Issue63 Winter12



Issue63 Winter12
Winter 2012
Issue 63
The Fight Seems To Be Over
On October 19 the Secretary of State
for Energy and Climate Change gave
Peel Energy the green light to build
19, 80-metre high, turbines on Helsby
and Frodsham marshes.
Shocked residents could not
believe the outcome. After years of
campaigning and making well reasoned arguments against the Wind
Farm to the Public Enquiry, local
group, Residents Against the Wind
Farm, CWaC planners and Councillors and individuals have been
infuriated by Inspector Phillip Major’s
report to the Secretary of State. The
Inspector states that the community is
“not wholly opposed” yet there are
only three supporters listed in his
report. CWaC received 563 letters
from residents against the Wind Farm
and 65 in support. What happened to
Cllr Les Ford told Helsby News
that he found this an outrageous comment. “I can only conclude that the
planning law is loaded against us as
far as wind farms are concerned”
CWaC is considering seeking a
judicial review. That is a costly business and would only review the legal
process. Cllr Ford is not hopeful that
a legal flaw can be found. A further
meeting is scheduled to take place on
26 November.
“I am only sorry that all our arguments were unsuccessful and our
area is going to be despoiled by these
turbines for so little National gain.”
It is claimed that construction of
the turbines will create 50 jobs and
supply electricity to 25,000 homes.
Peel Energy has not revealed when
construction work will begin but it is
thought that the project will take two
to three years to build.
Roger Young, Chairman of Residents Against the Wind Farm, is
quoted as saying “This is a rotten
decision for our local communities
and the only ones cheering are Peel”.
Sounds about right!
Marj Thoburn
Artists impression of the view of the wind farm from Helsby Hill
Swing bridge repairs
Next summer, 2013, will see Sutton
Weaver Bridge get its much needed
overhaul, to the delight of many who
have been concerned to witness its
deterioration into a public eyesore
these past years. The cost of refurbishment is estimated to be £4.5
million. £3.5 million contributed by
CWaC and £1 million by the Canal
and River Trust.
The original proposal suggested
that during the bridge works traffic
would be restricted to one lane…..
and of course the impact on traffic,
local businesses and residents would
be horrendous. The good news is
that, following strong opposition from
Frodsham and Helsby it now seems
likely that a two lane temporary bridge
will be put in place to take the diverted
A final decision has not been taken. The Trust has
reported that their framework
budget cost for the temporary bridge and although
there are still some technical issues to address
the Council and the Trust
are confident that the
small funding gap created
by this additional cost
should not prove to be a
"show stopper".
Subject to the costs being acceptable the project will start in summer
2013 and be completed by early
autumn 2014.
Marj Thoburn
Helsby News is supported by Helsby Parish Council
Helsby Methodist Church
St Paul's Church
6.30pm Carol Service
Rev Steve Santry
followed by mince pies and a drink
6.30pm Service
Nine Lessons and Carols
4.00pm Christingle Service
The story of the first Christmas - with
sweets, candles, oranges!
Start Christmas with the festive fun event.
Followed by drinks and mince pies
10.30am Family Celebration
Family Service for ALL
Bring a present - share the fun.
4.30pm Crib and Christingle Service
Collections for the Children’s Society
11.30pm Midnight Mass
10.00am Sung Communion
Bring a gift to show
Arctic Heroes Challenge 2013
Helsby resident Mike Metcalf is leading
a challenge across the Arctic in aid of
Help for Heroes, in a two week driving
and camping expedition in March 2013.
Mike’s Jeep Cherokee is now fully prepared ready for the challenge, along with
his nephew and co-driver Jim Doyle
(pictured below).
“The challenge we are doing is
called ‘Arctic Heroes Challenge’. It
involves driving from the UK, crossing the Arctic Circle at 66 33' 39" N
in north Norway and then aiming to
reach the northernmost point of
Europe at North Cape (Nordkapp) at
71'N, our final destination”, says
He continues, “We will be doing
this at the most treacherous time of the year with temperatures as low as minus
30 degrees Celsius. The challenge truly embraces the spirit of British adventure and will directly benefit our real Heroes”.
