Double Celebrations in Whaley Bridge


Carnival15-112Carnival Saturday in Whaley Bridge is always a hard act to follow, but this year’s Well Dressing ceremony on the Sunday was indeed worthy encore.  In celebration of 150 years of making music in Whaley Bridge, the Well Dressing features the Brass Band in a glorious tribute of gold, silver and blue.


Designed by local artist Rosemary Wignall, the 2015 Whaley Bridge Well Dressing showcases brass and percussion instruments framing the Band’s famous “Bridge” logo.  Chair of Whaley Bridge Well Dressers, Carol James, said “We are delighted  to join Whaley Bridge Band in celebrating their landmark 150 years.  The small but dedicated team of “dressers” have given their all over the last week to produce this magnificent display, and I would like to convey sincere thanks to everyone involved.”

WellDressConcert15-005ipWell Dressing TeamWellDress15-011

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The day Princess Diana crowned us Whaley Bridge royalty

Old friends Pamela Cass and Victoria Plant went to enjoy the Whaley Bridge Rose Queen Festival last weekend, and ended up sharing jokes and a drink, as they recalled the day they were crowned by Princess Diana as Rose Queen and Rose Princess.

That was 25 years ago in 1990, when Diana visited the High Peak. Two weeks ahead of the festival, while Diana had stopped at the canal basin for a breather, she met Pamela and Victoria and performed the mini coronation..

pam & 2015 royals

Spanning the years: Pamela with 2015 royalty, Katie Fairs, left, and Seren Adlington

Pam, then 16, was working at Swizzels in New Mills. She remembers her sunflower yellow, full length dress, which mum had spotted in a charity shop. “Diana asked me what the carnival was about, and I said it raised money for youth charities. She then placed the crown on me and said she was not used to putting a crown on a girl’s head.”

Victoria, 13 at the time, and part of Pam’s entourage, also received a crown. She recalls: “Diana said to me, Welcome to being a princess!”


Crowned heads of Whaley: Pamela, left, with Victoria

Pamela and Victoria were part of one of the biggest crowds in recent years, who enjoyed the 40th annual event in warm sunshine. Pirates were much in evidence, filiing the float of 1st Taxal Scouts in the parade. Brothers of carnival royalty enjoyed brandishing their toy swords at the High Peak mayor and Whaley Bridge’s council chairman.

Elsewhere in the parade, Buxton’s Billerettes also celebrated their 40th anniversary, long established as favourite entertainers in Whaley Bridge. There was a brief interlude when a World War II Hurricane fighter flew over the site, before moving on to a series of other flypasts. The biggest anniversary – 150 years – also made the most noise. Whaley Bridge Band was in top form as they led the parade round the town.

Tim Mourne, chairman of the organisers, said: “Thanks to all who took part in the parade and made it a joyful summer day. And thanks to the generosity of public giving to the collection, which will help young people in our community.”

Family Park Fun Run -Sat 4th July


Local accountant tells BBC TV of daughter’s escape from beach gunmen in Tunisian massacre

Whaley Bridge accountant Glenn Leathley told BBC News of the dramatic escape his daughter Olivia and her boyfriend Mike had after fleeing the bullets in the Tunisian beach massacre.

Glenn received three dramatic phone calls from Olivia, on holiday in Sousse, Tunisia. In the first call, at about 12 noon on Friday (26 June) she was crying as she told of the gunfire on the beach. Glenn told her she must find somewhere safe.

Five minutes later, there was another phone call from Olivia. She said gunmen were in the hotel lobby. She and her boyfriend began running to find a hiding place. The final call, some time later, said they were safe.

Glenn’s firm, Chronicle Accountants, has been based in Market Street, Whaley Bridge for a number of years.

Glenn is a familiar face in Whaley Bridge. Over the years he has been a supporter of local events and organisations, including the Water Weekend. He is a former director of the Whaley Bridge based voluntary service, High Peak CVS.


Glenn Leathley


On his LinkedIn page, Glenn writes: “I have eight children and one lovely and quite amazing wife, Cathy. This takes up quite a lot of my time!

“I enjoy my work very much, especially meeting the clients and seeing my staff grow in their capabilities. We have a happy family firm here in Whaley Bridge and I love being in the heart of the village.”

‘Royal’ arrival by canal boat heralds 40th anniversary of Rose Queen Festival

Whaley Bridge’s Rose Queen Festival celebrates its 40th anniversary on Saturday 27 June, starting with a right royal arrival by canal boat for the start of the Parade and celebrations. In pride of place on the Judith Mary will be two little girls from the Rose Queen Royalty, Seren Adlington. eight, and Katie Fairs, six (see pictures below.)

They also have a special place in the procession, starting at 1pm from Canal Street and finishing at the Bowling Club about an hour later for an afternoon of fun. Seren and Katie are looking forward to waving to the crowds from their colourful float.

It’s anniversary time, too, for Whaley Bridge Band – an amazing 150 years – who will play the procession through the town, and the Billerettes, a Rose Queen favourite, also 40 years old.

Yet another anniversary will be noted – 75 years since the Battle of Britain – when a Supermarine Spitfire from the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight will roar over Whaley Bridge at about 3pm. The pilot, Wing Commander Justin Helliwell, will be on a familiar flightpath – last year he piloted the Hurricane flying over the Rose Queen celebrations.

