Big Bike Day

Hundreds turn out to cheer Tour of Britain cyclists in Whaley Bridge

they're here2
Crowds turned out in their hundreds as Whaley Bridge welcomed cyclists passing through the town in the latest leg of the Tour of Britain Seconds earlier, the cyclists had sped down Long Hill from Buxton.

Watch a YouTube video of the race through Whaley Bridge HERE   (provided by Brian Bristol of Cavalier Studios)

The build-up, on a sunny September day , was pleasant. Cafes in the centre of Whaley did great trade, as did a tented bar opposite the Co-op. There were occasional cheers from the crowd, especially for a poor motorcyclist with L plates!

The arrival of the cyclists was heralded by dozens of official and police motorcycles and cars. Then, just about noon, the main group of cyclists arrived to great cheers. A TV cameraman, perched high up on the Mechanics’ Institute, recorded it all. In no time the cyclists were through Whaley Bridge, on their way to Buxworth, Chinley and Chapel. A unique and memorable morning was over in a flash.

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Sign of the times as WB welcomes cyclists – Fri 11th Sep

Cyclists in the Tour of Britain should remember Whaley Bridge, even though they will be flying through this Friday, 11 September. A large sign Welcome to Whaley Bridge, has gone up on the corner of Market Street, between the White Hart pub and the Co-op store.

ready for cycle race
Cyclists, including many famous figures, will come down Long Hill after passing through Buxton. Team cars will arrive in Whaley Bridge about 11.43am, with the riders scheduled to go through between 11.50 and 12.05. There are many good vantage points, including the town centre. The riders will leave our area at Bridgemont, taking the B6062 road towards Buxworth, Chinley and on to Chapel en le Frith.


Showstopper Harry wins with a pineapple owl

Whaley Bridge’s last big summer event, the Garden Show, in the Bowling Club, shrugged off the impact of a poor summer with colourful displays of flowers, an impressive collection of king size leeks and onions – and a big surprise from a little boy.

Harry Stevenson, aged seven, from Kettleshulme produced a showstopper in the children’s section, a life-size owl made from fruit and vegetables. It won him first prize, as well as the best child entry in the show.  #hint – click on picture for high resolution image#

My owl: Harry Stevenson, with his prizewinning figure made mostly from pineapple

My owl: Harry Stevenson, with his prizewinning figure made mostly from pineapple

Harry, a pupil at Whaley Bridge primary school, went shopping with his mum on the night before the show. After visiting three different shops – and spending £12 – they had the ‘ingredients’ for the owl:

A big pineapple, for the body and wings
A small melon for the head
A carrot for the nose
Black grapes and radishes for the eyes
Aubergine for the eyebrows
A lemon for the feet. Continue Reading →

RBS closes Horwich End branch. Now it’s Bank Holiday every day!

Whaley Bridge is now a town without a bank. The last branch – Royal Bank of Scotland at Horwich End – closed for the final time on Thursday 27 August, just ahead of the Bank Holiday weekend. As one of the last customers remarked: “Now it will be Bank Holiday every day!”

In recent years, Horwich End RBS had been open only on three mornings a week. Customers had inevitably dwindled, with younger ones going on line and others using more and more services at the local post offices.


Gone for ever !

Anyone can now draw money against a debit card from the post office, and pay in cash and cheques, and pay some bills. Customers can also check their account balance through the post office. So far, there are no facilities for paying bills using the Giro system.

RBS say that all services are available at the nearest branch at 9 Market Street, Chapel en le Frith, SK23 0HL.

A local historian had given Horwich End staff a print of a photo from around the turn of the 18th-19th centuries, showing the row of buildings where the RBS branch had existed in recent years. The historic print showed a classic village row of small shops, with very little traffic on what is now a busy crossroads.

Summertime visitors to Whaley Bridge churches

It’s reunion time for old friends of Whaley Bridge parish this month. Next Sunday (19 July) missionary family Jason and Tracy Day will be joining the congregation at Holy Trinity church at the morning service. Tracy, from Whaley Bridge, and Jason from Marple work with the Church Missionary Society in Thailand. They previously worked for three years in Nepal.
Tracy is a former nurse at Stepping Hill Hospital. In the 90s, when she was a trainee, Marion Lacey, now a churchwarden in the parish was her ward sister.
A week later, on Sunday 26 July, the 161st Manchester scout group will visit St James’ church, Taxal for their annual service.. The group, known as Jodrell’s Own, has made its summer camp in Whaley Bridge for over 100 years. Members will march from the campsite below St James’, where two years ago they celebrated their centenary.
The name Jodrell’s Own recognises the help the scouts were given many years ago by Lt Col Ramsden-Jodrell, from the then biggest landowning family in the area.

Whaley sets itself £5,000 charity target

sue mellor, christian aid

Banging for Burkina: Sue Mellor on the carnival float

Members of churches in Whaley Bridge have set themselves a target to raise £5,000 for an African charity as part of Christian Aid. They are working hard to give a better life to people in Burkina Faso, one of the smallest and poorest countries in the continent.

Already, the fund stands at over £3,000. Thermometer-style promotion boards outside the Uniting Church and Holy Trinity are reminders to the public of progress.

On Sunday, 12 July, a joint service of the two congregations, at 10.30 am in the Uniting Church, will hear first hand accounts of Christian Aid’s projects from Joel Payne, a regional co-ordinator with the charity.

At the recent Rose Queen carnival, Sue Mellor, a pastoral worker with the Anglican parish, displayed an African drum to publicise the appeal. Children on the Churches Together float gave the drum some loud bangs.

Several other churches are supporting Burkina Faso. The EU has matchfunded the Burkina project, which would turn the Whaley Bridge effort into £25,000.

From waggiest tail to most loveable, Whaley’s best pets

Whaley Bridge’s Rose Queen season came to a fun end as the family Pet Show attracted dozens of pets and their owners. Dogs are definitely favourite pets, and three of them got to show their unique appeal: the waggiest tail, the look that melts the judge, and then best of the best.

Waggiest tale rosette went to Minnie, a 12 year old beagle, shown by Mrs Debbie Raper.

tip – click on pictures to get a higher resolution image..

waggiest tail

Minnie with Debbie Raper shows off waggiest tail

The show’s unique award, ‘pet the judge would most like to take home’, was won by Charlie, an eight month old English springer spaniel. He was shown by Mrs Sarah Whelan and her daughters Amy and Lucy.

take home

Loveable Charlie, shown by the Whelan family


The best in show award is competed for by winners in all the classes. It was won by Lily, a two year old Sheltie, shown by Antonia Mills, nine. The family has had Lily from being a puppy. This was her first show.

best in show

Lily the Sheltie, shown by Antonia Mills


Christmas treat: the Rose Queen organisers will be running their traditional disco for youngsters, along with a presentation evening of cash awards to local charities, in the Bowling Club on Friday 11 December.

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.”


reflections in the band. DSC_0014

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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.