SCHOOL PUPILS TO DAZZLE CROWDS IN RECORD-BREAKING SHAKESPEARE TREAT
PUPILS from a
staggering 119 schools, from William Howard School in Brampton to
King's Grove High School in Crewe, will take part in the Shakespeare
Schools Festival, the biggest-ever youth drama festival in the UK
(29 January to 10 February 2007). They will be among the 25,000 young
people around the country who have signed up to join this epic
celebration of the Bard.
Veiled belly dancers and leather-clad bikers are just some of the
theatrical treats in store for audiences across the North West, in
performances of some of the greatest stories ever told. Students
(aged 11 to 16) will reclaim the playwright’s classics in their own
distinctive style, choosing from 15 specially adapted half-hour
plays, including abridgements from Sir Tom Stoppard (The Merchant of
Venice) and Sir Arnold Wesker, Henry V and Much Ado About Nothing,
this year’s most popular play in the North West.
Blacon High School in Chester is getting revved up for its
performance of Richard III (6 February 2007, Y Stiwt Theatre, Wrexham),
inspired by biker culture. The pupils will be donning their
motorcycle leathers and crash helmets for this unforgettable tale of
political intrigue and personal vendettas.
Other rich pickings include Kirkby Stephen Grammar School and Sports
College, who are planning a magical evening’s entertainment with a
devised physical performance of The Tempest at the Brewery Arts
Centre in Kendal (6 February 2007). They have decided to cast Ariel, the
island spirit, as a femme fatale, with super-human powers of
organisation. Their performance will incorporate belly dancing to
symbolise the developing love between Ferdinand and Miranda.
On the closing night
of the Festival (10 February 2007), pupils from Pensby High School for Boys
will stage Macbeth at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts.
The cast from this specialist sports school will be directed by
sixth-formers, who have introduced the art of combat fighting to
explore the physical aspects of the drama.
Last year the Shakespeare Schools Festival scooped a Guinness World
Record for ‘the most people performing Shakespeare on a single
day’ during their 1 Night of Shakespeare event in association
with the BBC. With tickets priced from £5.50, the Shakespeare
Schools Festival is a fantastic value-for-money way to introduce
children to theatre and one of the world’s most famous playwrights.
4 schools perform their half-hour plays at the same theatre each
night, together with full technical support. The teacher/directors
from each school attended a day-long workshop with the MAP
Consortium in October 2007. The school casts have a half-day workshop in
their performance theatre with one of the four National Youth
Theatres. The Festival is open to every secondary school and youth
theatre in the UK and runs from 29 January 2007 to 10 February 2007 in 107
theatres, on a biennial basis.
PLEASE HELP FIND OUR DOG!
Border Collie lost on Saturday 30 December 2006. Between Neston, S
Wirral and J26 of the M6 (via M56). Blue/Grey/Black colour with two
blue eyes and she’s wearing a black leather collar with blue studs,
her name is “Hustle” and we desperately need to find
her as she needs heart medication, please call us if you see her
07957 358057 or 07708 769748 or 07831 267730.
Behind the scenes in the laundry at Ormskirk Hospital
million items of bed linen and uniforms are cleaned every year in
the laundry at Ormskirk & District General Hospital, and it takes
10¼ tonnes of detergent to clean them. Such is the work of one of
the unsung departments that keeps both Ormskirk and Southport
hospitals running 365 days a year.
On average, each week, the 18 laundry assistants and two team
leaders wash, dry and fold 13,885 bed sheets; 2,385 blankets; 7,450
pillow cases and 4,280 towels, together with a further 17,000
assorted items of nurses uniforms, theatre scrubs, catering and
domestic uniforms, nightwear and patient's clothes.
As well as the 10¼ tonnes of detergent, the laundry used 1.7 tonnes
of fabric softener, 1.2 tonnes of de-greaser and 4 tonnes of bleach.
