Person hospitalised after being rescued from sea near North Pier in Blackpool

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A person was given emergency first aid before being rushed to hospital after being rescued from the sea near North Pier.


Coastguard crews from Fleetwood were paged at 4.20am to reports a person had got into difficulty in the sea this morning (July 30).

An urgent search was launched near North Pier alongside crews from Lytham and RNLI Blackpool

RNLI Fleetwood and a rescue helicopter were also called to assist with the search.

A person was rushed to hospital after being rescued from the sea near North Pier. (Credit: HM Coastguard Fleetwood)A person was rushed to hospital after being rescued from the sea near North Pier. (Credit: HM Coastguard Fleetwood)

The person was rescued for the water using an inflatable life boat and was quickly given emergency first aid.

Person hospitalised after multi-vehicle crash closes Ashfield Road for three hou…

They were then handed over to the care of paramedics at the scene before “being taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital”

“Their condition is not known at this time,” a spokesman for HM Coastguard Fleetwood added.

North West Ambulance Service has been approached for comment.


Person hospitalised after multi-vehicle crash closes Ashfield Road for three hours in Bispham

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Ashfield Road was closed for three hours after a multi-vehicle collision injured two people in Bispham.


Emergency services were called to a “four-vehicle” collision in Ashfield Road at around 12.55pm yesterday (July 29), police said.

A “man and a woman suffered chest injuries” in the crash.

“One person has gone to hospital, but I’m not sure who was conveyed out of the patients assessed,” a spokesman for North West Ambulance Service said.

Emergency services were called to a "four-vehicle" collision in Ashfield Road.

Emergency services were called to a “four-vehicle” collision in Ashfield Road.

No arrests have been reported.

Ashfield Road was closed between Fairfax Avenue and Stainforth Avenue until 4.15pm while the scene was made safe.

Council refuses alcohol licence for European-style food store in Blackpool

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Licensing chiefs have refused permission for alcohol to be sold at a proposed new food store in Blackpool town centre after police warned it could fuel more anti-social behaviour.


Food Plus is set to open in the former Bright House premises

Food Plus is set to open in the former Bright House premises

A town hall licensing panel has turned down the application by Radoslaw Barwinski who wanted a licence for Polish chain Food Plus@Polon, which he is planning to open in the empty former Bright House premises on Abingdon Street.

The police and council licensing department had objected to the application for a licence to sell alcohol between 8am and 8pm, saying it contravened the council’s saturation policy designed to control the number of licences granted in the town centre.

A decision notice published following the hearing says: “Members acknowledged the number of conditions offered by the applicant but did not feel that they sufficiently addressed the policy to rebut the presumption of refusal in an area already saturated with convenience store type premises which suffered from alcohol related violence and anti-social behaviour.

“In addition, the panel felt that insufficient information had been provided about the applicant and his experience in operating a premises licensed for the sale of alcohol.

“In the absence of such evidence the panel concluded that they would have issues managing a retail premises within such a challenging environment and therefore potentially contribute to the problems being experienced in the area.”

Mr Barwinski had told the panel he proposed to sell specialist products such as cake, bread and vegetables, but also needed an alcohol licence “because without it my shop will not survive.”

But PC Guy Harrison, of Blackpool Police, warned the area already attracted drinkers who caused anti-social behaviour due to the existing number of places to buy booze.

He said this led to anti-social behaviour including during the day when the resort was busy with shoppers and holidaymakers.

The applicant has 21 days in which to appeal.


Non-emergency patients putting Blackpool Vic A&E under unnecessary pressure

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Medics are urging people to only visit A&E in Blackpool if there condition is a real emergency – after ‘unprecedented’ numbers of patients swamped the department.


On one day recently A&E at Blackpool Victoria Hospital had 90 people waiting to be seen.

But doctors say a large number of those arriving at the casualty unit did not need life-saving treatment and could have gone elsewhere.

Head of Emergency Medicine at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Dr Anthony Kearns,said: “The Emergency Department (A&E) has seen unprecedented numbers over the past few weeks.

People are being urged not to go to A&E except in a genuine emergencyPeople are being urged not to go to A&E except in a genuine emergency

“Many of these are very ill people who do need our expertise. However, we are also seeing a large number of attendances that are not ’emergencies’ or life-threatening conditions and could have been treated elsewhere.”

