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OPENING OF NEW MORLEYS DEPARTMENT STORE HERALDED BY STEEL ORCHESTRA, TOWN CRIER AND GIANT MAZE DURING FORTNIGHT OF EASTER FUN AT BROADWAY SHOPPING CENTRE IN BEXLEYHEATH

A steel orchestra who have performed for Royalty, a traditional town crier, and the biggest indoor maze Bexleyheath has ever seen, will herald the official opening of the new Morleys department store at Broadway Shopping Centre.

The grand opening of the premium brands department store will be celebrated with a fortnight-long celebration throughout the Easter holidays at Broadway Shopping Centre, as 100 new Morleys staff prepare to move into Bexleyheath’s former BHS store.

It follows a major £3m investment from Morleys to refurbish the store, creating a bright, modern shopping environment over two floors offering fashion, accessories, beauty, menswear, home wares, toys, luggage, haberdashery, and a new restaurant Angelica’s Cafe.

The holiday fun will begin at Broadway Shopping Centre with a series of Easter themed craft workshops for children including egg decorating and bunny mask making, between 10am and 3pm, from April 3 to 7.

A giant Morleys Maze, named in honour of the new flagship department store Morleys will arrive on April 8 and remain at Broadway Shopping Centre’s central mall area until Saturday April 15.

The huge 2.4-metre-high maze built out of live hedges will house a host of secrets including hidden spot prizes, which shoppers will be able to hunt for during a daily blindfold challenge. The main prize will be £1,000 to spend at Morleys, and anyone wanting to take part can enter via the Broadway Shopping Centre’s Facebook or Twitter pages.

The celebrations will peak on Thursday April 13, when Morleys will be officially opened by the Mayor of Bexley Councillor Eileen Pallen at 10am, accompanied by a town crier who will announce the good news about Morleys throughout the day.

He will be encouraging shoppers to visit Morleys, which stocks hundreds of big name brands, many which are new to Bexleyheath, including Top Shop and Top Man, Radley, Barbour, Moss Bros, Oasis, Phase Eight, Wallis, Miss Selfridge, Cath Kidston, Boss, Tommy Hilfiger, Lacoste, Christy, Ted Baker, Tempur, Dunlopillo, Clinique, Clarins and Benefit.

Inside Morleys, children visiting the toy department of the first floor will have the chance to meet a life-sized Slick the Fox character, a favourite with fans of the TY Beanie Boo Buddy range, and there will also be face painting, from April 13-15.

The Melodians Steel Orchestra will be top billing from noon on opening day Thursday April 13. The south-London based not-for profit orchestra is this year celebrating forty years since being founded in October 1987 by Terry Noel MBE.

Terry will be leading the group playing a selection of classical, calypso, modern, pop and jazz tunes, with concerts scheduled at midday, 1.40pm and 3.10pm.

The Melodians Steel Orchestra rehearses at the Henry Cavendish School in Balham and aims to encourage people of all backgrounds to get involved in steel pan music.

The group has performed all over the globe including at festivals, embassies, Royal events and fifteen annual Christmas Concerts at the Royal Albert Hall.

Terry said: “It’s wonderful to be playing for the community in Bexleyheath as we celebrate 40 years of the Melodians Steel Orchestra.

“We are delighted to be bringing sunshine to Bexleyheath and performing for the grand opening of the Morleys store, at Broadway Shopping Centre.”

Back inside Morleys there will be a host of grand opening offers, chocolate giveaways and more fun characters Miss and Mr Ballooniverse will be roaming around the store.

The entertainment will continue through the Easter weekend with the face painters, Miss and Mr Ballooniverse and Slick the Fox all in store also on Friday 14 and Saturday 15.

There will be a special cookery demonstration in the Morleys kitchenware department from TV chef Malcolm Harradine, star of the QVC Shopping channel, on Saturday April 15.

Morleys is one of the UK's leading independent department store groups. Bexleyheath is theirninth store and follows on from their recent redevelopment of the 'Camp Hopson' Department & Home store in Newbury, West Berkshire.

David Hordle, Managing Director at Morleys Group said: “We’re so excited to open for business and become part of the local community in Bexleyheath.

“We’ve made a significant £3m investment in the store to fund a complete refurbishment. The finished result is a bright, contemporary environment which shows off our hundreds of great brands across fashion, beauty and homewares, many of which are new to Bexleyheath.

“We’re looking forward to seeing the reaction from shoppers, and we hope lots of people will join us to take part in the celebrations.”

Peter Sedge, General Manager at Broadway Shopping Centre, said: “We’re really excited that Morleys will be opening its doors for the first time at Broadway Shopping Centre this Easter.

“This new flagship store is an excellent addition to the retail offer in Bexleyheath and is an event worth celebrating.

“We hope lots of our shoppers will come along to join in the family friendly fun during the Easter holiday and also make a donation to Greenwich and Bexley Community Hospice which offers a fantastic service to local people.”

All the activities at Broadway Shopping Centre are free but donations will be collected in aid of Greenwich and Bexley Community Hospice.

Shoppers will also be offered the chance to sign up for the Morleys Rewards scheme which grants 10% off purchases for a limited period.

Morleys offers a price promise which means if shoppers find a product cheaper on the high street they will match the price or refund the difference.

Details of competitions including how to register for the Morleys Maze blindfold challenge from April 8-15, will be posted on Broadway Shopping Centre’s website, Twitter account and Facebook page.

From April 3 to 7 there will be an Easter Egg Hunt across Broadway Shopping Centre, from 10am until 3pm.

There will also be a competition to win three sets of cinema passes for a family of four to watch the movie Boss Boy at Cineworld in Bexleyheath.

For more information about events and stores at Broadway Shopping Centre go to www.broadwayshoppingcentre.com or visit the centre’s Facebook page or Twitter account @BroadwayBexley