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S I T TI BI
Registered at the Post Office as a Newspaper Est. 1893
INCORPORATED WITH THE CONGLETON AND MACCLESFIELD MERCURY
THURSDAY, 22nd APRIL, 2010.
INSIDE: OUR COMPREHENSIVE PROPERTY GUIDE FEATURING LOCAL ESTATE AGENTS
Reprieve for care centre Readers' Views Pages 16-18 Page 13
What’s on... What’s gone...
Volcano ash smothers Mexico wedding dream
By Lyndsey Telford A Congleton couple’s dreams of a Mexican wedding were shattered after what was supposed to be the most romantic flight of their lives was cancelled because of the volcanic ash cloud.
Liam Withers and Krishna Morris from Brook Street were due to fly to Cancun on Thursday when planes were grounded.
The wedding at a resort at Riviera Maya on the Caribbean coast was lanned for the next day, ut the travel operator Thomas Cook informed them that their 9.45am flight would not be taking off.
Mr Withers, an engineer, told the “Chronicle”: “We arrived at Manchester
Airport at about 6.30am that morning when all the drama was happening. Thomas Cook was checking people in, but everybody else was getting turned away.
“The departure boards were flashing with loads of different information. It was pandemonium.”
Despite being urged not to worry about their flight, Mr Withers, Miss Morris, a chef at DV8 restaurant bar and their 20-strong group of wedding guests were sent home at 2.30pm.
Mr Withers said: “We were just sat in departures, then told to collect our baggage from arrivals which was pretty grim considering we hadn’t actually arrived anywhere. We were sent home with nothing but a letter with details to ring a helpline.”
Although everyone involved was “gutted” about missing the wedding — particularly the couple’s four-year-old son Connor who had been counting the days — Mr Withers said he was glad the airlines chose to ground
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He explained: “It’s definitely better to be safer by being on the ground rather than up in the air with all that ash. I work with a few guys who have been in the RAF and are in the know about these kinds of things. They’ve told me we should be grateful we weren’t allowed to fly when we were supposed to.”
He added: “I was never a nervous flyer but I will be now.”
Although the last week has been “a nightmare” for the couple, their story now has a happy ending.
Mr Withers said: “We had been waiting to hear from the Thomas Cook wedding team since last week and they have now sorted everything out for us and managed to get us another date. They have been absolutely brilliant.
“A member of staff from the Congleton branch actually visited my partner’s work to tell her in person that we are now scheduled to fly to Mexico on Friday, 30th April and the wedding will take place on 6th May.
“Getting to Mexico is one thing but it would have been irrelevant if we couldn’t get another date for the wedding — that’s what going there is all about.
“So many people have been messed about because of the ash cloud and two of the original wedding party will be unable to attend on the rescheduled date, but luckily my dad, Graham, will be able to come.”
Mr Withers and Miss Morris are now keeping their fingers crossed that nothing will scupper their new wedding plans.
Mr Withers added: “We’re hoping now that we’ll get good weather on 6th May.”
A Congleton U3A trip to Berlin got no further than Holmes Chapel thanks to the volcanic ash that halted flights earlier this week. • —Turn to page 23. It could be the dawn of a dancing career for 15-year-old Serena Heyes. To find out why she is jumping for joy, turn to page 24. (“Chronicle” photo. 1605b/10).
Kidnapper ran a gym used by club with police links
A Congleton man currently serving four years in prison for kidnapping, and who had previous convictions from offences committed as a youth, used to run a gym used by a community youth project that has police links — the Beartown Amateur Boxing Club.
The club was set up by the police, the Community Safety Project and community wardens to give young people more things to do outside school and received funding from sources such as the Congleton Community Safety Partnership and Dane Housing.
The gym, which closed around 18 months ago, was run by Cain Pemberton, (20), from Parnell Square who was jailed last Tuesday after a jury at Chester Crown Court found him and 19-year-old co-accused
Ricky Jervis guilty of dragging Macclesfield man Matthew Morris from his girlfriend’s car on 9th September last year.
The kidnappers, who were masked, beat the victim and bundled him into another car, drove him into the countryside and dumped him.
Jennifer Bentley, (31), from Alsager, who drove the car used in the kidnapping, pleaded guilty before the trial began and received a two-year prison sentence. • —Turn to page 24.
Save Our Shops
A Save Our Shops event takes place in Congleton tonight (Thursday) from 6-8pm. For more details, turn to the back page.
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