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....

Sunday, 30 April 2017

New Book To Check Out: The Midlife Kitchen

The Midlife Kitchen: Health-Boosting Recipes for Midlife & Beyond
By Mimi Spencer and Sam Rice

Available from 4th May
ISBN 9781784723187
304 pages Hardback
Also available for Kindle

Published by Mitchell Beazley

Are you at a point in your life where health is becoming more of a priority? Are you confused by ever-changing headlines that contrive to make the simple act of eating a peril rather than a pleasure? The Midlife Kitchen has the answers.

Midlife is not a time to be concerned with food fads and foibles, but rather a glorious opportunity to wrest back control of your eating in the interests of health, happiness and a long life. Taste must certainly come first, but with health firmly snapping at its heels, underpinned by well-established nutritional common sense. Busy lives require simple, sustaining recipes that incorporate health-giving ingredients without too much fanfare or fuss. This book is not about 'clean-eating' or super foods, detoxing or restriction. Instead, it is about building up a balanced and diverse diet, with less sugar, better fat and good carbs.

Alongside each recipe is the Midlife Kitchen emblem, the star anise. With each of the eight seeds representing a specific Midlife Health category - such as Hormone Harmony; Mind, Memory, Mood; or Heart Health - authors Sam and Mimi are able to provide simple nutritional information. Health tips explain the benefits of certain ingredients, while 'Why We Love It' sections explore the advantages of cooking each dish. Midlife Must-Haves show how to create homemade essentials such as Midlife Grown-up Granola, Midlife Power Porridge and Midlife Sweetener.

From Seared Sirloin on Pan-roasted Veg to The Mother of All Greek Salads, Nurture Bircher to Three-ginger Fire Cake, the recipes in this book come together to create a vibrant menu bursting with mouth-watering flavours.

Available from all good book shops or order via Amazon HERE

Friday, 31 March 2017

NIHL North Play Off Weekend Videos - Available to Pre Order!

You can now pre-order your very own DVD or digital highlights of this year’s NIHL North Playoffs being held at iceSheffield on the 8th & 9th April.

This year you can also buy a copy of any full game on DVD or via digital version.

- Highlights: DVD £10 (+£1 P&P) or digital version £7.99

- Full game: DVD £5 (+£1 P&P) or digital version £3.49

All of these include match commentary, previews, analysis and interviews as well as replays, slow motion and goal cameras! Better still, you will be supporting British hockey with your order as the teams will receive part of every purchase!

Orders will also be able to be placed at the Playoffs weekend, though we advise purchasing online which you will be able to from until a month after the Playoffs have been held

For more information or to place your order – go to 

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Bandy "Try It" Event At Planet Ice Peterborough - Sunday 19th March

There’s a great opportunity to be involved in a little bit of ice sport history next Sunday 19th March as the first bandy event to be staged in this country for 100 years will take place at Peterborough Planet Ice arena – with an opportunity for ice skaters to go along and give the game a try.

It is a fitting venue for the renaissance as the game was originally played on the frozen fens back in the 1890s but lost its popularity in this country after the First World War, although it has continued to be a highly popular sport in many other countries to this day.

A new English Bandy Federation was set up earlier this year and members are now spreading the word and encouraging new people to become interested in the sport.

The driving force behind this project is new EBF President Lyn Gibb-de Swarte, a long term speed skater and coach who was also a founder member of the Streatham Strikers women’s ice hockey in the early 1980s.  She has announced plans for a purpose built 100m x 60m indoor bandy ice field – the only one in the country – at a new proposed “Littleport Ice Stadium” - to be constructed at Littleport near Ely in Cambridgeshire, which is in the very heart of fen skating country.

The facility will also have the only 400 meter speed skating track in the country, which will help introduce new people to that sport and also save British competitors having to travel to Holland for training and competitions – as that is where the nearest  full size oval track is situated.

The game of bandy has been described as both “soccer on ice, and ice hockey with a ball” and Lyn sums it up as” Bandy is a fast, skillful, non-contact sport that any skater can play - and the kit doesn’t cost a fortune either. It’s great fun to watch too, with similar rules to soccer.”

You don’t need have to have played any sort of ice sport before to be able to join in the session, although a basic level of skating ability is necessary.

The bandy try-it event at Peterborough runs from 8pm to 9.30pm on Sunday 19th March and includes a half hour introduction to the game followed by an hour on the ice.  The cost is £5 per person and FREE for under-16s.  Balls and sticks will be provided  

The event will be overseen by top bandy coaches from Sweden and also the Czech Head Coach Michael Bratt who has over 20 years’ experience coaching in Sweden, Holland& Russia and now back in his native land.

To find out more about the game of bandy and forthcoming events, check out the English Bandy Federation’s website HERE

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Antony Morris Memorial Cup Game at Widnes - 8th January 2017

There’s an early New Year opportunity for sports fans to enjoy an entertaining evening out and support two very good causes as the annual Antony Morris Memorial cup ice hockey game is staged at the Silver Blades ice rink in Widnes on Sunday 8th January 2017.

