Commissions welcomed! We are available for Radio and TV work, Event Compering, PR and Media Consultancy, Ghostwriting
- also foreign language translation and interpreting in French, German, Italian, Spanish and a bit of Dutch and Czech....

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Laidler Play Off Weekend Details Announced

The Laidler Conference Play Offs will be held over Easter Weekend at Solihull Ice Rink.

Semi final 1 will be played on Saturday 4th April between  Solihull Barons and Widnes Wild and Semi Final 2 will be on Sunday 5th April between  Telford Tigers and Sheffield Senators.

The two semi final winners will meet in the final on Easter Monday. All matches face off at 6.30pm.
Ticket Prices are as follows:
Single Match:   Adults £10-00 Child/Concessions £5.00 Family £25.00
Special Week End Offer:  Adults £25.00 Child/Concessions £12.50 Family £60.00...

Weekend tickets are only available until 31st March.  

Various sponsorship and advertising packages are also available. 

To order tickets or discuss sponsorships options, contact John Butler by email at    or  telephone on 0121 770 8000 (business hours only)

Follow all the Laidler Play Off news on the dedicated Facebook page HERE 

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Book Review: "Female Tommies The Frontline Women of the First World War" by Elisabeth Shipton,The History Press, Stroud, Gloucestershire, 2014

I have been researching the involvement of women in the First World War for some time now for a series of commemorative exhibitions, so quite a lot of the material in "Female Tommies" was already familiar to me.  As Shipton explains in the Foreword to her book, these days we are used to women war correspondents and women in the armed forces.  Television reporters like Kate Adie have brought front line news to our television screens for years but the women who wanted to help in the danger zones of WW1 had first to overcome centuries of prejudice, so their determination and sacrifices are all the more to be admired. 

Shipton draws on an immense volume of written and audio information relating to the role of women in The First World War and has produced an outstanding, very readable book.   With a detailed Bibliography and Index, extensive notes to each chapter and some wonderful photographs, the book has ten chapters covering women nurses, doctors, orderlies, spies, pilots and soldiers, ambulance drivers, telephonists, clerks, coders, de-coders, telegraphists, waitresses and cooks, plus civilian volunteers and entertainers.   She goes into detail about the founding of the various organisations set up by women and directly involved in the conflict and gives us the history of the formation of the women's branches of the British and American Armed Forces.   

"Female Tommies" also explains in detail the historical background to events, making the book comprehensive and an invaluable source for anyone genuinely interested in the role of women in WW1.  I thoroughly enjoyed it, found it extremely well written and full of interesting and entertaining information.  It was definitely one of those "couldn't put it down" books, that you finish with a feeling of regret at leaving old friends.

"Female Tommies  The Frontline Women of the First World War" by Elisabeth Shipton, dedicated bo her grandmother who served in the WAAF during The Second World War and published by The History Press, Stroud, Gloucestershire, 2014

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Exhibition of Female Poets of the First World War, Lytham Heritage Centre, Lytham, Lancs until 28th February 2015

An exhibition of female poets is currently on display as part of the "Lancashire in WW1" Exhibition at The Heritage Centre in Lytham, Lancashire from today until 28th February 2015. Open from 10 am until 4 pm Tuesdays - Sundays, the Centre is run entirely by volunteers.  Entry is free but all donations are gratefully accepted.

Lytham Heritage Centre,
2 Henry Street
Lancashire FY8 5LE
Tel.:  01253 730787

Photo:  Ceramic Artist Marie Kershaw with some of the ceramic poppies she designed and made which are now on display at the Heritage Centre.  Photo by P. Breeze.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Ice Hockey: Blackburn Hawks Touching Tribute

Blackburn Hawks ice hockey team had a minutes' silence before their home game against Whitley Warriors in the NIHL Moralee Conference on Saturday night in memory of the team's General Manager Alan Amos who died during the week after a short illness.

The league leaders broke with the normal match protocol and wore their black away shirts for the evening as a mark of respect and the visiting team - Whitley Warriors - accommodated this by wearing their white "home" shirts.  A book of remembrance was available for people to sign on the night and the Hawks extended their lead at the top of the table with a 9-4 victory.

You can find all the latest NIHL ice hockey news on

This poignant photograph of the Hawks minute's silence was taken by John Milton and you can see more of his excellent photos at         

Saturday, 31 January 2015

Local Football Round Up - 31st January 2015

In our match of the day, Blackpool Wren Rovers ended up with only 9 men on the field in a tempestuous encounter that saw them lose 1-3 to Longridge Town.  With other games being postponed due to the weather, that result hoists Longridge up into 3rd place, 9 points behind Wrens but with 3 games in hand.

Wrens remain in second place in the West Lancashire League Premier Division, 4 points behind league leaders Charnock Richard and having played two games more.

Wrens Reserves game away at Charnock Richard was postponed.
More info:

Monday, 26 January 2015

Book Review: "Into the Danger Zone Sea Crossings of the First World War"

Review of "Into the Danger Zone Sea Crossings of the First World War" by Tad Fitch and Michael Poirier published by The History Press, Stroud, Gloucestershire, 2014.

"Go wild in Brazil" screamed the headline in the holiday supplement of the newspaper on the first weekend of  2015.    Travel is so easy these days and more affordable than it was in the early part of the 20th Century, when travel to somewhere on the other side of the world to where you lived was just for the very rich.  And yet many people did undertake those journeys to answer the call of their Motherland during the First World War.   With the advent of submarine warfare and mines, sea travel, however, was hazardous and it was the only way to go as air passenger travel was in its infancy.   

"Into the Danger Zone Sea Crossings of the First World War" is the only book I have found which is full of details about those hazardous sea journeys.  I was absolutely thrilled to find out it was in preparation and couldn't wait to get a copy as it really does answer many of the questions I had during the course of my research into the role of women during WW1. I was particularly  interested in knowing of the journey women like the poet Ella Wheeler Wilcox and the entertainer Elsie Janis would have made to reach the Western Front where they entertained American troops and this book has the answers.

