Knutsford packed with ghouls for popular Pumpkin Path

Knutsford packed with ghouls for popular Pumpkin Path

TOWN centre shops have been thanked for supporting a spectacularly spooky Pumpkin Path trail.

The town centre was packed with spooks and spectres for the popular trail on Wednesday evening, which ran between 4pm and 7pm and was organised by Knutsford Town Council.

The event saw youngsters and their parents scour shops and restaurants to find 11 carved pumpkins spelling out ‘Pumpkin Path’ before submitting their entries to the Heritage Centre’s spooky post box.

A huge variety of retailers decorated their windows, including Pizza Express, Oxfam, Town and Country, Lockton’s, The OId Sessions House and Zo and Co, and people could vote for their favourite.

Sandra Curties, town centre manager, said: “We hope everyone had a lovely time – the weather was really kind, it was really busy and we had good fun.

“We would like to thank the volunteers from Knutsford and District Lions and Knutsford Hosts – we had a couple of students from Knutsford Multi-Academy Trust helping out, which was really nice -and our town councillors.

“Thanks to all the retailers – they were so many that really pushed the boat out and did loads of lovely window displays.

“We would like to thank you all for staying open in Princess Street, the market hall, Minshull Street and King Street – it was great.

Sandra also thanked Event Buddha for organising the traffic management, Greg, Lyn and Craig for the spooky Wallwood characters, local choir Knutsford Beats for entertaining the crowds and Fuchsia School of Dancing.

Pictures by WA16PR

Knutsford Pumpkin Path is on October 31

Knutsford’s Pumpkin Path is on October 31

Knutsford shops join in Pumpkin Path fun

Children take part in Pumpkin Path

TOWN centre shops are joining in the spooky fun as Knutsford looks to welcome residents and visitors to its annual Pumpkin Path trail.

The event takes place on October 31 from 4pm to 7pm, and like last year Knutsford Town Council is organising the trail with many of the town’s retailers and businesses.

The event will see youngsters and their parents scouring King Street’s shops and restaurants to find 11 carved pumpkins which spell out ‘Pumpkin Path’ before submitting their entries to the Heritage Centre’s spooky postbox.

Sandra Curties, town centre manager, said: “This year is a true community-led event, with dancing provided by Fuchsia School of Dancing, singing from local choir Knutsford Beats, and Tesla will also be making an appearance.

“It’s so lovely to see so many shops stay open late and join in, not just the Pumpkin Hosts, and see local – and not so local – families having fun.

“There will be a few spooky characters along the path, and Wallwood will be decorated in true Halloween style.”

As well as the shops hosting pumpkins, donated by Jonty’s Fruit & Veg of Knutsford Market Hall, the whole of the community has got involved.

A huge variety of retailers will be decorating their windows, including Pizza Express, Oxfam, Town and Country, Lockton’s, The OId Sessions House and Zo and Co.

People can vote for their favourite by completing the entry form on the night, and the top three will be announced by the Mayor the following day.

One of the original Pumpkin Path organisers and sponsors, Julia Chard of Mr Simms said: “We are delighted to be sponsoring our sixth Pumpkin Path and supporting businesses with sweet donations to help them with the event.

“Pumpkin Path has grown to become one of the highlights of Knutsford’s events calendar, and with the feedback we are getting from our customers I think this will be the biggest night yet.”

Knutsford Market Hall will stay open on the night hosting traditional Halloween games, mulled wine from Morgan Edwards, face painting by Sylvia from Serendipity and Halloween food from The Market Café.

Event Buddha is providing traffic management services, and volunteer groups Knutsford Lions and Knutsford Hosts, plus students from Knutsford Multi Academy Trust, are helping with marshalling, and Tatton Perk will provide hot drinks for volunteers.

To enable the Pumpkin Path to take place safely road closures will be in place on King Street at the junction with Church Walk to the junction with Drury Lane, and Minshull Street.

There will be parking pay suspension from midnight on Tuesday, October 30 from the King Street junction with Tatton Street to the junction with Drury Lane to enable two-way traffic to enable residents’ access to be maintained.

Knutsford May Queen among guests at Mad Hatter’s Tea Party

Knutsford May Queen among guests at Mad Hatter’s Tea Party

MEMBERS of Knutsford Hosts celebrated their connection with Sharston House by supporting a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party at the nursing home.

Hosts organiser Sarah Flannery dressed as Alice for the event, while staff, residents and visitors also donned fancy dress and an array of hats.

Among the visitors were PCSO Courtney Nancollas, Knutsford May Queen Sophie Howarth, Knutsford Lions, Knutsford Guides and friends from St Cross Church.

The event raised nearly £200 for the residents’ funds to pay for future outings, including one to the Christmas Tree Festival at St Cross Church.

