Everyone’s favourite little blue engine is making a long-awaited return to Greater Manchester next month, and you can now grab tickets.
After a successful run in 2021, iconic heritage railway service East Lancashire Railway (ELR) has announced that the Thomas the Tank Engine replica train is back by popular demand and will return to its tracks in April and on several dates throughout the year.
Families will be able to hop on board the replica of the cult-classic blue train character for a 45-minute trip through the Greater Manchester countryside.
The journey begins at Bury Train Staion, where you’ll be greeted by The Fat Controller, meet Sir Topham Hatt, say hello to Thomas on the platform, and then climb aboard a carriage, all before Thomas makes a final stop at the beautiful Ramsbottom station.
That’s not all though, as the Day Out With Thomas experience also continues offboard, with performances from Sodor’s cheeky station sweepers Rusty and Dusty at Bury Transport Museum, as well as Thomas-themed activities in the ‘Imagination Station’, and other entertainment events, such as magic shows, and more.
You can also let the fun continue across the road at Bury Transport Museum, where your ticket also gains you entry to enjoy funfair rides, magicians, balloon modelling, and face painting.
Speaking ahead of Thomas’ return, Lorna Massey – Sales & Events Manager at East Lancashire Railway – said: “We are delighted to welcome back Thomas the Tank Engine to the ELR’s tracks over a number of weekends from April to October.
“The Day Out With Thomas events are a key fixture on the ELR’s calendar and one of our most popular experiences as Thomas is a much-loved childhood character for people of all generations, so the event always brings as much joy to children as it does to parents and grandparents.
“As well as taking a trip through Lancashire on Thomas, visitors will also meet Sodor’s Rusty and Dusty and Sir Topham Hatt and enjoy a host of activities offboard, so the experience will be a fun day out for all the family.”
Day Out With Thomas will take place on Saturday 30 April, May Bank Holiday weekend, 6 & 7 August, and then later on in October too.
Tickets start at £13.70 for kids and £22.70 for adults, and you can grab yours here.
Featured Image – Paul Michael Hughes Photography(via ELR)
The Coca-Cola Christmas truck is coming to Manchester – and it’s very soon
The arrival of the Coca-Cola Christmas advert is always the klaxon to suggest that the festive season has properly arrived – and the iconic truck is going on tour.
It was announced last week that the big festive truck would be visiting cities around the UK this winter.
But the exact locations and dates are finally being revealed.
The fizzy drink giant has been drip-feeding its upcoming tour dates and has at last announced when it will roll into Manchester.
The Coca-Cola Christmas truck is set to park up in our home city on Friday 2 December – so it’s not a lot of advance warning.
It will be at Asda Sportcity, just north of the city centre.
The truck is on a mission to visit as many cities around the UK as possible as part of ‘The Magic of Giving’ Christmas campaign.
There’ll be a ‘magical winter market’ setting with activities, festive food huts, an ‘elfie selfie’ photo opportunity and a chance to purchase personalised Coca‑Cola Zero Sugar and Coca‑Cola Original Taste.
Every visit made to the Coca‑Cola Christmas Truck will also help to support people experiencing food poverty, with the brand working with FareShare.
It will be donating the equivalent of up to 100,000 meals to those in need throughout the festive season.
Coca-Cola is also collaborating with the Royal National Institute of Blind People and NaviLens to make its Christmas packaging accessible for blind and partially sighted people.
Laura Moon, senior brand manager at The Coca‑Cola Company, Great Britain, said: “Coca‑Cola has always been synonymous with Christmas, particularly the iconic Truck Tour and Holidays Are Coming advert. This year, the magic of Christmas is needed more than ever, and we are excited to bring back our famous truck tour to fans nationwide.
“We’re also extremely pleased to continue our relationship with FareShare and for every person that visits the Truck Tour, we’ll donate the equivalent of a meal on their behalf, supporting those most in need this festive season.”
The dates confirmed so far are:
November 25 – Bluewater Shopping Centre, Kent
November 26 and 27 – Sainsbury’s, Beckton
November 29 – Farmhouse Inns, Glasgow
December 1 – Wembley Park, London
December 2 – Asda Sportcity, Manchester
December 8 to 10 – Dublin
December 16 and 17 – Belfast
Featured image: Coca-Cola
This Manchester club has been shortlisted as one of the best in the UK
In a coup for the city’s clubbing scene, a huge venue in Manchester has been shortlisted as one of the best of its kind in the UK by this year’s DJ Mag awards.
Depot Mayfield, the home of Manchester’s infamous party series The Warehouse Project, is the only club in the north of England to make the shortlist – sitting alongside London venues Fabric, KOKO and Printworks, and Glasgow nightclub SWG3.
First opened in 2019, the 10,000 capacity venue has been home to some huge events – including MIF and Skepta’s mind-blowing futurist rave DYSTOPIA987 and Manchester Pride’s inaugural music event Pride Live, as well as innumerable shows for WHP over the past few years.