Dr Kearns warned too many people crowding into A&E put undue pressure on staff and meant people could not safely social distance.

He added: “Crowding in A&E is not safe under the current Covid distancing regulations for both staff and patients alike.

“We need our community’s support to make the right choice.

“Help us to help you…help us to save lives – please talk before you walk and please keep us free for emergencies only.”

Dr Kearns said for many people the best place to turn to for immediate advice was their local pharmacy.

He said: “We realise the whole system is under pressure. Urgent treatment centres and GP surgeries are also very much in demand by people with community healthcare needs.

“This is why we strongly suggest that if anyone has non-emergency or chronic health concerns, that they perhaps visit their pharmacy or chemist who are highly qualified to give advice, and may then suggest a GP appointment if it is absolutely necessary.

“People can also visit where they will find a symptom checker. NHS 111 advisors can signpost patients to the most appropriate service for their needs and can even make appointments with a GP or here in the Emergency Department which will drastically reduce the patient’s wait time.

“Patients should also consider contacting their own consultant or specialist team, who already manage their pre-existing conditions.”


Blackpool cabbie punished by council for smoking in their own taxi

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A Blackpool cabbie has had their licence suspended after being caught smoking in their taxi.


The driver, who has not been named, was spotted lighting up on June 10 this year by a town hall licensing officer.

Members of the council’s public protection sub-committee heard it was the third time the cabbie had been seen smoking in their hackney cab and previous warnings had gone unheeded.

The previous transgressions had been in September 2019 when a fixed penalty notice was issued, and July 2020 when a verbal warning was given.

A Hackney driver has been punished for smoking in their cabA Hackney driver has been punished for smoking in their cab

But following the latest incident, the driver (referred to as J.S.) was hauled before the sub-committee which ruled their licence should be suspended for four weeks.

Council minutes from the meeting, setting out the decision, say “despite the previous interventions by the licensing service this had not deterred J.S. from continuing to smoke in their vehicle”.

The driver had “expressed their regret and acknowledged that such actions were unacceptable” and told councillors “they did not smoke in front of customers”.

The smoking incidents had been their only indiscretion in more than 30 years of driving.

But the sub-committee “expressed concerns over the number of occasions J.S. had been caught smoking in their licensed vehicle and noted that previous warnings from the licensing service had not been heeded.

“Whilst the remorse of the driver was noted, members considered the behaviour fell well below the standards expected of a licensed driver and therefore agreed to impose a four week suspension.”


Lancashire Police inspector pledges ‘increased patrols’ for Cleveleys and Anchorsholme amid antisocial behaviour issues

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A spate of antisocial behaviour incidents in Cleveleys and Anchorsholme has prompted police to increase the number of officers on patrol.


Residents were also urged by a top cop to report all crimes directly to police – and not just to social media.

It comes after numerous social media posts in recent weeks brought light to various antisocial behaviour (ASB) incidents in both Cleveleys and Anchorsholme, particularly on beaches and in parks.

Following a post last week complaining about broken glass strewn all over Anchorsholme Park’s football pitches – allegedly by youths – a Wyre councillor was reprimanded for his response.

Michael Reynolds, landlord at the Jubilee Park pub in Cleveleys, said yobs have targeted his windows.Michael Reynolds, landlord at the Jubilee Park pub in Cleveleys, said yobs have targeted his windows.

Coun David Walmsley is currently under investigation by Wyre Council for commenting “club them” during a discussion online about unruly youngsters.

The relaunch of the Jubilee Park pub on North Promenade in Cleveleys was also impacted by yobbery recently, as smashed windows a week before its reopening date put it in jeopardy.

The pub, which was taken over in June by former hoteliers Michael and Alison Reynolds, had been left empty since the previous tenant moved out when lockdown began.

It was due to reopen on August 3, but Michael was concerned the potential six-week wait for new glass panes could force a postponement

Youths have reportedly been gathering in Cleveleys, particularly on Jubilee Gardens where there is a park and skate park.Youths have reportedly been gathering in Cleveleys, particularly on Jubilee Gardens where there is a park and skate park.

Cleveleys councillor Rob Fail said residents had been reporting antisocial behaviour incidents to him, but did not feel issues could be “resolved overnight.”

He added that the summer holidays and a “lack of places to go” for youngsters could be a contributing factor leading to potential problems.

Coun Fail said: “A number of residents have raised concerns about the recent spate of antisocial behaviour. It may be that some of what we are seeing is a temporary ‘Covid issue’ resulting from loss of schooling and lack of places to go.

“It’s a complex issue that requires improvements in education and support for families if we are to tackle the root causes, but a decade of cuts has certainly made matters worse. Nationwide 700 youth clubs have shut, over 600 police stations closed, and crucially we’ve lost over 20,000 police officers.

Anchorsholme Park.Anchorsholme Park.

“There’s no excuse for it, but I’m not surprised we are seeing more antisocial behaviour. You reap what you sow and the 60 per cent cuts in funding of councils has unquestionably had a detrimental impact. Cuts require prioritisation of service provision and in 2013 Wyre’s Tory Council decided to take a huge risk by ceasing its part funding of 11 Police Community Support Officers across Wyre. Cuts have consequences, and one of these is that our streets are less safe.

“No one single thing will resolve this overnight. Yes, we need a police presence, but that can’t just be a one-off where resources are shifted around, thereby creating a problem elsewhere.

“We need the reintroduction of permanent community policing.”

Wyre Council was also approached for a comment.

In Anchorsholme, reports of large groups of youths gathering in Anchorsholme Park and on the beach have also been circulating on social media.

But Anchorsholme councillor Paul Galley said he was worried using platforms such as Facebook to share anecdotes of ASB could exacerbate negativity towards youngsters.

He said: “The vast majority of kids and residents of Anchorsholme are great. My concern is sometimes social media highlights the bad and not all the great things that the people of all ages are doing in our community.”

Coun Galley and Bispham councillor Paul Wilshaw have committed to a new free sports scheme with Active Blackpool, starting on Friday July 30.

It is hoped the free basketball and football lessons in both Anchorsholme and East Pines Parks would build children’s confidence, and provide them with something productive to do with their time during the summer holidays.

Lancashire Police told The Gazette the force had been receiving an increase in ASB reports in both Cleveleys and Anchorsholme, but some incidents were going unreported – except when it came to social media.

Officers urged residents to report crimes to them directly, before taking to Facebook to share their concerns.

The force said it would pledge more officers on patrol in affected areas going forward, in a bid to retain safety in communities.

Insp Martin Wyatt of Lancashire Police said: “The term ‘antisocial behaviour’ covers a range of offences including, but not limited to, vandalism, hate crime, fireworks misuse, hoax calls and alcohol or drugs being used or dealt in the street. It also includes reports of street drinking and begging.

“It can involve harm to an individual, to the wider community or to the environment, and can leave victims feeling harassed, alarmed or distressed.

“We understand this can have a profound impact on victims and how safe they feel in their neighbourhood and we are committed to tackling this type of crime.

“There has been an increase in large groups gathering in the areas of Anchorsholme Park and Cleveleys. We understand a number of incidents have been reported locally, including on social media and it is vital you tell us so we know about it. Without the report, we can’t do anything. I would urge anyone who has been the victim of a crime to call us immediately.

“Going forwards we are going to work together in putting dedicated anti-social behaviour resources into the area at key times. You should also see more police visibility, including increased patrols, in the coming days and weeks.

“We won’t tolerate criminality. We won’t hesitate to intervene if we believe any criminal offence has or is going to take place.


Update on Blackpool’s £20m Houndshill Centre extension

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Blackpool’s Tower Street car park looks set to close at the end of August to enable construction of the £20m Houndshill extension.


Artist's impression of the Houndshill extension

Artist’s impression of the Houndshill extension

Council regeneration chiefs say enabling work on the project which was announced in the spring, has begun.

A spokesperson said: “Essential utility works have been taking place on site which has enabled the car park to remain partially open to date.

“We won’t be closing the car park in full until absolutely necessary, when the main contractor fences off the site later in August.”

Deals were signed in the spring to bring a new Wilko store to the site, and an IMAX-style cinema and multi-media entertainment centre.

