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Southport and  Mersey Reporter -  Your free online newspaper service covering the Merseyside region - (Greater Liverpool).
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Issue:- 16 September 2010


A £907,000 refurbishment project at Newton-le-Willows station has been completed ahead of celebrations today to mark the 180th anniversary of the arrival of the railway in the town.

Jo Kaye, Network Rail route director, said:- “Years of dirt and grime have been removed and the way we have lit the building shows it off to best advantage. It looks quite stunning.”

Network Rail and its contractor J Murphy & Sons started work in February by erecting scaffolding around the main station building before installing a tent system to allow them to re-roof the building in all weathers. The roof was completely stripped and replaced using new Welsh slates.

The brick façade of the Georgian building, which is believed to have opened c1830, has been cleaned and re-pointed using lime mortar. The brick and stonework has been repaired where necessary and all gutters and rain water pipes have been renewed.

All the glazing has been replaced in the windows and the station now boasts architectural lighting to show off its main features.

Inside the station buildings, removal of the old plaster revealed damage to various walls and ceilings caused by water seeping through the roof, as well as rot in the timber mouldings. All this has been dealt with and the rooms redecorated.

A new gas boiler was installed to provide heating and hot water and the boundary wall on the Manchester bound platform has been demolished and rebuilt, using reclaimed bricks.

Various events took place on 15 September 2010 to mark the opening of the Liverpool to Manchester railway, including a plaque unveiling at Newton-le-Willows station.


JUST before 9.40pm on Saturday, 11 September 2010, four offenders forced their way through the front door of a flat in to the home of a 50 year old man.

The offenders, who were armed with knives and hammers, threatened the victim and then searched the house before escaping with a brown Microsoft Workpad, a wallet and a moneybox containing a small amount of cash. The victim was not injured during the incident, but was distressed by his ordeal. Within minutes the offenders then entered a second address nearby. The 22 year old woman who lives at this flat had gone to the shops nearby and as she left she noticed four men. A short time later she returned home and the four men were inside. One of the offenders, who was armed with a hammer, hit the victim on the arm with the weapon and then stole a twisted yellow, gold bracelet. The victim did not need hospital treatment to her arm, but she was left distressed by her ordeal.  Crime Scene Investigators have attended at both flats to carry out forensic examinations and house-to-house inquiries are underway.  The offenders are all described as white and were wearing black clothing with hoods and scarves to disguise their faces.

DC Tony Read, said:- "This was a very distressing experience for both of the victims involved and we want to catch these offenders, but we need your help to do that. If you saw anyone acting suspiciously in the area of Planetree Road between 9pm and 10pm on Saturday, 11 September, then please let us know. Unscrupulous people who prey on their victims in the very place where they should feel the safest, their own homes, should not be protected or tolerated in their communities. Help us to find the people responsible and put them before the courts."

Police are appealing for anyone who may have any information in relation to these incidents to contact them on:- 0151 777 4809, or Crimestoppers on:- 0800 555 111.

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