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St Helens pub granted listed status

The Wheatsheaf

One of Merseyside's oldest pubs is being granted listed status as part of a project by Historic England to celebrate 'overlooked' buildings.

The Wheatsheaf on Mill Lane, St Helens, is among 21 inter-war pubs being listed by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

It was built in 1938, and the day it opened, according to local Frank Baumber, a great crowd of ale drinkers, lured by the promise of a free pint of ale, were met by campaigners who sang and preached, warning against entering the "House of the Devil".

The Wheatsheaf

"These inter-war pubs are more than a slice of living history, they play an intrinsic role in English culture and our local communities.

"I'm delighted that these pubs and their fascinating history have been protected for generations to enjoy for years to come."

– Heritage Minister Tracey Crouch

The building is being listed as part of plans to understand and protect some of England's best pubs built between 1918 and 1939.

During that time breweries across the country rebuilt thousands of pubs, spurred on by the need to appeal beyond their usual male clientele and leave behind the image of drunkenness associated with Victorian and Edwardian pubs.

Cunningham "season is a long way from being over"

St Helens coach Keiron Cunningham Credit: PA Images

St Helens coach Keiron Cunningham is urging the critics not to write off the reigning Super League champions after a third successive defeat saw them slip to fourth place in the table.

They were overtaken by Huddersfield following the Giants' 28-22 victory at Langtree Park, and with fixtures coming up against Wigan, Leeds and Warrington, Saints urgently need an upturn in fortunes if they are to retain their crown.

However, Cunningham had called for a response from his players following their surprise home defeat by Hull and he believes he got it.

"It's a result-based industry and we need to pick some points up but I thought the response was pretty good."

"If anything, the effort across the board was too good because they tried to force things instead of being patient and trying to build pressure.

"Huddersfield are a good side and it was a typical Saints-Huddersfield game which went down to the wire. They took their chances better than we did.

"It was a hell of a lot better than the Hull game. There were some really good efforts out there. We played a little bit anxious because we've lost a few games at an important time but I'm happy with the response.

"The season is a long way from being over. We've got to make the top four and we'll have a crack at it."

– Keiron Cunningham

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St Helens North - Labour Hold

  • Conor McGinn (Lab) 26,378 (57.03%, +5.31%)
  • Paul Richardson (C) 9,087 (19.65%, -2.66%)
  • Ian Smith (UKIP) 6,983 (15.10%, +10.38%)
  • Denise Aspinall (LD) 2,046 (4.42%, -15.76%)
  • Elizabeth Ward (Green) 1,762 (3.81%)
  • Lab maj 17,291 (37.38%)
  • 3.99% swing C to Lab
  • Electorate 75,262; Turnout 46,256 (61.46%, +2.04%)

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38 pythons up to 5ft long stolen in St Helens

Royal Pythons are non-venomous but very powerful snakes. Credit: PA

38 Royal Python snakes have been stolen from a flat in St Helens.

Thieves broke in to the property on Greenfield Road on the evening of Monday March 16 and took a total of 38 snakes, including eight pregnant females and 11 young snakes.

Two men were seen leaving the premises with two sacks before making off in a dark coloured vehicle.

The Royal Pythons are non-venomous and extremely unlikely to pose any threat to the public.

Officers believe they will be offered for sale to people who are experienced in the handling of snakes locally or via the internet, and that the snakes are unlikely to come into contact with the general public.

These snakes, in particular the pregnant and young snakes, need specialist care and can grow to around 5ft in length. We are appealing for any help the public can give us to trace them.

I would urge local people to cast their minds back to the evening of Monday, 16 March in case they saw the two males in a dark-coloured vehicle or remember seeing or hearing anything suspicious.

– Detective Constable Neil Henry, from St Helens CID
Credit: Merseyside Police

Anyone with information that could assist the police is asked to contact St Helens CID on 0151 777 6843 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

St Helens mum's £45,000 debt after becoming addicted to online bingo

Kelly Field racked up £45,000 in debt and maxed out five credit cards after becoming addicted to online bingo.

Kelly would play non-stop for up to eight hours at a time, draining all the money she and her boyfriend had saved up together.

Her addiction became so bad that she began to have suicidal thoughts and turned to self-harm after worrying about how she would ever escape the habit.

Now Kelly, who is paying off £300 of debt a month, is calling on the gambling industry to rein in its advertising.

Woman found dead in house fire

Fire crews have found the body of a woman following a house fire in St Helens. Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service was called out to a house on Birchfield Street, in Thatto Heath, at around 11.20pm last night.

The fire began in the lounge of the home and after crews put out the flames they discovered the body of an elderly woman. A man also suffered slight smoke inhalation.

An investigation into the exact cause of the fire is underway however it is believed that the fire was accidental.

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