Recent forecasts have seen gusts of 45 mph in Blackpool meaning for safety reasons, organisers have cancelled the outdoor light event tonight
Recent stormy winds and heavy rain have forced organisers of the Blackpool Illuminated Tram Parade to cancel the event tonight.
To keep performers and guests safe, the team have taken the decision to cancel the outdoor element of the Blackpool Lightpool Festival.
Indoor events and installations set up around the seaside town are still accessible to the public.
Events such as Carnival Magic will be taking place in The Blackpool Tower Ballroom on October 28 for ticket holders as well as Silent Disco on The Fifth Floor in The Blackpool Tower on October 29.
Luma, the huge inflatable snail in the Winter Gardens, and 100 Local Lanterns in The Old Electric will still be available as they make their debut as part of the wonderful Light Art Trail across the town centre.
A spokesperson for Visit Blackpool said: “Unfortunately the weather is not being kind to us this evening with heavy rain and wind forecast.
“Due to this, many aspects of the Illuminated Tram Parade would not be able to go ahead and therefore we have taken the difficult decision to cancel the event this evening.
“We were looking forward to seeing our visitors and residents enjoying this free live performance in its full splendour.
“We are all enormously disappointed that we have had to make the unfortunate decision to cancel but the safety of our performers and visitors is our main priority.”
Hungarian refugees, their children and grandchildren returned to Blackpool today for a poignant ceremony thanking the town which offered them sanctuary 65 years ago.
Dr. Csaba Balogh, Hungary’s State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Around 200 Hungarian immigrants found refuge in Blackpool after fleeing their home country during the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, in which civilians rose up against Soviet Union soldiers who had occupied the country since the Second World War. Civilians formed militias to fight against the Red Army, and held out for six months until Soviet tanks rolled into Budapest.
In a show of gratitude to the town, many of the Hungarians gave a spectacular performance of theatre, music and opera in the Winter Gardens in 1957, raising money for the Mayor of Blackpool’s charity fund.
Today, they returned to the Winter Gardens to unveil a plaque commemorating Blackpool’s place in Hungarian history, serving as a permanent reminder of the friendships formed during those difficult years.
The Hungarian Revolution 1956
Speaking at the event was Andrew Zsigmond, 86, who arrived in Blackpool in 1957 after escaping to Bosnia and being recruited there to work as a coal miner in England.
He said: “As a 21-year-old I wanted to do two things in my life. One was to become a doctor nd the other one was to sing opera. This might be a bit controverisl how can you do bpoth but i was doing well i was halfway throughmy medical course and at the same time I was singing for semi-professional opera companies. But 65 years ago a miracle happened, when a small nation took arms against the mightiest grand power in the world, and by jove we gave them an uppercut which we have never forgotten to this day.
“But you can imagine the immense power we had to fight. Sadly, before long, we were overwhelmed. Some of us were lucky because because we were able to leave. After three days of marching through mud and slush and snow, on Janurary 4 1957 we arrived in Bosnia, where we were put in a refugee camp. Here in the refugee camp a miracle happened. A London double decker bus arrived and on the sign where normally the adverts are, there was a sign: ‘come and be a coal miner in Britain’.
“It took us three days to muster up the courage to change from opera and medicine to become a coal miner, but three days was enough to convince us and we signed on the dotted line. And my God, things moved fast. We were taken by bus to Austria, to Vienna, where we were put on a train and then onto a boat, and we arrived in London on January 13 1957. We spent the night in London and the next day there was a special train waiting for us to take us to Blackpool.
The Hungarian Revolution 1956
“From that carnage we left just a few days before, we arrived in this paradise. We were sent into various boarding houses; I stayed at 18 Albert road where I spent last night in the same room where I slept that day.
“Our first weekly wages, we decided to spend it on the female population of Blackpool, and we ended up in the ballroom where we danced with the band. It was a culture shock, as you can imagine.”
Mr Zsigmond remained in Blackpool for two months before going to work in the mines in Barnsley, Yorkshire. A former medical student, he soon gained a place at Liverpool University, and fulfilled his dream of becoming a doctor in 1961. He was later made an ‘honorary scouser’ in recognition of his contribution to the city.
He added: “Thank you very much, Blackpool, for having us for two and a half months. We were welcomed, we were celebrated and we tried to give back something with a concert in the end.”
The Hungarian Revolution 1956
The plaque, located in the Winter Gardens’ main corridor, was unveiled by Dr. Csaba Balogh, Hungary’s State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He said: “We are here to express our deepest appreciation to you, the town of Blackpool and the United Kingdom for accommodating more than twenty thousand Hungarians, who had to emigrate after the 1956 revolution was crushed. Hundreds of them were given shelter and opportunity here in Blackpool and as a special expression of their gratitude, they gave a spectacular variety show supporting the Mayor of Blackpool’s charity fund.
