#AmazingAccrington Magazine - Summer Edition 2024

50 years of Hyndburn Borogh Council 1974 - 2024

This edition of #AmazingAccrington magazine highlights lots of amazing things happening right across our borough. We’ve included information about what’s on, lots of exciting and well attended events across the borough – including a new festival featuring the Grammy award-winning global singer/songwriter Jess Glynne, and the Amazing Accrington Food Festival featuring Michelin star chef Glynn Purnell! We’ve uncovered hidden gems, places to eat and drink, and keeping you up to date on Accrington Stanley and the Women’s team. We’ve also got a special Accrington Pals feature, by guest writer Cath Holmes, a direct relative of the Pals. As a business leader group we support and focus on the education of the children of our borough, so there’s some information about the work we’ve done there to support them, plus our business leader meetings. As we go to press we are running a ‘Taste of Hyndburn’ bus tour with business leaders visiting top eateries all round the borough to sample top dishes – follow our socials to see more! We also take a look at the Food Festival, Soapbox Challenge and Christmas Light Switch On, make sure they’re in your diaries for this year! Let’s all get behind our borough and talk up the positives. All in all there’s a lot going on in #AmazingAccrington – and a lot more to come!


4-5 Connecting Cultures 6

Hyndburn Borough Council Events

8-9 iMEP – Local Lad Goes Global 11 Accrington Food & Drink Festival 12-13 Soapbox Challenge 14 Christmas Light Switch On 16-17 Winter Writing Trail 18-19 Business and Education 20-21 Celebrate Christmas at Accrington Stanley 22-23 OASST’s King’s Award 24-25 Accrington Stanley Women 27-29 Accrington Pals Memorial Garden 30 Discover Local Gems

#AmazingAccrington magazine is written and produced by Scott Dawson Advertising Ltd. E&OE. Summer 2024. Ref: 1072320

All in all there’s a lot going on in #AmazingAccrington – and a lot more to come!

Murray Dawson MD, Scott Dawson Advertising, Peter Scott Printers and Chairman of #AmazingAccrington


#AmazingAccrington, as well as being a business leaders group, put on a series of fun, friendly, well attended events.

Below is the proposed schedule so far for 2024

Watch the 2023 Round Up

2024 Events

Accrington Food Festival & War Re-Enactment - Saturday 1st June Accrington Soapbox Challenge - Saturday 24th August Futures Event - Thursday 5th October Accrington Christmas Light Switch On - Thursday 28th November



Printed by



FREE family fun day of performances, activities and stalls, to celebrate our vibrant community. Sunday 16 June, 10am-4pm Haworth Art Gallery & Park, Accrington

Inside a Lumini structure, Architects of Air by Alan Parkinson

This year, ‘Connecting Cultures’ event is back bigger and better, taking over Haworth Art Gallery Gardens and Park for 4 days of activity - ending with a full programme of performances and workshops on Sunday 16th June. What happens when you combine opera, a giant inflatable sculpture and Accrington? A collaboration like no other…

Throughout the day FREE activities and attractions include:

MAIN STAGE 10am - Tai-Chi class suitable for all 11am - Musical Theatre show with Just Imagine UK & Motiv-8 Lancs 12pm - Interactive Dance workshop with DanceSyndrome 1pm - Bollywood Fusion show and workshop 2pm - Chinese Lion performance with Northern Dragons 3pm - Community Poem, performed by Respect & Dignity Arts Group

Henna art, heritage crafts, badge making, bonsai tree display, refugee artwork, Accrington Stanley penalty shootout, local makers market, community stalls.

Orchestra of Opera North’s principal violist, David Aspin, is one of Hyndburn’s home grown talents, leading some activity at this world-class event. David said: “As soon as I heard that something so unique was coming to Hyndburn, I knew I had to get involved. There is so much regeneration work planned over the coming years and activities like this really raise the bar, showing what people can expect in the future.” Lumini structures, designed by Architects of Air, Alan Parkinson, are an inflatable sculptural structure, offering an extraordinary space to experience light and colour. The lumini that is coming to Hyndburn has been bespoke-made for the occasion and will be filled with a variety of activity. David grew up in Hyndburn, studied at the Royal College of Music and is a regular guest principal with many of the UK’s

orchestras: “I am a child of the 70’s, I grew up not far from the viaduct in Accrington and I feel very proud to have come from this area. “The story of how I became a musician isn’t a tale of being born knowing, the reality is I was around 8 years old and I put my hand up in assembly at school thinking it was to ask for milk. I was mistaken and instead someone put a violin in my hand!” David is one of the local artists and performers delivering a workshop within the Lumini, with his aim being to introduce families to classical music and instruments, in a fun and interactive way: “I was an only child and not from a musical household, but someone putting that instrument in my hand changed my life and it turns out I was quite good at it. I hope my story can inspire others too. “I really enjoy running musical workshops, especially for younger people who may not feel particularly connected to classical

music. There is a shared language that comes with music and everyone, no matter their background, can experience it in their own unique way.” Children aged 7-11 and their families are invited to join David and his viola for an interactive workshop inside the Lumini on Sunday 16th June. All event workshops must be booked in advance and details can be found on the Hyndburn Council website: www.hyndburnbc.gov.uk

Follow Haworth Art Gallery on social media for event info and news!

