Welcome to the second edition of LIFE : STYLE magazine, your fabulous, FREE, publication showcasing the proud achievements of people who live, work and play in Accrington and district townships.
his bumper summer edition is a sizzling mix of food and drink, family fun, great local characters, celebrity interviews, home and garden inspiration and the phenomenal business heroes who are boosting the local economy and puing this part of Lancashire on the world trade map. You will find their interviews on pages 38 to 49. Our cover interview is with Jon Anderson, founder of the progressive rock band Yes – and the talented artist who penned the global hit ‘Owner of a Lonely Heart’. Jon recently flew back to the UK as part of a European and Asian tour with his new band ARWand fellow bandmates Trevor Rabin and RickWakeman. We will be running part two of Jon’s interview – where he makes some astonishing revelations - in issue 3 of LIFE : STYLE magazine. For those who missed our first edition, community wellbeing, education, tourism and the fortunes of the borough are at the heart of this magazine. Our publisher Murray Dawson, Managing Director of Sco Dawson Advertising, is a Clayton lad who now lives in Great Harwood and is on a mission to highlight the many positives the area has to offer. LIFE : STYLE is part of his company’s ongoing civic pride initiative and encourages the 82,000 residents, 35,500 households and 1,700 registered businesses to celebrate the area’s assets - be it the local league football club Accrington Stanley, the independent shops we all need to support by shopping locally or a new header tank of like-minded businesses with a passion and empathy to improve the communities business outlook. Along with Sco Dawson Advertising - Accrington and Rossendale College is helping to forge links with business leaders and the council on this new initiative – we reveal more in our next issue. MP Graham Jones is another of those hardworking individuals who dedicates his professional and personal time to doing just that – and has been an enormous support to the magazine – as has Hyndburn Borough Council and all our advertisers. You will find Graham’s article on pages 36 and 37 where he provides a fascinating insight into the Palace ofWestminster and comments on the recent terrorist aack. One of my favourite interviews is withWalter Holmes, local historian, author and expert on the Accrington Pals. Walter is a wonderful character who, along with the late Bill Turner, has done so much to keep the Pals stories alive for new generations. The LIFE : STYLE teamwill be out in force at this year’s Accrington Food Festival where the brilliantWarner Street trader and event organiser Evonne Harwood will be hosting a world record charity aempt to gather the most people performing the ‘Oops Upside Your Head’ dance in the grounds of St James Church. Dig out your luminous leg warmers, shiny shell suits and ra-ra skirts folks because we need you all there to support this fab event. You can find more information and register to take part at hp://bit.ly/OopsUp If you are an Accrington Stanley fan you may enjoy our interviewwith management team John Coleman and Jimmy Bell. We wanted to shoot behind the sporting headlines and turn the spotlight on their personal friendship We hope you enjoy this edition and thank you to everyone who took part in LIFE : STYLE number 2. We will be back with another bumper read in September...
Readers picture: Accrington Pipe Band Duckworths’ top tips for selling your home Farleys Solicitors on cuing property stress Jon Anderson – from local farm to global fame
14-15 Summer garden trends and tips 16-17 What’s on – your summer fun sorted! 18-21 Wonderful Warner Street 22-23 Red-hot summer fashion with Extreme Boutique 24-27 The life and times ofWalter Holmes 28-29 Save the Accrington Pals bus 30-31 Recipe: Comforting cod classic 32-33 SUMMER’S STAR EVENT: Accrington Food Festival 34-35 Foxy Food - Spicy Moroccan lamb burgers with Richard Fox 36-37 Graham Jones MP – a personal invitation 38-39 Business Heroes – Mike Damms, East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce 40-41 Business Heroes – Point Control 42-45 Business Heroes - The Globe Centre is 21! Meet the team and tenants 46-47 Business Heroes – Surface Print and 1838 Wallcoverings 50-51 Made in Accrington – our celebrity movers and shakers 54-55 Lose your heart to Haworth Art Gallery 58-59 Change has come to Accrington... all hail Hyndburn Leisure! 60-61 Bumble’s bodybuilding son flexes his personal training expertise 62-65 When Johnny met Jimmy – Accrington Stanley Football Club special 66-67 Parenting – Can we teach our children willpower? 70-71 Kids - learn to drive from the age of 14! 72-73 Radio Lancashire’s Axeman reveals why he loves planting trees 74 Competition time!
Sarah Rigg Editor
Sue Lawson Advertising
LIFE : STYLE magazine is produced and printed by Sco Dawson Advertising Ltd. Dawson Court, Billington Road, Lancashire, BB11 5BW. 01282 426 846.
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ACCRINGTON PIPE BAND
Shown here at Oswaldtwistle Carnival 2016. Picture courtesy of Gary Britland. Tel: 07411 984 501. www.facebook.com/garybritlandphotography
Accrington Pipe Band is the oldest civilian pipe band in the United Kingdom and reputedly the world, formed in 1885.
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SELLING TOP TIPS FOR
YOUR HOME THIS SPRING AND SUMMER
by Jonathan Parkinson DIRECTOR ATDUCKWORTHS ESTATE AGENTS
Duckworths is one of the longest established estate agents in the area with a history dating back to 1877. Longevity like this should not be taken lightly, and hard work and dedication has created a business of experts in their field. An accredited member of the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), today Duckworths’ director Jonathan Parkinson shares his selling pearls of wisdom to help you get a better price for your property and a faster sale.
• Spring : Traditionally the Best Time for House Sales Spring is traditionally a good time to sell with themarket busy with potential buyers. If you have decided to sell there are lots of things you can do to ensure your home sells easily for the best pricewithout stress or problems. • Local Agent with Local Knowledge A local estate agent will help you sell, we suggest you choose onewho has in-depth local knowledge, who is a licensed NAEAmember andwho has an easy to usewebsitewith excellent presentation of properties offered for sale andwho also recognises the value of traditional local marketing. Every home and every buyer is in someway uniquewhich is why a local agent with decades of experience can ensure that you have every chance of finding the best buyer and achieving the best price for your home so you complete the salewithin your required timeframewith everything going as smoothly as possible. • Before you Instruct an Agent Drive by appeal is very important so remember that your home has less than aminute tomake a good first impression. Try to view your home as someone seeing it for the very first time, make yourself conscious of the lile things you have lived happily with andmake good these things. Remember that most buyers are looking for a home and a property which is evidently cared for. It ismorewelcoming and easier for them to feel they canmake the property their home. A good estate agent will advise you of the repairs and replacements or aention to small details which are important to get a sale at the best price. • Choosing your Estate Agent Estate agency is essentially the business of matching buyers and sellers and then of finding a way tomake the sale happen. In order to do this it is important that your agent understands your requirements as a seller so he canmatch your property according to the needs of buyers.
• A Lick of Paint A fresh lick of paint makes your home seem lighter and bigger. It also helps buyers to envisagemoving in and enjoying the property immediately without work, stress or expense. • Fix and Clean Many buyers just want tomove and enjoy their new home somake it easy for them. Clean everything until it sparkles, get rid of any odours and present as you wouldwish to find. This helps buyers imagining living there and allows them to see your house as their home. • Present the Kitchen ParticularlyWell The kitchen is the heart of many homes and canmake the biggest difference if buyers are unsure. Your estate agent will advise if expenditure is recommended but always decluer surfaces and take away bulky appliances whichmake the space seemsmaller. • Light and Airy Wall mirrorsmake a room look bigger and lighter andwork very well in smaller rooms or hallways. Brighter bulbsmake theworld of difference presenting a roomand lamps transformdark corners. Obvious things such as ensuringwindows are clean and replacing broken bulbs inmultiple light fiings are oen overlooked.
• Make it Look Like Home Poor curtains or dated blindsmake a property look impersonal and run down and can so easily be changed at lile cost to create a homely feel. Plants and flowers add colour and smell as does that bowl of fruit – all together making a house a home. • Get the Right Smells Bad smells are the number one objection for prospective buyers so take particular care about this. Pet smells and cigaree smoke are themost common problems not noticed by property owners so be careful to get rid of these. Conversely good smellsmake it easy to identify with a home so consider brewing fresh coffee or freshly cut flowers. • Make Moving a Pleasure With help froma good estate agent moving home should be a pleasurable experience – the next step on the journey of lifewhether you’removing somewhere bigger, smaller, with the garden you have dreamed of or the nomaintenance garden you always wanted. Whilemany people have badmemories of stressful experiences whether buying or sellingwith a good local estate agent this need not be so. Matching an enthusiastic buyer with a willing seller and then finding a way of overcoming the inevitable small hurdles which naturally occur is the day to day work of a good estate agent.
• Decluer but Don’t Depersonalise Themany personal things which accumulate over timemake your home your own – oen you don’t even notice these things. But remember people need to envisagewhat the property would look like if they were living there andmany people find this difficult somake it easy for them. Removing bulky furniture canmake rooms seembigger and present a fantastic living space but don’t go t extremes and make it look like a hotel. • Buying a Home and a Lifestyle People are oen buying into a lifestyle as well as buying a home so show the aractive side of your lifestyle. Make it easy for the buyer to feel at home in your property.
Above: Duckworths are the largest estate agents in Hyndburn with offices in Accrington, Rishton and Oswaldtwistle. Opposite: Our team take property sales to new heights.
If you would like a FREE valuation and appraisal of your property call JONATHAN PARKINSON today on 01254 234242
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...TO GLOBAL FAME
How a 10-year-old Accrington milk boy became an international rock star!
Interview by Sarah Rigg
In the first of our two-part interview with Accrington-born rock star Jon Anderson, the founding member of Yes talks about his childhood growing up in the town and how he returned for a UK tour with fellow bandmates Trevor Rabin and RickWakeman.
It could be the trailer for a blockbuster movie. Two lile lads playing football in the empty car park of a northern town - one that would grow up to become a cricket legend - and the other, a world-famous rock star. Who could have guessed the amazing fate of 10-year-old David Lloyd fromWater Street and his 12-year-old-pal, John Roy Anderson who lived on nearby Norfolk Street? "David was my arch enemy," jokes Accrington-born singer-songwriter Jon, who dropped the ‘h’ in his name when he found global fame with the progressive rock group Yes. The band's biggest chart hit was ‘Owner of a Lonely Heart', sung and co-wrien by Jon, and covered by many admiring artists over the years. "David lived a couple of streets away fromme," recalls Jon, who now lives with his second wife Jane in California. "Whenever I was on my way to play football in the car park of Accrington Stanley up at Peel Park, I would knock on David's door and say, ‘You get your team together and I'll get mine. ' We'd kick the ball around like crazy. I just wanted to beat him and his mates, it was always important that my teamwould win. We had this lovely rivalry with each other. "In the 1950s I became a ball boy for the original club and I was also their mascot for a year." As Jon’s position on the world stage steadily grew he was pleased to see his old pal Bumble doing so well. He adds: "It was great watching David progress to playing for Accrington Cricket Club and then for Lancashire before captaining England. I was always amazed by how wonderful life is. And then about three years ago David made contact so we sent some emails and spoke on the phone.” Aer mentioning that Bumble had taken up bodybuilding in 2016, Jon quips: "It's about time he got into shape. Although it is kinda weird too because I also started weight-liing last year in preparation for touring. "You get to a certain age – David's around the same age as me – and if you're going to keep travelling the world, you need to be prey fit." The tour Jon is referring to is with ARW (Anderson, Rabin &Wakeman), a musical collaboration with former Yes bandmates Trevor Rabin and RickWakeman. It is the first time the trio have toured together since 1990 and they kicked off their series of shows in North America, headed to the UK and finish in Europe.
Top: Image of Jon created by his daughter, Deborah, a professional photographer. Above: St. John’s School 1953 - Jon is 3rd from the right on the back row.
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Jon says: "I thought I beer get exercising. I've been working out every day – and watch Manchester United, Liverpool and Newcastle from the treadmill. These are my favourite teams. Aer Accrington Stanley of course." In 2004 Jon describes one of "the most wonderful moments" of his life when watching the sports channel ESPN. Says Jon: "The commentator said, ‘Next Tuesday we are going live to Accrington to see Stanley play Colchester in the FA Cup. "That freaked me out that I would see a live game at Accrington Stanley on my telly in California. I rang my brother Stuart who lives in Accrington and he said, ‘Oh I'm going to go down and sit behind the goal.’ So I actually watched the game and called Stuart on my cell phone while he was behind the goal and we had the best laugh ever. Colchester won in the replay, but that's life!" Growing up in the town with his brothers Tony and Stuart and sister Joy was a happy experience. Jon's father Albert was Scoish, from Glasgow, and his mumKathleen second generation Irish with French ancestry. The couple were East Lancashire ballroom dancing champions, and Jon remembers their trophies proudly displayed on the mantelpiece. "My sister Joy passed away a couple of years ago," says Jon. "Tony is a Pentecostal church minister living on the Isle ofWight, and Stuart lives in Accrington with his wife Marilyn, so me and Jane visit him every time we come up toManchester.” From the age of 10, Jon's father, a salesman, became ill, so to help out with the bills Jon would deliver milk and work on a farm in Huncoat. "I did that until I was 16," says Jon. "I worked onWalter Procter's farm to help my family because my dad was prey sick. I shovelled a lot of cow poop, milked the cows, generally had a good time, I loved those days. I oen look back fondly at Easter times when the sun was shining and the weather was geing beer. It made me a very deliberate worker. I'm a workaholic." When Jon was 18 he joined TheWarriors, where he and his brother Tony shared the role of vocalists. He then quit the band in 1967, released two solo singles in 1968 under the pseudonymHans Christian Anderson. It was around this time that Jon met the late Chris Squire and went on to superstardom aer forming Yes, along with Pete Banks, drummer Bill Bruford and keyboardist Tony Kaye. Wherever Jon has travelled in the world, Accrington has always held a special space in his memories. "We drive up to Accrington whenever we are in the UK,” he says.
