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....

Monday, 30 December 2013

Ice Hockey: NIHL North Round Up - Weekend Of 28th & 29th December 2013

Blackburn Hawks picked up two wins from two games over the weekend – starting off with an 8-4 win away at Manchester Minotaurs in the Moralee Conference (North 1) on Saturday (see photo) and then coming back from 3-0 down at home to Solway Sharks on Sunday to snatch a dramatic 6-3 win the Northern Cup.

Sharks - on the other hand - had a disastrous weekend all round as, 24 hours earlier, they also lost 3-2 away to 6th placed Sheffield Spartans in the league. To be fair to last season’s champions it was their first match in almost a month so there may have been a few cobwebs but they will have to be on top form next Saturday when 2nd placed Billingham Stars travel to Dumfries for a top of the table clash.  There are just 2 points between the two teams at the top of the Conference, although Stars have played one game more.

In the other game of the weekend, Spartans slumped to 7-2 defat away at Sutton Sting on Sunday night.  That win sees the Sting firm up their hold on 3rd place and was their 7th straight league win in a row.  With two matches against both Billingham and Solway still to come, they could yet cause a title upset this season.

In the Laidler Conference (North 2) Solihull Barons moved 5 points clear of long term league leaders Deeside Dragons at the top of the table after an 8-2 win away at Sheffield Senators.  This represents a huge turnaround at the top of this division as Barons themselves were tailing the Dragons  by 5 clear points not very long ago. Deeside, however, do have two games in hand – and they play Solihull once more – away on 30th March.

Three points behind Deeside in third place are Coventry Blaze who picked up a 5-5 draw away at constantly improving Hull Jets (formerly Stingrays…). That point moves them ahead of last season’s champions Nottingham Lions who also have 20 points but have played one game less.
 
Photo by John Milton www.togger.co.uk

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Hear The Pukes in our Best Kept Secrets Show on 103.2 Preston FM - Saturday 4pm

In our first radio show of the new year, we'll be featuring two songs by all girl punk ukulele band The Pukes (pictured), who we first came across at the Rebellion Festival last August.

There's also an Epiphany tune from the Dan Forshaw Quartet and more great music from Helen & The Horns, Lisa Marie Taylor, Marion Ryan, Lonnie Donegan, Mauri Clash City Rocker, Morten Harket and Texas.

We feature more winning poems from the 2013 Pendle War Poetry Competition and Lucy recites some lullabies....yes really ! To find out what it's all about, tune in from 4pm on Saturday 4th January on 103.2 Preston FM.

If you are outside the broadcast area, you can also listen live via the website at www.preston.fm and if you still miss it, we'll post the best bits on here during the week after the broadcast.

More info on featured content:  www.thepukes.co.uk  www.pendlewarpoetry.com  www.danforshaw.com  www.damagedgoods.co.uk  www.facebook.com/mauriclashcityrocker 

Parks Art Deco Cafe, Stanley Park, Blackpool - New Year 2014 Sunday Lunchtime music line up

The Parks Art Deco Cafe in Blackpool's Stanley Park have just announced their New Year Sunday Lunchtime music line up:

5th January 2014 - Sara Cheston and That Swing Thing Band
19th January 2014 - Frank Flynn Trio
26th January 2014 - Vineyard
2nd February 2014 - Sara Cheston and That Swing Thing Band
9th February 2014 - Frank Flynn Trio
16th February 2014 - Flip
23rd February 2014 - Belvadere
2nd March 2014 - Sara Cheston and That Swing Thing Band
9th March 2014 - Flip
16th March 2014 - Frank Flynn Trio
23rd March 2014 - Trident
30th March 2014 - Vineyard
6th April 2014 - Parks Art Deco Musical Showcase

Parks Art Deco Café, Stanley Park, Blackpool, Lancashire
Telephone for lunchtime table reservations 01253 395191

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Masquerade Ball Saturday, 15th February 2014 - Orton Hall, Orton Longueville, Peterborough, PE2 7BN



Organised by enterprising schoolgirl Harley for her military charities, this is definitely an unmissable event.  Tickets are £30 per person and the dress code is Black Tie and Ballgowns.   For tickets please send a message via Harley Helps the Heroes Facebook Page.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Local Football Round Up - Boxing Day 26th December 2013

In the Fylde Coast derby match, AFC Blackpool beat neighbours Squires Gate FC 2-0 in the NWCFL Premier Division.  A goal in each half secured the points, although it was a close run thing and Gate also had several chances to score.

That result sees AFC Blackpool move up to 12th position with 33 points from their 27 games, while Squires Gate remain in 19th place with 24 points from 24 games.

The next NWCFL action is on Saturday 4th January when Squires Gate entertain Bootle in a 3pm kick off, while AFC Blackpool are away at AFC Liverpool.

Also that day Blackpool Wren Rovers reserves are at home to Burnley Utd reserves in a 2pm kick. The Wren Rovres first team are away at Crookland Casuals in the West Lancashire League Premier Division.

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

New Private Hire Company in Thorney, near Peterborough

Paul's brother Gary Breeze has just set up his own private hire company in Thorney near Peterborough called, rather fittingly, Thorney Private Hire. 

To find out more about his rates and where he covers, give him call on 01733 270742 or send an email to: thorneyph@yahoo.co.uk

There's also a Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Thorney-Private-Hire/217957505045294?fref=ts

He has 10+ years experience driving UK and continental tour coaches so should certainly have no trouble getting you to your destination in his Citroen...

