Following the warm reception of Knutsford’s Welcome Back Pack in the summer, Knutsford Town Council has launched the Knutsford Shopping Bag just in time for the Christmas shopping season
The bag is designed by local agency Boxed Red Marketing and retails at £3.50. It is available to purchase from The Tea Room, Cheshire Quality, Hal Whittaker, Mr Simms and at the Knutsford Town Council Offices. The bag design is colourful and includes many of the things people associate with Knutsford such as May Day and Penny Farthings.
Sandra Curties, Knutsford Town Council’s Town Centre and Marketing Officer said, “We are delighted to offer these bags for sale and are looking forward to spotting them around the town in the coming months. You could buy the bag alongside a Knutsford Voucher and give a complete gift of Knutsford this year!”
Harriet Henry, owner of The Tea Room said, “We love these bags and are looking forward to selling them alongside a cup of tea and a slice of cake!”
Profits made by the Town Council in selling the bags are being reinvested in town centre footfall initiatives.
Knutsford Pumpkin Path has been hailed a spooky success after it returned for its 9th year on Saturday 30th October!
The event returned to celebrate Halloween in Knutsford across King Street, Minshull Street and Regent Street. The night saw families and friends of all ages convene, many in elaborate and amazing costumes for a fun, safe and friendly Halloween festivity. At what has now become tradition visitors have to hunt out 11 special pumpkins carved with letters spelling ‘Pumpkin Path’ which were dotted along King Street and the surrounding roads. In addition to the eleven ‘hosts’ many shops and businesses stayed open late with truly spooktacular window displays and costumes to join in the fun.
Crowds were entertained with singing by Knutsford Beats and dance performances from Fuschia School of Dance. Halloween themed character actors and exciting experiences in Wallwood were hosted by moviESCAPE escape rooms based in Stockport.
The event was supported by a range of businesses, organisations and voluntary groups including Mr Simms, Knutsford Hosts and Knutsford Lions. The event was also kindly supported by the Mere Day Nursery and Cheshire House Bar and Grill who sponsored the event and helped to make it possible.
Visitors to the path were asked to choose their favourite shop window and the winners were presented with their certificates the following week by the Mayor of Knutsford Cllr Stewart Malloy. The winner was Mr Simms and the three runners up with Highly Commended prizes were Gareth West, Giovannis and D13 Irish Bar. The competition was stiff but all three had stunning spooky displays.
Alex Brown, Events Officer at Knutsford Town Council, said: “We were thrilled to see so many happy faces at the weekend enjoying our Pumpkin Path. It was so exciting to bring this event back in full this year to celebrate Halloween in true Knutsford style. The costumes were fantastic as always and the atmosphere of the event was brilliant. Huge thanks to our amazing local businesses who continue to get stuck in with our events and make the town so vibrant and full of life. Here’s to next year!”
Knutsford Town Council and the Knutsford Branch of the Royal British Legion invite the community to join the services of remembrance on Sunday 14th November.
The programme for the day is as follows:
0845 – Parade assembles at King St Car Park, WA16 6DX
0900 – Parade from King St Car Park to St John’s Church
0930 – Remembrance Service at St John’s Church
1030 – Procession to Centennial War Memorial
1045 – Remembrance service and wreath laying at Centennial War Memorial, WA16 0PG
1145 – Remembrance service at the Crosstown War Memorial
1230 – Remembrance service at the War Memorial Cottage Hospital, Northwich Road
1300 – Remembrance service at the Parachute Regiment Memorial, Tatton Park
1345 – Refreshments at Council Offices, WA16 6TA
This year the parade departs from King Street car park (rather than Drury Lane) and parades to St John’s Church. The parade will not reassemble and instead the congregation will be led from the church to the Centennial War Memorial for the main service.
The whole community is welcome to join any or all parts of the day. The principal wreath laying will take place at the Centennial War Memorial and organisations wishing to lay a wreath are requested to advise Michelle Bate, Civic Events Officer, in advance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Saturday 9th October the Mayor of Knutsford welcomed over 100 guests to his Charity Ball at The Mere Golf Resort and Spa. The evening was a fantastic success and a combination of sponsorship, tickets sales, prize balloons, silent auction, and raffle ticket sales has raised over £3,000 for the Mayor’s local charities: The Knutsford and District Branch of The Royal British Legion and the Knutsford Branch of The St Vincent De Paul Society.
Guests were welcomed by the RAF Air Cadet band playing on their arrival, before a red carpet entrance where they were greeted by The Mayor and his consort, Mr Simon Hutchence.
