Christmas Tree Recycling Information

bin man On Sunday, January 6 2008 St Helens Council's Rangers will be recycling Christmas trees at three venues between 10am and 3pm.

At Sherdley Park, trees should be left outside Pets' Corner, at Taylor Park they should be left in marked-out areas and at Naylors Wood car park, opposite Mesnes Park, Newton trees should be left at the side of a container on the car park.

All trees will be chipped on the day and the mulch will be available to take away

St Helens Council Christmas Services Information

The main Council services will be closed from 1pm on Monday 24th December 2007 until 8.30am Wednesday 2nd January 2008, however some services will be available at different times over the holiday as listed below.
The following Emergency Services will be available during this period.
Emergency Duty Social Worker 0845 0500748 (24 hrs)

All other Council Emergency Services 01744 456728 (24 hrs)

Contact Centre:
Telephone: 01744 456789
Open 10am – 4pm on: Thursday 27th December
Friday 28th December
Open 10am – 2pm on: Saturday 29th December
Open 10am - 4pm on: Monday 31st December

Adult and Children Social Care:
Telephone: 01744 456600
Open 10am – 4pm on: Thursday 27th December
Friday 28th December
Open 10am – 2pm on: Saturday 29th December
Open 10am - 4pm on: Monday 31st December

Central Library:
Open 9.30am – 5pm on: Thursday 27th December
Friday 28th December
Open 9.30am – 1pm on: Saturday 29th December
Open 9.30am – 5pm on: Monday 31st December

Branch Libraries:
All branches will be closed from 1pm on 24th December until Wednesday 2nd January 2008.
Peter Street, Parr and Garswood will be closed all day on 24th December as part of their normal opening hours.

St Mary’s Indoor Market
Open 9am – 8pm on: Saturday 22nd December
Open 10am – 4pm on: Sunday 23rd December
Open 9am – 5pm on: Monday 24th December
Closed on: Tuesday 25th and Wednesday 26th December
Open 9am – 5pm on: Thursday 27th December
Open 9am – 5pm on: Friday 28th December
Open 9am – 5pm on: Saturday 29th December
Closed on: Sunday 30th December
Open 9am – 5pm on: Monday 31st December
Closed on: Tuesday 1st January 2008

Chalon Way Sunday Car Boot Sale
Closed on: 23rd and 30th December

Earlestown Monday, Friday and Saturday Markets
Open as normal over the Christmas period.

St Helens Samaritans on Hand if You're Feeling Low this Christmas

IF you are feeling low this festive period the Samaritans will be avaliable for support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
This season, Samaritans expect more calls and emails than ever before from the distressed and stressed.
Local volunteer, Dez from St Helens said: "For some people the bright lights of Christmas can actually emphasise the problems they have. Especially if people are on their own, it might trigger feelings of intense loneliness and isolation or painful memories about the loss of someone close. Or for those with large families there might be worries about the financial burden."
Dez added: "Even when we are surrounded by family and friends we might still feel the need to speak to someone who doesn't know us. It's important to remember that however low or stressed out you feel there is always someone at the end of line. Samaritans is totally confidential and non-judgemental."
You can contact the Samaritans by phone 08457 90 90 90 or email for 24 hour support.

Armed Robberies at St Helens Bookies

A gunman threatened staff before escaping with cash in the first of two armed robberies at St Helens bookmakers.
Police confirmed a man armed with a black handgun targeted a bookmakers on Cambridge Road, St Helens, at 5pm on Thursday, December 20.
It is believed he threatened a young woman employee before fleeing with about £400 in cash.
In a second robbery on Saturday evening, a man - also believed to have been armed with a gun - struck at William Hill Bookmakers on Ormskirk Street, St Helens.
Police have not said whether they believe there is a connection between the two crimes.
In the Cambridge Road robbery, the man is described as white, 5ft 9ins tall and of slim build.
He is believed to have been aged between 18-30 years and dressed in a black hooded top, with a scarf covering his face.
Police say the staff member was left extremely shaken but unharmed.
At the Ormskirk Street robbery, between 6pm and 6.10pm on Saturday, a man demanded that staff place money in a plastic bag and then escaped with cash.
He is described as white, medium build and may have had brown eyes.
He was wearing a bottle green hooded top, a royal/navy blue scarf which was pulled up and light coloured trousers.
Anyone with information can contact St Helens CID on 0151 777 1577, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Big Brother Is Watching You - And Making St Helens Safer

Partygoers who become embroiled in violence around Christmas in St Helens town centre face being caught on CCTV.
The town's most senior police officer, Chief Superintendent Peter Brinkley, issued the warning as he urged revellers to drink responsibly and avoid booze-fuelled trouble during the festive season.
Traditionally numbers drinking in town-centre nightclubs and bars soar in the run-up to Christmas and police are aiming to keep a lid on flashpoints.

St Helens' top officer said widespread CCTV coverage throughout the town centre has helped recorded violence drop by a 25 per cent in recent years. Films of crimes such as attacks or damage can also provide significant evidence in court.
Chief Supt Brinkley said: "We know where the hot spots for trouble are - taxi ranks, fast food shops and clubs. And we regularly monitor those areas. If we recognise the behaviour of someone who has clearly had too much to drink or is acting suspiciously we will focus our cameras which are linked through the town centre."

With thanks to The St Helens Star

Christmas Cheer for Ravenhead Pensioners

Ravenhead Pensioners Breaking News from The St Helens Star

Christmas brings special cheer for the ex-Ravenhead workers who lost their pensions when the company went bust a decade ago.

Now they have now been promised 90 per cent of the pension rights they built up before 1997, subject to a £26,000 limit.

St Helens North MP Dave Watts told the Star that the government has rubber-stamped a £2.9 billion rescue package, which could affect up to 140,000 ex-workers.

He said the new financial aid package, which should come into force next year when a new Pension Bill is passed, would allow workers to take a 25 per cent cash lump sum from their pension at retirement.

He added that the scheme would also enable workers to apply for early or ill health retirement after the age of 60 and would provide a 50 per cent windows pension.

Watts, who has been campaigning on the issue for several years, said: "I am delighted that we now have a deal which will provide justice for the Ravenhead workers and their families and will allow them to plan for the future."

Mike Marsden, a member of the Ravenhead Pensions Action Group, said justice was finally being done.

He said: "Obviously we're very pleased with this development - it's something we've been striving to achieve for many years. Many of us have attended numerous rallies and demonstrations just to get to this point."

He added: "Since 2004, the government has offered compensation packages to workers like us of up to 90 per cent. But, as Ravenhead collapsed in 1997, we didn't qualify under that legislation. Now we're finally going to get the compensation we deserve."

Free Transport on Christmas Day to Hospitals

A Free bus service will be provided by Merseytravel on Christmas Day to help hospital workers and visitors.

The 10A, which runs from St Helens bus station to the Royal Liverpool and Whiston Hospitals, the 24X from New Street, Sutton to St Helens Hospital and the 194/195 which goes to Whiston and St Helens Hospitals, will be running from around lunchtime to past 5pm.

Merseytravel Traveline on 0871 200 22 33 will be open through the holidays, except Christmas Day

Jack and The Beanstalk Theatre Royal St Helens

The following review appeared in The Liverpool Echo

Many Thanks to Peter Elson who wrote

"Your flagging belief in live pantomime will be revived by this Christmas cracker of a show which played to a packed house of the young and young at heart on its opening night.

It got off to a robust start when the villainous Fleshcreep crept onto the stage and demanded of some St Helens matrons “Are you two sisters?”

On receiving their affirmative reply, he squawked in retort: “Wrong panto!”

This confirmed we were in safe hands for this very British tradition of seasonal battiness.

Fleshcreep was played with gusto by illusionist Richard De Vere, who also directed and had a nice line in local insults.

Referring to St Helens’ attributes, Fleshcreep proclaimed that the town was home to rugby and beautiful women. In an aside to another hapless audience member, he asked: “And which position do you play madam?”

Now into its eighth year of handling the St Helens’ panto, Regal Entertainments’ producer Jane Joseph once again released her now well-polished ensemble of performers on the unsuspecting glass-making town.

