Visitors slam ‘busy’ Blackpool World Firework Championship

Lancashire Telegraph

Blackpool’s World Firework Championships kicked off earlier this month and people flocked to the coastal area to watch the free display.


While most visitors were in awe of the fantastic firework displays on opening weekend (September 11), others were alarmed by just how busy it was with some saying that it took hours just to get out of the car park.

The event will be running on various weekend dates until October 23 – but many have vowed to stay away after being put off from the jam-packed opening display.

Lancashire Telegraph: Crowds at the Blackpool Firework ChampionshipsCrowds at the Blackpool Firework Championships

One Twitter user, @JohnAMEllis uploaded a short clip of the fireworks to their social media but critiqued the hectic journey home.

They wrote: “It was amazing but took three hours to get out of the car park and get home (usually a 30 min journey).”

Jamie Patterson said he had “never seen Blackpool so busy” while Chris Meadows commented that the “traffic in and around Blackpool was bad, parking spaces were not really available”.

“Going off last week’s opening event I’d advise people get there at eight am to secure a place… it was a little busy,” Antony Jones joked.

Twitter user, @kilnerlufc, said: “Blackpool is horrible at the best of times as it is, but making the mistake of going there when Blackpool are playing at home, and it’s the Fireworks Championship… Never again!”

Other Twitter users were disgusted by the “terrible” litter left behind after the busy event.

Elaine Kelly said: “Fireworks were fantastic… however, the litter that was left was terrible.

“Wasted food everywhere and empty bottles and cans strewn all over the pavements. There were security officers about but they were just standing around not doing much.”

Another said: “Please pick up your rubbish and food, last Saturday was embarrassing as the street were littered after the fireworks.”

Stuart Fielding added: “Last night I realised why I had not been in Blackpool on Saturday night for a long time.

“Stick to the more refined Poulton in future. The firework display was good though.”

Andrew Hughes also agreed that the fireworks championship “was a good night” but added that it was “overcrowded” with “no social distancing in place.”

With more firework displays set to take place in the coming weeks, a spokesperson for VisitBlackpool has some advice for future visitors if they want to avoid large crowds and parking issues.

They said: “The free fireworks events invariably attract large crowds to the Promenade.

“We would encourage people to arrive early and, if possible, park on some of the larger car parks to the south of the resort (between the M55 and the football club) rather than heading into the town centre.

Lancashire Telegraph: Crowds at the Blackpool Firework ChampionshipsCrowds at the Blackpool Firework Championships

“The promenade is only a short walk away from the car parks and people can either take a stroll to the Tower Festival Headland or catch a tram.”

They added: “We would also encourage people to stagger their departure time.

“After the fireworks have finished, there is plenty to do in and around the Promenade with free light projection shows on the front of The Blackpool Tower building and an opportunity to walk through the Illuminations which will be on until midnight.”

When is the next Firework Championship display?

The World Firework Championship displays take place on alternate Saturday evenings with the next one set to take place this weekend (25 September) with a display from Ireland.

Saturday 9 October is Germany’s display and Saturday 23 October is the celebratory display and winners announcement from Titanium Fireworks.

All displays subject to suitable weather conditions.

The events start from 7.30pm with the first fireworks firing from approximately 8:30pm.

The best place to see the display is along Blackpool promenade as the launchpad for the display is in front of Blackpool Tower.





Photographer takes image of ‘crane lifting Blackpool Tower’

Lancashire Telegraph

Photographer takes image of ‘crane lifting Blackpool Tower’


Blackpool Tower (Photo: Twitter/ @PositiveLee7)

Blackpool Tower (Photo: Twitter/ @PositiveLee7)

In the photo, posted by Twitter user @PositiveLee7, it looks like Blackpool tower is being lifted by a crane.

The Twitter user posted the snap along with the caption: “I had to pull over and take a picture of this when I was coming down Talbot Road, Blackpool”

Many people were quick to share the photo and comment on it.

Lancashire Telegraph: Blackpool Tower (Photo: Twitter/ @PositiveLee7)Blackpool Tower (Photo: Twitter/ @PositiveLee7)

Sangrounder Radio wrote: “We never thought we’d see the day when a crane tries to lift Blackpool Tower”

Bernie Blackburn asked: “Are they moving it?”

Others wanted to praise the Twitter user’s photography skills, writing “epic image” and “nicely caught”.

However, the image appears to be a product of good angles and perfect timing.

Blackpool Tower isn’t actually being lifted and shifted by a crane; the cranes are actually carrying out work miles away from the tower.

A spokesperson for Blackpool Council said: “It’s just clever photography.

“The cranes are working on the Talbot Gateway development near Blackpool North Station, the Tower is about half a mile away.”


Blackpool ‘Spider-man’ who dangled at 500ft from town’s iconic tower

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

For Dave Hulme, scaling Blackpool Tower was part of his daily routine


David Hulme, the chief rigger on Blackpool Tower, flying the cross of St George for the England football team as he scales the 420 foot landmark wearing an England team shirt and a Spiderman outfit to change some of the 10,000 bulbs on the tower
David Hulme, the chief rigger on Blackpool Tower, flying the cross of St George (Image: PA Archive/PA Images)

For most people, dangling at 518 feet off a 127 year-old structure is the stuff nightmares are made of.

For 62-year-old Dave Hulme from Blackpool however, this was as part of his daily routine.

The Blackpool Tower is visited by 650,000 people a year and needs regular work for both aesthetic and safety reasons.

This often requires “at height” maintenance on the Grade II listed building, that was designed by Victorian engineers to sway in the wind.

As former Chief Rigger at Blackpool Tower, Dave earned the nickname ‘the Blackpool Spiderman’ due to the ease at which he scaled and swung off the structure.

Quite literally, he has scaled the tower dressed as Spiderman to lay the cross of St George on it in honour of the England football team during the FIFA 2002 World Cup games. He done this while changing some of the 10,000 bulbs on the tower.

He worked at the tower for 30 years working all the way from the top of the crow’s nest right down in the basement. He has lots of stories and pictures of his time there and has started to write a book about his time there.

Dave Hulme getting the rust of Blackpool Tower
Dave Hulme getting the rust off Blackpool Tower (Image: Blackpool Tower)

He started in 1983 as a chipper and painter. Dave told LancsLive: “I was part of a group who used to go up and knock the rust off. We also worked on the illuminations. I’m not an electrician but the lights were very low voltage so there wasn’t much danger of electrocution!

“A lot of people I worked with were ex-Navy or had come from the shipyards. It was very much seasonal work which meant there were times when we were out of work in the winter before I was offered a job as as a trainee rigger.

“The scaffolding was wooden poles then and not steel as it is today. The health and safety wasn’t like it is now either. We had a harness however there was no safety features and there was a good chance that if you fell the harness could snap you in half.

“It reminds me of the Fred Dibnah quote – who was an English Steeplejack – ‘One mistake up here, and it’s half a day out with the undertaker.'”

Chief Rigger David Hulme working on the Blackpool Tower
Chief Rigger David Hulme working on the Blackpool Tower (Image: David Hulme)

In 1994, the Tower had a makeover when it was painted gold for its centenary year and had to be painted back to its distinctive shade of red due to it being a Grade 1 listed building.

On July 22, the Queen and Prince Philip paid a visit to Blackpool to celebrate Festival 94 and Rossall School marking its 150th anniversary.