Antony (pictured left) was a recreational player with the Widnes Wildcats and he died after a fall on a night out in Liverpool in November 2015 aged just 29.

The game will be played between the two Widnes senior recreational teams, the Widnes Wildcats and the Riverside Raiders, and funds raised on the night will be split between the Ronald McDonald House charity which enables families to remain close by while their children are in hospital and the Cathie Stankevitch Foundation social inclusion charity. 

Admission to the event is free and face off is at 5.30pm.

There will be collection buckets on the door and a raffle. Other fundraising measures will be announced in due course and anybody interested in attending, donating a raffle prize or otherwise supporting the event can find out more information via the “Riverside Raiders (IHC) Widnes” or “Widnes Wildcats” groups on Facebook.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Ice Hockey Review 2016 NIHL Yearbook Available Now!

The new 2016 edition of the Ice Hockey Review NIHL Yearbook is now available to purchase!

This year's edition contains a huge, record breaking, 200 pages with lots of great colour photos throughout and is available at the same price as last year of just £8.50 with free UK p&p

The 2016 NIHL Yearbook features team by team and league by league reports and statistics of all teams that competed in NIHL North Moralee & Laidler Conferences, NIHL South Division 1 and NIHL South Division 2 East and West Conferences, with team photos as available and lots of great action photos.

There is also a selection of fascinating interviews and features.


This new edition also has brief details of Women’s
Elite League, Women’s Premier League and National League 1 North & South
regular season and playoff competitions, with colour photos of the winning
teams at each level and some of the leading players.

For more details - or for overseas orders - visit the website at

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Booths Supermarket Burscough Lancashire commemorating WW2 Fleet Air Arm Naval Base 'HMS Ringtail'

Hats off to Booths Supermarkets! Their stores are wonderful but the store in Burscough, Lancashire (near Ormskirk, between Preston and Liverpool) is truly amazing because it has been specially constructed to commemorate a Second World War Royal Naval Air Station – H.M.S. Ringtail.   The Fleet Air Arm air field was commissioned on 1st September 1943 and had four runways, a three-storey control tower, 34 hangars and Nissen huts to accommodate personnel.

The last flying unit left Burscough in 1946 and the Royal Navy gave up the Station in 1957. The area reverted to agricultural use until 2014 when work began on a new retail park which is called Ringtail Retail Park to commemorate the WW2 use.  

Booths, a supermarket chain which is family-run and situated in the north west of the UK, had their flagship in Burscough store specially designed and built to resemble a WW2 Hangar.  The delightful café in the store has an HMS Ringtail theme with large photographs on the walls of the RN personnel at work during WW2.  A monument placed on the site in 2004 has been moved to a new location in a specially commissioned memorial garden outside the café.  This has been enhanced by the addition of a full-sized bronze sculpture of a Second World War Royal Naval Fleet Air Arm pilot and this was re-dedicated in a ceremony in October 2015.

Lawrence Critchley, a local historian who we were fortunate to meet on our last visit to the store, has produced information leaflets about the venture which are available in the café.  Lawrence has also set up a website and organised a Facebook Group – HMS Ringtail, RNAS Bursough

Booths’ Burscough store also has collection boxes for the Navy Wings Supporters Club initiative, set up to keep the memory of Britain’s historic naval aircraft – see  

For more information about the Booths Store in Burscough – well worth going out of your way to visit – see

Booths Supermarkets Ltd.
Unit 1
Ringtail Retail Park
L40 8AD (for Sat Nav Please Use L40 7SS)

Well done Booths!

Photo:  Paul Breeze

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Liverpool's Wild(e) Poet Richard Le Gallienne Exhibition at Liverpool Central Library - New Interview

At the exhibition opening are (l-r) Councillor Jeremy Wolfson,
Councillor Wendy Simon, Mark Samuels Lasner,
Head Librarian David Stoker, Margaret Stetz (Photo by Liverpool Express)
We were lucky enough to be invited to the opening a fascinating exhibition at Liverpool Central Library about Merseyside writer and poet Richard Le Gallienne.

Timed specially to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the birth of Richard Le Gallienne in West Derby, Liverpool, the exhibition has been co-curated by Dr. Margaret Stetz, who is Mae and Robert Carter Professor of Women's Studies and Professor of Humanities at the University of Delaware, and Mark Samuels Lasner, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Delaware Library.  

Running until 31st October 2016, the exhibition in the Hornby Library of Liverpool Central Library, has on display some rare items highlighting the life-long connection of Richard Le Gallienne to Oscar Wilde.  Drawing on original photographs, drawings, manuscripts, unpublished letters, Victorian magazines and first editions here you will find Richard's story as he goes from Merseyside to America via London.   Taken from private and public collections and local institutions such as the Liverpool Record Office, the material on show demonstrates the importance of Richard Le Gallienne in the literary scene of the late Victorian era.  The setting of the magnificent Hornby Library in Liverpool Central Library enhances the exhibition.