old. "My wonderful wife Jane loves that place," adds Jon, affectionately. Sadly there will be no time for a trip to Jon's hometown during the UK leg of ARW's tour. "Touring is not the easiest thing in the world. It is exhausting," says Jon. "You have to do two shows then a day off, three shows and a day off, etc. So I'll be driving fromGlasgow to Manchester on the day of the show and then straight down to Birmingham from there." The formation of ARW– the initials of each member's surnames – has been a long time coming. "It took us about three years to find time to do this. Trevor was doing film scores like crazy, Rick is always busy doing what he does and I was doing some great solo and collaborative work." Jon's love affair with music is a lifelong one. He was brought up on TheWho, Rolling Stones, and The Birds. But the first song to have a huge impact on Jon's life was a track on the Beatle's Revolver album called TomorrowNever Knows. He says: "It wasn't a hit but it was great. It was the same with Frank Zappa. He didn't have many hit records but his music was great. And it was the same with Yes. We didn't have many hit records, but our music was great. "Music touches our hearts on so many levels. I like Coldplay and feel very emotional when listening to their songs and the music produced by BrunoMars is just glorious." In 2008 – aer illness kept Jon off the road for a year – Yes replaced himwith Benoit David, a sound-alike who previously fronted the Yes tribute band Close to the Edge. Reportedly nobody in the band called Jon to tell him the news – he had to hear it from a friend. "They didn't tell me anything," he says. "They were just off and running. But what can you do? I was pissed off in the beginning, but then you say, 'Oh well, the boys want to go on tour and be rock and rollers. Let them do it.' Now people come see me and I'm suddenly 30 years younger!" On reflection, Jon was released to bigger and beer things and some amazing collaborations with people like Jean-Luc Ponty the
jazz fusion violinist. The reviews of ARW's concerts have been phenomenally good – with particular reference to Jon's rejuvenated voice and presence. "It has been a whirlwind," says Jon. "FromTrevor ringing me up and suggesting we get together with Rick, we flew to LA, called ourselves ARW, and together started performing a whole show of Yes songs - because that's who we are, actually." Touring with Rick and Trevor is always a lot of fun for Jon. "Rick is a bit of a comedian anyway and Trevor is very strange at times – like John Cleese! "Trevor turned up to rehearsals in bare feet one time. He got on stage and said, ‘Oh my I've forgoen my shoes.' "We were like, ‘How can you drive all the way here Trevor without your shoes? Then we realised . . . he's a bit of a nutcase!" Another time Trevor met his bandmates at the airport, fully clothed but wearing a dressing gown. Jon laughs: "When we asked himwhy he was wearing a bathrobe it was because he forgot to bring a coat. It was below freezing and he's standing there shivering in the airport with his dressing gown on. I said, ‘you could have gone and bought a coat!' He said, ‘Oh yeah, you're right'." Jon adds: "First of all I love working with such great talent, we put on a great show of songs that everyone knows, we enjoy it and they are too damn funny those guys. Rick always tells jokes – his latest one which he must tell me twice a week is ‘People in Dubai, they never watch the Flintstones.' ‘But the people in Abu Dhabi do'. "To be able to sing and performwith Rick and Trevor at this time in my life is a treasure beyond words. "I'm so excited to make newmusic and revisit some of the classic work we created many years ago; it's a musical adventure on so many new levels."
“To me, Accrington never changes. It's just a lovely lile town." Jon likes to drive his wife Jane around Accrington to see his old haunts. "I always go to my old schools, St John's and St Christopher's. "I do remember wonderful Christmas times singing at school and the local church. Life is very magical at that time of year when you are nine or 10 years old because you don't really have a care in the world. "Actually, I always remember more about football than lessons. I'd be staring out of the window dreaming of playing outside and I'd hear, ‘Anderson – stop daydreaming.' Or during choir practice, the teacher would tell me off for singing too loudly!" Another favourite spot is at the top of the coppice which Jon used to run up with his dog when he was just six years
Left: Jon in his first band with brother Tony. Photo of Jon by Deborah Anderson, his daughter. Above: ARW - Anderson, Rabin and Wakeman. Jon is an Accrington Stanley fan at heart. Right: Jon and his wife Jane.
Next time: The day I died, and howwife Jane andmeditation savedmy life.
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FREE ENTRY FREE PARKING
Give your home & garden a FRESH NEW look... Need some interiors inspiration? Head to the new homewares section on our ground floor. We’ve created displays that are sure to spark ideas for a new look for your home. With fresh arrivals in ornaments, clocks, frames, mirrors and wall art, Botany Bay has everything tomake your home sweet home.
Now’s the time to bring the garden back to life. Why not add a splash of colour with some great value spring blooms fromBotany Bay’s outdoor garden centre?
With the warmer weather coming, focus shis from inside to outside as we start to spend more time in our gardens and yards.
Whether your outdoor space is used for entertaining, family activities or just unwinding and relaxing, having a mixture of different areas is key to creating a space the whole family can enjoy. Here LIFE : STYLE magazine consults the experts to share some of this year’s hoest trends . . . Garden Layout The layout of the garden is key to creating a multiple use space that family and friends can enjoy all year round. Raised flower beds and hedgerows are popular ways of adding structure to the garden, while creating selected areas for different activities; these areas can be adapted at different times of the year depending on your needs. Incorporating natural elements such rocks, boulders and bushes are also a great way to create structure while retaining a more natural look in the garden. Bright and bold colours Neutral colours may be trending in the home interior scene, but in the garden it's bright and bold colours. Some great summer flowers to provide that wow factor are Gloriosa Daisy and peonies. With its bright yellow and orange petals with a deep brown centre, Gloriosa Daisy can grow up to 3.5 high and is perfect for the British climate. Gloriosa Daisy aracts all kinds of wildlife into the garden including buerflies, bees and even hummingbirds. Flowering between mid-spring and early summer, the fragrant peony is available in a range of shades fromwhite to pink and deep purple. They require very lile maintenance and can live for over 100
years; the secret to having a long blossoming peony is careful planting, but once established are happy to grow undisturbed for many years. Decorating your garden Colour is not just used in the flowers of the garden - in fact one of the biggest trends this year will be colourful garden furniture and garden structures. Using pops of colour with your garden furniture will create an interesting space that will fit in with the character of the garden. Painting or staining garden sheds and garden rooms creates a focal point in which the whole garden can be built around. While adding bright colours to garden structures help them to stand out, staining garden fences a dark colour allows the foliage to become centre stage, enhancing the natural colours of plants and flowers creating contrast throughout the space. Garden lighting LED lighting has changed the way we light our gardens forever; not only are they more efficient and last longer than traditional lighting, LED lights are now available in a range of different configurations, meaning that there is a lighting scheme for every garden. Café lighting and extendable light chains are on trend this year, especially when lighting a patio area to create that Mediterranean feel. Solar lights are also an efficient way to light up walkways and specific areas of the garden. LED lights are now available in a range of colours and can even be controlled using a smartphone, great for adding ambience to the area when entertaining.
