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, 30 June 2012

Miss Blackpool 2012 - Heat 2 Winners

The result of Heat 2 of the 2012 Miss Blackpool competition was:

1st: Olivia Firth (left in photo)
2nd Sophie May Jarvis (right in photo)

Photo by Howard Barton -  www.preciousimagephotography.co.uk

Both girls have now qualified for the Miss Blackpool 2012 Grand Final, which will be held on Friday 17th August at the Norbreck Castle Hotel. This is a fabulous black tie occasion - 4 course meal, live entertainment, plus the dramatic finale of the 2012 competition. Tickets £35 each available now.

Heat 3 will be at Uncle Toms' Cabin in Blackpool next WEDNESDAY 4th July  - free to enter - new contestants always welcome!

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Womens Golf: Poster Girls Set For Hoylake Test

The 2012 Ricoh Women’s British Open poster was revealed today, highlighting the stellar international field gathering for the first time at Royal Liverpool in Hoylake, England, 13th to 16th September.

World number one, Yani Tseng, is pictured amongst many of the world’s best womengolfers underlining the global nature of the women’s game today. Theheadline players featured alongside the defending champion include American’s Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr and Michelle Wie, Korean stars, JiYai Shin and Na Yeon Choi, Japan’s Ai Miyazato and Australia’sKarrie Webb, herself a three time winner of the Ricoh Women’s BritishOpen. Catriona Matthew, winner of the 2009 Ricoh Women’s British Openheadlines the home challenge along with 1986 winner, Laura Davies andEngland’s rising star, Melissa Reid.

Paula Creamer, winner of the 2010 US Open and a brand ambassador for Ricoh, enthused“There are 12 really great players from all over the world pictured on the 2012 Ricoh Women’s British Open posterand it is pretty amazing to think how many other girls should probably bepictured too. I think it shows just how strong the women’s game is rightnow and how many different players could be challenging at the final Major of2012. I definitely hope I am amongst those on the leaderboard on Sunday as itis one of my favourite events of the year and a tournament I would dearly loveto win.”

Scotland’s Catriona Matthew, the 2009 Champion commented, “The Ricoh Women’sBritish Open will be the pinnacle of the summer for all of us and seeing themarketing material going out makes me realise it isn’t too far away. Ihave fantastic memories of playing in the Curtis Cup match at Hoylake in 1992and I really am looking forward to playing in my first professional tournamentthere. Having won just down the road at Royal Lytham & St Annes, Ican’t wait to return to the North West and I am hoping for a really greatweek and, if at all possible,  a repeat of my performance in 2009.”

Michelle Wie, who graduated from Stanford last weekend added, “I have a couple ofmonths to get my game in great shape for Royal Liverpool and I will be workingextremely hard and  getting all the advice I can from my coach DavidLeadbetter as to how best to tackle this famous course.” 

Shona Malcolm, the LGU’s CEO added, “We already have awonderful array of the world’s best women golfers entered for thisyear’s Championship.  Once again we are set to have the mostinternational field of all the majors along with an extremely strong contingentof home players. With the added intrigue of tackling the historic course atHoylake for the first time, we are looking forward to a fantastic Championshipin September.”

This year fans will againbe able to watch the BBC’s extensive coverage of the Ricoh Women’sBritish Open in HD (high definition) underlining the significance of theChampionship in the BBC’s sports portfolio.

The Ricoh Women’sBritish Open was founded by the LGU in 1976 and is staged in conjunction withIMG, the world’s largest sports marketing company. The event has beenco-sanctioned by the LPGA and LET since 1994 and gained Major status in 2001.

Ricoh, the leading technology provider of Managed DocumentServices and Production Printing, has been the title sponsor of the RicohWomen’s British Open since 2007.

To find out how you can book your tickett for the Ricoh Womens British Open at Hoylake, following this link: http://www.ricohwomensbritishopen.com/

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Miss Blackpool 2012 Heats Now On - New Contestants Always Welcome

The heats for the 2012 Miss Blackpool competition take place at Uncle Toms Cabin on Blackpool's Victoria Promenade Thursday evenings up to and including 2nd August (except Heat 3 which is on WEDNESDAY 4th JULY...) 

Girls aged 18 to 30 are welcome to enter whether they have been married or not and whether or not they have children. There is no cost to enter and you can just come along and join in on the night. The heats are contested wearing evening/club wear (no swimsuit necessary...!).

Most importantly: you DO NOT have to live in or come from Blackpool to be eligible to enter so the competition is especially attractive to visitors and holiday makers as a fun way to spend an evening out.

Friends and family are encouraged to come along and support the heats and the final.

The 1st and 2nd placed in each heat win prizes and also qualify for the Grand Final at the Norbreck Castle Hotel on Friday 17th August.

For more information, call organiser Karen Cookson on 01253 820226

In the photo: Contestants at heat from the 2011 Miss Blackpool competition, which was held at CoCo night club in Blackpool town centre.

Book Now For Garstang Comedy Night - 8th July

The very first of its kind, the Wyrebank comedy gala night lands in Garstang on Sun 8th July at 7pm.
This unique event will see 3 award winning comedians perform on stage for a night of laughter, good company and pure talent!

The first of the acts, Clive Cooper has built up a real buzz around his recent TV appearances.

Since appearing on the hit TV series of Shameless, Clive has been inundated with stand up comedy gigs, he combines great one-liners and gags with up-to-the-minute observational material to win over any audience.

He is also well known as an actor, Clive has been seen in Clocking Off, Emmerdale, Blue murder and Shameless amongst many other appearances and was also the Dad in the new Oxo family adverts!

Phil Walker (in photo) is the 2nd act lined up for the evening, not only renowned for his stand up talent, he also works as a voice over artiste, His recent credits include: The Oddkinsons, Manchester United, Dancing with the Stars, & Tizer. Phil has also appeared in numerous Pantomimes after being asked by Stage works worldwide productions to star as Buttons in Cinderella on Ice at King Georges Hall, Blackburn he has since appeared in several productions including Jack & the Beanstalk, Dick Whittington, Aladdin, Sleeping beauty, Snow White, The Snow Queen & Peter Pan.

 46 year-old Greg Cook is the final act of the night, his mastery of the spoken word led John Plowman, head of BBC Comedy to describe him as the ‘Les Dawson for the 21st century’.
A prolific writer of comedy, he has several hours of tested material to draw on, but reserves the right to dish up a blistering set drawn from this morning’s newspapers. Religion, politics, sport, terrorism, poetry, the police, philosophy, royalty and his long-suffering mum have all been given the Greg Cook treatment, since he began performing in May 2002.