A visit was scheduled for Royalty to pay a visit to the Blackpool Tower and meet the people that gave the landmark its amazing transformation.

It’s didn’t quite go to plan however:

“The photographers almost completely missed us shaking hand with the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh,” said David. “The visit was all planned however when we were going up in the lift, the lift doors opened and there they were.

“Needless to say it was a bit unexpected however they were really nice and Prince Philip noticed my Duke of Edinburgh award.

Dave Hulme and the team when they met Her Majesty the Queen at the Blackpool Tower in 1994
Dave Hulme and the team when they met Her Majesty the Queen at the Blackpool Tower in 1994 (Image: Dave Hulme)

“We managed to get one photograph as the Royal party were walking back to the lift however we had to line up hastily in front of the Queen again. She must have been thinking ‘what’s going on, I’ve seen these before?!’.

“Everyone was joking saying we better hadn’t bump into the photographers or they’d be leaving the tower the quick way down!”

Dave has done everything on the structure from replacing steel, working on the outer rig, to putting scaffolding top and bottom.

He also used to clean the ‘Walk of Faith’ glass at 390ft above sea level with people watching him.

Dave Hulme cleaning the glass 'Walk of Faith' at Blackpool Tower
Dave Hulme cleaning the glass ‘Walk of Faith’ at Blackpool Tower (Image: Dave Hulme)

This proved so popular there were once discussions about making this into an attraction itself.

Not only has he maintained the outside but he’s used his skills to do jobs on its insides also.

Dave said, “I’ve done a bit of everything in the tower. I’ve worked in the circus repairing the coconut mats for the horses to walk on to fixing things right down in the basement,”

“In the ballroom I’ve helped take down the chandelier to be cleaned which was like Only Fools and Horses. I’ve also abseiled in from the roof dressed as Santa and was terrified my beard was going to get stuck in the rope.”

The most terrifying moments of Dave’s career however have tended to involve bad weather. Before scaling the building he used to check the general forecast and determine if it was safe by the gusting windspeed.

Dave with presenter Julia Bradbury when she was at the Tower filming
Dave with presenter Julia Bradbury when she was at the Tower filming (Image: Blackpool Tower)

If Particularly strong winds were forecast pieces of scaffolding, erected to repair and paint the structure, had to be double checked to ensure safety.

He had to go up and refasten parts of the illuminations down, however had to retreat at times if conditions were too bad.

Dave said: “There times when I would abseil down however I’d have to come back off at another point. The good thing about the tower is that it has so many areas you can cling on to and come back in if you need to.

“It’s quite a unique structure in that it slopes out and the wind blows right through it but if you pick the right side you’re sheltered.

“It sounds daft, but I’ve always felt like Blackpool tower is a friendly structure and it’d look after me.”

Dave on one of the turrets of the tower 30 years ago (left) and on the Nautical College Tower this year (right)
Dave on one of the turrets of the tower 30 years ago (left) and on the Nautical College Tower this year (right) (Image: Dave Hulme)

Dave left in 2018 and now works at Fleetwood Offshore Survival Centre as a trainer which involves other adrenaline filled activities such as teaching people underwater escapes.

He still does a lot of work at height working on wind turbines for Global Wind.

Dave added: “I’m happy that I still get to climb up things and with the tower I’m old enough to know what I’m doing but my knees might have other ideas.

“I say to people I’m not scared of heights but there’s no shame in being scared of them. Everyone’s scared of something!”.



Leaders are ‘transforming’ formerly ‘inadequate’ Blackpool secondary school Highfield Leadership Academy, says Ofsted

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A South Shore secondary school which was rated ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted three years ago has been bumped up to ‘requires improvement’ following its most recent inspection.


Education watchdog Ofsted said leaders at Highfield Leadership Academy in Highfield Road were “transforming the school for pupils” when it was inspected in July.

A previous inspection carried out in 2018 saw the Academy receive the lowest possible Ofsted rating of “inadequate,” after inspectors raised concerns about pupils’ “inadequate progress in subjects,” the “commonplace” use of offensive language in corridors by pupils, and an “overgenerous” view of the school’s effectiveness by leaders.

However, although this year the overall rating for the school was graded as “requires improvement,” behaviour and attitudes, personal development, and leadership and management were all rated “good.”

Education watchdog Ofsted said leaders at Highfield Leadership Academy in Highfield Road were "transforming the school for pupils" when it was inspected in July.

Education watchdog Ofsted said leaders at Highfield Leadership Academy in Highfield Road were “transforming the school for pupils” when it was inspected in July.

Inspectors ruled that safeguarding measures were effective, pupils felt safe and happy, leaders were aspirational for their pupils and provisions for pupils with special educational needs

and/or disabilities have been strengthened.

The latest report also said that while leaders had been “incredibly proactive in improving the quality of education for all pupils,” it was decided that this area would benefit from

further improvement – warranting a “requires improvement” rating.

Bullying was “rare,” inspectors said, and pupils were “confident that if bullying does occur, staff will deal with it quickly and effectively.”

Pupils treat each other well, and they were confident in teachers’ expertise to manage behaviour, the report said.

“This means that pupils can concentrate in their lessons without learning being disrupted.”

Improvements were needed for curriculum plans, which in many subjects were “incomplete,” and “in some subjects, teachers [did] not know the most effective way to deliver the key stage three curriculum.”

But it was acknowledged that “leaders have implemented successful strategies to support pupils in key stage three who are behind with their reading.”

Andrew Galbraith, principal at Highfield Leadership Academy, said: “I am very pleased that this latest Ofsted inspection recognises the many improvements that have taken place throughout the school and our pupils’ positive attitudes.

“These improvements would not have been possible without the support and commitment of our dedicated and professional members of staff, our parents and, of course, our incredible pupils.

“We are delighted that the caring and supportive community that has developed around Highfield Leadership Academy was highlighted as a particular strength.

“The wellbeing of our pupils is of the utmost importance to us as a school. The fact that our pupils are happy, safe and feel a sense of belonging and pride in their school is a real cause for celebration.

“We are continuing our work to ensure that our school becomes outstanding in all areas. We are committed to making further improvements as we continue our transformation journey to help our pupils achieve even more.”


School’s road safety fear as Oyston pub plan revived

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A South Shore school fear for the safety of its pupils and staff if a bid to build a new pub-restaurants goes ahead.


Denaxe Ltd, a company owned by former Blackpool FC owner Owen Oyston, has applied to Blackpool Council for a certificate of lawfulness to proceed with the pub aspect for which permission which was granted back in 2005.

At the time, council planners gave the green light to a hotel, pub and restaurant at the corner of Seymour Road and Bloomfield Road, but only the hotel was built, the Travelodge opening in 2012.

Gateway was built the same year, opening in 2013, with access from Seymour Road – and bosses there have contacted councillors and South Shore MP Scott Benton to express their concerns after the bid to revive the plan was revealed in The Gazette.

Gateway School opened several years after the original planning permission  for the pub-restaurant was granted, along with that for the Travelodge hotel

Gateway School opened several years after the original planning permission for the pub-restaurant was granted, along with that for the Travelodge hotel

Concern at revival of bid to build new pub – 16 years on

“When the original planning permission was granted there was no school at the end of Seymour Road, a narrow cul-de-sac.

