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PASS IT ON (volume 6 of weekend walkabout from Sidetracks And Detours)

You remember the artist formerly known as Prince? So, welcome then,to Pass It On, the Sidetracks And Detours formerly known as Weekend Walkabout, It has dawmed on us after only five issues that we got the name all wrong, with some people in our exhaustive collection of data, saying the title sound like a Rambling Group magazine and others saying it could be a trip advisor sort of scenario. What we intended the name to mean was ´hey, let´s share all the arts news we have between us, and Pass It On. See? Simples ! So have a read of this week´s edition and feel free to pass it on to any like-minded, arts loving friends. Today´s edition includes the following contents

I Love Manchester

events and venues                   by newsletter service

The Bloinde Bombshells               

Live Jazz

Jazz In Reading                      by Jim Wade

Jazz On Air

Hot Biscuits                            by Steve Bewick

Rochdale Music Society

Prince Bishop´s Brass             by Graham Marshall

all across the arts

recent events in Rochdale      by Steve Cooke

Sidetracks And Detours

Toad Lane History                  by Norman Warwick

Toad Lane Concerts reviews  by Dr. Joe Dawson

Conversations and Questions by Peter Pearson

A – Z                                       by Norman Warwick

Casa Museo Del Campesino   by Norman Warwick

Invitation to Cludie´s Art       by Norman Warwick

What´s Next?                          by Norman Warwick

newsletter logo I LOVE MANCHESTER is the name of the newsletter and even though I left the Greater Manchester area almost eight years ago now, to retire to Lanzarote, I am grateful to receive the newsletter on line and to recommend IT to anyone living in or visiting the area. Irs events section is always packed with a great number of diverse events catering for all tastes.



We all know Manchester’s one of the most exciting cities in the world, and its inclusivity diversity is reflected in the raft of Manchester events and festivals held throughout the year.

Manchester’s events calendar is always a busy one. This is a city hosting an eclectic mix of exciting eventsunforgettable experiences and cool things to do all year round – and events in Manchester don’t tend to get rained off, either. We’re used to getting soaked around here.

Explore upcoming events and what’s on in Manchester today. With I Love MCR’s popular what’s on guide you’ll discover the best things to do in Manchester, including popular events and entertainmentwhat’s on at Manchester theatresmusic and gigsfestivalsexhibitions and sightseeing toursfree things to do and things for kids to do.

Check out our guide to what’s happening in Manchester today, this weekthis weekendnext week, or pick a date.


take to the stage once more!

photo The Blonde Bombshells, the most glamorous all-girl swing band in the North, loses members every time it plays a GI camp. Now there’s an important BBC job in the offing and Betty needs to find new musicians fast!

Among those drafted are an innocent schoolgirl, a nun and a draft-dodging drummer not afraid of donning a frock (if it keeps him out of National Service). With her motley line-up complete, Betty and her band prepare to dodge Hitler’s bombs and make the dangerous journey for the performance of their lives.

Don’t miss your chance on seeing a lavish new production featuring live music and stellar performances.

Performances at 7.30pm daily from Friday 9th june to Saturday 1st July 2023 with matinees on varying days at 2pm, exclusions apply.

pass it on logo


Live Jazz


by Jim Wade

photo 5

The Ray Charles Project:
The Jeremy Sassoon Quintet

Bishop’s Court Farm

Dorchester on Thames OX10 7HP

Sunday 2 July
Doors 6pm | Show 7 – 9pm | £20

The Ray Charles Project – The Jeremy Sassoon Quintet

The seventh show in an exciting series of contemporary jazz evenings at Bishop’s Court Farm is The Ray Charles Project, presented by The Jeremy Sassoon Quintet that has already been described as ‘Exhilarating!’  by London Jazz News

Jeremy Sassoon (right) has won huge acclaim over recent years with his astonishingly authentic homage to the King Of Soul, Ray Charles. Together with his drum-tight quintet, Sassoon swings his way through the peerless Ray Charles songbook on a magical journey that goes from Hit The Road Jack and What’d I Say to Unchain My Heart and Georgia On My Mind.

Whether he’s playing R&B, soul, country or blues, Jeremy Sassoon somehow manages to get to the very heart of Brother Ray’s unique music. This brilliant band needs no excuse to Let The Good Times Roll.

Jeremy Sassoon – Piano/Vocals
Paul Booth – Saxophone
Nick Fitch – Guitar
Pat Illingworth – Drums
Thomas Stieger – Bass

Drinks will be available to purchase on the evening.

Doors: 6pm, show 7 – 9pm.

Bishop’s Court Farm, 91 High St, Dorchester on Thames OX10 7HP  Map

Book tickets here – £20

6 what´s next logo Future Snug Session

Sunday 16 July

The Music Of Bill Evans Featuring The Paul Edis Trio with Special Guest Noa Levy

Information here

On air sign background

Hot Biscuits              by Steve Bewick (below centre)

Norman Warwick and I conducted a lengthy but very interesting interview with pianist, arranger and composer John Ellis a few years ago, and pianist, arranger and composer John Ellis. My Hot Biscuits programme for w/c 26th June 2023 might encourage Norm to dig out that interview and re-publish it for his readers.

1 John is a musician from the north of England, and on the show we feature him in a session with Good Company at the Carlton Club in Manchester. ​The journey in music really blossomed in the music education system within Manchester, U.K. in the 1980s.

In the early 1990’s there were hundreds of various gigs around Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds and the whole of the north. A regular touring band was the Snake Davis Band playing hammond organ and singing.

Norman Warwick and I conducted a lengthy but very interesting interview with pianist, arranger and composer John Ellis a few years ago, and pianist, arranger and composer John Ellis. My Hot Biscuits programme for w/c 26th June 2023 might encourage Norm to dig out that interview and re-publish it for his readers.

John (right) is a musician from the north of England, and on the show we feature him in a session with Good Company at the Carlton Club in Manchester. ​The journey in music really blossomed in the music education system within Manchester, U.K. in the 1980s.

