Knutsford Music Festival celebrates another huge success

Between 10th – 12th June, the town was drinking and dancing at Knutsford Music Festival, which has once again been hailed a huge success by the community and those who travelled far and wide to attend. This was the fifth year of the festival and involved a variety of incredible artists, activities, and venues across Knutsford.

Launched with fantastic folk and brilliant blues, the weekend started with headliners Zervas & Pepper at the Little Theatre for the return of Folk at the Theatre whilst Mat Walkate & Alex Haynes headed Friday Night Blues over at the Brook Street Chapel Hall. The star event was a sensational performance by Kate Rusby and Damien O’Kane, whose delicate folk and audience interaction stole the hearts of the crowd at St John’s Church.

Closing the weekend was Gary Stewart’s Graceland who lit up the Little Theatre with their vibrant performance. Brass bands filled the streets of Knutsford with summer music, while DJs and local talent filled bars with music in the evenings. Visitors were also able to enjoy a wonderful outdoor session on the Moor on Saturday 11th June, enjoying music, activities and delicious local food and drink in the sunshine. Venues including Regent Street, The Angel, April’s Kitchen, The Lost and Found, The Old Sessions House and the Lord Eldon hosted some very entertaining fringe events throughout the weekend.

Knutsford Town Council Events Officer Alex Brown said, “It was fantastic to have the festival back in full swing this year, with music in so many venues across Knutsford. The town was bustling all weekend and it was lovely to see the support for the festival from so many local people, and also those who travelled from across the country to enjoy the music.”

The Town Council welcomes any feedback on the event and suggestions for how it can be improved for 2023.

Full photos from this year’s festival are available on the Knutsford Music Festival website and social media platforms. Enquiries for next year’s event can be sent to info@knutsfordmusicfestival.com

Cllr Mike Houghton outside the Council Offices

Have your say on new 10 year council plan

Knutsford Town Council is inviting the community to come forward with what it wants to see the council delivering for it over the next ten years as part of its new strategic plan.

 

The council’s strategic plan will cover the 2022-2032 period and set out what the council aims to achieve for the community over this period.  The council is keen to ensure the plan is built on the back of the priorities of the local community so before setting its objectives is running a series of workshops to hear what the town’s residents want to see achieved for the town over the period.

 

The council is hosting five workshops to stimulate discussion and ensure it understands the priorities of the community. The workshops are being held at different times to maximise the ability for people to be able to attend:

 

  • Tuesday 28th June 11am – Egerton Place, Church Hill
  • Wednesday 29th June 7pm – The Welcome, Longridge
  • Thursday 30th June 7pm – Egerton Place
  • Saturday 2nd July 2pm – Egerton Place
  • Thursday 14th July 7pm – Online using Zoom

 

Those who cannot attend the workshops can also feed their priorities in via a survey on the council’s website which goes live on Monday 27th June.

 

All fifteen councillors have starred in a promotional video aiming to get the word out about the consultation and encouraging residents to participate. The video highlights some of the achievements of the council over the last ten years which have included making improvements at Knutsford Cemetery, delivering award winning public toilets and running community events.

 

Speaking in the video, Town Mayor Cllr Mike Houghton said “This is your opportunity to have a say on how the council can work to improve Knutsford for us all. Please take the time to engage as we really do want to hear what you think.”

 

The council’s strategic plan is not to be confused with the Cheshire East Local Plan or the Knutsford Neighbourhood Plan, both of which are planning documents. Instead, the council’s strategic (or corporate) plan will set out what the council itself aspires to achieve for the local community, whether that is through lobbying, delivering new services or improving town assets.

 

More information about the new strategic plan, the workshops and how to have a say online can be found at www.knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk/strategicplan

Mayor Mike Houghton holding a gin bottle

Mayor’s Gin Tasting Masterclass

Calling all gin lovers! To start a new fundraising year for the Mayor of Knutsford, this July we have a tasty event that is guaranteed to give you the Friday feeling and kick off your weekend the right way.