For opening times, please see Liverpool Central Library website

You can hear what Lucy had to say about Richard Le Gallienne and the exhibition clicking on the sound file below:

Photo Courtesy of

Friday, 13 May 2016

Charity Ice Hockey Match At Deeside In Memory of Bob Kenyon - 26th June 2016

A very special charity match will be played at Deeside ice rink on Sunday 26th June in aid of two very worth causes.  The Bob Kenyon Memorial Shield game will feature former players from the Blackpool Seagulls, Deeside Dragons, Altrincham Aces, Liverpool Leopards and Blackburn Hawks in a match to celebrate the life of the former Seagulls stalwart who died recently.

Bob Kenyon was a player for the Blackpool Seagulls from the 1960s and took over as manager in 1970, and was one of the driving forces behind the forming of the new Southern League. He won the Southern League coach of the year award on two occasions and led the Seagulls to two English League North titles in 80/81 and 81/2.
Bob was instrumental in orchestrating the Seagulls’ campaigns in the Heineken League period and only stepped down in 1988 when the owners of the Pleasure Beach arena cut the team’s funding, forcing them to drop out of import hockey.  Kenyon’s influence continued, however, as the Seagulls carried on playing in the English Leagues until 1993 when the team moved to Blackburn. Even now, the Kenyon legacy continues as new generations of players and coaches around the North West benefit from those who had his coaching and support.     

The event is being organised by Bob’s son Darryl Kenyon who played in goal for the Seagulls and whose own daughter Jennifer is herself a promising junior netminder.           

The match faces off at 4pm and admission is £2 per adult with under-12s admitted free.  There will also be a bucket collection and raffle – any prizes will be gratefully received.

A full list of the players who will be turning out in memory of Bob Kenyon will be issued nearer the time. 
All proceeds will be split between the Christie Hospital in Manchester and Trinity Hospice in Blackpool, who both took care of Bob during his illness. 

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Restaurant Review - Give Kitchen, Liverpool L3 4BQ

Sadly the restaurant closed down after just three months.  It will be greatly missed as it was a wonderful idea.

After a wonderful visit to the Wilfred Owen Story Museum in Argyle Street, Birkenhead, Wirral, we went to Liverpool’s amazing Watefront to find Give Kitchen for some lunch.  I’ve been following Give Kitchen on Facebook and it is such a brilliant idea.  Their menu is full of the most delicious Vegan food imaginable and it is freshly cooked to order and so beautifully presented you almost don’t want to eat it.   We had Thai Green Curry of Aubergines, Peppers and Courgettes with rice and Falafael Wrap.  We also had some Sweet Potato chips which were delicious too. The portions were huge but we just had to try one of the deserts – Coconut Panna Cotta - and that was gorgeous.

There is also a shop selling organic and vegan products and Give Kitchen’s promise is to help homeless people every time you purchase something from them.   Definitely worth the trip and Liverpool is a vibrant city with loads to see and do.

Give Kitchen
Unit 5, Glacier Building, Harrington Road, Brunswick Dock, Liverpool L3 4BQ


Saturday, 2 April 2016

Table Fundraiser, New Brighton, Wirral Sunday 3rd April 2016 in aid of Betty's Silver Linings community charity

We first found out about Betty's Silver Linings, the not-for profit, family-run company that helps Wirral-based communities, through seeing one of their vans.   Checking out the Facebook Page brought us closer to finding out what the company actually does. 

Then, yesterday, we had the chance to visit one of their charity shops (the one at 14 King Street, Wallasey, CH45 8EU - there's another one on Seabank Road, Wallasey) and it is absolutely fantastic.  They help all sorts of local people in need.    This is definitely a cause to support as they support a great many local charities.

On Sunday, 3rd April 2016 Betty's Silver Linings are holding a Table Fund Raiser (think 'Car Boot Sale') in Victoria Road, New Brighton so if you have the chance why not go along and support them and pick up a bargain.

Starts 9 a.m. - The Corner Pub, on the corner of Rowson Street and Victoria Road, New Brighton, CH45 2JF. To find out more, call 07490253230.

While you are in New Brighton, why not check out some of the amazing restaurants, cafes and tea rooms and finish up with an ice cream at Caffe Cream on the Promenade. 

Blackpool Jazz and Blues Festival 9 - 10th April 2016 - FREE

Stephen Pierre the wonderful entertainer from London who has done so much for the music scene in Blackpool is organising Blackpool's Jazz and Blues Festival 2016.  This will be held at the Winter Gardens from 9th - 10th April 2016 and entry is free.

For further details check out the website

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

New Book: The Ice That Melted - The Autobiography of Marc Twaite (ice hockey, fishing, etc ...)

