Heritage Talk at St Marie’s – A History of Crossing the River Mersey Between Runcorn & Widnes

runcorn_transporter_bridgeSaturday 16th February at 2pm.

The St Marie’s Heritage Group are delighted to be welcoming local historian, Bob Roach back into St Marie’s to deliver another one of his fascinating talks about our local heritage. This one is sure to be the perfect anecdote to any Winter Blues you might be feeling. Join us on Saturday 16th February to enjoy a hot drink, delicious biscuits and see friendly & familiar faces.

Here’s what Bob has to say about the talk:

For over 1,000 years, the desire to cross the Mersey between Runcorn & Widnes has led to muddy, dangerous, historic & creative ideas about how to do it. With illustrations, this talk will describe key parts of the story, some of which you will be aware of, but some of which may surprise you! Centuries of having just a row-boat ferry that had to contend with the fast-tidal flow – recounted in Tuppence per Person per Trip. Historic figures who marched their troops across; if only the money had been available to build proposals by leading engineers; it was perhaps fortunate that a design was changed at a late stage because the planned bridge might have blown down!

run bridge diagram

Places at the talk are free, but they are limited in number and attendees must reserve their places before the day.

You can reserve your place by contacting Matthew Roberts on (01928) 592 405 or mroberts@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk


Review of Christmas Carol Concert – 11th December 2018

The volunteers of St Marie’s Heritage Group were delighted to welcome over 120 visitors to St Marie’s for our Christmas Carol Concert & Singalong on Tuesday 11th December.

18 12 Volunteers Tree

The Volunteers of the St Marie’s Heritage Group decorate the tree.


Having first enjoyed free mulled wine, hot drinks and mince pies, attendees enjoyed a wonderful performance from The St Wilfred’s Parish Choir, led by the brilliant Frances Atherton.

The packed to capacity room sounded magnificent and everyone joined in to share the Christmas Spirit. We are incredibly grateful to Frances and her Choir for making the evening such a special event. Huge thanks to everyone who came along and joined in – we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.

18 12 Choirloft View

Here’s the feedback we collected on the night.

Was there anything you particularly liked?

– I liked the carols and I felt it should be done more. It was a happy environment.
– Encouragement to sing.
– Fantastic – the spirit of St Marie’s lives on.
– All fabulous as always.
– Really enjoyed. Loved to visit St Marie’s Church where I was brought up.
– All about the venue & the evening event.
– Couldn’t be better.
– Heart-warming & Christmassy. Choir sounded beautiful. Staff all welcoming & friendly.
– Excellent
– Lovely evening. The choir were excellent.
– The Christmas Tree! The Choir. The Carols/Songs.
– Loved everything. Thank you to all concerned.
– Excellent! Everything. Superb atmosphere.
– Very well organised. Choir was fantastic and brought a lot to the evening.
– The enthusiasm and carol service.
– Very well done. It was a very good enjoyable evening.
– Friendship was lovely.
– Really enjoyed it. Lots of memories. Everything.
– Very well done. Thank you so much.

18 12 Candles Roger

Guests start to arrive….


Was there anything you particularly disliked?

– A microphone would be good as difficult to hear when people speaking.

18 12 Candles Altar

Tea lights decorated our beautiful Altar

– We will wholeheartedly do anything at St Marie’s.
– More get togethers & sing a longs
– Past history
– My first time here, so unaware of current/past events. I would like more choirs/concerts.
– It was a beautiful evening – thank you. Anything so long as it “keeps going”.
– Anything that makes the community come back together.
– We should have more of these.
– More often.
– More events please.

Christmas Carol Concert & Singalong at St Marie’s

17 12 Carols 2Tuesday 11th December at 7pm.

What could be more magical than gathering in a warm St Marie’s on a brisk December evening to join family & friends (both old & new) in singing some Christmas carols?

We think it’s the perfect way to start the Christmas season.

The St Marie’s Heritage Group are delighted to welcome back the wonderful Parish Choir of St Wilfrid who will be leading attendees in a Christmas Carol singalong on the night. The choir will be choosing their favourite traditional Carols and we will provide copies of the words for anyone who (like me) always worries about forgetting the next line. The choir will be positioned in front of the beautiful St Marie’s Altar and attendees will sit facing them on the pews and other chairs. We think that when we all sing together, it will all sound magnificent.

There will be mince pies, mulled wine, hot drinks and our usual array of fabulous biscuits. There will be plenty of time to chat and catch up with old friends after the Carols have been sung.

It’s free to attend, but places are limited, so please reserve yours quickly to avoid disappointment.

To reserve your place, please contact Matthew Roberts on (01928) 592 405 or e-mail mroberts@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk

Review of Heritage Talk at St Marie’s – “For the Fallen”

18 10 27 StartOn Saturday (27th October) the volunteers of the St Marie’s Heritage Group were delighted to welcome over 40 guests into the building to listen to a Heritage Talk on the First World War, delivered by the brilliant Eileen Smith.

Eileen a former parishioner of St Marie’s provided fascinating details about her own family’s service during the war. Even some of the history buffs in attendance said that they learnt some new things.

Eileen also provided an extremely interesting display of relevant props and posters and played some appropriate themed music too.

18 10 27 Props

The St Marie’s Heritage Group are very grateful to Eileen (and her husband) for volunteering their time and delivering a brilliant talk.

Here’s the feedback we collected on the day:

Was there anything you particularly liked?
– Seeing people there from years gone by.
– Enjoyed. Always do – that’s why I come.
– Thought I knew a lot about WW1 but Eileen taught me a lot I didn’t know.
– Lots of new things learned, although perhaps a microphone would help for future events?

