Thursday, April 26, 2018
Town Events

If you like comedies verging on farce and based on infidelity, then you should love Flowery Field Amateur Dramatic Society’s production of ‘Key for Two’.

Written by John Chapman and Dave Freeman the play is described as ‘wickedly amusing’, and as members of the talented FFADS cast have told our reporter, they’ve certainly had a lot of laughs during rehearsals.

Directed by Phyllis M Abbott, the story centres around Harriet, a divorcee, who seeks to solve her financial problems by entertaining two married gentlemen on different days of the week.  The scheme, however, faces collapse when her friend Anne, whose marriage is tottering, arrives at the flat wanting to stay, hotly pursued by her husband Richard.

As you can imagine, indescribable confusion follows with mistaken identities and farcical situations as Harriet’s plan has to stretch into unbelievable realms of fantasy in order to protect her lifestyle.

‘Key for Two’ is a delightful farce about a kept woman who is canny enough to be kept by two men.…

We guarantee you’ll all have a lot of laughs ‘wickedly or otherwise’

Book your tickets now to avoid disappointment: Tickets £6.00 (Tel: Booking 0161 368 0155)

The curtains go up at 7.30pm on Wednesday 9th May 2018, with performances on Thursday, 10th, Friday 11th, & Saturday 12th

Flowery Field Centre, Spring Gardens, Hyde, SK14 4RZ

A new community centre is to be built in Ashton after £150,000 worth of funding was approved by Tameside Council.

The Council is working with Christ Church Community Developments on what has been dubbed the ‘4C’ project. The sustainable building is to be located in Waterloo, on the grounds of Christ Church between Oldham Road and Taunton Road.

Building work is due to start in the next few weeks and finished by late summer. An official opening has been pencilled in for September 2018.

The eco-friendly centre will be open to all Tameside residents; providing local people with a range of health and social opportunities and will operate on a similar working model to other community centres, which are run entirely by the community.

The ‘4C’ project will include health and social activities and services and will also offer a high-spec community space, bookable meeting rooms and a café. The fully accessible building has been designed to limit the impact on the environment and incorporates both new and traditional technologies. Recycling and energy efficiency are integral to the operation.

Tameside Council Assistant Team Manager for Community Engagement and Market Development Janine Byron said: “We’re really excited to see work getting underway on ‘4C’ – this is a project that will benefit all members of the community – young and old – and emphasised that this futuristic project will be an entirely community led facility aimed at improving people’s lives and supporting local residents to thrive. This in turns saves the Council money in more traditional forms of health and social care.”

For more information on the project and to see how you can get involved, visit


Don Newton (l), Pat Walklate (third right) and Martin Willescroft (second right) at the laying of the Willow Wood keystone in 1998

Unbelievably, its 25 years since the Appeal for funds to build Willow Wood was launched back in 1993.  The very first meeting was held on 28 April and the first fundraising event, a Sequence Ball, held less than a month later on Thursday 20 May 1993.

Thanks to the dedication and commitment of the team of volunteers, including Martin Willescroft who is president of our board of trustees and Pat Walklate who still volunteers as a receptionist, the £2million needed to build Willow Wood was raised.  Of course, there were many staunch supporters who worked tirelessly behind the scenes, notably the late Peter Wood and the late Sydney Rogerson, and Don Newton the chairman of the Appeal who later became the first chairman of Willow Wood.

Martin Willescroft, Pat Walklate and Don Newton in the Willow Wood gardens, April 2018

The trustees, the staff, the volunteers and all our past and present patients and their families extend sincere and grateful thanks to everyone who supported this Appeal.  As Karen Houlston, chief executive said, “Without their generosity and commitment Willow Wood would not have been built, and without their continued support we could not continue our loving care for the people of Tameside and Glossop.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”



Over 350 North Tameside Scouts from Droylsden and Ashton held their annual St George’s Day Parade on Sunday, under the watchful eye of the Worshipful the Civic Mayor of Tameside, Councillor Joyce Bowerman and her Consort Mr Fred Bowerman, who marched to the sounds of, St John’s Castle Droylsden Brass Band.

Organisers said, ‘It didn’t look good in the morning with the rain pouring down, but for the parade in the afternoon the sun shone brightly on the Scouts annual parade.’

The parade was led by the St George flag party of Hurst Explorer Scouts and the band, who had set off from Old Street, round Ashton market and along Stamford Street Central to arrive at the Albion Church in Ashton, for the St George’s Day service, which was led by the Vicar, Edward Inglis and the District Commissioner, Andy Morton and Assistant District Commissioner Cubs, Gill Cummins.

St George was chosen as the patron Saint of Scouting by Baden-Powell, as he felt that the St George legend set a good example of faith, courage, and perseverance for future generations.

