Judo club bounces back
into ?250,000 new home
by David Skentelbery
A WARRINGTON judo club threatened with closure only two years ago has moved into a new ?250,000 purpose-built clubhouse.
Lord Hoyle – the former Warrington MP Doug Hoyle – will perform the opening ceremony at Warrington Samurai Judo Club’s new headquarters in Wellfield Street, Whitecross, on April 16.
The opening marks a new chapter in the life of the 15-year-old club which helped produce such stars as Olympic bronze medalist Neil Eckersley and Commonwealth Games double gold medalist Carl Finney.
But it has had to overcome a series of obstacles to survive.
It will be the second time Lord Hoyle has officially opened new premises for the club. The last time – four years ago – the club was given notice to quit a month later.
Landowners Peel Holdings revealed plans for housing on the site and were not prepared to renew a 99-year lease.
Then there was massive opposition to the new club, with nearby residents it would cause noise, traffic problems and damage to wildlife habitats.
Club spokesman Ray Howland said: “In the end, Peel Holdings came to our rescue and have built the new club for us. It is a magnificent facility and they have given us an interest free mortgage. But of course, we have to pay it back so we are on the look out for new members.
” We lost quite a few junior members as a result of having to move to the new site. But we still have 50-60 juniors and about 25 senior members.
“With the new clubhouse we can offer better coaching facilities than ever – so we hope to produce some more top players.”
Stars set to shine
at charity match
by Gary Skentelbery
STARS from hit TV shows Coronation Street, Holyoaks, Holby City and Merseybeat as well as ex-professional footballers, are teaming up for a special performance in Culcheth, Warrington.
The star – studded side, including Corrie stars Steve Arnold, (Ashley), Alan Halsall (Tyrone) and skipper Michael Le-Vell (Kevin), will face local amateur side Daten FC in a bid to raise money for Clatterbridge Cancer Campaign on Sunday April 24, with a 1.00pm kick off.
Former soccer stars Viv Anderson (Man Utd and England) and Asa Hartford (Man City and Scotland) are also expected to play.
Event organiser Darron Bibby, said: “A lot of planning and organising has gone into making this a fun packed event for all the family and with the overwhelming interest already received we are expecting a very big crowd on the day.”
Local junior football teams from Culcheth Athletic Junior Football Club will host a mini soccer match prior to the main match and specially selected ladies from the crowd will contest a penalty shoot out at half time to win some some great prizes. The charity match is in memory of a former club player Paul Robinson who died of cancer in December 1997 and is sadly missed throughout the club and his home village of Culcheth.
After the match a disco will be held in the main hall at Culcheth Sports Club and the celebrities will be on hand to sign autographs.
Tickets are priced at ?5 for adults and ?2.50 for juniors ( U12’s ) and can be purchased behind the bar at Culcheth Sports Club or by entry to the ground on the day. Match programmes will also be available at 50p.
Food will be available to purchase throughout the day and several bars will also be open.
Prior to the big match a celebrity dinner will be held at Culcheth Sports Club on Saturday 23rd April 2005 starting at 7.30pm. Tickets are ?25 each ( 8 people per table ) and include a 5 course meal,comedian, auction and a late bar. Any one interested in booking tickets please call Darron Bibby on 07742 – 047663.
Congestion charging could
be introduced in town
by David Skentelbery
HIGHWAYS chiefs in Warrington are studying five “strategic options” for tackling traffic chaos in the town – including congestion charging.
Business leaders and others across the town have been invited to comment on the options – and put forward their own ideas for further measures and improvement in Warrington’s next Local Transport Plan.
The five options are:
Road building – either new roads or increasing capacity on existing roads.
Alternatives to the car – investment in public transport, cycling, walking or park and ride.
Smarter travel choices – encouraging workplace and school travel plans, car clubs, car sharing, teleworking, teleconferencing and home shopping.
Managing development – giving greater consideration to traffic impact when determining planning applications.
Charging – road user or congestion parking, workplace parking charges and more stringent parking policies.
It is the charging option that is likely to be most controversial – with business leaders in particular concerned about its implications.
Warrington Chamber of Commerce chief executive Colin Daniels (pictured) said: “As this option is included it must be being considered – despite similar ideas being rejected in other areas.
“A congestion charge would just drive people north and south of the town centre, which would not help at all.”
Coun Linda Dirir, the borough council’s executive member for transport, said the council’s top priority was to improve public transport and get more people using it.
But the Government wanted councils to consider demand management through parking and congestion charging so these options had to be considered.
“We cannot let things remain as they are – nothing can be ruled out,” she said.