“Sixteen years is a long time in planning terms and the environment around this extant scheme has changed immensely for the betterment of the local community.

“A pub/restaurant on Seymour Road would be a retrograde step given the construction of busy and popular Gateway Academy. It would create unnecessary extra road safety issues and labour costs for the Council and Police.

“The school is extremely busy with children and parents/carers walking plus traffic and deliveries and is already having to manage a range of road safety initiatives to keep its youngsters and parents/carers safe.”

A Blackpool Council spokesman said the application is with its legal team.

It is thanks to our loyal readers that we can continue to provide the trusted news, analysis and insight that matters to you. For unlimited access to our unrivalled local reporting, you can take out a subscription here and help support the work of our dedicated team of reporters.



Blackpool Council wants your views on its Climate Emergency Action Plan to reach net zero by 2030

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Residents’ views are sought by Blackpool Council on its Climate Emergency Action Plan, which sets out how the resort can aim for net zero carbon emissions by 2030.


A survey will run until October 20 so that residents can put forward their views.

The plan is based on recent studies by The Carbon Trust and Atkins, following recommendations from the council’s climate assembly earlier this year.

A greater proportion of Blackpool’s emissions than the Lancashire average comes from domestic energy use, mainly from gas and electricity.

A public survey seeking views on Blackpool Council's climate action plan will run until October 20.

A public survey seeking views on Blackpool Council’s climate action plan will run until October 20.

Proposed actions include exploring the development of a solar farm at Blackpool Airport, moving to all-electric buses, and implementing an ‘Energy from Waste’ facility, which would turn waste materials into green gas.

Retrofitting council houses with enhanced insulation, replacing existing street lighting with LEDs and implementing a tree strategy programme are already underway.

Not only would the plan help the planet, but a greener economy could create up to 4,000 Fylde coast jobs, the council said.

Blackpool Council’s Climate Emergency Steering Group, made up of staff from all council services and companies, will meet every three months to ensure progress is made.

A Climate Action Partnership, made up of councillors, residents, young residents, climate experts, businesses and other relevant parties will also meet twice a year to check on progress and facilitate projects.

Leader Coun Lynn Williams said: “We are all guilty of taking for granted the systems on which we build our lives, ecological and man-made, natural and designed. The climate crisis challenges both.

“We can and will adapt, with innovative ways of thinking and a spirit of co-operation. It will take time, hard work, and we will all need to learn to change, but our effort now can transform the lives of future generations.”

Coun Jane Hugo added: “This action plan is a significant milestone and a crucial step towards Blackpool tackling the climate crisis.

“Recommendations from the climate assembly have led directly to 31 of the actions in this plan and I would like to thank members of the assembly for their valuable contribution.

“The assembly process ensured members of the assembly were representative of the whole Blackpool population, and that is vital because making Blackpool a greener place affects us all.

“The climate emergency calls for immediate action. Now we have a plan in place I am eager for us all to concentrate our efforts into putting the actions into practice. The impact of these changes will not only affect us, but generations to come.

“I would urge everyone in Blackpool to take an interest in the report, give their feedback during the consultation and continue to get involved and inspired.”

Visit the council’s Climate Action Plan page to have your say.



Poulton ice cream parlour’s £200,000 makeover proves sweet success with customers

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Bosses at The New Penny of Poulton said a £200,000 makeover has gone down a treat with customers.


Tom and Stephen Jones standing in front of their revamped New Penny.

Tom and Stephen Jones standing in front of their revamped New Penny.

The ice cream parlour and café, in Tithebarn Street, has been in need of a revamp for some time, boss Stephen Jones said, with workmen put to work earlier this year.

He said: “The building took 13 weeks to complete.”

And his son Tom Jones, who helps run the popular eatery, added: “The public really likes it. Everybody I have asked said it feels like night and day.

A look into the new interior

A look into the new interior

“Sometimes when I close my eyes I feel like I’m in Italy.”

The New Penny, which like many venues furloughed its staff – with not all returning – during the height of the pandemic, is soon to celebrate its 40th year after opening in November 1982.

Tom said chiefs are looking into a number of ideas of how to mark the milestone.

“It is quite the achievement for a third-generation business,” he said. “We have had the same landlords and the same foundations. Continuity is quite good in that sense.

Some of the many flavours on offer at the New Penny

Some of the many flavours on offer at the New Penny

“But it is going to be something special and we are hoping to do something to celebrate.”

The New Penny, which has an average rating of 4.0 out of five on the review site TripAdvisor based on the thoughts of 146 customers, gave away its stock to locals after Covid restrictions forced its door shut last year.

Talks with the landlord began during lockdown, with builders due on site in January this year.

They “were busy”, Stephen said, with work eventually getting underway in March ahead of an official reopening in June.

Designers from The Artistry House scrapped the dark wooden aesthetic in favour of a lighter, more open space, with a middle wall knocked down and the back doors replaced by a sliding window door.

The colour scheme has also been overhauled.



Lancashire’s tourism awards are back for 2021 and here are the full details

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Lancashire’s visitor and hospitality businesses can put themselves in the spotlight as the county’s tourism awards make a comeback.


After a year off amid Covid, the hunt for the best in the business across the county is back on with the launch of the Lancashire Tourism Awards 2021.

Marketing Lancashire’s awards are linked to Visit England’s national awards, with the majority of county winners later competing for a national title.

Nineteen awards are now open for entries, including two new awards to acknowledge the character, resilience and invention shown by the sector throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

Rachel McQueen at the Lancashire Tourism Awards 2019

Rachel McQueen at the Lancashire Tourism Awards 2019

The new awards are: The Resilience and Innovation Award, rewarding a business that has redefined itself during the pandemic and The Unsung Hero Award, highlighting individuals who have helped create unique and memorable experiences for visitors.

Rachel McQueen, chief executive of Marketing Lancashire said: “The Lancashire Tourism Awards 2021 will be a very special event for the sector and for Marketing Lancashire.

“We have never been prouder of our partners and the county’s tourism and hospitality businesses, than we have over the last seventeen months or so.

“Facing the challenges, uncertainty and genuine hardship brought by the pandemic, the sector has shown remarkable resilience, proved its ability to redefine itself and has adapted to some of the most testing restrictions on ‘normal’ operations seen in most lifetimes.

“What has shone through during this period is truly reflective of the Lancashire character, approaching each challenge in practical, innovative and often surprisingly good-humoured ways.

“The Lancashire Tourism Awards 2021 will be a celebration of that redefining, of that spirited Lancashire character and of course the future of this incredible sector.”

The categories now open for application are:

Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Award *

Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year *

Cultural Venue / Organisation of the Year

Dog Friendly Business of the Year

Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism Award *

Experience of the Year *

Large Hotel of the Year *

Perfect Stay *

New Tourism Business Award *

Lancashire Pub of the Year *

Self-Catering Accommodation of the Year *

Producer of the Year

Café & Tearoom of the Year

Restaurant of the Year *

Large Visitor Attraction of the Year *

Small Visitor Attraction of the Year *

Wedding Venue of the Year

Resilience and Innovation Award *

Unsung Hero Award *

* The winners of these categories will have the opportunity to represent Lancashire in the national

VisitEngland Awards for Excellence Awards 2022 competition.