The phase two extension is also due to include two restaurants, although operators have not yet been revealed.

The cinema will boast 850 seats across nine digital screens including a giant PLF (Premium Large Screen Format) IMAX-ready central screen, set to be the largest in the North West, within a 40,500 sq ft unit.

Screens will be able to double up as conference venue spaces, and there will also be an e-sports cafe.

The overall scheme has been facilitated by £5m of funding from the Government’s Covid 19 Getting Building Fund, following formal approval by the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) in October last year.

Blackpool Council will fund the balance of the scheme through prudential borrowing.


Casualty rescued in Blackpool sea drama

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A casualty was taken to hospital today after an early morning sea drama at Blackpool.


The search at Blackpool was a team effort

The search at Blackpool was a team effort

Fleetwood Coastguard revealed the details of the rescue by inshore lifeboat on social media.

They posted on Facebook that the team was paged at 04:20 (Friday July 30) to reports of person in difficulty in the sea at Blackpool North Pier.

They said: “HM Coastguard Fleetwood , HM Coastguard Lytham and RNLI Blackpool began a search with Coastguard Rescue Helicopter 936 and RNLI Fleetwood en route to assist.

“They then received advanced care before being taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

“Their condition is not known at this time.”


Here’s where Blackpool ambulance station is set to relocate to

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Plans for a temporary ambulance station have been submitted to Blackpool Council in order to maintain emergency services while a new permanent hub for paramedics is built.


A single storey structure is set to be provided on the site of the former Devonshire Road Hospital in North Shore, and is expected to be in use until at least autumn 2022.

Go ahead for new Blackpool ambulance station

It would operate while the current outdated base on Waterloo Road in South Shore, which was built in 1980, is demolished and replaced with a new three storey facility.

The current ambulance station is due to be demolishedThe current ambulance station is due to be demolished

Planning permission for that development, which will facilitate a future ‘hub and spoke’ ambulance service, was granted in June.

Documents submitted by North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) for the temporary station say: “Hence during the demolition and construction period a temporary decant village is needed to provide emergency ambulance services.”

The temporary accommodation would contain offices, refreshment facilities, training and meeting rooms and locker and changing facilities.

The site has extensive parking for emergency and transport ambulances, rapid response vehicles and staff parking.

A one way system is proposed with vehicle access from Coleridge Road and exit from the existing access point on Devonshire Road.

Work on the new ambulance station is expected to begin this autumn and take around a year to complete.

NWAS says the ‘hub and spoke’ structure will modernise the service, but it will also mean the eventual closure of ambulance stations in Fleetwood, Thornton, Lytham and Wesham.

In the longer term the Devonshire Road site, which was bought by Blackpool Council last year, is earmarked for the relocation of the town’s courthouse to make way for the £300m Blackpool Central leisure development.


Blackpool man charged after car driven at pedestrian in Queen Street

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A man has been charged with grievous bodily harm with intent after a pedestrian was hit by a car in Blackpool.


A man’s leg was reportedly crushed between two vehicles following the incident in Queen Street at around 1.30am on Tuesday, July 27.

The victim – a 24-year-old man from Blackpool – was rushed to hospital with a “serious leg injury”.

Today (July 28), police confirmed Levi Young, 27, of Fordway Avenue, Blackpool, was charged with Section 18 GBH on Tuesday night.

A 27-year-old man from Blackpool was charged with grievous bodily harm with intent after a pedestrian was hit by a car in Queen Street.A 27-year-old man from Blackpool was charged with grievous bodily harm with intent after a pedestrian was hit by a car in Queen Street.

He is due to appear at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court later today (July 28).


‘Predatory’ masseur, 67, sexually assaulted woman in her 20s in Blackpool

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A man who sexually assaulted a woman while working as a masseur in Blackpool has pleaded guilty.


Alan Garforth, 67, admitted offences of sexual assault and and sexual assault by penetration at Burnley Crown Court on Monday, July 26.

A woman in her 20s reported being attacked at Garforth’s address in Blackpool after he provided her with a massage in October 2018.

Garforth, of Pavey Close, was arrested and later received summons to appear at court in connection with the offences.

He pleaded guilty and will be sentenced on September 20 at Burnley Crown Court.

