By Lancashire Belle, Feb 26 2015 11:35PM

Some disappointing news today, in that the Grand North Pier Blackpool 1940s weekend has to be cancelled - something do with funding and nothing to do with lack of effort from the team involved in staging it. My goodness, did they try hard to pull this off - such a shame for them and all concerned.

By Lancashire Belle, Feb 26 2015 11:34PM

Oh my! The traffic was awful getting to Southport - due to an incident on the M61. A quick phone call to the hotel to say we were having to make a diversion and would get there when we could. As it happened only 15 minutes late and everyone was fine and relaxed.

What an absolutely charming audience - and so pleased to chat with Jean, Edna and Peter afterwards. They live in Cardiff and said they are going to look out for a 1940s event to go to. Betty was lovely, with her stories of ‘spending a penny' on the pier - in the arcade, I should quickly point out. A penny arcade, this is - an original arcade, using old pre-1971 pennies.

The lovely couple from Stoke-on-Trent, who were happy to chat afterwards, also wanted to know what was the nearest 1940s event. We suggested Crich Tramway, knowing they do some wonderful events… even though I’ve never been approached by them (hear the violins?!) it doesn’t prevent me pushing them, though. I’m good like that!

By Lancashire Belle, Feb 26 2015 11:27PM

I was very pleased last night, on behalf of Lancashire County Cricket Foundation, to entertain the residents and guests at Elkin Court in Partington, as part of a social evening that also included bingo and supper. I am happy to report that a thoroughly enjoyable evening was had by all.

There, I met Don from the Foundation. He brought along a signed picture of Andrew Flintoff, which had more than a few ladies talking about it! Seems 'Freddie' is a bit of a favourite there! It is great to see organisations such as LCCC running these kind of outreach programmes, and I very much look forward to doing more events. Still got the cough but Margaret’s cup of tea seemed to do the trick… was there a drop of brandy in there, perhaps?

By Lancashire Belle, Feb 26 2015 11:25PM

Finally getting over this cold - and getting back into the swing of things, trying to catch up with stuff. A new booking for tomorrow night and then off to Southport on Wednesday. Hoping to get some photos done soon and may look at getting into the recording studio to record some tracks.

Yes, I know, I'm very slow on this side of things; and when people ask for CDs, of course I don’t have anything. I believe if you are going to sell them, then you have to give people their money’s worth. A professionally produced CD, I know, costs rather a lot more than I earn!

I am also in the process of getting a banner done for shows. My sister, who’s an exhibitor for a college and has all the gear, reminded me that a good banner has both sides designed, as you never know where people will view your stand. Oh yes, of course!

By Lancashire Belle, Feb 18 2015 09:16PM

What a week! I’ve succumbed to a rotten cold, which was threatening to take hold last week, but fortunately held off. Completely forgot as well about it being Shrove Tuesday yesterday, and didn’t even get my pancakes. So just rest and relaxation, re-scheduled my dentist appointment , keep snug indoors and maybe I can find a nice black and white old film to watch today.

By Lancashire Belle, Feb 18 2015 09:15PM

Last night saw me perform at the showing of the film The Notebook, starring Ryan Gosling. This was a pop-up cinema event held in The (fabulous) Bar, at The Docks in Leeds. What an amazing evening it was, I so enjoyed this. Apart from the amazing venue, there was hair and make-up by LeKeux vintage stylists, a stand serving tea in china cups (which everyone knows I’m a fan of) from All The Tea & China; and a pop-up photo booth with props. So pleased to have been booked for this, as it was a wonderful night , and hey what’s that… the Ryan Gosling page has ‘liked’ me on Facebook! I must be doing something right with it.

By Lancashire Belle, Feb 18 2015 09:13PM

Tonight I was at the Bury Fusiliers Museum for an event in aid of SSAFA, a worthy charity who support our Forces and their families. The event had actually been planned by a group of university students who’d had to organise it as part of their course.

So I was very flattered indeed that they came to me to do the entertainment for their evening, and also very impressed with how they managed the event. It was so refreshing to be given clear instructions and although there were five of them, they had clear roles within the team. I guess this is what happens when it is a course and you actually learn how to do it, rather than just hoping everything falls into place on the day.

Young Louis, who was compere for the evening, did particularly well, as did all of them! The whole evening raised over £2,000 for the charity, so I was really pleased for them. I’m sure they’ve all passed with triple A stars, or whatever they get nowadays!

By Lancashire Belle, Feb 18 2015 09:10PM

A trip over to Brighouse today – just to see what it’s like – well, you have to stay on top of what’s going on. So purely a fact-finding mission. This is one of the weekends which seems to have passed me by. Last year I was on holiday at the time of the event . I remember, though, last July, meeting a lady at the Manchester Airport, Vintage weekend who told me her daughter was on the committee and she asked me if I’d be interested. However, no call came.

It’s a good place for an event, and I can understand how it works with the streets closed off. I wish them the best of luck with it, as they seem to have an entertainment team in who manage it all themselves. But it gives Dave and I food for thought that maybe we should find our own village and get a team together for an event.

By Lancashire Belle, Feb 18 2015 09:06PM

More details about the Grassington 1940s weekend have been coming through – I really need to book a hotel this time in advance, as I left it to the last minute last year and ended up going home.

I’m slowly but surely getting the hang of Facebook. Why is it that this is something everyone else does, and yet it seems to have passed me by?! Kind of getting into it now, though I don’t want to become one of these people who are checking their phone/ipad every few minutes. It’s great to see new 1940s events coming on to the scene, a few enquiries from these so we’ll see what happens. It can be slightly worrying that as more and more singers are getting on to the 1940s scence, this makes it harder to get the jobs – especially when one is of (ahem) a certain age! I know there are younger and (dare I say it?) more glamorous looking singers out there… arrrggghhh!

By Lancashire Belle, Feb 18 2015 09:02PM

Last night I was at Danieli’s restaurant in Walkden, to sing some background jazz style singing. It was nice to have been requested this evening by a group celebrating a birthday. They were really lovely as well . Nice of one couple, Amanda and Andy, to come over and compliment me on my set. T hey said they liked every song. It was especially nice to overhear them ask the manager when I would next be on there.

Welcome to the world of Lancashire Belle!

Otherwise known as 'The Not So Secret Diary of Miss Jane Francis, Aged...' well, a girl has to have some secrets, don't you know! With so many fun times as a professional 1940s entertainer and having met so many great people along the way, I thought it was about time I recorded the world of Lancashire Belle in diary form.

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