Countdown to Performance Part 4

It’s been longer than I intended since the last post, but I’ve got some exciting stuff to communicate this time for those that haven’t already seen them on my social media platforms.

First of all a massive thank you must go to Tony Ward at Topcolor Fotoworx on Hessle Road in Hull, and to Chris Corbett, for their collaboration on our advertising poster for An Ordinary Hero: The Jack Harrison Story and our new logo for the Jack Harrison VC MC Statue Campaign.

Production Poster

At this point, because this is our production poster, I do have to tell everybody that this production does involve flashing images, strobe lighting and smoke effect, you need to be aware of this if you’re planning on getting a ticket and coming to see it.

Our cast continue to work extremely hard, indeed Chris Corbett and Chloe Oldridge-Field were brought in for an extra rehearsal this week because the chemistry between their characters, Jack and his wife Lilian, is absolutely all important, so they have to be completely natural with each other, which only comes through them having time together rehearsing, along with director Laura Suter.

As you will be able to see on the poster, which is very obviously adorned by Chris, tickets will cost £10 while concessions, including forces veterans will cost £8 for any of the performances, they are available now at Park Street Performing Arts Centre and online here as well.

Of course there is another agenda here that goes way beyond selling tickets for this production, that is because we are aiming to raise enough money, however long it might take, to have a statue of Jack erected in Hull City Centre, which is where all the proceeds from this production are going, while also educating people about this incredible true story, as well as reminding everybody we’re still here.

Jack Harrison logo

It also happens to be the nearest weekend to Jack’s birthday, which is on 12th November. I was also told something quite interesting by our director recently, she says she was told about some funding we may be able to access from two massive organisations which are usually reserved for just such a project, I will be chasing these up this week.

I will finish for now, but make no mistake, it will not take as long again for me to post in here, see you soon. #Statue52 #2Legends1Man #JackHarrisonVC

Countdown to Performance Part 3

Well it’s been slightly dramatic since I last posted here, but I can assure you that everything is very much under control, and indeed very exciting.

The big news is that, due to unforeseen circumstances, Kathryn Tinson and our director Cassie Patton, have both had to drop out, although they will be still very much a part of the production, it will be in different ways.

Their replacements are the fabulous Chloe Oldridge-Field, who will be playing the part of Lilian, and Laura Suter who has taken over as our director. Laura very much made her presence felt in the photo shoot we had on Friday, handing out rehearsal schedules, being very much in harmony with the cast and discussing some very good ideas with yours truly.

Chloe, who I know having worked with her on a previous production this year, is a very talented lady, who I can’t wait to see on stage in An Ordinary Hero: The Jack Harrison Story, and from what I understand, she is excited to be in it. She has a BA (Hons) degree in Drama from University of Lincoln, so everybody immediately knows she is top notch.

I also need to thank Topcolor Fotoworx on Hessle Road for their help in doing the photo shoot for the advertising posters/flyers that will become very prevalent in the coming weeks, I also believe some of the pictures will be used in the special souvenir programme that will be available at the performances.

I can assure you, our cast are working incredibly hard to bring you a production to remember, one which will live long in the memory, which will also be seen by members of Jack’s family with any luck at all.

I’m also in discussion with another writer, who may have something to show you, which has definitely got my interest, for reasons which will become apparent later.

Finally I need to remind people, we are all volunteers in this enterprise, doing what we’re doing to raise funds for the Jack Harrison VC MC Statue Campaign. We have had some donations from people and businesses for the production, but we also need people to donate to our JustGiving page for which they will receive very public appreciation and maybe a bit more, but it all depends on the level of support that is given.

It doesn’t matter how much you can give, absolutely every penny is vital to what we’re trying to achieve.

I’m sure I will be posting here again sooner rather than later, definitely this week, so please keep your eyes open, your support, in whatever form it takes, is hugely appreciated by myself, the cast, and all associated with the statue campaign.

Below, you will see a picture that is very self-explanatory for why I’ve added it. #Statue52

Lilian with the King. HD news

Countdown to Performance part 1

Here I am again, with more news about An Ordinary Hero: The Jack Harrison Story, the play I have written for two reasons.

It never ceases to amaze me how few people know anything about Jack Harrison VC MC, so that was one of the main reasons why I decided to sit down and write this play which will be performed at Park Street Performing Arts Centre on Friday 8th, Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th November.