She believed a mix of all the options available would probably provide the best solution.
are a piece of cake!
by Gary Skentelbery
A library’s 40th birthday celebrations were a piece of cake for local toddlers.
Culcheth Library near Warrington, celebrated 40 years of service to the public with five days packed full of fun and fond memories for all ages – including a giant cake created by youngsters from Newchurch pre-school.
Since its opening in March 1965, the library has been a vital feature of Culcheth, both as a learning and information resource and for books for residents.
Staff at the library worked together to help promote the library and its celebrations with a varied programme of activities.
Children from Newchurch Pre-school entered the spirit of the occasion, helping create a giant birthday cake which went on display on the library wall.
Other events included 40 years of books – Discussions about favourite titles or authors from the past 40 years, displays of books to look at and borrow all day, children’s craft activities, including T-shirt painting for 7-12 year olds, “Remembering the 60’s” and an official Birthday Party!
Historic hotel to stay
“for years to come”
by David Skentelbery
THE historic Lymm Hotel – where soccer legend Pele was once a guest – is to stay open.
Owners Macdonald Hotels have announced that the picturesque hotel at Lymm near Warrington, will remain open “for many years to come.”
The announcement ends years of anxiety for nearby residents as various re-development proposals have been put to local planners – including one to demolish the 63-bedroom hotel and replace it with five blocks of four storey flats.
All were rejected after furious protests from neighbours and now general manager Philip Pasteiner is anxious to ensure that in future the hotel plays an important role in local community life.
He is starting with a research project to find out more about the hotel’s history.
Mr Pasteiner said: “The hotel dates back over several centuries. We know it used to be an old railway hotel which is next to a now non-existent railway line. But if anyone knows of any history around that era or before it would be great to find out more.
“We’re inviting people from the local community to help us delve into the past so we can seek to
preserve some of those memories for the future.”
The recollections of ex-residents, family members and staff will be recorded and any photographs displayed within the hotel in a special exhibition later this year.
Former employees, their families, relations of the family who used to own the hotel are being sought.
No-one is sure exactly how far back the building dates.
Pele and the rest of the Brazilian World Cup squad of 1966 stayed at the Whitbarrow Road hotel for about a week – and complained that there sleep was being disturbed by trains on the adjoining railway line.
England and Australia cricket teams also stayed there when Test matches were being played at Old Trafford.
Anyone with information or pictures of the old hotel is asked to send them to Cath Titherington at Stormhouse Marketing, The Coach House, 1, Royal Road, Chorley, Lancashire, PR7 1JD.
Coun Sheila Woodyatt, who has campaigned for years against various development plans at the hotel, said: “I am delighted to hear that Macdonalds are committed to keeping the Lymm Hotel open. It is part of our history and it should be made to work for the community.”
MP welcomes new
by Lesley Wilkinson
A GROUP set up to look at the future of the Local Government Pension Scheme, which includes many Warrington employees, has been welcomed by a local MP.
Warrington North MP Helen Jones was pleased with a statement from Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott that a tripartite committee will be established to consider and negotiate the long-term future of the scheme.
Mrs Jones sponsored an Early Day Motion in February, which urged the government to engage in further negotiations and consultation before implementing any changes to the scheme.
“I am delighted that the government has listened to the concerns expressed by local government workers and has reviewed its position. I sponsored the EDM in February because negotiations and discussions are the best way forward and I am glad that common sense has prevailed,” she said.
“What we all want is an affordable long term settlement which is fair to current and future generations. This can only be achieved through discussions and negotiations between government, employers and the trade unions,” she added.
in shop raid
by John Hendon
POLICE are investigating after two youths smashed the front door of a corner shop in the middle of the night and stole a large quantity of cigarettes.
The raid was at a shop in Higher Lane, Lymm near Warrington.
An intruder alarm aroused neighbours who spotted the youths running from the shop carrying packets of cigarettes.
The car – believed to have been stolen – then drove off at speed. Police were on the scene within 10 minutes.
The raiders took the cigarettes from a display stand behind the counter.
Driver trapped in
by staff reporter
FIRE crews had to cut the roof off a car to release the trapped driver after a crash on the M62 near Warrington early today.
The car, a Ford Focus, apparently went out of control and plunged off the east bound carriageway between junctions seven and eight.
A number of people were able to get out of the car unaided, but firefighters had to use cutting gear to release the driver, who was taken to hospital. No other vehicle was involved in the crash.
Earlier, fire crews dealt with six arson incidents involving wheelie bins in Grasmere Avenue, Orford, Warrington during a four-hour period last night.
In another incident, hooligans dumped a stolen car in Sankey Valley Park, Warrington and set it alight. By the time firefighters could reach the scene, it had been completely destroyed.