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Monday 28 May 2018

Love on the Rocks

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

Representatives from ‘Love on the Rocks Wistaston, Crewe & Nantwich’ and ‘Love on the Rocks Shavington, Wybunbury and Hough’ pebbleart groups joined other pebbleart groups from around the country in Manchester on Tuesday 22nd May 2018 to pay tribute on the first anniversary of the Manchester Arena terror attack.

#AHeart4Mcr decorated hearts in  Manchester - photo by Fenella Williams

The groups had all painted bee designs on rocks with over 2,500 rocks laid in the city centre. The worker bee symbolises Manchester’s industrial past and has now, in the present, come to represent the healing power of art and creativity after the attack. Twenty-two rocks were placed outside Manchester Arena along with a hand-made plaque remembering the twenty-two people killed in the atrocity. The suicide bombing also left more than 800 people with physical and deep psychological injuries. The remaining rocks were placed in St Anne’s Square around the monument, on seating and around the water fountain and in Exchange Square with visitors encouraged to take a bee rock home as a remembrance gift.

Fenella Williams, from ‘Love on the Rocks Wistaston, Crewe & Nantwich’, said: “I had painted some stones and crocheted some bees so thought it would be lovely to go and hand deliver them in Manchester. I hadn't really thought about what to expect but was not prepared for all the wonderful tokens of love that people had been leaving on the streets. Almost every available space or handrail was draped with hearts or flowers, the Trees of Hope were filled with beautiful notes, the painted stones in St Anne's Square were amazing, and so many of them.  It was wonderful to hear people asking the organisers about the stones and loving the idea so much they chose stones to take home with them. Whilst being a very emotional day, it was also very serene and peaceful, incredibly uplifting and full of love.”

Nikki Lunn, from ‘Stockport Rocks’, who organised the tribute, said: “The tributes were incredible - the feeling of pure love and solidarity for each other regardless of if you knew them or not. I was moved greatly by meeting many of the survivors of the Manchester attack and I feel very emotional with it all but feel that is was such a positive move. We were asked to do it yearly by many people and lots of people wanted to donate money to the rocks - however we refused finances as this was a gift and love ethos. The whole day was just incredible.”

Other creative commemorative events in the city centre included #AHeart4Mcr with decorated hearts tied to string, a Trees of Hope trail with people invited to write a message on a card and hang it from the tree, Spirit of Manchester Flower Festival with floral tribute displays, and a Manchester Together - With One Voice concert with thousands of singers from local choirs. The events aim to strengthen relationships and solidarity for all Mancunians, whatever their religion, their background or politics.

Digital programme to inspire young people during school holidays

Cheshire East Council has been awarded £15,000 to support young people to develop creative skills.

It is part of the council’s Shift programme, which promotes digital arts and creative technology across the borough.

‘Crewe: Beyond Ultimate Reality’ is a programme funded by the Arts Council to engage young people aged 12-17 in critical thinking and creativity, through exploring interactive activities and workshops.

Working with creative arts organisation Re-Dock, the group of young people will design creative arts activities for children, which will be rolled out in holiday programmes throughout the year, culminating in a high-profile event in October. The activities will take place at Crewe Library, in the lifestyle centre.

‘Beyond Ultimate Reality’ is the next level of engagement, building on the past year of Shift’s digital activities. This is aimed at older children to build interest in the creative industries and digital sector of Cheshire East. The programme of activities will focus on creative thinking, working together as a group and introducing digital technologies, using a creative and critical method.

As well as attracting young people interested in developing creative and digital skills, the council is also seeking artists across all disciplines, who would like to gain more experience in this area, to get involved.

Bursaries are available to support up to four artists living in the borough, – at any stage of their career –to develop skills in delivering this type of project and to learn more about digital arts and delivering workshops.

Councillor Don Stockton, Cheshire East Council cabinet member with responsibility for cultural services, said: “This project provides an important opportunity for young people in Crewe to engage with some fantastic creative practitioners.

“The council’s Shift programme has partnered positively with Re-Dock before and I have every confidence that it will have the same success with this latest project.” 

Re-Dock will work with a dedicated group of young people to co-produce a big public event in October. Some of the ideas explored will be: the future of Crewe, asking young people to imagine their future, their place in it and to explore it in an artistic way.

The programme was inspired by Cheshire author Alan Garner’s novel Red Shift, which states that Crewe is the ‘ultimate reality’.

The launch of the event is on Monday 4 June from 4pm-5.30pm and the regular programme of weekly events will continue from Monday 11 June 4pm - 5.30pm on Mondays every week until 22 October.

The events take place at the library in Crewe Lifestyle Centre, Moss Square, Crewe, CW1 2BB.

If you would like to get involved, either as a young person or an artist, please contact Tom Appleby on 01270 375295 or visit:

Tsb Port Out

Action Fraud (NFIB)

Message Type Icon

Tsb Port Out Alert

There has been an increase in reports made in May by TSB customers relating to “port-out” fraud. Fraudsters are number porting a victim’s telephone number to a SIM card under their control and then using the number to access the victim’s bank accounts.

The increase in the number of reports corresponds with the timing of TSB’s computer system update, which resulted in 1.9 million users being locked out of their accounts. Opportunistic fraudsters are using TSB’s system issue to target individuals, which follows the increase in phishing and smishing communications also targeting TSB customers this month. Victims’ bank account and personal details including their phone number are collected by the fraudster, providing them with the information to execute the fraud.

Number porting is a genuine service provided by telecommunication companies. It allows customers to keep their existing phone number and transfer it to a new SIM card. The existing network provider sends the customer a Port Authorisation Code (PAC), that when presented to the new provider allows the number to be transferred across. This service can, however, be abused by fraudsters.

To gain control of the victim’s phone number, fraudsters convince the victim’s mobile phone network provider to swap their number on to a SIM card in the fraudster’s control. Once the fraudster has control of the number they are able to intercept the victims’ text messages, allowing them to use services linked to the victim’s phone number. This can include requesting an online banking password reset or access to any two factor authentication services.

