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Dee Kelly coming to Benidorm

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Not long now till the very first Benidorm Tattoo Convention takes place in the resort…. and one of the special guests that will be attending is Dee Kelly – remembered and better known to many as White Dee from Benefits Street. The three day convention is taking place over the busy St Patrick's Day weekend, when the resort turns into a sea of green and on the Sunday, it is the crazy Spanish fiesta of San Jose, which sees the Burning of the Fallas at midnight. It will certainly be a very busy weekend here!

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Fake football shirts confiscated

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The Guardia Civil have seized counterfeit sports goods with a street value of over €30,000 from four shops in Benidorm. 664 football shirts from Barcelona and Real Madrid as well as branded Nike and Adidas tops were confiscated and four people arrested. Fake goods are widespread here in Benidorm, especially at the weekly markets, where you can easily purchase ‘designer’ handbags, sunglasses, watches, logo t-shirts and premier team football tops.

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Benidorm welcomed in 2017

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The last day of 2016 was a glorious one in Benidorm – beautifully warm with plenty of people on the beach catching some rays. It's quite astonishing how warm it was even compared to the Costa del Sol, where apparently it was coat and scarf weather!
Once again the Town Hall put on a party to bring in 2017 down on the Levante promenade – and it was packed. Thousands turned out – residents and holidaymakers, armed with bottles of cava, hats, streamers and poppers.

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Repeat offenders!

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I am not referring to the criminal fraternity by that statement, but those that keep coming back to Benidorm again and again. Normally it’s the glorious weather that brings them here, but that was rather hard to believe last weekend. Although we have desperately needed rain here – the reservoir at Guadalest was virtually a quarter full back in the summer, it was gentle continual rain we needed to allow the water to gently absorb. Instead what we got was a torrential unrelenting downpour lasting over 3 days, which washed away everything in its path. Video clips on social media highlight the destruction that Mother Nature unleashed – dustbins floating along the Avd Mediterraneo, manhole covers blown off, cars being swept along residential streets and sadly a death in La Cala. Yet on Tuesday morning the sun was back out and shining again – it is almost surreal how it can change so quickly from one day to the next.

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'The Fat One" ... must be time for El Gordo!

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There is exactly a week left until the El Gordo Christmas lottery is drawn on December 22. El Gordo, meaning "the fat one" is an annual event held in Spain and sends Spaniards into a state of hysteria. I have never known such a gambling nation and queues form outside lottery shops and kiosks daily in the lead-up to the day. It is managed by the Government under "Loterias y Apuestas del Estado"- the Spanish lottery organization. 30% of the ticket sales go to the Government in taxes and the remaining 70% is paid out in prizes, meaning the more people that play the bigger the jackpot. It is a win win situation for the Government as any winnings over €2,000 are also subject to a 20% tax.

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Leroy Merlin opens in Finestrat

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The new Leroy Merlin opens in Finestrat tomorrow, a haven for DIY enthusiasts – and as a special promotional offer, are offering 15 per cent OFF all purchases made on the day! The Mayor of Finestrat Juan Fransisco Perez and the Director of Leroy Merlin Spain, Ignacio Sanchez officially inaugurated the store today, ahead of tomorrow’s grand opening.

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Benidorm's first Tattoo Convention

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Body Art or inking – normally referred to as tattoos, were once the reserve of bikers, sailors and criminals, but now widely accepted in society. Figures show that one in three young British adults have at least one, with many emulating celebrities such as David Beckham, One Directions Harry Styles, Angelina Jolie and Cara Delevingne. But if you think it’s only the young who have them done then think again - actress Susan Sarandon had her first at the age of 61. There are numerous tattoo and piercing studios here in Benidorm, much like many typical towns and cities across the UK – but one thing that has been missing here is a Tattoo Convention. Over 400 are held worldwide every year and in 2017, Benidorm will host its first ever, over the St Patrick’s Day weekend - which also coincides with the Spanish Fallas

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Compensation culture spreads to Benidorm

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The growing compensation culture, prevalent in the UK has spread – and evidence is emerging on a weekly basis of illicit practices occurring here in Benidorm. Spanish hotels are hitting back at so called ‘unscrupulous British lawyers’ for enticing holidaymakers to make claims against them, actively encouraging people to claim for anything ranging from thefts to food poisoning. They offer to act on their behalf on a ‘no win no fee’ arrangement - professing to win thousands of pounds in compensation. These so called reps, usually those in their early 20’s mingle with hotel guests around the pool, dressed in swimwear so as not to attract attention from hotel staff.

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Benidorm did Fancy Dress!

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Benidorm did it again, seeing thousands turn out for the annual British Fancy Dress Day, which always takes place the day after the official Benidorm fiesta ends. The beginning of the week was marred with grey skies and rain – coincidentally, the same as last year, but this morning the sky was a perfect blue and the sun was certainly shining down to greet all those who descended for what has been deemed Europe’s biggest fancy dress party! The entire Calle Gerona was closed to traffic, as were many of the street running off it, giving revelers free reign to party… and boy, do the Brits know how to party!

