Archive for News

Christmas Window Winners 2013

The annual Christmas window competition was judged this week by the Town Mayor Cllr Barbara Coan and Deputy Mayor Cllr Neil Forbes.

Once again the two judges had a difficult time deciding on the winner due to the number of fantastic displays Knutsford businesses had created. “It took Cllr Forbes and me a long time to agree on the three winners for this year’s competition. We both created a shortlist of 5 windows to try and help make the decision easier, but they both featured 5 different shops!” said Cllr Barbara Coan.

The winner for this year was Wendy Diddams, whose window featured the entries to their annual Christmas Decorations competition and was praised by the judges for involving the community and featuring their product with the characters in the windows all wearing glasses.

As she was passed the certificate and cup winner Wendy said “I am very surprised and pleased – it’s lovely for us and the children that were involved. I’m thrilled”

Second place went to Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe and the Cha Bar came in a close third. “The effort that our traders go to really helps make Knutsford such a special place at Christmas. It is great to see that yet again they have done our Town proud and creating some fantastic displays” Barbara continued.

The winner of the best Charity Shop category went to the Children’s Adventure Farm Trust shop on Canute Place.

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Flushed with Joy

Knutsford Town Council was flushed with success on Friday 6th when the Deputy Mayor, Cllr Neil Forbes attended the UK Loo of the Year Awards which saw Knutsford’s public toilets achieving Gold.

The Town Council announced the completion of the refurbishment works to the two toilet blocks at King St and Bexton Road in November. The toilets, which transferred to the Town Council in July, have now been completely refurbished by leading UK toilet company DANFO in partnership with the Town Council.

Cllr Forbes said “I’m pleased we have been able to save these facilities from closure for our residents and many visitors at the same time as improving their quality and keeping the overall cost to council tax payers low.”

Now under Town Council control the two blocks benefit from increased opening hours – now 6am to midnight every day. The toilet blocks both comprise of three toilets, unisex accessible, unisex & female and cost 20p to use which offsets the cost of maintenance and refurbishment.

Town Mayor Barbara Coan said “These are the first set of assets to be transferred back to the Town Council under the drive for localism. For the first time in a long time the town council have direct control over the standards and quality of what is provided for Knutsfordians”.

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Toilets Transfer to Town Council

ToiletsThe first asset transfer from Cheshire East to Knutsford Town Council has completed today. The public toilets at Bexton Road and King Street are now owned by the Town Council,and will undergo complete refurbishment by Danfo, the leading public toilet provider in the UK, who will operate the toilets for the Town Council.

The toilets at Bexton Road are the first to undergo renovation, which is set to start today with a completion target of September. Once Bexton Road toilets are operational, the refurbishment at King Street will begin.

The new toilet facilities, which at both sites will include an accessible toilet and baby changing facilities, will cost 20p to use.

Cllr Neil Forbes, lead member for the toilet transfer at Knutsford Town Council said “I’m pleased the town will soon have facilities for our residents and visitors to be proud of.”

The Council hopes that the renovated toilets will end the years of complaints the current toilet facilities receive.

Town Mayor, Cllr Barbara Coan said “These are the first set of assets to be transferred back to the Town Council under the drive for localism. More are to follow e.g. the market. For the first time in a long time the town council will have direct control over the standards and quality of what is provided for Knutsfordians ”

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Civic Awards 2013

Jan McCappin

Jan McCappin

The inaugural Civic Awards ceremony was held in the Cranford Suite of Curzon on Civic Sunday, 30th June. The awards, the brainchild of the Events Committee were presented by the Town Mayor, Cllr Barbara Coan and Phil Orford, CEO of the Forum of Private Business who sponsored the event.

The first Civic Award was made to Jan McCappin, who amazed her nominators with her level of commitment to the groups she is part of, which include Friends of the Moor, The Heritage Centre, Knutsford Conservation + Heritage Group, Town Plan and Promote Knutsford Forum. Her award was made for the dedication to so many community groups.

The second Civic Awards were made to Patricia McAndrew and Louise Reed for their role as volunteer youth group leaders at the Welcome Café. Their nominator emphasised how many hours of their time they give to inspire the young people of Over Ward, and praised them for bringing fresh ideas.

Rowena Acton received the final Civic Award, for her work in Longridge and Shaw Heath. One of her nominators said “Rowena has been doing community work for more years can remember, and is very deserving of recognition for all the years of tireless community work”.

The Community Award went to the Knutsford Lions praising the vast and varied amount of work they carry out across the whole town. One of the nominations received for the Lions commended the ceaseless work they do for the entire community, from Christmas Lunch for those who would be otherwise alone, working alongside the Town Council for the Millennium Bursary and organising the annual Street Fayre.