“We are here today to reinforce that special ‘thank you’ on the 100-year anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations between Hungary and the UK.”
Blackpool Mayor coun Amy Cross said: “As Mayor of Blackpool, I’m delighted to be able to host this unveiling and welcome guests, including State Secretary Balogh, to Blackpool to remember this historic act of friendship.
“As the Chair of the Winters Gardens board, who operate the Winter Gardens for the Council, I’m also delighted that we can commemorate and shine a light on a special moment for both Blackpool and the Winter Gardens itself.”
A new “world-class” attraction on Blackpool seafront has been given the go-ahead and will open next year – but what do we know about the new attraction?
Blackpool Council’s Executive has agreed a scheme to redevelop part of the Golden Mile Centre on Blackpool’s famous promenade into a new £2.3 Million attraction.
The new attraction will be on the ground floor between Golden Mile Amusements and Funland, where SEA LIFE currently is.
Blackpool Council say the site will be transformed into a “family-focused visitor attraction” to open in 2022, but a date has not been given.
Blackpool Council’s Executive has agreed a scheme to redevelop part of the Golden Mile Centre on Blackpool’s famous promenade into a new £2.3 Million attraction
Following an extensive procurement process, the Council selected Merlin Entertainments as the ‘regeneration partner’ to transform and redevelop the key site.
Merlin already manages some of Blackpool’s biggest attractions, including SEA LIFE, Madame Tussauds, Blackpool Tower Dungeon and the Tower itself.
It also owns and operates some of the UK’s most popular attractions, such as Alton Towers, Thorpe Park and LEGOLAND.
But Merlin and Blackpool Council have not revealed what Blackpool’s new “world-class” attraction will be. The Council said further details of the attraction will be released early next year.
What do we know so far?
In the first phase of redevelopment, the south end of the site will be transformed into a “family-focused visitor attraction” due to open in 2022, next to the site earmarked for the £300 million Blackpool Central development scheme.
Cllr Lynn Williams, leader of Blackpool Council, said: “I am delighted to announce the redevelopment on this key site on the Promenade.
“Merlin Entertainments already successfully operate a number of internationally known brands in Blackpool and I’ve no doubt that this new attraction will be equally as popular.
“It is vitally important that Blackpool continues to develop and offer visitors new and different reasons to visit.
“Any new attraction will help the local economy in terms of job creation and increased visitor numbers so should be welcome news for local residents as well.
“I look forward to it opening next year.”
Theme parks ‘should be built first’ at Blackpool Central urge hoteliers
“At Merlin we have some exciting global partnerships that we will be announcing in the coming months, which will firmly support Blackpool’s overall ambition to be the UK’s number one family seaside resort.
“By adding more globally recognised brands, delivered with Merlin’s world class guest experience, we know this will provide compelling new reasons for visitors to come to Blackpool.
“The local community are at the very heart of these strategic plans, with the goal to deliver further jobs and economic benefit to both the town and the wider region.”
What would you like to see open on the site? Let us know your thoughts in our Facebook comments!
A new £2.3m attraction based round a popular children’s character is set to open on Blackpool Promenade next summer after council chiefs gave the go ahead to the deal.
Merlin, which already operates Blackpool Tower, the Sea Life Centre and Madame Tussauds in the resort, is set to transform part of the council-owned Golden Mile Centre into the new attraction.
Precise details of the scheme are being kept under wraps while property rights are agreed – but it is set to be an exclusive brand to Blackpool when it first opens.
Blackpool Council leader Coun Lynn Williams said: “Merlin Entertainments already successfully operate a number of internationally known brands in Blackpool and I’ve no doubt that this new attraction will be equally as popular.”
The Golden Mile Centre
Kate Shane, regional director for Merlin Entertainments, added: “At Merlin we have some exciting global partnerships that we will be announcing in the coming months, which will firmly support Blackpool’s overall ambition to be the UK’s number one family seaside resort.
“By adding more globally recognised brands, delivered with Merlin’s world class guest experience, we know this will provide compelling new reasons for visitors to come to Blackpool.”
Claire Smith, president of hoteliers group StayBlackpool, also welcomed the investment.
She said: “Merlin is known for its quality attractions which are open year round, and a serious amount of money is being put into this, so it is great news for Blackpool.
“It is aimed at the youngest children who are the market of the future – if we can get them here enjoying themselves at that age, they will then progress onto the Pleasure Beach rides and other Merlin attractions.”
