October Vampire Beach Weekend in Blackpool

For the second year in a row my family and I visited Blackpool for the amazing “Vampire Beach” weekend event at Blackpool Pleasure Beach.

Despite the arctic blast that hit the Fylde Coast on the weekend everybody involved had a fantastic time. Here are just few photos and highlights from our trip. Hope you all enjoy šŸ™‚

We arrived at Blackpool around 9am, having left Cumbernauld at about 5. This was the view from outside our hotel (the excellent Delton Hotel). Safe to say we couldn’t have asked for a much better view !oznor

Fortunately, before long the sun was out and this was the view once we’d dropped kids off for the day at the Sandcastle.


One of our main reasons was visiting the spectacular Tower Ballroom. Made even more popular in recent years through Strictly Come Dancing, this venue should be a must for any visitor to the town, young or old.


After spending a couple of magical hours in the Ballroom, it was time for a walk back along to South Shore, where we were lucky enough to catch an image of the newly named “Charlie’s Tram”


After a brilliant dinner at the Red Pepper restaurant in Central Drive, our first day ended with a walk back to South Pier where our kids were brave enough to ride the Skycoaster. It’s well worth a go for any adrenaline addict !


Onto Saturday and the main reason for our trip….a day at Blackpool Pleasure Beach. For this Saturday the park was open from 10am until 10pm. Our wristbands cost only Ā£22.50 each. For any thrill seeker it’s hard to imagine better value than that from absolutely anywhere. Here are just a few photos from the day.

Almost first in line for the park and most of us (not me !) were dressed appropriately for the cold weather ahead.



This was our first chance to ride on Icon, the Pleasure Beach’s newest (and best ?) Roller Coaster. As you can see the queues were large. However, they were shifting quickly. We never waited more than 40 minutes and on a 3-train service credit has to go the Park and the Ride-Opssdr

Excitement was building the closer we got to the station. It’s hard to describe just how good a Roller Coaster this is. Credit must go to the Park and of course Mack rides.sdr

One of the kids’ favourite rides of the day – The Tango Ice Blast. Looking great in the autumnal sunshine.smartcapture

With temperatures of around 3-4 degrees and a real feel closer to zero, it’s perhaps not a shock that Valhalla didn’t have much of a queue. Still, the cold didn’t stop us donning our ponchos and giving it a go. Dread to think what it would have been like to have gone on it without one and then walked the park with wet clothes for the day !fbt

Our kids enjoying the Ice Blast.oznor

Just before the evening it was time to nip back to the hotel and get ourselves ready for the Vampire Beach weekend. Here the kids have their face masks and blood stained clothing ready šŸ˜‰rptrhdrrhdr

Few parks anywhere can rival the atmosphere at Blackpool Pleasure Beach when its dark. Here the Sir Hiram Maxim’s Flying Machines are looking particularly impressive.rhdr

View of the Big Dipper “flame” and Big One first drop from FY4. By this time it was really freezing, but the park was still busy and the atmosphere was just brilliant.oznor

Impressive by day, Icon becomes even more impressive at night. Just about managed to capture one of the trains here, but guess my shutter isn’t fast enough !bsh

To round of the night there was a spectacular, if not a little brief, firework display at the Pleasure Beach. These rounded off a fantastic 12 hours on the park.oznorbsh

And that was that, and it was soon time for bed and the drive back up the M6 on the Sunday morning.

People often talk about Blackpool in negative terms and about how people just don’t go there anymore. However, from what we saw Blackpool is in a very good place right now. Lots of work going on to improve the place and visitor numbers were very healthy. Everywhere we went was really busy and it was good to see so many “No Vacancies” signs on the hotels.

The years may be creeping up on me, but my sheer enthusiasm for this town – which I often refer to as my happy place – shows absolutely no sign of waning at all.

Here’s to the next visit.

Thanks for reading šŸ™‚

Dave Kerr



World Firework Championships Blackpool 2018 ROMANIA

For the first and probably only time due to other work commitments I was able to get down to the Blackpool Promenade to see this amazingly display..

Despite the horrible rain and wind I was able to get together a collection of images that I hope do this wonderful display justice..



This week was the turn of Romania, the thousands of people that lined the promenade at every advantage point loved this display, listening to various conversations I got the feeling that this Team have a superb chance of being crowned World Champions in a few weeks..











A video from last night..










Lots of Blogs being set up supporting Blackpool at the moment and this is wonderful, but I am proud to be using all my own material at my time and expense..

Copyright Peter Mowbray Live In Blackpool Ltd

Blackpool Illuminations Switch On 2018

The Blackpool Illuminations were switched on last night by the amazing local singing superstar Alfie Boe much to the delight of thousands of people inside the arena on the Promenade.





Visit Blackpool really do deserve huge acknowledgement and credit for pulling off one of the best Switch On’s in history..!

It was absolutely perfect, exceptional organisation from the moment you entered the arena..

We decided on seeing the Switch On within the VIP area and was very impressed with all the facilities, the catering by Campbell & Rowley was exceptional both during with their picnic boxes and at the after show party at the Blackpool Tower..Just amazing..

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We even had the superb Notarianni Ice cream..!





Its always great to see Richard Ryan, Richard left as Illuminations Manager this year, but his legacy will always live on..

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What I liked this year was they gave local talented artists the opportunity to performĀ  on the Switch On stage, they didn’t disappoint..

We are blessed with so much local talent..but what caught my eye was Kyle James Passmore an incredible singer that looked very much at home on the big stage singing in front of thousands..To be honest I thought that Kyle was the best performer of the night..!

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DJ Becca Dudley who fronts various MTV shows was the host and compare and she did an amazing job in creating the atmosphere in between sets..

Blackpool has always been blessed with attracting incredible artists to perform, last night was no different..

Ella Eyre

Jonas Blue


Rae Morris

Diversity & DVJ

and of course the amazing superstar Alfe Boe had the crowd bouncing and singing !

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A short 23 minute video of this wonderful event..

The after show party was quite incredible, Touch the Pearl and various Circus artists were there to ensure that the end of the evenings lavish entertainment went on to the end..





Thank you for reading I hope to be attending again in 2019..

Peter Mowbray Live in Blackpool Ltd..

Mark James Live at Viva Blackpool

I had the privilege to be asked to review and interview the greatĀ  Mark James and his show at Viva Blackpool.




Mark is described as ‘Sleight of hand Magic and Comedy’ but he is so much more than that, Mark is an all round accomplished and very experienced entertainer that knows his trade.



The show has a definitive two part performance, the first half was of a more traditional magic expertly performed with interaction from the audience and at times participation.







The 2nd half of the show was based around sideshow magicians like the late and great Harry Houdini.

One of the tricks performed and you will see it in my interview with Mark is whats known as the ‘Human Blockhead’..Mark actually hammers a 6 inch nailĀ  through his nose and into his head..I jest not..!





Yes it was definitely inside his nose..


Even closer…..


The audience went wild watching this performed, he does defy all logic, and as for my day job I work in Surgery as an ODP I was very interested to see if he was actually doing this or was it a hoax, but he can actually hammer a nail into his head..!!

He then asked a member of the audience to remove it, Kelly kindly obliged..

DSC_5747 (2).JPGMark can also insert temperature gauges normally used for checking meat cooking inside his nose..



For 2 hours Mark performed so many tricks, illusions and amazing stand up comedy alone on stage just him and nothing else.

The audience loved him, he is one of the best that I have seen in a while, hugely talented and intelligently funny. Mark interacts with the audience very well, and I tried my best to compare him to other very famous Magicians but I cant as he is so unique..He is Mark James !

Mark told the audience a bit about himself and during the interview that you will see within this review, Mark talks proudly about his upbringing in the North East of England and how he has tirelessly worked hard to be where he is today..

Lots of tricks and illusions were performed during the show, every one flawlessly to perfection, I cant possibly divulge the entire contents of his show within this review as I want people to see him perform them live right in front of you..

