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Wednesday, 01 October 2014

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Vagabonds invited back to entertain hotel guests

THE MANAGER of a landmark hotel was so impressed with a pair of wandering Furness players he invited them to perform for his guests.

Vagabonds Gary Bridgens and Phill Gregg appeared in Grange on Friday evening, and wowed Matt Stanaway, who manages the restored Midland Hotel in Morecambe.

Now Mr Stanaway, who lives in Grange, is hoping the actors, singers and puppeteers will make an appearance at his hotel.

The manager of the hotel, owned by English Lakes, had taken his wife and three children to watch the pair perform in an ornate bandstand in Park Road Gardens.

Mr Stanaway said: “It was a fantastic show. It is family entertainment. You don’t see many puppet shows any more. I just thought it was really nice and really interesting and the kids loved it.

He added: “They did a show at the Midland 20 or 25 years ago and I am inviting them back. Hopefully we can sort something out.”

Around 40 people, a third of them children, turned out to watch the Vagabonds who arrived in Grange, complete with handcart Dolly, by train.

Tracy Hathorne, who runs the Grange British Legion with her husband, took her three children after her mum saw an article about the Vagabonds in the Evening Mail.

She said: “Its just a shame that more Grange people didn’t come and see it. The three kids loved it, even the little one was watching.”

George Barrett from Grange, who was with his grandchildren, said: “I think the children were interested.

“It was something different. We brought a couple of youngsters and they were enthralled.”

Mum Lynne Lacey from Grange said: “I think some of it was over the children’s heads. There was some quite adult humour in it. I enjoyed it.”

Teas and cakes were served by the ladies of Charity and Co, a group of about a dozen women in the town who raise money for four charities, including St Mary’s Hospice.

Member Maureen Davidson said of the Vagabonds: “They were good and I like the fact they kept it local.”

Garry Bridgens said: “Grange is the first place we started drifting away from what I regard as home, and exploring wider fields.

“The audience here were marvellous and we were well received.”

Network Rail didn't allow them to push their cart over Arnside viaduct on Saturday, but an Evening Mail van driver gave them a lift to their Saturday gig at Milnthorpe.

The pair have two more weeks of gigs around South Cumbria before ending their tour where they began – in Barrow.

Have you seen the guys perform? Are you looking forward to them coming to your town? Have your say with the comment box below

Have your say

Just seen the Vagabonds at Kirkby-In-Furness tonight. They were superb. Setting was perfect, performing in a corner of the cricket field in front of St Cuthbert's Church on a sunny (if cold) evening, to an audience of more than 50 locals, including a group of Brownies. The Vagabonds deserve a medal for their three-week walking journey through Furness and South Cumbria. Great advert for the area with their local stories, songs and humour. Askam and Dalton performances on Saturday before their homecoming on Sunday. Come on Barrow, let's give them a fitting homecoming to Barrow Park.

Posted by jon on 20 May 2011 at 20:02

Fantastic-went to watch them at Broughton tonight, their enthusiasm and talent shone through, my 10 year old really enjoyed it and all the stories and songs were excellent. Hope they have a dry journey home and that lots of people welcome them back to Barrow.

Posted by Rachel Sheard on 19 May 2011 at 21:33

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