17 100th Birthday Party 17th August 2015

Today Muriel Colley celebrated her 100th birthday at Weatherstones Nursing Home. And what a vibrant, sharp lady she is.

I was pleased to present her with a special birthday card from the Town Council – not quite in the same league as the one she received from the Queen, of course!

She was surrounded by friends who sang “Happy Birthday” and toasted her achievement, before cutting into and sharing a magnificent cake.

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16 VJ Day in Neston, Sunday 16 August 2015

A low-key, but nevertheless appropriate, event to mark the 70th anniversary of the ending of World War 2.

I was privileged to join members of the Neston Royal British Legion, together with local ATC, local MP Justin Madders, and others at a service at the Parish Church. Rather than have a special service, the church invited all to join them at the usual Sunday morning Eucharist, and somehow it seemed a more fitting and sincere event than a big parade would have been. The sermon preached by Reader Chris Storer was thoughtful and apposite.

We also sang a verse to the National Anthem which was new to me – and, it must be said, to most others, including Revd Judith Calvert who presided. But again it fitted the occasion well as we look forward.

Not in this land alone
But be God’s mercies known
From shore to shore
Lord make the nations see
That men should brothers be
And form one family
The wide world over

Afterwards there was a brief gathering at the War Memorial where Justin and I, and Eric Peters the Chairman of the Neston Legion laid wreaths, followed by refreshments at the Legion.

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Photo by courtesy of Robert Clive

15 Cycle Tracs in Neston 15 August

It’s always good to see new businesses coming to the town.

Tracs, has been operating at weekends from the Community Centre in Burton Road for the past month.

They not only hire out and sell bicycles, but also have a servicing and repair service. At the time of my visit with CWaC Cllr Louise Gittins (Cllr Nige Jones also visited later), 11.00 am, they had already undertaken two complete services.

Tracs is currently based weekdays at Delamere, but owner Tony Buckman told me he is now looking for permanent premises in Neston. Given that cycling is increasing popular in the town, and we have no cycle shop here, Tony’s business will be a welcome addition to the Town Centre.

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CWaC Cllr Louise Gittins, Tony Buckman, Town Cllr & Mayor Mike Shipman

14 Arriva Buses Wirral 12th August 2015

Phone call just before 10:00 am – can I be at the Laird Street, Birkenhead bus depot within the hour?  I can, just.

It seems Arriva’s local PR person went off sick before arranging a big photo shoot and press release to celebrate the arrival of six new buses especially acquired for the 487 Neston to Liverpool service.  So they’re doing things on the hoof.

Len Gibbs, Arriva’s local General Manager, explains that the buses are a little shorter for getting round the difficult bits on the Neston section of the route: Mellock Lane, Badger Bait, West Vale, Raby Park Road, etc.  A driver tells me there have occasionally been “incidents” with cars parked at narrow junctions.  The buses are also badged up as “Cross River”, and have leather seats, whilst the drivers now benefit from a cooling fan in the cab.

Photos taken with Len, Wirral Cllr Ron Abbey (member of the Merseytravel Committee), Craig Robinson (assistant Operations Manager), union branch secretary and other staff.

And after a quick word with Ron Abbey to lobby on the idea of Merseytravel taking over the railway line to Neston and extending their fare structure to include Neston, it’s back home.

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Len Gibbs, Mike Shipman, Ron Abbey