But I will share just one more as I was amazed by this trick, Mark swallowed sewing needlesĀ  from a small container that had fizzy pop, he then swallowed cotton and the guess what..?

Absolutely stunning…!!










I was so pleased that Mark agreed to do an interview after the show, such an amazing Man, I hope to catch up with Mark again at some stage..


To book tickets to see Mark at Viva…



Copyright Peter Mowbray Live In Blackpool, Viva and Mark James



High Jinx Blackpool

There comes a point in your life when at a certain age you think that you are experienced enough to understand everything…..

After watching the superb Michael Jordan and the cast from High Jinx my theory has been proven to be wrongĀ  !

SetĀ  in the superb location of Viva here in Blackpool High Jinx is described as ‘Magic-Illusion-Circus ‘ by its creators, but I see it as so much more..



Michael Jordan without question is an incredibly talented young Magician and Illusionist, he did some things on stage that I didn’t honestly think were possible,Ā  Ā it makes you look at things differently that’s for sure..



Some of the tricks on stage went beyond the capabilities of many Magicians or Illusionists, Michael even ever so slightly teases you in showing you how a trick is done but then asking you to keep it a secret as he didn’t want to getĀ  into trouble with the Magic Circle, and then the illusion ends completely differently then you would expect..Absolutely mind blowing..!






Without ‘divulging’ too much but wanting to write a good review on High Jinx at the same time, please check out an image that I took of a levitating crate within my images, yes it was clearly floating in the air on stage and yes a real Woman then came out of it..!!!








What I did find was really good and when I write a review I don’t miss a ‘Trick’ ( ecuse the pun ) is the tremendous value of this show,of not just the entrance fee but things to buy inside, everything is very affordable and is clearly aimed at Families..

For example you can purchase a High Jinx bag of quality goodies for just Ā£10 and you get lots of tricks spinningĀ  plate and unique High Jinx cards, but the best thing is you can meet and greet the Michael and the High Jinx cast after the show for as long as you want for free, and they teach you how to perform a few tricks and have your picture taken, I thought that was a lovely touch..














High Jinx is a show that will appeal to people of all ages, I really enjoyed reviewing it..




I had the wonderful opportunity of filming the end of the show and catching up with Michael and the superb cast of High Jinx..


You can book to see this amazing show here..



Copyright Peter Mowbray Live In Blackpool, Viva, Michael Jordan High Jinks

Viva Blackpool VIP Launch Night August 2012

Nearly 6 years ago Viva arrived to Blackpool..A retro post from August 4th 2012


Blackpool’s latest venue has arrived..

Louise and I were askedĀ  to attend the VIP launch of this amazing entertainmentĀ  venue..
Viva is what I would call more of a top end of the market venue, with a quality feel and top quality entertainment..

3 Men Leye D Johns, Martin Heywood and Phil Burrows are the masterminds behind this venture,and are supported by an army of good friends, who have helped them in only 5 weeks, transform a run down old Bingo hall, into what is now known as Viva..

So my evening began by entering the newly decorated entrance hall and was greeted by a lovely Gentleman, who had asked for our names and informedĀ  us of our table number..

We were then given a lovely complimentary drink and Canapes..

Debs offering Louise a Canape..

They look amazing..

I have to mention that although its a very classy venue, the bar prices are very good..you can either go to bar or have a Waitress serve you at your table..

We opted for a lovely house white..

Having a look around the Venue, I have to give them credit where its due, they really have done a lovely job..it looks amazing..

A selection of the show pictures..I wont be saying too much as I don’t want to spoil it..but if my photographs don’t give you the urge or desireĀ  to see this show and the VIVA experience, you may as well give up..!

The costumes and lighting, and the aesthetics is just fabulous..

The Viva Show Girls move very quickly,always a nightmare for any photographer..I was able to capture her leap though..a good 4ft off the ground..

Mr Leye D Johns..I dont like to use the term Star of the show as in my eyes they are all stars, very talented Singers,Dancers and Comedians..

But he is….

