The Chester blog

Chester weekly news blog #6

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In exciting local music news this week, we have the birth of a new band, manned with very familiar faces. ‘Little Beat Combo’ is a four piece consisting of Guy, Tim & Francis from the now defunct ‘The Daymons’, plus Dave, the ex drummer from The Suns. The band promises a set of toe tapping originals, a couple of flag wavers to get your breath back and, one or two cover versions for the hell of it. LBC are very much a guitar band, drawing on too many influeneces to name from across sixty years of rock n’ roll. You can check them out live at Telford’s Warehouse on the 1st of October, and in the meantime, keep up to date with their musical adventures on their FB page below. https://www.facebook.com/littlebeatcombo

Ellesmere Port has hosted a visit from the judges for this year’s North West in Bloom competition. The visit follows on from two previous highly successful entries into the prestigious horticultural competition. It involves a number of groups and organisations from all across the town who have come together to work on another entry into the competition.  The group is chaired by Joanna Pemberton and is supported by Cheshire West and Chester Council.

This year’s entry has the theme of “promoting and celebrating diversity 2021” and also includes some new partners Stamford Street Allotments, Atherton Road Garden, Westminster Allotments and Meadow Park. Joanne Pemberton, Chair of the group added: “As Chair of Ellesmere Port In Bloom 2021, I am humbled to be part of the amazing team effort.  The community, volunteers and businesses have sought to work hard under exceptional difficult circumstances due to Covid-19 and numerous lockdowns.  After the Royal Horticultural Society cancelled last year’s competition, adhering to Covid guidelines we continued to meet and support each other.

Without dedicated work from PALS (Positive Action for Little Sutton) guided by Steve Hewitt; Wolverham Community Centre led by Christine and Peter Brown; Bridge Wellness Gardens and Farm with Claire Johnson; community rangers with Tom Deva-Staples, Council officers from Localities and StreetCare and many others, we would not be here.”

North West in Bloom judges, John Bilsborough and Neil Harvey visited the town this month to meet representatives from the groups involved.  Judges assess their entry against the RHS criteria but they also provide constructive feedback and suggestions to help the group improve.  Results will be announced in October this year.

Allotment judging

What do theatre set builders do when a theatre is dark? Well, Chester Little Theatre’s set builders, Keith Long, John McGinn and Malcolm Gledhill have not been sitting around during lockdown! When some plaster fell off the ceiling over the main staircase there was the option to make do and mend, or replace the entire ceiling. They chose the latter option and set about erecting a scaffolding platform to remove plaster which had been there ever since 1840 when the building was built.

The process left them looking like miners coming off shift as they discovered the effect from years of coal fires in surrounding Newtown and smoke from the nearby railway! They removed 25 bags of rubble from the Theatre. Having strengthened and re-plastered the ceiling, it was then painted and the scaffolding removed.

Now – as you can see – Chester Little Theatre is looking sparkling clean and ready to welcome back audiences to see their opening play, Sue Townsend’s funny but thought-provoking play, Bazaar and Rummage, directed by Margaret Bennett. Chester Little Theatre Plays, Productions & Events

Cars and Coffee Coffee Cheshire who last met in October of 2019 have announced their long awaited return at a new venue, Chester Lakes. The popular car meet and greet event, first established in 2015, returns on Sunday 8th August. for updates visit Cars and Coffee Cheshire | www.carsandcoffeecheshire.co.uk

Gladstone’s Library have announced the shortlist for the 2022 Writers in Residence award.   Every year, the UK’s only residential library, situated in neighbouring Hawarden, hosts four authors as part of this highly competitive and prestigious award.  

The award, which is designed to support emerging and established novelists and poets working within a broad spread of literary genres, is now in its eleventh year.  Every applicant is required to have published a book within the last three years and is asked to write a short piece of writing in which they discuss liberal values.  

The 12 shortlisted writers for 2022 are:  

  • Sarah Watling, The Olivier Sisters 
  • Carys Bray, When the Lights Go Out 
  • Glen James Brown, Ironopolis 
  • Rosalind Hudis, Restorations 
  • Francesca Haig, The Cookbook of Common Prayer 
  • Rebecca Watts, Red Gloves 
  • Victoria Gosling, Before the Ruins 
  • Suji Kwok Kim, Notes from the North 
  • Amy Sackville, Painter to the King 
  • Alice Jolly, The Aspergers’ Dilemma 
  • Caoilinn Hughes, The Wild Laughter 
  • Guy Stagg, The Crossway  

Winning authors will be offered a residency extending up to a month at Gladstone’s Library, which has provided quiet and comfortable spaces for writers and researchers for more than a century. The judging panel for 2022 consists of Freddie Baveystock, Trustee of Gladstone’s Library and teacher at Harris Westminster Sixth Form, alongside previous Writer in Residence winners; journalist and non-fiction author Charlotte Higgins, award-winning poet Jonathan Edwards, and writer, reporter, and editor Cal Flyn.

Peter Francis, Gladstones library warden

  Peter Francis, Warden of Gladstone’s Library, said:  “The past eighteen months has demonstrated how crucial time, space and support are in terms of fostering creativity.   We know our residency programme is valued by our award applicants, and we are looking forward to offering that support once again.” 

Judging will take place on October 4.  Gladstone’s Library | the UK’s finest residential library (gladstoneslibrary.org)

Finally, Canadian coffee chain Tim Hortons are opening this Saturday at 7am at the Sealand road site formerly occupied by Pizza Hut. Creating 40 jobs, Hortons will be open daily for takeaway, dine in and drive through from 6am until midnight. On opening day the first person in the drive thru and at the front door queue will each win free coffee for a year. The first 100 guests will also receive free breakfast meals. Other coffee shops are available

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