The event will take place at Wyrebank Banqueting Suite in Garstang, in between both Preston and Lancaster. Admission is £8 and tickets can be purchased in advance from Eventbrite by searching for Garstang Comedy Gala or by phone on 01995605455. Visit www.wyrebank-functions.co.uk for directions and more information contact Stuart on the number above.

Miss Blackpool To Attend Armed Forces Week Gala Dinner

It has been confirmed that reigning Miss Blackpool Hollie Robinson (pictured) will be attending the Armed Forces week Gala Dinner at the Norbreck Castle Hotel in Blackpool on Friday evening (29th June).

Blackpool's unique Armed Forces Week attracts thousands on former and current members or the Armed Forces and stages a whole range of activities over a 10 day period.

One of the highlights is this Gala Dinner where veteran get the chance to dress in their dress uniforms, wear their medals and enjoy an evening of reminiscences with old comrades and great live entertainment.

The Norbreck Castle hotel venue is the same place where the Miss Blackpool 2012 Grand Final will be taking place on Friday 17th August and the competition organisers see this as a good opportunity to help that event to the various local business people and dignitaries who will be there on Friday evening.

Organiser Karen Cookson - herself a former Miss Blackpool - said: "A lot of people don't realise that you can buy tickets for the Miss Blackpool Final so we like to do some networking and spread the word. It's always a really enjoyable glamourous occasion and this year it will be at the Norbreck Castle Hotel on Friday 17th August. It is one of the oldest, most prestigious and fun competitions going - what better to help promote Blackpool...?"

   

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Help The Seagulls Support Brian House Childrens Hospice

As reported previously on Best Kept Secrets, kind hearted ice hockey players are swapping their skates for wheels to raise money for a childrens hospice.

Members of the recently reformed Blackpool Seagulls ice hockey team are taking part in the 60 mile Manchester to Blackpool cycle ride on Sunday 8th July to raise funds for the Brian House childrens hospice, which is based at Trinity Hospice in Blackpool.

The Seagulls team, who are based at the SubZero Ice Arena in Cleveleys, recently reformed after a break of 20 years as a recreational side and include a number of players from the old British League team of the 1980s, along with other younger enthusiasts and supporters.

In their first game back, they helped raise £1500 for the Great Ormond Street Hospital based CHILDREN with CANCER leukaemia charity and £1500 for Help for Heroes in a special charity match against the UK Firefighters team (in photo) and now they are facing a different kind of challenge.

You can find out more about Brian House childrens hospice here: www.trinityhospice.co.uk/brian-house/

If you would like to support the Seagulls as they ride to raise money for Brian House, you can make a donation here: www.justgiving.com/Blackpool-Seagulls

To find out more about the Blackpool Seagulls ice hockey team, check out their official website at: www.blackpoolseagulls.co.uk

We gave the charity bike ride a mention in our radio show on 103.2 Preston FM on Friday evening - you can hear it by clicking on the sound icon below (this may take longer if you are using a Mac...):




 

Blackool Tower Ballroom welcomes Veterans during Armed Forces Week



Blackpool Tower Ballroom is proud to announce two special events to mark Blackpool's Armed Forces Week and Armed Forces Day:


 Veterans Afternoon Tea Dance

Wednesday 27th June 2012

Veterans Afternoon Tea Dance in the World Famous Blackpool Tower Ballroom
Tickets: £9.95 which includes afternoon tea for military personnel past and present (proof of service required, ie MOD, Veterans badge)
Time: 12 noon onwards

Tickets can be purchased at the box office, Online at www.theblackpooltower.co.uk 
or by calling 0871 2229929.



Armed Forces’ Gala Night

Saturday 30th June 2012.

A fabulous evening of Dancing and cabaret for everyone.
Enjoy a night of music and Live entertainment with the Mike james Orchestra and Singers featuring:
  • Sunset ceremony by the Lancashire Artillery Band
  • A Dance band playing Strict Tempo Dance music as well as a Wonderful “ Dame Vera Lynn Tribute act”
  • World Renowned Tower Organist, Phil Kelsall
  • Fever Dance Company Demonstration
  • And more…

Tickets cost just £8.50 and are available from the box office, Online at www.theblackpooltower.co.uk or by calling 0871 2229929.




CD Release: "Another Way To Exist" by Magic Trees - out now!

The second album from Canadian rock band Magic Trees - written and recorded in St Annes On the Sea, Lancashire, during Summer 2011.

The band are back in the country until the end of July, promoting this great new CD "Another Way To Exist"

Tracklisting:
1: Radiance
2: The Girl & The Sun
3: Between A Girl & A Hard Place
4: I Don't Think That Way
5: ....You Never Go Back
6: Big Black Sign
7: My Friend
8: Climb
9: Slice Of Time
10: Picking Up The Rain
11: Wild & Free
12: Elephant On My Chest
13: Life Goes Round.

Available from the band at gigs! - latest news on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MagicTrees#!/pages/Magic-Trees/126843964030578

More info: www.magictreesband.com

We'll be featuring a "Magic Trees album special" in our radio show on 103.2 Preston FM on Friday 20th July, talking about the tracks on the album and how they have found their whole UK experience.
More details on this will be posted nearer the time.

Our Track By Track Review:

1: Radiance
Well - you heard this one here first! Yes - you really did as we played a pre-release preview of this track on our "Best Kept Secrets...New Releases Special" show on 103.2 Preston FM on Friday 25th May and repeated on 8th June. A great introduction to this exciting new body of work.

2: The Girl & The Sun
Oddly enough, at first listen, this makes me think of that Crash Test Dummies song  "Once there was a girl who..." etc etc.. (they were/are Canadian as well, n'est ce pas..?) but having said that, it's a lot deeper than that song and grows on you the more listen to it. Very thought provoking lyrics - we'll try and find out what it all means ready for our radio interview special with the band on 20th July...!

3: Between A Girl & A Hard Place
Well, this track is a radio dj/producer's dream. It is a 55 second long guitar piece - with just guitar(s) and nothing else. It has a fade in and slow build up and then drops away again at the end. I'm sure there's probably a more guitarist technical term for it than that, but there you go. Lucy will probably hate for for saying this - as will the band, I imagine - but it's a great piece of music for talking over... Opening theme music for the Magic Trees radio special...? You bet! 