A very funny man, he thinks on his feet and adapts to any situation…I have had the privilege of watching Leye perform on quite a few occasions..quick mind and very funny…

I said I wouldn’t be telling you much about the show as I want it to be a surprise..well I lied..Leye gives his own take on the 50 shades of Grey, his own version from the book that had me nearly wetting my pants with laughter..

Debs a friend and colleague joined us for a drink..

TheĀ  audience was loving the show..

A nice couple that we shared a table with..

I was taken by surprise by the size of this venue..its massive..


Copyright Peter Mowbray Live In Blackpool Ltd & Leye D Johns Viva

Joe Longthorne returns to Blackpool..(Pre Viva 2011)

Joe Longthorne returned to Blackpool to play a very special one off show. Leye D Johns a good friend of Joe and who has been touring with him, asked him to play at the Layton Institute on Tuesday evening..
I believe his career took off whilst playing the Institute 33 years ago as he was performing with his Father and the call from London Weekend Television came through..

For the younger readers of Live In Blackpool that think that X Factor is the ultimate in vocal entertainment..Joe would leave them standing..an amazing vocalist and impressionist that had his audience eating out of his hand..
You cant help but admire a Man who has successfully beaten cancer a few times and still takes to the stage and gives everything..

I did a bit of research about Joe to go with my report..

Joe Longthorne was born into a show business family; his parents were both travelling show people. When he was six, he came first in a talent show and his prize was a toy motor car. At fourteen he landed a part in Yorkshire Television’s series Junior Showtime, and remained with the show for over two years. He then turned professional and earned a living in Northern working men’s clubs. It was through the London Weekend Television series Search For a Star in 1981 that Joe Longthorne was first launched onto the British televiewing public as a singer and impressionist, and his success on the show led to appearances at the London Palladium and a month long season at London’s Talk of the Town.

The following year Longthorne received the Variety Club’s award for most promising artiste. In 1985 he was invited to headline a season at the Drury Lane Theatre in Chicago, Illinois. He made a further breakthrough on British television in 1987, starring in Live From The Palladium and Des O’Connor Tonight. Longthorne also released three platinum albums for Telstar, The Joe Longthorne Songbook, Especially For You and The Joe Longthorne Christmas Album. It was around the time of his appearance at the Royal Variety Performance in 1989, that he was diagnosed with lymphoma.

After responding to treatment, Joe Longthorne embarked on a tour of Australia. and appeared on The Mike Walsh Show. Joe Longthorne continued performing into the early 1990s with sell-out performances at the Royal Albert Hall, the Sydney Opera House and the London Palladium. His music videos Live In Concert and A Man and His Music were steady sellers in the 1990s.
His illness degenerated into leukaemia, and he underwent a bone marrow transplant. In 2006, Longthorne performed again at the London Palladium, and in 2007 the Variety Club awarded him their Lifetime Achievement Award, which placed him amongst past recipients such as Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland and Ella Fitzgerald.
In August 2009,Joe Longthorne appeared in a tribute show to Don Black, at the London Palladium.

He currently lives in his adopted hometown of Blackpool.


Only Once
The Singer
Especially For You
I Wish You Love
The Christmas Album
You and Me

Well the wonderful evening started with Leye D Johns and his amazing cast performing parts of their Christmas show..

Leye is so funny..I could watch him every night..

End of the first half and the tension mounts as people await the performance of Joe Longthorne..

Debs came to say hello..

Joe Longthorne..

The adulation that this Man receives from his audience is quite remarkable, and fully deserved..

During his show Joe does the most amazing impressions of singers..

Joe also partakes in a bit of comedy in his show, he told a story about a recent trip to Amsterdam and him buying some ‘special fairy cakes’.. Ā  and his minge vase that had a crack in it made me spit my drink out as it was so funny..

Joe is also an accomplished pianist..

As I mentioned, Joe does a bit of humour in his show..

He was really funny when he did a bit on David Dickinson and that camp French antique dealer that wears all the bling..

Thank you for reading..

Copyright and image rights to Live In Blackpool, Peter Mowbray, Martin Heywood, Joe Longthorne & Leye D Johns..