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Blueliner Hockey: Paul's Christmas Ice Hockey Wish


Paul has gone all nostalgic in his latest ice hockey opinion column on BluelinerHockey.com.  You can find out what he has to say by clicking here:  http://bluelinerhockey.com/my-christmas-wish/

Photo: Ice Hockey News Review magazine cover from December 1987 featuring Peterborough Pirates import Garry Unger as Santa Claus.  Original photo by Francis Page - all rights reserved.

Monday, 23 December 2013

Listen Again: "T'was The Night Before Christmas" recited and explained by Lucy on 1032. Preston FM - 21st December 2013

Here's another chance to hear Lucy recite and explain about the famous Christmas Eve poem "Twas The Night Before Christmas" taken from our Christmas Special show on 103.2 Preston FM. 

Just click on the sound file below to listen:


Listen Again: "Lens & Lines" Book Review on 103.2 Preston FM - 21st December 2013

Here's another chance to hear our review of a great book that combines photography and poetry.  "Lens & Lines" features photographs by Nicola J McKenna which re-enact historical war settings and poems by David P Neal that he wrote as his interpretation of the images.  You can find out more about the book here:    http://codgerspoet.co.uk/news.htm

To listen, just click on the sound file below:





Listen Again: "Heroes Of The Line" Book Review on 103.2 Preston FM - 21st December 2013

Here's another chance to hear our review of the book "Heroes Of The Line" by Scott Addington. It is available to buy as a download from Amazon and a % of the sales goes to the Royal British Legion.

To listen, click on the soundfile below:



To buy the book, click here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Heroes-The-Line-Scott-Addington-ebook/dp/B00EPF5W7C

Listen Again: Pendle War Poetry Prize Winning Poem on 103.2 Preston FM - 21st December 2013

Continuing in our series of poetry reading from the best entire sin this year's Pendle War Poetry Competition, here's a poem written by Ann Redmayne Stevenson from Read in Lancashire with a poem she wrote about her father's time as a POW.

To listen, click on the sound file below:






To find out more about the Pendle War Poetry Competition, go to: www.pendlewarpoetry.com  

Listen Again: Lucy Talks About WW1 Poetry On 103.2 Preston FM - 21st December 2013

Here's another chance to hear what Lucy had to say in our Christmas Special on 103.2 Preston FM on Saturday. She is talking here  about the Poem "French's Contemptible Little Army" and about Beatrix Brice Miller and her poem "To The Vanguard".

Just click on the sound file below to listen:


Ice Hockey: NIHL North Round Up - Weekend of 21/22 December 2013

Solihull Barons sensationally took over the lead at the top of the Laidler Conference (North 2) after a four point weekend

They won 7-2 away at bottom team Blackburn Eagles on Saturday night and then despatched last season's champions Nottingham Lions 7-1 at home (in photo) to move 3 points ahead of previous leaders Deeside Dragons - who didn't have a game at the weekend.

In the other Laidler Conference game of the weekend, Hull Stingrays continued their impressive run of form making it 4 wins out of 4 games with a 4-2 home win over Sheffield Senators.

In the Moralee Conference (North 1), Sutton Sting moved up into 3rd place after a 17-1 away win over bottom team Telford Titans.  They move ahead of previously 3rd place Whitley Warriors who could only manage a 6-6 draw away at 6th place Sheffield Spartans.

Second place team Billingham Stars beat Manchester Minotaurs 6-1 to move to within 2 points of leader Solway Sharks, albeit having played 2 games more.

More information:  www.eiha.co.uk   www.bluelinerhockey.com

Photo: Solihull Barons v Nottingham Lions by John Knowles

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Local Football Round Up - 21st December 2013

In our featured game of the day, Squires Gate FC drew 3-3 at home to Bacup and Rossendale United in the NWCFL Premier Division (see photo). 

With a goal straight after half-time to take a3-1 lead, it looked as if Gate were going to win easily but the visitors worked hard to pull themselves back into the game and deserved their share of the points.

Elsewhere in the Premier Division, AFC Blackpool lost 4-1 away at bottom club Wigan Robin Park. Today's results leave AFC Blackpool in 16th place in the table with 30 points from 26 games and Squires Gate in 19th place with 24 points from 23 games.

On Boxing Day AFC Blackpool are at home to Squires Gate FC in a 3pm kick off.

More information:  www.nwcfl.com   www.afcblackpool.co.uk  www.squiresgatefc.co.uk


 

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Message from Streetlife Charity, Blackpool


Streetlife would like to wish you all a Happy Christmas and a fabulous New Year.

If you come across any homeless/vulnerable young people aged 16-25, please send them to us.  Our night shelter (next to St John's) will open every night from 7pm and our day centre is open every day including Saturdays and Sundays from 1PM (except Tuesdays, Christmas Day and New Year's day),

We are giving out Christmas hampers, having a Christmas party on Friday, a Christmas meal on Monday and giving out vouchers for the Salvation Army on Christmas day.

People in the Shelter will be invited to attend midnight mass at St. John's.  We have also been given Christmas gifts to give to young people in the Shelter and extra special Christmas food.

The people of the Fylde Coast have been extremely generous and we give thanks for their support. 

If you want to keep up to date with Streetlife's work you can "like" our Facebook pagehttps://www.facebook.com/StreetlifeBlackpool It is a great way of finding out what we are up to!


Streetlife
48 Buchanan st
Blackpool
FY1 3LQ

01253 294477 / 07917 354075
jane@streetlife-blackpool.co.uk
www.streetlife-blackpool.co.uk
Day centre opens at 1pm daily (mornings by appointment)
Nightshelter next to St John's Church 7pm - 9am each night

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Winter Wonderland on Ice Friday, 20th December 2013 Marine Hall, Fleetwood 7.30 p.m.

