ONE of the biggest dinners in East Lancashire this year will raise money for Pendleside Hospice.

The Gail Simpson Memorial Gala dinner at Turf Moor on Friday, September 25, is hoping to attract up to 400 guests.


The dinner will be compered by John Riding who will also be the auctioneer when some outanding items will be up for grabs.

Star of the show is comedian Phil Walker who has appeared on several TV comedy programmes and is a regular on the northern comedy club scene.

Son of the legendary Roy Walker, Phil is a former City Life comedian of the year in Manchester following in the footsteps of Peter Kay and Steve Coogan.

Dancing towards the end of the evening will be to the 10-piece soul band Soul Convicts who since forming just 18 months ago have made a big impression in the North West.

During the night there will be a questions and answers session between Burnley manager Stan Ternent and Radio 5 Live presenter and Clarets fan Tony Livesey.

Entertaining at the tables will be young magician James Hutchinson.

Tickets go on sale this coming weekend. They are £35 per head or a table of 10 for £300. The evening includes a three-course dinner.

Tickets are available from Pendleside Hospice Fundraising, Colne Road, Reedley, 01282 440120 or from Alan Simpson 07786658598.

Cheques should be made payable to Pendleside Hospice.

The organisers are hoping for a bumper raffle and are appealing for prizes. Again people should call the hospice or Alan Simpson.

Gail Simpson, a bank clerk at Barclays in Burnley and Blackburn, for 34 years, and later a civil servant at the Department of Work and Pensions, Simonstone, died last November of ovarian cancer aged 61.

Her family launched the memorial fund in December with an initial target of £10,000. Already the fund stands at £40,000 and the new target is £50,000.

Gail’s husband Alan said: “We are hoping this will be the biggest and best dinner in Burnley this year and that the hospice benefits financially while everyone who attends has a fabulous night. The generosity of people both with their donations and their time has been unbelievable.”