Cleveleys IT tech worked 18 hour days to deliver food parcels during Covid-19 pandemic

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A Cleveleys man who worked up to 18 hours a day and drove hundreds of miles to provide food and protective equipment to those in need throughout the Covid-19 pandemic has been rewarded for his efforts by the Great British Care Awards.

Andrew Haworth, 42, won the best ancillary worker title in the North West region of the Great British Care Awards.

Andrew Haworth, 42, won the best ancillary worker title in the North West region of the Great British Care Awards.

Andrew Haworth,an IT technician for Making Space, a national charity providing health and social care services for disabled adults, won the Ancillary Worker Award in the North West region of the Great British Care Awards 2021.

The charity said the 42-year-old ‘stepped up beyond the normal call of duty’ by taking on hugely demanding working hours, delivering food parcels and PPE – despite being identified as a high risk individual for Covid-19 due to his type 1 diabetes.

He said “I drove around 700 miles a day on average in order to get supplies to those who need it, including hospitals and care homes.

“I feel shocked that I won and am honoured to win something for just doing what needed to be done in this time of need. It was great to have such community spirit within the team.”

Andrew was also in the running for the title of ‘Social Care Covid Hero’ at the awards ceremony, which was held at the The Kimpton Hotel in Manchester.

Talking about his win, the judges said: “Andrew goes over and above for his service users including doing tutorials in using the technology to keep loved ones in touch and up to date with their relatives.”

Chris Mizzi, head of IT at Making Space, said “Andrew has a gentle humour, an empathetic manner and time for everyone. Every job he does is completed to perfection.

“We are so proud of his award win and in him being recognised for the huge amount of professional pride he takes in his work.

“His interest in technology is surpassed only by his love of cars and racing, which is quite fortunate, considering the number of hours, he logs crisscrossing the country to support his colleagues.”

His success at the regional competition means Andrew is now in the running for the UK-wide award, which will take place at a gala evening at the ICC in Birmingham in September.

 

Paramedics, police, coastguards and firefighters gather for unveiling of seafront tribute in memory of lost comrades

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Emergency services personnell gathered on Blackpool Promenade today along with MP Paul Maynard and deputy Mayor Paula Burdess for the unveiling of a one-of-a-kind bench which thanks them for their dedication.

The unveiling of the emergency services bench at Gynn Square - Connie Jarvis, two

The unveiling of the emergency services bench at Gynn Square – Connie Jarvis, two

The black bench was installed at Gynn Square this morning. It features silhouette images of various emergency services personnell – including a police dog – along with the words ‘in the line of duty, our emergency services who serve, protect and save lives’.

It was donated by paramedic Sharon Riley-Clarke, 54, and is the fourth such tribute bench to be installed in the Fylde coast area.

Two Armed Forces memorial benches were installed on Victoria Road in Cleveleys in 2016 and 2018; one decorated with poppies and bees, and the other, which marked the centenary of the end of the First World War, with soldiers and bi-planes.

The unveiling of the emergency services bench at Gynn Square - deputy Mayor Paula Burdess gives a speechThe unveiling of the emergency services bench at Gynn Square – deputy Mayor Paula Burdess gives a speech

A blue bench reading ‘thank you to all our amazing NHS staff’ was also donated by Sharon and her husband Paul, 57, to Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

Sharon said: “It was a perfect morning. Lots of retired police officers and ambulance staff turned up, and also family and friends.

“The deputy Mayoress did such a lovely speech about emergency services and how hard we have all worked throughout the pandemic and how we have all pulled together.

The unveiling of the emergency services bench at Gynn SquareThe unveiling of the emergency services bench at Gynn Square

“We are all really thrilled with the bench and what it means. It’s a memorial bench as well as a thank you, because lives have been lost, whether during the pandemic or before, it’s a tribute to all those who have died in the line of duty.”

Door-step rogue trader from Blackpool jailed for two-and-a-half years after conning OAPs out of £39,000

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A doorstep conman who took more than £39,000 from elderly and vulnerable victims has been jailed for two-and-a-half years.

