GIN lovers rejoice! The Gin To My Tonic Show is returning to the Exhibition Centre, Liverpool in September. If you want to be inspired as well as entertained and feel like you’ve had the ultimate-gin centric experience then this show is for you.

The Gin To My Tonic Show will once again play host to over 50 premium gin and tonic brands from across the UK and beyond, providing a unique opportunity for gin lovers to meet-the makers and discover even more about everybody’s favourite juniper-based tipple.

Co-Founder Paul Hudson-Jones said: “Gin drinking habits have changed dramatically in the last five years and today’s gin drinkers demand to know more not only about what they are purchasing, but also how it can be served. The show will take you on a journey of gin discovery”

Following the success of the show last year,  those in attendance will be able to discover the wonderful world of gin, taste a spectrum of flavours through unlimited tastings, learn about the unique aspects of the gin by attending gin and tonic workshops, and master the perfect serve with cocktail making masterclasses.

Co-Founder Emira Shepherd said “Liverpool is a wonderful city with a thriving gin scene, we are thrilled to be bringing the show back in 2019. As before this will be an event to remember and will showcase the wonderful world of gin in a fun, different and engaging way”

The show will be filled with premium brands, industry experts and hundreds of products bursting with inspiration. And whilst gin is the primary focus, brands will also be showcasing their other creations including vodkas and rums.

Gin Enthusiasts Package SUPER EARLY BIRD £10 (reduced from £20)
Show Guide
Unlimited Tastings
Access to Classes and Workshops
Shop & Drop Facility
Tote Bag

Gin Connoisseurs Package SUPER EARLY BIRD £25 (reduced from £35).
Limited availability
Fast Track Entry
Show Guide
Unlimited Tastings
Exclusive Access to the ‘Connoisseurs Lounge’ complete with Signature G&T
Access to Classes and Workshops
Shop & Drop Facility
Private Cloakroom
Tote Bag
The Gin To My TonicBranded Copa Glass & Coaster Set

Friday 6th September 6.30pm – 10.30pm
Saturday 7th September 12.30 – 4.30pm
Saturday 7th September 6.30pm – 10.30pm
Sunday 8th September 12.30pm – 16.30pm

To book tickets visit: 

Lyn Paul to reprise her role as the ‘definitive Mrs Johnstone’ for the final time.

CONSIDERED ‘One of the best musicals ever written’ (Sunday Times), Blood Brothers, written by award-winning playwright Willy Russell has triumphed across the Globe. Scooping up no fewer than four awards for Best Musical in London and seven Tony Award nominations on Broadway, Blood Brothers is simply ‘Unmissable and unbeatable’ (The Spectator).

This epic tale of Liverpool life started as a play, performed at a Liverpool comprehensive school in 1981 before opening at the Liverpool Playhouse in 1983. It has since completed sell out seasons in the US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Japan and ran in London’s West End for 24 years, exceeding 10,000 performances. One of only three musicals ever to achieve that milestone.

Blood Brothers tells the moving story of twin boys separated at birth, only to be reunited by a twist of fate and a mother’s haunting secret. The memorable score includes A Bright New Day, Marilyn Monroe and the emotionally charged hit Tell Me It’s Not True.

When Mrs Johnstone, a young mother, is deserted by her husband and left to her own devices to provide for seven hungry children she takes a job as a housekeeper in order to make ends meet.

It is not long before her brittle world crashes around her when she discovers herself to be pregnant yet again – this time with twins! In a moment of weakness and desperation, she enters a secret pact with her employer which leads inexorably to the show’s shattering climax. A sensational cast, brilliant book, show stopping music, remarkable staging and five-star performances make Blood Brothers an enthralling night of entertainment.

Lyn Paul returns to the iconic role for the final time. Having first played her in 1997 and on numerous tours, Lyn played Mrs Johnstone in the final West End performances at the Phoenix Theatre in 2012.

She said: “I am beyond thrilled to be returning to Blood Brothers. I’m honoured to have been given the opportunity to undertake this “Farewell Tour” by my good friend, Bill Kenwright. It’s such a privilege to be able to play Mrs Johnstone one final time”.

Ticket details

Liverpool Empire Theatre

Tuesday 3rd – Saturday 14th September

Evenings 7.30pm, Wed & Sat matinees 2.30pm

Sun 8th and Thur 12th matinees 2.30pm

Tickets from £13

ATG Ticketline: 0844 871 3017 *

*fees may apply




Vicky and Richard Edgar in the rooftop garden at Aintree's Critical Care Unit

A GRANDMOTHER of four from Aintree has raised almost £2,000 for the hospital which saved her life.

Vicky Edgar, 73, was involved in a road accident last April on Northway in Maghull, which left her with a spinal fracture, a broken foot, ribs and ankle, a hole in her diaphragm and led to the removal of her spleen.
She was taken to Aintree University Hospital’s Major Trauma Centre for emergency treatment and spent eight weeks there.

The former Clerical Officer, who coincidentally worked in Aintree’s radiology department from 1988 to 1999, was in the hospital’s Critical Care Unit for six weeks of her stay, which is for patients who require the highest level of monitoring and intensive treatment.
Her injuries were so severe that on two occasions she was thought to be close to dying, with her husband, Richard, being called to the hospital.
The Critical Care Unit has a balcony garden for patients receiving physical rehabilitation and for people visiting friends and relatives who need some time to themselves.

As a sign of her gratitude, Vicky, who is now fully recovered and back home, decided to fundraise for the unit and to give its garden a revamp.
She said: “The staff and the services at Aintree were brilliant, not only for me but also for my husband, daughter and son. This was undoubtedly the most difficult period of my life and Aintree’s Critical Care Unit helped me overcome the obstacles and offered invaluable support to my family. I’m so grateful to the hospital for saving my life.”

Richard, who used the garden frequently, said: “It was extremely hard for me to see Vicky like she was, broken and bruised. Having such an accessible and peaceful garden near to her bedside helped me cope with what was a very overwhelming experience.
“Once Vicky was able to return home, we knew immediately that we wanted to give something back to these incredible people at Aintree who work tirelessly to keep people’s lives intact.”

The couple organised a charity night at Holy Rosary Function Room and with full support from its manager Sharon Edwards, sold more than 200 tickets.

Vicky and Richard’s donation of £1,745 has funded a water feature, new benches, plants, pots, lights and other accessories. They recently visited the hospital to unveil the new-look garden.

Diane Taylor, Critical Care Matron at Aintree, said: “I cannot thank Vicky and Richard enough for this lovely gesture – the garden looks a hundred times better. Their fundraising will help so many of our future patients and their relatives in their healing process.”

LOCAL charity Autism Together has opened a colourful exhibition of artworks made by the people they support.

Located within Liverpool’s Metropolitan Cathedral and titled ‘Texture & Colour’, it is a showcase of collage and multi-textured art, which runs throughout August.

Creative Arts Activity Manager for Autism Together, Rachael Kirkham said: “Our exhibition is a celebration of the superb art created by the people we support, specifically relating to collage, textures and colours.

“The sensory nature of the work definitely appeals to our artists and they seem to really enjoy creating these pieces.

“We’re thrilled we can share it with the public in such a beautiful space.”

On display at the famous cathedral, fondly known as ‘Paddy’s Wigwam’, on Mount Pleasant in Liverpool city centre, the exhibition is now open and runs until Saturday, August 31st.

Admission is free and visitors can see the exhibition, which will be located in the West Apse, anytime during cathedral opening hours, 8am-6pm.

For more information about getting to the exhibition, please visit the cathedral’s website:

Southport Flower Show day 4.... Images by Gareth Jones

Everything you need to know – something for all the family on offer at world-famous event.

SOUTHPORT Flower Show marks its 90th anniversary this weekend (August 15 – 18) with one of the biggest garden parties of the summer.

