Jersey Boys musical coming to Blackpool on UK tour – tickets and details

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The Jersey Boys musical will be heading to the Opera House in Blackpool this summer

Jersey Boys will once again tour the UK and Ireland heading to the Opera House Blackpool
Jersey Boys will once again tour the UK and Ireland heading to the Opera House Blackpool

Smash hit musical Jersey Boys will be heading to Blackpool on its UK and Ireland tour, it has been confirmed.

Much to the delight of fans, the beloved show, which has won Tony, Grammy and Olivier Awards will be heading to the Opera House in Blackpool this summer.

The musical follows the storyline of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, who where four guys from New Jersey that sang their very first note which changed their lives.

But while their harmonies were perfect onstage, off stage it was a very different story.

The show is packed with their hits, including Beggin’, Sherry, Walk Like A Man, December, 1963 (Oh What a Night), Big Girls Don’t Cry, My Eyes Adored You, Let’s Hang On (To What We’ve Got), Bye Bye Baby, Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, Working My Way Back to You, Fallen Angel, Rag Doll and Who Loves You.

The musical, which will be heading to the Opera House in 2022 from Tuesday, August 16 – 27, is written by Marshall Brickman & Rick Elice, with music by Bob Gaudio and lyrics by Bob Crewe.

Originally opening in New York in November 2005, it was the 12th longest running show in Broadway history when it closed in January 2017.

The Jersey Boys UK and Ireland Tour will be staged by the entire original Broadway creative team.

It will be led by the Tony Award-winning team of director Des McAnuff and choreographer Sergio Trujillo, with scenic design by Klara Zieglerova, costume design by Jess Goldstein, lighting by Howell Binkley, sound by Steve Canyon Kennedy and projections design by Michael Clark.

The orchestrations are by Steve Orich and the music supervision and vocal arrangements by Ron Melrose.

Casting is yet to be announced for the tour.

Tickets go on sale on Friday, May 21 at 10am and can be purchased from wintergardensblackpool.co.uk.

Jordan Banks’ father says ‘perfect’ boy donated organs to three children

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“If I ever could of asked for a perfect child that was my Jordan”

Undated handout issued by Lancashire Constabulary showing Jordan Banks, 9, from Blackpool, who tragically died after being seriously injured when he was struck by lightning on a football field just after 5pm on Tuesday evening. Issue date: Wednesday May 12, 2021. PA Photo. See PA story POLICE Lightning. Photo credit should read: Lancashire Constabulary/PA Wire
Jordan Banks (Image: PA)

Jordan Banks’ father has paid tribute to his “perfect child” and revealed how his kindness is continuing after his death.

The nine-year-old was tragically killed after being struck by lightning on playing fields off School Road in Blackpool around 5.05pm on Tuesday (May 11).

Emergency services attended and Jordan was taken to hospital, but died a short time later.

Jordan “would do anything for anyone”, his father Matt Banks said in an emotional statement posted on Facebook last night (May 13) on his behalf.

He revealed that the nine-year-old’s kindness has continued even after the tragedy, as he donated organs to help save three other children.

The statement read: “I’m not one for putting my personal life all over Facebook but after seeing post after post about Jordan and receiving hundreds of messages I felt it was time to say something and share the pictures I know he would have liked rather than the ones all over the news.

“Jordan was and is the most amazing little person he had the biggest heart and would do anything for anyone, and when parents say they have the best kid ever, he generally was the best ever and if I ever could of asked for a perfect child that was my Jordan, I couldn’t of been prouder of him always putting other people himself, such a selfless little person.

“Even now his kindness has meant that 3 other children may be able to live as he always told us he wanted to be able to help other people if he could so was a donor and has donated which we know will be what he wanted.”

Matt spoke of Jordan’s range of passions, from Liverpool FC to martial arts and fashion.

“One of Jordan’s passions was Liverpool but that was probably more me forcing it on him,” he said.

“His other passions one of many was martial arts, and fashion (he would change his outfit 3 times a day which used to annoy Jen because of the amount of washing) but he always made sure he looked trendy and liked his outfit.

“His favourite T-shirt was his cobra Kai top as he was obsessed with cobra Kai he always wanted his Liverpool or cobra Kai top on and would not be happy if they weren’t clean… he was allowed one question relating to cobra Kai an hour as otherwise our day would of spoke about it all day and everything always related with it and went back to it.”

‘Words can’t even explain how heartbroken I am’

Matt spoke of his heartbreak following the death of his “little best mate”.

He urged other parents to cherish every moment, even the ones which seem insignificant.

“Literally words can’t even explain how heartbroken I am,” Matt added.

“Not only have I lost my little boy I have lost my little best mate we would sit and talk for hours about his future and he would always ask me what I wanted his children to call me and we both decided on papi.

“So this is the real message I wanted to put across is that I never took anything for granted and I always made sure we had quality family time and did whatever I could to show him how much he was loved and how special and beautiful he was.

“So what I ask of anyone with children cherish every moment even moments that seem to insignificant right now.. picking them up from school, putting them to bed at night, making them a drink have tea time together.. as you never know when moments like that will be taken away from you, it only feels like yesterday I was making Jordan a brew, putting him to bed, getting kisses, squeezing him and playing with him.

“Don’t take any time for granted as you may end up wishing you had more like me! So please please if you are busy and they might want to play a game or watch something with you just find time because it’s priceless. Please share this with other parents as a little reminder of how special and precious time is with your children.

“I wish I could explain more of what I want to say but I’m not very good with words and my heart is literally broken but I felt it necessary to write this as I never thought I would feel and go through this and I hope nobody else has to. Make sure to share to all the parents.”

The Blackpool Tower lit up in red in tribute to Jordan Banks
The Blackpool Tower lit up in red in tribute to Jordan Banks (Image: The Blackpool Tower)

Tributes have flooded in for Jordan, from the community, footballers, MPs and more.

Lancashire Police even spoke of how his actions touched the hearts of officers.

On Thursday, a post on the Blackpool Police Facebook page said: “Back in January when the country was in lockdown, Jordan was secretly leaving sweets and chocolates on police cars in Blackpool to cheer up our police officers.

“We are eternally grateful to him for the care he showed us during challenging times throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

“Jordan’s actions touched the hearts of our officers and we will always remember his kindness.”

The England football team also paid tribute to Jordan, describing what happened as “so sad”.

It tweeted: “We would like to offer our heartfelt condolences and deepest sympathies to Jordan Banks’s family and all those affected by this terrible tragedy.”

In a statement released earlier this week, Jordan’s family said: “Yesterday our worlds stopped.

“We lost the brightest star our beautiful boy Jordan.

“His laugh, that infectious smile, golden curls, he was our everything.

“Wise beyond his years, caring, considerate, generous and so loving. Our love is endless. Goodnight beautiful boy.”

Met Office predicts washout weekend for Lancashire with thunder to hit

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The weather for Preston, Blackpool, Hyndburn, Rossendale, Burnley, Blackburn with Darwen, Ribble Valley, West Lancashire, South Ribble, Fylde, Wyre, Pendle, Chorley and Lancaster.

Storm clouds forming
Storm clouds forming (Image: Paula Slater)

It’s set to be a washout weekend for Lancashire as the dreary weather sets in.

Thunder, rain and cloud are expected to hit the country throughout the weekend.

It comes as pubs, bars and restaurants across Lancashire prepare to allow customers inside from Monday, May 17, for the first time in months.

Unfortunately, the May weather has been a little gloomy to say the least so far.

Eager punters have been equipped with umbrellas and coats as they stayed determined to enjoy the reopening of hospitality outdoors so far this month.

While many of us are hoping for sunnier days to come, it appears we may have to wait a little while longer, according to the altest Met Office forecast.

Friday is looking rather dull. It will be largely cloudy, with isolated showers throughout.

More rain will set in during the evening and into Saturday where showers will become more ‘persistent’.

There is the potential for the weather to turn thundery throughout the afternoon, but we could also see cloud breaking at points and allowing for some sunny spells.

Sunday is a similar story, with unsettled conditions, sunny spells and showers expected.

The rain will be heaviest throughout Sunday and Monday, with more risk of thunder.

Tuesday, although still raining, will see lighter and less frequent showers.

Here is the full Met Office weather forecast for the weekend ahead across Lancashire.

It covers Preston, Blackpool, Hyndburn, Rossendale, Burnley, Blackburn with Darwen, Ribble Valley, West Lancashire, South Ribble, Fylde, Wyre, Pendle, Chorley and Lancaster.

Today:

A largely dry and cloudy day across the region, with westernmost areas seeing the best of any sunny spells.

Some isolated showers remain possible throughout, but these lighter and less frequent than recently.

Maximum temperature 15 °C.

Tonight:

Cloud builds throughout the evening, with isolated evening showers giving way to a band of rain that moves across the region through the early hours, heavy in places.

Minimum temperature 6 °C.

Saturday:

A cloudy morning with rain persisting.

Into the afternoon, rain will give way to widespread showers, occasionally heavy and possibly thundery, with cloud breaking and allowing for some sunny spells.

Maximum temperature 13 °C.

Outlook for Sunday to Tuesday:

Remaining unsettled throughout the period, with sunny spells and showers.

Sunday and Monday seeing the heaviest of these, with a risk of thunder.

 

Blackpool and Bispham beaches receive awards for water quality and management

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Blackpool South, Blackpool Central, Blackpool North and Bispham have received Seaside Awards for the high standards of beach management, as well as their nearby facilities and water quality

Blackpool beach
Blackpool beach (Image: Visit Blackpool)

Blackpool is celebrating after all of its beaches received special awards.

The Seaside Awards, announced by Keep Britain Tidy today (May 14), have rewarded Blackpool South, Blackpool Central, Blackpool North and Bispham for their high standards of beach management, as well as their nearby facilities and water quality.

The four beaches make up the town’s entire stock of bathing water beaches which are currently rated as: Bispham- Excellent, Blackpool South – Good, Blackpool Central – Good and Blackpool North – Good.

Councillor Jim Hobson, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for climate change and environment, said: “This is great news for local residents and visitors to Blackpool.

“When people come to visit us, most will make a trip to the beach part of their holiday, so it’s really important that we can welcome them somewhere that is clean and well-looked after.

“Receiving this award proves that, wherever you go on our coastline, you are sure of an award-winning beach.

“We take great pride in keeping our beaches clean and I want to thank everyone who plays their part. From our dedicated Streetscene and Beach Patrol teams, to the many volunteers who litter pick, to every person that does the right thing and disposes of their litter responsibly.

“It’s a collective effort and we know how passionately local residents feel about the cleanliness of their beaches.”

Council bosses say the seaside town has more than 800 litter bins, including 250 large capacity bins on the Promenade. They are emptied daily under normal conditions, and collections are increased whenever there is good weather and high visitor numbers.

Reminders are also in place to prompt everyone to get rid of their rubbish in the nearest available bin or take it home with them.

This summer anyone visiting Blackpool will see “Don’t be a scruff, bin your stuff” posters displayed along the Promenade.

Blackpool Catholic church site set to be converted into homes

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The cost of repairs forced the church to close in 2018 as congregation sizes dwindled

St Monica's Catholic Church
St Monica’s Catholic Church

A former Catholic church in Blackpool looks set for a new chapter with plans to convert it to homes.

St Monica’s Church on St Monica’s Way, Mereside, closed in February 2018 when the cost of repairs could not be justified due to the dwindling size of the congregation.

Now diocesan leaders have applied to Blackpool Council for permission to convert the church building into eight new homes, including six two-storey properties with roof terraces, and two apartments.

The central narthex, which is the entrance to the nave, will be demolished to provide a covered semi-public access way to the proposed dwellings, if planning permission is granted.

Higher levels of the former chuch, known as the clerestory, would also be demolished to make way for proposed roof terraces.

Arrol Architects, based in Shrewsbury which have drawn up the proposals, says the central covered ‘street’ will provide access to all eight of the proposed units.

A proposed roof canopy would be glazed to ensure adequate light reaches the front rooms of the properties while also protecting the entrances from rain.

St Monica’s, which opened in 1973, had one of the smallest congregations in the Lancaster Roman Catholic Diocese when the decision was taken to close it.

Spokesperson Reverend Robert Billing said at the time: “The heating was shot. The roof needed replacing and in the end, with another church less than a mile away, it was decided that it couldn’t be justified pouring more money into the building.”

The majority of St Monica’s congregation relocated to the nearby St John Vianney Church on Glastonbury Avenue in Marton.

Liverpool FC tribute to ‘mini-Milner’ Jordan Banks ahead of Man Utd clash

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The Reds paid tribute to Jordan Banks ahead of the game at Old Trafford

Liverpool paid tribute to 'mini-Milner' Jordan Banks ahead of their match against Aston Villa tonight
Liverpool paid tribute to ‘mini-Milner’ Jordan Banks ahead of their match against Aston Villa tonight

Liverpool FC players have tonight paid tribute to schoolboy Jordan Banks who died after being struck by lightning in Blackpool.

The nine-year-old died after being seriously injured on a football field just after 5pm on Tuesday.

Jordan was a massive fan of Liverpool FC and earlier this year received a heart-warming message from Reds vice-captain James Milner after running a marathon in honour of a close family member who took his own life in 2018.

The pupil at Stanley Primary School was nicknamed ‘a mini Milner’ after managing to run 30 miles over a 10 day period.

Ahead of tonight’s clash with Manchester United at Old Trafford, Liverpool FC players were pictured wearing white shirts with ‘Jordan’ and the number 7 on the back.

A detailed view of a shirt worn by the players of Liverpool in remembrance of Jordan Banks prior to the Premier League match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford
A detailed view of a shirt worn by the players of Liverpool in remembrance of Jordan Banks prior to the Premier League match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford

The club also posted a picture on Twitter of a grey ‘Jordan 7’ shirt next to Mo Salah’s number 11 top in the dressing room.

It read: “You’ll Never Walk Alone, Jordan Banks.

“Nicknamed ‘mini-Milner’ by his coaches, Jordan was a brilliant person, as well as a passionate footballer.

“We’re all thinking of his loved ones tonight.”

The Twitter post ended with emojis of nine footballs in memory of the nine-year-old.

It has since gone viral and has been shared more than 3,000 times and liked by over 17,000 people.

Manchester United also shared the Tweet, adding: “The thoughts of everyone at #MUFC are with Jordan’s loved ones tonight Red heart.”

An earlier statement on Liverpool FC’s Twitter said: “The thoughts of everybody at Liverpool Football Club are with Jordan’s family and friends. Rest in peace, Jordan Banks,” while Liverpool midfielder James Milner added: “A special boy taken far too soon.”

In a statement released by Lancashire Police on Wednesday, Jordan’s family said: “Yesterday our worlds stopped.

“We lost the brightest star our beautiful boy Jordan.

“His laugh, that infectious smile, golden curls, he was our everything.

“Wise beyond his years, caring, considerate, generous and so loving. Our love is endless. Goodnight beautiful boy.”

‘Significant numbers’ testing positive for Indian variant in Lancashire

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The Lancashire and South Cumbria Strategic Commissioning Committee was told that health service bosses in the region are growing concerned about the spread of the variant

“Significant numbers” of residents in some parts of Lancashire are testing positive for the so-called Indian variant of Covid, a meeting of NHS leaders has heard.

The Lancashire and South Cumbria Strategic Commissioning Committee was told that health service bosses in the region are growing concerned about the spread of the variant, which it is thought likely to be more transmissible than the Kent strain that has been the dominant one circulating in the UK for around the last six months.

No data on the exact number of cases in the area was presented to the meeting, but, nationally, the incidence of the Indian variant has reportedly rocketed from just over 200 to more than 1,700 in the space of a fortnight.

It has been identified as a “variant of concern”, although it is hoped that it does not have any significant resistance to vaccines.

Committee members heard that the current Covid position in Lancashire’s hospitals is encouraging – with no coronavirus-related deaths on the wards in the 12 days up to 11th May. The number of beds occupied with Covid patients was also described as now being “low”.

However, Fylde coast GP Dr. Amanda Doyle – chief officer for the Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System (ICS) – issued a “note of caution” about what may lie ahead.

“We are becoming increasingly worried about outbreaks of variants of concern across Lancashire and South Cumbria – particularly the [one] that first originated in India.

“We’re seeing Blackburn with Darwen [as] one of the places that’s causing concern nationally, with a significant increase in numbers.

“So there is a lot of work going on…around enhancing the [preventative] measures – which are the same measures we have taken in the past. It’s about testing, contract tracing and people following the rules around isolation.

“We’re also putting quite some effort into really targeting vaccination – particularly in people who have been hesitant about taking up the vaccination in those places where we have got the highest levels [of infection].

“At the moment, we are seeing significant numbers testing positive in the community, but not a significant impact on hospital admissions – but we really need to make sure that we act to prevent that happening,” said Dr. Doyle.

The committee heard that an average of 75 percent of over-40s across Lancashire – the age group most recently being offered the Covid vaccine – had now received a first dose and that the rate rose to around 85 percent in some areas.

It was briefly suggested on Thursday that all over-18s in Blackburn with Darwen would be offered a jab from next week. However, the council later said that it was offering additional clinics – but only for those groups currently eligible for a jab nationally.

The government, though, says it has not ruled out targeting the vaccine programme in areas showing spikes in cases, should scientists recommend the move.

Lancashire County Council’s director of public health Dr. Sakthi Karunanithi has previously called for the county to be prioritised for a faster rollout of the vaccine due to stubbornly high infection rates and working and living conditions that can speed the spread of the virus. Back in February, he said such a move was necessary precisely to prevent new variants emerging within the UK itself.

The Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (SAGE) met on Thursday to discuss the spread of the Indian variant. The Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) understands that a meeting of Public Health England in the North West also took place.

The next step on the government’s roadmap out of lockdown is set to take place on Monday 17th May, when indoor mixing will be allowed between up to six people or two households.

However, the government has not ruled out a return to some form of local restrictions if they are deemed necessary.

Teenage boys missing for five days who have links to Blackpool

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Caine O’Brien and Tyler Hawitt have not been seen since Saturday

Caine I'Brien (left) and Tyler Hawitt
Caine O’Brien (left) and Tyler Hawitt

A search is continuing after five days to find two missing teenagers who have links to Blackpool.

Caine O’Brien, 16, and Tyler Hawitt, 15, have not been seen since Saturday (May 8) with concerns mounting among their families.

They are believed to be in the Runcorn area of Cheshire but also have links to Widnes and Lancashire, specifically Blackpool.

Police launched an appeal for information over their whereabouts earlier this week.

Caine was last seen in Runcorn at 11.20am on Saturday, while Tyler was most recently sighted at 6pm in Widnes, also on Saturday.

A force spokesperson said officers have been making numerous enquiries to find the boys and the investigation remains ongoing.

Caine is around 5ft 8ins tall, of medium build and with short mousy brown or dark blond hair.

He was last seen wearing a black and grey bubble jacket with a red trim around the hood, black combat trousers and black Nike trainers with a red tick.

He was also had a black face covering with him that featured the word “Columbia” on the left side.

Tyler is around 5ft tall with long mousy brown hair but usually covers it up with a hooded top.

He was last seen wearing a grey cagoule type top with a jumper underneath, black jogging bottoms and black trainers.

Police said he may be in possession of two small bags.

Inspector Helen Cooper said: “It has now been five days since Tyler and Caine were last seen and we and their families remain concerned for their welfare.

“Our investigation is ongoing and we have been following a number of enquiries to establish whereabouts the boys might be.

“At this stage we believe them to still be in the local area in Runcorn however we know they have links to Widnes and Lancashire, in particular Blackpool.

“I am encouraging the public to help us find Tyler and Caine by coming forward with any information you have – no matter how small on where the boys might be or if they believe they may have seen them.”

Anyone who sees Tyler and Caine or have information regarding their whereabouts should call Cheshire police on 101 quoting IML 984312 and IML 983251.

Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555 111.