Redevelopment, which has been approved by the council’s executive, will be of the south end of the site on the ground floor between Golden Mile Amusements and Funland.
The building is currently occupied by Graffiti Golf with a number of stalls at the front of the premises.
Their leases are due to expire at the beginning of November and will not be renewed.
Alan Cavill, director of communications and regeneration at Blackpool Council, said the new attraction would be aimed at children aged under seven, and would be “based around a popular children’s character.”
He said when the council went out to tender for a new operator for the Golden Mile Centre last year, it was to seek “a world class attraction.”
He added: “This will be something completely new for Blackpool and will be aimed at the younger age group.”
The council will fund the £2.3m cost of the scheme by lending the money to Merlin, which will repay the money out of revenue from the attraction, before moving onto a profit sharing scheme with the council.
The council bought the Golden Mile Centre in 2010 as part of a £40m deal which also included the Tower and the Winter Gardens.
Since then Merlin has worked with the council to operate the Tower and other attractions including Madame Tussauds and the Blackpool Dungeons.
Investment currently underway on Central Promenade also includes the construction of the Sands Resort Hotel which will include the council-backed Showtown museum, while the £300m Blackpool Central leisure development has also just received planning permission.
Coun Williams said: “It is vitally important that Blackpool continues to develop and offer visitors new and different reasons to visit.
“Any new attraction will help the local economy in terms of job creation and increased visitor numbers so should be welcome news for local residents as well.
Ms Shane added: “We are delighted to further evolve our strategic relationship with Blackpool Council by adding even more reasons to visit to our already strong Blackpool cluster of attractions.
“The local community are at the very heart of these strategic plans, with the goal to deliver further jobs and economic benefit to both the town and the wider region.”
A new creative hub above Fleetwood Market is finally up and running for business and projects.
One of the exhibits by artist Roxanne Warren at the Market House Studio in Fleetwood
After months of renovation ‘Market House Studios’ is not only operating, but the public will have a chance to see it at an open day this weekend.
‘In House’ is the official launch exhibition, showcasing the artworks by the eight resident artists who have taken up studios within the old Victorian Market Manager’s house.
The ‘In House’ Open Weekend is free to attend and open for people of all ages to come and explore. The studios will be open from 10am until 4pm on Saturday 23 October and Sunday 24 October and are situated above Fleetwood Market, 26 Adelaide Street, Fleetwood, FY7 6AD.
For 25 years the Market House had remained empty but now it has a new lease of life and is ready to make a creative contribution to Fleetwood Market. There are currently eight artists in residence in eight studios, with one studio reserved for community projects, classes and exhibitions, and a gallery space within the Market itself.
Established by Wyre Council and funded by the Coastal Communities fund, the studios are managed by a full time Studio Coordinator and artist, Adrian Pritchard.
Tina Warren works in both 2D and 3D and her previous work includes drawings, paintings, sculptures, installations, digital imagery and the moving image, however, she is predominantly a painter and also teaches drawing and painting. Her work explores questions of morality and ethics, often taking a critical view of socio-political and environmental issues, with a focus on abuse of power, indoctrination and apathy, at the personal and political, local and global level.
Carolyn Sillis is a local exhibiting artist and gained her master’s degree in 2019. She describes her work as intuitive and uses the phrase ‘An unapologetic mark maker’. Carolyn draws her inspiration from personal events and world events.
Heather Johnstone’s artwork explores human conditioning and beauty perception in Western society by identifying social and cultural influences. In 2018 she founded Anon; A Community Arts Project, now funded by Healthier Fleetwood.
Jayne Simpson is an artist & university lecturer whose work is inspired by memory, lost experiences, personal history and trying to recreate a sense of remembering in a non-nostalgic way. She is currently working on a series of abstract paintings started in March 2020, at the beginning of lockdown.
Rebecca Fitton is a visual artist from the town of Fleetwood in Lancashire. Rebecca’s practice is centred around social engagement. Always autobiographical on some level, it also endeavours to address broader issues of identity, social accountability, marginalised communities and violence.
Anne-Marie Ciotkowski is a fine artist who primarily specialises in oils, with portrait and figure painting being particular favourite topics. Her ceramics lean towards abstracted natural forms as does her plaster sculpting work. Her significant experience within arts education has provided an opportunity to develop styles in various media.
Richard Hardwick is a Fleetwood artist using photography to explore the natural world and our relationship with it; his main areas of interest being the human body, water, trees and horses. Richard utilises historic photographic processes to explore the natural world and the relationships people have with their own bodies, exploring feelings and emotions and investigating the influences of society.
Roxanne Warren is a videographer / filmmaker who collaborates with other artists. She is also a Costume Breakdown Artist who has worked on productions across the UK, for companies such as Sky, BBC and Netflix.