Ice Glitz Productions Presents "Winter Wonderland on Ice" - A Christmas ice skating show for all the family.

Tickets:  £12 Adults; £10 Concessions; £8 Children
Family Ticket £35

To book tickets call 01253 887693


Marine Hall
The Esplanade
Fleetwood
Lancashire
FY7 6HF

Christmas Show With A Difference On 103.2 Preston FM - Saturday 21st December from 4pm

It's the shortest day of the year so why not join us from 4pm on Saturday 21st December for our annual Christmas Show with a difference..?

As usual we'll be playing some delightful Christmas music that you'll be unlikely to hear anywhere else this festive season, ie:
Neil Diamond
Perry Como
Frank Flynn Trio
Brian Setzer Orchestra
Kate Nash
Dan Forshaw Quartet
Glyn Bailey & The Many Splendid Things
Sarah Ellen Hughes Big Band
Bispham High School Choir
Pat Benatar
& Dean Johnson

Plus - book reviews:
"Heroes Of The Line" by Scott Addington - available as download in aidf Royal British Legion
Lens & Lines by David Neal & Nicola J McKenna

and poetry by
Ann Redmayne Stevenson
Beatrix Brice Miller
David Neal

So join us from 4pm onwards on 103.2 FM in the Preston area or listen live worldwide via the website at www.preston.fm



The Fantastic CDF Trio - Ashley Club, Thornton Cleveleys, Monday, 20th January 2014 8.30 - 11 pm


Read Paul's Latest Ice Hockey Opinion Column on Blueliner Hockey

Paul has set out his thoughts on the league standings at the half way mark of the NIHL North Laidler Conference on Blueliner Hockey.

You can read what he has to say here: http://bluelinerhockey.com/nihl-north-laidler-conference-half-term-report/

Monday, 16 December 2013

Ice Hockey: NIHL North Round Up - Weekend on 14th & 15th December 2013

In the Moralee Conference (North 1) Blackburn Hawks turned the formbook on its head to notch up a sensational 7-1 victory over 2nd place Billingham Stars (see photo, left)..

That win lifts the Hawks one place up the table into 5th, overtaking Sheffield Spartans who didn't have league game this weekend. Stars remain in second place - 6 points behind league leaders Solway Sharks who also didn't play this weekend.

Sutton Sting continued their recent run of good form by beating 3rd place Whitley Warriors.  That win sees Sting move into the top half of the table for the first time this season.  They are in 4th place - one point behind Whitley and 1 pint ahead of Hawks - with all thee having played the same number of games.

In the other Moralee Conference match of the weekend, second from bottom Manchester Minotaurs picked up a 13-4 win away at troubled bottom team Telford Titans.

In the Laidler Conference (North 2), the title race has been blown wide open by Solihull Barons' sensation 6-3 win away at league leaders Deeside Dragons.  Second placed Barons have beaten the Welsh side twice in the last 2 games and are now just 1 point behind them with a game in hand.

The other form team in Laidler at present are the Sheffield Senators who pick up two wins this weekend - 5-2 at home to Coventry Blaze on Saturday and 3-1 away at Widnes Wild on Sunday. They now move up into 6ht place in the table, leapfrogging Wild who drop into 7th.

Coventry Blaze had bad weekend all round, losing again on Sunday night - 4-5 at home to Hull Stingrays and then seeing Nottingham Lions knock them off 3rd place by virtue of their own 5-1 win over bottom team Blackburn Eagles.

Photo by John Milton www.togger.co.uk

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Local Football Round Up -Saturday 14th December 2013

In our featured game of the day, Blackpool Wren Rovers beat Fulwood Amateurs 3-0 in the West Lancashire League (see photo).

In the North West Counties League, AFC Blackpool lots 2-4 at home to Norton United while Squires Gate lost 4-0 away at Colne.

Next Saturday, Squires Gate are at home to Bacup & Rossendale United while AFC Blackpool are away at Wigan Robin Park - both 3pm kick offs.

Blackpool Wren Rovers are away at Fleetwood Hesketh in Southport in a 2pm kick off.


Friday, 13 December 2013

Listen Again: Stanley Kaye's Centenary Poppy Campaign on 103.2 Preston FM


Stanley Kaye, who lives in the east of England, had the idea of sewing poppy seeds for remembrance in order to commemorate all who were involved in the First World War.

We think this is a great idea and fairly easy to do - all you need is a packet of poppy seeds - so why not join in?  You can find out more by requesting to join Stanley's Facebook Group "Remembering World War One in 2014 one hundred years" - this is a closed Group for people who want to remember and commemorate all who sacrificed so much during the First World War with honour and dignity.


According to Stanle's Facebook Group member Bob Ecclestone, poppy seeds actually need to be sown in colder weather to do well - they don't need covering up either - just put a few down on raked soil.   Our Gardeners' Almanac suggests that the best days for planting flowers this month are next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday - 17th, 18th and 19th December 2013 so eat, drink and be sure to plant poppy seeds…


Stanley Kaye and his amazing Facebook Group were mentioned on our Best Kept Secrets Radio Show on 103.2 Preston FM last weekend.  Listen again by clicking on the link below:



Listen Again: Pendle War Poetry Competition on 103.2 Preston FM

Some of the Winners of Pendle War Poetry Competition 2013 were given a mention on our Best Kept Secrets Radio Show on 103.2 Preston FM last weekend.  Listen again by clicking on the link below.

The 2014 Competition is now accepting entries and there are several categories.   There is also a photographic competition to find a photograph for next year's anthology of the best poems selected by the judging panel.

