Monthly Archives: February 2015

Ellesmere Port sea shanty festival

The fifth national Sea Shanty Festival returns to the National Waterways Museum in Ellesmere Port over the Easter weekend (3-5 April 2015).

Ellesmere Port Sea Shanty FestivalA major sea shanty festival returns to the National Waterways Museum in Ellesmere Port and is expecting to see over 3, 000 visitors come along to three full days of maritime singing. The annual festival is dedicated to keeping the tradition of sea shanties alive, in its spiritual home, Merseyside.

According to Julia Batters of Shanty UK, the Festival has gone from strength to strength over the past five years and is now an important event on the Sea Shanty Calendar. Julia said: “Our Easter Sea Shanty Festival is our way of marking the rich tradition of sea shanties. The festival provides a welcome day out, with plenty for the whole family.

Canal boats at Ellesmere Port - Sea Shanty Festival

Canal boats at Ellesmere Port – Sea Shanty Festival

“The museum is a great backdrop to the festival and during the weekend visitors will be able to hear traditional and modern maritime songs being sung around the museum and on some of the boats.”

Coinciding with the Annual Boat Gathering at the museum, the Shanty UK festival brings together nearly 100 performers in seven different venues within the museum for three exciting days of singing, concerts, boat trips, museum tours, nautical poetry, face painting and much more.

The highlight of the Festival will be two evening concerts taking place within the museum on Friday and Saturday nights, which feature a number of acts from across the UK and Europe.

Hissy Fit at Ellesmere Port Sea Shanty Festival

Hissy Fit in concert at Ellesmere Port Sea Shanty Festival 2014

Entrance to the National Waterways Museum for the Sea Shanty Festival and Annual Boat Gathering costs £6.50 for all three days (10am – 5pm). Tickets for the evening concerts are £11 each night and can be reserved online at

Ten years of growth for London credit union

London Capital Credit Union logoLondon Capital Credit Union has welcomed the latest figures from the Bank of England which show that credit unions have grown dramatically over the last decade. 

While the most recent figures from 362 credit unions show credit union membership and lending have more than doubled over the past ten years, figures at London Capital show a thirty-fold increase in members, from 321 to 10,062.

Over the last ten years, London Capital Credit Union has also seen a 1400% increase in members’ savings from £436,000 to over £6 million.

The latest Bank of England figures are great news for British credit unions,” says Martin Groombridge, Chief Executive of London Capital Credit Union. “Since the first credit union was set up in Britain over 50 years ago, the sector has continued to thrive and it is good to see that growth has gathered pace in the last ten years.

“As our figures show, London Capital is one of the credit unions leading the charge and we are so proud to be delivering affordable financial services to thousands of Londoners.”

London Capital Credit Union is dedicated to promoting saving and helping people deal with debt. It provides secure savings and low cost loans for anyone living, working or studying in Barnet, Camden, City of London, Hackney, Haringey or Islington.

Across England, Scotland and Wales there are now over 1,173,200 people with credit union accounts.

As a co-operative, London Capital Credit Union is owned and controlled by its members – not outside shareholders. Members of the credit union can find out more about how their organisation has performed over the past year by attending the AGM which takes place on Tuesday 3rd March 2015, starting at 6.30pm in the Peel Centre, Great Percy Street, WC1X 9EY.

Find out more at

Tattoo removal challenge for Bolton bride-to-be

Jane and her fiancé

Jane and her fiancé

A teacher from Farnworth is in a race against time to get rid of her unwanted tattoos before she gets married next year and, with help from a laser clinic in Bolton, is well on her way to a tattoo-free wedding day.

Jane is planning to get married in August 2016 and wants her tattoos to have gone by then, so she decided to contact Laserase Bolton, which is located in the grounds of the Royal Bolton Hospital.

“I’d been thinking of having my tattoos removed for some time now,” says Jane. “Finally, after setting my wedding date, I realised it was now or never! So I gave Laserase Bolton a ring. There and then I booked an appointment for the following day.”

Jane first decided to have tattoos when she was at university. “I can honestly say it was an impulse decision! I had always liked butterflies and one day, sat in a lecture at university, I thought ‘I want a tattoo’.

Jane's tattoos before treatment

Jane’s tattoos before treatment

“I knew I wanted it somewhere that people could see, but that I could still hide if I needed to. I was a trainee teacher at the time and some schools disapproved of staff showing tattoos. A few of my friends had them and they gave me advice on where to have it done. Within a week I had the first five tattoos on the top of my neck and then had more added at a later stage.”

However when her boyfriend proposed to her last February, Jane decided the tattoos had to go. She didn’t want to be walking down the aisle on her wedding day with lots of ink on show.

At her first tattoo removal appointment, Jane says the nurse at Laserase Bolton was very understanding and it was clear that she knew what she was talking about. “She eased my nerves by explaining how things would work, how long it would take and the aftercare. More importantly, we discussed pricing.”

Jane's butterfly tattoo is fading

Jane’s butterfly tattoo is fading

Jane had her first treatment in July 2014 and has been having regular treatments at six weekly intervals ever since. By September 2014, the results were beginning to show – as Jane said at the time: “Feeling rather excited by the results! It’s quite clear that the tattoos are on their way out bit by bit!” However, she realises that it is going to take some time for the tattoos to disappear completely.

Jane explains that the tattoo removal process is quite uncomfortable, but with the help of ice and numbing cream it isn’t too bad. “Thankfully the nurse used ice to numb my butterflies. Half way through the session, when it became too uncomfortable, she offered me some numbing cream for the areas that were left to do. The cream was really helpful. It took the edge off the pain and really helped me to finish the treatment.”

Jane recently found out that her mum is getting married again soon and she wants Jane to be her bridesmaid. “Very exciting,” says Jane, ”but a little more pressure time wise as she hates my tattoos and really does not want them visible on the day. A good job I started this process when I did!”

As well as tattoo removal, Laserase Bolton offers a range of other treatments. This includes skin rejuvenation treatments, thread vein and unwanted hair removal, acne and birth mark treatments. For more information call Laserase Bolton on 01204 570900 or visit their website