Stacey Hinton, activities co-ordinator at the home in Manor Park South, Knutsford, said: “I’d like to thank the hosts, many of whom came along to help out and have a look around our home.

“They have become great friends and supporters of Sharston House and have helped set up a befriending scheme with volunteers regularly visiting residents.

“The scheme has worked very well and residents look forward to their visits.

“It was wonderful to welcome so many visitors for our tea party and I hope everyone enjoyed the lovely cakes.”

She said they planned to take as many residents as possible to the Christmas Tree Festival.

“We will get to see our own Sharston Tree for which residents will be making decorations,” she said.

Knutsford Music Festival hailed a huge success

MONTHS of preparation, glorious sunshine and the support of a BBC broadcaster helped make Knutsford Music Festival a major success at the weekend.

Knutsford Town Council hosted the event for the second year with more than 40 events in 18 venues.

Headliner Miles Hunt performed at The Courthouse on Saturday, which had people off their seats and dancing before the end of the show.

The 200-year-old former crown court was a new venue for the festival, having recently been transformed into a restaurant, hotel and community function space.

Meanwhile, Mark Radcliffe hosted three folk nights and performed himself at Knutsford’s Little Theatre to packed crowds.

The Radio 2 and 6 Music DJ usually presents the BBC’s Glastonbury coverage during the festival, but was able to lend his support due to Glastonbury’s ‘fallow year’.

He brought a number of BBC Folk Award winners and nominees to the town including Mike McGoldrick, Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar and Pilgrims’ Way.

Mark said: “We had three nights of amazing music and copious imbibing of session ale at the Little Theatre and I feel proud of what we achieved.

“I want to thank everyone at the theatre, all the council staff and volunteers who helped so much, all the artists who appeared for reduced fees.

“But mostly to the people of Knutsford who came out and supported us as we try to build live music as part of what the town has to offer.”

Also new for 2018 was family-friendly music activities on The Moor, including an eclectic range of acoustic performances, drumming workshops and a singalong with Elsa from Disney’s Frozen, which was well attended in the sunshine.

On top of that there was a blues night with the acclaimed duo Mat Walklate and Tom Attah and classical and choral performances including an evening with Halle Brass as part of Knutsford Music Festival’s emphasis on providing something for everybody.

Sarah Morgan, Deputy Town Clerk for Knutsford Town Council, led the event’s organisation.

She said: “Knutsford Music Festival exceeded our expectations and showed what can be achieved when a community pulls together.

“We’re a small team and the event is only possible thanks to the hard work and enthusiasm of everyone involved.

“Mark Radcliffe’s support and celebrity kudos was hugely appreciated and the folk nights were a huge highlight. The standard of the musicianship was incredible.

“But I also can’t thank the town council team and councillors involved, performers, Knutsford Hosts, venue staff and volunteers enough.

“As a mum, I thought the music on The Moor was a great addition and focal point for families too.

“And the wider community took the event to heart with a number of ‘fringe’ events.

“We’re already thinking about and looking forward to the 2019 festival.”

Cllr James Power, a member of the music festival working group, played a jam session in Dexter and Jones.

He said: “There was something for everyone – from drumming workshops to blues, folk and classical sounds.

“Knutsford showed its charm and its easy-going welcome to everyone.

“You could hear incredible music on every street, and the event on the Moor really did opened things up to younger audiences and families. A heartfelt thank you must go to everyone involved.”

Photographs by WA16PR.

1,600 pints drunk at Knutsford Beer Festival

KNUTSFORD Beer festival organisers are raising their glasses to the ‘astounding’ success of this year’s event.

More than 1,600 pints were drunk by the 600 beer enthusiasts who attended the three sessions at Egerton Youth Club, raising money for charity in the process.

“The festival proved to be an astounding success with more visitors, more beer sold and more money raised,” said festival organiser Andrew Malloy.

“The event generated funds for the two main charities – Egerton Youth Club, and Knutsford District Scouts, with a further donation to be made to Knutsford and District Royal British Legion.

“The 2018 Beer Festival opened with a VIP event on April 19 as a way to thank our sponsors, as the event could have not taken place without the generous support of our sponsors, Bella Marketing, APC, Tatton Brewery, Event Buddha and 48 local business cask sponsors.

“The beer enthusiasts consumed a fantastic array of real ales from across the north west and beyond, with the winning beer being Titanic’s Plum Porter.

“Dexter and Jones provided artisan gins and Rebecca and Vanessa from The Box prosecco, wine and an authentic Mystique rum punch to add a touch of glamour.

“There was also great food from Spicy Jacks, the Curry Den and Knutsford-based The Market Café.

“Knutsford’s Fines Lines entertained the sponsors on Thursday evening, and Bad Dukes and Beggars’ ska-based covers got the party started on Friday evening.

“The event culminated in a foot-tapping show from the award- winning Merry Hell.

