Beryl wins Whaley Bridge community award

Beryl Axcell, known to hundreds of primary school pupils as an active member of the Church,  has won the Community Award, presented annually  by Whaley Bridge Town Council.

Beryl Axcell: 'candle snuffer' is part of her job in the Church

Beryl, a mother of four and grandmother of five, including twins,  has lived in Whaley Bridge since 1975,  when husband Tony’s job with ICI brought him from the North East.  They had met at Durham University, Baryl on  teacher training course and Tony studying maths.  Beryl was part of an all-women rowing team , described as ‘the likeliest crew on the river’.

Beryl went  to church (Anglican) on the first Sunday they were in Whaley Bridge. She asked how she could help.  Someone said: Sunday School! – and she has never stopped helping, in all sorts of ways, since.

She was a founder member of the Volunteer Centre in Whaley Bridge.  She has been a Reader for the Parish of Whaley Bridge since 1995 – that means she is licensed to preach and to conduct services, including funerals.   During one year when there was a vacancy for the priest in charge,   Beryl conducted 34 funerals.

She has also been a part-time RE teacher at Chapel High School and about 20 years ago established Good News Family Care, with Mary Washbrook and Hazel Guest. She conducts many school assemblies at Whaley Bridge, Taxal and Fernilee,  and Kettleshulme primary schools.

David Lomax is new mayor as Jon chairs WBTC

David Lomax is new Mayor as Jon chairs WBTC

Whaley Bridge councillor David Lomax has been elected Mayor of High Peak for the coming year.  His colleague on Whaley Bridge Town Council,  Jon Goldfinch, has been elected as new chairman of the local council, with Anne Winter as vice-chair..

David Lomax, leader of the Lib Dem group on High Peak Borough Council, was re-elected in the borough elections in May.  This is his second time as chief citizen of High Peak.  His wife Hilary becomes the mayoress.  One of his first duties as mayor will be a ‘home match’ – visiting Whaley Water Weekend on Saturday 11 June.

David was leader of the borough council from 2003-2007, when the Lib Dem group was in coalition with Conservatives and Independents.  It gave him a unique insight into managing massive budgets.   He has been a borough councillor for 20 years, and a member of the town council for a couple of years longer.

The last time David was mayor, 15 years ago, he attended 300 events in the year.  During the coming year, he is looking forward to seeing the many groups and individuals helping the High Peak. “So much goes on here”, he says.

He looks forward to promoting the High Peak as a visitor area. David and Hilary are part of the tourist industry, running a B & B in the unique setting of a converted church.   David helps sometimes to prepare the ‘full English’ breakfast that gives a heart start to guests’ day.

David and Hilary have been married for 24 years.  On Valentine’s Day, 14 February 2012, they celebrate their silver wedding.  Hilary has two sons from a previous marriage.  There are three grandchildren.

David Lomax, the new Mayor, and his wife Hilary, the new Mayoress.

David has been a teacher at New Mills School for 26 years, specialising in maths, geography and computers.  He is chair of one of Whaley Bridge’s most interesting organisations, the Tymbark (Poland) Twinning Association.

Jon Goldfinch, an independent member of the town council, was returned earlier in May.  There were no contests for the local council; in fact there are two vacancies, for which the town clerk has invited nominations. 

Jon, 48,  has won plaudits from users of the Whaley Bridge website ( ), where he is  known as JonG. Last autumn he led celebrations with fellow members of  the Friends of Memorial Park when the Heritage Lottery Fund awarded £478,000 to the borough council for improvements to the park.

Jon Goldfinch, with other members of the Friends Of The Park group, celebrate the successful £478,000 Heritage Lottery Fund bid.

Jon, born near Belper in Derbyshire, spent childhood years in Kenya, where his parents went out to teach as part of the 1960’s overseas teaching program.  Returning by sea from Mombasa in the early 70’s, a huge wave ‘flattened’ the family’s VW camper van, which was stored on the open deck at the front of the ship. That ended the family’s plans of a slow gentle European touring holiday back to England! Jon came to Whaley Bridge 22 years ago.  As a research assistant at UMIST in Manchester, he and his wife Denise fell in love with the view approaching Whaley from the Disley road, and on seeing the the numerous pubs which signalled an active social life in the heart of the village, decided that Whaley was the place to be.

