Doctor Dolittle

As the new stage production of Doctor Dolittle begins to take shape in the rehearsal room, The Lowry is pleased to provide a first glimpse at images and footage showcasing some of its exotic menagerie of animal friends.

Doctor Dolittle, with book, music and lyrics by double Academy Award-winner Leslie Bricusse, will head to The Lowry this Christmas (Tue 11 December 2018 – Sat 5 January 2019) as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of the original film starring Rex Harrison.

Nick Barnes and Caroline Bowman are responsible for creating the collection of puppets that will be an integral part of the production. Caroline Bowman, Associate Puppet Designer, said “Nobody has ever seen puppets like these before. I think these are puppets beyond your wildest dreams.” Nick Barnes, Puppet Designer, added “It’s a real privilege to be able to create puppets for a show like this where there’s going to be a wonderful cast of people operating them and performing with them. We’re very excited.”

Meet The Puppets


The show will feature amazing puppetry, take a sneak peak here…


Mark Williams will play the title role during the show’s run at The Lowry with Brian Capron, Vicky Entwistle, Adèle Anderson, Mollie Melia-Redgrave and Patrick Sullivan playing Albert Blossom/Straight Arrow, Polynesia, Lady Bellowes/Poison Arrow, Emma Fairfax and Matthew Mugg respectively.


Eccentric Doctor Dolittle embarks on an extraordinary adventure to find the Giant Pink Sea Snail that holds the secret of life and makes the world a happier place. Helped by his human companions and an exotic menagerie of animal friends, including the Pushmi-Pullyu and trusty sidekick Polynesia the parrot, the larger-than-life Doctor Dolittle teaches us not only to talk to the animals but to listen to them as well!

The new stage production of Doctor Dolittle will be directed by Christopher Renshaw (Le Grand Mort, Zorro, Taboo, We Will Rock You, The King and I), with choreography by Josh Rhodes (Carousel and Sweeney Todd at the London Coliseum, Company starring Neil Patrick Harris for PBS, and Cinderella and Bright Star on Broadway), design by Tom Piper (Associate Designer at the RSC from 2004 to 2014, and designed the installation for the Tower of London poppies installation and subsequent tours – original concept and Poppies by Paul Cummins), puppet design by Nick Barnes, puppet direction by Jimmy Grimes, lighting by Chris Davey, sound by Ben Harrison, and musical supervision by Mike Dixon (most recent theatre includes Mrs Henderson Presents, Oh What A Lovely War, Bodyguard, Taboo, Hair, Zorro, Never Forget and We Will Rock You).

Doctor Dolittle is based on the Doctor Dolittle stories by Hugh Lofting and the Twentieth Century Fox film.

Doctor Dolittle is performed by arrangement with Music Theatre International (Europe) Ltd.

The UK & Ireland Tour of Doctor Dolittle is produced by Music & Lyrics Limited, the producers behind the highly successful recent tours of The Addams Family, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Oklahoma!, Fiddler on the Roof, High Society and The King and I, in association with Churchill Theatre Bromley.


Dates: Tue 11 December 2018 – Sat 5 January 2019

Times: 2pm & 7:30pm

Prices: £19.50 – £47.50. Concessions £3 off (selected performances). Discounts for group bookings.

Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes

Buy your tickets here

How To Apply

Applying for a secondary school place in Bury

For those children currently in Year 6, and due to transfer to Secondary School in September 2019, the online systems for applications is now open.

You will need to apply for a Secondary School place if your child was born between: –

1st September 2007 and 31st August 2008.

Secondary Schools

The Secondary Schools in Bury are: –

  • Bury Church of England High School
  • The Elton High School
  • Tottington High School
  • Broad Oak Sports College
  • Woodhey High School
  • St Gabriel’s RC High School
  • The Derby High School
  • Castlebrook High School
  • Philips High School
  • Parrenthorn High School
  • Prestwich Arts College
  • St Monica’s RC High School
  • Elms Bank
  • Manchester Mesivta

* Contact Bury Grammar directly to apply

Bury Secondary Schools

School Performance

The performance of high schools in the Borough is reported so you can take a look at the Ofsted Reports and Performance Reports.

Ofsted Reports

Your can access online Ofsted Reports here

School Performance Reports

School Performance Reports can be found here

Open Evenings

You are welcome to go along to any Open Evening to take a look around Secondary Schools in the area.

Full details of Open Evening dates and times can be found here


The Application Process

  • Apply online September 2018 (there is no need to complete a paper application once an online application has been submitted).
  • The deadline for applications is 31st October 2018
  • Emails will be sent on 1st March 2019, confirming your child’s place, after 9am.

How To Apply

Online Applications:

You can apply online here

You are able to create an account, add your child and add 3 school preferences.

Once your school preferences have been submitted, they are available for the Local Authority to view.

Online applications are treated in exactly the same way as paper applications received by post, however, online applications have the additional benefit of providing an email acknowledgement of your application so you have the extra peace of mind that your application has been received.

Paper Applications:

If you would prefer to apply via post you can download a paper application here

Making Changes To Your Application

Once your application has been submitted you will need to contact the Admissions Team at or on 0161 253 6474 if you wish to make any changes.

Notification Of Secondary School Allocation

At the end of the Admissions application period, the Local Authority will begin allocating school places to children and notifications will be sent out via email on 1st March 2019.

Questions Or Concerns

If you have any questions regarding the online admissions process you can contact the Local Authority on 0161 253 6474 or email us as

What To Do If You Do Not Get Your First Choice School

If your child is not allocated their first choice school you may appeal the decision.  Further information on How To Appeal can be found here.

Organic Cookery School Duke of Edinburgh Courses

Is your child currently taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award and a lover of cooking?  Take a look at The Organic Cookery School!

They are the only DofE Approved Activity Provider offering cookery skills opportunities to teenagers, and young people, across the UK.

Does your teen love cooking?

Cooking is an extremely popular choice for the Skills requirement of the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

The Organic Cookery School are offering a great opportunity for participants to take part in the popular home study DofE skills ecourse.

The current course is focused on Street Food, and offers 18 hours of cookery skills, over 3 months (or 6 months if preferred), with flexible fortnightly modules.  The course includes the opportunity to master over 30 street food recipes from around the World.

Upon enrolment, students are allocated an Organic Cookery School Tutor who will also be their DofE Assessor and complete students online assessment report at the end of the course.  There will be the opportunity to join a study group, including 16 other students, who will all be completing the course at the same time.





With 10 years experience, you can have every confidence that your child will be guided through their online assessment professionally and efficiently by The Organic Cookery School.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you would like to know more, and read the FAQs, take a look here.

Book On The Course

Book your child’s place on the course here






Tottington’s Big Day Out 2018

This year’s Tottington’s Big Day Out is set to take place on Sunday 1st July!

As usual, the event is sure to have plenty going on to entertain the whole family including live bands, beer tents, BBQ, inflatables and lots of stalls.

Live Bands

The confirmed live bands for this year include: –

  • Laurel Canyon
  • Well Said
  • Leah B
  • Bronx


Tottingtons Big Day Out Bands



Some of the stalls at this year’s event will include: –

  • Hook a Duck
  • Tombola
  • Book Stall
  • Tumble Tots
  • Cake Stall
  • Toy Stall
  • Face Painting
  • Refreshments


Bouncy Castle

Tottington’s Public Band will also be entertaining event goers.


Event Details

Time: 12pm – 6:30pm

Location: Crompton Meadows, Beryl Avenue, Tottington BL8 3NF

Entrance Fee £1


Further Details

Contact Tottington’s Big Day Out here if you are interested in running a stall, activity or event sponsorship.

Find out more here





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First Steps Holiday Club

First Steps Holiday Club

First Steps offer out of school care for all children in the local area.

Children are able to participate in various activities which, in the past, have included: –

  • Burrs Country Park
  • Cinema Visits
  • Fun Weeks
  • Kirklees Trail
  • Bowling
  • Bouncy Castles
  • Dancing
  • Picnic in the park
  • Manchester Football Museum
  • Fusilier Museum Arts & Crafts
  • Zoolab
  • Police Museum

First Steps aim is to make the day as fun packed as possible. All children have access to fresh fruit, water and milk during the day and are provided with full breakfast, buffet lunch and snack tea.

The Holiday Club is open for the school summer holidays from Monday 22nd October to Monday 29th October inclusive.

First Steps Play Area

To book your child’s place, contact First Steps on 0161 764 6752.

Further information regarding First Steps can be found here



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Baby Sensory Book Now!

Baby Sensory are now taking bookings for the Autumn term!

Are you looking for a new, enriching and worthwhile experience for you and your little one?

Then take a look at award winning Baby Sensory, and what it has to offer! With bookings now being taken for the new Autumn Term classes in Bury, this could be your perfect answer!

The Aim

The aim of Baby Sensory includes stimulating learning and development through exposure to different sensory experiences.

Each week is different and there is always something new to learn. What sets Baby Sensory apart from the competition is that activities are researched and designed to aid development so they ensure they can explain the why behind each activity, and what benefits this will bring to your little one, most importantly each week you will have lots of fun.

Class themes differ each week and you can attend classes for a full year and never do the same theme twice.  However,  the routine is the same each week which is very important for little ones. Classes follow their natural play – rest – play cycle therefore classes have a 15 minute exploratory play period built into class which also allows for mums, dads, grandparents to form lasting friendships at class.


Class Times

Below is a class timetable for all local classes.

Baby Sensory Autumn Time Table 2018



Autumn Term

7 Weeks ( £7 a class – Charged termly and payment is made when booking)

  • Tuesday 4th September – Tuesday 16th October

The Autumn term starts with Surprise Week on 4th September.

Other themes include Weather Week, Teddy Bears Picnic, Water Splash Week and Reflections Week.

Brain Image


How To Book

The new classes are available to book now, and have limited availability, so don’t miss out!

Tickets can be booked here


Special Offer – 3 for 2

Baby Sensory 3 for 2

This Autumn, Baby Sensory are offering 3 classes for the price of just 2 for new customers.  Limited places are available so don’t delay.  Find out now if you can qualify for this amazing, special offer.


Further Information

To find out more about Baby Sensory, visit their website here

Alternatively, you can take a look at their Facebook page here

Festwich 2018

Manchester’s free musical festival returns on 27th & 28th July 2018 at St Mary’s Park, Prestwich.

Tribute acts during the two day festival include:

– Guns N Roses

– Metallica

– Green Day

– Queen

– Muse

– Pink Floyd

– Stereophonics

In addition to the music there will be food and beer tents, stalls and lots of activities for the kids.

There are a limited number of tickets remaining for Saturday, and Sunday tickets are already sold out.

A limited number of VIP tickets have just been released.

Tickets can be bought here

Primary School Admissions: what to do if you don’t get your first choice

Are you one of the nervous parents anxiously awaiting National Offer Day on Monday 16th April?

After 16th April you will be able to view your child’s allocated school, by logging into your account here.  Emails will also be sent confirming school allocations after 9am.

First Choice School Offer

If you are happy with your child’s chosen school, you must respond to the offer, in line with the instructions on the offer letter. Local authorities will inform schools of the offers that have been accepted.


If You Are Not Offered Your First Choice

If your child has not been offered your first choice, you have the right to appeal.  Take a look at the appeals process below.


Appealing the decision

Your appeal is likely to be more successful if:

  • A mistake has been made in the allocation of places according to the admissions criteria and your child would have received that place, or;
  • That the decision to refuse admission was ‘unreasonable’ in the circumstances of the case. ‘Unreasonable’ is a very high threshold for an appeal to be successful. It is defined as ‘a decision which is so outrageous in its defiance of logic or of accepted moral standards that no sensible person who had applied his mind to the question could have arrived at it’.


