Pop king humbled by
brain tumour patient
report and pictures by Gary Skentelbery
MEETING a young brain tumour patient in the next bed to his son proved to be one of life’s most humbling experiences for pop legend Pete Waterman, he revealed during a lecture to students in Warrington.
The young “wannabe” record producer had just been diagnosed with the life threatening condition but all he wanted to do was sing to Pete and play him his records.
“It was one of the most humbling experiences of my life,” said Pete, who was visiting his 22-year-old son Peter Jnr. In the neurological department of a London hospital where he is recovering from serious injuries he received in a karting accident five years ago, which left him in a coma.
“It was amazing that this young lad who was in the next bed to my son had not been phased by the fact that he had been just diagnosed with a brain tumour and all he wanted to be was a record producer. It just goes to show what a placebo music can be.”
Pete revealed the humbling moment when he lifted the lid on the world of contemporary music, in a lecture to 600 media students at University College Chester’s Warrington campus yesterday, Friday.
He met the young brain tumour patient the day before his lecture and has now said he will try and help him pursue his career.
“The lad told me how he had loved Rick Astley and bought his first record. That 90p he spent helped me on my way to my first million so I will have to do what I can to help him,” added Pete, the multi-millionaire record producer, who has masterminded 200 smash hits in a 25-year career.
He was making his first lecture at the University College as Dr Waterman, after being awarded an honorary doctorate in March this year.
During his lecture he stressed to students the importance of higher education and hard work.
“To do what I have achieved as a working class kid who couldn’t read or write could not be achieved today in this modern world of high tech computers and mobile phones.
“I wouldn’t have even been able to log on to a computer. I would have thought logging on was something to do with chopping wood! Pete, who has a home in Warrington, spends the majority of the week in London working for his production company, PWL.
“I thought I was famous before Pop Idol but now I can’t even go in my local pub without people wanting to sing to me!
“People going into the media need to realise that it can change peoples lives. If you ever lose the passion for it you have to walk away.”
He said he had to turn down appearing on follow up Pop Idol shows as the TV producers just wanted to see him and Simon Cowell fighting and people being reduced to tears.
“It was no longer about music it was manufactured TV. If I want to cry about music, which is something I do because it is emotional, I will do it because I want to, not because someone wants to boost TV ratings!”
MPs cost the town’s
total of ?357,638
by David Skentelbery
WARRINGTON’S two MPs cost the borough a total of ?357,638, according to newly released figures.
Helen Jones, MP for Warrington North receives ?183,409 while her Warrington South counterpart Helen Southworth receives ?174,229.
The average amount received by Britain’s MPs is ?118,437.
Each of the two Labour MPs receives a basic salary of ?57,485. The balance is made up of allowances, expenses, staff costs, etc.
Helen Jones receives a total of ?125,924 in addition to her basic salary. This includes ?64,143 on staff costs, ?18,738 incidental expenses, ?13,091 on travel and ?506 on staff travel.
Ms Jones also spends ?1,699 on stationery and ?5,630 on postage. She also spends ?1,992 on IT provision. She receives an additional costs allowance of ?20,125.
Mrs Southworth spends ?69,719 on staff and receives ?18,787 incidental expenses. Her travel costs are ?7,104 and her staff travel costs are ?1,087. Her stationery bill is ?126 and she spends ?427 on postage. Her IT spending is ?1,597 and she receives an additional costs allowance of ?16,897.
See readers’ comments and make your own in our readers’ forum. Click here
Festival goes from
strength to strength
by Gary Skentelbery
The annual Lymm Festival will take place from Thursday June 30 to Sunday July 10 next year.
Now recognised as one of the largest combined arts festivals in Cheshire, the Festival will provide a mix of familiar events and new additions to the programme.
Last year several new events proved to be so popular they will be repeated, including the Scarecrow Trail and an Art in the Garden exhibition. As usual the Festival will burst into action with the Street Fun and Food Fest on Thursday June 30, and there will be the extremely popular Festival Picnic at Lymm Hall on Saturday July 9.
In between there will be music of all kinds from classical to jazz, blues and folk, comedy, drama, poetry, storytelling, dance, visual arts, creative writing, photography and many other events provided by the best of local talent and by visitiors invited to take part in the Festival from further afield.
“This year will be my fifth year as Festival Director, and I am proud to be a part of the team which has seen it grow into something very special in that time. The community have really taken the event to their hearts and it has a momentum all of it’s own” commented Honor Giles.
“The Lymm Festival, along with all the other unique celebrations which take place in the village during the year, help the community keep its identity and must be a source of pride to long term residents and newcomers alike.”
The Festival committee are always keen to hear of new ideas for Festival events, and from people who are willing to spare some time to helping in any way. Please contact Honor Giles on 01925 758856.
How to stop junk mail
and nuisance calls
by John Hendon
TRADING Standards chiefs at Warrington are handing out advice on how to stop unwanted junk mail and nuisance phone calls.
Nationally, more than six billion pieces of junk mail are sent every year – and most Warrington people think they get most of them!
Trading Standards receive numerous calls from consumers who are irritated by the small mountain of junk mail behind the door virtually every day.
Sometimes, however more than just irritation may be suffered. Unsolicited mail can be a way for fraudsters to deliver scams. There is however a simple way that consumers can reduce the amount of junk mail they receive by registering with the Mailing Preference Service.
Telephone calls offering everything from loans to major home improvements can also be a source of irritation, particularly when they are made at meal times or during a favourite TV programme, but again sometimes such calls can cause a lot more than irritation.
Coun Mike Hannon, the borough council’s executive member for community and wellbeing, said: “Unscrupulous traders can use such calls to get you to agree to a ‘free’ home security check or damp proof survey. We then receive complaints from consumers who have ended up paying for an overpriced security system or for damp proof treatment that is both unnecessary and ineffectual. The effect on these largely vulnerable consumers of being ripped off in such a way can be devastating.
“My officers find it very frustrating that a large number of these scams could be prevented by consumers registering their telephone number with the Telephone Preference Service. This will cut out a large number of unwanted calls. However some will still get through.
“In these instances we advise consumers never to deal with anyone who cold calls. Should consumers have any doubts about whether an offer is genuine they can always call Trading Standards for advice.”
Fire walkers wanted
VOLUNTEERS are needed to take part in a charity fire walking event on Sunday November 28 at the Highwayman pu
It is the latest fundraiser for PISCES Trust, raising funds for research into Evans Sydrome, a rare condition which claimed the life of Woolston woman Lou Ellis, 26.
The event is being organised by her sister-in-law Michelle Aspinall, now land lady at The Highwayman pub on Manchester Road.
For more details or to volunteer to take part contact Michelle at PISCES 01925 810932.
News in brief
WINNING numbers in the weekly lottery run by the League of Friends of Warrington Hospital were 3, 7, 11 and 12. There was one winner for the ?375 jackpot and the consolation prize of ?25 was won by E Mellor. The jackpot next week is likely to be about ?200.
WARRINGTON Borough Council proposes to make an order introducing a 20mph speed limit on 17 roads in the Withers Avenue area of Orford. Objections and other representations must be made in writing to the council by November 11.
PLANS to upgrade an existing telecommunications mast on land at Cromwell Avenue, Westbrook have been submitted to Warrington Borough Council.
TOWN Hall chiefs at Warrington are seeking an order to introduce disabled persons’ parking spaces in Thelwall Lane and Alexander Street, Warrington. Anyone wishing to objection must do so in writing by November 11.