​In the early 1990’s there were hundreds of various gigs around Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds and the whole of the north. A regular touring band was the Snake Davis Band playing hammond organ and singing. ​In 1994, he toured extensively in Europe playing Frank Zappa music with Zappa protoge Ike Willis and Liverpool legends The Muffin Men

The, as a 12-piece band “The John Ellis Big Bang” toured England between 1995 – 2001, and from then until 2005​ John worked with The Cinematic Orchestra and John Squire

​In 2005-2008 Little Green formed with vocalist/writer Judy Green. A distinctive band with roots in classic soul, hip-hop collaborations with DJ Vadim and acoustic based folk music from around the world.

​In 2009 John was Assistant Producer on the Kirsty Almeida album “Pure Blue Green/Deja Voodu” beginning a 5 year musical collaboration as  musician and co-writer/arranger.

​John has played and recorded with quite a few well known artists such as Corinne Bailey Rae, Tom Jones, Lily Allen, James Yorkston, John Squire (Stone Roses) and The Cinematic Orchestra 2001-2005.

There have been scores for various theatre productions (not scores, just a few) including a National Theatre affiliated production based on the novel “A Clockwork Orange” for Benji Reid‘s Breaking Cycles theatre company.

In 2015 John collaborated with visual artist Antony Barkworth Knight for the Irwin Mitchell commission at the Manchester Jazz Festival.The piece featured live visual projection and 9 musicians, the performance of “Evolution: Seeds & Streams taking place at Manchester Town Hall. The soundtrack was released in September 2016 on the Gondwana label.

He now manages a recording and production studio in Manchester called Limefield which continues to produce albums of music with a wide range of artists and musicians. Regular live performances playing and singing around the northwest of England then sometimes around the world with regular collaborators HoneyfeetThe BreathKirk McElhinney and Baked ALaSka.

​Also featured in the same Hot Biscuits broadcast is music from The Figiro Trio, a three-piece light jazz and swing group hailing from the west of Scotland.  The group specialise in bringing a vintage twist to modern classics, with covers ranging from Nina Simone to The Beatles and from Edith Piaf to Jessie J.

Vocalist Fiona Kalin (left) started her recording and singing career with the Renaissance Singers in Belfast, and as part of this group toured the UK ultimately winning the Montreux International Choral Festival in 1986, followed in 1987 with the album Advent to Easter. She applies her vocal talents to a wide range of musical styles including blues, jazz, african, 60’s/70’s R&B, and covers. Since moving to Scotland she has performed in venues across the country and features on recent albums on Spotify and iTunes, including recording with musicians in Malawi Africa. Her passion for light jazz and swing is clear when performing with the Figiro Trio since December 2018.

On piano Gilmour Macleod (right) studied music at Trinity College of music in London as a pianist. During his time there his musical activities were varied. One highlight was as soloist playing the Grieg piano concerto at St John’s Smith Square, and at other well-known venues such as St Martin`s in the Fields. His diverse talents saw him playing jazz standards across London, and light classical and jazz / cocktail music at the Institute of Directors restaurant in Pall Mall. He toured England with a clarinet trio (clarinet, cello and piano) called the Helicon Ensemble. Now back in his homeland Scotland, Gilmour enjoys many types of musical activities ranging from choirs, Musical Director at the oldest music hall in the world which is based in Glasgow, and directing musicals for students and amateur companies such as Glasgow s Apollo players. For something completely different, he plays for silent films on a regular basis at the Brittania Panopticon Music Hall and CItizen M in Glasgow. He is equally at home with classical and jazz / pop and enjoys his latest venture with Figiro trio.

Double Bass is in the hands of Robert Kalim, (left) who studied a wide range of instruments including piano, trombone, percussion, and guitar. He studied music theory and conducting at the State University of New York in the early 1980s. In the past decade he has focused mainly on bass guitar, playing blues, jazz, and covers on a range of electric and acoustic instruments. Though his academic day job involves sustainable Water Resources Management in Africa, he spends his avocation time mixing, mastering and producing at GND Studios, where he continues to compose and arrange with a range of recording artists. He finds playing the Figiro Trio, a wonderful opportunity to work with two exceptional musicians.

​The Figiro Trio play regularly at a number of venues across the country which you find via our Shows tab.

To keep up to date with upcoming gigs and releases please follow The Figiro Trio on social media.

There will be much more on the show, too, with an arrangement of Bette Davis´ Eyes, which Norman thinks is  one of the most haunting blues rock songs of the twentieth century, with music from  Tenor saxophonist, Alex Harper telling  us Our Love Is Here To Stay.

Snowboy And The Latin Section will play from a Hideaway in Stratham and Søren Bebe Trio will offer listeners a free CD.  

photo Copenhagen based pianist, composer and bandleader Soren Bebe fits seamlessly into the series of major jazz piano names originating from Scandinavia – Esbjorn Svensson and Tord Gustavsen are the two most often mentioned when describing the nevertheless unique sounds of the Soren Bebe Trio. All About Jazz, one of the leading jazz websites in the world, even goes a step further:

Bebe certainly belongs to the tradition of lyrical pianists that goes from Erroll Garner and Bill Evans through Keith Jarrett. What Bebe adds to the lyrical tradition of the piano is a sense of folk-like simplicity, with mourning melodies blossoming like shy night-flowers” (All About Jazz)

You can see from their web site that these are esciting times for this trio, as they offer an update on having been in the studio in April to record their seventh trio album to be released in November 2023. They were joined on this recording by Norwegian drummer Knut Finsrud and Danish bassist Kasper Tagel.


PRINCE BISHOP´S BRASS previewed by Graham Marshall

I’m looking forward to the Rochdale Music Society’s last concert of its Spring Series. This (left) was on Saturday (June 24th) at 7.30pm in Heywood Civic Centre.

The ensemble Prince Bishop’s Brass (right) played a varied, colourful and exciting programme of music by composers from several centuries, including Bach and Mozart, Fauré and Horowitz, Dukas and Bernstein …… Altogether an evening of seriously playful and resounding brass. Do come and join us, if you can!