Victims have reported large losses as a result of this fraud. One victim initially dismissed text messages received from their network provider containing a PAC number. Two days later £6,000 was removed from the victim’s TSB current account. The victim subsequently contacted their phone provider and was informed that someone contacted the provider purporting to be the victim and had cancelled their contract and transferred their number to a new SIM. This action allowed the banking fraud to take place. 

Protect Yourself:

PAC Code notifications

If you receive an unsolicited notification about a PAC Code request, contact your network provider immediately to terminate the request. Also notify your bank about your phone number being compromised.

Clicking on links/files:

Don’t be tricked into giving a fraudster access to your personal or financial details. Never automatically click on a link in an unexpected email or text. Remember, criminals can spoof the phone numbers and email addresses of companies you know and trust, such as your bank.

Requests to move money:

A genuine bank or organisation will never contact you out of the blue to ask for your PIN, full password or to move money to another account.

Port-out Fraud versus SIM Swapping

Port-out fraud is often incorrectly referred to as SIM swap fraud. SIM swap fraud works in a similar fashion, however, instead of porting the victim’s number to a new network provider, the fraudster impersonates the victim and requests a new SIM card for their account. Once they have access to the new sim, they have access to the number.

Message Sent By
Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

Crewe and Cheshire old school BMX

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

Riders outside Ye Olde Manor

Old school BMX bike fans converged on Crewe on Saturday 26th May 2018 for a social ride in and around the town.

Over eighty people gathered at Crewe railway station in the morning for the annual ‘Chesh-Air’ event, organised by the ‘Crewe and Cheshire old school BMX’ group.

They rode from the station to Ye Olde Manor on Nantwich Road for breakfast, onto The Woodside in Wistaston for liquid refreshment, and then took a tree-lined route along the Wonderful Wistaston path to The Rising Sun Inn on Middlewich Road.

Participants then followed the Crewe-Nantwich Greenway cycleway to the Platform 1 skatepark and the Shanaze Reade BMX track at Tipkinder Park, where they showed off their impressive BMX skills. The ride finished in the afternoon with a raffle with BMX-themed prizes and a free buffet meal at The Hop Hole on Wistaston Road in Crewe.

They rode racing and freestyle vintage BMX bikes from the 1980s as well as modern BMX bikes. BMX brands represented included Diamond Back, Dyno, GT, Haro, Hutch, KHS, Kuwahara, Mongoose, Peugeot, Piranha, Puch, Raleigh, Redline, Robinson, Schwinn, SE Racing, Skyway and Vortex. Size of bikes ranged from a child’s 16-inch wheeler to a 28-inch wheel cruiser. A Raleigh Chopper and a Sinclair C5 also made an appearance.

There were 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize trophies and caps for the best bikes.

Gary Mcbride designed a commemorative sticker containing a grinning Cheshire Cat. Andrew Turton designed a logo containing the words ‘Crewe Old Skool BMX’ in a graffiti-style, which Stacey Long made into a keyring. The stickers and keyrings were given to each BMXer.

The event was open to all and bikers ranged in age from children to adults. There were participants from Crewe along with visitors from further afield including Cambridge, Leighton Buzzard, Ripley, Madeley, Manchester, Telford and Plymouth. Brothers Jake and David Brough even travelled down from Lossiemouth in Scotland!

'Chesh-Air’ was once again organised by John Collins from Crewe, who this year rode a black & chrome Mongoose California 1983 BMX bike. John said, “We had a fantastic turnout again for this year’s event. It was great see such a wide range of BMX bikes. I hope everyone enjoyed the ride and chat. We are always looking for new members, so please get in touch and join us on our next ride."

For further information relating to the ‘Crewe and Cheshire old school BMX’ group please search Crewe and Cheshire old school BMX on Facebook.

Old school BMX rides take place throughout the United Kingdom and around the world. For further information relating to the UK old school BMX scene please visit:

Tuesday 22 May 2018

Work begins on flagship £300,000 urban park project

Cheshire East Council is to start work on a flagship £300,000 urban park project.

The mixed play and green space scheme at Middlewich’s Fountain Fields park will include a new adult gym, redesigned play area, sensory garden and improved footpaths and seating areas.

The work, undertaken by the council’s wholly-owned, arms-length company Ansa Environmental Services, starts on Monday 4 June and will take about 10 weeks to complete. The Park will be closed while the extensive revamp is undertaken.

Councillor Don Stockton, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for environment, said: “This scheme is fantastic news for residents and visitors to Middlewich. It will be a great park for the whole community to be proud of and share in.

“This project is another example of the council listening to residents and working with local partners to deliver for the local community. I would also like to thank people for their patience and understanding while these extensive works are under way.”  

Fountain Fields is located off Queen Street in Middlewich town centre. The park is a well-used, flagship green space which is to get a new mix of play equipment and facilities.

In 2012, Cheshire East Council, Ansa, Middlewich Town Council and Middlewich Vision created a partnership with the aim of prioritising and coordinating maintenance and improvement of the town’s parks and play areas.

One of the outcomes was recognition of the need for substantial investment in Fountain Fields – so local residents were consulted to ask what they wanted to see in their park. The recent consultation showed there was significant support for a full park redevelopment focussed on creating an open space that can be used by all and takes inspiration from the heritage of Middlewich, including a canal narrow boat-themed imaginative play installation.

Ansa commissioned Wicksteed Playgrounds to provide a design for the park and manufacture the new equipment to be installed.

The extent of the work requires the park to be closed for the duration. Information about the park closure and planned improvement works will be made available on Cheshire East Council’s website at and via social media. Information signs will also be displayed on site.

An official opening event will be held after the work is completed. Details will be   available nearer the time.

The project has been funded via Section 106 capital funds for infrastructure as well as Cheshire East’s Council’s parks development fund.

Cheshire East calls for more people to register as foster carers

Cheshire East Council is looking for people to take on a highly-rewarding career and register their interest in becoming foster carers.

The appeal for more carers comes during ‘foster care fortnight’ – a national campaign  Cheshire East Council is fully supporting.

