Jean’s a real talent

Jean Martyn performing on the BGT tour at Sheffileld Arena
Jean Martyn performing on the BGT tour at Sheffileld Arena
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Britain’s Got Talent finalist Jean Martyn is the special guest at the latest Blackpool Opera House Wurlitzer Concert on Thursday at 2pm.

Jean’s appearances on the television talent show won her thousands of new fans although she was already an established name on the organ and keyboard circuit.

Jean has been playing music for 30 years, regularly performing at church and charity events.

She is always keen to raise money for charity with her music and recently raised £1,600 for the Help for Heroes campaign.

She can play the keyboard and organ and started teaching music when she was 21 going on to do so for 20 years until one of her pupils asked her ‘who is Mozart?’ when she couldn’t take anymore!

She entered Britain’s Got Talent because she wanted to achieve her lifelong dream and share her talent with the world.

Since retiring from being a music teacher in 1998, she has been able to dedicate her time to music. She trained at Trinity College, Trent Park and The Guildhall School of Music. Her dream has always been to become a concert pianist.

She currently lives in Brewood, Staffordshire and has one son.

The Opera House organ was installed in 1939 but had fallen into disrepair until enthusiasts from the Cannock Chase Organ Society went on a rescue mission with the full backing of the Winter Garden’s owners at the time, Leisure Parcs.

They spent eight weeks restoring and painting the historical instrument which is just one of five in the country that remains in its original setting – the famous Blackpool Tower Wurlitzer being another one.

Organ society chairman Steve Tovey said: “Restoring the Wurlitzer was a very tough job and a labour of love for everyone who gave up their time to work on it. We had to get it actually working before we could start on the tuning and speaking pipes, then we wanted to make it look beautiful.

“It has a unique, happy sound that reminds me of sand, sunshine and candyfloss. Now it is restored to its original splendour and looks great in this stunning theatre, where so many people have enjoyed themselves. Music is a powerful way to bring back happy memories of those glorious days beside the seaside and now its here for future generations as well.”

Tickets for the concert are £5 and available from the Winter Gardens box office in advance or on the day.

n The latest Afternoon Social Dance also takes place this week.

Presented in the Empress Ballroom on Wednesday from 1 to 4pm, it features musical accompaniment at the piano and organ by Steve Tovey and Cameron Lloyd, frequent visitors to Blackpool and two of the team who helped restore the Opera House Wurlitzer.

The afternoon will have a 1940s theme celebrating the Golden Era of dancing at the Winter Gardens and there will also be a prize for the dancers in the best period dress.

Marketing manager for the Winter Gardens, David Gore said: “These events are for everyone, whether an experienced dancer or somebody who simply wants to just take in the sights and sounds. We’ve held similar events every six weeks or so since last Christmas with the highlight probably being the Royal Wedding Celebration dance where over 300 people enjoyed a wonderful afternoon in The Spanish Hall.”

Dates for future events will be announced very soon.

Tickets for Wednesday are £2 and are available to purchase on the door or in advance from the box office.