Saturday, 20 December 2014

Local Football Round Up - 20th December

In a thrilling end to end encounter, Blackpool Wren Rovers had to fight back from 2 goals down to finish 3-3 in a their West Lancashire League Premier Division home encounter with Crookland Casuals. 

It was the first time this season that Wrens had failed to win a league game at home and with Charnock Richard winning 3-1 at home to Coppull Utd, it means that their near rivals now take over at the top of the table.

Elsewhere in the Golden Triangle of local football, Squires Gate FC drew 1-1 with Abbey Hey in the Premier Division of the North West Counties League - a result which leaves them seventh in the table.

AFC Blackpool's bottom three clash against Bacup & Rossendale Utd was postponed du to bad weather.

Squires Gate host AFC Blackpool in a local derby clash on Boxing Day in a 3pm kick off

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Book Review: "No Woman's Land - A Centenary Tribute To Inspirational Women Of World War One"

Most people will have heard of Edith Cavell – the British nurse who was shot by the Germans during World War One and probably Mata Hari as well - she was the Dutch exotic dancer who spied for the Germans and was shot by the French. Then there was Mistinguet, the famous French music hall  star  who has been said to have spied for the British and  was never shot by any one.

But what about Marie Marvingt – the French pilot who invented the idea of the air ambulance…?  Elsie Janis – the American “Forces Sweetheart” of WW1…? Or maybe Flora Sandes – the British woman who joined the Serbian army and fought against the Austro-Hungarians…? 

Contrary to what a lot of people seem to think, there were actually thousands upon thousands of women involved in all sorts of activities in and out of the various war zones during the First World War.  From nurses like Nellie Spindler to ambulance drivers like Olive King, from diarists like Mildred Aldridge – who “retired” to the Marne during the summer of 1914 in search of a quiet place to live… - to sculptress Kathleen Scott (widow of explorer Captain Scott) whose artistic skills helped the pioneer plastic surgeons develop facial reconstruction techniques….. and this book is packed with fascinating stories about dozens of these inspirational women.   

With photos and basic biographical details, this is an excellent starter book for anybody who is interested in the First World War.   It doesn’t set out to be an “academic” work but it does give the reader a broad taste of some of the different roles that women filled (not just nurses and munitions workers although there are some of them in here as well…) and is aimed at a general readership.

An “Inspirational Women - Volume 2” is planned for publication later in the centenary years and there is also a companion volume out now called “Female Poets Of The First World War” which looks at the lives and works of female poets during the Great War period.

You can buy by mail order “No Woman’s Land” by mail order HERE  and “Female Poets Of The First World War - Volume 1” HERE

You can also buy on Amazon HERE

There is lots more information about Inspirational Women at

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Local Football Round Up - 13th December

Blackpool Wren Rovers Reserves beat Eagley Reserves with a sensational last minute goal after the two sides had remained deadlocked at 1-1 for much of this West Lancashire League Reserves Division One encounter.

The win sees the Wrens Reserves move 3 points clear in 3rd place in the league table as most of the other games were called off due to the weather.

The Wren Rovers first team's game away at Crookland Casuals was postponed and Wrens remain top of the West Lancashire League Premier Division 1 point ahead of second place Charnock Richard who have played one game fewer. 

Elsewhere in the Golden Triangle of local football, Squires Gate FC's game away at Winsford in the NWCFL was postponed and AFC Blackpool were without a game.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Book Review: "Female Poets Of The First World War - Volume 1" Compiled by Lucy London

The TV and newspapers are full of the World War 1 centenary at present - and quite rightly so as we need to remember what went on a hundred years ago.  Much is written and said about the “soldier poets in the trenches” but hardly anybody mentions women in the conflict – except as nurses, drivers or munitions workers.

That fact is that there were hundreds of women who wrote during the First World War – as journalists, diarists and, indeed, poets. Some of the female writers included in this book - like May Sinclair - were very well know at the time of the war but have fallen from prominence since – and others like Agatha Christie have become well known since but nobody knows now that she actually wrote poetry back then.

So the good thing about this book is that tell us about all sorts of women who wrote poetry during the war - from the American doyenne Ella Wheeler Wilcox who many years beforehand had written the famous lines “laugh and the world laughs with you, cry and you cry alone”  and toured the US army depots in France giving poetry reading and lectures on “moral hygiene” to the soldiers right down to teenage girls at Downe House public school like Audrey Lucas who would later go on to achieve great things in adulthood.

There are poets from all the main countries that took part in the Great War – British Empire, USA, France, Germany, Austria Hungary, Russia , Serbia & Italy and also from some that you may not even know were involved such as Portugal, China and Japan.

A great many of the poems are written in English but many of the foreign language poems have been left in their original language.  Compiler Lucy London has done this on purpose as she wants the original poems to speak for themselves as the writer intended, rather than putting a translator’s spin on them.  

This is not an “academic” work - it doesn’t dissect the poems and make comments about rhyming schemes and stanza structures   but what it does do is gives the reader a broad taste of the different poets and their works and is aimed at a general readership.  If, having read this book, you then want to find out more about the individual poets and their writings, you can go off and do so but, then again, if this is the only book you ever read about female war poets, then you will still have very good grounding.

A “Female Poets Of The First World War - Volume 2” is planned for publication during 2015 and there is also a companion volume out now called “No Woman’s Land – A Centenary Tribute To Inspirational Women Of World War One” which looks at the lives and deeds of non –poets  during the Great War period.

You can buy “Female Poets Of The First World War - Volume 1” by mail order  HERE  and “No Woman’s Land”  HERE

You can also purchase on Amazon HERE
There is lots more information about Female War Poets at

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Local Football Round Up - 6th December 2014

In our featured match of the day, Blackpool Wren Rovers Reserves beat Ladybridge Reserves 4-1 in the first round of the West Lancashire League's Houston Cup in a game that was very close until the last couple of minutes.

League leaders Blackpool Wren Rovers first team lost 2-1 away at Garstang in the Premier Division of the West Lancashire League. 

Elsewhere in the Golden Triangle of local football, Squires Gate FC beat Silsden 2-0 to move into 7th place in the Premier Division of the North West Counties league.

AFC Blackpool were without a game and remain in 20th position in the league table out of 22 teams.

Photo: match action from the Wren Rovers Reserves v Ladybridge Reserves Houston Cup game.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Book Review: The Ice Hockey Annual 2014-15 edited by Stewart Roberts

The Ice Hockey Annual 2014-15  - edited by Stewart Roberts

Format: Paperback
Pages: 176 pages
Publisher: Stewart Roberts
ISBN-13: 978-0956294371
Product Dimensions:  14.8 x 0.8 x 21.1 cm

Website and Order link:

Despite now being one of its hugest fans and advocates, I was actually a bit of a latecomer to the Ice Hockey Annual. Despite watching British ice hockey from 1983 onwards, the first edition of the Annual that I actually owned was the 1999-00 edition - which was given to me personally (and signed) by Stewart Roberts at the GB “Pool A” Qualification Tournament at Sheffield Arena that year.

I don’t know why I hadn’t bought it before – I’d seen it advertised in Ice Hockey News Review every year and, to be honest, I now wish I HAD bought it right from the start as it would have saved a lot of hassle and money buying up all the back issues I could find.

If I’d have bought each edition as it came out, it would have been much easier and I would probably have managed back then to get hold of the very early editions that I still don’t have today.

So, what I am really trying to say here is that if you are interested in British ice hockey then you really need to get this new edition.

It has team by team and league by league stats and reports of all the clubs in the Elite League and English Premier League from the 2013/14 season. There is a run-down of Team GB’s involvement in the World Championships at senior, women’s and junior levels plus Player Awards, new Hall of Fame inductees, new rink news and lots more besides.     

There is a summary of the season in NIHL North & South and the Scottish National League, news about international leagues and the European cup, contacts and rink directory and pretty much everything else that you’d need to know about ice hockey over the past year.

In fact, when I started producing the “Ice Hockey Review” yearbook in its original guise 3 years ago now, I shamelessly copied the format of the Ice Hockey Annual for the basic contents and layout.  The difference is that, while Stewart’s Ice Hockey Annual covers mainly Elite League and EPL and only briefly touches on the NIHL, my Ice Hockey Review has the same team by team and league by league reporting for NIHL teams only and does not cover the other leagues at all. So the two publications sit well side by side on the bookshelf.  But I digress…..

This is the 39th edition of the Ice Hockey Annual, which demonstrates that Stewart has got the formula just right.  I can spend hours flicking through the pages of my collection of Ice Hockey Annuals. There’s always something new that you didn’t notice the first time you read it, something you’d forgotten about or just something that you enjoy reading about again and again.

You can check who played for who – what they looked like – what their stats for the season were…

It really is the “Bible” for the British ice hockey and I heartily recommend that you buy this new edition – and all the back issues you can find!  Looking forward already to the 40thedition – long may it continue!

More info, book orders and back issues:


Monday, 24 November 2014

New Release: "It's Christmas Time..." - Exclusive Interview With Steve Drewett

We don't normally "do" Christmas but we think this new Christmas song by Steve Drewett is really worth a listen. It is different from most of the more traditional Christmas songs and addresses an issue that is very common in modern day society.

We had a chat with Steve Drewett about how he came to write this song.  Click on the sound icon below to hear what he had to say about it:

You can listen to the song HERE

And you can find out more about Steve's latest album here:

We'll be featuring more of our great interview with Steve Drewett here on "Best Kept Secrets" shortly so please check back!

Friday, 21 November 2014

Coming Next Week: Exclusive Interview With Steve Drewett

Steve Drewett - highly respected frontman of the Newtown Neurotics  - has just released a solo album. 

We'll be running an in-depth interview with him in the next week or so - so please check back!

In the meantime, you can find out more about Steve's new album here: HERE

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Win A Copy Of The New Alison Moyet Live CD This Sunday On 103.2 Preston FM

Release Date: 10/11/2014

Track Listing:
1 Horizon Flame (Live)
2 When I Was Your Girl (Live)
3 Ordinary Girl (Live)
4 Remind Yourself (Live)
5 Is This Love? (Live)
6 Winter Kills (Live)
7 Filigree (Live)
8 Only You (Live)
9 Changeling (Live)
10 This House (Live)
11 All Signs of Life (Live)
12 All Cried Out (Live)
13 Situation (Live)
Order link HERE
Competition closed  - winners:  Victoria Booth (Wirral), Marie Kershaw (Lytham St Annes) .

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Radio Show On 103.2 Preston FM This Sunday From 4pm

Join us this Sunday afternoon from 4pm for another great radio show on 103.2 Preston FM.

This week, Lucy talks about the  Plans, Hopes & Dreams Project, Jennifer Leach's theatrical production "Where Then Shall We Start" about poet Wilfred Owen and artists Käthe Kollwitz  and reads another extract from  the WW1 Nurse in Belgium's story.

We feature the Beverley Sisters and the Southlanders in "Party Like Its 1959"
have music from The Skids, Asia, Bell Book & Candle and Bandits
and also feature new releases from German Shepherd Records artists The Bacillus and Positronik (in photo).

So join us from 4pm on Sunday on 103.2 Preston FM.  If you live outside the broadcast area, you cans till listen in via the internet at


You can find out more about the Plans, Hopes and Dreams Project here:

You can find out more about German Shepherd Records here:

Where Then Shall We Reach:

Friday, 17 October 2014

New Ice Hockey Book Out Now: Ice Hockey Review 2014

Containing details of all NIHL teams and competitions in North & South - Divisions 1&2

Special launch offer price of £7.50 with FREE UK Postage and Packing:

Enquire about larger quantities or overseas orders: EMAIL

Contents Include:
Player Awards & All Star Teams
Reports and stats from all league, cup and play off competitions

Photos and player statistics of all teams, ie: 

N1 Moralee Conference: Billingham Stars, Blackburn Hawks, Manchester Minotaurs, Sheffield Spartans, Solway Sharks, Sutton Sting, Telford Titans, Whitley Warriors
N2 Laidler Conference: Blackburn Eagles, Coventry Blaze, Deeside Dragons, Nottingham Lions, Hull Jets, Sheffield Spartans, Solihull Barons, Widnes Wild
South 1: Bracknell Hornets, Cardiff Devils, Chelmsford Chieftains, Invicta Dynamos, Milton Keynes Thunder, Solent & Gosport Devils, London Raiders, Streatham Redskins, Wightlink Raiders
South 2: Basingstoke Buffalo, Bristol Pitbulls, Cardiff Devils, Chelmsford Warriors, Invicta Mustangs, Lee Valley Lions, London Haringey Racers, Oxford City Stars, Peterborough Islanders, Slough Jets, Swindon Wildcats, Wightlink Tigers

Friday, 10 October 2014

Radio Show This Sunday on 103.2 Preston FM from 4pm

Join us for our "Best Kept Secrets" show on 103.2 Preston FM this Sunday from 4pm where we will be featuring an exclusive interview with jazz musician Dan Forshaw talking about his new Dan Forshaw Trio CD release and forthcoming live dates in the North West.

There's also the chance to win a copy of the 35th Anniversary Edition CD of the Madness "One Step Beyond" album

Lucy talks about Merseyside poets from the first world war - May Sinclair, Geoffrey Wall and Percy Haselden - and reviews some of the latest books that have been published about the Great War period

and we have new releases from The Ramona Flowers and Ward Thomas.

So tune in from 4pm on Sunday on 103.2 Preston FM or, if you live outside the broadcast area, you can "listen live" via the internet at

To find out more about the new Dan Forshaw Trio CD or to see a list of gigs, click HERE

Competition Time - Win A Copy Of the 35th Anniversary Madness "One Step Beyond" CD

If you tune in to our radio show on 103.2 Preston FM this Sunday, you could have the chance of winning a copy of the 35th Anniversary special edition CD of the "One Step Beyond" album.

The CD has all the original album tracks plus some previously unreleased rehearsal tracks from 1979 and a new DVD compilation.

In order to have a chance of winning, listen to our show this Sunday from 4pm and answer the Madness-related question by sending a message to this LINK.  The winner will be chosen at random from the correct entries.

If you live outside the broadcast area, you can still listen in and take part via the internet at

Track listing
Disc 1 - CD
1. One Step Beyond / 2. My Girl / 3. Night Boat To Cairo / 4. Believe Me / 5. Land Of Hope & Glory / 6. The Prince / 7. Tarzan’s Nuts / 8. In The Middle Of The Night / 9. Bed & Breakfast Man / 10. Razor Blade Alley / 11. Swan Lake / 12. Rockin’ In A Flat / 13. Mummy’s Boy / 14. Madness / 15. Chipmunks Are Go!

Extra Tracks: ‘Fab Toones!’ Rehearsal Tape, 1979
16. Nutty Sounds / 17. Mistakes / 18. Sunshine Voice / 19. My Girl / 20. Memories / 21. Believe Me / 22. Lost My Head / 23. Razorblade Alley / 24. Land Of Hope & Glory / 25. Mummy’s Boy / 26. In The Middle Of The Night / 27. You Said / 28. Stepping Into Line / 29. Bed & Breakfast Man

Disc 2 - DVD
1. One Step Beyond… (video)  / 2. Bed And Breakfast Man (video) / 3. My Girl (video) / 4. Night Boat To Cairo (video) / 5. One Step Beyond… (BBC Top Of The Pops) / 6. The Prince (BBC Top OF The Pops) / 7. My Girl (BBC Top Of The Pops) / 8. Bed & Breakfast Man (BBC Old Grey Whistle Test)  / 9. Night Boat To Cairo (BBC Old Grey Whistle Test) / 10. Young Guns’ Documentary (BBC, 2000).

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Sonia Bidwell - Textile Artist & Storyteller

In our radio show today, from 4pm, Lucy will be talking about a fascinating piece of artwork by Scottish artist Sonia Bidwell.

Lucy explains: "On 14th September, I woke up thinking of Tonga and the islands in the Pacific and the part they played in the first conflict that affected the entire globe.  So I had to look up their involvement in WW1.  I mentioned this on Facebook and Sonia sent me a photograph of one of her beautiful works of art."
The work of art in question is a wall hanging (see photo) showing the horrific journey of the islanders from Tonga  to the western front via Egypt.  Sonia also included the poem "Despise not the day of small things" written by E. Mary Cruttwell, which was featured in 'The Fiery Cross' WW1 Poetry Anthology, edited by Mabel C. Edwards and Mary Booth and published in 1915 by .
Sonia says :  "I was so moved to indignation I did this wall hanging showing the islanders' horrific journey to the western front via Egypt. I also included the poem by Mary Cruttwell.
The yellow represents Egypt see pyramids.   The central section is the Western Front.  The photo shows the Nuiens on trench digging, then the top is the white cliffs of Dover and Hornchurch " Horns from coat of arms "where they were sent to recover or die.  The photo of a grave Card in the left hand corner is "A long way to Tipperary" as sung in Maori."
With many thanks to Sonia, who is a Textile Artist and Storyteller who lives in Scotland, where she is well known for her unusual interpretations of myths and legends, folklore and traditions.  She designs and makes wall hangings incorporating fabric, weaving and objets trouvés.
To find out more about Sonia's wonderful work, please see

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Local Football Round Up - 27th September 2014

Blackpool Wren Rovers Reserves beat Thornton Cleveleys Reserves 5-3 in the West Lancashire League Reserves Division (in photo) while the first team won by the same scoreline away at Lostock St Gerrards to stay top of the Premier Division.

Elsewhere in the golden triangle of local football, Squires Gate won 4-3 away at Bacup & Rossendale United while AFC Blackpool drew 2-2 at home to Stockport Sports. Squires Gate are now 14th in the North West Counties League Premier Division with 16 points from 10 games. AFC Blackpool are still bottom - 2 poiunts adrift of Bacup & Rossendale with 3 points from 14 games.

More info: 

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Win Copies of the new "Essential Swing Out Sister" CD in our great competition - closes midnight Sunday!

We have two copies of the new "Essential Swing Out Sister" greatest hits CD to give away in a great free-to-enter competition.

To have a chance of winning, all you have to do is listen to our radio show on 103.2 Preston FM this Sunday from 4pm and then send us a message telling us which 2 tracks we have played from the CD.

There are two chances to win: one via email - send your answer HERE and the other by sending a PM via our Facebook page HERE

The deadline for sending in your answers in 12 midnight on Sunday evening and the two lucky winners will be announced on Monday morning.


Radio Show On 103.2 Preston FM - This Sunday from 4pm

In our radio show on 103.2 Preston FM this Sunday afternoon  from 4pm, we'll be playing a couple of tracks from the new "Essential Swing Out Sister" greatest hits CD, along with more great new releases from the Subways, The Dan Forshaw Trio & Santa Maradona FC.

We feature Alma Cogan in our Party Like It's 1959 spot and Lucy talks about:
the  Essex Memorial to the airship shot down by Lt William Leefe Robinson VC on 2-3 September 1916
 Marie Stopes WW1 female poet
Nora Neilson Gray - British Artist and designer, orderly in France in WW1
Sonia Bidwell's wall hanging about the contribution of the Isle of Niu in the South Pacific in WW1
Sister F.I.C. Tyson the Australian nurse buried in Sutton Veney churchyard, Wiltshire
Poet in the City London event on 13th October 2014.

PLUS there's another great extract from "The Nurse's Story - Sketchbook from Belgium".

So join us from 4pm on Sunday on 103.2 Preston FM. If you are outside the broadcast area, you can "listen live" over the internet at 

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

The Subways - Autumn Tour Dates 2014

The Subways have UK tour coming up in October and anew album due out early next year.

We'll be playing the first single release from the new album in our radio show on 103.2 Preston FM this Sunday from 4pm and the band will playing live at 53 Degrees in Preston on 25th October.

The full list of tour dates is as follows:

01-Oct-14 - Colchester- Arts Centre
02-Oct-14 - Gloucester
04-Oct-14 - Guildford
05-Oct-14 - Portsmouth
07-Oct-14 - Exeter
08-Oct-14 - Cardiff
10-Oct-14 - Swansea
11-Oct-14 - Coventry
14-Oct-14 - Newry
15-Oct-14 - Belfast
17-Oct-14 - Wakefield
18-Oct-14 - York
20-Oct-14 - Newcastle
21-Oct-14 - Edinburgh
22-Oct-14 - Glasgow
24-Oct-14 - Aberdeen
25-Oct-14 - Preston
27-Oct-14 - Derby
28-Oct-14 - Peterborough
29-Oct-14 - Cambridge
31-Oct-14 - Oxford
01-Nov-14 - Norwich                       

More info from: 

CD Release: The Essential Swing Out Sister - out 7th October 2014

THE ESSENTIAL SWING OUT SISTER released by Union Square Music 7
Swing Out Sister has created a sound which is more relevant now than ever before. Corinne Drewery & Andy Connell, original purveyors of jazz infused pop, have over the past 28 years continued to celebrate the eclectic cultural mix of the UK's constantly changing music scene with a sound that owes as much to hip-hop and jazz fusion as sixties pop and soul.

A new compilation album featuring all their biggest and best loved recordings is scheduled for release in October.

Swing Out Sister’s first single, 'Breakout’ from their debut album 'It's Better To Travel' (1987), cemented their reputation for well crafted songs and cinematic arrangements.

Breakout brought the band worldwide success and international acclaim, with singles 'Surrender', 'Twilight World' and 'Fooled By A Smile’ to follow.

In 1988, Swing Out Sister were nominated for two Grammy Awards including 'Best New Artist' and 'Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Group or Duo' for Breakout.

Their second album, 'Kaleidoscope World’, released in 1989 spawned the hits 'Where In The World', 'You On My Mind', 'Forever Blue' and 'Waiting Game’ and featured arrangements by Jimmy Webb, showing the versatility of the band’s song writing ability and a celebration of the Brill Building writers such as Bacharach and David and Goffin and King.

'Get In Touch With Yourself' (1992) followed with their cover of Barbara Acklin's 'Am I The Same Girl?’ and 'Notgonnachange' (the version on this album was remixed by Frankie Knuckles) both international chart hits for the band.

'The Living Return' (1994) featured 'La La Means I Love You' and was featured on the soundtrack to 'Four Weddings And A Funeral'.

A consistent stream of popular albums have followed over the years proving that Swing Out Sister still deliver stylishly smooth 'sophisti-pop' mixed with gorgeous vocals and lush melodies. They have toured extensively, especially in the USA and Japan, and on the international jazz festival circuit, recently performing big band arrangements of their songs at JavaJazz in Jakarta alongside Stevie Wonder and Bobby McFerrin.

Other albums:  'Shapes And Patterns' (1997), 'Filth & Dreams' (1999), Somewhere Deep In The Night' (2001), 'Where Our Love Grows' (2004), 'Beautiful Mess' (2008) and 2012's, 'Private View'.

The full track listing for, 'The Essential Swing Out Sister' is as follows:
Twilight World (Superb, Superb, Mix)
Fooled By A Smile
Where In The World
Waiting Game
You On My Mind
La La (Means I Love You)
Am I The Same Girl?
Notgonnachange (Frankie Knuckles Classic Club Mix)
Precious Words
Heaven Only Knows
Waters Of March (with Akiko) (single edit)
Somewhere Deep In The Night
Love Won't Let You Down
Forever Blue (Big band version)* previously unreleased.
The Windmills Of Your Mind

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Local Football Round Up - 20th September

Blackpool Wren Rovers maintained their 2 point lead at the top of the West Lancashire League Premier Division with a close fought 2-1 win over Euxton Villa.

Next Saturday Wren Rovers are away at Lostock St Gerrards while Wren Rovers Reserves are at home to Thornton Cleveleys Reserves in a 3pm kick off.


Saturday, 13 September 2014

Local Football Round Up - 13th September 2014

Blackpool Wren Rovers came back from two goals down to draw 2-2 after 90 minutes in their Lancashire Amateur Shield 1st round game before losing out to Slyne With Hest 4-3 on penalties.

Elsewhere in the golden triangle of local football, AFC Blackpool picked up only their second league point of the season in a 2-2 draw at home to Winsford United in the NWCFL Premier Division.

Squires Gate drew 2-2 away at Bamber Bridge in the 1st Qualifying Round of the FA Cup and will have a replay at home on Tuesday evening.

AFC Blackpool are also at home on Tuesday in league action against last season's Division One champions Nelson.

Blackpool Wren Rovers are at home next Saturday against Euxton Villa in the West Lancashire League Premier Division in a 3pm kick off.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Tune in to our Radio Show on 103.2 Preston FM This Sunday from 4pm

Join us from 4pm on Sunday afternoon on 103.2 Preston FM for another Best Kept Secrets radio show.

As part of our continuing First World War centenary commemorations, Lucy will be talking about:
An event in London on Wednesday, 17th September at the Fleming Collection Gallery
Mike Clayton's Great Aunt - Elsie Amelia Highfield and her autograph book
Dean Echenberg website -
Tanya Birnie's weblog Headstones of graves of women who served and died in WW1
Caroline Stevens' relation Kate Luard, nurse + book.
"Reporting under fire 16 Daring Women Journalists" by Kerrie Logan Hollihan, Chicago Review Press, 2014
Canal Poetry Laureate and the Canal Project
Martin Zieren's new German poets
America in the First World War and the sinking of the "Brindisi"
and she will also be reading passages from “A War Nurse's diary”

We have new releases from April Moon, Flies On You, Boz Hayward, Paul Olexa and The Meantime.
Plus "Party like It's 1959" with Miki & Griff and Petula Clark.

So join us from 4pm on Sunday afternoon on 103.2 Preston FM - or, if you live outside the broadcast area, you can "listen live" on

Thursday, 4 September 2014

WW1 Commemorative Event, Barnoldswick, W. Yorkshire - 6th and 7th September 2014

News just in of a special WW1 Commemorative Event  will be held on Saturday, 6th September 2014 at Barnoldswick Heritage Weekend when an early tragedy of World War One will be commemorated with a major exhibition during the weekend of 6th and 7th September 2014

For further details, please see the "Visit Barnoldswick" website  

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