50 Years in Musical Theatre – A Celebration – Jeannine Ridha

logoThis weekend marks the end of a very special year in the life of Jeannine Ridha as she has celebrated an incredible 50 years performing in musical theatre.  The year was marked in a number of ways, but most specially, by a wonderful celebratory concert that took place on 29th July 2017 at the Riverhead Theatre, Louth.  I was fortunate to be part of the planning team for that event, and loved every moment planning and preparing for what turned out to be what can only be described as ‘the show of a lifetime’.

I know Jeannine has done lots this year, but I couldn’t let the year go by without my own special tribute…

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To put my friendship with Jeannine in context, we were both cast members of the Lincoln Cathedral production of Jesus Christ Superstar in 2015.  One day during rehearsal, we started chatting, made a bit of a connection and forged a bond that has developed over the past few years.

Jeannine (right) in the Cloisters with two of her friends from Grimsby

Although I saw Jeannine perform in JCS and a couple of other productions, I never really knew the extent of her musical theatre history, or her amazing talent until the first rehearsal for the 50 years in musical theatre celebratory concert where I was blown away by her characterisations.  But her professional musical performances in the show that followed on 29th July, portrayed a wonderful variety of characters including her brilliant rendition of ‘Stately as a Galleon’ a Joyce Grenfell classic; it will stand out as one of my favourites of the day!

I can’t imagine the memories Jeannine has made throughout the past 50 years and what the experiences have meant to her, so the words that I’m sharing below were written back on 20th November by Jeannine, and they really say it all…

In Jeannine’s own words…

At 7:15pm Monday 20th November 1967… the curtain opened on my very first musical The White Horse Inn with Grimsby & District Amateur Operatic Society at the ABC Theatre/Ritz Cinema Grimsby Road Cleethorpes in front of 1,450 people….
Tonight at 7:15pm Monday 20th November 2017… I’m having my photo done for the 42nd Street programme… my next musical with same group… now known as Curtain Up Productions, followed by a rehearsal… (in a church hall just few hundred yards from where ABC was… 42nd Street also to be performed on Grimsby Road at Cleethorpes Memorial Hall 8-12 Jan 2018)
To say I’m feeling very emotional is an understatement TBH…. As I look back on those 50 years & all those memories some good some bad, some happy some sad… I’m actually finding it difficult to take in that half a century has passed by…
Many of those friends I worked with who are now sadly just a memory…😥
It makes me realise how lucky I am to still be as passionate about performing at the age of 67… as I was as that 17 year old… Musical Theatre has not been my hobby it’s been my life…
So many highlights including one of my all time favourite roles Calamity Jane 1979…

Old Show Photos 68

Also, performing onstage with my own children, Emma & Haitham and now my granddaughters Molly-Mae & Tilly-Grace has been wonderful…

My 50 year celebration show/party at Louth Riverhead Theatre in July was more of a thanksgiving… that through all life’s ups ‘n downs … the one constant thing in my life has been my musical theatre and the forever friends I’ve made because of it …🥂🍾🎶🎭❤️
I feel very, very blessed & for anyone who’s ever played a part in my Musical Theatre journey… from the bottom of my heart THANK YOU & I LOVE YOU…. 😘❤️🎶🎭😘❤️🎶🎭❤️

As a young teenage girl, Jeannine made her debut in 1967 in a production of ‘White Horse Inn’ with Grimsby & Cleethorpes Amateur Operatic Society, now Curtain Up Productions.

Jeannine front left of entire company far right (black trousers) … plait over her left shoulder …. which Jeannine remembers buying in a plastic tube from Woolworths, Freeman Street .. cost her 7/6 …7 shillings and 6 old pence …less than 50p!  The actual booking form is above…  It’s interesting to look at the price of tickets 10/- (top price) equivalent of 50 pence!!!

The lead roles in her very first show were played by Jeannine’s heroes Mary Adams and Tony Blackmore who she still sees. Mary, now 91 was due to sing at Jeannine’s celebration concert in July 17 but sadly wasn’t very well on the day and so couldn’t perform.  The recording below was taken at the rehearsal for the concert a few weeks before… enjoy!

