TV introduces Connah's Quay residents to neighbours they hardly knew

Published date: 03 January 2014 |
Published by: David Humphreys
Read more articles by David Humphreys


IN years gone by, Britain prided itself on its community spirit – where everybody knew their neighbour and people’s doors were always open.

But some people claim that in recent years times have changed and doors can’t seem to be closed to others quickly enough.

Due to the nature of modern life, we don’t seem to know our neighbours any more and Uplands Avenue in Connah’s Quay is a prime example of just how different life on our streets is – where very few people know whom they are living next door to.

Having lived on the street for three years, Chelsey and Chris Bayliss decided that had to change and wanted to get to know their neighbours better.

Chelsey, 26, explained: “The catalyst for me really was that I’m having a baby.

“When I was younger, my mum wasn’t concerned with me playing out because you knew everyone in your street but before this I really just knew my neighbours to the left and the right.

“I just thought it would be nice to get to know the people on my street.”

It was at this point that ITV became involved and after Chelsey contacted the broadcaster, a team from the channel’s Tonight programme went out to meet some of the residents.

Yesterday evening, a 30-minute documentary, entitled Do You Know Your Neighbours: Tonight, looked at life on Uplands Avenue and broadcast a tea party laid on by makers of the TV show at Wepre Park to bring the residents together.

Among Chelsey’s neighbours at the party were the Rodaway family, whose eldest son, Ethan, 11, is suffering from a genetic liver condition.

Despite living on the same road, none of the Rodaways’ neighbours were any the wiser of the family’s predicament.

“It was great for them to find out that their neighbours are going to look out for them and the support they’ll receive from up and down the street,” Chelsey added.

“The tea party proved that the community did want to get together but just needed the means to do it.”

The tea party held at Wepre Park managed to raise £125 to support the Rodaways, which was then matched by Connah’s Quay Town Council.

During the programme, resident Ceri Rodaway said she had lived on Uplands Avenue for eight years next door to the same neighbours, yet they knew nothing of Ethan’s serious illness and the fact that he was receiving regular treatment at a hospital in Birmingham.

Speaking on the documentary, she said: “That’s just how you live in our days,
“I think it’s just one of those things you don’t even think about.

“You just come in your house, shut your door and get on with your life.

“It would make it easier if we knew our neighbours, just knowing they were there.

“People have come up to me [at the tea party] who I had not met before and it has been really good.”

Council chairman Cllr Andy Dunbobbin, said the programme had helped to bring people together in light of adversity. He said: “This has gone a long way to restoring the sense of community spirit in Connah’s Quay

Cllr Paul Shotton said the documentary helped to recognise the community spirit that has been revitalised in the Deeside town.

He said: “With Wepre Park being installed, the community spirit seems to be returning and the Uplands Avenue residents have come together to visit the area as a community in the spirit that seemed to have gone.

“The documentary has helped capture that.”

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