Fostering is a deeply fulfilling way of life, which anyone who has a passion for giving children the best possible start should consider. The council is very fortunate that it can already call upon many foster carers who have already made this fantastically rewarding life choice, who are out there doing it and making us proud.

Single carer Anne Bentley, from Poynton, said: “I enjoy the fun I get from being a foster carer, the simple pleasure I get from looking after children. The key lesson I have learned is that every child is different. I have learned to adapt and adjust to every child who has been with me. You find you change and grow as a person by being a foster carer.”

Karen and Robert Tulip, from Nantwich, already had children of their own and one of the most powerful emotions for them was the pride they felt when their foster children really connected with their own kids.

Karen said: “I enjoy being a part of a large family. I love the children wanting to spend time with you and the family at mealtimes, where we are all together and can talk about how our days have been. Just sitting and watching everyone trying to get their point across, learning to take turns and the conversation often going off at a tangent. They’re the moments I love.”

The decision to become a foster carer should not, of course, be taken lightly and the council understands that it is not always a smooth journey. To help the process, the council has dedicated support staff, only a phone call away, who are ready to provide help and answer any questions.

Margaret Sanders, a foster carer in Congleton, said: “We struggled with one of our early placements and didn’t ask for help straight away. Looking back on it, I think we were worried that people might think we weren’t any good if we asked for help. But we let it go on too long.

“When we did ask for help, Cheshire East was absolutely brilliant. Now, whenever we feel we are getting anxious about anything, we are not afraid to ask for some advice and support.”

Councillor Jos Saunders, Cheshire East Cabinet member for children and families, said: “Choosing to become a foster carer is a fantastic, rewarding life choice and this council will continue to prioritise our search to recruit more local carers from all backgrounds and experiences across the borough.

“People like Karen, Robert, Ann and Margaret are brilliant ambassadors for a life in foster care and I take my hat off to them for continuing to champion the cause. They are wonderful examples of excellent foster carers but we need many more like them and what better time to do that than during ‘foster care fortnight’.

“There are still more than 450 children and young people in care in Cheshire East and we are in much need of loving families to transform their lives.”

To learn more about becoming a foster carer, please call 0300 123 3223 or visit:

Cheshire East backs putting science at the heart of UK’s industrial future

The council leader has praised the prime minister’s industrial vision and says Cheshire East is ‘leading by example’ – attracting and nurturing hi-tech businesses.

Councillor Rachel Bailey was at Jodrell Bank in Cheshire East on Monday (21 May) to hear Theresa May say ‘UK global leadership in science and innovation is one of this country’s greatest assets’.

Cllr Bailey, welcoming the speech on Britain’s industrial strategy, said: “Britain has been a cradle of scientific achievement for centuries and here at Cheshire East, we recognise that such vision and innovation will be crucial for the creation of jobs and economic growth in the 21st century.”

Cheshire East is home to world leading hi-tech companies such as Waters, AstraZeneca, Bentley Motors and the Cheshire Science Corridor Enterprize Zone – which includes the Alderley Park life-sciences incubator. It is also leading the way nationally in superfast broadband roll-out – with more than 95 per cent of homes and businesses connected.

The prime minister said in her speech at Jodrell Bank, in front of a backdrop of the iconic Lovell radio telescope: “Jodrell Bank is an icon of the UK’s tradition of scientific achievement and is today at the cutting edge of 21st century discovery. And as I look towards the future, that spirit of scientific inquiry, and its power to shape a better tomorrow, is at the heart of my vision.”

Mrs May announced that the government’s industrial strategy will make a commitment to take support for UK science and technology to ‘another level’.

She announced £7 billion in new public funding for science, research and innovation – the largest increase for 40 years.

The prime minister also announced the target of achieving a record 2.4 per cent of GDP invested in research and development by 2027. This could translate into an additional £80bn investment in the ideas of the future over the next decade.

Cllr Bailey said after the speech: “I agree with the prime minister that today the world stands at the threshold of a new technological age as exciting as any in our history.

“That’s why this council and its officers will not rest on the laurels of previous successes – but continue to work with our partners, both across the region and across industry, to take advantage of changes in how we live, work and do business, in order to reshape our regional and national economy and transform our communities in the years ahead.

“Key to this will be to the nurturing of people’s skills and delivery of modern infrastructure, such as fully-integrated HS2, to enable Cheshire East and the wider sub-region to deliver growth, jobs and rebalance the national economy.

“That way we can deliver a thriving modern economy and excellent quality of place for residents in a Cheshire East that continues to be a highly-desirable place to live, work, visit and do business.”  

The economy of Cheshire East is already one of the best performing in the country, with the value of goods and services (GVA) produced in the borough per head 27 per cent higher than the UK average (2015 figures) and the highest performing English economy outside London and the South East.

Jodrell Bank not only represents cutting-edge science but also its heritage is world-leading, with its education and tourism offer a significant part of its future.

Cheshire East has long had strengths in science and technology but one of the fastest growing sectors is its creative and digital sector with more than 2,000 firms that employ around 7,500 people, as well as internationally-renowned design and digital businesses and innovative digital programmes such as Shift.

Cheshire East’s high-growth sectors are expected to be digital and creative industries, advanced manufacturing, life sciences, automotive and agri-tech, building on the world-leading clusters that are already in the borough.

Champion Menna given freedom of the borough after Paralympic skiing glory

Menna Fitzpatrick, the visually impaired skier who slalomed her way to four winter Paralympic medals in Korea, will receive a further honour when she makes a guest appearance at Cheshire East Council’s mayor-making ceremony.

Menna, who turned 20 this month, was Britain’s most successful Paralympian in PyeongChang, and stunned the world with her achievements, picking up medals in four disciplines, claiming slalom gold, super combined silver, giant slalom silver and super-G bronze.

Supported by her official ski guide Jennifer Kehoe, Menna’s successes in Korea topped all her other achievements as a visually impaired Alpine skier. In 2016 she and Jennifer became the first British Alpine pair to win an overall vision impaired World Cup and went on to snap up more trophies in world events in Italy and Austria.