Jeannine did sing a duet from Fiddler with Tony Blackmore (now 81) at her celebration concert in July.  

Act 2 - 6 Do You Love Me? 30

A recording of Jeannine and Tony performing ‘Do you love me?’, which I’m delighted to include a link to below, to which I’ve added some photographs, was produced as a gift for Jeannine’s husband for their silver wedding anniversary…  how moving!

Over the 50 years Jeannine has performed in many productions with various amateur and professional companies.  (list below courtesy of Haitham Ridha, who edited the programme for Jeannine’s 50 year celebration in July)

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The photo below was one of the early shots, taken on the stairs at the ABC Theatre, Grimsby… during the break at dress rehearsal for My Fair Lady in Nov 1968. Her first ever lines in Musical Theatre.  Jeannine was the flower girl… and is on left on this picture.  Jeannine’s Dad took this shot….🌹🎶


Amazingly, among all the shows Jeannine has been part of over the 50 years, she has played the role of Maggie Jones in 42nd street 5 times!

To mark the end of her 50th year, Jeannine played Maggie again with Curtain Up Productions in Cleethorpes, with opening night 8th January 2018.

On that day Jeannine said…

I cannot believe that tonight .. 8th January 2018 I’m opening as Maggie Jones in 42nd Street for the 5th time … 24 years since I first played this role in 1994… Omg omg …where has that time gone??? 😳😳🎶🎭🎶🎭

1994… With GCAOS at Grimsby Icehouse


1996 .. Semi pro production Octagon Theatre Yeovil, Somerset


2005 .. With GCAOS Grimsby Auditorium


2013 … At Riverhead Theatre Louth


2018 … Curtain Up Productions..Cleethorpes Memorial Hall…


So I’m in another programme of one of my favourite roles …I guess being 2 years of 70 this might be last time I play Miss Maggie Jones….🤔🤔🤔
Am I nervous? I most certainly am… Opening Nights never get any easier

So now to the celebration show on 29th July…  What a performance, what an experience, certainly one I will never forget.

Jeannine and Haitham put together a wonderful programme, and you’ll see some excerpts of it throughout this post;  I couldn’t say it any better so in Jeannine’s own words – again – from the programme…

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As Jeannine said above, most of the friends and family in the audience actually performed on stage at some point throughout the show; (as previously noted, unfortunately Mary Adams couldn’t perform on the day but still appeared in the programme).Screen Shot 2018-02-18 at 14.01.31

Jeannine opened the show in style, as can be expected…  Here’s a recording of the opening number, ‘As if we never said goodbye’ from Sunset Boulevard; (apologies for the over exposure at the start but you get the idea!)


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Some selected photos from Act 1

First picture is Jeannine with daughter Emma singing their special song from when she was 3 and Jeannine played lead in Calamity Jane 1979… ‘Secret Love’

And Act 2


And some fun moments from pre and post show where friends and family met the 2D Jeannine

And the icing on the cake were I’m sure the wonderful messages Jeannine received from all her family and friends, and a few very special people.  I put all of the messages in a special book for Jeannine, to remind her of this wonderful celebration, and I’m sure, pride of place in the book is this message… and Jeannine receiving it!

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…and a wonderful note from the gorgeous Jodie Prenger…

50’s Year’s from NODA (National Operatic and Dramatic Association)


So thank you everyone for taking part, and to Jeannine for allowing me to be part of this absolutely incredible celebration in your 50th year…

… and just in case you forget, or other people don’t know how much you are thought of in the musical theatre world, here’s some of the messages people sent to you!

Jeannine 50 Years Messages

Here’s to the next 50 years!

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Photos and video courtesy of Lewis Harry, Daniel and Eira Hammond and Luke Harry


(and the next time you can see Jeannine will be at Riverhead theatre again on 29th March in her one woman show, ‘Sing Happy’…

Jeannine says about the show…

Hello friends ….. as most of you know I’ve been performing in Musical Theatre since 1967 …. However, on Thursday March 29th I’m coming out of my comfort zone and I’m doing a ‘one woman’ show at Louth Riverhead Theatre … I was approached a few months ago and at first (for various reasons) I said no … Eventually I said I would it…. I’m currently getting the show together and would be thrilled to see some familiar faces in the audience ❤️❤️ I’ve called the show SING HAPPY… I have two 40 minute sets to do …and then there’s a 30 minute interval for a free cuppa… I’m singing songs from musicals. Might even have some surprise guests😉😀Show starts 2:30pm…Tickets £5
Link to theatre below..

