Seven rescued from
blazing house –
thanks to smoke alarm
by David Skentelbery
SEVEN people were rescued from a blazing house at Warrington – after a smoke alarm had roused neighbours.
The blaze was at a house in Densham Avenue, Longford – and fire chiefs say but for the alarm all seven occupants could have perished.
Three fire engines were called to the scene and firefighters, wearing breathing apparatus, used a jet and two hosereels to tackle the outbreak.
When they arrived at the scene, in the early hours of the morning, children were standing on window ledges and adults were hanging from windows.
They were rescued using ladders – and a team of eight firefighters in breathing apparatus entered the house to bring other people to safety. All seven occupants were taken to hospital suffering from the effects of smoke, after being treated at the scene.
A Fire Service spokesman said: “If it hadn’t been for an observant neighbours hearing the smoke alarm, this family could easily have all perished. It is a classic example of the importance of having smoke alarms fitted in a house.”
Smoke alarms are available free of charge under a scheme run by Cheshire Fire Service and Warrington Borough Council and free fire safety checks can also be carried out on homes by the fire service.
Details are available on a freephone number, 0800 389 0053.
Council to be quizzed over
cancelled walking day
by John Hendon
COUNCILLORS at Warrington will tonight (Monday) face a searching question from a member of the public about the cancellation of this year’s Stockton Heath Walking Day.
Mr A Britton has tabled a questions, under the provisions by which members of the public can ask a question at a meeting of the full council.
He will ask: “Does the council believe it right that the participating churches of the Stockton Heath Walking Day should be asked to contribute ?2,000 to enable this one major community event of the year to take place and continue the tradition of over 60 years, or is the council willing to underwrite this cost?” Earlier this year, the churches will take part in the annual walk of witness in the village decided to cancel this year’s event because of the decision of Cheshire Police to withdraw from marshalling events and supervising road closures.
Church officials were told they would have to pay ?2,000 for the event to continue – and also train volunteer marshals. Understandably they decided they could not accept these extra costs and responsibilities.
Talks are going on to try and organise a substitute for the Walking Day but this is unlikely to be possible until next year.
In the meantime, organisers of the annual Stockton Heath Steam Party have decided to extend their event to a day-day “village fete” to be held on a field adjoining Warrington Sports Club at Walton.
While they are not intending to “replace” the Walking Day, they hope their expanded event will help fill the gap in the village’s calendar.
Despite talks involving the police and the borough council, no plan has so far been suggested which would enable the Walk to take place.
STUDENTS from Warrington’s Priestley College visited Manchester’s Chinese Arts Centre as part of their studies of modern beliefs and religions.
The Warrington students took part in two workshops before being given a demonstration of the ancient exercise of Tai Chi.
The students also worked with the resident artist to make Chinese opera masks.
College spokesman, Nat Ashurst, said: “Since the beginning of the month, students have been working with an Asian theme, with the Chinese New Year of the Rooster”.
Their tutor, Mel Jackson, added: “Experiencing Tai Chi will provide students with a strategy to tackle stress at a key time in the college”.
AS part of a Learning on Prescription Programme a local theatre company has been working with members of MENCAP to produce their very own version of Grease.
Funded by Warrington Borough Council and delivered through Warrington Collegiate, GLR Productions helped stage the show at Alford Hall.
Director George Greenall said: “It’s been a pleasure working with so many dedicated, fun loving, hardworking individual.
They have pulled together tremendously as a team and grown so much in confidence since the start of the project.”
He said the programme had enabled participants to improve: Self-esteem, social skills, reading ability, memory and concentration spans, sensory stimulation, self-recognition and confidence.
The 15 week long project culminated in a show including songs and dialogue from the cult film Grease at Alford Sports on Manchester Road.
For more information of what Learning by Prescription has to offer please contact Shirley Houghton (Learning by Prescription Project Development Worker) at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01925 494419.
Town’s smokers the best
quitters in the country
by Terry Johnson
WARRINGTON’S smoking quitters have notched up a remarkable success.
New NHS figures show that 507 smokers in the town stubbed out cigarettes after just four weeks, with 866 setting a quit date.
This is a 59 per cent success rate – compared with 45 per cent for Cheshire and Merseyside and 53 per cent for the whole of England.
Warrington Primary Care Trust spokeswoman, Linda Rainford, said: “We are delighted. Our six to eight-week support programme can make a real difference.”
The good news comes before ‘No Smoking Day’ on March 9 when the Trust’s stop-smoking team will be busy across Warrington.
They will meet 56 staff at BT’s Contact Centre, Westbrook, who want to enrol for the quit-smoking programme.
Manager Caroline Kennedy, said: “We are sponsoring staff to quit. Proceeds will go to Cancer Research.”
BT has hired an antioxidant scanner which measures blood levels. Smokers have increased levels – claimed to be directly proportional to life expectancy.
Advisers will be in Golden Square on March 5 with “smokerlyzers” which read carbon monoxide levels.
The health team will also raise awareness in schools and have stands at Fordton Leisure Centre, Warrington Hospital and Oakwood Neighbourhood Centre.
A youth conference at Warrington’s Gateway Centre on March 9 will discuss smoking and tobacco.
Budding soccer stars
win big-name sponsor
by Terry Johnson
THEIR dreams may be of eventually becoming Premier League and England footballers….and they have already been taken under the wing of a big-name sponsor.
Budding stars of Glazebury CE Primary School, Warrington, have been kitted out by national award-winning Bents Garden Centre.
The sponsorship deal has all the trimmings of those of giants Vodafone and Reebok.
Girls and boys, between seven and 11, are using their new kit while playing against other primary school teams.
Head teacher, Elaine Morgan, said: “We are delighted that Bents, a local company, agreed to be our sponsors.
“The children are very proud of their new kit. We have had some great results while wearing it – let’s hope it brings us even more luck in the future”.
The kit will also be used for Kwik Cricket, tag rugby and cross country during the summer.
Garden centre owner, Ron Bent, said: “We hope the children enjoy every minute of their new kit.
“We have a number of initiatives to encourage children to enjoy activities, other than tv and computer games.
“Our schemes promote the joy of gardening…encouraging children to enjoy the great outdoors, including physicial activity like football and cricket.
“Sponsoring the school kit is one way of demonstrating our belief in this”.
a “huge success”
by John Hendon
WARRINGTON Housing Association’s first tenant conference has been hailed a
WHA manages 1,200 homes in the town and its latest ‘Gateway’ project is the largest one-stop shop in the country for free advise on housing, law and other issues.
Chief Executive, Alan Kemp, said: “the first tenant conference has been a great success. The Association is developing new and on-going projects. It is important that residents are kept up to date on their progress and how they will impact on local communities.”
Tenants heard about resident involvement groups, homes maintenance and community development plans.
Cheshire Police Inspector Damien Smethhurst, told the conference that neighbourhood policing will focus on new units. These would work at the heart of communities – and local residents were ‘key to their success’.
local church concert
by staff reporter
INTERNATIONAL classical pianist, Martin Roscoe, will be joined by stunning violinist, Mi-Kyung Lee, in a “Live at St Wilfrid’s” concert at Grappenhall, Warrington, next Saturday (March 5).
Martin is a household name in classical music circles, but Mi-Kyung is almost unknown among UK concert-goers.
She plays a violin made in 1785 and will be travelling from Berlin for the Grappenhall concert at 7.30pm.
The programme starts with Schumann’s “Kinderscenen” played by Martin Roscoe, followed by piano quartets by Lekeu and Brahms.
Further details are available from Norman Cutter on 01925-265146.
by staff reporter
A PANEL of experts will take questions from members of the public at a charity Gardener’s Question Time at Whitley, near Warrington on March 19.
The event is run by the local community and the Women’s Institute and there will be a raffle for cakes, CDs, flowers, bottles of wine, vouchers, etc.
Experts will include Sam Youd, head gardener at Tatton Park, TV gardener Jeff Turner, Muck and Jeff, Joan Steadman and Heather Boarman.
There will also be a demonstration on planting hanging baskets by Ian Davenport, a talk on fucshia from Roy Walton and an exhibition of botanical paintings by artist Valerie Wright.