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THE OTHER SIDE OF MIKE BENNETT

This is a new series of films covering known artists from a different angle produced by Grey Area Productions.

Today TreTre did her first in a series of People You Might Know for One Thing, But Not Necessarily for Another. The first of this exciting 2 hour series explores the other career of writer, composer, producer Mike Bennett whose wide and diverse credits include Wishbone Ash, ELP, The Fall, Poly Styrene, The Specials, Neville Staple, Christine Sugary Staple and more. I caught up with Mike after grilling him for 2 hours today about his other side…. he was not expecting the questions I asked him. Initially flummoxed by the questions he was being asked, he held his ground and we ended up having great fun as the banter naturally enveloped into a conversation that revealed the other jobs he carries out in tandem with his work in music production. This is how our post show candid conversation went…

  1. How did you feel about doing a 2-hour interview about yourself with no stops and in one take?

 

  1. Well, I was mildly surprised to say the least how things went forward. I was led to believe I was doing an interview about the new Fuzzbox album we’ve done for Gonzo Multimedia and then you started asking me about my personal life, which I was up front about regarding my borstal days. I would like to take the opportunity to downgrade that to Approved School, I did not steal the car, I was just an unfortunate passenger, but I have to say at least you were gracious enough at the end of that tricky moment to acknowledge that my mild turbulent teenage behaviour for good grist for my poetry.

 

  1. Despite my lack of Fuzzbox questions you expected I managed to get to chat to you about your work writing for actors and comedians, you’ve written for Jim Bowen, Phil Cool, Frankie Howerd, Bobby Davro, Anita Harris… who have enjoyed writing for the most to date?

A Difficult question as usual, I was honoured to do the Grimm’s Fairy Tales with Rik Mayall, but I have to say I have just reimagined Aesop’s Fables for my favourite actress of all time, Anna Savva, who is the main reason I watch the period drama series The Durrells. I love the fact that you you’re working closely with Ian Hills because the Granada/ITV connection ties in with Anna Savva and The Durrells and although the connection is tenuous he made me feel easier as you were grilling me, and he was genuinely interested in my work with Anna in respect with my work with Aesop. During the pernicious pandemic pantomime, we have been creative on a daily basis taking a left field spin on Aesop who is a writer from six thousand years ago, whose is as relevant as it is today. Can we not talk just a little bit about the Fuzzbox album?

  1. Maybe later, what was Frankie Howerd like to work with? 

 

  1. He would have loved Fuzzbox, he was into all sorts of stuff, Pet Shop Boys, Motorhead and he did love Sinister Warts by The Fall…he was not as confident as you may imagine, but he was a kind and gifted man, after I did a play with Frank Skinner I was surprised and chuffed that he was a fan of The Fall as well.

 

  1. Not my bag as you know Mike, and as you know there’s a lot if your stuff I am not really into and I will never pull the wool over your eyes just to flatter your ego, which I have to say is rather healthy to put it politely, but I do like Pink Sunshine by Fuzzbox but my favourite version is the one you produced with Steve Etherington who I saw live with The Rubettes ft John, Mick and Steve! Your weird dub version is definitely not for me, it is the students that go to places like District in Manchester or hip students into Psyche music and all the subject’s genres that go with it.

 

  1. Steve Etherington gives every broadcast quality commercial aspect, he is the best! It would be a crap production model to work with the worst. Put a good team together and they will make you sound talented, I love spinning plates and I love throwing in a swerve ball and when I met him on the Shane McGowan sessions I never looked back, as I said in the interview, the artist’s job is to put the painting on the canvas, the production team, which incidentally includes Deborah Allen, who has helped me put the Polyfest stuff together in order to celebrate the life of the late, great Poly Styrene of X-Ray Spex, she’s meticulous when it comes to strategic but out of the box manoeuvres, she takes good counsel and listens to the often troublesome menagerie of colourful artists. With Steve Bowden, Friedbananaand Andy Chester on audio visuals, Leah Mckavanagh on administration because I cannot even tie up my own shoe laces, and the artists themselves all being brilliant gives me confidence to carry on melding my script writing endeavours with pop music, any genre will do if I get it! I have had to turn down amazing jobs because I knew there were people better than me for that artist.