4: I Don't Think That Way

5: ....You Never Go Back

6: Big Black Sign

7: My Friend
We've heard this one a few times as the band have been including it in their live set. Nice and catchy.
8: Climb

9: Slice Of Time
This song has a sort of a late 80s MADchester indie feel to it - Soup Dragons (OK - I realise that they were Scottish...but it's a bit "Can You Dig It"...) Happy Mondays, Inspirals, Stone Roses etc.

10: Picking Up The Rain
Favourite song on the album (at present - these things tend to change the more often you listen to records - sorry CDs...). This has something for everybody - fast bits, slow bits and a great early 70s-style rock guitar solo in the middle.

11: Wild & Free
Jason's vocals sound like a "much better than the original version" of an early Rod Stewart on this one (if that makes sense...). The guitar is also rather Faces like and the song has a nice comfy feel to it. It is actually about some wild horses that are under threat, but we'll let Colleen tell you all about it in our radio special.

12: Elephant On My Chest
Expletive alert! This is actually a nice catchy rocky song but it has an unfortunate word in the chorus. Any chance of a "radio edit", please?!
13: Life Goes Round.

Review: Magic Trees at Stanley Ward Conservative Club - 22nd June

After 8 years of living in Blackpool - and having driven past it hundreds and hundreds of times, even at one time thinking it was named after a person.... -  we finally set foot in the "Stanley Ward Conservative Club" in Blackpool last night, courtesy of Canadian rock band Magic Trees.

It has been quite a voyage of discovery for us watching the 'Trees over the last 2 summers (yes this IS summer, apparently) and we have been to quite a few places we had never been in before - this being one of them.

In fact the SWCC, is a very nice building, much bigger than it looks fromvthe outside and has been really nicely done out inside. There is a really good stage area and dance floor and they have live music on most weekends - which is where Magic Trees come in....


(more to follow...)

Friday, 22 June 2012

Peter Anthony Open Air Concert For Lytham Hall Appeal - 8th July

Fylde Coast singing sensation Peter Anthony is organising a special open air variety concert at Lytham Hall on Sunday 8th July in aid of the Lytham Hall Appeal.

The show will commence at 6.30pm until 10 pm on the front lawn using the Hall itself as a magnificent backdrop.  The show is picnic style - so people are invited to bring their owns chairs, rugs, food and beverages (however a licensed bar will also be available).  Included in the ticket price of JUST £10 is a glass of bubbly and strawberries and cream to get people in the summer spirit.

Peter has rallied round and gathered some fantastic artistes - all resident on the Fylde coast to include :- Charlese and Matt , Ronnie Jackson, Lucy Whigham, Mini-G, Roberts and Ashcroft, Jean Hudson, Dax on Sax, An appearance from Alice Barry who plays Lillian in Channel 4's "Shameless".

The show will be co-hosted by Mike Rossi and Sammi Kingsley, and the evening will be finished off by the fantastic vocals of Peter Anthony and his MD Andy Knight.

Peter and his co-organiser Paul Lomax ( who own Antons Cafebar in St Annes) have already raised over £5000 for the appeal, and are happy to say that all funds raised will also be going directly to the Hall  which still needs to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds over the coming 2 years.  All the artistes are donating their time for free which will ensure this historic gem is a legacy for our future generations.

Tickets are £10 each and can be bought from Java Bistro in Lytham (01253 737208) Antons Cafebar, St Annes (01253 724721) and the Hall itself (01253 736652)

Miss Blackpool 2012 - Heat 1 Result & interviews

Heat 1 Result:
Winner: Charlotte Kershaw (right in photo)
Runner Up: Ella Green (left in photo)

You can hear our exclusive post-heat interviews with the two winners by clicking on the sound icon below (this may take longer to work if you are using a Mac...):




Both Ella and Charlotte have now qualified for the Miss Blackpool 2012 Grand Final, which will be held on Friday 17th August at the Norbreck Castle Hotel.  This is a fabulous black tie occasion - 4 course meal, live entertainment, plus the dramatic finale of the 2012 competition.  Tickets £35 each available now.

Heat 2 will be at Uncle Toms' Cabin in Blackpool next Thursday 28th June - free to enter - new contestants always welcome!

Thursday, 21 June 2012

In Conversation: Victor Spinetti Special - Friday 7pm

We've cleared the decks for our "Best Kept Secrets...In Conversation" radio show on 103.2 Preston FM this Friday 22nd June from 7pm as we are devoting practically the whole programme to a previously unaired in depth interview with top actor and writer Victor Spinetti, who died earlier this week aged 82.
We met Victior when he came to Blackpool in July 2010 and you'll be able to listen - as enthralled as we were at the time - to his fascinating stories about working with the Beatles, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor (all with funny voices...), about how he came to be the "Mad Jaffa Cake Eater...", holidays to Blackpool, meeting his childhood cinema idol Frank Randle, about being Welsh, not speaking Italian and a while lot more besides.

This is our own tribute to great actor who will be sadly missed.

Also on the show, you can hear the song "Like A Diamond" by Anton Lorient, which was written especially by the British Monarchist Society for the Queen's Jubilee.

We'll also be talking about the Blackpool Seagulls ice hockey team who are doing the Manchester to Blackpool bike ride in aid of Trinity Hospice and Brian House Childrens Hospice (support them here: www.justgiving.com/blackpool-seagulls  ) ,

and there also a new release from Sunstrand , whose interview we will now be featuring in our next show instead.

So join us between 7 and 8pm on Friday. You can tune in on 103.2 FM in the local area or worldwide via the internet by going to www.preston.fm and clicking on "listen live".




Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Review: Afternoon Dance For Blackpool Carers Association

A wonderful afternoon spent at the "Parks" Art Deco Cafe in Stanley Park, Blackpool, for the Blackpool Carers group.

Blackpool Carers’ Centre held a fantastic Afternoon Tea Dance to raise funds and awareness and celebrate the contribution made by unpaid carers to the people they care for and their community.

Held at the beautiful Parks Art Deco Café in Blackpool’s Stanley Park on Wednesday, 20th June 2012 from 2 pm until 5 pm, a really good time was had by all.   There was dancing –  ballroom, sequence and old time - to the ever-popular, versatile Bill Barrow Trio;  there was a sumptuous afternoon tea with delectable savoury canapés, a vast selection of sandwiches, fresh cream scones with strawberry jam and gorgeous cakes, plus tea or coffee – all served in and on lovely china with crisp white tablecloths – no I am not making this up and I didn’t dream it – this is how it was.