Was there anything you particularly disliked?
– Could have done with a microphone.
– Could have done with a microphone. Thought we were going to have a “sing-song”?
– Could do with a microphone, couldn’t really hear.
– Definitely need a microphone so everyone can hear.
– Sound.
– Sound system?
– Need a microphone.

Any ideas for future Heritage Events at St Marie’s?
– Christmas Tree at Carol Concert.
– Can we have a Christmas Tree for the Carol Concert. Please. An Afternnon Tea-Sandwich Cakes etc if everyone could bring a plate of something.
– Knights Choir
– Teachers of St Marie’s over the years.

18 10 27 Chatting

Attendees chat shortly before the talk.

18 10 27 Eileen

Eileen Smith delivers “For the Fallen”



Heritage Talk at St Marie’s – “For the Fallen”

Tony Miller 3The St Marie’s Heritage Group are proud to present “For the Fallen” on Saturday 27th October 2018 starting at 14.00. The presentation will be delivered inside the historic and picturesque setting of St Marie’s on Lugsdale Road in Widnes.


The talk will be delivered by Eileen Smith. Here’s how she describes the talk:

A Presentation
For a Widnes Born Man
From St Marie’s
Who was killed in WW1
With no known grave.

After the presentation we’ll be having a sing-a-long to some classics songs from the era. There will also be fascinating artefacts to view. As always, there will be plenty of hot drinks, high quality biscuits and lots of opportunities to see familiar faces and catch up with old friends.

It’s free to attend “For the Fallen”, but places are limited so we do need you to reserve your seats in advance. To book a place, please contact Matthew Roberts via mroberts@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk or call (01928) 592 405.

Review of “Women of St Marie’s” Reminiscence Event

18 09 LeafletThe volunteers of St Marie’s Heritage Group were delighted to welcome 49 guests to St Marie’s on Sunday afternoon (9th September) for our latest Heritage Event. It was part of the national Heritage Open Days events. Across the country, heritage events were held under the theme, “Extraordinary Women”. As such, the topic for our get together was “Women of St Marie’s”. Attendees had the opportunity to submit their stories and photos in advance and the Heritage Group had put together a lovely leaflet to commemorate the occasion.

Attendees discussed the stories in the book, the Legion of Mary and their favourite female teachers.

We felt that the event was a great success and it was wonderful to hear St Marie’s alive with happy conversations and laughter.

You can collect a copy of the “Women of St Marie’s” for free from the reception desk at St Marie’s. Available whilst supplies last.

18 09 Main Room

Attendees discuss The Legion of Mary

Here’s the feedback we collected on the day:

Was there anything you particularly liked?

– Thoroughly enjoyable.
– Really enjoyed it.
– Particularly liked time given to discuss stories, events, anecdotes etc from the book. Time to develop stories from everyone. Learn new things from discussions. The enjoyment people expressed by such an event.
– It is THANKS to some of the great women of St Marie’s that I/we are able to read and write so well. It was good to see some familiar faces and to bring to mind fond memories of our lovely parish and the wonderful St Marie’s school.
– Yes, was brilliant reminiscing and listening to stories from the older days. All the old famous names. Teachers that were influential to many of us in Widnes. Also, lovely seeing old faces not seen since childhood days. Really enjoyed it.
– Enjoyed it.
– It was lovely to be reminded of all the wonderful women of the parish – especially the teachers. Eg Miss Pinnington & Miss Mulroy.
– The stories told by those attending the event.
– Nice to see people sharing their memories
– I really enjoyed all aspects of the events. Loved catching up with people.
– Had a very informative afternoon. Met people I haven’t seen for a long time. Enjoy chatting with them.
– I liked everything we talked about, brought back happy memories.
– Liked everything. Great to hear teacher’s names, which brought back memories of our days at school. Miss Pinnington remains one of the ones I will always remember. Think it’s great we keep memories.
– It was brilliant.
– Enjoy it very much. Thank you all Heritage Group.
– Very good.
– It was good.
– It was a lovely afternoon.
– Very good.
– Liked all.
– Liked all of it.
– Everything was very good.
– Thoroughly enjoyed listening to others, reminiscing and bringing back my own memories. Will call again.
– Discussing our childhood at school.

18 09 Upstairs

Was there anything you particularly disliked?

– Again, the sound. Difficult to hear everyone without a mike.

Any ideas for future Heritage Events at St Marie’s?

– Military matters. Women war efforts (WW2). About the Priests who served at St Marie’s.
– I would like to see more of this project as I feel that there is a lot more information out there which would enrich massively what is already printed in the book.
– Photographs. If any parishioners of old can provide photographs linked to St Maries (school, community etc) they would be great to see.
– Photos.
– To have people bring photographs of St Marie’s School & Church and have a tour round the boys school and hall.
– Would be lovely to see as many photographs as possible showing the teachers, girls & boys school – outside and inside. Just any photos at all of the history of St Marie’s school and church. Thank you. People could just write their names on the back so they won’t get lost.
– It would be wonderful to be able to have a tour of the boys school.
– Carol Concert. Event focusing on May procession.
– Event for Christmas.
– Microphones!!!
– Would like to have carol service again at Christmas.
– Children Christmas play.
– Is there still a plan to collect photos of people married in the church?
– Just keep doing it.
– Should be promotion of events. Invite school children down to promote history of church/broadcast Heritage Group ect. Young children enjoy listening to stories about “olden days”.
– Maybe an event to see the old books and registers from the parish.