But "Into the Danger Zone" is not just a book about shipping in WW1.  I love the way the book gives a step-by-step chronicle of the events from the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand and his wife Sophie in June 1914 to the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in Paris in June 1919 and beyond.  There are maps and photographs of the ships, U-boats and their passengers and crew and quotes from letters written by survivors and indeed before sailing by those who perished.  I particularly like the photographs of the ships, having been brought up near Liverpool in England at a time when beautiful liners were still regular visitors to the port.

The Cunard Liner RMS Carpathia is one of the many ships featured that stood out for me because one of the Female Poets of the First World War featured in my exhibition project is American poet Moina Belle Michael. Moina was the person who got us all wearing poppies in remembrance of the conflict in 1919. She was on a teaching tour of Italy when war broke out in 1914 but managed to secure a safe passage home to America on the RMS Carpathia, which was the ship that rescued survivors from RMS Titanic when she hit an iceberg and sank in 1912.  Many passenger liners of the era were pressed into service as troopships or hospital ships.  Carpathia served as a troopship during WW1 but was again a passenger ship when she was torpedoed on 17th July 1918 (pp.366 - 370).

With a foreword by Hugh Brewster, author, "Into the Danger Zone" is full of eye-witness accounts of the sinking of many passenger ships, troopships and hospital ships during WW1 and illustrated with photographs from the impressive private collection of the authors.  It is a large book with over 400 pages packed with fascinating details and statistics that take us through the early days of WW1, when ships going to America were full but those going to Europe were almost empty, and finishing with an Epilogue chapter about 1919, when the American and Canadian troops returned across the Atlantic.   A photograph on page 367 shows us what conditions were like for the troops who crossed the Atlantic in WW1.

It must have taken Tad and Michael years to gather together all the information in this amazing book.  I should like to thank them and to recommend this book highly to anyone interested in the First World War.  If you only have time to read one book about the First World War please make it "Into the Danger Zone Sea Crossings of the First World War."

"Into the Danger Zone Sea Crossings of the First World War" by Tad Fitch and Michael Poirier
published by The History Press, Stroud, Gloucestershire, 2014.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Local Football Round Up - 24th January

Blackpool Wren Rovers Reserves held league leaders Garstang Reserves to 0-0 draw in a pulsating game that could easily have gone either way(in photo). Garstang are now 6 points clear at the top of the Reserves Division table with a game in hand over 2nd place Charnock Richard reserves.  Wrens are in 4th place with 23 points but have games in hand over the all the teams above them. 

The Wren Rovers 1st team's game away Crookland Casuals was postponed for the third time due to bad weather.

Elsewhere in the Golden Triangle of local football, 5th place Squires Gate drew 0-0 away at AFC Liverpool in the Premier Division of the NWCFL. AFC Blackpool's home game against Glossop North End was postponed due to Glossop's participation in the FA Vase.

Blackpool Wren Rovers 1st team are at home to Longridge Town in the Premier Division on Saturday in  a 2pm kick off. The Reserves are away at Charnock Richard reserves.



Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Ice Hockey: Blackurn Hawks Announce 25th Anniversary Match - 25th April

It has been announced that former GB international and British League legend Steve Moria will be one of the players to ice in a special match to be played on 25th April to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Blackburn Hawks.

Moria will be part of a Hawks Legends team that will play against the current Moralee Conference team plus a few additions.

Canadian Moria first came to Britain to play as an import for Fife Flyers in the Heineken League Premier Division in the 1986/87 season. He went on to play for, among others, Cardiff Devils, Nottingham Panthers, Slough Jets and Basingstoke Bison - where he was still playing EPL hockey at the age of 51 until he retired in 2012.

He qualified to play for the GB team and appeared in 5 World Championships, scoring 28 points in 35 games.  Moria joined Blackburn Hawks as player coach in 1992 and played for them for two season, scoring over 200 points in each campaign.

The All Star team for the 25th Anniversary match will feature the following former Hawks players:
Ian Young (G),  Paul Hannant (G),  John Dunford (G),  Steve Moria,  Bobby Haig,  John Haig,  Mark Stokes,  Neil Abel,  Jim Pennycook,  Ged Smith,  Simon Ferry,  Jon Cotton,  Russ Plant,  Alan Hough,  Gordon Whyte,  Simon Mills,  Neal Haworth,  Michael Brunton,  Jamie Thomson,  Ian Hough (McDade),  Mark Johnson,  Gary Shearman,  Pete Winstanley & Richard Bentham.

The current Hawks squad for the 25th Anniversary Match consists of 23 players, including 6 guests and is as follows: Daniel Brittle (G),  Stuart Ashton (G),  David Clancy (G),  Adam Brittle,  Luke Brittle,  Jared Owen,  Daniel Mackriel,  Chris Arnone,  Pavel Slowik,  David Meikle,  Aaron Davies,  Richard Hughes,  Tom King,  Oliver Lomax,  Jake Nurse,  Jordan Bannon,  Matt Viney,  Chris Butler,  Scott Barnett,  Lance Derbyshire,  Lauren Halliwell,  Sam Dunford & Anthony Kinder.

The game on Saturday 25th April will commence with player introductions at  5-45pm. Admission prices to the match will be £7-00 (adults) & £4-00 (children), with 50p of all entry monies going to Cancer Research – this year’s Hawks chosen charity.

On the evening both teams will be wearing stunning ‘one- off’ retro kits and ALL game worn shirts will be made available to own, via a ‘closed’ auction (details to follow). These shirts will not be available to buy as replicas.

There will also be a ‘post’ match celebration party in the newly refurbished Rink Bar 8.30pm till late, where a buffet will be served, and local ‘covers’ band, Flashback, shall provide the entertainment along with a Disco. Access to the party is by way of tickets only, which will go on sale at 10am on Monday 9th February, from the Blackburn Arena Reception – costing £15.00 each. (Over 18’s only)

Please note that game tickets are on sale from 16th March - but tickets for the EVENING EVENT - which needs a SEPARATE TICKET - are on sale from 9th February...  

More information can be found   HERE 

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Local Football Round Up - 17th January

In one of the few games to be played today in the West Lancashire League, Premier Division title chasers Blackpool Wren Rovers slumped to their first home defeat of the season at home to Slyne With Hest  in a 1-2 reverse that was only settled in added time.

That result leaves the Wrens a point behind leaders Charnock Richard in the table but having played two games more. Slyne With Hest move up into 3rd place - 9 points behind Wrens but with 3 games in hand.

Elsewhere in the Golden Triangle of local football, Squires Gate beat West Didsbury & Chorlton 2-0 to move up into 5th place in the North West Counties Premier Division and AFC Blackpool won 0-1 away at Maine Road. That win sees them pull 4 points clear of the relegation zone but they have played more games than the other teams below them. 

Blackpool Wren Rovers Reserves are at home next Saturday against Garstang Reser5ves in a 2pm kick off while the first team are away at Crooklands Casuals.

AFC Blackpool are at home to Glossop North End in a 3pm kick off and Squires Gate are away at AFC Liverpool. 

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Local Football Round Up - 3rd January

Blackpool Wren Rovers beat Lostock St Gerrards 6-1 (in photo) in the Premier Division of the West Lancashire League to keep them in contention with Charnock Richard at the top of the table.

In the North West Counties League, AFC Blackpool drew 2-2 with AFC Liverpool and Squires Gate drew 3-3 away at promoted Nelson.  Gate remain 7th in the Premier Division while AFC Blackpool are 20th. 

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Local Football Round Up - 20th December

In a thrilling end to end encounter, Blackpool Wren Rovers had to fight back from 2 goals down to finish 3-3 in a their West Lancashire League Premier Division home encounter with Crookland Casuals. 

It was the first time this season that Wrens had failed to win a league game at home and with Charnock Richard winning 3-1 at home to Coppull Utd, it means that their near rivals now take over at the top of the table.

Elsewhere in the Golden Triangle of local football, Squires Gate FC drew 1-1 with Abbey Hey in the Premier Division of the North West Counties League - a result which leaves them seventh in the table.

AFC Blackpool's bottom three clash against Bacup & Rossendale Utd was postponed du to bad weather.

Squires Gate host AFC Blackpool in a local derby clash on Boxing Day in a 3pm kick off

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Book Review: "No Woman's Land - A Centenary Tribute To Inspirational Women Of World War One"

Most people will have heard of Edith Cavell – the British nurse who was shot by the Germans during World War One and probably Mata Hari as well - she was the Dutch exotic dancer who spied for the Germans and was shot by the French. Then there was Mistinguet, the famous French music hall  star  who has been said to have spied for the British and  was never shot by any one.

But what about Marie Marvingt – the French pilot who invented the idea of the air ambulance…?  Elsie Janis – the American “Forces Sweetheart” of WW1…? Or maybe Flora Sandes – the British woman who joined the Serbian army and fought against the Austro-Hungarians…? 

Contrary to what a lot of people seem to think, there were actually thousands upon thousands of women involved in all sorts of activities in and out of the various war zones during the First World War.  From nurses like Nellie Spindler to ambulance drivers like Olive King, from diarists like Mildred Aldridge – who “retired” to the Marne during the summer of 1914 in search of a quiet place to live… - to sculptress Kathleen Scott (widow of explorer Captain Scott) whose artistic skills helped the pioneer plastic surgeons develop facial reconstruction techniques….. and this book is packed with fascinating stories about dozens of these inspirational women.   

With photos and basic biographical details, this is an excellent starter book for anybody who is interested in the First World War.   It doesn’t set out to be an “academic” work but it does give the reader a broad taste of some of the different roles that women filled (not just nurses and munitions workers although there are some of them in here as well…) and is aimed at a general readership.

An “Inspirational Women - Volume 2” is planned for publication later in the centenary years and there is also a companion volume out now called “Female Poets Of The First World War” which looks at the lives and works of female poets during the Great War period.

You can buy by mail order “No Woman’s Land” by mail order HERE  and “Female Poets Of The First World War - Volume 1” HERE

You can also buy on Amazon HERE

There is lots more information about Inspirational Women at

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Local Football Round Up - 13th December

Blackpool Wren Rovers Reserves beat Eagley Reserves with a sensational last minute goal after the two sides had remained deadlocked at 1-1 for much of this West Lancashire League Reserves Division One encounter.

The win sees the Wrens Reserves move 3 points clear in 3rd place in the league table as most of the other games were called off due to the weather.

The Wren Rovers first team's game away at Crookland Casuals was postponed and Wrens remain top of the West Lancashire League Premier Division 1 point ahead of second place Charnock Richard who have played one game fewer. 

Elsewhere in the Golden Triangle of local football, Squires Gate FC's game away at Winsford in the NWCFL was postponed and AFC Blackpool were without a game.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Book Review: "Female Poets Of The First World War - Volume 1" Compiled by Lucy London

The TV and newspapers are full of the World War 1 centenary at present - and quite rightly so as we need to remember what went on a hundred years ago.  Much is written and said about the “soldier poets in the trenches” but hardly anybody mentions women in the conflict – except as nurses, drivers or munitions workers.

That fact is that there were hundreds of women who wrote during the First World War – as journalists, diarists and, indeed, poets. Some of the female writers included in this book - like May Sinclair - were very well know at the time of the war but have fallen from prominence since – and others like Agatha Christie have become well known since but nobody knows now that she actually wrote poetry back then.

So the good thing about this book is that tell us about all sorts of women who wrote poetry during the war - from the American doyenne Ella Wheeler Wilcox who many years beforehand had written the famous lines “laugh and the world laughs with you, cry and you cry alone”  and toured the US army depots in France giving poetry reading and lectures on “moral hygiene” to the soldiers right down to teenage girls at Downe House public school like Audrey Lucas who would later go on to achieve great things in adulthood.