The Ice That Melted is the autobiography of Marc Twaite, the well known International Ice Hockey player and specialist big Carp angler which is to be shortly published by The Little Egret Press.

The first few chapters tell the story of Marc’s earliest angling adventures as well as his rise through the ice hockey ranks, culminating in his success as a professional player and his pride in reaching the pinnacle of professional sports by being selected to play internationally. It also details with brutal honesty the catastrophic injury which curtailed his ice hockey career, and the devastating effect that this had upon Marc’s life and well being, which he describes with his own powerful and poignant words.

The main body of this book details Marc’s carp fishing career, describing first hand the way in which Marc channelled his drive, determination and commitment from ice hockey into being a successful angler in the highly competitive world of big carp fishing. Chapter after chapter details Marc’s extraordinary angling skills and his ability to consistently catch big fish from many of the most iconic waters in the country, which are often under intense pressure from many other anglers. The book is full of full colour photographs of many of the largest and most sought after carp in the UK, with many of the photographs from his own private collection having never been seen before.

Marc is very honest about the fact that carp fishing saved him from the depression which followed the end of his ice hockey career and his story is an inspirational tale of overcoming adversity to find success within another endeavour. It is ultimately a triumph of human spirit and a fantastic read, with Marc’s positive attitude to life in general shining through on every page.

The book itself comprises more than 170,000 words and a multitude of full colour photographs. It is available in the following formats:

Limited edition hardback of only 500 Copies @ £29.95
Special edition hardback of only 25 Copies @£49.00
Luxury Leather Bound edition of only 10 Copies @ £195.00

Each format is available to pre order now at  with the official release expected in April 2016.

Friday, 15 January 2016

Widnes Women's Ice Hockey Team Home Fixtures

The Widnes Wild women’s ice hockey team are competing in the EIHA Women’s Premier League for the first time, having won promotion last season, and would appreciate your support at their forthcoming home games at the Silver Blades Rink in Widnes (WA8 0GY).

They have already played 3 WPL games away this season so far winning two of them – beating Slough Phantoms 3-4 and Streatham Storm 1-3 and then narrowly losing to league leaders Swindon Topcats 1-0.

The Widnes womens’ home games are as follows:
Sunday 21st February v Milton Keynes Falcons – 5.30pm
Sunday 28th February v Slough Phantoms – 5.30pm
Saturday 5th March v Streatham Storm – 4.30pm
Saturday 26th March v   Swindon Topcats - 4.30pm
Sunday 10th April v Chelmsford Cobras – 7.30pm
Sunday 8th May v Whitley Squaws – 5.30pm
Sunday 15th May v Nottingham Vipers – 5.30pm

Admission is free to all games.

You can follow the Widnes Wild Women’s Ice Hockey team on Twitter at:

Monday, 11 January 2016

Mikron Theatre Company announce 'Canary Girls' a play about WW1 women munitions workers - April 2016

Those wonderful people The Mikron Theatre who tour in Narrow Boats on the Canals of Britain, are touring with a show about two sisters who become munitions workers in the First World War. 

 ‘Canary Girls’ is the title reflecting the nick-name given to the munitions workers of WW1 because the chemicals involved in the making of the ammunition turned their skin yellow.    Written by Laurence Peacock with music composed by O’Howley and Tidlow, designer Kate Morton, directed by Marianne McNamara, the show promises to be fantastic.  Performances begin on 23rd April at Marsden Royal British Legion at 7.30 p.m.

Talk on the life and work of Eleanor Rathbone - Liverpool's 'unsung heroine' - 14th January 2016, St. George's Hall, 5 pm

Eleanor Rathbone (1872 – 1946) – British campaigner and feminist

Susan Cohen will be giving a free talk about the life and work of Liverpool’s unsung heroine Eleanor Rathbone at St. George’s Hall in Liverpool – opposite Lime Street Station on Thursday, 14th January 2016 at 5 pm.   Entre free.  If you plan to attend this, you may just be in time to catch Liverpool's poignant 'Weeping Window' WW1 commemoration at St. George's Hall, which uses ceramic poppies from last year's display at the Tower of London.
Further details from
From early January until March 2016 there will be an exhibition about the life and work of Liverpool’s Eleanor Rathbone at Liverpool Central Library, William Brown Street, Liverpool L3 8EW entitled ‘The Making of Women The Life and Campaigns of Eleanor Rathbone’.

And an exhibition about the life and work of Eleanor Rathbone will also run at the University of Liverpool Library from 8th January until 11th April 2016.


Saturday, 19 December 2015

North West Counties Football League: Cammell Laird 1907 FC 0 - Padiham FC 3

Following the postponement of last Saturday's home game against Squired Gate, the Cammell Laird ground staff obviously worked very hard to make sure that this game went ahead as scheduled.