Jon has been a councillor for over three years.  He was an earlier activist on ‘green’ issues, helping to get local rivers cleared of industrial pollution. His objectives during his year of office include progress in the battle for a second bridge into the industrial estate, through a new separate pressure group, resurfacing of the MUGA games area with an artificial grass ‘3G’ surface;  visible successes with the new Whaley4Wards local project group,  progress with allotments and the proposed Shallcross Incline Greenway, and a solution to the Bridge 42 controversy, where locals are campaigning against plans to replace the old cast iron railway bridge to allow more freight traffic, day and night. He says “The next year will see a number of substantial projects completing or taking shape in Whaley Bridge, including the start of work to revitalise the Memorial Park following the successful £478,000 Heritage Lottery Fund bid , completion of the renovation of Whaley Bridge Railway Station – along with a long awaited raised platform to aid access, and the instigation of projects funded by the recent  £115,000 S106 agreement secured by  WBTC and HPBC to mitigate the retail impact effect of Tescos expanded store. It is a very exciting year ahead for Whaley and I am extremely honoured to have been elected Chair. I will continue as I have done since I became a councillor, to fight always to secure the best for Whaley Bridge and for the 4 Wards of Whaley Bridge.”

Jon is a co-founder of a business designing the silicon chips used in electronic equipment.

bank account scam update

With reference to my recent message concerning a male using a mobile phone to contact residents stating he was from the bank, this male attempted to use stolen bank card details fraudulently to purchase a horse trailer over the phone. Fortunately, the card owner made the bank aware of his phone call and the bank were aware of the attempt transaction and cancelled the card. Police enquiries continue.

Please be aware that this man may try to do this again as his recent attempt failed. He could try this anywhere in the country to
obtain similar types of property fraudulently.

Bank officials already have your bank details on their records.

Please be vigilant.

Bank Account Scam

Several residents living in the High Peak & Derbyshire Dales area have received phone calls from a man purporting to be from the bank, stating that there was a problem with their accounts and he would need to cancel their bank cards. He asked for their bank card numbers. An attempt was made take money from an account but the other residents declined and contacted their bank and the police.

These particular calls were made from a mobile phone with same number. Enquiries continue.

Police advise people not to divulge their bank account details to strangers. Your bank will have your details and wouldn’t phone you to ask for this information.

Friday night launch for water Weekend 2011

Whaley Bridge Water Weekend – W3 – has announced plans for this year’s event, on Friday 10 June, Saturday 11 June and Sunday 12 June.

For the first time, there is to be a live event at the Canal Basin; an evening of acoustic music, which has a big following in the High Peak.  W3 has asked  acoustic music star Linda Simpson – a current resident of High Peak – to organise the evening with a strong local bias.

On her canal boat The Busker, tied up in the Peak District, Linda explained her enthusiasm for the idea:  “I ‘m speaking to the many local acoustic clubs in the High Peak, and getting them to put on an evening that will be a treat for acoustic fans and an eye-opener for some local people.”

Saturday and Sunday, big popular days with families and visitors, the mixture will follow the traditional format, with boat trips high in demand. There are FIVE BOATS this year, all providing free trips along the canal – ‘through the green tunnel’ as the marketing slogan says.

Powderkegs, the Whaley based border morris dance group, opens the entertainment on the Saturday.  Other attractions include Whaley Bridge band, the return of meerkats, canoe and BMX displays and stalls, stalls, stalls.

Sunday fun continues with more boat trips – get there early to avoid queues for free tickets – another session from Whaley Band as well as Groovediggers and Acoustic Collective and a display of classic cars.

Full details of the programme are on the W3 website

Watch out for The Review in early June in the Whaley Bridge/Furness Vale area, delivering your personal copy of the programme to your home.

Linda Simpson: organising Friday's Acoustic NightGreen tunnel of the canal: route of the free trips