There are poets from all the main countries that took part in the Great War – British Empire, USA, France, Germany, Austria Hungary, Russia , Serbia & Italy and also from some that you may not even know were involved such as Portugal, China and Japan.

A great many of the poems are written in English but many of the foreign language poems have been left in their original language.  Compiler Lucy London has done this on purpose as she wants the original poems to speak for themselves as the writer intended, rather than putting a translator’s spin on them.  

This is not an “academic” work - it doesn’t dissect the poems and make comments about rhyming schemes and stanza structures   but what it does do is gives the reader a broad taste of the different poets and their works and is aimed at a general readership.  If, having read this book, you then want to find out more about the individual poets and their writings, you can go off and do so but, then again, if this is the only book you ever read about female war poets, then you will still have very good grounding.

A “Female Poets Of The First World War - Volume 2” is planned for publication during 2015 and there is also a companion volume out now called “No Woman’s Land – A Centenary Tribute To Inspirational Women Of World War One” which looks at the lives and deeds of non –poets  during the Great War period.

You can buy “Female Poets Of The First World War - Volume 1” by mail order  HERE  and “No Woman’s Land”  HERE

You can also purchase on Amazon HERE
There is lots more information about Female War Poets at

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Local Football Round Up - 6th December 2014

In our featured match of the day, Blackpool Wren Rovers Reserves beat Ladybridge Reserves 4-1 in the first round of the West Lancashire League's Houston Cup in a game that was very close until the last couple of minutes.

League leaders Blackpool Wren Rovers first team lost 2-1 away at Garstang in the Premier Division of the West Lancashire League. 

Elsewhere in the Golden Triangle of local football, Squires Gate FC beat Silsden 2-0 to move into 7th place in the Premier Division of the North West Counties league.

AFC Blackpool were without a game and remain in 20th position in the league table out of 22 teams.

Photo: match action from the Wren Rovers Reserves v Ladybridge Reserves Houston Cup game.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Book Review: The Ice Hockey Annual 2014-15 edited by Stewart Roberts

The Ice Hockey Annual 2014-15  - edited by Stewart Roberts

Format: Paperback
Pages: 176 pages
Publisher: Stewart Roberts
ISBN-13: 978-0956294371
Product Dimensions:  14.8 x 0.8 x 21.1 cm

Website and Order link:

Despite now being one of its hugest fans and advocates, I was actually a bit of a latecomer to the Ice Hockey Annual. Despite watching British ice hockey from 1983 onwards, the first edition of the Annual that I actually owned was the 1999-00 edition - which was given to me personally (and signed) by Stewart Roberts at the GB “Pool A” Qualification Tournament at Sheffield Arena that year.

I don’t know why I hadn’t bought it before – I’d seen it advertised in Ice Hockey News Review every year and, to be honest, I now wish I HAD bought it right from the start as it would have saved a lot of hassle and money buying up all the back issues I could find.

If I’d have bought each edition as it came out, it would have been much easier and I would probably have managed back then to get hold of the very early editions that I still don’t have today.

So, what I am really trying to say here is that if you are interested in British ice hockey then you really need to get this new edition.

It has team by team and league by league stats and reports of all the clubs in the Elite League and English Premier League from the 2013/14 season. There is a run-down of Team GB’s involvement in the World Championships at senior, women’s and junior levels plus Player Awards, new Hall of Fame inductees, new rink news and lots more besides.     

There is a summary of the season in NIHL North & South and the Scottish National League, news about international leagues and the European cup, contacts and rink directory and pretty much everything else that you’d need to know about ice hockey over the past year.

In fact, when I started producing the “Ice Hockey Review” yearbook in its original guise 3 years ago now, I shamelessly copied the format of the Ice Hockey Annual for the basic contents and layout.  The difference is that, while Stewart’s Ice Hockey Annual covers mainly Elite League and EPL and only briefly touches on the NIHL, my Ice Hockey Review has the same team by team and league by league reporting for NIHL teams only and does not cover the other leagues at all. So the two publications sit well side by side on the bookshelf.  But I digress…..

This is the 39th edition of the Ice Hockey Annual, which demonstrates that Stewart has got the formula just right.  I can spend hours flicking through the pages of my collection of Ice Hockey Annuals. There’s always something new that you didn’t notice the first time you read it, something you’d forgotten about or just something that you enjoy reading about again and again.

You can check who played for who – what they looked like – what their stats for the season were…

It really is the “Bible” for the British ice hockey and I heartily recommend that you buy this new edition – and all the back issues you can find!  Looking forward already to the 40th edition – long may it continue!

More info, book orders and back issues:


Monday, 24 November 2014

New Release: "It's Christmas Time..." - Exclusive Interview With Steve Drewett

We don't normally "do" Christmas but we think this new Christmas song by Steve Drewett is really worth a listen. It is different from most of the more traditional Christmas songs and addresses an issue that is very common in modern day society.

We had a chat with Steve Drewett about how he came to write this song.  Click on the sound icon below to hear what he had to say about it:

You can listen to the song HERE

And you can find out more about Steve's latest album here:

We'll be featuring more of our great interview with Steve Drewett here on "Best Kept Secrets" shortly so please check back!

Friday, 21 November 2014

Coming Next Week: Exclusive Interview With Steve Drewett

Steve Drewett - highly respected frontman of the Newtown Neurotics  - has just released a solo album. 

We'll be running an in-depth interview with him in the next week or so - so please check back!