Adrian says, “The studios at Market House provide affordable workplaces for creatives, while also building connections between local communities and businesses, opening the door for future developments through the creative industries, artist opportunities and training courses.”
The creative studio space at Market House has been designed to be fully flexible to accommodate most creatives and artists. There is a mix of studio sizes that can be shared by a collective of artists or individuals. It is designed to be affordable for all and will offer flexible working times. The Community Space is available for short term use and project work – to suit the needs of the artists and community.
CounAlice Collinson, portfolio holder for Planning and Economic Development at Wyre Council, says “We are thrilled with the progress so far at Fleetwood Market and Market House Studios and are looking forward to seeing the works created by the talented artists in residence at the exhibition.
“This is a very exciting time for Fleetwood Market and its progressing art culture as it opens up many creative collaborations between the market and the studios.”
From Lancaster to Lytham, a host of organised events are set to go ahead across the county in 2021
Bonfire Night may have gone off with a disappointing flicker in Lancashire in 2020 due to the government’s coronavirus restrictions on mass events – but not this year.
From Lancaster to Lytham, a host of organised events are set to go ahead across the county, to mark Guy Fawkes Night, which falls on November 5 every year.
How could anyone forget the rhyme ‘remember, remember the Fifth of November, gunpowder, treason and plot’?
The British tradition marks the anniversary of the failure of the Gunpowder Plot on the Houses of Parliament and attempted assassination of King James I in 1605 and is named after Guy as he was given control of the 20 barrels of explosives.
November 5 falls on a Friday for 2021 and the majority of the organised events, which include fireworks displays and huge bonfires, will take place on the day, however a number will feature on Saturday 6, Sunday 7 and in the week prior.
We’ve put together a round-up of the major Bonfire Night festivities across Lancashire, with all information correct at time of publication.
For an individual breakdown of each area, click on the title.
Preston Grasshoppers Rugby Club, Lightfoot Green Lane
When: Friday, November 5, gates open 6pm, the bonfire will be lit at 7pm and the fireworks will follow at 8pm
Tickets: £6 per person and £19 for a family ticket (two adults, two children) booked in advance and tickets are expected to sell out. However, remaining any tickets will be available on the gate at £7 per person and £22 for a family ticket.
Additional information: No alcohol or private fireworks are permitted. Retain your advance ticket for free entry to Preston Grasshoppers vs Rossendale on November 20
Penwortham Fireworks Display, Pear Tree Park, Middleforth Green
When: Friday, November 5, fairground rides open from 6.30pm and the firework display will begin at 7.30pm.
Tickets: Free entry but charity buckets will be doing the rounds for voluntary donations
Additional information: Families welcome, food and drink stalls available. Limited parking in surrounding areas
Heskin Hall, Wood Lane, Chorley
When: Tuesday, November 2, live music from 5pm, fireworks 8pm and the event will end at 9pm
Tickets: £7 adults in advance (£10 at the gate) £4 children (£5 at the gate). Book online here
Additional information: Enjoy a fully licenced bar, market stalls, fun fair, a Greatest Showman tribute performance, celebrity guests Jacob (Joe-Warren Plant) from Emmerdale and Sam (Jude Riordan) from Coronation Street, Everything Changes take That tribute act and an ABBA tribute act. There will be extremely limited parking onsite, and stewards will be on hand to direct you. Wearing sturdy and waterproof footwear is recommended.
Worden Park, School Lane, Leyland
When: Friday, November 5, display begins at 6pm
Tickets: £4 in advance at Atkinson jewellers Hough Lane, Leyland, Brindles Costcutter, School Lane, Paces for Laces, Leyland Cross, NSS Newsagent, Lancaster Lane or the Civic Centre West Paddock. Tickets also available for £5 on the night
Additional information: This is the park’s 50th annual display and there will be a large bonfire and fairground in addition to the fireworks display. Free car parking, overflow car park available.
Gastang and District Lions Club, High Street Car Park, Garstang
When: Saturday, November 6, bonfire lighting at 7pm with fireworks following at 7.30pm
Tickets: To be confirmed
Additional information: Food and drink stalls will be available.
Gregson Green Community Centre, Gregson Lane Playing Fields, Hoghton, Preston
When: Saturday, November 6, gates will open at 5.30pm, following be the lighting of the bonfire at 6.30pm and the fireworks display at 7pm
Tickets: £6 for adults and £4 for children and can be purchased in advance online soon, here
Additional information: Refreshments will be on sale at the event, which will also have a licenced bar and other bonfire night favourites such as parkin and treacle toffee on offer. Attending the event on foot is advised, with limited parking at Gregson Lane Garage and on-street parking in the area.
