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Out & About


Local Comedy Promoter

Named Best In UK

2016 has certainly ended well for local comedy promoter Rob Riley who has just been named Best Independent Comedy Promoter in the UK Comedy Awards. The awards were set up in 2014 by London comedian John Moloney with only professional comedians and industry insiders being allowed to vote.

A new year and a new beginning for one of Saddleworth’s most iconic pubs, The Farrars at Grasscroft. Elizabeth Cosgrove, who has been working at The Farrars for over 4 years is taking over the business and giving it a whole new feel, specialising in great Wine, Tapas and Entertainment.

“The Farrars has always been a great venue, so I’m really pleased to have the opportunity to take things to another level and introduce a few nice changes which our customers will love.” says the new land-lady.

Elizabeth takes control after the recent exit of local musician, Anthony Kinsey, who has gone on to a full-time career in music and events after over 6 years as licensee. The re-opening will be on Friday January 20th when the pub will open it’s doors from 7pm with complimentary Tapas Tasters for all customers.

Eagle-eyed schoolchildren set to count Greater Manchester’s birds

Big Schools’ Birdwatch, 3 January- 17 February 2017

Tens of thousands of schoolchildren across the UK, including throughout Greater Manchester, will be swapping books for binoculars this term to take part in the UK’s biggest schools wildlife survey.

The RSPB’s Big Schools’ Birdwatch 2017 takes place during the first half of the spring term and helps children discover the wonderful wildlife they share their school grounds with, whilst providing a helpful insight into which species are thriving or declining. According to research conducted by the RSPB2, one in five children are disconnected from nature. Big Schools’ Birdwatch aims to inspire children to care about the natural world around them in the hope they’ll want to help protect it for future generations. Last year almost 100,000 pupils and teachers from schools all across the UK took part by counting the birds that visited their school grounds, and it is hoped even more will take part this year.

Over the years, more than 70 different species have been recorded in school grounds, ranging from starlings and house sparrows, to red kites and green woodpeckers. The blackbird remained the most common playground visitor in 2016 whilst starlings held onto the second spot. And for the first time wood pigeons made the top three, jumping up the list from sixth position the year before. Since its launch in 2002, the Big Schools’ Birdwatch has provided opportunities for children and teachers to learn about how to give nature a home in their school grounds. Many schools prepare for the event in advance by putting up feeders and nestboxes and making bird cake. Seeing and counting the birds coming to their feeders during the Big Schools Birdwatch is the perfect reward for their efforts.

Emma Reed, RSPB Education, Families and Youth Manager in Northern England said: “Taking part in Big Schools Birdwatch uses just one lesson or lunchtime so it’s really easy to get involved. We hope the excitement of taking part will then inspire children in Greater Manchester to get out and experience more of the wildlife around them. “With studies showing that children are becoming increasingly disconnected from nature, a concern that is linked to poorer physical and mental health, we want to provide young people with as many opportunities as possible to have fun exploring the natural world around them.”

The Big Schools' Birdwatch is the school version of the Big Garden Birdwatch – the world's biggest garden wildlife survey aimed at families and individuals. The event will take place over three days on 28, 29 and 30 January 2017 and further information can be found on the RSPB website

To register to take part in the 2017 RSPB Big Schools’ Birdwatch, visit Everything schools need to take part is available to download from the RSPB website.


"To be voted as best at what you do in the entire country is pretty amazing but the fact that it was all votes from my peers is even better. I must admit to being ever so slightly gob smacked and somewhat uncharacteristically speechless"

Lees base Rob, aged 50, supplies comedy night packages to venues up and down the country as well as running four regular nights of his own including Saddleworth's Off The Rails Comedy Club at the Royal George, Greenfield, which is now in it's sixteenth year.

"I'll be sinking a few self congratulatory pints tonight then tomorrow it will be back to spreading the word about all the great gigs we have coming up in Saddleworth and further afield"

Rob's next show takes place at the the Royal George in January and you can get all the details at or ring 07874 152 338

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