Mad About the Musicals – M A Promotions – Louth Riverhead Theatre


Billed as ‘Songs from the Greatest Shows of the West End and Broadway’; Mad About the Musicals was certainly a feast of Musical Theatre, with a mixture of well known favourites and lesser known delights.  The show, part of a UK tour, features Michael Courtney, from Lincoln; Jai McDowall, from Scotland and winner of Britain’s Got Talent in 2011; Rosanne Priest from near Sheffield, and Kerry Whiteside from Lancashire.


The cast were supported by a wonderful live band, and despite only 4 members, Musical Director Michael Lovelock on Keys 1; Marc Hayes on bass guitar (who I believe was also part of the orchestra for the Lincoln Cathedral Production of Jekyll and Hyde in August 2017); Rich Craig on drums and percussion and Josh Weaver on Keys 2.

Some of the early numbers included Don’t Rain on my Parade from Funny Girl, and songs from Little Shop of Horrors and Song and Dance, but one of my favourites from the whole show was ‘This is the Moment’ from Jekyll and Hyde.  Having recently seen the Lincoln production (mentioned above) it was wonderful to hear an alternative live version of the powerful ballad, and Jai’s rendition was beautiful.


Act 1 ended with songs from Phantom of the Opera, Cabaret, then a medley of a number of musical favourites melded together wonderfully.


Act 2 started with a lovely medley from Chicago and then some numbers one of my favourite musicals, Evita.  Rosanne Priest gave a stunning performance of Don’t Cry for Me Argentina which was a highlight for me.


After a feast of other great musical theatre power ballads, including I Know Him So Well from Aspects of Love and Love Changes Everything from Chess, we were delighted with ‘It Sucks to be Me’ from Avenue Q, puppets included!

The whole show was brought together with some brilliant compering from Michael Courtney who linked the numbers with some funny comedy lines; breaking up the music with great banter.  The audience were thrilled with the whole show, and they weren’t left disappointed with the finale of a brilliant Les Miserables medley.

Vocals from all performers were spot on, the sound and mic balance was just right and the lighting effects all added to the professional performance.

There are tickets left for this evening if you are near to Louth and want to take advantage of a wonderful night of song; click here Louth Riverhead Theatre or visit:

Box Office

Telephone: 01507 600350
The Box Office is open for advanced booking every Monday to Saturday from 10.00am – 1.00pm.

The Riverhead Theatre
Victoria Road
LN11 0BX

Email: admin@louthplaygoers.co.uk

For details of the whole UK Tour visit Mad About the Musicals



(Photos from Mad About the Musicals Facebook Page)




Musical Mayhem – Stardust – Thursday 3rd August – Walesby Village Hall


I really had no idea that the concert I was invited to attend by my good friend Dawn Wilson was anything other than an evening of songs from the musicals until I arrived and realised that the youngsters taking part all had a common interest – Stardust

James, Alice, Emily, Emily, Martha, Rosy and Stephenson were the performers and did a fantastic job of entertaining the sell out audience with their renditions of songs from popular musicals and shows, a lot of the songs I recognised and loved, while others were less well known but equally enjoyable.  I recognised at least one of the team, Stephenson, who had performed in a show I’d seen previously, The Lion, the witch and the wardrobe – Lincoln Minster School.


The group had obviously worked hard on the programme, choosing a great variety of music, showing comedy, romance as well as showcasing all their individual talents, they obviously all had a great time performing, as much as the audience, and I, loved their performances.


The pianist did a fabulous job with some of the accompaniment, and also a lovely solo piece, and Charles Cooper behind the curtain manning the music and backing tracks also did a great job, thankfully he got his chance to join the team on stage at the end for his well earned bow!