Sidetracks And Detours readers will know that we regularly re-publish Graham´s informed and informative essays and reviews on our blog posts

 Graham, as well as being a staunch supporter of The Rochdale Music Society RMS, was Conductor of the Durham Colleges Orchestra (1961-62), Conductor of the Durham Colleges Light opera Group (1958-60, 1963-3), Post-graduate research Scholar Durham University (1960-63), Part-time Lecturer University of Durham Msuic Department (1961-2), Organist and Choirmaster St. Mary-le-Bow Durham 1958-60,1961-3), Parish Priest (CofE) from 1965 to 2002, Precentor of Manchester Cathedral (1975-78), Chairman of several Church of England Primary School Governing Bodies (1971- 2002), Founder of the Rochdale Light Orchestra 2008 and Musical Director (2008-present), Member of BASCA, Member of the Delian Society, Vice-Chairman of the North West Composers’ Association,

Graham is also the Musical Director of The Rochdle Light Orchestra and is noted for his awareness of each individual musicians level of expertise and active composer and arranger of music of various genres often composing or arranging music to best profile his musicians. He maintains a friendly welcoming atmosphere whilst putting in a great deal of energy to both the RLO and his beloved RMS.

The Rochdale Light orchestra presents a concert tor three times a season and in doing so raises funds for their local St. Martin´s Church and to meet the costs of the RLO.

Here at Sidetracks and Detous we know that Graham´s specialist skills include composing and arranging music, and he has received excellent reviews for work such as The Rochdale Pioneer´s Musical Collaboration of 2013

Based on the story of how the first Co-operative trading company came into existence in Rochdale UK, this musical celebrates the men and women whose vision and determination have led to a world-wide community of purposeful caring and practical sharing, and was performed under the title opf If We´re Not Together, We´re Nowt.

Graham has a highly developed musical skills-set and applies those skills gently but helpfully into his previews and reviews. We therefore feel very privileged to be allowed to share his work in Pass It On, so watch out for his review of Prince Bishop´s Brass in a forthcoming issue.

reviews by Steve Cooke

Thursday 22 June – Church Watch

Visit Rochdale Parish Church of St Chad 

As part of Church Watch 2023, the historic Grade 2* listed Parish Church of St Chad will be open every Wednesday and Thursday 2pm – 4pm starting on 7 June until the Heritage weekend on Friday 8, Saturday 9, and Sunday 10 September. There has been a church on this site since 1194 and it offers visitors much to see.

You’ll find the church at Top o’ th’ Steps behind the Town Hall, and stepping into the past for a moment might not only refresh you in the present but also inspire you for the future.


Phone: Graham Knox 01706 642311

Visit: https://www.rochdaleparishchurches.org.uk

2pm – 4pm

St Chad’s, Sparrow Hill, Rochdale OL16 1QT

Thursday 22 June – Saturday 24 June

Visit Fireground Museum

many people attended Fireground this week to discover Greater Manchester’s fire-fighting story.

Fire museum attractions were on show inside the museum including a collection of historic fire-fighting artefacts from the 18th century to the present day, plus home-made refreshments in the new Fireground Café, and souvenirs from the fantastic new gift shop where a wide choice of items had been set out to attract toddler and serious collectors.

Under 4s are free, Children (aged 4-15) and Concessions £5, Adults £7, and Family (4 people) £20.

Phone: Fireground 01706 341219

Visit: https://www.fireground.org.uk/

Open Thursday, Friday & Saturday from 10am – 4pm

Fireground, Maclure Road, Rochdale OL11 1DN

Friday 23 June

The Active Living Social

plenty of people turned up for fun-filled music and dance afternoon taking you through the decades.

It was a chance for to have a drink and chat in a warm space, and meet new people and friends.

People even brought their own hot drinks cup to help save the environment!

Numbers limited, booking required.

Booking is available in person at the centre you wish to attend, or by emailing: elaine.stott@yourtrustrochdale.co.uk or ringing the number below.

01706 926205

2pm – 4pm

Rochdale Leisure Centre, Entwisle Road, Rochdale OL16 2HZ

Saturday 24 June

Rochdale Music Society concert: Prince Bishop’s Brass

Dukas: Fanfare le Peri

Praetorius: Dances of Terpsichore

Bach: Prelude and Fugue

Gabrieli: Canzona a 4

Ewald: Quintet

Mozart: Overture, The Marriage of Figaro

Horowitz: Music Hall Suite

Fauré: Pavane

Bernstein: 4 Episode form West Side Story

A booking fee of 5% will be charged on all bookings other than those made in person.

Rochdale Music Society has been providing the best in live music played by great artists for the people of the borough of Rochdale and beyond since 1980.

Entry fee: Adult £15, Over 65s £13, Students £5, Children £1

Bookings can be made by telephoning the Box Office on 0300 303 8633, or online via the link below.



Heywood Civic Centre, LCpl Stephen Shaw MC Way, Heywood OL10 1LW

Saturday 24 June  Messy Church

Fun time of crafts, music, and food. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Free (donations accepted)

Phone: Andrew Hardwick 01706 644134

4pm – 6pm

Moorhouse Methodist Church, Rochdale Road, Milnrow OL16 3LN

Saturday 24 June – Diamond Decade

Carnaby School of Dance are back with one of their ever-popular Shows, this year… with dances to hits from the last decade! With a plethora of Group Dances and Solos/Duets/Trios to tracks that have been top ten hits in the last ten years, the Carnaby Dancers are back for their annual Show and as ever… out in full force!

To book your tickets please visit the link below or call the Box Office on 0300 303 8633.


Tickets from £16

Middleton Arena, LCpl Joel Halliwell VC Way, Middleton M24 1AG


preview by Steve Cooke

Darnhill Festival 2023 takes place Saturday 1 July in and around Argyle Parade.

The much-loved and eagerly awaited Summer festival is organised by Cartwheel Arts on behalf of Darnhill Festival Association.

The procession will set off at 12 noon from Argyle Parade followed by a full programme of entertainment and activities for all ages including:

Skate it Yourself Skateboarders

Climbing wall

Music stage hosted by Music Street

Roaming performance from ‘The Pedalo’

Skylight Circus Arts workshops

Oakenhoof clog dancers


Drumming workshop

Drag Queen Story Hour


Bouncy castle

Plus lots of art workshops and plenty more activities we’re working on – stay tuned to their social media for all the details.

The procession will bring a riot of music, dance, costumes, and colour as it winds its way around the Darnhill estate where carnival art from local schools, young people from Rochdale Youth Service and the Darnhill Community Café will come together to celebrate the theme of Connection.

