Helen Ridgway – RIP

It saddens me to have to announce in these pages the death of Helen Ridgway, on Tuesday 25 July 2017.

When I receive more information I will add it to these comments.  Most of you will know that Helen has been poorly for some time.  After a stay in Hospital she entered into a Hospice care program.

It is truly the end of an era.  Dave and Helen moved to Whittington in 1999, when they took over the Dragons Head.  Helen was born in Kendal and until recent times was manageress of the Spar shop in Kirkby Lonsdale.  Helen has lived alone in the Maltings since the untimely demise of Dave.

We all send our sympathies to her two sons, Jason and Andrew (known to all as “Stan”.)

John Keegan

P.S.  The service will be held at 12:30 on Tuesday 08 August 2017 at St. John the Baptist Church, Arkholme  followed by a reception at the Redwell Inn.

Movement on the Buses

The following report has been carried in the Lancaster Guardian online edition:

Axed bus services in Lancaster could be reinstated

An extra £1m looks set to be made available for bus networks across the county.

Lancashire County Councillors are due to meet this week to discuss where investment is most needed. Key priorities are to restore lost links between communities, particularly in rural areas where people who don’t drive or own a car rely most on public transport, increase the frequency of services on routes where there is more demand, and stabilise the network to support routes which might otherwise disappear. The council’s new administration has committed to make an extra £1m available to support bus services, increasing the budget from £2m to £3m.


County Coun Andrew Snowden, lead member for highways and transport, has started a cross-party consultation for councillors to consider draft proposals for improving services, and put forward their ideas. He said: “I’m keen to ensure passengers benefit from the improvements to bus services we promised as soon as possible, I have already been working with officers on some draft proposals for how we could best meet the needs of communities with the new funding. “However, I also want to ensure that county councillors have the opportunity to input into work on behalf of the communities they represent and raise any issues they are aware of which will help to make sure the proposals we eventually bring forward have a real impact and provide the best possible value for money. A good public transport network is vital to support our economy, ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to access work and education.

Following consultations, which begin with drop in sessions, proposals will be presented to the county council’s cabinet on September 14. County Coun Snowden added: “It also plays a vital role in helping people to carry out everyday tasks such as doing their shopping, visiting family and friends, and getting to health appointments.

“This extra funding will make a significant impact in supporting and supplementing the commercial network to link communities which might otherwise have no or very little public transport, and help to ensure transport connections across Lancashire are as effective as possible.”

The Final Solution

The whole question of dog poo is kicking off quite a stink, and has been for a couple of years.  It occurs to me that there is one simple solution, which has three elements:

  1. The PC issue a Local Bye-Law prohibiting dogs from using the public right of way located between the Old School and the bungalow.
  2. The PPC ban all dogs from the Churchyard and Graveyard.
  3. Lord Reay bans all dogs from the Long Walk.

This would force all dog walkers to use only the public footpaths.

If footpath fouling persists then CCTV cameras, mounted on cooperating houses, are now so cheap that the village footpaths could be monitored 24 hours a day, and the tapes collected via broadband to be checked by one of the many villagers with more than enough time on their hands.

Just a thought!

John Keegan

Digital Shopping

In March 2016 I received the following email from Rev. Andrew Schofield.  I passed it straight on to the Parish Council, for the simple reason that they had decided to invest PC funds in support of B4RN, and as there was a Broadband Hub in the Parish Hall, it seemed logical that the PC would have considered why they had invested this money and to what purpose.  Andrew’s purpose was so eminently logical I was sure that between the PC and the Village Hall, sharing a common Chairman, we would see a take up on this idea with some alacrity.

A year of inactivity having gone by maybe this is the appropriate time to shake the village tree by airing the issue again!

John Keegan

A digital shop for Whittington?

A community computer at Whittington Village Hall would make shopping accessible for everyone!

The withdrawal of bus services through the village and discussion about a village shop focuses attention on those who are not able to go shopping for themselves.

When I was a lad, my mother had a notebook in which she listed all her requirements for the week. She’d take her shopping list to our local shop and in due course the groceries would be delivered to our front door. It still happens, of course, but these days you need a computer.

With a laptop computer at the Village Hall, there could be ‘shopping hours’ when volunteers would shop online for those who aren’t computer literate. Absolutely anyone with a debit or credit card can have an online account with Tesco, Asda or Sainsbury – and for other items, with M&S, John Lewis, Argos and (of course) Amazon.

If it worked, Whittington folk could do their shopping just by walking to the Village Hall!

Andrew Schofield
Holker House

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