Find out more by going to www.pendlewarpoetry.com

The photograph on the 2013 anthology (left) is by Gareth Williams and is of the WW1 War Memorial at Clitheroe Castle, Clitheroe, Lancashire - with Pendle Hill in the background.

Listen Again: Lucy Talking About May Sinclair on 103.2 Preston FM

Arguably one of the most important British women writers of the early twentieth century, May Sinclair was mentioned on our Best Kept Secrets Radio Show on 103.2 Preston FM last weekend.  Listen again by clicking on the link at the end of this report.

Since Lucy began researching May Sinclair's life and works for her Exhibition of Female Poets of the First World War that began in November 2012 at the Wilfred Owen Story, 34 Argyle Street, Birkenhead, Wirral, CH41 6AE, a May Sinclair Society has been set up.   Rebecca and Claire, who run the Society have been in touch with an up-date of Society news 

The May Sinclair Society website now features two new articles: 'May Sinclair and Psychology', and 'May Sinclair's Impressions of War'.
Leslie de Bont has written a fascinating account of Sinclair's involvement with the Medico-Psychological Clinic, her psychological writings, and the influence this had on her fiction. You can view this article here - http://maysinclairsociety.com/may-sinclair-and-psychology/
Charlotte Jones's article, 'May Sinclair's Impressions of War', is a masterly contextual reading of A Journal of Impressions in Belgium, narrative authority, and Impressionism in wartime. You can read this here - http://maysinclairsociety.com/may-sinclairs-impressions-of-war/
If anyone would like to contribute an article please do get in touch.

A reminder, too, of the call for papers for next year's Symposium -http://maysinclairsociety.com/2013/11/07/may-sinclair-society-introductory-symposium-call-for-papers/     The deadline for abstracts is 31st March 2014.


Thursday, 12 December 2013

Listen Again: Lancashire Limerick Competition on 103.2 Preston FM

If you weren't able to tune in to our Best Kept Secrets show on 103.2 Preston FM last Saturday afternoon, you'll have missed us talking about the Lancashire International Limerick Competition.  We read out the two winning Limericks from this year's contest and told you how to go about entering next year's. 

But FEAR NOT, you can "listen again" right now by clicking on the sound file below



You can hear more of the fascinating things that we talked about on the show here:
www.soundcloud.com/best-kept-secrets

AND
You can find out more about how to enter the Lancashire Limerick Competition here: http://www.pendlewarpoetry.com/p/the-competition-is-free-to-enter-and-is.html




Rare Christmas Treat for those who live near London - Richard Shelton at Ronnie's Bar, Frith St. W1D, 23rd December 2013


Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Great Christmas Present Idea - "Ice Hockey Review" Book

What DO you buy for the NIHL ice hockey player or fan who already has everything?

Why not get them a copy of this year’s “Ice Hockey Review” -  the ONLY book that covers all the teams that played in NIHL North Divisions 1 & 2 for the 2012/13 season...?
 
It has full player statistics, team photos and action shots covering all teams in North 1 and North 2, ie
Division 1 North: Solway Sharks, Billingham Stars, Whitley Warriors, Sutton Sting, Telford Titans, Trafford Metros, Blackburn Hawks, Coventry ENL Blaze, Sheffield Spartans
Division 2 North: Nottingham Lions, Deeside Dragons, Solihull Barons, Blackburn Eagles, Fylde Flyers, Hull ENL Stingrays, and Sheffield Senators
- with season overviews and also details of the Northern Cup, North 1 Playoffs and the Promotion Play Offs.
There are also the Player of the Year and Coach of the Year awards and details of the North 1 All Star Teams and some great interviews with Solway Sharks Coach Martin Grubb, Deeside Dragons’ Shaun Kippin and GB international Ben O’Connor
If it’s the “good old days” of the Heineken British League that you hanker after, there’s an in depth interview with Solihull Barons’ Phil Lee who looks back at his 30-plus years at the top of the British game, talking about his early days at Billingham, his move to Solihull, playing at the Sheffield Arena for the Sheffield Steelers and representing his country.
Canadian import Bruce Sims – one of the famous Sims twins who terrorised defences in the early 1980s – made an emotional return to Blackpool this year after 30 years away and talks about his time with Blackpool Seagulls and Southampton Vikings  and there is also a piece about the Liverpool Leopards Legends match against a Deeside Dragons Legends team as well.
Special offers available for bulk purchases for club fundraising .

 
 

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Read Pauls' Latest Opinion Article on Blueliner Hockey

It's approaching the half way point in the NIHL North Ice Hockey league season so Paul has penned a few thoughts about the campaign so far in his regular opinion column for Blueliner Hockey.

You can find out what he has to say - and also see his predictions for the  Moralee Conference (North 1) play offs here:   http://bluelinerhockey.com/nihl-north-time-for-a-half-term-report/

Monday, 9 December 2013

NIHL North Ice Hockey Round Up : Weekend of 7th & 8th December 2013

Billingham Stars took 4 points from their two leagues games over the weekend to close the gap at the top of the Moralee Conference.

They won 4-3 away at Manchester Minotaurs on Saturday evening and then beat Sheffield Spartans 3-2 at home on Sunday night.

In the other Moralee game of the weekend, Whitley Warriors came back from 3-0 down after 2 periods to beat Blackburn Hawks 4-3 and stay in 3rd place.

In the big game in the Laidler Conference (N2) on Sunday, Coventry Blaze picked up a sensational w4-6 win away at Nottingham Lions. That win sees the Blaze move up into 3rd place - just one point behind 2nd placed Solihull Barons and the Lions drop down into 4th.

