Posts by Alan

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Are there any Little Belters in your house?

Posted by Alan on Wednesday, 02 September 2015 at 08:43:47

Filed under: Announcements, Entertainment, Lymm, Music and nightlife, General, Lymm Festival

Some of you may have been involved with Lymm Big Sing over the past couple of years, over 100 people have sing with us,  so it is great to see a new group for your youngsters with a similar "no audition, sing for fun but do it right"  philosophy starting up in the village this month.  It would be great to have the two groups performing together at next Summer's Lymm Festival. 

Created especially for 5-11 year olds, Little Belters is a group for children who simply love to sing and a new group is launching in Lymm on Thursday 24th September.

Set up in 2012 by professional singers and sisters, Claire and Tina O’Brien, Little Belters currently has two thriving ensembles in Altrincham and Chorlton, where new members are welcomed throughout the year. Key to their success is a strict no-audition policy, all children are welcome whatever their ability.

The group in Lymm will rehearse every Thursday in term time from 4.45pm-5.45pm at the Youth and Community Centre on Bridgewater Street and they are RECRUITING MEMBERS NOW!

Little Belters’ members learn proper singing technique in a fun, fast-paced environment. There are lots of opportunities to perform whether it’s at prestigious venues like Manchester Cathedral, at local community events, on TV or in the recording studio.

Unlike a traditional choir, Little Belters run rehearsals like high energy, group singing lessons. They use all kinds of games, techniques and repertoire to develop children’s voices. The group approach is a cost-effective alternative to individual vocal tuition, and is particularly effective during primary years. It also means even the most timid child can participate as they are working as part of a team - this gives them time and space to develop confidence. As each Little Belter grows more relaxed and their vocal ability improves there are opportunities for solos, duets, trios and small group performances.

Claire says “We’re contacted all the time by parents who say their children never stop singing. At home, in the car, everywhere! These kids LOVE music….particularly pop music and we work with that rather than frowning upon it. We believe that learning to sing should be a joyful experience that leaves children feeling uplifted and happy. Children have to deal with a lot of stress, pressure and competition these days and singing provides a release from all that.”

If you know a child that simply loves singing, book them in for a free taster session, no audition necessary. Contact Tina on 07740 464507 or Claire on 07779 668204 email or visit to see Little Belters in action. 

Tags: choir, kids, fun, singing, little belters

A Trailer for Transport Day

Posted by Alan on Tuesday, 23 June 2015 at 07:43:53

Filed under: Events, Entertainment, Lymm, Festivals, Transport, General, Lymm Festival, Village centre

Now when I say trailer , I mean trailer... we need a low trailer onto which we can load trackway mats 4ft by 8ft on the May Queen field and then slide them off again 100 yds away - Saturday afternoon .. a few at a time, just for an hour.  If you could help please give me a call on 01925 754080. 

Now if what you actually wanted was an event TRAILER.  Then here's the headlines. The first working boats are already in the village .. three day of canal related schools activities start tomorrow, The maginificent new trip boat Sir Francis Egerton makes its first visit arriving tomorrow ... Saturday afternoon would be a good time to be round the village as the traction engines start to roll into Henry St car park and we will be starting to unload the coal at site of old wharf.  Bring your camera .. 

And then there's Sunday THE BIG DAY .. 300+ Classic Cars 25 Historic Boats a dozen traction engines,  five park and ride vintage buses 100 classic motor bikes and bicycles, the horse boat, model ariplanes 12 model railways , music food entertainment  and 150 volunteers making it all happen.

... a "Show like no other"  and it is happening here in our village.

Special guest More 4's Fuzz Townshend  From the drive-in parade at 10.30 to the Historic Sail past at 16.30 it promises to be a truly memoable day. 

Please do one thing for us Like us on and get updates  See you Sunday or sooner ! Have a great time.

ARE HERE'S A TIP - but don't tell anyone I told you  Buy tickets in advance. You'll save money and more importantly skip the queues on the day with our fast track entry.  - Festival Box Office Pepper St or Spread Eagle  all the info at 


Three Signs of Ageing

Posted by Alan on Wednesday, 20 May 2015 at 13:38:10

Filed under: Events, Entertainment, Festivals, Music and nightlife, Transport, General, Lymm Festival

There are three definite signs of ageing

1. The policemen look younger

2. Festival and Transport Day comes round quicker each year.

3. I can't remember what the third one was .. 

We feel like we are really well on top of  Transport Day (June 28)this year. Word seems to have got around about last year's success and every aspect of the show was filled by the end of February.. But somehow there's still loads to do and some things we want to do better this year. Most of that is about having a great team of volunteers to help thing run smoothly. We reckoned we need 160 people -  most of them working no more than 3 hours so that they can enjoy the show too. It seemed like an impossible number but amazingly we are up to 120.  Could you be one of the other 40 ?  It will be fun (honest!) and we give a free family ticket to each volunteer. Just go to the website, call Trish on 01925-751646 or drop in at the festival box-office on Pepper St on Saturday 23rd  to put your name down . 

Yes that's right the FESTIVAL BOX-OFFICE will be open for the first time on Saturday May 23rd. you can get  Discount Transport Day tickets and pick up a FREE Transport Day programme that tells you everything that's happening. 

Let me also declare a personal interest in Beverley "Promise Me" Craven in Concert on Tuesday June 23rd featuring our own Lymm Big Sing Choir I can "Promise You" that this is going to be a sell out ( nearly 2/3rds full already) so be smart and get your ticket in the next few days .   If you miss out on that then lots of other good stuff too - Comedian Jo Caulfield, Agony Aunt Virginia Ironside  and of course Terry Waite.  plus a host of local talent and events like Open Gardens and Art in The Garden. Festival really is a remarkable phenomenon.  Check it all out at or if you haven't had a programme yet pick one up at the Village Hall on Saturday. 