 

Well you don’t appear to be falsely self-deprecating and I have to say your artistic policy appears to be sound and talking about sounds I’m going to include some sounds from your recent work on the slightly seedy film you have made, Laundry Matt, which is finally coming out after 2 years which you amazingly claim you made on a budget of 15p!

 

Just some of the artists and songs to appear on the forthcoming film Laundry Matt.

 

The Rubettes ft John, Mick, and Steve 

Lady Starlight,

Born to Be Alone,

New York City

Mrs Pringle

Dynamite

Back to Drak

 

Melanie Williams

Ain’t No Love Ain’t No Use

 

Fuzzbox

Spirit in the Sky

 

Christina Sugary Staple

Way of life

 

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The Thrill of Love Northenden Players Club 20th May 2019

Northenden Players Theatre Club present ‘The Thrill of Love’ by Amanda Whittington. It tells the story of Ruth Ellis, a 28-year-old former model and nightclub hostess.

Ellis became notorious as she was the last woman in England to be executed on 13th July 1955 in Holloway Prison.

Ellis was sentenced to death by hanging at the Old Bailey in 1955 for shooting her lover, 25-year-old racing driver David Blakely, outside the Magdala public house in North London on Easter Sunday.

The story of Ruth Ellis has intrigued the Nation for over 60 years, with books, films, radio and theatre interpretations of this infamous case. In this production we see episodes in Ruth Ellis’s life (Freya Fulton) and Inspector Gale (Andrew Foulks) piecing the pieces of evidence he finds together.

We meet the manageress of the Gentlemen’s Club Sylvia Shaw (Jo Booth) where Ellis was a Hostess who dreams of escape, being befriended by Diana Dors, of fast lives and bright lights, and returning home in a silver Rolls-Royce. Ruth’s best friend another hostess Vickie Martin (Kirsty Hattton) and the char lady Dorris (Adel Firth) all finally drawn characters who play an important role in Ruth Ellis life.

It’s a small cast finely performed, I partially enjoyed the interaction of Inspector Gale’s questioning trying to find the answers to solve the jigsaw puzzle of the murder of Ellis lover, David Blakely and especially the confession scene with Ruth Ellis.

To create the 1950’s look it was played against a black minimalist set relying on furnishing, props and lighting to set the scene, I liked the ‘Dansette’ record player with LP’s scattered around playing Billie Holiday provides the soundtrack to Ruth’s life, in which the fantasy of another, better existence is always just out of reach and the record keeps sticking, a bar, black and white tables and chairs creating a ‘Film Noir’ look. Sound was used with great effect with a lot of music and some good special effects.

Great care was taken in choosing the 50’s costumes, handbags, shoes hair and makeup, Ellis’s was outstanding, the fitted suits and dresses were spot on, well done the costume department.

The acting was brilliant, Frea Fulton as Ruth Ellis was outstanding capturing not only the looks, the London accent and the coldness of a murderess.

If you want to see an interesting historical, gritty drama based on a true story I recommend you go along to see this and when you get home look up why Ruth Ellis was the last woman to be hanged?

The Thrill of Love is on 19th May to 25th May at the Northenden Players Theatre Club Church Road. 7:30pm.

Tickets and membership 0161 445 6868.

facebook.com/northendenplayerstheatreclub/

Northendenplalyers.co.uk

 

Reviewed by Ian Hills Wythenshawe FM

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News Wythenshawe FM

Sunday Night at The Grand Blackpool

An evening of unforgettable conjunction with the Lyndene Hotel, Blackpool and Tower Top Entertainments.

You’ll be taken through a journey of laughter with some of the North West’s funniest comedians, be swept of your feet by some astonishing vocalists and entertained by an array of show stopping dancers!

Headlined by TV’s Comedy Legend Johnnie Casson, 90’s POP Boyband 911 and Britain’s Got Talent star ventriloquist Gareth Oliver.

