43 Neston Art Society Exhibition – 26th April 2017

A visit to the Society’s annual exhibition is always a good bet.  This year’s visit was no exception.  The standard, to my non-expert eye at least, was at least as high as I’ve seen in previous years; in fact I’d say it was higher overall than last year’s.

Chairman Janet Rossiter told me that they had experienced an influx of new members during the year.  Winner of the main award, the Dolphin Trophy, this year went to Janet Gosling for her oil painting “River Dove”.

Art

I suppose one of the privileges of attending the invitation-only preview evening is that you get first chance to make purchases.  I’d like to have bought a second exhibit from winner Janet Gosling, an oil called “Rock at Canadel” but sadly it was not for sale.  But we were really satisfied in acquiring an atmospheric oil painting of Nefyn Beach by Sheila Sarson (who won a prize for her “Bluebell Time”) and an idiosyncratic acrylic depiction of The Cross, Neston featuring the Elephant Bank Pizzeria by Steve Ebbrell.  I can’t collect them until after the exhibition ends on Saturday, so see for yourself.  Well worth a visit to Neston Town Hall from Thursday to Saturday any time between 10:00 and 4:00 (3:30 Saturday).

Neston’s Eggcellent Easter Market broadcast attracts new faces to the Town

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Good Friday saw the market square buzzing with new visitors as local representatives, traders and customers took to the airwaves on regional radio station Dee 106.3 to share their love for Neston’s historic market.

To attract new customers to the market and the High Street, Neston Town Council had commissioned promotional radio commercials on the station, culminating in six live broadcast slots at the Eggcellent Easter Market.

With an acoustic backdrop of local musicians Neston Strummers, children were entertained with face painting and balloon modelling. An Easter Bonnet competition showcased children’s creations and prizes were awarded by the judges, Deputy Town Mayor of Neston, Councillor Ceri Lloyd and other local representatives.

Broadcasting across Wirral, Cheshire and North Wales, traders and customers shared their thoughts on why Neston is such a wonderful, thriving market, whilst the Deputy Mayor explained how vital the market was to the local economy and town centre.

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Claire Evans, Assets and Events Manager for Neston Town Council said “This has been an outstanding opportunity to be loud and proud about our fantastic market and reaffirms Neston Town Council’s commitment to promote the town centre. Most of Neston’s residents know how important the historic market is to the vibrancy of the town – it’s the busiest day of the week in Neston. But we wanted to remind people across the region, why it’s worth a visit to the town. Our Deputy Mayor spoke not only of the market, but award winning businesses, and Cheshire’s only coastal town. Our traders said it was the busiest Easter market they’d had in many, many years, so we’re thrilled that the Easter radio campaign was successful and  locals and visitors alike enjoyed a great atmosphere – the Easter Bonnets were superb!”

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42 Neston Countryside Trail 9 April 2017

I helped officially launch Neston’s Countryside Trail was this weekend. Starting at Station Road car park next to the Community and Youth Centre, the trail takes in the Wirral Way, Old Quay Lane, Church Lane and Stanney Fields Park.

In glorious sunshine, the driving force behind the project, Cllr Janet Griffiths led us on the 2.5 km circular walk, stopping at various points of interest on the way. These included Witches Brooms, a 300-year old hedge, an ancient Oak, lichens and mosses in the churchyard and the splendours of Stanney Fields.

The trail is being waymarked and special features identified with numbered stopping point. A free colourful booklet with a key and map and written by Tim Baxter from Ness Gardens  with photography by Jo Richardson, is now available at the Town Hall, Library and Community & Youth Centre.

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Neston’s Countryside Trail Launch

Neston’s Countryside Trail was officially launched this weekend.  Starting at Station Road car park next to the Community and Youth Centre, the trail takes in the Wirral Way, Old Quay Lane, Church Lane and Stanney Fields Park.

In glorious sunshine, the driving force behind the project, Cllr Janet Griffiths led the inaugural group including Town Mayor Cllr Mike Shipman on the 2.5 km circular walk, stopping at various points of interest on the way.  These included Witches Brooms, a 300-year old hedge, an ancient Oak, lichens and mosses in the churchyard and the splendours of Stanney Fields.

The trail is being waymarked and special features identified with numbered stopping point.  A free colourful booklet with a key and map is now available at the Town Hall, Library and Community & Youth Centre.