Unfortunately, while the pitch was up to the job, the Cammell Laird team found it difficult to rise to the occasion and found no way through a plucky Padiham side who started the 18th in the NWCFL Premier Division table and some 9 points behind their hosts.

To be fair, the playing conditions probably favoured the visitors as we have seen Padiham play on numerous occasions when we used to live in East Lancashire and every single time we have been there for match it has absolutely poured with rain. We also know their manager Steve Wilkes of old from when he managed Darwen all the way to the final of the Lancashire Cup - narrowly losing to then-Conference side Morecambe on penalties - so, although we enjoyed the afternoon along with the Padiham travelling faithful, it wasn't such a good day to be a Cammell Laird fan.

In all honesty this game was very entertaining to watch with lost of end to end action and was a lot more closely contested than the final scoreline suggests. But while the home side were unable to put any of their own chances away, Padiham had no such difficulty.

Cammell Laird have the chance to get back to winning ways on Boxing Day when they entertain Ashton Athletic at their St Peters Road ground in a 3pm kick off. If you haven't been to a NWCFL game before, maybe it would be nice festive treat to go as a family and enjoy a pleasant afternoon of grass roots football...?

You can find out more about Cammell Laird 1907 FC and their various teams HERE

or find out about your own local NWCFL team at

Friday, 18 December 2015

GB Pair to Guest in Widnes Festive Charity Game

The first of the guest players who will be turning out in the charity match at Silver Blades Widnes on 27th December have been unveiled.

The game is between Widnes Wild who compete in the Laidler Conference of the National Ice Hockey League and Widnes based Riverside Raiders who are a recreational team – albeit with some very good players of their own.

In order to help bridge the gap in standards between the two teams, it has been agreed that Widnes Wild’s top scorer this season so far – player coach and former Elite league player Scott McKenzie will not play but will run the Wild’s bench for the game and the Raiders team will also be boosted by 5 guest players.   

Three of the 5 guest players have been announced so far with the other two names to follow in the next few days. 

Those named to date are:

1) Former Widnes Wild netminder Nicole Jackson (in main photo). Nicole is a GB women’s international player and currently plays for the Bradford Bulldogs (men’s senior team) in the Laidler Conference. As was as having played previously for Widnes, she has also played – among others - for the Kingston Diamonds women’s team, Manchester Minotaurs and Newcastle Vipers, with whom she won the ENL North 2 title in the 2009/10 season.

Mikey Gilbert

2) 18 year old Mikey Gilbert who plays as a forward for the Altrincham Aces in the Laidler Conference. He has come up through the Manchester / Trafford junior development system and played for Manchester Minotaurs in NIHL North 1 last season. He has represented England and has scored 3 goals and 9 assists for the Aces so far this season. 

3) Also turning out for the Riverside Raiders is Sarah Hutchinson who is another Team GB women’s international.  She plays for Bradford Bulldogs and has previously played for Manchester Minotaurs and the Kingston Diamonds and Sheffield Shadows women’s teams.

The game faces off at 5.30pm on Sunday 27th December at the Silver Blades ice rink at Widnes WA8 0TA. Admission is £6 for adults and £3 for children. 

Sarah Hutchinson
Photo by Rob Hutchinson
For anybody who hasn’t been to an ice hockey match before, the charity game at the Silver Blades ice rink in Widnes on the day after Boxing Day would be a nice occasion for the whole family to go out and do something together and support a good cause at the same time.

The other two guest players will be announced here shortly and, in the meantime, you can find out more about the Widnes Wild ice hockey team at

You can find out more about English league NIHL ice hockey in general by looking here:

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Widnes Charity Ice Hockey Match In Aid of Ronald McDonald Houses Charity - 27th December 2015

Here’s a great way of having a good family fun night out over the Christmas period and supporting a really good cause at the same time.

Widnes Wild and Riverside Raiders will be staging a charity ice hockey match at the Silver Blades Ice Rink in Widnes (WA8 0TA) on Sunday 27th December 2015 in aid of the Ronald McDonald Houses.

The game will be the first in what will become an annual challenge for the “Antony Morris Memorial Cup” which has been donated in memory of the Widnes player who died recently after an accident (more info HERE ).

The game faces off at 5.30pm the day after boxing day with doors opening at 4.45.  Admission is £6 for adults and £3 for children.

If you haven’t been to an ice hockey match before, this would be a great opportunity to give it a try!

The Ronald McDonald  Houses provide free accommodation for families while their child is in hospital and enable parents to stay as close as possible to the children's ward, greatly reducing the need to travel and all of its associated stresses and costs at such a difficult time.

You can find out more about the Ronald McDonald Houses charity here:

To find out more about Widnes Wild ice hockey team click HERE and to find out more about Riverside Raiders look HERE .

