Mel C - Dr David France - John Bishop - Hall Caine - John Holt - Ray Dutton - Nicola Roberts - Robin Reid

Notable People from Halton - Liverpool City Region


The Everton Collection and David France from Widnes Halton has been home to quite a few great people throughout the ages.
People like Victoria Cross war heroes and namesakes Thomas Alfred Jones, Thomas Wilkinson and Thomas Mottershead.
There has also been a steady stream of sporting stars like the English rugby league football coach and former player Bobbie Goulding, former professional racing cyclist Paul Sherwen and professional footballer Robert Done, who amassed 147 appearances for Liverpool during the 1920's and 1930's.
WBC super middleweight boxer Robin Reid was also brought up in Runcorn.
It would seem that music is flowing up the River Mersey too. With musical acts coming from the borough like the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra classical pianist Martin Roscoe, Nicola Roberts from the pop sensation 'Girls Aloud' and Mel Chisholm from the girl-power pop phenomenon the 'Spice Girls'.
The all-girl group are the 'Best-selling Female Band of All Time', selling around 100 million records worldwide. They were the biggest British pop phenomenon since Beatlemania in the sixties, smashing the American charts like the Fab Four before them. They skyrocketed onto the world stage with their massive hit debut single, 'Wannabe', reaching number 1 in the UK, the United States and 15 other countries worldwide. The Biggest Selling Girl Group of All Time includes Melanie Chisholm from the Liverpool City Region The six notable people from Halton that are mentioned below are all worthy of recognition, having all achieved greatness throughout their lives. They are not alone though, there are other great people from Halton that deserve particular praise for their contribution to the public sphere too, people like the 'Alice in Wonderland' and 'Through the Looking-Glass' author Lewis carroll. The world famous writer was born in the Daresbury Village of Halton. There has been over twenty different film and television versions of Alice in Wonderland since it was penned in 1865. The recent 2010 blockbuster film directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway and Helena Bonham Carter, was the nineteenth highest-grossing film of all time, cashing in over 1.025 billion dollars worldwide. The sequel to the original story, which hits cinemas in 2016 is expected to gross similar figures and is entitled, 'Alice Through the Looking Glass'.
Dr David France has written numerous books covering the earliest days of football and has a host of academic achievements. His work with the Everton Former-Players' Foundation, the Founding Fathers of Merseyside Football, the Gwladys Street's Hall of Fame and the Everton Collection has been invaluable to the club and the city. His impressive collection of football artefacts and memorabilia is unmatched anywhere in the world. John Bishop at Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy in Runcorn John Bishop made giant steps in 2010 by winning the 'Best Male Comedy Breakthrough Artist' award.
He has appeared on the television ever since, even hosting the Royal Variety Performance in 2013.
He never forgets his roots and regularly returns to his former school and community for fundraising, playing charity matches at his hometown team, Runcorn Linnets FC.
Other notable people from Halton that aren't mentioned in the list below include: Writer Susan Nickson, TV actress Anna Keaveney, Hollywood actor Raymond Waring, "Mamma Mia!" actress Rachel McDowall and Widnes Egyptian Archaeologist Robert Ludwig Mond. Mond was best known for the discovery of carbonyl compounds and subsequently knighted in 1932. He received countless honours including honorary degrees from major universities in Liverpool, London and Toronto.


Spice Girl singer Melanie Chisholm from Halton in the Liverpool City Region

Melanie Chisholm

Singer - Songwriter - Actress

Melanie Chisholm was one of the five members from the incredibly successful all-girl pop group, the Spice Girls. She was born in Whiston in 1974 and brought up in Widnes. As well as receiving worldwide fame with the Spice Girls, the former Fairfield High School pupil has also had a string of No.1 hits during her solo career, selling more than 12 million records worldwide, on top of the 100 million records with the Spice Girls.

Chronology Year
Joins the group 'Touch' which later changed its name to the 'Spice Girls' 1994
The Spice Girls debut single 'Wannabe' reaches No.1 in 19 countries 1996
The Spice Girls second single 'Say You'll Be There' is another UK No.1 hit 1996
The Spice Girls third single '2 Become 1' is another UK No.1 hit 1996
The Spice Girls fourth single 'Who Do You Think You Are' is another UK No.1 hit 1997
The Spice Girls fifth single 'Spice Up Your Life' is another UK No.1 hit 1997
The Spice Girls sixth single 'Too Much' is another UK No.1 hit 1997
The Spice Girls seventh single 'Stop' is UK No.2 hit 1998
The Spice Girls eighth single 'Viva Forever' is another UK No.1 hit 1998
The Spice Girls ninth single 'Goodbye' is another UK No.1 hit 1998
Duets with Bryan Adams on the No.3 hit song 'When You're Gone' 1998
She wins the 'Top Of The Pops 99's Readers Poll' Award as a solo artist 1999
The Spice Girls are immortalised at Madame Tussauds in London 1999
The Spice Girls tenth single 'Holler' is another UK No.1 hit 2000
The Spice Girls part ways to concentrate on their own solo careers 2000
Sells 4 million copies of her debut solo album 'Northern Star' 2000
Her single 'Never Be the Same Again' is her first solo UK No.1 hit 2000
Her single 'I Turn to You' is her second solo UK No.1 hit 2000
Becomes the First British singer to have 11 No.1 hit singles 2000
Wins the 'IFPI Europe Platinum Awards' for her album 'Northern Star' 2000
Enters the Hall of Fame as the Best International Female Artist Of The Year 2000
Wins a 'Scouseology Award' for the Best Work of an Artist on the Internet 2001
Wins a 'Scouseology Award' for the Best Work of an Artist on the Internet 2003
Wins a 'Scouseology Award' for the Best Music 2003
Wins a 'German Radio Award' for Best International Female Artist 2005
Wins a 'Radio Regenbogen' for Best International Pop Artist 2006
Wins an 'Eska Music Award' for Best World Artist 2006
Nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award on 'Blood Brothers' in the West End 2009
Wins a 'Music Recognition Award' at the Radio Forth Awards 2011
Earns her 12th UK No.1 as part of 'The Justice Collective' 2012
Wins a 'WhatsOnStage.com Award' for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical 2013
Wins a 'Tesco Celebrity Mum of the Year Award' for Celebrity Mum of the Year 2013
Travels to Ghana supporting the 'Clean Water for African Children' campaign 2014