In the other Laidler game, second bottom Sheffield Senators won 3-0 away at bottom club Blackburn Eagles. They now have 6 points - just one behind 6th placed Widnes Wild.

More info: www.eiha.co.uk   www.bluelinerhockey.com 

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Local Football Round Up - 7th December 2013

In our featured game of the day (in photo), Blackpool Wren Rovers Reserves beat Eagley Reserves 6-0 to stay top of the West Lancashire Reserves League Division 1. They lead 2nd placed Charnock Richard Reserves by 1 point.

The Wren Rovers 1st team won 4-0 away at Eagley to maintain their 2nd place in the West Lancashire League Premier Division.  Wrens have 36 points from their 16 games so far - 11 points behind leaders Charnock Richard but with two games in hand.

Next Saturday Wren Rovers 1st team are at home to Fulwood Amateurs in a 2pm kick off.

In the North West Counties League Premier Division, Squires Gate lost 0-1 at home to Glossop North End while AFC Blackpool lost 4-0 away at Runcorn Linnets.

Next Saturday AFC Blackpool are at home to Norton United in the league while Squires Gate are away to Colne.

Team websites: www.afcblackpool.co.uk   www.squiresgatefc.co.uk  www.blackpoolrovers.co.uk 

League websites: www.nwcfl.com  http://westlancashireleague.pitchero.com/

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Best Kept Secrets Show on 103.2 Preston FM - Today at 4pm

There's something for everybody today in our "Best Kept Secrets with Paul & Lucy" radio show on 103.2 Preston FM from 4pm.

We will be talking to Panto stars Tom Lister and Hayley Kay about their roles in this year's Peter Pan show at the Blackpool Theatre

Lucy talks about World War 1 writer and poet May Sinclair and reads some of her poems

We also bring you some of the best entries from the 2013 Pendle War Poetry Competition and Lancashire Limerick competition.

There's a "double play" from Glyn Bailey & The Many Splendid Things album "Happiness" and new releases from Texas, Madness and  The Dualers.

So join us from 4pm onwards on 103.2 FM in the Preston area or listen live worldwide via the website at www.preston.fm

Friday, 6 December 2013

Review: Peter Pan at Blackpool Grand Theatre -

Excellent show - do go and see it!

Peter Pan was performed for the first time in 1904 but the play really is as ageless as it's title figure.
This is a really slick, fast-paced production with fantastic performances from every single member of the cast - starting with the first, very convincing, scene of Edwardian London with some beautiful dancing (choreography by Katie Hill) - right up to the emotional finish.

If you're looking for that Christmas 'feel good factor' this is the show for you.  It warms the cockles of your heart and keeps you happy even if you do have to go home in the cold afterwards.

The show, magnificently directed by Simon Rawlings, has been perfectly cast with Jordan Lee Davies a convincing Peter Pan the boy who would not grow up, Steve Royle as Smee one of Captain Hook's Pirates, Tom Lister, who dominated the stage with a superb performance as a scary Captain Hook, effortlessly becoming a debonair Mr Darling and Radio Wave's Hayley Kay as a warm, loving Mrs Darling and a gorgeous mermaid.   Great performances too from Samantha Gifford as Wendy, Lucy Johnson as a mischievous Tinker Bell and Nicola Avino as Liza the Darling's maid/Tiger Lilly.

The jokes (written by Andrew Ryan with some help from Steve Royle) are hilarious - you need your wits about you in case you miss some of the quips and double entendres - the poster is right when it says "A Panto awash with swash and buckle!"  And I love the repartees that are surely different every night as the cast interact with the audience.

There are also some great songs and a super band in the orchestra pit with Jon Chamberlain the show's  Musical Director on keyboards, Hannah Mitchell on Bass and Louis-Rae Bradshaw on drums/percussion. It was nice to hear Hayley sing - not only has she a lovely speaking voice as all her Radio Wave fans will know, but she also has a delightful singing voice as well.

There's a scene of very clever tumbling from The 'Nitwits', who formed Hook's Pirate Crew of the "Jolly Roger" and some amazing juggling from Steve Royle.  The dancers were from The Barbara Jackson Theatre Arts Centre and they didn't put a foot wrong in some quite complicated routines.   There was Nana the Dog, a rather realistic crocodile and the costumes were brilliant.  The bumper programme is also a treat - a real collector's item - full of information about the original play and details of the cast AND also pages of puzzles, games and a colouring page.

Something for everyone from young to old as befits a Christmas Panto and of course the setting itself is just magic - The Grand Theatre having been saved from extinction by a group of hard-working conservationists, many of whom still help out as Friends of the Grand Theatre during performances, selling programmes, service tea, coffee and mince pies in the cafe and clearing up afterwards.

This was the first time I had seen a performance of "Peter Pan" since reading "Peter Pan's XI The Extraordinary Story of J.M. Barrie's Cricket Team" (by Kevin Telfer, Sceptre, London, 2010) as part of my research for WW1 Commemorative Exhibitions.   It was very clear from watching last night's play that Barrie was Peter Pan. As Telfer  says: "Barrie himself later speculated that perhaps he was the real-life embodiment of Peter Pan, the boy who would not grow up, as much as any real boy ..." (p. 17).  I feel certain that Barrie would love the production currently at Blackpool's Grand Theatre.

I could not help thinking how poignant to think that George Llewelyn Davies - one of the boys Barrie looked after following the death of their parents and for whom he devised the sort of adventures embodied in his play "Peter Pan" - was killed on The Western Front in World War One on 15th March 1915 and his brother, Peter who took part in the Battle of the Somme, was invalided home suffering from shell-shock, returned to the front and was awarded a Military Cross (MC).

