What? Hartford School of Gymnastics turns 20

When? June 24

Where? Winnington Hall

Hartford School of Gymnastics, a club run by husband and wife Charlie and Michelle Oakes, threw a party in the summer to celebrate an anniversary.

They had opened the doors to a space on School Lane 20 years earlier to realise a dream, and invited everybody they had met along the way to a reunion.

It is unusual perhaps to pick a ‘Best of’ moment that isn’t attached to a competition or match, but the duo’s ‘family’ – which has more than 250 active members – is part of the sporting fabric of Northwich.

That simply can’t, and should not, be ignored.

Northwich Guardian:

Michelle Oakes, left, and husband Charlie cut a commemorative cake during Hartford School of Gymnastics' 20th birthday part earlier this year

How we reported it: Gymnasts party to mark club reaching milestone

How we Tweeted it:

How they Tweeted it:

Our sports writer remembers:

“I went to spend the afternoon with Charlie and Michelle a couple of weeks before the party at Winnington Hall.

“For me it was important to talk to them at the club’s base at Anderton Business Park – their ‘second home’ as he referred to it – because that is where so many of the memories they shared with me were made.

“It felt less and less like an interview as time went by though; I was a new audience for tales they’d likely told many times, but that wasn’t a deterrent to them reliving every detail.

“Hartford School of Gymnastics is somewhere I visit as often as I can, and I always leave with a smile etched on my face.

“And that day was no different.”