On Wednesday (May 23) she will take to the stage at the Tenants Hall in Tatton Park where she is expected to receive the Freedom of the Borough from the borough’s new mayor, Councillor Lesley Smetham, after hearing the official nomination from council leader Rachel Bailey.

Menna, a former student at Fallibroome Academy in Macclesfield, has only three per cent vision, yet can reach speeds of 100km per hour on skis.

Prior to Wednesday’s ceremony, mayor-elect Councillor Smetham, said: “It will be a truly great honour, as one of my very first duties as mayor, to present this remarkable young woman with the Freedom of the Borough of Cheshire East.

“Cheshire East is rich in sporting talent and these great athletes like Menna are rightly recognised by the borough for the hard work they put into their sport, the achievements they have made and the credit they bring to themselves and to this borough.”

Menna’s guide Jennifer Kehoe is not able to be at Wednesday’s event, but members of her family, school staff, friends and members of the Cheshire East sensory inclusion service, who have supported Menna, will be present.

Cheshire East Council leader Rachel Bailey said: “Only two years ago we honoured Sir Philip Craven, a Cheshire East resident and former president of the International Paralympic Committee.

“Menna is the latest in a long line of great athletes associated with Cheshire East, including Dame Sarah Storey, Victoria Pendleton, Beth Tweddle, Ben Ainslie, Laura and Jason Kenny and so many more and, as a council, we are so proud to be able to honour them in this manner.”

Menna receives a scroll of honour from the mayor and will be able to attend some public events as an official guest of the council.   

If you want to see what it is really like for Menna to ski with so little vision then you can watch the video ‘seelikemenna’ by following this link:

Charity football match

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

A charity football match and family fun day took place at the Cumberland Arena in Crewe on Saturday 19th May 2018.

‘The Everall Derby’ is organised by twin brothers Carl and Simon Everall and is played in memory of Gareth Jones, a talented footballer from Crewe who lost his battle to cancer at the age of just 31.

The GJ8 fund has paid for ‘GJ8’ to be trademarked and a GJ8 wall plaque in memory of Gareth Jones was unveiled at the Cumberland Arena during the event. Gareth wore the number 8 shirt when he played for Crewe Athletic. There was also a minute’s applause for Gareth prior to ‘The Everall Derby’ match and a balloon launch of the letters G, J and a number 8.

The football match for the Everall Cup contained local celebrities, professional players and ex-professional players including ex-Alex favourites including Nick Powell, Rodney Jack, Steve Jones and Nicky Maynard, former Stoke City striker Ricardo Fuller and ex-Manchester United player Danny Higginbotham.

A record attendance of 1,400 people saw Team Carl beat Team Si 5-3 with goals from Nicky Maynard (2), Ricardo Fuller, Nick Powell, Elliot Osborne, Ben Mills, Tim Sanders, and Si Everall.

The match was preceded by senior and junior football tournaments on the 3G artificial turf pitch and a mascots football game on the grass pitch. There was also family entertainment and refreshments.

It is the fourth occasion that the twins have organised the event. Over £4,000 was raised this year with all proceeds going to Ward 1 (Cardiac Ward) at Leighton Hospital, Friends for Leisure, Motor Neurone Disease Association and to local children’s football to buy new kits and equipment for several clubs.

Co-organiser, Carl Everall, said: “We were overwhelmed with the support of the community. Even with the FA Cup and a Royal wedding on the same day, we still smashed all our previous event totals. It was four wins on the run for Team Carl - my brother Si’s team didn’t have a chance. I could see his players worrying when they saw our line-up! Simon has to recruit better next time. For me, Lee Bell and Liam Lawrence were the star men, they controlled the game. I must give special mentions and credit to Davina Jones, Gareth Jones’ sister, who works harder than anyone as part of our group of volunteers and to Rich Jones from Crewe Lifestyle Centre - without his help and expertise in events, The Everall Derby wouldn’t be possible. I hope everyone enjoyed their day with us and look forward to seeing you all at the next event in 2020.”

For further information relating to the ‘The Everall Derby’ please search Everall Derby on Facebook or Twitter.

Photo portrait of Gareth Jones pitchside prior to The Everall Derby football match.JPG

Nicky Maynard challenges Danny  Higginbotham for the ball

Sunday 20 May 2018

Council’s building control team sees more successes at regional awards

Cheshire East Council’s wholly owned building regulations company, Civicance, has seen three local developers pick up prestige awards, and head for the national finals in London.

The regional ‘Building Excellence’ awards celebrate quality construction work and good partnership working between house builders and the local authority.

With a total of 29 finalists from the borough in 15 different categories, Cheshire East developments picked up three overall winners and two ‘highly commended’ awards.

Knutsford-based Modern Unique Developments collected the award for best local builder or traditional craftsperson. They were recognised for their consistent high quality of craft and skills in the region.

Hulmerfield Hall at Sandbach Farm impressed the judges for its quality of build and the award for best individual new home went to Bartholomew Homes, Nigel Daly Design and James Harrison for this construction.

A partnership of Armitage Construction, Buttress, National Trust and SALT Architects took the category for best small commercial project for their project at Quarry Bank Mill in Styal.  They were recognised for their sensitivity to the local environment and how the design supported the commercial purpose of the building.

Civicance managing director Ian Bunn said: “These fantastic achievements highlight the commitment to building excellence in Cheshire East, and the benefit of strong, reliable working relationships between industry professionals and the local authority building control.

“Every year, the contribution to the awards from this region demonstrates the quality of the area’s house-building and construction sector.  Everyone involved shows a true commitment to quality and deserves this recognition.

“Our local building control team takes great pride supporting these nominations and we wish our winners every luck for the national awards later this year.”

Councillor Ainsley Arnold, cabinet member for housing, planning and regeneration, said: “This council recognises the high standards achieved by architects, designers and builders and it is fitting that those companies and individuals should also be recognised at regional and national level.

“I congratulate the winners and those shortlisted and I am grateful to the Civicance team for the excellent work that they do.”

