Tony & Sue saw another Pink Floyd tribute band for the first time on 24th June 2017 at the Royal Court Theatre, Bacup.
The Floyd Effect
They are actually quite an accomplished group of musicians. We didn't expect too much and were very pleasantly surprised with their set-
We will probably look them up again!
Tony took part in the latest Rossendale Players production Nightmare, directed by Helena Lockett-
Tony & Sue saw Phil Collins return to the arena tour stage with his performance of his 'Not Dead Yet -
We stayed over at the adjacent Jury's Inn hotel just off the Albert Dock until Saturday afternoon 3rd.
The old crooner may have had some mobility problems but that voice was as punchy as ever!
Tony & Sue spent a rainy bank holiday weekend in Chester just chilling out at the Old Mill hotel & Spa 28-
Tony, Sue and Alice attended a wonderful performance of Mike Oldfield's 'Tubular Bells' masterpiece arranged and conducted by Sandy Smith and performed at the Manchester Royal Northern College of Music.
This performance was just a few days after the horrific terrorist bombing of the Manchester Arena where so many innocent people lost their lives and the Manchester nightlife was shattered. Interestingly, this was still well attended as a show of defiance and a silence was observed before the performance began. As a late inclusion, a new piece arranged specially for this event called simply 'Manchester' was unveilled and given its debut performance before the show proper began.
This was a lovely event and also brought the unexpected bonus of the performance of Hannah Peel's 'Mary Casio' for Brass and Synthesiser as the first act of the show. After the interval the complete Tubular Bells was performed by the Brass band with Hannah Peel playing synth in one portion. A good night out and our first outing to this venue.
Tony, Sue and Alice saw the thoughtful Harold Pinter play 'Hothouse' performed by the Summerseat Players at the Ramsbottom Theatre Royal on Tuesday 23rd May 2017. A very entertaining night.
Tony & Sue went to see a funny comedy play at the Bolton Little Theatre on Saturday 13th May 2017. It was the Peter Gordon play 'Third week in August' set on a caravan park in the UK.
This was our first visit to this venue and it was quite a nice surprise and a hidden Gem.
Tuesday 2nd May 2017 was the Directors preview night at the New Millennium Theatre in Waterfoo.
This was the un-
The Director of each play for next season gave a presentation describing their vision and plans for the production as well as inviting participation from cast and crew.
Once that was completed there were presentations from crew and backstage departments in an effort to recruit more participants in these vital areas.
Sue and Alice had a girly weekend in York between 8-
Tony provided sound & light for the Rossendale Players latest production 'California Suite' at the New Millennium Theatre in Waterfoot with Rosanna Taylor and a guest appearance on the final night by Steve Gill to help out by doing the lights while Tony was away on late shift.
The play ran from Saturday 1st to Saturday 8th April 2017 and was a series of four playlets set in a Beverly Hills hotel room in the late 70's. It was great fun to rehearse and perform.
Tony & Sue had an overnight stay in the Crowne Plaza hotel in Leeds, taking advantage of the leisure facilities, visiting real ale pubs and seeing the Willy Russell play 'Shirley Valentine' at the Leeds Grand theatre on Saturday 3rd April 2017.
Sue and Alice saw Manc Floyd at Bury Met on Sunday 2nd April 2017, a Manchester based Pink Floyd tribute band. They are small but very talented musicians.
Tony went with Martyn Waller to see the great Prog Rock group Marillion at the Manchester Academy on Monday 28th November 2016.
It's been a while since we've had a standing only gig of this size and the old pins felt it a bit after of 4 hours of toe-
What a great show though, supported by John Wesley of Porcupine Tree fame and introducing their new album F.E.A.R.
Monday 26th September 2016 Tony took a stroll along the Huddersfield canal from Ashton under Lynne to the outskirts of Stalybridge.
The evening of 17th September a party was held in Salford at the old Conservative Club on Liverpool street to celebrate what would have been the Gaffer's 100th Birthday.
Many members of the extended family came together to honour her memory and a good time was had by all!
17th September 2016 Alice buys her first car
5th September 2016 Alice Rose passes her driving test at the first attempt -
Tony & Sue saw the Genesis tribute band 'Mama' at Thornton little theatre on the evening of Saturday 3rd September 2016, staying overnight at a local hotel and returning on Sunday via the Fleetwood Freeport shopping centre.
Our family holiday this year was taken at Lagos in the Algarve, Portugal from 20th to 31st August.
Alan elected to stay at home for this one, being busy setting up business.
Tony had an overnight stay in Lancaster having enjoyed the retirement party for Mike Charlton at the White Cross pub on the canal-
Tony and Sue took some time out and stayed at the old mill spa hotel on the canal bank at Chester between 27-
Alice and her friend from Uni, Sarah had a girly holiday in Lanzarote from 20th June to 1st July where good food, good wine and relaxation were the order of the day!
Tony & Sue went to the Boogie-
Dressed (a little over the top) for the part, this was a great show and included an overnight stay in Southport before visiting Lytham on Sunday and returning home.
One or two heads were turned on the long walk from the hotel to the theatre!
Tony & Sue saw the saucy postcard, hillariously funny play 'Dirty Dusting' at the Fleetwood Marine Hall on Thursday 16th June.
Nice venue that we haven't used before and what a show!
We howled with laughter all the way through.
To celebrate Sue's birthday Tony booked a night at the Crowne Plaza hotel on the pier head in Liverpool with a riverside view. We arrived on Monday 6th June 2016.
We had a good wander around the sights, an afternoon in the Spa facilities at the hotel, a meal at a Turkish restaurant (The Shiraz) and a couple of pints at the City centre watering holes before a leisurely wander around the Albert dock area and turning in for the night.
Tuesday we left Liverpool and visited a peaceful nature reserve at Ainsdale sands, then on to Southport for a stroll along the pier having discovered that the tide was in (the first time ever that either of us had seen this phenomenon) and did some shopping in town before a quick pint at Tarleton on the way home.
The weather was really kind to us and gave us two days of unbroken sunshine and blue skies.
The latest production from the Rossendale Players and the last in this season was 'All my Sons' by Arthur Miller, Directed by Stanley Whittaker.
The play ran from Saturday 28th May to Saturday 4th June 2016.
Tony did sound & light for rehearsals, preview night and performances the opening night 28th, Sunday 29th & Tuesday 31st May with Rosanna Taylor. Richard & Rossana did the remaining four performances.
This was a deeply moving performance set in post war USA and received standing ovations from an appreciative audience.
Tony & Martyn Waller saw the Progressive Rock Super-
Fantastic show as ever!
Sue and Alice took a girly break together to York 14-
The latest production of the Rossendale Players was the thought provoking dark comedy, The Killing of Sister George by Frank Marcus.
Tony along with Rossana Taylor & Jim Rowe took part in the sound & light provision with Tony's contribution being rehearsals & preview night with performances on the opening night, Wednesday and Thursday of the run.
The show ran from Saturday 2nd to Saturday 9th April at the New Millennium Theatre and was great fun!
Tony & Sue went to see one of our old favourites on Saturday 19th March 2016 at the Holmfirth Picturedrome in West Yorkshire.
Caravan. A group discovered by Tony & Sue during the courting years.
An overnight stay in the adjacent 'Old Bridge' hotel made for a pleasant spring chillout weekend, marred only by Mary going urgently back into hospital on Sunday morning necessitating an early departure from Holmfirth and back to Salford Hope hospital.
Click HERE to see more of Tony's photo's from the concert
Tony, Sue & Alice saw the annual 'Classic Rock Show' concert on Saturday 27th February. This year at the Lowry theatre in Salford.
Another great performance with some really well known Rock Classics.
Tony took part in the latest Rossendale Players production which was a light family drama, The Garden Party by Jimmie Chinn.
This was a lighthearted look at a retired film-
Tony contributed sound & light to this production during rehearsals, preview night and all of the performances 6th to 13th February due to Richard's Ill health. This production also saw the introduction of Rosanna Taylor in the sound & light box, our newest recruit!
Sue & Tony with Mel Knowles saw Andre Rieu and his Johann Strauss orchestra perform their Christmas concert at the Echo arena Liverpool on Saturday 19th December 2015.
Another excellent performance with audience participation and good humour!
December brings the round of Christmas festivities (which according to the shops began in October) and as ever, is opened by the Works Christmas bash.
This year Tony attended the 'Eastern contingent' Christmas lunch at the Palazzo Italian restaurant in Burnley 10th December followed by the team 'do' at Preston held at the Holiday Inn including a 3 course dinner and free bar to midnight Friday/Saturday 11-
Good job there was also rooms booked at the hotel to stop overnight!
Tony & Sue saw the excellent Pink Floyd tribute band 'Brit Floyd' on their UK tour at the Bridgewater hall, Manchester. Friday 27th November 2015
Brilliant performance as ever, and a great entertaining night out.
Tony took part in the latest production by the Rossendale Players at the New Millennium Theatre in Waterfoot providing sound and lighting for rehearsals, the preview performance and 21st, 22nd and 24th evening performances.
This was the lively Willy Russell comedy One for the Road directed by Helen Lockett.
The production ran from Saturday 21st to Saturday 28th November 2015 and was great fun to watch and be a part of.
Tony, along with friend and neighbour Dave and his nephew Alex went on a day cruise along the Manchester ship canal aboard the Royal Iris, an old Mersey ferry.
The cruise was from number 8 dock at Salford docks, westwards to the ferry terminal at Birkenhead Woodside on Friday 2nd October and saw an un-
We also visited the U534 Nazi submarine display at Woodside before taking the coach back to Salford. A great day out.
Tony took part in the latest production by the Rossendale Players providing sound and light for rehearsals and one performance on Wednesday 30th September.
This was something less than planned due to Mary's unforseen ill health problems which necessarily took precedence.
The Unexpected Guest is a classic Agatha Christie 'who-
The summer holiday this year saw the family return to Hisaronu in Turkey for the fifth consecutive year between 23rd July and 13th August 2015.
Alice invited her friend from University, Sarah Wiggin to come with us and we enjoyed 3 weeks in the sun, based at a new apartment complex on the west edge of town.
Wednesday 15th July 2-
The Ceremony too place in the Guild hall at Preston City centre and was attneded by Mary, Tony, Sue and Alan and was followed by dinner at Bolton.
WELL DONE ALICE!
Tony took part in the latest Rossendale Players production, a comedy by Frank Vickery. A night on the tiles. Tony provided sound & lighting for rehearsals,the opening night, Sunday and Wednesday performances.
This production was very funny and a great team event. The cast enjoying the performances just as much as the audiences. Set in 1987 with music of the period, the bitter-
It was directed by Jim Rowe and ran from Saturday 13th to Saturday 20th June 2015
Tony took Mary for a visit to Maclesfield to see Norma & Fred on a lovely summers day, 4th June.
The visit was hosted by Julie & Dave in their spacious back garden with a lovely lunch and cream tea. A beautiful day in good company with some of my favourite old timers!
You can't beat the magic that takes place when Mary & Norma are together and there is a piece of magic caught in the short video of them singing 'you are my sunshine' together.
Saturday 23rd May, Tony went with Martyn & Christine Waller to see the progressive rock group 'Mostly Autumn' perform at Bury Met. A standing only performance, Sue didn't make it to this one.
They played their latest album 'Dressed in Voices' and many older works, to the great pleasure of the audience. A great Gig!
Tony & Sue went to see 'The Wall' at the Manchester Palace Theatre on Sunday 10th May. This was the first time we've seen this classic Pink Floyd work performed as a Rock Opera on stage.
The NK Theatre Arts company who put this show on did a great job of it, incorporating all the hits with street dance and good vocal arrangements. The band performing the piece high on the wall were a worthy group too.