Blackpool man charged after car driven at pedestrian in Queen Street

Det Sgt Nicole Ryder-Jones, of Blackpool Police, said: “Garforth’s actions were predatory and sexually motivated. We welcome him admitting his guilt.

“I must praise the victim and thank her for coming forward. She has shown great courage and strength in reporting the crimes to police.

Alan Garforth, 67, admitted offences of sexual assault and and sexual assault by penetration at Burnley Crown Court.Alan Garforth, 67, admitted offences of sexual assault and and sexual assault by penetration at Burnley Crown Court.

“I hope this case will give other victims of sexual offending the confidence to come forward, knowing that we will listen to them and act on the information they provide.”


Tributes paid as Blackpool Pleasure Beach director Barbara Thompson dies aged 82

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Blackpool Pleasure Beach director Barbara Thompson has died peacefully at her home in Lytham, aged 82.


Barbara Thompson (centre) with Judith Chalmers and Pleasure Beach mascots

Barbara Thompson (centre) with Judith Chalmers and Pleasure Beach mascots

Mrs Thompson, who died on Tuesday, began her career working for a firm of solicitors in Blackpool.

Born Barbara Joan Foxcroft in 1939, she married Geoffrey Thompson OBE in 1962. Geoffrey then became managing director of Blackpool Pleasure Beach in 1976 and passed away in 2004.

Mrs Thompson leaves three children, Amanda Thompson OBE, Nicholas Thompson and Fiona Gilje, and eight grandchildren.

As an active member of the Lady Taverner’s, Mrs Thompson was a dedicated fundraiser and supported the children’s charity for many years.

Former television presenter Judith Chalmers, a fellow member of the Lady Taverner’s, paid tribute to her friend, saying: “Barbara and the family made everyone so welcome whenever the Lady Taverner’s visited the Pleasure Beach.

“She would always have a big smile on her face and everyone would have a great time. The Pleasure Beach had that family feel, and that was down to Barbara.

“The Taverner’s would bring children for a day out, and I remember the buses were lined up on the road and the children could not wait to get out and go on the rides.”

A Pleasure Beach spokesperson said: “Following her husband’s death in 2004, Barbara remained an active and much-loved member of the Blackpool Pleasure Beach family.

“She will be greatly missed by everyone at Blackpool Pleasure Beach and within the attractions industry worldwide.”


Blackpool Promenade’s Terrace Bar facing fight with planners to stay open

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It could be last orders at a seafront bar in Blackpool after councillors have been recommended to refuse planning permission for the outdoor venue.


It emerged in May this year the Terrace Bar, alongside Central Pier, was operating without council approval.

A retrospective planning application was submitted but the resort’s planning committee is being urged to turn it down when it meets next Tuesday (August 3) to consider the scheme.

A report to the committee says the bar’s location contravenes council policy because the area west of the tram tracks is reserved for “public realm improvements such as sea defences, transport improvements, landscaping, public amenities and ancillary small-scale retail outlets.”

The Terrace BarThe Terrace Bar

The report adds the bar is “detrimental to the council’s regeneration efforts concerning the sea front, Promenade and town centre.”

It is also deemed out of character and damaging to the setting of the historic pier, and “not of a standard considered appropriate for such a prominent and sensitive location and does not integrate well with or enhance its surroundings.”

The bar started life nearly four years ago as a portable bar surrounded by gazebos, which was set up to support a classic car show.

As it grew in popularity a more permanent bar with decking, a canopy and an entertainment area was installed with the venue attracting al fresco drinkers.
The Terrace Bar
The Terrace Bar

But when owner the Blackpool Pier Company contacted the council’s planning department in January this year regarding a separate application for South Pier, it discovered no permission was in place for the Terrace Bar.

Town hall planners say the area is “cluttered” and “does not deliver the kind of high-quality design required in this location”.

The Blackpool Piers Company say the bar does complement Central Pier, which opened in 1868 and is now owned by the Sedgwick family.

In a statement accompanying the application, it said: “Aesthetically, the bar will complement the modern facade of the pier, which is dominant, the Victorian style design of the pier only becoming apparent as the pier is traversed out to sea.

“Historic, evidential and communal value will not be unduly affected, as these will be maintained.”


