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rochdale town hall

Musical about Victoria Cross hero set for Remembrance Sunday 150 150 mhamer

Musical about Victoria Cross hero set for Remembrance Sunday

Come here, come here! We were bowled over by the legendary Jimmy Cricket promoting his brilliant new concert, to be performed at Rochdale Town Hall on Sun 10 Nov, 4pm-5pm. And there’s more! Here’s Jimmy and @RochdaleMayor Coun Billy Sheerin having a good old yarn about the James Magennis play

Jimmy Cricket’s musical about Northern Ireland’s only recipient of the Victoria Cross takes place on Remembrance Sunday.

Let’s hear it for the wee man will be performed at Rochdale Town Hall on 10 November in aid of the Mayor of Rochdale’s charity appeal.

It tells the courageous story of submariner James Magennis who grew up in abject poverty in Belfast and joined the Royal Navy aged 15.

He won the UK’s highest military honour for his bravery onboard a midget sub that attacked the Japanese cruiser Takao on 31 July 1945.

His job was to attach six mines to the enemy vessel in the risky covert operation in Singapore Harbour.

Jimmy and @RochdaleMayor Coun Billy Sheerin having a good old yarn about the James Magennis play

However, he ran into difficulties and faced grave danger.

But he persisted with the mission before returning to the sub exhausted.

King George VI recognised his heroics by awarding him the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry.

Magennis continued his service until 1949 when he returned home with his wife Edna Skidmore and their four sons.

In 1952, he lost his job and was forced to sell his VC medal.

However, an anonymous benefactor later returned it to him on the condition he did not sell it again.

Blue plaque

Magennis spent the rest of his life in Yorkshire working as an electrician before dying of cancer in 1986 aged 66.

His heroics were commemorated in 2018 with a special blue plaque in his honour.

Belfast-born Jimmy has written both the words and the music for the play.

It features actor Charles Lawson, actress and singer Sue Devaney, actor Nick Newbould and comedian Jimmy himself.

Tickets are available at Rochdale Town Hall from the reception or by contacting 01706 924773. Tickets cost £10.

Read more about the Mayor of Rochdale’s charity appeal here.

Jimmy and the mayor met up recently to promote the play.

Rochdale Council tweeted: “Come here, come here!

“We were bowled over by the legendary Jimmy Cricket promoting his brilliant new concert, to be performed at Rochdale Town Hall on Sun 10 Nov, 4pm-5pm.

“And there’s more! Here’s Jimmy and@RochdaleMayor Coun Billy Sheerin having a good old yarn about the event.”

Find out where Jimmy is performing and his other forthcoming shows by viewing all his tour dates on this website.
Old friend becomes Mayor of Rochdale 150 150 mhamer

Old friend becomes Mayor of Rochdale

Jimmy Cricket with new Rochdale mayor Peter Rush and Heywood and Middleton MP Jim DobbinJimmy Cricket was invited to Rochdale Town Hall to witness his good friend, Cllr Peter Rush, become Mayor of the Borough at the annual Mayor Making Ceremony.

World-famous entertainer Jimmy is pictured above with the new mayor at the post-ceremony reception, along with Heywood and Middleton MP Jim Dobbin.

Jimmy said: “I was delighted to see Peter become the mayor and have known him for over 30 years.

“In fact, when I was getting established within the northern club circuit back in the 1970s, Peter was the concert secretary of a social Club in Heywood and gave me a 15-minute spot!”

Why did Jimmy sleep on park bench? 150 150 mhamer

Why did Jimmy sleep on park bench?

Jimmy Cricket sleeping on park bench to raise awareness about the homelessFamous comedian Jimmy Cricket has been pictured sleeping on a park bench as part of a campaign to raise awareness about homelessness.

The Rochdale-based funnyman wanted to support the local ‘Chill-Out’ campaign in the town.

The Chill-out group has been concerned about cuts by the Labour-led council which would have see emergency bed provision for the homeless cut from about 500 beds to around 160 and plan their own mass ‘sleep-out’ at Rochdale Town Hall.

Those cuts would also see the introduction of a ‘Dial-a-Bed’ policy for those seeking emergency accommodation.

The Chill-Out group is apolitical but has attracted support from politicians of all parties, including Labour, plus others including concerned members of the public and medical staff.

Its protest was set for Tuesday 29 May to coincide with Rochdale Council’s cabinet meeting with the intention to raise the profile of the issue through peaceful action. Supporters of the campaign were due to meet outside the Town Hall and sleep overnight in tents to highlight the plight of the homeless.

Jimmy read an article in the local Rochdale Observer and thought the ‘sleep-out’ was a great idea.

Unfortunately, it clashes with his summer season at Eastbourne, but he still wanted to show his support so he decided to get a photo of himself sleeping on a park bench in the middle of Rochdale Town Centre!

The night before these photos were taken, Rochdale Council made a number of concessions in relationto its homeless policy in response to the ‘Chill-Out’ campaign.

These pictures are now going to be used for a slightly different purpose because instead of raising awareness, they are now going to be used to highlight this change in approach from Rochdale Council.

Jimmy with the two leaders of the Chill-Out campaign - Peter Hinchcliffe and Shirley Kennedy - alongside group member and former Rochdale Cllr, Jean Ashworth

Jimmy with the two leaders of the Chill-Out campaign - Peter Hinchcliffe and Shirley Kennedy - alongside group member and former Rochdale Cllr, Jean Ashworth