There was music provided by the ever-popular, versatile Bill Barrow Trio who played for ballroom dancing, sequence dancing and even some old time dancing;. Additional entertainment provided by a wonderful accordion player from Bispham High School who made us think on this lovely summer afternoon that we were in Paris, and dancers from the Nicky Figgins Centre Stage Academy gave us two wonderful demonstrations one of Irish Dancing and one of line dancing.  There was a raffle and also a little gift for everyone there.  A really good time was had by all.  A really big THANK YOU has to go the Parks Art Deco Cafe staff for their hard work making sure everyone had plenty of refreshments, to the Bill Barrow Band, the accordionist and the dancers for entertaining us and to the Blackpool Carers Centre for all their hard work organising the event.  The only problem is that much fun is addictive and everyone put their hands up for regular monthly Tea Dances at the Art Deco Cafe!

The Mayor of Blackpool was guest of honour.

Blackpool Carers Centre is an independent, local charity and network partner of Carers Trust, providing a wide range of services to support and enhance the lives of unpaid carers of all ages throughout Blackpool.

They are planning a Weekend Luncheon Club for local people who would enjoy good company and a meal at weekends.  They may be able to offer transport for those who require it.   For further information on this or any of the many services offered by the Blackpool Carers Centre, please see www.blackpoolcarers.org or telephone 01253 393748.   They are also on Facebook – facebook.com/blackpoolcarers or facebook.com/blackpoolyoungcarers For Twitter go to @BlackpoolCarers

Vineyard, the fabulous Acoustic Duo will be at the Art Deco Café this coming Sunday, 24th June 2012 from 1 pm until 3 pm.  If you miss this you will have to wait until the first Sunday in September to hear The Parks Art Deco Café’s Sunday Lunchtime music.   

However, the Bandstand in Stanley Park have a full programme of music every Sunday afternoon until 23rd September 2012.   For further details, or to join the Friends of Stanley Park and help out, please see www.friendsofstanleypark.org.uk 

The Parks Art Deco is fantastic any time for food and you are always assured of a warm welcome and being well looked after – breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, light snacks, ice cream, or even just for a tea or a coffee or soft drinks in relaxed surroundings. They have a bar for those who prefer something stronger.

For further information, please see www.parksartdecocafe.co.uk or call 01253 395191. 







RIP Victor Spinetti - 1929- 2012

We were deeply saddened to hear about the death of actor Victor Spinetti yesterday. 

We met him in July 2010 when he was appearing in a comedy at the Blackpool Grand Theatre and had a wonderful hour long chat with him about his career and his philosophy of life.

Apart from his humorous impressions of people like The Beatles and Richard Burton - all of whom he'd worked with many times - the most striking things were his views on the world, typified by: "There's no such thing as them and us - it's just us".

What we thought was really nice was how genuine and unassuming he was.  The show organisers had put him in the Imperial Hotel and he had been given the Churchill Suite and was really taken aback by this. He was klike a kid in a sweets shop and showed us all the Churchill related pictures and things on the walls in his lounge. Then, after the interview, he insisted on showing us his bedroom and bathroom as well!    A really nice, down to earth chap.

As our own special tribute to Victor Spinetti, we will be broadcasting our 45 minute interview with him in full in our "Best Kept Secrets" radio show on 103.2 Preston FM on Friday evening from 7pm.

You can hear Preston FM on 103.2FM in the local area or worldwide via the internet by going to www.preston.fm and clicking on "listen live".

Monday, 18 June 2012

Review: Save The Last Dance For Me - Blackpool Grand Theatre

Despite the Euro 2012 Football tournament building towards its climax this week, try and drag yourself away for one evening and go and see this superb musical show at Blackpool Grand Theatre.

It's feelgood nostalgia all the way with wonderful singing and dancing - great costumes, lovely music played by a live band throughout and wonderful songs from the early 1960s by Pomus and Shuman that tell the love story betwen a young girl from Luton and a "coloured" US airman.

You may not have heard of Pomus and Shuman but together they penned lots of great songs in the 50s and 60s and almost 40 of these can be heard in this show.  My favourite Elvis songs are there: "She's Not You" "His Latest Flame" and "Surrender", then there's "Teenager In Love", "Rhythm Of The Rain", "Green Onions" - too many to list in a short review.

However, there are a couple of really spine tingling sensational a-capella versions of "Sweets For My Sweet" in the first half  (did Pomus & Shuman write that...? they surely did - it was originally a hit for The Drifters in 1961 before The Searchers did it in 1963...) in the first half and "Hushabye" in the second half and a great full cast versio of the title track "Save The Last Dance For Me" at the end.

If you liked Dreamboats and Petticoats, you'll like this as it is the same producers - the Bill Kenright organisation - and the same writers Laurance Marks and Maurice Gran - who also wrote Goodnight Sweethreat and Birds of a Feather.

"Save The Last Dance For Me" runs at the Blackpool Grand Theatre until Saturday 23rd June.  To book, call the box office on 10253 290190 or visit the website here: www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk

The show is touring the country until July. More tour dates can be found here: http://www.kenwright.com/index.php?id=1265

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Sand Sea & Spray 2012 Urban Street Art - Blackpool

Robin Ross has done it again and livened Blackpool town centre up with lots of exciting and eye catching art work!

Sand Sea and Spray 2012 has attracted many highly renowned Urban Street Artists from across the world  and they have spent the weekend creating wonderful works on the sides of various buildings across Blackpool.

Here are just a few of the images we saw today. To find out more about Sand Sea & Spray 2012 and the other sites, go to the official website here:  www.sandseaandspray.co.uk

You can see more of our photos from today on our Facebook page here:

These photos were all taken on Adelaide Street in Blackpool. We haven't been to all of the various sites yet but will add more images once we manage to to do so!

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Caffe Cream Restaurant/Cafe/Ice Cream Parlour - New Brighton, Wirral

The Wirral is well worth a visit - if you live in the North West it isn't that far and if you live further afield there are lots of great places to stay.

New Brighton has recently been spruced up and there are some lovely new cafes and restaurants to go for refreshment at Marine Point on the Promenade, overlooking Fort Perch Rock and the mouth of the River Mersey.  Fort Perch Rock has lots of events planned so check them out

If you do decide to visit The Wirral, then you must treat yourself and visit recently-opened Caffe Cream in New Brighton. This is a delightful restaurant/cafe/ice cream parlour.  Afternoon tea is particularly good but if you do manage to get out without trying the ice cream then you must have a will of iron.