For a non stop night of the best variety entertainment and all proceeds going to the Not Forgotten Association.

Prices

  • £19 to £27
  • Concessions
  • £1.50 Off
The Grand 33 Church Street, Blackpool, FY1 1HT

 

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Motown the Musical Opera House, Manchester

Review: Motown the Musical Opera House, Manchester 27th February 2019.

Reviewed by Ian Hills Wythenshawe FM 97.2 The Northern Soul Hour Extended Play.
There was ‘Dancing in the Streets’ when Motown the Musical arrived in Manchester. The sensational hit Broadway and West End musical has brought its unique sound to the Opera house.
With $1,000 borrowed from his family Berry Gordy founded Motown Records and launched the careers of legendary artists including Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Martha Reeves and many more and in 10 years was to become the largest black-owned business in the USA.
This is the next chapter in Motown’s incredible history and is an experience you’ll never forget. Featuring over 50 classic hits including My Girl, What’s Going On, Dancing in the Street, I Heard It Through the Grapevine and Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.
Motown the Musical tells the thrilling tale of the man who broke barriers, fought against the odds to create something more than a record label. Discover the story behind Motown, the personal relationships, the professional struggles, and of course the music that made history, defined the sound of a generation and got the whole world moving to the same beat. With an all British cast directed by Charles Randolph-Wright staring Edward Baruwa, Berry Gordy, London Road, Jerry Springer the Opera, the T Boy show. Karis Anderson, Dianna Ross, Girl Band Shooshe, Nathan Lewis, Smokie Robinson Boy Band Five After Midnight, Shak Gabbidon – Williams, Marvin Gaye, Guildford School of Acting BA (Hons) Musical Theatre, plus the large young talented cast playing Motown’s finest.
We open with the 25th anniversary of Motown Records in 1983, with a medley of classics, including I Can’t Help Myself and Get Ready then jump to music tycoon Berry Gordy home where Smokie Robinson pleads for him to make an appearance at the televised event before we go whistle-stop tour of the company’s history starting with songwriter Berry Gordy with $1,000 borrowed from his very reluctant mother to launch Tamala Motown Records. And as they say the rest is history. With every black artist and group in Detroit making a path to ‘Hitsville USA’ the name of Gordy’s recording studios and launched the careers of legendary artists including Diana Ross and the Supremes, the Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles (Motown’s first 1 million seller), The Temptations, The Four Tops, Mary Wells, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, Gladys Knights and the Pips, Jackie Wilson, The Marvelettes and many more.
We are treated to iconic early classics like My Girl, Baby Love and Stop in the Name of Love from some of the biggest names in Motown. At one point we are transported back to Manchester where Diana Ross is appearing and having a proper cup of Manchester tea backstage, it could have been in the Co-op’s New Century Hall ballroom where I saw the Supremes along with the Four Tops and the Temptations back in the 1960s
Not everything goes smoothly between the artists and Gordy with lawsuits over money, contracts and artists leaving.  The first act ends with troubles arising for the company and an uncertain future for Motown.
We open in Act 2 in a troubled America with the Vietnam war, cue Edwin Starr’s WAR, race riots the assassination of President John Kennedy and the shooting of Marin Luther King Jnr whose speeches Gordy had released on LP records, here we see Marvin Gaye argues to release his album of protest songs and the uncertainty for Gordy and his company. We get to see the segregation. oppression, race riots and the difficulties of being a black African American and not just in Detroit. The mainstream media was very white, and we see Smokie Robinson pleading to get the local radio stations to play a Motown track by a black artist.
The love affair between Berry Gordy and Diana Ross adds the love interest with Gordy concentrating on just her to the anger of his other acts and later we see Diana leaving Motown to pursue her own solo career at the same time the move of Motown from Detroit to Los Angeles and lawsuits are bankrupting the company.
Then back to the Motown’s 25th Anniversary televised concert with all the original artists come back together for a one-time concert and Berry Gordy decides to join them on stage for a fantastic melody of songs including the new artists with Stevie Wonder leading the way with ‘Happy Birthday’ the audience on their feet singing and clapping along.
Edward Baruwa’s duet with Karis Anderson was outstanding with brilliant performances from the whole cast along with glamorous costumes of the ‘60s ‘70s and ‘80s, the bright colours of the projected sets and stage lighting especially during the psychedelic numbers along with an orchestra and the nostalgia of the music was a real treat for the senses, very fitting as this year is Motown’s 60th Anniversary. This is not a ‘Juke Box’ musical with back to back songs but tells the early history of Motown, I would have liked to see a bit more of the relationships between the artists such as Smokey Robinson marrying Claudette Rodgers one of the Miracles.
Motown the Musical is showing at the Opera House, Manchester until Saturday, March 23rd Tickets from ATGTICKETS/ MANCHESTER.com. Box Office 0844 871 3018 or book in person.
My interview with Nathan Lewis, Smoky Robison by Ian Robert Hills is available to listen to on Mixcloud
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Rocky Horror Show Manchester Opera House 10th January 2019

