Body in the brook: third
man charged with murder
by David Skentelbery
A THIRD man has been charged with murder following the discovery of a man?s body in a brook at Warrington last month.
The 45-year-old was due to appear before magistrates today, together with a 28-year-old woman charged with assisting an offender.
Two men, Stephen Wood, 24, off no fixed address and Philip Hubbersty, 30, of Wilderspool Causeway, Warrington, were charged last month with the murder of Malcolm Crompton, 39, also of Warrington.
Mr Crompton?s body was found in Sankey Brook, in Sankey Valley Park at the end of May.
Originally three men and a woman were arrested on suspicion of murder, but one man, from Rainhill and a Warrington woman were later released on bail.
A post mortem examination revealed Mr Crompton died from “blunt force trauma/stabbing.”
JP’s should try
shop work, says MP
by David Skentelbery
MAGISTRATES should spend a day working as shop assistants, to better understand the problems caused by retail crime, according to Warrington North MP Helen Jones.
Part of the problem is that offenders are given light sentences and often freed on bail, enabling them to return to the scene of the crime to terrorise shopworkers further, she said.
“Experience at the sharp end can only raise magistrates’ awareness of the problems. Indeed it would not be a bad idea for existing JP’s to do the same. I think they need to be much tougher on retail crime.”
Mrs Jones was speaking after meeting staff and management at the Co-op food store in Capesthorne Road, Orford as part of a campaign to highlight the problems faced by shopworkers from retail crime and anti-social behaviour.
The MP has worked alongside the shopworkers union USDAW over the past two years in highlighting these problems and promoting their “Freedom from Fear” campaign, which aims to raise awareness of violence and abuse suffered by shopworkers.
The campaign, launched in Warrington in 2002, also aims to work with employers to ensure they are meeting their legal duties, ensure better enforcement activity by local authorities and press for more resources for safer shopping partnerships.
It also calls for improvements to be made to the criminal injury compensation scheme.
More than 20,000 shopworkers are physically attacked each year and more than 30,000 threatened or abused. In the past the MP has called for 100 per cent first year tax relief for investments made by small store owners in security equipment.
During her visit to the Co-op, Mrs Jones met store manager Dale Woods, Senior Area Manager Andrew Coop and Area Manager Kevin Gallimore. They discussed various initiatives the Co-op have implemented to tackle the problem.
The MP added: “Everyone knows at least one shopworker and we should all remember that they are friends, parents, wives and husbands and not just faceless individuals on the tills. They do a vital job providing a vital service and deserve courtesy at work. USDAW are right to highlight the problem of violence, threatening behaviour and robberies in the retail sector.
“Many shopworkers are left injured and traumatised following incidents in their work place. They deserve to work in a safe environment.”
6,000 year-old tool
found in wardrobe!
by Gary Skentelbery
A RARE polished stone axe dating back around 6,000 years has been uncovered – in a wardrobe!
Dating back to the Neolithic period and in pristine condition the axe is totally undamaged.
The tool came to light after John O’Conner of Newton, Hyde, read an article about prehistoric finds made by archaeologist James Balme during his research into ancient activity at Lymm.
This triggered John’s memory and he remembered an unusual piece of stone he had picked up over 20 years ago while laying a pipe across a farmer’s field in West Houghton. As John thought the stone was unusual he placed it in his wardrobe for safe keeping and it remained there for the next 20 years.
James said: “I was contacted by John who had read of my find and said he had an unusual piece of stone that I was welcome to have if I wanted it !!
“He said it was strange and had what seemed like a pointed end. I asked him if it was smooth and he said that it looked polished. This immediately raised my suspicion that this could indeed be an ancient axe.
“I was astounded at what I saw for there in front of me was a complete and totally undamaged Neolithic polished stone axe and one of the best examples that I have ever seen.”
John explained: “Many years ago I was working as a contractor laying a small pipe across a field when at a depth of about six feet I noticed a strange stone lying in the trench. I picked it up and threw it in the back of the van. When I got home I cleaned it but I had no idea what it was.
“I put it in the wardrobe and forgot about it. When I read about James I realised that maybe this stone was more important than I had thought and so I got in touch with him and asked if he would like to have it, as eventually it would probably have been thrown away.”
The axe is a “very important discovery” and a vital piece of evidence of the stone-age history of the area has been saved.
James said: “It is amazing to think that as a result of my recent finds being published this has led to an ancient and rare artefact coming to light and it has been a pleasure to be given the opportunity to examine and identify such an exciting piece of stone-age history.
“What makes it even more exciting is that John has donated the axe to my already impressive collection of ancient artefacts I have recovered during my years of archaeological research.
“I think I am right in saying that It is probably every archaeologists dream, to come across a find such as this and I thank John very much indeed.”