The laundry also provides services to Ashworth Hospital,
Wrightington Hospital, Fairfield Hospital and a number of nursing
Karen Pope, one of the two team leaders explained some of the work
that is done:- "The linen and uniforms from the hospital are
brought to the laundry several times a day, and unless they are what
we call foul linen and in special dissolvable bags, they have to be
hand sorted. The items are then put through one of the nine
industrial washing machines that are automatically fed with a
mixture of detergent, de-greaser and bleach, and then fabric
Once they have been washed, the items are dried in different ways,
depending on what they are. The sheets and pillow cases are put
through 10 foot-wide ironing machines that dry and iron them
automatically. Uniforms and nightwear are hand sorted first then
they go through another machine that dries and then steams them to
remove the creases. Blankets and some other items have to go into
large industrial tumble dryers and they are then folded by hand, as
are the operation gowns and towels etc. Fortunately the bed sheets
are folded by the machine although they do have to be fed into the
It is hard work, and it can be hot work as well, and the temperature
can get quite high in summer, but we have a great team here, and all
the staff work together extremely well and very hard."
The Trust also has two sewing rooms, one alongside the laundry at
Ormskirk and the other at Southport.
Together they employ eight staff (mainly part-time) who have
responsibility for a number of tasks. They issue uniforms to staff,
labelling them and making any alterations as necessary, they have to
make sure the wards have all the linen they need, and they make and
repair items where they can. For example, if a sheet or blanket
becomes torn and can no longer be used on a bed, they will use the
good fabric to make pillow cases or sheets or blankets for cots.
Western Australia to defend the title
Australia is set to defend the title of Clipper Round the World
Yacht Race champions later this year when a Clipper 68 yacht
representing the state sets sail from Liverpool in the Clipper 07-08
Round the World Yacht Race.
After sailing to victory in Liverpool in July 2006, a team
representing Western Australia will attempt to repeat the impressive
win in Clipper 05-06. A crew of 18 sailors led by a professional
skipper will race against nine other international cities in the
sixth round the world yacht race for non-professional sailors
operated by Clipper Ventures.
Western Australia joins Singapore, Durban, Qingdao, Glasgow,
Liverpool and Hull & Humber as confirmed yacht sponsors for Clipper
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Clipper Ventures Chairman and renowned solo
round the world yachtsman welcomed the entry of Western Australia to
defend their title as Clipper champions.
Speaking from Fremantle, where he arrived on December 28 after
completing the first leg of the VELUX 5 OCEANS solo round the world
yacht race, he said:- “I am delighted that Western Australia
will be back in Clipper 07-08 – it will be great to see them
defending their title against competitors new and old."
Sir Robin, who is preparing his Open 60 SAGA INSURANCE for the next
leg of the VELUX 5 OCEANS to Norfolk in Virginia added:- "The
crews are assured of a fantastic welcome when they arrive here
before Christmas later this year. It’s a wonderful place with a rich
yacht racing that the crews will enjoy immensely."
The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is now the only crewed yacht
race that takes in the Southern Ocean. Leg 3 from Durban in South
Africa to Fremantle in Western Australia is one of the most highly
subscribed stages of the 35,000-mile round the world race.
Commenting on the Western Australian entry, Clipper Race Director
Tim Hedges said:- "We’re looking forward to the bringing the
Clipper Fleet back to Western Australia in 2007 after the warm
welcome we received from the Fremantle Sailing Club and its team of
enthusiastic volunteers in 2005."
The Clipper 07-08 Round the World Yacht Race will start from
Liverpool on September 16 2007 and visit a range of international
ports including Durban, Singapore, Qingdao and Fremantle before
returning to Liverpool in July 2008.
The search is now on for Australian crew to take part in Clipper
07-08. For more information email Clipper Crew Recruitment Manager,
David Cusworth on
email or call +44 2392
Applications to skipper the Western Australian entry are also
welcomed from suitably qualified candidates. Contact Clipper Race
Director, Tim Hedges via email to