Sunnyside 2012


Below are pictures and reports received after our record-breaking weekend in Northampton.  The biggest audience ever, and the largest amount by far - more than 2,000 -raised for our charity, the Cardiac Fund at Alder Hey Children's Hospital.

Pics by Babs Hughes, Dave and Jeanie Lancaster, Dean Hubert, Alan Coombe, Roger Sea and Jan Cooke.



By John Burke

Cor - and there it was, gone...! Another totally brilliant Billy weekend. We arrived at Sunley early on Friday afternoon and went for lunch at Sunnyside. Miss Jeannie was struggling with a cold but still managed to look her radiant self and Miss Franny was also trying to out-do David and I in the glamour stakes - no mean feat I would have thought - I had applied Dr Ducknoise's patent head polish and was glinting nicely from every overhead light...

We set up our gear at Sunley and ran through a couple of numbers, with Rob joining us for Simon & Garfunkel's "The Boxer". He forgot to record it, so once the evening proper started we did it again... We had only gone on to warm up, but then the room filled and despite several offers to allow others up, the audience kept us working for an hour or so - slave drivers or what?!? We threw a bit of Abba and Take That into the proceedings in an attempt to get them to eject us but no...

Anyway we spat our dummies out and refused to play any more and one by one the other artists came to show us how it should be done and what a fabulous night! Phil Jennings told us over and over and over again my friend... A chap called Hetherington spun round three times in a quiet corner and in a flash returned as Johnny Storme. The feeling and emotion coming through Johnny's music never fail to move me - magical. Alan Wilcox made a very impressive debut. We had a great spot from Dean and Jane singing together, shiveringly good!

Jan turned up with a whip and chased performers on and off with a calm efficiency - a stray flick caught me WHACK! on the forehead - I was worried for my good looks, though David reassured me by saying they had fled years ago... Don't know what he means...

There were no bad performances of course. Dave Jay, Paul Wilcox, and the Grand Master Rob Dee, who asked if we'd finish the night.... What?!? You want us to go back on?!? Reluctantly we drag ourselves back up to the microphone. It may have looked as though we couldn't wait...

Anyway we are always immensely grateful for the reception we get from the Billy crowd - no matter what provocation we give, no one has ever thrown anything... A brilliant, even BILLYant, night full of friendship and good fun. Apologies to any singers I've missed, we loved you all.

Saturday. Sunley do a purty good breakfast! Then we dragged ouselves into Northampton so the girls could look round the shops and David and I went up and down the mall on the ground floor and then on the upper floor and then gave up and went to sit in a Costa with a bucket of coffee each and waited for the Misses Franny and Jeannie to come in laden with bags.

We were at Sunnyside early to help out. Harry had us stacking tables and setting chairs out as he was expecting serious numbers of people to turn up. In the end there couldn't have been more than a couple of thousand, but it seemed a good idea at the time...

The stage was set up on the right of the room as seen from the upper git. Rows of chairs at the railings on the left from the performers' point of view looked a bit like a jury passing judgement but there were some friendly faces on the there. Kelly Rowland and Simon Cowell for two...

Dave Jay got the ball rolling with a cracking set and the time just flew by. Steve reprised his "Secret Agent Man" from Friday night - what a cracking song! We went and did our spot - Somebody Else's Girl, I Can Hear Music, The Young Ones (for Moya!), Tulsa, The Single Girl, Love Hurts, Lost Without You and You've Lost That Loving Feeling. Then the long hook came out from stage left and we were dragged off...

Thanks to all those who asked when we were going back on - no that was just the Friday night...! Gluttons for punishment some folks... Great to meet, shake hands with and ...oh rasp-of-the-berry it... exchange manly hugs with a few day trippers - Snowy (all that hair and at such an advanced age - has the man no feelings for the follicly challenged?), Russ Dee came in his white coat - and left with it still white - I'm sure I couldn't have managed that... Laura and Emily, gorgeous as ever and a great great set, Roger Sea... it's just such a wonderful event isn't it? Billy brings us all together and for those who couldn't be there or stuck upside down a long long way away, we thought of you all!

Again a series of excellent performances, culminating in Johnny Red's tribute to Billy and all of us up to sing HTP and then it was all over. We packed up the gear, headed back to the Sunley and opened a bottle of bubbly in David and Miss Jeannie's room before Miss Franny and I slunk quietly back down to our room tripping up, banging against doors, giggling and setting fire alarms off etc... Hey rock and roll! Everyone else was so drunk already they just didn't hear us...