Full details can be found at



Blackpool courier driver struggles to get fuel leaving her worried for her job

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

Heavily reliant on her income from her courier delivery job, Anne Oliver is now concerned about how she’ll make ends meet


Anne Oliver works as courier driver and has struggled to get diesel for her car which she needs for work
Anne Oliver works as courier driver and has struggled to get diesel for her car which she needs for work

A self-employed courier driver from Blackpool has shared her concerns after struggling to get fuel for her car, leaving her in limbo as to whether she will have an income to pay the bills.

Anne Oliver, 49, relies on the money she makes as a courier driver, but with petrol stations closing off pumps, she’s been unable to fill up.

Being self-employed means Anne is only paid for the number of parcels she delivers during her rounds which she does with her small diesel car.


Without the fuel to see her through delivery rounds, Anne could be left with no money for the day which she says is now a very real possibility for her and one that is weighing on her mind daily.

“I wasn’t too bad over the weekend but yesterday, I was down in the red. I didn’t know if I would get around my rounds but I managed it,” Anne said.

“Today I had to keep an eye out on Facebook to see where has diesel and this morning I ended up queuing for ten minutes – I’ve got it now thankfully but if I don’t have the fuel in my car I can’t go to work.”

Like many drivers who are in desperate need of fuel in their cars, Anne finds herself in frustrating situations where she has to question whether she should get in line to fill up her car.

Despite having filled up half her tank, Anne says she’s worried if the situation doesn’t settle in time for her next fill, she could be in danger of not being able to go to work.

All pumps out of use at a petrol station amid fuel crisis
All pumps out of use at a petrol station amid fuel crisis (Image: James Maloney/LancsLive)

“It’s a big worry,” she said.

“I’ve got half a tank and that will do me until next week but then it’s next week where you’re thinking what if we’re in the same predicament?

“You shouldn’t have to be worrying like that- if I had a car and I wasn’t going anywhere I wouldn’t even bother going to the fuel station and I’d think leave it, let those that need it get it.”

Knowing she’ll be able to work this week has been a relief for Anne but despite that, she still says she’s on edge as her fuel gauge gradually declines each time she gets in and out of her car.

She said: “You’re turning your car off and on, it takes fuel to start it and you’re just worrying all the time now.”

As well as becoming anxious about what the next few days will bring, Anne is now restricting her driving as she’s not confident with taking on anymore extra rounds in fear of running out of fuel too soon.

Tempers flare as motorists queue for fuel amid panic buying
Motorists queue at a Shell garage on the A3218 in west London. The president of the AA says panic-buying rather than supply chain issues is driving the shortage of fuel at some petrol stations.
She said: “I could possibly pick up an extra round from my depot but I can’t do anything like that because I’ve got to think, I need my fuel for my own round.

“I need to make sure my money is coming in from that one at least.

“I just wish people would wake up and think ‘my car’s out of fuel for a while, I’m not going anywhere it’ll be fine’.

“It’s not just delivery drivers, its ambulances, buses and other drivers that are needed to get into work- just think About what you’re doing.”

Many fuel station across the county have experienced outages in their stock levels after a spike in customers panic-buying fuel.

Since Friday (September 24) station managers saw extensive queues, arguing and large quantities of fuel taken up after it was reported that BP had to close a handful of forecourts late last week due to not having any fuel.

Now, the county remains in a worrying situation as drivers scramble for much needed fuel to get them through the week.



Hull City 1-1 Blackpool: Seasiders waste golden chance to make it three wins after being pegged back late on by 10-men Tigers

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Blackpool wasted the chance to make it three wins on the spin as they were pegged back by 10-man Hull City late on.


The Seasiders looked to be heading to their fourth win in five games thanks to Shayne Lavery’s superfly-taken first-time strike.

But the game flipped on its head 10 minutes from time when the struggling Tigers were reduced to 10 men in the 80th minute.

The Seasiders looked to be heading to a third straight victory thanks to Shayne Lavery's first-half strike

The Seasiders looked to be heading to a third straight victory thanks to Shayne Lavery’s first-half strike

But the dismissal seemed to spur the home side into life and Tom Eaves came off the bench to level matters four minutes from time.

Neil Critchley’s side still had chances to retake the lead in the dying minutes, but they were unable to make the most of their chances.

While a draw away at Hull is not to be sniffed at, it feels more like a defeat given the nature of how Hull equalised.

Nevertheless, Pool are still looking in healthy shape having lost just one of their last five games.

There was a surprise inclusion in the Blackpool side in the form of Gary Madine, who was handed his first start in eight months.

The striker has previously made three substitute appearances so far this season following his recovery from a niggling groin injury.

Tyreece John-Jules was the man to make way, while Demetri Mitchell came in for Josh Bowler.

It was also a first start of the season for the winger, who had been sidelined for eight weeks with a knee injury sustained in pre-season.

There was still no spot in the 18 for Jordan Gabriel, who returned to training on Sunday after being forced to self-isolate after his girlfriend tested positive for Covid-19.

But Kevin Stewart returned from a foot injury to be included among Blackpool’s substitutes.

Reece James (foot), Matty Virtue (ACL), Grant Ward (achilles), Kevin Stewart (foot), Owen Dale (foot) and CJ Hamilton (foot) all remain sidelined.

Teddy Howe, Oliver Sarkic, Bez Lubala and Joe Nuttall, meanwhile, continue to be left out having not been registered in Blackpool’s squad.

Hull, meanwhile, made three changes from their 2-0 defeat to Stoke City at the weekend.

Grant McCann’s side, who joined the Seasiders in winning promotion from League One last season, started the day inside the bottom three, having failed to win since the opening day of the season.

Unsurprisingly then, Hull looked short on confidence in the early exchanges, as Blackpool did most of the early running.

With Demetri Mitchell and Shayne Lavery dropping in-between the lines, the Seasiders looked a threat when they got into Hull’s final third.

But it was the hosts who produced the first shot in anger of the night, Greg Docherty whistling one harmlessly wide from long range.

Pool’s first chance of the game came via their main dangerman Lavery, who fired across the face of goal after latching onto Madine’s clever flick-on.

The Seasiders were still looking the more threatening side though, working the ball into some dangerous positions on a fairly regular basis.

The atmosphere among the home crowd finally stirred midway through the opening half as Mitchell and Keshi Anderson produced a couple of meaty challenges.

Critchley’s men were given a major let-off on 27 minutes when Chris Maxwell produced a weak pass out from the back straight to Ryan Longman.

The forward pulled the ball back to Mallik Wilks in front of goal, but the Hull man delayed and delayed before the chance eventually went to waste.

Wilks looked to atone for his wastefulness a moment later when he met a ball in from the left inside the six-yard box, but Maxwell was equal to his downward header.

In either case, the referee blew for a foul after Wilks was adjudged to have shoved Richard Keogh to the ground prior to meeting the cross.

Pool, who had just slipped off their game for a 10-minute period or so, hit back with a chance for Mitchell, whose curling effort from the right was palmed away from danger by Matt Ingram.

The Seasiders began to become a little sloppy at this moment, which allowed Grant McCann’s men to get on top. But neither side were creating a great deal and there wasn’t much quality on either.

Four minutes before the interval, Dujon Sterling was required to make a vital interception after Wilks had sprung the offside trap.

Just as it looked like Hull were getting on top, Blackpool took the lead with a goal of real quality.

Ryan Wintle laid the ball off to Mitchell, who had switched flanks to come over to the left.