The biggest party in town comes to the Manchester Opera House.

Richard O’Brien’s legendary rock ‘n’ roll musical returns to Manchester as part of a sell-out worldwide tour started life in 1973 in London.

It became a cult Hollywood movie in 1975 starring Tim Curry as the cross-dressing Transvestite alien scientist Doctor Frank-N-Furter and Susan Sarandon as Sharon.

Rocky Horror Show is a campy, musical spoof on the haunted-castle / sci-fi, alien B movie in a 1970s glam-rock world.

This classic musical extravaganza stars Coronation Street star Beverley Callard (Liz McDonald) as the Narrator with Strictly Come Dancing Champion Joanne Clifton as Janet and A1’s Ben Adams as Brad. West End star Stephen Webb plays the role of Frank and Kristian Lavercombe as Riff Raff with Miragle Change as Columbia, Laura Harrison as Magenta and Callum Evans as Rocky.

Directed by Christopher Luscombe and featuring timeless classics, including Sweet Transvestite, Damn it Janet and, of course, the pelvic-thrusting Time Warp, The Rocky Horror Show is the story of two squeaky clean college kids, Brad and his fiancée Janet. When by a twist of fate, their car breaks down with a flat tyre outside a creepy mansion whilst on their way to visit their former college professor Dr. Scott, they are led inside by Riff Raff the Butler to meet the Master, the charismatic Doctor Frank’n’Furter and his wild guests and then the fun begins.

Beverley Callard our narrator starts telling us the tale with some lively heckling from the audience to which her put-downs are wonderful and soon we are on our feet singing and doing the ‘Time Warp’ as Frank-N-Furter dramatic entrance and under his cloak, he is wearing a Basque, stockings and high heeled boots strutting centre stage. The madness continues when we enter his laboratory where he has created Rocky with a perfectly formed tanned body in Leopard skin speedos. Lots of fun, debauchery, down and dirty with Brad and Janet with Frank to the attack by the aliens on the earthlings, it’s fun and fabulous with everybody in the audience up on their feet singing and dancing along to this fantastic 1970’s Glam Rock production.

Visually stunning, fabulous costumes and a brilliant movie like set adds to the total production. It was like going to a party with many of the audience dressed up for the occasion as transvestite Frank and as Sharon in her underwear added to the fun. Not to be missed.

Manchester Opera House till 26th January. ATGTICKETS.COM/MANCHESTER

Reviewed by Ian Hills, Wythenshawe FM 97.2 Media.

 

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Corrie legends open the world-famous Manchester Christmas Markets

Corrie Legends Les Dennis and Connor McIntyre were on hand to officially open this year’s Christmas Markets ahead of their appearance as the ugly sisters in the city’s panto production of Cinderella at the Opera House in Manchester

Each year millions of visitors flock to the city for the festive attraction that spreads across the city centre squares with hundreds of market stalls selling mouth-watering food and drink, and a huge selection of gift ideas to help tick off that Christmas shopping list.