The event – organised by Local Authority Building Control on behalf of all councils in the region – took place at the Emirates Old Trafford.

Highly commended awards went to Henderson Homes and Calder Peel Architects for Seven Steps, Wilmslow and to Seddon Homes for Campion Point, Sandbach.

To find out more about the services provided by Civicance and the full list of finalists visit:

Bumper Bank Holiday for Crewe

3 - Steampunk burlesque entertainment

Visitors to Crewe over the late May Bank Holiday weekend will enjoy a packed programme of entertainment when Steampunk and the Cosmopolitan Food Festival pitch up in the centre of town.

Steampunk is a fun and quirky celebration of science fantasy inspired by 19th-century fashions and industrial steam-powered machinery.

The Crewe streets will be transported back in time, with many visitors dressed in Victorian-style clothing. Distinctive top hats with futuristic goggles, colourful waistcoats, corsets, bustles and fabulous fascinators will all be on show.

Crewe’s cultural quarter, centred around Memorial Square and Christ Church, will host a range of free performances by established Steampunk celebrities.

Musicians, jugglers, story tellers, unicycle riders, fire performers and escapologists will delight crowds on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Fantastical Steampunk tales will be told at The Time Travelling Tea Tent on the church lawns.

The Crewe Lifestyle Centre is also part of the weekend. A three-day Steampunk market is being held in the sports hall, offering hundreds of unusual gift ideas and craft workshops.

There are also two ticketed evenings of music and cabaret at The Mals club near ASDA.

On Saturday 26 May, The Rhythm ‘n’ Roots band headline, performing classics from Bob Marley, UB40, John Holt and The Specials – all with a cunning twist. Other Steampunk favourites include the Retro Clones, burlesque Lux Delioux and Kessie Dixon.

Sunday 27 May welcomes The Filthy Spectacula, inspired by gypsy punk, dark cabaret and a hint of piracy. Montague Jacques Fromage flies in from America, while showman Greg Chapman brings his sensational illusions to stage. BB BlackDog, The Wattingers and Seedy Frills complete the entertainment.

On Sunday and Monday, between 10am and 5pm, the town centre streets will be filled with wonderful aromas as the Cosmopolitan Food Festival returns with an exciting selection of mouth-watering foods from around the world.

A chocolate infusion theme promises a range of cuisines with a sweet-tooth twist, including tasty favourites like Spanish Churros and even a chocolate-flavoured beer.

Market Square will have large racing go-karts, and music comes from Cheshire-based Photo Booth Smile who perform catchy pop classics.

Tickets for the evening Steampunk events are available on the official website

Rail firm on track to expand

1 – TBM Rail's Neil Pointon (left) with director Neil Smith at the Crewe depot

A Crewe-based railway company has recruited a business development manager as it looks to the future to expand its passenger comfort services across the UK rail industry.

TBM Rail, based at Marshfield Bank Business Park, provides train toilet and tank servicing expertise. They also offer specialist seat cover dry-cleaning, electrical charge points, door sensors, washroom equipment and safety grab poles.

The company has grown considerably over the last decade and now supports train operators across the country.

Neil Pointon has joined the firm as business development manager to expand the range of products and services offered as the railway industry embarks on an exciting phase of change and investment.

Neil brings over twenty years’ engineering and railway experience to TBM Rail, having handled major accounts around the UK and mainland Europe.

For some time he has specialised in the supply and overhaul of brake equipment, working with most train operating companies.

He said: “The transport industry is constantly changing, and that’s part of the attraction – there is something new every day.

“At TBM Rail I will be looking for new opportunities both within the rail passenger and freight markets, offering spares management solutions to both.

“There are also ways that we can expand component cleaning services currently supplied to the industry, and also to bus and coach companies.

“Having a wealth of trusted contacts is a real bonus, but I am always keen to attend exhibitions and industry networking events to keep abreast of the latest developments.”

Neil Smith, TBM Director, said: “Neil has tremendous experience dealing with major railway companies, and his knowledge and contacts will bring a host of fresh opportunities to TBM Rail.

“That’s great news for Crewe and Cheshire as our growth will also boost the local economy.

“Over the years we have always recruited locally, encouraged training and career development. Neil brings skills to the business that will benefit the whole team here in Crewe.”

TBM Rail is currently working on other products and technologies to improve journeys for passengers. The ongoing digital transformation will open up new markets and provide a range of high-tech services to rail customers.

For further details about TBM Rail visit

*** ENDS ***

Photo attached:

1 – TBM Rail's Neil Pointon (left) with director Neil Smith at the Crewe depot

Notes to editors:

• TBM Rail was established in 2009 to provide cost-effective solutions for the railway industry

• TBM Rail cleans seating for train operators, including GWR/Hitachi Class 800 IEP fleet

• TBM Rail has cleaned over 175,000 seat covers for UK rail operators since 2014

• TBM Rail also services train toilet tanks at the Crewe base and at depots around the UK

Friday 18 May 2018

Talented local artist Christian Turner

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

Talented local artist Christian Turner, aged 24 from Sandbach, has produced new oil paintings of Nantwich. His new oil paintings are of a Battle of Nantwich re-enactment, Churche’s Mansion, Nantwich Aqueduct carrying the Shropshire Union Canal over Chester Road, Pillory Street, St Mary’s Church, Sweetbriar Hall on Hospital Street, The Bowling Green, and Welsh Row.

Christian has previously produced paintings in the town of Nantwich Town Square, Christmas in Nantwich, Cocoa Yard and The Crown Hotel.

All the scenes are available as a greeting card and a postcard and can be purchased in Nantwich from the Nantwich Bookshop and Coffee Lounge (High Street), Special Cards (Market St), Inside Paradise (Oat Market) and Magpie Cards (Cocoa Yard).