The final award was the Business Award which was presented to Pulse of Perfumery for the work that Peter Murray does bringing together the business community. The nominations for Pulse of Perfumery praised Peter for being an inspiration to the business community, and the extreme level of enthusiasm in promoting Knutsford.

The awards were sponsored by the Forum of Private Business, and organised by the Town Council.

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Town Council Crest Redrawn

smallLogo_A6In 1955 the Knutsford Urban District Council was awarded Armorial Bearings to mark their Diamond Jubilee. The bearings were transferred to the Town Council in 1974 upon its formation.

Interestingly, there have been a number of different versions of the Town Crest used on Council documents. The most recently used version was only a small file, which limited its use when being printed. The Environment Committee decided to have the Crest redrawn to produce a new image to be used on signage, posters and other Council documents.

The Council is proud to present the new, official version of the Knutsford Town Crest. The new version is directly based on the image provided when the bearings were granted back in 1955, and includes a level of detail which had been lost over the years, such as the garland of May around the neck of the Lion. It was redrawn by Manchester based illustrator, Lyndsey Green.

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Cllr Barbara Coan elected Town Mayor

On Monday May 13th Knutsford Town Council elected a new Town Mayor to serve for the 2013/14 civic year. Cllr Barbara Coan was elected as the 40th Knutsford Town Mayor, along with Cllr Neil Forbes as the new Deputy Mayor.

Following her election, Cllr Coan gave a short speech where she looked forward to the year ahead. “I am very proud of Knutsford, and I will encourage and promote our beautiful town whenever possible. I pledge to you now that during my period as Mayor I will, with your help, rebuild Civic Pride and respect for our town and its Council. I will encourage improved communications, and encourage the town to flourish.”

Cllr Coan continued by introducing the new Civic Awards scheme where individuals, business and community groups will be up for awards in recognition of their contributions to the community of Knutsford.

Speaking of the Town Council, Cllr Coan continued “We are here to listen and represent you. We want to hear your thoughts and views, and to encourage the businesses and community to promote the fact that Knutsford has so much to offer. Together we can improve where we live, work and socialise. Together we can have a town to be proud of.”

Each year the Town Mayor choses local charities to support across their civic year, Cllr Coan chose the Knutsford Lions, who carry out a vast amount of work supporting the community, and helping with Town Events; and Cheshire Search and Rescue, which was formed in 2004 following the disappearance of a teenage girl, and who have recently relocated into the Knutsford Town Centre.

Speaking of being elected Barbara said “I can think of no higher honour than to be elected Mayor of the town I was born in, the town which made me”

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Mayor distributes Charity Funds

The Town Mayor, Cllr Vivien Davies has raised the sum of £3324 during her civic year, which goes directly to the Mayor’s Charities.

This year the Mayor’s Charities were The Royal British Legion, East Cheshire Hospice and Knutsford Royal May Day, each of which received a cheque for £1,108. Cllr Davies presented the first two cheques to the British Legion and East Cheshire Hospice at the Annual Town Meeting on Monday 29th April, whilst presenting the cheque to the Royal May Day Committee on May Day following the crowning of the May Queen.

Speaking following May Day, Cllr Davies said “It was with great pleasure that I was able to present as Mayor three cheques to my charities of choice at the end of my year in office. The Royal British Legion and the East Cheshire Hospice were presented with their cheques on Monday 29th May at the Annual Town Meeting and the Knutsford Royal May at the crowning of the May Queen on a lovely sunny afternoon.”

Vivien held a number of fundraising events throughout her year as Mayor, including a sponsored underwater swim. Her Garden Party, Art Sale and Coffee morning also added to the funds, whilst the highlight of the year was the Annual Mayor’s Ball, which raised just over £1800.

“In the majority of these events my three charities have been involved in helping, for which I thank them with the hope that the money raised will go some way to help these well deserving charities.”

The Mayor’s Charities were also selected to feature in the Waitrose Community Matters scheme, which generated a further £130.

Cllr Davies’ term of office comes to an end on May 13th, when the new Mayor will be elected

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Town Centre Maps Installed

Bill Gore and Cllr Vivien Davies

Bill Gore and Cllr Vivien Davies

Six maps of the Town Centre have now been installed in Knutsford thanks to the partnership working of Knutsford Town Council and the Knutsford Town Plan Implementation Committee.

Located at the Railway Station, Bus Station, Old Town Hall, Tatton St Car Park, King St Car Park and Canute Place the maps feature the locations of Knutsford Restaurants and cafes as well as identifying important buildings such as Heathewaite House and the Heritage Centre. Maps also point out areas such as the Moor and the Heath to visitors, as well as the Knutsford’s car parks, toilets and market.

