Arsonist jailed for Wythenshawe Hall “mindless attack”

Jeremy TaylorA Baguley man who caused millions of pounds worth of damage to historic Wythenshawe Hall in an arson attack has been jailed.
Jeremy Taylor, aged 28, of Hall Lane, Baguley was sentenced today to four-and-half-years after setting fire to the Grade II list building last March

He previously pleaded guilty to arson.

The court heard how shortly before 3.30am on Tuesday 15 March 2016, Taylor used newspaper and matches to start five separate fires around the Tudor manor.

One of these locations was right in front of the oak entrance door which caused the majority of the estimated £5 million worth of damage.

Firefighters tackled the blaze for hours before being able to bring it under control.

No one was injured but a large part of the roof and upper floor of the timber-framed 16th century home was sadly destroyed.

Inspector Luke Breakspear from GMP’s City of Manchester Team, said: “This was a mindless act that intended to destroy a historical building that has great significance to the people of Wythenshawe.

“People were shocked by the needless damage caused to a piece of our local and national heritage. Wythenshawe is a great place to live, work and visit and the strong community spirit is testament to this.

“Taylor’s senseless actions could have taken an innocent life and I am just thankful no one was hurt.

“I would like to thank our colleagues at Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service for stopping the fire spreading and causing more damage as well as their support throughout this investigation.

“I hope the community feel that justice has been served today and I am satisfied that Taylor is now where he deserves to be.

“Wythenshawe Hall is a beautiful building and hopefully in the near future we will see it open its doors again to the people of Manchester.”

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Wythenshawe residents invited to nominate their Queen Bee (or King) community champions

 

Manchester residents are invited to nominate the community champions and unsung heroes who keep their communities buzzing for a Be Proud award – including a special award to honour an outstanding contribution in the wake of the Manchester Arena attack.

The Be Proud awards celebrate the local people who proudly do their bit to help make Manchester a better city for everyone to live in.

Manchester City Council wants you to tell them all about the people and organisations who improve people’s lives through what they do, who make a real difference to their neighbourhoods and who are truly passionate about Manchester.

This year, residents are invited to put forward nominations for a special recognition award, which will honour a person, project or organisation that stood tall and helped local communities to pull through after the Manchester Arena attack.

Be Proud awards will also be up for grabs in categories including Volunteer of the Year, Community Cohesion, Business in the Community, Young Achiever of the Year and Neighbour of the Year.

One of the category winners will also be selected by judges as the city’s “Queen (or King) Bee” and will receive the overall Pride of Manchester award for 2017.

Three finalists for each category will be invited to a prestigious Gala Dinner, held in the Great Hall of Manchester Town Hall on Friday 24 November, where the winners will be announced in an “Oscars”-style ceremony.

Executive Member for Neighbourhoods, Councillor Nigel Murphy, said: “The Be Proud awards are the perfect way of saying a heartfelt thank you to the extraordinary people across Manchester who give their time and talents to make their neighbourhoods better, brighter places for everyone to enjoy.

“We’re asking residents to nominate the people and organisations who they feel deserve recognition for going the extra mile – and this year, we will also be presenting a special award to someone who stepped up to help the city to stay strong and begin to recover after the Manchester Arena attack.”

Nominations are now open and close on Sunday 10 September.  Nomination details can be found at www.manchester.gov.uk/beproud 

 

 

Pharmacy staff help boost dementia awareness

IMG_0722Staff and volunteers at Well pharmacy in Northenden came together to provide advice to those living with dementia; their carers; and those concerned about dementia in their family.

Pharmacist, Usman Aslam, and Alzheimer’s Society support worker, Julia Collins, from Manchester, were on hand to provide expert advice around the life-changing condition.

Julia’s expertise enabled staff and visitors to obtain further advice and information about how people can help those with dementia, and those who care for them.

The in-store event is part of a series of initiatives by Well pharmacy designed to raise awareness of dementia, including fundraising activity for the charity.

This follows the announcement last year, that for the first time, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias are the leading cause of death for England and Wales.

Mr Aslam, pharmacist branch manager at Well Northenden, said: “The team provides support every day in our local community through one-to-one advice and private consultations, helping people to live well with dementia.