A shopping bag and a mug featuring his painting of Nantwich Town Square are available from his stall at the monthly Nantwich Farmers’ Market on the town square and via

Christian, who has autism, has also painted birds, marine life, geometric patterns and several scenes of Sandbach. Christian has been drawing since he was a child and studied A-Level Art at Sandbach School. Christian has a small art studio upstairs in Sandbach Art Room (High Street, Sandbach). Some of his artwork is also for sale at Art of Framing on Pillory Street in Nantwich:

Christian said, "I hope that people enjoy my latest artwork of Nantwich. I will produce more of my artwork on bag and mug designs in the near future and plan to produce a Nantwich 2019 calendar, which will be available towards the end of this year.”

For further information please visit or contact him via email: or telephone: 07432116922 or Facebook:

Christian Turner with a Nantwich  bag and card

An evening of Magic, Music And Mirth’

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

‘An evening of Magic, Music And Mirth’ variety concert took place on the evening of Saturday 12th May 2018 at the Wistaston Memorial Hall on Church Lane in Wistaston, organised by Diane Edge-Robinson and Colin Wood. This was live entertainment at its best with so many memorable acts.

Richard Batty was the Master of Ceremonies. The programme included Richard Batty on ukulele and performing a monologue, a series of sketches, Des Redfern on mandolin, Arthur Newton on accordion, Adrian the magician, David Clewes on harmonica, and singer Margaret Moran from Manchester.

The raffle was organised by Glenys White and Meurig Jones and raised £112.

The interval refreshments were organised by Audrey Astbury.

The event was filmed by the Crewe Movie Makers.

Eighty enthusiastic people were in the audience who joined in the finale of a rousing ‘We’ll Meet Again’.

Over £450 was raised in total with all proceeds going to the decoration of Wistaston Memorial Hall’s interior.

The Hall’s Chairman of the Management Committee, John White, thanked all those who had participated in making this concert a social and financial success with a wonderful community atmosphere. A standing ovation was given to Richard Batty for keeping the programme together in such a professional manner.

Adrian the magicianRichard Batty was the Master of  CeremoniesThe audience join in the rousing  finale of We ll Meet Again

Silent Soldiers’ unveiled at launch of 2018 Cheshire East Reflects programme

Three ‘Silent Soldiers’ have been unveiled in Cheshire East as part of this year’s programme of events to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

The near life-size silhouettes of a ‘Tommy’ have been sponsored by Cheshire East Council in support of a national campaign by The Royal British Legion.

They stand as a tribute to those who did not return home from the conflict, which lasted from 1914-1918.

Their unveiling in Crewe town centre today by guests including Cheshire East mayor-elect Lesley Smetham, Cheshire East Council cabinet members, Royal British Legion members and creative producer Amber Knipe, marked the launch of the fourth and final year of the Cheshire East Reflects programme, which will culminate in November with two events called ‘When the Light Goes Out’.

Over the coming months, the Silent Soldiers will be used across the borough to promote the commemorative activities.

Councillor Rachel Bailey, leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “We’re really proud to be one of the few councils in the UK to have held a sustained programme of commemorative events throughout the four-year period, remembering those who gave their lives.

“The work that has been done, along with the activities planned for this year, will help ensure that the stories and artefacts, which tell the story of the First World War in Cheshire East, are preserved for future generations.”

The Cheshire East Reflects programme has seen participation from residents, community groups and arts organisations, as well as partners including the Imperial War Museum North. More than 25,000 people have attended events, participated in the programme or received a free schools workshop.

Over the coming months there will be further opportunities for the public to get involved, including taking part in a parade and helping with the making and sourcing of props, costumes, flags and banners.

The 2018 programme includes a free family concert at Tatton Park, Knutsford, on Sunday 26 August. Visitors are invited to take along a picnic to the event, which will feature the Staffordshire Military Wives Choir, Cheshire’s own Foden’s Band and Sacred Sounds, which tells the story of British India’s involvement in the First World War.

The final commemoration events, called ‘When the Light Goes Out’, will take place during Armistice weekend in November and will also be free to attend.

The first will be held in Crewe town centre on Saturday 10 November and will focus on the survivors of the war. It will include a parade inspired by Crewe’s 1918 Tank Week – part of a fund-raising campaign led by the government, which saw tanks touring England’s towns and cities – and a street concert featuring music from bands and choirs from across Cheshire East.

The second event will take place on Sunday 11 November, at Tatton Park, and will be based on the theme of ‘the fallen’. It will feature a piece of projection work created and inspired by archive and community sourced footage and stories about the war, a promenade performance and the launch of a newly-commissioned choral piece.

During a formal ceremony to mark the end of the First World War, a commemorative flame, which has been burning at Tatton Park since 2014, will be extinguished.

Cllr Bailey said: “Cheshire East Reflects has been a thought-provoking programme of work that has paid tribute to the tremendous courage and sacrifice of Cheshire’s soldiers.

“I’d like to thank everyone who has contributed to the programme of activities so far and encourage residents to attend the events later this year as the centenary commemorations draw to a close.”

For more details about the programme of events and information about how you can get involved, visit:

Silent soldier

Thursday 17 May 2018

FiRELiNK eNewsletter - May 2018

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Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service

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FiRELiNK eNewsletter - May 2018

Welcome to the May edition of the Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service e-Newsletter.

Is your smoke alarm over 10 years old?

Encouraing residents to test smoke alarms

We are urging residents living in homes built between 1992 and 2008 to have their hard-wired smoke alarms replaced.

Research into their longevity has concluded that hard-wired as well as battery-operated devices should be replaced every 10 years, or sooner if they do not respond properly when tested.

The manufacturing industry also recommends that smoke alarm detector heads should be replaced every decade.

Countless Cheshire homes are being protected by smoke alarms that are more than 10 years old, with misguided faith in hard-wired alarms being a particular concern.

Find out more - Is your smoke alarm over 10 years old?

Safe and Well Visits ‘an overwhelming success’

Safe and Well Visit

Groundbreaking work by Cheshire firefighters has resulted in nearly 4,000 people addressing health concerns.

On 1 February 2017 we launched an exciting new initiative, in collaboration with the NHS and local authority Directors of Public Health, to help improve the health of potentially vulnerable people.