Recently elected Town Mayor, Cllr Mike Houghton, said he was delighted to be announcing his first fundraising event in support of the Mayor’s Charities.

“The Mayoress is known to be partial to an occasional sip of gin and for those who share her passion I will be hosting a Gin Tasting Evening. It won’t be just a tasting session as our host, Ian Cass, will be taking you on a journey to celebrate everything that is gin and we will be sampling the produce of some of our finest local distillers, including Camino Gin, Spirit of George, Hunters Gin and Marmalade Old Tom from Pocketful of Stones.” Mike added.

The evening will include five gin cocktails and food with a cash bar for those who want more. Numbers are strictly limited so be sure to book yours as soon as possible and feel free to invite your friends to make up a table.

The proceeds for the event will kickstart the mayor’s fundraising and support his chosen charities: Knutsford Scouts and Knutsford Men’s Shed.

The Knutsford Scouts do fantastic work in developing life skills for the young community of Knutsford by encouraging healthy and active lifestyles, yet they receive no outside support and so are always in need of fundraising and donations. Also, this year, the mayor is raising funds for the opening of a Knutsford Men’s Shed, which would be a branch of the Men’s Sheds Association, a charity that is working hard to provide spaces for men who are suffering from loneliness.

The event takes place on Friday 1st July at Bexton Primary School. Tickets are £30 per person and bookings can be made by contacting Michelle Bate on 01565 653 929 or emailing michelle.bate@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk.

Sabrina holding baby outfits

Sabrina’s Baby Boutique

An exciting, stylish, and affordable baby boutique can now be found at the heart of Knutsford Market Hall, thanks to Sabrina Cowley and her array of baby, toddler and childrenswear.

Sabrina’s Baby Boutique became the newest addition to Knutsford Market Hall at the beginning of April 2022. Sabrina prides herself on her exclusive selection of Spanish Baby Outfits, New-born Baby Wear, and other unique children’s clothes – including some bespoke pieces altered by Sabrina herself.

On the opening of her stall, Sabrina said: “Twenty-two years ago when I had my first child, there was nowhere in Knutsford that sold baby clothes. I didn’t drive and, in those days, it was either a train journey to Northwich or Altrincham. Being a single mother, I really struggled for money and my only way back then to buy clothes without having to travel was using a catalogue.

“Fast forward to the birth of my 3rd child in 2018, I had a brain wave of opening an affordable baby store, but motherhood was very busy. This year, there was the opportunity of a taking on a market stall at Knutsford Market Hall.

“I want to offer parents of Knutsford what I struggled to find – high quality baby and childrenswear at very affordable prices… especially with what’s happened in the last couple of years with covid; it has hit us all hard.

“Moving to the market has been a joyful experience. I know a lot of people in Knutsford and my family were born here. Every time I’m open there is always someone I know popping by. My grandad was a very good customer to Knutsford market they loved him. And I love meeting new people – everyone at the market is absolutely amazing and like family already!”

Alanah Mudie, the new Town Centre and Marketing Officer at Knutsford Town Council said: “It’s great to welcome new an exciting trader into the Market Hall and we recognise the importance of promoting high quality yet affordable options in a market full of independent, hard-working traders. Sabrina is the perfect addition to the growing family within the market.”

Be sure to head to Knutsford Market Hall, located on Silk Mill Street, to pay a visit to Sabrina’s Baby Boutique and all of the fantastic stalls, including:

  • The Market Café
  • Morgan Edwards Fine Wine & Spirits
  • Slipped Discs
  • Plastic Free Weigh
  • Deliveroot
  • The Market Butcher
  • Jonty’s Fruit & Veg
  • Style Loft Boutique

To find out more about what’s on offer at Knutsford Market Hall, head to www.knutsfordmarket.co.uk

Photo                                    Sabrina Cowley of Sabrina’s Baby Boutique

Press contact:                    Alanah Mudie, 01565653929

                                                alanah.mudie@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk

Stewart Gardiner with shoes

Mayor gets in a spin for his charities

Calling all disco divas and jiving jacks! On Monday 2nd May, The Mayor of Knutsford will be shimmying and  whirling non-stop for 12 hours in his final fundraising event of his mayoral year – a Dance-a-thon!