Local business owner, Tessa Carrol provided the photography for the evening and DJ Steve Lewis from ICE Entertainment made sure everyone had a great time on the dancefloor. Guests were also entertained by the fantastic Funtime Frankies band who gave everyone the opportunity to dance , which for some, was the first time back on the dancefloor in a long time.
Prize vouchers were found hidden in balloons, each one containing a voucher for a fabulous prize donated by local businesses and residents including gifts from Evuna, The Bears Paw, AutoDen Knutsford, Roberta Beauty, Curzon Cinema, Cranford Café, Pizza Express Knutsford, Diamond Nails, Fryers Roses, Kanoa Living, Sandra Gardiner, PR Jones Jewellers and Hal Whittaker. The sound of balloons popping filled the reception space and started the party atmosphere.
The Raffle proved popular and prizes included donations from The Mere, Elite Health, Gusto Knutsford, Sarah Jane King Photography, Woods Butchers, Courtyard Coffee House, Tree Tops Holistics and Beauty, Cheshire House, Olivia Hunter, and Mid Cheshire Rail Partnership.
A game of Heads or Tails in between courses made for a fun 5 minutes of fundraising with the winning guest winning a voucher from White Orchid Floral Boutique.
The Live and Silent Auctions raised a great amount of money and there was a bidding war between guest to win prizes donated by King and Allen, Cheshire Quality, Pulse of Perfumery, The Lambing Shed, Lloyd Hall Bespoke Tailors, Andrew Collier Photography and Wendy Diddams Optometrist.
Tables were decorated by Knutsford Bloom and were sponsored by Apus Peak, Packaging Automation Ltd, Pete the Pilot, Sheldons Dairy, Cheshire Quality and Elite Health who each gave incredible support.
Michelle Bate, Civic Events Officer said: “The ball has been a great fundraising success raising an impressive £3,000 after what has been a tremendously difficult year for many. We couldn’t have achieved this without the support of all the local shops, restaurants and businesses who have so generously supported and donated products and vouchers for the event. Thank you to all who attended on the night for helping to make the evening fantastic!”
Knutsford Town Council has launched the Knutsford Big Bulb Plant a fortnight of bulb planting events taking place across the Town. The fortnight runs form 11th October to 24th October and residents are encouraged to apply to host an event in their neighbourhood.
Part of the Knutsford Nature Action Plan, the Big Bulb Plant aims to increase the number of spring flowering bulbs across the whole town. The Town Council will provide event hosts with a selection of bulbs suitable for the area they are planting along with some printed flyers to promote the event to their neighbours.
The council has ordered a selection of bulbs including snowdrops, crocus, winter aconite, daffodil, wild garlic, bluebell and tulip which together provide colour between January through to May and, importantly, provide pollinators with an early food source.
“The Big Bulb Plant puts residents in charge of where bulbs are planted in the town” said Town Clerk Adam Keppel-Green who will be leading an event on his street at Manor Crescent. “We are inviting residents to apply to host an event on a green space near them – we’ll provide the bulbs and help promote the bulb planting and together the town will bloom beautifully in Spring 2022”.
Events already planned for the fortnight include bulb planting on Manor Crescent, Ashworth Park and Shaw Drive.
Knutsford Town Council is starting an exciting short project to create a documentary style film telling the story of Knutsford during World War II and is calling for volunteers to take part.
The National Lottery Heritage Fund funded project ‘Memories of World War II’ was originally planned for 2020 to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of the conflict. The project, which will see the council working closely with Knutsford Heritage Centre, aims to record the memories of those who remember Knutsford during the late 1930s/1940s.
The Town Council is first looking to recruit a team of volunteers to lead the interviews. The volunteers will firstly be given training in oral history interviews by Dr Michaela Hulme, an award-winning historian and lecturer in public history at the University of Birmingham who just happens to have previously lived next door to the late Knutsford historian Joan Leach.
The three-hour training session will be delivered on Saturday 9th October at 1pm and help the volunteers understand memory, the oral history process and how to conduct effective interviews.
With the ongoing support of Michaela, the volunteers will then be assigned to conduct interviews with those who come forward to share their memories. Each interview will capture part of Knutsford’s history and form a learning and research resource for future generations. Interviews will then be edited into a 1-hour film that weaves together a story of life during around the time of the war.
“This project looks to ensure that what is currently just in living memory is captured and preserved for future generations” said Town Clerk Adam Keppel-Green. “It’s about recording the stories, the memories of the sights and sounds and adding to the rich tapestry of the town’s social history”
The Town Council is also appealing for anyone who would like to be interviewed as part of the project. If you or someone you know has memories of Knutsford from the 1930s/40s (no matter how small or insignificant they may feel they are) please register their interest in taking part by contacting 01565 653 929 or email email@example.com.