The Town Plan Implementation Committee pitched the idea of the maps to the Town Council Environment Committee who funded and oversaw the project. “It has been a long journey since Jan Nicholson as Chairman of the Environment Committee provided some finance to get the maps in place over Knutsford. They were up in time for this year’s May Day and prove to be very useful to visitors.” Said Bill Gore, who oversaw the project for the Town Plan Implementation Committee.

The first maps were installed just in time for May Day with the Town Mayor, Cllr Vivien Davies being one of the first to see the finished maps “As Mayor I was pleased to be present at the final unveiling of the first the maps in Canute Place. This has been a project brought to fruition by Mr. Bill Gore of the Town Plan Group and pursued by the Town Council Environment Committee through our Town Centre Manager Adam Keppel-Garner.” Cllr Davies said, “We hope that visitors to the town will find them helpful in finding their way around the town and to areas of particular interest.”

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Jubilee Arch Unveiled

The Unveiling of the Jubilee Arch

The Unveiling of the Jubilee Arch

Knutsford unveiled its lasting tribute to the diamond jubilee of her majesty Queen Elizabeth II on Friday 23rd November with the opening of the Jubilee Arch. The archway was unveiled by the Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire, David Briggs and the ceremony was attended by members of the public and councillors.

Town Mayor Vivien Davies said “it was with great pleasure that we welcomed the Lord Lieutenant to open our Jubilee Arch. We understand that we were one of the few towns to erect a lasting tribute in memory of the Queen’s Jubilee, and are incredibly proud to be doing so.”

The Arch was designed by local artist Christine Wilcox-Baker “I feel very honoured to have been commissioned to create this piece of work for Knutsford, having lived here for several years before moving to Pickmere. The brief was to make the archway celebratory for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, but also relevant to Knutsford.”

Christine carried out some research and chose to feature two horses on the arch – depicting the Queen’s love for horses and referencing to the race course which was historically on the Heath and the horses used in the Royal May Day parade. “Also included are diamonds and bunting, many of which we have seen all around Knutsford this year – six of each can be viewed from either side of the archway, one for each decade. Working with such gifted craftsmen as Dave Broadbent and his team, has been very special as has working with Cllr Jan Nicholson and the Town Council.”

The arch was funded through generous donations from Crown Estates and Manchester Airport Community Trust Fund, and the project was overseen by the Town Council’s Environment Committee. Wendy Sinfield the Community Relations Manager at Manchester Airport said “We hope that the archway to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee will become a landmark for the community of Knutsford and become a legacy in the area for years to come.

Town Mayor, Vivien Davies added “We would like to thank the generous donations from Crown Estates and Manchester Airport who funded the Arch and we were very pleased to have Steve Melligan from Crown Estates who had travelled up from Southampton just to be with us on the day.”

“The Town Council hopes that everyone appreciates the work of everyone involved in the project, and we hope that all will enjoy seeing the Arch as they walk to the Library.”

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Hunt is on for Old Town Guides

Deputy Town Clerk, Adam Keppel-Garner

Deputy Town Clerk, Adam Keppel-Garner

Knutsfordians will be able to see the town’s past delights on the worldwide web after a surprising find at the town council offices.

Adam Keppel-Garner, the town centre manager, found a collection of Knutsford Town Guides, most dating back to the early 1950s, while tidying part of the Toft Road offices.

Adam started by reviewing the most recently-produced guides, which led him to search for the complete set. He found a collection of old Town Guides in the clerk’s office, the earliest of which went back to the early 1920s, but they were not all there. He has now been asked to look at the options for producing an updated version and making the old guides available on the internet.

Adam has found an edition from 1922, but said he wasn’t sure if they were earlier copies.

“Mary Gracie at the Heritage Centre got in touch saying she had the 19th edition which wasn’t in the council offices,” he said. “She also put me through to speak to the heritage centre which had a collection. I went down to the centre and have borrowed the 1929 town guide, the 1930 guide and another guide which isn’t dated and has no cover.

“They also had a copy of the 1912 Knutsford Almanac which is similar to the town guides.” He said he had taken a trip to the library, where he found a copy of the 1926/7 edition, but was hoping to find earlier editions – with a little bit of help from Guardian readers.

If residents have one before 1922 or anything between 1922 and 1926, from 1928 or from between 1930 and 1934 please contact the town council on 01565 653929.

Adam is also looking for editions before 1934 and 1937 and 1938 and 1946, and said he would be scanning the town guides and making them available online soon. You can contact Adam on 01565 653 929 or

Story and Photographs courtesy of he Knutsford Guardian:

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