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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

Action group hosts laughter show 150 150 mhamer

Action group hosts laughter show

The Jimmy Cricket Laughter Show posterAttention all those in the Bristol area – Jimmy Cricket is appearing at a venue near you!

Stanton Wick Action Group is  presenting the Jimmy Cricket Laughter Show at the Pensford Memorial Hall in Pensford – just south of Bristol – on Friday 7 and Saturday 8 December.

All profits raised will go towards the action group. If you wish to read more about their objectives, visit here.

The show not only features the hilarious comedy of Jimmy, but also includes the female vocalist May Marion and Musicians in Black.

Tickets are priced at £15 and available from Jennie Jones on 0791 7618954 or from Pensford Post Office.

Jimmy said: “This will be a great way to mark the start of the festive season. Tickets are selling quickly, so don’t delay and support this event which has been organised by volunteers with the aim of helping the local community!”

Praise for community volunteers 150 150 mhamer

Praise for community volunteers

Jimmy Cricket on the Festival Drayton Centre posterIrish comedian Jimmy Cricket was impressed by a festival centre in Market Drayton which is owned and run by the local community.

The Festival Drayton Centre hosts dance classes, martial arts, adult educational courses, a licensed coffee shop and a state-of-the-art cinema and theatre.

And Jimmy really enjoyed his visit to the north Shropshire theatre, where he performed at the weekend.

He said: “There is one paid member of staff called Glyn Jackson, who is the theatre manager. But everyone else – including the technical staff and box office staff – are all dedicated and passionate individuals who want to retain a live venue in the town of Market Drayton.”

Jimmy was especially full of praise over how the theatre is run by Glyn and was grateful for the help of Peter the technician who helped him with the running of the show.

Established in 1984, the centre underwent a major refurbishment in 2004, resulting in it becoming the Best Regional Winner of the West Midlands Market Towns Award two years later.