In the meantime, you can find out more about Steve's new album here: HERE

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Win A Copy Of The New Alison Moyet Live CD This Sunday On 103.2 Preston FM

Release Date: 10/11/2014

Track Listing:
1 Horizon Flame (Live)
2 When I Was Your Girl (Live)
3 Ordinary Girl (Live)
4 Remind Yourself (Live)
5 Is This Love? (Live)
6 Winter Kills (Live)
7 Filigree (Live)
8 Only You (Live)
9 Changeling (Live)
10 This House (Live)
11 All Signs of Life (Live)
12 All Cried Out (Live)
13 Situation (Live)
Order link HERE
Competition closed  - winners:  Victoria Booth (Wirral), Marie Kershaw (Lytham St Annes) .

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Radio Show On 103.2 Preston FM This Sunday From 4pm

Join us this Sunday afternoon from 4pm for another great radio show on 103.2 Preston FM.

This week, Lucy talks about the  Plans, Hopes & Dreams Project, Jennifer Leach's theatrical production "Where Then Shall We Start" about poet Wilfred Owen and artists Käthe Kollwitz  and reads another extract from  the WW1 Nurse in Belgium's story.

We feature the Beverley Sisters and the Southlanders in "Party Like Its 1959"
have music from The Skids, Asia, Bell Book & Candle and Bandits
and also feature new releases from German Shepherd Records artists The Bacillus and Positronik (in photo).

So join us from 4pm on Sunday on 103.2 Preston FM.  If you live outside the broadcast area, you cans till listen in via the internet at


You can find out more about the Plans, Hopes and Dreams Project here:

You can find out more about German Shepherd Records here:

Where Then Shall We Reach:

Friday, 17 October 2014

New Ice Hockey Book Out Now: Ice Hockey Review 2014

Containing details of all NIHL teams and competitions in North & South - Divisions 1&2

Special launch offer price of £7.50 with FREE UK Postage and Packing:

Enquire about larger quantities or overseas orders: EMAIL

Contents Include:
Player Awards & All Star Teams
Reports and stats from all league, cup and play off competitions

Photos and player statistics of all teams, ie: 

N1 Moralee Conference: Billingham Stars, Blackburn Hawks, Manchester Minotaurs, Sheffield Spartans, Solway Sharks, Sutton Sting, Telford Titans, Whitley Warriors
N2 Laidler Conference: Blackburn Eagles, Coventry Blaze, Deeside Dragons, Nottingham Lions, Hull Jets, Sheffield Spartans, Solihull Barons, Widnes Wild
South 1: Bracknell Hornets, Cardiff Devils, Chelmsford Chieftains, Invicta Dynamos, Milton Keynes Thunder, Solent & Gosport Devils, London Raiders, Streatham Redskins, Wightlink Raiders
South 2: Basingstoke Buffalo, Bristol Pitbulls, Cardiff Devils, Chelmsford Warriors, Invicta Mustangs, Lee Valley Lions, London Haringey Racers, Oxford City Stars, Peterborough Islanders, Slough Jets, Swindon Wildcats, Wightlink Tigers

Friday, 10 October 2014

Radio Show This Sunday on 103.2 Preston FM from 4pm

Join us for our "Best Kept Secrets" show on 103.2 Preston FM this Sunday from 4pm where we will be featuring an exclusive interview with jazz musician Dan Forshaw talking about his new Dan Forshaw Trio CD release and forthcoming live dates in the North West.

There's also the chance to win a copy of the 35th Anniversary Edition CD of the Madness "One Step Beyond" album

Lucy talks about Merseyside poets from the first world war - May Sinclair, Geoffrey Wall and Percy Haselden - and reviews some of the latest books that have been published about the Great War period

and we have new releases from The Ramona Flowers and Ward Thomas.

So tune in from 4pm on Sunday on 103.2 Preston FM or, if you live outside the broadcast area, you can "listen live" via the internet at

To find out more about the new Dan Forshaw Trio CD or to see a list of gigs, click HERE

Competition Time - Win A Copy Of the 35th Anniversary Madness "One Step Beyond" CD

If you tune in to our radio show on 103.2 Preston FM this Sunday, you could have the chance of winning a copy of the 35th Anniversary special edition CD of the "One Step Beyond" album.

The CD has all the original album tracks plus some previously unreleased rehearsal tracks from 1979 and a new DVD compilation.

In order to have a chance of winning, listen to our show this Sunday from 4pm and answer the Madness-related question by sending a message to this LINK.  The winner will be chosen at random from the correct entries.

If you live outside the broadcast area, you can still listen in and take part via the internet at

Track listing
Disc 1 - CD
1. One Step Beyond / 2. My Girl / 3. Night Boat To Cairo / 4. Believe Me / 5. Land Of Hope & Glory / 6. The Prince / 7. Tarzan’s Nuts / 8. In The Middle Of The Night / 9. Bed & Breakfast Man / 10. Razor Blade Alley / 11. Swan Lake / 12. Rockin’ In A Flat / 13. Mummy’s Boy / 14. Madness / 15. Chipmunks Are Go!

Extra Tracks: ‘Fab Toones!’ Rehearsal Tape, 1979
16. Nutty Sounds / 17. Mistakes / 18. Sunshine Voice / 19. My Girl / 20. Memories / 21. Believe Me / 22. Lost My Head / 23. Razorblade Alley / 24. Land Of Hope & Glory / 25. Mummy’s Boy / 26. In The Middle Of The Night / 27. You Said / 28. Stepping Into Line / 29. Bed & Breakfast Man

Disc 2 - DVD
1. One Step Beyond… (video)  / 2. Bed And Breakfast Man (video) / 3. My Girl (video) / 4. Night Boat To Cairo (video) / 5. One Step Beyond… (BBC Top Of The Pops) / 6. The Prince (BBC Top OF The Pops) / 7. My Girl (BBC Top Of The Pops) / 8. Bed & Breakfast Man (BBC Old Grey Whistle Test)  / 9. Night Boat To Cairo (BBC Old Grey Whistle Test) / 10. Young Guns’ Documentary (BBC, 2000).

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Sonia Bidwell - Textile Artist & Storyteller

In our radio show today, from 4pm, Lucy will be talking about a fascinating piece of artwork by Scottish artist Sonia Bidwell.