Bamber Bridge Conservative Club, Cranbourne Street
When: Saturday, November 6 from 7pm
Tickets: Entry is free but donations to the club are welcome
Additional information: Indulge in parched peas, hot dogs and sweet treats for the younger visitors. Limited parking available onsite
Additional information: The night will climax with a fireworks display, but before that, thrill-seekers can enjoy a Mexican celebration with unlimited rides all evening, plus there’s live performances from samba drummers, fire eaters and a live DJ.
Light up Lancaster, Market Square and other venues
When: Friday, November 5 from 5pm to 10pm to view artwork and installations then on Saturday, November 6, there will also be an additional spectacular fireworks display from 8pm.
Tickets: Free – wristbands required for fireworks viewing areas (Quay Meadow, Giant Axe, Williamson Park) , and can be booked here
Additional information: Visitors are advised to arrive between 6.40pm and 7.40pm at the viewing platforms.
The majority large-scale installations are outside, so appropriate clothing for the weather is advised .Some installations are interactive, where others are more performance-based. This year, Lancaster University students have curated light-based projects inside the Storey.
The fireworks display should be viewable from most areas of the city, as long as you can see the castle.
Visitors are advised to use public transport where possible, as car parks will be bust across the weekend.
Heysham Village car park, Barrows Lane, Heysham,
When: Sunday, 31 October and Monday, 1 November, gates open at 5pm and event closes at 8.15pm
Tickets: £12 each, £40 for family of four (two adults and two children) additional booking fee applies. Under twos are free. Book online
Additional information: Each night includes a fireworks display, live entertainment and entry to unlimited rides are all included in ticket price. food and drinks are not included in the entry fee.
Bolton Le Sands Playing Fields, Packet Lane
When: Saturday, November 6, with gates opening at 6pm and the bonfire is due to be lit at 6.45pm, with the fireworks display to follow
Tickets: £6 per ticket, with entry for a pre-school aged children free with a fee paying adult. Tickets for children from aged five (primary school year one) to 17 also £6. Tickets will be available at a number of local shops and venues in the village, Morecambe, Lancaster and Carnforth, a list can be found here. Tickets must be purchase din advance to gain entry.
Additional information: Parking is limited and visitors are asked to respect local residents when arriving and leaving the event. More parking guidelines from organisers can be found here
When: Friday, November 5, bonfire lit at 6.30pm with fireworks display to follow
Tickets: Adults £4, children £2, and tickets are available for collection at The Thornton and Fitzpatrick’s. This event is expected to sell out.
Additional information: There will be an outside bar and fresh food available to enjoy on the night, with onsite parking.
Lowerhouse Cricket Club, Brooks Foundation Ground, David Wren Way
When: Saturday, November 6, gates open at 5.15pm, with the bonfire lit at 6.45pm, followed by the fireworks at 7.45pm
Tickets: £4 for adults, £2 for children, family of four £10 when purchased in advance at Mooch Cafe, Emma’s News, The Post Office or at the club or alternatively tickets are £4 for adults, £2 for children and a family pass is £12 on the day.
Additional information: The club bar and tea room will be open from 5.15pm and fairground rides will be onsite to bring added fun. Limited parking available.
When: Saturday, November 6, gates open 5pm and event finishes at 9.30pm
Tickets: Adult tickets £4, tickets for children £1 and family entry £10 ( two adults and up to four children under-14) Purchase tickets online here. Cashless payment also accepted on the gate.
Additional information: On top of a bonfire and fireworks finale, fairground rides, food and live music will also be on offer for visitors
Parking is free on the main car park just off Preston Old Road on Pleasington Paying Fields or nearby sites are £2 per car. The park is a half mile from Cherry Tree rail station and is serviced by the number 152 bus.
Gibbon Bridge Hotel, Chipping
When: Friday, November 5
Tickets: £30 for adults and £15 for children (aged 10 and under) and can booked booked by contacting 0199561456
Additional information: Ticket price includes firework display, inclusive of mulled wine or hot chocolate, hotpot, and cakes.
There is also an option to stay at hotel on the night, on bed and breakfast basis, from £110 per room. Parking onsite.
Gisburne Park Estate, Gisburne, Clitheroe
When: Friday, November 5, gates open from 5pm, bonfire lit at 7pm and fireworks display at 8pm
Tickets: Prices range from £8.60 for children to £13.96 for adults (including booking fee) and booking online in advance is essential, click here to book. No entry will be permitted without a pre-purchased ticket. Children under three do not require a ticket.
Additional information: Visitors can also enjoy fire dancers and purchase food and drink from onsite vendors.
