Friday, 27 November 2015

Lancashire Day Quiz 2015 - In Aid of East Lancs Hospice

To celebrate Lancashire Day this year I've devised another (hopefully) fun quiz for you all to have a go at. Some of the answers I have picked up on my travels around the county in the last twelve months. 

Also today, my good friend Stewart Bromwich and me will be going on another outing to a significant Lancastrian summit. You can follow our adventures on twitter @andydevanney or by the hashtag's #LancashireDay #WhereLifeFeelsGood

I hope you enjoy the quiz and if you are feeling generous I would be very grateful if you could spare a few quid to help us raise some much needed cash for East Lancashire Hospice. Thank you.

Please Text ELHS55 £1 or £3 to 70070 to give £1 or £3 instantly.

1. What is the highest point of the County Palatine of Lancashire

2. The Preston By-Pass was Britain’s first motorway standard road. It was opened in December 1958 by whom?

3. How tall is the Blackpool Tower?

4. What was the name of the band leader of the RMS Titanic who hailed from Colne?

5. At the recent Lancashire Tourism Awards who was the winner of the Tourism Pub Award?

6. A memorial on Winter Hill known as Scotsman’s Stump states that on 9th November 1838 a 20 year old man was brutally murdered there. What was his name?

7. Lancashire’s motto is, in concilio consilium. What does this mean?

8. True or False, you can see the Snowdonia from Burnley?

9. In the monologue The Lion and Albert made famous by Stanley Holloway, what was the name of the lion?

10. The longest in the country, what is the length of the Leeds and Liverpool canal?

11. Until it was drained what was the largest body of fresh water in England?

12. Liverpudlian and comedy legend Ken Dodd was famous for his Diddymen. What were they famous for mining?

13. The Football League was founded in 1888 with 12 teams, six of which were from Lancashire. Can you name them?

14. Blackpool Tower, Battersea Power Station and the Empire State Building all have what in common?

15. Lancashire is home to reputedly the longest river in England whose estuary can be seen from its source. Can you name it?

16. What is the name of the engine in Queen Street Mill in Burnley, the world’s last working steam powered mill.

17. What was the name of the cheese loving clay animation comedy duo created by Preston’s Nick Park?

18. What is the correct name for Darwen Tower?

19. In what year were the infamous Lancashire Witch Trials?

20. James Bullough and William Kenworthy invented what in 1842?

Good luck. 


1. The Old Man of Coniston

2. Prime Minister Harold Macmillan

3. 158m or 518ft

4. Wallace Hartley

5. The Cartford Inn, Little Eccleston

6. George Henderson

7. In council is wisdom

8. True. On a clear day the Snowdonian mountains can be seen from the summit of Thieveley Pike in Cliviger, Burnley

9. Wallace

10. 127miles or 204km

11. Martin Mere

12. Jam Butties

13. Accrington (NOT Stanley), Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, Burnley, Everton, Preston North End

14. They were all built using Accrington NORI brick

15. River Wyre

16. Peace

17. Wallace and Gromit

18. Jubilee Tower

19. 1612

20. The Lancashire Loom

Monday, 23 March 2015

North, South, East, West, Lancashire is Best!

Walkers on the Pennine Way near Oldham will from this week know when they are crossing the Lancashire / Yorkshire border! A marker post made from local stone was erected on Bleakedgate Moor, close to Readycon Hill and accessed from the A672. It will represent the most easterly point of Lancashire.

The Friends of Real Lancashire have commissioned J. Child & Son Ltd of Bury Road, Rochdale to prepare the stone and inscribe the appropriate roses on the post. It was unveiled on Sunday 22 March by Debbie Abrahams MP who although was born in Yorkshire, proudly represents the Oldham East and Saddleworth constituency and whose husband John Abrahams played cricket for Lancashire! Mrs Abrahams is President of Greater Manchester and High Peak Ramblers. The MP sees great health benefits of walking and the role the Ramblers have to play in promoting walking for both health and enjoyment. Mrs Abrahams recently said, “Walking is extremely important for the nation’s health, particularly in tackling obesity and improving mental health.” 

The Friends whose aims are to protect, preserve and promote the true identity of the traditional county of Lancashire have already marked three compass points with plaques; the most northerly at Elterwater in the Lake District, the most westerly on Walney Island near Barrow in Furness and the most southerly at Hale on the River Mersey. 

The marker post comes at a time when the Government are changing highways regulations to allow traditional county names to appear on boundary road signs. 

Philip Walsh, Chairman of the Friends of Real Lancashire said, “The marking of the most easterly point in real Lancashire is indeed a milestone in our campaign to see the traditional boundaries of Lancashire restored. People are proud of their heritage. In this part of England, you are either a Lancastrian or Yorkshireman and ironically rather than being at war with one another, it actually binds us together.”

