A group of people including the mayor gather around a tree that is being planted

Mayor plants tree for Platinum Jubilee

The 70th anniversary of the accession of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was marked in Knutsford on Sunday 5th February with the Town Mayor and councillors planting a commemorative tree at the Council Offices.

Town Mayor Cllr Stewart Gardiner was joined by councillors and residents at a small ceremony on the day marking 70 years since HM The Queen took the throne. This marked the first act ahead of the official celebrations in June.

The council chose a Magnolia ‘Elizabeth’ tree to celebrate the occasion. The tree will blossom with clear pale primrose yellow, fragrant cup-shaped flowers between April and May each year – covering the period of HM The Queen’s birthday.

The national celebrations of the jubilee take place over a four-day bank holiday weekend from 2nd to 5th June. The Town Council is organising a beacon lighting as part of beacon lighting across the nation on Thursday 2nd June whilst Knutsford Lions will be hosting a Jubilee Fair on the Heath on Friday 3rd June.

The 2012 Diamond Jubilee saw a specially commissioned arch installed at the Library Gardens and for the Platinum Jubilee the council is discussing holding a competition for children to design a new piece of public art. The Town Mayor will also be offering to plant a jubilee tree at each school in Knutsford ahead of the half term break.

Peter Murray from POP with childrenat Knutsford Bunny Hop 2019

Bunny Hop Bouncing Back for ’22

The Knutsford Bunny Hop will be bouncing back to the Town Centre this Easter Saturday.

The event had a forced two-year hiatus due to the COVID pandemic but will return for the first time since 2019 on Saturday 16th April.

The family event features an easter themed trail where the objective is to find bunnies hidden across the town centre each of which have a letter pinned to them. Find all the letters which together spell a hidden phrase! You can then submit your completed entry form into the Bunny Hop postbox outside of Mr Simms Sweet Shop on King Street. You will also be able to enjoy other festivities on the day such as face painting and competitions.

The event is very kindly sponsored by Mere Day Nursery, who have supported the event for a number of years. Mere Day nursery is located on Chester Road just outside Knutsford in Mere where children can enjoy the baby room, toddler room or pre-school room and an outdoor space including trees, woodlands and regular access to acres of fields where the play opportunities are endless. 

Alex Brown, Events Officer at Knutsford Town Council, said: “We are thrilled to bring this event back after it has not been possible the last couple of years due to lockdown restrictions. It will be fantastic to celebrate Easter again with our community and we hope everyone comes out to enjoy the event!”

You will find lots of town centre businesses with ‘Bunny Hop Friendly Shop’ posters in their windows, which means the business are involved in the event by offering promotions or giveaways.

Keep up to date with event announcements and news by following Knutsford Bunny Hop on Facebook and Twitter, and by joining the official event on Facebook.

Enquiries related to this event can be sent to alex.brown@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk or you can call 01565 653 929.

The Mayor and the Manager of the Angel

Mayor to host Pub Quiz

The Mayor of Knutsford is inviting residents to his fun pub quiz on February 23rd at The Angel on King Street. After 2 years of hosting Zoom quizzes, Cllr Gardiner will be the first Mayor since 2019 that has been able to hold the annual event in person and is encouraging all who are able to come along.

Cllr Gardiner is keen to welcome as many people as possible to get involved and especially those who were unable to celebrate Christmas with their colleagues. The Quiz presents the perfect opportunity for postponed get together while raising some much-needed funds for the Royal British Legion and St Vincent de Paul Society.

Cllr Gardiner said: “ Are you an ace at The Chase, sharper than a celebrity on pointless or quicker on the buzzer than a student on University Challenge? Then why not put your brain to the test and bring a team along to the Annual Town Mayor’s Quiz and see if you can outsmart this year’s quiz master?!’

The quiz, which has been written by the Mayor’s Consort, Simon Hutchence, will take place at 7.30pm. Teams are £10 for a team of 4 which supports the mayor’s chosen charities.  Extra participants can pay £2.50 per person, but teams will be capped at six people.

To register your team contact Michelle Bate on Michelle.Bate@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk with the details of your team – including a team name and the names of all participants.

The Town Mayor wears a santa hat and mayoral chain in front of a group of local traders

It’s a wrap on town centre Christmas countdown

Counting down to Christmas this year was a special virtual advent calendar featuring an assortment of local independent businesses.

