Chester weekly news flash #10

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  • As the city starts to return to some sort of live music normality, the local open mic scene is starting to tentatively return to a few local venues. At the time of blogging the following weekly OM’s are now confirmed. SUNDAY: THE RAVEN FOLK CLUB (The Bear and Billet) – Weekly Open Singers’ Night hosted by Nick Mitchell and Full House. 8.30pm start. TUESDAY: ALEXANDERS LIVE – A weekly Open Mic with guest hosts. Free entry and a free drink for performers. Sign up from 7.30pm. THE CARLTON TAVERN (HANDBRIDGE): – A weekly Open Mic with guest hosts. Free entry and a free drink for performers. THURSDAY: THE CENTURION – Weekly Open Mic hosted by Luos Johnson. A free drink for performers. Telford’s Warehouse return with their Sunday evening from the 5th of September and The Bromfield Arms are rumoured to be starting their Thursday evening soon as well. To keep up to date with OM events as they unfold, you can join the FB group ‘Chester Open Mic Events’ founded by Dan Schott in 2017 and run by local singer-songwriter Davis Watson: In other live music news, quality local event promoters Roman Candle are thrilled to welcome Tom Blackwell back to The Golden Eagle, Chester. Friday 10th September, 8PM. FREE ENTRY. Anyone who has seen Tom Blackwell perform will have witnessed a truly sublime singer-songwriter distilling his blues, folk, soul and gospel influences into what Bob Harris has rightly described as ‘wonderful, heartfelt music’. You can find out more at (Dan Schott)
Tom Blackwell 10th September
  • Following on from their successful post Covid relaunch, Cars and Coffee Cheshire have announced a team up with local charity Share Shop UK. Car fans reserving their place for the event in September will be able to select a second ticket option which includes a donation to Share, in support of their work with the homeless in Chester and refugees everywhere : Anyone wishing to donate funds, goods and services, or wishing to volunteer to support refugees is advised to contact Share or one of the established local charities.
Historic empty unit on Bridge street to be filled
  • Independent artisan creatives Bloom and Albion are seeking to open a “Maker’s space” in the former Trespass unit on Bridge street (also known affectionately by many as the former Bookland site). The new business will include a shop, a cafe and artists studios. For further updates see
  • Last chance this week to see Pete Waterman and friends’ Making Tracks train display at Chester Cathedral. The 74ft model display featuring the West Coast main line runs until 3rd September.
  • Eco Communities is working with Cheshire West and Chester Council, Cheshire West Voluntary Action (CWVA) and other partners to hold a Great Big Green Week Festival at Grosvenor Park in Chester on Saturday 25 September. Great Big Green Week takes place from 18 to 26 September around the UK and will be one of the largest events for climate and nature seen, celebrating how communities are taking action to tackle climate change and protect green spaces and encouraging others to get involved. The Great Big Green Week Festival at Grosvenor Park will run from 11am to 4pm and there’ll be something for everyone, such as speakers, sustainable walks, workshops and stalls selling eco, green and sustainable goods. If you’d like to have a workshop or stall at the event on 25 September, you can register through Eventbrite. Get involved and register today Helen Tandy, Director of Eco Communities, said: “With the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve had to put a number of events on hold so this is a fantastic opportunity for us all to come together and help create a greener and cleaner environment. Many other events will be taking place around the UK during the Great Big Green Week and you can view these on the official website. Visit the Great Big Green Week website If you’d like to organise an event in Cheshire West and Chester, email: You can also download a communication pack to help you promote your own Great Big Green Week event and access other useful resources.
  • Sealand Vegan Market takes place this Saturday (28th) at Chester Employment Park, Minerva Avenue. Hosted by White Rabbit Kitchen, the debut market includes everything from vegan cheese to jewellery, doughnuts, skincare, vegan chocolate and artisan pies. Entry is free and includes live music and will be raising funds for Almost Home Dog Rescue.
  • Tickets for Gladfest 2021, at Gladstone’s library – which features talks with writers like Sarah Perry (The Essex Serpent) and Katie Hale (My name is Monster) are now on sale. This year the festival will be underpinned by both the normal and the new; most of the guest speakers are familiar faces, but Gladfest will be held live online for the first time.   This marks the return of the festival after the hiatus last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.   The event will run across two days, with talks streamed live between 10.30am and 4.30pm on September 11 and 12.  Louisa Yates, Director of Collections and Research at the library, said: ‘One of the things that became clear during the pandemic lockdowns was that many of our generous supporters live quite far afield and some may never have set foot in Gladstone’s. Now they can take part in our programmes, too. This will allow us to share our events far further than before.’  In addition to Sarah Perry, author of Essex Girls, and Katie Hale, poet and novelist, speakers include Natasha Pulley, who will talk about her sequel to The Watchmaker of Filigree Street, and Sally Magnusson, who will discuss her historical novel, The Ninth Child.   Professor Ian Bradley will share insights into death and heaven from his book The Quiet Haven, while award-winning writer Francis Spufford will talk about his work on the critically acclaimed Light Perpetual.   The event will also mark the premiere of a filmed talk by writer, broadcaster and cleric Richard Holloway (Stories We Tell Ourselves: Making Meaning in a Meaningless Universe) and an ambient audio piece by award-winning author Melissa Harrison (By Ash, Oak and Thorn) on the subject of attentiveness.   In addition, Peter Francis, Warden of Gladstone’s Library, will introduce his memoir entitled The Widening Circle of Us, which tackles issues of inclusion and diversity in education and the church, and looks back on his life, including, of course, his twenty-five years at the library.   Each event will last one hour and will take place on Zoom. Tickets for each talk are £5, each sold separately.

To Have and to Hold is a new art project by Dr Donna Leishman. . Donna has selected and responded to three Cestrian pieces of folklore which, all in different ways, remind us of the past social structures and the role that wishing had for young women and their aspirations for life. Access the art via In collaboration with Storyhouse young leaders, Wishful Thinking offers a free audio tour /podcast based on a “wishful thinking walking route” taking in landmarks including Storyhouse, the Cathedral, Eastgate Clock and Grosvenor Park. Listen below:

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