Coupled with row BB seats in the stalls and the VIP lounge pre-
Tony took part in the latest Rossendale Players production, Early one morning. This was a deeply moving play telling the true story of a local lad from Bolton Jim Smith, who was a professional soldier in the first World War, decorated for bravery and promoted after fighting through the bloodiest horrors of Gallipoli and the Somme. He took a serious injury when he was buried by shellfire and was a broken Man from that point. He refused to fight and his friends were forced to shoot him at dawn after he was court martialled for cowardice.
A thoughtful play by Les Smith and directed by Stanley Whittaker performed at the New Millennium Theatre in Waterfoot
The play ran from Saturday 18th to Saturday 25th April 2015
Sue & Alice took themselves off for a 'girlie outing' to Chester between 7-
Overnight 30/31st March saw a heavy storm over the Rossendale with extreme winds. This is one of those occasions where living on a hill isn't ideal.
We awoke to see one of the Cherry tree's on our front garden uprooted and blown across the driveway. Not obvious in the photograph but the roots were a good 4-
The ironic thing is that our new car was due to arrive this date but I asked the dealership to hold off another day as I was busy. The old one wasn't being collected by its new owner until later this week so the new one would have been right under the fallen tree! It could have made my eyes water!
There was a Solar Eclipse at 0935hrs on the morning of 20th March which (despite the cloud) was visible across the UK.
This is how it appeard from the viewpoint of Alan's bedroom.
We had a select family gathering to celebrate Mary's 75th Birthday at Gillian & Mike's house in Salford on Saturday 21st February.
It was heartwarming to see the family and friends turn up to wish her well and her brother & sister, Billy and Norma made it extra special for her. The fantastic birthday cake was designed and made by Philip's girlfriend Samantha and quite literaly was the iciing on the cake!
Fondest moment? The family after singing 'Happy Birthday to you', singing 'You are my Sunshine'. So touching.
Tony & Sue took a leisurely stroll along the towpath of the Rochdale canal at Todmorden on the afternoon of Sunday 15th February.
Tony has taken part in the latest Rossendale Players production, Breezeblock Park. A lovely witty comedy by Willy Russell performed at the New Millennium theatre in Waterfoot.
This production has run from Saturday 7th to Saturday 14th February 2015.
Click HERE to see some photographs taken by Sue in the audience during 12th February performance
Tony & Sue went to see a really good local Pink Floyd Tribute band, Manc Floyd performing at Bury Met on Sunday 18th January 2015.
This has turned into an annual pilgrimage to see them at this venue each January since 2013. This year we took Alice and Martyn & Christine Waller along too.
Another great performance!
Sue and our friend & neighbour, Mel went to see this year's Andre Rieu Christmas concert at the Liverpool Echo Arena on 12th December 2014.
Tony couldn't get the night shift off work so didn't attend this year. Sue & Mel stayed overnight in Liverpool at a City centry hotel returning Saturday 13th.
Tony & Sue went to see an old favourite band, Brit Floyd. The best Pink Floyd Tribute band ever, at the Bridgewater hall, Manchester on Tuesday 2nd December 2014.
We originally had a ticket for Alice but she couldn't come so Martyn Waller came along and we all had a great night out.
Tony has taken part in the latest play by the Rossendale Players which was the annual dinner theatre, this year performed at the Riverside theatre in Whitworth between 25th to 29th November 2014.
The play was a wonderfully funny comedy spoof of an Agatha Christie 'who-
Tony provided sound and light at rehearsals and the performances 26th & 29th November.
There are also photographs taken by Sue in the audience and by Tony from the wings during performances. Click HERE to see more.
Alan had his GCSE presentation evening at Bacup & Rawtenstall Grammar School on Thursday 6th November which was a packed event in the school main hall.
Tony & Alice saw Pink Martini perform at the Manchester Bridgewater hall for the first time on Monday 3rd November. What a wonderful evening's entertainment! They performed some lovely old favourites which got everyone up and dancing. They were joined by the Von Trapps, the great grandchildren of the original Captain & Maria Von Trapp made famous in 'The Sound of Music' film. They made a fantastic combination and were ably supported with performances by Timothy Nishimoto and Ari Shapiro. Our seats on the very front row just in front of Sofia (the blonde lady).
Tony & Sue saw the Championship Brass band, the Brighouse & Rastrick at Bury drill hall during the afternoon of Saturday 18th October 2014.
They performed as a guest act during the Bury 'Homegrown' Folk festival with support from Accordion player John Spiers and some beautiful songs with brass arrangements from Lucy Ward.
Tony & Sue saw Level 42 at the Manchester Apollo theatre on Tuesday 14th October 2014.
Great 'slap' guitar from Mark King and good boogie from the band.
It's about a quarter of a Century since we last saw these guys in Germany. They haven't lost the edge!
Tony & Sue saw a performance of 'Happy Jack' at the Ramsbottom Theatre Royal on 7th October.
This was a play about a husband & wife reflecting on their lives together, performed by a husband & wife (Dawn & Jim Rowe).
This was the first performance in the 'Theatre Studio' at Ramsbottom and was an intimate performance, not on a stage but in amongst the audience. An excellent night and our first at this theatre.
Tony took part in the latest production from the Rossendale players, providing sound & light for rehearsals and the first two performances of Independent Means on 28th & 29th September 2014.
This, the first of the 2014-
The family summer holiday was taken in Turkey again this year in two apartments. The first from 28th July to 8th August was in Ovacik and the second from 8th to 18th August was in Hisaronu.
click on the picture below to see the albums
Tony & Sue saw the live broadcast of the Andre Rieu concert at the Bury Cinema on 19th July.
We had planned this as a treat for Mary but as she had only got out of hospital a few days before, she wasn't really up to it.