Roger Gregson of J Child & Son Ltd Monumental Masons said, “It has been a great pleasure to be involved in this historic event.” 

If you live in the area shown on the map, you live in Lancashire.

The Friends campaign to protect, preserve and promote the true identity of the traditional county of Lancashire.

The marking of the boundaries are part of the long term project of defining a “very” long distance footpath around Lancashire.

Further information re traditional counties.

Friends of Real Lancashire

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Sara Lowes - The Joy of Waiting - Review
What do you want to get out of the music that you buy?

If you prefer to listen to the same old nondescript mainstream pop bubble-gum reality television show drivel then this is probably not the one direction you should be travelling in.

If you wish to listen to expertly crafted melodies and moods played by world class musicians that whisk you along a magical musical voyage through an avalanche of happiness then the joy of waiting is over.

Sara Lowes is one of the North West’s, if not the country’s, finest female artists. Her music is an absolute pleasure to listen to and it is as intriguing as it is entertaining.

She was one tenth (or maybe 11th or 12th, one can never be sure) of The Earlies, who by the way are on the comeback trail and she has toured with Marina and the Diamonds supporting some band called Coldplay.

The Joy of Waiting is simply superb and the talent on show is incredible including Richard & Neil C Young, Alex Berry, Christian & Nicky Madden, Nathan Sudders, Gareth Maybury, Pete Marshall, Bob Dinn & Semay Wu.

Between them they have been involved with acts such as The Whip, Tokolosh, Paul Heaton, The Courteeners , The Earlies, The Uptown Band (for the Burnley folk reading this) and the legendary Ofay.

The eponymous opening track gives you a taste of things to come. It starts rather sedately with strings and piano and builds to a crescendo of Hammond organ, bass and electric guitar.

This leads to Most Things, which I believe will be a single and a good one at that. It’s uplifting and full of melody and beautiful vocals. Sara always makes me think of Carly Simon but better. I’m not sure if she’d take that as a compliment. But it is most definitely meant as one.

The bass, drums and Hammond are used splendidly on the track Cutting Room Floor. It’s a funky upbeat yet mellow vibe. The only downside is that its only 5.22 minutes long.

My personal favourite is I Find You which featured on the catchy titled EP, All For the Dream (With the Means of a Well Planned Getaway).

The whole album is a superb piece of music and I really hope that Sara gets the recognition that she deserves because of it.

The Joy of Waiting is out now and is available via the website or iTunes and there is also limited edition heavy weight vinyl with gate-fold sleeve with fantastic artwork from Stanley Chow.

Track Listing (NB the track order is different on the 12” vinyl.)
  1. The Joy of Waiting 
  2. Most Things 
  3. I Find You 
  4. J.B. Priestley 
  5. Bright Day 
  6. Chapman of Rhymes 
  7. With a Mirror 
  8. Little Fishy 
  9. For the Seasons 
  10. Cutting Room Floor 
  11. Horizons 
  12. The Clock Plays Its Game

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Lancashire Picture Quiz

Lancashire Quiz 2014

1. Who is the Duke of Lancaster?

2. Name the Lancashire entertainer who was born in Wigan, died in Preston and had a funeral in Warrington which attracted 100,000 mourners?

3. Which village is the official centre of the British Isles?

4. Which Lancashire born engineer invented the Spinning Jenny in the 18th Century?

5. In which Lancashire town was the Cooperative Movement founded?

6. Name the band from Colne that had the top 40 single Which Way Should I Jump?

7. What is the highest point in Lancashire today?

8. Historically which is Lancashire’s most westerly town?

9. In the popular Lancashire dish stew & hard, what is the hard?

10. Which town is famous for its consumption of Benedictine liqueur?

11. Which comedy double act worked as welders in a Lancashire factory before forming a singing duo called The Harper Brothers?

12. If you stood in the middle of Burnley town centre and you wanted to leave, no matter which direction you took you must do something. What is it?

13. Which band formed in East Lancashire has had more UK chart hit singles than the Beatles?

14. What is the administrative capital of Lancashire?

15. Which town has a temple belonging to the religious group the Mormons?

16. What is the name of the theme park in Charnock Richard, Chorley?

17. Which Lancashire actress starred in Little Voice with Michael Caine?

18. Which Lancashire town is home to the Hollands Pies factory?

19. Who was John Eric Bartholomew better known as?

20. What was once famously mined in Sabden?

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Remember the Summer of '76?

At last we have a summer. Maybe this will be the year that people will remember in years to come instead of the famous summer of 1976. 

The great celestial salesman in the sky has finally given the pub industry something to be cheerful about. Nothing can compete with its selling power. Like for like sales are up in double figures and I expect that to be the case across the country.