There will be plenty of stalls offering a range of different things. Something for everyone!

For further information or to book a stall please contact: Cartwheel Arts at 01706 361300 or vicki@cartwheelarts.org.uk

Free Saturday 01 July 2023, 12pm – 4pm

In and around Argyle Parade, Darnhill, Heywood OL10 3RY


2023 summer season preview by Steve Cooke

If you like thought-provoking events, Contact’s 2023 Autumn Season is set to challenge, inspire, and ignite curiosity in audiences of all ages – featuring a heady combination of shows that will challenge perceptions, platform today’s most exciting artists and advocate for a brighter tomorrow.

This season embodies Contact’s vision for the future, following a year of reflection on the organisation’s 50th anniversary. With a renewed energy, Contact is sprinting into the future, pushing boundaries and igniting curiosity.

Keisha Thompson, Contact’s Artistic Director, and CEO, expressed her excitement for the upcoming season:

“This exceptional line up represents Contact’s unwavering commitment to creative risk-taking, amplifying diverse voices, and engaging with urgent societal issues. Our 2023 Autumn Season is a love letter to the themes that make Contact one of the most exciting venues in the UK: themes of humanity, resilience, empathy, experimentation and connection. As we look to Contact’s next 50 years, we can’t wait for audiences to join us on this exhilarating journey”.

Contact’s Autumn Season features two ground-breaking world premieres. First up is Census, a brand-new Contact commission by Malandra Jacks. Contact, along with hÅb, will work with Malandra Jacks to create a digital-led theatre show that celebrates their North Manchester heritage, brimming with Moston spirit, and asks questions about what class means today.

Next, Keisha Thompson will premiere her brand-new play, in partnership with the National Football Museum, the hotly anticipated 14%. Set against the frenzy of the Lioness’ success, this multi-sensory show invites you on a journey inside the confines of a post-match train carriage. Follow British footballer Nadia and her unnamed, unborn Baby. Prepare for a layered audio-visual experience where internal and external pressures rise.

Building on the success of the critically acclaimed production, Brown Boys Swim, in Edinburgh, Contact welcomes the powerful show to their stage. This poignant play, hailed by The Guardian as a triumph, will leave audiences moved and inspired. With themes of friendship, resilience, and overcoming adversity, Brown Boys Swim by Karim Khan takes a brave and honest look at the issues faced by young people.

Celebrated playwright Tim Crouch will bring his audacious act of collective imagining – Truth’s a Dog Must to Kennel – to Contact. In this virtual adaptation of Shakespeare’s King Lear, Crouch offers a fresh perspective on power, truth and art. Witness Crouch’s mastery of storytelling and immerse yourself in this transcendent theatrical experience.

Half Moon will also present Hot Orange, an immersive exploration of friendship and the moment you fall in love, by Amal Khalidi and Tatenda Naomi Matsvai. Hot Orange follows Amina and Tandeki as they navigate what it takes to sustain love and friendship beyond childhood idealism and reflects Contact’s decades-long commitment to platforming LGBTQIA+ experiences.

Contact are also excited to be collaborating with Manchester Literature Festival to present an array of spectacular events with Zadie Smith, Max Porter and Linton Kwesi Johnson. During Autumn, Contact will also be laying the groundwork for the launch of Re:Fute, a brand-new festival refuting the past and evoking conversations around a shared vision for the future. And Christmas at Contact isshaping up to be a magical one, with tickets to Cinderella, presented by eight-freestyle and Contact Young Company, flying out the door.

Ace Lips Events:

Comedy Show at the Old Court Room

preview by  Steve Cooke

Another fantastic line up sees some of the very best on the circuit here in Rochdale and the MC is Graeme Rayner

Graeme started performing live comedy in November 2018. He sent a video of his first performance to David Baddiel, who said “If that’s your first ever gig, you’ve got a future Graeme. I was going to say great future, but let’s not be premature. Made me laugh out loud.”

Since then Graeme has been performing at various venues around the country, and is steadily building a reputation, his progress slowed down only by a global pandemic.

He has shared a stage with well know comedians like Tez Ilyas, Alun Cochrane, Archie Kelly, Meryl O’Rourke, Scott Bennett and more.

Jonny Brook the award-winning Sit down, Stand Up!

Jonny, The happy face of dark humour who started bringing laughter to Yorkshire before sharing his talent further afield.

Brook is dry. Incredibly dry. You listen intently, and you’re never ready for the punchline. You can’t tell when it’s coming because of his delivery, but when it arrives it’s consistently a killer line. Every single time.

Crucial topics that he covers include love and poetry, a comparison to him and Lady Gaga, his parents’ divorce and sharing stories about living with legs that hate him.

Yorkshire comedy Awards – Breakthrough Act winner 2022

Melina Fiol  made her start in comedy in 2021. Since then, she has been selected as part of the prestigious Leicester Comedy festival Circuit Breaker’s showcase and performed in clubs across the country and sold out her first split bill at Women in Comedy Festival.

Her strong stage presence and confident vulnerability are making her a distinct new voice on the circuit. Recently, she was selected to perform at the inaugural “Femmes and Thems” night at Manchester’s Frog and Bucket Comedy Club.

Ignacio Lopez returns to Rochdale as an international Comedian who has been wowing audiences with his individual style and high gag-rate since 2010.

A crazy mixture of Welsh & Spanish Ignacio has become one of the most unique voices on the UK circuit. A frequent headliner and MC in top comedy clubs all over the UK.

During the pandemic Ignacio focused on putting more comedy content online, streaming live comedy events, running a weekly quiz, teaching people how to make Sangría, sitting on his sofa for 18 hours a day and occasionally crying in the bath.

At last count (probably this morning) Ignacio’s videos have received over 20 Million views in total across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. TikTok will not remove videos of Ignacio that other people have stolen and posted themselves.

Ignacio has provided tour support for Tom Stade and performed all over the globe including Spain, Germany, Norway, Greece, Turkey & Malta and has also racked up an impressive six solo hour shows.

