This was Jane's fourth visit to The Senators - and once again it proved a fabulous evening. To mark this latest visit, Marston's brewed a special beer and named it 'Lancashire Belle' in her honour. This too proved extremely popular - and during the evening Jane even went behind the bar and pulled her first-ever pint!
Jane treated a packed venue to an eclectic mix of songs from the 1940s and earlier - dance numbers alternatiing with singalongs, and of course her by now hugely anticipated flag-waving finale. There was much laughter earlier when Jane persuaded a couple of lads to join her on stage and become the other two-thirds of the Andrew Sisters, complete with Hawaiian dancing!
With owners Dave and Andrea handing out the ration books and then dishing up bowls of delicious stew during the interval, no-one went hungry. A raffle was held in aid of the British Legion, Jane pulling out the winning tickets. There were some fabulous prizes won.
The applause after Jane's last song was testament to another great 1940s evening at The Senators - and the spontaneous cry of "Three cheers for Lancashire Belle" was an unexpected but very nice show of appreciation for yet another great, great show by Jane. Made possible, of course, by the efforts and welcome of Dave and Andrea, the staff and other willing helpers at The Senators.
As part of a special 1940s week at The Strand, on Blackpool's famous promenade, Jane was invited to provide the entertainment midweek. Little did she know a storm was already brewing!
Nothing to do with Jane - or anyone else for that matter. No, this was a storm straight in off the Atlantic, the intensity of which few had witnessed before. If it wasn't officially a hurricane blowing and causing all manner of damage to the town, then it was very close to it.
Undeterred, Jane and the guests battened down the hatches - and, in the spirit of the Blitz, enjoyed a rousing evening's entertainment.
You might even say Jane went down a storm!
Always one of the biggest and best 1940s events in the calendar, Jane was delighted to be back at Haworth again this year. With new rules and regulations designed to prevent dangerous overcrowding at the top of the main street, Jane instead set up in the car park of the Black Bull, still a busy and vibrant part of the village, if not quite as romantic as the balcony overlooking the big square.
All the same, there were good crowds and with the times of her three daily performances posted at the bottom of the drive, along with the various stalls and a BBQ also attracting visitors into the spacious car park, it proved a lively area. From the many fabulous comments received, clearly Jane was a popular attraction, with many people returning for later shows - and many filming or photographing her. All in all, a highly successful return to Haworth for Jane.
Jane was originally booked to provide an evening of 1940s entertainment at this lively Lancashire pub, open to all but primarily to help celebrate a 30th birthday party. It's great that a venue more accustomed to indie bands and rock 'n' rollers should play host to an evening of 1940s music. Not that it couldn't be just as lively, of course!
But as the date got closer, circumstances meant Jane would be unable to carry out the engagement. In all the years of performing, this is the first time this had ever happened. It was easy enough to rearrange one or two other private bookings for that same week, but this wasn't an option here. Rather than let down the customer, we instead rang around various contacts - and Cherie Lawrence agreed to step in for us. A double-check with The Greyhound determined that they were perfectly happy with this, and so problem resolved. Cherie said that it had indeed been a lively night, but one that had gone very well - so we offer our grateful thanks to her for stepping in at short notice. A professional job all-round!
Having performed (and clearly impressed!) on Ramsbottom Station a year ago, Jane was invited to perform at Heywood and Bury Stations respectively on the Saturday and Sunday of this three-day event, with the honour of guesting at the Proms Concert at St Paul's Church in Ramsbottom on the Bank Holiday Monday.
Although the horrible weather for the first two days put a dampener on things, with crowds well below previous years, it didn't stop visitors from enjoying Jane's performance, firstly on the platform at Heywood Station and the next day similarly on the platform at Bury. Read lots more in Jane's Blog, under the relevant dates. Helped in no small part by the superb cast of 'Allo, 'Allo, Jane entertained visitors to Bury, waving trains off with a chorus of Wish Me Luck. The cast were clearly impressed with Jane, saying that she was out on her own as the best 1940s singer they had ever heard - which was lovely of them. Happily, they aren't alone in saying that. Many others think so too.
Undoubtedly the highlight of a hugely enjoyable event for Jane came on a far sunnier Bank Holiday Monday, with her starring role at the Proms Concert. Again, you can read more in Jane's Blog. It climaxed a great weekend, which from both the public and organiser's perspective only served to cement Jane's growing reputation as a class act. The invitation to return in 2015 has already been extended to her. Wonderful!
The picturesque village of Rothbury in Northumberland was the backdrop to a Vintage Day held to raise funds to help equip the entire Coquetdale Valley with heart defibrillators. Not only was the target of £10,000 raised, it was exceeded - with monies still rolling in. Jane gave her services free of charge, and entertained the crowds across the whole day with a selection of songs from the 1940s, 50s & 60s. All in all, a hugely successful and fun day. See more on Jane's Blog.
What originally was planned to be Jane entertaining members of 613 Squadron at their annual reunion, held as part of the Festival, turned into two days performing for visitors in general. And what an honour it was for Jane to be asked to sing as part of the opening ceremony, in the presence of the Lady Mayoress of Manchester. And as stages go, it would be hard to beat this one... on Concorde. See more on Jane's Blog.
A fabulous festival, with hundreds of vintage cards, fly-pasts, vintage planes, exhibitors and attractions, all set against the backdrop of the commercial activity of Manchester Airport itself. And at the end of two days... an invitation to Jane to return in 2015, one happily accepted.
Not really knowing what to expect from this event, we set off not from Kettering - as had been planned - but a not so sunny Lancashire instead. The reason for the change of plans was due to a mix-up over dates for Jane to perform at The Blitz Tea-Rooms in the Northamptonshire town. With the agreed date now cancelled, it offered the opportunity instead on the Saturday (the Saturday we'd had to inform the organisers here at Woodhall Spa that we couldn't do!) to fulfil a private engagement which had been booked only days earlier. And then, as if it were fated all along, that too was cancelled at an even later hour. Given all the now wasted preparation that had gone into both bookings, it has obliged us from here on to only confirm a booking on exchange of binding contracts, with penalties for cancellation so we are not left out of pocket as in both these instances.
So what could have been two days at Woodhall Spa was only one - and once again that was our loss. What a fantastic event here at Woodhall - and how annoying to have missed out on the first day. Great organisation, a friendly welcome and varied performances from Jane that she enjoyed as much as the audiences clearly did. BBC Radio Lincolnshire whisked her away for a lengthy live interview, while the sun came, the visitors arrived in numbers and the whole event had a Festival feel to it. A great day out. If we're ever invited back, we'll definitely set aside the whole weekend next time.
Back to Stockton once again - and another fabulous night at The Senators. A bit of change from the norm, as this evening we had the first public airing of Let's All Go Down The Strand, our show commemorating the centenary of World War One. The show features only music and songs composed and written prior to 1918, so a challenge in so many ways. But we were very happy with the end result - and even more so with the reception. Cries of 'MORE!' at the end are always encouraging to hear, and although there were areas that we can improve upon, overall we are very happy at having a themed WW1 show we can roll out anywhere, any time.
As always, Dave and Andrea had done everyone proud, with a huge amount of effort going in to decorating the pub - and a great crowd in attendance. It really is a good night out here every single time. And we're back in November, only this time for a 1940s night to mark Remembrance Day.