The show, as ever was fantastic, being staged in the Vrijthof in Maastricht A venue we are very familiar with. having lived in Maastricht for a couple of years back in the 80's
Alan's school Prom was held at Whitworth Riverside on Friday 27th June 2014.
It made a nice change to see him 'booted & suited' and I'm told he had a great time with all of his friends.
He chose a novel mode of transport to make his arrival at the venue with his friends Lewis & William -
Wednesday 18th to Friday 20th June we took a short break to Chester, staying in the Mill hotel & Spa on the bank of the Shropshire union canal in the City centre. This was a relaxing break partly to celebrate Alan's completion of his GCSE exams but also just to get the family away to 'chill' together. This was achieved nicely with the leisure facilities at the hotel and the hostelries & restraurants of the old City.
We took a short 'high tea cruise' on a canal barge shortly after arrival on Wednesday. Sue & Alice spent Thursday shopping while Tony & Alan visited the Hack Green Cold War bunker at Nantwich followed by a real ale pub in town.
On Friday we visited Tatton park in Cheshire and Portland wharf in Ashton enroute home.
Tony has taken part in the latest production by the Rossendale players, providing sound & light at the New Millennium theatre in Waterfoot for the performances 31st May (opening night), 1st & 7th June.
This production was a girly comedy by Amanda Whittingham about four fish packing factory workers who take a special day out to Royal Ascot with hillarious results!
Alice persuaded Tony to mark National Vegetarian awareness week 19th to 25th May, by taking the ultimate step -
I've waited a long time to see this concert. It was only performed 3 times in the UK back in 1974 and I remember buying the album and being amazed by Rick's keyboard mastery. He warmed up with 'Morning has broken' which he did with Cat Stevens, followed by 'Life on Mars' which he did with David Bowie and then the main event, 'Journey to the Centre of the Earth' complete with orchestra and choir. The Liverpool Philharmonic is such a perfect setting for this masterpiece, performed on the 9th May 2014. Well worth the 40 year wait!
Tony & Alice saw a good play at Bury Met theatre on Wednesday 30th April. 'Sherlock Holmes, The Death and Life' performed by Roger Llewellyn.
This one man show was very entertaining. Roger worked hard and kept up a fast pace throughout. A good night out.
Sue & Alice launch themselves off for a girlie trip down south for four days. They are visiting London to see some X-
Tony & Alan have been left behind with instructions to the keep the toilet seats up until Saturday ...
Tony has been busy lately with the rehearsals and performances of the latest Rossendale players production 'Visiting Hour' which is a collection of two one act plays by Richard Harris and the debut of a one act play by Dorrie Partington, 'Bedside Manners'.
This is unique production for the players in three one act plays set on a hospital ward with three seperate directors, one of which is the playwright for Bedside Manners, Dorrie Partington.
As part of the preparations, Dorrie brought in a handful of hospital or medical themed pieces of music to play as the audience arrive and also at the interval. Tony has put these together as a 30 minute 'hospital radio' piece with the cheesiest radio DJ ever 'Tony Helendorrie' [a combination of the three directors names, Tony McDonagh, Helen Lockett & Dorrie Partington] and set the radio show in a fictitious general hospital called 'SoggyHoof', a play on WaterFoot where the theatre is located in the Rossendale valley.
There are requests for some of the characters in the plays and also for the lady Mayor of Rossendale who attended the opening night show.
Click on the icon below to hear the radio show!
It is with great sadness that we attended the funeral of my cousin Amanda's Son, Peter-
Our hearts go out to Amanda and also to Peter-
The service was held at St Pauls Church, Prestwich and he was buried at Agecroft cemetary.
Alan's birthday treat was a day out paintballing with 3 of his schoolfriends at the Delta Force site just outside Holmes Chapel in Cheshire.
After a great night out in Holmfirth watching Caravan at the Picturedrome and a good night's sleep, we woke to a lovely warm and sunny day so decided to visit Huddersfield on the route home and take a liesurely stroll along the towpath of the Huddersfield broad canal.
Click on any image below to see more pictures
Sue & Tony visited Holmfirth in 'Last of the Summer wine' country to watch the great 70's group 'Caravan' perform at the Holmfirth Picturedrome.
We stayed at the old bridge hotel, immediately adjacent to the venue and had the added bonus of the group staying at the same hotel as us and a quick chat over breakfast the following morning.
The group's performance was excellent and we had second row seats so had a great vantage point (although this venue is 'cosy' and even at the back we would have been no more than 20 yards from the stage).
Monday March 3rd saw the funeral of Annie Wall, wife of Bryn, my Dads sister in law after a long illness.
She passed away in hospital on the 12th February
This was one of those sad days for rare family gatherings, bringing everyone together and catching up however briefly with the family seniors.
She received a splendid send-
Father Wyatt did the ceremony and her interment at Agecroft cemetary.
Tony took part in the latest production of the Rossendale Players providing the sound & light at the New Millennium theatre at Waterfoot for the performances 8th (opening night), 9th & 12th February.
This production was a witty comedy by Stanley Price, Why Me? set with the unlikely premise of redundancy and unemployment. The production ran from 8th to 15th February and was directed by Jim Rowe who also guested on sound & light for the last two peformances.
Friday 7th February Tony & Sue went to the Liverpool Philharmonic to see Brit Floyd perform their Classic Rock concert. A mixture of classic Rock anthems from the 60's through to the early 80's
A Great night out!
Sunday 19th January 2014 Tony, Sue & Alice saw the Pink Floyd tribute band 'Manc Floyd' at the Bury Met.