Lucy explains: "On 14th September, I woke up thinking of Tonga and the islands in the Pacific and the part they played in the first conflict that affected the entire globe.  So I had to look up their involvement in WW1.  I mentioned this on Facebook and Sonia sent me a photograph of one of her beautiful works of art."
The work of art in question is a wall hanging (see photo) showing the horrific journey of the islanders from Tonga  to the western front via Egypt.  Sonia also included the poem "Despise not the day of small things" written by E. Mary Cruttwell, which was featured in 'The Fiery Cross' WW1 Poetry Anthology, edited by Mabel C. Edwards and Mary Booth and published in 1915 by .
Sonia says :  "I was so moved to indignation I did this wall hanging showing the islanders' horrific journey to the western front via Egypt. I also included the poem by Mary Cruttwell.
The yellow represents Egypt see pyramids.   The central section is the Western Front.  The photo shows the Nuiens on trench digging, then the top is the white cliffs of Dover and Hornchurch " Horns from coat of arms "where they were sent to recover or die.  The photo of a grave Card in the left hand corner is "A long way to Tipperary" as sung in Maori."
With many thanks to Sonia, who is a Textile Artist and Storyteller who lives in Scotland, where she is well known for her unusual interpretations of myths and legends, folklore and traditions.  She designs and makes wall hangings incorporating fabric, weaving and objets trouvés.
To find out more about Sonia's wonderful work, please see

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Local Football Round Up - 27th September 2014

Blackpool Wren Rovers Reserves beat Thornton Cleveleys Reserves 5-3 in the West Lancashire League Reserves Division (in photo) while the first team won by the same scoreline away at Lostock St Gerrards to stay top of the Premier Division.

Elsewhere in the golden triangle of local football, Squires Gate won 4-3 away at Bacup & Rossendale United while AFC Blackpool drew 2-2 at home to Stockport Sports. Squires Gate are now 14th in the North West Counties League Premier Division with 16 points from 10 games. AFC Blackpool are still bottom - 2 poiunts adrift of Bacup & Rossendale with 3 points from 14 games.

More info: 

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Win Copies of the new "Essential Swing Out Sister" CD in our great competition - closes midnight Sunday!

We have two copies of the new "Essential Swing Out Sister" greatest hits CD to give away in a great free-to-enter competition.

To have a chance of winning, all you have to do is listen to our radio show on 103.2 Preston FM this Sunday from 4pm and then send us a message telling us which 2 tracks we have played from the CD.

There are two chances to win: one via email - send your answer HERE and the other by sending a PM via our Facebook page HERE

The deadline for sending in your answers in 12 midnight on Sunday evening and the two lucky winners will be announced on Monday morning.


Radio Show On 103.2 Preston FM - This Sunday from 4pm

In our radio show on 103.2 Preston FM this Sunday afternoon  from 4pm, we'll be playing a couple of tracks from the new "Essential Swing Out Sister" greatest hits CD, along with more great new releases from the Subways, The Dan Forshaw Trio & Santa Maradona FC.

We feature Alma Cogan in our Party Like It's 1959 spot and Lucy talks about:
the  Essex Memorial to the airship shot down by Lt William Leefe Robinson VC on 2-3 September 1916
 Marie Stopes WW1 female poet
Nora Neilson Gray - British Artist and designer, orderly in France in WW1
Sonia Bidwell's wall hanging about the contribution of the Isle of Niu in the South Pacific in WW1
Sister F.I.C. Tyson the Australian nurse buried in Sutton Veney churchyard, Wiltshire
Poet in the City London event on 13th October 2014.

PLUS there's another great extract from "The Nurse's Story - Sketchbook from Belgium".

So join us from 4pm on Sunday on 103.2 Preston FM. If you are outside the broadcast area, you can "listen live" over the internet at 

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

The Subways - Autumn Tour Dates 2014

The Subways have UK tour coming up in October and anew album due out early next year.

We'll be playing the first single release from the new album in our radio show on 103.2 Preston FM this Sunday from 4pm and the band will playing live at 53 Degrees in Preston on 25th October.

The full list of tour dates is as follows:

01-Oct-14 - Colchester- Arts Centre
02-Oct-14 - Gloucester
04-Oct-14 - Guildford
05-Oct-14 - Portsmouth
07-Oct-14 - Exeter
08-Oct-14 - Cardiff
10-Oct-14 - Swansea
11-Oct-14 - Coventry
14-Oct-14 - Newry
15-Oct-14 - Belfast
17-Oct-14 - Wakefield
18-Oct-14 - York
20-Oct-14 - Newcastle
21-Oct-14 - Edinburgh
22-Oct-14 - Glasgow
24-Oct-14 - Aberdeen
25-Oct-14 - Preston
27-Oct-14 - Derby
28-Oct-14 - Peterborough
29-Oct-14 - Cambridge
31-Oct-14 - Oxford
01-Nov-14 - Norwich                       

More info from: 

CD Release: The Essential Swing Out Sister - out 7th October 2014

THE ESSENTIAL SWING OUT SISTER released by Union Square Music 7
Swing Out Sister has created a sound which is more relevant now than ever before. Corinne Drewery & Andy Connell, original purveyors of jazz infused pop, have over the past 28 years continued to celebrate the eclectic cultural mix of the UK's constantly changing music scene with a sound that owes as much to hip-hop and jazz fusion as sixties pop and soul.

A new compilation album featuring all their biggest and best loved recordings is scheduled for release in October.

Swing Out Sister’s first single, 'Breakout’ from their debut album 'It's Better To Travel' (1987), cemented their reputation for well crafted songs and cinematic arrangements.

Breakout brought the band worldwide success and international acclaim, with singles 'Surrender', 'Twilight World' and 'Fooled By A Smile’ to follow.

In 1988, Swing Out Sister were nominated for two Grammy Awards including 'Best New Artist' and 'Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Group or Duo' for Breakout.

