Trib­utes in event­ful year

Middleton Guardian - - REVIEW OF 2018 - PART TWO -

JULY

THE Mid­dle­ton in Bloom team un­veiled a flo­ral nar­row­boat fea­ture at the Ship Inn in Slat­tocks.

The group built, painted and planted the flow­ers on the boat, which has been named Moon­raker of Mid­dle­ton, as cho­sen by res­i­dents.

More than 2,500 peo­ple de­scended on Lime­fields for Mid­dFest 2018.

The pop­u­lar an­nual event, or­gan­ised by Mid­dle­ton Round Ta­ble, fea­tured fun dog show ‘Mut­tFest’ for the first time.

The event was at­tended by a num­ber of lo­cal char­ity groups and also fea­tured a dis­play by the Xtreme stunt team.

AU­GUST

AN out­door cinema screen­ing had to be aban­doned af­ter bad weather caused a bar tent to fly over an 8ft fence.

Dozens of fans gath­ered at Heaton Park for a show­ing of Harry Pot­ter and The Philoso­pher’s Stone but, with around an hour re­main­ing of the film, the wind picked up a cater­ing tent and sent it into the air, film-go­ers said.

The film stopped and staff said the event was can­celled due to ‘health and safety’ rea­sons.

Busi­nesses backed the coun­cil’s plan to in­tro­duce Metrolink to the town.

Out­lets from the shop- ping cen­tre and nearby busi­nesses said they sup­port the pro­posal to cre­ate a new route from Mid­dle­ton to the Bury to Manch­ester line.

The new line was set to in­clude a new ma­jor park and ride scheme to al­le­vi­ate com­muter traf­fic trav­el­ling south into the city and serve the grow­ing pop­u­la­tion of Mid­dle­ton and its sur­round­ing ar­eas, seen as im­por­tant fu­ture growth ar­eas.

SEPTEM­BER

TRIB­UTES were paid to a man thought to be the town’s last re­main­ing D-Day vet­eran.

Af­ter a short bat­tle with can­cer, for­mer ser­vice­man and en­gi­neer Tom Gre­gory passed away at home he built with his wife, Lil­ian, 90, on Grimshaw Lane in Mid­dle­ton on Septem­ber 6, aged 94.

As a 20-year-old, Tom landed on Sword Beach as part of the Al­lied in­va­sion of Nor­mandy on June 6, 1944.

Ear­lier in the war, Tom was a ‘roof spot­ter’ dur­ing the Manch­ester blitz in 1940 - man­ning an ob­ser­va­tion post on top of a fac­tory to re­lay in­for­ma­tion about Ger­man air­craft - be­fore join­ing the Corps of Royal Engineers in 1942.

One of the most im­por­tant his­toric build­ings in Mid­dle­ton was re-opened at a spe­cial cer­e­mony fol- low­ing a £590,000 coun­cil and Na­tional Lot­tery re­vamp.

The ren­o­va­tion of Long Street Methodist School was the fi­nal and big­gest project in the Mid­dle­ton Town­scape Her­itage Ini­tia­tive, a £2.8m Rochdale coun­cil and Her­itage Lot­tery Fund (HLF) scheme to re­store a num­ber of his­tor­i­cally im­por­tant build­ings in Mid­dle­ton.

The grade II*-listed build­ing was trans­formed fol­low­ing the com­ple­tion of the eight-month project and re­moved from the na­tional ‘Her­itage at Risk’ reg­is­ter.

OC­TO­BER

TWO Hol­ly­wood ac­tors dropped in at a hub in Mid­dle­ton Shop­ping Cen­tre to sup­port its new project help­ing those strug­gling with debt.

Steve Coogan, who was born in Alkring­ton, vis­ited the Light­house Project in Mid­dle­ton Shop­ping Cen­tre, of which he is a pa­tron, and brought with him fel­low ac­tor Michael Sheen.

