A little lad from Wigan got to have his “wish come true” when he went to his local police station to become an officer for the day.
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) has gone viral and been praised for inviting George Latham down to spend a day at the Wigan district offices last week after the five-year-old wrote to them during lockdown to say he likes the police and would always wave at officers when he was out and about on his walk, as they keep the community safe.
Officers at the station invited George and his family for a special guided tour during the school holidays to have a look at what they do as a thank you to the youngster “for being so kind”.
George was known as PC Latham 999 for the day.
The “confident boy with a beaming smile” was presented with his very-own GMP police kit – which included a police high-vis vest, police hat, warrant card, whistle, baton, handcuffs, and radio – and managed to make everyone smile when he met with officers from all different areas of the division and got to find out more about they do behind-the-scenes.
George was apparently “in awe for the full afternoon”, and GMP says he will “undoubtedly make an excellent police officer in the future”.
The five-year-old took interest in what other people were doing and was “always asking questions”.
Sergeant Steve Aspinall, Chief Superintendent Emily Higham, and PC Andrew Kay all looked after George on the day, and each took the time show him round, explain the equipment he had on him, show him the police vehicles, demonstrate the sirens and lights, and so much more.
Plenty of other real-life officers all took time out of their busy day to say hello to George and answer his questions, and George returned the kindness by sharing some of his biscuits and sweets.
“I like the sirens and flashing lights on the cars,” George explained.
“I want to be a policeman when I’m older – I’m really happy and can’t wait to tell my friends when I go back to school in Year 1.”
George’s dad also added of the youngster’s special day: “It was great to get a response and it’s been special for us all. He was so excited to come and it’s just great to see the local police take the time to do what they have done, going above and beyond any expectations.”
“It’s the first time I’ve personally experienced something like this and it’s great,” Chief Superintendent Emily Higham admitted.
“It’s the least we can do to, to take a couple of hours out of our day to make a very special boy’s dream come true. It’s a nice thing to do and has made a big impact us on all, reminding us why we love doing what we do – it’s all about the local community and protecting people like George.
“To be able to meet a loving family that supports policing also makes our day.”
These three Greater Manchester Wilko stores are reopening as Poundlands this weekend
The first 10 Wilko stores to start new lives as Poundlands are reopening this weekend, and three of them are in Greater Manchester.
We all know by now that it’s been a turbulent couple of weeks for Wilko after it entered administration earlier last month, but after it was sadly announced back on 11 September that all of the retailer’s outlets across the UK would be forced to close, leaving around 12,500 jobs at risk, a glimmer of hope was offered.
And that glimmer of hope was that several dozen stores had been saved.
Only, they wouldn’t be remaining under the Wilko name, as they’d be reopening as another popular bargain retailer instead, and that’s because Pepco Group – the company which owns Poundland in the UK – managed to strike a deal with Wilko administrators PwC to take control of up to 71 store leases.
With lease assignments expected to be completed in the coming weeks, according to Pepco, this meant that the some 71 stores would join Poundland’s existing 800-plus UK outlets before 2023 is out.
Pepco Group published the full list of stores set for conversion earlier this month, and also confirmed it would be offering employment some of Wilko’s former employees – with it being good news for six Greater Manchester sites.
Altrincham, Bolton, Eccles, Sale, Leigh, and Stockport were confirmed to be the region’s towns set to get themselves a new Poundland, and Poundland added that it intends to convert the stores over to its brand “as soon as is practical”.
It turns out that window of practicality has arrived this weekend for three of those confirmed sites.
Among the 10 former Wilko branches across the UK that are set to start a new chapter and begin lives as Poundlands this weekend are sites at The Peel Centre in Stockport, The Mall in Eccles, and on Lord Street in Leigh.
It’s expected that dates for the new round of Poundland conversions will be announced in due course, as will news from PwC about the other deals it has struck for the Wilko name to live on.
You may remember that administrators had previously struck a deal for fellow discount chain B&M to buy 51 other Wilko stores, while another high street chain, The Range, had also confirmed a last-minute deal to buy Wilko’s brand last month.
The Range has bought Wilko’s website and intellectual property, so shoppers can expect to see Wilko own-brand items appear in The Range stores nationwide very soon.
Featured Image – Poundland
Iconic Sycamore Gap tree renamed ‘Sycamore Stump’ after heartbreaking vandalism
Someone has already changed the name of the iconic Sycamore Gap tree to ‘Sycamore Stump’ after it was felled in what’s believed to be an act of vandalism.
The famous tree was believed to be about 300 years old and was made famous when it appeared in the 1991 film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.
It’s one of the most photographed trees in the world (Rockefeller’s Christmas tree might just edge that one) and has stood on Hadrian’s Wall for centuries.
But overnight on Wednesday, this world-famous tree was felled, leaving just a small stump behind.
Someone has already changed its name on Google Maps from Sycamore Gap to Sycamore Stump, echoing the public outcry over the tree’s disappearance.
The National Trust said on Thursday: “We are shocked and desperately saddened to learn that the famous Sycamore Gap tree at Hadrian’s Wall has been felled overnight, in what appears to be an act of vandalism.
“We know just how much this iconic tree is loved locally, nationally and by everyone who has visited.
“We are working with our partners to understand what has happened and what can be done. The incident has also been reported to the police.”
Police have now confirmed that a 16-year-old boy has been arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage.
Supt Kevin Waring of Northumbria police said: “This is a world-renowned landmark and the events of today have caused significant shock, sadness and anger throughout the local community and beyond.
“An investigation was immediately launched following this vandalism, and this afternoon we have arrested one suspect in connection with our inquiries.
“Given our investigation remains at a very early stage, we are keeping an open mind. I am appealing to the public for information to assist us – if you have seen or heard anything suspicious that may be of interest to us, please let us know.”