Macclesfield - a town built on success
PUBLISHED: 00:00 13 May 2016 | UPDATED: 11:35 13 May 2016
From award-winning Chihuahuas to a young boy impressing the golf world, Macclesfield is full of enthusiastic people, writes Rebekka O'Grady
when mum Alison walked around Tytherington Golf Club with him in the pram she can have had no idea her son would grow up to spend so much time on the course. Remy Miller, who is now 14, has become the youngest ever male player to qualify for the Champions’ Week finals at the European Junior Open.
‘I got an interest in golf aged two, when I received a set of toy golf clubs at Christmas,’ explained Remy, who is a year nine pupil at the King’s School in Macclesfield. ‘I enjoyed playing with them over any toys I had. As we live near the golf course, I used to watch the golfers and became increasing interested.’
At the age of six, Remy achieved his first handicap from practising in the garden and going to the driving range with his dad, Brian. ‘I remember winning a men’s competition on new years day, the ‘Hangover Handicap’ – that was really funny.’
Last year, Remy was the youngest male qualifier for the U17 finals week at the 23rd European Junior Open in Andalucia. Remy, who also plays for Cheshire County U14 and has won numerous trophies at Tytherington Club and at the Delamere Forest Open, finished in sixth place. The event brings together top British and European juniors for one of the toughest tests in junior golf.
‘I was really proud of myself, it was a relief to play well,’ said Remy, whose current handicap is 5.0. ‘I was +8 through three rounds, which was the best I’ve ever played. I would like to re-qualify for the competition again this year and better my finish.’
Remy, who also until recently played rugby for the school and the county, is on the golf course about six times a week. ‘It was a hard decision to leave rugby behind,’ he said. ‘But there’s too big a risk of injury. I still play cricket for the school, but it’s always been golf that I’ve really want to do.’
The super-sportsman aims this year to be selected for the England U16 squad, and to achieve a top ten finish in the Reid Trophy in Hertfordshire in August. ‘It’s the most prestigious U14 amateur stroke play event held in the UK and attracts an international field. It would be brilliant to play well in that.’
Nathan’s unusual creations
Moving from shed to studio, this up and coming furniture designer and maker is making waves in Cheshire with his handcrafted designs. Nathan Millar, based in the ground floor of a mill in the centre of Macclesfield, never imagined he would be where he is today.
‘I was an apprentice in my hometown of Wilmslow, and then trained up from there while doing a course at Stockport College,’ said the 24-year-old, who now lives in Macclesfield. ‘I set up my first company, Barker and Burr, while I was working at a workshop. I would do it in my spare time, making items such as cheese and chopping boards. As it became more popular, I set it up in my mum and dad’s shed.’
Eventually, the time came for Nathan to choose between working for someone else at the workshop or setting up a business full time for himself. ‘I decided to go for it alone in December 2014. This was just a fantastic space with great local suppliers, walking distance from everywhere.’
Nathan Millar Furniture now specialises in both fully fitted and free standing furniture. Anything from wardrobes and dining tables to lamps and kitchens, you can commission your own piece of dream furniture.
‘Most recently I’ve been quoted to make a boardroom table to seat 20 people. That will take around eight to ten weeks to make. Normally clients give me a brief and then it’s down to me to see what supplies have. Peover Saw Mill is fantastic. I try to use as many local suppliers and timber as possible. Design inspiration is taken mainly form the wood itself, as I am always trying to show it off to its maximum potential.’
With items on display in Knutsford’s Vermilion Gallery and potential work in the pipeline for bespoke pieces for Bang and Olfsen’s Wilmslow showroom, the future is looking positive for Nathan.
‘I’m still in the stage of getting my name out there. Eventually, I would love to have that instant recognition factor on my designs.’
Four-legged family success
It’s not often you hear about a four-generation family of dogs living under one roof, let alone an award-winning one. ‘All this came about a funny way,’ said owner, Mairi Austin. ‘I used to have rescue dogs and take them to fun shows. After they passed away I had a conversation with a vet who said that if I get another dog it should be a Chihuahua.’
Fast forward 16 years and Mairi, a nurse at Wright and Morten Veterinary Surgeons in Macclesfield, now has five Chihuahuas: Lara, Blossom, Chiquita, Daniel and Edward. All dogs except Edward’s mum, Chiquita, currently compete in the world’s largest dog show, Crufts.
‘Lara, who is great-grandmother to Edward, first competed in Crufts in 2008,’ said Mairi. ‘Both her and Blossom, who is Daniel’s mum and came top in the Chihuahua Veteran Bitch class, now have lifetime qualification in the competition.’
This year was eight-month old Edward’s first competition, and according to Mairi he hit the floor running. ‘I’ve never entered a puppy at Crufts before which was exciting. He came second in the minor puppy dog class – qualifying him for next year’s event.’
‘I will show them for as long as they are happy. Lara is ten in May, and she’s still happy to be strutting about. I really enjoy the buzz of it and the atmosphere. For me it’s a fun couple of days out, I am just happy to be there with the dogs and anything on top is a bonus.’
The history of Danes Moss
The former Danes Moss peat industry and its horse-worked tramway came to a close 50 years ago. Bramhall-born David Morgan, who visited the site back in 1966 and took photographs, tells us more about its history and what it is today.
Part of the 33 acre site has now been donated by Fisons (who took over the British Moss Litter Co in the early 1960s) to the Cheshire Wildlife Trust who has designated it as Danes Moss Nature Reserve.
Around three kilometres south of Macclesfield, adjacent to the railway to Stoke and the Macclesfield Canal, the Trust has lately been restoring areas of the moss to original condition, removing a lot of silver birch trees, and has built a board-walk, part of which follows the old tramway route to the mill.
Peat production ceased in autumn 1965 and when I cycled over from Bramhall in February 1966, demolition was in progress, with a horse called Star hauling the train with recovered materials. I took photographs on two or three visits, and later wrote a chapter of a book, The Fun We Had, on the tramway in 1976.