Traditionally, the story of St George is told by a different Scout Group each year, and this year was the turn of 413th Droylsden, who chose to depict the legend by holding a football match between Dragon United and St George FC.

The match started with the teams playing football up and down the centre aisle of the church, at the end the score was even so it was down to a penalty shoot out, but this was a sword fight instead and St George FC won.

Also at this annual event, it is traditional for all Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, Explorers, Networks and Leaders to renew their Scout promise, followed by awards which are presented by the District Commissioner, Andy Morton.

Those awards were given to: Derek Casey, Badge Secretary and Treasurer at 3rd Ashton, who received a Bar to the Silver Acorn for his many years of high standards and distinguished service to Scouting. To Chris Sampson, Group Scout Leader 250th to Antony Hoskin, District Cub Scout Leader, and Chris Quinn, Assistant Scout Leader- 413th who all received the Award of Merit for outstanding service to Scouting.

Long Service Awards were then presented to John Horton, Assistant Explorer Leader for 30 years, Mags Sever, Assistant Group Scout Leader 250th for 25 years, Colette Grose, Beaver Leader 413th for 15 years, Samantha Burgess, Assistant Beaver Leader 250th for 15 years, Janet Higgins Beaver, Leader 250th for 10 years, Vicky Cummins, Occasional Helper 339th for 5 years. And for finishing her Scout training, Freya Jones, Scout Leader 339th received her Wood Beads.

New people invested into Scouting were, David Brown, Scout Active Support and Shannon Schofield, Assistant Beaver Leader 413th.

To be presented later will be Wyn Fish, Appointments Chair with a Silver Acorn for distinguished service to Scouting and a 40 years’ Service Award, also Doug Pepper, Broadoak Assistant Explorer Scout Leader with his Wood Beads.

The Mayor, Joyce Bowerman said, she was amazed how many Scouts were in the parade and how she enjoyed the ‘football match’- it was so different!’

Alan Fish, from Scouts, thanked ‘Scout Active Support’ members for running the parade, conducting the service and for the much welcomed ‘brews’ at the end.

SAS members are not regular helpers, but just help now and again at events. He said, Scout Leaders do work hard for the young people in Scouting and deserve these great Awards.

If you would like to help young people in Scouting or help now and again in SAS contact Tel: 07931765120 or visit        



The Hyde boss watched on in delight as captain Paddy Miller headed home a dramatic 95th minute winner to secure a 2-1 victory at Mossley, thus confirming promotion to the Evo-Stik Premier Division and amid the jubilations described Saturday’s promotion as the biggest moment of his managerial career.

Kelly, who initially joined the club towards the end of the 2015/16 season, has guided the Tigers to 26 league victories, 11 draws and just four losses, as well as an FA Cup first round appearance against MK Dons on BBC Two.

Impressively, Hyde have yet to lose a league fixture at home this season and Kelly will aim to preserve this stat when Colwyn Bay visit Ewen Fields for the final game this coming Saturday (28th April 2018).

Following the win at Mossley, the former Oldham Athletic and Halifax boss said it was amazing to secure promotion and reserved special praise for the board of directors – particularly chief executive Mark Worthington. “He came into the job at the start, with a vision and a long-term plan, and this is the start of it” said Kelly of Worthington.

“He’s an amazing CEO who has backed me when other people wouldn’t.

“From day one he backed me; he supported me; he stood by me. Even at the start, we didn’t hit the ground running and had a couple of bad results, but he was the first person to pick the phone up and be right there for me, and I never forget things like that.

“On a personal level, it’s my biggest and best moment. Mark Worthington, Pete Ainger and all the other guys behind the scenes. When I first came into the job a lot of people wrote me off, but I’m a fighter and the board have backed me and this is what it’s all about.”

Kelly is hoping the Hyde supporters will turn out in droves for what will be a special occasion on Saturday. Looking ahead to the Colwyn Bay clash, he said: “The players are mixing with the fans and that’s what it’s about – it’s a community club.

“Hopefully the crowd will turn out and everyone can have a fantastic day. We’ve had amazing support today – they’ve been unreal.”

Although the season isn’t over just yet, attention will soon turn to matters in the Evo-Stik Premier Division, where Hyde previously played two years ago.

With interest in the club rising, Kelly sent out a clear message to potential future players. He said: “When I’m chatting to players it’s not about the budget; it’s about the vision. I don’t want players who come for money. I want players who buy into the vision and want to succeed as players. The players we have now aren’t on a lot of money. They do this because they bought into the vision that I sold them. I’m delighted for everyone concerned with the club today.”