Pumpkins are ripening, carving knives are being sharpened, witches are preparing their brooms for flight… Knutsford’s spooktacular Halloween event is just one month away.
The ninth Knutsford Pumpkin Path returns to the town centre on Saturday 30th October from 4pm to 7pm. Due to Halloween falling on a Sunday, the event has been brought forward a day to the Saturday evening.
Young Knutsfordians are being invited into the town centre to hunt out the eleven carved pumpkins spelling out ‘Pumpkin Path’ whilst enjoying live entertainment, some great photo opportunities and spooky fun in Knutsford Market Hall and Wallwood.
We’re really looking forward to bringing back this popular event after the stripped back version in 2020” said Alex Brown, Events Officer at Knutsford Town Council. “There’s no need to book in advance, just enter the date in your diaries and come along to enjoy the fun”
The Pumpkin Path is organised by Knutsford Town Council and this year is sponsored by Cheshire House Bar and Grill, The Mere Village Nursery and moviESCAPE.
Wallwood will once again be transformed into a spooky space thanks to the team at Stockport’s moviESCAPE. moviESCAPE offers movie quality escape room experiences for all the family in an atmospheric Victorian mill and their family friendly Merlin’s Magic Academy escape room is inspired by the world of the by wizard.
To enable the Pumpkin Path to take place safely, road closures will be in place along King Street (from the junction with Church Walk to the junction with Drury Lane) and Minshull Street. Affected residents will receive detail of the road closure by letter.
Knutsford’s community heroes were celebrated this month at the presentation of the eighth Town Awards in St John’s Church (15th September).
The special awards evening started with presentations community organisations formed in the last twelve months: Crosstown Community Orchard, Friends of St John’s Wood and Friends of College Wood before the Town Mayor, Cllr Stewart Gardiner announced the shortlists and winners of each category.
The awards, organised by Knutsford Town Council and sponsored by the Forum of Private Business aim to recognise the work individuals, community groups and businesses undertake for the Knutsford community. Nominations for the awards were submitted by the community over the summer.
The first award presented was the Youth Award, which recognises the work of those aged 21 and under. The award went to Duncan Jones for his work as a leader with Knutsford Scouts through which the Explorer scout supports the Beaver and Cub groups at both 2nd and 5th Knutsford Scouts. Duncan received multiple nominations which cited his positivity and praised him as a great role model for the children he works with.
Three Civic Awards are presented annually going to individuals who have worked to support the local community. The first Civic Award was presented to Russell Coulston for his work leading the youth activities at Toft Cricket Club through which his endless enthusiasm and inclusiveness is helping reinvigorate the club.
The second award was presented to Sarah Flannery for her work creating and managing the Knutsford Hosts. Sarah’s nomination highlighted the endless hours Sarah gives coordinating the diverse work the Knutsford Hosts do for the town and how valued Sarah makes the individual hosts feel.
The final Civic Award went to Kevin Griffiths for his work improving the environment of Knutsford through a number of community organisations and projects. Kevin is a long-serving member of Friends of the Heath, played an integral role in setting up the Crosstown Community Orchard and co-leads a town wide tree mapping project.
Three people were shortlisted for the award: Maggie Clayton for her work at the Welcome Café, Paul Langley for his work with Knutsford Music Festival and LOL Cheshire and Ian Robertosn for his work with Hope Central.
The 2021 Community Award was presented to Knutsford Rotary Club for their work coordinating the marshalling of the COVID vaccination clinics. Thanks to this excellent support, Knutsford was notably ahead of other parts of the country in ensuring the community was vaccinated. Also shortlisted for the award were the Fresh Start Baby Bank and Knutsford and District Talking Newspaper, with the Fresh Start Baby Bank receiving a commendation.
Four businesses were shortlisted for the Business Award which recognises the work businesses do to support the local community. In the running were Boxed Red Marketing for creating the Knutsford High Street website; TechnoType for their support of community initiatives and events; Dexter and Jones for their impressive expansion but the 2021 award went to The Tea Room in recognition of their wide involvement in community activity. Dexter and Jones received a commendation in recognition of their strong business growth over the last 12 months.
The final award presented was the Extra Mile Award, which recognises those who, in their paid work, go above and beyond the call of duty to the benefit of the town. Five people were shortlisted: June Curbishley in recognition of her long service at Boots, Sandra Curties, Town Centre and Marketing Officer at Knutsford Town Council for her support of the business community throughout the pandemic, Anthony Naylor, Watch Manager at Knutsford Fire Station for delivering wide community support through his role, Sarah Pownall for going above and beyond at the Welcome and Noey West for her role in supporting the local community at Waitrose. The award went to Anthony Naylor.