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Photographs and tips courtesy of www.oecogardenrooms.co.uk
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Put some fizz in your social calendar with a sparkling line up of activities for all the family...
THIS SPRING / SUMMER
When: 2nd (Friday). What: Family Quiz Night.
When: 19th (Easter Sunday) 12pm – 4pm. What: Family Fun Day.
Get your friends and family together for a fun-filled night and test your knowledge at our Family Quiz Night - children welcome. Bar open all evening! Where: Civic Arts Centre, 155 Union Road, Oswaldtwistle BB5 3HZ. Tel: 01254 398319. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org • • When: 13th (Tuesday) evening. What: Hyndburn Business Awards 2017. Enterprising People is very proud to organise Hyndburn Business Awards. Our aim is make it an annual showcase for the achievements, quality and diversity of the local businesses and enterprising people who make Hyndburn such a great place to live, work and visit. Where: Accrington Town Hall Ballroom. www.hyndburnbusinessawards.co.uk • • Live music, community acts/bands, fairground, stalls and activities.The theme for the Carnival will be The Ages of Accrington. Organisers are looking for schools, charities, individuals and businesses to get involved. Please email email@example.com if you would like a booking form. All stall holders will need to provide their own gazebo, table and chairs - there is no electricity. All food stalls will need to complete a self-assessment form and be registered with their borough council. Anyone participating in the procession will need to complete a risk assessment regarding their float/walking group. Where: Starts at Thorneyholme Road and goes to Oakhill Park, Accrington. When: 25th (Sunday), 12 noon to 6pm. What: Accrington Carnival 2017.
Various events throughout the Gallery, Stables Studios, Art Garden and Park. No need to book - just turn up.
Where: Haworth Art Gallery, Hollins Ln, Accrington. Tel: 01254 233782.
When: 6th (Friday) 7.30pm – 10pm. What: Queen II – A fantastic tribute showwhich faithfully recreates the energy, excitement and emotion of a classic Queen concert. Every show is packed with costume changes, including the famous Freddie outfit from ‘I Want To Break Free’. All shows feature some of the UK’s finest professional musicians. Where: Civic Arts Centre andTheatre, 155 Union Road, Oswaldtwistle, BB5 3HZ. Tel: 01254 398319. • • When: 28th (Sunday) 10am. What: 20K Charity Walk, Pub Crawl and Disco. Celebrating the life and in memory of Mark McMurray 1986 -2007. (10 year anniversary) Proceeds to the Young Oncology Unit at The Christie hospital. Where: Starting at the Bowland Brewery, Holmes Mill, Greenacre St, Clitheroe BB7 1EB, and finishing at Stanhill Pub with a 90s-themed fancy dress disco. To register for the walk or purchase tickets for the disco please contact Nicola McMurray on 07717 882370 or email firstname.lastname@example.org • • When: 29th (Monday) Spring Bank Holiday What: 150th Anniversary Great Harwood Agricultural Show. This fantastic event is back and bigger than every this year celebrating its 150th anniversary with an incredible line up of non-stop displays and activities for all the family. In addition to competitive classes for livestock, show jumping and dog displays there will be Pygmy goats, birds of prey and Shetland ponies, children’s games, classic and vintage vehicles, tug of war, cramarquee, donkey rides, ferret racing, fairground rides and a day long dry stone walling. When: 3rd (Saturday) 10am – 4pm. What: More than 14,000 are expected to flock to this year’s Accrington Food & Drink Festival. Heading back to the town is food festival favourite and celebrity chef Richard Fox, who will perform live cookery demonstrations in an outdoor theatre kitchen on Broadway. Richard will also compere demonstrations and talks by local chefs and foodie figures. Children are invited to get involved in the fun with oodles of activities taking inside the market hall, co-ordinated and run by catering students fromAccrington & Rossendale College. Plus a brand new ingredients trail around the town will give them the chance to win themselves some tasty treats. The Town Hall will once again be open to play host to a retro music, arts and cras fair by Cray Vintage. Where: Accrington town centre. BB5 1ER. Opportunities to get involved with the festival, either through sponsorship or by having a stall, are still available – visit www.accringtonfoodfestival.co.uk to find out more, or email email@example.com before May 15th. Where: The New Showfield, Harwood Lane, Whalley Road, Great Harwood, Lancashire, BB6 7TB.
When: 14th (Friday) 7.30pm. What: An Evening of Mediumship with Gail Biner.
