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Northern appoints new Manager to run Allerton Depot in Merseyside

NORTHERN has appointed Garry Bartie as the new TrainCare Centre Manager of its Allerton Depot, in Merseyside. Bartie, from Flint in Flintshire, currently works for the train manufacturer CAF and will join the team in January 2024.

Bartie, who goes by the name Gaz, is no stranger to Northern, having spent 11 years with the train operator from 2011 to 2022, when he held various roles including:- depot supervisor, project support manager and contract & performance manager.

Jack Commandeur, Engineering Director at Northern, said:- "Gaz's experience at CAF and his previous track record at Northern; not least of all being part of the team that re-opened Allerton back in 2011; make him a natural fit for this post. He'll be a great addition to the engineering leadership team and we look forward to him starting in January."

Commenting on his appointment, Bartie added:- "I'm really pleased to be coming back to Northern; re-joining old friends and colleagues across the business and working together to ensure we deliver the company's ambitious plans for the future."

Allerton is 1 of 5 TrainCare Centres managed by Northern; the others being Neville Hill in West Yorkshire, Newton Heath in Manchester, Hull Botanic Gardens in East Yorkshire and Heaton in Tyne & Wear.

It was rebuilt from a freight train maintenance facility in 2011 and is now home to around 160 Northern colleagues in engineering and train presentation roles.

They are responsible for maintaining around a quarter Northern's fleet of 360 trains, being the base for their electric:- Class 319, Class 323, Class 331 and Class 769 trains. The team at Allerton is supported by colleagues in outstations as well as those at Blackpool and Barrow in Furness.

On Sunday, 10 December 2023, rail timetables across the North of England will change in line with the rest of the National Rail network. Customers are encouraged to use the:- 'Check My Timetable' feature on the Northern website for more information about their Local Station.

Dogs Trust Merseyside issues advice to keep dogs warm and safe during cold spells

AS the temperature begins to drop, and snow and freezing weather is set to hit parts of the UK, Dogs Trust Merseyside is urging owners to follow some simple steps to keep their dogs safe and warm this winter.

While many people enjoy a winter stroll, the cold weather poses several risks to dogs and their owners. To help ensure dogs remain healthy and happy, the nation's largest dog welfare charity has published some easy-to-follow guidance.

1. Stay warm; Dogs feel the cold just like we do, so it is important to keep them warm. Some breeds grow thick furry coats all year round, so, as the weather gets colder, consider letting your dog's fur grow longer to give them added protection. Some shorter-haired pooches and puppies may need a little bit of help staying warm, so consider buying them a sensible winter coat. Wearing a coat is a new experience for some dogs and needs to be introduced in a gradual and positive way.

2. Keep your dog on the lead; If it's snowing, keep your dog on a lead to protect and prevent them from falling and hurting themselves. Snow can be disorientating for dogs, and they can become easily lost in it. Make sure your dog is wearing a collar, and their microchip details are up to date.

3. Wipe after walking; Make sure you wipe your dog's legs, feet and stomach after a walk, as grit from the roads and dampness from rain or snow can irritate their skin.

4. Don't let your dog walk on frozen ponds; The ice may not be thick enough to take their weight. If your dog does fall through the ice never be tempted to go in after them. If possible, encourage them to swim back to you and call the emergency services.

5. Avoid antifreeze; It is highly poisonous, but tasty to dogs. Make sure you always keep antifreeze and other chemicals well out of reach and be sure to quickly mop up any spills. Always seek veterinary advice if you think your dog has ingested any.

6. Increase visibility; Your own safety is important too. Before heading out for a walk, make sure that you are dressed appropriately for the weather with a suitable coat and shoes, and ensure you and your dog are visible. As the days grow shorter, consider wearing a high-vis jacket, and use a:- reflective collar, lead, high visibility coat or flashing collar for your dog. Coats and flashing collars should be introduced gradually to ensure dogs are comfortable wearing them.

7. Check your lead; Regularly check your dog's leads, collars and harnesses to make sure they're all functioning safely and won't get damaged by winter weather, as wet weather can cause metal clips to rust. It can be trickier to do up lead clips and carabiners and attach them to collars and harnesses when it's cold, so do this indoors if you can.

8. Consider indoor games; You might be spending more time indoors if the weather's very bad, so always make sure your dog has plenty to do. Indoor games like hide and seek, or 'find it', are fun and mentally stimulating for your dog. Hide a toy for them to search for and play with them as a reward when they find them. Long-lasting tasty chews, or rubber food-releasing toys and enrichment games are useful for giving your dog something enjoyable to do that is mentally stimulating.

Georgina Lowery, Manager at Dogs Trust Merseyside, says:- "Winter walks can be a lot of fun for both people and dogs alike, and many dogs love to run and play in the snow. But this cold weather brings with it some extra hazards for dogs and their owners. The good news is that there are lots of simple things you can do to help your pooch stay safe and warm during cold weather, including keeping your dog on a lead as conditions worsen, wiping their paws after a walk, and taking steps to improve both your own and your dog's visibility."

For further information on keeping your dog safe and happy over the winter, visit:- DogsTrust.Org.UK.

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