The team would be incredibly grateful for any donations, so if you can help
their fundraising efforts, go to
For further information, please contact Mike Metcalf on 07771 834650 or
e-mail [email protected]
Helsby News
Editorial Team
Barbara Ginty
Marj Thoburn
Michelle Pickstock
Kevin Kennedy
Betty Grieve
Page 2
Thank you very much to everyone who
responded to our recent call for
volunteers to deliver Helsby News
around the village!
01928 724848 / 722304
Printed by
Johnsons of Nantwich
If anyone else is interested in delivering, particularly along Chester Road,
then please contact the Editors.
Supported by
Helsby Parish Council
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
Village Awards
We are happy to report success for
the village in this years’: Pan-Cheshire Community Pride Awards. Helsby
won the “Little Gem” award for the
Jubilee Commemorative Flower Bed
and received a Runner-up in the
“Best Community Newsletter” category for Helsby News.
Helsby was also one of only 3
villages, that got through to the intermediate judging stage of “Best- Kept
Village” in Cheshire, competition
(Population 2501-5000) coming in 3rd.
Super-fast broadband boost
BT has announced a further major
investment in Cheshire pledging to
roll-out its £2.5 billion high-speed
fibre broadband network to more than
20,500 more homes and businesses
across the county.
Frodsham and Helsby are among
the latest communities to benefit,
along with Culcheth and Runcorn. All
are due to be upgraded in 2013.
Christmas ‘Best Kept’ Awards
The Parish Council announces the
ever popular: 'Best-Kept Christmas
Illuminations Competition' for shops
and businesses in the Village.
Judging will take place in the runup to Christmas, so if you’re a business or shop in the village, here’s
your chance to give your premises
that extra festive makeover!
Council Surgery Dates for 2013
Helsby Parish Council is pleased to
announce the forthcoming Surgery
dates for early 2013:
5 January 2013
2 February 2013
2 March 2013
6 April 2013
Surgeries are held on the above
dates between 10 am and 12 pm at
the Community Centre.
Your Village Needs You!
Helsby Parish Council are about to
embark on the production of its
Neighbourhood Plan and are looking
for local residents to join a small team
of Parish Councillors to deliver this.
If you would like to help produce
the Helsby Neighbourhood Plan or
want to know more about it, please
register your interest with the Parish
Clerk on 01928 726433 or e-mail
[email protected]
Musical fundraising
On Thursday 15 November, local musicians took part in a
fundraising night at the ‘Eccies’ (formerly the Helsby Ex
Servicemen's Club). This weekly Bluegrass session
attracted 60 musicians of varying abilities, aged 8 to 80,
playing together in aid of BBC Children in Need.
Not only did the night feature the usual informal song
sharing but a multitude of fundraising ideas including
some of the professional musicians auctioning themselves
to give a free lesson to contribute to the funds.
A mass rendition of “Duelling Banjos”, which had been
practiced for several weeks, was a huge hit. Led by
founder of the Helsby Bluegrass scene Stuart Williams
and local musician Michael Giverin, the final performance
featured regulars and their families and friends.
Resident banjo player, Kevin Shannon, was able to
take almost £800 to the live event on TV the next day.
Jay Bradbury
The 11th day of the 11th Month...
Parking problems prevail
Poppies were everywhere at
St Paul’s church for the Sunday joint Remembrance
service, conducted by the
Rev Stephen Santry, the
Methodist Minister in Helsby.
