Thursday, 22 October 2015

BBC's Flog It Show Returns to Morecambe in November

Paul Martin, presenter of Flog It
The popular BBC One antiques programme Flog It, presented by Paul Martin, is set to visit Morecambe on Wednesday 25th November 2015.

Flog It – the BBC antiques show  –is now on its fifteenth series and regularly achieves an audience of over two million viewers in its weekday afternoon slot.

The Platform entertainment venue, located on Morecambe’s promenade will be hosting the Flog It valuation day. Rather like a treasure hunt, members of the public are invited to bring along up to three antiques and collectables they might be interested in selling. Once valued, the owner and a team of experts decide whether an object should go forward for auction.

If the item is chosen it is included in a sale a few weeks later – hopefully when the auctioneers hammer falls its owners make a tidy sum.  Everyone who goes along to the Valuation Day at the former railway station will receive a free valuation – even if their antiques are not chosen to go forward for auction.

The show recently made a significant find when a rare Aboriginal Broad Shield that had been kept hidden away in a Flog It viewers wardrobe was brought along to a valuation day in North Lincolnshire and went on to sell at auction for £30,000! The series also uncovered an unusual Royal Doulton Spook figurine in Blackpool which had been bought at a car boot sale for £2; it went on to sell at auction for £5000.

Alex Habgood, Series Location Manager says “Paul Martin and the entire Flog It team are really pleased to be bringing the show to Morecambe. I’m sure The Platform will provide the perfect setting for our valuation day; our experts are all looking forward to welcoming people along for their free valuations in such important historic building. If you’ve ever wondered how much your boot sale bargains or clutter in the loft might be worth, now is your chance to find out”

Paul Martin, the shows presenter said “I’m delighted to be bringing Flog It back to Morecambe. It’s a great town; my last visit was in 2012 when Flog It made a short film focusing on the restoration of the Winter Gardens.

"I’m looking forward to coming back and and hopefully to revealing some more of the areas fascinating history to our viewers. I hope as many people as possible will come along to see us with their items for valuation.”

Coun Darren Clifford, Lancaster City Council’s Cabinet member with responsibility for tourism and leisure, said:  “Opportunities such as this which put our district in the national TV spotlight are both welcomed and encouraged by the council.  I am sure Morecambe’s former railway station building will provide the perfect backdrop for this popular series and uncover some real treasures which celebrate the town’s heritage.”

The BBC plan to transmit the four editions of Flog It featuring The Platform within a year of recording. Paul Martin will be joined at the valuation day by on screen experts Adam Partridge, Catherine Southon and Charles Hanson.

• Flog It will be at The Platform, Station Buildings, Marine Road Central, Morecambe, Lancashire, LA4 4DB on Wednesday 25th November 2015 between 09.30 am and 4.00 pm. The items selected at the valuation day will go under the hammer at Silverwoods in Clitheroe on Thursday 17th December 2015

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Date set for Carnforth by-election

The date for a by-election to elect a new councillor for the Carnforth ward of Lancaster City Council following the recent sad death of Councillor Chris Leadbetter has been announced as Thursday 26th November 2015.

Anyone who is interested in standing as a candidate should telephone the elections office on 01524 582915. The closing date for nominations is 4.00pm on Friday 30th October.

Poll cards will be sent to all those people currently registered.

To vote in this election, new applications to register need to be made by Tuesday 11th November. Registering is really easy to do - go online at Completing the application takes no more than a few minutes.

• New applications to vote by post must be made by 5.00pm on Thursday 12th November to vote in the election. For details of how to apply for a postal vote contact the elections office on 01524 582905

Local Cinema Round-up for the 21st to 29th October 2015

For up to date local cinema links and day-by-day  listings of what's showing on local screens every week visit the Virtual-Lancaster Cinema Page. Read on for the weekly round-up, and reviews.

Another excellent week for new films, with nine additional movies being screened at the local cinemas. There is family animation with Animal Kingdom: Let's Go Ape (PG); Maya the Bee Movie (U) & My Little Pony: Equestria Girls - Friendship Games (U). Family drama comes with Paper Planes (U) and a we have the documentary on sheep farming with Addicted to Sheep (PG). For adult movies there is drama with Life (15); action with Spectre (PG-13) & The Last Witch Hunter and horror with Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension (15).