The whole show was professional and its fabulous to see such great talent in our local community.  I for one, can’t wait to see where these young people end up – I’m sure we’ll be watching some of them performing on much bigger stages in the years that come.  Well done to all!

Here’s their full names to watch out for them…  Alice Joyce, Emily Bland, Emily Zehetmayr, Martha Stewart, Rosy Smith, Stephenson Catney and James Sprague

I believe across both the matinee and evening performance raised a fabulous £1,010 and an NCS coffee morning the day after in Louth raised £460. There was also a sponsor for the event, NFH Consultancy Ltd so now have £2,165 and are able to offer all 15 students selected a fully funded place this term!


For those that may not have heard of Stardust before, here’s some background information:

More than 11 million people in the UK are classified as disabled; figures made up primarily of adults over the age of 65, but also including children and young adults, who for one reason or another, face more day to day obstacles than the average person. While suitable education and extracurricular groups are often accessible for under 19’s with additional needs, choices are limited for young adults. Sara Sprague, a Lincolnshire mother, certainly found this to be the case when her daughter, Brianna, recently left school to begin her adult life in the community. In this unique story, you will see how Sara, Brianna and her family challenged the odds, and their relentless determination has shown that they are far more than just a statistic.

Following her first performance in “Peter Pan” Brianna became an active member of the Lincoln theatre group New Youth Theatre from the age of six, where she had the freedom to express herself through song and dance, despite being non-verbal for many years. A brain injury at just three days old limited Brianna’s development, and although she was just months behind her peers hitting milestones as an infant, the gap soon began to show. Access to equine therapy allowed Brianna to walk at two and a half, but when she began to fall behind her peers significantly, her parents discovered ‘FISDAC Academy’ which enabled her to continue with her love of musicals, whilst also being able to accommodate Brianna’s additional needs.

Unfortunately, the effects of puberty caused Brianna to suffer up to fifteen epileptic seizures each day, but by the age of sixteen they had increased to over 100. The inability to socialize or even achieve an enjoyable quality of life could later have become detrimental to her mental health, had Sara not begun to look for alternatives. The organisation “Chicken Shed”, a ‘fully inclusive’ theatre group looked ideal but was based in London, while the only similar, existing groups in Lincolnshire ran only as evening classes, and so were inaccessible to Brianna, as her epilepsy limits her to just a few hours of activity each day.

In 2014, Brianna joined St Francis School in Lincoln, which was equipped to cope with her additional needs in a safe environment, allowing her to reach her full potential. Through the school Brianna was able to participate in more theatre productions, even taking on main roles as her confidence grew, but in 2016 concerns were raised about how the young people could continue their passion for drama upon leaving school. Discussions with parents, Rachel Pavitt and Jo Slack, around the issue inspired Sara to formulate plans for a unique theatre group in Lincolnshire, specifically for young people ages 18-25, with additional needs, enabling Brianna and her peers to maintain their love for musicals and performing.

Quickly, the idea began to become a reality, and with fund raising events organised, and huge support from the Lincolnshire charity “Every-one”, the goal for STARDUST was to start sessions in September 2017. The unique organisation will be able to provide for up to 15 students per term, running from 9:50am-12:15pm on Thursday mornings, at St Francis school, with the sessions delivered by ‘New Youth Theatre’. STARDUST is built on the ethos of ‘Inclusion, Creativity, Positivity, Choice’, but funding is still desperately needed in order to deliver these sessions, as well as providing similar classes on weekends and in other areas of the country in the future.

On top of basic care needs, extra-curricular groups like STARDUST are a vital resource for these young people, as well as their carers. A local NCS group are currently working to raise awareness of the social issues around young adults in this instance, as well as raising funds for the new drama group. Organisations like STARDUST provide an essential and valuable safe haven for young adults like Brianna; in an environment where they can meet and make friends, while enjoying a shared passion for singing, dancing and performing, as well as the sense of achievement that comes with it. If you would like to be a part of making this dream a reality, contact stardust@every-one.org.uk

The group have found their song which epitomises their ethic and really tells the story of what they’re all about – they ended the performance with this rousing rendition!