“We offer practical assistance with dementia medication, including ordering and collecting prescriptions from GP practices and delivering medicines to elderly people’s homes if they are unable to get to the pharmacy. We also help people to manage their medicine usage and dosage to ensure they are managing their condition well.

“With Julia’s assistance, we opened our doors to invite local residents in to talk to us about how we can support our ageing community members.”

The event was attended by dozens of people, with many sharing their own experiences and challenges of living with dementia.

Julia Collins, Alzheimer’s Society’s dementia support worker for Manchester, said: “It was a pleasure to be invited to work with Well pharmacy to deliver today’s event in Northenden, as it gave me the opportunity to speak directly to members of the community who are impacted by dementia.”

To get advice, share experiences and connect with the Alzheimer’s Society, visit https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/.

 

To find your nearest Well store and to speak to your local pharmacist, visit www.well.co.uk/Pharmacy-Finder.

REVIEW: The Wizard of Oz @ The Stockport Plaza

The Wizard of Oz Image 3Surely it’s too early for pantomimes in August… Oh no it isn’t!

Stockport Plaza is serving up a summer treat for the kids this week with Regal Entertainment’s production of the Wizard of Oz.

And the youngsters clearly gave the show a huge thumbs up on the opening night, lapping up this fun-filled extravaganza.

The key ingredients of this classic tale of a young girl from Kanzas transported to the magical land of Oz on her way to meet the famous wizard are there.

But there is also plenty of “it’s behind you”, boos and hisses and slapstick, providing a fun summer panto feel.

Former EastEnders star Cheryl Fergison provokes the boos as the Wicked Witch of the West, but for me, it was Maddie Hope Coelho’s Dorothy who stole the show with a pitch perfect performance.

And of course, the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion also delight played by David Heath, Philip Shaun McGuinness and Si Foster respectively.

It’s a great fun time for all the family.

Runs till Saturday April 12

Dave Toomer

 

 

Ten man Wythenshawe Town settle for draw in season opener

untitledPoynton 2 -2 Wythenshawe Town 

Wythenshawe Town surrendered a 2-1 lead in the dying minutes when they shared the honours with Poynton in the opening game of the Cheshire Football League season.

With the score level at half-time Wythenshawe lost their captain, Joe Yarwood following a late challenge. Despite going down to ten men, the visitors edged ahead when Leon Grandison lobbed the Poynton keeper.

But there was heartache for Wythenshawe when Poynton pulled one back in 89th minute to level the score.

Full match report.

Town’s first home game of the season will be on Saturday August 12 when they face Malpas FC. Kick 3pm at Ericstan Park.

Pitch Battle star Maddie lands lead role in Wizard of Oz at Stockport Plaza

Maddie Hope CoelhoYoungsters young and old will be transported on a magical journey Over The Rainbow at the Stockport Plaza next week as Pitch Battle star Maddie Hope Coelho takes on the iconic role of Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. 

The Regal Entertainment’s production begins its North-West tour at the  Plaza on Monday August 7. Read More…

REVIEW: Dirty Dancing @ The Palace, Manchester

DDtour–Ensemble–cAlastairM_uir-DD1746SmallDirty Dancing returns to the Palace this week as part of its 2016-17 tour and it is nothing short of sensational.

Not one member of the incredibly strong cast puts a foot wrong in this lastest rendition of the tale of forbidden love, passion, class divide and dance.

The story centres around middle-class “Baby” Houseman, who has ambitions of bright future and changing the world, on a family vacation in a  mountain holiday resort, where she encounters working class dance instructor Johnny Castle.

Johnny is not the kind of guy nice girls like Baby are supposed to mix with. He’s the kind of man protective dad Dr Houseman has fought to save her from. But Baby has other plans and love breaches he class divide.

Lewis Griffiths is excellent in the role of Johnny. From the moment he opens his mouth he owns it. Obviously an accomplished actor who gets the tone just right, the boy can dance too.

But it’s difficult to pick out anyone who really stole the show, such is the strength of this cast – Katie Eccles delivers as Baby and Carlie Milner as Penny also excels putting her considerable ballet experience to good use.

And of course, there is that great music and fantastic dancing in a production which makes full use of all staging possibilities with some clever set design and scene changes.

Director Russ Spencer has served up a real treat. It’s like an all-American burger, with plenty of musical theatrical meat topped topped with just the right amount of cheese.

Dave Toomer

 

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