Lee was jailed for preying on vulnerable pensioners

Lee was jailed for preying on vulnerable pensioners

He has also been banned from ‘cold calling’ homes anywhere in the UK for the next decade and now faces legal action under the Proceeds of Crime Act which could strip him of assets to repay money taken.

Walter Kaziah Lee, 46, targeted pensioners in the Scarborough area before being brought to justice by trading standards officers at North Yorkshire County Council.

He pleaded guilty to four offences of fraud and two under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 and was sent to prison as a result.

Lee’s offending took place between September 26, 2018, and July 3, 2019, netting him a total of £39,880 from victims.

All who fell prey to Lee had work done at their properties, including roofing, power washing and other repairs but much was found to be of poor quality, substantially overcharged or not done despite those involved paying Lee’s bills.

Among his victims were a 79-year-old widow from Filey who was taken to the Post Office by Lee to withdraw cash.

She paid £4,000 and although he offered to repay half after her son intervened, he only returned £900.

Another £2,000 is now also required to put right the work Lee did on her home.

At Scalby, a 72-year-old woman agreed pay £150 for gutters clearing but ended up paying £8,250 after Lee identified further work.

A surveyor later concluded the repairs should have cost only £3,750 but the quality of Lee’s work meant his efforts were only worth £1,710.

At the time, she was a carer for her 75-year-old husband, who had Alzheimer’s and has since died.

A Robin Hood’s Bay resident, aged 72, who is now in a care home with dementia, was given two invoices, for £3,000 and £6,000 but a surveyor could find no evidence of work being done to justify the second charge at all.

Lee also targeted a 78 year old widow from Scalby, whose daughters were trying to assist her in maintaining her home following their father’s death.

Despite the roof being replaced in 2016, Lee claimed moss was causing the structure to sag and needed work costing £14,000.

He also claimed work to the drive was needed, giving a total charge of £18,600. A surveyor appointed by Trading Standards valued the work at £4,710.

Lee was sentenced at York Crown Court where HHJ Hickey set out a timetable for Proceeds of Crime Act confiscation proceedings and imposed a ten year Criminal Behaviour order, barring him from cold calling addresses in the UK or getting others to do so for him.

In a victim personal statement one of the daughters of the 78 year old widow told the court:

“As a result of this I feel I have no choice but to force my mum to live closer to me. This is a very difficult and upsetting decision, as she has lived in that house for 40 years.

The stress and upset he has caused has been profound.

“Both my sister and I are key workers. Front line NHS staff who worked throughout the Covid pandemic.

“We have a strong work ethic and try our best for all our patients. The fact that Walter can cheat my family the way he has and leave such destruction and upset in his path leaves me without words.”

Her sister added: “Emotionally it has been very challenging for our mum, my sister, and myself, we have been traumatised by the experience and it has increased our mistrust of tradespeople.

“I hope Walter has time in prison to reflect on his conduct and repent. These people believed in him and he took their money and let them down, and caused great stress and anxiety along the way.”

Another victim said: “I feel violated and very vulnerable at the minute. I’m so disappointed and embarrassed about it all. Hindsight is a great thing. I took in good faith what this trader was telling me. I’ve learnt a lesson.

“That money is important to me. I’ve earned that money honestly and I’m very careful with my money. I now have to save that money again to get my roof repaired.”

County Councillor Andrew Lee, Executive Member for Trading Standards warned: “Yet again we have seen the callous behaviour of these doorstep criminals exhibited by Walter Lee.

“Please do not deal with doorstep callers. Legitimate businesses do not need to cold call and you should deal with local traders by recommendation through family, friends and neighbours. We have a zero tolerance approach to such offending.”

 

Lancashire policeman gunned down in the line of duty

Home | Blackpool Gazette

It is 50 years since Supt Gerry Richardson was shot dead in Blackpool

Supt Gerry Richardson who was shot dead in Blackpool

Supt Gerry Richardson who was shot dead in Blackpool

August 23, 1971 was a fair day and with the morning business of the day just awakening, a sea wind from the Promenade was beginning to muster.

But, as the organised armed robbery gang who had arrived the day before took their positions in front of family-owned Preston’s Jewellers, hands firmly on the firearms they had brought for the task, British criminal history was about to add a terrible new chapter.

Fredrick ‘Fat Fred’ Sewell (pictured, inset) was a well-known criminal from South London who had already served a sentence for a £37,000 wages snatch and was a successful car salesman and businessman with a farm and other properties.

Getaway carGetaway car

With him were Charles Haynes, a nightclub owner, Dennis Bond, Thomas Flannigan, and John Spry, for what they thought would be an easy heist.

It went wrong from the start. The night before, arriving at a boarding house for the night wearing dark glasses and flashing £20 notes, the men had already caused undue attention.

It was 9.41am when they entered the jewellers with guns pointed at the terrified staff. They hadn’t seen the manager who, suspecting the strangers approaching his shop, had locked himself in a back room where he pressed a silent panic alarm which went straight through to Blackpool police station.

Fleeing the jewellers, precious gems, gold, and watches were strewn on the pavement, and after knocking unconscious a passer-by who tried to intervene, they found the doors to the getaway car locked just as police Panda cars started arriving on the scene

Funeral of Supt Gerry Richardson who was shot dead in Blackpool

Funeral of Supt Gerry Richardson who was shot dead in Blackpool

What transpired next would not only spark one of Britain’s biggest manhunts, see three policemen shot and one murdered, but also set a series of events in chain which would help mould and shape what would be the modern framework for criminal justice and the judiciary in Britain.

The robbers had two service revolvers, a sawn-off shotgun, and a smaller handgun between. Police chased their Triumph at high-speed through winding streets and traffic of Blackpool eventually ramming the car and then taking up the chase on foot.

Two officers had already been shot by two of the robbers as they fled. Spry shot PC Ian Hampson in the chest as he tried to move from his car seat as the raider escaped from the crashed car. Sewell, Spry and Bond then raced down a side street, Sewell shooting PC Carl Walker in the groin.

The robbers then commandeered a butcher’s van, which, after another high-speed chase with shots being fired out the windows as the vehicles sped through traffic, crashed into a wall and was again rammed. This time, as Sewell jumped out of the van and tried to escape he was accosted and held by Supt Gerry Richardson.

Funeral of Supt Gerry Richardson who was shot dead in BlackpoolFuneral of Supt Gerry Richardson who was shot dead in Blackpool

A top academic student from a working-class family who had left school at 17 and entered the police force as a cadet, Richardson also worked two years of national service as a military policeman and was destined for success in anything he chose to do.

A people’s man with a host of commendations and strong values, he had once saved a drowning man in a daring sea rescue. Well-liked, Richardson always lead from the front. He rose quickly because of merit and took control of the Blackpool sub-district by the young age of 36.

So as he faced Sewell, although the same age, they hailed from opposite ends of the spectrum. They grappled, Richardson fearlessly intent on arresting Sewell. The police officer said to him: “Don’t be daft, don’t be silly”. It was then Sewell shot him twice in the stomach at close range.

Haynes, who had also jumped free of the vehicle, fired a wild shot and merged into the crowd of onlookers. Spry, who had attempted to shoot another policeman, and Bond were wrestled to the ground by other officers.

Killer Fred SewellKiller Fred Sewell

Sewell escaped, hijacking a grey van, leaving Richardson fatally wounded. He would lose his battle for life in his wife’s arms a few hours later as Irene Jermain, Sewell’s girlfriend, and Haynes drove the two escaping robbers down the M1 to London.

The story made international headlines and quickly turned into Britain’s biggest manhunt with Sewell and Haynes now Public Enemy No.1.

Haynes was captured first as he watched his daughter compete at the National Pony Championships in Stoneleigh Abbey. The case, mentioned in Prime Minister’s Question Time, would cause a public outcry prompting Richardson’s widow, Maureen to campaign for the return of capital punishment. Sewell would remain at large for 45 days, but the most wanted man in Britain once imprisoned would not rest there.