Superb food, great atmosphere, friendly staff, competitive prices and overlooking a stunning view with tables and chairs outside if the weather is fine (which it sometimes is) - what more could you ask for.

Open seven days a week 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. follow Caffe Cream on Facebook now!  Better still, go and see for yourselves!

Caffe Cream on the Promenade at Marine Point in New Brighton.

Review: Buddy Greco at The Sands Venue Blackpool

We were lucky enough to get last minute tickets to see Buddy Greco at the Sands Venue in Blackpool on Friday night – 15th June 2012.  The Sands Experience starts from the moment you pick up the phone to book – or go into the Box Office on the ground floor where the Deli is situated – the staff at the Sands are simply wonderful.

The evening began with a superb three-course meal – some people there set the scene by having champagne cocktails in the Champagne Bar overlooking the sea above the Cabaret venue.

Then the show - and Buddy Greco was absolutely amazing.  He sang and played the (lovely, Yamaha) grand piano on stage, accompanied by The Sands Venue’s own 7-piece band of outstanding musicians who followed Greco as he improvised.  Apart from his wonderful singing and piano playing, Buddy Greco also treated us to some very amusing anecdotes about his time as a world class singer.

Buddy also introduced his wife, singer Lezlie Anders who I had never heard before.  Lezlie is not only stunningly beautiful but is an outstanding singer and entertainer.  She is currently touring with her Fever Show commemorating the life and work of Peggy Lee and I cannot wait to see and hear Lezlie Anders again I was so impressed.

Buddy Greco said that the Sands Venue in Blackpool is equal to anything you will find in Las Vegas but I should point out that you don’t have that magnificent sea view in Vegas.

As always a huge thank you to Mr Peter Swann for having the vision to bring The Sands to Blackpool, to all the wonderful Sands staff, to Neil Shatliff who leads the Sands House Band, to Mark Gill the sound engineer and, of course to Buddy Greco and Lesley Anders for a truly wonderful evening.

Buddy Greco will be back at The Sands Venue Swing Night on Friday, 28th September 2012 and Buddy Greco and Lezlie Anders will be there with their trio on Saturday, 29th September 2012.

Friday, 15 June 2012

CD Release: Timing Is Everything by Steel Threads


We'll be playing some tracks from this great new release in our Best Kept Secrets radio show on 103.2 Preston FM next Friday evening (22nd June) from 7pm.
Available Now as CD or MP3 download.
Audio CD (4 Jun 2012)

  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rocksector Records
  • ASIN: B007ZZ0C2E

  • Tracklisting:
    1: Nothing To Hide
    2: Dead In My Mouth
    3:Steel Threads
    4: Last Nights Love
    5: Let The Wind Blow
    6: Hold Me Like We'll Die Tonight
    7: If Words Grew On Trees
    8: Gave You A Thought
    9: All In The Song
    10: Sapphire Blue
    11: We All Leave Alone

    STEELTHREADS / Timing Is Everything’ album (Rocksector RSRCD 1221)
    Availalable from Amazon, Play.Com, HMV.Com & iTunes

    Steel Threads are an English ‘Power-Folk’ band, blending their love of Rock, Folk and Acoustic music. Formed in July 2011, after years in the making,the band consists of Neil Wardleworth on Guitar and Vocals, Stuart Eastham on Double Bass and Cliff Woodworth on Fiddle.

    All three members are heavily involved in the music industry, and have years of experience, resulting in powerful and engaging live performances.

    Coventry-based,but with the individual members’ original roots in North West England, the band influenced primarily by artists such as The Waterboys, The Levellers, LedZeppelin, Neil Young, REM and Crowded House, the band pride themselves on strong song writing and genuine musicianship

    Between them, Steel Threads have had the pleasure of working with other artists such asNew Model Army, The South, Hugh Cornwell,Imelda May, Peter Green, Twisted Wheel and many more, and are thankful these influences have made the band what it is.

    More info: http://www.steelthreadsmusic.co.uk

    CD Release: @Reverend_Makers by Reverend & the Makers

    Out on 18th June - check it out!

  • Audio CD (18 Jun 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Cooking Vinyl
  • ASIN: B0078E5F4C

  • Tracklisting:
    1: Baseline
    2: Out Of The Shadows
    3: Shine That Light
    4: Depth Charge
    5: Warts n All
    6: Yes You Do
    7: The Wrestler
    8: 1+0
    9: Noisy Neighbour
    10: What Goes Around

    We'll be playing some tracks from this great new release in our Best Kept Secrets radio show on 103.2 Preston FM next Friday evening (22nd June) from 7pm.

    To find out more about the band, visit their website here:  http://www.iamreverend.com/

    Thursday, 14 June 2012

    CD Release & UK Tour Dates - Mike Doughty

    MIKE DOUGHTY - ‘THE QUESTION JAR SHOW’
    RELEASED 11TH JUNE
    Label: Hornblow Recordings (via The Orchard)
    Full UK tour supporting Suzanne Vega: June 11th – 21st
    11th June marks the release of ‘The Question Jar Show’, a double-disc live album recorded during Mike’s US tour of the same name. It perfectly captures Doughty’s hip hop-influenced folk/Americana/blues, and just as importantly, his deftness at charming crowds. Essentially, Mike is a master of on-stage banter. “Would you rather play twister with Dick Cheney or punch a kitten in the face?”

    This is just one of the bizarre, comedic questions written on scraps of paper by Doughty fans and placed in a jar on-stage pre gig. These were then answered between songs in highly-entertaining fashion by Mike, plus his eccentric sidekick and cello player, Andrew 'Scrap' Livingston.

    When not answering questions, Doughty and Scrap play stripped down, rhythmically intense and haunting versions of Mike’s cult classic songs, including '27 Jennifers,' 'Busting Up a Starbucks,' and 'Looking at the World From the Bottom of a Well.'

    Although not as large in scale and profile as feted live albums like the Who’s ‘Live At Leeds’ or the Stones’ ‘Get Yer Ya Yas Out’, ‘The Question Jar Show’ deserves status as a unique and intimate classic of the format.

    Mike Doughty’s last artist album ‘Yes And Also Yes’ was released to critical acclaim both here and over the pond. It was written at legendary artists' colony Yaddo, where Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, Truman Capote and Sylvia Plath worked.

