Rochdale Observer - - A LOOK BACK AT 2017 -

ANDY McConville landed his dream job and owed it all to the fact he used to be a cannabis farmer.

The 34-year-old hor­ti­cul­tural spe­cial­ist spent a decade grow­ing weed for his own use at home.

But it was only when he suf­fered a men­tal health cri­sis about three years ago that he re­alised he could put his green fin­gers to better use. Andy, of Spot­land, was di­ag­nosed with at­ten­tion deficit hy­per­ac­tiv­ity dis­or­der and as part of his treat­ment went to see a psy­chi­a­trist.

But af­ter com­plet­ing a hor­ti­cul­ture course at Hop­wood Hall Col­lege he works at Tod­mor­den In­cred­i­ble Aqua Gar­den a state-of-the-art hy­dro­pon­ics, aquapon­ics and per­ma­cul­ture gar­den cen­tre. HUN­DREDS of run­ners pounded the streets and foot­paths for the an­nual Wil­liams BMW Rochdale Half Marathon, 10K and Fun Run.

The event, in its third year, was hailed another suc­cess af­ter al­most 1,000 run­ners took part, cheered on by hun­dreds of spec­ta­tors lin­ing the routes.

All of the races started and ended at the town hall and set out on new traf­fic-free cour­ses tak­ing in the town and some of the bor­ough’s best coun­try­side scenes.

CO­ME­DIAN Jenny Eclair, crime writer Man­da­sue Heller and vis­ual artist Jes­sica Rankin were among the stars who ap­peared at the Rochdale Lit­er­a­ture and Ideas Fes­ti­val.

Nearly 40 shows were put on over the du­ra­tion of the an­nual fes­ti­val, fea­tur­ing drama, com­edy, po­etry, spo­ken word and vis­ual arts.

of run­ners of all ages pounded the streets of the town to make the year’s Rochdale Half Marathon another big suc­cess

Tony Walsh and crime writer Man­da­sue Heller were among the stars of the Rochdale Lit­er­a­ture and Ideas Fes­ti­val

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