St Helens Seeks a New Motto

The Big Art Project is taking hold in St Helens as the town searches for a new motto which celebrates it.

With 400 years of mining history, school pupils and community groups were asked to think of a new motto using only letters from the gates of the town’s former colliery.

The Daily Post had a sneak preview last night of the 28 mottos created from the words “National Coal Board Sutton Manor Colliery”.

Realise Your Roots and A Smile Says It All are just two of the ideas which will be soon be transferred onto huge billboards across the town.

This is just the start of a process which could see the existing Latin motto of Out of Earth Cometh Light permanently replaced with a modern version.

Spanish artist Jaume Plensa has already been commissioned to create an iconic piece of public art set to become Merseyside’s answer to Antony Gormley’s Angel of the North.

The project has a working title of Ex Terra Lucem (Out of the Earth Comes Light) and will be built on the former Sutton Manor site overlooking the M62. Ex-miner Alan Roby, 50, who worked at the colliery for 18 years, has been helping two leading artists with the project over the past five months.

Mr Roby said: “I come from a mining family, my parents and brothers worked there. But I enjoyed it and after the pit closed in 1993, I and other miners formed a heritage group so the history and importance of the site was never forgotten.

“There’s not much left there now apart from the gate, but we need to move with the times and make the site accessible to the young and old.

“It’s been a rollercoaster but we’ve told people about mining life and the history of Sutton Manor then it was up to them to come up with the ideas.”

Mr Roby and artist Alan Dunn and writer Jeff Young visited hundreds of people to encourage them to get involved.

Alan Dunn said: “I’ve never seen anything quite like this.

“The Big Art Project is a positive thing for St Helens and its great to have the knowledge and backing from the ex-miners themselves.”

Following an exhibition at the Godfrey Pilkington Gallery in St Helens town centre which opens today, the mottos will be transferred to the billboards.

After the ideas have been on the billboards for two weeks in April, they will be transferred into 20,000 booklets which will be delivered to every home in the borough.

There is also the possibility one motto will be chosen to become “concrete” and placed somewhere in St Helens.

St Helens is one of seven sites across the UK chosen by judges and the public to be part of Channel Four’s Big Art Project.

The town will now work to create the public art commission at Sutton Manor.

Yobs Attack St Helens Fire Crew

Fire crews were attacked by yobs as they returned from a blaze in Sutton.

Two youths hurled a brick at the engine on Tuesday night (March 18) as it approached the junction of Ridgewood Drive and Gerards Lane.

The missile damaged the door of the appliance. No one was injured but the incident is under investigation.

Watch manager Paul Costello said: "The crews had been returning from a rubbish fire in the Enford Drive area when they were attacked on their way back to the station.

"This type of behaviour is extremely dangerous."

A police spokeswoman said: "We received reports that two youths had thrown a missile at the fire appliance, they were seen coming off wasteland and crossing in front of the fire engine.

"We are currently looking to see if there are any CCTV cameras in the area and anyone with information should contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."

New St Helens Walks Program Launched

Get Yourself Lively this spring and take part in one of the many guided health walks across St.Helens.

The Get Yourself Lively Walking project is part of the nationwide Walking the Way to Health Scheme and provides volunteer-led health walks.

All walks are free and are a great way to meet new people, discover new parts of your local community and improve your health and well-being.

The new April to May programme is now available and includes a variety of different graded walks in areas such as Rainford, Rainhill, Parr, Sankey Valley, Sutton, Sherdley Park, Mesnes Park and many more.

For a copy of the walk programme please contact Hannah Jones, Health Improvement Specialist – Physical Activity at Halton & St Helens PCT on 01744 697433 or email

Wilkin to be Disciplined

Saints and Great Britain forward Jon Wilkin is one of eight players ordered to appear before the Rugby Football League's disciplinary committee on Wednesday March 26th for alleged fouls committed during the Easter programme of engage Super League matches.

The second rower has been charged with an alleged trip in his side's 28-26 defeat at Huddersfield Giants on Monday, a grade C offence which carries a ban of up to four matches.

Missing Megan Found in St Helens

Megan GarganA Schoolgirl who had been missing for more than a week has been reunited with her family.

Megan Gargan (13) walked into St Helens Police Station yesterday.

She had not been seen since leaving her home in Fairclough Road, Huyton, to go to school in Prescot on March 14.
Following appeals by her mum Christina and police, Megan - who turns 14 on Thursday - went to St Helens Police station yesterday

Mick Potter Emerges as Prominent Candidate to Succeed Daniel Anderson as Saints' Coach

Mick Potter Rugby LeagueSt Helens insist that they are still months away from making a final decision on who will succeed Daniel Anderson as their coach next season despite growing speculation that Mick Potter of the Catalans Dragons has already landed the job.

Potter has been regarded as one of the favourites since Anderson confirmed last year that he will return to Australia at the end of this season, and after steering the Dragons to a third home victory against Saints in as many years at the weekend, he admitted that he does not plan to renew his contract when it expires this autumn.

However while Potter suggested that his future will be determined "within the next month", the St Helens Chairman Eamonn McManus said that the club are not expecting to make an appointment until later in the year.

"We do have three or four candidates in mind, and we will be speaking to them over the next three or four months," said McManus.

"Clearly we are talking to coaches who are already in existing positions, so we have to be fair to them and their current clubs. That means it's going to be well into the summer time before anything can be announced."

St Helens Set to March into Last Eight of Carnegie Challenge Cup

Daniel Anderson breathed a huge sigh of relief last night after St Helens were paired with minnows London Skolars in the fourth round of the Carnegie Challenge Cup.

Saints are bidding to become the first team for 13 years to record a hattrick of cup victories.

And the holders won't have any problems reaching the last 16 against the National League Two outfit.

But with Saints and Wigan two of six teams left in the draw, Anderson admitted: "I was concerned with us and Wigan still in there.

"We play them enough and didn't want them in the fourth round of the cup.

"We're proud of our record in the competition and we will be vigorously trying to defend the trophy."

Wigan entertain French side Pia, while the only all-Super League pairing is Harlequins against Castleford Tigers.

Leeds, who entertain Celtic Crusaders, have signed Aussie Test skipper Danny Buderus on a two-year deal from 2009.

Fourth Round: Batley v Dewsbury, Leigh v Warrington, Workington v Hull KR, Harlequins v Castleford, Doncaster v Widnes, Featherstone v Catalans, Barrow v Hunslet, Salford v Wakefield, Leeds v Celtic Crusaders, Swinton v Oldham, Bradford v Toulouse, Halifax v Huddersfield, Whitehaven v Lezignan, St Helens v London Skolars, Rochdale v Hull, Wigan v Pia. Ties on April 18-20.

Do You Recognise These Men?

Detectives have issued CCTV images of two men they want to trace in connection with an alleged arson attack on a minibus.

The empty vehicle was parked outside Hamilton Road in Garswood when it was set ablaze.

Now police want to speak to these men over the alleged attack that happened on Friday, February 22 at about 10.45 pm.

The men were scene in the area at the time of the incident.

The stills released by police are from footage recorded inside a shop.
A police statement read: "Officers believe they may be able to provide vital information to assist with their enquiries."

If you have any information contact Inspector Thornton or Constable Morrison at Moss Bank Access Point on 01744 630699 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111

From The St Helens Star