Saturday, 30 August 2014

Local Football Round Up - 30th August 2014

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

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

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

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

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

More info:

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Local Football Round Up - 23rd August 2014

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

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

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

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

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

More information: 

Sunday, 17 August 2014

London Raiders Ice Hockey Team Need Financial Support

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

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

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

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

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Review: "Bullets and Daffodils" The Wilfred Owen Story

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

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

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

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

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

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

Miss Blackpool Competition 2014 - Final Result

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

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

More info from

Photo by Charlotte Dawson

Friday, 15 August 2014

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

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

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

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

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

Theatre Review: "An Evening Of Dirty Dancing" at the Floral Pavilion, New Brighton

We were very keen to see this show as we had seen it last summer in Blackpool and loved it and wanted to see how it had developed since then.  We were not disappointed as it was a fabulous evening of music and dance and the packed house obviously enjoyed it as well.

All your favourite songs from Dirty Dancing are there - from “Big Girls Don’t Cry” all the way through to “I’ve Had The Time of My Life” with lots and lots in between.  In fact there are as quite a few songs that don’t actually appear in the film at all but they fit in so well and give the whole cast a chance to sing that it doesn’t really matter that much and just adds to the feelgood factor of the show.

After all, “Hungry Eyes”, “She’s Like The Wind” and “Time Of My Life” weren’t written in the 60s but they were used to great effect in the film. “Hungry Eyes” is one of my favourite songs in the show and I was interested to see what they had done with the choreography as I had dared to make a (helpful) comment after last year’s show and was pleasantly surprised to hear from the show’s producers that they would take it on board.  I have to say that the dance routine to “Hungry Eyes” this time was even slicker and more powerful and was very well received by the delighted audience.

I ought to point out here that this is not the stage musical of Dirty Dancing, but a separate production featuring the songs from the film and others from that era.  It has brand new dance routines and is performed by an highly attractive and energetic group of male and female performers.

In a lot of ways, this works better as a stage spectacle as you don’t have to worry about following dialogue - and plot  - and working out who is who… this show lets the songs and dance moves do “all the talking”…

There are some great opportunities for audience participation in this show as well. In the first half we were show how to do some fun cha cha moves to “Wipeout” (a bit fast for me but great fun…) and in the second half it was a few increasingly “dirty” moves the “Lambada”.

By the end it seemed as if the whole of the audience were up on their feet dancing away to the music   and a good time was certainly had by all.

"An Evening Of Dirty Dancing" is touring right across the country and you can find all the tour dates HERE

Please note this production is not affiliated with Dirty Dancing: The Classic Story On Stage in the West End or on tour in the UK and worldwide

To find out what else is coming to the Floral Pavilion in New Brighton, check out their website HERE



Sunday, 10 August 2014

WW1 commemorative show "Bullets and Daffodils" brings Wilfred Owen back to New Brighton, Wirral - Floral Pavilion, Saturday, 16th August 2014

'BULLETS AND DAFFODILS' the musical drama about the life and work of the iconic WW1 soldier poet who is perhaps the best known and loved of all the WW1 poets will bring Wilfred back to his childhood haunt of New Brighton on the Wirral.  If you've not been to New Brighton recently - or if you've never been - it is well worth a look as it has recently undergone extensive refurbishment and has a lot to offer plus an amazing view over the Rivery Mersey and out to the Irish Sea.  Lots of restaurants and a super ice cream parlour - Caffe Cream - that serves gorgeous ice cream.

Merseyside legends Billy Butler and Dean Sullivan will head the cast of the biggest performance yet of Bullets And Daffodils at New Brighton's Floral Pavilion on Saturday, 16th August 2014.

The Radio Merseyside veteran will narrate the show along with the former Brooksidestar, who will also direct the musical that follows the life of war poet Wilfred Owenfrom his school days in Birkenhead to his tragic death in the trenches.

This WW1 Centenary performance will take place 100 years to the month that Britain entered the War. The cast will be joined by a 100-strong community choir with each voice commemorating every year since 1914.
“The Floral Pavilion show will also be poignant in another way,” explains the writer Dean Johnson,who is also curator of The Wilfred Owen Story Museum in Birkenhead's Argyle Strteet:  New Brighton was a favourite haunt of Wilfred and his family. He learnt to swim and horse ride there, so performing so close to where he actually played will be very moving.” 

Bullets and Daffodils was premiered four years ago at Birkenhead Central Library, and has gone on to enjoy runs in London's West End, and has also been the subject of a BBC film.
Referring to the very special Floral Pavilion performance, Dean concludes, “I am very proud to be able to work with Billy Butler, he is a true legend and the 'voice' of Merseyside. Dean Sullivan directed our first shows and it’s wonderful that he is back on board for this massive performance. Taking the show around the UK has been amazing, but we always set our hearts on a big Wirral venue, and it’s an honour to be appearing at the Floral Pavilion in this WW1 Centenary year.” 

For further information, please contact Dean Johnson
The Wilfred Owen Story
34 Argyle Street
CH41 6AE 

Photo:  Miss Radio Wave 2014 and Miss Blackpool Finalist 2014 Emily Baldwin at the launch of an exhibition of WW1 poets at Blackpool Central Library on 4th August 2014.   What has that to do with "Bullets and Daffodils"? Researching women who wrote poetry was Dean Johnson's idea - he asked Lucy to come up with an exhibition of female poets of the First World War for an exhibition at his museum in Birkenhead in November 2012.  The project has grown form there.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Exclusive Interview With Miss Radio Wave 2014 Emily Baldwin

We had a great chat with the newly crowned Miss Radio Wave Emily Baldwin today while she was at Blackpool Central Library for the opening of a special exhibition to commemorate the centenary of the start of the First World War.

You can hear what she had to say by clicking on the soundfile below:

There are more great photos from our trip to the library with Emily on our Facebook page HERE

Interactive Event, Floral Pavilion, New Brighton, Wirral, 9 and 10 August 2014, 2 -- 4 pm

The Floral Pavilion in New Brighton will be the venue for an interactive exhibition presented by The Wilfred Owen Story in partnership with The Wirral Autistic Society.

Entitled Front Line At The Floral, it will comprise artwork and an animated film inspired by Wilfred Owen, produced by members of the Autistic Society, whilst The Wilfred Owen Story will present a complete history of the war poet and his time in Birkenhead.

Also on display will be a scale model of a Somme trench scene, and related World War I memorabilia. There will be colouring sheets for children, talks and poetry readings.

The public will also have the chance to meet members of the Bullets And Daffodils production which will be presented at the Floral Pavilion on Saturday, 16th August 2014.

Front Line At The Floral takes place on Saturday 9th August and Sunday 10th August between 2 pm and 4 pm

Admission free.

The Floral Pavilion

Marine Promenade, New Brighton, Wirral, Merseyside CH45 2JS
Tel.:  0151 666 0000

Cafe and pre-performance dining also available.

For further information about the event or "Bullets and Daffodils" please contact Dean Johnson
The Wilfred Owen Story
34 Argyle Street
CH41 6AE

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Exhibition Female Poets Inspirational Women and Fascinating Facts of the First World War, Blackpool Library, August 2014

The picture shows the setting up of the exhibition of Female Poets, Inspirational Women and Fascinating Facts that is to be held in Blackpool Central Library from 4th August 2013.   Clancy and her team are doing a fantastic job setting up the panels.  Among the poets featured are WILFRED OWEN, the WW1 soldier poet, who visited Blackpool while in Fleetwood to purchase a Trench Coat before going to the Front, and Maria Pawlikowska-Jasnorzewska, a WW1 Polish woman poet who lived in Blackpool during WW2.

On Monday, 4th August 2014 under the title "Pack up Your Troubles" Blackpool Central Library are holding a launch event from 1 pm, featuring a talk, refreshments and poetry readings.  £1 per person - payable on arrival.

The lyrics to the famous World War 1 marching song "Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag and smile, smile, smile", were written by Welsh songwriter George Henry Powell (1880 - 1951). George used the pen-name George Asaf for this song and his words were set to music written by his brother, Felix Powell (1878 - 1942).  Felix and George Powell were from St. Asaph, Denbighshire in North Wales.  

The brothers entered their song into a competition held during the First World War to find the best 'morale-building' song for WW1. Their song won first prize with the commendation "perhaps the most optimistic song ever written.   Felix was a Staff Sergeant during WW1 and George was a conscientious objector.

Blackpool Central Library,
Queen St, Blackpool, 

Friday, 1 August 2014

Book Now for "An Evening Of Dirty Dancing - The Tribute Show" at New Brighton Floral Pavilion - 15th August

An Evening of Dirty Dancing: The Tribute Show is the original tribute to the greatest movie soundtrack of all time. Now in it’s 4th smash hit year, it’s the ultimate celebration of the iconic music from the classic movie.

Dirty Dancing boasts a multi award-winning soundtrack and all the hits are here, superbly performed in this fast moving, slickly choreographed treat. Songs include: Big Girls Don’t Cry, Hey Baby, Wipeout, Do You Love Me, Hungry Eyes and the Oscar-winning (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life.

This sexy song and dance spectacular is an interactive roller coaster, featuring a dynamic cast of incredible performers sure to show you the time of your life!

More info and ticket bookings: HERE

Please note this production is not affiliated with Dirty Dancing: The Classic Story On Stage in the West End or on tour in the UK and worldwide.

NOTE: We saw this show last year when it came to Blackpool and really enjoyed it.  You can read our review from last summer  HERE

"Miss Blackpool Confidential" Radio Documentary on 103.2 Preston FM - this Saturday from 4pm

With the line-up now complete for the 2014 Miss Blackpool Grand Final, we thought we'd take a wander down memory lane and revisit the first Miss Blackpool competition that we covered in detail.

You may recall that we produced a 2 hour in-depth behind the scenes radio documentary following the heats and final of the 2010 Miss Blackpool competition talking to all the qualifiers and everybody who was involved behind the scenes. 

There's an opportunity to hear part two of our "Miss Blackpool Confidential" radio documentary this Saturday on 103.2 Preston FM from 4pm where we go behind the scenes at the Sandcastle Water World photo shoot (in photo), sit in on the dance routine rehearsals and then talk to some of the judges at the final itself.

So join us from 4pm this Saturday on 103.2 Preston FM for a bit of Miss Blackpool history!  If you are not in the broadcast area, you can "listen live" over the internet at

For the Miss Blackpool connoisseurs out there, have a look at the photograph and see who you can spot!  (Photo by Karen Cookson).

Miss Blackpool Competition 2014 - Heat 7 Result - Final Line Up Complete!

The 7th and final heat in the 2014 Miss Blackpool Competition was held at G Casino on Blackpool Promenade last night and the result was: 

Winner: Claire McDowall (left in photo)
Runner Up: Leigh Dale (right in photo)

The Final will take place on the Friday 15th August at the Blackpool Hilton Hotel which will include a 3-course meal and coffee (black tie event). Tickets are available through Angels Elite Models & Promotions Agency.

The full list of qualifiers for the Grand Final is as follows:
Heat 1 - 19th June:  Lauren Carr & Hannah Louise Peters
Heat 2 - 26th June: Joanna Johnson & Shannon Hammill
Heat 3 - 3rd July: Alexandra Robertson & Vicky Martin
Heat 4 - 10th July: Jessica Bradder & Rebecca Copsey
Heat 5 - 17th July: Kassidy Knight & Keely Atkinson Strutton
Heat 6 - 24th July: Sophie Jarvis & Jenna Howard
Heat 7 - 31st July: Claire McDowall & Leigh Dale
Miss Radio Wave: Emily Baldwin & Anna-Marie Marucci

Keep checking back for more Miss Blackpool 2014 competition news in the run up to the final!

For more information about the Miss Blackpool Competition, or to book tickets for the final, call organiser Karen Cookson on 01253 820226

Official website:

You can see lots of great photos on official photographer Howard Barton's website:

Hannah Gee is running a blog on this year's competition and lots more besides and you can read that HERE

Photo by Neil Cookson - Reigning Miss Blackpool Kendall Rae Knight (centre) with Claire McDowall and Leigh Dale