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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 212

Date:- 31  July 2005

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Book Review:- "The cuckoo child" 
Review by by Dionne 

THIS book was written by Katie Flynn and is set in Liverpool in the 1920's, this nail biting story tells of a young girl named Dot who during a childhood game of relievio with her friends accidentally overhears a conversation between to men discussing a robbery which they were involved in, and which also includes the murder of a local jeweller. After realising she is also in possession of stolen goods, Dot contemplates telling the police only to realise that being a child she won't be believed, but Dot has been recognised and soon realises she's in more danger than she thought, so she carries the burden of what she knows by herself until she accidentally meets a cockney stranger who quickly becomes her friend and ally. On there journey to try and bring the men to justice they meet up with 2 more companions the granddaughter of the murdered jeweller and a reporter, who each also have to deal with there own personal troubles, as well as trying to catch the thieves and bring them to justice.

This is a great book with all the right ingredients for a brilliant story, such as poverty, murder, mystery, villains and heroes. Katie Flynn is one of the best Liverpool writers who I've always been a fan of, she has wrote many books such as Liverpool Lass and Strawberry Fields, if you have enjoyed any off her previous work you won't be disappointed. Katie Flynn who has lived in the North West for years has also had many of her stories broadcast on Radio Merseyside; she started her Liverpool series after hearing stories from her family about what life was like in the city. After starting this book I couldn't put it down, and was soon on the lookout for some more of her books.

Our rating is 4 of 5 book worms...


A £400 donation from the Dulux Decorator Centre on Kensington Industrial Park is helping to put the finishing touches to the first stage of a £35,000 project to convert a former church into a plush community venue for Southport residents.

The Grace Centre, in Princes Street, was formerly the place of worship for Grace Baptist Church. However, after the church moved to a larger building on the same street in January 2004, the pews in the old premises have been removed to create a large hall that is used extensively by various community groups and local authority bodies.

Church Trustees continue to own the property, but have appointed an independent management team made up of volunteers to complete the conversion and take control of running the premises as a self-sustained venture.

More than £10,000 has been raised for the refurbishment so far, with Community Chest, Garfield Weston, the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board, the Mayor's Charity Fund, the Rank Organisation all making major contributions. The funds have secured sports equipment, furniture, lighting and heating for the new centre, which opened last April and has more than 300 regular users.

Now the latest donation from Dulux Decorator Centre will enable a team of volunteers to give the hall's interior a thorough facelift. As well as plaster and paint, the centre also supplied access equipment through its in-store HSS Hire counter. The decorating work will commence on 25 July and is expected to last 2 weeks.

Bryan Scholes, Trust and Grant Co-ordinator for the Grace Centre, secured the decorating products after he read about Dulux Decorator Centres' "Colouring the Community" programme in the Southport Visitor. "We're very grateful to Dulux Decorator Centres and HSS Hire," he said. "The donation came at a perfect timing for us as we desperately needed to refresh the hall's interior. This latest facelift should make the centre far more welcoming and should encourage even more community groups and businesses to make use of the facilities." Bryan added that the next step is to refurbish the centre's kitchen and install improved disabled facilities once further funds are secured.

Paul Touhey, manager of the Southport Dulux Decorator Centre, said:- "It's been a pleasure helping the Grace Centre as they continue to improve their community facilities. Our 'Colouring the Community' programme continues here and in our other stores across Liverpool, so if you have any suggestions of other outstanding community project that might benefit from an award then please get in touch."

To apply for a Colouring the Community award, speak to Paul at the store or write to: Dulux Decorator Centre, Colouring the Community campaign, c/o Joanne Chapman, Manchester Road, West Timperley, Altrincham, WA14 5PG.

Warning over new 'get rich quick' scam

WARNINGS are being raised by Warrington Trading Standards about a new 'pyramid' scheme springing up in areas across the country. The get rich quick pyramid scam, known nationally as 'Deaf Hearts' but the name could change, can have potentially disastrous consequences for people,  damaging relationships, affecting emotions as well as victim's pockets.

It follows hot on the heels of the 'Women Empowering Women' (WEW) get rich quick scam that crashed spectacularly a few years ago leaving many people out of pocket to the tune of thousands of pounds. The pyramid scheme works like a chain letter with individuals 'gifting', for example, £3,000 to a member of a network, usually a trusted friend or family member. In return, each participant expects to receive multiples of that amount, up to £24,000 as they progress through the network hierarchy. Its success is dependant upon people continually joining the scheme. However, demand for new members needed to fund the scheme rises exponentially and it is inevitable that, at some point, the system will crash leaving people who have paid out, but who will never get paid.

Although Trading Standards have no information that this scheme is operating in or around Warrington as yet - the potential for serious harm and the speed with which scheme works has led to them issuing a clear warning.

Cllr Pat Wright, Executive Member for Community Services, said:- "If you get involved in these schemes you will either make money on the back of others misfortune or, more likely, you will be one of the many who loses out and suffers the financial and emotional problems that will inevitably result. These schemes have a nasty sting in the tail and they prey on the vulnerable. All these scams do is cause public confusion, to the financial gain of a few con men and the loss of many ordinary people. If it looks too good to be true, then it is."

Recent warnings nationally suggest that the deaf community is being specifically targeted by 'Deaf Hearts'. The psychology of WEW was to play upon the role of women in society and that women were being encouraged to help other women - men were excluded. It is likely that deaf people could be targeted with the same approach as part of this latest scam. Local deaf organisation, the Deafness Support Network, has advised all its centres and members against the Deaf Hearts scheme. 

Martin Colville of the Deafness Support Network said:- "It is clear that the potential for vulnerable deaf people to lose substantial amounts of money puts people who trust individuals trying to promote the scheme at enormous risk."

Investigations of fraud or any other criminal issues are problematic as the nature of the scheme is such that it is very difficult to identify an individual or organisation responsible.

Diana Ross loves Liverpool

SOUL legend Diana Ross has hailed her appearance at the Liverpool Summer Pops this month as one of the best of her 44 year career, describing the Liverpool audience as 'incredible'.

Miss Ross performed 2 sold-out shows at the 4-500 capacity Big Top Arena during the Pops, her first shows in the city since 1972, and was overwhelmed by the rousing welcome she received from the Liverpool crowd:- "It was one of the best audiences I have played to - incredible. I was so glad to come back to Liverpool after 33 years, but why has it taken me so long to get back here I wonder?"

This was the 5th Summer Pops and the first at the new Central Docks site, a mile north of the Pops' former home at the Kings Dock, where work has begun on Liverpool¹s new 9,000 capacity concert arena.

US pop diva Anastacia, another of the sold-out shows, brought the most elaborate production, with a 70-strong touring party who travelled in 5 trucks and three tour buses. They constructed a massive stage set with silver stairways, extra performance platforms, three video screens, and a second 'B' stage in the middle of the auditorium.

An estimated 100,000 people attended the 27 shows at the Big Top Arena, which finished on Sunday with a stunning performance by Spanish opera legend José Carreras. 

Mike Storey, Leader of Liverpool City Council, said:- "The Summer Pops has once again proved to be an enormous success. It is now an established part of the music calendar. The new home at Central Docks has proved to be enormously successful and I know it will continue to bring more big names to Liverpool as we approach European Capital of Culture in 2008."

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