During WW1, Barrie worked at the British Government's Propaganda Bureau with along with writers Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, E.V. Lucas, Thomas Hardy, G.K. Chesterton, H.G. Wells and John Buchan - Conan Doyle and Lucas having been members of Barrie's recreational Cricket Team.

Our thanks to everyone for a wonderful evening's entertainment from the production team to the cast through to the backroom boys and girls, without whom no show would be complete.

Peter Pan is at The Grand Theatre in Blackpool and runs until 5th January 2014

You can find out more about the show and how to book tickets here:

http://www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk/shows/performance/peter-pan

And hear our interviews with the cast members here:

Tom Lister: http://www.bestkeptsecrets.biz/2013/08/peter-pan-pantomime-launch-exclusive_2973.html

Hayley Kay: http://www.bestkeptsecrets.biz/2013/08/peter-pan-pantomime-launch-exclusive.html

Monday, 2 December 2013

Ice Hockey: NIHL North Round Up - Weekend of 30th Nov / 1st Dec 2013

Whitley Warriors moved up into 3rd place of the NIHL North Moralee Conference after a 7-5 win over Sheffield Spartans on Sunday.  Sutton Sting were the other big winners as their 5-1 win over Blackburn Hawks moved them up into 5th place - their highest position of the season so far - while dumping Hawks down into 7th.

League leaders Solway Sharks picked up another 2 points on Saturday evening at home to bottom club Telford Titans(in photo) in a rather bizarre encounter which is discussed in more detail in my opinion piece here: http://bluelinerhockey.com/north-south-divide-a-titan-ic-effort-by-all-concerned/

Sharks now lead the table by 8 points from second place Billingham Stars who did not have a league game this weekend and have two games in hand.

In the Laidler Conference, league leaders Deeside Dragons were beaten for just the second time in the league all season.  The 5-2 defeat away at Solihull Barons sees their lead at the top cut to 5 points.  Barons moved up into second place and have a game in hand.

In the other games of the weekend, Coventry Blaze beat Blackburn Eagles 10-3 and Hull Stingrays won away at Widnes Wild 2-5, thus keeping all bottom 5 teams in the same positions they were before the weekend. 

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Local Football Round Up - Saturday 30th November

In our thrilling match of the day, Blackpool Wren Rovers overcame a half time deficit to beat Euxton Villa 2-1 in the Premier Division of the West Lancashire League (in photo above).

In the North West Counties League Premier Division, AFC Blackpool won 2-1 away at Runcorn Town while Squires Gate FC lost 5-1 away at Silsden

AFC Blackpool are at home to Bacup & Rossendale Borough on Tuesday evening - 7.45pm kick off ands then away at Runcorn Linnets on Saturday.

Squires Gate FC are at home on Saturday to Glossop North End in a 3pm kick off.

Blackpool Wren Rovers are away at Eagley next Saturday and their reserves team take on Eagley reserves at home in a 2pm kick off.

Team websites: www.afcblackpool.co.uk   www.squiresgatefc.co.uk  www.blackpoolrovers.co.uk  League websites: www.nwcfl.com  http://westlancashireleague.pitchero.com/

Monday, 25 November 2013

Review: Agatha Christie's "The Mousetrap" UK Tour at Blackpool Grand Theatre

It is a real treat to be able to see the Mousetrap on it's first ever UK tour after 60 years continuous running in London's West End.

If you like murder mysteries and Agatha Christie stories, then you won't be disappointed.

It's a classic Christie plot: a country house cut off by snow, lots of strange guests and, of course, a murder to solve.

All the cast were fantastic but it was especially nice to see Karl Howman - who most people ill best remember for his "Jack-the-lad" characters on TV - playing the mysterious Mr Paravicini.

The Mousetrap runs at the Blackpool Grand Theatre until Saturday - do try and see it!
Monday 25 to Saturday 30 November Tickets: From £15.50, Concessions Available.
Call Box Office on 01253 74 33 39 or visit www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk

A full list of tour dates can be seen here: http://mousetrapontour.com/

NIHL Ice Hockey Round Up - weekend of 23rd and 24th November 2013

Blackburn Hawks moved up into 4th place in the NIHL Moralee Conference (North 1) after a 4-2 home win over 2nd place Billingham Stars (photo by John Milton).  Whitley Warriors drop down into 5th after a 5-1 defeat away at league leaders Solway Sharks on Saturday evening.

Sharks lead the table with 22 points from 13 games while Stars are second with 16 points form 12 games.  Then there is a chasing pack of 4 teams - Blackburn, Whitley, Sheffield Spartans and Sutton Sting - any of whom are all just a win away from third sport.

Sutton picked up a  2-4 away win over Manchester Minotaurs to overtake them in the table.  Telford Titans remain bottom with no points from their 12 games so far this season.

In the Laidler Conference (North 2) league leaders Deeside Dragons beat 2nd placed Nottingham Lions 2-1 and extended their lead ta the top to  5 points.

In Sunday's other game, resurgent Solihull Barons shut out Widnes Wild 14-0 (photo by Keith Davies) and join Nottingham on 18 points but with a game in hand.

On Saturday evening, Hull Stingrays won 2-4 away at Sheffield Senators and now sit 5th in the table.

More info:  www.blackburnhawks.com   www.eiha.co.uk   www.bluelinerhockey.com

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Local Football Round Up

An understrength AFC Blackpool missing 6 first team players were beaten 2-6 by second bottom Winsford United in the NWCFL Premier Division (in photo). Squires Gate FC lost 0-1 at home to Ashton Athletic. 

AFC Blackpool are away next Saturday where they face Runcorn Town in the Premier Division.  Squires Gate are also away in league action at Silsden.