Thousands of visitors will head to Victoria Park in Southport for a packed programme including show gardens, family entertainment and top celebrity gardeners. Strictly Come Dancing judge Bruno Tonioli officially opens the four-day show on Thursday, August 15th.

This year’s theme is the Garden Party with designers, exhibitors and visitors all invited to get into the party spirit to help Southport celebrate its landmark year.

Famous Faces
Special guest Bruno Tonioli launches the 2019 Southport Flower Show and is to meet exhibitors in the Grand Floral Marquee.
Some of the UK’s leading gardening experts will be passing on their growing advice and answering questions from visitors at Southport.
Broadcasters and gardening experts Christine Walkden and Matthew Wilson are returning to the show and are joined by gardening authors Adam Frost and Nigel Colborn , both well known for their work on TV, radio and in newspapers.
Michael Perry , also known as Mr Plant Geek, will talk about some of nature’s quirkier plants.
Visitors can journey into the past on Southport’s time travel bus, going back 90 years on a tour hosted by Coronation Street and Mr Selfridge actor Leon Ockenden .
Leading the line-up in the celebrity kitchen is Dave Myers , known to millions as one half of the Hairy Bikers. Dave will be sharing his tips for quality outdoor cooking.
For younger visitors, the family entertainment includes a new stage show by children’s TV star Justin Fletcher , famous for shows including Justin’s House and Something Special on CBeebies.

Kids go free
Children age under 16 are admitted free of charge with a paying adult and there is a programme of entertainment dedicated to younger visitors. As well as Justin Fletcher, there is the Minecraft-themed MineVention where young gamers can learn new tricks and show off their skills.
Players can take part in Build Battle competitions and tournaments as well as meeting top YouTubers.

And you can bring your dog
Visitors are allowed to bring along their pet dogs to the Southport Flower Show after a successful trial last year.
Bins are located throughout the showground plus water bowl stations for our thirsty four-legged visitors.

Show gardens
The key to Southport’s success down the decades have been the fabulous show gardens and the Grand Floral Marquee.
The show gardens are consistently among the most popular features of the show and this year designers will be inspired by the Garden Party theme.
More than 375 people will enter the amateur growers’ competitions hoping to win one of the coveted prizes on offer.

How to get to the show and where to park
The show runs from Thursday 15th until Sunday 18th August and the address is Victoria Park, Southport, PR8 1RX.
Parking is clearly signposted upon arrival into Southport and is available for an all-day rate of £7 in two main public parking areas.
Princes Park is close to the show and Birkdale Common is located a short distance from the show and has a regular Park and Ride Service. The drop off/pick up point is close to
Duke Street Gate. All parking areas are clearly signposted in and around Southport.

Tickets and opening times – and when the big sell off starts on Sunday
Advance tickets can be purchased online for £20 each until midnight Wednesday 14th August. Gate price is £26. Children are free with a paying adult. Late entry ticket available for £15 after 3pm.

Opening times are 10am until 6pm on Thursday 15th August until Sunday 18th August, apart from Sunday when the show closes at 5pm.

The ‘Sell Off’ bell is sounded at 4pm on Sunday – which is when all the plants from the show gardens are sold at large discounts

For more information, visit

NOMINATIONS for the first Culture and Creativity Awards in the Liverpool City Region have been opened by Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram to stimulate, recognise and celebrate excellence and innovation in art, culture and creativity.

The awards are part of the Metro Mayor’s 1% for Culture initiative, and will honour the value and contribution that the cultural and creative sector brings to the Liverpool City Region, making it one of the most vibrant and exciting places to live, work, study, visit or do business in. 

The 1% for Culture initiative means that Liverpool City Region currently uses the equivalent of 1% of its £30 million annual devolution funding on utilising many of the region’s existing assets and talent to stimulate cultural and creative opportunities.

The red carpet ceremony will take place on 28th November 2019 at the Lady Lever Art Gallery hosted by the 2019 Liverpool City Region ‘Borough of Culture’, Wirral.

Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region Steve Rotheram said: “Culture and the creative arts are an incredibly important part of our identity. Whether it’s our museums, art galleries, theatres or our music, they all provide huge benefits, from bringing people together to enjoy once-in-a-lifetime events, getting involved in creative activities, and encouraging people to visit the city region for the first (and not the last) time. We are hugely proud of our cultural heritage and want to celebrate what makes all of our areas special to the people who live and work within them.”

Nominations for these awards can include an individual, organisation, group or partnership that is involved in the creation, promotion and use of art and creativity including the following art forms:

  • Performing Arts (including: Theatre, Dance, Music, Opera)
  • Visual Arts
  • Digital Art
  • Photography
  • Film and broadcast media
  • Literature (including comedy and comics)
  • Museums, Galleries and Heritage
  • Sculpture
  • Craft
  • Technology

Phil Redmond Chair of the Cultural Partnership said: “Talent thrives on encouragement and exhibition. Whether already recognised or emerging, creativity flourishes when given a platform on which to shine. The LCR Culture and Creativity awards are planned to be an annual recognition of the region’s creativity, wherever it may be found, whether on a stage or in a science lab; whether an individual or co-operative effort. It will be the platform for the region’s talent to flourish. It will become the award anyone would love to win.”

Nominees must live, study and/or work in the Liverpool City Region – Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral, or have created work/projects that significantly benefit the residents or visitors to the LCR and/or has positively contributed to the development of the economy of the LCR.

The 2019 awards will recognise arts and cultural events, innovative and creative activity that has taken place within the Liverpool City Region during the period 1st April 2018 to 31st March 2019, with the exception of the Borough of Culture’ Star of the Year’ Award which can include individual achievement that has taken place during Wirral’s Borough of Culture from 1st January 2019 up to the closing date– 20 September 2019.

Councillor Shelley Powell the Deputy Portfolio Holder for Culture, Tourism and The Visitor Economy for the Combined Authority said: “The nominations for these awards are not restricted to professionals it is also for people organising voluntary, community based social activity. They can be an individual, or part of an organisation, business, group or partnership that, has demonstrated outstanding creative achievement. One of our aims is to acknowledge how valuable culture and creativity is in creating positive results both in our communities and in the professional sector.”

In addition to an award, winners will be offered the services of a film maker to develop a three minute bespoke film tailored to the audience that the winner wishes to reach, providing an advocacy tool for future progression.

Nominations can be completed online and the closing date for entrants and nominations is Friday 20th September at 4pm. After this date the judging panel will shortlist the finalists for the People’s Choice Award – Outstanding Contribution to Culture, and the Liverpool City Region community will be able to vote for their chosen winner.

All other categories will be decided by members of the Liverpool Cultural Partnership and a judging panel who will compile a shortlist of finalists for each category from the nominations received.

For more information about the categories and how to nominate or apply to be considered please go to

ONE of Britain’s hidden gems is set to go on public display in Liverpool in August.

St George’s Hall’s exquisite Minton floor will be uncovered for one month in the Grade I listed venue – considered one of Europe’s greatest neo-classical buildings.

Opening to the public from Thursday 1 until Monday 26 August, the 30,000 beautifully hand-crafted tiles will be uncovered for the only time this year.

Tens of thousands of visitors are expected to flock to the Hall to see the immaculately preserved surface which depicts the city’s coat of arms, sea nymphs, dolphins and tritons, in what was the largest Minton floor in the world when first constructed.

This year, the floor is set to make matrimonial history in August as the first-ever marriage will take place on the tiles on Monday 19 August.

There are also extra opportunities for visitors to get close to the floor with two special tours – Walk the Floor and Night on the Tiles. Music on the Mintons will also take place on Sunday 4 August which will see city organist Professor Ian Tracey perform with Mezzo Soprano Danielle Louise Thomas.

This will be the ninth time the floor has been unveiled since the Hall reopened in 2007 to celebrate the city’s 800th birthday.

Entry costs £5 per person on the door, £2 for those 12 and under. Tickets can be purchased in advance from Ticket Quarter for £3 plus booking fee.