Phone: Richard Attwood 07720 849866

Visit: https://www.whatsoccurrinrochdale.co.uk/event-details/comedy-show-at-the-ol…

Friday 30 June 2023 – Doors 7.45pm, start time 8.30pm

The Old Court Room, The Flying Horse, 37 Packer Street, Rochdale OL16 1NJ

all across the arts

celebrating creative arts and artists – an oasis of positivity supporting individual and community wellbeing.


celebrating creative arts and artists

an oasis of positivity

supporting individual and community wellbeing.



Toad Lane History                by Norman Warwick

Many of our readers around the world will be unaware that Rochdale is the birthplace of the cooperative movement. Of course, the UK town is mentioned regularly in these pages because of the decades we spent there creating pathways to Sidetracks And Detours as it is now known.

It used to seem, when we worked in the futurist Number One Riverside building that housed the council offices and the central library in a Tardis like building, that the ancient epi-centre of the town was only a hudred yards away on Toad Lane.

At the top of Toad Lane stands The Baum pub, where the late Robin Parker, a former Mayor of The Borough used to run Sunday night poetry sessions called Those Bard From The Baum. Eileen Earnshaw (a truly wonderful poet) took over my role when I came to Lanzarote eight years ago. The sessions were still going until Robin sadly passed away a couple fo weeks ago. The sessions were held in the room voer the bat in this historic real ale pub.

The Rochdale Pioneers Museum occupies a building on Toad Lane that started life as a house built circa 1800 and later used as a warehouse.  In 1844, twenty-eight working people opened the first co-operative store in the building, selling fairly priced, good quality food during very hard times.  The museum’s website explains in 2018 that this was, “… social enterprise in action; a chance for local people to become equal members in a revolution that spread all over the world.”  They go on to point out that, ” … Historic England have announced their list of 100 important places to the heritage of the UK. Each of the categories lists ten vital spots which underpin the culture and history of our nation. They were selected by a series of Judges from submissions by the general public.  For the category of Trade, Industry and Commerce, we are delighted to have been chosen to make the top ten by Tristam Hunt, Historian and current Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.  We can also announce that we are working with Historic England in Rochdale to celebrate the uniqueness of Rochdale’s historic character by developing local Heritage Schools in the Borough this Summer.  We are absolutely delighted to be recognised in this way alongside some very well known sites.”

There is even quite a celebrated red post box on Toad Lane, (post boxes are yellow over here outside our office in Lanzarote) . Outside the modern museum  is a Grade II Listed pillar box and gas lamp shown below.  Historic England say that, “… Box dated 1866; by Cochrane Glove and Co. Lamp of similar date but attached later. Both box and lamp are re-sited. Cast iron. Pillar box is cylindrical on base with letters stating ‘COCHRANE GLOVE & Co /WOODSIDE WORKS/ DUDLEY 1866’ The box is without royal cipher and has annulets and horizontal slit beneath hexagonal cap. Bolted on top of the box is the gas lamp with gadrooned-vase foot from which rises a fluted shaft with foliated capital; hexagonal lantern with turned finial. The box itself is a particularly rare survival, … “

Across the cobbled Street and on an elevated position stands St Mary´s In The Baum Church. St Mary in the Baum, on St Mary’s Gate, was founded in 1740 as a chapel of ease to minister to the people living north of the River Roch.

Today’s church, designed by eminent church architect Sir Ninian Comper, was opened in 1911 and is described as ‘a place rich in Comperisms’.

Baum (Rochdale dialect for ‘balm’) refers to the wild flowers which grew in the meadows where the church was built, various thought to be Lemon Balm (Melissa Officinalis) or White Mint.

The church has sometimes wrongly been called ‘St Mary, the Baum’ as if some attribute of Our Lady. Strangely, it was also been wrongly referred to as ‘St Mary le Baum’ a rare instance of Franglais from the Lancashire mill town.

On any cold, dark night, as we used to cross the church grounds as a short cut from work to the car park we would hear whispers and echoes of the urban myths that still surround this church, that is now also a venue for a series of weekly concerts.

The church has been the venue now for a while for the series of Toad Lane Concerts. The Queen´s Award Winning concert series are delivered every Wednesday at 12.30 pm at St. Mary In The Baum, Toad Lane, Rochdale OL16 1DZ next to the site where The Rochdale Pioneers launched the co-operative movement.

The concerts are collated and introduced by Dr. Joe Dawson.

At his interesting web site at joedawson.co.uk you can follow a menu that will take you to details of his career as a music teacher and learn more about the range of his music-business services, The site even offers a music matrix that takes you to a community music overview of Rochdale and you can learn more about his work for The Rochdale Observer. The
music matrix takes you to a community music overview of Rochdale

Today, courtesy of the town´s all across the arts pages run by Steve Cooke, we bring you Dr. Joe Dawson´s reviews of a couple of concerts of the series of Toad Lane Concerts

Toad Lane Concerts

Isobel Williamson (cellist) Jonathan Ellis (piano)


Review by Dr. Joe Dawson

 17  Isobel Williamson achieved a distinction in her Masters Degree, from The Royal Northern College Of Muisc, following her firfst class muisic degree from the University of Manchester,  where she was awarded the Proctor Gregg Recital prize in her final year.

In addition to freelance orchestral work, she now performs regularly and performs witj Kirklees Music Services.

After starting to learn the piano at the age of three, Jonathan Ellis studied at Wells Cathedral School and moved on the jopints study course of the RNCM and Manchester University, where he graduated foirst class from both institutions  and gained higher diplomas and prizes as a soloist accompanist and chamber musician.

In a delightful performeance of Mendellson´s Variations OP 17, Jonathan played the vistuoso scalic passages at blistering speed, and Isavbel never short of the projected power or control. Each player perfectlñy met the technical demands of their pieces.

The more expansive Adante by Klengel offered them further expressive opportunities, as diod another Mendelsson work, Song Without Words in D Major Opus 109 wiuth its lyrical charm and moody reflections.

The Tour de Force was Beethoven´s cello sonata number 3, Opus 69 regarded as the first sonata to place the cello on equal standing with the piano. This was evident in the pair´s interpretation and their playing. The almost foierce first movement and the rhythmic second were poised briefly by a profound Adagio before the intense and driving finale. This truly dynamic duop had gioven a breath-taking and memorable performance.