Originally I wrote the short play Our Jack, which was part of the work in progress at the time. We performed Our Jack three times to see how it was received. The people involved in those performances were Clare Crowther, Katie Stones, Jessica Palmer, Kenny Richards-Preston, Jordan Matfin and our original director who is back to direct this production Cassie Patton.

Our Jack then progressed into the feature length production that you will be able to see in November. It was originally performed in May of last year, before I came across some new information about Jack, thanks to my friend Paul Dunham in June or July, causing me to then re-write parts of it before presenting it in front of Jack’s closest relatives in November of last year.

The process this time is already feeling very different to the production that featured the likes of Luke Gillingham, Tim Bettridge, Kieran Danby, Kathryn Tinson (who is in it again this time) Clare Crowther, Sara Featherstone, Johnny Coupland and James Murtagh last year, however with an almost completely different cast and with a returning director, I believe that was always inevitable anyway.

Cassie is seeing it very differently to how I saw it before, and is undoubtedly putting her very experienced stamp on it, while I am largely leaving them to it. When you have an original Hull Trucker as your director, it is probably best to just hand it over and tell the cast and crew to get on with it.

Last night we had a fitting for the actors who need to wear World War 1 uniforms, while I was entrusted with the replica weapons that will feature prominently, but don’t worry they cannot possibly be fired, they just look very convincing, which you will see at the production.

At this point I do have to thank Stephen Manners who is being massively helpful supplying us with the uniforms and replica weapons, some of which are all handmade by him personally.

I know some people who have seen the production before are coming to see it again, and I can absolutely promise that what they see this time will be very different to what they’ve seen before. This is largely because a different director and a largely different cast will, obviously see it differently to who worked on it before, they will have their own way of doing things, which has already been clearly displayed in rehearsals, and they will see it differently and therefore, naturally will communicate it differently, something else which I have noticed in the rehearsals that I have been allowed to attend.

I am now in the strange position, strange for me anyway, of just leaving it alone, not attending rehearsals. Every production I have ever written before I have always been involved in rehearsals, helping by explaining context and how I saw it when I was writing it etc. It’s a funny feeling, but I trust everyone of the cast implicitly, which is also very important in this business. I have been very fortunate to always be able to trust the people I’ve worked with on any production, but previously I have maybe been asked to attend rehearsals, but now I’m being asked to leave them to it, which I am very happy to do so I can spend more time at home with my wife.

In the coming days and weeks I am planning meetings with some of the cast to discuss what local businesses can be given for becoming official backers of the production and the statue campaign, advertising, the special souvenir programme that will be available at the performances and at the end of next week we have a photo shoot for our advertising materials and the programme, so before too long I will have some new images to share with you here, which you can then look out for in various locations around our very cultured city.

Obviously the other reason I wrote this play was as a fundraising vehicle for the statue campaign. We really need as many people as possible to get behind this production by buying tickets to come and see it, or becoming official backers of it and/or the statue campaign please. We do have a JustGiving Page and a bank account, into which you can make one-off or regular monthly donations to support what we’re doing. I can’t stress enough just how important public support is for us.

But for now, just let me say thank you for reading this blog post, there will be another one in the next few days no doubt, and once again thanks very much for everybody who has previously worked on this production, and to Chris C. Corbett, Kathryn Tinson, Jules Lloyd, Cassie Patton, Dave Ross, Jayden Platten and Kev Shephard who are working so hard along with Stephen Manners and my good friend Shaun French who is a trustee at the venue where it will be performed.

#Statue52 #2Legends1Man #JackHarrisonVC



New Start

I ran this blog when I was doing my degree in Journalism and Digital Media at Hull School of Art and Design from 2014 to 2017. It’s been pretty dormant since then (maybe the occasional post) but nothing like on the scale I’m planning now, after it was suggested I take up blogging again.

The obvious thing to do to start blogging again would be to start up a new one, but that would mean starting from scratch, and this way, if people actually take an interest in what I’m writing these days, they can also look through most of the work I did on my degree.

Of course the other side to restarting on my old blog, is updating you all with what has happened to me since I graduated in 2017, or the highlights at least.