On a more positive note, Blackpool Wren Rovers beat Coppull 2-0 in the first round of the West Lancashire League's Richardson Cup. Next Saturday, the Wrens are at home to Euxton Villa in a 2pm kick off.

Team websites: www.afcblackpool.co.uk   www.squiresgatefc.co.uk  www.blackpoolrovers.co.uk  League websites: www.nwcfl.com  http://westlancashireleague.pitchero.com/

Thursday, 21 November 2013

North / South Divide - Paul's NIHL Column On Blueliner Hockey

Paul has been busy making his opinions known again on a range of ice hockey topics on the special hockey news site Blueliner Hockey. com.

This time around, he is looking at the new ice rink that is about to open at Streatham and making suggestions to bring hockey to new parts of the country.

To see that story, click here: http://bluelinerhockey.com/north-south-divide-3-what-a-refreshing-change/

He also reflects on Blackburn Eagles' first league win of the season here: http://bluelinerhockey.com/north-south-divide-4-blackburn-eagles-swoop-to-victory/

Photo:  Paul on the Blueline ...geddit..?

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

"Seri-Graff 3" New Exhibition by Robin Ross at Sides Art & Frames in Lytham until 31st December

I first met Robin Ross in 1996 and, at the time , he was much more confident than I was that I might make a good radio presenter. It so happens that he was absolutely right and I have been doing it on and off ever since and that has, in turn, led to other things as well.  Once of those other things is our  "Best Kept Secrets" website which now gives use the chance to promote Robin's latest Art exhibition.

Seri-Graff 3 by Robin Ross is a brand new solo limited print show with no more than 6 in each run

Seri-Graff 3 can be viewed Monday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm at
Sides Art & Frames
1 Tudor Buildings, South Westby Street
Lytham St Annes
FY8 5JE

Monday, 18 November 2013

Sunday, 15th December 2013 1 pm - 4.30 p.m. at Fort Perch Rock, New Brighton, Wirral - The Merseybeat Story "A Christmas Cracker"


The Fun Factory - Charity to help the children of disabled parents

We met an amazing family today who are proof that every cloud has a silver lining.  They set up the charity The Fun Factory to help children of disabled parents have some fun times - check out their amazing website:   http://thefunfoundation.co.uk and join their Facebook Page too.


Sunday, 8th December 2013 at The Pheasantry, PizzaExpress, 152 Kings Road Chelsea, LONDON SW3 4UT


Ice Hockey: NIHL North Round Up For The Weekend Of 16th & 17th November 2013

After a fascinating weekend of ice hockey in both the Moralee (North 1) and Laidler (North 2) Conferences, things are even less clear cut than they were before!

Solway pulled ahead at the top of the Moralee Conference on Saturday night with a 6-4 win over Blackburn Hawks while Sheffield Spartans edged Sutton Sting 3-2 to move into 3rd place.  However, second bottom Sting then sensationally beat Solway 6-3 on Sunday night while Billingham stars came from behind to snatch a winner with 4 second to play in their North East derby with Whitley Warriors to climb back into second place.

In the other Moralee match on Sunday, Manchester Minotaurs won 13-3 away at bottom team Telford Titans.

In the Laidler Conference, Blackburn Eagles picked up their first points of the season with a 6-4 win over Widnes Wild on Saturday.

The big game on Sunday night saw Deeside Dragons fight back from 2-6 down to beat Coventry Blaze 7-6 and maintain their lead at the top of the table with other results meaning that Blaze dropped down to 4th..

Nottingham Lions' 4 point weekend with wins at Sheffield Senators (2-7) and at home against Hull Stingrays (5-2) moved them into 2nd place while Solihull Barons scored 23 goals in their two away wins - at Hull (1-10) and Widnes  (2-13) to leapfrog Blaze into 3rd.

More information:  www.eiha.co.uk  www.blackburnhawks.com www.bluelinerhockey.com

Photo: Solway Sharks v Blackburn Hawks by John Milton www.togger.co.uk

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Cheshire Dogs' Home, Warrington - Christmas Fair - Sunday, 1st December 2013 - 11 am - 4 pm


Local Football Round Up - 16th November 2013

AFC Blackpool slumped to a dispiriting 0-4 defeat at home to West Didsbury & Chorlton in the NWCFL Premier Division.  The game was actually closer than the result suggests and the home side felt aggrieved at some of the officiating.

AFC Blackpool are at home against next Saturday when they entertain Winsford in a league encounter.  Squires Gate FC are also at home- against Ashton Athletic.

In the Quarter Final of the Lancashire Shield, Blackpool Wren Rovers beat Garstang on penalties after drawing 1-1 after extra time.  Next Saturday Wren Rovers are at home to Coppull in the 1st Round of the Richardson Cup - 2pm kick off.

More information:  www.afcblackpool.co.uk , www.squiresgatefc.co.uk  www.nwcfl.com  www.blackpoolrovers.co.uk

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Please vote for The Devil's Porridge WW1 Munitions Factory Museum in The People's Millions on 26th November 2013


The Devil's Porridge Museum, which commemorates the state of the art WW1munitions factory in Gretna needs our help.  They have been short-listed for the People's Millions and will go head-to-head with another good cause on Border TV. Eastriggs Primary School have combined forces with their volunteers to make a short film to be broadcast on 26thNovember.

They need as many votes as possible to win £50,000 towards our new inter-active museum which is set to open next year. It will ensure that the amazing story of how Eastriggs and Gretna were built in WW1 for the greatest munitions factory of the time, is told to future generations. It will also be a lasting commemoration to those who died in both world wars.

