World Famous Band Given Survival Boost By Plusnet

Plusnet Commercial Director Nick Rawlings with pupils of Birkwood Primary School and the band's Jim Fletcher.

Plusnet Commercial Director Nick Rawlings with pupils of Birkwood Primary School and the band’s Jim Fletcher.

Plusnet steps in to help fund music education programme of Brassed Off band


Phone and broadband provider, Plusnet, has stepped in to give its support to the world famous Grimethorpe Colliery Band, helping it to overcome threatening funding cuts and continue to provide its youth education programme to the local community.

The band, based in Barnsley, South Yorkshire has been a bastion of the local community since it was founded in 1917 and achieved global fame in 1995 when it was the inspiration for the hit British movie, Brassed Off, which starred Ewan McGregor.

Echoing scenes from the movie, where the band faced extinction with the closure of coal mines across Yorkshire in the late 1980’s but battled back to bring hope to the local community, the Grimethorpe Colliery Band’s recent funding cuts have put much of its vital work in the community at threat.

Plusnet, which has its headquarters in Yorkshire and prides itself on being a people’s champion, has agreed to provide financial support to the band over the next two years. The funds will be used to ensure the continuation of the band’s youth education scheme which will ensure 15 pupils between the ages of 8 and 11 at the Birkwood Primary School in South Yorkshire will have the opportunity to take music lessons.

Showcasing just how valuable the programme has been to pupils at the school, class teacher and school music co-ordinator Esther Sutton Smith said, “They have developed many important life skills, as well as important musical ones: commitment, team work, time keeping, listening, musical appreciation and respect are just a few that spring to mind. Grimethorpe Colliery Band has made a massive impact on our little school; almost every day the band’s name is mentioned positively in and around Birkwood’s community – the band should be very proud of the difference they are making to their local area.”


Nick Rawlings, Commercial Director of Plusnet commented, “Plusnet has become famous for featuring brass bands in a number of our adverts and several of our customers started asking us, through our online community, to help the Grimethorpe Colliery Band. This is clearly an issue very close to the hearts of a lot of people and we are proud to provide help for a special project that brings such a valued service to its community.

Grimethorpe Colliery Band Manager, Nigel Dixon added, “Our funding cuts are having a very serious impact over what activities the band can do, and if it wasn’t for Plusnet we would not be able to provide such a key education tool for local children. We are so grateful for this support, Plusnet has shown itself to be a champion of the community.”

For further information please contact Plusnet press office: Emily Jones  0207 4794383


mobile:       07778 315553

office:          01302 570814


twitter:         @sfpix


The Cusworth Music Festival 2011

The Drifters perform in front of Cusworth Hall

A fantastic day was had by all at this year’s Cusworth Music Festival.

Set in the grounds of Cusworth Country Park in the shadow of Cusworth Hall this year’s event was headlined by The Drifters with all proceeds going to Doncaster cancer charity – The Aurora Centre.

Natalie, a future star?

Supporting The Drifters were local artists Natalie, Chris Madin, Screaming Eagles, The Jokers, St Harlot, The Wallbirds, The Great Pretender and the lovely Twice As Nice.

Click here for more images from the event, why not buy a print using the ‘add to cart’ feature? All proceeds to the Aurora charity.

Sweet soul music!

The lovely Twice As Nice.

The Great Pretender.



twitter:         @sfpix

Casino Royale Comes To Sprotbrough

Shaken not stirred! Chris & Trish with a familiar face

Ever fancied yourself as a bit of a goldfinger – well here’s your licence to thrill!  Come along to Sprotbrough Country Club on Saturday 2nd July and enjoy an evening of Poker, Black Jack, Roulette, music and prizes.  Tickets are £10.00 each and the fun begins at 8.00 pm with canapés and martini cocktails (shaken not stirred) served on arrival  by our very own Miss Bunnypennies.  While diamonds are forever, tickets are selling fast so don’t delay, contact Chris on 07904972738 or the Country Club on (01302) 853454.  Go on – you only live twice!
All the proceeds from this event will go to this year’s Cusworth Music Festival (28th August) which once again will support The Aurora Centre as it’s designated charity.  This Festival will be held on Sunday 28th August and you can check out for more information and band line-up.



twitter:         @sfpix

O A P-unk Pensioners!

Ready to wreak havoc?

Fun loving pensioners Jim and Sylvia Boothman celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary in style….by dressing up as the oldest pair of O A P-unk rockers in the land.

Jim, 85, turned up for a family party wearing a wild Mohican wig and a wacky T shirt bearing the slogan Your Princess Is My Slut while Sylvia, 81, followed suit with safety pins hanging from her nose and a studded collar round her neck.

The homely pair looked like something out of The Sex Pistols after daughter Andrea, 52, took them to a fancy dress shop and chose their outfits for the do.

All the other guests, who were in on the ruse, dressed up in punk gear – with grandson Liam, 29, wearing studs and rings in his mouth and nose and the words I Love Nana “tattooed” on his knuckles too!