Manchester’s transformation in to the UK’s Christmas capital is Celebrating 19 consecutive years in the city, traders from across the North West and Europe return to host  much-loved favourites to the Christmas Markets this year – includes the ground-breaking Yorkshire pudding burrito – who will be joined by an exciting roster of new foodie delights and craft traders.

Albert Square is the traditional hub of the Manchester Christmas Markets and will see an impressive injection of gastronomic re-invention, from the brand new Amsterdam Frites stall, boasting 30 different toppings and sauces over their triple cooked fries, to Zouk – a traditional curry house with two new curries every day, along with a range of veggie and vegan options.

The sweet toothed visitor will be spoilt for choice with first time trader Zara Cakes putting cupcakes to the top of the menu, and a desert stall of pure imagination as Charlotte and the Chocolate Factory load topping after topping onto fresh, warm brownies.

For the social media obsessives, St Anne’s Square welcomes the Birdie photo booth – a vintage VW Campervan where visitors can get free print outs of their snaps, which will also be automatically shared to Twitter using #MCRChristmas. Last year, Manchester was the most Instagrammed Christmas Market in Europe and this is your chance to be part of the celebration.

A new Bubble Waffle bar will continue the sweet treats on St Ann’s Square and traditional British favourites will be on the menu with Ginger Vikings Deserts on Market Street – think Christmas puds and trifles.

New Cathedral Street welcomes a visitor favourite café in the making, as Bar No3 arrives outside Harvey Nichols. Taking inspiration from modern ski-lodge architecture, Bar No3 will be purveyors of the finer things in life, including espresso martinis and honey cream infused gin cocktails amongst a variety of other offerings.

King Street is known for its more relaxed atmosphere and fine food, and new trader Eat Grk will bring a taste of the Mediterranean to Manchester with warming gyros and halloumi fries.

Another key hub, Exchange Square hosts an eclectic range of food stalls from authentic Italian pizza and arancini to Elsie May’s Brownies and her shimmering Rose Gold Prosecco. the traditional favourites – bratwurst and mulled wine – will be available in abundance nestled alongside some of the best pop-up and street food vendors the city has to offer.

Cathedral Gardens will reprise its role as the family-friendly area of the Christmas Markets where younger visitors can escape the crowds and enjoy some free festive activities.

The festive family area at Cathedral Gardens will be completely reimagined this year as the UK’s first dedicated ice attraction comes to Manchester.

The Ice Village Manchester is a breath-taking snowy experience, complete with Ice Cavern, ice sculptures and frozen ice bar – all carved using 250 tonnes of solid ice.

Heaton Park’s “A Place to Potter” will also be in Cathedral Gardens for the first time, inviting youngsters to paint a pot (or Santa) in a specially built marquee attraction. A Place to Potter is completely free, but visitors can book ahead. Details to book your slot will be available soon.

Long-time Christmas Market favourites will also make their expected appearance. The limited edition Christmas Market mugs are back with a brand new design (get yours quick, before the run out) and the undisputed king of Christmas in Manchester – the giant Santa – will take up his usual perch in front of town hall.

As always the Giant Santa will be taking to twitter to provide his sometimes peculiar take on the city’s festivities. Follow him @MCRSanta.

Follow all the Christmas conversation using #MCRChristmas

And find out more: www.manchester.gov.uk/christmasmarkets

 

Take a look at our video at the opening of the Christmas Markets

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News Wythenshawe FM

New attraction at the Manchester Markets – The Ice Village

Corrie Legends Les Dennis and Connor McIntyre Opened this years Christmas Markets as well as The Ice Village attraction which is brand new to Manchester this year featuring 250 tonnes of hand carved ice sculptures, ice bars, Santa’s grotto and an ice rink – the Ice Village has something for all the family.