Countryside Trail Map

Countryside Trail Launch

41 Frodsham Mayor’s Ball 7 April 2017

 Deputy Mayor Cllr Ceri Lloyd represented Neston at this terrific event in Frodsham . Frodsham Town Mayor Cllr Mallie Poulton had a high-profile list of guests that included a representative from the Irish Embassy, the Lord Mayors of Liverpool and Chester and mayors of many local towns. There was strong Irish theme throughout the evening, including an excellent Ceilidh band and delicious Irish stew. The Frodsham Golf Club House was brightly lit and completed an excellent send-off for the outgoing mayor and his brilliant efforts to raise the profile of the town and its local charities.

Thank you to Mallie for setting such an example of how to showcase the work of a Town Council and for his generous hospitality, good humour and organisational skills. The evening also raised £2,000 for good causes: so an excellent night out all round.

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Phil Lloyd, Town Mayor of Frodsham Cllr Mallie Poulton, Neston Deputy Mayor Cllr Ceri Lloyd

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Cllr Ceri Lloyd

40 Probus 50th Anniversary Lunch 5 April 2017

 

Sue and I were honoured to be guests at the Neston Probus anniversary lunch at Neston Cricket Club. The Club for retired and semi-retired business and professional men is one of the oldest of the 4000 clubs across the world.  It exists purely as a social organisation and this was evident in the relaxed atmosphere of the event.

However, to prove there’s no such thing as a free lunch, I had been invited to be the guest speaker. “Neston Council: Past, Present and Future(?)” would not perhaps be the most riveting of topics, but at least I didn’t see anyone openly nodding off!

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Singing for my supper – well speaking after my lunch

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Ken Goodyear, Mike Shipman, Alan Brown

39 Legion of Honour Award 1 April 2017

 

On D-Day 1944 Able Seaman Cyril Gillard was aboard HMS Tartar which was tasked with preventing enemy ships entering the Normandy landing areas. Seventy years later the President of France announced the award of the country’s highest distinction, the Légion d’honneur, to al British veterans who fought for the Liberation of France.

This was presented to Cyril on 11 November 2015 by the French Honorary Consul, Mme Aude Auclair at a relatively private ceremony.

His friends and fellow members of the Neston British Legion wanted him to know how proud they were of him and his involvement in such a significant period of the history of Britain and France. So with the precision of planning to be expected from ex-servicemen, they ensured that he came along to the regular Saturday dance wearing hiss medal.  But what he wasn’t expecting was to be joined by his family, including grandchildren, to receive the tribute from all his friends.

I felt privileged to be able to shake his hand and say a few words of appreciation.

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38 Wirral Community Narrowboat Trust 31 March 2017

 

Founded 25 years ago, the Trust provides canal cruising for groups with many types of disability. The Town Council provided a grant of £1825 to enable them to provide day outing this year for a number of Neston groups.

With my wife Sue and Cllr Janet Griffiths, I was shown around the trust’s two narrowboats by Chairman Terry Nolan and fundraiser Pauline Pollard. “Pot of Gold” has full wheelchair access and is suitable for residential cruises with sleeping accommodation for up to six adults and four young people.  “Over the Rainbow” on the other hand is exclusively for day use.

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Picture shows Terry Nolan, Pauline Pollard, Mayor Mike Shipman,. Cllr Janet Griffiths, Sue Shipman and Gary Bestwick

Neston Town Council Job Vacancy

Neston Town Council are looking to recruit a Finance Manager to join their team

Finance Manager (18.5 hours per week, £23,398pa pro rata)

This is an important position which will act as the Responsible Financial Officer for the Town Council and will be responsible for ensuring accurate budgetary and accounting information is provided to both Councillors and the Council Manager. Although a small organisation, with a turnover of around £408,000, it is essential that as a public body we have the highest standards of accountability around our financial arrangements. As such you must have not only the ability to produce accounts and financial data, but to be able to interpret it and advise on options where required,

The successful candidate will be at least AAT qualified and ideally will have past experience of accountancy and book-keeping within a public sector environment.  Familiarity with accounting packages would be helpful.  The postholder can work their 18.5 hours by agreement, but there is a requirement to attend evening Council/Committee meetings as part of the role.

If you are interested in this role, please click here to download a full job description and here to download an application form. We offer a range of benefits including membership of the Local Government Pension scheme and flexitime. Applications should be sent to Alison Kunaj, Council Manager, either by email alison.kunaj@nestontowncouncil.org.uk or post to Neston Town Council, Town Hall, High Street, Neston, CH64 9TR. Closing Date: 19th May 2017. It is anticipated interviews will take place in the week commencing 29th May 2017.

Neston Town Council is an equal opportunities employer