Throughout the afternoon at the Bowling Club there will be lots going on: a display by the Billerettes, a parade of queens, a display by Bushi Kempo Ju Jitsu, stalls, refreshments and a funfair.

Events linked to the Rose Queen Festival include:

Sunday 28 June, Whaley Bridge Band perform near the Welldressing site at Tom Brad’s Croft from 2pm, before the Blessing at 2.30pm.

Wednesday 1 July, annual pet show at the Bowling Club. Booking in from 6pm, judging starts at 6.30pm.

pet 1

The Rose Queen Festival raises money for local youth groups and other organisations. Requests for donations should be sent to Mrs J Aizlewood, 6 Meadow Close, Whaley Bridge SK23 7BD.

Young ‘royals’ to head Rose Queen parade

Two little girls from Whaley Bridge will learn what it’s like to be a royal when they head the town’s Rose Queen Festival parade on Saturday 27 June.

Seren Adlington

Seren Adlington

Seren Adlington, eight, and Katie Fairs, six – both pupils at Whaley Bridge primary school – will represent the festival’s ‘royal family’ for the event’s 40th anniversary.

Katie Fairs

Katie Fairs

Seren said:  “My hobbies are kickboxing, climbing, drama and singing.

“I enjoy spending time with my family, friends, our budgies and dogs.

“I am looking forward to representing Whaley Bridge  and waving to everyone from the float.”

Katie said: “I enjoy ballet and tap dancing and I am also in the Rainbows at Whaley Bridge and performing in the New Mills musical ‘Honk’. I look forward to seeing you on Carnival day.”

Whaley Water Weekend 12th – 14th June 2015

ORGANISERS OF THE WHALEY WATER WEEKEND (W3) are looking forward to a vintage year of family fun and entertainment. W3 take places on the weekend of the 12th June and runs right through from the Friday night to the Sunday. Visitors can expect all the usual ingredients that make the event one of the “best family festivals around”. This year includes free boat trips, fantastic live music, local arts and crafts, delicious food, fairground rides, traditional Punch and Judy, and many other activities for children and families of all ages.

Pink Floyd

Returning to the main stage on Saturday evening will be Merseyside rockers Roger’s Floyd, who provided one of the highlights of 2014, when hundreds of people flocked to the canal basin to witness their electrifying renditions of Pink Floyd classics like Comfortably Numb, Another Brick in The Wall and In The Flesh. W3 regulars will expect giant inflatable pigs and dive-bombers swooping in during their performance!  Other acts performing at W3 include Mancunian folk rock legend Tony Auton, local favourites Turtle Zed and the Chinese Marbles.


“Quality” is the aim for 2015 as W3 leader Barry Rudd explains, “This will be my fifth Whaley Water Weekend and each year we’ve tried hard to make it bigger so we’ve increased the live music, extended into 3 days, chased record visitor numbers, started our own catering arm – you name it we’ve done it! There comes a point where you realise that the event is about as big as its going to get and this happened to me at around midday on the Saturday afternoon last year when W3 was mentioned live on BBC Radio 2! Our focus for 2015 is quality! We want W3 to be remembered by every single person that comes along as a brilliant day out. That’s our mission and that’s why the W3 volunteers, work so hard to make this event so special”.

Friday Night

Friday night at the Canal Basin features an evening of live entertainment created by young people for young people. Starting at 8pm, the famous Whaley Water Weekend stage will host solo performances and a live band from Chapel High School. Whaley burgers will also be on sale.


W3’s volunteers are working hard to improve the historic canal basin that W3 calls “home”. Trees have been planted, paths have been improved and benches have been installed. Barry explains, “It’s something we’re proud of. We want W3 to make a real difference and we think this means offering more than a festival on one weekend each year. Our efforts to create a better environment in the canal basin are paying off – it gives us a thrill to see families enjoying the picnic benches in the sunshine – if Manchester can leverage regeneration on the back of sport then we can do it in Whaley on the back of our waterways!”

Check the website for full details:

Homes campaign accuses HPBC: ‘Mockery of democracy’

Campaigners against a controversial housing estate on a greenfield site in Whaley Bridge have expressed dismay that High Peak Borough Council chose to announce approval of the plan on its website on 7 May, Election Day.

The battle against the estate; on idyllic fields leading into the Goyt Valley has been raging for nearly 18 months. Whaley Bridge Matters, a group that has been fighting the plan for up to 107 houses on the site between Linglongs Road and Macclesfield Road, representing hundreds of concerned residents and objectors, has called the council’s decision ‘a mockery of democracy’.

Jean Dusgate, speaking on behalf of the group’s Executive, added: “We have been disgusted at the way the council has dealt with this application from the outset. Its latest action in forcing the approval through to a deadline agreed with the developer smacks of a whitewash.

“We still believe that many aspects of our objections have not been fully or properly considered, and that the council ignored its own resolution to bring our latest concerns before the planning committee in public.

“For the council’s decision to be made by outgoing councillors behind closed doors, and announced on Election Day, makes a mockery of democracy. Our seriously-considered objections have been simply brushed aside. We are now seeking legal advice.”

Details of planning application number HPK/2014/0119 made by Gladman Developments of Congleton, together with the council planners’ reasons for their decision, can be found HERE on the council website.

Meeting of Derbyshire CC Area Committee


Memorial Park Opening Celebration Event 4th July 1pm – 5pm