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Saturday, 31 January 2015

Local Football Round Up - 31st January 2015

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

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

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

Monday, 26 January 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Local Football Round Up - 24th January

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

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

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

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



Wednesday, 21 January 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More information can be found   HERE 

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Local Football Round Up - 17th January

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Local Football Round Up - 3rd January

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

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