporting, your efforts are appreciated. Wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas and new year.
At 17:23 on 21st December 2017, Tony commented:
Seconded! Good job and thank you.
At 21:59 on 23rd December 2017, merrymac commented:
There has been a real and vibrant increase in Community Spirit here in the CH64 area in recent years, due in no small part to all the hard work that Carrie and her team put into this AMA site; thank you
Rob Ward
At 07:28 on 24th December 2017, Rob Ward commented:
I agree with merrymac. The Neston area is a real community, and Carrie is a great part of it. Well done Carrie and all those who make this such a great place to live!

You need to log in before you can do that! It's only a quick registration process to join the AMA network and completely free.

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