Rev Santry’s moving sermon focussed on the 1982
Falklands war (hard to
believe it was thirty years
ago) and at the end of the
service, the packed congregation stood as the Colours
of the British Legion, guides
and brownies, scouts and
cubs, together with the
wreaths, were collected from
the Altar and paraded out of the church and down to the War
As the sun shone, the congregation watched from the top
of the churchyard as the wreaths were placed, to honour
those who died in the service of their country, and then the
sound of the Last Post, played on the trumpet by Mr Colin
It seems the announcement in the Autumn Helsby News
was a little premature ....!
Apparently, changing parking arrangements requires
drawing up plans, advertising proposals, setting a deadline for objections and then much consultation amongst all
interested parties.
Helsby News has learned that the limited parking proposals are still in the consultation period but the revised
proposals, agreed with the business owners in the village,
have been supported by Cllr Ford, the police and the
Parish Council.
The proposed plan shown below is now to restrict
parking to one hour, extending from the Post Office lay-by
to the top of Station Avenue, leaving the small lay-by
outside Rouge et Noir and the garage, free of restrictions.
With no further objections, Cheshire West & Chester
Council anticipate the new restrictions being in place early
in 2013. Fingers crossed!
Barbara Ginty
All I need is the air that I breathe...
Were you one of the many people who spoke up at the public
inquiry about what Peel’s incinerator and related developments at Ince Resource Recovery Park may do to local air
quality? If so, you’ll be pleased to hear Peel have agreed to
fund a program of monitoring pollutants in the air, and possibly the ground, for Helsby and the surrounding area. It will be
a community-led effort and with the help of officers from
Cheshire West and Chester Council, a small group has been
set up to help identify what to monitor and where. Helsby
already has an air-quality monitoring station at the Eccies
(you can see live information from it on the Council website)
but we hope to get more, and also to test for some of the less
common pollutants. The group has just appointed an independent air quality consultant as an advisor, aired (!) our
concerns with him and are waiting for him to come back with
some suggestions that can be shared more widely with all
residents. Watch this space…!
Sarah Temple
Page 3
Helsby Footpaths Society
Greenwood Autumn Update
We are planning another walk next
spring to replace the one that we had
to abandon earlier this year because
of the dreadful weather.
The walk will be across Helsby
Marshes and will cover much of the
area on which Peel Holdings are
planning to put their wind farm so this
may well be your last opportunity to
see the landscape in its present state.
The walk will be on Sunday 28
April starting at 10 am and meeting
outside the Railway Inn at the top of
Lower Rake Lane. See you there!
The time has gone so quickly that it is hard to realise that Greenwood has been
back in Springfield for a year. Everyone has settled down and it felt like coming
The summer passed quickly with outings to various local places. Port
Sunlight was very popular and the garden centre and the café were a great
We have been enjoying visits from speakers and musicians and especially
enjoyed the visit from Hillside Primary School choir. They usually visit to sing
to us at Christmas time, but this year they came around Harvest Festival.
Now we approach the run up to Christmas and as well as cards and decorations to be made, bulbs have been planted so that we can look forward to the
We meet every Thursday at Springfield between 10.00 am and 3.00 pm.
Volunteers are always needed so if you fancy spending time with a group of
lively minded folk who enjoy life even if they aren't quite as mobile as they once
were do contact Biddy Mason on 01928 724710 or e-mail
[email protected] to find out more.
Mike Culverhouse
Scouting Awards
Community Award
Chief Scout’s Award
At the dinner celebrating The Queen's Award, Helsby
resident Betty Newman was presented with The Chief
Scout's Award for 60 years service to Scouting.
Scouting is in Betty's blood as her father had started a
Scout Group in Urmston as early as 1912. Betty became
a Cub leader in Urmston at the age of 16 and was Cub
Leader with 1st Ince &
Elton from 1959 to 1993.
She is still serving that
Group as Secretary.
Betty has been a District
Cub Leader for many
years and has recently
Appointments Secretary.
She is a member of
Scout Active Support and
is a Warden for the District campsite "Queen
Charlotte's Wood".
delighted that such long
and dedicated service
has been recognised.
On October 16, at the Cheshire Rural Woman's Awards
Evening, Helsby's Janet Ford was nominated as the winner of the Cheshire Community Action award for services
to the community and the elderly in Helsby.
Janet told Helsby News “I am honoured to accept the
award and would like to pay tribute to all my friends who
volunteer in the village, as we all work together”.
Pictured below are Janet with husband Cllr Les Ford
and Chairman, Mrs Kathy Benn at the presentation.
Queen's Award for Voluntary Service
Picture below are members of Mersey Weaver District
Scout Council following the presentation of the Queen's
Award for Voluntary Service by HRH The Duke of Kent on
1 November 2012.
Sue Lorimer
Page 4
Village Society
Helsby Village Society has planted an
ornamental tree on
land opposite the
entrance to the
Community Centre
the Diamond Jubilee
Elizabeth in July
Committee members:
Beryl Johnson, Ros George &
Margaret Dodd (rear)
Mo Parker and Janet Ford (front)
Farewell to Rev Margaret
There was a full church at St Paul’s for the final service of Rev
Margaret in September, when parishioners, civic dignitaries and
friends said a warm, but sad, farewell and thanked Rev Margaret for
all she had done in the village.
Chairman of Helsby Parish Council, Terry O’Neil, presented her with
a silver salver to commemorate her time in Helsby.
Ordained in August 1994 as part of the first tranche of women
ordained into the priesthood, she served as vicar in Winsford and
Crewe, before moving to Helsby in 2005.
Rev Margaret has moved to Cornwall to take up an Assistant
Priest role to enable her and husband Geoff to have more time
She will be missed by all who knew her and is wished all the best
in her new, slower paced, parish.
Macmillan Cancer Support Fundraising
Frodsham and District Choral Society
Two major Coffee mornings in Helsby in October raised
almost £2,000 for MacMillan Cancer Support.
In the Community Centre Pippa Randles, Barbara
Neukom, and Pauline Gardner and a whole team of helpers raised £948.76. A splendid sum, which matched what
had been achieved last year, despite the economic climate.
Meanwhile at Helsby Golf Club lady members, including Ann Pemberton, Betty Summerfield, Phyll Ashall,
Margaret Young and Liz Speed held a number of events
to raise £920 for this great
both teams and their supporters on such terrific
On Saturday 15 December at 7 pm, St Laurence Church,
Frodsham and District Choral Society will perform
Handel’s “Messiah” with the Northern Ensemble and soloists Heather Heighway, Heather Ireson, Tim Kennedy and
Terence Ayebare. The wonderful soloists and orchestra
promise to make this an exciting and rewarding evening
for the audience.
A glass of wine or juice is served in the interval. Tickets
cost £10, inclusive. Tickets are available from Val Armstrong on 01829 751867, Ros Rowe on 01928 733247 or
Frodsham Frames, Main Street, Frodsham.
Helsby Hillside WI
Our meeting on 11 September told of the 'Creation of
Eden' by Dr Richmond Dutton. In the October meeting
we had a talk from Mrs Jackie Keasley on her South
America adventure and in November Mr Keith Birkett
gave us a talk on the History of Roberts Bakery.
Our final meeting of the year on 11 December will
see Mrs Rose Sedgewick bring us a really interesting
talk on 'My Gineration', followed by our Christmas
The programme for 2013 is just being finalised and
we would really like to see some new members at the
WI meetings in the future.
fsWe meet on the second Tuesday of each month
in Helsby Community Centre at 7.30 pm. If you would
like further information, please contact Pam on 01928
On behalf of Helsby Hillside WI we would like to
take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry
Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year.
Pam Hinkley
Page 5
Quite a quiet period to report, with Halloween and Bonfire Night passing off with no serious incidents and very
little in the way of Anti-Social Behaviour.