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Forty Not Out - The Ice Hockey Annual 2015/16 Edited by Stewart Roberts

Well, I said it last year and I’ll say it again even more forcefully this year, having spent most of my own summer putting together the Ice Hockey Review NIHL Yearbook I am probably one of the few people in the world - who is not related to him – who knows exactly how much work Stewart Roberts puts into producing the absolutely excellent “Ice Hockey Annual” every year. 

And he has been doing it for 40 years now. That is longer than most of the players featured in it have been on this earth and certainly longer than I knew that such a thing as British ice hockey even existed.    So hats off to Stewart Roberts – and may he continue doing it for another 40 years!

Most people just look at the finished article and think “oh yeah - great book…” – but if you actually look at all the different things that are in there and how much work has been put into gathering all that information together from numerous different sources and then putting it into a workable format, that really is a Herculean effort in itself. 

But the trick then is to make it so that the book is attractive to the eye and easy to read for the casual fan while remaining highly useful and informative for the statistician and hockey journalist.

Now, I do not follow the NHL and I am not overly enamoured of the Elite League in its present set-up but I find myself being captivated reading the quotes of the year from the various personalities and how the season unfolded in both the Elite and English Premier Leagues. So I would definitely recommend buying this.

In his own words, Stewart describes the Annual as follows:

“It has been dubbed by the fans as ‘the bible' of the sport as it contains reports, statistics and photos for every major club and competition.   Much of this information is not available anywhere else, not even on the internet.

This year’s book - the record busting 40th edition! - is another colourful package, full of information about the UK game, laced with international events like the World Championships and the European Champions League.  This has been made possible thanks to our major sponsor, Canadian Spa Company, and our other generous backers."

Among the great features this time are –
* An in-depth look at the amazing and unique career of our own Great One, Tony Hand MBE
* Complete coverage of the leading clubs in statistics and end-of-term reports, plus team pics.
* How Britain's men and women won silver medals in the World Championships.
* Biographies of some of the game’s best players and personalities.
* Latest news of the new rinks in Bristol, Cambridge and Cardiff Bay.
* Our ever popular Quotes of the Year.
* 176 pages in colour.

The Annual is on sale, price £9.95, at all major ice rinks, or post free direct from the website at

And, of course, it makes a great Christmas present!

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Sweet Alsace, French Bistrot in Liscard, Wirral, CH45 4LA

We were very pleased to find a delightful, authentic French Bistrot called Sweet Alsace in Liscard, which is a lovely town on the Wirral Peninsular.

Sweet Alsace is run by Pierre Ballet from Mulhouse – a town near Strasbourg, where I used to live.. I always enjoyed the Alsatian cuisine and Sweet Alsace has some fantastic dishes on offer, such as Tarte a l’Oignon and Tarte Flambe.  For those with a sweet tooth there is a special cake from Alsace too – Kugelhof (if I remember the spelling correctly!).

Sweet Alsace also organise dining evenings – the next one is on 25th November – booking essential.

 Definitely worth going out of your way to find Sweet Alsace.

 Sweet Alsace,
44 Sea View Road,
Liscard, Wallasey
CH45 4LA.

Follow Sweet Alsace on

Saturday, 14 November 2015

NWCFL: Cammell Laird 1907 FC 0 - West Didsbury & Chorlton 1

Cammell Laird 1907 FC were kept goalless at home for the since early August in this NWCFL Premier Division game at home to West Didsbury and Chorlton who they had already beaten 2-3 away a month ago.

Following a week of atrocious weather and on day when many other matches across the northwest had to be postponed, the club did very well to get this game on at all but the whole of the first half was played through a damp and drizzly scotch mist.

Both sides looked very well matched and it was a closely fought contest throughout. The only goal of the game came from a West Didsbury penalty mid-way through the first half. 
Although Cammell Laird fought back, they could do nothing to pull themselves back into the game.  Even an improvement in the weather for the second half was unable to do the trick and a sending off late in the game was typical of the home side’s fortunes throughout.

One bright note in an otherwise gloomy afternoon in Rock Ferry was the match programme – which we have bought several times this season when going to watch Cammell Lairds and have enjoyed immensely.

It is packed full of interesting information and statistics and one interesting feature is where they look at which other football teams around the world play in all blue as Cammell Laird do.  This week the focus was on Rumelange in Luxembourg which was very interesting for us as we used to live in Luxembourg in the late 1990s – and while we never actually got to see Rumelange play, we do at least know where it is!

You can find out more about Cammell Laird 1907 FC at
And more about the North West Counties League at

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Italian Wine Tasting Dinner 10th December 2015 Jacks Restaurant and Wine Bar, St. Annes on the Sea, Lancashire

The lovely Jacks Restaurant on Wood Street in St. Annes-on-the-Sea in Lancashire is well worth a visit.  They are the nearest restaurant to the recently-opened Travel Lodge Hotel.

On Thursday, 10th December 2015 Jacks are organising an Italian Wine and Dine experience that looks amazing.  For £49.95 per person, there are 5 courses from Canapes through to Dessert with Prosecco to start with and Lemoncello to finish with - white and red wines in between - and a really delicious selection of dishes to accompany the wines.

