Neston - the Year in Review - 2019
|Author: Carrie Spacey||Published: 18th December 2019 07:41|
Month by month, we look back at the events, news and features published on AboutMyArea CH64 during 2019.
Click on the highlighted words in the text for each month below, to read more about any particular story. 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 once again this year. Particular thanks to Bernard Rose, whose photos never fail to enhance the stories we publish.
Volunteers once again excelled themselves with the Community Christmas Dinner, a fine time had by all! In Willaston a new set of Christmas lights went up for the season, the result of a tremendous fundraising effort by local residents.
Sherron Morrey picked up a hamper from Elephant Bank.
Local resident Sherron Morrey had a nice surprise, when she won a hamper from Elephant Bank in our prize draw and we heard that Parkgate teenager Jonathan Stevens was fundraising for a trip to Sierra Leone.
Willaston Community Farm became the location for three local nurseries as they announced their merger. Meanwhile Neston Town Council announced a slight rise in its precept for the upcoming financial year.
We ran a feature on Perfect Getaways, the travel agent that opened its doors in 2017 at The Cross, celebrating the family-run business' close ties with the town centre.
At the end of January Cheshire Police thanked local residents for their assistance leading to the arrest of two burglary suspects.
Cycling was a strong theme again this year, starting in February with the announcement that the OVO Energy Tour Series and Tour of Britain would be visiting Wirral.
Cheshire Wildlife Trust were celebrating receipt of lottery funding for a major conservation project focused on the Dee Estuary. Meanwhile litter pickers were out in force for the first community spirit clean-up of 2019 in Parkgate.
Hurrah for Parkgate's amazing Community Spirit litter pickers.
A Mum from Parkgate had her courage and determination in the wake of a stroke recognised with an award from the Stroke Association.
Residents were urged to protest when Mersey Tunnel Tag reforms saw charges increase by 50% for regular Neston commuters to Liverpool and beyond. They were also asked to get involved in the latest 'Pink Poo' campaign in Little Neston.
Speaking of colourful, we heard that Neston's Creative Touch had once again been nominated for a national nail salon of the year award and we also loved June Towey's 'rainbow hair' creation.
NCYC launched a crowdfunding campaign to ask the public to help support their Neston Angels project, befriending older people in the community. The target was £15,000. Sadly, to date, the total raised is just £250....
Photo by Bernard Rose
Two local families came together to open Timeless Kitchens and Bathrooms, taking over the former Reeds Rains unit at The Cross.
Neston based OAKS charity held their annual ball, raising a magnificent sum for the school they run in Sierra Leone. We heard that a local resident had pledged to run three big races this year to help raise funds for NCYC. Meanwhile a pair of 'Grandad's slippers' was up for auction and Hip & Harmony's 64 N'Ukes strummed in the Market, both to raise money for Children in Need.
The OAKS Charity annual fundraising ball was another great success.
Children from Bishop Wilson school in Burton had a lovely trip to the zoo on an unseasonably warm day for February. Neston's Fairtrade group were out in force at the Market, tempting shoppers with tasty treats. Also at the Market in March was Police and Crime Commissioner David Keane.
A local historian was looking for information on two Neston servicemen who have not yet been recognised by the War Graves Commission.
Coral Jade in Little Neston celebrated 8 fabulous years in business and Creative Touch picked up Customer Service of the Year at the English Beauty Awards in Manchester. Sadly we heard that Mannings Shoe Repairs was to close, but photographer Bernard Rose nipped in just in time to capture some great photos of premises, apparently untouched by time.
We bade farewell to Mannings the cobblers on the corner of Gladstone Road and Chester Road.
Neston Flower Society kicked off their 60th anniversary celebrations.
We published what turned out to be one of our most read articles ever, after a visit (once again with Bernard Rose and his trusty camera) to A Whiteway & Sons ahead of its closure.
Another great retrospective by Bernard Rose with AboutMyArea - Whiteway & Sons.
We heard that Neston's Brightlights theatre group were 'going on a cruise', and there was a lot going on for Willaston and S.Wirral Rotary Club.
Willaston FC were celebrating 115 years of football and telling us their plans for the future.
At a Ness Neighbour's Coffee Morning, we had a chat with David Keane, the PCC for Cheshire. Transport for Wales revealed the new look trains that would be running through Neston from later in the year and we had a lovely visit to the revamped Willaston Community Farm - a great local place to visit.
Willaston Community Farm has become a very popular attraction for visitors this year.
