St Annes Enterprise Partnership chairman’s delight at plan for ex-JR Taylor store

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A planning application to bring a new lease of life to a long- empty former flagship store has been greeted as a “dynamic, expansive and innovative” for the building and for the town by the chairman of the St Annes Enterprise Partneship.

 

Colin Ballard feels the plan to bring a spa, restaurant, bar and four suite hotel to what was the JR Taylor premises until the store closed in early 2015 will give St Annes “a dynamic move forward”.

The application, submitted by Corbenyah Properties Limited, for a change of use from retail and offices to mixed use and to be considered by Fylde Council, also details plans for medical treatment and massage rooms on the first floor as well as a roof top bar on the third floor.

The design statement for the application says around 70 full/part time jobs if the plan goes ahead for the premises at the corner of St Annes Square and Garden Street, which were sold in 2019.

The JR Taylor store closed in 2015 and was sold in 2019

The JR Taylor store closed in 2015 and was sold in 2019

Plans revealed for spa, restaurant, bar and hotel in former JR Taylor building i…

Colin said: “JR Taylors was a major feature of St Annes and this planning proposal sees a new, dynamic, expansive and innovative submission for that building and this town.

“If you agree then say so – let’s stop being negative in objecting and give our town a dynamic move forward. Thank God for entrepreneurs prepared to invest in St Annes.”

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Blue bench donated to Blackpool Victoria Hospital as thanks for life-saving efforts during pandemic

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A bright blue bench has been donated to Blackpool Victoria Hospital by four grateful people whose lives were affected by Covid-19.

 

The unveiling of the bench at Blackpool Victoria Hospital

The unveiling of the bench at Blackpool Victoria Hospital

Paramedic Sharon Riley-Clarke, her former police officer husband Paul Clarke, and their friends Steve and Helen Trainor donated the blue bench as a thank you to the doctors, nurses and other hospital staff who worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic.

It was unveiled near the hospital’s outpatients department on Saturday.

Sharon, 54, who is based at the ambulance station on Waterloo Road, said: “Although we have all been working through Covid-19, we have all seen how exhausted the hospital staff are.

The key workers' bench is the first of its kind in the North WestThe key workers’ bench is the first of its kind in the North West

Sharon and Paul, 57, previously raised funds to install two Armed Forces memorial benches on Victoria Road in Cleveleys. The first bench, installed in 2016, features poppies and bees, and the second, which was installed in 2018 to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War, features silhouettes of soldiers and bi-planes.

They, along with Steve and Helen, were inspired to raise money for another bench – this time for NHS key workers – after witnessing first hand the difficulties faced not only by doctors and nurses, but hospital cleaners and caterers.

“Steve was very poorly with pneumonia and Covid-19 and had to be hospitalised in Lancaster, and that has had a knock-on effect on his life. A lot of my colleagues have had Covid,” Sharon, who has been a paramedic for 25 years, said.

“It has been hard. A&D has been exceptionally busy. We an isolation area were we take potential coronavirus patients, so staff have been worked off their feet. The workload has increased.

“We have our own cleaning team at the hospital and as soon as we come in they jump up and spray the ambulance. Everything we use, everything we touch has to be cleaned.

“This bench is for all our key workers, and that includes our cleaning staff. It’s for everybody, from the doctors to the people in the canteen providing meals to the staff and the patients.”

She added: “I think the bench is beautiful. It’s so unique; it’s the first in the North West. The staff are pleased with it, and I think it’s appropriate to have somewhere nice to reflect over what has gone on over these past 18 months, and remember those we have lost during the pandemic. We have all lost friends, some of them quite young.”

Yvonne Widdows, deputy director of facilities at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals Trust, said: “We’d like to thank Sharon and all involved in making this possible. The bench is a lovely addition to the hospital and I’m sure will be appreciated by staff and patients alike.”

Another bench, in honour of all emergency service personnel including the police and coastguards, will be unveiled by the deputy mayor Paula Burdess at Gynn Square, Blackpool, next Tuesday at 11am.

 

169 new Covid cases recorded in Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre in 24 hours

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Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre have now seen 33,522 Covid cases since the beginning of the pandemic.

 

There have now been 142,807 confirmed cases in the Lancashire County Council area since the start of the pandemic, according to the latest government data released today (August 9).

Meanwhile, the total across Lancashire, including Blackpool and Blackburn with Darwen, now stands at 184,106.

New Preston comedy club closes as staff ‘pinged’ and forced to isolate
An aerial photo shows a piece of sand art, depicting the iconic Tower, Pier, and rides of Blackpool in north west England, drawn in the sand on the beach by sand artists 'Sand in your Eye, to promote that the town has re-opened following easing to lockdown restrictions in England on May 17, 2021.
An aerial photo shows a piece of sand art, depicting the iconic Tower, Pier, and rides of Blackpool in north west England, drawn in the sand on the beach by sand artists ‘Sand in your Eye, to promote that the town has re-opened following easing to lockdown restrictions in England on May 17, 2021.

The Prime Minister has gambled on trusting the public’s judgment and the protection offered by vaccines as he scrapped mandatory mask-wearing and lifted social distancing requirements.