Tram services disrupted after tree blocks overhead line in Fleetwood

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Tram services were forced to miss several stops due to a tree blocking an overhead line in Fleetwood.


Commuters were warned there may be delays to the service at around 6.20am today (July 29).

Tram services will turn at Fishermans Walk due to the tree, causing them to miss London Street, Victoria Street and Fleetwood Ferry.

Blackpool Transport said they hoped normal service would resume soon.

Tram services were forced to miss several stops in Fleetwood due to a tree blocking an overhead line.

Tram services were forced to miss several stops in Fleetwood due to a tree blocking an overhead line.

Layton library gifts books to Blackpool youngsters to encourage excitement for reading

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Layton library held virtual assemblies for resort primary school children in a bid to get them reading more during the summer holidays.


Youngsters in Years Two and Five at Devonshire Primary Academy in Devonshire Road and Year Five at Layton Primary School in Meyler Avenue took part in the library’s first virtual assemblies.

They were given books paid for by Layton ward grant funding by councillors Kath Benson and Martin Mitchell, in a bid to encourage a love of reading and improvement in literacy skills.

Coun Benson and Layton library manager Jane Berry spoke to the youngsters about the library, in hopes it would spark a keen interest in delving deeper into the world of storytelling.

Year Five at Layton Primary School with their gifted books. Pic: Blackpool CouncilYear Five at Layton Primary School with their gifted books. Pic: Blackpool Council

Coun Benson said: “It was tremendous and an absolute pleasure to virtually visit the children. We were asked some amazing questions about the number and types of books that the library has, most popular authors, when the library was built and so much more. It was fantastic to see their curiosity and I hope that it will inspire them to read more.”

Coun Mitchell added: “It was terrific to be part of this project and to encourage the gift of reading amongst the new generation. Of course when a child opens a book it reveals a pathway to a hitherto unseen world, a world where imagination and the senses can triumph.”

The project is part of a wider initiative among all Blackpool libraries – the summer reading challenge “Wild World Heroes,” which encourages children to keep up with their reading over the holidays.

Layton library will continue working with Layton and Devonshire schools, to encourage pupils to become members and nurture a love of reading.

Jane Berry, library manager, said: “It was lovely to be asked by a child about when I had joined a library myself. It was a joy to share my memory that I had joined at the age of around seven and used to visit the library on Saturday mornings on my bike with my dad once a fortnight.”

Natalie Dean, a teacher at Devonshire Primary Academy, added: “In 2020 we set ourselves a reading goal to ensure that all of our pupils had a chance to not only visit Layton library, but also become lifelong members, so they could access the wonderful opportunities that the library brings.

“Before Covid temporarily closed the library, we had managed to bring several year groups on a trip to see the library and it was amazing to watch the children in awe and wonder, marvelling at the limitless choices on the bookshelves. For some pupils, it was their first time inside a library outside of our school library.

“We are thrilled to have been asked to be a part of the local literacy campaign being led by our local councillors and we have been lucky enough to be visited ‘virtually’ for story time. We look forward to being able to continue our work with the library.”


Blackpool man Jordan Lee found guilty of murdering ‘blue-eyed angel’ daughter Willow

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A Blackpool dad flew into a rage and murdered his baby daughter when she wouldn’t stop crying.


Jordan Lee, 29, of Onslow Road in Layton, claimed his four month old daughter Willow rolled off a sofa and possibly hit her head while he played Call Of Duty at his home on Thursday, December 3.

But the jury saw through his web of lies and found him guilty following a trial at Preston Crown Court today.

In a statement, his ex-partner and Willow’s mum Jade Bell said: “My precious, innocent daughter Willow was almost five months old when she died… to watch her die was horrific and heartbreaking, but to then find out what had happened to her, that she died because of her father’s selfish actions, was devastating.

Willow Lee was just four months old when she was murderedWillow Lee was just four months old when she was murdered

“We all miss her dearly. There are not enough words to express that, and to have lost her at such a young age and in the way we have has affected me and my family so much, and my life will never be the same without my blue-eyed angel.

“I could talk about her forever and how she will always be my perfect baby, and always my Willow Grace.