Set against a backdrop of snow-covered trees and twinkling lights, there is lots to see and do at the Ice Village. Wrap up warm and visit the Christmas elves hard at work in the Ice Cavern or see Santa in his Grotto. There’s plenty to enjoy for both children and adults and the Arctic Bar is the perfect place to indulge in a festive drink or two. Enjoy arctic games, find a range of unique gifts for loved ones and grab a bite to eat or drink at the traditional Christmas market stalls. You can also get your skates on and practice your moves on the Ice Rink. Our immersive ice experience is a guaranteed great day out for the whole family.

Ice Village Manchester is open daily from 11am to 9pm,  9th November 2018 to 5th January 2019. The Village is fully wheelchair accessible with the exception of the woodland area. A range of food and drink will be available on site. Please note, no food is allowed inside the Ice Cavern or Santa’s Grotto.

The Ice Village are closed on Christmas Day, Boxing day and New Year’s Day.

Get your tickets now for the Ice Village, Santa’s Grotto and the Ice Rink: www.icevillage.co.uk

Here’s a little taster of inside the village

 

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Wythenshawe FM

FILM REVIEW- THE GHOUL- B.I.F.A. The British Independent Film Association

WRITTEN BY TRETRE WFM RADIO 97.2  
You could be forgiven for thinking you were going to see a horror movie if, like me, you don’t read the synopsis.
As for a horror movie, this could be interpreted as horror of the mind, for the lead actor.

A vivid and powerful film that takes you on an incredible journey, a journey few of us could ever imagine in our worst nightmare but could very easily happen TO ANY ONE OF US, as the film depicts.

A professional man, a homicide detective, whose job it is to protect the public, descends into blurred lines. That’s what’s so terrifying.  A very clever portrayal of how one’s mind can deceive one, leading to some very serious consequences.

Films like this, in my opinion, are made to open up discussion and awareness within society. Too many people just brush it aside as a phase, whether they are suffering themselves or know someone who is suffering from this debilitating illness. All too often, leading to tragic circumstances.

Mental health illnesses are NOT all the same, just like no two people are the same; everyone has their own varying depths of the illness, with even more people failing to acknowledge they even have a mental health condition at all.

Did the film achieve its aim?  Again, in my honest opinion, YES, very much so. I’VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT IT FOR TWO DAYS!

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Save the Last Dance for Me, Palace Theatre, Manchester until Saturday 2 July

31530_full ldfmSet in the summer of 1963, ‘Save the Last Dance for Me’, is a musical which follows the adventures of schoolgirl sisters, Jennifer (Lola Saunders) and Marie (Elizabeth Carter) who set off from Luton to Lowestoft for a caravan holiday without mum and dad, eager for sun, sea, sand and boys.

Their teenage dreams are quickly spoilt by the not-so- sunny Lowestoft, where the only bit of excitement to be found is provided by the GI servicemen based at a nearby American airbase.

The airmen are told Lowestoft is off-limits at night because all the entertainment they need is available at their base – a dance hall with a live big band, Coke-a- Cola, hotdogs, a jukebox and nightly entertainment.

The girls head for the airbase on the promise of seeing Elvis Presley but the only Elvis to be seen is the drummer in the band. One of GI airmen, the African-American Curtis (Wayne Robinson), takes a shine to seventeen-year- old Marie and they embark on a whirlwind romance.

Most of the action takes place in the dance hall, with the band playing the hits of Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman, who wrote songs for some of the biggest artists in the world, including 25 songs for Elvis, including ‘Viva Las Vegas’ and ‘Suspicion’. They also penned big hits recorded by British artists, such as ‘Sweets for my Sweet’ by the Searchers and Marty Wilde’s ‘A Teenager in Love.’

The show features great performances from Wayne Robinson, as GI Curtis, and Elizabeth Carter, as sugary sweet seventeen-year- old Marie. Lola Saunders brings us girlie comedy as Marie’s big sister. Antony Costa, as GI Milton, keeps everything running smoothly between the love birds. Sackie Osakonor, playing GI Rufus, a sergeant in the military police, brings a real stage presence and his fantastic singing voice to the production.

The team of actors, musicians and dancers works together to stage an exuberant production featuring around 30 unforgettable sixties songs.