Other familiar and welcome faces include the energetic dancer Marc Lawlor as Spirit of the Beanstalk, Chris Cookall as Simple Simon and Gareth Wilde (still only 26!) whose performance as Dame Trott must rate as one of Britain’s best.

Mr Wilde’s day job managing a theatrical costumier means he dazzles the audience with outrageous clothes which Dame Edna Everage would die for.

The script is very good, with plenty of gags plus well-tried routines such as the ghosties and ghoulies sketch. The first half could do with some trimming, but pace picks up thereafter.

Although very traditional in concept with all the expected ingredients, the show boasts some impressive gimmicks, especially given this is a small theatre with limited resources. Richard De Vere’s flying dragon is tremendous and I loved the Benny Hill-style chase sequence film by Colin McKeown. As Mr De Vere warned us: “If you’ve not enjoyed the show – keep your gobs shut!”

On this glowing evidence such advice will not be needed. Few towns will have live Christmas entertainment of this calibre. The pantomime runs until January 13."

Roby & Wellens Sign Long Term Saints Deals

St Helens Rugby League Club have announced they have secured the long term services of two of the club's most integral squad members - James Roby and Paul Wellens.

Reigning Man-of-Steel and try scorer in Saints Challenge Cup victory over Catalan Dragons at Wembley in August, Roby, 21, has put pen to paper on a four year contract which will see him stay at the club until End of Season 2011.

Recognised as the country's best full back, Wellens, 27, has signed a three year deal which will see him stay at the club until End of Season 2010.

"I'm sure this announcement will come as a great early Christmas present for all Saints fans!" commented Saints Chairman Eamonn McManus. "There was significant interest in James which is understandable as he is one of the hottest properties in the game.

"Therefore, we are delighted to have secured his services for another four years.

"Paul has established himself as the best full back in the game and will continue to play a pivotal role as the club moves forward."

advertisementHe continues: "Not only have both players come through our Academy system, which shows its strength, but both have become an integral part of the club's success as well as being excellent ambassadors for St Helens.

"Going forward, they will continue to be the backbone of the club over the forthcoming seasons as we signal our intention to bring even more silverware to Knowsley Road."

Cannabis Factory Found in Newton


Police discovered a large quantity of cannabis plants following a raid on a house in Newton-le-Willows.

Around 120 plants and growing equipment were found at a property on Hawthorn Avenue on Thursday, December 6.

A 30-year-old man from Salford has been arrested on suspicion of growing cannabis and has been bailed pending further enquiries until March 10 next year.

If you have any information on drugs in your area contact the St Helens Drugs hotline on 0800 05170 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Three Arrested over Recent Lead Thefts

Three men have been arrested following a spate of lead thefts from buildings across St Helens.

The men, aged 27 from Clock Face, 41 and 26, both of no fixed abode, were arrested on Sunday, December 16 on Knowsley Road on suspicion of going equipped for theft.

They have all been bailed pending further enquiries until 3 January 2008.

Boy Dies Following Collision in Prescot

A 17-YEAR-OLD boy has died after being in collision with a car in the early hours of Sunday.

The incident happened at St James Road, Prescot, at about 12.20am.

The boy was involved in a collision with a Ford Focus.

A police spokesman said the victim was taken to Whiston Hospital, but later died from his injuries.

Police are appealing for witnesses to the incident to contact them.

St Helens Multi-Millionaire Takes Over Coventry City

ST HELENS born multi-millionaire Ray Ranson has secured a takeover of Championship club Coventry City FC.
Former Manchester City defender Ranson (47), who grew up in Manville Street in Peasley Cross, has been installed as the Sky Blues' new chairman after the success of his Sisu Capital bid.
Coventry, who had until 4pm Friday to confirm a takeover before being sent into administration, confirmed the takeover just an hour before the deadline.

We all wish him luck in his new venture.

St Helens College Redevelopment Plans Get Green Light

st helens college

The college's £60m redevelopment is approved by the Council's Planning Committee.

The £60m redevelopment of the Brook Street campus will involve demolishing the majority of the existing buildings and creating 17,500 square meters of two, three and four storey structures and also refurbishing the former Smith Kleine Beecham building which is to be Listed.
The college was founded in 1896 and now has 18,000 students and 700 student programmes. The first building of the modern college was built in 1959 and has evolved into the existing campus. The town centre campus is one of three college sites - the others being at Pocket Nook Street and Newton.

Cllr Richard Ferry, chair of Planning, said: "The proposals for the redevelopment of the campus represent a positive and sustainable development which will significantly enhance the town centre. The development will help the college to build on its solid base by providing state of the art educational facilities and potentially widen its catchment area to attract an additional one per cent of students."

Free Parking in St Helens this Christmas

Christmas and New Year shoppers will be able to enjoy more free parking in St.Helens town centre.

The Council’s Sunday car boot sale will close on Sunday, December 23 and, December 30 to free up extra parking spaces.

Car parking will be provided free during these days at Chalon Way and across other town centre car parks on Sundays and on late night shopping evenings.

Steve Brogan, Chairman of the Town Centre Partnership welcomed the Council’s decision adding: "Creating extra car parking spaces will be a real boost to shoppers both local and from further afield taking advantage of the wide range of retail offer in the town centre at very competitive prices."

Thanks Steve

Do You Recognise This Woman?

clintons purse snatch POLICE want to speak to this woman in connection with a purse theft at Clinton Cards in St Helens town centre.

At about 2pm on Tuesday, November 20, a shopper had a purse stolen from her bag as she reached out to pick up a card.

Police are now appealing for the woman shown on the CCTV stills to come forward.

If you think you recognise this woman, or if you know anything about the incident, you can call the St Helens CCTV Unit on 0151 777 6087 and quote reference number 11052

Match Details for Paul Sculthorpe Testimonoial

st helens SAINTS will face Super League rivals Wakefield Trinity Wildcats at Knowsley Road on Saturday, February 2, (kick off 2pm) in Paul Sculthorpe's Testimonial match.

Tickets for the game went on sale from St Helens' ticket office at Knowsley Road, Church Square, and on Friday, December 7.

Sculthorpe said: "I'm delighted to celebrate my Testimonial season at St Helens and announce Wakefield as the opponents for my Testimonial match in February.

paul sculthorpe"They're a club with a massive rugby league tradition and I'm sure it will be a very competitive curtain raiser to the new season which begins just a week later.
"John Kear is a good friend of mine, and of course my brother Danny plays for Wakefield, so I'm very pleased that we'll both be on the pitch for what will be a very special occasion for me.
"The St Helens club, and especially the fans, have played such an important part in my rugby league career, and I'm forever thankful for all the support I've received during my time here.
"There are many exciting Testimonial events planned, and with money being raised for Tommy's - The Baby Charity, I hope people continue to show their support and get involved for a good cause."

St Helens is Hot Spot for Tourism

MORE than 7.5m tourists poured into St Helens last year, boosting the towns coffers by more than £131m according to the latest set of statistics.

According to the figures compiled by the Scarborough Tourism Economic Activity Monitor, the borough is attracting more than one million people than in 2002.

St Helens is synonymous with high quality, say the council, offering events such as the Eclectica Music Festival, St Helens Festival and St Helens Comedy Week. A council spokesperson added: "St Helens has become a destination of choice for visitors to the Northwest, with an eclectic mix of countryside, rich heritage, vibrant nightlife and quality sporting events." They pointed to Haydock Park, Saints, The World of Glass and the Northwest Museum of Transport as other important tourist attractions.

Councillor Neil Taylor, executive member for urban regeneration added: "Tourism was identified as a key growth area for St Helens a few years ago and since then there has been a concerted effort to develop the sector."

False Alarm over Grim Find at Former Hospital Site

A dead body alert sparked by workmen at the former Billinge Hospital has proved to be a false alarm.

Extensive searching of drainage pipes by police search teams has concluded what were thought to be skeletal remains were in fact sections of grimy polystyrene.

For a brief while hopes had been raised that the final resting place of murdered Billinge 22-year-old Helen McCourt had at last been found after almost 20 years of searching. Sadly for her family the hunt now goes on.

