TENDING to the graves of forgotten soldiers in Hyde Cemetery has become a personal crusade for pensioner Ron Andrew.
He can regularly be spotted tidying up the gravesides of more than 40 servicemen who fought in the two World Wars in Hyde Cemetery.
Today his outstanding dedication will be recognised nationally, when he will be named as the recipient of a new Point of Light Award.
Mr Reynolds, who met with “inspirational” Mr Andrew to congratulate him on his award, said:
“Mr Andrew makes a tremendous effort to ensure the graves of these servicemen are properly cared for – and I am delighted that his work has been recognised.
“His work in the cemetery not only shows respect for those individuals who served in the World Wars, but his research will ensure their contribution is recognised for years to come.
“I believe Tameside is a better place to live because of people like Mr Andrew, who selflessly give up their time for others.
“And I hope the Point of Light award will encourage others in Tameside and beyond to consider how they could volunteer to improve the communities where they live.”
Mr Andrew, aged 84, and a former member of the Royal Artillery, began looking after the graves following the death of his wife, May Elizabeth, three years ago.
On a regular visit to the cemetery he happened upon the unkept grave of Lance Corporal Joseph Collier, who served with the Lancashire Fusiliers and who died a month after returning from World War Two.
And it was after cutting back the overgrown grass on Lance Corporal Collier’s grave that he noticed the graves of others who had served in the two World Wars.
Now Mr Andrew regularly tends to the graves of around 40 ex-servicemen in the cemetery, including a boy soldier who died at the age of 15.
He puts Poppy crosses on their graves for Remembrance Sunday in recognition of their contribution and he has even researched their histories in the hope that they will never be forgotten.
The new Points of Light awards are designed to recognise outstanding volunteers, who are making a real change to their communities.
They have been developed in partnership with the Points of Light programme in America. Mr Andrew’s award was announced today by Prime Minister David Cameron.
Mr Andrew’s contribution has previously been recognised by the Mayor of Tameside Council and by The Poppy Factory.
TENDING to the graves of forgotten soldiers in Hyde Cemetery has become a personal crusade for pensioner Ron Andrew. He can regularly be spotted tidying up the gravesides of more...
Commenting on the latest CQC report into Tameside General Hospital, local Members of Parliament Andrew Gwynne, Jonathan Reynolds and David Heyes said;
“Today’s report by the CQC shows that progress has been made, particularly in vital areas such as accident and emergency and mortality rates, which is reassuring. But there are clearly still significant problems that need to be addressed.
“Without doubt staff at the hospital have worked hard over the past 12 months to make the changes recognised in this report. And crucially we believe the new management team is better placed to be able to deliver the improvements that remain necessary.
“However, as local Members of Parliament, we believe further improvements are crucial - and we will continue to work with management, patients and staff until we have a hospital that Tameside can be proud of.”
Published 16th July 2014.
Commenting on the latest CQC report into Tameside General Hospital, local Members of Parliament Andrew Gwynne, Jonathan Reynolds and David Heyes said; “Today’s report by the CQC shows that progress...
Big changes are already underway for in the North of England's railway services, some of it good, some of it not so good.
For instance, our area will benefit from around £4bn of investment that is coming from Network Rail’s ‘Northern Hub’ project, which will see several of the key routes throughout the North being electrified and significant alterations to both Manchester Piccadilly and Victoria stations.
On the other hand however, we stand to lose trains that run on the Stalybridge line to help satisfy a shortage in the Chilterns, as I explained here.
Whichever aspect you choose to focus on there is no doubting that rail services are an extremely significant issue for people locally, and something that the success of the area is completely dependent on.
That’s why I think the most recent announcement form the Department for Transport regarding the refranchising of Northern rail services is so important.
As the Department’s consultation document explains, both the rail franchises that run through our area are due to be refranchised by 2015.
I have long campaigned for better train services across Stalybridge, Hyde, and Mossley and believe that any reduction to our current services would be both unacceptable and counterproductive. People depend on these services, and the success of the local economy is dependent on the quality of our transport links.
As part of this process I will be making a formal submission to the DfT’s consultation – through which I will be making the case to protect local services – but I would encourage people who use them to do the same.
If you wish to read the consultation and make a submission you can do so by following this link, and if you wish to share your thoughts with me please feel free to email me at email@example.com
Big changes are already underway for in the North of England's railway services, some of it good, some of it not so good. For instance, our area will benefit...
Commenting on the case of former soldier Dave McIntyre - originally from Hyde - who is facing extradition to the US, Jonathan said:
'I first became involved with Dave's case 2 years ago when he came to see me at a surgery. He has since moved home, meaning I stopped being his MP and could not continue to represent him, but I have continued to keep a close eye on the case.
I have always believed that Dave is suffering considerably from post-traumatic stress and that he should not be extradited. I am disappointed that the High Court has not agreed with this. I can only say that, from my own dealings with him, I believe Dave to be an honest and trustworthy man.
