Friday, 29 April 2011

Miss Blackpool To Attend Forces Charity Football Match - 8th May

Reigning Miss Blackpool Ella Green will be making an appearance at the Forces Family Fun Day And Charity Football Match to be held at Fleetwood Town Football Club's Highbury ground on Sunday 8th May, in aid of the RAF Association and Army Benevolent  Fund.

The fun starts at 12 noon with match kick off at 2pm and a full military tattoo afterwards.

Admission is free but donations are encouraged.

Ella said: "I'm really looking forward to this. As a big football fan anyway, it's going to be a great event and it is nice to be able to support two really important charities".

To find out more about these two worthy causes, check out their websites by clicking the links below:
Royal Air Force Association:
Army Benevolent Fund:

Photo: Miss Blackpool Ella Green pictured with Jason Dodwell from AFC Blackpool who have just secured the Vodkat League Division One title.

See "Strictly" Stars Darren & Lilia at Blackpool Tower Ballroom - 14th May

There's a great opportunity to see Strictly Come Dancing favourites Darren Bennet and Lilia Kopylova as part of wonderful night of music and dance in the world famous  Blackpool Tower Ballroom on Saturday 14th May.

Bring your shoes for a great evening of social dancing from 7pm to midnight - or just sit back and enjoy the music  and spectacle if you prefer.

Music will be provided by the Mike James Orchestra and Singers and there will also be a display by the Fever Latin Teams, who recently appeared at the Royal Variety Performance Show, on Sky 1's "Got To Dance" and the 2011 Strictly Live tour.

VIP Front Row Table of 4: £120 (inc bottle of champagne)
Ground floor reseved seats: £16 adv / £19 door
Balcony unreserved seats: £13 adv / £ 16 door

Book now by calling: 0844 856 1000 or online at:

For more information, visit the Fever Dance website:

Thursday, 28 April 2011

RAF v Army Charity Football Match & Family Fun Day at Fleetwood Town Football Club - Sunday 8th May

There's a great opportunity for a fun family day out and to help raise money for two very good causes at this special Armed Forces Charity Family Day which is being held at Fleetwood Town Football Club and the neighbouring Memorial Park on Sunday 8th May.

It all kicks off at 11am with the final of the local Sunday Alliance being played on the pitch at Highbury while, from 12 noon onwards, there will be lots of fun attractions, inclduing paintball shooting and a flight simulator.

At 2pm the RAF take on the Army at football with guest managers Micky Mellon and Crain Madden overseeing the teams and, at half time, the Young People Pride Of Fleetwood Parade will walk around the pitch.

The match wil be followed by a full military tattoo with bands and displays going on until 6pm. Fleetwood Town's wonderful Jims Bar will be open for refreshments throughout the day as will the catering stands.

Admission to the event is free but there will be collection buckets situated around the ground.  Proceeds from the day will be split between the Royal Air Force Association (RAFA) and the Army Benevolent Fund.

To find out more about these two worthy causes, check out their websites by clicking the links below:

Royal Air Force Association:

Army Benevolent Fund:

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Magic Trees - Gigs Coming Up

We had a great "café chat" today with Canadian rock band Magic Trees who have recently moved to St Annes to work on their new album. 

They have a couple of live dates coming up in Blackpool:

- Saturday 30th April - The Old Bank Inn, Bond Street
- Friday 6th May - The Cedar Tavern, Cedar Square, Blackpool  Town Centre  

JUST ADDED: Saturday 14th May - The Station Tavern, Lytham

both are free admission and they would appreciate your support.

We will be running the full interview with the Magic Trees - and playing some of their songs - in our "Best Kept Secrets...In Conversation" Show on Preston FM on Friday 6th May between 7 and 8pm but, in the meantime, you can hear a short audio clip looking ahead to the Old Bank Inn gig by clicking  on the sound icon below:

To find out more about the band and their music, check out their website:

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Tuesday Afternoon Tea Dance At The Sands, Blackpool

We had a great time at the first weekly afternoon tea dance at the newly re-opened Sands Venue on Blackpool Promenade today.  The building is looking great with its ground floor deli / cafe and there is also the top floor champagne bar which we plan to check out soon.

This tea dance was really enjoyable with a good mixture of music played by the Frontline Dance Band who have played for dancing on cruise ships for several years and really know their stuff!

But the afternoon was really topped off with a sumptuous afternoon tea served half way through. There was a selection of sandwiches: ham, cheese,egg, ham & tomato, cheese & tomato,  tuna, some lovely little cream scones and delightful cakes (see photo) served with tea or coffee.

At £9.99 per person this really is good value when you consider you are dancing to a specialised 4 piece  dance band and getting a lovely cream tea included in the price. The venue is definitely worth a look so why not book up for the tea dance next Tuesday from 2pm.

They now have a walk in box office in the cafe on the ground floor of the building on the promenade so, if you are in town you can just pop in and book up.

Blackpool North Pier Royal Wedding Party - Exclusive Interview

We went along to Blackpool North Pier today to have a look around and hear about all the exciting things that the new owners - the Sedgwick family - have in store. 

The good news is that the 50p admission charge has been abolished so it is now free to walk on the pier and, as we have already reported, there is a free Pier Party this Friday to celebrate the Royal Wedding!  

For more details click here:

We will be running the full interview with Peter Sedgwick and his daughter Gayner in our next "Best Kept Secrets... In Conversation"show on Friday 6th May at 7pm on Preston FM but in the meantime you can hear what Gayner had to say about the Royal Wedding Pier Party by clicking on the sound icon below:

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Haydock Male Voice Choir Sing In Aid of Royal British Legion - 30th April

On Sat 30th April – 7. 30 pm.The Haydock Male Voice Choir, with Musical Director, Alan Herbert, is appearing in concert at St Pauls Church, Fairhaven in Lytham St Annes with Lynne Williams - guest soprano.

Organised and presented by the Inner Wheel Club of Lytham, with all proceeds in aid of the Royal British Legion, in this it’s 90th anniversary.

The Haydock Male Voice Choir is a winner of many festivals, the most recent being the prestigious Isle of Man Music festival.

The Inner wheel club of Lytham, president, Joyce Ashworth, who is passionate about the Poppy Appeal, said, “It is a great opportunity for our local community, to hear these wonderful voices, and at the same time support the Royal British Legions welfare work for the Service personnel, and their families”.

Spencer Leader MBE, the Lytham and St Annes RBL poppy organizer, says “ I am delighted that the Inner wheel club, has chosen our charity, and would urge everyone to support what promises to be a wonderful evening of entertainment”.

The choir will be singing music to suit all tastes, together with soprano, Lynne Williams. There will be Barber shop, George Formby, and songs from the 40’s, Etc. culminating in a Last Night of the Proms, finale.

Tickets are £7.50, which includes wine and nibbles in the interval.

They can be obtained from 01253 733665 – 01253 713925 – 07979 782968, or pay on the door.

Review: The Northern Pen Show, 17th April

The Northern Pen Show is held annually at the Clifton Arms Hotel in Lytham, so we went along to find out more.

There was a fascinating collection from a wide variety of exhibitors of beautiful pens and writing equipment antique and modern, with a pen doctor to help repair damaged pens and calligraphy demonstrations.

We found truly something for everyone. as there is an annual handwriting competition, for youngsters as well as advice on individual requirements whether you like ball pens, fountain pens, or quills.

We also discovered there is a Writing Equipment Society “devoted to encouraging and providing opportunities for the acquisition, exchange, study, use and conservation of writing instruments, accessories and associated ephemera…” To find out more, go to

I fell in love with an Art Deco ink set, as well as seeing some beautiful fountain pens for my Wish List. However, I was disappointed there was nothing to write on…

Saturday, 23 April 2011

CD Release: The Dark Triad by Devilish Presley

1. Happy As Saturday 2:41
2. City Of Dreadful Night 2:20
3. The Beast Must Die 2:54
4. Cocaine Joe 3:16
5. Down Where You Belong 2:39
6. Dance Floor Ghost 3:23
7. Is There Anybody There 2:49
8. Kiss Kiss Apocalypse 2:08
9. I Created A Monster 2:33
10. The Shakers 3:36
11. Horror Movie Head 2:16
12. Zurich Psychological Club

Label: November Tenth Records
Copyright: (c) 2011 November Tenth Records
Total Length: 33:27

Buy direct from the official Devilish Presley website at:

Friday, 22 April 2011

Vice Squad - Resurrection Album - New Digital Release

Track Listing:
1. Out Of Reach
2. Last Rockers
3. Coward
4. Latex Love
5. Resurrection
6. Princess Paranoia
7. Can't Buy Back The Dead
8. Scarred For Life
9. Insomnia
10. Breeders
11. Sterile
12. Stand Strong, Stand Proud
13. Humane
14. Citizen 
15. Westend Stars
16. Steamroller ( bonus track)

Release date: 17th April 2011
Digital download price: £5.99
order direct from the Vice Squad shop:

Here's a great opportunity to buy this hard to find Vice Squad album which was originally released on the Rhythm Vicar label back in 1999. The band have now re-released it themselves on their own "Last Rockers Records", and the good news is that all revenue from the sales of this re-release go directly to the band.

You can buy just single tracks if you don't want the whole album and the first track "Out Of Reach" is free to download whether you buy any other tracks or not!

This album represents a fascinating cross-over between the old and the new (a "Resurrection", in fact...) as it features the reformed Vice Squad - original member Beki Bondage teaming up with Paul Rooney (producer, songwriter, guitar),  Michael Gianquinto (bass guitar) and Tony Piper (drums) - playing new versions of some of the most popular Bateman/ Bond songs from the original band, along with some new tracks penned by Beki and Rooney.

As regards the "oldies", we have a new version of "Coward", which originally featured on the "No Cause For Concern" LP, "Out Of Reach" "Resurrection",  "Last Rockers", "Sterile", "Latex Love", "Stand Strong Stand Proud" and "Humane" from the "Stand Strong Stand Proud" album "Scarred For Life" and "Citizen" from the "State Of The Nation" EP.
Then we have "Princess Paranoia", You Can't Buy Back The Dead" and "Westend Stars" from the 1999 Get A Life (Bondage / Rooney) album and new tracks (at the time) "Insomnia" and "Breeders".

This new 2011 download only version also includes an extra track that wasn't on the original CD release called "Steamroller" which is rather unusual - to say the least - but grows on you after a couple of plays....

"Resurrection" is a good CD as it helps / helped to establish the "new" band - don't forget that they have actually now been together for more than twice as long as the original  Bondage / Bateman version were - and also stakes a renewed claim to all those great early songs that Beki penned  but which have been sadly milked on numerous "greatests hits" where further tracks by the less popular "Lia & Sooty" version of the band are also passed off as Vice Squad folklore.

This album introduces us to a new, more mature Beki - the Beki who was to release the "Cold Turkey" collection of rock covers, the Beki with the stronger, more refined  - almost "bluesy" - voice that would take Vice Squad on to renewed success in the new millenium.  For the "old" fans, who liked the original line up, we have the old songs but with an up to date twist - less twee sounding vocals, the odd bit of guitar solo, more up to date instrumentations and, for the new fans, well, this is just what it says on the cover:  Vice Squad  - Resurrection.

To find out more about Vice Squad, their music and their other merchandise check out the official website at:

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Royal Wedding Street Party On Blackpool North Pier - Free Admission!

Blackpool’s North Pier will play host to a Royal Wedding Street Party on Friday 29th April. The royal event will be fun for all the family, with entertainment to suit all tastes including a jazz band and street magicians. There will be competitions on offer with amazing prizes and the royal wedding will be shown on large screens throughout the pier’s attractions – and what’s more – it’s all FREE!

As the nation celebrates the wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton you could be attending the country’s greatest Street Party! The fun starts at 10am and goes on to late. Admission is FREE. The North Pier will definitely be the place to be on Friday 29th April.

The Sedgewick family, owners of the North Pier which will be decked out with bunting in royal colours especially for the day, invite you enjoy the magnificence of this momentous occasion with them.

Gayner Sedgewick, Chief Executive of Premier Pier Blackpool Ltd who own and operate the North Pier said, “This is a very special day for Prince William and his soon-to-be bride Kate Middleton. We wanted to offer residents of Blackpool and the Fylde Coast and visitors to the resort the opportunity to celebrate the occasion with us. We are all excited about the Street Party. It’s going to be a great day out with fun and games for everyone. This is the first of many events we are planning on the North Pier. Look out for more being announced soon.”

You’ll be bopping away to the Jazz Band in the Sun Lounge; transfixed by magicians and other street entertainers along the length of the pier; dancing to the party music playing throughout the day; and nibbling on the after-wedding buffet!

And in case you are worried on missing out on the main event itself with all the family fun events taking place on the pier, don’t worry; the wedding will be shown on large screens in the Merrie England, the Carousel Family Bar and in the Tramstop Café! The North Pier is going royal wedding crazy!

There will be competitions galore with great prizes including tickets to some of the fantastic shows on the pier this summer! Come in your wedding dress and enter the best dress competition. If couples arrive in their bride and groom outfits they will automatically be entered into a draw to win a holiday for two.

There are competitions for the best bridesmaids outfit and the best pageboy; and ladies, did you miss out on catching the bride’s bouquet when you last attended a wedding? We’ll give you a chance to try again, and if you catch it this time you could win an amazing prize! Remember that you new hat your bought? Wear it to the North Pier Street Party and you might win a special prize for most outrageous hat! If you didn’t wear one last time, why not make one especially for the day!

There will be food and drink on offer all day and as we all have another day off courtesy of the government to celebrate with Wills and Kate, there’s no excuse not to come along!

Text PIER to 82055 with your name and the number of guests you’re bringing with you and you will gain exclusive entrance to the VIP wedding buffet! Celebrate the royal wedding in style!

Don’t forget – entrance to the North Pier Street Party is FREE

For more news about Blackpool North Pier and to hear a short interview clip with Gayner Sedgwick about the Pier Party click here:

See Spats Langham at North Euston Hotel, Fleetwood

There's a great opportunity to see top jazz guitar / banjo player Thomas "Spats" Langham this weekend as he makes a couple of guest appearances at the North Euston Hotel East Jazz Weekend In Fleetwood.

On Friday evening 22nd April, it's Mike Lovell's Six In A Bar with Rosie playing traditional Dixieland jazz while on Saturday 23rd April, the Mike Lovell Jazz All Stars with Rosie play their own special blend of  music. Spats will be playing with the bands on each evening.

If you'd like to book up for dinner before the concert, there is a special price available of £24.99 per person on either evening, or it's just £12.50 per person for the concert only.  To book, give the North Euston Hotel a call on  01253 876525.

Spats Langham is a leading expert in the golden age of music, visiting the red-hot jazz of 1920’s New York through to the early days of sophisticated 1930’s Swing. A performance typically includes some well known classics from song-writers such as Cole Porter and Irving Berlin, and vocalists such as the Ink-Spots, Al Bowlly and Bing Crosby mixed with more unusual and rarely heard hot syncopated jazz tunes. Spats Langham has a great ear for unearthing great and unusual tunes, and was described by the late Humphrey Littleton as "a Jazz Archeologist".

To find out more about Spats Langham, visit his own band's website at:

Book Now For The Blackpool Burlesque Show - 18th June

'REVELATION' in association with 'Kosmic Kitty' presents: THE BLACKPOOL BURLESQUE SHOW - an evening of Corsets and Cocktails, Glamour and Glitter! with burlesque performances from:


Compere for the evening will be the amazing LOLA LEKTRIK and lovely maids will be the burlesque beauties TALLULAH TITCH and MAE FROST.....

Tickets in advance for only £5 and on the door for £6 available from

The audience is invited to dress to impress!!   Doors open at 7pm, show starts at 8pm

We will be running an interview with show organiser Kosmic Kitty all about Burlesque in our Preston FM show on Friday 6th May at 7pm.

To hear a brief preview of this Blackpool Burlesque Show show with Kosmic Kitty, click on the sound icon below:

Enter Now For The Pendle Triathlon - Sunday 15th May

More than half the places for this year’s Pendle Triathlon have already been taken and, with just three weeks until the big day, you had better register now if you want to take part!

Pendle Triathlon will be held on Sunday, May 15th in and around West Craven Sports Centre in Barnoldswick and, following last year’s hugely successful re-vamp and return to its Spring date, this year’s course will remain the same.

Triathlon 2010 was re-vamped and modernised with a new month, new route and new format in a bid to compete with the country’s best and it was such a tremendous success, that organisers at Pendle Leisure Trust are keeping it exactly the same for this year.

And for 2011 the number of entrants is being increased to 200 – the most the Pendle event has ever allowed.

One of the fastest growing competitive sports in the country, contestants will take part in the three disciplines in a test of stamina, strength and determination. Following the official format of swimming, cycling and running, this non-transitional event will ensure participants can compare times with other sprint Triathlons.

The swim is the official sprint distance of 750m. The cycling part of the event will follow last year’s 22km route, completing two circuits of the course which covers Salterforth, Kelbrook, Sough, Earby and Thornton-in-Craven.

The run route will be mainly off road, utilizing public footpaths and canal bridle paths to finish the 5 km course opposite West Craven Sports Centre.

Centre Manager at West Craven Sports Centre, Paul Whittaker, said: “We have had a great response so far. This year we have increased the number of entrants to 200. We have never had this many in the past and we are hoping sporting people in Pendle will set themselves a challenge and take part.”

If you would like to enter this year’s Pendle Triathlon, you can register by following a link on the home page of the Pendle Leisure Trust website at  or contact West Craven Sports Centre on 01282 666710.

Local Musicians Chance To Play At Top RnB Festival - Apply Now!

Local musicians have just over a week to express their interest in taking part in this year’s Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival as, once again, Pendle Leisure Trust gives young, local talent the opportunity to perform on the Jessica Foxley Stage during this year’s festival.

The Stage was launched last year in memory of the rising Colne star Jessica, who worked at the Muni Box Office in Colne and was killed, along with her boyfriend Tom Petty and friend Philip Wright, in a car crash in Skipton Old Road in July 2009.

Pendle Leisure Trust let young, local talent take over the British Stage on the closing night of the festival last year. And they are being given the same opportunity again. But this year the acts will play various slots on the British Stage through the four day event.

East Lancashire Blues bands are invited to audition for one of the sought-after places with live auditions taking place at the Colne Municipal Hall Theatre on Saturday, May 14th.

Interested artistes need to submit a biog and relevant information to  by Friday, April 29th 2011.

Not only will they win the chance to play in front of hundreds of both national and international Blues fans, they will also win the chance to produce a demo at Studio 11 Recording Studios at The ACE Centre in Nelson.

Festival organiser Alison Goode, said: “A number of bands have already expressed their interest, but we want to give as many artistes as possible a chance to audition for a place on this prestigious stage.

“Jessica was a young artiste who had just started to climb the musical ladder. We want to honour her talent and support other local people like her by giving them an opportunity to be heard and perform at such an established event.

“Everyone is welcome to come along to the Muni on May 14th to listen and help us decide who will perform at the Blues Festival in August.”

To find our more about the festival, check out the official website:

See The World Famous Black Dyke Band At Blackpool Grand Theatre - 1st May

Hit the right note with an unforgettable evening at Blackpool’s Grand Theatre on Sunday 1st May as Black Dyke Band performs a stunning programme of classical music and family favourites under the expert baton of Nicholas Childs.

Black Dyke Band is the world’s most famous brass band with over 150 years of rich musical history. Formed in Yorkshire in 1855, Black Dyke is also the most successful contesting band in the world, having won the European Championships eleven times, the British Open no fewer than 29 times and the National Championships of Great Britain 22 times (most recently 2008 and 2009). In 2007 the band were invited to take part in the BBC Promenade Concerts at the Royal Albert Hall, London and in 2009 Black Dyke was named Champion Band at the English National Championships.

Black Dyke Band is at Blackpool’s Grand Theatre on Sunday 1st May at 7.30pm.

Tickets from £17.50.

Book your seats now by calling the Grand Theatre Box Office on 01253 290190, online at or at the Grand Theatre information sales point in the Houndshill Shopping Centre.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Grand Variety Show In Aid Of Lytham Hall - Wednesday 27th April

There's a wealth of talent on offer at the Monterey Beach Hotel in St Annes on Wednesday 27th April as artists pool their resources in a fund raising "Grand Variety Show" in aid of the Lytham Hall Appeal.

Heading the bill are top TV comedian Johnnie Casson,  Alice Barry from Phoenix Nights and Shameless and crooner Peter Anthony, who is organising the event

Also performing are: Sammy Kingsley, Peter Ritmo, Sara, Nikki Miller, Mini-G and Tranni Minogue, so there should be something for everybody.

Tickets are £6 each and are available from Anton's Cafe Bar, Park Road, St Annes. (tel 01253 724721)

Lytham Hall is the most important building in the Fylde Borough, and its Grade I listing places it amongst the top 2.5% of the nation's Listed Buildings. It has been classified by English Heritage as a Building At Risk.

For more information about the Lytham Hall Appeal, click here:

Monday, 18 April 2011

TV Smith - New CD : Release Date 2nd May - Preorder Now!

TV Smith- "Coming In To Land"

Track Listing:
1. Worn Once
2. True Believers
3. Probably
4. Complaints Department
5. Man Down
6. Us And Them
7. Deactivate Autoslave
8. Headhunters
9. A Trouble To Yourself
10. Dawning Of False Hopes
11. Coming In To Land
12. No Message Please

This new album from former Adverts frontman TV Smith is available now to pre-order.

To order your copy and check out what else is on offer, visit the official website:

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Cafe Review; The Blue Pig Coffee House, Lytham St Annes

The Blue Pig Coffee House
4 Dicconson Terrace
Lytham, Lancs FY8 5JY
Tel: 01253 739662

If you live in the rest of the country, this great, recently-opened cafe is in "Lytham St Annes". If you live along the Fylde coast, it is actually situated in Lytham, next to the Heritage Centre and across the road from the Assembly Rooms.

There is handy parking nearby - either on the street adjacent or on the pay and display car park a few minutes walk away on Lytham Green and it is definitely worth a visit!

We have eaten at the Blue Pig on quite a few occasions now - once for lunch but mainly for breakfast. The owners Tracy and Samantha really must be congratulated for their innovative menu and the cosy surroundings they have established at the Blue Pig. There are wood burning stoves in the fireplaces, newspapers to read, comfy sofas as well as formal seating and a nice cheery welcome.

The Blue Pig Coffee House has its teas and coffees blended especially by J Atkinson & Co of Lancaster, which is a really good start, but it's the little things that make the difference and all hot drinks are seved with an absolutely yummy little chocolatey nibble...

On our lunchtime foray, we had the "Goats Cheese Tart" (off the specials board) and the "Roasted Mediterranean Veg Open Sandwich", with side orders of "Handcut Chips with Chilli Mayo" and the "Nachos" (topped with melted cheese, salsa and sour cream - practically a meals on its own - you HAVE to try this...) and even our healthy appetites were well and truly satisfied by these robust portions.

But it is the BREAKFAST MENU that is really worth the trip to Lytham. It is really nice to have something different. OK you can still have a toasted tea cake, or some buttered farmhouse toast or, indeed, full English breakfast  - we have, they are absolutely lovely BUT there is also the opportunity to be a little bit more adventurous. You can have a "Black Pudding Muffin with Poached Egg & Bacon" or you can have "Herb Roasted Field Mushrooms On Toast" or you can really go to town and try our favourite at the Blue Pig: the "Blueberry & Creme Fresh French Toast"   (in centre of photo, above).

This is a wonderful fusion of colours and textures. Light slices of brioche dipped in egg, fried gently and topped with fresh blueberries and a light crême fraiche. The good news here is that blueberries are considered one of the SUPERFOODS and are "packed with antioxidants and phytoflavinoids and high in potassium and vitamin C", according to Dr Ann Kulze, of Charleston USA - so this breakfast dish is practically a health food in itself!

Another most pleasing breakfast dish - espacially with a nice cup of tea of coffee - is the "Cinnamon and Vanilla Toasted Brioche" (left of photo, above) and, here again, cinammon as a spice can have really healthy properies so it's all good stuff at the Blue Pig.  Lucy has also tried the "Porridge with Honey & Cinammon" which she has described as better than her grandmother used to make...!

Based on the above, you will realise that we very much like the food and drink on offer at the Blue Pig and we are hoping for chance to try out afternoon tea at some stage as we understand that their cakes and scones are also something very special.

We are told that the menu is going to be changing soon so just be aware that some of the things we have metioned may not subsequently be available but, having said that, whatever is on the new menu, we are sure that you will find something to your liking at that you will really enjoy your visit to the Blue Pig Coffee House in Lytham.


AFC Blackpool Promoted - Now The Title Race In On!

AFC Blackpool secured promotion from the Vodkat League First Division to the Premier Division for the first time since 1992. with a 2-0 win away at Norton United yesterday afternoon.

With title rivals Runcorn Town drawing their match away at Cheadle Town, the "Mechanics"  are 6 points clear at the top of the table with 5 games left to play.

Their last home league game of the season is on Tuesday evening (19th) at home to 14th placed Abbey Hey and they then have 4 tough away games in 8 days as the Vodkat League programme has to be completed by 30th April.

AFC Blackpool are then at home in the quarter final of the League Challenge Cup on Bank Holiday Monday 2nd May and then at home again on Wednesday 4th May in the semi final of the 1st Division Trophy.

To find out more, visit their website at
Note: The photo above is from AFC Blackpool's 3-1 1st Division Trophy quarter final victory over Runcorn Town on 12th April.

Fylde Are Champions After 118-0 Home Win Over Manchester

Here's a sight that you don't want to see when you are losing 82-0...England world cup winner Jason Robinson prepares to come onto the field for the last 10 minutes of Fylde RU's home match against bottom club Manchester.

Fylde went on to win the game 118-0 and that victory meant that they secured the National League North 2 title for the first time ever and with it, promotion to National League North 1 for next season.

Fylde have two more league matches this season - away at Rugby Lions next Saturday and at home to Hull Ionians on Saturday 30th April.

Fylde are hosting an under 16s international match England v Wales on Easter Sunday 24th April and also a "Roses" match Lancashire v Yorkshire on Saturday 14th May.

To find out more about what is going on at Fylde Rugby club, visit their website at

Friday, 15 April 2011

New Afternoon Tapas Menu At Toast Cafe Bar & Grill, Blackpool

Toast Cafe Bar & Grill Restaurant
28 Corporation Street,
Blackpool, FY1 1EJ
Tel: 01253 749777

Open 9am to 11pm Monday to Saturday and 10am to 10pm Sundays
Lucy had a "devil" of a time at Toast Cafe Bar & Grill in Blackpool town centre today. Toast were launching their new afternoon Tapas menu - 3 dishes for £10 Sunday to Friday 3pm to 6pm - so we just HAD to go and give it a try!

The launch event had decorative guys and gals to welcome us at the door, the town crier and a great swing singer inside. Now they won't necessarily be on display when we next visit Toast but there WILL be a wonderful afternoon Tapas menu with something to suit every palate!

The Tapas Menu has 21 dishes to choose from with a variety of seafood, chicken, meat and vegetable dishes as well as breads, olives and feta cheese accompaniments. The idea of Tapas is that you choose a selection of different dishes and try a little of each so, if there are two of you, you can have 6 dishes between you and get more of a variety of tastes and textures.  This offer is 3 dishes for £10 but, if you really only want a little snack, then you can always just have a single dish of your choice  as all the items are individually priced on the menu.

All the Tapas Menu items have exciting Spanish sounding titles but you don't have to worry about what you may be ordering as there is a plain English description as well and, of course, the helpful staff will be more than happy to guide you through it.

We were lucky enough to have a taste of quite a few of the items off the menu and can happily affirm, that if you like food, then you'll like these.  We started off with the garlic bread (also available with melted cheese on top), mixed marinated olives and diced feta cheese.

From the seafood selection, we particularly enjoyed the "Calamares Andaluza" which are deep fried crispy squid rings  served with a special roasted garlic mayonnaise and the  "Paella De Marisco" - a smooth light paella made with  tuna. prawns and mussels poached in white wine.

For meat eaters, the  "Chorizo Frito Al Vino" is a must - slices of tangy Spanish sausage sautéed  in red wine - along with the chorizo and chicken Paelle.  The "Pollo Con Salsa" chicken breast cooked in a sherry, white wine and cream sauce was absolutely sensational - rich and smooth, while the "Costillas De Cerdo" barbecue pork ribs are definitely worth getting your fingers sticky for!

Vegetarians are well catered for as well on  this menu with a choice of sauteed garlic muschrooms, pan fried peppers, baked roasted vegatables and a herb roasted potato option.

There are Spanish wines to go with this Spanish cuisine - or should we say "cocina" - with a choice of white, rosé and red or you can even have a jug of sangria! 

But don't worrry - it's not all Tapas by any means. Toast still has its normal range of snacks, main meals and hot and cold drinks and even a special Sunday roast menu from 12noon to 8pm on Sundays.

To find out more about what's on at Toast in Blackpool, check out their website at:

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Theatre Review: Guys And Dolls - Blackpool Grand Theatre, 14th April

Everybody has seen Guys & Dolls - haven't they...? Well I haven't - not on stage anyway. I have seen the 1955 film starring Marlon Brando and Jean Simmons but not all the way through, so I was pretty much able to come along to see this Blackpool Operatic Players production of the musical with no preconceptions.

The musical score written by Frank Loesser is delightful - with numerous well known numbers - such as "Luck Be A Lady" which has gone on to be a great cabaret classic in its own right, along with "If I Were A Bell" and "A Bushel And A Peck".

This stage version at the Grand Theatre was a really wonderful show to watch with colourful costumes wonderful acting and great song and dance numbers throughout.

The all male dance routine in the sewer at the start of Act 2 was particulalry enjoyable and well choreographed.

It would be unfair to single out individual cast members for particular praise as it was a good team effort by all involved from cast to wardrobe and music to make up. However Lucy did say that she thought certain scenes and musical numbers were better performed in this production than in the Hollywod film version, so there's a compliment!

The Blackpool Operatic Players' production of Guys & Dolls is on at the Blackpool Grand Theatre until Saturday - do go along and see it.

To book tickets, visit

To Kill A Mockingbird At Blackpool Grand Theatre - from 26th April

Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize winning TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD flies into Blackpool’s Grand Theatre from April 26th for one week only to commemorate 50 years of publication starring Duncan Preston (Emmerdale, dinnerladies, Surgical Spirit) as legendary lawyer Atticus Finch.

Jem and Scout Finch are growing up during the 1930s depression, but their idyllic childhood innocence is shattered with the realisation that bigotry and prejudice rule in their small town of Maycomb, Alabama.

When their father Atticus defends a young black man falsely accused of raping a white woman, the whole family become the target of gossip and abuse. Set in America’s scorching Deep South at a time when racial tensions were at an all time high, the challenging and uncomfortable issues this classic addresses are as relevant today as they were when the book was first written. To Kill A Mockingbird has sold over 30 million copies, been translated into more than 30 languages and is read by students in schools and colleges worldwide.

The much-loved 1962 film stayed true to the original novel and starred Gregory Peck as Atticus and Robert Duvall as strange neighbour Arthur ‘Boo’ Radley. It won three Oscars, including Best Actor for Peck and Atticus Finch was named the Greatest Film Hero of All Time by the American Film Institute in 2003.

Acclaimed actor Duncan Preston is the iconic lawyer Atticus Finch fearlessly fighting racial prejudice in 1930s America in Christopher Sergel’s stunning new stage production of To Kill A Mockingbird. Duncan is probably best known for his recent appearance in ITV1’s Emmerdale as well as the hugely popular TV series dinnerladies and Surgical Spirit and his starring role in the award-winning musical Acorn Antiques with Victoria Wood.

Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird starring Duncan Preston (Emmerdale, dinnerladies, Surgical Spirit) as Atticus Finch is at Blackpool’s Grand Theatre from Tuesday 26th April to Saturday 30th April.

Tuesday to Saturday at 7.30pm, Wednesday & Thursday matinee at 1pm and Saturday matinee at 2pm.
Tickets £20 with concessions and group rates available

Schools/students/children - all seats £11.  (Most suitable for ages 11+).

Book your seats now by calling the Grand Theatre Box Office on 01253 290190, online at or at the Grand Theatre information sales point in the Houndshill Shopping Centre.

Win Tickets For Burnley Blues Day - Ends Wed 20th April

We have a free pair of tickets to give away for the International Blues Day at Burnley Mechanics Theatre on Saturday 23rd April. These normally cost £20 each so it is definitely worth winning.

To enter the draw for the tickets, you simply need to answer the following question:

 Burnley Mechanics Theatre is in:
a) Burnley   b) Brighton    c) New York

and e-mail your answer to
alternatively, you can Facebook message to

The draw will be made at 12 noon on Wednesday 20th April and the lucky winner will be informed that afternoon.

To find out more abouu the Blues Day, click here;

If you'd like to book up for tickets anyway or see what else is on at Burnley Mechanics, go to their website at:

International Blues Day at Burnley Mechanics Theatre - 23rd April

Bernard Allison
Todd Sharpville
Aynsley Lister
Chantelle McGregor

When you’ve got the son of a blues legend performing, you know something good is going to rub off and Bernard Allison does his late father Luther Allison proud. Bernard a distinctive son of the blues possesses the guitar feel and vocal intonations necessary to carry his music into the next century. He knows the energy level necessary to hold his audiences and combines showmanship and spontaneity to push his performance in innovative directions.

For the first time in over a decade Bernard Allison and his full American band return to the home of British blues to play the Burnley National Blues Festival. Always the consummate showman he takes his rightful place at Burnley alongside many great blues performers that have wowed audiences for over twenty years.

Joining Bernard Allison will be national guitar favorites Todd Sharpville, Aynsley Lister and Chantel McGregor.

Aynsley Lister’s recent crossover into blues-meets-well-written-rock-song territory has been well received by press and public alike confirming his international reputation as one of Britain’s best blues rock guitarists a path that Chantel McGregor is now treading, with sold out signs at Gigs all over the country indicating that on their own these are two mighty English blues performers

Bringing together this fantastic concert will be Todd Sharpville. Described by Mojo UK as "One of our best blues guitarists to date" Todd returns to the blues along with the release of his critically acclaimed new double album "Porchlight" produced by the legendary Duke Robillard. His talent as a songwriter, singer and guitarist borders on genius and his blend of pop sensibilities with strong blues feeling creates a uniqueness that is truly impressive. “A serious bluesman” – NME

Doors 5pm    Tickets: £20   Book here:

Clare Teal "Hey Ho" CD - Release Date 16th May - Review & Interview

Track Listing:
1. If Love Were All
2. One More (Baby Be Good To Me)
3. Why
4. It's Not Unusual
5. The Sally Gardens
6. Love Is The Sweetest Thing
7. Whole (It Isn't Like Me)
8. Care Of Cell 44
9. Try A Little Tenderness
10. Chasing Cars
11. Sing It Back
12. He Was Beautiful
13. A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square
14. We'll Gather Lilacs

It's very hard to know where to start with this CD other than to say that I like it very much indeed. This isn't straight "jazz" as you may know it as Clare has taken different types of songs from different eras and given them a new twist.

We start off with a Noel Coward composition from 1929 called "If Love Were All" but are then brought right bang up to date with a brand new song called " One More (Baby Be Good To Me)" which Clare has co-written with Grant Windsor and Amanda Field.  We get a haunting reworking of Annie Lennox's "Why", a great latin beat version of the Tom Jones classic "It's Not Unusual" and then the oldest song on the album - WB Yeats' 1889 poem "Down to the Sally Gardens" which was set to music by Herbert Hughes in 1909.

Mainstream jazz fans will be pleased with Clare's version of Ray Noble's 1932 hit "Love Is The Sweetest Thing"   and we also have Harry Woods' "Try A Little Tenderness" from 1932, Ivor Novello's "We'll Gather Lilacs" from 1945 and a smooth relaxed version of that charming wartime foxtrot "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square".

Another brand new Clare Teal composition "Whole (It Isn't Like Me)"  is complemented by excellent reworks of the Moloko 1999 dance hit "Sing It back" and Snow Patrol's "Chasing Cars" and I have to say that there isn't a track on this CD that I would skip past.  I'd never heard Rod Argent's prison song "Care of Cell 44" before and although the dreamy slow waltz "He Was Beautiful" - based on the classical tune "Cavatina" -  has been previously recorded by, among others, Cleo Laine, Iris Williams and Paul Potts, with instrumental versions made famous by both The Shadows and John Williams (in the film The Deerhunter), Clare's version has a pleasing freshness to it.

"Hey Ho" by Clare Teal is released on 16th May and is available for pre-order now. There is pretty much something for everybody on this CD - even if you think that you "don't like jazz...", so why not give it a try...?

To find out more about Clare Teal and her music - and to see her tour dates, visit the official website at:

CD Pre-Order:

You can hear a short interview with Clare talking about the new CD by clicking on the sound icon below:

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

80 Mile Walk For Anthony Nolan Trust

The Sands Venue's Peter and Karin Swann are undertaking a sponsored walk in aid of the Anthony Nolan Trust, as Peter explains:

"Anthony Nolan is currently Wilkinsons Charity of the Year, a collaboration which began in May 2010. Karin and I thought it was about time we set ourselves a personal challenge and joined in with the fantastic fundraising that has taken place so far.

"Our challenge will be to walk 80 miles over 5 days from Tuesday 3rd to Saturday 7th May. The walk will start at Wilkinsons Head Office and finish at the Blackpool store, visiting the Worksop, Crystal Peaks, Sheffield London Road, Rochdale, Accrington and Preston stores along route.

"I have no doubt that this will be a tough challenge but I am absolutely determined to complete the walk and raise as much as possible to contribute to the fantastic total that has already been raised."

If you'd like to sponsor Karin please visit:
If you'd like to sponsor Peter, go to:

To find out more about the Anthony Nolan Trust, click here:

Sands Blackpool Venue Reopens 23rd April - Interview With Peter Swann

The Sands Venue in Blackpool will be re-opening on Saturday 23rd April after a major refurbishment.

In addition to the dining and cabaret venue that opened in August there is now all-day deli and new ticket office on the ground floor and a top floor champagne bar and restaurant with breathtaking views along the promenade and out to sea.

To find out what's coming up at the Sands Venue in Blackpool, check out their website:

We spoke to visionary owner Peter Swann about the Sands. You can hear what he had to say by clicking on the sound icon below:

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Magic Of Motown Show At Colne Muni - 30th April

The Magic of Motown show motors into Colne to play at the Municipal Hall on Saturday 30th April.

This smash hit American show authentically recreates the harmonies, slick moves, stylish looks and legendary musicianship that was the making of Motown.

A super-talented cast, fresh from sell-out shows in London’s O2 Arena, performs hits from The Supremes, Temptations, Four Tops, Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Mary Wells, Martha Reeves, Lionel Richie and scores more.

Sixteen dazzling costume changes, 36 golden hits and a brilliant live band collectively captures that original Detroit sound, celebrating 50 years of number one hits.

You’ll be dancing in the streets and dancing on the ceiling. So, get ready… here it comes… The Magic of Motown – signed, sealed, delivered – it’s yours.

Doors Open: 7pm / Start Time:8pm                 Tickets: Adv £16.50, Door £18.50

Click here to book:

To find out more about what's coming up at the Colne Muni, click here:

To hear a short interview with Magic Of Motown cast member Natasha Burnett talking about the show, just click on the sound icon below:

Monday, 11 April 2011

Omid Djalili UK Tour Dates - On Sale 8th April

Omid Djalili has announced his first live tour in three years.

The Iranian-English comic is to play 74 dates, spread from mid-October to February next year, when he ends with two dates at London’s Hammersmith Apollo.

Since his last tour in 2008, Djalili has appeared in two series of his own BBC One show, played Fagin in the West End version of Oliver! and starred in the movie The Infidel, written by his friend David Baddiel.

Djalili said: ‘I've mulled and mused. A lot has happened in my life. I've teetered on the edge of oblivion. I'm back. Let's see what happens.’

The show, Tour Of Duty, kicks off in Shrewsbury on October 14, and tickets are now on sale
Click here for dates:

Read more:

Advice On Prom Dresses - From Mark at Coco & Toms in St Annes

CoCo & Toms (formerly CoCo Couture)
13-15 Garden Street
St Annes on Sea
Tel: 01253 640064

Mark Courtney-Massey knows a thing or two about fashion and his Coco & Toms boutique in Garden Street St Annes, has just taken delivery of a wonderful new line in prom dresses just in time for the summer season.

Mark talked to us about this summer's new line in our radio show on Preston FM last week and if you didn't have the chance to listen in, you can hear it now by clicking on the sound icon below:

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Nicola's Charity Firewalk For Willow Wood Hospice

Nicola Rolfe-Haughton recently completed a charity firewalk in aid of Willow Wood Hospice in Ashton Under Lyme and we thought this was such a good idea that we featured it in our radio show on Preston FM last week.

To donate, click here:

To hear about Nicola's firewalking experience, click on the sound icon below:

AFC Blackpool Just One Win Away From Promotion!

AFC Blackpool are just one win away from automatic promotion to the Vodkat League Premier Division after a 3-1 win over Eccleshall this afternoon. 

The next home match is on Tuesday evening when they entertain fellow title challengers Runcorn Town in a cup game - 7.45pm kick off - why not come along...?

More info:

Friday, 8 April 2011

Miss Blackpool 2011 - New Website Launched!

The new look website for the 2011 Miss Blackpool competition was launched this week at the Lancashire Hotel, Catering & Hospitality Show in Blackpool's historic Winter Gardens.

Organiser Karen Cookson - herself a former Miss Blackpool - attended the event to promote the competition and also her Angels Elite model agency. She said: "A lot of people don't realise that you can buy tickets for the Miss Blackpool Final so we thought we'd take a stand. It's always a really enjoyable glamourous occasion and this year it will be at the Norbreck Castle Hotel on Friday 19th August. It is one of the oldest, most prestigious and fun competitions going - what better to help promote Blackpool...?"

The heats for the 2011 competition take place at CoCo Nightclub at Che Bar in Blackpool Town Centre on Thursday evenings from 23rd June to 3rd Auguss. 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 cash prizes on the night and also qualify for the Grand Final on 19th August.

For more information about the 2011 Miss Blackpool Competition, visit the new website now at:

In the Photos (above):
Left pic: Anne Cookson with Lucy
Centre Pic; Lucy with 2010 Miss Blackpool finalist Lisa Cox
Right Pic: Neil Cookson, Karen Cookson, Paul & Lucy

Thursday, 7 April 2011

"In Conversation" Show on Preston FM - Friday 8th April 7pm!

In our Best Kept Secrets In Conversation show on Preston FM tomorrow evening, we talk to:

•Nicola Rolfe-Haughton who has just completed a charity FIREWALK in aid of her local hospice (see photo, left)

•Damien O'Neill from The Undertones, talking about the history of the band, their new CD release and current UK tour

•Kath Reade, a singer songwriter from Burnley

•Soul singer Angelo Starr (brother of the late Edwin Starr), who looks ahead to the reopening night at the Sands Venue in Blackpool on 23rd April

•Jazz musician Mike Lovell, who is organising a special jazz weekend in Fleetwood over Easter

•Sahara and the Belly Dance Dolls, talking all about belly dancing

•Natasha Burnett from the Magic of Motown show that plays at the Municipal Hall in Colne on Saturday 30th April

•Mark Courtney-Massey from CoCo & Tom's in St Annes, talking about PROM DRESSES

•and David Fletcher from the Blackpool Grand Theatre telling about a ghost story that wasn't on the stage!

We also review a CD and book from exiled Zimbabwean cricketer Henry Olonga so there really is something for everybody in this show!

You can hear "Best Kept Secrets...In Conversation" from 7 to 8pm on Preston FM this Friday evening 8th April. Preston FM can be heard on 103.2 FM or via the internet at

If YOU have an interesting story to tell and would like to feature in one of our future shows, simply drop us a line to

CD Review: London Underground - Vice Squad

London Underground - Vice Squad / 2009 - Last Rockers Records Cat# LR1

1. The Truth Hurts
2. Ordinary Girl          ****top track tip
3. Punx Unired           ****top track tip
4. Sniffing Glue
5. Old Skool
6. On Your Own
7. Starvation Box
8. Identity Crisis
9. Dear Joe
10. Basement Life
11. Stab In The Dark
12. Water
13. Goodnight England

Recorded at Sci Fidelity Studios, London / Produced by Beki Bond and Paul Rooney
Mixed and engineered by Paul Rooney / All songs written by Bond / Rooney except tracks 10 and 13 Bond

Beki Bond - Lead Vocals and guitar / Paul Rooney - guitar, backing vocals / Wayne Firefly - bass, backing vocals / Bongo Bastard - drums
This CD isn't a new release - it came out in 2009 - but it IS new to me (as is "Defiant"), so you get to hear my thoughts on it:

I like London Underground a lot. It is one of those rare occasions when you get a CD / album  and you actually genuinely like all the songs on it and you don't rush to skip through to your favourites avoiding certain less appealing tracks.

As a keen Vice Squad follower from the early days (Last Rockers EP on vinyl - got it) who managed to miss out on the reforming of the band in the late 90s due to living abroad and working in "pop music radio", it has taken me a few plays to get used to Beki's more mature and richer sounding voice. Let's face it, I don't sound  like I used to in 1980 so why should she...? 

This CD has a mature quality to it - a more rounded sound - more depth to my mind than "Defiant"- think more "Stand Strong Stand Proud" than "No Cause For Concern"....

As you'd expect, the writing is superb with lots of social comment. My own favourites are the more melodic tracks such as "Ordinary Girl" and "Starvation Box". We have a guitar ballad - "Goodnight London", a tribute to Joe Strummer - "Dear Joe" and a great rousing anthem in "Punx United".

So much is written about the "original" Vice Squad that it is incredible to think that this "new" line up with Beki and Paul Rooney has actually now been going for twice as long as the first incarnation.

The band are currently working on a new album which will, hopefully, come out later this year but in the meantime, do check out "London Underground", and "Defiant" and all the other great Vice Squad CDs and goodies that are available from the offcial website. If  you buy direct from there, the money goes straight to the band with no middle men taking a cut.
To buy this CD - and see other Vice Squad merchandise, click here:

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

AFC Blackpool Manager Of The Month Award For March

AFC Blackpool manager Stuart Parker won the Division One Manager Of The Month Award for March.

Stuart's assistant Garry Hargreaves accepted the award on his behalf from League Management Committee representatives Geoff Wilkinson and Billy Singleton, prior to the game at home to Ashton Town on Tuesday night.

The Mechanics won the match 3-1 to go 4 points clear of second placed Runcorn Town at the top of the table, with both teams having played the same number of games.

AFC Blackpool are still in the running for three trophies this season as, alongside the league title chase, they are in the semi final of the First Division Cup and the quarter final of the League Challenge Cup.

They can take another step closer to promotion to the Premier Division on Saturday 9th April when they entertain Eccleshall in a First Divison match at Jepson Way - 3pm kick off.