Police say the workmen, who were about to cap the manhole as construction of a new housing estate continues, were right to contact them.

A spokesman said: "The call was made in good faith and it was certainly better to be safe rather than sorry.
"They had looked down the drain and seen what looked like vertebrae and possibly some other bone fragment but they turned out to be pieces of polysterene packaging and part of a plastic cup."

Earlier Helen's mum Marie had praised the workmen for their vigilance, saying that while it had turned out to be a false alarm, it was this kind of diligence which might one day lead to a breakthrough at long last.

"I would rather they have reported something they had suspicions about than have said 'we're not having anything to do with this' and filled in the hole forever. Then we would never have known the truth."

Helen McCourt disappeared on February 9 1988 after arriving back in Billinge from her work in Liverpool as an insurance clerk.
Even though her body has never been found, Ian Simms, the landlord of the George and Dragon pub in Main Street, was later convicted of her murder. He is still behind bars and still maintaining his innocence.

Reproduced from The St Helens Reporter

Body Found in Derelict Building

A MAN has been electrocuted after entering a derelict building, reportedly looking for scrap metal.

Police are investigating the death of the 24-year-old, whose body was discovered by a relative in a building on Atlas Street, Fingerpost at around 10pm last night (Monday, December 9).

Detective Inspector Colin Ratcliffe, warned: "I would like to take this opportunity to warn people about the dangers of entering derelict or industrial buildings to remove items such as copper cable, due to the risk to life.

Any loss of life in circumstances such as this are tragic and it really isn't worth the risk."

Courtesy of The St Helens Reporter

Police Say Body Found in Sutton Park is Missing Eileen

8.41 pm Sunday 9th December.
A SECTION of Sutton Park has been cordoned off by police following reports that a woman's body has been discovered in undergrowth.

Update 7.40 pm Monday 10th December

At the time it was not known if the discovery was linked to the disappearance of a local woman, but Police have now confirmed the identity of the woman found dead in Sutton Park on Sunday, December 9. She has been named as Eileen Carney, a 52-year-old from Lever Street in Clock Face who had been missing since Friday, November 30.
A police spokesperson said that there were no suspicious circumstances involved in her death. A post mortem has been carried out and the matter has now been referred to the coroner.Below is an appeal from Merseyside Police.

Kieron Cunningham is Voted Man of Bronze

Kieron Keiron CunninghamThe public have chosen Saints' legend Kieron Cunningham to be the subject of a new statue in honour of the champion rugby league club.
Saints’ legend Keiron Cunningham is the player the public of St.Helens have chosen to be the subject of a new statue in honour of the champion rugby league club.
At a special heroes’ homecoming reception at the Town Hall when the team won the Challenge Cup in August, St.Helens Council announced plans to commission a statue to celebrate the unprecedented success of the club.
So that as many people as possible could have a view on the statue the Council set up an on line vote on its web site and printed voting postcards. Within hours votes began to stream in and, as the closing date came just days ago, the total vote stood an an unprecedented 22,195.
Keiron polled a staggering total of 10138 pipping Tom van Vollenhoven at the post with 8820. Third was former Man of Steel Paul Wellens with 1501, followed by Alex Murphy on 1284, Alf Ellaby on 249 and Vinty Karalius on 203. Voters also suggested other greats such as Jimmy Stott, Paul Sculthorpe, Sean Long, Jon Wilkin, Geoff Pimblett, Chris Joynt and Mal Meninga to name but a few.
When voting opened the Council’s Press Office were inundated with requests for postcards from as far away as Scotland, Cornwall, Suffolk and Wales from former townsfolk and Saints’ fans eager to register their vote.
Some people liked the idea of a team tribute and that is something that may be progressed in future in some form at the proposed new stadium site.
Council Leader Brian Spencer said: "This is a marvellous response to our plans for the statue. This tribute is long overdue. The statue will be placed on one of the most prominent gateway sites into the Borough which will fittingly be near the site of the proposed new stadium.
"The club have been marvellous ambassadors for our Borough and we thought it was time we chose to honour the club for their sporting and community achievements over their long and prestigious history. I am very proud to be making this announcement in recognition of a world class sporting club which is such a vital part of our Borough’s past, present and future."
Saints’ Chairman, Eamonn McManus said: "The Club thanks the Council for this recognition and congratulates Kieron Cunningham, the true great of the modern era which has in turn been the most successful in the Saints' illustrious history. The Club separately will be looking to honour and pay tribute to others of its great players in the new stadium in an appropriate manner."
In 2001 the Council awarded the club Freedom of the Borough status following its record breaking sporting achievements.

Take a Ride with Santa Around St Helens

widnes bus Santa Rides into Town on 15th and 16th December between 10.30am and 5pm!

The North West Museum of Road Transport has a special event to celebrate the festive season!

You can enjoy a Santa Bus Ride in a vintage heritage bus around the bustling town of St.Helens. The ride will last approximately 20 minutes. Experience the facinating NW Museum of Road Transport. There will be tea and coffee available for the adults and and fruit juice and a mince pie for the children.

Pre booked places can be arranged at the following times: 11am, 12.30pm, 2pm, and 3.30pm.
The total cost for this event is £5.00 per person.
For more information about the event contact Geoff Sandford on 01695 627686.

Following its extensive and comprehensive refurbishment the North West Museum of Road Transport has re-open its doors to the public.

The Museum, which had been closed to the public since 1994, and houses a unique and extensive collection of historic public road vehicles from the North West region. The Museums Collection represents over 10% of the national stock of preserved buses and coaches. The collection is made up of 68 vehicles, largely buses, and a wealth of information and the associated materials relating to each exhibit.

2007 St Helens Town Centre Late Night Shopping And Other Events

Some of our readers have emailed me asking for information about What's On in St Helens over the 2007 Festive Period. I have done some research and managed to find out the following - with many thanks to St Helens Council

Late night Town Centre Christmas Shopping. This will run until 8pm on Thursday 29 November and until 9pm every following Thursday until Christmas.

The week beginning Monday 17 December will see the shops staying open until 8pm every night up to and including Saturday 22 December.
Sunday opening will be from 10am – 4pm (Church Square Shopping Centre) and from 10.30pm – 4.30pm (Hardshaw Centre). It does make you wonder why they trade differently on Sunday!

For those last minute gifts, both the Hardshaw Centre and Church Square Shopping Centre will open until 5.30pm on Christmas Eve.

As Christmas Day draws closer, the magical "Ex Terra Lucem" lantern procession will grace the Town Centre on Thursday 13 December, winding its way through the streets.

Taking part will be 4 local schools plus other members of the community plus Helena Housing and the World of Glass who will produce 150 hand made lanterns. Meeting at St.Helens Parish Church, the procession will start at 6.30pm - with approximatley 350 participants. The procession will be led by the award-winning 50 piece Batala Samba Band (previous winners of the Notting Hill Carnival and they opened the new Wembley at the England v Brazil game)
The Route - Church Square > Hardshaw Street >Victoria Square > Cotham Street > Ormskirk Street > Church Street and then returning to Church Square.
On Sunday, December 16th, St.Helens Council's Ranger Service will be holding a 'Feed the Birds' event at Sankey Valley Country Park Visitors Centre, Blackbrook.
It will begin at 10.30am and will provide helpful tips for feeding birds throughout the winter. There will also be a a short illustrated talk, practical demonstrations, bird cake making and a short walk if the weather is favourable. This event is limited to 20 places so to book a place, or for more details, please telephone 01744 677772.
There will be mince pies and a school choir at St.Helens Central Library, Victoria Square on Monday, December 17 from 10am to 1pm.
Children from the nearby Parish Primary School will be singing a selection of favourite Christmas carols and everyone is welcome to join in the festive fun.
On 18 December a Christmas Fayre is taking place at Nutgrove Primary School in order to raise funds for a proposed new nature trail and outdoor learning centre in the grounds below the school.

Get in the Christmas mood and celebrate with a traditional carol concert in Mesnes Park, Newton le Willows, St.Helens on Thursday, December 13 (7-8pm).
The Valley Youth Band will be there and members of the public can take part in the concert which will have a full repertoire of traditional carols. For further details of the event, organised by the Friends of Mesnes Park and St. Helens Council Rangers, contact 01925 229021
The following Thursday (20 December) will see the traditional carol concert returning to the Parish Church in Church Square, featuring a brass band and followed by hot chocolate and mince pies. Mmmm sounds lovely!

Delight in a traditional Christmas with the New Cross Singers and St.Helens Sinfonietta who will perform a programme of traditional carols at the United Reformed Church on Saturday 22nd December at 7.30pm. Tickets Cost £5.00, students and under 16 are half price.
On Sat 8th-December the award-winning Cowley Girl Singers are performing a range of traditional christmas carols for us at Sutton Oak Welsh Chapel on Lancots Lane. It all starts at 7:30pm, the doors open at: 7:00pm.admission: £3:00-please pay on the door All monies raised on the night go towards the re-wiring of the chapel.
On Fri 21st of December-the Welsh Chapel Society will be singing Christmas Carols with the public, with their extra special Christmas evening. The event starts at: 7:30pm, doors open: 7:00pm.donations are welcome, but they are not charging anyone for this extra special evening. It will be the first of many events at the chapel coming in the year 2008.

For more information about the St.Helens 2007 Christmas events programme please log on to or contact St.Helens Tourist Information Centre on 01744 755150.

Other events taking place in St Helens during the festive season include:

Monday 12 November – Saturday 29 December: Children’s Entertainment @ Church Square

From Saturday 17 November: Christmas Grotto @ the Hardshaw Shopping Centre

Sunday 18 November: The Dylan Project (Folk Music) @ The Citadel

Saturday 24 November: The Northwest Masters Racing Festival @ Haydock Park Racecourse

Wednesday 5 - Saturday 15 December: Cinderella Pantomime @ The Citadel

Thursday 6 December - Saturday 13 Jan: Jack & the Beanstalk @ the Theatre Royal

Friday 7 December: Lenny Henry (Comedy) @ the Theatre Royal

Sat 15 - Sun 16 December: Santa Special Weekend @ the N/west Museum of Road Transport
Tue 18 Dec: Christmas Fayre @ Nutgrove Primary School Thatto Heath

Thursday 20 December: Liverpool Philharmonic Gospel Choir @ The Citadel

Saturday 22 December: the Tommy Whittle Chase, Horse Racing @ Haydock Park

Sat 22 - Sun 23 December: Santa Special Weekend @ the N/west Museum of Road Transport

Wednesday 26 December: Boxing Day Trophy Powerboat Racing @ Carr Mill Dam
Sunday 30 December: the Last Fling, Horse Racing @ Haydock Park Racecourse

Sunday 6 January: the Ken Dodd Show @ the Theatre Royal

WOW - Free Domino's Pizza - No Strings Attached

Well the headline is designed to grab your attention and we hope it did!

If you are in St Helens, Merseyside and involved with a local school. charity, volounteer organisation or other worthy cause then Domino's Pizza have a limited number of free pizza vouchers to give away this Festive Season as Raffle Prizes at any forthcoming events you may have planned.

These are local vouchers and are only redeemable at St Helens Domino's Pizza, but will have a value of up to £13.99 so can be redeemed against any large pizza on a regular base. There are the usual Terms & Conditions of Use but nothing too stringent.

So, how do you get hold of one of these vouchers?.

Just send an email to explaining a little bit of information about your organisation, a contact phone number and a postal address and Domino's will get one out to you as soon as possible.

And who said there was no such thing as a free lunch?

Don't Present Thieves with Easy Pickings

Christmas St Helens With the festive period approaching and christmas shopping in full swing, Merseyside Police in St Helens is urging local people not to let car thieves ruin their Christmas.

Each year, the number of thefts from parked cars and other vehicles increases around Christmas time, with newly-bought presents a key target for thieves. This year police officers in St Helens aim to build upon their recent success in tackling car crime by making sure that members of the public protect their vehicles

Police Officers, including Community Support Officers, Crime Reduction Officers and the Special Constabulary, will be targeting busy shopping areas and hotspots for car crime across St Helens, handing out crime prevention advice. In addition, a highly visible ad van promoting the message 'If it's on show, it's gonna go' will be seen out and about around busy retail parks and hotspot area and the message will also be advertised on the back of carpark tickets.

Remove all valuables

Police want to remind people "Don't make it easy for car thieves" - urging them to ensure that they remove all valuables from their cars. Officers are also asking that whilst doing the Christmas shopping, residents and visitors don't go back to their car half way through and leave presents in the boot, or on a back seat, before returning to the shops.

Chief Inspector Shaun Holland said: "Police officers in St Helens have worked tirelessly with members of the public to reduce incidents of car crime. If we all take some simple steps, such as removing items from view, and making sure you don't make yourself an easy target by putting presents in the car and leaving it again, we can all reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim of car crime. If you see anyone acting suspiciously around vehicles, call Merseyside Police on 0151 709 6010.

Covert policing

"Thieves will take any opportunity presented to them - sometimes for very little reward - simply because they can. Our message is that we can stop the thieves, by taking simple steps and not making yourself an easy target."

The awareness campaign will be support by high-profile and covert policing across the borough to track down potential thieves.

Chief Inspector Holland added: "Our message to car thieves is beware - we have the means to stop you. We'd urge anyone who has information about car crime to report offenders to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, so that police can work to take them off the streets and put them before the courts."

Christmas Fayre to Support Mayor's Appeal

Posted on: 13/11/2007 - based on a Council News Release

A Christmas Fayre is being held on Saturday 8th December to raise money for the Mayor of St.Helens’ Mayor’s Appeal.

It is being organised by the St.Helens-based HoneyRose Foundation - which is being supported by the Mayor’s Appeal - but the proceeds will be divided between both HoneyRose and the Mayor’s other charity, St. Helens District Sports Council.

The fayre is being held in the Church Hall of St.Helens Parish Church in Church Square from 10am until 4pm and the Mayor Cllr Sheila Seddon and Mayoress Mrs Ann Forrest will be helping out during the day.

So pop in while you are out doing your Christmas shopping and lend your support to these two worthy causes.

The HoneyRose Foundation supports terminally ill adults by providing them with memorable events such as special days out or weekends away and the District Sports Council aims to enhance quality of life by promoting physical, active and healthier lifestyles through sport.

Be a Savvy Shopper This Christmas

National Consumer Week starts on 17th November and this year's theme is 'Be a Savvy Shopper this Christmas'.
The week will focus on helping people to avoid the Christmas shopping pitfalls.
St Helens Council Trading Standards Team will be out and about at five of the Borough’s libraries offering top tips and advice to residents this Christmas.
There will displays at the following libraries all week and a member of the Trading Standards Service will be present in the afternoon, for half a day:
• Central Library Thursday 20th
Victoria Square
• Rainhill Community Library Saturday 22nd
View Road
• Thatto Heath Community Library Monday 17th
Thatto Heath Road
• Moss Bank Community Library Monday 17th
Eskdale Avenue
• Eccleston Library Saturday 22nd Broadway
National Consumer Week starts on 17th November and this year's theme is 'Be a Savvy Shopper this Christmas'.
The week will focus on helping people to avoid the Christmas shopping pitfalls.
St Helens Council Trading Standards Team will be out and about at five of the Borough’s libraries offering top tips and advice to residents this Christmas.
There will displays at the following libraries all week and a member of the Trading Standards Service will be present in the afternoon, for half a day:
• Central Library Thursday 20th
Victoria Square
• Rainhill Community Library Saturday 22nd
View Road
• Thatto Heath Community Library Monday 17th
Thatto Heath Road
• Moss Bank Community Library Monday 17th
Eskdale Avenue
• Eccleston Library Saturday 22nd

Vote for The Man of Bronze

Excerpt from Saints website.

8th Nov 2007

St. Helens Council is pressing ahead with plans to commission a statue to celebrate the unprecedented success of St. Helens Rugby League Club.

A statue of a favourite ‘son of Saints’ to be voted on by townsfolk will be placed in a prominent position in the Borough.

Following talks with the club, six ‘all time great’ names have been suggested but fans will also be given the opportunity to name their particular favourite.

The super six are:

Tom Van Vollenhoven
Alex Murphy
Vinty Karalius
Alf Elaby
Keiron Cunningham
Paul Wellens

The Council has produced a freepost postcard which will be placed in local libraries, public buildings and the two Saints’ shops.

You can also vote on line at or by emailing

Residents are being asked to tick one box for their favourite player on the list but also have the chance to put forward their own choice if it is not one of the six.

You can also request a copy of the postcard by contacting the Council’s Press and PR Office on 01744 456166/5.

Council Leader Brian Spencer said: “This tribute is long overdue. The statue will be placed on one of the most prominent gateway sites into the Borough which will fittingly be near the site of the proposed new stadium site.

“The club have been marvellous ambassadors for our Borough and we thought it was time we chose to honour the club for their sporting and community achievements over their long and prestigious history. I am very proud to progress this initiative in recognition of a world class sporting club which is such a vital part of our Borough’s past, present and future.”

In 2001 the Council awarded the club Freedom of the Borough status following its record breaking sporting achievements.

Talks have already begun with a sculptor to discuss the project brief and the player with the most votes will be announced at the end of November.

Daniel Anderson set for Farewell Season with Saints

October 7, 2007

St Helens Supercoach Daniel Anderson has revealed his intention to return to the NRL in 2009 in a move which will put further heat on local Aussie coaches to perform next season.

The 40-year-old, who guided the Warriors to the NRL grand final in 2002, said he hoped to return to the Australian rugby league scene when he relocated his family to Sydney at the end of next season.

"I'd love to," Anderson told The Sun-Herald.

"Obviously, it's hard to break into it but I always want to be involved in rugby league. If I'm fortunate, I'll get another opportunity to do something in Sydney for the game.

"We're looking forward to coming home after a long time away. I've never coached an NRL team in Australia before and it's definitely a goal I'd like to achieve.

"It's a family-based decision … It's time to let the kids settle down, get some friends and work out where we'll live for a few years."

The former Kiwi Test coach, who rejected lucrative offers to extend his stay at Knowsley Road, is considered one of the most astute mentors in England.

He is the latest recipient of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Coach Award, an honour previously bestowed upon Sir Alex Ferguson, Clive Woodward and José Mourinho.

His return to Australia also puts the heat on Sydney-based NRL coaches to perform, as the clubs know a capable replacement is waiting in the wings.

Wests Tigers coach Tim Sheens is off contract at end of next year, while Matthew Elliott (Panthers), Nathan Brown (Dragons), Brian Smith (Knights) and Brad Fittler (Roosters) are all expected to come under increasing pressure to perform.

Anderson said he would return to Australasia a much-improved coach after his overseas postings.

"Absolutely, you're a better coach every year you coach.

"I'm fortunate I've had some experience with New Zealand as an international coach, with the Warriors in Auckland and St Helens in the Super League.

"I'm very lucky I've got some experience and I'm lucky to have worked with some hall-of-famers who have developed me as a coach as well."

Daniel is pictured above with Simon Pickles from Domino's Pizza who kindly agreed to Daniel's request for a photo!!

St Helens City Growth Plans

This is a shortened version a the news release by St Helens Council. For full details please see the contact details at the bottom of the post.

A wide-ranging consultation exercise has been launched in order to update and revise the private sector led St.Helens City Growth Strategy (CGS), which acts as the business plan for "St.Helens plc".

The original 10-year CGS was launched in 2003 following St.Helens’ selection by then Chancellor Gordon Brown as one of only 4 national pilot areas for this ground-breaking economic development initiative pioneered at Harvard Business School in the US. The decision to update and revise the CGS after less than 5 years has been taken because the vast majority of the 60 original projects identified have either been completed or are well on the way to being delivered.

Key CGS achievements include the provision of new business premises, the start on site of 3 new Urban Villages comprising 2,200 new homes, the comprehensive upgrading of the town centre’s public realm, an iconic new Central Station, the "Brand New St.Helens" integrated marketing initiative just launched, plus the selection of the former Sutton Manor colliery as one of only seven UK sites for a Channel 4 Big Art Project. Meanwhile the St.Helens Local Enterprise Growth Initiative (LEGI) has already helped create more than 550 new businesses and 1,250 new jobs.

The CGS consultation document sets out initial views on the important issues for the future development of the St.Helens economy. It has been produced by the St.Helens Enterprise Forum - a private sector led sub-group of St Helens Chamber Board responsible for overseeing the delivery of CGS and LEGI - working closely with St Helens Council.

The original CGS vision for St.Helens to become established as "A vibrant modern place for enterprise and a regional location of choice" has been retained in the revised draft strategy. The four key themes are also largely the same, namely:

Theme A: Transforming the Business Base: growing the number of businesses, diversifying and strengthening the business base, and increasing the number of people in employment.

Theme B: Transforming Ambition: creating an entrepreneurial culture and raising aspirations among St.Helens residents.

Theme C: Achieving a Physical Transformation: improving the overall appearance of St.Helens, enhancing the town centre and wider tourism and leisure offer, additional residential development and exploiting our prime regional connectivity.

Theme D: Transforming Perceptions: changing external perceptions of St.Helens, raising the Borough’s overall profile, and engendering greater local pride among local residents.

Steve Gange, HR Director at Pilkington’s and Chair of the St.Helens Enterprise Forum. comments: "This is a great time to be setting up or growing a business in St.Helens. The economy is going from strength to strength and the transformation of the Borough over the last 4 years, particularly in terms of its physical appearance, has been remarkable.

We still face a number of challenges however and that is why revising the CGS is important, to help identify priorities and projects to build on and maintain our recent success.

We are fortunate in St Helens that the views of local businesses are taken very seriously by the public sector. CGS is intended to be a private sector led initiative and it is therefore vital that as many businesses as possible take the opportunity to have their say now, just as they did with the initial City Growth Strategy."

Cllr. Neil Taylor, Executive Member for Urban Regeneration at St.Helens Council, adds "It is a reflection of the pace of successful regeneration in St.Helens that we are radically updating our 10-year City Growth Strategy after only 4 years!

St.Helens is well on its way to becoming established as a vibrant, modern place for enterprise and a regional location of choice, reflected in the fact that Barclay’s Bank found us to be one of the top 11 places in terms of business start up growth last year.

The consultation findings will inform the growth of "St.Helens plc" for the next ten years, making this a real opportunity for people to shape the Borough’s future, so please complete the survey and tell us what you think!"

The consultation period runs until Friday 14 December, and anyone wanting to have their say should fill out the brief questionnaire online at Two open consultation events have also been organised on Monday 19th November from 5pm-7pm and Thursday 22nd November from 8:30am-10:30am. Both will take place at St Helens Chamber.

For further information, please contact John Whaling, Economic Development Manager at St.Helens Council via or 01744 456 047, or Kath Boullen, Chief Executive of St Helens Chamber, via or 01744 742 000.

St Helens Chat Forum

St Helens Chat is one of St Helen's most popular websites bringing together locals and expats in a friendly environment. With links, local history and a vast library of images this site is a great resource for locals and visitors alike.

St Helens Chat

Christmas Lights Switch On 17th Nov 07

St Helens Lights
Get under starters orders for the festive season in St Helens, which offers a bigger and better Christmas events programme than ever this year!

Enjoy an evening of free family fun entertainment in Victoria Square, St Helens town centre, to accompany the switch-on at 5pm there will be some of the most spectacular Christmas lights in the region.

There will be a whole host of family fun entertainment which will include jugglers, fire-eaters plus much more.

For further information please contact the Council’s Events Team on 01744 455326

A Brand New St Helens

st helens, posh, brand new This is a shortened reproduction of a Press Release from 23/10/07 launching the borough's latest initiative - A Brand New St.Helens

For further details please see the contact details at the bottom of the post.

St.Helens Council has launched "Brand New St.Helens", the Borough’s first ever integrated branding and destination marketing initiative, aimed at promoting "St.Helens plc" and showcasing the positive "post-industrial revolution" underway.