You can phone in your support from 9.00am to midnight on Tuesday 26th of November. The number will be available on the People's Millions website from early morning and on Border TV News at 600pm where supporting films will be aired.

Please, please vote (10p) and vote often. Thank you.

Photo from The Devil's Porridge showing why Sir Arthur Conan Doyle coined the phrase.  Munitions factories were vital to the cause of winning the war.  The soldiers said that those who worked in munitions factories faced as much danger as those who were fighting.   Many munitions workers were killed or injured.
 
You can also Like their Facebook page here https://www.facebook.com/devilsporridge?fref=ts

The Devil's Porridge Museum, Daleside, Butterdales Road, Eastriggs, DG12 6TQ.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Poetry Reading Event At Fleetwood Library - 29th November 2013

Poetry enthusiasts from up and down the Fylde coast are invited to a special poetry reading event at Fleetwood Library on Friday 29th November from 11am to 1pm.
 
Local poet and author Lucy London (in photo) will lead the event and participants will have the opportunity to: 
 
Discuss the WW1 Exhibition
Talk about their own favourite poets
Read out their own poems
Admission to the event is free and tea and biscuits will be served.
 
For more information, you can email Lucy directly at  info@femalewarpoets.com

Also, why not have a look at her research website at www.femalewarpoets.blogspot.co.uk 
 
 

Animal Aid Christmas Fayre Sunday 8th December 2013 Kensington Town Hall, London


Female Poets Of The First World War Exhibition In Fleetwood - Dates Extended!

The highly popular exhibition at Fleetwood Library has been extended and will now run until the end of November.

This exhibition by Lucy London includes biographical details and examples of work from women who wrote poetry during the Great War including Fleetwood teacher Margaret Rowntree.
 
The are also details of "Inspirational Women of World War 1" and the "Fascinating Facts Of The Great War" section covers the time that war poet Wilfred Owen spent in Fleetwood, the role played by Fleetwood's trawler fleet in the conflict and much more besides. 
 
Fleetwood Library can be found on North Albert Street, Fleetwood FY7 6AJ
Opening Times are: Monday 9am to 5pm, Tuesday 9am to 7pm, Wednesday 9am to 12.30, Thursday 9am to 7pm, Friday 9am to 5pm, Saturday 9am to 4pm.
 
To find out more about Lucy's project, visit her website at www.femalewarpoets.blogspot.co.uk
 

The Mousetrap - First Ever UK Tour Comes to Blackpool Grand Theatre 25th to 30th November 2013

For 60 years, Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap has been the world’s longest running stage production. The first ever tour of the record-breaking production opened on 11 September 2012 in Canterbury and will be coming to the Grand Theatre Blackpool from Monday 25 to Saturday 30 November.
The scene is set when a group of people gathered in a country house cut off by the snow discover, to their horror, that there is a murderer in their midst. Who can it be?
One by one the suspicious characters reveal their sordid pasts until at the last, nerve-shredding moment the identity and the motive are finally revealed.
In her own inimitable style, Dame Agatha Christie has created an atmosphere of shuddering suspense and a brilliantly intricate plot where murder lurks around every corner.
The cast includes returning company member Karl Howman (Brush Strokes) as Mr Paravicini alongside: Joanna Croll (Sirens, Doctors) as Mollie Ralston, Ellie Jacob (DCI Banks, Misfits) as Miss Casewell, Christopher Gilling (ITV’s Law and Order, BBC1’s Silk) as Major Metcalf, Anne Kavanagh (Chichester Festival Theatre’s Goodnight Mr Tom, August: Osage County at the National Theatre) as Mrs Boyle, Henry Luxemburg (Hollyoaks, Hotel Babylon) as Giles Ralston, Ryan Saunders (Sweet Bird of Youth at the Old Vic, The History Boys UK tour) as Christopher Wren and Jonathan Woolf (Travelling Light at the National Theatre) as Sgt Trotter.
Mousetrap Productions has licensed 60 productions of The Mousetrap world-wide to mark the 60th year. During this period the world’s longest running show will be seen in every continent, with professional productions scheduled for Australia, China, Korea, Turkey, South Africa, Russia, Czech Republic, Hungary, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Poland, Spain, Scandinavia, Venezuela, and across the United States and Canada.
Monday 25 to Saturday 30 November Tickets: From £15.50, Concessions Available.
Call Box Office on 01253 74 33 39 or visit www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk

A full list of tour dates can be seen here: http://mousetrapontour.com/

Book Now For "Broken" by Motionhouse at Blackpool Grand Theatre - 19th November 2013

Broken erupts on the stage with dancers displaying stunning athleticism combined with incredible digital imagery and original music in a uniquely visual and adrenaline-fuelled spectacle. This trademark Motionhouse production considers the precarious relationship we have with the earth and lures the audience into a world of shifting perspectives.
Broken builds on the success of the company’s major international hit, Scattered, based on the elemental theme of water, which Motionhouse performed on the Grand Theatre’s Stage in 2009.
Broken is a co-commisioned piece by the Grand Theatre Blackpool, Warwick Arts Centre, Watford Palace Theatre and Swindon dance.
Created by artistic director Kevin Finnan, Broken is currently embarking upon a major UK tour following its premiere at Warwick Arts Centre in October 2013 and will be performing at Blackpool’s Grand Theatre on Tuesday 19 November.
This also follows a monumental year for the company, which saw Kevin Finnan take the role of Choreographer and Movement Director for the 2012 Paralympics Games Opening Ceremony.
Tickets £11.50 Full, £8.50 Concession, £7.00 Schools
 Call Box Office on 01253 74 33 39 or visit www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk