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Thursday 24th March 2005

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Police officers to
face rape charge

by John Hendon

TWO police officers from Warrington are to appear in court today charged with offences of rape and misconduct in public office.
The officers were charged yesterday (Tuesday) and will be appearing at Chester Magistrates Court at 2pm.
They were originally arrested on June 25 last year following an allegation of rape made in April. The allegation dates back to December 2002.
They were charged yesterday after answering police bail and following consultation and advice from the Crown Prosecution Service. Both officers are currently suspended from duty.
A police spokeswoman said: “The investigation into the allegation of rape is being conducted by members of Cheshire Constabulary’s Professional Standards Department and managed by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
“In view of pending criminal proceedings it would be inappropriate for the Constabulary to make further comment.”

Rugby legend says
“thanks for the memories”

Exclusive by Gary Skentelbery

WARRINGTON Rugby League Club legend Harry Bath has sent a message of thanks “to the people of Warrington” through the pages of Warrington-Worldwide – the town’s only daily online newspaper.
Memories came flooding back for the popular Aussie star, who became the first overseas player to lift the Challenge Cup way back in 1950, while he was looking through his memorabilia with his wife Gwen.
During a search of the internet for “memories of Warrington” Gwen and Harry discovered the warrington-Worldwide website which included photographs from the last ever game at Wilderspool.
In an email to me, Gwen said: “Recently I have been going through Harry’s clippings, which we haven’t seen since leaving Warrington.
“As I was preparing to pass these on to our family the wonderful memories came flooding back and I decided, a little late I know, to thank Warrington for the wonderful nine-and-half years we spent with you. The Warringtonians were simply amazing. Our gratitude to Warrington.
“So many times, since going through our memorabilia, I have wanted to write, especially after reading chairman Fred Davies and Frank Berry’s letters on Harry’s retirement.
“I would like to thank warrington-Worldwide for giving Harry and I the opportunity to keep in touch with Warrington.
“Harry turned 80 last November. Unfortunately his health isn’t very good, however considering his age he is keeping reasonably well and still watches the football on TV. Harry also watches the English football if he knows they are playing and yes he is still interested in the Wire!
“The Warrington years have always been one of Harry’s greatest times in his playing career. When asked which was his greatest moment whilst playing, his answer is, every game I played. However he also says receiving the Wembley Cup as Captain of Warrington in 1950, was his greatest moment.
“Once again, on behalf of Harry and myself I would like to thank Warrington RLFC, directors, who couldn’t do enough for us, the kindness of the people, supporters, customers in our hotel, friends, not forgetting the players and wives – thank you for the Memories of Warrington.
Last September Harry was inducted into the Australian RL Hall of Fame, he of course was very honoured, especially as he never represented Australia.
It has been said many times he was “the best player never to represent Australia”.
His career extended from the mid-1940s in Brisbane, went through Balmain, Barrow, Warrington and ultimately concluding with St George in 1959.
Not only was he the first overseas captain to lift the Challenge Cup, he was also a vital component of the Warrington team that completed the impressive League and Cup double in 1953/54, contributing more than 300 points to the cause and kicking goals in all the important matches.
By the time he returned home to Australia in 1957, he was the most prolific try-scoring forward, most prolific points scorer and second greatest goalkicker in the club’s history. Even now, half a century later, he still holds one club record, for scoring 363 points in the 1952/53 season.
During the 1953/54 season his two goals against Halifax at Wembley set up the Challenge Cup final replay at Odsal Stadium which Warrington won 8-4 in front of a world record crowd of 102,569.
Bath played his final game for Warrington against Bramley at Wilderspool in February 1957 before returning with his family to Australia.
The ‘Old Fox’, as he was soon known, achieved a remarkable feat in his five Sydney seasons by winning a premiership each year. In later years Bath became a successful club and national coach. He won premierships with St George in 1977 (the famous “Bath’s Babes”) and again in 1979. On the international stage Bath coached the Australian side to wins in the 1968 and 1970 World Cups.
Special thanks to http://rl1908.com for background info and pictures.

Karate kids among
the country’s best

by Lesley Wilkinson

MEMBERS of a Warrington karate group proved they were among the best in the country when they struck gold at the English Karate Senior Championships.
Enthusiasts from the North West Karate Academy, based at Newchurch Parish Hall in Culcheth were among the top competitors in the contest.
Winning gold were the Male Senior Team Kata – Luke Scott, Carl Massey and Alex Hodge, and the Mixed Senior Team Kata – Luke Scott, Alex Hodge and Amy Nelson.
Coach Steve Scott said: “As a result of beating their northern rivals in the competition and winning the first trials at the regional squad a week prior, they are the number one favourites to be selected for the European Regional Team Championships in Germany.”
On the same day, juniors from the club represented Northern England in the Junior English Regional Team Championships.
Winning gold were Team Kata Girls (10 to 15) – Amy Cook, Natalie Charlton and Becky Mcloire, and Team Kumite Girls (12 to 13) Nicola Halsall, Amy Cook and Natalie Charlton.
Lauren Middlehurst and Amy Nelson represented the Team Kumite Girls (14 to 15) and narrowly missed out on a medal.

Thieves grab plant
worth ?45,000

by staff reporter

POLICE are investigating after burglars got away with plant and machinery worth ?45,000 from a Warrington plant hire firm.
The offenders broke into the premises of Birchwood Plant Hire and made off with a Leyland Daf tipper and several other items of plant.
A police spokesman said although the stolen goods had been valued at ?45,000, its replacement value would obviously be much higher.
The machinery was stolen either late on Friday night or early on Saturday morning.
Anyone with information about the theft is asked to contact PC Dave Flanagan on 01244 614837.

New lease of life for
rundown factory estate

by David Skentelbery

A SPRAWLING, rundown site, blighted by years of industrial use, looks set to start a new life as a residential and employment area, if planners at Warrington give the go-ahead.
The 10-acre site, adjoining the new ?12 million Warrington Wolves Rugby League stadium, is currently accessed from Bewsey Road and Dallam Lane.
It is occupied by a range of industrial buildings, some dilapidated and disused and others inefficiently used.
Developers Morley Pooled Pensions want to build 123 dwellings occupying 65 per cent of the site with small business workshops on the rest, forming a “buffer zone” between the homes and an existing concrete batching plant in Dallam Lane.
The dwellings, a mix of two bedroom, three-storey apartments and three and four bedroom town houses of two and three storeys, would range along Bewsey Road and around courtyards. About five per cent of them would be classed as “affordable homes.”
There would be landscaping and tree planting to protect the amenity of the ne

w residents and an area of public open space, including a children’s play area.
Planning officers say the development would contribute to the economic and environmental regeneration of a rundown area and could provide a stimulus for further development on the northern edge of the town centre.
But neighbours say new residents will have to endure noisy, aggressive rugby supporters, rowdyism, fighting, car parking and alcohol related problems.

Development agency’s
new enterprise director

by Lesley Wilkinson

WARRINGTON-based North West Regional Development Agency (NWDA) has appointed a new director who will provide innovative business advice to the board.
Mark Hughes has been appointed executive director of enterprise and innovation. In his new role he will also contribute to the strategic direction of the agency and help ensure the delivery of the regional economic strategy.
He will head the enterprise and innovation division, developing the corporate capacity profile and performance of the NWDA.
He was previously director at DTZ Pieda Consulting, and executive consultant with Ernst and Young, specialising in assisting private and public sector clients, in the UK and internationally, with corporate investment decisions and helping business development.
Mark said: “I am delighted to be returning to the North West and joining the agency at such an exciting time with the review of the Regional Economic Strategy, transfer of Business Links and development of the Northern Way.
“I am looking forward to working with local businesses and partner organisations to ensure that we address the challenges and opportunities of an increasingly competitive global environment and that businesses have access to leading support and advice,” he added.
Steven Broomhead, NWDA chief executive, said: “On behalf of the NWDA I would like to welcome Mark Hughes to the agency and wish him every success in his new role.
“Mark will bring a wealth of public and private sector managerial experience to the Enterprise and Innovation team. I have every confidence that his knowledge and expertise will make a valuable contribution to the agency and I look forward to working with him,” he added.

A chance to make
an Easter bonnet

by staff reporter

THE opportunity to make Easter bonnets and Easter cards is being offered to young visitors to Golden Square Shopping Centre, Warrington.
A host of activities have been arranged to keep the children happy during the holidays. The programme runs daily, excluding Easter Sunday, until Friday April 1 from 11am to 4pm.
Events include craft workshops, face painting, a visit by Chester the Jester and a puppet show by Crazee Hazee Mix and Mingle. From Friday until Monday the popular Alice in Wonderland character will be walking around the centre giving out chocolate eggs to children.

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About Author

Experienced journalist for more than 40 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with three in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Director Warrington Chamber of Commerce Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

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