The new branding identifies St.Helens as the "Heart of the Northwest" to highlight the Borough’s location, connectivity, regional significance, and passionate "Northern soul". This is supported by a new St.Helens Visitor Guide, packed with details of the Borough’s rich tourism and leisure offer, plus a Development Review publication that highlights the spectacular ongoing physical transformation of St.Helens in terms of infrastructure, business developments, tourism and leisure schemes, public services, and residential development.

Central to Brand New St.Helens are the four key themes that will direct the marketing campaigns to be delivered.

"Connectivity, Catchment, Cost" highlights the Borough’s appeal as an accessible, cost effective business base for new and additional investment.

"Home of Champions" seeks to promote St.Helens’ winning business environment, which offers some of the best business support in the Northwest, not least via the best Chamber in the UK.

The existing website has undergone a complete revamp to support both these themes.

"Discover your Doorstep" is aimed at getting locals and day visitors alike to appreciate and utilise the Borough’s tourism and leisure assets, and is being accompanied by a major upgrade of

Last but not least is the "be POSH!" theme aimed at instilling and bringing out local pride. This will be rolled out via a dedicated website,, which highlights the many remarkable facts, people and other reasons there are to be Proud of St.Helens – POSH for short! People can put forward their own POSH suggestions, not just to herald events and celebrities past and present, but also to celebrate ordinary local people who are achieving extra-ordinary things.

st helensThe ultimate goal is to benefit the Borough’s businesses, residents and economy as a whole by attracting added investment and tourism. This will be achieved by raising the general profile of the Borough, enhancing St.Helens' overall image, and encouraging and increasing local pride.
Councillor Brian Spencer, the Leader of St.Helens Council comments: "There is a remarkable transformation taking place in St.Helens - Barclays Bank recently cited St.Helens as one of the top 11 places in the UK in terms of business start-up growth, while one of the world’s foremost artists has been commissioned to create an internationally significant new artwork here as part of Channel 4’s Big Art Project.

"The time has therefore come to adopt a more direct, confident, consistent and quality-focused approach to marketing the Borough, in order to capitalise on our prime location and connectivity at the centre of the Northwest region.

"Brand New St.Helens is in effect about promoting "St.Helens plc" – i.e. the Borough and its assets as a profitable business base, desirable residential location, and appealing visitor destination.

"We are positive that other local and external stakeholders will want to buy into the new branding and materials, to help take the promotion of St.Helens and its many positives to a new level."

For more information, visit the portal website or contact Laura Hutchings, Economic Development Marketing Officer at St.Helens Council, on 01744 671 749, 07747 762 167 or via

St Mary's Lowe House Carillon

Few people in St Helens could have failed, at some time or other, to have been stopped in their tracks by the sheer tonal beauty of the bells of St Mary’s, Lowe House, whether they be sounding out the cheerful bells of Christmas, or a splendidly rendered version of some religious or celebratory tune.

Carillons range in size from two to over six octaves, or from a minimum of 23 bells to as many as 77. A range of four to four and one half octaves (47 – 56 bells) is most desirable since almost all carillon music can be played on such an instrument (by comparison a piano has 88 notes, whilst an organ keyboard has 61). Most contemporary carillon music and much historic music is written for carillons with a range of four or more octaves.

The carillon at St Mary’s, Lowe House is one of the largest in the British Isles with 47 bells. The largest bell weighs 4 tons 4cwt. It is known as the “Thanksgiving” Carillon because it was erected in the centenary year of Catholic Emancipation and therefore is a celebration of religious freedom.

The bells are played by hand for which purpose a clavier of keyboard is provided, not unlike that of an organ.

This blog's author works next to the Church and what a joy it is during Summer afternoons to be able to stop for a few minutes and listen to the Carilloneur practising for upcoming services and recitals. In the heart of town, to be able to hear such cheerful and uplifting music is a rare gift indeed.

This short extract is reproduced from the website of St Mary's Lowe House Church. It is an extensive site and contains an excellent article on the full history of the Carillon and its arrival in St Helens in 1929, an event attended by many thousands of people.

"Purple Aki" jailed over Body Obsession

Here follows a synopsis of the week long trial that eventually led to the return to jail of the man known as Purple Akipurple aki

Man denies muscles ban

Nov 9 2007 Liverpool Echo
A LIVERPOOL man accused of breaching an interim sexual offences prevention order was caught on CCTV grabbing a young man’s bicep, a jury was told.

Akinwale Arobieke, 46, of Cavendish Gardens, Devonshire Road, Toxteth, denies breaching the order which bans him from “touching, feeling or measuring any muscle area”.
The case, being heard at Preston crown court, follows an alleged incident on May 24.

The following is an extract form the Lancashire Evening Post website on the same day

A convicted criminal known as 'Purple Aki' has denied breaching a sexual offences order which bans him from touching other people's muscles.
A man has told a jury he was grabbed in Preston, Lancashire, by a man he thought was a well-known "bogeyman".The events took place on May 24 this year when the man, known only as Jonathan, was shopping with a friend in Preston city centre.Akinwale Arobieke, 46, of Cavendish Gardens, Liverpool, denies two charges of breaching an interim Sexual Offences Prevention Order imposed in October 2006, which bans him from "touching, feeling or measuring any muscle areas".

Giving evidence from behind a screen, Jonathan told the jury at Preston Crown Court that as he and his friend crossed Fishergate outside Topshop the man grabbed him by his right bicep.He said the man asked him which gym he went to and said that must be where he recognised him from.He said: "He had hold of my right bicep throughout."Arobieke is alleged to have asked Jonathan about his gym training and told him he was getting bigger as a result.Jonathan said his friend started telling him about Arobieke and man reacted to by tightening his grip on the young man's bicep and denying the allegations.

Arobieke is then said to have asked Jonathan to go and talk to him down Canon Street free from his friend's interruptions and gestured with his head for him to walk away with him. However, worried by the claims his friend was making, Jonathan shook the man off his shoulder and went to join his friend.The pair later reported the incident to a security guard in the Mall St George's.

They met another friend after work and looked up 'Purple Aki' on the internet.Jonathan spoke to his mother about what had happened and she urged him to report the incident to the police.Robert Platts, defence, read the jury an account of Arobieke's notoriety taken from the website Wikipedia, which stated: "Akinwale Arobieke, known locally as Purple Aki, is a convicted criminal from the North West of England."He was widely believed to be an urban legend until his imprisonment in Liverpool in 2001. He was well known as a "bogeyman" in the area, with stories of his activity reaching as far as Wigan and Doncaster."Many stories talk of his sexual attacks, but he has never been found guilty of anything of a sexual nature."Mr Platts quoted further references to Arobieke's criminal history taken from the site and added: "The jury will hear that is factually incorrect."

However, Mr Platts said: "Mr Arobieke accepts he was in Preston that day and around the area we are talking about, but he denies any contact with you."What I suggest happened to you is that (your friend) spotted him because he knew a
bout him because of his Liverpool football (friends] and the fact that he had in the past downloaded him through the net."He spots him and says there and then 'that's Purple Aki' at a distance from you and from that point on you spot him two or three times."You were going round following him."Prosecutor Jonathan Clarke said on the same day a similar incident was recorded on CCTV in the St George's shopping centre.He said Arobieke was seen grabbing the bicep of another young man who was out shopping with his girlfriend.The man did not report the incident but was traced through local media appeal following Jonathan's complaint.