    It featured singles ‘Holiday’ - a duet with Roseanne Cash and ‘Na Na Nothing’, which bagged Mike a top 7 hit on the US AAA chart. Penning of the latter single was aided by Nikki Sixx, Matt Gerrard and Dan Wilson who also co-wrote Adele’s ‘Someone Like You’, plus ‘Secret Smile’ and ‘Closing Time’ for his band Semisonic.

    Doughty used a capsule of the antidepressant Duloxetine as a percussion instrument on several tracks and played a Chinese lute (called a Zhong Ruan) on the song ‘Telegenic Exes, #1’.

    A prolific blogger and writer, Mike wrote a biography focusing on his career in Soul Coughing and his “ugly, drug-doing years”. ‘The Book Of Drugs’ came out to huge praise from the likes of the Rolling Stone, The Word, The Arts Desk, Publishers Weekly, Billboard and The New York Post. Due to huge demand, the book has recently gone into its 4th run of printing.

    June tour dates. . .
    Mon 11th  LONDON              Borderline (Headline show)                            7.00pm                                0844 847 2465

    Wed 13th     LONDON              Union Chapel (with Suzanne Vega)              7.00pm                                0870 154 4040

    Thu 14th      BRIGHTON           The Dome (with Suzanne Vega)                    7.15pm                                01273709709

    Mon 18th       GLASGOW           Oran Mor (with Suzanne Vega)                      7.00pm                                0141 204 5151

    Tue 19th         GATESHEAD      The Sage (with Suzanne Vega)                      7.30pm                                0191 443 4661

    Wed 20th     YORK     Grand Opera House (with Suzanne Vega)                 8.00pm                
    08448 713 024

    Thu 21st        BASINGSTOKE  The Anvil (with Suzanne Vega)                       8.00pm                                01256 844244    

    More Info: www.mikedoughty.com / www.facebook.com/mikedoughty / http://mkdo.co/

    Book Now For a Blackpool Ghost Walk - 17th June

    Join Supernatural Events this Sunday, June 17th, on a spooky walk which will take you to some of Blackpool’s most haunted locations where you will hear tales of mystery, murder and the macabre! Or become a paranormal investigator and spend the night ghost hunting at Blackpool’s North Pier Theatre on Friday June 22nd.

    Supernatural Events’ Blackpool Ghost Walk starts at 8.30pm this Sunday, June 17th, and will last one and half hours. The spooky stroll will begin on the promenade (meeting at the box office at the front of North Pier) and wind its way around some of Blackpool’s most important buildings and attractions with those in attendance learning of the town’s history, heritage and of course hauntings! The ghost walk will be led by local paranormal expert, founder of Supernatural Events and author of Haunted Blackpool Stephen Mercer.

    There’s murder, mystery and the macabre... and a few spooky stories and terrifying tales too!!

    Tickets for the Blackpool Ghost Walk, which are just £5 for adults or £3 for under 14s, can be purchased in advance from www.BlackpoolGhostWalks.com or www.SupernaturalEvents.co.uk. You can also get your ticket on the night before the walk commences.

    On Friday June 22nd Supernatural Events has organised an Overnight Ghost Investigation at Blackpool’s famous North Pier Theatre. Starting at 10pm, those attending will get the chance to visit areas that many believe to be haunted including the auditorium, stage, and areas not normally accessed by the public in a quest to find out what really goes on “behind the scenes” late at night when the lights have been switched off and the doors locked!

    On this investigation you will have the opportunity to spend six hours ghost hunting using paranormal investigative equipment such as crystal pendulums, dowsing rods, thermometers, energy meters and motion detectors! Tickets are priced at £25 and must be booked in advance. Visit www.SupernaturalEvents.co.uk for details.

    Supernatural Events: unearthly events that will make you question everything you thought you believed in!

    For further information on Supernatural Events’ out of this world activities or to book your tickets for either the Blackpool Ghost Walk or Overnight Ghost Investigation at Blackpool’s North Pier Theatre, visit www.BlackpoolGhostWalks.com or  www.SupernaturalEvents.co.uk.

    Sand, Sea & Spray 2012 in Blackpool - 15,16,17June

    43 Artists painting in 6 locations!

    Friday 15th June  - Artists Q & A Event:
     Come and meet some of the artists and have your questions answered for the launch of the Sand, Sea & Spray Urban art weekend. In the Theatre Bar at the Winter Gardens from 6pm - 7.30pm.


    Saturday 16th June - Live painting will be happening at 7 different locations:
    North Pier, The Winter Gardens (outdoors on Adelaide Street), Deansgate (near The Old Rock Factory just off Abingdon St), Cheapside (just off Abingdon St), Adelaide St Car park, Palatine Rd (St. Aidens, Blackpool 6th Form College & Arnold School students competition) & Apollo Dancehall (on the gable end facing Waterloo Rd Bridge carpark).

    Sunday 17th June - Live painting will be taking place on the terrace at FYCreatives (Church St) with Mydogsighs, Julian Kimmings & others TBC, whilst screenings of Toaster Toasters short film will be shown downstairs every 30 minutes from 12 until 4.


    "3 people, 1 Toaster". Long before the term 'street art' was coined 'The Toasters' have placed their iconic image all over the g...lobe. 'Everywhere' documents previously unseen footage of the preparation and execution of some of their most recognisable pieces as well as new work and exclusive interviews. 

    To find out more about the artists and locations, visit the website here: http://www.sandseaandspray.co.uk/artists/   


    Sabbat - Pendle Witches Drama at Colne Municipal Hall - 10th to 14th July

    SABBAT at The Muni Theatre, Colne
    Tuesday 10 – Saturday 14 July

     On Good Friday four hundred years ago a secret meeting of Lancashire Witches - a Sabbat – allegedly took place in Pendle and to commemorate this historic anniversary, The Dukes brings its witch drama – Sabbat – to the Muni Theatre in Colne, as part of its tour.

    The play, which enjoyed a record-breaking run when it was first staged at The Dukes in 2009, tells a human story set against a climate of fear and superstition and attempts to unravel the mysteries still surrounding the trials.

    Sabbat attempts to unravel the mysteries still surrounding the Lancashire witch trials. Did Alice Nutter and her other acquaintances really take part in a witches secret meeting or were they innocent victims at a time of paranoia?

    The play imagines the events leading up to the trial and execution of the Pendle Witches and asks how many lives were destroyed by laws born out of fear?

    Christine Mackie, who plays Alice Nutter, will be recognized from her role as Daphne Bryant in Downton Abbey and another familiar face from television in the cast is Nisa Cole who played schoolgirl Amy Porter in three series of BBC1’s Waterloo Road. Nisa takes on the part of Jennet Device.

