Blackpool’s Piers Receive International Recognition with inclusion on the
2018 World Monuments Watch
The World Monuments Fund has announced that Blackpool’s piers are to be included on the 2018 World Monuments Watch, a call to action for cultural heritage sites facing imminent threats and challenges, helping create opportunities for positive change.
Since 1996, founded in partnership with American Express, the World Monuments Watch has served as a catalyst for action for hundreds of sites, leading to improved safeguarding of places of cultural heritage, more suitable tourism management, and increased community engagement. The historic Blackpool piers are included on the 2018 Watch due to threats from the effects of climate change.
Blackpool is unique in being the only UK seaside resort with three piers and grade II listed North Pier is particularly significant as it is now the oldest remaining example of a pier designed by Eugenius Birch using his revolutionary screw pile system. They also incorporate important and innovative design and engineering elements that make them a unique collection of seaside structures.
Blackpool Council Leader, Cllr Simon Blackburn, says he has long been concerned for the future of the piers in the face of significant changes to both weather patterns including rising sea levels and what people are looking for in a seaside holiday.
He said: “We are delighted that the Worlds Monuments Fund has recognised the significance of Blackpool’s piers. We know how important they are historically and that they are key flagships for our tourist offer.
“They are also vital to our community in terms of resort identity, heritage, employment and community pride.
“The piers are three of the most iconic structures in Blackpool and we need to ensure that through local and international collaboration that they remain significant features of the town to be enjoyed by future generations.
“Being included on the watch list offers real opportunities for dialogue with central government as well as other towns, nationally and internationally, that are experiencing the same problems.”
Joan Humble, chair of Blackpool Civic Trust welcomed the announcement and said: “We know people in Blackpool are concerned about the future of the piers, particularly North Pier, which has seen serious damage from storms over the last few years.
“Part of the problem is that often, private owners can only do so much and there are understandable limits on how much public money can be spent on what are effectively private businesses.
“We have to begin talking about what the future of our piers is for the next hundred years and how we protect them into the future.”
All three of Blackpool’s piers are hugely significant in the history of the town. The entrepreneurial pier builders were in part responsible for how the town developed with all three close to railway stations; creating hubs for tourist activity with the town growing around them.
Recent research published by AOL (2016) has shown that a walk along the pier is the most popular activity for visitors to the British seaside. However, all three of Blackpool’s piers face serious challenges from climate change, changing tourism trends and funding.
Increased damage from storm surges combined with rising sea levels are one of the biggest challenges for the UK’s pleasure piers, but they are not alone. Piers and boardwalks across the Atlantic on America’s east coast are also suffering increased storm activity as weather patterns change. This offers sites like Blackpool the opportunity to look at what is happening worldwide and identify what can be done with local, national and international partners to protect these vulnerable structures.
The National Piers Society estimate that 20% of piers are currently ‘at risk’ of being lost and it is significant that many of the coastal towns that lost their piers during recent decades have struggled to maintain their identity as seaside resorts or have significantly declined as destinations.
Tim Wardley, Chairman of the National Piers Society, also welcomed the inclusion of Blackpool’s piers on the 2018 Watch. “Blackpool is such an important place. In fact it is probably unique in the history and development of a seaside resort, the seaside holiday and piers, with the Tower, Winter Gardens and Pleasure Beach at the heart of that importance.
“So few resorts have so much infrastructure intact and still enjoyed by the public which tell the story of a seaside community born through tourism.
“This is an opportunity for Blackpool to lead the way in a dialogue that has the potential to help other piers across the country and to raise the profile of the difficult situation many of them are in today. We’ve already been working closely with the council to see how we can bring people together as part of understanding the future of the piers and how we protect them.”
The World Monuments Watch gives local communities opportunities to understand the importance of their heritage and to work with local and central government to find ways forward to meet the challenges. In the case of Blackpool’s piers, the 2018 Watch will help those involved identify next steps and offer expertise from around the globe to explore what can be done.
Blackpool Council is now completing an action plan setting out how it will work with the World Monuments Fund and other local and national partners to create a programme of events and activities that both highlight serious issues and bring people back to the piers to celebrate their place in Blackpool’s seaside story.
Nonbinary person tells Will Young about being bullied by rugby coach in front of teachers
A nonbinary person has revealed that they were bullied by a rugby coach in front of other teaching staff at school.
Alex called into James O’Brien’s show on LBC, which also featured singer Will Young.
They said a rugby coach had bullied them when he realised they were wearing makeup.
The coach had mocked them in front of classmates before continuing to another member of staff.
Speaking to O’Brien and Young, Alex said: “When I was around Year 8 I was gender non-conforming and used to wear makeup to school.
“One day the rugby coach took me aside because I really ballsed up a pass. He looked at me for a couple of seconds and said ‘Are you wearing makeup’?
“He stopped training for everyone and put me in front of the team and said: ‘Look, Alex is wearing the makeup. Isn’t this shocking?'”
They went on to say that the rugby coach had a later conversation in front of Alex with a teacher, when he said it was “hilarious” and “stupid” that they were wearing makeup.
“Until 2013 my school had section 28 [Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell] as official policy,” continued Alex.
Will Young looked on shocked.
O’Brien told Alex: “There’ll be people listening to this now who simply know there is someone else who is going through, or has gone through, what they’re going through at the moment and that becomes a help, because I sense you didn’t have that.
“You must’ve felt so alone.”
To which Alex replied: “Yeah.”
Watch a video of the call below:
The segment followed research for LBC and The Diana Award which revealed that 16% of bullied children had suicidal thoughts.
Source: Pink News
Jake Quickenden & Jennifer Ellison lead cast in a brand new adaption
of Peter Pan
TV star Jennifer Ellison will lead the cast as Captain Hook, a role which writer JM Barrie originally intended to cast with a female performer. In the title role will be X Factor's Jake Quickenden * and Blackpool's own Maureen Nolan will star as Mrs Darling. They will be joined by Radio Wave's Breakfast Host Scott Gallagher as Hook's hapless sidekick, Smee.
A full ensemble of talented performers of stage and screen has now been announced with Grace Osborn playing Wendy, Elliot Clay as John and Robbie Curran as Michael. Gracie Lai takes on the role of Skylights, Lori Mclare as Liza and Alexia McIntosh as Tiger Lily. The cast is complete with Slightly/1 st Cover Peter Pan being played by Peter Bergin and Starkey portrayed by Norton James – who is currently touring in Selladoor's production of Spamalot
Join the boy who never grew up, Wendy, John and Michael as they take on the villainous Captain Hook and her band of merry pirates in the battle for Neverland in a spectacular show for all the family. With a feisty fairy and a band of lost boys on their side will it be enough to stop the evil Hook? You’ll have to come along to find out.
Peter Pan is produced by the award-winning Selladoor Family, leading producer of mid and large-scale family productions including The Quite Remarkable Adventures of the Owl and the Pussycat, James and the Giant Peach, Guess How Much I Love You, The Broons and recent U.K. tours of hit shows such as Little Shop of Horrors, Avenue Q, Footloose, American Idiot and Flashdance.
Peter Pan is written by Robert Marsden and will be directed by Kirstie Davis, Lucie Pankhurst joins the team as Movement Director with LX Design from Chris Davey.
With a live band, lavish set and spectacular costumes, the sky’s the limit this Christmas as you’re taken on a magical journey to Neverland in this sensational, swashbuckling adventure. Second star to the right, and straight on to Blackpool!
Jake Quickenden will not be performing in Peter Pan from 01 – 07 Jan 2018.
Tickets start at just £10 so treat your family this festive season to an awfully big adventure! Group tickets are also available with teachers/group guardians going free. Hook your tickets now at www.wintergardensblackpool.co.uk and if you book before the 13th October you’ll be entered into a free prize draw to win a trip to Disneyland Paris (T&C’s apply) from our friends at National Holidays.
Joanne Clifton and Ben Adams to Star in UK Tour of Flashdance – The Musical
Flashdance – The Musical returns to the UK for the first time since 2011 starring Strictly favourite Joanne Clifton and singer-songwriter Ben Adams, and will arrive at Blackpools Opera House on 23 October – 04 November 2017 as part of an extensive UK tour.
Strictly Come Dancing Champion Joanne Clifton is no stranger to being at the top, as she is also a World & European Champion ballroom dancer, and is one of very few pro dancers to have won both the main Strictly glitter ball with Ore Oduba last year and the Christmas Special in 2015 with Harry Judd. Joanne made her musical theatre debut in the role of Streetwalker in the UK premiere of the Irving Berlin musical Face The Music, for which she was nominated for an Off West End Award. She followed this up with a turn as Marilyn Monroe in the Norma Jeane Musical and then tread the boards as Millie Dillmount in the No. 1 UK Tour of Thoroughly Modern Millie for which she garnered rave reviews.
She is now excited to take on her latest starring role as Alex Owens in the UK Tour of Flashdance.
Joanne says, This is just another dream come true! I think everyone in the world whether dancer or non-dancer, as soon as they hear 'What a Feeling', remember that iconic scene at the end of the film and I'm so incredibly lucky that I get to do that every night in a UK TOUR along with fabulous numbers like "She's a Maniac." I'm over the moon! It's another amazing opportunity in my musical theatre career and I can once again sing and act alongside dancing! I just hope the water's not too cold when it falls on me!
Ben Adams who will join Joanne on stage as Nick Hurley has been singing and performing since the age of 8. His career started as head chorister at St.Margaret's, Westminster Abbey, singing at royal weddings, touring all over Europe, recording 2 classical albums and frequently singing for the likes of the queen and the pope. At 16, he became the lead singer of the band a1, who racked up 10 million record sales, 2 UK number ones, 5 studio albums and toured throughout the world, winning a Brit award among many others. When the band split, Ben took to the studio and is now a successful song writer and producer, working with the likes of Robin Thicke, Craig David, JLS, Ward Thomas, Sam Bailey, Boyzone and Alexandra Burke to name but a few. He also reached the final of Celebrity Big Brother, the Norwegian version of “trictly Coe Dacig, ad Master Chef i Deark. As well as writing for other artists, he went straight to number 1 in the itunes charts with his classical album titled One Beautiful Mourning. His first solo album 1981 will be launched early 2018.
In 2010, a1 reformed and having successfully completed stadium tours in Asia and 68 sold out arena concerts across Europe, they starred in The Big Reunion o ITV2 ad played areas across the coutry. They continue to tour throughout the world.
Ben has also written a brand-new musical called 'EUGENIUS!' Which after a sold-out London Palladium performance, is set to hit the West End stage next year.
Ben says of taking to the stage in Flashdance: It's amazing to be part of such an iconic story, and as an 80s child I was brought up on this music so I couldnt be happier playing Nick in the theatre production of Flashdance. Whilst I continue with my own music career and touring with a1, Musical Theatre has always been a real passion of mine, so to be asked to play this role, and to be working with such an amazing cast and crew is a real honour. I look forward to seeing you all out on the road in the coming months
Additional cast includes: Colin, Kiyani, Rikki Chamberlain, Garry Lee Netley, Carol Ball, Sia Dauda, Hillie Ann Lowe, Simeon Beckett, Rhodri Watkins, Demmileigh Foster, Emily Kenwright, Ameila Rose Fielding, Alex Christian, Matt Concannon
Flashdance - The Musical tells the inspiring and unforgettable story of 18-year-old Alex, a welder by day and flashdancer by night, who dreams of going to the prestigious Shipley Dance Academy and becoming a professional dancer. When a romance complicates her ambitions, she harnesses it to drive her dream.
Prepare to be blown away with an astonishing musical spectacle and phenomenal choreography to this iconic score, including the smash hits Maniac, Manhunt, Gloria, I Love Rock & Roll and the award-winning title track Flashdance - What a Feeling.
Based on the Paramount Pictures film (Screenplay by Tom Hedley and Joe Eszterhas, story by Tom Hedley) Flashdance is an inspiring musical about the power of holding onto your dreams and love against all odds. Flashdance proved a hit with audiences, and remained in the Top 10 Box Office in the States for 15 weeks after release. The original score also proved hugely popular, with the soundtrack album selling 700,000 copies within two weeks of release. The platinum selling hit title track Flashdance – What A Feeling won both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe in 1983, with the soundtrack winning the Grammy Award for Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or a Television Special in 1984.
Presented by Selladoor Productions - producers of Footloose, Avenue Q and Little Shop of Horrors and Runaway Entertainment producers of In The Heights, Guys and Dolls and Lazarus, Flashdance - The Musical is not to be missed!
Flashdance The Musical Dates
Monday 23 October - Saturday 04 November 2017 Performance Times - Various
Please See Website For Details
Tickets On Sale Now
To Book Call Tel 0844 856 1111 or
The Crowds Came Out To Celebrate Liverpool’s Biggest Ever Pride Event
Liverpool Pride has spread huge amounts of International Love with this weekend’s celebrations proving to be the biggest and best yet.
Thousands of people flocked to the two-day LGBT+ celebration which brought a colourful party atmosphere to Liverpool city centre over the weekend.
Festival organisers say an estimated 50k revellers joined the fun, with more than 8k people taking part in the 8th annual Pride March alone. The biggest public march the city has seen.
This year’s Pride celebrated International Love, complementing the city’s 50 Summers of Love programme, and many marchers dressed up and carried flags and banners reflecting the theme as they made their way through the city centre on a route which took in Whitechapel, Lord Street, Castle Street, Dale Street and the Stanley Street Quarter.
The free two-day festival returned to the historic St George’s Quarter for a second year, offering a fantastic line up of non-stop entertainment on both Saturday and on Sunday’s We Are Family Day.
Pop trio Atomic Kitten – Natasha Hamilton, Liz McClarnon and Kerry Katona – headlined the festivities on The Barclays Main Stage on Saturday, performing a string of chart-topping hits to the hometown crowd.
They were joined during the day by a host of top acts including Kym Mazelle, Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK and 90s sensations Livin’ Joy, while the World on One Stage – sponsored by Manchester Airport – celebrated the International Love theme with performances from organisations like Brazilica, Pagoda Arts and Liverpool Irish Festival.
Meanwhile the We Are Family day on Sunday extended the Pride celebrations with X Factor’s Marcus Collins headlining the event.
He was joined by musical theatre stars in the making – boyband Five to Five, who were winners of BBC talent search Let It Shine and who will come to the Liverpool Empire in January in playwright Tim Firth’s new show The Band.
Jennifer John returned to Pride for 2017 with a choral arrangement from eight Merseyside choirs, again celebrating the theme of International Love.
And the day also saw entertainment for all family with a range of fun inflatables, fairground rides, arts and crafts, and international food stalls.
Lucy Day, Chair of Liverpool Pride said: “We are overjoyed and deeply moved that so many people came out to celebrate equality. People took our theme of International Love to heart, making Liverpool a Beacon of hope. Thank to everyone for making the weekend our best Pride event yet. We are already planning next years event which will take place on 28th and 29th July 2018”
Liverpool Pride also had a hugely successful Come Out Of The Shadows campaign which seen over 30 buildings lit in rainbow colours showing Liverpool as a visibly LGBT+ friendly city and to shine a light on hate crime.
A public exhibition continues in Liverpool ONE until September and Pride at the Pictures film programme, continues at FACT until early September.
Liverpool Pride Festival 2017 was sponsored by Barclays. Further support also came from Manchester Airport as the official Airport Sponsor; Radio City as the official Media Partner; Homes For Everyone; and Signature Living as the official Hotel Partner.
Keep up to date with Liverpool Pride at:
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