If the answer is ‘Yes!’ but don’t think you can even draw a straight line, well think again!

Enrolling on an art course is a fantastic way to sharpen your long lost artistic skills or try out a new hobby altogether.

The five week course at The Peoples’ Gallery in Stalybridge is designed to be accessible to all levels of ability. In fact, some of their watercolour group had not sketched or painted since they’d left school!

Under the guidance of local self-taught artist Roger Bamford, you will discover and learn the art of watercolour painting. And by the end of the 5 week tutorial period, they guarantee that you’ll come away from this painting class, relaxed, energized and inspired and with several pieces of work, under your belt!

Joining in with a fun, friendly group of like-minded fellow beginners, you’ll find that learning comes quickly from a variety of styles, techniques and abilities. As the group tutor, Roger said, “Over the years of teaching watercolour painting, seeing absolute beginners produce a picture after a couple of hours, is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done!”

The 5 week Art course runs every Thursday morning from 10.00am till 12.00noon and is priced at £12 per week if paid weekly. However, you can save £12 if the full 5 week course is paid for at the time of booking. There will be no refunds for absent days. Payment can be made by cash or cheque.

To book, call Roger direct on: 07592 532544 and join the Thursday morning watercolour art course at:  The Peoples’ Gallery, 2 Melbourne Street, Stalybridge SK15 2JE


You can view more of Roger’s work on:

NB The studio is reached via two flights of stairs and is not easily accessible to those who may have low mobility or are in wheelchairs




Lidl is to build a brand new store on Hattersley Retail Park, as part of its ongoing expansion plans in the UK.

The discount supermarket chain announced the news after exchanging contracts with Maple Grove Developments to secure the new site. The multi-million pound investment will result in a 1,794m2 sales area, featuring an in-store bakery and customer toilets. There will also be ample parking for both cars and bicycles.

Robin Monk, Director of Place at Tameside Council, said: “Attracting a retailer of Lidl’s quality to the final phase of the new district centre is a direct result of our commitment, with Onward Homes and other partners, to secure investment for the comprehensive regeneration of Hattersley.”

“This will bring new retail choice and employment opportunities to the local area and will complement the major investment in new housing, transport infrastructure, community facilities and public realm improvements.”

The planned store in Hattersley will add to Lidl’s existing store portfolio of 700, and will form part of the company’s growth plans which will see the chain open up to fifty new stores a year.

Lidl UK’s Regional Head of Property, Nick Harvey, commented: “We are delighted to be opening a new store in Tameside, which marks another milestone in our ambitious store expansion programme. We’ve seen incredible demand for Lidl stores across the country and look forward to offering our quality products and incredible value to shoppers in and around Tameside.”

Bronwen Rapley, CEO of Onward Homes, the local housing provider, said: “The Hattersley area is in and advanced stage of a multi-million pound regeneration programme stimulated by an innovative partnership led by Tameside Council and Onward Homes.

“Onward Homes selected Maple Grove as its preferred development partner in 2016 having secured outline planning consent for the site in February 2015. The Lidl store will be a welcomed addition for local residents.” 

Lidl UK has experienced continued growth over the years as consumers flock to the supermarket. Its ongoing success shows no signs of slowing, with the latest Kantar Worldpanel results highlighting Lidl’s continued growth in the UK with 10.3% increase in sales year on year and market share high of 5.3%.


The derelict pub which transformed into a family hub and “Puddle Ducks’ pool, were celebrating last night after being awarded the prestigious ‘Business Masters Award’ for Investment.

Local couple Suzanne and Gary Horton, owners of the Greater Manchester Puddle Ducks franchise, the national baby and child swim school business developed the Aqua Nurture project that opened in April 2016 and became the first Puddle Ducks Team to construct and operate their own swimming pool. 

An investment of £600,000 and 5 years of planning to create the family friendly swimming and activity venue, Suzanne and Gary this week are celebrating the 2ndyear anniversary of the transformed pub that now employs over 28 people from across the local area.

The couple still run Puddle Ducks swimming classes at 6 other pools across Greater Manchester, but the hydro pool at Aqua Nurture, Knott Lane, Gee Cross provides classes for customers in Tameside, Stockport and the High Peak.

“We are absolutely thrilled to win the North West Business Masters Award and really proud that our incredible journey to create our Aqua Nurture pool and venue has been recognised by such a prestigious award.” Suzanne and Gary Horton, Owners Puddle Ducks Greater Manchester.

“We can’t believe how quickly time flies and what an exciting 2 years it has been, with Aqua Nurture growing from strength to strength, and really coming into its own. From our Puddle Ducks swimming classes, to our wonderful coffee shop and yummy cakes to our cosy snug that is home to lots of different family friendly activities and classes such as Moo Music, Baby Bloom and Adventure Babies,” explained Gary Horton, owner Aqua Nurture.