Just a year into his 30-year life sentence at Gartree Prison – and barely a week before Maureen Richardson was to posthumously collect the George Cross for her husband’s sacrifice – Sewell with the diversion of a riot nearly escaped in an audacious and well-planned operation.

He was stopped at the fence by dog handler Joseph Loney who, with the prison guard beside him knocked unconscious and the two dogs they had crazy with the acid the escaping prisoners had squirted in their eyes, single-handedly thwarted what would have been a major incident.

Gerry Richardson was the highest ranking policeman killed on duty in England. An estimated 100,000 people lined the streets of Blackpool for his funeral and Richardson was buried in Layton Cemetery.

Stephen Gillen is a reformed armed robber and career criminal. His book The Monkey Puzzle Tree about his own life story was short-listed for The Peoples Book Literary Prize.

At least 11 new mobile phone masts planned for Blackpool – as residents protest against 18m pole in conservation area

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Plans to install an 18 metre tall mobile phone mast in a Blackpool conservation area have angered residents – with one labelling the equipment ‘street furniture from hell’.

 

The bid to place the pole on Whitegate Drive is one of 11 applications submitted to Blackpool Council since June for new mobile phone masts.

Phone mast would block views of Blackpool Tower

The masts will range from 12 metres to 20 metres in height with cabinets housing equipment at their base, and are part of a national government drive to boost advanced 5G mobile phone and internet coverage.

Residents and councillors protesting at the proposed site for a mast on Whitegate Drive

Residents and councillors protesting at the proposed site for a mast on Whitegate Drive

But community groups claim the Whitegate Drive proposal will be an eyesore, and are warning other residents in the town about the spread of the new masts.

Dave Blacker, chairman of the Talbot ward PACT (police and community together), said: “It is street furniture from hell – it is ugly.

“The residents and PACT members are up in arms and horrified this could be put up in a conservation area. We’re not saying we don’t want these masts in Blackpool, but they have to think about where they are putting them.”

If it gets the go ahead, the mast will be right outside the Dinners Ready diner owned by Jennifer Duffy.

She said: “I’ve been here 25 years. This is a conservation area which meant I wasn’t allowed by the council to put shutters up – but this mast and the boxes with it will be a real eyesore.

“I’m also worried about it for health reasons, and because it will affect my business as it is right next to where I put my outdoor seating.”

Talbot ward councillors Mark Smith and Jane Hugo are also calling for a rethink.

Coun Smith said: “The cabinets and boxes are huge and it’s just not in keeping with the area. We think it should be sited in a more discreet location that will not impact directly on residents.

“We’re not against progress, but not at this location.”

The Whitegate Drive application is one of a number of sites CK Hutchison has applied for permission to use for its company Three UK, based in Reading, which is the fourth-largest mobile network operator in the UK.

A Three spokesperson said: “Access to 5G has a vital role to play in boosting local economies, helping residents and businesses get faster and more reliable network coverage.

“This is why we’re working with the local council in Blackpool to roll out the UK’s fastest 5G network so that we can keep everyone connected both now and in the future.

“While we try to keep mast sites as unobtrusive as possible, they do need to be situated near to where people will be using the service and, in many cases, in precise locations to ensure the widest breadth of coverage.

“We carry out extensive searches and surveys to evaluate all the options. We then choose the option most likely to gain planning approval from the local council.

“This will include showing we have minimised the impact on residents and the locality.”

Earlier this year the council won a planning battle with Hutchison after it had sought to put a 15 metre tall phone mast in King Street, close to the Town Centre Conservation Area.

The council refused planning permission, which was upheld on appeal, because the mast would have harmed views of Blackpool Tower.

Some new masts have already been installed, including near B&M Bargains on Whitegate Drive.

But masts do not always need full planning permission as applicants may only need to seek ‘telecommunications prior approval’. This means the application is covered by national policy because it is deemed to be part of vital infrastructure.

With 11 submissions in the pipeline, Mr Blacker warned other communities could see masts “landing on their doorsteps”.

The applications, submitted mainly by either Hutchison or Preston based IX Wireless Ltd, for masts and cabinets since June are for:

Pathway to the side of 476 Lytham Road and Broadway

Pathway on Dinmore Avenue, opposite Progress Court

Side of 20 Huntley Avenue and Wilford Street

Side of 113 Powell Avenue and Pickmere Avenue

Side of 479 Central Drive

Pavement adjacent to 31 Whitegate Drive

Adjacent to Layton Library, Talbot Road

Site at 182 Park Road

Path opposite 81 and 83 Shaftsbury Avenue

Site opposite 230 to 250 Bristol Avenue

Site opposite front of 78 Westfield Road

In addition, Planning permission has been approved for an 18 metre mast on land next to the Number 4 and Free Masons Hotel on Layton Road.

Nigel is the new man at the helm at Blackpool’s Stanley Park

Home | Blackpool Gazette

For many people, Stanley Park became the most important destination in Blackpool during lockdown as a place to exercise and meet friends outdoors.

 

And as we hopefully put the worst of the Covid pandemic behind us, it will no doubt continue to play a vital role in many residents’ lives.

So Nigel Patterson, who has been installed as the new chairman of the Friends of Stanley Park and Salisbury Woodland, knows there will be many challenges ahead as he takes over the reigns.

But having retired from a long career which included looking after Blackpool Tower and the Winter Gardens, he is well placed to accept the test.

New chairman of the Friends of Stanley Park Nigel PattersonNew chairman of the Friends of Stanley Park Nigel Patterson

He has taken over from Elaine Smith who has stepped down after a total of 12 years as chairman.

Nigel, who is married to Lynne and has a daughter Samantha and a two-year-old grandson, was formerly operations director at First Leisure when it owned the Tower, the Winter Gardens and the resort’s three piers.

He then worked in the motorway services industry – introducing branded food outlets nationwide – before joining a maintenance company which employed 10,000 people and included every Asda in the country as a client.

But he is clearly not a person to sit back on his laurels – or to think life is just a bed of roses – to use two phrases his latest position may relate to.

Nigel said: “I’ve been a member of the Friends group for five years after calling in at the visitor centre where Elaine thrust a membership form into my hand.

“Working with the voluntary sector is all proving new to me but the volunteers are at the heart of the Friends of Stanley Park and I’m just a cog in the wheel.

“I understand people and the attractions business, but the attraction here belongs to the council and we are just a Friends group, but an important Friends group.”

Nigel has a hard act to follow, with Stanley Park being named the best park in the country twice under Elaine’s watch.

But he is keen to look ahead and ensure the open space remains relevant to up and coming generations – and that includes promoting activities like BMX and skateboarding which today’s youngsters opt for.

Plans have been approved to convert a disused basketball court into a new facility for use by skateboarders, bikers and scooter riders.

Nigel said: “The council is aware of the development opportunities we can work together on, and the new skate park is one of those.

“It’s a joint initiative between ourselves, the council and the skateboard community. We have to move with the times but quality decisions will be right at the end of the day.”

One thing Nigel is already planning ahead for is the park’s centenary in 2026, but in the shorter term he is looking forward to bringing back many of the traditonal events such as the Hallowe’en weekend with fancy dress and the famous pumpkin carving competition.

These also help to raise vital funds which are reinvested back into the park.

He said: “Fundraising is important and we haven’t raised any money during lockdown, but that will correct itself because we haven’t spent anything either.

“As we go forward we are going to need more volunteers as well. For example events at the bandstand are not going to restart until next year, but when they do because of new regulations we’ll need more volunteers to help.”

Despite all the goodwill surrounding the park, there are sadly those who do not respect it, and vandalism and irresponsible dog owners are two of the worst culprits according to Nigel.

However a £200,000 CCTV system has now been installed to improve security, and a vibrant dog club is helping spread the message on canine care.

He said: “Vandalism disgusts me and I say to any parent whose children are committing vandalism, the park has been here nearly 100 years and we need it for another 100 years.

“Do you know what your children were doing last night?

“Also to dog walkers, I say pick up your dog’s mess and be aware dogs should be on a lead in busy areas of the park.”

Nigel is keen to pay tribute to the legacy Elaine has left behind, and his main hope is to build on that.

He added: “We have a huge debt of gratitude to a lady who has given so many years to the park.

“I’ll do it my way because things move on. And I hope what has happened in lockdown, with so many Blackpool residents enjoying the park will mean they will continue to support us.”

The Stanley Park Visitor Centre is due to reopen on September 7 after being closed since March 2020.

Macmillan coffee mornings will take place on September 25 and 26.

The Hallowe’en Weekend will be back on October 30/31 with chidren’s fancy dress, a pumpkin carving competition and entertainment.

Anyone wanting to join the Friends of Stanley Park or volunteer can contact Nigel on 07721 446038.

 

Are dogs allowed on the beach? These are the rules for beaches in Blackpool, Cleveleys, St Annes and Fleetwood

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A walk along one the beaches in the Fylde coast is a great way to take in some sea air, stretch your legs and enjoy some of the finest scenery in Lancashire.

 

But there are strict rules for walkers who want to bring their four-legged companion with them.

From restrictions at certain times of the year to the sections of coastline where dogs are welcome all year round, these are the rules for all the beaches in the Fylde coast:

What are the beach exclusion periods for dog walkers in Blackpool?

There are strict rules on when and where you can walk you dog along beaches in the Fylde coast.

There are strict rules on when and where you can walk you dog along beaches in the Fylde coast.

Blackpool Council don’t allow dogs to be exercised on the beach between North Pier and the Mirror Ball opposite the Solaris Centre between May 1 and September 30 each year.

However, dogs are welcome all-year-round along the beach either side of the exclusion zone.

The two areas where dogs can be exercised throughout the year are along the south section of the beach between the Mirror Ball and Squires Gate and further north between North Pier and Anchorsholme.

Owners are also advised to keep dogs on a lead, only to be unleashed if the owner has full control and a reliable recall.

The dog walking exclusion zone in St Annes.

The dog walking exclusion zone in St Annes.

Dogs must also be kept on a lead at all times along the Promenade between North and South Piers and where there is no barrier between roads and tram tracks.

8 dog friendly places to eat and drink in Blackpool

Does St Annes beach also have an exclusion period for dogs?

St Annes beach carries a similar exclusion period as Blackpool during the summer months, with dogs banned on the amenity beach between Good Friday and September 30 each year.

Dog walkers also need to be aware that there is a seasonal dogs-on-leads restriction for the Promenade and Promenade Gardens between Fairlawns and North Promenade car parks for the same period.

However, owners can freely exercise their dogs without any restrictions along the beach stretching towards Squires Gate one way and Lytham Quays in the other direction.

Where can I take my dog in Cleveleys and Fleetwood?

In Cleveleys dogs are not allowed between Café Cove and the boundary with Blackpool, while in Fleetwood there are restrictions along Marine beach.

As in Blackpool, these restrictions are only in force between May 1 and September 30 each year.

In Cleveleys, dog walkers are free to take their pets on the beach from Rossall to The Venue and the stepped sea defences.

Dog walkers in Fleetwood are free to exercise their pets from the Ferry and RNLI to the former Fleetwood Pier site and from the Kite Club to Rossall Beach at Cleveleys.

Why are dogs banned from beaches?

Areas classed as a bathing beach are regularly tested to ensure the quality of the sea water, with samples taken at regular intervals throughout the season.

Dogs are banned from these stretched of beach as dog waste can cause the sea water to become polluted and fail bathing water tests.

Can you be fined for breaking dog exclusion rules?

In short, yes, any owners who take their dogs into exclusion areas could receive an on-the-spot fine of up to £100, rising to £1,000 if fined in court.

‘Virtual’ open day for lifesavers at Fleetwood’s Coastwatch station

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Volunteers who keep watch over the coast at Fleetwood and Rossall to ensure people stay safe are to take part in a ‘virtual’ open day.