Local guys doing a great gig. Tony & Sue saw these at the same venue 13th Jan last year and made a note to see them again. It was well worth a re-
Click HERE to see more photo's from this concert
Tony & Sue took Mary for a surprise concert at the Liverpool Echo Arena. Mary has become an ardent fan of Andre Rieu (the lovely violinist and leader of a waltz based orchestra from Maastricht) and when tickets for his UK tour went on sale last February I couldn't resist getting almost front row seats for us. We told Mary (only recently) that we had tickets to go and see Ken Dodd and that we would take her for a treat for Christmas. Do you know she didn't even realise when she was sat in the arena that she was going to see him perform and so up close too. Well you should have seen her face (especially as I'd got her a tickling stick for Ken Dodd) when Andre and his orchestra struck up their intro! I saw a pensioner turn into a teenager in an instant! It was pure magic and I will never ever forget her expression when she realised her treat. God bless you Mam, you're one in a million!
Tuesday 10th December Tony took a day out with friend & neighbour, Dave to visit Lancaster Castle, a fascinating guided tour (just these two) of the medieval castle, the courts and the recently vacated prison. From there a short train ride into Cumbria took in Ulverston and a visit to the Laurel & Hardy museum, established in the defunct town cinema (very fitting). A nice day out.
Tony took part in the latest production from the Rossendale players providing the sound & light for the performances 29th & 30th of November, 1st, 2nd & 4th of December at the New Millennium theatre in Waterfoot.
This was a very funny production of the Alan Ayckbourn three act comedy Absurd Person Singular, directed by John Price.
Tony & Sue visited Liverpool on Friday 22nd November to see a classic group, The Stylistics perform at the Philharmonic hall. We travelled with our good friends and neighbours Carmel & Christopher and stayed overnight at the Days Inn in the City centre near to the Pier head.
The performance was brilliant. Performing hit after hit from the 60's & 70's with their inimitably smooth sound and polished coreography, they soon had the packed theatre on their feet and dancing. We had a drink in the big Grand pub across the road after the show (also called the Philharmonic) and had the bonus of meeting one of the group members too!
We had a slow wander back to the hotel seeing the City Christmas lights in all their glory and then after a good nights' sleep and a hearty breakfast we spent Saturday 23rd viewing the sights of a rejuvinated Pier head and Albert docks followed by the new Liverpool1 shopping area and returning home as it started to get dark.
All in all a nice relaxing outing!
Tony & Mary attended the Salford Cenotaph on the crescent for the Armistice service at 1100 on Monday 11th November.
As is normal at this time of year the weather was an incessant drizzle of rain and a little blustery. This has never stopped Mary from attending in previous years and this was not going to be any different.
Never liking to be late for a parade, we set off, Mary in her wheelchair and Tony pushing in plenty of time to go the half mile or so from Mary's flat. When we arrived there were no others present so we sat patiently and waited. After a short while a kind lady from the university offices at the old fire station came out and said she thought we looked so cold sat waiting in the rain and she brought us each a lovely hot mug of tea. It just goes to show that there are still people who care enough to show a little kindness to strangers.
Tony placed a Poppy cross in Alan's name as part of the ceremony.
Tony & Sue visited Alice in Preston for the afternoon on Saturday 2nd November.
We had dinner at the Ribble pilot on Preston dockside.
Tony, Sue & Alice saw our old favourites, Brit Floyd at the Manchester Bridgewater hall on Wednesday 30th October.
Another class performance, this time their Pulse World tour, 5 complete Album sides plus the best of the rest!
From our front row seats, we had a great vantage point to see the show and get some tasty photo's. See the album by clicking on the images below.
... and as an added bonus to this evening out, Tony had a swift pint with an old mucker from the Corps, John Nixon who happened to be in Manchester at this time undergoing a training course for his iminent career change. It was only a very hasty meeting, only planned an hour or so beforehand but bridging a gap of 21 years since we served together in 4 ADSR at Herford.
Tony took part in the latest production of the Rossendale players doing sound & light for the performances 1st, 2nd & 3rd October at the New Millennium theatre in Waterfoot.
This was a production of Noel Coward's witty comedy 'Hay Fever' directed by Jean Teasdale.
Saturday 28th September saw the wedding of cousin Donna to Dean. Tony, Sue & Mary set sail for Blackpool in the morning and attended the tasteful ceremony at the Festival house on Blackpool promenade, just in front of the tower.
The heaven certainly shone on our family that day, considering it was late September we had a beautiful summers day to celebrate the wedding.
After the ceremony, we all went to Tiffany's hotel on the seafront where the wedding reception was held.
Gillian & Mike joined us during the afternoon, having called to Rawtenstall to collect Alice & Alan enroute.
We had a great family party through the evening, entertained by some home grown singers and also the surprise appearance of Paul Doherty hot from Germany.
It was a tonic to see Mrs D's face shining so much with love for the family.
Congratulations Donna & Dean.
Tony, Sue & Alice went to a concert for one of our favourite musical treats on Monday 16th September. Roger Waters performing 'The Wall' at the Manchester Arena.
Alice & Tony saw this marvelous performance once before at the arena on 21st May 2011 (see news archive) and we said at that time "If this ever comes around again, it is a must see event" so this time Sue came along too and it is still a landmark show.
Click on the image below to see the final moments of the wall as it is finally breached ...
TEAR DOWN THE WALL!
Two of Alice's best friends Heike & Lucy about to leave home for university decided to have a girls night out at Vencenzo's Italian restaurant in Crawshawbooth on Friday 13th September.
Never being the type to miss out on a good nosh, Sue, Shirley & Lucy's mum came along for the ride!
Collection of unwanted mobile telephones at Tony's workplace to raise funds for the support of a child with Autism.
Graphic of Tony with the home-
Alice and a group of her closest friends attended the V-
Just back from a lovely family holiday in Turkey. 3 weeks of relaxing in the sun and seeing the sights.
Click on the image below to see the photo album
Alan did the second phase of his Duke of Edinburgh Bronze award during 15-
They went to the Monsal Dale area of Derbyshire during the unusual heatwave we are experiencing.
Of note he still wore his waterproof trousers, thick fleece and jacket (whilst carrying Tony's old Army Bergan) -
Tony, Sue, Alice & Alan all went to a performance by the London Philharmonic orchestra at the Liverpool Philharmonic on Saturday 22nd June 2013.
