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THURSDAY, 21st APRIL, 2011.

Left in the dark

Who'll win your vote? Readers'ViewsPages35-38 Page 56

Pages 28&29

What’s on... What’s gone...

Pages 20-24

Royal wedding parties ust not up our street

Safari par reader offe

Page 24

By Kayleigh Williams There will be only one official street party in Congleton for the royal wedding next Friday.

In contrast to the celerations for Charles and Diana’s wedding in 1981, when there were outdoor celebrations around the town, only Tidnock Avenue been granted a street party licence for 29th April.

But it does not demonstrate a lack of interest in the wedding of Catherine Middleton and Prince William. At King’s Emporium, the party and costume shop on Bridge Street, owner Jason King said: “We have sold lots of unting and loads of banners.

“We have sold out of cardboard Kate and Wills masks.

“People are celebrating in unusual ways; we had a Kate and Wills party last week and someone hired a wedding dress.”

Mr King said Congleton people were tending to celebrate more privately with garden parties or at family gatherings.

He said: “I’ve heard of a few big private parties but I don’t think they are street parties.

There will be celebrations in Timbersbrook at Under Rainow Road and at the village hall and rectory in Astbury. A resident in Derwent Close, Alsager, also applied successfully to hold a street party.

Mr King said it was the first royal wedding he had experienced as a businesses owner “so I can’t really compare it to the last”.

He added: “It seems that people aren’t going in for the official street parties; maybe it is having to fill in application forms that put them off.

“It does seem that they are getting in the party mood though.”

When Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer on 29th July 1981 the “Chronicle” ran a royal wedding special.

We pictured Blythe Avenue decked with bunting and banners


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Competitive prices Royle Street, Congleton, Cheshire Tel: 01260 274505. Fax: 01260 280574 and sightseers flocked to look at the decorations.

Craig Road, St John’s Road and Bankhouse Drive in Buglawton were all decorated for parties, and employers such as the Siemens factory in Eaton Bank joined in.

The town hall had singing and a banquet, retirement homes such as The Mount and schools including Quinta, West Heath, had big parties too.

Lisa Bossons a Congleton town councillor for Labour said: “It isn’t a shame. In this time of cuts and job losses it would be a total waste of money and council time to be going through all this paperwork.

“I have for a long time thought that I can not see what good the Royals do and it is only through an accident of birth that they are royal at all.”

Margaret Williamson, chairman of Congleton Partnership said: “There is a terrible absence of street parties, although I do think people are celebrating at home with family or are going on holiday.

“We will be putting things on for the Queen’s jubilee next year though, possibly in the park.”

The deadline to apply for s t reet party l icences expired on Friday with 25 granted for the Cheshire East Council area.

Sons won’t abandon father who stabbed their mother to death

The sons of a dementia sufferer who killed their mother said they would not forsake their father.

John Hammond, (71), stabbed to death his wife, Patricia, who cared for him. He was found guilty of murder at Chester Crown Court and after the trial, solicitor John Weate spoke on behalf of the sons, Stephen and Brian.

He said: “They are still very distressed at the death of their mother and distressed at the circumstances that led to their father’s arrest.

“But they are fully aware that this came about through illness and not criminality. They will forever support their father and want him to be cared for in hospital.”

Their father kicked and stamped on Mrs Hammond, before attacking her with a knife at their home in Crewe Road, Alsager, on 24th June

The court heard that Mrs Hammond was struggling to cope with her husband’s deteriorating condition and the family had been looking for more help.

Hammond inflicted four stab wounds to her upper body, including two that had penetrated her chest cavity, and 12 other stab wounds as well as bruises to her head, chest, back and limbs.

Mrs Hammond was taken to Leighton Hospital where she died four days later due to blood loss. Hammond was arrested and detained under the Mental Health Act.

The jury returned the verdict in a matter of minutes after they heard the case in Hammond’s absence last Wednesday, when Justice Stephen Irwin ruled that he was unfit to stand trial because of his illness.

Hammond was given an interim hospital order and the trial was adjourned for sentencing, with a full order to be made within eight weeks.

Mrs Hammond’s sister, Helen Dunn, made a statement to police, which was read out to the jury. She knew her sister as Anne. The statement read: “I was upstairs when I heard this horrendous piercing scream. I know now that Anne was calling my name, but it didn’t register.

“On hearing the scream I went shooting downstairs, thinking Anne had fallen on something.

“I walked into the kitchen and saw John stamping on her head. He just wouldn’t stop stamping and kicking her head.

“I jumped onto John, trying to pull him away. I tried to bite him and push my fingers into his eyes, but he pushed me off. She was screaming that she was dying.

“I saw he was carrying a knife as I was standing over Anne on the floor. It seemed he was coming for me with the knife. Anne told me to run. • —Turn to back page.

A vet and his staff were left sickened by the actions of a heartless person who dumped this terrified and badly injured puppy in a bin in Congleton. The five-month-old Staffordshire bull terrier was rescued by Shaun Wood and is recovering from a prolapsed eye and a fractured leg at Blue House Vets in Biddulph. Now vet Neil Brogan wants to bring the perpetrator to justice. For the full story, turn to the back page. (“Chronicle” photo. 1640/11).

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