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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 99

Date:- 17 May 2003

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99 Heyworth Street

THE Liverpool Empire Theatre is delighted to announce the return of the real life Liverpool musical, 99 Heyworth Street, for their 10th Anniversary celebration. 10 years ago this was a brand new musical about a real street and a family in post war Liverpool. 

The musical, which has since become a novel, is based on the family memories of the ancestors of John and Tony Bryan and their sister Maureen. 99 Heyworth Street is the story of Sheila and Lizzy O’Reilly growing up in post-war Liverpool and their struggle to overcome, their difficult circumstances. The romantic tragedy of Sheila’s courtship and demise captured the imagination of the public and after 200 performances the show returns to the Liverpool, in the city where it was first conceived. 

99 Heyworth Street is a unique British musical as it celebrates all those fascinating tales that have been told by the many wonderful characters that line the streets of Liverpool. It is a story that looks back to a time of love, tragedy and laughter, that only a good old-fashioned family upbringing can provide.

Produced, written and directed by John and Tony Bryan, 99 Heyworth Street features some of the show’s original stars including Maureen Bryan and Paula Bell. Maureen appeared as Sheila in the original production, but has also appeared in many local productions, films and advertisements. Paula, a former pupil of Merseyside Dance and Drama Centre and has appeared in Brookside and the SC4 sitcom Mebion Glandwr.

99 Heyworth Street is at the Liverpool Empire for one week only from Tuesday 24 – Saturday 28 June.

To book tickets call into the Box Office or call Ticketmaster on 0870 606 3536
For group bookings call 0870 606 3536 

Report with thanks to Julia Brough

THE recently restored Victorian landmark pier in Southport will is to open daily this weekend April 12 to rival one of the greatest and oldest piers in the country, for tourists and locals to enjoy once again.

Visitors to the town will be able to take leisurely strolls from 11am every day along the 3,600 ft pier – the oldest in the country and the second longest after Southend.

This year traditional seaside ‘penny-in-the-slot’ amusement machines will feature in the Pier Pavilion and new plasma screens will run information on Southport and its many events and attractions and videos will portray the resort’s history. 

New ornate lighting is presently being installed to create a tunnel of light along the pier, which has been designed to reflect the Victorian heritage of the original structure, which opened in August 1860.

Lord Fearn, Sefton’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Tourism, said:- “Following its restoration and opening last year thousands of people have enjoyed walks along the new-look pier. 

“The many new attractions and new features planned for the pier this summer season, including the Southport Pier Extravaganza, will mean thousands more people will have the opportunity to take a stroll along the Victorian structure and to take in the spectacular views from the end of the pier across Liverpool Bay to North Wales.”

The Southport Pier Extravaganza will be a two-day, action-packed festival of family fun and entertainment on Friday, July 11th and Sunday, July 13th. Attractions already planned include interactive activities, hilarious street artists and costumed characters, musical entertainment, giant games, face painters and a stunning and spectacular stunt show finale.

Since opening last May following a £7 million restoration programme nearly 350,000 visitors have strolled along Southport pier. This far outstrips the annual figure of 100,000 people using the original pier prior to its closure in 1996.


A CRACKDOWN on fraud launched by Liverpool Direct Limited working for the City Council has resulted in several prosecutions and over £300,000 in overclaimed benefits being recovered.

The Council introduced a special fraud busting team to investigate and prosecute benefit fraud last year. Although an investigation had been in operation, Liverpool was the first authority in the country to appoint a dedicated prosecutor as part of its new-look team 

In its first year of operation the 17-strong Counter Fraud Team working in conjunction with the authority’s Audit section, prosecuted 28 alleged benefit cheats. In these cases 21 either pleaded guilty or were found guilty; one person was found not guilty and in the other cases alternative sanctions of a caution or administrative penalties were imposed.

In one case, in which there was a joint prosecution with the Department for Works and Pensions, a prison sentence of 12 months was imposed. Community based penalties were ordered in other cases.

A total of more than £300,000 in overpaid housing or council tax benefit has so far been recovered. A further 14 cases are due before the courts in the next few months.

Councillor Chris Curry, Executive Member for Resources, said; “This new team has been a resounding success."

“They have enabled us investigate more thoroughly allegations of fraud and ensure that those people who cheat on the system will be prosecuted. We will not tolerate this dishonesty. It is not fair on honest council taxpayers who abide by the system and it is depriving the Council of much needed money, which could be used to provide better services.”

“The message to those people who are tempted to overclaim benefits is that you will not only have to repay the money you obtain dishonestly but you will also have to pay legal costs. In addition, you can look forward to an appearance in court, a criminal record and, potentially, a prison sentence. Our fraud-busting team is continuing its work and we will not let up in our efforts to ensure that cheats are stopped.”

Report with thanks to T Farrell (Liverpool C.C.)


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