The orchestra played Gustav Holst's Planet suite, John Adams Short ride in a fast machine and R Strauss Also Sprach Zarathustra accompanied by NASA's HD video display of space exporation.
The London Philharmonic was conducted by Lawrence Renes and included the Huddersfield Choral society.
Tony & Sue saw Steve Howe in concert at the Bury Met on Friday 21st June.
As this is a smaller venue, the event took on the feeling of a folk club session. Steve played several types of guitar and as well as covering some old favourites from his solo career as well as YES standards, he introduced some lovely guitar solo's which we had not heard before and this made for a very pleasant night out.
Sue & Tony saw the evergreen band, the Moody Blues at the Apollo theatre, Manchester on 12th June 2013.
Loads of old favourites from way, way back were performed. Considering their considerable ages, they put on a great performance as ever.
Sue & Tony saw Rod Stewart in concert at the Manchester Arena on Saturday 8th June.
The old Pro gave some smashing renditions of his old faithfull's as well as introducing some new tracks from the new new album 'Time'.
The final production of this season with the Rossendale Players has been 'Steel Magnolias', a bittersweet comedy by Robert Harling set in a beauty salon in Chinquapin, Louisiana in the 1980's.
An all female cast with a light hearted look at life for a close group of friends & family through to a traumatic but poignant ending.
Tony contributed sound & light to rehearsals and performances 2nd, 4th, 5th & 7th June 2013 at the New Millennium theatre, Waterfoot.
Tony & Alan spent the afternoon of Saturday 6th April at the Grand opening of the new Meccano bridge over the Manchester, Bury & Bolton canal at Nob End, Little Lever, near Bolton.
Hundreds of people came to see the specatacle, formally opened by the Mayor of Bolton, Guy Harkin in the first sunny day of spring so far!
Click HERE to see the album of photo's from this event
Sue and Alice took themselves off to London on a Girls vacation from Wednesday 3rd to Friday 5th of April in a quest to find out about Sherlock Holmes. This may have had more than a little bit to do with Alice's like for Benedict Cumberbatch, currently starring in the TV serialisation of the classic stories.
They both had a wonderful time away together, elementary dear ladies!
Click HERE to see the album of pictures from this trip
Tony has taken part in the latest production of the Rossendale Players, Laying the Ghost. A comedy set in a retirement home for actors, providing sound & light for the dress rehearsal with invited audience on 14th March followed by performances 16,17 & 19th March.
Tony, Sue & Alice went to see the Australian Pink Floyd tribute band perform at the Manchester Arena on 28th February.
A bit of a round trip, picking Alice up from Uni at Preston and returning her after the show. We nearly didn't get in at all as we parked by Salford railway station and walked to the venue (about quarter of a mile) arriving just 10 minutes before curtain up. After frantic searches of her bottomless handbag, Sue declares she no longer has the tickets! Deciding she must have left them in the car Tony ran (yes, ran) back to Salford railway station and found the tickets. Not in the car mind, but on the ground as he whizzed (ok panted) across the waste ground there. After a dash (crawl) back to the Arena we got in as the first number was opening!
The band played Dark side of the Moon along with all the usual standards, notably a great rendition of 'Echoes', 'One of these days' and 'comfortably numb'. We had good seats in the front, centre block on the floor of the Arena.
Tony, Sue & Alice saw the stage musical 'Priscilla Queen of the Desert' at the Manchester Opera house on Saturday 23rd February.
It was a very entertaining show telling the story of three drag Queens making a life-
The show starred Jason Donovan, Richard Grieve and Graham Weaver.
Tony didn't know where to look, and Sue wouldn't tell him!
Straight after the show we met up with Mary, Gillian & Mike, Philip & Samantha (and baby Liza) and Christopher for a birthday meal with Mary at a restaurant in Lowton St Marys near Wigan. Full plates, full bellies and great company!
Happy Birthday Mam.
Tony took part in the Rossendale Players production of Blood Brothers providing Sound & Light for the dress rehearsal with invited audience 24th January and two performances on Sunday 27th January & Saturday 2nd February.
A very funny but ultimately moving production of this Willy Russell classic directed by Mark Storton and performed at the Millennium theatre, Waterfoot.
The production sold out every performance and received excellent reviews in the press.
Tony, Sue & Alice saw the 2013 tour of the Classic Rock show at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall on Saturday 26th January.
Just having missed the last big snowfall of January (which was heavy) and hitting the start of the thaw, we had a great night out with excellent seats again (second row, centre stage stalls).
The band is just about all of the Brit Floyd line-
They played music from The Eagles, Led Zeppelin, Dire Straits, Pink Floyd (as ever), Bruce Springsteen, Meatloaf, Supertramp, Elton John, AC/DC, Joe Cocker and loads more!
Alan had his week of work experience during the week 21-
His only comments were that they ate lots of doughnuts at the company in question and that it explained the shape of the workforce -
He seemed to enjoy himself, said he didn't end up making the tea and found time to catch up on some of his own coding in the process.
To date there do not appear to have been any network crashes or cases of cyber meltdown in the valley so all appears to have gone well -
Tony & Sue saw an old favourite of ours, a group who's albums range throughout the 1970's to the present, CARAVAN on stage at the Salford Lowry theatre on Monday 14th January.
They played a wide range of their vast repetoire including some music with personal memories from the first few days and weeks that Tony & Sue first met in the 70's.
Considering their advancing years, the group did well and entertained a packed audience.
Tony & Sue saw a Pink Floyd tribute band at the Bury Met on the evening of Sunday 13th January.
This is a band we had booked to see around Christmas 2011 but as Sue had to have a knee operation, she wasn't up to the standing only Gig and we didn't go.
We missed a good tribute band. These guys & gals know what they are doing and gave us a great night's entertainment.
Bury Met is only a small venue so the intimacy of performances there are always a bonus.