Then on November 14th the following appeared on the Lancashire Evening Post site

Man at centre of muscle-squeezing claims blames Wikipedia

A man accused of breaching a court order from feeling people's muscles told a jury he was at the centre of a plot to "stitch him up".
Akinwale Arobieke, 46, of Cavendish Gardens, Liverpool, admitted having a previous obsession with body building but said since he had not committed any offences since his conviction for harassment in 2001.He claimed allegations that he breached his interim Sexual Offences' Prevention Order by squeezing the biceps of two young men in Preston in May this year were untrue and that witnesses had read lies about him on the Internet.Prosecutor Jonathan Clarke accepted the complainant involved in the first incident on Fishergate had researched Arobieke on the Wikipedia website.However, he said although the 2001 harassment charge was made up of numerous incidents involving 14 young men – most of which involved him grabbing their muscles and complimenting them on their physique – it was not detailed on Wikipedia.Arobieke said he had never visited the site as he found its contents offensive and declined the opportunity to view a printout.He said: "When you do something wrong you can only be punished so much. I have admitted what I have don
e in the past and I want to move forward."He also said vital evidence which would have clarified the events in Fishergate had been destroyed: "I said that the CCTV footage was my only defence and my only defence was deleted."However, CCTV footage of Arobieke and the second complainant, Carl, in the Mall St George's, was shown in court.Mr Clarke said the video appeared to show the men talking and the witness flex his bicep. He then said it appeared Areobieke grabbed the man's bicep, a claim Arobieke vehemently denied.He said: "I don't deny I walked past him and there was contact but I wasn't in breach of my SOPO. When I went into town that day I had no bad intentions at all. I had no bad thoughts whatsoever."He claimed that Merseyside Police had made a payout to him for "untruths they made about me to put my life in danger" in 1999.

Man jailed over 'body obsession'

Then this is the final article which appeared on November 15th in the LEP

A man who a judge said had "deliberately and audaciously" ignored a court order by travelling to Preston where he approached a shopper and touched his bicep, has been sent to prison.
Akinwale Arobieke was a man "obsessed" with other people's bodies, the court was told, and under a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO), was banned from "touching or feeling other people's muscles in public". After a week-long trial at Preston Crown Court he was convicted on one charge of breaching the order and cleared by the jury of another breach.The trial was told that Arobieke had, in May this year, approached a man in St George's Shopping Mall and touched his bicep. Although the man was not put in fear by the action, he later recognised himself in a CCTV photograph in the Lancashire Evening Post and reported what had happened to police.The original order came about on an application by the Chief Constable of Merseyside the day before Arobieke, 46, of Cavendish Gardens, Devonshire Road, Liverpool, who denied the breaches, was due to be released from a sentence imposed at Preston Crown Court.He had been sentenced to six years in December 2003 for 15 offences of putting people in fear of violence and one of intimidating a witness. By breaching the order in Preston, Arobieke became e
ligible to be returned to prison to complete the six-year term for which he had been released early.Judge Stuart Baker sentenced him to 15 months outstanding from the original term and added six months for the breach.Because of time spent on remand in custody for the breach, the effect of the sentence would mean he has to serve the 15-month term.The judge told him his actions "leave me to conclude you have not overcome your obsession". Judge Baker said he accepted the incidence of touching had been brief and the man was never placed in fear.He had denied the Preston offence for which he was convicted by the jury despite CCTV evidence against him, added the judge.

A lot more information about an "urban myth" character called Purple Aki can be found in this Wikipedia article

Sutton Oak Welsh Chapel

Situated on Lancots Lane, Sutton Oak , St Helens, the Chapel is a grade 2 listed building, in need of much restoration. It is also the last of the Welsh Chapels, the 3rd oldest church in St Helens, and by all accounts the only building in the North West which is made up of copper slag-industrial waste from the copper smelting works, which used to be opposite the Welsh Chapel.

The Sutton Oak Welsh Chapel Society are currently in the middle of a large scale renovation programme to restore the building to its former glory.

Regular services are held - in English - and the Chapel is open to visitors every Friday.

For full details of the Chapel and the work done by the Chapel Society visit their excellent website

St Helens Tourism & Leisure Awards

st helens town hall

Last chance to salute our champions
DO you know someone who deserves an award for all the hard work they do on behalf of our town?
You'd better hurry as the final deadline for entries to the 2007 St Helens Tourism and Leisure Awards is fast approaching. It has been extended by a week due to the postal strikes, so you have until Friday November 2 to get your nominations in and help to find the very best of the local tourism and leisure industry.
Following the huge success of the 2006 gala awards evening earlier this year, attended by over 370 people, St Helens will once again be celebrating the excellence and achievements of all those businesses, organisations, and individuals who contribute to the borough's growing tourism industry. They will recognise the people across the borough who have been instrumental in ensuring that visitors have enjoyed their time in St Helens during 2007.

All members of the public and businesses operating within the sector are encouraged to make nominations in any of the 13 categories:
Most Welcoming Receptionist
Most Helpful Retail Assistant
Most Professional Sports and Leisure Person
Tourism, Hospitality, Retail or Leisure Apprentice
Most Professional Bar Person
Most Professional Waiter/Waitress
The Unseen Hero
Young Chef Award
Chef of the Year
Team of the Year
Most Supportive Tourism/Leisure Manager/Supervisor
Tourism/Leisure Entrepreneur of the Year.
2007 St Helens Ambassador Councillor Neil Taylor, Executive Member for Urban Regeneration at St Helens Council said: "I would encourage local people and businesses that have been impressed by the high standards of an individual or team working within the borough's growing tourism and leisure sector to nominate them for an award and help us to officially recognise their efforts and celebrate their contribution to the industry.
"St Helens is now a growing regional destination of choice for visitors. With its mix of glorious countryside, fascinating heritage, vibrant nightlife and quality sporting events, St Helens has something to offer everyone"
Dickon White, Chair of the St Helens Tourism and Leisure Business Network and Managing Director at Haydock Park Racecourse says: "The annual St Helens Tourism and Leisure Awards recognise the hard work and commitment of all those involved in the tourism industry in the borough and we are looking forward to another exciting competition. This event will showcase what has been achieved during 2007 by the private sector working in close partnership with public agencies such as St Helens Council, The Mersey Partnership and the Northwest Development Agency".
Entries will be accepted up until Friday, November 2, and the shortlist of successful candidates will be announced later that month. The awards ceremony will take place on Friday, January 25 2008 at Haydock Park Racecourse.
To request a nomination form, or for further information about how to enter the 2007 St Helens Tourism and Leisure Awards, contact Alexandra Holt, Tourism Development Officer at St Helens Council, Town Hall, Victoria Square, St Helens WA10 1HP, call 01744 456078, or e-mail

North West Museum of Road Transport

Visitor Information

2007 Opening Times
Every Saturday & Sunday from 11.00 - 16.00


Adults £3.50

Child £2.00

Family £10.00

Concessions £2.00

Educational & Group Visits can be arranged midweek please contact us for details

How to find us map details

The museum is a short walk from St. Helens bus station and St. Helens Central Merseyrail station. For detailed public transport information log on to or call Traveline on 0871 200 22 23

Paul Holmes
Information Officer
North West Museum of Road Transport

The New St Helens Stadium

St Helens Stadium, United Glas

Exciting plans are in place as a result of four years’ hard work, to transform the derelict United Glass site by landowner and developer Langtree Group plc, St Helens Council, St Helens Rugby League Club, retailer Tesco and housebuilder Taylor Woodrow.

Under the dynamic proposals, a stadium would be built befitting the most successful club in modern rugby league history and provide one of the biggest economic development initiatives in the recent history of the borough.

The success of this project is entirely dependent upon all aspects of the scheme being delivered.

In summary, these developments are:

The transformation of the derelict former United Glass site to create a new 18,000-capacity stadium for St Helens Rugby League Club, a 140,000 sq ft Tesco Extra, as well as associated public realm and infrastructure improvements which will go hand-in-hand with the development

The redevelopment of the existing town centre Tesco store in Chalon Way into alternative high quality retail use, significantly enhancing and extending the town ’s retail offer

The development of the existing St Helens Rugby League Club site at Knowsley Road to create high quality family housing, which will enhance the existing community.
Together, these developments will create thousands of new jobs and pump millions of pounds into the local economy, strengthening the borough ’s economic base.

They will also deliver increased civic pride, enhanced social inclusion and improved brand image for the town.

The three cornerstones of the scheme are inextricably linked. If any single element were to fail, the entire project would collapse.

'Without the development of a retail store on the former United Glass site it would not be financially viable to construct the proposed new stadium.

This is because the retail store would act as an enabling component, facilitating the development of the stadium and associated infrastructure and public realm works.