The so-called “freedom day” went ahead on July 19.

Officials acknowledged that Covid-19 cases and deaths would continue to increase – albeit at a much lower level than before the vaccination programme – but it was now necessary to find a new way to live with the virus.

Public Health England records cases for each council area. The latest totals for each area in Lancashire are:

Blackburn with Darwen – 25,821 (Up from 25,761) +60

Blackpool – 15,478 (Up from 15,404) +74

Burnley – 14,001 (Up from 13,957) +44

Chorley – 12,270 (Up from 12,225) +45

Fylde – 7,576 (Up from 7,540) +36

Hyndburn – 11,796 (Up from 11,755) +41

Lancaster – 13,804 (Up from 13,742) +62

Pendle – 12,898 (Up from 12,867) +31

Preston – 19,231 (Up from 19,166) +65

Ribble Valley – 6,859 (Up from 6,834) +25

Rossendale – 9,532 (Up from 9,504) +28

South Ribble – 12,100 (Up from 12,060) +40

West Lancs – 12,272 (Up from 12,231) +41

Wyre – 10,468 (Up from 10,409) +59

Reginald Dixon Blackpool tram unveiled: Pictures of the historic tram being shown on for the first time

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An historic Blackpool tram has been named after Reginald Dixon MBE, best known for his time spent as organist at the Blackpool Tower.

 

A classic Blackpool image - Tower, tram and Promenade

A classic Blackpool image – Tower, tram and Promenade

Reg, as he was commonly known, he held the position in the famous Tower Ballroom for 40 years and he was a household name during his years at the Blackpool Tower from 1930 to 1970, with live broadcasts of his performances being aired each week during the summer season on the BBC Light Programme, now Radio 2.

The Blackpool Tram was officially renamed today on Friday by Reg’s daughter, Jill Steel, along with other members of the family.

With the resort set to welcome a record number of visitors over the summer, the Blackpool Heritage Tram team are acknowledging Reg for his contribution to the promotion of the town in times gone by.With the resort set to welcome a record number of visitors over the summer, the Blackpool Heritage Tram team are acknowledging Reg for his contribution to the promotion of the town in times gone by.

The tram was unveiled by Reg's daughter Jill Steel

The tram was unveiled by Reg’s daughter Jill Steel
The tram is now back in service on the heritage line
The tram is now back in service on the heritage line
His signature tune ‘Oh I Do Like to be Beside the Seaside’ has become synonymous with the resort and its rich entertainment history.
His signature tune ‘Oh I Do Like to be Beside the Seaside’ has become synonymous with the resort and its rich entertainment history.
Shane Grindey, marketing and commercial manager for Blackpool Transport said “It is a very special, and fitting occasion, to rename a historic tram after somebody who has contributed so much to Blackpool’s successful history."
Shane Grindey, marketing and commercial manager for Blackpool Transport said “It is a very special, and fitting occasion, to rename a historic tram after somebody who has contributed so much to Blackpool’s successful history.”
Reginald played the mighty Wurlitzer - which was built to his specification - for 40-years and he remains an icon of the famous ballroom to this day
Reginald played the mighty Wurlitzer – which was built to his specification – for 40-years and he remains an icon of the famous ballroom to this day
An image of Reg at the ballroom is displayed at the top of the tram
An image of Reg at the ballroom is displayed at the top of the tram
The tram had the number 631 before its renaming
The tram had the number 631 before its renaming

Historic steam engine trip to Blackpool, Preston and Ribble Valley is cancelled

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An historic steam locomotive tour which was due to begin at Blackpool North Station next month will no longer go ahead.

 

The Leander in Blackpool in 2019

The Leander in Blackpool in 2019

The Pennine Blackpool Express tour, which was due to take place on September 18, has been cancelled as a more popular tour, the Cumbrian Coast Express, has been rescheduled to take place that day instead.

The tour was supposed to begin at London Euston at 7.10am with a high-speed journey in a modern train along the West Coast Main Line. The steam engine, allocated from the Carnforth pool of steam locomotives, would be attached to the train at Preston station, being being hauled to Blackpool North station at 11.10am to begin its scenic journey around Lancashire.

The journey, run by The Railway Touring Company, would have seen the engine travel through Bamber Bridge and the long climb of Hoghton Bank to Blackburn. It was due to join the Hellifield line at Daisyfield Junction and then tackle the steep climb up to Whilpshire Tunnel, followed by a long descent towards the viaduct over the river Calder at Whalley. From there, it was due to travel north through the Ribble Valley towards Hellifield, and then to Carnforth, where an electric train would take passengers back to Preston.

Trainspotters gathered en route from Blackpool to Preston to get a glimpse of the old Jubilee Engine, which until the 1950s was one of the largest engines travelling on the lines running out of St Pancras railway station.

READ: Full steam ahead for historic engine The Leander as it travels from Blackpool to PrestonThe Cumbrian Coast Express, which will now take place instead of the Blackpool tour, will travel from Carlisle to Maryport, Workington and Whitehaven, and will continue along the coast to Barrow-in-Furness before arriving at Carnforth.