Toad Lane Concerts 


The Telemann Baroque Ensemble

Review by Dr Joe Dawson

photo 17 The sophisticated troupe of Baroque music makers made their welcome quarterly visit to Toad Lane Concerts for summer. Their varied line up is drawn from the cream of freelance players in the NW and this time featured rare appearances of Alfred Pollard on oboe, and Kevin O’Sullivan bassoon.

They were ably supported by Elaine da Costa and Sarah Snape violins, John Goodstadt viola, Roger Bisby cello, and Peter Collier harpsichord. This glorious sound filled the acoustic at St Mary in the Baum.

Like layering a sumptuous cake, the strings and harpsichord began with Fasch’s Quartet Sonata in g minor establishing a fundamental rich and full ensemble sound. Then the woodwind soloists announced their individual voices with Telemann’s Trio for oboe, bassoon, and Basso Continuo in F major.

The two violinists provided a tonal contrast with Leclair’s Trio in d minor Op 4 No 1

And the whole ensemble collaborated in the little-heard, exciting Reichenauer Concerto for oboe and Bassoon in B flat.

The musical notion of ensemble has a greater sense than just a group of individuals playing together, in the same place at the same time to the same end. It suggests cooperation, sensitivity to others, contribution to a shared expression, and so on, so that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. So, with the TBE we have a true ensemble in name and nature.


from Peter Pearson

Having noticed an social media post about the cancellation of the then imminent Saturday June 24th gig by Tom Russell at Bury Met I flashed off the following e mail to our good friend and roving reporter, Peter Pearson, knowing he had a ticket for the show.

Hi Peter,

I read on FB yesterday that the Tom Russell gig at The Met has been cancelled ! It wasn´t an official announcement, but came from a reliable source, Roger Liptrot, who is a music-photographer and archivist.

So, if you haven´t heard already it might be worth checking out.

Meanwhile,I found an album on Spotify last night by Greg Brown that I hadn´t heard and it moved him way higher up my list of favourite artists. I´ve heard his duo album with Bill Morrissey, and a couple of solo albums too, but this one, Covenant, was recorded in 2000 and is full of beautiful acoustic Americana.

I´m sure you will probably know the album bit if you don´t It might offer some solace for missing out on Russell if that turns out to be the case.


photo 20 PS you should look up Roger Liptrot on a search engine. I knew him well many decades ago when his photography was simply a hobby of snapping people like Lendanear at the Gallows in Milnrow but he has made quite a name for himself, and you will certainly have seen him about with all the gigs you go to.

As if to ignore what a patronising p*****k I can be, Peter neatly framed his reply below.

.Yes -got the cancellation message from Bury Met but thanks for the heads- up. I had been looking forward to it as well.

I know Roge (right) . He was a regular at Westhoughton Folk Club when I used to go there and I have seen and spoken with him at lots of small gigs with his ever present camera.

Excellent blog today. I have the Greg Brown Covenant CD (left).

Joan Baez covered a couple of his songs on her Dark Chords on a Big Guitar album-Rexroth’s Daughter and Sleeper- and that was my introduction. Covenant is the only one I have.

I think this is one of his more accessible albums. Most others are a bit too much on the Tom Waits vocal side for me, although strangely I prefer his 2 original versions to the Joan Baez covers.

photo 23 I’m a big fan of Tim O’ Brien. His new album is called Cup of Sugar. If you want a chuckle give a listen to the title track. The lyrics are ingenious and the melody infectious.

Best wishes,

A-Z of Sidetracks And Detours

by Norman Warwick

Today, like Tom Paxton, we are bound for the mountains and the seas. Come join us and follow your art along roads and rivers through quiet countryside and crowded cities. In a new series that will take us around the world in twenty six articles, we first introduce you to an island we have come to cherish. Lanzarote features heavily in these pages, but in the coming weeks we will be travelling from Accrington to Why, Arizona and all along the way we will be thinking of an X or a Z we could report on, too.

So, we start at A, or the Art, Culture And Tourism Centres that somehow form the acronym C:A:C:T. here on Lanzarote, which starts with a C,  but we shall ignoire that

With volcanic origins and stunning lunar landscapes, Lanzarote is an island of singular beauty, a land where nature and man have been able to play in harmony, remaining in the memory of everyone who visits it.

The Art, Culture and Tourism Centers (CACT) of the Cabildo of Lanzarote are the main tourist reference of the island, promoting and protecting that singularity that makes it a unique territory. Created by the Lanzarote artist César Manrique, they perfectly combine the union between nature and art under a filosophy and a model of intervention based on sustainability.

Its origin dates back to the 1960s, when Lanzarote began to project itself in the tourism industry through public initiatives with the intention of improving the local economy. (I remember my local towen of Rochdale doing this in the eighties). The Cabildo (government) of Lanzarote, chaired by José Ramírez, together with César Manrique, Luis Morales, Antonio Álvarez, Jesús Soto, Ildefonso Aguilar and workers of the CACT, as well as professionals from other fields and the Lanzarote society itself, set out to recover and put into public use some areas of the island that stood out for their peculiar landscape, following Manrique’s vision of seeking the maximum integration of art in the natural environment, and deepen the potential of Lanzarote as a global benchmark for sustainable tourism.

Thus were born La Cueva de los Verdes (1964), Los Jameos del Agua (1966), La Casa-Museo del Campesino (1968), El Diablo Restaurant (1970), El Mirador del Río (1973), the International Museum of Contemporary Art, MIAC-Castillo de San José (1976) and El Jardín de Cáctus (1991).

Seven spaces that represent a synthesis of the natural and cultural values of the island and are a must to discover the true essence of Lanzarote, places where art and nature become one energy.

LANZAROTE Casa Museo Del Campesino

by Norman Warwick

The eight C.A.C.T. sites on Lanzarote are

Jameos del Agua is open 365 days a year Every day from 10:00 to 17:00and the venue is an includes an incredible theatre in the undergropaund caves, over which we have waxed lyrical  countless times.

Montañas del Fuego – Timanfaya is also open 365 days a year Every day from 10:00 to 17:00 and is in fact an incredible and unique lunar landscape where you might feel like talking to the man in the moon !

