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"The Altrincham Duck team love supporting local events, so we're thrilled to share the news about Refract:17 - an exciting festival at Waterside Arts Centre in Sale. Running from the 21st to the 30th July, the summer programme is packed full of brilliant music, performances, and family events guaranteed to get even the Altrincham Duck's feathers ruffled! (In a good way, of course...) 


Read on to find out more, or visit - and we'll see you at the Waterside! (Don't forget to bring some food for the ducks...!)"


Waterside have today announced a brand new ten day summer programme bursting with experiential performance, music and events to challenge visitors of all ages to see things differently. A wonderland of activity and theatre will delight audiences both in and outside Trafford’s buzzing arts venue in Sale. 

Refract:17 runs from Friday 21 to Sunday 30 July, bringing together a carefully curated programme jilted from convention. Highlights include performances inside a giant bird’s nest and inspirational theatre on a trampoline, thought-provoking and intimate shows inside a static caravan and interactive gaming on a mega scale. 

Complementing the theatre offering is a series of genre-defining live music gigs from acclaimed artists and festival favourites. Salford powerhouse Ren Harvieu, with her breathtaking vocals, is no stranger to the Manchester music scene, and has appeared on Later with Jools Holland and performed with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. 


Mind-blowing Mr Wilson’s Second Liners, fuse New Orleans jazz with 90s club classics, and come together  for a special gig with Felix Hagan and the Family, who are fresh from touring with Frank Turner and complete the bill with their musical-theatre meets high glam pop set. 

Bringing in the Blues, King Pleasure & The Biscuit Boys kick off Refract:17 on Friday 21 July with one rocking night. In a year which marks their 30th on the road, this internationally acclaimed band boast a phenomenal career that includes opening for  B.B. King, Cab Calloway and His Orchestra, Ray Charles, and tours with the Blues Brothers Band.  


For the traditional music lovers - but with a twist- exceptional all-female band The Shee showcase their powerful and emotional vocal range and instrumental prowess this summer with a one off gig that even promises a spot of clog dancing amidst the Gaelic ballads and hypnotic riffs.  And if this is not enough to get your musical taste buds tingling try virtuoso Spanish guitarist Eduardo Niebla, or BBC Radio 2 Folk Award Winners The Demon Barbers who fuse disco with folk. 

Refract:17 showcases something a little different for little people too.  Join us outside for a squawking adventure inside a giant bird’s nest. Flit, Flap, Fly is bursting with live music, audience participation and birdsong as it follows a young bird’s frantic and funny journey towards independence. If flying is not your thing, how about a spot of jumping? Anyday is a trampoline based theatrical performance telling a charming and comic tale complete with clangs, boings and unbearable hope to make our spirits soar.  And indeed if you prefer your theatre a tad more static but equally as inventive and entertaining, we have a family sing-a-long with Nick Cope’s Family Songbook, musical vegetables combined with puppetry in the hilarious adventure of Goblin’s Peter and The Wolf and seasonal adventures for tiny tots in Aleena’s Garden. 


Teens reluctant to leave home without gadgets or, heaven forebid, without access to the internet, are in for a night out like no other with WiFi Wars.  Not only are mobiles and tablets welcome, they are an essential part of this live and interactive comedy game show complete with prizes! In Stuff, Cirque du Soleil clown Sean Kempton, mixes mime, clowning and comedy in this playful and physical show about love; whilst the equally physical and enchanting Melancholy, fuses animation and puppetry in this poignant tale of one man as he treads the fine line between genius and insanity. Completing this creative, cultural line for older kids, is Mobile.  Part theatre and part life lesson about class in modern Britain, this intimate, visual and powerful show is staged inside a caravan – exploring our sense of home, belonging aspiration and the realities of social mobility.

BBC comedy stalwart Jan Ravens comes to Refract:17 with a preview of her brand new Edinburgh Fringe Show, as well as comic poet genius John Hegley and award-wining comic Andy Kirkpatrick.  Other Refract:17 delights include Dylan Thomas’s timeless masterpiece, Under Milk Wood and Waterside faves Comedysportz, plus drop in activities for all throughout the ten days.  