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It’s fiesta time in Benidorm

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Fiestas feature strongly in Spanish culture and every year towns and villages up and down the country celebrate at various times of the year - and Benidorm's is virtually upon us. The annual fiesta is a celebration of the local Patron Saint, which for Benidorm is the Virgin of the Sufragio and San Jaime Apostle (they have two) and religion features heavily. The event dates back to 1740 when an image of the Virgin was found in the remains of a burnt out fishing boat, which was taken up to the church. A re-enactment of this is played out every year on the Poniente beach on the first official day of the fiesta – which is this Saturday, 12 November at about 5pm followed by a procession up to the San Jaime church at the top of the Old Town.

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UK Cabaret Club in Benidorm re-opens

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Despite unfounded fears that Brexit would have a negative impact on holidays the reverse appears to be true for Benidorm. Hotel bookings by the British are already 16 per cent up on this time last year, proving that a devaluation in sterling will not put many off coming back. To reinforce this message, last night the Presidente Hotel re-opened the UK Cabaret Club (formerly called the Comedy Club) – and the first night was buzzing.

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Benidorm Palace rocked!

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The Palace was a total sell out last night with virtually every seat taken – it’s been a while since I’ve seen even the very back row jam packed. Liverpool funnyman Stan Boardman opened the show and quickly had the entire venue roaring with his not always so politically correct gags which everyone loved. After an interval the fabulous Walk Like a Man quartet took to the stage, suited and booted, to a rave reception from the entire room and many ended up dancing in the aisles.

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Poppy Appeal launches in Benidorm

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The 2016 Poppy Appeal was launched in Benidorm yesterday with a spectacular parade, led by the Torrevieja Pipes and Drums along the Levante promenade – making for an incredible backdrop. The sound of the bagpipes drew crowds off the beach and spectators lined the route, applauding as they passed. The immaculately turned out Standard Bearers followed – including one lady this year and behind them two gentlemen who rightfully earned the biggest applause and respect from all, the Chelsea Pensioners, wearing their distinctive scarlet coats and medals.
The Mayor, Toni Perez walked behind, accompanied by the Vice Consul Sarah Munsterhjelm, Lt Col David Whimpenny, Captain Paul Lencass, Mr Nigel Hails – Chairman of District North of RBL in Spain and Robin Hargrave – the Poppy appeal co-ordinator. The parade finished at the end of the promenade and officials took to the stage, where The Rev Ray Andrews, Service Padre gave a prayer of thanks to start the ceremony.

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Work begins on the new SATE office in Benidorm

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Work has at long last begun on the new SATE office in the Rincon de Loix. SATE stands for "El Servicio de Atención al Turista Extranjero" - hence the abbreviation, which roughly translated means the Foreign Tourist Assistance Office. This is where you should go to file a report if you are in the unfortunate situation of being a victim of crime. There was much criticism when the current one was opened in the Old Town back in 2013 – with virtually everyone in agreement that it was the wrong place. But to everyone's shock and amazement, workmen and a digger arrived this morning to begin the construction – which is estimated to take up to five months. It will be located beside the current tourist information office on Calle Derramador – opposite the Flash hotel. The Town Hall have promised that it will be fully operational for Spring.

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Latest Comments

  • Benidorm to Alicante by tram

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    It will be a great day out I promise you the scenery from Alicante to Benidorm is enjoyable and vice ...
     
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News Snippets

  • Obesity War +

    The number of NHS obesity operations has increased by 500% in the last decade. 6,438 gastric bypass operations were performed on the NHS in 2015/16 compared to 1,038 in 2005/6 - costing up to £15,000. The highest number of operations took place in Telford and Wrekin in the West Midlands and lowest in West Norfolk.
  • Phone boxes +

    BT is to scrap 8,700 of its 46,800 phone boxes, which equates to one in five payphones over the next 3 years. They say that usage is down by 90 per cent over the past decade - but they are often a lifeline in remote rural areas where mobile phone signals are poor.
  • Snap UK election +

    UK Prime Minister Theresa May has called an unexpected snap general election for Thursday June 8... a mere 7 weeks away. There will be a vote in the House of Commons tomorrow to approve the election plan - the prime minister needs two thirds of MPs to vote in favour to hold a vote before the next scheduled election date of 2020.
  • Barista shortage +

    Statistic show that an average of 24 coffee shops open every week across the UK - but a shortage of trained baristas could scupper future expansion plans. There are 130,000 working in the UK, but projected figures estimate that a further 40,000 are required over the next six years. Coffee shops are expected to add £8.9 billion into the UK economy this year - a 12% increase on last year.
  • Brexit blues +

    The Home Office has announced that a £490 million contract has gone out to tender to design & produce a new British passport for when the current one runs out in 2019. Coincidentally, it happens to be in 2019 - when the UK leaves the EU, potentially paving the way for a return of the much wanted traditional blue passport.
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    Paris, Lyon and Grenoble require cars to display an emissions sticker on their windscreen or face a £117 fine. They cost €4.18 from the official French Government website - but motoring groups warn that they could take up to 6 weeks to arrive, too late for those planning to drive over for the Easter break.
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