Jacks are open from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m on weekdays and serve wonderful food.  They have the most comprehensive Breakfast Menu we have ever seen from full English breakfast, to pancakes with maple syrup, continental style pastries and croissants and lots more innovative breakfast dishes.

They serve drinks, lunch and dinner and snacks and have lots of tables outside if the weather is fine.  Check out their website for live music and special events.

Jacks Restaurant and Wine Bar
54 Wood Street
St. Annes on the Sea

Tel.:  01253 780990

Thursday, 5 November 2015

A Portuguese Deli in West Kirby, Wirral - 1386 - another reason to visit the Wirral Peninsula

We read about Deli 1386 in Grange Road, West Kirby (near the railway station) when we were having breakfast in The Tee Room in Banks Road.  Along with daily national newspapers, there is a table in the Tee Room for local brochures, etc. and we found a copy of "Local Food Matters".

1386 is a Portuguese Deli offering authentic food and wine.  They have a good selection of cheese and meats and those wonderful Portuguese Tarts.

Deli 1386
27 Grange Road
West Kirby
CH48 4DZ
Tel.:  0151 345 6906
Twitter: @deli1386

By a strange coincidence, when we popped in to Honest to Goodness in Hoylake on our way back (Honest to Goodness is an amazing store selling a wide range of healthy option foods and organic produce) Paul is learning Portuguese.

Monday, 19 October 2015

A new CD from Richard Shelton - 'An Englishman in Love in LA'

Perhaps best known in the UK for playing the role of Dr. Adam Forsythe in ‘Emmerdale Farm’, Richard Shelton is not only an actor but also a very talented singer.   Richard, who now lives in LA in America, has played several roles in films and was nominated for an award for his interpretation of Frank Sinatra in ‘Rat Pack Confidential’ in London.

If you have never heard Richard sing, now is your chance as there is a taster of his latest CD ‘An Englishman in Love in LA’ on his website
We were fortunate enough to meet up with Richard Shelton when he travelled to Blackpool to sing at The Sands Venue on the Promenade and were extremely impressed.  Not only does Richard have a wonderful voice but he is also a true gentleman.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

NWCFL Premier Division: Cammell Laird FC 2 - Abbey Hey 3

In a thoroughly entertaining end to end match, Cammell Laird lost 2 -3 to Abbey Hey in the Premier Division of the North West Counties Football League.

More to follow....

The Tee Room, West Kirby, Wirral

For anyone planning an autumn break, The Wirral Peninsula in England's north west is a lovely place.  There are some wonderful stretches of coast and the Peninsula is bordered by the estuaries of the Rivers Mersey and Dee and the Irish Sea.

One of the nicest cafes we have found is The Tee Room at 172 Banks Road, West Kirby, Wirral, CH48 0RH, where you will find wonderful, home-cooked food and a warm welcome.  

The café is owned and run by Iain Lomax who is also, as you can probably guess from the name of the café, a golf enthusiast.  Instead of table numbers you will find details of some of the most famous golf links and courses in the UK and America.  An excellent menu from breakfast to lunch and (my favourite) afternoon tea.

For further information, please see the Tee Room website

And if you are looking for somewhere to stay on The Wirral Peninsula, check out The Sherwood Guest House in New Brighton

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Ice Hockey Review 2015 NIHL Yearbook - Available Now!

Ice Hockey Review 2015 NIHL Yearbook - Sponsored by Red Hockey

182 pages - 47 full colour pages   

The ideal "early Christmas present" for every NIHL ice hockey player and fan
Team by team and league by league stats and reports for all NIHL North and South teams in Divisions 1 and 2 from the 2014/15 season. Fascinating interviews, features and great photos through out
Just £8.50 including free UK P&P

Order link: HERE
Full List Of Contents:

Moralee Conference Season Review, Moralee Awards & All Star Teams, Moralee Conference Play Offs
Billingham Stars, Blackburn Hawks, Manchester Minotaurs, Sheffield Spartans, Solway Sharks, Sutton Sting, Whitley Warriors

Laidler Conference Season Review, Laidler Conference Play Offs,  NIHL North Promotion Play Off
Blackburn Eagles, Bradford Bulldogs, Coventry Blaze, Deeside Dragons, Hull Jets, Nottingham Lions, Sheffield Senators, Solihull Barons, Telford Tigers, Widnes Wild

South 1 Season Review, South 1 Awards & All Star Teams,  South 1 Cup, South 1 Play Offs
Bracknell Hornets, Cardiff Devils, Chelmsford Chieftains, Invicta Dynamos, London Raiders, Milton Keynes Thunder, Oxford City Stars, Solent Devils, Streatham Redskins , Wightlink Raiders