David Aspin, photo by: Tom Arber

4 #AmazingAccrington Summer 2024

#AmazingAccrington Summer 2024 5

What’s happening in Hyndburn 2024


October Enlightened Accrington

November Lancashire Day celebrations Churchfield House, Great Harwood

Thu 28th Nov Accrington Christmas Light Switch On Accrington town centre

Sat 8th June Eco Fest Accrington town centre

Sun 9th June Oswaldtwistle Carnival Rhyddings Park, Oswaldtwistle

Sat 1st June Accrington Food & Drink Festival

Accrington town centre

Sat 27th July Oak Fest Oak Hill Park Accrington Summer Horticultural & Craft Show Bank Mill House, Great Harwood

Sun 16th June Connecting Cultures Haworth Art Gallery and Park Summer Food & Craft Féte Towngate, Great Harwood

Fri 2nd - Sun 4th August Hyndburn Sound Live Music

December Weekends Christmas Tree display St.James Church, Accrington

Accrington & Baxenden

Summer (Saturdays) Plug & Play Live Music Outside Mercer Hall, Great Harwood

Sat 13th July Rishton Festival Rishton town centre

Sat 24th August Soapbox Challenge Accrington town centre

Scan to view local events

HYNDBURN BOROUGH COUNCIL TO CELEBRATE 50TH ANNIVERSARY WITH 50 EVENTS... ...Hyndburn Borough Council are encouraging local organisations and groups to host community events, as they look to promote 50 events as part of their 50th anniversary celebrations.

A brand-new portal has been created for community events, which are taking place across the borough in 2024, to be uploaded on. Events can be anything from community bring and buy sales and school summer fetes, to larger music festivals. There have already been a number of confirmed events for this year including Oak Fest, the #AmazingAccrington Soapbox Challenge, Eco Fest, Oswaldtwistle Carnival, Armed Forces Day at Oak Hill Park and many more. When events have been uploaded to the portal, Hyndburn Borough Council can then help your event reach a wider audience, with free promotion through their website and social media channels.

A quick and easy process, the new events portal is aimed to help connect residents with exciting local events. As part of Hyndburn Borough Council’s 50th anniversary, #AmazingAccrington are also researching 50 facts about Hyndburn, which will then be printed and handed to Year 3 school children at Accrington Stanley’s big shirt giveaway in September. Have you got an interesting fact about Hyndburn? Send it to editor@amazingaccrington.co.uk by 4pm on Friday 28th June 2024.


Scan the QR code to upload your event

LOCAL LAD GOES GLOBAL! Edward O’Brien is the award-winning CEO of iMEP.

Eddy worked on the World Premiere of The Greatest Showman in New York.

“Eddy” is the driving force behind an incredibly talented company, passionate about every minor detail that comes with being so successful in the music event production industry for the last eight years. Having toured the world extensively, Eddy brings with him a wealth of experience that you will struggle to fi nd elsewhere. Lighting, sound, staging, special e ff ects… there is no end to Eddy’s talents and that is why he has worked with some of the most talented musicians and performers in the world, who have entrusted iMEP to run their events, time after time. Eddy and his highly skilled team provide a turnkey operation for events throughout the world. Only recently did Eddy head up a world fi rst, as a popular rock orchestra went global and performed at Palladium Times Square in New York, while they also played a starring role in the Blackpool premiere of The Next Generation: School Of Rock – The Musical. That event featured the full iMEP package, from lighting, sound and stage management, to backline technicians, monitor engineers and more! Talking of fi rsts, Eddy was also part of The Greatest Showman’s World Premiere in New York. Rubbing shoulders with the likes of Zac Efron, Hugh Jackman and James Corden… the experience and skills picked up working on large scale productions has been pivotal in Eddy’s illustrious career so far.

As stage and production manager upon The Royal Caribbean, Eddy played a senior role on the fi rst post-COVID cruise ship to set sail in the world. Departing Singapore with very strict rules and regulations, the role showcased Eddy’s strong ability to work under pressure and think outside the box to ensure a fi rst class production occurred in the harshest of conditions. A former studio manager at the BBC including BBC Radio 5 Live and the BBC World Services, Eddy from Accrington, has also accomplished so much in his home country. With a clear goal and purpose from an early age, he made contacts for life while working at the Blackburn Empire Theatre, and won awards for his exceptional Auschwitz documentary with the Holocaust Educational Trust, all while still at college.

Supporting work on music festivals, food festivals and soapbox challenges have come since, with Eddy’s personable and honest nature leading to repeat bookings, again and again and again. Closer to home and iMEP are also passionate about giving back to their local community and Eddy is also chair of the Hyndburn Food Pantry, where he continues to help and support local people. Eddy was also part of the famous ‘Pedal for Pudsey’ initiative with BBC Radio Lancashire’s Graham Liver, during his time working with the BBC. The generosity of Eddy and his team has continued with the donation of thousands of pounds worth of auction prizes for the Mayor of Hyndburn’s Charity Ball, which included football hospitality tickets at Old Tra ff ord and concert tickets at the AO arena. The event raised over £15,000 for local charities. Eddy and iMEP are also proud sponsors at Accrington Cricket Club and recently launched their sponsorship alongside legendary Accringtonian and England cricketer, David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd. Now CEO of one of the fastest growing music event production companies in the world, Eddy’s journey continues. Hold tight for an exhilarating 2024!

“Lighting, sound, staging, special effects… there is no end to Eddy’s talents and that is why he has worked with the very best.”

iMEP were recently named arena and front of shirt sponsors at Accrington Cricket Club

You can learn more about iMEP on their brand new website: www.imep.co.uk

CEO of iMEP, Eddy O’Brien

Eddy has been part of a number of community projects including the Pedal for Pudsey challenge with BBC Radio Lancashire.

