Articles from December 2011



24 freight trains a day diverted through Whaley over Christmas and New Year

A few silent nights or days may be disturbed over Christmas as Whaley Bridge people are warned that up to 24 freight trains  a day will be diverted through the town over the holiday.

Network Rail say local people should expect ‘a lot of activity’ (more…)

Christmas Dates in Whaley Bridge

Christmas preparations in Whaley Bridge move into full swing on Sunday 18 December.  There are three carol services on the last Sunday in Advent:

¨     2.30pm at Fernilee Church, Elnor Lane

¨     5pm in the Uniting Church on Buxton Road

¨     6.30pm in St James’s Church, Taxal (Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols)

They all provide an opportunity to have a good singsong, before the busy last few days of shopping and Christmas preparations.

A date worth noting:  at 8pm on Tuesday 20 December, Whaley Bridge Band present a Christmas concert in the Bowling Club.  More carol singing and Christmas music from our local band, which just gets better and better under music director Marcus Jones.

CHRISTMAS SERVICES in Whaley churches:

Parish of Whaley Bridge (Church of England)

Christmas Eve, 4pm,  Holy Trinity, Buxton Road – Christingle family service

Christmas Eve, starting 11.30pm, St James’, Taxal – midnight communion

Christmas Day, 8am,  Holy Trinity – holy communion

Christmas Day, 10.30am, Holy Trinity – family Christmas communion

Whaley Bridge Uniting Partnership

Christmas Eve, 5pm, Uniting Church, Buxton Road – Reflective holy communion

Christmas Eve, 6.30pm, Kettleshulme Church – Nativity service

Christmas Eve, 11.15pm, Fernilee Church – coffee and mince pies, followed at

11.45pm by service to welcome Christmas

Christmas Day, 10am, Uniting Church, family service

Sacred Heart Church (Roman Catholic)

Christmas Eve. 11.30pm onwards at the Sacred Heart, Whaley Lane – Christmas carols followed by Midnight Mass

Christmas Day, 11am, Sacred Heart – Christmas Mass

There is a Catholic service in Disley Methodist Church at 8.30am.

Story by James Middleton

Bishop celebrates Taxal & Fernilee school’s 25th

Pupils and teachers of Taxal and Fernilee primary school were joined by former pupils, teachers and guests to welcome the Bishop of Stockport, Rt Rev Robert Atwell,  to celebrations of the school’s 25th anniversary at its new site.

Guests celebrate: With the bishop, school head Vicky Keen. To her right, Darrel Speedy who was vicar of Whaley Bridge 25 years ago. On the bishop's left, High Peak mayor David Lomax

The original school  at Horwich End was founded in 1848.  Growth of population in Whaley Bridge meant that by 1982 the school had to move to (more…)

Meet Mary Nancy, St James’s new donkey

There’s a new donkey at St James’, helping to keep down the grass in the churchyard and brightening up many a visitor’s day. She’s called Mary Nancy Swift (MNS) and came to Taxal in the autumn in a ‘sort of swop’ with Moses, the previous churchyard donkey.

Mary Nancy, appealing eyes and a lady of taste

Mary Nancy is three, and expecting her first foal.  Owner John Swift, one of the churchwardens, says she is ‘a lady of taste’, preferring apples to carrots if there is a choice.

She is about to have a ‘pedicure’ from local farrier Peter Smith . She will need a little training before taking part in any church events, as donkeys sometimes do.

Christmas shoppers invited to the Big Sing

Whaley Bridge Uniting Church has come up with the antidote to Christmas shopping fatigue:  Drop in for the Big Sing on Saturday 10 December.  Let carols cheer you up to face the shopping, or help you relax if it’s over for the day!

The Big Sing will be from 11am -12.30pm in the Big Church on Buxton Road.  Organisers at the Uniting Church, said:  “All angels, shepherds and kings – as well as shoppers –  are welcome!  Drop in and sing some Christmas carols, visit Mary and Joseph, and enjoy mince pies, tea and coffee in a relaxed atmosphere.  You’ll feel better for it.” 

The church choir will be singing carols almost non-stop.  There will be carol sheets in case anyone has forgotten the words and possibly a request time. 

Uniting Church choir gets into the Christmas mood

Based on random interviews, this is the Top Five of carols at the Uniting Church:

Away in a Manger

Once in Royal David’s City

Hark the Herald Angels Sing

Joy to the World.

While Shepherds watched their flocks.

There will be a donating box at the Big Sing for Christian Aid.  The Uniting Church also holds a Christmas carol service on Sunday 18 December, starting at 5pm.

A hitch, a glitch, then Christmas tree switch!

First there was a hitch – it was a glitch –  and finally the switch.  Whaley Bridge’s Christmas tree, in the Jodrell car park, was lit up a few minutes late on Friday night (2December).  It will be providing colour and Christmas cheer, as well as welcoming shoppers and visitors, until Twelfth Night in January.

Town council cuncil chairman Jon Goldfinch welcoming the big crowd – many of them young children – asked for the countdown – 10, 9, 8 to zero.   The tree stayed unlit!  Another countdown,  still no lights!

 The Rev Michael Peat from the Uniting Church  kept the carols going, with the Christmas story narrative between the singing.  Whaley Bridge Band, in fine form, kept playing.  The glitch solvers worked swiftly.  Councillor Jon called the third countdown.  Louder voices – 10, 9, 8… zero!  This time success. 

Santa in the Footsteps Grotto.

It was a memorable (more…)