ROBERT HABERMANN: HIS WAY – The Life and Songs Of Frank Sinatra – Louth Playgoers

Friday, April 28th was something new for me.  All of the shows I’ve watched and reviewed so far have been either musical theatre or a play so to see a show that was a purely vocal performance was a little bit different.  To be honest I didn’t know what to expect from the evening. I’m not a diehard Sinatra fan, although I have a few tracks on my iPod, mostly well known songs that everyone has heard of.  But I have to say, despite not particularly looking forward to the evening, and having a few traffic problems on the way which nearly led me to turn around and go home before even getting there, I was very pleasantly surprised.

Robert Habermann took to the stage with a fabulous pianist and Musical Director, Trevor Brown, by singing one of his own numbers about the horrors of ‘mobile phones’ in theatre; very comical and definitely made the audience reach for their bags and make sure they were silent!

I couldn’t possibly name all the tracks Robert covered but during the two acts he vocalised both the songs and the life of Singer Frank Sinatra, telling stories about his time as band singer to ballad and swinging singer, and building his own record label ‘Reprise.’ It was a pleasure to hear from Robert detailing some of the highs and lows of Frank’s life, together with his wonderful musical renditions, not only of the songs that Frank made famous, but a lot of songs from his early years that aren’t quite so well known.  It was obvious that Robert had done his research and is a big fan of Sinatra, there’d be no other way of retaining so much interesting and entertaining information (without any written notes), especially the snippets about his Christmas with Ava Gardner!

Robert Habermann singer

The audience really warmed to Robert’s easy going style (representative of the Mr Sinatra style we all recognise I guess!), and they took advantage of the opportunity to join in as much as possible… even I joined in with some of the more well known songs!  It was a true delight to hear stories that gave a great insight into the legend, and with Robert’s sincere and genuine personality and beautiful vocal renditions of so many wonderful songs, the audience couldn’t fail to enjoy the evening.

Did Robert sound like Frank Sinatra? Well I shut my eyes a few times, and could easily have been transported to a little club somewhere in the heart of America in the mid 1950’s…  He has the smooth vocals, the easy style, and likeable personality that I can only imagine were typical of the Frank we are all familiar with.  Some of the songs Robert covered included Come Fly With Me,  Fly Me To The Moon, Witchcraft, You Make Me Feel So Young, Strangers In The Night , My Way, New York New York and many more.

Robert Habermann black and white photo

Robert performs many shows across the UK, click on the link here to get details of his up and coming tours and how to buy tickets.  I’ll certainly be watching out for Robert and a hopeful return to Louth Playgoers either later in 2017 or 2018, perhaps with one of his other shows, Broadway and Hollywood musicals, or MGM musicals – after all, I really have got quite enthusiastic about musical theatre!

Robert Habermann by Piano, tie (2)


Review – G4 Christmas By Candlelight


I went, with my husband Danny, to see G4 in their Christmas By Candlelight concert on Wednesday 23rd November at Lincoln Cathedral which was part of their UK Cathedral tour.

It was a magical venue for such an event, with the spectacular Cathedral Nave and it’s ornate ceilings and architecture, we couldn’t fail to be excited about the evening, and who doesn’t love a few Christmas Carols.

The first of a few disappointments I need to mention about the evening started with the programme, since starting to write reviews I usually don’t mind paying the price for the souvenir and the extra information it provides about the artists, venue and other events, and when the Cathedral staff offered what looked like a large booklet, I happily paid out the £4 requested.  On opening the programme imagine my disappointment when I received a 3-fold printed cardboard sheet, 6 sides.  2 pages were photographs, 2 pages which were the verses of the carols for us to sing along to, 1 page of the next years tour and 1 page about the history of G4 and how they’ve got to where they are currently.  A bit of a let down to say the least, with no programme, or individual photo’s of the group, or biogs etc. although the quality of the printing was lovely.

The experience started with a very large, gleamingly bright white lighted ‘G4’ lit up at the front of the stage which G4 stood in front of, unfortunately as the cathedral was so dark with the lights dimmed, you actually couldn’t see G4 hardly at all standing in front of the lights;  we were sitting in row BB, so quite a way back, and had to look around rather than directly at the stage. This was rectified after the interval where they had obviously received ‘complaints’ (although it felt a bit staged 😉) as they made a point of switching on flashing multi-coloured chaser lights for a few moments before turning them off… shame it wasn’t done earlier in the show!


