Search starts for town’s
By Gary Skentelbery
A WARRINGTON archaeologist is embarking on a two year investigation in a bid to unearth Saxon and Viking activity in a local village.
James Balme, who has already made many important archaeological discoveries including a previously unknown Roman fortlet and several Stone-Age encampments at Warburton, now intends to unearth ancient artefacts left behind by the seventh to ninth century invaders at nearby Thelwall, Warrington.
Thelwall is mentioned in many ancient texts and James has decided to investigate the area in close detail. If he is successful in locating artefacts from this period of Saxon and Viking occupation then it would prove to be the first hard evidence to be found in the town.
James saids: “Having been successful in my previous archaeological investigations in the Warburton area I have decided to concentrate my research on uncovering the truth about Saxon and Viking activity in Thelwall. It is going to be an in-depth exploration to try and reveal hard evidence in the form of artefacts from the period.
“With the use of aerial photography and maps I hope to locate an area of intense activity from the Saxon and Viking period of life in Thelwall. We were fortunate enough to recover a wonderful Saxon buckle ornately carved with Runic designs whilst investigating Warburton and therefore it follows that more evidence awaits discovery during the next two years of my investigations.
” There is plenty of written evidence regarding this period but no definitive material has been found so far in the Thelwall area and it is my intention to provide the proof needed.
James believes it will be an exciting investigation from a time when the first Viking raids took place starting in the year 793AD continuing until at least 840.
Following the raids large invasion forces started to settle in England and by 880 the Vikings controlled most of England with their centre of power being the city of York. They had their own coinage bearing the image of a sword and the hammer of Thor. It wasn’t until 1066 when the great invasion by the Normans defeated king Harold that Viking rule came to an end in Britain.
References to the Ancient town of Thelwall founded in 923AD by Edward the Elder are well documented in the Anglo-Saxon chronicles.
“With this kind of investigation I will need to put myself in the mind of these people and to imagine the kind of landscape in which they existed. Clues are still evident within certain areas and it is here where my research will concentrate on initially. Should I happen to locate Saxon or Viking artefacts then you can be sure they will be spectacular, but this is where the hard work now begins.”
Meanwhile James is currently exhibiting all of his Neolithic and Stone Age artefacts in Warrington Central Library until the end of February. Anyone interested in the Thelwall project can contact James by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
MP and college chief
in “hypocrisy” row
by David Skentelbery
A WAR of words has broken out between a Warrington college chief and a Labour MP over a ?27 million scheme for a new campus.
MP Helen Jones has accused Colin Daniels, chairman of the governors at Warrington Collegiate, of hypocrisy because he took part in the laying of a foundation stone for the new buildings.
The Warrington North MP – who was invited to the ceremony but was unable to attend because of Parliamentary commitments – said: “This new campus, costing ?27 million, has been funded largely by money provided by a Labour government.
“Mr Daniels has written to me on more than one occasion opposing the budgets the government has brought in and repeating the arguments put forward by the Tory front bench in Parliament.
“The Tories have consistently voted against the government’s spending plans and if their plan for ?35 billion worth of cuts were to be implemented, funding for the Collegiate would be slashed.
“It is utterly hypocritical of the chairman of governors to try to take credit for the spending, which he has consistently opposed, by being at the forefront of the ceremony.
“If the party he supports had had its way, this development would not be taking place. I hope he is going to admit his error and acknowledge the investment made by this government in Warrington Collegiate.”
Mr Daniels – who more than 15 years ago was leader of the Conservative group on Warrington Borough Council – retorted: “Funding for the new campus came from three sources – the Learning and Skills Council, the college’s own resources, including bank borrowing, and the North West Development Agency.
“I have never written to Helen Jones as chairman of the governors. I haven’t written to her at all for some time, but when I have I was writing as chief executive of Warrington Chamber of Commerce, representing the views of local businesses. I have never written to her on education matters.
“I am no longer active in politics and in my work at both the college and the chamber I always keep politics out of it.
“It seems to me the MP thinks there is a General Election in the offing.”
New drive to tackle
by Lesley Wilkinson
THREE Warrington agencies have joined forces in a bid to tackle the increasing problems of anti-social behaviour in the town over the next 12 months.
Warrington Borough Council, Golden Gates Housing (GGH) and Cheshire Police met tenants and stakeholders to launch the new Anti-Social Behaviour Strategy.
They will tackle crime and anti-social behaviour on troublesome council estates across the borough.
Coun Pat Wright, the council’s executive member for housing and urban renewal, said: “Tackling anti-social behaviour in our communities is high on the agenda for all three of our agencies. By working together, and with the help of the communities we serve, we want to continue to find ways to tackle crime and fear of crime in our neighbourhoods.
“This strategy is the blueprint for doing just that. It is not just hollow words, we hope this strategy will be the driving force for helping us take real action to reduce anti-social behaviour in communities across our borough.” The aims are to prevent anti-social behaviour happening, to deter individuals from getting involved in nuisance behaviour and to rehabilitate offenders.
It is also intended to enforce tenancy conditions and take legal action where necessary. Those taking part hope to involve everyone in the community in tackling the problem.
GGH director Peter Mercer said: “Golden Gates Housing is committed to effectively tackling anti-social behaviour. Together with the police and other agencies we have formed a partnership that will enable us to build on our recent successes.” Police divisional commander, Supt Julia Clayton, said: “With the liaison officer working from the police station we will be able to exchange information promptly with Golden Gates Housing and this will ultimately speed up our ability to identify and tackle those people causing misery for others.” Support was being offered by Trading Standards, Cheshire Fire Service and Social Services.
She added: “The message should be clear to those individuals who cause problems for their communities: it isn’t just the police who are targeting you, more and more agencies are joining the drive to put a stop to your behaviour.
” Further information about the project is available from Golden Gates Housing on 0800 195 9195 or by emailing Andrew Oates at email@example.com>
house sealed off
by David Skentelbery
POLICE have sealed off a house at Lymm, near Warrington, following the discovery of a man’s body.
The death is being treated as “suspicious” and police say the house, in Rushgreen Road, will be treated as a crime scene at least until the cause of death can be established.
A post mortem
examination has already been carried out by has proved inconclusive.
Cheshire have not revealed the identity of the man but it is understood to be Alan Bell, retired and in his late 60s. He has lived in the village for most of his life.
It is believed he may have been dead for some time.
Enquiries are continuing – including house to house enquiries with neighbours.
All the fun of
a quiz night
by Lesley Wilkinson
TEAMS are invited to join in the fun when Warrington Disability Partnership holds a Quiz Night on Friday March 4.
The event, from 7.30pm, will be held at Grange Sports and Social Club, Grange Avenue, Latchford.
Teams of between two and six people are invited and admission is ?2 each.
There will be a variety of prizes to win, including Easter Eggs, and a raffle.
Anyone interested in taking part should contact Brun Corbishley on 01925 638867 or call in at the Centre for Independent Living in Beaufort Street.
People carrier plunges
by John Hendon
EMERGENCY crews were called to the scene after a people carrier plunged off the road and was left teetering half-way down an embankment at Burtonwood, near Warrington.
Paramedics administered first aid to the shocked woman driver – the only occupant of the vehicle – before she was taken to hospital for a check-up. She was not believed to be seriously hurt.
The vehicle rolled over after leaving the carriageway in Pennington Lane, near the Burtonwood Brewery. But it collided with a tree which prevented it rolling further down the embankment.
Police closed the road for a while as rescue operations went on. Fire crews from Warrington and Newton-le-Willows helped secure the vehicle in its place before the paramedics attended to the driver.
on the move
by staff reporter
THE popular Shopmobility scheme at Warrington is being temporarily relocated to allow improvements to its premises and service.
Warrington Disability Partnership’s scheme, usually based in Legh Street Car Park, will be closed from 4.30pm Friday February 25 until Wednesday March 2 when it re-opens at the South end of Legh Street.
The service will be run on a temporary basis from specially adapted Porta-Cabins at the north end of the car park, by the under-pass.
Disabled parking facilities will still be available on Level 3 on the south end of the multi-storey car park.
Motor cyclist dies
in road collision
by John Hendon
A MOTOR cyclist died early today when his machine was in collision with a mobile crane on the A56 Sutton Causeway at Frodsham, close to its junction with Mill Lane.
Police say the motor cyclist is a 36-year-old local man.
They are appealing for witnesses who should call 01244 612597.
by staff reporter
POLICE are investigating after burning paper was pushed through the letterbox of a flat in Poplars Avenue, Orford, Warrington.
A fire broke out in the hallway and fire crews were called to extinguish it. The flat is unoccupied at the moment.
In another incident during the night, youths are believed to have set fire to an abandoned car in Orford Park, Warrington.