A couple who went on their first date in a Bury town centre pub more than 30 years ago will have a piece of the venue’s history forever after being gifted it’s sign by The Rock shopping centre.
Debbie and Sean Newell, of Bolton, went on their first date at The Flying Shuttle pub on January 24th 1986.
Earlier this year Debbie, 48, contacted The Rock to ask if the couple could have the sign, to mark the start of their romance all those years ago.
She said: “Every time I go past with the children I tell them that’s where I met their dad – and every time they say ‘yes we know!’ I took a photo of it and I just thought, I would really love to have that sign and give it to Sean as a surprise.
“It’s a piece of history and I’m so happy we’ve got it. We don’t know exactly where we will put it yet, but it is going up on the wall in the house. The children think it’s really romantic. We’re so excited to take it home.”
The couple who married in 2002 have three children, Luke, 23, Emily, 19 and Eve, 14.
Sean, 50, added: “We met while working at John Kay Builders’ Merchants. Debbie was an office junior and I was an apprentice. Bury was always a good place to go out, Debbie lived in Tottington and I lived in Radcliffe so it was a great place to meet. We went to The Flying Shuttle many times over the years.”
Recalling the first date, Debbie said: “I remember Sean being 10 minutes late and thinking I’d give him another five minutes before leaving. When he arrived I just remember knowing right away he was the one – and as they say, the rest is history.”
The pub, which was hugely popular in its heyday has been closed for five years and is now owned by The Rock shopping centre. It will eventually be demolished to make way for further development.
Arnold Wilcox-Wood, Centre Director at The Rock, said: “When we received the enquiry from Debbie we were only too happy to help. We’re sure The Flying Shuttle was home to many first dates over the years and it’s wonderful to meet a couple who still treasure that first visit to the pub. We’re thrilled to be able to give them a small piece of history for them to forever remember that first date.”
** OUR EGGSPERIMENTAL EASTER WORKSHOPS ARE NOW FULLY BOOKED **
However, there’s still free activity on the day which you don’t need to book for – Join the Tower FM team and don’t miss your chance to win an incredible science party for up to 20 children each day- plus there’ll be entertainers, chocolate giveaways and so much more!
Get ‘Eggsperimental’ with free family fun at The Rock this Easter
Is there a budding young scientist in your house or a lover of all things space?
Then there’s the perfect free event just for them at The Rock over the Easter weekend.
The shopping centre is hosting two days of free and fun Eggs-perimental activities on Friday 30th March and Saturday 31st March.
Over the two days there’ll be a series of ‘Eggs-traterrestrial (Space) and Eggs-plosive (Chemistry) workshops hosted by Mad Science.
The workshops are suitable for children aged between 5 and 11 years old and will be held in a covered marquee at the shopping centre.
Activities will include egg themed experiments with children learning about gravity and having their own egg with different materials to protect it when falling from different heights and egg themed experiments with children learning about mass and elements – there’s even an experiment where a whole egg is sucked in through the small hole of a bottle intact.
There’ll also be chocolate giveaways and the chance for visitors to enter a competition to win a children’s party hosted by Mad Science.
The centre will be joined by space and science themed characters and on Saturday 31st March The Band and Corps of Drums of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (Lancashire) will be playing.
Pre-registration for the workshops is required and can be online here.
Arnold Wilcox-Wood, Centre Director at The Rock, said: “We know finding ways to keep the children entertained can be tricky, that’s why we’re hosting these free workshops. They promise to be both fun and educational. We’re expecting it to be busy so please register for your place online.
“Once you’re here there’s plenty on offer for a full day out – we have a number of family-friendly restaurants and are home to a cinema and bowling alley. Plus there’s Easter chocolate for our visitors too. We look forward to welcoming you over the Easter weekend.”
The Rock made sure that mums were the centre of attention at its special Mother’s Day event.
The shopping centre teamed up with Tower FM for a day of free family fun at the centre on Saturday – including voucher giveaways, a sunflower planting station and a free pamper zone.
Radio competition winners were invited to take part in the centre’s take on Higher or Lower in its ‘Pots of Love’ game where shoppers guessed if the plant in the next pot was higher or lower than the previous one.
Georgia Farrance from Bolton, Chloe Evans from Bury, Coral Goulding from Bolton, Kirsty Lawlor from Bolton and Craig Tanter from Stetford had all nominated their mums in the radio competition and were invited to collect their £50 voucher to spend at The Rock.
They could then take their chances to gamble the money in the Pots of Love game to win upto £250.
Georgia Farrance walked away with £150 vouchers and Chloe Evans with £100 in total. The rest of the winners left with their £50 stake.
The game was then opened up to the general public where more than £300 of vouchers were given away to lucky winners.
Meanwhile there was a hugely popular free sunflower planting station where children could plant a sunflower and write a special message on the pot before taking it home for mum for Mothering Sunday.
And running at the same time was a free pamper zone for mums – including a nail station and beauty station with free treatments being offered throughout the day.
The centre was also joined by The Joshua Wilson Brain Tumour Charity who offered free Mother’s Day card making and crafts, raising £73 through donations.
And Bury College were on hand giving away flowers to visitors to the centre.
Arnold Wilcox-Wood, Centre Director at The Rock, said: “We really wanted to make sure that mums felt special when visiting The Rock this weekend and we’re thrilled so many people were able to make the most of our free activities – the pamper zone and sunflower station were very popular – and it was great to see so many winners walking away with vouchers for our stores.”