Video will explain the vital work of Fleetwood's Coastwatch volunteers

Video will explain the vital work of Fleetwood’s Coastwatch volunteers

The team from National Coastwatch Institution (NCI) at Rossall Point, Fleetwood, will celebrate the first National Coastwatch Day on Saturday August 28 in an innovative way.

To mark the event the Coastwatch members hoped to stage an open day so the pubic could get a better understanding of their work, but the Wyre Council-owned Rossall Observation Tower where they are based is currently not open to the public.

So the Coastwatchers commissioned a local film maker, Juliette Gregson, to shoot a film of them in their base and on National Coastwatch Day the film will go ‘live’ on the group’s website.

Martyn Cripps, station manager at NCI Fleetwood

Martyn Cripps, station manager at NCI Fleetwood

Martyn Cripps, station manager at NCI Fleetwood said: “We wanted to celebrate the first National Coastwatch Day and help raise the profile of our work here in Fleetwood, as well as

raising much needed funds.

“We want to thank Juliette for her time and support in helping us to do something a little different on this special day.’

National Coastwatch started at Bass Point, Cornwall in 1994, following the closure of many small Coastguard look-out towers around UK shores.

The volunteers reopened the old Coastguard station, as they wanted to help keep eyes around our coasts and assist the Coastguard in keeping our shores safe.

In Fleetwood, the volunteer Coastwatchers took over the old Coastguard tower at Rossall Point, in 2008 and moved into the newly-built Rossall Observation Tower in 2013.

They were renamed NCI Fleetwood in 2019.

There are now 56 Coastwatch stations in the UK and NCI

Fleetwood is the furthest north and is operational every day of the year.

The specially produced film will show views of Morecambe Bay from the top of the tower at Rossall Point, as well as a ‘guided tour’ of the equipment used by the volunteers, inside the

NCI station.

For details of the video and to make a donation to the charity go to: www.ncifleetwood.co.uk.

Further information is available at facebook.com/ncifleetwood and on Twitter @rossallpoint on the 28 th August.

 

Lytham tribute event to Bobby Ball to boost statue fund

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A tribute event to the late comedian Bobby Ball is set to boost the appeal for a statue in his memory by up to £10,000.

 

‘Bobby’s Brunch’ at Lytham’s Clifton Arms Hotel on Sunday has proved so popular that Bobby’s widow Yvonne said it could have sold out twice over.

The Fylde-based funnyman’s long-time partner in the legendary Cannon and Ball duet, Tommy Cannon, is set to be among the audience as a host of performers, many based locally. put on a show in Bobby’s honour following a meal.

The performers will include locally-based comedian Phil Walker along with the likes of popular singer Paul Dobie and the group Flip, all giving their services free of charge to help boost to statue fund.

Bobby Ball and his wife YvonneBobby Ball and his wife Yvonne

Bobby’s sons, performers in their onw right as the Harper Brothers, will also be on the bill.

Artist chosen to sculpt Lytham statue of Bobby Ball

Yvonne said: “The response has been wonderful and we hope the event will raise £10,000. It sold out in quick time, with a capacity of around 150, and we could have sold twice as many tickets.”

Phil Walker said he is delighted to be involved and to have the chance to pay tribute to a man who was a family friend and big influence on his career.

Phil Walker will be among the performersPhil Walker will be among the performers

“With the pandemic, this will be the first opportunity for us to get together and pay tribute to Bobby and I’m honoured to be involved,” said Phil.

“I have fond memories of watching Cannon and Ball from the wings when they played Blackpool when I was younger and I’m proud that my first major gig as a comedian was supporting them at Bournemouth.

“When I went into panto, Bobby had just moved to the area and was always ready with really valuable advice.

“He was a regular attender at our Woofers comedy nights at Lowther Pavilion and I really miss him.”

The statue appeal, for a lasting tribute figure to be placed in Lowther Gardens, Lytham, next to the theatre where Bobby was a patron, currently stands around the £30,000 mark, with two major events – a ball and a concert in his honour – to come at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens in the autumn.

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