“It’s hard to comprehend that the person who was supposed to love and protect her as a father could be responsible for her no longer being with us.

“My last memory I have of my Willow is her in the ICU at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. My mum, dad, and grandma were on either side of her. The sight of her helpless with tubes and wires attached to her little body, attached to a life-support machine, is something that I will never forget.

Willow Lee died after being attacked by her dad Jordan on December 3 last yearWillow Lee died after being attacked by her dad Jordan on December 3 last year

“The feelings were unbelievable, but I had to let my precious girl go. It was heartbreaking, it still is heartbreaking and will always be heartbreaking. At that point, I could never see how life could be normal again for me and my family, and of course it never will.

“I feel all the overwhelming love I have for her, and I feel the grief and horror of losing her every single day.”

Lee was supposed to be looking after his baby daughter while Jade went to work, but became increasingly angry with her as the day progressed.

At 1.18pm his brother Daniel Lee, who also lived at the Onslow Road address, messaged Jade: “He’s seriously not fit to be a father. I feel sorry for Willow.” He told her Willow had been crying all day and that his brother was ‘getting really angry and shouting at her’.

Jordan Lee. Picture from Lancashire policeJordan Lee. Picture from Lancashire police

In return, Jade texted “Please, please make sure he doesn’t hurt her in any way” and “please make sure my baby is safe Dan.”

At around 5pm, Daniel again heard Lee shouting at his daughter to ‘shut up’.

The sound of Willow crying, followed by a thud, was captured in a Snapchat recording taken by Daniel. Afterwards, Lee ran upstairs withe baby in his arms and showed her to his brother, who said she looked ‘unresponsive and floppy’.

Lee told both paramedics and Jade that Willow had fallen off the sofa. She was taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital and transferred to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, where she died on December 6.

A post mortem examination found Willow had sustained a serious traumatic head injury consistent with an assault, forceful shaking and a probable impact to the head, and pathologists concluded the degree of force required was considerable and would have caused her ‘immense pain and suffering’.

She suffered a bleed to the brain and bruises on the left side of her face.

Ms Bell said: “No parent should ever have to see their child die. The way Willow died, at the hands of her father who should have loved her unconditionally but instead killed her in such a brutal manner and has showed no remorse, is unimaginable.”

Lee will be sentenced for the murder of his daughter at Preston Crown Court tomorrow.


Blackpool’s spooky ghosts walks are back

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One of Blackpool’s most distinctive attractions has made a return following an absence caused by the pandemic lockdowns.


Stephen Mercer's Blackpool Ghost Walks have returned

Stephen Mercer’s Blackpool Ghost Walks have returned

Stephen Mercer has been running the Blackpool Ghost Walks for the past 11 years but admits things have been tough during the past 16 months.

With his black top hat and Victorian attire, he leads guided groups to some of the resort’s oldest buildings, recounting ghostly stories associated with each of them.

Stephen returned via his business, award-winning Supernatural Events, last week and will be leading the tours every Thursday and Saturday night up until Halloween.

“Not being able to do the ghost walks for 12 out of the last 16 months has been horrendous – I was able to do one or two things online but it wasn’t the same.

“Sadly the tenth anniversary celebrations and tours didn’t really happen last year; but I’m pleased to say the tours are back bigger and better than ever before for 2021.

“There will be two completely different Blackpool Ghost Walks every week, Thursday Thrills and Saturday Scares; each has its own separate route, locations and tales.”

This year the Blackpool Ghost Walks will feature some new stories along with a few old favourites.

As the finale to the outside walking tours, those attending will be invited to join a spooky ‘Victorian Séance’ experience in a first storey room in what used to be the Stanley Arms Hotel but is now known as The Brew Room, on Church Street.

Robert Wynne, owner of The Brew Room said: “Since reopening this old Victorian Pub we have all noticed spirits of all kind in the building. The upper floors are particularly well preserved and particularly spooky! We look forward to welcoming all those brave souls who go on the Blackpool Ghost Walks back again this year.”

The tours start at 7pm from the Tourist Information Centre, Festival House on The Promenade, next to The Beach House.

For further details and information on tickets and prices, visit


Blackpool nursing home residents running their own shop

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Residents at a Blackpool care home don’t have to go far if they want to nip to the shops – they’ve got their own.