Three months after I graduated I got married to my Alison. She was one of the people who suggested I do my degree when I wasn’t so sure, she also stuck by me and, along with my friends on my degree Jools Oughtibridge and Aaron Irwin, convinced me that I could successfully complete my degree, of course they were right.

Alison is also the one who convinced me that I could study and complete my Masters Degree in English Creative Writing at University of Hull, which I am on the brink of completing, but that’s another blog post for a later date I suppose.

Something which hangs over from doing my degree to this day is that I am still running the Jack Harrison VC MC Statue Campaign.

At present we are now in rehearsals for the play I wrote about Jack, it’s title is An Ordinary Hero: The Jack Harrison Story. It will be performed at Park Street Performing Arts Centre on Friday 8th, Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th November. We are also looking for local businesses to sponsor us and also pay for advertising in the programme we hope to produce, so if you read this and know of any businesses that might want to advertise at very competitive prices, please contact me by email on asap!

As for journalism, I’ve had commissioned work in the national Daily Mail and the Daily Express, as well as producing paid work for the positive news platform founded by my good friend Jerome Whittingham (who is also on the Jack Harrison VC MC Statue Campaign committee) and I’ve also had work in The Hull Hub, Hull Echo and website, or at least they’re the ones that I’m still writing for.

Just over a year ago Jools who I mentioned earlier gave me the opportunity to run Twitter networking platform @HullHour which takes place every Thursday between 8 and 9pm, just tweet to it and put #HullHour as well and I’ll retweet it, like it and network it any day of the week, it’s particularly useful for advertising, catching up with people, finding out what’s going on in the local area etc.

I’m also doing some voluntary work for community radio station Beverley FM on 107.8 FM, I’m their news and sports reporter, although at the moment the vast majority of my work for them is sports, for instance I’ll be in the press box tonight at the KCOM Stadium for the Betfred Super League game between Hull FC and Huddersfield Giants, to write a match report for the Beverley FM website and record coaches and player press conferences afterwards for broadcast on the airwaves.

I have currently got many irons in the fire for work, particularly my work with our Northern Ireland veterans which is getting sent to a particular national newspaper who showed a brief interest in it. However freelance journalism work is very hard to come by and get paid for, so I’m also applying for jobs all over the place.

What I also intend to do on this blog, at least once a week for now, is a Countdown to Performance, where I will let anybody interested enough know exactly how everything is going, as we go through the process of Page to Stage.

Your cast of the play are:- Chris C. Corbett – Jack, Kathryn Tinson – Lilian, Kev Shephard – John Harrison, Jayden Platten – Matthew, Jules Lloyd – Charlotte and Dave Ross – Sergeant Bob Wells and our Director is original Hull Trucker Cassie Patton, all of whom are working ridiculously hard to bring you a first class production.

I’ve got to thank Shaun French as well for arranging for us to perform the play at Park Street Performing Arts Centre, he’s been a real pleasure to deal with, and very helpful as well. I’ve also got to say Stephen Manners who is providing us with the necessary World War 1 uniforms and dummy weapons, is being absolutely essential to what I’m sure will be a first class show.

Anyway, I think that’s probably enough for now, I do hope plenty of you will start reading these blog posts, I’ll be using it to update you about everything I’m involved with.

Jack standing Hull kit.

Members Monday

In a weekly feature on and on the club’s social media channels, Members Monday showcases and reward the club’s loyal members.

With the 2017 Magic Weekend this weekend, we have a special member this week who won’t have to travel far to watch the Black and Whites in action!

Name: Lee Holdsworth

Member since: 1978

Favourite current player: Danny Houghton

All-time favourite player: James Leuluai

Lee Holdsworth has to make a near 300-mile round trip to watch Hull FC at the KCOM Stadium, but this weekend’s game is a little closer to home.

Lee lives in Newcastle, the venue for Magic Weekend due to take centre stage in the north east this weekend, and he is very much looking forward to the Airlie Birds landing on his doorstep.

He Said: “I’m disappointed it’s not against Rovers, but it’s a definite highlight having the Hull crowd in Newcastle!

“We all love the team obviously, but the supporters are really what it’s all about for me.”

Hull will wear a special edition shirt for this Saturday’s game, based on the style of popular Marvel character the Hulk.

FC could be known as ‘Hulk FC’ this weekend and the jersey has been popular in the Holdsworth household.

“I love it, me and my daughter have ordered it,” he said.

“We’ve also got the green spray and the Hulk masks. We’re both going as the Hulk! We can’t wait for it, it’s absolutely fantastic.”

Despite a long trek to watch his beloved Hull FC week in, week out, the Black and Whites hold a special place in Lee’s heart and explains why he makes the long journey to watch his team.

He said: “Living away it’s a link with Hull: the supporters, the people, my family and hometown.

“I took my mum to the last game in 2014 and I said to her, ‘I’m going to buy a season ticket and take you to every game’.

“We’ll always support Hull FC. My daughter was born in Newcastle and she went to her school sports day in her away shirt with Mahe Fonua’s autograph on it!”

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Reserves Match Report v Halifax

Hull FC reserves claimed a fourth straight victory in emphatic fashion as Halifax reserves were put to the sword at The Shay.

Marvin Lee grabbed two tries and the man of the match award, as the Black & Whites rattled up an impressive eight tries under the watchful eye of first-team head coach Lee Radford in the stands.

The Match

An early penalty presented the young Black & Whites with territory and possession and Nick Rawsthorne profited against his former club from a deft kick by Jack Wray to open the scoring.

Another opportunity soon came the Airlie Birds’ way and Lee sliced through some weak defending to score beside the posts. Rawsthorne was successful with the boot to extend the lead to 12 points.

A minute later, Lee grabbed his second try as a break in midfield by Masimbaashe Matongo split the home defence wide open, and the stand off was on hand to finish the move, Rawsthorne added the extras from in front of the posts.

A mistake from Halifax gave Hull a scrum 10 meters out and a quick move to the right saw Ash Bastiman stopped just short before he handed on to captain Jack Downs to score.

After the early burst of points, the game settled into an end-to-end tussle with both sides creating opportunities, but defences very much on top along with some silly mistakes by both sides.

However as half-time approached, a kick was defused by Jack Sanderson and the winger took a quick tap on the 20-metre line and sent full-back Mike Adlard racing 70 metres to score under the posts.

Half-time: Halifax reserves 0 Hull FC reserves 30

A knock on by Ross Osborne from a difficult kick gave Halifax a chance early in the second half, which was soon followed by a soft penalty as the pressure increased on the Black & Whites’ defence.

From that pressure, prop Luke Nelmes was able to force his way over for their first score and the conversion was added by Jordan Syme.

A penalty allowed Wray to dispatch the ball into the Halifax half and from the resulting pressure, a deft kick from the scrum-half was touched down by the on-rushing Bastiman. Wray was off target with the conversion attempt from out wide.

Soon after that try, Osborne was sent to cool off for ten minutes and Halifax awarded a penalty which saw them push into the Black & Whites’ half, however they wasted that opportunity as organised defence forced them to knock on.

Another soft penalty allowed Hull to set up position in the Halifax danger zone again and from that position, Wray produced an offload for Alex Gilbey to crash over between the posts.

Halifax pulled one back through centre Jamie Stringer being the beneficiary, however Curtis Edwards-Hampson was off target with the conversion.

After yet another penalty, FC pressed the Halifax line again and Connor Bower was able to force his way over from close range to extend the lead.

As the match drew to a close, tempers frayed and Josh Wood was sent to the sin bin, while Halifax forward Nelmes received a red card from the same incident.

Halifax grabbed a consolation score in the last few minutes as Sion Jones was able to bash his way over through some tired defending, Morgan Punchard added the extras from almost in front of the posts.

Another break from Halifax saw the home side streaming forward and winger Jack Mead crossed in the corner, Punchard was wide of the mark with the boot.


Hull FC: Mike Adlard, Nick Rawsthorne, Connor Bower, Cameron Scott, Jack Sanderson, Marvin Lee, Jack Wray, Ross Osborne, Josh Wood, Masimbaashe Matongo, Jack Downs (c), Ash Bastiman, Zeus Silk. Interchange: Jez Litten, Alex Gilbey, Nick Slyney, Billy Wardill

Tries: Nick Rawsthorne (2) Marvin Lee (8, 9) Jack Downs (15) Mike Adlard (37) Ash Bastiman (52) Alex Gilbey (65) Connor Bower (74)

Goals: Nick Rawsthorne 5/5, Jack Wray 2/3

Man of the Match: Marvin Lee

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