The winger played a lovely ball into the centre where Lavery lashed the ball high into the roof of the net for his seventh goal of the season.

The Tigers were clearly given a rocket during the break by McCann as they emerged three or four minutes early for the start of the second-half.

They caused Pool’s backline one or two problems early on too, Longman firing into the side-netting after the Seasiders could only partially clear a free-kick.

Richard Keogh then made a vital block to deny Keane Lewis-Potter as the home side continued to pile on some pressure.

The Seasiders responded well though as Lavery came to life once again, the Northern Irishman firing over after being played in by Keshi Anderson.

Critchley freshened things up on the hour mark, introducing Josh Bowler in place of Mitchell, who got a useful 60 minutes under his belt on his first start of the season.

Bowler almost made an instant impact against his former club, breaking forward at speed before seeing his shot well blocked.

Jerry Yates was the next man to be introduced from the bench, replacing Madine who was given a healthy ovation as he trudged off the pitch by the travelling Pool fans.

As Hull threw caution to the wind in the final 15 minutes and threw more men forward, space began to open up for Pool on the counter.

On one occasion, Anderson was allowed to race towards the edge of the box where he wastefully lashed wide of the upright.

Hull’s task became even harder when they were reduced to 10 men 10 minutes from time, former Fleetwood man Lewie Coyle shown a second yellow for a pull back on Lavery.

Despite being a man down, Hull drew themselves level four minutes later.

The hosts were inexplicably allowed to counter at speed, as Lewis-Potter picked out substitute Tom Eaves who fired home past Maxwell.

It could have got even worse for the Seasiders, who almost went behind to the 10 men as Maxwell turned Tyler Smith’s curling effort around the post.

Pool still had chances to win the game late on, Bowler going close on two occasions with two similar opportunities.

The winger, cutting in from the right, fired a goalbound effort into teammate Yates before lashing just wide in the five minutes of stoppage time.

Luke Garbutt had the final chance of the night, arrowing a right-footed effort towards the near post, but Ingram got across well to palm the ball away.


Hull: Ingram, Coyle, Jones, Elder, Greaves, Cannon (Eaves), Docherty, Moncur, Wilks, Lewis-Potter, Longman (T. Smith)

Subs not used: Baxter, Smallwood, Emmanuel, M. Smith, Bernard

Blackpool: Maxwell, Sterling, Keogh, Ekpiteta, Garbutt, Dougall, Wintle, Mitchell (Bowler), Anderson, Lavery (John-Jules), Madine (Yates)

Subs not used: Moore, Connolly, Husband, Stewart

Referee: Matthew Donohue

Attendance: 10,189



Blackpool apprentices earn top marks and a James Bond film premier

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A Blackpool duo are celebrating after passing their apprenticeship with Aptus Utilities and achieving some of the highest marks in the UK.


Connah Trevelyan and Ethan Goulding, both 18, secured distinctions and are heading to London for a VIP trip to the premier of the new James Bond movie No Time to Die as a reward.

Both have been offered a permanent contract with Aptus, which installs the critical infrastructure that provides water, gas and electricity to new build residential and commercial developments.

The award-winning two-year apprenticeship scheme was devised by Bolton headquartered Aptus in 2015 to help tackle a severe skills shortage in the construction industry.

Ethan Goulding and Connah Trevelyan

Ethan Goulding and Connah Trevelyan

Combining on the job training and classroom learning, delivered by further education college Utility and Construction Training (UCT), it leads to nationally recognised qualifications.

Steve Hyde, business development director at UCT, said: “The attitude and commitment of the learners has been excellent throughout the programme and, together with the proactive support from the Aptus management team, has resulted in this successful outcome.”

In recognition of their results, the newly qualified apprentices are being treated to a Bond-themed all expenses trip to London, where they’ll travel down the Thames in a speedboat before walking the red carpet to take their seats at the premier of the latest Bond film, No Time To Die.

Connah said: “All the hard work I’ve put in has paid off. Learning and getting paid as you go is great. I’ve really enjoyed learning new things, not just about work but life as well. It’s hard at the start but really worth sticking with.”

Ethan said: “I’m so proud to have got a distinction. I’ve really enjoyed the course and making new mates. I’ve enjoyed the practical bits and being on site with the Aptus team most.”

Aptus managing director Lisa Kerford said: “Our sector is facing a severe skills shortage so we decided to address this head-on by creating our very own apprenticeship scheme. Basically, we’re growing our own talent.

“We are big believers in apprenticeships and so far, have had over 40 young people train and qualify across a range of courses. They have gone on to enjoy careers as project managers, estimators, health and safety advisers, design engineers, electric jointers, gas engineers, warehouse operatives and business administrators.”



Volunteers return to Blackpool Victoria Hospital after pandemic restrictions

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Volunteers at Blackpool Victoria Hospital have returned to their duties after they were stood down at the start of the pandemic.


Apart from a short period in June, volunteers have been unable to help with the running of the hospital since March last year.

Dotty Wignall and Susan Lawler, volunteers on hand in the main entrance guiding and advising visitors. said it was “good to get back to normality.”

The pair have worked together for six years, and were delighted to be reunited.

Dotty Wignall and Susan Lawler have volunteered together for six years. Pic: Blackpool Teaching Hospitals

Dotty Wignall and Susan Lawler have volunteered together for six years. Pic: Blackpool Teaching Hospitals

Dotty said: “It is good to get back to normality. I love meeting people and being able to help people.

“Quite often visitors are stressed or anxious about friends and family on wards, people who are very poorly. This hospital can be a bit daunting, so we try and put their mind at rest.”

Susan, who previously ran her own newsagents and gift shop, is getting accustomed to the new responsibilities of her role, including ensuring everyone sticks to the infection prevention guidelines.

She said: “The majority of people have been absolutely brilliant about wearing the masks, sanitising their hands, but we do get the odd one or two who think they don’t have to abide by the rules. For everyone like that there are hundreds who say ‘fine, no problem.’”

Betty the therapy dog with her owner Graham Curry. Pic: Blackpool Teaching Hospitals

Betty the therapy dog with her owner Graham Curry. Pic: Blackpool Teaching Hospitals

One of the Trust’s most popular volunteers is canine companion Betty, who offers pet therapy to patients and staff at the Vic.

Accompanied by her owner, Graham Curry, Betty is back in action offering companionship and cheering up many who might feel lonely on the wards.

Graham said: “I visited one particular patient who was suffering from dementia. She was in a side ward and just lying in bed and hardly speaking but as soon as she saw Betty, she reached out and started speaking, it was amazing to see the effect she had on this patient.

“Another lady said before I had come in she was feeling depressed but the visit of Betty had really improved her feelings.

“Betty was so welcomed on the wards. Many of the staff have been getting cuddles and taking selfies.”

Blackpool Teaching Hospital’s new chief executive, Trish Armstrong-Child, thanked the Trust’s large group of volunteers, who returned to their duties over the last few days.

She said: “It is fantastic that on my first day at the Trust we welcomed back our hugely important cohort of volunteers..

“I know from my early conversations that the volunteers at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals are well-loved and well-liked within the Trust.

“Very often our volunteers are the very first faces one of our patients will see as they are welcomed through our front doors, and it is always comforting to have a friendly face, one with a wealth of knowledge about the hospital.