The pair both have a pas­sion for tack­ling is­sues af­fect­ing poverty and debt in our com­mu­ni­ties.

The Light­house Project pro­vides a hub for com­mu­nity work and of­fers so­cial ac­tiv­i­ties and in­ter­est groups to re­duce so­cial iso­la­tion and im­prove peo­ple’s health and well­be­ing.

Steve and Michael spent time speak­ing with some of the project’s regu- lar visi­tors, hear­ing their sto­ries and strug­gles, and even posed for pic­tures.

Broad­caster Prof Brian Cox launched a new craft beer, Cos­mic Brew.

Work­ing with Mid­dle­ton brew­ery JW Lees, Prof Cox launched the ale at the Hor­ton Arms in Chad­der­ton and was joined by Mid­dle­ton MP Liz McInnes.

Be­tween broad­cast­ing and lec­tur­ing com­mit­ments, Prof Cox, with the help of head brewer Michael Lees-Jones, has ex­per­i­mented with sev­eral dif­fer­ent brews to pro­duce Cos­mic Brew.

NOVEM­BER

VOL­UN­TEERS planted 400 trees at a Mid­dle­ton na­ture re­serve.

Staff from the Mid­dle­ton branch of global busi­ness ser­vices com­pany Con­cen­trix gave up their time to help plant new saplings at Wince Brook Na­ture Re­serve, which runs along the Wince Brook, a trib­u­tary of the River Irk.

The ini­tia­tive was ar­ranged in con­junc­tion with Rochdale coun­cil and City of Trees, a project aim­ing to trans­form un­der­used wood­land ar­eas by plant­ing a trees.

A pa­rade made its way through the town, from Long Street to Mid­dle­ton Gar­den of Re­mem­brance and the ceno­taph, on Re­mem­brance Sunday, led by Mid­dle­ton Band.

The crew of HMS Mid­dle­ton pro­vided a guard of hon­our and a ser­vice was held, led by Fr Phillip Miler from All Saints and Mar­tyrs Church in Langley and at­tended by rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Navy, Army and Royal Air Force, war vet­er­ans, civic dig­ni­taries, lo­cal coun­cil­lors, uni­formed groups and hun­dreds of res­i­dents, who turned out de­spite the rain to hon­our those who lost their lives. Neil Tay­lor, of Mar­quess Way, Rhodes, and his wife Alex, 26, met sci­en­tists at the Brain Tu­mour Re­search char­ity’s Re­search Cen­tre of Excellence at Im­pe­rial Col­lege, Lon­don.

Their visit fol­lowed the launch of Neil’s Ap­peal, their fundrais­ing group un­der the um­brella of Brain Tu­mour Re­search.

A free Christ­mas­themed tea party was held at White­moss Youth and Com­mu­nity Cen­tre.

The choir from Co-op Acad­emy North Manch­ester sang Christ­mas songs and there was fes­tive fun in­clud­ing bingo to fundraise for the cen­tre, on South­down Cres­cent, Black­ley.

The event en­ter­tained 50 se­nior ci­ti­zens from the Charlestown area.

Mid­dle­ton Re­mem­brance Day 2018

Con­cen­trix staff who helped plant 400 trees in a Mid­dle­ton na­ture re­serve

Prof Brian Cox and Hey­wood and Mid­dle­ton MP Liz McInnes at the launch of Mid­dle­ton brew­ery JW Lees’ Cos­mic Brew at the Hor­ton Arms

Neil and Alex Tay­lor, from Mid­dle­ton, plac­ing tiles at the Brain Tu­mour Re­search Wall of Hope

D-Day sur­vivor Tom Gre­gory passed away

Steve Coogan, far left, and Michael Sheen, third from right, with the Light­house Project staff team Pam Semp, Carl Roach, Cath Stott and Dave Melia

Busi­nesses backed the coun­cil’s plan to in­tro­duce Metrolink to the town

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