“Thank you to everyone that has and continues to support us in achieving our dream and helping us to get it right for our customers.”

The winners of the North West Business Masters, sponsored by Convex Capital, were announced at the black-tie awards dinner on Thursday, April 19, at the Manchester’s Midland Hotel.

If you have not yet visited ‘Puddle Ducks’ at Aqua Nurture, they can be found on Knott Lane, Gee Cross, SK14 5BS


For further Press information, please contact: Lucy Rennie on: 0777 5928006



If you ask anyone who has ever been a member of a cub or scout group, they’ll tell you that camping is one of the most exciting activities they ever took part in.

That was again born out when the Gregory Cub pack joined with the Ford Cub pack from 6th Ashton, as they teamed up to experience a joint Cub Camp at Hesley Wood Scout Activity Centre, on the outskirts of Sheffield. The site which comprises of132 acres of fields & woodland – offers a wide range of outdoor activities, camping and can provide accommodation for up to 2000 people.

In total the joint group totalled just under 50 children, and for around 12 of these youngsters,​ it ​was their first Cub camp.

The weekend began with the Cubs putting up their own patrol tents, quickly followed by being split into activity groups and to familiarise them with their surroundings did a thorough walk around the site.

Once darkness had fallen, both groups headed up to what is locally known as ‘the long field’ for a wide game of ‘Zorch’ which is basically ‘hide and seek’ in the dark, using only a torch!

The cubs thought this was brilliant!​

The following day, Saturday, included many adventurous activities such as a Crate climb, Pedal Cart Racing, Orienteering code breaker, Fire lighting and the Cubs’ favourite the 70m Zip line.​

Later the groups joined in with other Scout and guide groups for Campfire and after, cub Yasmin nominated the leaders.​

Akela and Raksha were more than happy to show them a few of their favourite songs especially as they seemed to get a bit mixed up by thinking Cecil was a Spider! When in fact he was a caterpillar!!​

Ellis who has just moved up to Cubs from beavers was a little nervous about sleeping in a tent for 2 nights, but on Saturday morning said “I want to stay Sunday night as well!” Max who is a senior sixer and about to leave Cubs and move up to Scouts at 6th Ashton, said, “It was the best Cub Camp ever and he loved the Zip line!

A funny moment arrived, much to the groups’ amusement, when one tent found they had acquired an extra guest for the evening – a newt.​


The Cubs thought this was quite hilarious, and after Akela had taken the wondering reptile back to the site pond and reunited him with his family, Akela told the assembled group that​ t​he newt ​had obviously overheard how awesome 6th Ashton Cubs were, that he’d wanted to come back with them​ to Ashton!

Danielle, Hyde Cub Scout Leader said, “It was a great camp and I must thank leaders from the other sections at 6th from dealing with the cooking and SAS (Scout Active Support) ​for the logistics of moving equipment.”

If you would like to help Cub Scouting or SAS, please contact: 07931765120 or go to

Elaine McConnell shows nurses Barbara Cooke and Jo Bruton details of our Will Week partners.

Writing your will is one of those things that we all know is important, but is something many of us put off doing. 

Willow Wood’s Wills Week will run from Monday 21 to Saturday 26 May, and we’re hoping that by offering you the opportunity to make a donation to your local Hospice rather than paying a fee many of you will put your affairs in order.

Elaine McConnell explains: “It’s very simple.  We have a number of participating solicitors who will generously waive their fee during that week. Instead you make a donation to Willow Wood so by securing your family’s future you are helping Willow Wood continue to care.”

Having an up-to-date will can give you great peace of mind. Without a will the law decides who gets what, and so your property and valued possessions may not automatically go to your loved ones.  For example, if you are separated but not divorced your spouse would still inherit; current partners would not automatically receive any benefit.  You may have always intended your grandfather’s watch to go to a specific family member but again, if this is not documented, it may not happen.

Making your will and helping Willow Wood at the same time is, as Elaine says “As easy as 1, 2 3!  First of all, choose one of our participating solicitors and make an appointment – not forgetting to mention Wills Week.  Then, discuss your requirements with the solicitor who will draft your will in line with your wishes.  And thirdly, make your donation to Willow Wood.  We’re suggesting a minimum donation of £85 for a single will.”

And if you’d like to leave us a gift in your will to help us continue to care for our community, we would be very grateful.  Please, however, do not feel under any obligation to do so, you will already have our sincere thanks.

Full details of the participating solicitors can be found by going to

Alternatively, contact Elaine on 0161 330 7788 or and she’ll send out an information leaflet.