Furthermore, the relocation of Tesco from its existing site is required for the proposed retail development to proceed at Chalon Way in the town centre.

Over and above the benefits delivered by the development of a derelict industrial site, the redevelopment of a prime town centre retail opportunity would generate significant additional economic benefits and is essential in justifying the provision of public sector support and funds necessary to redevelop the former United Glass site.

The development of the existing stadium site at Knowsley Road is also essential to help fund the stadium development.

It is essential, therefore, that each of the separate elements of the proposal be regarded as inextricably linked.

Each of the parts is vital to achieve the whole. And each of the parts is vital to achieve the significant economic benefits that would flow from the overall proposal and which would justify the expenditure of public funds.

This plan will deliver a positive economic impact on a scale that St Helens has never seen before.
With thanks to Langtree Group PLC. Visit the website for full details and to register your support

Sutton Beauty Website

Sutton Beauty A wonderfully-constructed and informative website, it is described in the creator's own words as

"a photographic appreciation of the Sutton district of St Helens, England"
Sutton has changed so much over recent years with the demise of its industrial base and its current regeneration into a diverse environment. This site aims to showcase some of its outstanding areas of natural beauty. The website is intended as a long-term project to document this renewal.

The site extends to over 50 pages of informative text and is illustrated with the creator's own images.

Click here to view the site

Hoax 999 Callers to be Targeted

Hoax 999 St Helens

Do you know who’s making hoax calls?

15/10/2007 Extracted from News Release by Merseyside Fire Service

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service has launched a new attack on hoax callers.

A web page has been introduced where people can listen to genuine hoax calls to the fire service control room to try and identify the culprits.

Anyone who recognises who is behind the call is asked to call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

The initiative has been introduced by the Fire Service’s Mobilising And Communications Centre and Threat Response Group in response to an increase in hoax calls received by operators.

This year (since January 1) there have been around 900 hoax calls to the fire service, compared to around 700 in the same period last year.

Chris Case, who heads up the Threat Response Group, said: “Malicious calls can take life-saving firefighters and appliances away from genuine incidents. We are doing all we can to tackle this issue but now we are asking for the public’s help to identify the people making these calls. We need these calls to stop before somebody is injured or killed.”

The Fire Service already has a number of schemes in place to reduce hoax calls.

New technology is making it easier for to identify the location of the caller. When a call is received in the control room, the phone number is revealed to staff and new technology is able to flag up whether this has been used to make a false call in the past. Operators can now challenge to better effect anyone on the line who they suspect is a hoax and warn them that action will be taken.

Partnerships with phone companies are now proving to be more effective, with the control room staff informing them of repeat callers resulting in major mobile networks disconnecting repeat offenders. In the last two years nearly 100 phones have been disconnected as a result of hoax calls to Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service’s control room.

Now a selection of the hoax calls from across Merseyside will be available on
To listen to calls from St Helens click here.
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St Helens

St Helens wikiHistorically part of Lancashire, St. Helens grew during the 19th century as a significant centre for Coal mining and Glassmaking. Today, St Helens is still very much an industrial and commercial town, its urban area having a total population of 176,843 at the time of the 2001 census.
World of GlassThe St Helens Borough covers roughly 30 sq/km over an area of soft rolling hills used primarily for agricultural purposes, mainly pastoral. The highest point in the Metropolitan Borough of St Helens is Billinge Hill, 3.75 miles north from the town centre. The town is landlocked with a stream running through, Mill Brook/Windle Brook running through Eccleston and connecting with the (disused) St.Helens Branch/Section of the Sankey Canal in the town centre. St Helens is around 160 feet above sea level.

As late as the start of the 19th century, St Helens did not exist. It was formed from the townships of Eccleston, Windle, Parr and Sutton, townships of the parish of Prescot which became civil parishes on their own in 1866.

St Helens takes its name from St Helen's Parish Church in Hardshaw, within Windle. The parish church was rebuilt in 1816 and rededicated to St Mary. However, after the church was rebuilt between 1916 and 1926 following a fire, the dedication returned to the historic "St Helen, St Helens".

St Helens was built both physically and metaphorically on coal: the original motto on the borough coat of arms was "Ex Terra Lucem" and local collieries employed up to 5,000 men as late as the 1970s, whilst during the boom years of the British coal industry (1913 being the peak year of production with 1 million employed in UK mining) the St.Helens division of the Lancashire and Cheshire Miners' Federation (the local miners' union) had the largest St Helens Roofsmembership (10%) of that federation. Owing primarily to the abundance of winnable coal reserves, the quality of local sand, the near availability of Cheshire salt and the transport revolution -- first the Sankey Canal and then the railways from 1830 onwards -- a glass and chemical industry was established in St Helens. The Sankey Canal was opened in 1757 to transport coal from the pits in Haydock and Parr to the River Mersey. An extension to the canal (the St.Helens section) was made in 1775 linking the canal to St Helens. In the 1830s, the St Helens and Runcorn Gap Railway was built for the same purpose.

Its clock tower originally had a steeple but this was destroyed in a fire in 1913. In the centre of the modern town centre, adjacent to St Helens Town Hall, is the Gamble Institute, built in 1896 and named after Sir David Gamble, who was the first mayor and who also gifted the land for the building. Today, the Gamble Institute building serves as the central library and also houses other municipal offices and archives. Other buildings of note are the Friends' Meeting House, the Beecham Clock Tower - which is now part of St Helens College - and St Mary's Lowe House Catholic Church. The town, and old county borough, included the suburbs of Clock Face, Sutton and part of Windle.

The glass industry is no longer the major employer it once was, however it still employs over a thousand people in St Helens. The large Pilkington Brothers works, founded in 1826, dominates the town's industrial quarter and still produces all the UK's output of flat glass.

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Listed Buildings

Listed Buildings are those buildings which are considered not just to be of interest, but of special architectural or historic interest, and are included in a list published by the Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport.

Any building of special interest which is more than 30 years old and which meets certain criteria is eligible for inclusion on the statutory list.

The principal factors taken into account when considering a building for inclusion on the list are:
Architectural Interest : Buildings which are of importance to the nation for the interest of their architectural design, decoration and craftsmanship, and important examples of particular building types;
Historic Interest : Buildings which illustrate important aspects of the nation’s social economic, cultural or military history;
Close historical associations with nationally important people or events;

More than half of the 142 listed buildings in St.Helens represent three social and historic themes. These range from farmhouses and outbuildings, churches and memorials and industrial buildings. Whereas most of the farms date from the late 17th century to the late 18th century, most of the churches are late 19th century to early 20th century.

Click on the link below for a breakdown of all the Listed Buildings in St Helens.

Listed Buildings of St Helens

St Helens Hospital Redevelopment

St Helens HospitalSt Helens Hospital is being redeveloped, with the construction of a new Diagnostic and Treatment Centre on land recently purchased from St Helens Council.
The new facilities occupy a total floor area of circa 25,000 square metres, equivalent to 5 football pitches. Accommodation provided in the new facility includes:
Out-patient clinics;
Diagnostic facilities including Radiology, Pathology and Cardio-Respiratory;
Treatment facilities including Operating Theatres, Day Case Ward, Opthalmology, Endoscopy, Dental and Rehabilitation units;
Cancer Day and Breast Clinic Services;
Intermediate care beds
New Restaurant facilities.

The building is built over four floors, with the lower two floors housing the Clinics and Diagnostic facilities and the Day Case accommodation on the upper two floors.
A new access area, with drop off facilities at Lower Ground and Ground Floor Level is being provided, with a landscaped walkway to the main entrance.

New Entrance to Diagnostic & Treatment Centre.
A large atrium entrance space will be the focal point of the new hospital, providing access to all the various departments.

Construction of new facilities commenced on site on the 3rd July 2006 and will be completed in September 2008. The building will be occupied and opened to the public in November 2008.

Following occupation of the new facilities, demolition of the vacated buildings will commence, allowing for provision of new car parking and landscaping to the site. Car parking provision on the hospital site will increase from the current figure of 400 spaces to 696 spaces, with dedicated areas provided for staff, visitors, disabled and drop off zones.

Visit St Helens & Knowsley Healthcare Trust Website