The popular Gail Biner, as seen on stage at our Mediumship nights, joins us for an intimate evening. Held downstairs in our smaller studio theatre, tickets are very limited. Ticket price includes a Hotpot Supper. Where: Civic Arts Centre &Theatre, 155 Union Road, Oswaldtwistle. BB5 3HZ. Tel: 01254 398319.
When: 6th (Wednesday). What:
In It to Win – New Quiz Bonanza. Are you hot on celebrities? Perhaps you’re a wiz at history or a master of music? Hosted by one of Oswaldtwistle Mills’ resident entertainers, enjoy an aernoon of your favourite songs, a celebrity faces photo quiz, musical bingo and general knowledge quiz. With plenty of prizes up for grabs, including Mill Shopping Vouchers, you’ve got to be In It toWin It! Where: Oswaldtwistle Mills, MoscowMill, Colliers Street, Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, BB5 3DE Call for details: 01254 871025.
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OF WARNER STREET WONDERWOMEN
With its exquisite Georgian architecture, independent shops and olde-worlde elegance, Warner Street in Accrington is experiencing a long-overdue renaissance. This once ‘forgoen gem' is sparkling again as windows trimmed with bunting and fairy lights showcase a variety of products to entice shoppers back to the street.
Adds Evonne: "Yes and no. I've definitely had people come back, not in their droves, but a few. This is more about raising awareness. Once upon a time if you typedWarner Street into Google, the results came back with the description ‘an almost derelict High Street'. Now it lists all the events throughout the year and people are curious to come and have a look" Says Kate: "There really are some amazing shops in this town. For goodness sake people, stop posting that there is nothing here on Facebook. Leave the house and come and see for yourself what wonderful independent trade is here and how buzzing the town is." Plans are already underway for 2017's Dickensian Night. Evonne and Kate are in talks with Haworth Art Gallery about introducing a heritage trail where a horse and carriage takes visitors between the gallery and Warner Street. "We have a historical street here and there really aren't many in the area like it. Built in 1821 and with a wealth of history, the shops are traditional, the traders independent, and mostly local. "At one timeWarner Street was the centre of the town and Abbey Street would have been the High Street. The cale market would have been at the top here." As if running their businesses and planning major events wasn't enough to keep the ladies occupied, they are also planning to organise a world record aempt for the most people to compete in the ‘Oops Upside your Head song' by the Gap Band. This will take place during the Accrington Food Festival and people who take part with pay a small fee and be encouraged to dress up in 80s gear. You can sign up via the Facebook page: hps://bit.ly/OopsUp SlowlyWarner Street is starting to buzz again; with traders stocking a variety of vintage furnishings, antique treasures, fine leather goods and quirky gis to mention just a few. Hair and beauty salons galore, photography and reflexology studios and dog grooming parlour are just some of the services you'll find here – along with a sweet lile tea shop and other places to enjoy a bite to eat. Asked if they have any other plans for the year, the ladies reply in unison: "Sleep!"
n occasional Saturdays live musicians and sketch artists add to the ambiance by taking resident spots in selected shops. "It's just as good here as it is in Hebden Bridge," says trader Evonne Harwood, owner of Pink Magpie Vintage Emporium, and one of the two women behind an extraordinary series of events which has had visitors flocking to the street in their thousands. Two years ago there were fewer businesses onWarner Street and trade was dwindling. Kate Furey, aromatherapy and reflexology specialist and owner of The New FreedomSanctuary, was one of the businesses feeling the hit. She says: "It was very quiet in my shop– even the locals seemed to have forgoen we were here. At that point in time, I was only really selling my products online." Long-term friends Evonne and Kate – who first met as traders on Accrington Market - decided to take maers into their own hands and hit on the idea of a Dickensian night to boost Christmas sales. With a small grant from the council, the enterprising pair prepared themselves to take a crash course in event management. Pulling in favours from friends they printed and delivered leaflets, rallied fellow business owners and advertised in the local paper. Evonne recalls her pure panic that the event would be a flop. "The night before the weather was horrendous," she says. "Side on gales and lashing rain. Kate and I got up at 6 am and wondered what time to call off the event." The ladies held their nerve and by 1 pm the wind dropped and the rain subsided. Says Kate: "By 3 pm it was the start of a perfectly dry, crisp and clear spell which lasted all evening until aer we'd packed up at 11 pm. It was a miracle!" The historic event included street entertainers, candlelight procession, Victorian fairground rides, market stalls, pipe band and a fire dancing fairy. Traditional children's games took place at a marquee in St James Church and visitor numbers topped 7,000. "Not bad for our first event," laughs Kate. Spurred on by their success the friends decided to organise a summer extravaganza by turning one of the side streets into a beach. "We got four tons of sand delivered," says Kate "and held traditional seaside competitions including Knobbly Knees and Bonny Baby. "Apprentices from the North Lancs Training Group built an oversized deck chair for the kids to play on. There were quite a lot of funfair rides and we even commissioned our own Accrington rock fromBlackpool." Last year's Dickensian night sawmore than 10,000 people aend with the council deciding to extend the event to Church Street. Says Evonne: "It is amazing to see howwell these events have done, especially when you consider there's just the two of us organising them. But we bounce ideas off each other. That's not to say it isn't exhausting!" So how have the events impacted on sales? Do people aend and disappear again until the next one?
There really are some amazing shops in this town
Main picture left: (L) Evonne Harwood. (R) Kate Furey. Inset picture left: Kate and Evonne with the famous Warner Street sign. Right: Dickensian Night at Warner Street.
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LIFE : STYLE chats to renowned Accrington author and historianWalter Holmes...
(Scruffy, Untidy, Insubordinate, Ba$*&^d!)
Interview by Sarah Rigg
istorian, Accrington Pals expert and former firemanWalter Holmes has a few things to get off his chest before this "bloody" interview. Number 1: He doesn't do photographs. EvenWalter's fire service warrant card never displayed a standard headshot, just a picture of an empty chair! Number 2: If ‘thee or me' can't understand whatWalter is saying, it's because the real Lancashire accent has been contaminated by southerners. "When I wur brought up everybody talked like me. It's got ruined by these people who have come into Lancashire. Jessies and southerners." Unfalteringly blunt (but always with a glint in his eye) it isWalter's single-mindedness which makes him quite brilliant at what he does. And what he has done for the large part of his 86 years is research, collate and report. Walter's most notable work is a 398-page document on the Accrington Pals casualties between 1st and 5th of July 1916. It took more than 30 years of exhaustive cross-referencing of original records to list the 1,698 original Accrington Pals and regionally, 4,292 men of the 11th Baalion East Lancs. "I also have 14,000 names in my file I'm trying to put detail to," he says. Walter undertook the mammoth task aer responding to an advert by a fellow researcher, the late Bill Turner. He recalls: "It wur the early 1980s when I contacted Billy. I'd just retired and I was indexing ancient parish registers for a database.” Much of the Pals and 11th Baalion East Lancs’ research entailed trips to the national army archives at Kew record office where Bill andWalter spent hours trawling through military documents. "Everything had to be wrien down in pencil because pens were not allowed and there is no photocopying or cameras allowed at Kew. And you cannot afford mistakes either. It is a long way fromAccrington to Kew!" Walter grew up around stories of the Accrington Pals. "I've known about the Accrington Pals all my life because my UncleWalter wur one and me dad used to follow them around town when he wur a school lad too. "Dad wur always bunking off school and geing pasted for it. He was near the railway station when he heard the women who had just been told the Pals had been decimated. "Dad ran all the way home shouting out to people on the way home. When he got there my grandma sank to her knees and thanked God, my uncle, Walter wasn't there. UncleWalter was 20 miles away when the
landmine went off and the blast knocked him off his feet.” While the surviving Pals would talk quite openly about their experiences in front of seven-year-oldWalter and his dad, like many men returning fromwar, it was a taboo subject at home. "I only heard snippets, but they never showed their emotions back then. Which isn't good, if you try to suppress emotion a lot of it comes out in anger. Years later Bill Turner was amazed by howmuch my father knew about the Pals." In 1975Walter and his father went on a coach trip to France and Belgiumwith some of the Pals. He recalls: "Some of the men stood by their mates' graves and they wept and not one was ashamed by it. Not only were those men heroes on the balefield, they had to be heroes for the rest of their lives." It was moments like these and the moving stories of families devastated by losing their sons, that has helped to buildWalter's loyalty to faithfully recording the names of each of the Pals who lost their lives duringWW1.
Andwoe betide anyone – other historians, TVdocumentary researchers, newspaper journalists or ‘keyboardwarriors' – who try to present myths as facts. Walter, whowas praised in the House of Commons for helping Graham JonesMP to research his grandfather's Pals history, has given up complaining
Collating the Accrington Pals data has been painstaking, but rewarding, and it isn't hard to seewhyWalter is so fiercely protective of thework he and Bill undertook.
Above (fromtop): AccringtonMayoress
"It wur a big job," he says. "Awork of that magnitude could only be carried out by somebody who is retired and another bloody idiot who is retired to do the research for him! "What I'mdoing now is Accrington Palsmedal cards for John at the library. Everyman should have amedal card, but not everyman has. So them that hasn't, I'mmaking one for them."
presentsWalter’sbooks to theMayorsofBapaumeand Puisieux inFrance. Walter isbothsurprised anddelighted tobegranted theFreedomofBapaume andPuisieux inFranceafter respectivemayors. Mainpictureright: WalteratAccrington Librarywherepeoplequeue to ndoutabout their relatives’historieswith the AccringtonPals. Insetright: Walter refused to haveaheadshotphotoon his reservicewarrantcard. compiling twospecially boundbooks for their
to themainstreammedia. "They don't listen anyway”, he says. NowWalter concentrates on correcting people posting Pals inaccuracies on Facebook's Hyndburn Chat or the online forum AccringtonWeb.
Walter recalls living through the SecondWorldWar as a young teenager living on Hargreaves Street. "I used towatch the Jerrys flying over during the night, bombing Salford andManchester. You could hear the shrapnel coming down. I wur always geingmy arse slapped for hanging out of thewindow seeing the flash of ack-ack shells exploding."
On the flip side to thisWalter has helped dozens of families via social media to find out about their own lost relatives and their acts of bravery duringWW1.Walter has also receivedmanymore requests through Accrington library – some from families as far flung as Argentina, South Africa and Australia.