I think we'll look out for this band again -
Paul & Ulrike with Benny & Anna had a holiday in the UK over the festive break and paid us a visit at Rawtenstall before returning home to Deutschland on Friday 4th January.
It was a lovely opportunity to meet Ulrike for the first time and to catch up with Paul and his little Doherty's, Benny and Anna.
It was a nice afternoon spent also with Mary who has been staying with us over the festive period and we look forward to seeing this branch of the Doherty tree again soon.
We had a quiet Christmas at home this year, helping Mary to recover from her recent Illness and time in hospital.
Alice is home from University and Alan was last seen nursing a hard-
We had a traditional Christmas dinner, cooked by Tony with a special request of Nana gravy, suitably supplied by Mary.
A very merry Christmas and a happy New Year to all of our friends and family, wherever you are.
We attended a special awards evening at Alice's old 6th form college on the evening of 18th December at Alder Grange in Rawtenstall.
Alice was one of the first students to pass through this new college, having also attended Alder grange throughout her secondary education.
This evening was on opportunity to receive student certificates in a relaxed informal atmosphere (with wine and mince pies provided by the college) and also for Alice to receive a special award for her extended media project.
Alice received some fantastic results including A-
WELL DONE ALICE ROSE!
Tony & Sue went to a Christmas brass band concert at the Manchester Bridgewater hall on Sunday 2nd December.
A rousing Christmas programme was performed including singing of Christmas carols and much banter from the conductor!
The latest production by the Rossendale players has been the comedy play 'My friend Miss Flint' by Donald Churchill and Peter Yeldham.
This production was our annual dinner theatre staged at the Bacup Hub (The New Millenium theatre is simply not big enough and has no catering facilities).
Tony's contribution was set building on Sunday 25th November at Bacup and the sound & light for the Friday 30th & Saturday 1st December performances.
The first play of 2013 will be BLOOD BROTHERS by Willy Russell
Dircted by Mark Storton
The story is a contemporary one of nature versus nurture, revolving around fraternal twins who were seperated at birth. The twins' different backgrounds take them to opposite ends of the social spectrum, resulting in tragedy.
Now Alice has settled in with her new flatmates at UCLAN Preston, we decided to 'pop in' for a quick pub lunch and walk around the local scenic park at Avenham and a short stretch of the Ribble riverbank before bringing her home to Rawtenstall to stay the weekend. As luck would have it, the weather was kind to us on Saturday 20th October so the wander around Preston was very pleasant.
Click HERE to see more of this album
The opening production of the 2012-
Based on a novel by Emil Zola, the play takes place in a dingy apartment over a haberdashery shop in a poor part of Paris and is a domestic tragedy.
The play was originally performed during the 1870's in Paris but was refused a license to open in London due to the shocking content which was deemed to be too much for a sensitive Victorian public. It eventually received a London premier in 1891.
Tony's part in this production was doing the sound & light for the performances 23, 27, 28, 29th September.
Alice has started the next phase of her education by attending the University of Central Lancashire at Preston where she is studying for her Film & Media degree.
This has also presented the opportunity for Alice to fly the family nest now she has become a young adult of 18 years and she is staying in the halls of residence in Preston City centre.
We took our family holiday in Turkey again this year between 23rd July and 13th August.
We stayed at two locations in the same area, hiring a villa in Hisaronu up to the 4th August and then moving to an appartment at Ovacik until the end of the holiday.
We took Alice's best friend Heike O'Connor with us this year which made the holiday really special for Alice and gave us an extra daughter to enjoy the holiday with.
Another feature of this years holiday is that Alice turned 18 years old while we were away which gave us an excuse to make a big fuss on the 10th!
Alice and her best friend Heike took part in a sponsored charity relay run during the evening of Saturday 23rd June 2012 at Marl pits sports centre in Rawtenstall.
This was in aid of Cancer research and the team (Alder Grange 6th form) raised £105.
The Queens Diamond Jubilee celebration week was uniquily a time off work and gave an opportunity to get out and socialise with family and friends.
Unfortunately the fine hot weather of the previous week broke and the weekend kicked off with heavy downpours, notably with the barbecue we went to in Blackburn at Tony's workmate's house, Andy & Joanne Mizon on Sunday 3rd.
On Monday we went to Barnsley and visited Cynthia. We stayed over with Geoff & Linda at Dodworth, sampling another tasty barbecue and enjoying more good company
We had the day at home on Wednesday then Tony, Sue and Alice took off to Bradford to see another Brit Floyd concert at Saint George's hall (Given that Alice had to miss the Manchester concert just a couple of weeks back) and we stayed over at the Premier Inn in Bradford while Mary stayed at our house and looked after Alan. After a hearty breakfast we spent some time visiting the National media museum at Bradford before returning home.
We rounded off the Jubilee week with a dinner evening at Damian & Shirley O'Connor's on Sunday 10th before returning to normal workaday activity.
Alice gets the first of her college results today [31st May 2012]
Only the top dog DISTINCTION STAR at her BTEC media!
You can't imagine how proud this makes all of the family -
Tony took part in the Rossendale players production of 'Someone Who'll watch over me' by Frank McGuinness, providing the sound & light for performances 22nd & 23rd May . This was a powerful and highly charged drama with an Englishman, Irishman and American locked together in a cell in the middle east as victims of political action, powerless to initiate change.
This play explores the daily crisis endured by hostages whose strength comes from communication both subtle and mundane, from humour, wit and faith.
The group as ever, gave a magnificent performance of their 'Foot in the door' show and Sue enjoyed it so much she is booking us into their next gig in the northwest in Bradford next month!
Tony & Sue saw an 'Eagles' tribute band called 'Talon' at King Georges hall in Blackburn on Saturday 5th May. They were very true in style to the band and played all the old staples. They were very enthusiastic and blinkin' good musicians too.
A ten piece band including horn section had the audience warmed up in no time at all. A very enjoyable evening.
We'd see them again without doubt.