Darren Adams, Arts Centre Manager comments: “We are absolutely thrilled to present this eclectic and exciting ten day event, with many acts and performers new to the venue. We want to challenge our loyal audiences, whilst inviting new audiences to see how our vibrant building and all of its spaces can be used in innovative, surprising and creative ways.  Refract:17 offers something for all ages and all tastes as visitors can embrace the obscure and the quirky in order to see things differently this summer at Waterside.” 

Waterside are calling Refract buddies to join their free membership scheme!  Refraction will offer pass holders a host of discounted tickets, drinks offers and unique opportunities during the ten days. More information is available at 

Full information on Refract:17 is available via

What inspired you to set up?

We’ve always wanted our own campervan and love the idea of being able to drive off with everything you need tucked away with you. Living in Altrincham we are so close to such amazing countryside, we're always spoilt for choice where to visit next. We have many friends who love the idea but wouldn’t want to commit to actually buying their own campervan, which is where hiring one for a weekend or longer makes perfect sense! It takes camping to a whole new level, being able to park up, put the kettle on, and use fresh milk from the fridge. There’s a memory foam mattress and even plug sockets to charge your phone or tablet.

When did you set up the business?
We have only recently set up our business and have had ‘Pearl’ for just few months.

How are you finding your clients?
Most clients have been local & found us directly on internet searches. We are trying to spread the word on social media too.

Do you have plans to expand?
We would love to purchase a second van next year and convert it ourselves. We’ve done so much research that we feel confident in our abilities, and we now have several contacts who we can call upon for trickier jobs like LED lighting & fitting gas. The hardest part is having the confidence to start drilling away in to the metal of the camper!!

Do you drink sherry?
No but we do like a nice glass of red wine. And the fridge is usually stocked up with a couple of fruit ciders for when we have parked up at the end of the day 

What was the last takeaway you had?
We are always trying new local takeaways but the last one we had was fish and chips.  Our local chippy doesn’t have very long opening hours but it’s so good when we do catch him open!

Do you holiday in your camper?
Yes, we test it out as often as possible, purely for the customers benefit of course.….!! We have quite a few bookings for the summer already so we will definitely be needing that second camper next year.


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Why did you go in to soft furnishings?

I was working as a civil servant until 18 months ago, with 17 years’ experience in corporate communications but getting increasingly frustrated. With four kids and three dogs in the house, it was also more and more difficult to find a sensible work life balance. I’d originally taken up upholstery as a form of therapy about three years ago, but I quickly realised just how much pleasure I get from making something beautiful for someone to have in their home. I jacked in the full time job 18 months ago and now work part-time on Nellie K and part-time as a communications manager and consultant. 

We see you sell at Altrincham market how are you finding that?

I love Altrincham Market, although I can’t be there every week unfortunately - I need time to be in the workshop! The market and Market House have become really exciting hubs of community social activity and creativity, and I love being a part of that. I’m a sole trader living and working in Altrincham and I’m really proud of how the town is developing - the market has been a really important catalyst in that. I”m back there on 20/21 May, when the sponsored dog walk is on and that should be a lovely weekend!

Are your on-line sales going OK?

Online is much quieter than social media. I think people prefer to buy from people - and rightly so. If you’re going to pay for something beautiful to be made to order you should also be able to speak to the person making it, so they understand you, understand what you want and so they can offer good advice on the options you have.

Do you have any plans for the future?

Just to keep making lovely furniture - I love it when people come to me with ideas or wanting something a bit different. I’ve recently worked with a friend to design an exclusive ‘Manc’ fabric, which has been really well received so I’d like to more with that - possibly some wallpaper. 

When did you last eat out?

Last Friday night at Danilo’s in Hale. 

Red or white wine?

Red unless I’m on holiday in the sun, when a nice chilled chablis is lovely.

How can our visitors find out more about you?, ‘Nelliekfootstools' on FB or 'NellieKcreates' on Instagram

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Altrincham Duck Directory Last Entry

14 June, 2017

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