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The life and times of Accrington author and historianWalter Holmes
Earl Whiaker an original Accrington Pal fromZ Company ByWalter Holmes
ged 14Walter lewhat was then calledWoodnook Council School (nowWoodnook Primary School) and started working at Lang Bridge & Co on Exchange Street, Accrington, as a paern maker. "It wur quite technical work," recallsWalter. "It wur said if you served your time at Lang Bridges you could work anywhere making anything in the world. "Biggest thing we ever worked on wur for Steiner's – a 24 colour printer. It took both furnaces going and each furnace could do five tonnes of molten metal. We wur making paerns for it for nigh on 12 months." Even as an apprenticeWalter's thirst for facts and accuracy was geing him into bother with the boss. Walter recalls: "I was always falling out with the gaffer. We had special contraction rulers and
he always measured things up with normal rulers and guessed the contraction. And if it didn't meet up with his guess he'd start bloody moaning. I'd chuck the contraction ruler across the bench and say – bloody measure it with the ruler it wur bloody made for! "So he'd say ‘when tha gets to 21 tha's sacked!" And that wur every week until I turned 21 and my apprenticeship was over. He couldn't sack me until then! "He wur a da old bugger. Antiquated. As soon as he got to be a gaffer he stopped thinking fur himself. I transferred to Bulloughs and started there on the following Monday. Worked there in the paern shop for five years until the company started to get paerns made cheaper elsewhere."
Walter worked for a while at the same factory as his father, at the Bristol Aircra Company in Clayton, as it was once known, before joining the fire brigade on June 6th, 1957; the start of a 30-year-long career. But was a maer of weeks before he was delving into fire service records and rewriting them! Tapping his computer, Walter says: "This contains a list of every fireman who ever served in Accrington from the first one in 1853 to the day I retired. I like to know these things! "Sometimes we would get turn outs and couldn't find the place, so I got all the records from all the fire stations in our division and put them all in one book. There were 940 odd farms, small holdings and remote properties in our division and I documented them all. "Aer I retired they got a fancy computerised directory on their machines. They were swanking about with it so I had a go and beat the computer seven times out of 10 with the book. The new system used postcodes, and not every place around here has postcodes. Walter also memorised the legendary ‘blue book' – which contained the conditions of service. "First thing I did when I joined the fire brigade wur to memorise the book because I knew it wouldn't be long before I wur in bother. Aer seeing me win so many arguments, the other blokes got together and appointed me as their union rep, which I did for 18 months short of 30 years." During his time in the fire brigade, Walter had many scrapes and lucky escapes. He recalls: "I have heard angel wings rustling more than once and managed to escape out of buildings that were collapsing. It never bothered me, I had no fear. Some blokes, when we got back to the station would be shaking. I would say to them ‘When you see me worreting that's when you panic!" Although never officially diagnosed, Walter shows signs of having CIP, a rare condition in which a person does not feel physical pain. He says: "There was this one time when an old shop wur on fire, so Lurch here grabs a sledgehammer, knocks off the lock and goes inside. Next thing I knowmy colleagues are spraying me with water. Me tunic was on fire and I didn't even feel it! "If you jabbed me with a pin I wouldn't feel it. The doctor sent me away to be tested and they couldn't find out what was up. I'm always bruising and bleeding and I don't know until someone points it out." Luckily forWalter's family, his historical research is a lot less dangerous. These daysWalter has several projects on the go including an encyclopaedia of Accrington, redrawing maps and translating Church Latin text. That's right, not bog standard Latin. Church Latin. I've always been interested in finding ‘the why' in everything," saysWalter. "I see these historians with fancy leers aer their names...well, I'mWalter Holmes... SUIB – which stands for Scruffy, Untidy, Insubordinate, Ba$*&^d!"
Conflicting reports reached home in March 1918 that Earl could be a wounded POW. (Earl had previously been wounded on July 1st 1916). This led to his wife going to Etaples in France in November 1918 to search for her husband. Now just think about that for a minute. A woman wi a portmanteau (a large travelling bag), loaded with female essentials, travelling from Accrington to France, alone. First she has to go to the 3rd E.L. Depot at Saltburn near Plymouth, and then get across the Channel. The war has just ended and thousands of troops and POW's are being ferried back and forth. She has to find transport to Etaples, (money, food, toilets, privacy etc) and at Etaples she has to find Infantry Baalion Depot 30, amongst several hundred military camps in the area. This great woman set about questioning the camp commanders, returning prisoners, asking: ‘Have you seen Earl Whiaker?’ Eventually she had to come home, she had three daughters to look aer. For the rest of her life she never believed her beloved Earl was dead. His name is on the Arras Memorial. She must have thowt a lot of Earl, an she must a been a hell of a woman.
I've always been interested in finding ‘the why' in everything
Left: Walterholdinghis FreedomofBapaumeand Puisieuxaward.Pictured withRuth, thewifeofhis late researchpartnerand friend,BillTurner.She is shownholdingThe AccringtonPals CommemorativeDVDand PresentationBox.. Right: Epitaphwrittenby WalteraboutAccrington PalEarlWhittaker.