Their second album, 'Kaleidoscope World’, released in 1989 spawned the hits 'Where In The World', 'You On My Mind', 'Forever Blue' and 'Waiting Game’ and featured arrangements by Jimmy Webb, showing the versatility of the band’s song writing ability and a celebration of the Brill Building writers such as Bacharach and David and Goffin and King.

'Get In Touch With Yourself' (1992) followed with their cover of Barbara Acklin's 'Am I The Same Girl?’ and 'Notgonnachange' (the version on this album was remixed by Frankie Knuckles) both international chart hits for the band.

'The Living Return' (1994) featured 'La La Means I Love You' and was featured on the soundtrack to 'Four Weddings And A Funeral'.

A consistent stream of popular albums have followed over the years proving that Swing Out Sister still deliver stylishly smooth 'sophisti-pop' mixed with gorgeous vocals and lush melodies. They have toured extensively, especially in the USA and Japan, and on the international jazz festival circuit, recently performing big band arrangements of their songs at JavaJazz in Jakarta alongside Stevie Wonder and Bobby McFerrin.

Other albums:  'Shapes And Patterns' (1997), 'Filth & Dreams' (1999), Somewhere Deep In The Night' (2001), 'Where Our Love Grows' (2004), 'Beautiful Mess' (2008) and 2012's, 'Private View'.

The full track listing for, 'The Essential Swing Out Sister' is as follows:
Twilight World (Superb, Superb, Mix)
Fooled By A Smile
Where In The World
Waiting Game
You On My Mind
La La (Means I Love You)
Am I The Same Girl?
Notgonnachange (Frankie Knuckles Classic Club Mix)
Precious Words
Heaven Only Knows
Waters Of March (with Akiko) (single edit)
Somewhere Deep In The Night
Love Won't Let You Down
Forever Blue (Big band version)* previously unreleased.
The Windmills Of Your Mind

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Local Football Round Up - 20th September

Blackpool Wren Rovers maintained their 2 point lead at the top of the West Lancashire League Premier Division with a close fought 2-1 win over Euxton Villa.

Next Saturday Wren Rovers are away at Lostock St Gerrards while Wren Rovers Reserves are at home to Thornton Cleveleys Reserves in a 3pm kick off.


Saturday, 13 September 2014

Local Football Round Up - 13th September 2014

Blackpool Wren Rovers came back from two goals down to draw 2-2 after 90 minutes in their Lancashire Amateur Shield 1st round game before losing out to Slyne With Hest 4-3 on penalties.

Elsewhere in the golden triangle of local football, AFC Blackpool picked up only their second league point of the season in a 2-2 draw at home to Winsford United in the NWCFL Premier Division.

Squires Gate drew 2-2 away at Bamber Bridge in the 1st Qualifying Round of the FA Cup and will have a replay at home on Tuesday evening.

AFC Blackpool are also at home on Tuesday in league action against last season's Division One champions Nelson.

Blackpool Wren Rovers are at home next Saturday against Euxton Villa in the West Lancashire League Premier Division in a 3pm kick off.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Tune in to our Radio Show on 103.2 Preston FM This Sunday from 4pm

Join us from 4pm on Sunday afternoon on 103.2 Preston FM for another Best Kept Secrets radio show.

As part of our continuing First World War centenary commemorations, Lucy will be talking about:
An event in London on Wednesday, 17th September at the Fleming Collection Gallery
Mike Clayton's Great Aunt - Elsie Amelia Highfield and her autograph book
Dean Echenberg website -
Tanya Birnie's weblog Headstones of graves of women who served and died in WW1
Caroline Stevens' relation Kate Luard, nurse + book.
"Reporting under fire 16 Daring Women Journalists" by Kerrie Logan Hollihan, Chicago Review Press, 2014
Canal Poetry Laureate and the Canal Project
Martin Zieren's new German poets
America in the First World War and the sinking of the "Brindisi"
and she will also be reading passages from “A War Nurse's diary”

We have new releases from April Moon, Flies On You, Boz Hayward, Paul Olexa and The Meantime.
Plus "Party like It's 1959" with Miki & Griff and Petula Clark.

So join us from 4pm on Sunday afternoon on 103.2 Preston FM - or, if you live outside the broadcast area, you can "listen live" on

Thursday, 4 September 2014

WW1 Commemorative Event, Barnoldswick, W. Yorkshire - 6th and 7th September 2014

News just in of a special WW1 Commemorative Event  will be held on Saturday, 6th September 2014 at Barnoldswick Heritage Weekend when an early tragedy of World War One will be commemorated with a major exhibition during the weekend of 6th and 7th September 2014

For further details, please see the "Visit Barnoldswick" website  

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Local Football Round Up - 30th August 2014

In a topsy-turvy game played at one point in the most amazing tropical downpour, Blackpool Wren Rovers beat Garstang 6-3 and moved to the top of the West Lancashire League Premier Division table (in photo).

Elsewhere in the "Golden Triangle" of local football, AFC Blackpool remain bottom of the North West Counties League Premier Division after a narrow 1-2 defat at home to league leaders Maine Road while Squires Gate won 3-2 away at New Mills in the Preliminary Round of the FA Cup.

AFC Blackpool are at home in league action on Tuesday evening against Bacup & Rossendale Utd and are away at Rossington Main next Saturday in the FA Vase.

Squires Gates next match is next Saturday at home to AFC Liverpool in the first qualifying round of the FA Vase.

Blackpool Wren Rovers are at home next Saturday to Hesketh Bank in the West Lancs Premier Division while the Wrens reserves are away at Hurst Green.

More info:

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Tune in to our "Best Kept Secrets" show on 103.2 Preston FM this Sunday from 4pm

We have a new day for our Best Kept Secrets radio show on 103.2 Preston FM. We can now be heard  on selected SUNDAY afternoons from 4pm.

Lucy will be telling us about some more Inspirational Women Of World War One
We'll have two brand new songs from singer/songwriter Ralph Keats

New releases from These Reigning Days and Fickle Friends
Music nostalgia from The Who
and our highly popular "Party Like It's 1959" and "Great War Radio" features.