Castillo de San José is an atmospheric old castle that once served as a lookout against marauding Moors nut is now collection of history and ar exhibition rooms and panoramic views for the outdoor seating balcony..

Mirador del Río.stands high and proud up in the North of the island and looks down to the entire island of La Graciosa, recently inducted as the eighth Canary Island. The centre is another astonishing vision of Manrique´s and is an incredible feat of engineering that has created viewing rooms and meeting halls that we have frequently attended to cover press conferences. There are worse places to work !!

Casa de los Volcanes, or Home Of The Volcanoes  is an exhibtion housed in Jameos Del Agua. The Museum has 10 rooms distributed on two levels that are articulated around three major themes: the process of geological formation of the Corona volcanic tube and the transformation carried out in Jameos del Agua by the artist César Manrique; the work carried out in the Casa de los Volcanes and the contents of the Lanzarote Geopark – Chinijo Archipelago, and ‘Planetary analogues’, a vision of Mars on Earth.

Isloto de Fermina, or  The Islet of Fermina, facing the bay of Arrecife, was designed by the Lanzarote artist César Manrique in the 1970s. With an area of ​​more than 14,000 m2, the space has a saltwater pool and a glass-enclosed building made up of a cafeteria and various multipurpose rooms for holding events. After a lengthy period of closure brought about by the pandemic, the area has been re-imagined as effectively a conference centre with wonderful viewpoiunts and outdoor lounging areas.

The complex lies on the Arrecife water-front. The history of Puerto del Arrecife is linked to fishing activity, its small docks and its coastline, marked out by islets that emerge off the coast. One of the largest is the Islet of Fermina. 

The oldest name by which this land that emerges in front of the capital’s El Reducto beach is known is that of Islote del Quebrado. The thing about Fermina, and not about La Fermina as some people tend to say and see it written, especially by foreign journalists, comes from the use that the Lanzarote businesswoman of this name made of it as a buoy and place to build boats in the first decades of the Last century.

In 1918, the Navy Command granted the entrepreneur and rabbit ship owner Fermina García Santana an administrative concession to set up a shipyard on the Islote del Quebrado, in La Destila, next to the Reducto beach. A sloop would be built there that would bear the name “La Fermina”, as well as the popular “El Rafael”, and some other lesser tonnage ships. Since then, this area of ​​the capital of Lanzarote will be known by the name of Islote de Fermina

Jardín de Cactus is another jewel form the Cesar Manrique crown. The Cactus Garden, as we English call it, is Located in Guatiza, municipality of Teguise, El Jardín de Cactus is the last great work of César Manrique in Lanzarote, a fascinating creation that houses about 4,500 specimens of cactus of about 500 species from five continents.

The artist chose an old deposit used as a landfill in an agricultural area of extensive cactus plantations dedicated to the cultivation of cochineal, thus representing the rehabilitation of a place of great landscape value on the island in a state of neglect.

After 20 years of creation, the work gives life to an architecture full of decorative and sculptural elements that integrate with the environment, further enhancing its natural beauty. The presence of volcanic stone and basaltic monoliths turned into sculptures, resulting from the time when earth was extracted, stands out; but it is the vivacity and exoticism of the cactus that enraptures the visitor in an authentic poetic scenario of shapes, textures and colors.

This set, internationally awarded and considered one of the most important cactus gardens in the world, summarizes the rich mixture of languagesthat Manrique practiced, and that he himself called total art: a combination of architecture, spatial intervention, sculpture, interior design or gardening that allow us to know him in his pure state.

Jardín de Cactus is a peculiar and unique place where you will be able to take fun and original photos. This is a series of places we recommend taking pictures of during your visit: The 8-metre cactus at the entrance. The panoramic view of the garden from the entrance. A picture at the “asiento de la suegra” cactus, is a must. Ask about it! An interesting fountain located opposite the shop. Manrique’s work outside the toilets. The mural at the coffee shop. Molino de Guatiza.

The “Insólita” Experience, more than a tourist visit, is about living a unique experience, where the visitor will not only learn the details about the construction of the center and its historical and ethnographic link to the environment, as well as the function of cochineal cultivation and obtaining natural dyes as an economic engine for the island; but also discover the anecdotes and intimacies that make the garden unique.

The unusual experience allows us to see the center through the eyes of the artist, getting to know in depth his way of creating through the concept of total art and the ever-present binomial between art and nature.

We have waxed lyrical many times on these pages about the wonderful Jameos Del Agua theatre in the caves,  which is perhaps the most famous of the CACT sites on the island and we have frequently mentioned the most tourist friendly sites on the C:A:C:T: destinations.

However, today we take you to a site located in the geographical centre of Lanzarote. In the municipality of San Bartolomé, la Casa-Museo del Campesino, César Manrique’s work in recognition of the efforts of the farmers of Lanzarote, who faced the most adverse conditions to provide life to the territory.

photo 25 La Casa-Museo del Campesino is a journey through the Architecture, Agriculture, Crafts and traditional Gastronomy, which is completed with the Monumento a la Fecundidad (Monument to Fertility), an avant-garde work in which César Manrique wanted to pay his particular tribute.

The restaurant offers the tasting of traditional dishes and flavors of the island’s cuisinemillet broth, goat meat stew, octopus with green mojo, or the famous canarian wreckfish stew, made with market products, all paired with the largest selection of wines of Lanzarote Designation of Origin.

And for cheese lovers, we have a careful selection of fresh, semi-cured or cured Lanzarote cheeses. Handmade cheeses made mostly with goat’s milk, but also exquisite blends with sheep’s and cow’s milk. Undoubtedly a pleasure for the senses and a better souvenir.

Based on the original idea of the artist César Manrique, La Casa-Museo del Campesino is an immersion in the popular culture of Lanzarote, and proposes a journey through architecture, agriculture, crafts and traditional cuisine, through which to understand the beauty of a different island whose men and women have created a style of their own out of adversity.

Unique architecture: the architectural ensemble of la Casa-Museo del Campesino is a clear example of a unique architecture, where you can appreciate the close relationship of the local people with their territory. The farmer, out of necessity, learns to create a habitat in a predominantly arid and volcanic environment.

