44 Arts & Crafts & Food Producers’ Markets  5th March 2016


Since it took over management of the Market, Market Square and Town Hall two years ago, the Town Council has been introducing new ideas for markets to complement the regular Friday event.

So it was good to be able to combine a visit to the Fairtrade Breakfast with some shopping for things I can’t always get on a Friday.  The Market Square provided some really exotic offerings in the now regular Food producer’s market.  I picked up my usual Britman Beer brewed in Burton and some artisan bread amongst others.  Musical entertainment was this month provided by Neston Strummers.  Although they invited me to take part, I failed to make the grade!


Indoors the quality of the arts and crafts for sale was truly exceptional: paintings, modelling, woodcarving, jewellery, knitwear, photography – I know I shouldn’t try listing things because I know I’ve left some out.  Best come along and see for yourself next time.  But I did pick up a pair of wooden cufflinks and a Liverpool FC Subbuteo set in a frame, and Sue chose a unique necklace.

Thanks to Town Centre Manager Katy Pierce for developing these market innovations.

43 Fairtrade Breakfast 5th March 2016

Cheshire West & Chester became a Fairtrade Borough five years ago, and it’s good to see Neston now well on its way to becoming a Fairtrade Town in its own right.

Free Fairtrade tea and coffee was available together with a selection of other Fairtrade eatables at this awareness raising event.  The café area was busy all morning, and it was good to see local MP Justin Madders dropping in between parental duties on his way from taking his children to football.

Thanks to the local Fairtrade Committee: Margaret Heibel, Cllr Janet Griffiths, Louise Irvine, Cllr Louise Gittins, Cheryl Ellis and Zeta Emmett.


42 Lord Mayor of Chester’s Banquet  4th March 2016

A truly glittering occasion, this, with much of the City of Chester’s (now presumably Cheshire West & Chester’s) collection of silver.  It included 17th Century flagons and tankards (we didn’t drink from them), 18th Century punch bowls and sauce boats, 19th Century candelabra, and a large tea urn.Clipboard_20160310

The candelabra were in use as intended.  One carefully framed the face of my wife Sue opposite me.  Spectacular as it was it did have its downside.  Twice candle wax running down the side dripped into my glass of wine.  The first time was OK because I got it replaced with a fuller glass.  The second time I had to fish the wax bits out with a spoon and decant the contents into my neighbour’s unused glass.  So I had three glasses of wine – but only one measure!

Guests were greeted by the Lord Mayor Cllr Hugo Deynem and Lady Mayoress, the reception room guarded by two costumed attendants, one with the civic mace, the other more threatening with a large sword.

For the five-course meal we were seated between the town mayors of Winsford and Northwich, allegedly to keep the civic heads of the two rival towns of Vale Royal apart.  Guest speaker was Granada News anchor Lucy Meacock, who began her career as a reporter on the Chester Chronicle.


Emerge Community Arts FREE taster workshop at Neston Town Hall

Emerge Community Arts are running a FREE taster workshop in Performing Arts at Neston Town Hall, High Street, Neston, CH64 9TR on Wednesday 16th March 2016 1pm – 3pm.


Please click on the link below for more details;

Emerge Community Arts



41 Sheriff of Chester’s Breakfast  24 February 2016

We don’t usually have a midweek breakfast starting at 11:00 in our house.  Nor do we normally sit down with over a hundred others.  But on this occasion we did.  It was the Sheriff of Chester’s breakfast at the Mollington Banastre Hotel, a charitable “do” with proceeds going to the Bren Project which offers people with leaning difficulties and autism the opportunity to experience supportive work placements in Cheshire.

For our “full English” we shared an Anglo-Welsh table with the Town Mayors of Northwich and Conwy and the Chairman of Flintshire County Council and their consorts.  (I’m not sure that Sue was struck on her place setting name –“Consort of Neston”!).  Interesting to see former mayors of former local authorities there, including former Mayor of Ellesmere Port & Neston Council, (and first Chair of our Town Council) Moira Andrews.

The guest speaker – one of the best and most fluent I’ve heard – was Alex Clifton, Artistic Director of Chester Performs.  He gave a fascinating account of what he hopes to achieve with the new Arts Centre currently taking shape on, and incorporating, the old Odeon Cinema on Northgate Street.  Building work is scheduled for completion by the end of the year, and the centre will include exhibition rooms, studio space, transferred library, cinema and theatre performance space with a moveable thrust stage.  Sounds exciting, and fills a gaping hole in the borough’s artistic provision.