David Harry France - Widnes

Dr David Harry France

Author - Football Historian - Philanthropist

Doctor David Harry France was born in Widnes in 1948.
He was educated in the UK, Germany and the US where he later moved to in 1978. Over his life Dr France has accumulated the biggest and finest collection of football artefacts in the world. The unique collection of football memorabilia is housed inside the Liverpool Record Office, providing a rare glimpse at the evolution of British football and of the city of Liverpool.

Chronology Year
Immigrated to the United States to work in the nuclear and space industry 1978
Registered the Everton Former-Players' Foundation charity 1999
Donates his vast collection to the 'Everton Collection Charitable Trust' 2007
Awarded Life President of the Everton Shareholders' Association 2008
Awarded Freedom of the City of Liverpool 2011
Awarded OBE for Services to football 2012


Romantic novelist Hall Caine

Hall Caine

Author - Playwright - Draughtsman

Hall Caine was born in Runcorn in 1853 and was one of the most famous authors of his day. His romantic novels were successful worldwide with some being created into silent movies for the big screen. He grew up in Liverpool where he attended the Hope Street British Schools until he was 14.
He spent his youth in Liverpool's free library where he was able to feed his passion for reading and writing books.

Chronology Year
Creates his earlier work while working at the Liverpool Mercury newspaper 1882
Published his third novel 'The Deemster' to critical acclaim 1887
Wrote the best-selling novel 'The Bondman' 1890
Wrote the successful romantic novel 'The Manxman' 1894
Wrote the first novel in Britain to sell over a million copies 'The Christian' 1897
Wrote 'The Eternal City' again selling over a million copies in Britain 1901
Invited by the King and Queen for a yaught tour around the Isle of Man 1902
The first version of The Eternal City was produced by Paramount Pictures 1915
Gave a series of lectures in America on why they should join the war effort 1915
Recruited by the Prime Minister to write a screenplay for 'Victory and Peace' 1918
Alfred Hitchcock directs his last silent movie 'The Manxman' 1929


John Bishop playing a charity match in Runcorn

John Bishop

Comedian - Actor - Footballer

John Joseph Bishop is an award-winning Comedian that was born in Liverpool in 1966. He spent most of his youth in Runcorn and attended Brookvale Comprehensive School (Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy). After leaving school he went on to play 76 semi-professional matches for Hyde and Southport scoring 14 goals. He regularly raises money for charity, in 2012 he raised an amazing £3.4m for Sport Relief.

Chronology Year
Wins the 'City Life North West Comedian of The Year Award' 2001
Won the 'North West Comedy Award' for best stand-up 2004
Wins the British Comedy Awards 'Best Male Comedy Breakthrough Artist' 2010
Completed a 290 mile triathlon and raised £3.4 million for 'Sport Relief' 2012
Opens a £7 million extension to the 'Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy' school 2013
Hosts the 'Royal Variety Performance' at the London Palladium 2013


Physicist John Riley Holt

John Riley Holt

Physicist - Lecturer

John Holt was born in Runcorn in 1918. At the age of 16 he joined the physics department at the University of Liverpool. He carried out 'Top Secret' experiments in an underground station during the Liverpool blitz. His findings played a key role in the creation of the atom bomb but were never released to the public. He was appointed Professor of Experimental Physics at the University of Liverpool in 1966.

Chronology Year
Graduates with first class honours and wins the 'Oliver Lodge Prize' 1938
Releases a thesis on artificial radioactivity 1941
Appointed Lecturer at the 'University of Liverpool' 1946
Involved with electromagnets at 'Daresbury Laboratory' in Runcorn 1960's
Elected a 'Fellow of the Royal Society' 1964
Appointed the University of Liverpool's 'Professor of Experimental Physics' 1966


International Widnes Rugby League Legend Ray Dutton

Ray Dutton

Rugby League Player - International Player

Raymond Dutton is one of the greatest Widnes rugby league players of all time. He was born in Runcorn in 1945 and made his debut for his beloved Widnes at the age of 20.
He played 398 matches for Widnes, 3 for England and 6 for Great Britain. He never left the club and earned a testimonial in 1976. He still holds the 'Most Points in a Career' and 'Most Goals in a Career' records for Widnes.

Chronology Year
'Man of the Match' winning the Challenge Cup final at Wembley Stadium 1975
Earns Testimonial match at Widnes 1976
The 'Most Points In A Career' record for Widnes with 2,195 1978
The 'Most Goals In A Career' record for Widnes with 1,083 1978