I hadn’t realised that part of the show would be the audience joining in with the carols, but it was a nice touch when we can all now say we’ve sung with G4 – I’m not sure if many other people experienced this or not, but a few people sitting near us obviously though it was a bit of a free for all, and were joining in singing, quite loudly, while G4 and their guests were performing.  It really spoiled it for me, so if you are one of those that like to join in, please consider those sitting nearby and don’t sing or chat!

One more negative before I go on to the positives (of which there were plenty), was the quality of the sound overall.  I’m not sure if G4 actually had mikes, (editor update – reviewing the video at the end more closely, there were obviously head mikes in use) but there were certainly no speakers near where we sat that we could hear, so I really struggled to hear the words and every little shuffle, and cough/murmur from the audience around us (not even mentioning the loud singing) detracted from the performance.

So now to the good bits – G4 are still as brilliant as I remember them being 12 years ago when they were runners up in the first series of X-Factor.  Despite going their separate ways in 2007 with Jonathan Ansell, Ben Thapa, Mike Christie and Matt Stiff going on to take the lead in many roles on the TV and in theatre and solo tours and albums.  Since reuniting in 2014 with a new Bass, Nick Ashby, as Matt decided not to rejoin the group, they have performed in many international venues and exceeded all their own personal expectations of what the reunion might bring.


Their renditions of ‘Amazing Grace’, ‘O Holy Night’ and ‘Away in a Manger’ were all beautifully moving and started my Christmas Season off with a few tears in my eyes…  I have memories of quite a few Salvation Army soloists singing ‘O Holy Night’ including the wonderfully talented Brian Dixon from Bedlington, where I lived in the 1980s – I know that this particular carol, and the millions of performances of it, have touched many people over the years.

G4 had advertised a request a couple of months ago for a young person to send in a video of themselves singing, with each local winner to join them on stage in their Cathedral concerts, to sing the first verse of ‘Once in Royal David’s City’…  I passed the message on to one of the Jesus Christ Superstar singers, but the singer selected was a 9 year old, Alex Marriott, who delighted the audience with his first solo verse.  He then joined the group later on and performed ‘I’m walking in the Air’ from The Snowman, this was also received with tremendous acclaim from the audience.



Also on stage a couple of times were local choir, All For One.  They advertise that to join them, you don’t need to be able to read music or be experienced. As a choir they perform many of their concerts in association with various local and national charities. They leave people feeling uplifted re charged and empowered for everyday life. They performed a few songs really well, and joined G4 for a couple of final numbers which certainly left us feeling quite uplifted.


The charity that G4 were supporting in this tour was ‘Missing People’ who do a fabulous job, and at the end of the performance, volunteers were waiting near the doors to receive our donations.  The choir included a wonderful performance of ‘Fix You’ that really brought the message home of family not being nearby at Christmas which really is a powerful message for those of us with family nearby.

My volunteer friends Tracey Joyce and Helen Skinner with G4

If you want to have a sneaky look at some of the concert, including the lovely ‘O Holy Night’, have a look at the following video link with G4 at Lincoln Cathedral


Preview – ‘Songs from Stage & Screen’


I was delighted to read an advert that Peter Merrick, who played the fabulous part of Pilate in Lincoln Cathedral’s Production of Jesus Christ Superstar in 2015 and 2016, posted on Facebook a few days ago.  Peter is going to be performing with Kate Fenn, to raise awareness and much needed funds for the Ethan Maull ‘Up Yours to Cancer’ Foundation.  He’ll be singing with Kate Fenn, a selection of songs from musicals and Christmas at The Friendship Inn, Laughterton on 9th December at 7.30pm.

Peter commented:

“We can start Christmas off early, have some fun and a jar or two. Hope to see you there”.





The Ethan Maull Foundation commented:

“I’m delighted to share this fabulous event with you – what better way to welcome the Christmas season? Come along and join in as Peter Merrick & Kate Fenn entertain you with songs from the musicals and Christmas songs in the warmth of the fabulous Friendship Inn at Laughterton.

