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Hundreds turn out for Wirral's 'fantastic' Festival Of Firsts
THE organisers of Wirral's fourth Festival of Firsts have thanked Globe readers for helping to make this year's event a 'fantastic' success.
Hundreds of people turned out to enjoy the week-long showcase of artistic talents with events at venues in Hoylake, West Kirby and New Brighton.
It featured poetry performances, concerts, jazz parades, competitions, writing workshops and world premieres of plays.
There was also a parade from West Kirby to Meols on Saturday, featuring Wirral Pipe Band, The Big Easy and Off Pitch Choir.
The festival ended in Hoylake on Sunday with what its director John Gorman described as a 'stunning performance' by the Rock Choir, in the Bside the Cside Concert, as part of the Art on the Promenade entertainment.
The concert also featured the Liverpool Chinese Pagoda Childrens' Orchestra, Night & Days, Pacific Swingers, Shebang, Mark Pountney and the Dave Gilberton Saxophone Supremes, and provided a full afternoon's entertainment to the hundreds thronging the promenade.
In a letter to the Globe, the festival's founder John Gorman said: "The festival was fantastic, but it just doesn't happen on the day; work started within weeks after the end of last year's Festival.
"The Festival was only possible by the endless work of a handful of Volunteers; less volunteers this year than when the Festival started in 2011.
"The driving force behind the festival's success was Judy Ugonna, festival manager, Philip Stanley, festival secretary, Stirling Dutton, festival finance officer, Linda Gardner, chair of the Parade Committee and chair of Hoylake Village Life and Sue Powell, head of volunteers."
Proceeds from the festival will go to Claire House. However, the final figure raised is not yet known as the money is still being counted.
John Gorman continued: "The most important achievement that the festival has achieved is the raising of the awareness of Claire House.
"This was prompted by being told that of the 10 beds in the centre. The volunteers could only afford to run eight: this is a shame on our society. Without hesitation, the festival committee agreed to support Claire House.
"This year Willy Russell, Mike McCartney and Perri Alleyne-Hughes are donating their fees to Claire House.
"On behalf of the festival committee, I thank them and all those members of the public who dug deep into their hearts and filled the buckets and cans.
"And a very special thanks to the anonymous person, who, this morning, stopped my partner Sue on Market Street and gave her £10 for Claire House ... that made my day."