So join us from 4pm on Sunday 31st August on 103.2 Preston FM for more Best Kept Secrets.  If you are outside the broadcast area, you can listen live via the internet at

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Local Football Round Up - 23rd August 2014

Blackpool Wren Rovers are second in the West Lancashire League Premier Division on goal difference behind leaders Euxton Villa after a 3-0 home victory over Eagley.

Wrens' Reserves lost 3-2 away to Eagley Reserves in the West Lancashire League Reserves Division 1.

Elsewhere in the golden triangle of local football, AFC Blackpool lost 0-4 at home to Runcorn Town in the NWCFL Premier Division while Squires Gate drew 0-0 away at Congleton Town. 

AFC Blackpool are 2nd bottom of the table with no points from their 6 games to date. Squires gate are 7th with 9 points from 5 games.

NEXT SATURDAY:  Blackpool Wren Rovers are at home to Garstang and AFC Blackpool are at home to Maine Road while Squires Gate are in FA Cup action away at New Mills.

More information: 

Sunday, 17 August 2014

London Raiders Ice Hockey Team Need Financial Support

London Raiders are in urgent need of corporate sponsors in order to be able to take their place in NIHL South Division 1 this season, with the first game due to face off against Cardiff Fire on 6th September at Lee Valley Ice Centre, which has been the Raiders' home since the closure of Romford Ice Rink forced the club to move in 2013.

There are numerous sponsorship offers to suit all pockets and budgets - ranging from Match Puck sponsorship at £75, Match Night Sponsor (£200), and individual Player Sponsor (£300) right up to being the team's Major Sponsor and having your own company's name as part of the team name, ie "The London Ice Hockey Review Raiders" - or something like that...

Packages can be tailored to suit a company's particular requirements and anybody interested should send an email to

Also, anybody interested can see a copy of the London Raiders Sponsorship Booklet by clicking: HERE

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Review: "Bullets and Daffodils" The Wilfred Owen Story

"Bullets and Daffodils" is a musical interpretation of the story of Wilfred Owen, who is arguably the world's best-loved soldier poet of the First World War, written by Dean Johnson the singer/songwriter who runs The Wilfred Owen Story museum in Birkenhead.   We went to see a special, Centenary commemorative performance of "Bullets and Daffodils", which is the title song, at the lovely Floral Pavilion theatre in New Brighton on Saturday, 16th August 2014.

If you have never seen "Bullets and Daffodils" please try to catch up with a performance - it brings Wilfred Owen's poetry to life in an extremely moving way.  We have been following the show for just over two years, have seen it several times and hope to attend future performances.

Tonight's performance was awesome and featured Billy Bunter from BBC Radio Merseyside, Dean Sullivan from Brookside, Brian Hallet and the beautiful voice of Lindsay Field, originally from East Sussex.  Dean Johnson sang many of the songs that he has written specially for the show.   There was a musical ensemble assisting Dean - Sarah Williams on Flute, Clarinet, Soprano and Alto Sax, Andrew Hutchinson on Bass and Greg Williams on keyboard.   Greg Williams was the Musical Director and Mark Reed, son of actor Oliver, Associate Producer, whose voice was heard at the end of the first act with a superb recording of Wilfred's poem Dulce et Decorum est.

The very talented dancer and choreographer Charlotte Roberts performed some of her fantastic 'body poetry', including a rather jazzy routine to 'Bordeaux" - the song Dean has written about the time Wilfred spent in France.

With stage management by Janet Holmes, the evening was a very special one indeed.  A huge thank you to all the cast, musicians, 'back room guys' and to Charlotte, Dean and Janet.   Unmissable!

The Wilfred Owen Story, 34 Argyle Street, Birkenhead, Wirral CH41 6AE

Miss Blackpool Competition 2014 - Final Result

Winner: Joanna Johnson (in photo)
2nd Place: Hannah Louise Peters
3rd Place: Claire McDowall

The last 8 - chosen from the initial 16 finalists - were:
Kassidy Knight, Sophie Jarvis, Shannon Hammill, Claire McDowall, Hannah-Louise Peters, Jessica Bradder, Keeley Atkinson Strutton and Joanna Johnson.  

More info from

Photo by Charlotte Dawson

Friday, 15 August 2014

Review: Pre-Show Dining at the Floral Pavilion, New Brighton

On our first visit to the Floral Pavilion theatre in New Brighton, Wirral to see An Evening of Dirty Dancing on Friday, 15th August 2014, we decided to try the pre-theatre dining package.   The restaurant is in the area above the theatre concourse and has a beautiful view across the River Mersey to Liverpool.  
The food is prepared and served by Carringtons and is very good value at £15.95 for two courses, plus a glass of house wine or a soft drink.  You can add a desert, more drinks and tea and coffee if you wish.

You can download the menus which change monthly via the website of the Floral Pavilion -

You can also have coffee, lunch and tea in the Pavilion's cafe

This evening, from the four starters and main courses, we tried the soup and freshly baked, warm Sourdough roll and the Linguine with smoked salmon - which were delicious.  Then we had main courses of chicken with beans in a tomato sauce and lamb done with creamed leeks and pesto macaroni.  Absolutely delicious and served by the attentive staff.   We didn't have room to sample the mouth-watering desserts on offer but finished off with a coffee. 
The bill for extras came with an Everton mint which finished the excellent meal off very nicely indeed.   Definitely ten out of ten.  
I do wish Janet Street Porter of the 'Daily Mail', who wrote recently about Britain's run down seaside resorts, would visit New Brighton to see how this seaside town on one corner of the Wirral Peninsula has moved into the 21st Century.   Marine Point was buzzing as we left the theatre - there's a casino, bowling alley, lots of great cafes and restaurants and an ice cream parlour, a lovely beach and that great view across the Mersey - something for everyone.