    This tale of persecution begins with a secret meeting held high on a hill in the wild and lawless area of Pendle in Lancashire – one of the ‘dark corners of the land " and it ends on another hill, in Lancaster, where 10 people are hanged for witchcraft.

    The story has an enduring fascination for the public as The Dukes director Joe Sumsion explained: “People seem to be drawn to the subject for all sorts of reasons – ideas of scapegoats, victims, religion, social class and gender all have a part to play and when you add in superstition, magic and revenge, the subject becomes all the more compelling.”

    Sabbat’s original creative team will be reunited for this revival, led by award-winning director Amy Leach, who was brought up in Darwen.

    For more information and bookings, go to www.themuni.co.uk

    UK Comedy Search Comes to Nelson ACE Centre - 21st June

    Funny's Funny
    The UK's leading competition that searches for the UK's best female comedian comes to The ACE Centre on Thursday, June 21st.

    This is the North West Regional Showcase with 10 plus comics going head-to-head for their place in the final in London next month.

    The show will also include a superb MC in the form of Louise Conran, "Like Bridget Jones, but raunchier and more drunken.... strong performance skills, jollying the audience along and interacting freely, happy to take the rise out of anyone and say the things she shouldn’t.... an appealing mix of charm, cheeriness and cheek" – Chortle.

    There is also a headline act to close the night while the judges work on the scores, the fantastic Susan Hanks, "Observational comedy.... all delivered engagingly" - Chortle.

    Lou and and Sue may even give the audience a bit of a preview of their Edinburgh Festival show 'Pigs In Blankets'. "These two make honk with laughter" - Sarah Millican.

     Tickets: £5 each or £10 as a Meal Deal

     Meals served 6pm-8pm. Performance starts at 8.15pm

    For more information call 01282 661080 or visit www.acecentre.co.uk

    Coming Next Week: Save The Last Dance For Me at Blackpool Grand Theatre

    As previously reported here on Best Kept Secrets!

    Save the Last Dance will take you back through the music and magic of the early 60s, a time when each passing week brought another Rock ‘n’ Roll classic!

    Comedy writers Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran are responsible for some of BBC television’s most beloved sitcoms including Birds of a Feather (a stage adaptation of which came to The Grand last month), Goodnight Sweetheart, The New Statesman and Shine on Harvey Moon...they’ve now turned their hand to a new stage musical Save The Last Dance, coming to The Grand from Monday 18th June.

    Two teenage sisters embark on their first holiday without their parents in the summer of ’63. Full of freedom and high spirits they meet a handsome young American who invites them to a dance at the local US Air Force base...but young love and holiday romance is never as simple as it sounds. The sisters soon realise that while the world around them is still watching itself in black and white, life and love can be much more colourful.

     Save the Last Dance features the classic hits of Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman including, A Teenager in Love, Sweets for my Sweet, Viva Las Vegas and, of course, the title track, Save the Last Dance plus many, many more.

    One of the most important rock and roll writing teams of the late-50s and early-60s, second only to Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman were responsible for more than 500 songs between 1958 and 1965. With Shuman composing the music and Pomus writing the lyrics, they achieved their greatest success writing for The Drifters and Elvis Presley, who recorded more than 20 of their songs.

    Featuring the songwriting duos unmistakable music, Save the Last Dance is a nostalgic, feel-good journey. If you liked Dreamboats and Petticoats you’ll love Save the Last Dance! 

    Save the Last Dance is at The Grand from  Monday 18th to Saturday 23rd June.
    Tickets from £18.00-£29.00- Booking/transaction fees apply

    Book your seats now by calling the Grand Theatre Box Office on 01253 743339, online at www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk or at the Grand Theatre information sales point in the Houndshill Shopping Centre.

    Monday, 11 June 2012

    Pendle Guitar Festival -24th June

    The Pendle Guitar Festival 2012
    Guitar & Bass Show ( New & vintage instuments )
    The Ace Centre
    Cross Street
    Nelson
    ...
    Live Stage
    Jerry Donahue ( Masterclass - performance & Workshop )
    Chris Woods ( Acoustic Wizard )
    Jazz Cafe
    Vintage Guitar Display
    Chris Walton Local Guitar Guru - Workshops / Guitar Lessons 

     Plus Buy - Sell - Trade / Guitars / Amps / Accessories

    Joe McIntosh and Rob Stewart Inducted Into British Ice Hockey Hall Of Fame

    The British Ice Hockey Hall of Fame was started in 1948 by the weekly newspaper "Ice Hockey World", but lapsed with the publication's demise in 1958. The Hall of Fame was revived in 1986 by the British Ice Hockey Writers' Association, the name was changed in 2006 to Ice Hockey Journalists UK.
    Each year, a sub-committee of IHJUK considers potential new members for induction, the criterion being that an individual must have rendered "outstanding service to British Ice Hockey".

     This year they have chosen Joe McIntosh and Rob Stewart.

    Joe McIntosh was an outstanding Scottish-developed defenceman who had a playing career which spanned 25 years at the highest level of the sport in the UK, representing Great Britain at four World Championships before going on to coach the national team.

    Joe was a key contributor to the winning of major honours with five different senior clubs over the course of a sterling career – commencing with Falkirk Lions’ Play-Off triumph in 1954 and ending with Fife Flyers’ ‘Grand Slam’ season of 1976-77, encompassing Championships along the way with Edinburgh Royals, Dundee Rockets and Crans-sur-Sierre of Switzerland.

    He holds a record which is a fitting testimony to his fitness, commitment to the sport and ability: he is the oldest forward or defenceman ever to have appeared for Great Britain in international competition, being aged 40 years and 161 days at the commencement of the 1973 World Championship ‘C’ Pool tournament in Holland. (Only two goaltenders have played for GB at an older age: fellow Hall of Famers ‘Peter’ Patton, aged 49 at the 1926 European Championships and Glynn Thomas, two months short of his 41st birthday at the 1976 World Championship ‘C’ Pool.)

    With the collapse of pro hockey in Scotland during the summer of 1955, Joe was offered a slot with Nottingham Panthers in the much-reduced British League for the 55-56 season. However, having just started a well-paid job on the Grangemouth docks, he had to decline the offer and his hockey activity over the next five years was confined to occasional guest appearances for ‘homeless’ sides such as Perth Panthers, Glasgow Flyers and Edinburgh Royals. (Joe had started his working life as a plumber in a Grangemouth shipyard, but spent many years as a stevedore in Grangemouth docks, latterly working as a charge-hand in an oil refinery and then at the vast Mossmorran natural gas plant in Fife before his retiral.)