8 #AmazingAccrington Summer 2024

#AmazingAccrington Summer 2024 9




NORi HR & Employment Law, based in Oswaldtwistle, is an award-winning #AmazingAccrington company supporting businesses of all sizes through the complexities and legal requirements of HR and Employment Law. They’ve recently rebranded, and showcased their new look at Lovelocalexpo in Burnley, Next in the plan was a 3-year naming rights sponsorship deal at Read Cricket Club , who are at the heart of the community and very well supported, fi elding a First, Second, and Third team, plus a great Junior set up to ensure the club continues its long-standing traditions. Jason Govindji-Bruce, CEO of NORi HR, commented “We’re a family run fi rm, and recently moved to the Ribble Valley, becoming part of the community. We really value what Read CC does for its local community, and that really fi ts with our values and we’re happy to support them.” Recently they’ve shown their support for our military personnel by signing up to the Armed Forces Covenant , pledging to help serving and ex-military personnel and their families, with two Military Reservists employed at NORi. Jason added: “It's important to NORi and myself personally because it's always something that we’ve valued. The sacri fi ce that the personnel, reservists, and the First Line do every single day, provides us with the freedoms that we have. We need to support that as a business community, and this is one way of showing that support to the country and to the personnel involved.” where they invited players to play a branded game to win a Champagne Dinner for Two at The Ivy!

Finally they wrapped up a busy few months by showcasing their White Label HR product, which is a way for businesses to add to their services, and have expert HR and Employment Law advice and support for their customers – branded with their name, but powered by NORi. The team attended Accountex, a 15,000 visitor trade show at ExCel in London for accountancy practitioners. Their eye catching stand was themed in white, right down to their out fi ts – and they made lots of connections for future business, growing the Hyndburn economy.

Clockwise from top left: Festival goers enjoying delicious food. Michelin Star chef, author and TV star Glynn Purnell will headline the cooking demonstration. D-Day War Re-enactment. Molly Robbins returns as compere for the third year running. Over 12,000 people attended in 2023.

Saturday 1st June sees the return of the Accrington Food and Drink Festival.

To commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day, a war re-enactment will also take place from 1pm in the grounds of St James’ Church and new for 2024, the

The event, which is being sponsored by Hyndburn Borough Council, iMEP, Sundown Solutions, Vita Accrington and Financial Affairs will include international, regional and local food stalls, as well as Hyndburn Independents around the town, and a main stage featuring TV and Michelin Star chef Glynn Purnell, Netflix TV star Molly Robbins and local chef Paul Fox, owner of the Crafty Fox. With over 60 stalls to choose from, the food will celebrate the very best of Lancashire produce.

re-enactment will feature a special appearance from “The Mad Piper”.

Visitors can also enjoy the ultimate flying experience in a Spitfire simulator – for FREE! (Over 10s only )


You can see more about NORi HR and their award-winning HR and Employment Law services here: www.norihr.co.uk, and more about the Armed Forces Covenant and how it helps military personnel here: www.armedforcescovenant.gov.uk


#AmazingAccrington Summer 2024 11



A top 30 FREE Bank Holiday activity

Sponsored by

The extremely popular Soapbox Challenge returns, which was listed as a top 30 free Bank Holiday activity nationally and was nominated for the Marketing Lancashire ‘Large Event of the Year’ Tourism Award 2023. Held on Saturday 24th August, we will see an even bigger and better Soapbox Challenge including a brand new two-level height ramp, a free pedal track for youngsters, vintage fairground rides and much more, sponsored by Accrington and Rossendale College, Sundown Solutions, Hyndburn Borough Council and Financial Affairs.

Raising over £1700 on the day for

Watch last year’s event here!

BBC Radio Lancashire’s Stephen Lowe presenting the event

12 #AmazingAccrington Summer 2024

#AmazingAccrington Summer 2024 13


Don’t fear AI – fear the competitor who knows how to use it!

Is your data safe?

AI will revolutionise your business – but using open source means your data goes into their system. Project Shyrka retains your data within your closed system.

Can’t wait for AI to make a serious, meaningful, and immediate difference to your business?


We have Project Shyrka available NOW – allowing you to harness the power of AI before your competitors.

Following an incredible end to the year in Accrington with the 2023 Christmas Light Switch On headlined by Junior Andre, #AmazingAccrington will once again organise the Light Switch On in 2024, taking place on Thursday 28th November. With the introduction of nostalgic stalls, carol singers and a special Santa experience, this will be another event to remember in Accrington, sponsored by Hyndburn Borough Council and Sundown Solutions, we can’t wait for 2024’s event!






i t






















y .



Email: info@sundownsolutions.com Call: +44 2087 980 525 | www.sundownsolutions.com

Watch last year’s event here!

14 #AmazingAccrington Summer 2024

LEGENDARY ACCRINGTONIAN Julie Hesmondhalgh creates writing trail voiced by top actors Actor Julie Hesmondhalgh is passionate about encouraging creative writing, and in conjunction with Amazing Accrington decided to launch a Winter Writing Trail competition in Accrington. Local primary and secondary school children were invited to take part in a creative writing competition, to write a story or poem up to 300-words, on the theme of winter or Christmas.

Winter writing trail...

