Fundraising boost for war veterans

Poppython at the Royal British Legion club.  Alison Woods and Ian Coleman.

Poppython at the Royal British Legion club. Alison Woods and Ian Coleman.

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A seven-hour cavalcade of entertainment, the 26th of its kind, has helped boost the fund which supports Britain’s war veterans.

A total of 32 acts gave up their time to entertain a packed Royal British Legion Club in King Street in what could very well be the best value variety show in the UK.

The Poppython has been staged at the club since 1990 and organisers say they are set to add to the £130.000 it has raised for the Poppy Appeal since its launch.

Legion stalwart Ian Coleman said the event was a great success and thanked the performers and people who helped stage it.

He said: “I was talking to people afterwards and they said it was the best show ever. I get that every year, so we must be getting better every time or we simply can’t get better, I am not sure which!

“But seriously, we had wonderful acts who had come from all over the country and for £2.50 entrance fee it works out at 8p per act so it must be the best value show in the country.

“The brilliant Johnny Casson cut the ribbon to do the official opening for us with our MP Gordon Marsden and we had some brilliant entertainers along with auctions and raffles to raise money for the appeal.

“It is great for Blackpool, great for the club thanks to the uplift in sales and great for the appeal because we raise thousands of pounds each year.”

Among the acts were Johnny Duffy, Sandie Griffiths from the Roly Polys, Terry Devon, Jimmy Nairn, Ryan Wallace, the Nicky Figgins Centre Stage Academy, Kitty Litter and the Classic Sound duo.

Ian added: “I would like to thank our musical director and organist Terry Webster and Brian Barnwell who looks after the sound every year.

“It is a great privilege to play our part in raising money for the military veterans who have served our country, those who have been injured and those who have fallen on hard times and their families.”

The event has regularly won an award, the Bucher Trophy, for the Legion club which raised the largest amount of money for any Remembrance Day event outside of the sale of the actual poppies.