It will be open to visitors from 10am to 5pm most days (times may vary so please check the website before visiting).

For more information or to buy tickets, visit


AINTREE University Hospital in Liverpool is providing junior surgeons with innovative training that will enhance the care they are able to provide for cancer and major trauma patients.

A group of 45 surgeons from hospitals in Merseyside, Greater Manchester and Lancashire attended a one-day course where they heard from some of Aintree’s most experienced consultants about some of their most challenging patients.

Between them, the speakers had more than 80 years’ experience in their specialist fields and had gathered case studies for junior surgeons to discuss a diagnosis, management plan and surgical approach.

Mr Nikhil Misra, Consultant General and Trauma Surgeon at Aintree, said: “I’m not aware of anywhere else in the country that is able to provide this quantity of real life case studies and first-hand experience in one place. Between us, my colleagues and I have many years of experience, and it was great to be able to share that knowledge with consultant surgeons of the future from across the region. Our hope is that by offering this access to senior expertise it will really enhance their knowledge and skills, ultimately improving the care they are able to provide to patients.”

The training day is in its second year and there are plans to roll the course out nationally.

Mr Misra added: “We’ve had a lot of interest from other hospitals around the country who would like to send their junior surgeons to Aintree for this training. I only wish it were available when I was a junior!”

The event took place in Aintree’s state-of-the-art iMac lab, which allowed attendees to examine x-rays in detail on screen.

Dr John Curtis, Consultant Radiologist at Aintree, said: “Our juniors are viewing teaching x-rays and CT scans I have collected from patients over the last two decades in a single day. Aintree is equipping the future NHS generation with the tools they need to succeed and to be able to do this on a national scale would be a real achievement.”


By Daniel Longman JP

THE office of magistrate is an ancient position dating back to Liverpool’s days as a small fishing village. Richard I originally appointed ‘keepers of the peace’ to enforce the laws of the land but by the mid-14th century, the Justice of the Peace Act had come to fruition. This permitted every county to appoint members of the community with “power to restrain the Offenders, Rioters, and other Barators, and to pursue, arrest, take and chastise them according to their Trespass or Offence.”

Today we magistrates take a less physical role when volunteering our energies into the administration of justice, but we are still right at the heart of the process. We deal in summary justice with typical cases including such matters as motoring offences, theft, assaults and handling stolen goods; more serious offences are sent to the Crown Court.

When sitting on the bench we play a vital part in protecting our communities, however, many more are needed and right now Merseyside is seeking to appoint a whole host of new JPs to sit within its courts.

When discussing the role, it often surprises people to learn that magistrates are not required to have any legal qualifications, but must possess the ability to listen, weigh up evidence, reach logical conclusions and above all, have plenty of common sense. We do of course receive training and we are always guided in the ways of the law by national Sentencing Guidelines and a qualified legal advisor, but ultimately, the final decision is ours.

The time commitment isn’t too onerous. Magistrates are expected to offer at least 14 days a year and be aged between 18-70, but many are able to sit more when their schedule allows. By law, your employer must allow you time off work to serve as a magistrate. Many allow time off with pay, but if your payments are deducted, you may be eligible to claim an allowance in addition to travel and subsistence.

This year Merseyside is looking to recruit into the Criminal Court and for the first time ever, directly into the Family Court where magistrates have the opportunity to make life-changing decisions for families across the region. You may arrange for a child who needs to be protected to be taken into care, help separated parents make important contact arrangements, enforce maintenance orders or make court orders that seek to prevent domestic violence. No two days are ever the same and you will have the chance to make a real difference in improving the lives of young people and their families.

There is no stereotypical magistrate and we come from all sorts of backgrounds. Here in Merseyside we have teachers, NHS staff, university students, local government workers, lawyers, customer service staff, retirees, and even a deep-sea diver (plus many more). The diverse experiences of our JPs reflect real life society and the decisions made in court, but do be sure to check for potential conflicts of interest listed on the official government website.

