Bar workers celebrate a season of hard graft

Graftas organiser Paul O'Brien with special award winner Alana Morten
Graftas organiser Paul O'Brien with special award winner Alana Morten
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Bar workers have celebrated a successful summer season with the third annual Graftas awards.

More than 400 workers celebrated the best of Blackpool’s nightlife scene and the year’s achievements with a party night at Viva Blackpool - with awards handed out in 21 categories as well as two special recognition awards.

Touch The Pearl entertain at the Graftas

Touch The Pearl entertain at the Graftas

Alana Morten and Mark Silcock received special recognition awards, while other titles were handed out for the best venues and workers, as well as more tongue-in-cheek gongs among friends and colleagues.

Alana, manager of The Squirrel in Bispham, was nominated by her staff for keeping the team motivated, not long after her own daughter Lilly Lenihan was diagnosed with meningitis, and recent fundraising for charity Meningitis Now.

Although the Graftas focus on town centre pubs, Alana and her team attended for a team night out and she had no idea she was up for an award herself.

“We just went to support the industry and to have a night out - and it was the best night we have had as a team from the pub,” Alana said. “The team suggested going, and I was so shocked to get a special recognition award particularly with it being something nominated by the team.”

Also recognised was Mark Silcock for his work promoting the Blackpool clubbing scene at the Palace nightclub after a year of serious illness.

Other titles included favourite entertainer, Viva’s own host Leye D Johns, Doug E Love from Walkabout as favourite DJ and favourite night out being Home HQ’s Monday Madness.

Graftas organiser Paul O’Brien said it was ‘a brilliant night’ adding: “Lionel Vinyl again hosted this night emphasising the idea behind this night is to bring the town together after a busy season and have a well-deserved party and recognise the stand out workers of the year.”

Among the sponsors were Matthew Clark, Blackpool BID and Blackpool Pride.