Now what was I going to do next ? I had it written down somewhere ..






Tags: festival, transport, beverley, craven, volunteer, box-office

The Proof of the Pudding Is In The Eating

Posted by Alan on Friday, 20 March 2015 at 10:36:22

Filed under: Lymm, Site Developments, Business, General, Village centre, Shopping

The proof of the pudding they say is in the eating. So at the end of a crazy week when the media hasn’t always painted the kindest picture of the village  I realised I hadn’t seen a single  opinion expressed by anyone who had actually shopped  at a Netto.  So yesterday afternoon on our way to visits friends in Yorkshire we stopped off to visit the Heaton Park store which opened at the end of last year.  It is literally attached to a far larger Sainsbury’s so clearly they think they can co-exist. (Sainsburys has a 50% stake in Netto UK).  Before arriving we were apprehensive – let’s be honest Netto did not have the greatest brand image before they withdrew from UK  in around 2011. But now they are back and it’s not really recognisable as the same store.

 You are greeted at the door by a full aisle of fresh produce. We picked up a pineapple for 65p a big bag of easy peel oranges for  £1.09 plus a pack of 6 pink lady apples  for £1.55.   The store has a Premieur Range  ( equivalent to the much praised Deluxe range  at Lidl ) Cold meats,  smoked salmon, fish, mascarpone cheese-cakes and olive oil were among the lines I spotted.  But there were plenty of recognised brands too  making it easy to stock up on all the basics.  A loaf of Warburtons was 95p. The same loaf next door at Sainsburys was £1.30 – figure that out. 

Halfway round was a small area that puts one in mind of the IKEA “market hall” , candles, cloths, napkins, small household goods.  As a man  I always make a point at IKEA of walking straight past but Su was definitely impressed.   

They were clearly pushing the in-store bakery – nothing like the smell of fresh bread for the feel-good factor but like Aldi and Lidl there was no deli counter.  The total product range -  2,000+ is apparently very similar to the other two big discounters.

Half way round we met the manager – Kenneth Luxhoi (yes he’s Danish)  - next to the lego display which is a feature of every store.  He had been following the news stories  about Lymm with some puzzlement I think and seem pleased that we had come to see for  ourselves. He was keen to distinguish between old and new Netto and pointed proudly to the regularly changing spot deals. Then  just as we were chatting who should walk in but Netto UK managing director  Morten Nielsen, and Sainsbury Business Development Director Helen Buck on a fact finding visit. They joined us to discuss Netto’s plans to expand quickly to 15 stores  and win customers with attractive, wide aisled, uncluttered stores.

Would I shop there ?  Yes- no problem. Would I buy everything there? – almost certainly not – I shop at Lidl now. Great value and they do have spot deals but in the end you go elsewhere for a little more variety from time to time. Also one or two of the products like the flavoured crispbreads promised more on the pack than they delivered to the tastebuds.   I definitely like the prices.  Low and simple.  One reason I abandoned Sainsburys in Warrington was the endless “buy one  -pay over the odds, buy two at a reasonable price -end up wasting one” deals

The whole Netto concept  is an experiment for Sainsburys/Netto that may or may not work as they have to break in to a now established and successful discount market.

Will it work for Lymm?  In the end it’s the customers who will decide but personally  I know more  people who wanted a discount store than a more upmarket name and there’s not much wrong with this one.   In some ways I feel this kind of store  could be more  positive for the village centre too. An upmarket  “end-to-end” store with a deli, counter and butchers  would be far more likely to eat into some of our local village businesses. I have to say I find it hard to see how Lymm can support two Co-ops, a Sainsbury’s local and another larger store – not to mention M&S Simply Food at Poplar (It’s small by the way – not very exciting) but only time will tell.  We are in the middle of a major shift in food retailing and this is just another example of it.

Now where’s my Chocolate and Mascarpone Pudding ?

Alan & Su Williams

Ours was a pretty random collection of goods. The ones in the picture came to around £34.50 including a bottle of Prosecco for £5.50 ( well  it is Friday ) five pairs of patterned ladies socks £5 and on the right a stag’s head coat hook at £3. (don’t ask) So the other 20 items came to £21 in total. 

Tags: netto, lymm

From One Great Village Event To Another and Yet Another

Posted by Alan on Monday, 02 February 2015 at 13:24:27

Filed under: Events, Announcements, Entertainment, Lymm, Festivals, Appeals for Information, Music and nightlife, Transport, Lymm Festival, Village centre

Can’t believe it's February already and only just getting around to posting this brilliant video (made by Colin Grimes) of Dickensian Day. Hats off to the team who put this together and especially choosing to hold it on almost the only dry day of the month.

The video also features the great sound of Lymm’s very own Big Sing choir. Work is already underway on preparing the music for their next performance with none other than Beverley Craven. It is a huge thrill for us to have been able  to tempt a BRIT award winning superstar to appear at our village festival. Mark June 23rd in your diary now.

Talking of great events Beverley Craven will be followed just a few days later by the third Historic Transport Day on Sunday June 28th. If last year’s show was anything to go by it is going to be an amazing day but one where we really need the community as whole to get involved. It takes over 150 part time volunteers on the day to make sure everything runs smoothly. Last year some people chose not to volunteer as they didn’t want to miss any of the show. So this year here’s the deal. Give us just 3 hours of your time sometime between 8am and 7pm on Sunday June 28th and we will have  a free entry wristband for you and your partner or friend and your kids if you have any ! And all our volunteers will get refreshment vouchers, and we’ll invite you to the thank you party. Please put your name down now so we can start to plan another great village day.   

Tags: lymm, festival, historic, transport, day, beverley, craven,


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