Thank you Harry. The effort involved in putting a night like that together and the pressure that comes with the wondering whether everything will go off alright (even though it always does) is considerable and I cannot praise Harry and his helpers enough. I hope our own efforts go some way to help convince him it's all worthwhile because, as always, we had an absolute ball and we wanna do it again!!!

By Snowy

Well what a fabulous Sunnyside...again!!! it's always great to meet up with everyone and the standard of performance was excellent as usual...what a talented lot we
Dave Jay kicked it off in his easy relaxed style...and then the music and the talent rolled thick and fast...everyone was so good must say that the 'New face' Alan Wilcox was superb and several of us 'maturer' performers were heartily my performance was a little more subdued than usual :razz: ...and included a lovely song which i sang in Japanese..'Sukiyaki' nice to see everyone knew the words and sang along with me.
I can't remember what everyone sang but i loved it all...Laura and Emily sweet as ever..loved the "Ahhh" Emily lol .and Janes vibrant yellow dress was a knockout.. :shock:
The headlining act was again the ever young and ever professional Johnny Red...a great talent indeed!
And then the finale...a mass rendition of 'Halfway to paradise' had everyone on the floor holding hands and singing out loud and proud for our dear Billy!
A fine raffle and auction along with the resourceful Cathy selling pieces of Billy Fury Way ribbon helped to push the weekends charity funds well up.
A big hand to all the people who worked hard to make this another top Billy event...and a 'Sell out' it was too!!
Can't wait for next year!!!!

By Russ Dee

Here is my account of a terrific event Once again led by harry the maniac and his wife maureen and many
I arrived at 3 00 sat (couldnt make fri cos of family commitments) the room was already buzzing
It was great to see again so many old faces nearly 10 years now cathy jean babs and colin johnny and diane margaret dewick linda chris eley pat young pat and frank henry alan coombe chris dee and many more and some new faces jan and a few others
Dave jay got the show off to a terrific start with his sixties set and then compered the show fantasticly well dave tried to charge me full whack for a share of his room i asked him if i left at 4 in the morning would he knock me some thing but he wouldnt tight git
the show absolutley flew

iwould like to say a few words about all the acts
steve sinclair
id never met before but i found him to be a really nice guy sang a lovely gene pitney song
creeping bentgrass
im sure they would be great doing comedy one of them (not john) has a tooth missing (mum knocked it out
so she could tell them a part) they kept us laughing all the time great set as usual
alan wilcox
music is in good hands for the future if all the acts are as good as this lad
roger sea
he was on titanic i think roger imo you were on fire great to see you again
geoff howlett
your usual clean self enjoyed it mate (still never saw judith)
dean and jane hubert
as alan the show is in great hands in the future with these two on board one of the high lights for me
great set was that japanese song my way snowy lol
emily and laura
why have i not seen you on the tele yet loved wondrous place
johnny storme

great to see you at least do two songs it was our loss you didnt do any more
paul ritchie
spent most of the night with paul and his wife great guy with a great set and paul what did you do with my chewing gum
rob dee
one of my influences why i started singing billy rob you were great again
and last but not least
johnny red
you did a fantastic and very fitting tribute to the great man to cap what was a superb night
well done all and lets see if harry wants to do all this again
im sincerely sorry if I've forgotten anybody


The show

At present, we have 15 live acts scheduled for Saturday at the Sunnyside, and music will probably start at about 3.30pm.  Add to this Friday night's jam session at the Sunley, and that's quite a bargain for 10 a ticket.

The event

For those who aren't in the know, this annual event takes place at the scene of Billy Fury's last public appearance in 1982, and it raises money for the Heart Fund at Alder Hey Children's Hospital.

If you haven't booked accommodation, please email or call 07941 219207 to check about room availability at the Sunley. Northampton Round Spinney Travelodge is currently offering rooms for Friday March 16 for 19, and Saturday March 17 for 25.50.  

See you there!

Ticket: 10.

(Or please send a cheque for 10 per ticket, plus 99p total p&p, payable to Peaksoft, to 5 The Wick, 37 Esplanade Gardens, Scarbrough, YO11 2AW.)