Appeals Process

You can appeal a decision about a reception class to any school using the online appeals system here

Please bear in mind: –

  • You must complete an appeal form for each school you are applying for.
  • You should give the reasons for wanting a place at each school. A statement will be prepared showing why the Local Authority/ School Governors have not been able to offer a place.
  • Your form and the Local Authority/ Governors statement will form the basis of the consideration by the Appeals Panel. You will be invited to the meeting to discuss your case with the Panel. A Local Authority representative or representative of the Governors will also be invited. The Panel will make their decision based on the information available to them at the meeting.
  • If it is necessary for you to go to the Independent Appeals Panel, further information will be sent to you by the Democratic Services Section of the Council who arrange the appeals meetings. Once the panel has made their decision, there is no further right of appeal.



You can find further information on admissions in Bury here

If you have additional questions about the admissions process you can contact Bury Council on 0161 253 6474.



Bee In The City Farewell Weekend

Bee In The City’s Celebratory Farewell Weekend

This weekend saw Bee in the City’s Celebratory Farewell Weekend at the HSBC UK National Cycling Centre. This special event gave Bee seekers the chance to see all of the 101 giant Bee in the City sculptures together for one last time.

The event also gave trail hunters the opportunity to complete their trail activity, if they hadn’t managed it during the Summer, with this bee-utiful display.

The bees were displayed both inside, and outside, of the Velodrome and it was lovely to walk around and take a leisurely look at them all.  It gave us the opportunity to take a really close look at all of the bees, their artists, and the inspiration behind each design.

The bees ranged from reflecting the Manchester skyline, the diversity of people in Manchester, the history of Manchester, plus many more.


There were also lots of other activities, including face painting, candle making, live music, street food, an art fair and street theatre acts including Egg People’s interactive performance Waggle Dance, a high impact, interactive, playful, walkabout act.  Their funny dance, and antics, were hilarious.

Bee In The City Farewell Weekend Egg People Waggle Dance



The Bees are now to be auctioned off to raise funds for the Lord Mayor of Manchester’s We Love MCR Charity.

Some of the bees to be auctioned include: –

Rock ‘N’ Roll

Signed by Liam Gallagher

Bee Live in Mcr

Signed by many world-famous music artists, including Gary Barlow, Ed Sheeran, Mick Jagger, Taylor Swift, Blossoms, Courteeners, Liam & Noel Gallagher & Foo Fighters.

Bee In The City - Bee Live In Mcr

Other Bees to be auctioned include: –

  • This is Manchester
  • Colourful Manchester Skyline Bee
  • Mr Bee’nn
  • A City Transformed
  • Manchester’s Buzz
  • My Heart Belongs To This Place
  • Manchester – the Place to ‘Bee’
  • Bee United
  • Mike Summer-Bee


If you are interested in bidding for a Bee at the sparkling Charity Auction on Wednesday 17th October, visit the website here to register your interest.  Alternatively, you can register for online bidding here.


Bee In The City Farewell Weekend Bidder


The auction took place on Wednesday 17th October where the remaining Bees were auctioned off.  The auction managed to raise £1,128,250 for the Lord Mayor of Manchester’s We Love MCR Charity!  What an amazing achievement! Well done to all involved!

If you would like to find out more about the We Love Mcr Charity, and how you can donate, take a look at the website here.


Free Baby Group

First Steps Nursery’s popular free baby group returns on Thursday 7th June, 9:30am – 10:30am for 6 weeks.

Enjoy an opportunity to socialise and try new activities. Sessions also include use of the sensory room.

For further details contact the nursery on 0161 764 6752.


Family Life is full of events, ideas, clubs, classes and places to go, in and around, Bury.

From weekend guides to holiday clubs, you’ll find everything you need right here.


Apply To Be On The New Series Of ‘The Island With Bear Grylls’

Fancy being stranded on a desert island (or need a break from the kids/ other half)?