The shop local advent calendar was published daily on the Town Council’s social media with each video promoting what you can find in Knutsford Town Centre, from the latest children’s toys at Hal Whittaker to Georg Jensen champagne coolers from Serenity Designs. Each video aimed to put on display what shoppers can find in the shops on their doorstep and encourage people to think local first.

Speaking in the final video, released on Christmas Eve, Mayor of Knutsford Cllr Stewart Gardiner thanked the town for supporting local businesses He said “We have a fantastic group of independent traders here in Knutsford who give the town its character; thank you for supporting them through the pandemic, throughout 2021 and we all hope you continue to shop here in knutsford in 2022”

The campaign was one of a number of initiatives developed by outgoing Town Centre and Marketing Officer, Sandra Curties, as part of the Town Council’s commitment to supporting the town centre and local business. The council is currently recruiting for a new Town Centre and Marketing Officer, so if you have ideas you think could help drive footfall to Knutsford why not apply for the role.

Here’s the final video, view the rest on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Whips in plastic tubes in the foreground

800 whips planted on open spaces in December

Eight hundred whips were planted in Knutsford this month as part of the Town Council’s nature action plan which aims to improve Knutsford for wildlife and tackle climate change.

On Saturday 4th December volunteers from the Town Amongst Trees project planted 500 whips at two open spaces on Ashworth Park. The whips were planted in the borders of the sites and will develop into mixed native copses. The planting day coordinated by the council’s Planning and Facilities Officer, Bob Allen, who leads on the implementation of the plan. The volunteers spent hours in the rain getting the whips in the ground in National Tree Week and were supported by local residents supplying warming tea and fresh cake!

Bob Allen sorting whips
Planning and Facilities Officer Bob Allen

Later in the month Town Ranger Bob Garner planted a new native hedge of 300 whips around an open space on Manor Crescent. The new hedge at the green next to the 2nd Knutsford Scout Hut, will develop into a native hedgerow. Hedgerows provide shelter, nesting opportunities and food for birds and an assortment of invertebrates and once established the fence surrounding the green will be removed.

The whips were provided free of charge by the Woodland Trust and The Conservation Volunteers.

In early 2022 the Town Council will be planting a further 120 trees on open spaces across the town as part of its mission to greatly increase tree cover in the town and, with funding from Redrow, is supporting the creation of a community wildflower allotment.

“Since adopting our Nature Action Plan in 2020 we have created new wildflower meadows, planted hundreds of trees and in spring will see thousands of bulbs flower thanks to efforts from volunteers across the community” said Town Clerk, Adam Keppel-Green. “We’ve more work to do in 2022, but Knutsford is well on its way to being a great example of how towns can provide for wildlife across their open spaces”.

The Mayor stands with the winners of a competition

Christmas Window Competition Winners

Town Mayor, Cllr Stewart Gardiner and Managing Director of Knutsford based Forum of Private Business, Ian Cass, toured the town centre to judge the efforts of local businesses in the annual Knutsford Christmas Window Competition.

Each year the standard of the Christmas Window displays continues to get higher and higher. All the town centre window displays were viewed as part of the competition and we had formal entries from a large range of retailers and businesses including; Detaljer, Diamond Nails, Savills, Cheshire Quality, Arthur Lee, The White Orchid, Dafferns, Mr Simms and Clare and Illingworth.

The overall winner was presented with a trophy and certificate with highly commended certificates going to the runners up.

This year the winner was Terence Paul with Holly Johnson in second place and Nicholas Austen’s display at 60 King Street taking 3rd place.  There was also a prize for the best dressed Charity Shop window, and this was won by Barnardo’s on Tatton Street. A new category for 2021 was ‘best small window’ and with the inaugural winner Kanoa Living on Princess Street

Cllr Stewart Gardiner said, “I was impressed at both the innovation and sense of style even more this year. Everybody should be really proud of the displays they created in making the town look even more festive. Picking the winner was really difficult and there were several shop fronts being in running for the top slot. Unfortunately, there could be only one winner – Terence Paul who used a  local street artist to create an impressive piece of ‘snow graffiti’ display this year.

The Town Mayor adds the letters to the screening notice at the cinema

Over £300 raised at cinema night

The Mayor of Knutsford’s Charity Screening of Bridget Jones’s Diary was a fantastic success raising over £300 for the Mayor’s chosen charities, The Knutsford Branch of the Royal British Legion and The Knutsford Branch of The St Vincent de Paul Society.