With three separate stages – Depot, Concourse and Archive – it has been home to an eclectic run of Warehouse Project shows, attracting ravers and gig-goers of all musical persuasions.
Now it has been recognised as one of the best large venues in the UK as part of the annual DJ Mag awards, widely considered to be one of (if not the) biggest authorities on the UK dance music scene.
The award ceremony takes place this December 15 in London’s The Steel Yard, in what is the first IRL award show since the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns of 2020 and 2021.
This year marks the 16th edition of the awards, an annual celebration of UK talent. Positioned as a counter-balance to the global Top 100 DJs poll, DJ Mag’s Best Of British awards are a chance to shine a spotlight on the homegrown talent that continues to place the UK scene at the forefront of electronic music.
The 2022 nominations are split across 22 categories, and the awards show in December will also see the return of three editorial choice categories, Outstanding Contribution, Innovation & Excellence and Game Changer.
Also shortlisted in this year’s awards is Manchester’s ‘Baddest of them all’ producer and DJ Interplanetary Criminal, whose BOTA remix with Eliza Rose went viral this year and hit number one in the UK singles charts this September.
Congo Natty Dance System Interplanetary Criminal Loraine James M1onthebeat
Breaka CeeBeaats Meg Ward Nia Archives Soul Mass Transit System
Bandokay MC Chickaboo Ivorian Doll Knucks Novelist
Bemz Chinx (OS) Iceboy Violet Jim Legxacy ShaSimone
AD 93 ec2a Phantasy Sound Trick XL Recordings
All Centre Over/Shadow Pretty Weird Sondela Recordings Time Is Now [Shall Not Fade]
DJ Q ‘Est. 2003’ [Local Action] Hagan ‘Textures’ [Python Syndicate] Hudson Mohawke ‘Cry Sugar’ [Warp] Kelly Lee Owens ‘LP.8’ [Smalltown Supersound] TSHA ‘Capricorn Sun’ [Ninja Tune]
PinkPantheress ‘to hell with it (Remixes)’ [Parlophone] V/A ”Club Entry’ Vol. 1′ [Borne Fruits] V/A ‘Hospital Mixtape: Lens’ [Hospital Records] V/A ‘Luke Una Presents É Soul Cultura’ [Mr Bongo] V/A ‘Touching Bass presents: Soon Come’ [Touching Bass]
Eliza Rose & Interplanetary Criminal ‘B.O.T.A. (Baddest Of Them All)’ [Warner Records x One House] Hamdi ‘Skanka’ [DUPLOC] Joy O ‘pinky ring’ [XL Recordings] LF System ‘Afraid To Feel’ [Warner Music] Nia Archives ‘Baianá’ [HIJINXX / Island]
KH ‘Looking At Your Pager’ [Ministry of Sound/Three Six Zero] Michael Bibi ‘La Murga (Michael’s Midnight Mix)’ Nick León ‘Xtasis feat. DJ Babatr (Pearson Sound Remix)’ [TraTraTrax] Tessela ‘Hackney Parrot (Bailey’s Techno Tool)’ Tirzah ‘Tectonic (FAUZIA Remix)’ [Domino]
Best Rap Album/Mixtape
CB ‘A Drillers Perspective 2’ [mayowahd] FLOHIO ‘Out Of Heart’ [AWAL] Horrid1 x Sav’O ‘Violent Siblings’ [CGM Records] Jeshi ‘Universal Credit’ [Because Music] Loyle Carner ‘hugo’ [EMI]
Best Rap Track
Darkoo ‘Always feat. Black Sherif’ (Prod. by Albert kweku Koranteng) [Atlantic Records UK] Giggs x Tiny Boost ‘The Family’ (Prod. by RichMadeRecords) [Self-released] Kojey Radical feat. Lex Amor ‘War Outside’ (Prod. by Swindle & Kztheproducer) [Asylum Records UK] LD x C1 ‘Hillside Demons’ (Prod. by JS OTP & Hilzz) [24 Hour Ent] Nemzzz ‘2MS’ (Prod. by Wydsonni) [Motown Records UK / EMI]
Best Radio Show
Emma Jean Thackray, Worldwide FM Ellie Prohan, KISS FM Felix Joy Breakfast Show, SWU Pure Spice with DJ Manara, BBC Asian Network Soup To Nuts, NTS
Best Large Club
Depot Mayfield, Manchester fabric, London KOKO, London Printworks, London SWG3, Glasgow
Best Small Club
Colour Factory, London Night Tales, London Strange Brew, Bristol Sub Club, Glasgow Ulster Sports Club, Belfast
Best Club Event
Club Blanco Distant Planet PXSSY PALACE Teletech Small Talk
Houghton Festival Naked City Festival Otherlands Music & Arts Festival Outlook Festival UK Queen’s Yard Summer Party
Best Boutique Festival
Field Maneuvers Freerotation KALLIDA Festival No Bounds Festival Watching Trees Festival
Underground Hero Recognising the champions of grassroots music communities
Double O & Mantra Jeremy Sylvester Lo Shea Man Power Sarah McBriar