“It’s great to have them back after being out of action due to the pandemic, their presence has provided a huge lift to the organisation and I look forward to thanking as many of the volunteers as I can when I am out-and-about visiting our various wards and departments.”



‘High risk’ rapist captured and back behind bars after going on the run in Lancashire

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A convicted rapist who went on the run in Lancashire is back behind bars after being captured.


Kevin Anthony Wyatt, 37, has been returned to prison after being arrested in the Greater Manchester area today (Friday, September 24).

Also known as David Edge, the ‘high risk’ rapist was handed a 10 year prison sentence at Preston Crown Court in April 2016 after he was found guilty of two counts of rape against a woman at a home in Barrow in November 2015.

But Wyatt – who has links to Blackpool – was released on licence after serving less than half his sentence and disappeared from approved lodgings in Accrington earlier this month.

Kevin Anthony Wyatt, 37, has been returned to prison after being arrested in the Greater Manchester area today (Friday, September 24). Pic: Lancashire Police

Kevin Anthony Wyatt, 37, has been returned to prison after being arrested in the Greater Manchester area today (Friday, September 24). Pic: Lancashire Police

On Wednesday (September 22), Lancashire Police alerted the public and said they were “very concerned” by his disappearance.

Det Con Kyle Hazelaar, of Lancashire Police, said: “Wyatt is wanted on prison recall after failing to return to approved premises and we are very concerned following his disappearance.

“He is considered a high risk offender and he should not be approached.”

But today (Friday, September 24), the force said Wyatt has been captured and returned to prison to serve the remainder of his 10-year sentence behind bars.

A police spokesman added: “Further to our earlier appeal, wanted sex offender Kevin Wyatt was arrested in the Greater Manchester area earlier today (Friday, September 24).

“Thanks to everyone who shared our appeals to find him.”

“If you have any information about his whereabouts please come forward.”



Blackpool honeymoon left couple ‘heartbroken’ with hotel making them ‘sick to their stomachs’

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

Staff at The Alumhurst Hotel said that the rooms are ‘nice, cosy and tidy’


The Oyo Alumhurst Hotel
The Oyo Alumhurst Hotel

A Blackpool hotel has come under fire after two newly-weds claim that they were left ‘heartbroken’ on their honeymoon due to the state of their accommodation.

Sonya Cunningham booked into the Alumhurst Hotel on Charnley Road in Blackpool for a week to celebrate her honeymoon with her husband.

She said that they had booked ‘a lovely apartment’ but as they were travelling over, she ‘spotted’ on TripAdvisor that the hotel had ‘bad reviews’.

Sonya claims that on arrival she was left ‘sick to her stomach’ and that her experience only deteroriated on entering the room.

A member of staff at the Alumhurst Hotel told LancsLive: “The rooms we have are clean and tidy, they are nice, cosy and tidy.”

Sonya said: “I felt sick to my stomach the fact we had booked this place. I told my new husband this and decided to park the car up, walk to the hotel without baggage to see what it was like.”

Sonya said that the Alumhurst hotel was ‘filthy’ and ‘smelt awful’.

The ceiling of the Alumhurst Hotel
The ceiling of the Alumhurst Hotel

After getting the key to their room and going up stairs, Sonya said she ‘felt ill’ and ‘was nearly in tears’. They told a member of staff ‘it was a disgrace’ and would not be staying at the accommodation.

The newly-wed couple claim they were offered two other rooms to stay in which Sonya described as ‘absolutely filthy’ before stating ‘I would not keep an animal in there let alone put my suitcases on the carpets.’

The pair said they ‘demanded a refund’ but instead were offered free cancellation.

‘I’m heartbroken,’ Sonya said: “It was supposed to be our honeymoon, ended up in a nice enough hotel although the room was small and we got ripped off because we were walk-ins.’

The hotel is rated #76 out of 83 hotels in Blackpool on TripAdvisor and has one ‘Excellent’ rating against 15 ‘Terrible’ reviews out of 21 reviews on the site.

Another guest, Elaine Williams-Jones went to stay at the Alumhurst Hotel on August 20.

Elaine was set to stay in room 27 but says she found ‘chips on the windowsill and a dirty bathroom’ when she went in.

Elaine found chips on the window of her reservation in room 27
Elaine found chips on the window of her reservation in room 27

Elaine says she was also offered a room change and moved to Room 32.

“The room was dirty, not made up and there was rubbish still there,” she said. “The bathroom was dirty and filthy, and obviously disgusting as the carpet was dirty.”

Elaine also said there was the ‘smell of cigarettes’ in the room. .

Other visitors that have left reviews on TripAdvisor have shared their experience of the OYO accommodation.

One guest, who left a review on September 23, wrote: “Will not be returning. Cracked window on the main door, smelly corridors, grubby carpets, no hot water in sink, only one tap works, shower poor, the heating control comes away.

“Photos on the booking app were nothing like it is. Would score minus points if possible. Bed was the only thing decent about it.

Another guest who visited in August 2021 wrote: “Total nightmare of a place. We were two couples who ended up in five rooms as keys broke in locks, keys weren’t available, rooms hadn’t been cleaned, shower wasn’t working etc. Dirty towels and bedding stacked up in hallways until after 5pm.

“So noisy at night as you could hear everyone around you. Beds cheap and uncomfortable and only one wafer thin pillow each. Wasn’t expecting anything posh for the price but my god, we couldn’t wait to get out of here.”

Claims about the standards of Blackpool hotels have been at the centre of the passing staycation period this summer, with a rise in ‘hotel from hell’ accounts coming specifically from the resort.

Despite this, a couple of recent guests have given the hotel an ‘average’ rating.

One, who stayed in September, said: “Looked for somewhere cheap and cheerful and found this hotel for one night after reading the reviews is afraid very afraid but did not need to be from the outside it looks awful and the corridors are old but the room for the price was clean tidy the bed was comfortable and also clean the bathroom is old but was clean.

“Would I stay again yes sure don’t be put off give it a go if you want cheap accommodation”.

The Director of Stay Blackpool, Ian White, accused of ‘polishing turds’ after a 5* B&B owner said the resort is becoming a ‘dumping ground’ for the rest of the UK.

Blackpool Council have encouraged accommodation businesses to ‘aspire’ to nationally-recognised accreditation standards amid the ongoing accounts.

There is an opt-in accreditation scheme available to hoteliers provided by VisitBlackpool. Memberships into the scheme, accredited by VisitEngland, cost £49.95 for 1-20 bedrooms and up to £125 for 150+ bedrooms.

Those who opt-in to the scheme are then accredited through the national star-rating scheme or through the Blackpool Approved Visitor Accommodation Scheme.

When OYO Alumhurst was contacted, LancsLive was told twice that the hotel rooms were ‘clean and tidy’.

No additional comment was provided.





Fylde’s united effort to reduce litter a super success

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A campaign to help reduce litter across Fylde during an exceptionally busy summer has been hailed a resounding success.


Fylde Council says its Take It, Don’t Leave It incentive has led to a significant reduction in litter and has encouraged even more volunteers to support clean-up operations on beaches and in rural communities.

The campaign was launched in July in partnership with local volunteers to raise awareness among visitors and holidaymakers as well as local residents and businesses.

It featured a series of competitions, sand art installations and videos to highlight the types of litter left behind, the dangers of disposable barbecues and the devastating effects of rubbish on marine wildlife.