After the main awards were presented, Alison Hooper, Head of Egerton School presented the Knutsford Schools Award for Sustainability which aims to recognise the achievements of local businesses in supporting the environment through their business. This year two businesses received the award: Kanoa Living and the Bath House.
Speaking on the evening, awards sponsor Ian Cass of the Forum of Private Business said “I sometimes don’t think we realise just how lucky we are, this community really is fantastic. I deal with lots of communities across the UK, who struggle to get engagement, struggle to get projects off the ground, can’t get funding for things or have businesses which don’t support the community. We are so lucky in Knutsford that we have this great community, with great people in it and great businesses in it. It’s my absolute pleasure to support the awards.”
Nominations for the 2022 awards will open in January.
Knutsford’s interior and design shops hosted their first interior shopping experience on Saturday 18th September.
The event was a collaboration of the growing number of home and interior shops and businesses in Knutsford town centre and offered shoppers inspiration, advice, and ideas as we move into the autumn and winter seasons.
The day’s programme was full of interesting talks, presentations, one-off offers and in some cases fizz and goody bags.
The businesses who took part were Arthur Lee, Deliveroot, Design Equals, Detaljer, Holly Johnson Antiques, Not a Box, Oka, Serenity Designs, Sofas and Stuff, Suzy Watson Designs, and Terzetto.
Sandra Curties, Knutsford Town Council’s Town Centre and Marketing Manager, said “We and the shops involved were really pleased how the first event went. The sun shone on the day, Knutsford Town Mayor Stewart Gardiner kindly visited every shop and there was a lovely buzz around the town. We are evaluating feedback from the day and are possibly looking at a spring event incorporating gardens too so watch this space!”
Matthew Cook of Terzetto Stone said, “Even though this was the first Knutsford at Home Event, it was very beneficial for everyone involved. The individuals who attended Terzetto’s ‘Tile Trends and You’ presentation seemed to get a lot from the talk and were very interactive throughout. Being a retailer in the world of interior design, it’s a pleasure to discuss material that helps homeowners get the most out of their homes and make help to make their ideas and dreams a reality. I look forward to taking part in the next Knutsford at Home Event.”
Helen Dufton of Arthur Lee, said, “We gave away about 60 goody bags from Farrow and Ball and Little Greene to customers making purchases on the day and spoke to lots of people that had not visited us before which was great”.
A number of residents have contacted the Town Council regarding the BarkRun dog park operating off Beggarmans Lane.
“As a frequent user of Sandfield Wood I was upset regarding the closure of the well-used path, that goes from Beggarmans Lane through Sandfield Wood up to Bexton Hall, to enable the dog park to open” said Norbury Booths ward councillor Matthew Robertson.
Knutsford Town Council applied for a Public Right of Way (PROW) to be registered for this path in March 2019. Unfortunately, due to the time-consuming nature of the research and processing of public right of way applications and the limited resources within the relevant department at Cheshire East Council, it can take many years for PROW applications to be reviewed; this is common in PROW departments across the country and is not unique to Cheshire East. The application is currently number 31 out of 44 such applications Cheshire East Council is dealing with.
Local residents also submitted an application to register Sandfield Wood as a Village Green; if successful this would establish the rights of the local community to use the woodland for recreation. The Town Council has been pressing Cheshire East Council for a timescale on which this application will be considered.
From BarkRun’s website and social media, the Town Council is aware that the site will open on Saturday 25th September and operate from 7am to 7pm everyday.
Cllr Robertson added “From the moment I became aware of this I was immediately concerned about the impact this would have on this area of Knutsford. Not just because of the closure of the path which gives access to the countryside for many people but also the impact on Knutsford’s green belt, which as can be seen by the housing developments coming through, is always at risk from development.”
The Town Council has been in discussions with the Cheshire East Council Planning Enforcement Department to understand what is permissible on this green belt site. It has been confirmed that:
The installed fencing is appropriate development within the green belt and on agricultural land and does not require planning permission
If the land is changed in any way, for example if structures are erected or hardstanding created this would constitute a material change of use and require planning permission
The site can be used as a dog park under permitted development for up to 56 days before the end of December
With the support of local residents, the Town Council is monitoring developments in the field and will continue to liaise with Cheshire East Council as to when action may be needed. This applies to the 56 day limit which the council will be monitoring to ensure proper process is taken.
Cllr Robertson added “I am generally in support of new businesses opening in Knutsford, but this has developed very quickly without engagement with the community. It is difficult to support a business which potentially downgrades the green belt, stops citizens access to the countryside and increases traffic on a residential road which leads to a primary school.
As a Norbury Booths councillor I will try to ensure that the impact of this on the community is minimalised and explore options to keep the path open. I would welcome discussions with the site owners to achieve this.”