However, this does lead to the question of where are all these people when the sun doesn’t shine? Why don’t they visit their local more when it’s pouring down and freezing in the middle of winter? What can be more relaxing than quaffing a pint of local cask ale by a flickering open fire?

The good weather can have an adverse effect on town centre pubs that tend not to have beer gardens but those in the countryside are more or less guaranteed to have a roaring trade especially the more picturesque ones.

I recently spent a leisurely afternoon in one such place, the Brown Cow at Chatburn. They have a lovely beer garden at the rear of the pub. I could even see Pen-y-ghent in the distance. The tipple of the day was Theakston’s Lightfoot which was superb on a hot summer’s day. It’s a light ‘blonde beer’ style ale brewed to 4.1% and was delicious.

What better way to spend your day off than sat in a pub beer garden. The floral scent of the blooming flowers was an added delight.

The fact that people are flooding to pub beer gardens seems to indicate that there is still a love for the traditional British pub. This is very positive to see. It’s an ideal opportunity for them to showcase themselves. Hopefully it will lead to repeat custom when the proper rainy summer turns up.

The other day I had the pleasure of visiting the Hark to Bounty in Slaidburn. It was the hottest day of the year at the time with the mercury touching 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

They had Lancaster Blonde, 4.1%, on the bar but I decided to try a beer I’d never had from Tirril Brewery. Their Amber, 4.2%, was lovely, malty and refreshing on a scorching day.

I have to say that the girl behind the bar, I think she was called Natasha, was extremely pleasant and very knowledgeable especially about the history of the Inn. She even took the time to show us the old Courtroom upstairs. How many pubs have a Courtroom? Not many I would think. Apparently it was used as the local court from the early 19th century until the middle of the 1930’s.

Anyway, perhaps by the time you will read this the heat wave will be a distant memory but hopefully not.

Just remember that your local pub is more than likely open for business 365 days of the year. So be sure to keep visiting once the seasons finally change. Everything apart from the weather will still be superb even after the summer of 2013.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

To The Manor Osborne

So we’re all supposed to be jumping for joy now that George 
Osborne has scrapped the duty escalator and cut beer duty by 1p.

Camra’s website proudly states that “The campaign is won!” 

Well pardon me if I don’t get the bunting out for the honourable member for Tatton. 

Indeed he did indeed scrap the beer duty escalator altogether and instead of the 3p rise he kindly gave us the lowest possible reduction.

But his budget was yet another nail in the coffin of the traditional British pub. 

What he actually said was “I intend to maintain the planned rise for all alcohol duties – with the exception of beer.”

Yes, wines and spirits are still going up as per the escalator. The fact that excise duty on beer has increased by 42% since 2008 is still true. Well maybe now 41.6% because of his kind donation.

It was in fact a great big slap in the face for the humble publican. The problem being that most of them, including me, didn’t envisage that he would scrap the escalator and had therefore held off applying trade price increases until the budget so they could be passed on in one go, hopefully for the year, minimising customer reaction to yet more rises. 

However, by reducing the price of a pint, customer perception will now be that beer must be reduced at the pump. But what about all the duty increases that were not passed on and absorbed by the bottom line of the businesses?

Indeed Moorhouse’s from Burnley put their trade prices up at the beginning of March. Why couldn’t they have waited until the budget? I know that some of their own pubs were waiting to see what happened. Now they are forced to put the price up at the pointy end and suffer customer dissatisfaction.

Don’t get me wrong, I am in favour of the escalator being scrapped because it was unfair and unsustainable. 
I signed the e-petition and I also wrote to my MP, Gordon Birtwistle, asking him to urge the Chancellor to scrap it. His response was typical party line stating that they are helping pubs by reducing corporation tax. I’m sorry but if you are worrying about that then you are at least making money. 

The government need to go further, much further.

The man from number 11 Downing Street said: “responsible drinkers – and our pubs - should not pay the price for the problems caused by others.” Well if he really means this then he needs to do much more than giving back a paltry penny.

I have said it before but I really think that duty should be reduced on draught beer and these reductions passed on to canned and bottles. This would mean that there shouldn’t be a reduction in the net duty take. It would also make the playing field far more level. Tesbury’s don’t sell draught beer (god forbid if they ever start) so they wouldn’t be able to undercut the pub trade for once. 

More people drinking on licensed premises would also lead to more jobs and in turn increases in income tax, VAT and beer duty being paid to the treasury. 

It really does appear that these millionaires that run our country are completely oblivious to the fact that pubs are not the cause of the so called binge drinking culture.

In my opinion we cannot sit back just because a victory was won. There is more to do.

So I say to all the fine Camra members out there that it is only the battle that has been won, the campaign must continue.