Inspired by the lockdown kitchen discos of Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Cllr Stewart Gardiner will livestream his efforts on The Mayor of Knutsford Facebook page from 10 am until 10pm and has decided to ask for song requests from the Knutsford community in return for a donation, which can be sent via his GoFundMe page.

Residents and businesses are also invited to reserve a space on the dance floor with him for a 20 minute slot for a £20 donation.

When Cllr Gardiner was approached for a quote, he said “I can’t. I’m out of breath. I’m so busy learning my dance moves…. maybe I could quote Bob Geldof without the swearing!”

Visit The Mayor’s Go Fund Me page to donate, and leave a comment there if you’d like to request a song. https://gofund.me/e4c491a4

The Civic Events Officer can be contacted with any queries on michelle.bate@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk

All the proceeds will be going to the Knutsford branches of The Royal British Legion and The St Vincent De Paul Society.

Picture of the Mayor's Caberet

Mayor’s Cabaret Raises £2k for Local Charities

On Saturday 2nd April, The Mayor of Knutsford welcomed over 50 guests to his Spring Cabaret at The Courthouse. Knutsford. Mayors from across the North West attended to support the Mayor of Knutsford with the penultimate fundraising activity for his chosen charities.

Guests were welcomed with a red carpet entrance where they were greeted by The Mayor and his consort, Mr Simon Hutchence before taking seats in front of the Courthouse’s grand stage from which they were dazzled with performances starting with the incredibly talented students of Fuchsia School of Dance following by a medley popular songs from Knutsford Beats. International Comedian Sully O’Sullivan served as Master of Ceremonies whilst singing duo Igloo Hearts and the acrobatic delights of the show-stopping Circus House completed the bill of entertainment.

The evening was a fantastic success and a combination of sponsorship, ticket sales, prize balloons, an auction, and raffle ticket sales has raised over £2,000 for the Knutsford and District Branch of the Royal British Legion and the Knutsford Branch of The St Vincent De Paul Society; the two charities which have been the focus of Cllr Gardiner’s fundraising efforts.

Prize were found hidden in balloons, each one containing a voucher for a fabulous prize donated by local businesses including gifts from The Botanist, Real Fruit Creamery, Rose and Crown, Shamoli, Pastiche, Eastern Revive, Pizza Express, Crewe Hall, The Lambing Shed and The Courthouse. The sound of balloons popping filled the reception space and started the party atmosphere.

The Raffle proved popular and prizes included donations from Elite Health, Pete The Pilot, Knutsford Directory, Knutsford Music Festival, White Orchid, Cheshire Quality, Rohan, Midas, Roberta Beauty, Sarah Jane King Photography, Tree Tops Holistics and Beauty and the Town Mayor too.

The Live Auction raised over £500 with bidding war between guests to win beautiful prizes donated by Pulse of Perfumery and Andrew Collier Photography.

Tables were decorated with decadent candelabras and were sponsored by Packaging Automation Ltd, Golden Stitches and Elite Health. All are local Knutsford businesses and who each gave incredible support to ensure The Mayor’s Charities have the funds they need in order to support local people.

Cllr Stewart Gardiner said: “What began as inspired thought, after some very hard work became an incredibly enjoyable event with some very impressive performances and delicious food. Everyone who attended told me how much they had enjoyed the evening. I would like to thank everyone who attended or supported me in some way to make the inaugural Cabaret event such a success. “

Cllr Gardiner’s final fundraising event will be a sponsored danceathon taking place in early May.

Picture of Enid Leigh

Three Residents Share their Memories of World War II

Three Knutsford residents have shared their memories of Knutsford during the Second World War as part of the Town Council’s lottery oral history project and the council is seeking further people to come forward and share their memories as part of the project.