Parking will be available at Gisburn Auction Market car park on Gisburn Road.
Darwen Cricket Club, Mostyn St
When: Saturday, November 6, the bonfire will be lit at 6.30pm with the fireworks display following ay 7.30pm
Tickets: Free entry, but a charity donation to the mayor’s chosen cause is encouraged at the gate
Additional information: Visitors can enjoy fairground rides, an indoor and outdoor bar and range of foods will also be onsite. Limited parking available, surrounding streets will also be busy.
When: Friday, November 5, gates open 5.45pm, bonfire lit 6pm and fireworks display 8pm
Tickets: £2 adults, £1 children under-3s, free. Pay on the gate.
Additional information: Parking onsite
Accrington Stanley FC, Wham Stadium
When: Sunday, November 7, gates open 5pm, fireworks display 7.30pm. Display takes place at Coppice End of the stadium
Tickets: £4 adults, under-16s £2, family rate (two adults, two children) £10. Tickets available in person at the club’s retail shop or call 01254 356950 – Option 1. Dedicated spaces for wheelchair users and carers.
Standing tickets available for Farleys Solicitors Stand (Clayton End) or unreserved seating tickets for either the HML Recycling Jack Barrett Main Stand or the Studio.co.uk Eric Whalley Stand.
Additional information: Funfair rides are not included in the entry fee. Limited parking available onsite
When: Friday, November 5, gates open at 5pm, bonfire lit at 6pm and fireworks from 6.30pm
Tickets: Early bird adult tickets £2 (£3 on the night); children £1 (£2 on the night; and £6 for a family ticket of two adults and two children (£10 on the night).Tickets available from behind the bar at the club or from Kandy Corner in Bacup town centre. Alternatively, you can pay at the gate
Additional information: Food and rides also available at an extra cost and the bar will open late. Limited parking onsite.
Rawtenstall Cricket Club, Bacup Road
When: Friday, November 5, gates open 6pm, bonfire lit at 7pm, and fireworks from 8pm.
Tickets: Early bird discount tickets cost £4 for adults (£5 on the gate), and £12 for a family of two adults, three kids (£15 on the gate), with children charged £3. Pay on entry.
Additional information: There will be a BBQ, DJ and bar. Parking available onsite.
When: Friday, November 5, gates open at 6pm, bonfire lit at 6.30pm, fireworks display from 7.15pm.
Tickets: Entry for adults is £4, and £2 for children, with a family saver ticket (two adults, two children) charged at £10. Entry will be via Private Lane or Manchester Road entrances and visitors pat at the gate.
Additional information: Outdoor bar, a Bentgate can bar, sweets, treats and soft drinks, pie and peas, hot dogs and burgers on sale.
Please note:No own drinks or personal fireworks or sparklers will be permitted on the night and the club car park will be closed for the event. Attending on foot is highly recommended where possible.
Ramsbottom Cricket Club, Harry Williams Riverside Stadium, Acre Bottom
When: Friday, November 5, from 5.30pm, fireworks 7.45pm
Tickets: Adults £4.50, children £2.50, family ticket (two adults, two children under 16) £12. Book online
Around £1bn of tourism-related money was missed out on in Blackpool last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The devastating impact of the pandemic on the resort’s tourism and hospitality has been confirmed in new figures published today.
The 2020 analysis undertaken by STEAM (an economic impact model), shows that the resort lost an estimated 70 per cent of its visitors and around £1bn of tourism-related spend compared to 2019.
The figures have been published almost a year after tourism businesses sent out an “SOS” message to the Prime Minister over the “catastrophic” effect of lockdowns and tier restrictions.
Blackpool’s tourism industry lost £1bn last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic
Visitor numbers for the year were put at around six million compared to more than 18 million in the pre-pandemic year of 2019. Economic impact fell from £1.6bn to just under £600m.
Similar size percentage deficits were also recorded across the whole of Lancashire.
Coun Lynn Williams, leader of Blackpool Council, said a large decrease had been anticipated and reflected the massive impact that tier restrictions and repeated lockdowns had on the tourism and hospitality sector in 2019. She praised the ‘resilience and determination’ of local businesses to get through the crisis.
She said: “We witnessed at first hand the huge impact of the pandemic on our tourism industry and the people who work in it. Never was that more stark than this time last year when Blackpool was pushed, against our will, into Tier 3 restrictions on the eve of October half-term, wiping out what should have been the most lucrative part of the season.
Coun Lynn Williams, leader of Blackpool Council
“Over the course of last year we lost all but one bank holiday and even when businesses were allowed to trade it was with reduced capacity and social distancing measures in place. It was arguably the worst year our tourism industry has ever experienced.”
