Wonderful night pays tribute to clubman Jim

w2835c809 Clubland pix - Ali Jordan.
w2835c809 Clubland pix - Ali Jordan.

What a wonderful fun night was enjoyed by one and all at Prince of Wales WMC in Pontefract last Wednesday evening.

The occasion was the Jim Tomlin memorial concert, with more than £600 raised for the Alzheimer’s Society. Well done to organiser John Walsh and his family for helping to make it all happen, and lovely to see Jim’s widow Marion enjoying the occasion, as well other members of the Tomlin family.

Jim and Marion’s daughter Alison made a wonderful thank you speech and I was delighted to go along and compere the show.

The show itself was not over-produced. My reason for adopting the more casual approach here was that Jim would have enjoyed the more informal and friendly atmosphere of a group of pals joining forces for a worthy cause.

It was also nice to see the club concert room packed and everyone is such high spirits. After I had opened the show with a short introduction spot, I introduced the first guest artiste Johnny Martell.

The fun began and Johnny soon had the room rocking with laughter. The very glamorous and extremely pregnant singer Ali Jordan came next and, along with her husband Martin Brown, this lovely couple took care of all the on stage PA and technical requirements.

Next came Ricky Graham, who is always a welcome sight on any stage. Ricky was a particular friend of Jim’s and I know he was delighted to be involved in the show.

We had lots of fun with the next singer on stage. Albanian-born singer Bonnie has a great sense of humour and I’m afraid we were a little mischievous with her on the night. Bonnie took all the ribbing in good part and looked ravishing on stage in her lovely gown.

That smashing local lad Jonathan Carroll certainly played his part in the success of the evening. Not only did he perform his own spot, Jonathan also conducted much of the fundraising activity.

Comedy acts Jo Little and Sharp Experience were unable to appear on the night due to illness, but livewire entertainer Darren Yorke certainly made up for their absence with a fun and lively opening to the second half.

Darren is a great entertainer and a friend of the Tomlin family and it was a real treat to have such a fun guy on stage.

Classically trained singer Julieanna gave of her best and looked very glamorous on stage, as did the gorgeous Catrina Lee, who always looks sensational whenever I see her on any stage. That lively and expansive entertainer Sheldon Bonner closed the show out with a hugely enjoyable set. But that wasn’t quite it as Tomlin family friend Kenny Nelson hopped up on stage to finish things in great style by singing one of Jim’s favourite songs.

The organiser John Walsh asked me to say a great big thank you to all concerned, in particular the generous people who donated the raffle prizes and everyone who helped on the night.

All in all this was an evening full of fun and fond memories of a great clubman. In short, evenings like the one we enjoyed at the Prince of Wales Club really are what clubland is all about.

Finally for this week, I visited the holiday island of Tenerife in early December where I hoped to catch up with Castleford-born clubland star Mike Carlton.

Mike is now resident compere at the St Eugene Cabaret Club in Costa Adeje. I popped into the St Eugene hoping to catch this great lad in action, but a barman told me that Mike was off with a bout of laryngitis.

As I was forced to cut my holiday short due to a family bereavement, I am popping back over to Tenerife for a few days and in next week’s column I hope to have caught up with Mike and seen him in action.

Former Castleford pub landlord and ace keyboard player Mike Edwards is also living and working on Tenerife and I hope to bump into him as well on my Tenerife travels.

If you have any news or views for this column I would like to hear from you. Drop me a line at the Express, email mark-richie@btconnect.com or call and leave a message on 01924 890800.