Retired betting shop clerk Sylvia laughed off the escapade yesterday, and said: “Jim doesn’t look that much like Sid Vicious, but I think our anniversary photos are pretty cool all the same.

“We made the mistake of saying we’d wear whatever outfits Andrea picked not knowing the family were planning a punk rock party for our anniversary all along.

“I wasn’t that keen when I saw all the wild gear coming out at the shop. It’s not the kind of stuff you’d choose to wear at 85 and 81, but we’d given our word to Andrea so we just threw ourselves into it as best we could.

“Jim’s black Mohican didn’t look that bad with his jeans and braces….and I did laugh when I read the message on the front of his T shirt.”

Relaxing at their home in Doncaster, South Yorkshire

Sylvia wasn’t too impressed, however, with her own outfit. “My bright orange and black wig looked like a dead cat, and I wasn’t taken with all the safety pins hanging from the earring in my nose at first.

“I wasn’t that sure about my orange studded collar and all the chains hanging round my neck either – but it turned out to be lot of fun eventually when everybody else appeared looking just as daft as us.”

Fourteen members of the family, including the couple’s two daughters, four married grandchildren, plus their wives, husbands and partners, sprang the surprise during a communal holiday at Weymouth.

Retired telegraph engineer Jim from Doncaster said: “We’ve got to be the oldest pair of punk rockers in the country. The anniversary party was amazing, and it’s thanks to the whole family and their fantastic sense of humour.

“I dread to think what they’ll get up to when our 65th anniversary comes round, but we’ve got a couple of years now to get ready!”

Hospital secretary Andrea said she had no regrets about turning her mum and dad into punk rockers.


“The whole family knew what was going to happen, but mum and dad didn’t realise till I picked the outfits for them in the shop. There was no going back then because they’d promised to wear whatever I chose.

“I wasn’t worried because I knew they’d enter into the spirit of things once everyone else got dressed up for the party.

“Nobody would have guessed their ages at the do – it was amazing watching them dance to The Sex Pistols and The Stranglers with mum swinging her chains and dad wearing his Mohican and his braces.

“It’ll take some beating when we start making plans for their 65th anniversary.”

Story by Martyn Sharpe

Image Gallery



Twitter:          @sfpix

Music Festival Raises Funds for Cancer Charity

Well done to the Cusworth Music Festival team

Organisers of the Cusworth 2010 Music Festival held a charity night at Sprotbrough Country Club to formally hand over monies raised to The Aurora Centre.

£4,000 was raised at the festival held at Cusworth Park in August.

The organisers, Trish and Chris Wood and Steve and Tracey Glover, handed over the cheque to Vanessa Coley, daughter of the late Val Lepedat, a founder member of The Aurora Centre, at a celebratory evening of musical entertainment on Thursday 18th November.

Trish, Chris, Steve and Tracey would like to thank everyone who contributed to the Festival and to everyone who came along to support it.

Trish said: “It was a fantastic day, a huge success and the atmosphere was electric. We are looking to repeat the festival again next year so watch this space for information.”

All money raised will go to The Aurora Centre which provides complimentary therapies to patients undergoing treatments for cancer based at Doncaster Royal Infirmary and Mexborough Montagu Hospital.

For more information, visit the website at:



Weather With You?

Abigail, Graphic Designer and Traditional Artist

A big thanks to graphic designer and traditional artist, Abigail, who gave up her weekend to put the finishing touches to my son’s, Mason, new bedroom.

Being a big Crowded House fan there was only one song that was going to appear on Mason’s wall. I will now try and persuade the wife to have the 14 song’s that appear on Woodface painted in our bedroom……….No chance!

Mason and Abigail - rock on!

Cusworth Music Festival

Abba tribute band Twice as Nice 'tune up' for the forthcoming Cusworth Music Festival on the 29th August 2010

Glam Rockers at Cusworth Hall

This month, Cusworth Hall will welcome 70s Glam Rockers, The Sweet who will headline the new Cusworth Music Festival.

The festival will take place on Sunday 29th August from 12 to 11pm with an outdoor stage hosting bands playing a mix of blues, rock, indie and pop. The event has been organised by 4 local residents to raise money for local cancer charity The Aurora Centre.

Councillor Cynthia Ransome, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Regulatory/Customer Services said, “Cusworth is an ideal venue for events like this. I wish the event organisers the best of luck with the event and I hope it helps to raise lots of money for the Aurora Centre.”

Other bands performing at the music extravaganza are Ed Blaney’s “Ultimate Bowie”, Screaming Eagles (Graham Oliver and Paul Johnson from Saxon), Stafford Galli, Doncaster’s rising stars The Wallbirds, classic rock cover band Whizzkid, UV Pop, Retention Method and ABBA tribute act Twice as Nice.

Food and drink will be available on the day, plus camping at £5.00 per tent, as well as fun fair rides to ensure a great atmosphere and a fantastic day out. The day is being supported by Sine FM 102.6 with tickets available online through also from Cusworth Hall, Doncaster Tourist Information Centre, The Dome and the Civic Theatre at just £10 each.

For more information contact: Trish Wood

Telephone:            07738838022



%d bloggers like this: