Thursday, 20 November 2014

Visit Santa and support Julia’s House

Father Christmas will be making a grand entrance in Wimborne on Saturday, November 29th  to take up residence in the Julia’s House grotto.
He will be arrive in style aboard a horse-drawn dray at noon - ahead of the town’s official Christmas light switch on later that evening – and will be welcoming visitors until 6pm.
The grotto will be open every Saturday in the run-up to Christmas, including 20th December, from 10.30am to 4.30pm. Every child who visits will receive a gift and every visit will be supporting local life-limited children. It costs £6 to meet Santa with all proceeds going to the Dorset children’s hospice.
There will be festive activities for all the family plus a few surprise guests popping up at the grotto – last year they included Mickey Mouse, a giant polar bear and a pair of adorable Shetland ponies complete with antlers!
“We are so excited to be back in Wimborne this year, just up the road from our hospice,” said Community Fundraising Manager Lin Hudswell. “It is such a wonderful town and everyone has been so welcoming.
“Last year was a huge success with more than 350 children visiting Santa. The Wimborne community were thrilled to have a local charity at the heart of their Christmas celebrations. We hope lots of families will come along and see Santa and join in the festive fun.”
For more information about the Julia’s House Christmas Grotto, please visit

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Santa returns to the Quay

Santa Will Be Parading In Poole

Santa will still be parading in Poole this year thanks to Borough of Poole working with the local community and partners.
The busy man will be taking time out from his packed schedule to join in with a host of festive fun on Poole Quay on Sunday 7 December, 4-7pm for a free evening of seasonal treats sponsored by Jenkins Marine Ltd.

His extra special stop is the result of the council, with support from local business and organisations, stepping in following the cancellation of the traditional Dolphin Shopping Centre Santa Parade. As a result the Santa will be joining in with Christmas on the Quay, a community event supported by the Jolly Sailor, Poole Harbour Commissioners and Poole Tourism.

Families will have a free opportunity to see the man himself, as Santa arrives on Poole Quay at 4pm by RNLI Lifeboat decorated with Christmas lights. Santa plus a few special guests including stilt walkers, and his elves, will take to Poole Land Train, parading up and down the Quay before a quayside walkabout to hand out special treats, kindly donated by Sainsbury's Poole. Santa will wave goodbye to the crowds at 5.30pm and leave the Quay, again by the RNLI lifeboat.

Cllr Xena Dion, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Tourism, Borough of Poole, said; “The strength of feeling within the community following the cancellation of the Santa Parade really showed how important the event is to Poole's residents. Christmas on the Quay has been a fantastic event for many years and we are particularly grateful to Jenkins Marine, the Jolly Sailor, Poole Park Land Train and Poole Harbour Commissioners, for allowing us to add this parade to their annual Christmas event. I would also like to commend Poole Tourism and the council's Economic Development and Transportation Teams for working to ensure this event goes ahead this year.”

Poole’s Christmas on the Quay will provide plenty of cheer with children’s rides, stalls, colouring corner and festive music, as well as a chance to write your letter to Santa. Test your strength on the ring the bell machine, win a prize on the tombola or Splat a Santa game. Jamie Jigsaw will help you to sharpen those circus skills in his workshop or create and take home your own balloon character at the free Make & Take.

After Santa departs, Children from Old Town First School will add to the Christmas Spirit with traditional carols by the tree against a background of seasonal snow. Festive food, traditional refreshments, mince pies and roasted chestnuts will be available as the Jolly Sailor, Scaplens Court and Quayside bars and restaurants offer a range of seasonal fare with music and seasonal songs, plus performances from singer Karl Lattimer.

From 6pm Poole’s quayside will light up with a magical Flotilla of Lights as illuminated boats take to the waves to parade alongside Poole Quay, lighting the water with their Christmas light displays with prizes and a trophy awarded to the best dressed boat.
As well as rides and Christmas street entertainers, children will have the chance to write that all important letter to Father Christmas which can be posted in Santa’s special post box in the Welcome Centre.

This year Poole Museum is celebrating the festive season with an atmospheric late night opening of Scaplen’s Court with a Tudor-themed Christmas experience and the chance to enjoy a mince pie, some traditional wassail (mulled cider) in an unique historic setting. As well as carol-singing there will be a range of free activities guaranteed to put the family into the festive spirit. Help to decorate the Yule log, make pomanders and take part in Tudor crafts. All activities are free and materials are provided. There’s no need to book, simply drop in, but the earlier the better as it always a popular event with activities from 3.30pm until 7.30pm.

Rod Jenkins from Jenkins Marine, said: “Christmas on the Quay is a lovely community event with a real sense of the spirit of the season and this year will be even better. The traditional games and activities bring festive family fun that adults remember and kids really enjoy. It is fantastic to see how everyone involved has pulled together. We love being involved with it and hope everyone enjoys it.”

Graham Richardson, Head of Poole Tourism, said: "We are very pleased that Poole's residents will be able to welcome Santa as he arrives at Poole Quay and are grateful to the RNLI for agreeing to use their illuminated lifeboat for the occasion. We are working hard with partners and the council’s Economic Development and Transportation Teams to ensure the event provides fun, family entertainment. Whilst the event cannot be the same scale as the Dolphin Shopping Centre’s Santa Parade, it will still allow children a great opportunity to meet Santa and his elves and we would like to thank everyone for their support."

Poole Quay from Corkers to the Thistle Hotel will be closed to vehicles from 3.30pm and will re-open by 8.30pm. Free parking is available in Poole Town Centre car parks from 10am-6pm.


Saturday, 8 November 2014

Review - Party entertainer Mr Merlin and Okey Dokey the dragon

Mr Merlin and Okey Dokey the dragon

We first met Mr Merlin and Okey Dokey 11 years ago when he performed his show for our older children. It was a pleasure to introduce him to the younger ones. We went along to one of his shows recently at the Sovereign centre, when we arrived he was setting up and as with all our entertainers we didn't tell him we were reviewing.

There is quite a large difference from entertaining at an organised party to performing in a shopping centre, there didn't seem to be many children around and those that wondered past were ushered away by their parents, busy with their shopping chores.

Mr Merlin began his show and gradually children appeared and adults slowed down to watch. Within just a few minutes quite a crowd had formed and we were impressed at how Mr Merlin engaged the crowd as well as a few older children who pretended they weren't interested!

We enjoyed the range of jokes aimed at both older and younger parents and the children were giggling at the magic tricks. Several children were picked to go on stage and all the children were keen to participate.

The highlight of the show has to be the cute dragon Okey Dokey , my daughter was picked to go on stage and as I have mentioned before, she is very shy and I thought she would refuse. Not only did she go on stage but she spoke into the microphone and kissed Okey Dokey!

A timeless entertainer who appeals to all ages, you can contact Mr Merlin here

Thursday, 30 October 2014

£10,000 in memory of Angie

A TRIBUTE fund set up in memory of a much-missed mum struck down by cancer has raised in excess of £10,000 for Forest Holme Hospice Charity. 


Angie Simms, a popular district nurse from Corfe Mullen, sadly died aged just 55, following a five year battle with ovarian cancer.
Angie, who has three children and four grandchildren was a keen netball player and enjoyed ‘hashing’ - a form of non-competitive cross-country running with Wessex Hash House Harriers.
She was a much loved wife, mum, ‘nangie’ and friend and was known for her wicked sense of humour, beautiful smile and love of adventure.
Angie’s daughter Emma said, “She never let the cancer get her down and even went on eight mile ‘hash’ runs following an afternoon of chemotherapy. She was an inspiration to us all.”
Angie’s niece Hayley added; “Angie was still nursing and treating patients herself whilst suffering from cancer, she was a real life superwoman.”
Following Angie’s death on 24 February 2014, Angie’s friends and family have been busy organising an array of fundraising events in support of Forest Holme Hospice, which cared for Angie during her final days. The most recent event organised by Angie’s husband, Martin, was a 100km social bike ride over the Jurassic Coast known as a ‘Bash’.
Martin said; “Her family, friends and fellow hashers followed a trail that had been laid by volunteers, cycling up and down hills through the picturesque Dorset countryside.
I’d like to say a big thank you to all those who faced the challenge, and had fun, whilst raising money for such a worthy cause.”
To date, Angie’s friends and family have raised a total of £10,754 in her name. To donate in memory of Angie please visit;

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Review - Copocabana at Bournemouth Pavilion


Review of Copocabana opening night.

The first night of the show Copocabana- a colourful production full of song and dance although the storyline could have been better. Jon Lee is a good lead with a great voice and Richard Grieve is great as nightclub owner Sam Silver but the show does lack stage design, scenery change and definitely a lack of “well known” Barry Manilow songs. The song Copocabana is not sung until the finale.
The lack of stage design, backdrops and the constant moving around of two sets of steps spoils what could be an exciting show. The choreography, singing and costumes were good but overall the show lacks just a little something. Nice show but not an exciting show.
Show reviewed by Mumsnet Local Ambassador Sharon
Copocabana is at  the Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre 27 October 2014 – 1 November 2014

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

October half-term - 50% off all off-peak day returns on Southwest trains!

We have a great deal for you from Southwest trains, it's a great time to go off for an adventure with the family.
This October half-term enjoy 50% off standard off-peak day return tickets every day from Saturday 25 to Friday 31 October 2014.
The best news is you can travel ANYWHERE across the South West Trains network! So book your ticket online today and start exploring! You can also book your tickets at ticket offices or by calling 0345 6000 650.

Remember you must book your ticket a minimum of 24 hours before you travel to receive the discounted fare!

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Jamie Jambo - Party entertainer review

Jamie Jambo - Bournemouth party entertainer

We attended a party this weekend where Jamie Jambo was the entertainer. My daughter has seen him before so didn't seem anxious about sitting down to watch him. She is five and finds parties quite stressful as she is very shy. On this occasion she really enjoyed the show, Jamie is fresh and energetic and had the children giggling away.

Some of the children were asked to help out in the show and they all joined in with the fun, Jamie juggled, the children were plate spinning and the birthday girl had a special part to play. We were particularly impressed with the special guest at the show!

We noticed that all of the children were engrossed, including the shy ones and the parents were able to sit back and enjoy a hot drink and enjoy the show too.

We will look forward to seeing Jamie again.

You can find out more about Jamie Jambo here

NB: Jamie was unaware we were reviewing