Brian Blessed hails a successful Flash Gordon @ Observatory

Brian Blessed hails a successful Flash Gordon @ Observatory

  When Bristol Sunset Cinema came to the Observatory this September for a screening of Flash Gordon (1980), we weren’t expecting the all-star cast to make an appearance. It was a fantastic surprise to receive two very enthusiastic messages from Prince Vultan (Brian Blessed) and Flash himself (Sam J. Jones) to introduce the screening!   Blessed, originally from Yorkshire, trained in drama at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and called Bristol his ‘second home’.     Jones, who is rumoured to be appearing in a reboot of the 1980s cult classic, gave a warm “hello” and a very wide smile to his Bristol audience. In an interview with Den of Geek earlier this year, Jones revealed that Fox Studios have writers working on the sequel’s script. When asked if he would like to play an older Flash or mentor a younger star in the next instalment, Jones said: “Whatever a younger, leading man can do, I cannot only match him, I can do more!”     The evening itself stayed beautifully dry and calm which, we’ve heard, is typical of Bristol Sunset Cinema’s screenings. One attendee commented: “The atmosphere was really suited to the movie, with fans cheering and clapping along to their favourite scenes. The moon rising over the screen with the Observatory in the background made a great setting too.” – Tomm, South Bristol       Were you there? Let us know what you thought in the comments...
BBC’s The One Show film The Street Choir of 1926 at the Observatory

BBC’s The One Show film The Street Choir of 1926 at the Observatory

  In 1926 a Welsh male choir in embarked on an unforgettable “street-singing” tour to raise money for children affected by miners’ strikes. Today, with the help of a diary account of the trip, Carrie Grant is taking modern choir members back to Bristol to retrace the steps of their forbears.   “In 1926. at the height of the Great Depression a number of Beaufort Male Choir members decided to undertake a street singing tour of  the West Country to raise money to enable cobblers to buy leather to make shoes for destitute children in Beaufort and the surrounding area. Luckily, the accompanist Irving Davies kept a personal diary of the tour and this is his account.” (Beaufort Male Choir)   The award-winning Beaufort  Male Choir has been singing since the 1880s and is still going strong today. Not long ago the choir’s secretary, Chris Evans, came across a fascinating diary in the choir’s archives,  recalling an extraordinary journey undertaken by 14 choir members at the height of the miners’ strike in 1926. The diary describes the choir getting on a train to Bristol on a mission to sing in the streets to raise money for shoes for the children of families impoverished by the strike.  With little money, no food and no plan, the men were away for almost three weeks, and sang as many as 180 songs a day. Their efforts raised £50 for the local Boot and Shoe Fund.     The BBC’s film sees Carrie Grant, and thirty members of today’s Beaufort Male Choir, gathering at the crack of dawn for a coach trip to...