Time for keyboard warriors to stop knocking best of Warrington


OVER the past year I have written several stories which have identified Warrington as one of the best and safest places in the UK to have a night out.

It reflects a lot of the hard work undertaken in recent years to improve our town centre, which like many towns and cities up and down the land had suffered from a change in shopping habits.

It was tired and needed a huge facelift.

The catalyst for this was the Time Square development and the brand-new market, which has adapted to changing times and is now regularly picking up awards for being a “best” of its kind.

Alongside this we have a multi-plex cinema, The popular Botanist brand and various other bars and restaurants spread across the town – most notably in the dynamic Cultural Quarter, which boasts several outstanding dining venues within the majestic Treasury building. All this next to the historic Parr Hall which provides an excellent intimate venue for a wide variety of shows from Panto to comedians and great rock nights. Pretty much something for everyone, all complimented by a fantastic boutique town centre hotel.

And yet every time I write a positive uplifting story about our town, the keyboard warriors come out in their droves, like Zombies in The Walking Dead, attacking our town and me for being positive.

Yes, I know Warrington is not perfect and like every other town and city up and down the country has it blackspots and grot spots. But Rome wasn’t built in a day and Warrington is still undergoing huge changes as it adapts to the new world, we live in.

Lots of people are working hard to make it even better – and lots of local businesspeople are investing their own money into making Warrington even better. I will be the first to criticise if something isn’t right, but I will also be the first to praise when it is right – and believe me after more than 50 years of visiting our town centre, things are starting to be done right.

Twenty years ago I wouldn’t have gone near the town centre with my family and friends for a night out – now it is pretty much my first port of call because I know where the good places and people are and I know how to enjoy myself, knowing I am safe and secure.

Warrington is not a finished article yet but if you give it a chance you can have a great time. If you do feel things could be better – don’t just sit at a keyboard slagging it off – look to see how you can make a difference.

Feel free to contact me for advice on any of the above. But most importantly be proud of your hometown and your place of work and try and be positive rather than negative. Positive thoughts generally bring positive outcomes, while negative ones will bring negative outcomes.

I truly love my hometown and I will defend it to the hilt – and when something isn’t right, I will try and address it in a positive way, working with those who can help make a difference. Now get out there and support Warrington like you would your favourite football or rugby team!

Oh Warry Warry, Warry Warry, Warry, Warry Warrington!


Warrington ranked as one of the safest places for a night out


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. Chair of Warrington Healthwatch Director Warrington Chamber of Commerce Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.


  1. Gary, I couldn’t agree more with your reflections on Warrington as I have been working in Warrington long before I decided to live here in the area and have seen for myself the huge positive changes in the city. I don’t necessarily agree with all of the changes but support the actions of those who are doing their utmost to improve the environment and ensure the safety of visitors and attract new Businesses.

    Well-done to all and please keep on improving !!!!

  2. Geoff for one Warrington isn’t a CIty ! Never will be in my eyes
    I’m a cestrian take a trip out to chester and see what a marvellous job they have done to transform the City into a vibrant place with plenty of different attractions for all types of citizens and visitors .yet keeping all its heritage the Roman walls the Tudor rows .
    Warrington isn’t a patch on Chester and never will be

    • Been to Chester loads of times – it has its good points and its bad – but I wouldn’t dream of arguing the toss with someone who knows Chester better than me – if you dislike Warrington so much why don’t you move to Chester? Do you think you know Warrington better than me? Are you blind to all the positive things people are posting on my latest opinion piece? You have now developed your own reputation and are becoming a well-known moaning mini not just here but on the letters page of the local paper – what is your agenda and what are you hoping to achieve? You won’t achieve it on a keyboard!

      • I suggest you go on Facebook and log into the app photos of Chester you will see plenty of photographs of Chester in different guises. And appreciate what I am saying
        Moaning mini I am entitled to my opinion even if it’s too brutal and honest for some

        • I have no interest in looking at pictures of Chester right now – too busy working and promoting my home town. Of course, you are entitled to your opinion but if you are posting them on my platforms I am entitled to ask you questions which you seem unable to answer? Why don’t you live in Chester and be happy rather than living/working in Warrington being unhappy? It just doesn’t make any sense?

          • I have no connections in Chester now Gary both my parents have passed away . The family home has been sold .
            Ironically my son works and lives in Chester so perhaps he made the right choice ?
            I am happy living in the south side of Warrington not far from the Bridgewater canal and nice countryside .
            I only ever go into the town centre to go to the bank twice a month

          • So you enjoy the benefits of living in the south of the town but seek some obsessive pleasure in slagging of its beating heart where many local people are working hard to make things better. Very sad.

  3. Warrington has vastly improved over the past decade. Before, the isolated pocket of Stockton Heath loomed large over a desolate, and too often, violent, Bridge Street that only really became busy after 11pm. With the new market that keeps posting higher footfalls each month filling that gap between 4-7pm there’s now a plethora of bars, pubs and restaurants which appeal to not just the club goers but a bigger age range and diversity of prospective customers.

    I totally agree the Treasury Building is amazing, but you’ve got other smaller places like the new Odyssey Bar, Liquor Library, 9 Gallon, Hop Co, Mr Lau’s, White Hart, Bold Street House. All these places add up to a great night out with friendly local staff.

    Warrington can’t and also shouldn’t compete with the likes of Manchester or Liverpool with their big populations and city centre footfalls, and it doesn’t have a tourist centred attractions like Chester. Warrington is moving in the right direction to sustain its own, more local and more sustainable future as an alternative night out with cheap bus tickets and fairer priced drinks prices!

      • “dump” and “nothing going for it” just show you up for what you are. No substance, no vision, no passion and no hope. I will leave you now, in your bitter little castle in the lush south of the town and let others decide to reach their own conclusions about your constant sniping. As the owner of the pages you spout nonsense on I will use my Editorial judgement on whether to allow you to continue commenting and posting. While I believe in freedom of speech I don’t believe in giving trolls oxygen. Feel free to have the last word as you seem to obsess about that as well!

  4. Mr Bebbington (apologies for the formality but there are two people named Gary in this thread) – I think it’s time you gave local newspapers a rest. Opinions with no real thought or insight are a little dull for the rest of us. To address your points – given that you only visit the town centre rarely, and then during the daytime, how can you possibly have any evidence on which to assess whether Mr Skentlebury’s views stand up? I believe I read that you used to be a police officer? If so, I trust that you will have more than a passing acquaintance with the concept of evidence. Mr Skentlebury, I’d agree that town is doing far better than before. We had a cracking evening last week in The Odyssey – what a revelation – open mic night with loads of talent on display. However, the financials around Time Square and the wisdom of building a second centre to town when towns are all contracting (due to internet / retail pressures) remains problematic. I would say that challenge / criticism of the decision-making is reasonable – not to say the awful secrecy which surrounds the workings of the Council.

  5. I agree there has been investment in the town centre improvements but at what cost?
    The redevelopment of Time Square had massive cost overrun and the recouping of the money, 5 years on, is opaque at best. This is all borrowed money and we can’t even be sure the current unit rent is covering the interest. This is all while we are looking at a 2Bn debt – the highest debt for any UK town that isn’t already in administration.
    That’s quite a cost for some nice shops and bars. The chickens haven’t come home to roost yet but it’s on its way. It’s easy to spend money on a credit card and have a nice time but we will have to pay it off eventually and that may involve selling off lots of assets and cutting non-essential services. I’m not sure those people enjoying the current town centre entertainment sector will consider it a fair exchange with the cuts, asset fire sale and much higher council tax to cover the 10k debt per man, woman and child of Warrington.

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