Tony Leadbeater, Enid Leigh and William Cowburn shared their memories on camera for the project which aims to create a documentary film detailing the history of Knutsford during the war. Each was interviewed by a volunteer from the community who has undertaken oral history training.

The need to take the battery for the wireless to be charged at a garage near the Conservative Club to enable the family to listen to the news was just one of the many recollections shared with the project as well as the sight of Lancaster bombers taking off and seeing paratroopers practising over Tatton Park.

“Watching the recordings and hearing the first hand memories of residents from this time is amazing” said Town Clerk, Adam Keppel-Green. “We are really keen to reach more of our residents who have memories of Knutsford during this period – if that’s you please do get in touch and if you know anyone around the age of 85+ please share this with them or let us know their details.”

The interviews are being filmed to create an engaging video to reach all generations and share the story of the town during the war with the final video set to include archive footage and photographs from the era.

If you or someone you know could be part of the project please contact Tor Rogers on 01565 653 929 or tor.rogers@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk.

Knutsford Town Council Logo

Abigail Chetham awarded 2022 Millennium Bursary

Knutsford Town Council has awarded its 2022 Millennium Bursary to Liberal Arts student Abigail Chetham, who is studying at Durham University.

Abigail, who attended Knutsford Academy, is in her second year of the programme and is passionate about ancient near-eastern civilisations and religions; with plans to complete an excavation in Egypt over the summer. As well as excelling in her academic studies, Abigail has an array of different talents and interests, including Performing Arts, Dance, Music and Aerial Arts. Abigail is also an active member of her local Methodist Church and has a passion for volunteer work. Pre-covid, she took a volunteering trip to Kenya where she supported local communities in housing, education, and environmental projects.

Abigail intends to use the £565 bursary to support her travels to various museums and exhibits, to expand her research through purchasing a range of new literature, and to support her trip to Egypt this summer.

Abigail said, “I’m really excited to be able to take part in this excavation, which without the bursary would have certainly been less financially viable. The trip will not only help me for my dissertation and studies in general but will also provide me with real-world skills which will help me when it comes to trying to get a job later in life. The excavation is taking place at the ancient city of Sais, modern Sa el-Hagar, which was the capital of 26th Dynasty Egypt and is around halfway between modern Cairo and Alexandria, in the Nile Delta. The excavation is organised by the Egypt Exploration Society as well as Durham University, and I was chosen to take part by one of my professors. The bursary will be funding my travel expenses, as well as accommodation and sustenance for while I’m out there, for which I’m so grateful.”

Picture of Abigail Chetham
Abigail Chetham

The annual Millennium Bursary is awarded in partnership with the Knutsford Lions and supports a Knutsford student in their second year of University with the aim of supporting their final year project/dissertation.

The Knutsford Lions also gave a runner-up prize of £200 to Hope Philpott, who is studying History at the University of Oxford. Hope is an aspiring journalist and has written extensively for the Oxford student newspaper ‘Cherwell’, as well as being a Pembroke College Oxford Access Ambassador; where she helps young people from underrepresented backgrounds apply to Oxford.

Hope is planning on staying in Oxford over the summer to utilise the Bodleian and Weston library archives to aid her study.

Hope said, “I will absolutely use the money wisely and I’m greatly looking forward to staying in Oxford over the summer. I will continue to be an ambassador for diverse applications to Oxford and I’m still hoping to go into journalism!”

Students currently in their first year of university should look out for the 2023 Millennium Bursary opening for applications in the Autumn.

The bursary was awarded following an interview with the Town Mayor Cllr Stewart Gardiner and Knutsford Lions’ Lydia Kennedy.

Speaking of the award Lydia said “It was wonderful to speak with all the applicants this year, each of them bringing their own talents and plans for the future to the discussions. They would all have made great winners. We know that Abigail will bring her fantastic outlook with her for her planned excavation internship as well as in all her future studies as this year’s bursary student. The Lions were also delighted to be able to award a runners up prize to Hope to use for her ongoing research at Oxford. We wish them all the best of luck for their next year at university.”