Saturday 28th April 2012 at the Palace Theatre Manchester we saw the new stage production of the Phantom of the Opera.
Tony, Sue, Mary adn Alice took second row seats at the spectacular musical which has become Lloyd Webber's signature production.
With a brilliant new design by Paul Brown, costumes by the much missed Maria Bjornson, a new staging by Laurence Connor, director of the recent acclaimed 25th anniversary celebration at the Royal Albert hall and with new choreography by Scott Ambler. Lighting design is by Paule Constable adn sound design by Mick Potter.
The production is overseen by Cameron Mackintosh and Mathew Bourne.
Tony has contributed to the Rossendale players recent production of Jimmie Chinn's comedy 'Straight and Narrow' whch has directed by Andrew Husband and ran from 17th to 24th March at the New Millennium theatre in Waterfoot.
Tony did sound and light for this production on the preview night (Wednesday 14th) with Richar Curry and solo on 20,21,22, 23rd March.
This was a very funny comedy which still induced chuckles from the sound & light box even after seeing the performance so many times. A testiment to the cast having such fun on stage.
Sunday 4th March for a birthday treat, Tony, Sue & Alice went to see the Australian Pink Floyd band at the Manchester Apollo theatre. Another performance of classic Floyd with a spectacular light show.
Alice has a girly night out with her friends to celebrate the 18th birthday of her friend Chloe
17th February 2012
Tony has taken part in the Rossendale players production of 'Gaslight', a dark Victorian thriller by Patrick Hamilton which was staged at the New Millennium theatre on Burnley road, Waterfoot. Tony's contribution was sound and light for the first two and last two performances 21, 22, 27, & 28th January.
Tony, Sue & Alice went to the New Year fancy dress party at our friends the O'Connors in Rawtenstall. Alice was a 'Pink Lady' from the musical 'Grease', Tony was Al Capone (although somebody thought he'd come as Freddy Krugger) with a violin case full of beer and Sue went as a thirsty lady looking for a beer!
Tony, Sue, Alice & Alan went to the Manchester European Christmas market on Sunday 18th December 2011. It was a cold and icy day (one of those when I couldn't get the car up Cherry crescent due to the ice). We all sampled the food and Gluhwein and enjoyed the ambience. Alan got a bit 'overcold' but then there's not much meat on him in the first place!
More photographs from this outing may be seen in THIS ALBUM.
Father Christmas visited the early shift at the Greenbank control room, Blackburn and took the oportunity to dish out the 'Secret Santa' presents to team one. The beard was a bit itchy but it stayed on from 0630 to 1500 when relief arrived.
Merry Christmas everyone!
Tony has taken part in the production of 'Cash on delivery', a comedy farce by Michael Cooney, with the Rossendale players, assisting in building the set at the Bacup hub in preparation for this years' dinner theatre and doing sound & light for the performances up to Wednesday 30th November.
Tony & Sue went to a concert by Yes on Sunday 13th November at the Apollo in Manchester.
Another faultless performance from a band with 40 years of classic repetoir to pick from. They played the new album 'Fly from here' as wll as many of the old favourites.
Seats on the second row, right in front of the legendary Steve Howe, made for a memorable night.
Guy Fawkes night Fireworks
We played with sparklers and watched fireworks being let off across the valley but didn't attend a bonfire this year.
Click here for more photo's from Bonfire night
We took a family break during the October half-
We took Mary along with us for a much needed break and enjoyed the leisure facilities at the hotel, including swimming pool, sauna, jacuzzi and steam room (but not the gym).
We visited Chatsworth house, farm & gardens and also the thermal baths, aquarium and hologram exhibition at Matlock Bath before calling in at Bakewell for a pint on the way home.
We were very fortunate in the mild and sunny weather for this time of year.
Click Here for the photo album of this visit.
7th October saw the funeral of Aunty Carol, my Mum's little sister. We said farewell at Agecroft cremotoreum from 1pm and a great many family and friends turned out to pay our last respects.
Her wake was at Prestwich Conservative Club and the day went as if she had planned it herself, in good humour, tinged with our sadness but overall a fitting and loving way to say bye for now.
Tony is taking part in the latest production by the Rossendale players of the JB Priestley drama 'Dangerous Corner' set in the 1930's.
Tony is again doing sound & light including for this dress rehearsal shown below from 15th September. Tony will be doing the performances Tuesday 20th & Wednesday 21st but not the remaining ones due to work shifts.
We stayed in a privately rented apartment in Ovacik in the Lycian region of Turkey on the Mediteranean coast.
Slideshow and video to follow.
Alice won two best in year awards. Creative Media and Arts.
Well done Alice!
Click on the logo to hear Alice's interview today (Friday 8th)
Alder grange sixth form bid for franchise to transmit television in the Rossendale valley
Photo from local press & internet
Tony and Sue went to see Neil Diamond in concert at the Manchester evening news arena on Monday 4th July 2011.
Sunday 26th June started off nice and cool at the New Millennium theatre in Waterfoot early in the morning, building a display float to enter into the Bacup & Stacksteads summer carnival procession.
We used Michael Whewell's truck and built a tableau from the successful production of Sylvia's wedding. The carnival floats were all judged at Stacksteads before setting off and ours won!
Tony was a marshal for the procession route through Bacup town to Britannia then back along new line accompanying the float. The temperature soared and we all got quite well toasted that day.
The procession ended at Stubbylee park in Bacup where the players erected a static display and gave an outdoor performance of the closing scene from Sylvia's wedding.
Tony took part in the Rossendale players production of Dangerous Obsession at the New Millennium theatre in Waterfoot, doing sound & light for four of the performances.
This was a tense drama by NJ Crisp, directed by John Price.
Tony and Alice saw the phenomenal Roger Waters concert 'THE WALL' at the Manchester evening news arena on Saturday 21st May 2011. It was a spectacular show with all new graphics on the wall and a show stopping finale when the wall eventually comes down. A night to remember!