    He was a mainstay on defence of the 1960-61 Edinburgh Royals, led by Johnny Carlyle, which made a clean sweep of all the various ‘rink tournaments’ that season, culminating in the defeat of a Canadian-dominated Brighton Tigers on their home ice.

    Joe spent the 1962-63 season with Altrincham Aces under coach Ian Forbes, and then followed Forbes to join Fife Flyers for 1963-64. Joe had seven very successful seasons at Kirkcaldy, helping Flyers to a number of honours, including the televised BBC Grandstand Trophy, and earning himself All-Star   selections in 1967-68, 1968-69, 1970-71 and 1971-72. As Player-Coach of the Flyers, he was selected as the ‘B’ Team All-Star Coach for 1969-70.

    Along with former Falkirk players Joe Baird and Roy Reid, Joe spent parts of the 1970-71 and 1971-72 seasons assisting Ayr Bruins, playing under future Hall of Fame inductee Jackson McBride (who was to remain a friend of Joe’s until Jackson’s untimely death in 2003.)

    Joe again teamed up with coach Ian Forbes, this time at Dundee, for the 1972-73 season, and assisted Rockets to the Northern League title.

    He finished his career back at Kirkcaldy, retiring from playing at the age of 44 after helping Flyers to the 1976-77 ‘Grand Slam.’

    On the international front, Joe represented Great Britain at four World Championships – 1965 and 1966 (Pool ‘B’) and 1971 and 1973 (Pool ‘C’). As mentioned, he is Great Britain’s oldest ever skater at a World Championship.

     Joe also coached the Great Britain team on two occasions in the late 1970s, with relative success, given the low standing of the purely amateur sport at that time.

    In late February/early March 1978, with a hastily assembled and inexperienced squad, he guided GB to lift the Tulip International Cup, at ‘s-Hertogenbosch in Holland, defeating Holland Juniors (twice), Belgium and club-side Olympia Antwerp for a 100% record in four games over four days. (The tournament provided preparation for the Belgians in leading up to the 1978 World Championship Pool ‘C’, held later that month in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria – GB did not enter.)

    GB returned to the World Championships in March 1979 at Barcelona, with Joe steering the British side to a 5th place finish (out of seven) – their highest Pool ‘C’ finish since 1971 – defeating both Spain and Australia.

    Despite turning round the fortunes of the national team, whilst operating with a wholly amateur and British-trained squad, and with no financial backing and limited preparation, Joe was harshly discarded by the BIHA, who appointed Canadian Alex Dampier to coach the next entry to international competition two years later.

    Joe continued as coach of the Scotland team for a couple of years, but drifted out of the hockey scene.

    He relocated from Grangemouth to Kirkcaldy in 1981, where he re-married in 1990. He and wife Betty still live in the Fife town, but Joe no longer watches hockey locally – although he takes in some NHL games on his visits to his brother-in-law in Edmonton (his brother-in-law is an Oilers’ season ticket-holder.) Joe freely admits that the sport is certainly much faster than in his day, with shorter shifts and better equipment, but thinks that a bit of the skill has been sacrificed.

     
    Rob Stewart has provided outstanding service to British ice hockey in 17 years as a defenceman and in the past four as a non-playing assistant coach. His worth is recognised with four All-Star accolades, three at ‘A’, and four league championships plus two play-off titles.

    Hearing good things about British hockey from brother Keith, who spent 1989/90 with Nottingham, Rob broke off three years of study at the University of Manitoba to join Basingstoke Beavers. He was released after two games. The same misfortune befell him at Solihull. Shocked he said “I didn’t know whether to head back to Canada or look elsewhere”. He went to Romford “to pick up a couple of weeks pay” to fill in for an injured player. The 195 lbs rushing offensive defender was asked to stay. He contributed 124 points, gaining an All-Star ‘A’ award in the team’s finest season to- date.  Rob spent the next four years with Raiders, including taking over as coach in autumn 1993. In an era restricted to three imports he was often the British League’s Division 1 leading scoring defenceman and the club’s sole import blue liner.

    A management change at Romford necessitated a move. He signed for Telford to be appointed Tigers’ captain. Stewart joined Bracknell for the 1995/96 campaign where he remained for the next five years. A year later Bees joined the new Superleague and Rob continued, as he had done for some years, as his team’s third best scorer. He captained Bracknell to a Challenge Cup runners-up medal in February 1998 to score the opening goal 14 months later in a play-off semi-final loss with an All-Star ‘B’ placing. Trumping this a year later with an ‘A’ as he led Bees to the league title and semi-finalists in the Challenge and B&H Cups.

    When Dave Whistle, they had been team-mates at Romford, Telford and Bracknell, became coach of Belfast, Stewart joined him for Giants inaugural 2000/01 campaign as a player and assistant coach. He was also responsible for commencing a youth development programme. In his second winter in the Northern Irish capital Rob won his second Superleague championship medal as Giants lifted the league trophy by a clear 21 points and were finalists in the Challenge Cup. His points’ production was the best for three years as he gained his third All-Star ‘A’ rating. Next winter a play-off medal was added. At the conclusion of the six year Superleague Rob was the only player to have never missed a game in 286 consecutive appearances. For 2003/04 he took over as head coach at a difficult financial time for Giants. His dedication was such that he used his own credit card to help keep the club afloat.

    A short lived move to Sheffield as non-playing coach in summer 2004 was soon followed by donning skates again on Belfast ice next winter, for an Elite League title and play-off runners up medals. A Giants coaching change saw Romford legend Rob make an emotional return to east London on 12 September 2006, after a 12 year absence. He commented “I like the town and ran hockey schools for four or so summers there”. Late next autumn he put the blades away to be appointed coach, improving Raiders in the EPL standings and regaining play-off qualification.

    A final return to his adopted city of Belfast in summer 2008 saw Stewart resume his place as assistant non-playing coach. A role he still fulfils. During the past four seasons he has helped Giants win the Elite League title, plus a Play-Off championship, Challenge and Knockout Cup.

    Rob Stewart, whose first memory of hockey was playing on outdoor ice as a four or five year old, was born on 5 February 1966 at Brandon, Manitoba. He gained British citizenship in 2001.

    Biogs compiled by David Gordon and Martin C Harris

    To see the full listing of Hall Of Fame Members, click here: http://www.ihjuk.co.uk/halloffame.html