Entries flooded in, and Julie personally went through hundreds of stories before selecting 15 winning entries, who won a £50 cash prize which was handed out on stage at the Accrington Light Switch On. 11 further entries were submitted by professional writers and actors, with some outstanding names including local author Jeanette Winterson CBE. These fantastic stories were displayed in shop windows around Accrington centre. The large window displays also contained a QR code, leading to names such as Jodie Whittaker, Suranne Jones, Toby Jones, Steve Pemberton, Sally Dynevor, Sally Carman-Duttine, Tupele Dorgu, Jennie McAlpine, Dominic Brunt, Katherine Kelly,

Muzz Khan, Mina Anwar, Joe Duttine, Jason Watkins, Joe Alessi, Dave Swann, Martin Cooper, David Hesmondhalgh, Ian Kershaw, Rosie Adamson-Clark, Connor Evans and Julie herself. The stories and audio or video files can also be found on the Amazing Accrington website: www.amazingaccrington.co.uk Julie Hesmondhalgh said at the launch: “I am so excited to be working on this wonderful initiative here in my hometown of Accrington, it is fantastic to see all the community getting involved and both writing and thinking creatively.

coming together, and to involve local businesses as part of the competition trail leading up to Christmas is just incredible.” The Winter Writing Trail was sponsored by Hyndburn Borough Council and Creative Lancashire. To see more about the Winter Writing Trail, please visit: www.amazingaccrington.co.uk or you can view the video here by scanning the QR code.

“It will also be great to see the work of professional writers and our local students

Julie Hesmondhalgh x

Opposite: Actor Julie Hesmondhalgh launched a Winter Writing Trail in Accrington. Above: Emmerdale’s Paddy played by Dominic Brunt was part of the Accrington Winter Writing Trail.

#AmazingAccrington Summer 2024 17

5th October 2023, Wham Stadium, Livingstone Road Over 1,000 Year 11 students from Hyndburn schools attended the Amazing Accrington Futures event, designed to bring students together with employers and educational providers, to help them make choices about their future. The event, supported by North Lancs Training Group (NLTG), Studio/Frasers Group Financial Services, Accrington & Rossendale College and Accrington Stanley Football Club, welcomed exhibitors from local businesses, higher education establishments, training providers, Armed Forces, emergency services, tech sectors and many more. Employers such as the Police and the Army joined local companies such as Sundown Solutions, What More UK, William Blythe and BAE Systems in showcasing their many and varied career paths.

Watch a video of the event here:

8th February 2024, Accrington & Rossendale College, Sandy Lane Accrington and Rossendale College had just completed a £3m investment, to redevelop their site and accommodate a new Business Hub facility, which is also open to employers in the region. #AmazingAccrington business leaders group were invited in as the first official engagement, to tour the brand new business hub facilities, which even include an augmented reality station.

Dr Sam Hill of The Vita Group also spoke about their 150 strong company located just next door, who have a requirement for highly skilled chemists.

Watch a video of the event here:

BUSINESS AND EDUCATION At Amazing Accrington, we don’t just run events, we also support our Business and Education sectors locally. We connect people, to ensure our local economy is growing and our education provides the skills young people need to enter the world of work right here on our doorsteps. Since our last magazine, we have held several private events for businesses and our education partners, which we can share with you.

17th May 2024, Wham Stadium, Livingstone Road

21st September 2023, St James’s Church, Cannon Street This business leaders event was held in the beautiful surroundings of St James’s Church, and featured Ivor Lefton, MD of Taskers of Accrington talking about his generous sponsorship of Accrington Stanley Community Trust, and the importance of giving back to the community around us. Kelly Groves, COO of Sundown Solutions spoke about digital transformation and how it can bring a step change to companies, and finally local actor Julie Hesmondhalgh spoke about the importance of engaging young people with the arts as a career path, plus launched her new project the Winter Writing Trail which is covered elsewhere in this magazine.

#AmazingAccrington business leaders, local schools and education providers all came together for the annual Hyndburn Education Summit. The event discussed digital skills within schools, the availability of apprenticeships, investments in the local area, and the importance of encouraging engineering and STEM subjects. The delegates also heard from Dr Susan Scurlock MBE, Founder & CEO of Primary Engineer, who gave a fascinating talk about their work to embed engineering and creative thinking into students of primary age as well as secondary. As a special prize

sponsored by Scott Dawson Advertising and iMEP International Music Event Production, Headteacher Liam Noon of St Nicholas CE Primary won the draw for a free Primary Engineer programme worth over £1000 for his school. Also speaking at the event was MP for Hyndburn and Haslingden Sara Britcliffe, #AmazingAccrington Chair Murray Dawson, Sundown Solutions CEO Heath Groves, North Lancs Training Group Quality of Education Director Robin Lindsay, Accrington & Rossendale College Centre Principal Morag Davis, Accrington Stanley

Managing Director David Burgess, Emerson & Renwick Managing Director Ben Clements, The Vita Group Innovation Manager Dr Sam Hill, St Christopher’s CE High School Headteacher Richard Jones, Lancashire Business View Chairman Richard Slater, and iMEP International Music Event Production CEO Eddy O’Brien.

Watch a video of the event here:

Watch a video of the event here:

18 #AmazingAccrington Summer 2024

#AmazingAccrington Summer 2024 19

Top: Accrington Stanley’s world class hospitality venue is a big hit. Above: Coley’s recently hosted the OASST Fans Forum.

Above: Hospitality Manager at The Venue at Stanley, Karen Gettins.

CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS in style at Accrington’s Number One venue!

Keep up to date with The Venue at Stanley on their website: www.coleys.co.uk

If you are looking for something a bit more intimate, The Venue at Stanley have you covered. All of their rooms are available for private hire this Christmas and you can choose from street food, a hot buffet or a three course dinner. If you didn’t think it could get any better, The Venue at Stanley is also running midweek parties this year. Arrival drink, street food and a disco for just £25 per person. How good is that? Also offering a special ‘early bird’ offer whereby booking your party for 20 guests or more by 30th June and you will get half a bottle of wine per person included.

while also serving traditional pie, peas and gravy.

The Snug is a smaller venue, again which can be hired out at any time, with all needs catered for. The 1968 Lounge is named after the year the club reformed following their shock resignation from the Football League in 1962. This is used on matchdays for hospitality but can also be hired out for all life’s occasions, as well as business events. Keep an eye out for next season’s fixtures, which will be announced on Wednesday 26th June, and book your hospitality for the new campaign! The Venue at Stanley has hosted some incredible events in 2024 including the Mayor of Hyndburn’s Charity Ball which raised over £15,000 for local causes, the #AmazingAccrington Education Summit, Accrington Stanley’s annual Ladies Day event and much more.

Scan the QR code to learn more about hosting your event at The Venue at Stanley

Accrington Stanley’s world class hospitality venue recently celebrated its two-year anniversary, with ‘The Venue at Stanley’ going from strength to strength since its official opening in March 2022.

The state-of-the-art hospitality and conference facility, an incredible £2.5million investment by Stanley owner Andy Holt, offers a home for a wide range of events including weddings, birthday parties, christenings, conferences, and much more. Located behind the HML Recycling sponsored Jack Barrett Main Stand, the venue includes a stunning hospitality suite, the 1968 Lounge, the extremely popular supporters’ bar, Coley’s, and The Snug, a more intimate setting, all of which are available to hire.

The Venue at Stanley is also very well known for offering a fantastic variety of Christmas party nights and this year is no different. The ideal place to celebrate your Christmas party, whether it’s with friends, work or family, they have the perfect setting, teamed with spectacular food by Cheek & Tongue and entertainment to match – guaranteeing a Christmas to remember!

For a relaxed party with a great atmosphere, set in a unique venue, then Coley’s is the place to be. For just £30 per person, enjoy a hot buffet with fantastic choices, great tunes and fantastic drinks deals. Over in the 1968 Lounge savour a delectable three-course dinner by the wonderful team at Cheek & Tongue, before a live DJ starts his sets and you party late into the night… all for just £45 per person. With available dates for both rooms in November and December, enquire by emailing events@accringtonstanley.co.uk or call 01254 475 455.

Scan the QR code to check out a great Ladies Day event!

Don’t miss out, book your Christmas party today!

Scan the QR code to check out some great Christmas packages!

Over the years, Coley’s has become a popular destination for all things live sport. Open on all matchdays and Fridays through to Sundays, it has wall mounted 85" televisions to watch all the latest sports and a selection of beers, wines and spirits

The offering is great… there’s something for everyone.

20 #AmazingAccrington Summer 2024

#AmazingAccrington Summer 2024 21

KING CHARLES III awards honour to the official Accrington Stanley Suporters Trust In superb news, the Official Accrington Stanley Supporters Trust have been awarded a King’s Award for Voluntary Service. This is the highest award a local voluntary group can receive in the UK and is equivalent to an MBE. The Official Accrington Stanley Supporters Trust (OASST) is one of 262 local groups to receive the award this year in the UK.

in afternoon tea as military bands played a wide selection of tunes.

Supporters also asked questions on a number of other topics in Coley's, including the appointment of Ged Brannan as the club's new Assistant Manager, plans for pre-season, growing the fanbase, and much more. Andy Holt, said: "It was a great evening and a really good opportunity to meet with supporters and answer their questions about the club. "We held some very positive discussions and I would like to thank all of our fans for their continued support." Peter Leatham, added: "We had a fantastic turnout and there was a really positive atmosphere about the place. "Andy and John gave great insight into the club and we are all looking forward to the new season already." One supporter said to Andy Holt and John Doolan: "I have been coming here for 25 years and I would just like to thank you for all that you've done for this club. "I am very confident in the manager that you have chosen, who will get us back doing what we do on the playing field and getting us back where we used to be. "I really appreciate both of you and I think everybody should give you a big clap, because you've done a 'heck of a lot for this place." Fellow supporter, Robert Mitchell, added: "A super evening and I left feeling even more positive than I was after the match on Saturday about the next few years at Stanley. "Andy Holt seems to be back in full forward mode and John Doolan impresses me more and more every time I hear him speak.

Gallery Hospitality Suite, where they enjoyed lunch and half-time refreshments.