The free Safe and Well Visits - for the over 65s and people who are referred to the fire service by partner agencies because they are considered to be at a particular risk - see firefighters and advocates provide far more than the traditional fire safety and smoke alarm advice.

Find out more - Safe and Well Visits ‘an overwhelming success’

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service and Cheshire Police launch drone project

Launch of the drone project

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service and Cheshire Constabulary have joined forces to fund a state-of-the-art drone.

The drone - which is also known as an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) - will be used to assist with police enquiries and fire incidents during a six month trial period to assess its capabilities and inform future plans. The DJI Matrice 210 has a powerful digital camera and a thermal imaging camera.

Three police officers and three firefighters have been trained and accredited to the CAA standards to pilot the drone, which will be used to support various operational activities during daylight hours in the trial period.

Find out more - Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service and Cheshire Police launch drone project

Barbecue burns survivor shares story to help warn others


Four years ago the life of a Cheshire woman changed forever when a family barbecue went badly wrong, and she suffered horrific burns.

She has been left scarred by the incident but feels very lucky to be here today so now wants to help firefighters and warn other people to be extra careful.

Find out more - Barbecue burns survivor shares story to help warn others

Young people wanted for Prince's Trust Programmes

Prince's trust team during residential week

We're recruiting for Prince's Trust team members in Chester, Halton, Winsford, Crewe and Macclesfield.

Aged 16 to 25? Unemployed? Want to gain new skills and develop existing ones, to help you get back into employment or education?

For more information - Young people wanted for Prince's Trust Programmes

Fire Station open days

Ellesmere Port Fire Station Open Day 2017

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service fire stations will be holding free fire station open days over the next few months.

Find out more - Fire Station open days

Find out about your local fire station - where it is, what open days or special events they are holding and how to get in contact with them.

Find out more - Your local fire station

Message Sent By
Ashley Lawton (Cheshire Fire , Administrator, Cheshire Fire)

Love on the Rocks

Reporter  Jonathan White, Wistaston

Pebble artists have been painting bees on rocks to create a tribute on the first anniversary of the Manchester Arena terror attack. The worker bee is one of the best-known symbols of Manchester and came to symbolise Manchester’s resilience after the atrocity.

The ‘Love on the Rocks Wistaston, Crewe & Nantwich’ and ‘Love on the Rocks Shavington, Wybunbury and Hough’ pebbleart Facebook groups have been painting their own bee designs on rocks along with the hashtag ‘#LoveMCRBees’.

They have painted dozens of bee rocks and will join in with over thirty other UK pebbleart groups involved in the tribute by leaving their rocks in designated areas - St Anne’s Square and Exchange Square - in Manchester on 22nd May 2018. Nikki Lunn from ‘Stockport Rocks’, who organised the tribute, will be handing out free #LoveMcrBees pencils and ‘Pebbleart Rocks, Bolton/Bury’ will be handing out bee-friendly flower seeds. It is estimated that in total there will over 1,000 bee rocks. Visitors will be asked to take a bee rock home as a remembrance gift.

Sharon Cattell, founder member of ‘Love on the Rocks Wistaston, Crewe & Nantwich’, and ‘Love on the Rocks Shavington, Wybunbury and Hough’ said: “The bombing last year affected everyone, so when I saw Nikki Lunn’s idea on Facebook, I wanted to get involved with the tribute. I decided to organise it as an event on Facebook and arranged for the Lifestyle Centre in Crewe and the Swimming Baths at Nantwich to be drop-off points for anyone who wanted to submit a rock. The members have painted over ninety rocks. I will be taking them to Nikki for her to add them to the tribute.”

For further information please search ‘Love on the Rocks Wistaston, Crewe & Nantwich’ on Facebook.

Manchester Arena terror attack  anniversary - worker bee pebbleart (1)

Thursday 10 May 2018

charity bucket collection

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

A charity bucket collection was held by Bloodwise at Tesco Extra on Vernon Way in Crewe on Friday 27th April 2018. £296.60 was donated by kind shoppers over the day.

All proceeds will go to blood cancer charity Bloodwise. Bloodwise fund world-class research into all types of blood cancer & provide information & support to those affected.

Liz Boffey from Bloodwise (South Cheshire) said: “Bloodwise South Cheshire are indebted to Crewe Tesco Extra for allowing us to collect at their store on 27th April 2018. Tesco staff made us feel welcome and Tesco shoppers were generous in their giving. All monies raised in this way go directly into research of all Blood Cancers. Great strides are being made in the fight against Blood Cancer - particularly in Childhood Leukaemia. Thank you to everyone who supported us, it is very much appreciated.”

For further information relating to Bloodwise please contact Liz Boffey on 01948871250, or visit

Bloodwise volunteer Fiona Crompton  collects at Tesco Extra Crewe

Warning issued after elderley residents targeted by scam

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Cheshire Constabulary

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Warning issued after elderley residents targeted by scam

Detectives are urging Cheshire residents to be vigilant after an elderly woman from Runcorn and an elderly man from Chester were scammed out of large quantities of money.
They both handed money to a courier for safekeeping after receiving a phone call from a man purporting to be a senior police officer.
The so-called officer told them that their savings had been targeted by thieves and were not safe in their bank accounts.
Cheshire Police’s advice on avoiding such scams is:
• The police will never ask you to become part of an undercover investigation or for you to withdraw money and hand it to them for safekeeping
• Be wary of any calls, texts or emails purporting to be from the police asking for your personal or financial details, or for you to transfer money
• If you are approached, or feel something is suspicious, hang up the phone and do not reply and then report it to police on 101 or Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040. You should also inform your bank on its advertised number.
Detective Inspector Glyn Leech said: “We believe that victims are being targeted county wide by this scam, with us investigating reports of people being scammed in areas including Warrington, Chester and Macclesfield.
“I urge anyone else who has been targeted by this scam, or other similar scams, to report it to us on 101.”

Message Sent By
Dan Hind (Police, Media, Chesh Engagement Unit)

Sunday 6 May 2018

'We love 90s House Live'

Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

A 'We love 90s House Live' fund-raising concert took place at Studio Nantwich - - on Castle Street in Nantwich on Friday 4th May 2018.