Cllr Stewart Gardiner sat at a table in the Courthouse Hotel

Town Mayor to host a cabaret evening

Knutsford Town Mayor, Cllr Stewart Gardiner is looking forward to his Spring Charity Cabaret which takes place on Saturday 2nd April at The Courthouse, Knutsford. The Mayor hopes that the Cabaret will be the biggest fundraising event of his mayoral year and promises to be a fun filled evening with performances from a variety of local and national entertainers.

The Spring Cabaret will raise funds to support the Mayor’s chosen charities – the Knutsford Royal British Legion and the Knutsford St Vincent De Paul Society.

Cllr Stewart Gardiner said: “Following the success of my autumn ball, I’m hoping to increase the funds that I will be able to share between my chosen charities. The Cabaret will be an opportunity for everyone to experience a variety of entertainment whilst enjoying dinner in the historic courthouse.  Please accept this as my invitation to each you all to come along and join what will hopefully be a highlight of this year’s social calendar.

Tickets are available for the night at £50 per person for a delicious 2-course meal, and all the evening’s entertainment.  To book your place you can contact the Civic Events Officer Michelle Bate as soon as possible before 7th March on 01565 653929 or email michelle.bate@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk.

Raffle tickets are also now on sale for the Mayor’s Prize Draw at £2 each with a range of great prizes up for grabs. The raffle will be drawn at the Ball but anyone can purchase tickets by contacting Michelle or visiting the Council Offices.

Any businesses wishing to make a prize donation for the raffle can contact Michelle at the details above.

Knutsford Music Festival 2022 Artists Announced

Knutsford Music Festival returns with a bang this year with an exciting line up set to take stage across a weekend of musical entertainment.

The three-day festival will take place from 10th to 12th June, with a variety of events across the weekend coordinated by Knutsford Town Council.

Festival organisers at the Town Council have teamed up with BBC Radio’s Mark Radcliffe to once again bring a line-up of incredible folk music to the festival, with events split this year across Knutsford Little Theatre and St John’s Church.

Folk sensation Kate Rusby will headline the Saturday night folk event at St John’s Church with support from Catherine and Ciara McGoldrick.

Friday night will see critically acclaimed duo Zervas and Pepper will headline at the Little Theatre joined by local favourites Fine Lines who will support alongside singer-songwriter and producer Tim Prottey-Jones.

Sunday’s line-up promises just as much with a headline performance from the lively eight-piece Hope & Social who will be joined for support by local singer-songwriter Chris Tavener, who combines jangly-guitar rock and a biting sense of humour.

Also returning in 2022 is Friday Night Blues, taking place in the beautiful Brook Street Chapel Hall on Friday 10th June and headlined this by Mat Walklate who returns followinga  sell out performance in 2018; this year he is joined by duo partner Alex Haynes, with support from local folk stomping duo Two Hats Blues Band.

All ages can enjoy outdoor fun on Saturday 11th June, as the festival brings music back to the Moor. The free event, which runs from 12-4pm, features live acoustic music from incredible local talent, as well as activities for all ages including a children’s music themed craft workshop, African drumming for all ages and more activities and refreshments provided by local vendors.

Taking place on the Sunday at a venue to be confirmed is A Brief History of Music, a fun 90-minute tour of western musical history starting in the middle ages which combines the vigour of the medieval period, the musical intricacy of the Renaissance, the grandeur of the Baroque and the pomp and bombast of Victoriana!

Tickets for all headline events will go on sale on 1st March at 12.00pm via www.knutsfordmusicfestival.com – tickets are limited so don’t miss out.

Join the festival’s mailing list via website to receive up to date news and announcements including notification of ticket sales opening. For any info relating to the festival please email info@knutsfordmusicfestival.com or call 01565 653 929.

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