“We are delighted to announce that donations will be made to each of our nominated charities, with Egerton youth Club and Knutsford District Scouts each receiving cheques for £1,500, and a donation of £500 will be made to Knutsford and District Royal British Legion, as special recognition of the sacrifice made by many Knutsford residents 100 years ago this year.

“The Committee would also like to thank Knutsford Hosts, Knutsford Lions, the Knutsford and District Scouts, Knutsford Bake Club, which was raising money for prostate cancer research, and all the other volunteers who made this year’s event such a resounding success.”

The Alchemist backs Knutsford Hosts with Currency of Kindness

Staff at The Alchemist will be on hand to support the town’s popular Pumpkin Path event as part of the Knutsford Hosts – a scheme which sees residents volunteer their time to ensure events run smoothly.

With individual Hosts including former Tatton MP George Osborne, The Alchemist in King Street has signed up as a business to help out.

The Pumpkin Path has quickly become one of the town’s favourite seasonal events, with businesses welcoming children to complete a Halloween-themed challenge.

“Joining the Knutsford Hosts is a win-win for both organisations. Through the Hosts, The Alchemist will be able to help promote the whole town and its many events and organisations.

“At the same time, we get more volunteers – we’re absolutely thrilled! It’s a very progressive move on their part and we’re hoping that more will take their lead.”

The Hosts scheme has proved popular, with almost 100 members in the Knutsford group.

Knutsford gets set for popular Pumpkin Path festivities

Knutsford will be ready to welcome residents and visitors alike to its annual Pumpkin Path trail on 31st October from 4pm to 8pm.

This year sees Knutsford Town Council organising the event with sponsorship kindly provided by Mr Simms.

As per previous years the event will see youngsters and their parents scouring King Street’s shops and restaurants to find the eleven carved pumpkins which spell out “PUMPKIN PATH” before submitting their entries to the Heritage Centre’s spooky post box.

A huge number of local traders will join in the fun to make Knutsford a truly special and spooky place to visit.

The trail will finish at Wallwood at the Tatton Street end of King Street.  Wallwood will be decorated by Events2Scare in true Halloween style involving witches and wizards, lighting and music.

In addition, Booths supermarket’s Knutsford branch will be kindly donating their extra-large pumpkin.

Visiting spooks can have their photo taken alongside it and send to Twitter with the #PumpkinPath.

Store manager Ruth Wigglesworth said: “We are delighted to donate our pumpkin to add some extra fun to this well-established community event.  We hope all the little visitors enjoy this Halloween festival!”

As well as the shops kindly hosting pumpkins (donated by Knutsford’s Little Waitrose) the whole of the community has got involved.

A huge variety of retailers will be decorating their windows, Pizza Express, Oxfam, Fine & Country, Boots, Zo & Co to name but a few.

The window competition entries will be posted on Facebook and Twitter for the public to vote for their favourites and the winner will be announced the following week by the Mayor.

Local company Event Buddha are providing traffic management services and volunteer groups Knutsford and Districts Lions and Knutsford Hosts are assisting with marshalling duties.

Gusto will be kindly providing hot drinks for all volunteers on the night.

Sandra Curties, town centre manager, said: “We have been overwhelmed with the support from local organisations and retailers.

Both large and the smaller retailers are supporting this event.

It seems the whole community is coming together to ensure Knutsford’s Pumpkin Path becomes the go-to Halloween event in Cheshire”.

‘Unsung stories’ of Turing and more come to life as Knutsford celebrates Heritage Open Days

A FOUR-DAY celebration of Alan Turing’s legacy held in Knutsford has been W hailed a resounding success by organisers at Knutsford Promenades.

With more than 50 events taking place across town as part of Heritage Open Days – a nationwide celebration of history and culture – Knutsford took centre stage by hosting one of four commissioned projects.

In line with HODs’ LGBT theme of ‘Unsung Stories’, the infamous Regina v Turing and Murray trial at Knutsford’s crown court was brought to life as a performance orchestrated by RE-DOCK.

Visitors in their hundreds took the chance to watch three live productions of the trial in the very building it took place 65 years ago, while more took advantage of a virtual reality experience of the court proceedings.

Turing-themed events took up almost half of the Promenades’ programme, with highlights including Sir Dermot Turing and Rob ‘Judge’ Rinder speaking as part of a ‘Salon’ event at The Courthouse.

Feedback from the TV judge said: “Knutsford Heritage Open Days gave Alan Turing back to us all.”

Celebrating the renowned codebreaker’s legacy, other events included Turing’s Mechanical Calculator at Tabley House, cocktail ‘mixology’ at The Lost and Found, artificial intelligence golf and Run Knutsford’s ‘Turing 2:46’ event in honour of his best marathon time.

The Grade I-listed Brook Street Chapel – home to the grave of Elizabeth Gaskell – displayed the Quarter Sessions records.

Sarah Flannery, founder of Knutsford Promenades, said: “I am happy beyond words to see such a huge undertaking succeed. From the simple idea of exhibiting the Quarter Sessions records of Regina v Turing and Murray in the very court room of the trial, the potential to tell the full story of an extraordinary man and his legacy, and the impact of an event that took place here in Knutsford, unfolded into a town-wide celebration curated into a 54-event festival that revealed fresh insights into Turing, Murray, and other aspects of our heritage and culture.

“Its success is thanks to the generosity of Cheshire East Council and our sponsors, the support and participation of local venues, organisations and individuals who opened sites and put on events and displays, the guest speakers for the ‘Salon’, the cast and creative team of Regina v Turing and Murray, national HODs, The Courthouse, Cheshire Archives and Local Studies, volunteers who helped with social media and the website, the Knutsford Hosts and Lions, town council officers and of course the visitors from Knutsford, Cheshire and beyond who turned up in their thousands.

“I do feel that this is the story I wanted to tell. Thank you, everyone, for giving us a festival to remember.”

A number of Knutsford’s famous historical buildings were also open to the public as part of the Promenades’ programme.

Umbrella volunteer scheme Knutsford Hosts continues growth with Altrincham expansion

KNUTSFORD Hosts, the community volunteer initiative, has caught the eye of a neighbouring town with Altrincham kick-starting a similar scheme.

The Knutsford group, which celebrated its third anniversary and signed its 85th member in March, helps and supports charities and organisations across town.

As well as working with organisations within the town, the founders of the Knutsford group are now helping Altrincham Unlimited – the town’s business improvement district – launch its own programme.

Knutsford Host founder Sarah Flannery said: “It’s so exciting to see that Altrincham Unlimited is launching Altrincham Hosts.

“Since we launched with the simple but unique idea of having a town-wide resource of community volunteers to promote the town and support our many events, local organisations and charities, we’ve made a huge contribution to our town.

“It’s a testament to the incredible efforts of our 85-strong team that Altrincham has seen the value of adopting a similar scheme to support their vision of greater community engagement and a reinvigorated local economy.

“We’re really looking forward to helping them launch Altrincham Hosts.”

Katie Bland, BID Manager for Altrincham Unlimited, said: “The BID here in Altrincham is committed to supporting positive community engagement, a united spirit and pride in Altrincham.

“We have seen how the Knutsford Hosts scheme is such an inclusive and friendly volunteering group that supports a number of excellent events, organisations and causes that bolster the local Knutsford economy but that also embraces a diverse group of people.

“This is why we’re spearheading the launch of Altrincham Hosts, with the support and guidance of our friends in nearby Knutsford.”

Welcoming the expansion of the scheme, David Briggs, Lord- ieutenant of Cheshire, said: “Knutsford Hosts is an outstanding initiative which links people who care about helping their local community with worthwhile projects and good causes.

“The result is a win for both the Hosts and the community.”

Middlewich Town Council is also in early discussions to launch a Middlewich Hosts initiative.

Hosts mark three years of helping town’s groups with ‘birthday’ celebrations

Hosts mark three years of helping town’s groups with ‘birthday’ celebrations

KNUTFORD’S town-wide volunteering scheme celebrated its third birthday in style last week, with an event at Cottons Hotel and Spa.

Knutsford Hosts, which helps and supports charities and organisations across town, welcomed a range of special guests, including representatives from Middlewich and Altrincham, and Tatton MP George Osborne.

The event on March 24 saw the Hosts thanked by representatives of the Children’s Adventure Farm Trust, Royal May Day, Knutsford Lions, and also by Knutsford Rotary for their support with the Knutsford Jog.

Hosts co-ordinator Sarah Flannery said it was wonderful to see almost 50 hosts enjoying the quarterly get-together and hear from some of the organisations they are helping this year.

She said: “The Hosts continue to go from strength to strength and we welcomed eight new Hosts, including the 85th to sign up, Daren Andrews.

“We were delighted that George Osborne MP, who has been an honorary Knutsford Host since we started the scheme, was able to attend and present the badges.

“As our numbers grow, so too does the number of community organisations and events that we’re asked to help.

“As a community volunteering resource for the whole town, we’re looking forward to supporting Royal May Day, the Lions Centenary Fair, the Tabley House collection, RHS Tatton, CAFT’s Open Day and a whole host of other activities in the forthcoming months.”

The scheme also welcomed its 85th host, Daren Andrews, along with Kathy Urwin, Julie Crawford, Nicola Roberts, Valerie Kilby, Miriam Sala, Joanna Wallens and John Smethurst.

George Osborne said: “The Knutsford Hosts do a fantastic job of promoting our town and ensuring visitors and residents alike receive a warm welcome. I am honoured to be a member and will continue to work closely with them to fly the flag for Knutsford.”