The event featured live dance music band 'House Jammerz' making a return to the venue and they performed a range of the biggest and best-ever House tracks.

The gig was followed by an ‘I love the 90s’ club night until 3am.

Admission to the concert was free with all proceeds to Mid Cheshire Hospitals Charity

Nigel Woodhouse, Director of Operations at Studio Nantwich said, "It is always a pleasure to hold an event that plays homage to the iconic age of Clubbing and dance music. The ‘90s saw the explosion of dance music, so to see the classic tracks played by such a professional band like House Jammerz giving them their twist never fails to entertain. We are pleased to support the Dementia Appeal for Mid Cheshire Hospitals Charity in their fund-raising efforts."

House Jammerz perform at Studio  Nantwich (1)


Reporter Jonathan White, Wistaston

‘ArtsLoco’ is a social group, formed in 2017, for anyone with an interest in arts, crafts, writing, poetry and music. There are no membership fees, so please turn up and participate. Members come from the Crewe & Nantwich area and beyond.

The group meet on a weekday evening every month at The Rising Sun, Middlewich Road, Wistaston.

At previous get-togethers, the group has enjoyed hearing poetry and short stories read by the authors, listening to singing and guitar music, sharing crafts, drawings and sketchbooks.

A representative from ArtsLoco said: “I love how casual and yet creative ArtsLoco is. Some people bring artworks with them to show or work on during the evening, others just come to watch, listen and chat.”

The next ArtsLoco get-together is on Monday 14th May 2018 (7-9 pm) at The Rising Sun, Middlewich Road, Wistaston.

For further information and future dates, please go to

ArtsLoco - next event - Monday 14th  May 2018 - 7-9pm

Businesses encouraged to join Digital+ programme

Cheshire East Council’s arms-length Skills and Growth Company has launched a new business support programme called Digital+.

The Digital+ programme offers fully-funded support and advice to help small and medium-sized businesses maximise faster broadband and digital tools – such as cloud computing, digital marketing and social media – and adapt to wider issues, such as upcoming changes to data protection legislation.

The cornerstone of the Digital+ programme is a series of one-day seminars, which provide expert support in small groups and includes a bespoke audit of each participating business’s website.

Seminars on digital marketing or social media will take place on:

● 22 May – Digital marketing, at Wychwood Park, near Crewe;

● 24 May – Digital marketing, at The Cottons, Knutsford;

● 5 June – Social media, at Vale Royal Abbey, near Northwich;

● 12 June – Digital marketing, at Mottram Hall, near Macclesfield;

● 21 June – Digital marketing, at Mottram Hall, near Macclesfield; and

● 26 June – Social media, at Crewe Hall, Crewe.

To find out more and register your interest, visit

One business already reaping the rewards of the Digital+ programme is Direct Access, of Nantwich, a disability access consultancy.

Managing director Stephen Mifsud said: “We felt our existing marketing strategy was not working, so we needed to be ahead of the game and we now understand how important it is to get our voice heard through social media and how to be consistent with our branding.

“The Digital+ programme has been able to support us in a language we could follow and helped our social media campaigns go from being good to excellent.”

Cheshire East Councillor George Hayes, chairman of the Skills and Growth Company said: “We believe the Digital+ programme is a vital opportunity to help businesses grow and adapt to the ever-changing world of digital tools, broadband and social media. With our support, businesses can maximise the benefits and transform the way they work.”

The Digital+ programme is the latest phase of the Connecting Cheshire programme, which has been rolling out fibre broadband to more than 100,000 homes and businesses across Cheshire since 2013.

Digital+ is available to eligible small and medium-sized businesses in Cheshire and Warrington and is part of the Digital 2020 programme supported by the 2014 to 2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme.

For Cheshire Branch formed

A For Cheshire branch of the For Britain Party has been formed and they recently met in Crewe. (See attached photo below) Chairman Cllr. Brian Silvester said,"We are planning to stand candidates in the Parish,Town and Borough Council elections in 2019. Cheshire East Council staggers from one crisis to another It is time to elect Councillors who will sort out the mess and put the Council on the road to success. The Tories on Cheshire East Council promised in 2015 NOT to increase the Council Tax. That promise was broken as soon as the election was safely won.The Council Tax has gone up every year since. Residents interested in standing for the Council should get in touch.via twitter @CllrBS

Cllr Brian Silvester


For Cheshire Branch.


Get involved in mental health awareness week

Mental health awareness week is fast approaching and Cheshire East is leading the way to make sure that people know where they can get support if they need it.

The theme for this year’s awareness week is stress. Research has shown that two thirds of us experience a mental health problem in our lifetimes and stress is widely considered to be an important factor in this.

Cheshire East has joined up with local partners to organise a week of activities in the borough, supported by a broad range of organisations including: the NHS, a number of housing associations, Everybody Sport and Recreation and several community voluntary services.

Activities to mark the week include:

● A ‘mindfulness’ session at Macclesfield Leisure Centre on Monday 14 May, from 7pm-8pm;

● Free mental health signposting event at Crewe Lifestyle Centre on Tuesday 15 May, from 10am-3pm;

● A ‘wear it green’ day on Wednesday 16 May;

● A Crewe central neighbourhood partnership event supporting younger people’s lifestyle choices – with music, arts, crafts and other information. The event is at Crewe Lifestyle Centre on Friday 18 May, from 6pm-8pm; and

● A community event at the United Reform Church in Wilmslow on Friday 18 May, from 4pm-6pm.

Councillor Liz Wardlaw, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for health, said: “The range of activities that are going on for mental health awareness week are really impressive and shows the added value that true partnership-working brings.

“We couldn’t be spreading this message as widely as we are if it wasn’t for the support of our partners. Stress is something that nearly all of us face at some point in our lives and, by tackling it together, we can hopefully reduce the impact of things like anxiety and depression and, in some instances, self-harm and suicide, which can follow.”

To keep in touch with what’s happening over the week, follow the hashtag #goodmentalhealth4Cheshire on Twitter.