Guests then formed two corridors as the Royal party emerged from the palace and strolled down the avenue of guests, allowing plenty of photo opportunities. We are pleased to report that the King looked very well and relaxed after his recent health issues. They then retired to their own tea party in the Royal marquee before exiting and returning, across the lawns to the palace later in the afternoon. All in all, in was a great honour to be invited for what proved to be a hot and busy few hours. The OASST hosted an extremely positive Fans' Forum with Accrington Stanley Chairman, Andy Holt, and First Team Manager, John Doolan, at the Wham Stadium in April; with player contracts, new signings, hospitality, and plans for the future of the club all discussed. Peter Leatham compèred the Fans' Forum, which also saw Andy Holt discuss the club's surprise at the announcement of Emirates FA Cup replays beings scrapped from 2024/25. God save the King & On Stanley On! OASST host positive Fans Forum at the Wham Stadium

Mrs Helen Bingley OBE DL JP, said: "It is fantastic to see a group of people who care so much about their local community and their local football club. "It has been a great privilege to represent The Lord Lieutenant on behalf of King Charles by presenting this award to a wider group today. "I have thoroughly enjoyed my visit and the wonderful hospitality here at the Wham Stadium." Andy Holt, added: "As a club we are really pleased for the OASST and it really is a great honour for all the fantastic work they do here at Accrington Stanley." Well not quite, our Chairman and Vice Chair, the two Peter’s (Leatham & Warburton) were fortunate enough to be invited to attend a Royal Garden Party in early May to conclude our King’s Award celebrations. The duo joined about 8,000 guests in the grounds of the palace, which saw the King and Queen in attendance under cloudless May skies. OASST duo storm the palace!

Guests were invited to have a stroll through the magnificent grounds as well as partake

The OASST were awarded with a King’s Award for voluntary service.

The Trust works tirelessly to strengthen the bond between the football club and its supporters and local community, and strive to give back to the community wherever possible and provide services to the supporters. The volunteers operate various projects such as the Market Hall (now Arndale) shop, local foodbanks as well as providing supporter services such as coach travel to away fixtures, social evenings, children’s free Christmas party and also a range of fundraising events. Trust Chairman, Peter Leatham, said: “On behalf of our Trust Board, many members, and our forefathers in our Supporters Clubs we are deeply honoured to be selected to receive The King’s Award for Voluntary Service. “A big thanks to Amazing Accrington and Murray’s team for nominating OASST, and helping to prepare the bid. “This award is a massive honour and is testament to all the hours, close to 7,000 in the past 12 months, that the trust and

our volunteers donate to help both our community, our football club and its supporters. “We are immensely proud of all our achievements but particularly our Memorial Garden sited at the Stadium which provides a quiet area for the whole community to visit and remember loved ones. It is possible to place individual memorial plaques on the walls and we also host a Remembrance Day service on the garden. “Whilst we have achieved plenty there is always much more to do, and we are committed to continuing our efforts to assist many as much as possible!” The King’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by local volunteer groups to benefit their communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee and, following his accession, His Majesty The King emphasised his desire to continue the Award and recipients are announced annually on 14th November, The King’s Birthday.

Representatives of the Trust received the crystal award and certificate from Amanda Parker, Lord-Lieutenant of Lancashire at a ceremony in County Hall.

Special presentation at the Wham Stadium

The OASST also received their King's Award from Mrs Helen Bingley OBE DL JP, The High Sheriff of Lancashire (2024-25), in a special presentation on the pitch during Accrington Stanley's final game of the season against Tranmere Rovers at the Wham Stadium. Peter Leatham, and other Board Members from the Supporters' Trust gratefully received the honour at half-time in front of both home and away fans. Attending in full High Sheriff dress uniform, the High Sheriff was accompanied by her grandson, Noah, who also won the ‘first goal wins’ competition. Before the game, the OASST, the High Sheriff and her family, were special guests of Stanley Chairman, Andy Holt, and Managing Director, David Burgess, in The

"The future is glowing Red!"

You can learn more about the OASST on their website: www.onstanleyon.com

Watch the video

Left to right: Peter Leatham and Peter Warburton attending a Royal Garden Party in early May to conclude the OASST’s King’s Award celebrations. King Charles III was in attendance at the Royal Garden Party. The OASST hosted a Fans Forum in Coley’s with Andy Holt and John Doolan. The OASST also received a special presentation of their King’s Award on the pitch at the Wham Stadium.

22 #AmazingAccrington Summer 2024

#AmazingAccrington Summer 2024 23

Accrington Stanley Women U13s celebrate their cup success in May. CREDIT Steven Taylor.

Clockwise from top left: Accrington Stanley Women U18s were crowned Youth Cup winners in April. Photo credit John Shirras. Niamh Corrigan won player of the year at the Accrington Stanley Women awards. Players from all age groups were presented with trophies at the awards ceremony. The Accrington Stanley Women U18s team enjoyed a fantastic tour to the USA.

A SEASON OF SUCCESS! for Accrington Stanley Women Accrington Stanley Women hosted a special activity day and awards ceremony at Accrington Stanley’s Wham Stadium on May Day Bank Holiday, to celebrate what has been another successful season for the club, both on and off the pitch.

Stanley Women then experienced further glory in May after their U13s side defeated Blackpool FC U13 Girls in the U13 Girls Youth Cup Final. Goals from Elsa B and Eve K secured the victory for Stanley Women, a game also played at The County Ground, Leyland. Mark Booth, Director at BMP Europe, who proudly sponsor Accrington Stanley Women U13s, said: “The standard of football that the girls were playing was absolutely magnificent. “The quality of their passing, tactics, confidence and delivery is something the club and their coaching team should be proud of. “It was a pleasure to support them and share time with their proud families and committee members. What a day! BMP Europe is proud to support and sponsor a fantastic club in Accrington Stanley Women FC.” In what has been a memorable season for Accrington Stanley Women, they also enjoyed an exciting tour to the USA where they took part in the prestigious Dallas Texans International Girls Cup. Stanley Women U18s narrowly missed out on progressing to the next round of the competition, after finishing third, despite ending their group as top goalscorers. Stanley Women go stateside

