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Southport Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:- 30 April 2007

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THERE was a mixed reception for controversial RESPECT MP George Galloway at Edge Hill University yesterday.  The 5 times elected Member of Parliament answered some challenging questions when he delivered his lecture on media manipulation to a packed theatre of students, academics and members of the public at the University’s Ormskirk Campus.

Speaking to journalism students before the lecture, Mr Galloway attacked Tony Blair’s part in the Iraq war as a “bloody legacy” and referred to a “craven BBC” which he described as:- “the Bush and Blair corporation.”  Supporters and detractors of the politician, who has been described as the 9th most rebellious, enjoyed a sometimes heated debate on the Iraq war, the state of the British media and politics, and the aftermath of Mr Galloway’s Big Brother appearance.

Marc Stanton, Edge Hill’s lecturer in broadcast journalism organised the visit:- “It’s really important that our media and journalism students have the opportunity to interview people in the public eye, especially those as controversial as George Galloway,” said Marc.  “I am delighted that they put Mr Galloway on the spot with some of their questions and I applaud George Galloway for responding so well to his critics. It was great to welcome so many people from the local community to the lecture - Mr Galloway proved to be a very popular guest attracting a mixed bag of supporters and detractors.”

Addressing an audience of future journalists Mr Galloway took a pessimistic view of their chosen careers with a scathing attack on the British media.

“The British media had as much a part on the invasion of Iraq as the armed forces. They amplified the falsehoods of the government without proper scrutiny. The British media has failed the people, failed in its duty as an estate of the realm.”

On a more positive note Mr Galloway claimed that the growth of media outlets in the UK means that students will have more choice of employers and may find alternatives to the “billionaire owned media.”

“I hope that there are higher standards of journalism here at Edge Hill.  I’m sure there are. You might think that I am bleak and pessimistic about the British media - that’s because I am.” added Mr Galloway.

Mr Galloway went on to criticise the nuclear arms race:- “Every nuclear bomb is a time bomb that threatens to wipe out the planet.”  And on student tuition fees:- “Paying for a university education is taking us back to the 1930s. I don’t believe that universities are a cost on the country. They are an investment. If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.”

George Galloway has agreed to return to Edge Hill next year. MarC Stanton said:- “Mr Galloway was very impressed with the University, the quality of facilities and student questions.”  

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Archaeologists have published findings of an important Bronze Age settlement at Manchester Airport.  A dig which was part of the development of Runway 2 uncovered Early Bronze Age artefacts and evidence of a settlement at Oversley Farm, located on the lip of the Bollin Valley and overlooking an ancient ford.  The site is the 1st excavated example of Neolithic and Early Bronze Age occupation in Cheshire and is considered by experts to be "significant".

The findings have been published in an academic report: "Oversley Farm, Styal: Excavations in advance of Manchester Airport's Runway 2" which has been written by leading archaeologist, Dan Garner.

Dan explained the findings:- "The building of the second runway at Manchester Airport created a unique opportunity to excavate a 3km long corridor across north-eastern Cheshire's rural landscape. To our delight, the project uncovered Early Bronze Age activity.  We made some exciting finds such as Bronze Age pottery, a tanged flint arrowhead and other tools and, of course, the footprint of the farmstead and these finds will be stored at Chester Museum. This report is the first detailed publication of this significant discovery and we are very pleased to be able to share our findings."

The finds show that the site at Oversley Farm has been occupied from the Early Neolithic period onwards, primarily as a small agriculturally-based farmstead, probably heavily dependent upon livestock-farming, particularly sheep.  According to the archaeologists, the layers of finds preserved on the site have produced an invaluable collection of artefacts including ceramics and lithics which have been independently radiocarbon dated. Because it can be dated, it provides an important reference for any future Early Bronze Age finds in the North West

Manchester Airport's Planning and Infrastructure Director, John Twigg, said:- "From the very start of the development of Runway 2 we have been committed to a thorough and comprehensive package of environmental works. Part of this was working with the archaeologists to make sure we captured the history of our environment and preserved any findings for future generations.  We were very pleased to discover a prehistoric site of regional significance which has been occupied from the Neolithic period through to the twentieth century and we welcome the production of this report."

Manchester Airport supported the archaeological investigations and the "Oversley Farm, Styal: Excavations in advance of Manchester Airport's Runway 2" book produced by Gifford will be available from British Archaeological Reports (BAR).


THE Wirral model boat club are holding a fun day in Ashton Park West Kirby on the holiday Monday 7 May 2007.

This event is not to be missed, the kids will love this day out!

For more information logon to the New Brighton Model Boat Club website.

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