Scores of volunteers have played a key part in the campaign's success

Scores of volunteers have played a key part in the campaign’s success

The council also invested in additional staff, bins and collections and introduced bucket and spade trade recycling facilities on the beach, while Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service and local volunteers made heartfelt pleas to people to think twice before lighting barbecues or littering.

A competition with prizes to reward young litter pickers was also launched, and a thank you event for volunteers was organised.

Coun Roger Small, Fylde Council’s deputy leader and chairman of its operational management committee, said: “We are absolutely delighted with the results of the Take It, Don’t Leave It initiative which has gone a long way to making people think twice before leaving their litter behind.

“The incredible work carried out by our amazing volunteers, along with our teams from the council, has meant that Fylde has been clean and tidy throughout the summer.

“We wanted to support all our local volunteers with a campaign that would amplify the fantastic work they do all year round and we have had a lot of positive feedback from residents, businesses and visitors.

“The last two years have been the most challenging any of us can remember, with staycations meaning huge numbers have descended on our area.

“The seven days a week sessions carried out by staff, in addition to their normal duties, have been superb but we are hugely grateful to the army of volunteers for their unstinting efforts. We could not have done without them, so from all of us to all of them, a sincere thank you.”

Coastal conservationist and marine medic Tracey Hope is the lead coordinator for the volunteers and has been supporting the campaign throughout summer.

She said: “During the May half term holiday this year we were inundated with visitors and we saw more litter than ever before, which was heartbreaking to see.

“With more people holidaying in the UK this year we were expecting the same during the summer but we think the campaign has made a real difference to the amount of rubbish left behind.

“We saw a significant reduction in litter and a really promising increase in the number of people stepping forward to volunteer – including lots of young people and children – which is fantastic.

“I think that highlighting the plight of marine wildlife really helped and we had lots of people telling us that they didn’t know that we had porpoises, dolphins and seals in our waters.

“There was an increase in visibility in volunteers and council staff and the additional bins and collections played a vital part too.

“On behalf of all the volunteers, I would like to thank Fylde Council for their unwavering support in our fight against litter – this is ‘partnership working’ at its best.

“The work doesn’t stop there though and we will continue to be out and about keeping our multi-award-winning beach, and the surrounding areas, clean and tidy every day.”

It is thanks to our loyal readers that we can continue to provide the trusted news, analysis and insight that matters to you. For unlimited access to our unrivalled local reporting, you can take out a subscription here and help support the work of our dedicated team of reporters.



Lancashire chamber of commerce welcomes print specialist as a partner

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Lancashire’s largest business support organisation, the NWL Chamber of Commerce, has welcomed a Blackpool print, design, marketing and workwear company as its newest Patron Member.


Mina Print, based at The Pavilions in Avroe Crescent, but servicing clients across the UK, the firm has committed to working with the Chamber to offer fellow members their expertise and efficiency.

The chamber said the organisation had quickly grown to become one of the most respected in its field, through first-class customer service, and unrivaled product range.

Managing director, Jake Adams, said of the partnership: “I am delighted that we have joined NWL Chamber of Commerce’s Patron family.

Jake Adams of Mina Print

Jake Adams of Mina Print

“This is a huge achievement for our business as we look to expand throughout the region. Being able to tap into the resources of the Chamber, and establish relationships with the wealth of businesses throughout the membership, will help bolster our expansion plans.

“I would like to thank Babs Murphy and the NWL Chamber of Commerce for their support and guidance since our business first joined in 2016.”

The Chamber’s patron membership offers a select number of quality organisations a platform to promote their commitment to the region’s business community through offering outstanding services and customer care.

Patron membership is the most strategic and influential partnership the chamber offers and is limited to just a handful of selected organisations, in non-competing sectors.

Babs Murphy, chief executive of the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce said: “Mina Print is a well-respected business and active member of the chamber. We are delighted that Jake has chosen to become a patron member.

“Jake was the first ever winner of the BIBAs Most Inspiring Young Person’ award in 2016; it’s been a pleasure to see his business grow and develop in recent years”.

The Chamber represents its 1,600 members, from its offices based in Preston and Blackpool, on a wide range of issues.



Policing in Bispham ‘needs a good overhaul,’ says Blackpool councillor

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A Blackpool councillor has voiced his concerns about ‘basic policing’ in his Bispham ward, amid fears reports about speeding and other crime in the area were not being tackled.


Tory councillor Don Clapham said he doubted any of Bispham’s residents knew who their local police officers were, and despite completing various police surveys himself, nothing ever came from them.

Coun Clapham’s concerns about speeding around Bispham village came as the daughter of a hit-and-run victim lobbied Blackpool Council for stricter safety measures last week.

Vincent O’Toole, 93, was reversed into by a speeding car near Warbreck Drive and was hospitalised with an arm injury, prompting his daughter Michelle Beech of Hesketh Avenue to petition for traffic calming measures.

Councillor Don Clapham was concerned that policing of Bispham streets was "eroded", and called for an overhaul of the current system.

Councillor Don Clapham was concerned that policing of Bispham streets was “eroded”, and called for an overhaul of the current system.

Coun Clapham said he had complained to Blackpool Police about speeding on behalf of residents numerous times, but they had not been “proactive” in addressing issues.

He said: “Speeding has become a major issue on all our roads since the lockdown for Covid. Complaints and requests to the police have produced no proactive moves by them.

“I have filled in a number of police surveys and they produced no results. On discussing this topic with the rest of the Conservative Group, speeding is a major issue in Blackpool.

“We hope to have a group meeting with the Police Commissioner soon and this will be a topic on our agenda. A proactive police force would be a touch of fresh air.”

However, Coun Clapham commended officers for their work in tackling drugs issues, but called for an “overhaul” of policing on the streets.

The front desk at Bispham Police Station was closed in 2018, which the councillor said had impacted on residents’ abilities to share concerns with officers.

“They are good at hitting drug movements and county lines crimes including sex exploitation and modern slavery,” Coun Clapham continued.

“But the basic policing which residents expect appear to be eroded. We have a police station in Bispham without a desk or access to the public.

“Councillors used to be supplied with monthly crime figures and Police successes in the days of PACT, but I doubt if the general public know their local beat manager – if they still exist.

“It is an unhealthy situation which needs a good overhaul.”

Temp Insp Jon Smith, of Blackpool Police, said: “Blackpool Police are aware road safety is a concern for local residents across all of Blackpool. We deploy specialist officers dependant on where residents report issues or to areas where there have been serious or fatal road traffic collisions.

“We have conducted a number of road safety operations with neighbourhood officers and the Lancashire Road Safety Partnership in the Bispham area. We have found the vast majority of road users use the road legally and the minority of users found not doing so were dealt with.

“Bispham Police Station is an operational police station with various officers using the facilities at all hours. Any members of the public who attend the station will be seen by an officer when available. Alternatively, there is a yellow phone outside that goes straight to the communications room if they’re not available.

“The front counter is currently closed, this decision was made after review of all operational front counters, with Bispham’s showing low footfall.

“There is a dedicated neighbourhood police team consisting of both police officers and PCSOs which service all of Blackpool North, including the Bispham area. This is in addition to the 24-hour response officers dealing with 999 calls and request of service from members of the public.

