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Rochdale Council

Jimmy Cricket remembers comedy pals Sir Ken Dodd & Jim Bowen 150 150 mhamer

Jimmy Cricket remembers comedy pals Sir Ken Dodd & Jim Bowen

Rochdale Council's photo of Sir Ken Dodd and Jimmy Cricket

Jimmy Cricket has been remembering comedy friends Jim Bowen and Sir Ken Dodd, who died within a few days of each other.

Liverpool legend Sir Ken, creator of the Diddy Men, passed away last weekend aged 90, having recently been released from hospital after six weeks of treatment for a chest infection.

And broadcaster and comedian Jim, best known for hosting darts-based game show Bullseye in the 1980s and ’90s, died on Wednesday at the age of 80.

Belfast-born and Rochdale-based Jimmy posted a video on Twitter in which he pays a special tribute to Sir Ken (below).

And Rochdale Council also tweeted the photo at the top of this article, saying: “Farewell to a legend – here’s comedy star Sir Ken Dodd with his good friend and Rochdale resident during a town hall dinner to celebrate Jimmy receiving a Papal knighthood in 2015. RIP and thanks for the laughs.”

Jimmy Cricket talking about Sir Ken Dodd

The Universe, the weekly Catholic newspaper, featured a photograph of Sir Ken on its front page (below), saying: “Catholic comedian leads tribute to legendary funnyman.”

And the Rochdale Observer also reported on Jimmy paying tribute to Sir Ken. The story recalled the tale of the stolen concrete wellies – read more about that here.

Read more about Sir Ken.

Jimmy Cricket talks about Sir Ken Dodd in the Catholic newspaper, The Universe

Former deputy headmaster Jim, who lived in North Lancashire, began his career as a stand-up comedian on the club circuit in the 1960s. He became a household name when he began presenting Bullseye in 1981. The Sunday tea time show ran for 14 years.

Jimmy tweeted: “So sad to hear of the passing of another legendary comic and game show host, my friend Jim Bowen, another ⭐️ star in heaven!”

Click here to watch Jimmy’s appearance on Bullseye.

Bumping into an old friend… 150 150 mhamer

Bumping into an old friend…

Jimmy Cricket checks out the measurements of the new stall

Jimmy checks out the measurements of the new stall at Heywood Indoor Market

Jimmy Cricket bumped into a friend whom he had not seen for some time when he attended the 10th anniversary celebration of Heywood Indoor Market.

Her name is Jennifer Shaw who has in the past been a promoter of shows and an events organiser.

Some of the shows she has promoted have involved Jimmy and Buzz Hawkins of The Bradshaws fame.

Jennifer still organises golfing events, but recently she has turned her attentions to a haberdashery stall on Heywood Indoor Market which she took over around a year ago.

Said Jimmy: “I was really delighted to see Jennifer again and wish her well with this new venture.”

New heritage centre and tea rooms open 150 150 mhamer

New heritage centre and tea rooms open

The redecorated tea room at the visitor centre

The redecorated tea rooms at the visitor centre

Jimmy Cricket recently attended the press launch of the new Healey Dell Heritage centre and tea rooms near to where he lives in Rochdale.

The famous Irish entertainer was invited to the opening event by Janice Percy, who had teamed up with a friend to save the centre when she heard Rochdale Council no longer wanted to keep it open.

Jimmy with Lorraine, one of the centre’s volunteers

Jimmy with Lorraine, one of the centre’s volunteers

Jimmy did not need to think twice about going because when he is not working he often goes walking in Healey Dell, as he lives on the edge of this nature reserve.

Last December Janice and her partnership took on the lease of the building and set about raising around £25,000 for its refurbishment.

She also started to look for volunteers who would help the project get off the ground.

Janice and her team have now revived the old building and have created the following:

The exterior of the building - the fairy is there in preparation for the children’s Easter activities!

Outside the centre – the fairy is there in preparation for the children’s Easter activities!

  • A heritage room – An all-year-round exhibition dedicated to the rich heritage of the nature reserve
  • Dedicated gallery space to showcase the work of local artists and photographers
  • A vintage style tea room featuring a baby grand piano and six sparkling crystal chandeliers where visitors will enjoy traditional cream teas served from vintage bone china
  • Newly converted disabled facilities/wheelchair access and disabled toilet and washroom

The centre reopened on the Thursday before the Easter weekend and  the tea rooms will now open every Saturday and Sunday over the summer season. The centre is run entirely by unpaid volunteers.

Jimmy with the Rochdale-based actor Colin Meredith, who recently appeared on Coronation Street

Jimmy with the Rochdale-based actor Colin Meredith, who recently appeared on Coronation Street

Celebrating 10 years of magic market 150 150 mhamer

Celebrating 10 years of magic market

Jimmy Cricket at the 10th anniversary of the relaunch of Heywood Market HallComedian Jimmy Cricket went along to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the relaunch of Heywood Market Hall – also known as Heywood Magic Market.

Jimmy Cricket at the 10th anniversary of the relaunch of Heywood Market Hall

A celebratory event was organised to mark what has been a  tremendous success story for the market, as it was forced to close at the end of the 1990s, but reopened in 2003.

Jimmy said: “It was relaunched as a co-operative venture, with local market traders having a stake in the management of the market – and it has not looked back!”

The famous entertainer was invited along by his good friend Peter Rush, who is a councillor on Rochdale Council and who will be the local mayor from May of this year.

* The pictures show Jimmy having a great time at the event.

Jimmy Cricket at the 10th anniversary of the relaunch of Heywood Market Hall