The producers of ‘The Island With Bear Grylls’ are looking for the next lot of adventurers to take part in the new series.

The situation remains the same, with a group of people being stranded, left to survive… but this time there is prize money to be won!

Closing date is 19th October so get those entries in 👍

Baby Relax

Baby Relax is a lovely, enriching class.

The aim is to allow you to bond with baby, feel uplifted and relaxed.

The session includes massage, sensory play, nursery rhymes and parachute play.

Find out more about Empathy Holistics here

Contact: 07913 708419

When: 11:30am – 12:30pm

Where: Sunnybank Community Centre, 246 Sunnybank Road, Unsworth BL9 8JL.

Empathy Holistics Logo

Natural by Natalia – Family Photography


13 Holly Oak Gardens, Heywood OL10 1HP

Contact Details:

Phone Number : 07564774414

Baby Clinic

When: 9:30am – 11:15am

Where: Bury West and North Children’s Centre Hub, Woodbank Primary School, Brandlesholme Road, Bury BL8 1AX

Stay & Play

Come along to Bury West and North Children’s Centre Hub to join in the fun at this Stay & Play Session.

This is a fun play session suitable for children aged 0-5 and their parent/ carer, led by local parents.

Cost: £1.50 per family

When: 9:30am – 11am

Where: Bury West and North Children’s Centre Hub, Woodbank Primary School, Brandlesholme Road, Bury BL8 1AX

Parent Led Stay & Play

Come along to Bury West and North Children’s Centre Hub to join in the fun at this Parent Led Stay & Play Session.

This is a fun play session suitable for children aged 0-5 and their parent/ carer, led by local parents.

Cost: £1.50 per family

When: 10:30am – 12pm

Where: Bury West and North Children’s Centre Hub, Woodbank Primary School, Brandlesholme Road, Bury BL8 1AX

Parent Led Stay & Play

Come along to Bury West and North Children’s Centre Hub to join in the fun at this Parent Led Stay & Play Session.

This is a fun play session suitable for children aged 0-5 and their parent/ carer, led by local parents.

Cost: £1.50 per family

When: 10am – 11:30am

Where: Bury West and North Children’s Centre Hub, Woodbank Primary School, Brandlesholme Road, Bury BL8 1AX

Victoria Wood Exhibition Launch – 8th September 2018

A new exhibition is to be launched on 8th September celebrating the wonderful work of Victoria Wood.

Victoria was born in Bury, and lived locally whilst attending Bury Grammar School.  Some of Victoria’s school work will feature in the exhibition, including a story entitled ‘Pardon?’, exam certificates and school reports.

Early scripts, along with Victoria’s handwritten notes for the song and lyrics for ‘Fashion’ (the song performed during New Faces 1974) will be available to view.

Also on display will be: –

  • awards
  • photos
  • Kimberley’s friend’s yellow beret
  • costumes
  • scripts including ‘Wood & Walters’, ‘An Audience With’, ‘As Seen On TV’, Pat and Margaret will be on display.

Victoria was famously known for her BBC sketch Acorn Antiques and the comedy Dinnerladies.

The exhibition will run until September 2019.  Don’t miss the chance for this rare opportunity to view such amazing pieces.


Exhibition Opening Times

Tuesday: Friday 10am – 5pm

Saturday: 10am – 4:30pm

Closed: Sundays, Mondays and Bank Holidays



Entry to the exhibition is free



The exhibition will open at 2pm



Bury Art Museum & Sculpture Centre
Moss Street

Win a family ticket to Head For The Hills 2018!

We are excited to be able to offer you the chance to win a family ticket to this year’s Head For The Hills Festival.

To enter the competition, and to be in with a chance of winning the family ticket, all you have to do is: –

  • Like our Facebook page
  • Tag who you would take with you
  • Share the competition post with friends & family
The Competition winner will be drawn on Wednesday 12th September at 9pm.  We will then contact the winner directly, via Facebook, regarding the free family ticket.

Full details of this year’s Head for the Hills event can be found here