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.

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”.

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.”

Hosts treated to Peover trip ahead of busy Autumn period

KNUTSFORD Hosts were on the receiving end when they were treated to a private tour of Peover Hall and high tea courtesy of Henry Brooks from the Tatton Estate.

“It’s been an exceptionally busy year so far for the Knutsford Hosts as we’ve volunteered for a huge range of charities and events from RHS Tatton and Knutsford Heritage Open Days to the Lions Street Fair and the Children’s Adventure Farm Trust open day,” said Sarah Flannery, Hosts co-ordinator.

“So we were delighted when Henry, one of our Knutsford Hosts, offered this lovely chance for us to have a social afternoon learning all about the fascinating history of Peover Hall and relaxing over tea and cakes in the sunshine.”

Henry said: “Cheshire is very lucky to have some fantastic volunteer organisations and the Tatton Estate were delighted to be able to support Knutsford Hosts in a small way by giving their volunteers a tour of the Hall and Gardens with refreshments in the Park House Tea Rooms as a thank you to recognise their contribution.”

The Hosts have a busy autumn and winter ahead as they will be volunteering at the Knutsford Beer Festival, the Pumpkin Path, the town’s Christmas weekend and lantern parade.

“We will also be supporting the Lions Christmas collection and the Tatton Yule Yomp and various other local projects,” said Sarah.

For more information about Knutsford Hosts, visit knutsfordhosts.co.uk

BBC DJ gives his support to Knutsford Heritage Open Days

FLYING the flag for Knutsford Heritage Open Days, starting today,Thursday, is BBC Radio 6 Music DJ and Knutsford resident Mark Radcliffe.

Organisers of the four-day town-wide festival which starts today, Thursday, September 8, to Sunday, September 11, the Knutsford Promenades Community organisation, were delighted to be awarded a special flag by national Heritage Open Days organisers.

“We were one of just 14 events out of more than 5,000 sites and events showcasing heritage across England recognised for making a stand out contribution to the Europe and Us theme,” said Sarah Flannery.

Europe & Us is a summer and autumn National Trust programme celebrating and exploring the UK’s European historical, political and cultural links.

“Establishing links with the Danish Consul, a local Danish network, and the Danish school, Solbjergskolen, as well as the support of Rotary International in Knutsford, has added so much 2016 interest to our celebration of the Canute legend dating back to 1016,” said Sarah.

Mark Radcliffe was delighted to be invited to raise the flag on the Moor.

“I love living in Knutsford so much and it’s great to be part of celebrating its heritage,” he said.

“I may only have lived here for three years but I can’t imagine ever calling anywhere else home.”

Canute’s Crossing takes place on Saturday, September 10 from 2pm to 4.30pm when people will pay homage to the legend by crossing the River Lily alongside the Chester Vikings who will be giving Knutsfordians a feel for life as a Viking.

This is just one of the 34 sites and events which make up Knutsford Heritage Open Days’ extensive programme ranging from the special opening of the Royal George Ballroom, immortalised as Elizabeth Gaskell’s Assembly Rooms in her novel ‘Cranford’, to the ‘Value Your Valuables’ take on Heritage Open Days’ ‘Treasure Your Treasures’ theme when auctioneer Adam Partridge hosts his own antiques and curios roadshow at Don Giovanni’s King Street restaurant.

“So many groups including the Gaskell Society, Brook Street Chapel, the Tabley House Collection, numerous individuals and businesses who own some of the town’s most iconic buildings, have come together to make this a true community festival,” said Sarah.

“All the details about the four-day event can be found on our website, here.

“So many things are happening including a chat about Alison Uttley’s children’s books, the secrets of Victorian Beauty, music from 1,000 years ago at St Cross Church, sampling a Taste of Cranford with recipes from Elizabeth Gaskell’s novel – even the chance to dance in the Royal George Ballroom. There’s something for everybody to enjoy celebrating Knutsford’s heritage.”

Volunteers sign up for Knutsford Hosts befriending scheme

VOLUNTEERS are helping to reduce the problem of loneliness experienced by nursing and care home residents.

The first volunteers have enlisted for the Knutsford Hosts-inspired senior citizens’ befriending scheme.

In March the Knutsford Hosts launched a visiting scheme to help address the issue of loneliness for residents of Sharston House nursing home and Sunrise of Mobberley care home.

“The idea was simple,” said Sarah Flannery, chairman of Knutsford Hosts.

“We wanted to create a pool of volunteers so that both homes receive visitors every week.

Hosts mark second birthday helping Knutsford groups

THE Knutsford Hosts, the town-wide volunteer group which acts as ambassadors to promote the town and provides support for Knutsford’s events, organisations and charities, celebrated its second birthday at the April Makers Market.

Thanks to a contribution from Equilibrium Asset Management, visitors enjoyed a piece of birthday cake whilst finding out more about the Hosts and their plans for the next 12 months.

“It was fantastic to be able to celebrate our second birthday at the Makers Market,” said Sarah Flannery, who set up the Knutsford Hosts.

“It is so good of the Makers Market team to provide community stalls and, thanks to a generous donation from Equilibrium Asset Management, we had lots of birthday cake to offer visitors to our stall.

“The atmosphere was brilliant and the street was packed, so we had a marvellous day. We were overwhelmed by people expressing an interest in becoming Hosts and supporting the work we do.

“And people from out of town said they wished that they had a similar scheme where they lived!

Colin Lawson, managing partner of Equilibrium Asset Management, said: “We have always believed strongly in supporting the communities we work in, so we are delighted to be able to support the fantastic work that the Knutsford Hosts do in the local community.

“As part of our 21st anniversary plans we are embarking on a ’21 days of giving’ campaign – which has a goal to raise £21,000 for charities chosen by our staff and clients. It is great to be able to support the Knutsford Hosts with their own celebrations to mark their second birthday and we look forward to working with them on future projects that they undertake in the area.”

For more information about the Knutsford Hosts visit knutsfordhosts.co.