The traditional dwelling and the tool room whose function was to store tools and agricultural equipment  included farming tools and camel saddles, a haystack and a soco(stone circle to preserve mainly vines, but also fig and mulberry trees).

The winery and the reservoir,  as well as the vineyard, mulberry trees and palm trees. It will even be possible to appreciate how the house blends into the countryside.

El Monumento a la Fecundidad (Monument to Fertility), also known as el Monumento al Campesino (Monument to the Farmer). It is a construction of more than 15 meters, created by César Manrique together with the artist Jesús Soto, out of old water tanks from ships, iron and concrete objects assembled, a magnificent example of avant-garde art, which has become one of the iconographic symbols of the island.

Walking along the path that leads us to the back edifications, we find exposed different pieces of tillage and camel saddles, a haystack and a soco (circle of stones to preserve mainly vines, but also fig trees and mulberry trees).

Plaza de los Artesanos

La Plaza de los Artesanos (Artisans’ Square) is part of César Manrique’s project built over a stone quarry. Here are located master craftsmen of the island, which will show you the keys to different traditional techniques of Lanzarote.

The masters located in la Plaza de los Artesanos try to preserve and promote authentic local craftsmanship by offering workshops and exhibiting their pieces for sale.

Braiding and Millinery

Artisan: Yolanda Benedicta Torres Moreno

The natural palm heart comes from the central leaves of palm trees (they are cut, traditionally, on the day of San Juan), dried in the sun and manually laminated. The technique of traditional braiding with several strands and later cooked with others, has been used in the islands throughout the years for multiple uses such as the creation of hats, carpets, etc.

Her products are made with artisan techniques and, for the most part, with sustainable materials such as palm heart, palm, porcelain or ceramics, among others, with which she creates from hats and headdresses to earrings or brooches.

Email:  yolandatorresmoreno@gmail.com

Leather workshop

Artisan: Víctor Socas

Leather is a very resistant material traditionally used in the Canary Islands to manufacture different utensils.

His products are natural, vegetable and chrome tanned, with which he makes articles for pets, fashion accessories such as backpacks, bags or shoes.

Email:  victorsocasoaz@gmail.com

Cochineal Dyeing Workshop

Artisan: Conchi García 

The grana cochineal is a parasitic insect of the cactus from which a natural red or crimson colored extract is obtained, which when mixed with acid or alkaline substances gives other reddish and purple tones.

During her professional development as an artisan, Conchi García has always been interested in traditional techniques and within them she has dedicated herself both to the smooth loom and to the traditional techniques of dyeing with cochineal, starting with dyeing wool and silk scarves.

Regular readers of Sidetracks And Detours might be interested to that Liz, (wife of Larry MBE) Yaskiel, the honorary editor of Lancelot quarterly magazine here on the island, recently travelled across with her husband to a Buckingham Palace Garden Party to celebrate his award. Whilst Larry was taking a quick look at the sheets on a music stand to look at what music might be played that he might know, Liz went off to speak with two young soldiers in bright red jackets and black Busby hats.

She took the opportunity to promote Lanzarote and two great parts of its history, telling them all about the cochineal beetle, found on cacti onb Lanzarote, that had probably produced the red dye for their uniforms, and also about how much Lancelot magazine does to promote the connections between The Canary Islands and The British Isles. Larry and Liz have lived on the island as full time residents on the island for many years now and Larry has even written about about these connections between the two sets of islands.

Email:  conchigarciarodriguez56@gmail.com

Gofio and Mojo Workshop (toasted meal and local sauce)

Artisan: Estefanía González 

Discover how to prepare the most famous of the Canarian sauces, mojo picón, or how to make a traditional pella de gofio, something very typical of Canarian gastronomy that you can taste and take the recipe home.

Email:  experimentalanzarote@gmail.com

One of the wonderful thing about Lanzarote is that, thanks to the ingenuity of independent solo (and collaborative artists)   we can find diverse art forms on display in huge public exhibition spaces, and also in an artist´s small intimate premises. Claudie, a friend of ours, is one such artist. We received the following invitation today (I´m  writing this on Wednesday 21st June).


received by Norman Warwick

6 hola ahoy dear friends, a few wild, creative ideas have kept me awake the past nights. Brain and hand have been buzzing for days the new works are ready now and I would like to present them to you before the summer break. At 25.06. from 11:00-18:00 here in my casa amarilla I will do another ART SUNDAY

What will you find here? Well … Sea Glass Fairy Tales + Driftwood art + Stone and Sea Glass Jewellery + Acrylic Paintings + Lava Lanterns + Illustrations + Nature Furniture + Decoration + Driftwood Lanterns + Island Photography + Postcards + Mini Masterpieces … and,.. and,.. and,.. me!

This all will be happening as always in a chilled atmosphere. To moisten your throat there will be helpful water or cava, I would be very happy if you can visi, either alone or with relatives and friends (two- and four-legged are all welcome) 

It would be great if you share my little art Sunday event.

My door will be open from 11:00 a.m.

We have sadly had to miss the last couple of events, but we will make it on Sunday. We live at the Southern tip of the island and Clauie is at just about the northernmost tip,…bit it’s a beautiful coast road for virtually all the forty mike journey.

You know my joke about how we need to build a bigger bookshelf,….. we always find some beautiful art items to purchase when we visit Claudie, and as we missed the last couple of events I´m pretty sure that today we might even need a bigger car.

WHAT´S NEXT                by Norman Warwick

Our next volume of Pass It On (volume 7) will carry reviews of Claudie´s Arts Sunday and of the bonfire, fireworks, music and celbrations of Noche de San Juan, all gathered around midnight on the Reducto beach in Arrecife

Our daily posts from Monday 26th June to 30th June will introduce you to a chapter of writers, to discuss whether we become the books we read. We also count all the road running by Emmylou Harris and Mark Knopfler in our Knopfler Kronikles series and take a look at a song-writers writer. Of course we will continue building our bookshelf because  we would like to squeeze in Lady GaGa

If you would like submit pieces for consideration please sned them in a word document attachment to


You may like to include a photograph and brief bio details if you wish. All arts related items will be considered for publication and will be fully attributed. ç

We are sorry that as a non-for profit organisation we cannot pay for submissions but we will always seek to profile your wrok in the best possible manner.

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