The event, which took place on Wednesday 8th December, was hosted by the Curzon Knutsford and attended by 33 guests who were treated to an exclusive screening with wine and popcorn. The winners of the raffle prizes went home with goodies including an M&S Voucher, Wine, Chocolates and a Monet Bracelet.

Town Mayor, Cllr Stewart Gardiner said “from the raucous laughter of the audience, I clearly picked a winner when choosing to host the screening of Bridget Jones’ Diary. The seasonal ending added to the atmosphere of the experience. Thank you to all that supported the evening. We are hoping to reprise the experience in the spring”.

The top of a statue of a saluting soldier

Memories of World War Two Wanted

Did you grow up in Knutsford during the second world war, or know someone who did? Your memories are needed for an exciting new project which aims to record the history of the Town in an engaging documentary film.

The Memories of World War II project will see trained oral history volunteers undertaking social history interviews with residents who lived or worked in Knutsford during the 1930s and 40s. A team of volunteers has already been trained and are ready to get interviewing.

The interviews will be filmed and used to create a 1-hour documentary film telling the story of Knutsford during the war alongside photos and archive footage. The film will be engaging with the aim of appealing to a wider range of viewers and introducing them to more of the town’s history.

The raw interviews will also form important historical records and be published as an online archive.

Town Clerk, Adam Keppel-Green said “Your memories will possibly be the only place that parts of Knutsford’s history are kept and we want to get this on film for future generations. No matter how minor you may think your recollections are, they will help paint a picture of Knutsford during the war and we would be delighted to hear them.”

More information is available at www.knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk/memories-project.

Those wishing to participate in the project can contact the Town Council on 01565 653 929, in person at the Council Offices or by email at enquiries@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk.

A fox shaped lantern against a black sky

Town lit up with Lantern Parade

Knutsford Lantern Parade returned for the first time since 2018 last Sunday, with a spectacular procession of lights in the town centre.

The biennial parade took place on Sunday 5th December, kicking off at 5pm on King Street. Scores of local people lined the streets to enjoy the parade which was led by City of Chester Brass Band and featured Travelling Light Circus LED performance troupe.

Local families had created handmade lanterns at free workshops provided by the Town Council in November and processed along the streets with their moon and stars themed lanterns, joining others in the community who had made lanterns and alongside large feature lanterns made by Handmade Parade. The parade was kindly supported by volunteers from Knutsford Hosts.

Alex Brown, Events Officer at Knutsford Town Council, said: “It was wonderful seeing so many people come along to enjoy the Lantern Parade and Crib Service on Sunday. The lanterns looked beautiful under the Christmas lights and the Crib Service was a wonderful start to the festive season.”

The Town Mayor’s Community Crib Service followed outside the Lost and Found, where the Mayor of Knutsford, Cllr Stewart Gardiner, was joined by Knutsford clergy to bless the town crib and welcome the festive season to Knutsford.

Children from St Vincent’s Primary School led in the singing of Christmas carols accompanied by City of Chester Brass Band. After the service the Knutsford Catenians warmed the community with mince pies and mulled wine.

Cllr Stewart Gardiner, Mayor of Knutsford, said: “It was lovely to see such a great turnout for the Lantern Parade and Crib Service on Sunday. Thanks to all those who helped make it such a lovely event. Particular thanks go to the children of St Vincent’s School for their beautiful singing.”

a man stands in a window holding a small santa

Hunt is on for Santa

Children are being urged to look out for Santa this Christmas, as he has been seen hiding in shop windows. Santa in the Shop is a new festive trail running throughout advent – from 1st to 24th December.

The Santa in the Shop trail is brand new for 2021, with families encouraged to find a Santa (along with a festive message or Christmas Cracker joke) hidden in twelve of Knutsford shop’s Christmas windows.  Entry forms can be picked up from Knutsford Library, Market Hall, Council Offices, and selected shops. When completed, the form can be dropped off at Santa’s special post box in Little Waitrose. All correctly completed forms will be entered into a prize draw with the winners announced in early January.

Sandra Curties, Town Centre and Marketing Officer at Knutsford Town Council said: “This is a sweet and easy trail for Christmas, a great way of exploring our beautiful town and enjoying the Christmas lights and festive windows.  We hope families enjoy spotting our little Santas!”

If visiting the town centre by car do not forget there is free parking on Saturday 4th December 11th December and 18th December from 10 am in Silk Mill, King and Princess Street car parks.

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