Following a series of tournament warm-up friendlies, Stanley Women drew their first cup game 2-2 against hosts Dallas Texans 2007 Girls Academy ECNL. Next up for Stanley Women U18s was another tricky match, this time against DKSC 07G ECNL RL, and despite a valiant effort, it ended in a narrow 3-1 defeat. Despite an emphatic 5-1 win in their final game, unfortunately results did not go Stanley’s way elsewhere and they bowed out of the competition with their heads held high. Sami Smithson, said: “What an incredible honour it has been to represent Accrington Stanley Women on the world stage. The team have been absolutely amazing and have enjoyed an experience of a lifetime. “Success of this trip was never going to be measured on winning a trophy, it was going to involve getting the support of our community, seeing the team gel, observe leaders grow and step forward, witness cultural acceptance, bravery, compassion, integrity, respect, kindness and camaraderie, everything that we stand for as a Club.” Accrington Stanley Women enjoyed significant support from businesses both local and further afield to take part in the competition, including main club sponsors Sundown Solutions, elf Cosmetics UK, Macron North West – who provided the kit for the tournament, Farleys Solicitors,

Intelligent Search Ltd, Scott Dawson Advertising, CL Travel who sponsored the water bottles, and Under 18 kit sponsor Filter Fabrications. Funds were also raised at several key events including the Mayor of Hyndburn’s Charity Ball and the Clayton Amateur Boxing Club fundraiser, both of which were held at Accrington Stanley’s world class hospitality venue. Since the tournament in Dallas, one of the Accrington Stanley Women players has been selected for a scholarship in the USA, as a direct result of the trip. A life changing opportunity made possible by the support of the community of Accrington.

Stanley Women secure double Youth Cup glory

With 220 players across their club, awards were handed out the players from all age groups, all the way from Under 10s up to the first team, with Niamh Corrigan winning the club’s overall player of the year accolade. Other awards handed out included Supporters Player of the Season, Players Player of the Season, Coaches Player of the Season, Outstanding Achievement Awards, Recognised Coaches and Volunteers, as well as the Chairperson Special Recognition awards. A special award was also presented to club photographer Tony Greenwood, who is retiring at the end of the season. Taking place in Coley’s and the 1968 Lounge, the fun filled day also saw former England and Manchester City footballer and now Sky Sports Pundit, Izzy Christiansen, running an open age training session on the Wham Stadium pitch, as well as a tactical coaching session beforehand in The Snug.

There was also 5-a-side, 7-a-side and 9-a side games, Under 13s / Under 14s (mixed) and Under 14s / Under 15s (mixed) 11-a-side games, and The Red Rose Challenge match between Accrington Stanley Women U16s and Burnley, which ended in a 4-3 penalties success for Burnley, after the game ended 1-1. There was also entertainment throughout the day for the various age groups including party games, glitter tattoos, face painting, disco and karaoke. Lucas Neill, Performance Director at Accrington Stanley Women, said: “I am really, really proud of where we are as a club right now. In the four years that we have been a club, the progression has been amazing and we continue to grow and expand. “This season, 10 of our Under 18s players have featured for the first team and 24 Under 18s have played in open age reserve football, so there is a real genuine pathway here at the club.”

In what has been a tremendous season for Stanley Women at various age groups, the Club have also secured two pieces of silverware. Back in April and Stanley Women were crowned Youth Cup champions after their U18s side put in a scintillating display to defeat Fleetwood Town Juniors U18s 6-0 in the U18 Girls Youth Cup Final. A hat-trick from Niamh Corrigan, a double for Millie Dooley and a well deserved goal for Grace Hindley secured the emphatic win for Stanley Women at The County Ground, Leyland. Sami Smithson, Chair of Accrington Stanley Women, said: “I am so proud of these girls. They have been fantastic all season and this is a very deserved win and trophy success for them. “As a team they have experienced so much together this season and this is just the start of a great journey for them.”

To keep up with the progress of Accrington Stanley Women, visit: https://www.facebook.com/ AccringtonStanleyWomen https://twitter.com/ASWFCofficial and https://www.instagram.com/ accrington_stanley_womenfc/

24 #AmazingAccrington Summer 2024

#AmazingAccrington Summer 2024 25

Kindly sponsor ponsored by

SUNDAY 9th JUNE, 12noon to 6pm Procession starts at Harvey St at 12noon, followed by a Family Fun Day at Rhyddings Park

Sat 31 st August & Sun 1 st September

FREE feeder buses from Accrington Rail Station, Blackburn Bus Station & Whalley Bus Station For more information & to enter a vehicle see Town & District Transport Trust Facebook or www.tdtt.co.uk/events Great Harwood Big Transport Weekend 2024

Above: Visuals of the new Accrington Pals Gardens. Below: Sculpture and designer John Everiss and his son George.

ACCRINGTON PALS Memorial Garden Redevelopment and Sculpture

By Cath Holmes

“I remember when the news came through to Accrington that the Pals had been wiped out. I don’t think there was a street in Accrington and district that didn’t have their blinds drawn, and the bell at Christ Church tolled all the day.” - Percy Holmes, brother of an original Accrington Pal. When I saw those words on the cover of the proposal, I knew this was promising, very, very promising.