There was plenty of audience participation on the night WFM 97.2’s reviewer saw the show, with theatregoers standing to clap, sing and dance along.

The musical ‘Save the Last Dance for Me’ was written by Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran who also created ‘Dreamboats and Petticoats.’ The show was directed by Bill Kenwright, choreographed by Bill Deamer and designed by Mark Bailey.

So if you want a night of great songs and dance numbers and laugh-out- loud humour, ‘Save the Last Dance for Me’ is on at the Palace Theatre till Saturday 2 nd July 2016

Tickets are available from the box office or book online at www.atgtickets.com

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Wythenshawe FM

Referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union

EU ReferendumIt’s decision time in the Referendum on June 23 and the choice you will be asked to make is whether the United Kingdom should remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union.

WFM 97.2 will be presenting opinions from either side of the debate. Our coverage starts this week. Check our website for updates on when to listen.

Listen out for our interview with Afzal Khan, North West MEP and former Lord Mayor of Manchester, who will explain why he thinks people should vote to stay in the European Union, and listen out for our interview with Ryan Fiske of Get Britain Out who will explain why he thinks people should vote to leave the European Union.

A referendum is arguably the ultimate expression of people power because every person who votes can see the result of that vote in a straightforward way, i.e. there can only be one winner in a two-choice contest.

WFM 97.2 spoke to Wythenshawe people over the May Bank Holiday weekend and asked them what issues mattered to them and whether they intended to vote to remain in the European Union, to leave the European Union, or whether they were still undecided. Check our website for details of when you can listen to hear what local voices had to say.

The deadline to register to vote in the Referendum is Tuesday June 7th. If you are not already registered go to the following website: https://www.eureferendum.gov.uk/register-to-vote/
Listen to our interviews from both sides of the EU debate at the following times:

Wed 8th June 10 pm

Afzhal Khan MEP on the case for voting to REMAIN in the European Union.

Wed 8th June 10.30 pm

Ryan Fiske of Get Britain Out, on the case for voting to LEAVE the European Union.

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Wythenshawe FM

Amazing images from Ernest Shackleton’s Antarctic ‘Endurance’ expedition

Hauling a boat over ice - The Ernest Shackleton Exhibition at Manchester Central LibraryIf you want to shiver late into April then the icy arctic scenes on show in this free exhibition at Manchester’s Central Library will put you in the mood.
‘Enduring Eye’ is a photographic record of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s exploration of the Antarctic from 1914-17.  You can see newly-digitised images which reveal previously unseen details of the crew’s epic struggle for survival before and after their ship was destroyed.

The Endurance was completely trapped in ice in early 1915 and sank ten months later but all expedition members were successfully rescued, having survived on the floating ice.

Images taken by expedition photographer Frank Hurley were selected and saved from the sinking Endurance by Hurley and Shackleton and have been preserved from the original, fragile glass plate negatives by the Royal Geographical Society.
The plates capture the spirit of endurance and courage of Shackleton and his team and the story of their extraordinary 800-mile rescue voyage, in little more than a rowing boat, and the amazing survival of the men (and photographic plates) remains unsurpassed in Antarctic history.

‘Enduring Eye’ is the first major exhibition to be held at Central Library’s new dedicated Exhibition Hall on the building’s first floor.
Alasdair MacLeod, Head of Enterprise and Resources from Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), said: “We are delighted to be working with Central Library as the first UK tour venue for the exhibition and local links project; giving us the opportunity to share this extraordinary story through our Collections with the widest audience possible.”

Enduring Eye: The Antarctic Legacy of Sir Ernest Shackleton and Frank Hurley – 1st Floor Exhibition Hall – Saturday 9 April to Saturday 11 June (free)
[Pic: Hauling a boat over ice]

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Chief’s Constable’s commendation for mystery man who saved woman’s life

Captain Hairsine with GMP Chief  Constable Ian HopkinsA mystery hero who was tracked doing using social media after saving the life of a stranger has been given a commendation by Greater Manchester Police’s Chief Constable.