Films that have vanished from the screens include the crime drama Legend and the comedy The Bad Education Movie. Also it seems that the films The Intern and The Walk are coming to the end of their screening. As compensation, this week sees the return of Inside Out and the excellent Southpaw.

Movies soon to be released include Max in mid November and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 at the end of November. In addition, ready to take top spot for Christmas is the much anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens due to be released in the middle of December.

This is a good period for Horror with two excellent movies on show with Crimson Peak and Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension.

The must see film of the week is the return of James Bond in Spectre with Daniel Craig taking the lead role. By way of complete contrast the movie Jodorowsky's Dune is also recommended. The latter is screening for one day only and it tells the story of the abortive attempt to film the science fiction classic Dune.

High culture is represented by Hamlet; Henry V and Macbeth. Finally on Sunday 25th October, the Dukes are hosting another Film Quiz.


Crimson Peak
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Certificate: 15
Cast includes: Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska
The film opens in the 1900s with Edith Cushing (Wasikowska), an aspiring novelist from a wealthy family, living in New York. She is wooed by an English aristocrat Thomas Sharpe (Hiddleston) and Edith subsequently marries him. Thomas takes her to his home Allerdale Hall, a gothic mansion set on Crimson Peak, a mound of red clay. Here Edith must live with her new husband and his sister Lucille (Chastain). However Edith starts to uncover secrets within the house. This is a glorious, stylistic, sumptuous, costume drama sort of of a horror movie, though the film provides suspense rather than horror. A well made and very watchable film.

Director: Baltasar Kormakur
Certificate: 12A
Cast includes: Jake Gyllenhaal, Jason Clarke, Robin Wright, Nasko Mori
A docudrama set in May 1996 when two expeditions tried to make it to the peak of Mount Everest. However a blizzard resulted in the death of eight climbers. The main emphasis is on the five climbers who perished on the South face. This is a dramatic and moving film, best appreciated in 3D to get the most of the scenery and the dizzying drops. The mountain itself is the primary focus, with character development taking second place, though there is much made of the trials of the climbers and of the emotional distress of loved ones left behind. An unsentimental movie which makes the viewer feel that he is part of the expedition.

Director: Pierre Coffin, Kyle Balda
Certificate: U
Cast Includes: Sandra Bullock, Michael Keaton, Steve Coogan, Jennifer Saunders.
The film is both a spin off and a prequel to the Despicable Me franchise. The Minions have always existed on earth and the movie begins by tracing their evolution. They have the purpose of serving the most despicable of masters though not very successfully. The race finally retired to the Antarctic where they fare badly. Hence Minions Kevin, Stuart and Bob decide to seek a new master for their race to work for. In a villain convention in Orlando they decide to serve the supervillain Scarlet Overkill (Bullock) who is planning to overthrow the Queen of England and the film, using skits and Musical numbers, follows this plot. The Minions were the best part of the Despicable Me franchise and so it is fitting that they have their own film. The movie is very entertaining, inoffensive and funny and will delight all ages. However this reviewer would have liked more minions and fewer supervillains.

Director: Joe Wright
Certificate: PG
Cast Includes: Hugh Jackman, Levi Miller, Amanda Seyfried, Kathy Burke, Garrett Hedlund
A prequel to the story of Peter Pan. Peter (Miller) is abandoned by his mother and brought up in an orphanage run by Mother Barnabus (Burke). He is captured by pirates and taken to the magical world of Neverland where he is forced into slave labour by Bluebeard (Jackman). Peter and his friend James Hook (Hedlund) manage to escape to the forest where Peter befriends the fairy Tinker Bell. The fairies fight and defeat the pirates and Hook becomes captain of the Jolly Roger ship. A rather bland and somewhat contrived movie.

Director: Antoine Fuqua
Certificate: 15
Cast Includes: Jake Gyllenhaal, 50 Cents, Forest Whitaker, Rachel McAdams
Billy The Great Hope (Gyllenhaal) was the reigning middle weight boxingchampion, but a tragic incident causes his life to fall apart. He loses his family, title, house and manager. In addition, his daughter is taken into care. To rebuild his life he restarts fighting with Tick Willis (Whitaker) a retired fighter at a run down gym, acting as his coach. The movie is thus a classic underdog story. However strong acting (particularly Gyllenhaal) and convincing sets make for a gripping movie.