Some years ago, as a member of the Town Centre Initiative board, I put forward a proposal to re-develop the Accrington Pals Memorial Garden. It was tired looking, scruffy and difficult to have Remembrance services of any number due to the large planters and cobbled paving being obstructions, little clear standing space in front of the Memorial stone. Round the corner we had the “new” town square – a neat, clean, tidy looking event space and back round the corner the Pals Garden, not so great. I brought up the proposal several, no numerous times. I’m sure TCIP members were sick of hearing me banging on about it but I was determined something should be done. Thanks to the UK Shared Prosperity Fund awarded to the Council,

there was the money to renovate the site and in 2022, go ahead was given to crack on.

I’m Chair of Hyndburn Green Spaces and we worked with Hyndburn Council’s Parks Team to come up with a design, layout, planting scheme and plant colour palette, street furniture and lighting. To work on this concept and other pockets of green area in Accrington town centre, a Town Green Team was formed, made up of town centre businesses, Hyndburn Borough horticultural department consulting with the Accrington Royal British Legion, who put forward further suggestions of plant colours and a flag pole, as well as choosing two benches to complement the existing two. Council, Lancashire County Council, Accrington & Rossendale College

#AmazingAccrington Summer 2024 27

Opposite: The Pals Memorial Garden will feature a fantastic new sculpture. Above: Accrington Town Centre, where the Accrington Pals Memorial Garden is being built.

One thing I felt was lacking, not just for the Pals garden but in the Borough in general, are sculptures. They’re very much of a personal taste and like or loath them, travel out of the Borough and you soon come across sculptures, adding another dimension to a landscaped area. That was my next mission – a sculpture. I put forward some suggestions of sculptors I knew of, the Council had a couple more. A briefing was sent out and we waited for designs. The Town Green Team then had three to choose from. There was a vote, though one proposal shouted out – I was so excited, ridiculously so but I kept quiet until confirmation with the designer. I then gave an update and presentation of the designs to the RBL Accrington. They unanimously agreed on the same sculpture. I’d already met the sculpture / designer – John Everiss and his son George. I’d seen his work at Chelsea in 2018 and again in 2019 at Chelsea (on TV), then in person at Arromanches, Normandy – D-Day 75 Memorial Garden overlooking Mulberry Harbour – stunning, evocative, inspiring and for me, so memorable and fascinating. The process to create the Accrington Pals sculpture is very time consuming and detailed – “probably the most detailed WW1 sculpture that’s been made” John wonders? Two local men, who fit the height and build for recruits of the era, will be dressed in authentic WW1 uniform supplied by Khaki Devils and factually correct in detail. They are scanned using a 3D imaging machine, images fed into a computer, tidied up and then sent to the fabricators – Fitzpatricks in Nelson – for cutting and welding together in layers – sounds simple but there’s much more

involved with around 230 layers of Cor-Ten steel. I’m looking really forward to visiting Fitzpatricks to see the sculpture taking form. Neither John nor the Council knew it was my grandad Percy, brother of an Accrington Pal – Walter Holmes, the uncle of Walter Holmes, Accrington Pals historian – who’d spoken those opening words, also incorporated into one of the town square benches. did regularly, when news broke of the devastating slaughter of the Pals some days after 1 July 1916. A casualty train had pulled into the station. Someone shouted “where are we?” “Accrington” came the reply. “Have you heard what’s happened to the Pals?” And then the news spread. Grandad ran all the way home to Hargreaves Street, telling everyone he met on his way. When he got home he told his mother Margaret, who dropped to her knees and said “thank God our Walter wasn’t there.” Walter was at the Somme but 20 miles down the front line with the Machine Gun Corps. From the 11th (Service) Battalion (Accrington), 720 men and boys went over the top that 1st of July and 632 were killed, wounded or missing. Losses which ripped through the townships of Greater Accrington and left hardly any family unaffected. The Pals were no more and the towns radically changed with generations lost, widows, orphans, homelessness, poverty and no heroes return. Grandad Percy was near to Accrington railway station, whacking off school as he This was a stark contrast from the cheering crowds who gathered to watch them march past Accrington Town Hall and wish them farewell. Though, little did anyone

expect was what to come – “it’ll all be over with by Christmas.”

The Accrington Pals have thankfully never been forgotten, largely down to the work of historians Bill (William) Turner and Walter Holmes, who actually met some of the Pals, went on trips back to France with them. Between Bill and Walter, decades were dedicated into researching the men and boys of the Pals and the men, boys and women of Greater Accrington who also served or lost their lives. I hope the renovated Accrington Pals Memorial Garden will be a more pleasant, green space for folk to sit and remember, reflect, continue the Borough’s remembrance of those who gave their all, and with the sculpture, give it another dimension, be a conversation starter, a visual reality of two Pals who… “Slowly make their way back from the front lines. A stray bullet or piece of shrapnel has torn through the arm of one, forcing him to use his jacket to create a makeshift sling. Loss of blood has made him faint, he’s relying on the support of his mate as he picks his way over the stone slabbed pathway. Perhaps friends before they joined up, his corporal carries the kit, both rifles slung over his shoulder, woodbine hanging from the corner of his mouth. He’ll make sure he gets seen by a doctor, after all he knows his chum would do the same for him. A postcard sticks out of his top pocket ready to be sent off to his sweetheart when he gets the chance. Bearing a patriotic lion standing on Eagle, it simply reads; ‘Accrington Pals - Fight to a finish!’” (John Everiss)

28 #AmazingAccrington Spring 2024

#AmazingAccrington Summer 2024 29

Made with FlippingBook Digital Proposal Maker