The terrace of The Lord Combermere was turned into an outside broadcast studio yesterday afternoon when BBC Radio Stoke's James Watt and Lamont Howie spoke to a series of local Audlem residents.
First up was AudlemOnline's editor Bob Cartwright who was quizzed about why Audlem was the First Village of the North, geographically, and who talked about its success a few years ago when it was declared to be the best community in England in a government (Defra) competition that looked at villages in all fifty English counties before declaring Audlem the outright national winner.
John Tilling spoke about the APHAx project, The Big Lottery Grant and what a public hall provides for a community. He explained how the new annexe, which should see construction work starting in a few weeks time, will provide new facilities for the Youth Club, older residents through ADCA and a community gym.
Allan Brown, landlord at the The Lord Combermere explained how he and his wife Jo came to be running a pub and what life was like in a community like Audlem. He described all the village groups who regularly use the pub and the amazing programme of events that are the highlights of the Audlem year.
There's little doubt who made the most impact on the show as James Watt gave twenty minute and ten minute warnings of the arrival of Billy Gibbons. Billy is an old friend of James as he's been a Raving Reporter on the show for some years.
Billy arrived with his saw and spoon plus his guitar and was at his wise-cracking best. He even tried to get a word into the Travel Report as James asked Erica back in studio what was on the roads: "Tarmac!" shouted Billy immediately! He finished his contribution with a hilarious song about a radio presenter called James Watt which sounded just a bit like Hound Dog, the song that first stuck Billy in the 1950s.
James and Lamont had been out and about in the area and earlier went out to the Overwater Marina to meet Janet Maughan and marina manager David. They talked about the building and opening of the marina between 2009 and 2010 as well as taking a trip on a narrowboat and talking about life afloat.
They chatted with fashion designer and firefighter Monique Hollinshead out in Coxbank in her workshop, talking about costumes and her Triple Ironman experiences and ultra-distance running, swimming and cycling. Monique is also heavily involved in Audlem's Youth Club which she described before going off to knock up a quick blouse.
James talked with local resident and the youngest and most recent parish councillor Ceri Parsons who has lived in the village for seven years. She talked about parish council responsibilities and her past experience as a psychologist on TV show Big Brother.
Next up were Alisdair MacKenzie and Pete Marshall talking about the Audlem Festival and their musical experience with Alisdair treating listeners to a Name that Tune feature.
The show also featured an interview with singer Elaine Page but we understand she doesn't live in Audlem – yet!
You can listen to the show on the BBC iPlayer by clicking (here).
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