“Crime data for the local area is published online and can be accessed by any member of the public including our local councillors

“I would encourage any members of the public who have concerns of activities in the local area to either report these online at, to ring 999 in an emergency or to sign up to Lancashire Talking where they can report local problems. The local neighbourhood police team can also be contacted via”



Comedian Roy Chubby Brown has been slammed after he stormed off stage and refused to come back on – when he was heckled

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Comedian Roy Chubby Brown has been slammed after he stormed off stage and refused to come back on – when he was heckled.


Comedian Roy Chubby Brown

Comedian Roy Chubby Brown

The controversial funnyman, 74, had only been on stage for 30 minutes before fans claim he told the crowd “F*** off and you can have your money back” and stormed off.

Bemused fans were left looking at the empty stage for a couple of minutes before theatre staff announced he would not be finishing the planned two-hour show.

Fans were then ushered out of the 300-seat Carnegie Theatre & Arts Centre Workington, Cumbria, early, at around 9pm last night (Thurs).

One claims the shouters were good-natured and not disruptive – but theatre staff said some had to be thrown out and “were not your normal hecklers”.

Fans have slammed Chubby Brown for his “disgusting” regard for his fans.

Susan Brown, 59, who had bought a £23 ticket for the show said: “We all thought it was part of the act.

“Everybody in there was completely gobsmacked.

“When it was announced on the Tannoy everybody was just looking around at each other.

“It took a few minutes for the penny to drop before people started getting up.

“We were just in shock it wasn’t as if he was getting abuse.

“The lads behind us, they must have been in their 20s, were shouting ‘Oh come on Chubby’ and ‘Chubby’.

“But this was when everyone else was laughing. It wasn’t interrupting the show.

“We were on the balcony and another bloke down below was shouting encouragement too.

“It wasn’t disrespectful or abusive.

“They must have only done it about a dozen times.”

The grandmother-of-two added: “He’s from the North and from a rough place. I thought he had more about him.

“On the drive home I was just absolutely gutted.

“I just really am shocked.

“There should have been a warning about calling out if he was going to act like that.

“It was all in good spirits.

“But that’s me finished with him.

“I’ve been a fan for years and years.

“It’s just disgusting what he’s done.

“My late son and husband were really big fans.

“I was feeling under the weather but I pulled myself together and was looking for a good night.

“I was absolutely gutted it ended on that note.”

Manager of Carnegie Theatre & Arts Centre Karen Thompson said anyone who wants a refund should return to the venue with their ticket.

She said: “Roy has performed several shows over the years with no incidents.

“These were not your normal hecklers.

“The show was disrupted continuously and persistently by hecklers.

“After being told to stop by a member of staff some had to be ejected from the venue.

“The issue continued and it ended with Roy being unable to deliver his lines and ruining what was going to be a superb night.

“I would like to praise Roy and his management for the professionalism in handling the hecklers.

“Any customer wanting a refund will need to return to the theatre with their ticket.”

A representative for Roy Chubby Brown has been contacted for comment.

Blackpool Promenade trashed with takeaway food and cans after World Firework Championships

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

‘If you want to come to Blackpool, keep it tidy’ is the message coming out of the seaside resort


World Firework Championships in Blackpool
World Firework Championships in Blackpool (Image: LancsLive/BPL Bible)

A Blackpool volunteer is uring tourists to keep the town tidy after finding the Promenade trashed after the World Firework Championships.

The 2021 event, the most recent leg of which took place on Saturday (September 25), will see Russia, Ireland and Germany showcase their best firework displays on different dates throughout September and October.

This weekend, Blackpool hosted Ireland’s display at ‘a new launch-pad’ in front of the Blackpool Tower.

Lee Long, 54, was volunteering at the lifeboat station on Saturday night before deciding to take a walk down the Promenade. On his walk, he found litter that had been left on the pavement of the Promenade.

He said: “I thought, I’m going to highlight it because people can put them into the bins. The bins weren’t full.”

Lee recorded the litter that was left on the ground on the Prom at 10.22pm. The video shows plastic bags, takeaway boxes, cans and food lining the pavement.

The video showed rubbish lined on top of the bins
The video showed rubbish lined on top of the bins

It also shows remaining rubbish lined up on top of the council bins.

Lee runs the twitter account Positive Blackpool, where he says he tries to ‘promote Blackpool in a positive way’.

He added: “Everything I do is positive about Blackpool, Blackpool is brilliant, it’s such a nice place and I love it.”

Lee moved to Blackpool in 2008 and said it had ‘changed’ a lot since he used to visit with his grandparents. He’s counted ‘264 bins on the promenade’ and said ‘the council do a good job.’

Now, Lee hopes to educate people on how to use them.

He said: “A lot of the locals don’t like it, if you come into Blackpool, keep it tidy. Keep Blackpool Tidy, that’s a good message for people. That’s all we want. We love Blackpool, it’s a brilliant place, lets not let it go downhill.”

The video shows plastic bags, takeaway boxes, cans and food lining the pavement. 
The video shows plastic bags, takeaway boxes, cans and food lining the pavement. 

Lee returned the next morning and praised the bin team, Enveco North West Environmental Services, for the ‘great job’ they had done clearing up the litter.

He added: “They did a grand job and people should be grateful for everything they do.”

In the video Lee shared to Twitter, he compares the litter scenes from the next before to the following morning.

He tells viewers: “Here we are the day after the fireworks, as you can see Enveco North West have done such a grand job.”

Lee told LancsLive: “Treat it kindly, if you want to come, I’ll provide it with a litter picker and a bag if you want. We can only try. I don’t think its a negative video, its about awareness for me.”



Grand celebration of the life of entertainer Joe Longthorne finally set to go ahead this weekend with Gala Variety Night at Joe Longthorne Theatre at Blackpool North Pier

Home | Blackpool Gazette

It promises to be a true celebration of a glittering career.


Gala celebration evening for the late entertainer Joe Longthorne

Gala celebration evening for the late entertainer Joe Longthorne

The all-star studded tribute to Joe Longthorne MBE has aptly been named ‘A Night to Remember’ and takes place on Saturday, with organisers inviting many of the entertainer’s showbiz pals including Roy Walker, Denise Nolan, and Viva’s Leye D Johns

Mitch Winehouse, dad of the late Amy Winehouse, was the first act announced for the variety show.

The full programme includes more than 25 acts appearing at North Pier’s Joe Longthorne Theatre, which was renamed after the late entertainer, who died in August 2019 aged 64.

Joe’s widower Jamie Moran said he had been overwhelmed with the response to the show and is looking forward to hosting the celebration of his life.

Other entertainers to take to the stage will include Blackpool’s The Jerseys, musical star Andrew Lancel, award-winning British comedy band The Grumbleweeds, singer Rose Marie, Kate Parkes, former The X Factor finalist Christopher Maloney.

The Joe Longthorne Band, under the direction of Andy Mudd, will lead proceedings in a night fitting for the much-loved singer and impressionist, who died at his home in Layton after living with cancer for years.

The gala evening had originally been intended to take place on the weekend of what would have been Joe’s 65th birthday but was one of many events rescheduled owing to the pandemic.

Joe was first diagnosed with blood cancer in 1987 but fought off the disease on a number of occasions, even bouncing back after being given the last rites by a priest in 2015.

Tickets for the A Night to Remember: An All Star Tribute to Joe Longthorne’ are available now.

Tickets for the 7.30pm show can be bought from the North Pier Box Office. They start at £27.50.