The Martian
Director: Ridley Scott
Certificate: 12A
Cast includes: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig
A manned mission to the planet mars is aborted when the crew face a huge sandstorm. However astronaut and botanist Mark Watney (Damon) is left behind, presumed dead. Yet he lives and must now find a way to survive and contact Earth in the hope that a rescue mission can be mounted. The movie is based on the 2011 novel of the same name by Andy Weir. This is a homage to the ingenuity of man in desperate circumstances. The movie is visually effective, scientifically accurate and is well seasoned with humour. An excellent film that has received glowing reviews.

The Walk
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Certificate: PC
Cast Includes: Joseph Gordon-Leveiit, Charlotte Le Bon, Ben Kingsley.
This is the tale of Philippe Petits audacious crossing between the world trade centres on a high-wire. Petit (Gordon-Levitt) developed the idea for the artistic coup whilst in Paris. Along the way he adopts a band of misfit co-conspirators which include 'Papa' Rudy Omankowsky (Kingsley) who teaches the skill of walking a high wire. The attempt, which was strictly illegal, took place on 7th August 1974 and no safety harness was used. This is an excellent movie, a great story, great acting and superb camera work which will have you clinging onto the cinema seat.

Lancaster to host Out of This World Fiction Fest next month

Lancaster's Gregson Art and Community Centre is to be the venue for the Out of This World Fiction Fest – a free gathering of local authors and artists on Saturday 7th November, including comics writer Eddie Robson, comics artist Dan Charnley, SF author JS Collyer and fantasy writer AS Chambers, offering the opportunity to grab some unique and one-of-a-kind books, prints or gifts, chat about Science Fiction, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror and all things Out Of This World.

Announced guests are SF author J. S. Collyer, launching Book Two in her Orbit Series, Haven, a series was launched last year. Book One, Zero, was listed in Northern Soul Magazine's Top Reads of 2014 and has sold out at its 2015 events. Take this chance to grab a First Edition signed copy, along with limited edition Orbit Series merchandise.

Eddie Robson is the writer of BBC Radio 4's Welcome To Our Village, Please Invade Carefully, whose comic work includes comics for Marvel and IDW and comics strips for 2000AD, Doctor Who Adventures, Transformers Prime and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, as well as several webcomics. he also wrote The Art Of Sean Phillips, about the work of the eponymous comics artist, and collaborated on an illustrated adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

Eddie will be launching his first SF novel Tomorrow Never Knows at the event – so it's a good opportunity to grab a signed copy.

Also confirmed are AS Chambers, paranormal detective fiction author of the popular Casebook of Sam Spallucci series; MJ Wesolowski, horror writer and author of The Black Land novella along as well as an ever-growing list of published short fiction in international anthologies; CG Hatton, popular SF author of the Thieves' Guild Series; Craig Hallam, Steampunk Fantasy author of Greaveburn, and The Adventures of Alan ShawFrion Farrell, local fantasy author of The Round Spear and The Stone of MesaWayne Ashworth Art, a traditional and digital artist producing fine quality prints of all your favourite SF, Fantasy and comic book heroes; The Watercolour Geek, a watercolour artist specialising in one-of-a-kind pieces of 'anything worthy of the title geek'; Richard Disley of Low/Horror Art, an exceptional artist specialising in the weird, wonderful dark and dangerous; MonsterBomb, aka illustrator and comic artist Dan Charnley, who will be attending with his original art and comics; illustrator and design artist BattleKraken, who will be there with prints and postcards; and Opium Lounge, offering quirky crafts and jewellery.

Local comic shop First Age Comics will also be at the event to service all your comic book needs.

For more information and latest news on this free SF event visit their Facebook event page

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Lancaster Music Makers Concert Announced

Oliver Nelson and Peter Croser perform in the Lancaster Music Makers April concert, which featured music by Beethoven, Mozart and Delius.

The Lancaster Music Makers will present a concert in the Chapel of the University of Cumbria (Lancaster site) on Friday 30th October, offering a convivial evening and varied programme of music.

The concert will include Handel's suite No. 3 for piano, Slavonic Dance Op. 46 No. 2 for piano duet by Dvorak, Songs by Faure, piano music by Chopin and Clementi, and music for piano and violin.

The concert starts at  at 7.45pm and admission is £5 (£4 concessions) which includes refreshments and programme. Disabled access is available.

• For further details about Lancaster Music Makers, or to contribute to one of their future concerts visit