Throughout the year the Friends of Hadlow Road Station kept us updated on what they were doing to improve and maintain the popular place of historic interest. This month they were celebrating the overall investment of £30,000 and 8,000+ volunteer hours so far.
Strange scenes at the Aldi depot in Neston hit the national news, as pro-Brexit demonstrators gave us a laugh, if nothing else.
We heard that those responsible for the ram raid at McColl's in Willaston in 2018 had been jailed.
Neston Players visited Poulton Hall to step back in time for a photoshoot ahead of their upcoming production of The Importance of Being Earnest. Local resident Kerry Quayle visited an even grander 'house' as she attended an event at Windsor Castle on behalf of NCYC.
Kerry Quayle popped in to see the Queen.
Neston Town Council revamped the basement food hall and announced that there would be lots more foodie stalls at the market throughout the year. At the Easter Market, Deeside Bakeries won the best dressed stall.
Talking of food, Paisley Grey in the High Street let us know that they would now be open 7 days a week, serving their popular breakfast, lunch and brunch menu.
The brewery in charge of the Brown Horse pub bowed to public pressure after the Ladies Club 200th Anniversary Mural was painted over - pledging to replace it later in the year.
Neston Music Festival was successful once again, and Robin Hughes told us about a lovely concert in Parkgate.
CH64 voter turnout at the council elections bucked the national trend, with Little Neston achieving the hightest turnout in the whole of the Cheshire West area.
Neston Civic Society organised a litter pick in the town centre.
Our latest retrospective, this time on John Evans the shoe shop in Neston, proved to be another very popular article.
Neston Nomads coach Andy 'Griffo' Griffiths stood down after 4 years at the helm, with Neil Pickering announced as his replacement. Still on football, Neston Nomads Girls were embarking on what would turn out to be a record-breaking year of fundraising for Claire House and, at the end of the month, the Nomads held their annual awards event.
An interesting story of two intertwined families emerged during Neston Players' production of The Importance of Being Earnest.
Chrissy Owen and Geoff Wright - a family connection with the Players.
A new Mayor and deputy Mayor of Neston were elected at Neston Town Council's annual meeting and Little Neston Councillor Louise Gittins was appointed as Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council.
New Mayor Dominic Roberts was elected by Neston Town Council and received his chain of office from outgoing Mayor, Cllr Pat Kynaston.
A glittering event took place to celebrate Neston Flower Society's Diamond Anniversary.
Woodfall Primary School took on the challenge of making Neston and Parkgate the world's first Sustainable Palm Oil Town. The play area next to the school became the subject of a consultation event.
Finally in May, we had an update on the redevelopment of Burton Manor.
Hip & Harmony got the Market moving at the beginning of the month, with their Street Dance and N'Ukes all out in force.
Hip & Harmony's dancers and 64 N'Ukes were entertaining at the Market.
Justin Madders MP secured a debate in parliament on river crossing fees, in light of the Mersey Tunnel tag increases as well as the bridge tolls.
Neston's Ladies Club Day was another colour and flower filled day of celebration in the town centre.
Another fabulous Ladies Club Day. Photo by Bernard Rose.
To celebrate our 500th edition of Neston News, we launched a competition to find the best header shot of the last 10 years. The winner was duly annointed later in the month.
Sharon Meadows' winning header shot.
Hadlow Road Station's Friends picked up a volunteers award and Neston Fairtrade group thanked Ness & Little Neston WI for their support.
Brio Leisure, which runs Neston's Receation Centre and Civic Hall were named the best health and fitness organisation in the country at the 2019 UKactive Awards.
Local resident Chris Lett organised a superb evening at the Legion, raising money for Help for Heroes, in memory of her very good friend Dave Tarn who had sadly passed away at the end of last year.
Raising money for Help for Heroes, Chris Lett (r) hosted a show at the Legion.
A new project - Reimagining Neston - was launched, with the aim of improving life in the area through a number of different themes.
A group of road safety campaigners came together on the 25th anniversary of the death of Andrew Fielding at the junction of the A540 and Raby Park Road, on his way to a football tournament.
Bishop Wilson School in Burton unveiled a pioneering project, with the launch of a virtual in-school bank and general store.
For the fifth year running, the Liverpool-Chester-Liverpool cycle race came through the area. Burton Gardens were open for charity once more, Neston Village Fair was another lovely day for the whole community and Parkgate Pops at Neston Cricket Club proved to be a huge hit.
Neston Village Fair's Rose Queen and attendants. Photo by Bernard Rose.