Applications for the Criminal Court are being accepted indefinitely whilst those seeking to sit in the Family Court have until September 30 to apply.

If you feel you have what it takes and want to find out more, check out  and follow @Cheshmerseymag on Twitter or on Facebook.

MAYOR of Liverpool Joe Anderson has submitted a bid to new Prime Minister Boris Johnson for a £230 million ‘Green City Deal’ to tackle climate change and boost the economy post-Brexit.

The proposal would provide new skills and housing which would transform the city through new powers and funding, creating 10,000 new jobs, supporting 35,000 people into work and training 4,000 apprentices.

The ‘Green City Deal’ – which it is estimated would provide a £5 billion economic boost over five years – is focused on helping make the city carbon neutral, while also delivering jobs, clean air, better health, smarter travel, green spaces and warm and cheap-to-heat homes.

It would support the Government’s Clean Growth Strategy and address issues highlighted in February by the independent Committee on Climate Change, and also builds on Liverpool City Council’s declaration of a climate change emergency at a special council meeting earlier this month.

The initiative would be linked to developing a local supply chain with businesses and their workforce able to design, install and maintain the technology used in carbon neutral homes, as well as capitalise on commercial opportunities it offers.

Mayor for Liverpool, Joe Anderson said: “We need to be bold, radical and ambitious if we are to meet our target of becoming a net zero carbon city by 2030.

“There are huge opportunities for us to improve the lives of all residents across the city, whatever their age or background, with better and more energy efficient housing, use of smart technology and making sure our young people have the right skills to take advantage of the jobs in these growth sectors.

“This proposed City Deal centres on positioning Liverpool as the go-to place for clean technology investment, training and job creation through an inclusive and sustainable growth strategy.

“This is the right moment for us to be working up a serious bid to Government, as the new Prime Minister will be looking closely at how best to support the country’s economy following Brexit, which he is clear will be at the end of October.

“We know the Treasury has set aside fiscal headroom to deal with the impact of leaving the EU, and we need to be ready to take advantage of this with a clear plan for our economy.

“Through targeted and long term investments in the city’s infrastructure and skills development, we can become a global destination for inward investment focussed on the new clean growth industry.

“We are working in close partnership with trade union partners, residents, industry, government, investors, and universities on the best ideas and solutions, as well as adopting radical new approaches to address climate change.

“For too long we have not inspired our young people to aspire to become engineers and construction workers despite a desperate need for skilled workers. Vocational training needs to be modernised and fit for students and the needs of businesses. Working with the unions we are exploring the potential of working together to deliver better outcomes for our young people.”

The council is working with UNITE the Union, the GMB, TUC and local employers to work up a proposal for an innovative clean growth vocational training hub which would be used to equip people with the skills required by employers in key sectors, whole also promoting fair employment practices.

Len McCluskey, General Secretary, from UNITE the Union, which is working with the city on the education and skills element of the bid, said: “UNITE the union regards the Liverpool City Deal as a series of wonderful opportunities to bring investment into Liverpool with a practical skills agenda, house building programme and a Green Agenda for our members.

“The City Deal can position UNITE in a modern setting working with the Mayor and other trade unions to deliver jobs, future investment, training and skills development.”

It also includes a proposal to make the £1 billion Paddington Village development one of the country’s greenest new developments as an exemplar for air quality with the best carbon neutral infrastructure and transport, including the possible use of driverless vehicles to link it to the city centre.

Lord Deben, Chair of the UK’s independent Committee on Climate Change, said: “I welcome this innovative approach from Liverpool to tackle some of the ingrained challenges behind making an inclusive and sustainable green economy for the city. 

“It is only these permanent changes to the way we live and work that will allow us to deliver the necessary and urgent response we need to Climate Change.”



CHEF Gary Usher, who owns restaurants throughout the region, will be featured in a Channel 4 documentary this autumn.Known for his controversial and blunt...


A GRANDMOTHER of four from Aintree has raised almost £2,000 for the hospital which saved her life.Vicky Edgar, 73, was involved in a road...