I do not have sufficient knowledge of the legal system to say if it is possible for Dave to be tried in the UK, but I do believe all steps possible should be taken to ensure he is given a fair trial. In particular, I do not believe he should be extradited until the trial is ready to commence. That way he will not face undue pressure to sign a plea bargain admitting guilt for an offence which he is adamant he is innocent of.'
Commenting on the case of former soldier Dave McIntyre - originally from Hyde - who is facing extradition to the US, Jonathan said: 'I first became involved with Dave's case...
Picture courtesy of Stalybridge Old Band
The Whit Friday Band Contest is one of the most important events on Tameside’s social calendar. Not just because it is a well attended and enjoyable family event, but because it plays an important part in our areas cultural heritage.
Locally the competing brass bands are synonymous with the whit walks but what many people may not realise is that the association is, for the most part, a local phenomenon. Although music was always a common feature of the Whitsun processions Tameside and Saddleworth are unique for incorporating band contests into the festivities.
The Whitsuntide celebrations stem from the Feast of the Pentecost - an important date for the Christian church - and gradually lost their importance in many areas at the beginning of the 19th century as industrialisation moved people from the countryside and into the growing mill towns.
It was precisely because of the stress of the new industrial life however that the people of the North West tried to keep the celebration alive in places such as Stalybridge. The walks themselves were intertwined with the work of Sunday schools, which thrived amongst the deeply religious working classes and in the absence of formal education.
As well as being an opportunity to get a break from the stresses of the mills the Ministers and Superintendents of the Sunday schools saw the walks as an appealing alternative to another Northern tradition of this era - the annual horse races on Kersal Moor - which came to be marked by a tendency towards drinking and gambling.
In 1870 the first Band Contest was held in Stalybridge to coincide with the Whit Walks and they have formed an important part of the areas cultural heritage ever since. The events - spread throughout Stalybridge and Saddleworth - have attracted thousands of people from across the world and even featured in the hit 1996 film ‘Brassed Off’, which starred the late Pete Postlethwaite.
Events like this are important, not just because they ensure things are going on in our towns, but because they allow us to consider what makes areas like ours what they are. In the Band Contest the people of Stalybridge definitely have something we can call our own, and I am delighted to give it my full support.
The Stalybridge Contest takes place on Friday 13th June from 4.30-10.30pm at Stalybridge Labour Club
Picture courtesy of Stalybridge Old Band The Whit Friday Band Contest is one of the most important events on Tameside’s social calendar. Not just because it is a...
There are 2,526 good reasons why each and everyone one of us in Tameside should get involved in Dementia Awareness Week, which runs from 18th-24th May.
I say this because that is the number of people estimated to be currently living with Dementia in Tameside.
One in three people over the age of 65 will develop dementia, and as a local MP, all too often I see first-hand the devastating impact the condition has - not only the person with dementia but their family, friends and carers too.
The fact that there are more and more people in Tameside who are living with dementia puts into perspective why there is a duty on us all and society as a whole to act.
Across the UK, on average less than half of those people have received a diagnosis. Diagnosis is the key that unlocks access to support services. There are many reasons why people may be afraid to ask their GP for a diagnosis.
They may feel scared, confused or even ashamed. But the sooner they know what they're dealing with, the sooner they can get on with their life and feel in control again.
That’s why Alzheimer’s Society – the charity behind Dementia Awareness Week – is using the week to encourage people to 'open up' and talk. They want anyone who is concerned to talk to their doctor, their family, but also to come and talk to Alzheimer's Society.
This year, Dementia Awareness Week coincides with the European and local elections. But as a condition impacting on so many – which research has shown people fear more than any other illness – it is vital that dementia is tackled from both sides of the House of Commons and by people from all walks of life and all ages in my constituency.
Yesterday I met with local illustrator and author, Tony Husband to discuss his new book, which was inspired by his father’s battle with dementia which he is using to raise awareness of the issue throughout Dementia Awareness Week.
Speaking about his book, Tony said, “The book came from me one night trying to understand what we as a family, and of course my dad, had gone through over the last few years with his dementia.”
“What started as a few rough scribbles about me talking to my dad became the book, ‘Take Care Son...’”
“It seems to have touched many people, and perhaps my dad’s sad journey will be able to help others understand it a bit more”
Tony’s story, and the stories of the thousands of others who have been affected by dementia, will no doubt touch us all. That is why this week I’m doing my bit for Dementia Awareness Week, and why I’m challenging readers to do the same.
There are 2,526 good reasons why each and everyone one of us in Tameside should get involved in Dementia Awareness Week, which runs from 18th-24th May. I say this...
On Tuesday, I attended an event hosted by the Ramblers to share ideas on what politicians can do to help encourage more people to take up walking.
As well as being one of the few family activities that won’t cost you a penny walking is a great way of encouraging greater mental and physical wellbeing, and appreciation of our beautiful natural environment.
The Ramblers - who have a very active local group here in Tameside - feel that for walking to succeed as a popular leisure activity - Government needs to be active in promoting active, healthier lives, and protecting the paths and walkways that people use to enjoy Britain’s green spaces.
