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Wistaston Memorial Hall & Community Centre – 70 years celebration

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Article and images by Jonathan White

(‘Wistaston Memorial Hall opening – 26th March 1949’ photo supplied with permission by Wistaston Memorial Hall & Community Centre).

 

Wistaston Memorial Hall & Community Centre – seventy years in existence – was built in memory of sixteen Wistaston heroes.

South Cheshire ‘George Formby’ Ukulele Society, Crewe Movie Makers and Wistaston Young Drama Group presented an event on the evening of Tuesday 26th March 2019 to mark the seven-decade anniversary.

The event was ‘A Night of Entertainment’ celebrating the hall’s 70 years in the community and included live music, drama and two short films about the hall.

Michael Ravenscroft was the master of ceremonies.

Isobel Carrahar introduced two short films produced by members of Crewe Movie Makers.

The first film was edited by Isobel herself in association with John White (chairman of Wistaston Memorial Hall committee).

Isobel used the seventeen years of research by John, in relation to the sixteen men from Wistaston who died in the Second World War, to produce a moving and fitting tribute to their bravery.

There is a plaque above the main entrance of Wistaston Memorial Hall which shows the names of the sixteen men.

The second film – ‘A Community Focal Point’ – was edited by Frank Nicklin and showed, via videos and photographs, the range of groups and societies which have used the Hall throughout the year and in years past.

It is a well-used, popular and important centre of the community, and has been so for seventy years.

The event programme also included an impressive performance by Wistaston Young Drama Group entitled ‘All the world’s a stage’. Des Redfern sang and played his mandolin.

Tony Brindley sang superbly under the title ‘Croon a Tune’. Arthur Newton encouraged audience participation as he played his accordion with a ‘Sing-along’.

The evening of entertainment was completed by seventeen members of the South Cheshire ‘George Formby’ Ukulele Society with a finale performance.

There were also refreshments during the interval and a prize raffle.

Diane Edge-Robinson, the hall’s vice chairman, took to the stage at the end of the evening to thank everyone for supporting the 70 years celebration event.

Many people had put in a lot of effort to make the event a success – what a wonderful evening to celebrate a special anniversary.

Over 130 people were in attendance and the event raised over £600, which will go towards the ongoing upkeep of the Hall.

 

Further Wistaston 2019 events include:

– Thursday 28th March (7.30pm) – Wistaston Memorial Hall & Community Centre AGM

– Saturday 15th June – Wistaston Village Fete – Wistaston Church Lane Academy, Church Lane, Wistaston

– Sunday 23rd June (7.30pm) – Concert by the South Cheshire Orchestra

– Saturday 7th September – Model Boat and Duck Race – Joey the Swan Recreation ground, Wistaston

– Thursday 10th October – Concert by Crewe Concert Band

– Tuesday 22nd October – Annual Hall Quiz

– Sunday 10th November (3pm) – Service of Remembrance

 

The names of the sixteen men from Wistaston, who lost their lives:

 

Lieutenant Richard Alexander Joseph Bolton

6th Battalion North Staffordshire Regiment, who died on Thursday 9th September 

1943, aged 35. Buried in the Ranchi War Cemetery, India.

 

Telegraphist Arthur Cornall

HMS Egret, Royal Navy, who died on Friday 27th August 1943, aged 33. Named on 

the Portsmouth Naval Memorial.

 

Corporal Reginald Alexander Dudley

Royal Engineers, who died on Tuesday 19th January 1943, aged 24. Buried at the 

Basra War Cemetery, Iraq.

 

Lieutenant-Commander Roy Berryman Edwards DSO

HMS Watchful, Royal Navy, who died on Thursday 11th June 1942, aged 39. Named on 

the Portsmouth Naval Memorial.

 

Second Radio Officer Derek Aubrey Gresty

SS Fort Athabaska (London) – Merchant Navy, who died on Thursday 2nd December 

1943, aged 23. Named on the Tower Hill Memorial, London.

 

Fusilier Stanley Hassall

2nd Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, who died on Wednesday 3rd May 1944, 

aged 24. Buried at the Beach Head War Cemetery, Anzio, Italy.

 

Driver Robert Walker Hilton

Royal Corps of Signals, who died on Monday 8th September 1941, aged 25. Buried 

in Crewe (Coppenhall) Cemetery.

 

Sergeant George Alfred Hinton

53rd Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, who died on Tuesday 26th 

November 1940, aged 28. Named on the Runnymede Memorial, Surrey.

 

Lieutenant Ronald Arthur Hulse

91st Regiment, Royal Artillery, who died on Saturday 17th June 1944, aged 29. 

Buried in the Tel El Kebir War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt.

 

Private John William Lowe

11th Battalion, Parachute Regiment, Army Air Corps, who died on Saturday 26th 

February 1944, aged 23. Buried in St Mary’s Churchyard, Wistaston.

 

Leading Seaman Thomas Henry Kenneth Parsonage

HMS Firedrake, Royal Navy, who died on Thursday 17th December 1942, aged 31. 

Named on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial.

 

Lance Sergeant George Powell

Royal Corps of Signals, who died on Monday 27th May 1940, aged 21. Buried in the 

Hazebrouck Communal Cemetery, Nord, France.

 

Acting Sub Lieutenant Thomas Eric Richards

HMS Grebe, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, who died on Monday 15th December 1941, 

aged 20. Named on the Lee-on-Solent Memorial, Hampshire.

 

Sub-Lieutenant Frank Judson Tomkinson

Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, who died on Tuesday 27th July 1943, aged 20 

Buried at St Marys Churchyard, Acton, near Nantwich.

 

Captain Reginald Frederick Tucker

Royal Engineers, who died on Monday 25th September 1939, aged 35. Buried in the 

Brest (Kerfautras) Cemetery, Finistere, France.

 

Flight Lieutenant Maurice Norman Waugh

Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, who died on Sunday 14th February 1943, aged 

31. Buried at the Ibadan Military Cemetery, Nigeria.

 

A plaque adjacent to Wistaston Memorial Hall main entrance reads:

“Thank you for giving up your life and letting us live a good life” Hannah Carroll, November 1998, aged 7, Wistaston Westfield Infant School

 

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