Shop ready for business - back row left to right. Diane Buckley. Jean Hamilton. Joyce Gillatt. Theresa Gleave. Doris Heslop.
Front : Janet McDougall. Alan Gillatt

Shop ready for business – back row left to right. Diane Buckley. Jean Hamilton. Joyce Gillatt. Theresa Gleave. Doris Heslop. Front : Janet McDougall. Alan Gillatt

The Acorn Nursing Home, on Newton Drive, has set up a shop counter in the foyer of the home, well stocked with essentials.

And residents at the home are even running it themselves on a rota basis.

The idea was dreamed up by the home’s activities coordinator, Samantha Hulmes, who says residents are loving the idea.

She said: “It means they can go down and choose what they want, rather than just having something sent up to their rooms, it gives them the chance to shop.

“We even stock birthday cards so if they want to send one to a relative, they have choice.

“And the residents who run the shop love it, they tell us they’re getting ready to go to work in the morning and they have a bit of a spring in their step!

“The shop also raises funds towards residents’ activities and entertainments, so it’s a win-win situation.”

The little shop sells greetings cards, chocolate and a range of toiletries such as hairspray and deodorant, essentials such as Sterident, tissues and even drinks kept nice and cool in a freezer.

As well as serving residents, the shop also sells to visitors to the 40-bed home, with the normal Covid-safety rules applying to ensure residents are kept safe.

This includes only serving those who have been clear on their latest lateral flow test.

One of those serving in the shop is Doris Heslop, 81, who used to work at the former Marton Post Office.

She said: “I’ve spent most of my life behind a counter so I’m used to it!

“It’s a very good idea and it’s nice to be able to use it as well, we can choose our own cards and chocolate.”

The shop is running from Monday to Friday, from 10am top 2pm each day.


Fleetwood teenager is “hero of the night” after helping sea rescue teams save drowning man

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A Fleetwood teenager has been praised by sea rescue teams after he helped save the life of a drowning man  (Monday, July 26).


Kye Cudlip, 19, has been praised for helping save the life of a drowning man in Fleetwood last night (Monday, July 26). Pic: HM Coastguard Fleetwood

Kye Cudlip, 19, has been praised for helping save the life of a drowning man in Fleetwood last night (Monday, July 26). Pic: HM Coastguard Fleetwood

Kye Cudlip, 19, was taking a leisurely walk along the Fleetwood seafront at around 10.30pm when he heard a man crying out for help in the darkness.

Not having his mobile phone with him, Kye ran to the local police station to call 999.

The police control room alerted HM Coastguard whose volunteers rushed to the scene near the Coastguard station on the Esplanade.

A drowning man was rescued from the sea in Fleetwood last night (Monday, July 26) after 19-year-old Kye Cudlip heard the man's cries for help in the darkness. Pic: HM Coastguard FleetwoodA drowning man was rescued from the sea in Fleetwood last night (Monday, July 26) after 19-year-old Kye Cudlip heard the man’s cries for help in the darkness. Pic: HM Coastguard Fleetwood

The Fleetwood coastguard crew met Kye on the beach near the Fisherman’s Memorial and the teenager calmly pointed them in the direction of the man’s desperate pleas for help.

The Coastguard team used illuminating flares to help search the dark waters and the 4th flare revealed the silhouette of a man, who was now up to his neck in water.

The man had also made his own emergency 999 call and had been told by Coastguard HQ at Holyhead that help was on its way and he should “float to live”.

RNLI Fleetwood launched both lifeboats and its crews were swiftly guided towards the man, who was suffering from water inhalation.

He was pulled from the sea and passed into the care of waiting paramedics who rushed him to Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

Fleetwood’s Coastguard and RNLI crews say they have “no doubt” that the Kye’s swift yet calm response helped save the man’s life.

A spokesman for HM Coastguard Fleetwood said: “This could have been a very different outcome for the casualty had it not been for Kye’s swift action.

“We have no doubt that this young man’s action contributed to saving a life.

“Well done Kye! You were truly the hero of the night.”

A spokesman for RNLI Fleetwood added: “Well done, Kye. Excellent awareness of a deteriorating and desperate situation.”