Sunday, 22 July 2018

The Craig Charles Funk & Soul Club !!



Sometimes nice things do happen !
I had meant to buy tickets to go and see Craig Charles in Blackpool as usual I forgot but saw on facebook on Bootleg Social a competition to win a VIP entry ...

To cut a long story short - I WON !! Free entry in , free drinkies and the opportunity to see Craig at his best !


Craig Joseph Charles (born 11 July 1964) is a British actor, comedian, author, poet, television presenter and DJ. He is best known for playing Dave Lister in the science fiction sitcom Red Dwarf and Lloyd Mullaney in the soap opera Coronation Street, as a funk and soul DJ on BBC Radio 6 Music and BBC Radio 2, and as the presenter of the gladiator-style game show Robot Wars from 1998 to 2004. 



I have to say it's so nice to see someone who over the years has been in and out of the media to play a gig in a small local venue. While waiting outside as wanted to get some air Craig arrived just before 1am at the venue with his cousin, parked the car at the front , a few quick selfies with fans and in Craig went.


So if you get the chance and Craig comes back to Blackpool go and see him ! 

Saturday, 7 July 2018

Red Arrows...Airshows and a Lancaster !!!

Well the August Airshow 2018 is nearly upon us ... so I thought I would revisit and share some of the shots I have gathered over the years ....





Spare Red at Blackpool Airport today as Southort was havng an Airshow 

and right at the other side of the airport ...



2017 shots





And from 2013








Sunday, 24 June 2018

Marples Grange on the old National savings Site

SHOW HOMES LAUNCH 30TH JUNE!!!!
Well of course that got my attention - I used to work on the site of the National Savings Building so was interested to see that they had started to build some of the new houses... have a read of the introduction on the website...
Nowadays Marton falls within the modern town of Blackpool, but a thousand years ago, there were several small hamlets of Little Marton, Great Marton and Marton Fold. The name comes from AngloSaxon ‘Mere-tun’ - and the mere or lake after which Marton is named is still there; in fact today, Marton Mere (and neighbouring Marton Moss) is a renowned local nature reserve and Site of Special Scientific Interest, attracting all manner of birdlife, wildlife, flora and fauna. Marton itself is just three miles from the Lancashire coast, where central Blackpool meets the sea, and is close to the green enclave of Stanley Park, which contains the renowned Blackpool Zoo. Nearby Preston Old Road has a number of local neighbourhood shops, whilst Blackpool town centre has an excellent choice of supermarkets and shops, for which Blackpool has long been celebrated. 
The coastal areas to the north and south of the town are glorious, from the southerly Ribble estuary and Lytham St. Anne’s to the historic former fishing town of Fleetwood, on the Wyre estuary overlooking Morecambe Bay and the Lake District, to the north. The area has no less than four Primary schools and two Secondary schools, and its principal thoroughfare, Preston New Road, leads directly to the eastbound M55 motorway, which connects to the north-south M6 (for The Lake District, Liverpool and the Midlands) and M61 (for central Manchester and Leeds). There are also rail links from Blackpool to Preston, for onward West Coast rail services (Preston – London: 2hrs 45 mins). 





now just on case in years to come you think which two houses are these...





Plots 7 and 8 on the above map ( easier if you download and enlarge ! ) 

For those of you who may have worked at the old site of course ! Please see the old images below 








The following was said about the building before it was knocked down..

The Post Office Savings Bank (formed in 1861) opened its Bonds and Stocks Office in Lytham St. Annes in 1956, when premium bonds were first introduced by the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, Harold Macmillan under the control of the Department for National Savings.

Following additional work transferred from the Harrogate office in 1963, and the subsequent aquisition of the Post Office Savings Bank by HM Treasury (who re-branded it 'National Savings') in 1969, work began in the early 1970s to create a new Bonds and Stocks Office office in Marton, Blackpool, which was opened in circa 1978.

In 1996, National Savings became an executive agency of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and 2002 saw a further name change to National Savings and Investments (NS&I). Responsibility for Premium Bonds still remains at the Blackpool office (albeit outsourced to Atos, an IT services company) - but in the Moorland Building, a more modern office block (built 1993) at the northern edge of the site.

However, the remaining three buildings, including the eight-storey Tower Building, are suffering from a range of issues including widespread asbestos, and as such, are to be demolished to build housing and new offices. Development is currently underway, with parts of the site already demolished.








Friday, 22 June 2018

Things that go BUMP !!

For those of you that know me quite well - I have an interest in the paranormal and have a rather super friend called Stephen Mercer - he runs the following 

Ghost walks and tours and much more well I was lucky enough to be able to attend the following on Thursday evening  


Above is a very old photo of Blackpool Grammer School 




Just on case you wanted an even older map ! See if you can spot where the site is ?! 

Winstone House, part of The Citadel building in Blackpool and once home to the Grammar School is the latest location for our eerie events. You will be able to explore and investigate some of this amazing building including some of the old school rooms and offices as well as carry out some experiments including dowsing, Ouija sessions and more! All proceeds will to to charities supported by Horizon.




Horizon offers drug, alcohol and non-clinical sexual health support to all residents of Blackpool. The service is confidential, non-judgemental and completely free of charge to anybody living in Blackpool who needs support to overcome their issues. Horizon operates out of four buildings in Blackpool: Harrowside, 102 Dickson Road, Winstone House and 258 Church Street. Anybody wanting to access support from Horizon can just turn up at 102 Dickson Rd or telephone 01253 205156.


Well I got off to a good start - took my camera and forgot to pop in  the SD card - Doh !
 So had to pop home again much to the delight of my confused dog Luna ...

Back again at the location - which I spent three hours at ( wasn't tired at work the next day honest ! )

Below I will share some of the photo's that were taken on the night ...







So ladies and gents will you dare to attend on the next adventure ...

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Tram Tracks & Toilets !

Well at least the title got your attention ! 

Ahh road works, was in town today 
and of course the camera came along 
 The following from the Blackpool Council website - As part of our work to improve Blackpool town centre to create a better and more attractive place and to extend the tramway to Blackpool North Station there will be a number of road works over the coming months.
 Tramway construction
The next phase of our work will see us start work on the construction of the tramway in April with small areas closed along Talbot Road.



 and of course from Jane Littlewood and Live In Blackpool 

The tramway is being extended to the railway station, the town centre will be getting a new conference centre, a new IMAX cinema is also being built. There will be more places to shop and eat, new four and five star hotels and the look and feel of streets will be improved.
mprovement work around the town centre continues to make good progress with the different projects to make Blackpool better on schedule.
The vision of transformation for Blackpool is becoming a reality with more exciting news that construction of the tramway extension along Talbot Road will begin next month.
The tramway build, road improvements and infrastructure investment will provide benefits to the community and visitors to the town for years to come – including better public transport, modern streets, more places to shop and eat, a new IMAX cinema, new four and five star hotels and a conference centre.


From tram talk with some fab old images 



The above is from 1866 pre tracks !! 

Now we wander a little further 


In 1926 the drinking fountain was removed from Talbot square and a tram shelter built however the two sets of underground toilets were retained ! It was later replaced with an extended entrance taxi drivers even now call the rank *the fountain*.
As a child being taken into town and of course need to use the loo, I remember the dark dank green and the steps, then again I do have little legs ! 








Friday, 4 May 2018

Warton Hall - Lytham

Warton Hall

Is situated in Lytham as is a Georgian Manor House (not open to the public but the gardens are ! ) set in 4 acre garden with Bluebell woodland walk, Bog Garden and Sculpture Trail. Japanese Water Garden and Dry Garden, and Gallery Courtyard. Creativity Classes in the Garden and Studio and Yoga under the 400 year old Weeping Hornbeam tree (book online) Art, plants and garden gifts for sale in the Conservatory. The Tearoom serves light refreshment including homemade cakes. 
Well , why have I not visited before ! This place is stunning as are the cakes as well..
Kate Yates  ( BBFF and then some !! who was of course in her element with tree's and nature ! )  
was also in attendance with me and wow - we had a brilliant time ! 

Now owned by Nicola & David Thompson - Warton Hall was once owned by Augustus Wykeham Clifton of the Clifton Family of Lytham Hall and in recent years the house and gardens have been renovated by the Thompson Family. In the grounds there is an outdoor exhibition of artwork and sculpture. Nicola and her family have been living there for nine years and have renovated the main house and the gardens, with work now continuing on adjoining cottage and the garages. The mid 19th Century Warton Hall, located off Lodge Lane, has a rich history.
Augustus Wykeham Clifton, the uncle of John Talbot Clifton, who was a very popular figure in Lytham until his death in May 1915 - Mr Clifton manifested much interest in local events. To the general public he was most familiar by his crowning of the Rose Queens at Lytham. Every one of Lytham’s Rose Queens since that pretty allegory was instituted in 1894 had been crowned by him. His tall, commanding figure-scarcely bent despite the weight of his four score years- his venerable appearance and the geniality of a disposition, bright with the sunshine of good humour, won him such public esteem and regard that he was called the “Grand old Man of Lytham.
Warton Hall has four acres of woodland garden and is currently home to Nicola Thompson, who runs an art studio in the grounds. She and her family have been living there for nine years and have renovated the main house and the gardens, with work now continuing on adjoining cottage and the garages. The mid 19th Century Warton Hall, located off Lodge Lane, has a rich history, with it first occupant Augustus Wyckham Clifton of the Clifton family of Lytham Hall. It will be one of 3,800 gardens around the country open to the public between May 9 to 17 under the National Garden Scheme, which will see proceeds taken on the gate donated to charities supported by the scheme.

Read more at: https://www.lythamstannesexpress.co.uk/news/warton-hall-to-open-its-gardens-1-7235451
 It will be one of 3,800 gardens around the country open to the public between May 9 to 17 in 2018  under the National Garden Scheme, which will see proceeds taken on the gate donated to charities supported by the scheme.


Warton Hall has four acres of woodland garden and is currently home to Nicola Thompson, who runs an art studio in the grounds. She and her family have been living there for nine years and have renovated the main house and the gardens, with work now continuing on adjoining cottage and the garages. The mid 19th Century Warton Hall, located off Lodge Lane, has a rich history, with it first occupant Augustus Wyckham Clifton of the Clifton family of Lytham Hall. It will be one of 3,800 gardens around the country open to the public between May 9 to 17 under the National Garden Scheme, which will see proceeds taken on the gate donated to charities supported by the scheme.

Read more at: https://www.lythamstannesexpress.co.uk/news/warton-hall-to-open-its-gardens-1-7235451
Warton Hall has four acres of woodland garden and is currently home to Nicola Thompson, who runs an art studio in the grounds. She and her family have been living there for nine years and have renovated the main house and the gardens, with work now continuing on adjoining cottage and the garages. The mid 19th Century Warton Hall, located off Lodge Lane, has a rich history, with it first occupant Augustus Wyckham Clifton of the Clifton family of Lytham Hall. It will be one of 3,800 gardens around the country open to the public between May 9 to 17 under the National Garden Scheme, which will see proceeds taken on the gate donated to charities supported by the scheme.

Read more at: https://www.lythamstannesexpress.co.uk/news/warton-hall-to-open-its-gardens-1-7235451







Sunday, 8 April 2018

Nataliya Yunda -красивый художник


 Dear artists, photographers, gallery owners , I am so happy to invite you to come for my opening day , 9th April, Monday, at 4 pm ! 14-16 Woodfield Road , FY16AX My regards to all of you . Nataliya, Art Break Hotel
Well of course I had to go and met the talented lady and she kindly let me interview her ahead of the opening on Monday.

Nataliya moved to Blackpool in May 2017 so has been residing here for less than a year, when I asked why Blackpool, she had the following snippets to impart to me.
“I have a few friends who are hoteliers, one day the girls started to have a chat about this and said why not join us!” So I thought why not I shall try ! “

“I wanted to change my life completely, and that forced me to change everything, just running a hotel would be pretty boring for me, I can do so much more, I am very passionate about my art, with the hotel , I can promote myself as an artist, and do the same with other artists”
“I want us all to work as a group and as a team, I want to help the local artists and help them find a place where they can come and be always welcome at the Art Break Hotel.”



I asked so has it been quite hard getting the hotel in order for the opening !
“It’s been a pleasure to meet everyone, to see the artists and all the different styles and techniques and idea’s which for me is amazing. I am trying to improve my life but am also trying to get all the people to join me and we can all improve and inspire together.  I have done a lot of investment on my part with the hotel, I am so very excited with was has happened so very soon and in such a short space of time.  I have a massive support system with my artists, photographers, and have found and made some new friends all so amazing! 

I asked what sort of artistic mediums will be displayed  at the hotel.
“All will be welcome, even crazy idea’s ! I still love classical styles and techniques, I am trying to mix these as I feel it will make my paintings more interesting.  People who have joined my project have brought me new alternatives.

I mentioned next that I had read that possible classes may happen in the future – using Robin Ross and screen printing as my example..
“I am going to plan every month different artists and photographers  where they can do presentations, demonstrations and lessons in their medium of expertise.  Also the guests who are staying at the hotel can join us as well. I also plan to give lessons to both children and adults.” Nataliya explained that she had already been in contact with Blackpool & the Fylde College about this idea.


We then chatted about how Blackpool and it’s people who are very helpful, we then went to discuss the background to Nataliya and her art..
“ I started very young and then took it further at Higher school and then university, and then working and learning my craft sometimes late into the night. I used to not count  the hours and work and work until I was satisfied , thinking I can do better and losing track of time getting it right. When I first came to Britain, I was trying to do commissions but could not find the right people who were prepared to pay good money for my endeavours.  I was spending a lot of time on these for very little and having put so much time, effort and energy  into them.  One day I was asked to paint a portrait for commission – the director of the millennium centre in St Helens – he had been planning to open an arts academy, so on the opening day I was invited for the exhibition .”  Nataliya explained “while there I was approached by a group of local artists and they all stood next to my work and I remember overhearing some very kind remarks and thinking that is nice! One artist asked me if you don’t mind how much you have been paid for it, £250, was my reply. Oh good god said the artist your portraits should go for £1500 minimum, I thought no one will go for £1500!
 

 



Nataliya then explained that all the artwork at the hotel will have details of the artists and price(s) and a little information about them as well.  They will also have a portfolio that will have more information about the pieces that are available to buy be it a print or an original.
“The back dining room , which is not quite ready yet, I am planning to open a private gallery for original paintings, I just need to finish off the walls ! “ 

Nataliya then went on to explain about her concept for the rooms at the hotel.
“They won’t be numbered, they will be names by artists, again in each room, say Andy Austin would be his paintings on the wall and the portfolio will be there for the guests to look through.  I have found that Blackpool artists and photographers are very very helpful ( helping sort the hotel out ! ) I never expected such great help ! 




We then discussed about Blackpool’s popular culture highlighting *wakes weeks* and what tourists would do when they visited Blackpool and we went on to discuss how Blackpool is now reinventing itself as a cultural centre.

“When I discussed with my friends about my idea and concept for my art hotel they said it won’t work as people come to Blackpool for drinks and fish and chips! Blackpool is like a coin, one side is stereotypical , it’s about finding the other creative sides.”

My final question to Nataliya was where do you see yourself and the hotel in five years time?
“if the Hotel goes pretty well I may open more art B & B’s , it will work as I still have contact with many galleries and would of course keep in touch with them as all art needs rotation – so we all work together as artists. 

A few quick pictures were taken by myself and a promise was made to see Nataliya on Monday after I finished a long day at work. It has been an absolute please meeting this forward thinking lady and I for one cannot wait to see what happens next.


 


The Craig Charles Funk & Soul Club !!

Sometimes nice things do happen ! I had meant to buy tickets to go and see Craig Charles in Blackpool as usual I forgot but saw on face...