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Tuesday 14th June 2005

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Brian completes Britain’s
toughest running race

by David Skentelbery

WARRINGTON runner Brian New successfully completed Britain’s longest non-stop running race – the Grand Union Canal Race.
He completed the 145-mile route from Birmingham to Little Venice, London in 43 hours – seven hours inside the race cut-off time.
Sixty two runners took part, including members of the British and Norwegian armies and Brian was one of just 25 to complete the course.
Thirty seven runners dropped out at various times over the two days for a variety of reasons.
Brian, from Great Sankey, said: “The worst time for me was late Saturday through to early Sunday morning when I was being sick for about three hours and could not manage to keep any food down.
“It became a mental battle to keep putting one foot in front of the other to keep moving forwards.
“However, once morning came and I could eat again I felt okay again.”
Brian said it was by far the hardest race he had ever completed, but, not surprisingly, also the most satisfying achievement.
He has raised about ?500 for St Josephs Family Centre in Museum Street, Warrington and if anybody would like to boost that total they can sponsor him by either calling in at the centre or ringing Brian on 07974 967878.

Celebration for chef
who cooked for stars

by staff reporter

A WOMAN who has cooked breakfast for, among others, Rick Wakeman, Noel Edmonds and Jools Holland, is celebrating 16-years service at The Lymm Hotel, near Warrington.
Breakfast supervisor Maureen Lyons has been awarded a weekend break in The Lakes for her a partner to mark the occasion.
Maureen started at the hotel as breakfast chef and it was in that capacity that she cooked breakfast for a number of celebrities. Five years ago she was promoted to breakfast supervisor.
She said: “I really love the role as I am able to meet the guests every morning and have a chat with them.”
General manager Philip Pasteiner said: “We are lucky to have someone like Maureen working here. What she doesn’t know about the hotel isn’t worth knowing!
“I am delighted that her dedication and professionalism has been recognised and I hope she goes on to celebrate 20 years working with Macdonald Hotels.”
The Lymm Hotel is one of more than 60 hotels and resorts operation by the company throughout the UK.

Seeing country
houses by bus

by staff reporter

FOUR of Cheshire’s finest country houses can be reached by public transport this season thanks to the services of the Big House Bus.
Dunham Massey, Tatton Park, Tabley House, and Arley Hall and Gardens are on the bus route, together with Stockley Organic Farm and Blakemere Craft Centre.
Chris Rodway, a National Trust volunteer who organises the Big House Bus project said:
“We are delighted that this year we can again offer visitors an alternative to the car for a day out. We hope that they and residents in the region will find the Big House Bus to be a useful service, and that the fare of ?6 (or ?4 concession) for an unlimited day’s travel will prove good value for money.
“On behalf of the project partners I would like to thank Cheshire and Warrington Tourist Board, Vale Royal District Council, Blakemere Craft Centre and the European Heritage Gardening Fund for their assistance in helping finance the project.”
Barrie Kelly, Marketing and Communications Director at Cheshire and Warrington Tourism Board added:
“This project will bring Rural Escape in Cheshire to life, by offering visitors a relaxing, enjoyable means to reaching some of Cheshire’s top rural attractions.”
For ramblers in the area, there is the added advantage that the bus driver will pick up at any safe point on the route to facilitate walkers, and Tatton Park is also offering cycle hire, which again can be used in conjunction with the bus.
The Big House Bus runs on Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays throughout the year until 11 September. The service starts at Altrincham Interchange (Stand B) which is easily accessible via the Metrolink.
A leaflet with full details about the service is available from BusyBus on 0870 8741 800 or from local Tourist Information Centres and some libraries.

Do we live in a
“clone” town?

by David Skentelbery

WARRINGTON people who want to shop in a town that does not have a “cloned high street” can take comfort from the fact that one is just 10 minutes drive away – Frodsham.
A new survey claims that 42 per cent of British towns are, in fact, “clone” towns because the overwhelming number of multiple traders in their high streets.
Warrington, surprisingly, was not one of the towns chosen for the survey – but there is little doubt it would qualify as a “clone.” Nearby towns such as St Helens and Northwich were listed.
But Frodsham comes near the top of what the survey calls “home towns” – that is towns with a good range of independent shops and few multiple stores.
It comes fift out of a list of 60 with a score 45.7.
Top of the list is Hebden Bridge, in Yorkshire, with 48.6.
But 42 per cent of towns are said to have “cloned” high streets, dominated by national or multi-national chains.
They have nothing to distinguish them from each other, says the survey by independent think tank the New Economics Foundation.
The Foundation says chain stores have spread like “economic weeds”, robbing towns of their individuality and shoppers of choice.
For the survey, high streets were given a score out of 60 based on the number of independent shops and the range of stores available in the busiest part.
Towns scoring between zero and 25 were the least diverse and were classed as “clone towns”. Those in the 25 to 35 range were classed as “border towns” while the top scorers were named “home towns”.
The survey found that only one town in three still boasts a high street which retains its individual character, making it instantly recognisable to locals and visitors alike.
Foundation spokesman Andrew Simms said: “Retail spaces once filled with a thriving mix of independent butchers, newsagents, tobacconists, pubs, bookshops, greengrocers and family-owned general stores are becoming filled with faceless supermarket retailers, fast-food chains and global fashion outlets.
“Many town centres which have undergone substantial regeneration have lost their sense of place and distinctive facades of their high streets under the march of glass, steel and the concrete blandness of chain stores built for the demands of inflexible business models that provide the ideal degree of sterility to house a string of big, clone-town retailers.”
The survey backs up figures from the Institute for Grocery Distributions which showed that more than 2,000 corner shops have closed in the last year, as supermarkets move in to crush their smaller rivals.
A survey for the Federation of Wholesale Distributors found that eight out of ten shoppers believe chain store and supermarkets turn local high streets into bland copies of each other.
What do Warrington people think? Do they think the town would be a better shopping centre if it had more independent traders and fewer multiples?
Readers can email their views to Warrington-Worldwide or give their views on our Reader’s Forum.

Caravan destroyed
in motorway blaze

by John Hendon

A TOURING caravan was destroyed by fire on the M6 motorway at Croft, near Warrington.
The blaze – believed to have been caused by mechanical friction – resulted in dense smoke drifting across the motorway, causing a hazard to other motorists.
Fire crews used a powerful fan to blow the smoke away from the carriageway.
The incident reduced the southbound carriageway to one lay while firefighters tackled the blaze but the caravan was virtually destroyed.
A Fire Service spokesman said: “The driver disconnected the caravan from his car befo

re we arrived or there would have been heat damage to the car also.”
No-one was hurt.

New website aims to
help visitors to town

by staff reporter

A NEW website has been launched, designed to provide information about Warrington for visitors and users of the town.
The site – part of the Cheshire and Warrington Tourism Board website – can be see at www.welcometowarrington.com
It offers information on where to eat, where to stay, what to see and do, directions to the town’s children’s zoo and various events in and across the borough and in the town centre Cultural Quarter.
There are festivals, traditional markets, independent shopping, stately homes and premier parks, modern architecture and first-rate business links.
The website also offers information about opening times, accessibility, contact details and also directions together with a clear map to help people find their way around.
Further information about the site can be obtained from Rosemary Lavender on 01925 715102 or by emailing rlavender@warrington.gov.uk

Tennis club
beauty show

LYMM Tennis Club is staging a “beauty evening” in the clubhouse on Friday, July 1.
There will be a buffet supper and the bar will be open, but the main purpose of the evening is for demonstrations on skin care, the various available treatments and to present a range of products, including costume jewellery and cosmetics.
There will also be a raffle with prizes to be won.

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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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