It’s going to be a cracking Christmas night – it’s free entry and everyone is welcome so make a note in your diary and keep the date free 

About the Ethan Maull “Up Yours to Cancer” Foundation

Helping Young Children With Cancer

When a family friend was diagnosed with Breast Cancer, Ethan Maull, at just 6 years old, helped his father Darren raise over £4,000 for Cancer Research. Darren and his friends, first took on the Yorkshire Peaks and a short time later completed the National 3 Peaks. On the last climb, Ethan joined his father making the final ascent to the top of Snowden, an amazing fete for a small boy!

Just 2½ years later in 2012, Christmas brought a devastating blow to the Maull family when Ethan, at just 8 years old was diagnosed with a rare form of Osteosarcoma, a children’s bone cancer.

In reading about the really tough battle Ethan went through in his young life I would urge anyone who can make this event to make an effort and join Peter and Kate in Laughterton and raise funds for this great cause.


Preview – Lincoln West End Lights – 2nd December 2016



Thank you to Mark Thompson for this Preview of a very special annual event happening in Lincoln’s West End on the evening of the 2nd December 2016.


Something magical happens, when people come together for a joint cause, I’m talking about an art project, a community gathering, and strangers meeting on a dark night in December.

Now in its 7th year, ‘Lincoln West End Lights’ is a shining example of what can happen when people are encouraged, nurtured and given the freedom to create something magical in a window!

This year on Friday, December 2nd between 7.30-9pm, the West End of Lincoln and beyond will be transformed into a magical trail of illuminated windows; some with static images, some with moving images, some interactive and some serious.

There is no agenda, just a wonderful idea to bring the community together and have some fun and get the imagination going in what to create and display.

For more information visit the website Lincoln West End Lights where the full map will be released 1 week before the event.

I’ve now 3 displays this year, and I’m being hosted by wonderful ladies who have offered their windows for the evening, I’ve already done the testing and it works a treat, although I can’t say what they are, you’ll just have to come on the night.

“You’ve whetted our appetite now Mark, I can’t wait to see what your displays are… hopefully you’ll give us a clue how to find your windows nearer the time!

(I’ll upload the map once it’s released!”)  Map now here!

Interactive map now available by clicking here








Preview – Lincoln Christmas Light Switch On – 17 November 2016

On Thursday 17th November 2016 the Christmas Lights will be switched on in Lincoln.  The event starts at 5.30 and goes on until 7pm.

For more detailed information about the Light Switch on visit Visit Lincoln but the St Marks Shopping Centre Lights Switch on at 6.30 include ‘Almost Olly’, an Olly Murs Tribute act, Lincs FM, and the cast of the Drill Hall’s Beauty and the Beast.

At the High Street at 7pm, the Mayor of Lincoln and the  New Theatre Royal’s Cinderella will switch on the lights – including leading lady Kerry Katona – just after 7pm. Also in attendance will be local girl, Rio 2016 Paralympic gold-medal winner Sophie Wells.


Part of the light switch on includes once again the Princesses from ‘Once Upon a Party’ who will be performing on the stage at St Marks Shopping Centre around 6:05pm With lots of singing, dancing and sparkles!

The Princesses during the Christmas Light Switch on in 2015

This is followed soon after by your chance to meet and greet the beautiful princesses face to face in The Waterside Shopping Centre once the lights have been switched on!

When you get to meet the princesses face to face in the Waterside Shopping Centre, don’t forget your camera so you can have your photo taken, free of charge (there may be a special offer or competition too so watch this space)

The Princesses at the Waterside Shopping Centre in 2015

Your princesses will be singing and dancing to a selection of very well known children & christmas songs…  brush up on your words for favourites and you can join in!

There’s always lots of sparkles where there are Princesses!

All being well you will be able to meet the Snow Queen, Ice Princess, Princess Jasmine, Belle and Rapunzel…  a little girls dream!

To find out more about ‘Once upon a Party’ follow this link to their Facebook page…Once Upon a Party and their website Once Upon A Party