So, in that spirit, I wanted to take the opportunity to promote the idea, and point people in the direction of the local Ramblers group. If you want to find out more about what the Ramblers do in Tameside, you can visit their website here.
On Tuesday, I attended an event hosted by the Ramblers to share ideas on what politicians can do to help encourage more people to take up walking. As well...
Love Your Local Market is a celebration of the UK’s market culture here in the UK which takes place between the 14th and 28th of May. Last year saw 700 markets taking part with over 4,000 events being organised.
I accepted an invitation to the Love Your Local Market reception in Parliament in this week where we discussed the importance of market traders in ensuring the success of our high streets and town centres.
The organisers use the fortnight as an opportunity to promote the value of local markets and encourage people to get along to their nearest stalls.
Hyde’s market stalls have been an important feature of the town for over 125 years, and I encourage people to get along and lend their support.
To find out more about Love Your Local Market you can visit their website at www.loveyourlocalmarket.org.uk.
Love Your Local Market is a celebration of the UK’s market culture here in the UK which takes place between the 14th and 28th of May. Last year saw 700 markets...
Hyde FC are set to host a game with a difference at their Ewen Field stadium on May 10th, when Manchester City veterans come together to face a team of Greater Manchester Police officers and other criminal justice staff.
The game has been organised by Victim Support - a charity that helps victims of crime - in support of their campaign against domestic abuse.
The teams will be competing for the Linzi Ashton Memorial Cup - in honour of Linzi Ashton, a young woman from Salford who tragically died of injuries caused by her ex-partner, after enduring months of domestic abuse.
Domestic abuse is sadly still a serious problem in Britain - with estimates suggesting as many as 2 million victims a year, with only 800,000 incidents being reported to the police.
Victims’ organisations have long argued that the issue was not receiving the attention it warrants from the criminal justice system, but since 2005 the police and courts have made significant progress in bringing the number of perpetrators to justice.
Despite this, tens of thousands of individuals will continue to suffer at the hands of abusive partners, and more must be done to raise awareness of these shameful crimes.
Evidence shows that there is an increase in cases of domestic abuse during the World Cup, which has prompted footballers and campaigners alike to team up and use football as a means of getting their message out.
The team of Manchester City veterans, the “Old Boys”, will be managed by Macclesifeld Town’s former manager, Derek Partridge, with the challengers relying on the skills of GMP senior officers, such as Assistant Chief Constable, Garry Shewan.
The trophy will be presented by Linzi’s family, who will be there to support the event in person.
Tickets are on sale at £5, and all proceeds will contribute to the charities work supporting victims of domestic abuse. If you are interested, please contact Angela Stewart of Victim Support on 0161 968 4986. Alternatively, tickets can be requested by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or by getting in touch via Twitter at @VS_Manchester
Hyde FC are set to host a game with a difference at their Ewen Field stadium on May 10th, when Manchester City veterans come together to face a...
This week’s report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has served as a stark reminder of the scale of the task the world faces on climate change. The report concludes that climate change is already happening, it is set to get much worse, and there will be profound consequences for the UK and the world if action to mitigate it is not stepped up now.
Now the Government must consider how this will impact on our approach to foreign policy. With the armed forces reduced in size, and our commitment to the conflict in Afghanistan winding down, this could be a period where foreign policy is no longer overshadowed by military engagements.
The Paris Conference in December 2015 will be an opportunity for the world’s leaders to reach agreement on a legally-binding agreement to ensure we take the action needed to prevent a catastrophic global temperature rise of above 2 degrees.
This is an area of policy where the UK’s vast resources, global influence, and diplomatic network could be put to good use.
As the first country in the world to pass binding legislation to tackle emissions the UK has a great deal of credit in the bank – credit that, unfortunately, is beginning to be eroded by the softening commitment from the Coalition Government.
What would success in Paris look like? An agreement that includes for the first time all of the major CO2 emitters and which contains a commitment to mitigation and legally binding rules. It will also need to address issues of finance, deforestation and climate adaptation.
Many people worry that such a treaty is too difficult to achieve given the unlikelihood of any US President persuading the Senate to ratify an international treaty. But over the last year, under President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry, there has been a fundamental shift in US attitudes to climate change.
The attitude of the US and what it does will invariably impact on the approach that China takes, but we should recognise that climate change, and related issues around air quality and environmental degradation, are issues that China’s leaders take extremely seriously.
The politics of this will naturally be challenging. Some present this as a choice between addressing climate change and ensuring economic growth, but that need not be the case. This agenda also represents an enormous opportunity for the UK – we are already leaders in green manufacturing, and it is one of the few areas where the UK currently has a positive balance of trade with China. It also brings with it a host of related benefits in terms of energy security, better housing, and greater sustainability for business.
For a safe and prosperous future, and for a chance to engage a new generation in one of the biggest political issues we have ever faced, leading on climate change and the Paris Conference must form an essential part of any Government’s foreign policy agenda.
This week’s report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has served as a stark reminder of the scale of the task the world faces on climate change....