Meanwhile James is currently working on his latest archaeological documentary entitled ‘Echoes of our Ancestors’ for release in the autumn. More apout his exciting discoveries can be seen by visiting his web site at www.warburtonvillage.co.uk
Residents lose battle
to block brewery plan
by John Hendon
NEARBY residents have lost a battle to prevent developers converting a historic brewery building to luxury apartments at Warrington.
Planning chiefs have given the go-ahead for conversion of the Grade 2 listed clock tower building at the former Wilderspool Brewery.
In addition, three four-storey apartment buildings will be built on adjoining land.
In total, 108 apartments will be built, including 12 in the clock tower building.
Neighbours claimed the scheme, put forward by the De Vere hotel group, would result in a loss of privacy, overshadowing and increased traffic on the already congested Wilderspool Causeway.
But the developers say the scheme will actually improve the traffic situation because vehicle access will be from Gainsborough Road only, which would be widened at its junction with Wilderspool Causeway to provide an additional lane.
Planners say the new apartment blocks will be 54 yards away from the nearest existing dwellings so objections on the grounds of overlooking and loss of privacy cannot be sustained.
The applicants have agreed to provided eight “affordable” units – six one bedroom apartments and two with two bedrooms.
Parish worries over
by staff reporter
GRAPPENHALL and Thelwall Parish Council has expressed concern about safety hazards where the Village Trail and the Trans Pennine Trail cross public highways.
Parish councillors are worried bec
ause Warrington Borough Council has been unable to agree to provide warning signs at the cross-over points.
They are particularly concerned about the point where the Village Trail crosses Stockport Road, where there is a slope to the carriageway and no footpath.
The parish council has asked the borough council to re-consider safety measures at this point.
Parish councillors have also asked the Manchester Ship Canal Company to carry out remedial work on the Bridgewater Canal towpath, despite being told that resurfacing of the path is not in this year’s programme.
The canal company has promised to carry out a further inspection of the towpath in view of the parish’s concerns.
Summer festivals triumph
over the weather
by staff reporter
TWO more of Warrington’s summer festivals triumphed over the weather.
Hundreds of people took to the streets of Stockton Heath as the village’s annual Walking Day got under way.
Scattered showers dogged the occasion and may have kept some onlookers away. But nothing could stop the walkers in their annual display of Christian witness.
Pictures of the event can be seen by clicking here
The annual Glazebury Gala also drew enthusiastic crowds as local children processed through the village to Glazebury CE School field, where gala queen 12-year-old Helen Roddy was crowned. There were then entertainments, side shows, a rugby display and tug-of-war contest and a late bar ensured the revelries carried on into the evening.
Mayor’s award from
German twin town
by staff reporter
A SPECIAL medal has been awarded to former Warrington Mayor Pauline Nelson, by twin town Hilden in Germany.
The “Stadtwappen- und Fabriciusmedaille”, a medal awarded by the Hilden council to honour those people who have made a special contribution to the welfare of the Hilden community, was presented to Coun Nelson in honour of her work for the partnership between Hilden and Warrington, particularly concerning young people.
The medal is named after a famous 16th century Hilden man called Wilhelm Fabry, who was a great doctor and surgeon, famous for inventing many new surgical tools and methods.
Coun Nelson, who was presented with her award during a special ceremony at Hilden Town Hall said: “I am overwhelmed to have been honoured in such a way by the people of Hilden. I enjoyed my time as Mayor enormously as it enabled me to work closely with Hilden helping to establish more and more community links between Hilden and Warrington – something which I hope the people of Warrington will benefit from for many years to come.”
First country fair wins
“significant” grant aid
by John Hendon
THE first ever Arley Country Fair – to be held at the Arley Estate, near Warrington, on July 31-August 1 – has received significant financial support from the NorthWest Development Agency.
It will be used to help set out the major infrastructure needed for putting on the event.
The Arley Estate, extending to more than 2000 acres of private park, farms and estate properties, is owned by Viscount Ashbrook and has been in his family for more than 600 years. The Country Fair is seen as a major financial resource to the estate and, as such, will ensure the long term survival of a unique heritage asset.
Show director Eric Ransome said: “The infrastructure for such an event is vital. We have been extremely busy over the past few months putting in a major new trackway across the park to assist vehicle access to the showground. In addition to this, the grant aid will go towards the construction of the cross country course.”
Next year, the Arley Estate will hold not only the two day Country Fair but also the British Eventing. One day horse trials will run alongside the y Fair and the course will run through the historic park, in the large wood below the hall and incorporating a restored seven acre lake.
“Its all very exciting, though a little daunting,” said Eric, “but we have been delighted with the response from all our stall holders, arena attractions and country organisations. The Arley Estate, and Lord Ashbrook in particular, is dedicated to promoting farming, local produce, rural business and country activities and we feel that the Country Fair and Horse Trials will be a perfect blend of all things country.”