South 2 West Season Review,
Basingstoke Buffalo, Bristol Pitbulls, Cardiff Devils, Swindon Wildcats, Wightlink Tigers
South 2 East Season Review
Chelmsford Warriors, Invicta Mustangs, Lee Valley Lions, Peterborough Islanders, Slough Jets
South 2 Play Offs, South 2 Cup

English Challenge Cup Nth / Sth

Interviews / Features:
All Change At Hillheads, Imports in NIHL North, Hull’s Bonner Goes Stateside, The Rise And Rise Of Red Hockey, Retiring Raider Damon Larter, Saving Ryde Arena, Retiring Or Returning? Alan Armour, Meet The Ref: Stephen Matthews, Nostalgia: Peterborough Ravens, Blackburn Legends Match, Super Seagulls Soar Again, Cleveleys Ice Arena, Ice Hockey Down Under, Fun & Games With Facebook

Bulk discounts and back editions also available from

Saturday, 19 September 2015

NWCFL Premier Division: Cammell Laird 1907 FC 3 - Nelson FC 0

An excellent all round performance saw 12th place Cammell Laird beat 3rd place Nelson 3-0 in the Premier Division of the NWCFL.

Report to follow...

More info from

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Pre- Season Friendly: Asville 3 - Woodchurch 0

Ashville FC rounded off their pre-season programme with an entertaining 3-0 defeat of Woodchurch FC.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Ashville FC v Buckley Town Double Header

Anyone who wasn’t there missed a feast of football this afternoon at Ashville Football Club in Wallasey as they hosted a double header encounter with Buckley Town of the Cymru Alliance.

The first game saw a 3-1 win for Ashville, which was closely fought and highly entertaining throughout. There was a penalty in each half and the result was only made certain by a late goal for Ashville in the dying minutes.

The second game was not quite so close but still well contested by both sides.  The visitors came away with a 0-4 win with two goals in each half.  The achievement was all the more creditable as they played with only 10 men for much of the game, having had a player sent off midway through the first half due to an unsavoury incident.

 Ashville FC are at home again on Tuesday evening with a friendly game against Welsh Premier League side Nomads FC  from Connahs Quay and then again on Saturday 1st August when they play Llay Welfare FC from Wrexham who play in the Welsh National League.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Book Review: Reality Check: Travels In The Australian Ice Hockey League by Will Brodie

Reality Check: Travels In The Australian Ice Hockey League by Will Brodie
Published by Combiner Publishing – 326 Pages
ISBN: 978-06469320-4-0

Here’s an interesting book about our favourite sport – ice hockey – in Australia. Yes - they do play it down under and I knew that already as Team GB has played Australia in the past in World Championships.

Also the Peterborough Pirates (that’s Peterborough, England – not Peterborough, Victoria or Peterborough, South Australia, by the way..) once had a player called John Oddy who had come over from the Adelaide Avalanche club and, after a quick flick through the index of Reality Check, I discover that there is a Greg Oddy who is the current captain of the modern day Adelaide Adrenaline club - so there must be some sort of family connection there.

What Will Brodie sets out to in this book is to follow the Australian Ice Hockey League through a complete season and it starts in January 2014 just as preparations for the new campaign are getting under way (more about this in a bit..).

I haven’t read all of this book as yet as it is quite a substantial read and I am currently trying to get the 2015 Ice Hockey Review NIHL Yearbook ready for publication but the bits that I have read so far have been fascinating.   

For example, matches in the AIHL are played over 2x 15 minute period and 1 x 20 minute period.  Apparently, this is to save costs on ice time although as every drawn game in decided by a penalty shootout at the end, I would have thought that the time taken to do that would negate any times saved by having shorter periods. Anyway, it’s their league…!

Another interesting fact is that NOBODY GETS PAID in the AIHL – not players, not coaches, not administrators, nobody. There are sponsorship deals and such things that help with accommodation, cars etc. for major players but apart from that, everything is done on  apart time voluntary basis and that means that games are played purely at weekends.

Despite the fact that the AIHL is not awash with cash, the league still manages to attract a decent level of overseas player to play there – and many of them just go for the love of the game and the opportunity of spending some time in Australia. The other bonus is that the Aussie season runs from April to September (that’s their winter…) so it coincides almost exactly with the close season of the semi-pro leagues in North America.  Therefore players can go and play for a season in Oz thus helping their keep up their fitness levels and match sharpness.

It is written in the form of a diary and Will travels across the country covering the various AIHL clubs and talking to all sorts of fascinating people on the way.  Now: if you are looking for book full of stats and figures, this is not it – but if you’d like a leisurely read through how they run and play ice hockey on another continent, then this book is definitely for you.

And to bring the story up to date, Will Brodie will be contributing an article on the 2015 AIHL season to this year’s Ice Hockey Review Yearbook as well.

In the meantime, you can keep up with Will’s various projects on his own website at and you can buy Reality Check: Travels in the Australian Ice Hockey League by following the link   HERE