Coun Williams said the Council’s decision to invest £1m to kick-start tourism this year was deliberately aimed at getting the industry back on its feet as quickly as possible.
She added: “As we moved into this year, we were determined to do everything within our gift to accelerate the post-pandemic recovery by making a large-scale investment in marketing and events that would encourage people to holiday here, not just in 2021, but in future years too.
“From what we have seen so far, that investment is paying off handsomely. Key indicators such as footfall, hotel occupancy, attraction tickets, are showing very significant increases over both last year and, most importantly, over 2019. At times, the number of visitors on the promenade during the summer and early autumn has been at levels we have not experienced for many years.
“Given the large-scale commitment we have given to investing in additional events and marketing, we are confident that the last quarter of this year will provide a platform for further growth in the years ahead.”
Figures released a few weeks ago showed that footfall on the seafront during July and August this year was more than 60 per cent ahead of pre-pandemic levels in 2019 and 47 per cent ahead of last year. Views on the VisitBlackpool website, the council’s tourism portal, year to date are 1.2m ahead of 2019, a 50 per cent increase.
And, in September, the website recorded more than a million views in a single month for the first time on record.
As part of its tourism recovery plan, the Council has extended the Illuminations season by two months, stretching to January 3, 2022.
November and December will also see the biggest programme of Christmas entertainment that the resort has staged in years.
In addition to the Illuminations remaining lit throughout, there will be an indoor festive market at the Winter Gardens, a Christmas By The Sea village on the Tower Festival Headland with skating rink, magic forest, snowfalls, and themed light projection shows.
The new attractions will be complemented by traditional shows and pantomimes, and for the first time outside London, the FriendsFestive exhibition celebrating all the best seasonal moments from the hit TV show. It will run at the Winter Gardens from November 5-19.
Earlier this year, it was also announced that a new Tourism Business Improvement District (TBID), had been established, led by key stakeholders in the tourism industry and giving the potential for a further £1.4m of funding for marketing and events over the next five years.
A unique technological experience allowing families to go on a time travel history trail in Blackpool is being planned for next summer.
Blackpool with a difference, with the image created using mobile scanning technology to create the interactive virtual map which will be part of the library installation for StoryTrails
StoryTrails, described as “a unique immersive storytelling experience”, is coming to the resort in July next year.
The idea behind the project is to unearth interesting and true historical stories about Blackpool and use groundbreaking technology to bring them to life, by a series of installations and use of free AR ‘augmented reality’ phone apps to guide participants to locations linked to the stories.
As they follow the trails, they will be able to visit locations that are transformed by a combination of virtual reality and augmented reality using headsets and stunning new technology, allowing them to experience history where it actually happened.
The team behind the project have chosen Blackpool as one of 15 locations across the UK to stage it, although each one will be unique to their own area .
Before the project comes to life next year, coordinators StoryFutures are currently looking to recruit paid ‘creative talents’ to help run it
Their role will be to work closely with local people to gather unknown and intriguing stories and showcase them using ‘immersive technologies’, 3D modelling software, games engines and both augmented and virtual reality.
Full training in immersive technology will be provided alongside access to state of the art equipment, production support and production credits for the work.
Professor James Bennett, director of StoryFutures and StoryTrails, said: “StoryTrails is a massively ambitious project as we travel across the UK to discover unknown, surprising and intriguing stories from local communities.
“We’re excited to work with local creative talent to uncover and bring these hidden histories to life, creating a new sense of belonging and immerse audiences in an amazing new way to see themselves, their communities, their towns and country.”
StoryTrails is being put together by StoryFutures and in partnership with the British Film Institute (BFI), broadcaster and film-maker, David Olusoga, the BBC, Uplands Television, and leading immersive specialists ISO Design and Nexus Studios.
Blackpool residents are being promised a stunning ‘augmented reality’ experiences that remix the BFI and BBC archives, allowing local people to experience history where it actually happened, revitalising the streets upon which they stand with new voices and untold stories of the past.
Inside Blackpool Central Library, participants will be immersed in a virtual map of their town that will be made up of 3D models and audio stories captured on location and they will have the opportunity to explore further stories via bespoke virtual reality experiences.
StoryTrails will culminate with a specially commissioned film by David Olusoga’s Uplands Television which will screen in BFI cinemas nationally and be made available to audiences across BBC iPlayer.
For further details visit story-trails.com and via Facebook and Instagram @StoryTrail
A Blackpool woman has received a prestigious award after being nominated by the Bishop of Blackburn in recognition of her Christian work with Mothers’ Union.
Enid Nutland with the Bishop of Blackburn, The Right Reverend Julian Henderson (left) and the Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire, Lord Shuttleworth
Enid Nutland, 75, of Catford Avenue, who has been a member of the Mother’s Union for more than 30 years, has received a package of special Royal Maundy coins from The Queen.
Every Easter, on Maundy Thursday, The Queen usually distributes the special Maundy coins to men and women aged 70 and over in an ancient ceremony to mark their Christian service.
Enid was to receive two purses with the Royal Maundy – 95 pence in newly minted coins to correspond with the sovereign’s age, a £5 coin commemorating birth of Wordsworth and a commemorative 50p coin – from Her Majesty during a grand service at Westminster Abbey earlier this year.
However, because of Covid restrictions this service was unable to take place, only the fourth time it has been cancelled during the Queen’s reign.
Instead the Maundy was sent by Royal Mail, and to make up for Enid’s disappointment at not going to Westminster Abbey, her family held a tea party and presented the Maundy to her, in front of a cardboard cut-out Queen.
Enid, who is the Blackburn diocesan president of the Mothers Union, said: “Unfortunately the service didn’t go ahead in the way originally planned, but it was still a great honour to receive it and the tea party was very memorable!”
A more formal ceremony was later held at Blackburn Cathedral, with Lord Shuttleworth, who is the Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire and the Bishop of Blackburn, The Right Reverend; Julian Henderson in attendance.
Enid, who is married to Peter and has three daughters, six grandchildren and three great grandchildren, said: “Most people think that the Mother’s Union just entails having afternoon tea and cake in a church hall, but over the years we have become very proactive in a number of campaigns.”
There are more than 100 branches in the diocese, including 14 in Blackpool, and recently, through various fundraisers, they stumped up £38,000 which was used for the purchase and upkeep of a new caravan to provide holidays for those in need and in adversity.
They gave £9,000 to a project in Nambale, Kenya, which resulted in the provision of 90 small businesses, chicken, pig and vegetable farms and beehives for members to provide for their families and friends.
Closer to home, Blackpool’s Mothers’ Union branches provided baby packs for the Neo-Natal Unit in Blackpool Victoria Hospital and have made masks, PPE, scrub-bags, gowns, pairs of hearts for patients and relatives and prayer squares.
Enid added: “We are now also getting involved in looking out for signs of modern-day slavery, gender based violence and domestic abuse.
“We are also a charity which is based on prayer first and foremost, but we have lots of fun, friendship, fellowship, faith and food along the way!”
Aladdin is one of the most magical pantomimes ever written. It tells the story of a streetwise boy from Peking who finds a strange lamp at the market with hidden powers.
The magic of Aladdin is at the Globe at Blackpool Pleasure Beach
The wicked wizard Abanazar wants to steal Aladdin’s magic lamp to help him become the most powerful wizard in the world and also wants to kidnap the beautiful Princess and make her his bride.
Stageworks Worldwide Productions of Aladdin: the Pantomime in The Globe at Blackpool Pleasure follows Aladdin’s adventures as he gets entangled in the struggle between good and evil…as the audience sits back, claps, cheers, boos and finds the answers to these important questions: Will the Princess tell her father, the Emperor of Abanazar’s evil plot? Will Aladdin save the day and find true love? Will the Widow Twanky ever get her washing done?
Starring Kevin Simm, lead singer of Wet, Wet, Wet, winner of The Voice and star of Liberty X, as Aladdin, the show features a fabulous cast of singers and dancers including Del Wilden as Widow Twanky, Russ Brown as Wishee Washee, Nigel Garton as Abanazar, Tuesday as So-Shy, Cheryl Naylor as The Empress, Sarah Ward as Slave of the Ring and Alexey Kofanov as Genie of the Lamp.
Aladdin the Pantomime is written and directed by Roger Hannah, Executive Producer is Amanda Thompson OBE. Assistant Director is Alexa Robinson and the show is choreographed by Lynsey Brown. Costumes, scenery and sets are all created by Stageworks Worldwide Productions.
Amanda Thompson OBE, Executive Producer of Aladdin the Pantomime comments, “We are delighted to bring audiences the magic of live entertainment this festive season at Blackpool Pleasure Beach. We have a truly talented cast of actors, singers and dancers who will bring Aladdin, one of the most popular pantomimes ever, to life on the stage. I can’t wait to open the doors of the Globe Theatre and share this fantastic production with everyone.”
Aladdin the Pantomime runs on selected dates from Thursday 25th November until Friday 24th December with tickets starting from £12 per person. To book, please call 0871 222 9090* or visit www.blackpoolpleasurebeach.com/panto.
Special schools packages are available. To book please contact our Groups Department on 0871 222 8787* or email email@example.com
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