Whilst Helsby has not been targeted in the recent
spate of house burglaries which have occurred in neighbouring towns and villages it is vitally important to remind
you all to please keep your homes and sheds secured at
all times. Don't be tempted to leave pushbikes and other
property that could be locked safely in your sheds, out in
your garden.
With Christmas fast approaching please don't make
yourself an easy target by leaving valuables on show
either in your homes or your vehicles. Any suspicious
activity should be reported to me or if you are a member
of the home-watch scheme share any information you
may have your local rep.
Speeding through the village continues to be a problem with a lot of the road users seeming to totally disobey
the 30 mph speed limit. I am currently doing and plan to
continue doing regular speed enforcement throughout
the village to catch the people responsible.
Parking issues at the local schools is still a problem.
There are a small number of drivers who refuse to park
properly. You know who you are and so do other Helsby
residents! I would ask that you show some consideration
for other motorists, residents and school children who
have to share the village with you.
Contact me on 01606 362 548 or e-mail me on
[email protected]
To report an incident please call 101
In an emergency always dial 999
Marathon for Hillside too!
Ann Packer Visits Helsby High School
Helsby Hillside Primary School took part in an international
challenge on Thursday 18 October! Along with hundreds of
schools from across the world, Hillside's athletics squad took on
Save The Children Fund's World Marathon Challenge. Nine
runners ran a relay to complete a 1500 m race as quickly as they
could, managing to run the 1500 m in 5 minutes and 14 seconds.
Helsby High School was proud to welcome Ann Packer,
winner of the 800m gold medal at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics on Monday 15 October.
The challenge was part of Save The Children's World Hunger
Day designed to raise awareness of child hunger across the
world. Craig Richardson, Head Teacher, commented, "It was
great that we could support this really worthwhile cause. As a
school, we do a great deal to support charities and improve our
children's awareness of global issues and I think this is vital in
today's world."
Rail News
The Rail User Group is very pleased that the Council has
once again provided plants for Helsby and Frodsham
stations. The Friday Working Party will hopefully have
these all planted up by the time this edition is delivered.
Arriva Trains Wales has made it possible for the
Working Party to order some bulbs to add more colour to
the borders, tubs and gardens of the station next year. All
this means more work for the Friday team and they were
pleased to see a glowing mention of the state of the
station surrounds in the judges report for the village entry
into the 2012 Best Kept Cheshire Village Competition.
The Working Party will be delighted to welcome more
volunteers on a Friday morning to help keep the appearance of the station gardens up to the very high standard
that has been achieved over many years.
Frank Thomas
Page 6
Ann came to talk to the students about her achievements in athletics and also to encourage the youngsters
who were participating in the World Marathon Challenge
on Tuesday 16 October 2012.
The World Marathon Challenge actually started 5 years
ago here at Helsby High School and was the brainchild of
Frodsham resident George Bunner MBE, founder of
Sportshall Athletics. The idea is that teams run the 26.2
mile marathon in 200 metre stage relays and aims to beat
the marathon world record time of 2 hours 3 minutes and
38 seconds.
When children take part in the Marathon Challenge,
they compete with thousands of their peers from countries
across the world - all running in solidarity with children who
face a daily struggle to survive. Some of the original 2008
team who ran this are now in our Sixth Form. Last year
nearly 2000 children took part from more than a dozen
countries across the globe.
The 2012 event coincided with the United Nations
World Food Day and members of Save the Children also
attended the school. Assistant Headteacher, Karen Neal
said, “We were delighted to welcome Ann Packer today
into Helsby High School and are very proud that this large
and international event started here at our school. We are
keen to raise the awareness of the work of Save the
Children and the Legacy of the Olympics through team
work and feel it raises our students' global awareness.”
Sports Club's Firework Success
Once again Helsby's Community Sports Club provided the
village with a spectacular Firework display and Children's
Fairground on November 2 to celebrate
Bonfire night.
The damp weather was not allowed to spoil
the enjoyment and the organisation of the
event went like clockwork.
Congratulations to all who helped make it
such a happy and successful experience.
Helsby News says a very well deserved
thank you to the Club for its contribution to
the life of Helsby village and to the broader
“Little Gem”
Helsby's Diamond Jubilee Flower bed, at Maltby Triangle, has been singled out to receive Cheshire Pride’s
2012 “Little Gem” award.
Now planted up for the winter with pansies it makes
a lasting memorial to 2012 and Helsby's celebrations
of Her Majesty's special year.
Lions Charity Concert
Helsby & Frodsham Lions enjoyed a toe-tapping Charity Concert in St Pauls Church with the Farndon &
District Brass Band in aid of Help for Heroes. Thanks
to all who supported in raising funds for this most
worthwhile cause.
We celebrated our Anniversary with an excellent
meal at Helsby Golf Club with guests from neighbouring Lions Clubs. Helsby Golf Club has been chosen for
the Golf Competition when our District Convention is
held at the Holiday Inn, Beechwood, in March 2013.
Our next fundraising event is the Annual Race
Night at the Railway Inn with a Thai Supper.
Anyone wanting more information about Lions can
e-mail us at [email protected], telephone
01928 722121, or visit our website at We meet on the
first Wednesday of each month at Helsby Golf Club.
Page 7
Sports News
ESSAR Four Villages Half Marathon
Norman's 25 years
Helsby Golf Club recently hosted a hugely successful
“Juniors” reunion day and the whole event was a way of
recognising and honouring the massive efforts of club
stalwart Norman Littler.
Norman was instrumental in the development and
nurturing of the junior members at the club and this was
an extremely fitting way to celebrate his 25 years of
service. Jon Sharpe managed to round up 35 past and
present junior members and the sun shone on them as
they managed to pick one of the few good weather days
this late summer! Golf competition was the order of the
day and then in the evening there was a BBQ with just
enough light to get in the final of the putting competition.
During Norman's 25 years of service there have
been eight Professionals and a good number of low
handicap amateurs produced at Helsby GC and a great
day was had by all and many thanks go to all involved in
the organisation - especially Jon Sharpe.
Sunday 20 January 2013
This very popular event sees 2000 runners raise thousands for local charities and the race regularly makes
it into “Runners World” top 100 list of best-loved races!!
With last year’s race rated as the fourth favourite Half
Marathon this year’s should see a great turnout!
This fabulous event is supported by many local volunteers including Helsby Woman’s Institute, Horns Mill
School, Runcorn Canal Boat Project, Elton Guides,
Helsby Community Sports Club, the Helsby Guides
and Scouts, Helsby High School, Frodsham and
Helsby Rotary club and The Helsby Post office.
With lots of community support for the runners on the
day, from all of the villages along the route it makes our
“Helsby Half” a very positive event for the region.
Betty Grieve
Parish Field Award
Helsby FC Recruiting U11s
Helsby FC are currently looking for
players for their U11s team (school
year 6).
Helsby Parish Field and
Play Park has been
awarded protected status as part of the
Diamond Jubilee QEII
Field "Fields in Trust"
We train on a Thursday evening on the
astro turf at Frodsham leisure centre from
7 pm - 8 pm.
Our games are on a Sunday afternoon in
the Chester and District football league.
Watch out for this newly
placed sign as you walk
past the park.
Interested? contact : John Taylor on
07710 833 399.
Helsby Parish Council
North Ward
Sylvia Crossley-Jones
Alan Gardner
Patricia Holder
John Kimpton
Sarah Temple
Central Ward
Chris Ellams
Stuart Hulse (Vice Chair)
Sam Johnson
Andy MacPherson
Terry O’Neill (Chair)
Clerk Jeanette Hughes
Page 8
South Ward
Bill Foster
George Randles
Digger Rigby
Frank Thomas
726433, Suite 1, Oakmere House, Chester Road, WA6 ODJ
Helsby News is supported by Helsby Parish Council

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