A planning application for an area known as Brook Meadow in Neston proved controversial. Meanwhile we heard that St Winefride's Primary School were on a mission to save the planet.
AboutMyArea CH64 picked up another award - this time the Best Local News Outlet 2019, Cheshire West.
Grease was indeed the word at Neston Primary.
There was a veritable cornucopia of canine fun at the Wirral Dog Fest, Parks Field was awarded a coveted Green Flag, an open garden day proved very succesful and raised money for Neston's Christian Aid campaign and another for the Dogs Trust.
Local building firm boss Nic Phipps gave the Neston Nomads 3G football pitch fundraising effort a huge boost, and the Nomads' Under 7s were walking in the rain to raise funds for the same cause. A Junior Football Tournament held this month was a huge success.
Neston Nomads hosted a very successful inaugural Summer Football Tournament.
Local WI groups joined forces to showcase 'Walking Netball', Neston Primary School received a Platinum Sports Award and Neston Cricket Club hosted a record-breaking Sporting Lunch in their annual Marquee Week.
Neston Cricket Club's marquee was absolutely packed at the annual Sporting Lunch.
Neston Angels brought the generations together at the launch of their silver pen pals initiative, dreamt up by Neston Primary head teacher Rob Golding.
Bridging the generation gap at Neston Community Youth Centre.
On the last day of the month, a Parkgate Marathon took place, raising money for a local resident's 30/30 campaign.
The first 21st Century Parkgate Marathon!
Parkgate-based author Brian Moffett used the history of the local area as a backdrop for his latest novel; there were lots of smiles in the sun at the West Vale Family Day and Wirral's Home Instead, which serves many clients in the Neston area, was deemed 'Outstanding' by the Care Quality Commission.
Smiles in the sun at West Vale Park's Family Fun Day.
One of our favourite photos of the year emerged from the Church Garden Party held at St Michael's in Little Neston.
A brilliant photo from the Church garden party.
It was bad news quite literally, when we heard that Martin's at The Cross would be closing in November. Better news for those seeking their information online, as Neston was the location for Connecting Cheshire celebrating the completion of their multi-million pound Superfast Broadband programme.
A local road action group demanded 'people before traffic,' a member of staff at Gordale was celebrating 40 years with the firm and HBS, based in Chester Road, told us all about the services they now offer after a decade in business.
Timeless Kitchens and Bathrooms announced their sponsorship of Neston Nomads, as did Wirral Car Care. Neighbours in Ness were given a helping hand to tidy up the local area by council officers and Ness Gardens was focusing on the University of Liverpool's hedghog awareness programme.
With a fabulous display of community spirit, Timeless Kitchens and Bathrooms began the month with another sponsorship announcement - this time for Hip & Harmony's Street Dance Teams.
Timeless showed their support by sponsoring Hip & Harmony's competition Street Dance teams.
We heard that two of the area's GP surgeries had been voted into the Top 10 in West Cheshire; the Council's Street Care team helped local residents to tidy up an overgrown area of Raby Road and the mural commemorating the 200th anniversary of Neston LadiesClub Day was restored.
A new mural replaced the original, commemorating the 200th anniversary of Neston Ladies Club Day. Photo by Bernard Rose.
Neston's Christian Aid Committee told us about their 'outstanding' fundraising year; Neston's transport links were cited as examples of poor investment in Northern infrastructure at an All Party Parliamentary Group meeting by Cllr Louise Gittins and local resident Robin Hughes called for a new Neston partnership to be formed to continue years of work on improvements to the area.
Cllr Louise Gittins was speaking out about Neston's poor transport links.
Former England and Liverpool FC player John Barnes was quite the catch at Neston Cricket Club's charity fundraiser; we heard that Neston Town Council had made several strides on town improvements in the first half of the year and the Tour of Britain cycle race just touched Neston as riders flew by en route to Liverpool.
John Barnes appeared at a Charity Match at Neston Cricket Club. Photo by Rob Clive.
Gordale proved they really know how to keep their staff, with yet another long standing employee celebrating 40 years' service; we heard that Little Actors was offering acclaimed LAMDA level training for local children and pupils at Neston Primary were winners at the West Cheshire Youth and Community Awards.
Over one particularly soggy weekend, Neston Against Dementia group raised money with a sponsored walk; the town's Real Food Kitchen was cited as a 'brunch hero' in a national newspaper; many local cyclists took part in the Leverhulme Summer Cycle and NCYC's first Earth Festival was a big hit.
NCYC's Earth Festival was successful despite the rain.
