The Cheshire village that has become a Mecca for Harry Styles fans: Council raises concern as hordes of pop fans bombard area to visit railway viaduct where One Direction star had first kiss and bakery he worked in as a teenager
- A councillor raised concerns over Harry Styles fans flocking to Holmes Chapel
- Welfare concerns were raised at a council meeting over the number of visitors
- The main concern is people walking down a road described as ‘very dangerous’
A council has raised fears over the huge number of teenagers flocking to their leafy Cheshire village to see the spot where pop sensation Harry Styles had his first kiss.
The former One Direction star, 28, has a legion of dedicated fans across the world and swathes of followers visit Holmes Chapel, the village with a population of 5,000 where the singer was brought up.
But Cheshire East Council have raised welfare concerns over the sheer number of young fans going to the village.
The main concern is large numbers walking down Macclesfield Road to visit the Twemlow railway viaduct, where Styles had once scrawled his name – although it’s since been rubbed away- and where he had his first kiss.
Fans, who all write their names on the base pillar of the viaduct, also flock to the village bakery ‘W Mandeville’ to buy a pastry and a carrier bag as it’s where Styles once had a part-time job.
Thousands of Harry Styles fans from across the world have been making a ‘pilgrimage’ to Holmes Chapel in Cheshire, where Harry grew up – Pictured is Victoria Kamps from Germany, Nicole Kinowski, from Chicago and Magda J, from Poland
Large numbers of fans visit the Twemlow railway viaduct, where Styles had once scrawled his name
The main concern from councillors is large numbers of people walking down Macclesfield Road to visit the railway viaduct
Fans now flock there to write their own adoring messages to Harry, amongst other phrases and mottos
People also flock to the village bakery ‘W Mandeville’ to buy a pastry and a carrier bag as it’s where Styles once had a part-time job
Councillor Andrew Kolker, who represents Holmes Chapel, mentioned his concerns this week at a Cheshire East Council meeting, saying something needed to be done about the viaduct ‘pilgrimage’ site. He said the road was particularly dangerous.
Conservative Councillor Kolker caused raised eyebrows during a busy session on the council’s economy and growth committee as he spoke of the issue.
‘In Holmes Chapel we have a lot of teenagers, both girls and boys, coming to see the sights and sounds of Harry Styles, which is absolutely no problem. It’s lovely to see them in Holmes Chapel,’ he said.
‘However, we do have two sites that are a common site of pilgrimage for these kids and that is the viaduct [which] has Harry’s name scrawled all over it apparently from when he was a young youth – and that site’s a popular site for teenagers, as is the site of Harry’s first kiss.’
Harry, who left his job and school to audition for the X Factor, earned just £6-an-hour at the bakery in his home town
The Cheshire village bakery where the former One Direction singer used to work is pictured
Dianne Bourne pictured with the life-size cut out of Harry Styles propped up at the bakery
Cllr Kolker continued: ‘This is fine except that the A535 is an extremely busy road and it’s a very, very dangerous road to walk along. It’s an extremely dangerous road with very, very limited parking and footpaths.
‘I just wonder whether officers from this committee could have a look at this particular detail.’
Committee chair Nick Mannion pointed out that Take That fans once used to flock to Plumley Station, in Plumley, Cheshire, when a number of the band used to live nearby.
Cllr Mannion added: ‘There was a major issue because there are no public conveniences at Plumley Railway Station.’
He told Cllr Kolker the Holmes Chapel highways issue was not a matter for the economy committee but ‘the police have the powers to deal with overloading of vehicles parked on grass villages, if they see fit, in consultation with the highway authority’.
Messages scrawled on the viaduct include phrases such as ‘give love, choose love, love everyone always’
Mum and daughter Paula Gammell and Annalese Gammell from Melbourne on a three week Harry Styles UK tour
Fans from all over the world go to visit the sites – pictured are American tourists
The bakery is the main stop for Styles’ fans as it welcomes his supporters with open arms
This photo of former pop group One Direction tucking into sandwiches at the bakery sits in pride of place
The bakery is the main stop for Harry Styles’ fans as it welcomes his supporters with open arms – and even boasts a life-sized cardboard cut-out of Styles from his bakery days holding a loaf of bread.
Recent super fans Kaylee Abbotts, 21, and Danya D’Souza, 22, both from Brisbane in Australia explained why they came to the village last June to coincide with seeing Styles in concert in Manchester.
‘We’d seen videos and photos of people coming here so we thought while we were in Manchester we’d come to see Harry’s home town,’ Danya said.
‘There were hundreds of fans on the train and we’ve met loads of girls from America and Australia.
‘It’s just been so nice. We’ve never been to England before so to explore Manchester and Holmes Chapel has been lovely.’
Messages scrawled on the viaduct base include phrases like: ‘Give love, choose love, love everyone always’.
‘I love you, thank you for being you, I’m so proud of you Harry’ are scrawled across the bricks.
One superfan Annalese Gammell, 19, from Melbourne recently visited with her mum Paula Gammell, 45, spending $20,000 AUS dollars (about £11,731.36) on a three week trip which included watching Harry on all his UK dates – and going to Holmes Chapel.
Annalese said: ‘I’ve been a fan since One Directors, I just love Harry. He is… everything.
Mum Paula said: ‘Yes it’s cost a lot of money but she missed her 18th and 19th birthdays because of lockdowns in Australia. We had originally booked tickets to all of his gigs in Australia but when they cancelled we thought well let’s make it up and go to the UK instead.’