Captain Sam Hairsine, 34, made the headlines back in January when GMP appealed for information on his identity after the incident on Arch Bridge in Hulme.

A suicidal woman had climbed over the railings on the bridge, threatening to jump.  Along with PC Gareth Edwards, Sam stepped in to help, putting his own life at risk.

A Director of Music in the Royal Marines Band Service, Captain Hairsine climbed the railings and, with help from PC Edwards, held on to the woman before she was brought to safety by the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service.

GMP’s Chief Constable gives out commendations throughout the year, recognising members of the public and officers for an impressive contribution to their community.  The latest awards evening, held on April 19, saw members of the public and officers receive commendations for their brave actions.

Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said: “Captain Hairsine’s selfless actions to help this woman were incredibly brave and I am honoured to have recognised them this evening.

“He stepped in when a stranger needed help and then walked away without asking for any credit whatsoever, something that many people would not do so readily. He has also been very humble when receiving the award, always talking about the help that he received from members of the emergency services.

“It’s really important that, as members of the Greater Manchester community, we all step forward to help those who need it. Captain Hairsine encapsulates this and I would like to thank him for his brave actions.”

Captain Hairsine said: “It’s a great honour to receive this award. I am very grateful to the Chief Constable, and to Inspector Middleton for nominating me. GMP do fantastic work and I was privileged to have been able to be part of a team helping a lady in a very dark time of her life.

“The most important thing is that she is alright and hopefully on the mend, but I must pay tribute to PC Edwards and all those who were there helping on the day. The care they all showed, both at the time and after, is a tribute to their professionalism, and shows what fantastic people they are.”

[Pic: GMP Chief Constable Ian Hopkins and Captain Sam Hairsine]

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Wythenshawe FM

Commendation for PCSOs who provided ‘‘kindness beyond belief’’ to elderly residents

PIC FOR WEBSITE Sylvia Winterbottom with PCSOs Malone and BedfordTwo Police Community Support Officers who spent time with two lonely, elderly residents whilst off duty are being given a Chief Constable’s Commendation this week.

Carli Malone and Rachel Bedford, both Greater Manchester Police PCSOs, were recognised by Chief Constable Ian Hopkins at an awards ceremony on Tuesday 19 April.

The two officers came to the Chief’s attention earlier this year when their supervisor, Sergeant Allan Dean, was told of the support that they had been giving to two elderly ladies in Chorlton whilst off duty after meeting them while working.

PCSOs Malone and Bedford spend time with 79 year old Maria Morrison and Sylvia Winterbottom, 92, both from Chorlton, offering them support to get out into the community, lending an ear, and even helping Sylvia see her grandson’s restaurant, which she had never seen before.

The PCSOs got to know Maria after she was the victim of a knife attack in 2011 and, since then, they have taken the time to drop in and spend quality time with her whilst off duty. They have also taken Maria out for coffee and cake on their rest days, using their personal time and vehicles for transport.

The two PCSOs also supported Sylvia to take a dream trip to the Trafford Centre and to see her grandson in Birmingham, something that Sylvia says was “kindness beyond belief”.

Sylvia said: “These two have shown me kindness beyond belief and I am so grateful to them. I’ll never, ever forget how special they made my trip to see my grandson’s restaurant in Birmingham.

“Carli and Rachel make me feel very loved and cared about and I will cherish it forever.”

GMP’s Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said: “These two officers have time and again gone above and beyond the call of duty, spending time with these two senior members of the community during their own time and using their own resources to do so. For that I commend them.

“It’s so important that we all take the time to look after our more vulnerable neighbours, keep an eye on each other and do our bit to keep each other safe. Their actions highlight the need to do this.”

PCSO Carli Malone: “We couldn’t believe it when we were told that we were getting a commendation – we weren’t looking for any praise and were just doing something nice for these two women who needed some company.

“Every officer joins the police to make a difference and help people and that’s all we were doing, even if it was while we were off duty.”

[Pic: Carli Malone, Sylvia Winterbottom and Rachel Bedford]