We were delighted to hear that local volunteer Carol Stott had been awarded for her years of service to the community. Neston's Perfect Getaways were helping local holidaymakers in the wake of the Thomas Cook collapse; Parkgate Primary launched a new recycling scheme and we were introduced to the town's new Junior Mayor.
Local photographer Roy Wilson gave BBC's Countryfile a run for their money with his far better picture of a mouse than the one they had recently annointed!
A great photo by Roy Wilson.
You'll find lots of other photos submitted by readers throughout the year, here.
Local author Caroline Corcoran launched her debut novel; Parkgate's Dan Bentley undertook a rowing marathon for his friend Seano's fundraiser and local resident Victoria Fleming-Spink completed an amazing year of running, raising money for Neston Community Youth Centre.
Road runner Vicky raised money for NCYC.
The Fun Palace at the Library was a great success and we heard that NCYC were going to start work on a community homes project. Meanwhile, crunch Brexit talks between the Irish Taoiseach and British Prime Minister took place nearby at Thornton Manor.
Lots of fun was had at this year's Fun Palace event at the library.
We welcomed the arrival of The Blue Bicycle, a new family-run eatery for Neston at The Cross.
Welcome to Sophie and Paul at The Blue Bicycle.
Pupils at schools in the area were taking part in a project called Mission Starlight, involved in the Royal Society of Chemistry; members of Neston Players were on loan to another drama group, to direct and appear in a production of The Crucible and Neston-based band Love Tattoo were launching their album.
AboutMyArea began a series of articles based around Neston Market, focusing on Traders of the Week and themed market days. We heard that Neston Players were giving us something to look forward to at Christmas, with their production of The Flint Street Nativity.
The Wirral Classic Car Club had a lovely autumnal chug around the local lanes, we heard that Neston had achieved Fairtrade Town status and Parkgate Primary's pupil Leighton Jones' idea for the school to offer uniform made from recycled plastic had come to fruition. Meanwhile Neston High School hosted their first Health and Wellbeing Fair.
Neston High School hosted a Health and Wellbeing event.
There was a right old ruckus following the news that the Remembrance Sunday parade in Neston would not follow the traditional route, fortunately the powers-that-be listened and the parade went ahead as normal in November.
We heard that improvements to Neston Railway Station were imminent and we cheered on Marion Ankers as she braved the shave for charity.
Many great scarecrows adorned the lanes of Burton and Puddington. Photo by Bernard Rose.
Boxing legend Frank Bruno MBE paid a visit to Neston's Royal British Legion - a fantastic night was had by all.
Frank Bruno dropped in at the invitation of TJ and Ben from the Legion. Photo by Rob Clive.
Peter from PDQ Landscapes did a great job of keeping Neston in bloom this year.
Perfect Getaways - one of several Neston area businesses that picked up gongs at the Wirral Life Awards.
Campaign group A54Zero were delving into the truth about local road traffic incidents at their latest meeting, while Brums & Buns had another very sedate tootle around the local highways and byeways on of several outings this year.
Brums & Buns out and about again.
Neston Parish Church was alive with the jingle of chains, as a number of local Mayors arrived for the Mayor of Neston's annual Civic Service.
Photo by Brenda Roe
A fabulous Christmas Carnival and Lanterns event took place in the town centre.
A wonderful Carnival, Lanterns and Christmas lights switch-on event was celebrated in Neston Town Centre; Willaston residents also celebrated with their own festive event and Tinsley's Fruit and Veg was named Market Trader of the Year at the Neston Festive and Foodie Market.
Anthony Annakin-Smith launched his latest local history book on the Neston Collieries; two London marathon runners in training held a successful fundraising bingo event and a fabulous Remembrance mural was created on a wall at the Royal British Legion.
A wonderful Remembrance mural was created at the RBL Club.
Neston Town Council were celebrating the town's Fairtrade Status and Justin Madders was returned as Member of Parliament for Ellesmere Port and Neston.
Budding Woodfall School entrepreneurs set out a stall at the Market and Hip & Harmony CIC celebrated a fabulous year of Street Dance with a glittering awards event at the Civic Hall. Meanwhile,the Neston & District Community Fund were celebrating new donors coming on board.
Neston Primary School embraced the true spirit of Christmas, with a range of activities.
Celebrating a year of amazing Street Dance with Hip & Harmony.
Very sadly, we heard the news, on Christmas Eve, that our former MP, Andrew Miller, had passed away. He was an excellent MP, a gentleman and a great supporter of this website, so we dedicate this Review of the Year to his memory.
It only remains for us to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year.