Rescue ponies owned by 72-year-old grandma left out in the cold after arsonists torch Marton stables

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Four rescue ponies and one horse had to be rescued from their burning stable in Marton after arsonists set the place ablaze.


June Wilson and TJ

June Wilson and TJ

Shetland ponies Toby and Alfie, Nancy, Molly, and 15-month-old foal TJ had a lucky escape when their home, on Eastbank Avenue, was targeted at 1am on September 21.

Their owner June Wilson, 72, said: “I was looking out of my window, I couldn’t sleep. I saw a figure – I couldn’t say if it was a man or a woman – trying to climb over my fence.

“I must admit I panicked. I was shaking. I couldn’t call 999, my hand were shaking so badly. I threw my coat on and ran next door to my neighbour, and they looked out the upstairs window and saw the stable was ablaze.

June and TJ on the site of the burned down stable

June and TJ on the site of the burned down stable

“I cried ‘my horses, my hoses, they’ll get killed’.”

June and several of her neighbours, including brothers Chay Lonsdale, 21, and his brother Roman, 20, raced to the stables while another neighbour called police and fire services.

Toby, Alfie, Nancy and TJ were taken safely into a nearby field – but Molly the horse was trapped inside the burning building.

She was rescued by Chay and Roman, who risked their own lives to save her, and sustained second degree burns.

Chay said: “I ran all the way down the street and jumped over the fence. I went into the stable with the fire extinguisher and started trying to put out the fire. But the fire extinguisher ran out, and it got to the stage where there was no saving it. So the main aim became protecting the surrounding buildings and the animals.

“Everyone started throwing sand on the surrounding buildings.

“One of the horses was trapped in one of the shelters, and we managed to pull it open and get it out.”

June, a retired carer and grandma of one, said: “They were very lucky. We managed to get them all in a field. The whole stable was ablaze – it was horrendous. Somebody rang the fire brigade for me because my fingers wouldn’t work.

“The fire brigade came and by then it was fully alight, because I had got hay in the stable for the winter, and that went up like a tornado. It all happened so quickly. Of course, whoever had done it had gone by the time we came along.”

Just five days before the potentially deadly attack, June’s stables were similarly targeted by suspected arsonists who set fire to a sack of hay.

Her neighbours on Eastbank Road and beyond have now rallied behind her as she struggles to gather the money she need to rebuild the stable, which was damaged beyond repair – leaving her ponies out in the cold.

“It has left me feeling absolutely devastated,” she said. “I can’t sleep at night. I’m always looking out.

“The horses are my life. I have kept horses for over 50 years; they’re everything to me. If anything happened to them, if they had been killed in the fire, I’d be a nervous wreck.

“I’m 72 now, and they keep me going.

“They’re all rescues. They’ve had bad lives, some of them, and they want a restful life in their old age and that’s what I give them – at least I hope I do.”

He said: “It has affected June immensely. She works every day at the stables, seven days a week, even on Christmas Day, so for something like this to happen – it’s hit her massively.

“The main thing is that the horses dont have a place to go for shelter now. These past few days they have just been sleeping in the field.

“June is retired and she has very little money. I felt it was the right thing to do to set up a fund-raiser. She’s 72 and doesn’t need this sort of stress in her life, so I hoped as a community we could all come together and take on some of that ourselves.”

June said: “My neighbours have been brilliant, and my friends, and even people I don’t even know. Everybody has been so lovely to me.

“All I can say is that I hope (police) catch the lowlife that did it. Hurting animals is not right. They’re done nothing wrong. There aren’t words to describe how terrible it is.”


We were called around 1.25am on September 17 to a report of a stable fire in Eastbank Avenue, Blackpool.

Fire crews attended the scene with the fire later extinguished.

The cause of the fire is being treated as suspicious.

An investigation is underway and enquiries are ongoing.

Anyone with information can contact police on 101 quoting log 0078 of September 17.



St Annes music teacher repeatedly sexually assaulted teenage girl in late 1990s

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A St Annes man sexually abused a 14-year-old girl while working as a private music tutor in the late 1990s.


Preston Crown Court

Preston Crown Court

Gary Fox, 62, of Clifton Drive North, was found guilty of seven counts of indecent assault at Preston Crown Court on Friday, following a four day trial.

He will be sentenced at Preston Crown on Friday, November 26.



Pair meet up with their Blackpool Good Samaritans after accident

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A couple who praised the folk of Blackpool after being helped following an accident in the town have staged a ‘reunion’ to thank their Good Samaritans.


Pauline Hogan (left) and Roy Wilson meet up with some of their Good Samaritans

Pauline Hogan (left) and Roy Wilson meet up with some of their Good Samaritans

Roy Wilson, 77, and Pauline Hogan, 65, of Rhos-on-Sea, North Wales, were on a cycling trip on the seafront near Starr Gate on August 2 when Roy fell and was seriously injured.

The accident occurred at a time when ambulance crews were struggling and the pair ended up waiting six-and-half hours for one to arrive.

But during that long wait, with Roy in agony with a fractured hip, a string of complete strangers came to their aid, before the ambulance took him to Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

Pauline Hogan *left( with Rebecca Ganchi

Pauline Hogan *left( with Rebecca Ganchi

On Saturday the pair met up with some of them for dinner at the Brewers Fayre on Yeadon Way, Blackpool, after inviting the kindly souls to join them.

Roy, a former lecturer in electrical engineering at John Moores University in Liverpool, said: “It was nice to meet up with them again, they were so helpful to us.

“We had a good night and I was feeling a lot better than the last time we met!

“I have a new stainless steel hip joint after an operation at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, where the staff were excellent.”
Flashback to when Roy struggled to stand after his accident

Flashback to when Roy struggled to stand after his accident

And Pauline said: “These people were complete strangers yet they were prepared to help.

“We love coming to Blackpool and it just shows you how nice people can be.

“It was lovely to see them in nicer circumstances!”

One of those who helped them and attended the dinner was civil servant Rebecca Ganchi, 48, who was going for a walk along the prom with husband Iassif when she noticed the pair after the accident.

Rebecca, of Bentick Avenue, South Shore, went over to see if they were alright, took their bikes back to her house to keep them safe, returned with warm clothes – and then drove Pauline back to her hotel in Lancaster.

She said: “When we first saw them it looked like everything was under control but later we could see they were still waiting and Pauline looked a bit distressed.

“So we ended up helping because it was the humane thing to do – I’m sure anyone would have done the same. Pauline was going to get a taxi back and it would have cost her a fortune!

“It was so nice to see them again and Roy looked really well.”

The evening was also attended by Rebecca’s brother Karl, who looked after the bikes when she and Iasiff went on holiday a few days after the incident..

Pauline is a Rotarian and also had help when she rang a friend in Wales and a Rotary member from Lytham known only as Shelley rushed down to help them as well.

Another kind helper, a BMX rider called Keith who stayed with the pair all day, sadly could not be traced.

Pauline added: “It was a shame the others couldn’t be there but it was a lovely evening.”



Blackpool’s new nine-screen cinema and huge Wilko takes major step forward

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

The cinema is set to include the biggest immersive screen in Lancashire


CGI image of Phase 2 development
CGI image of Phase 2 development

Work has begun at site of a new huge Wilko and nine screen cinema in Blackpool.

The Houndshill development team met on Friday (September 24) to break ground at Tower Street Car Park at Houndshill Shopping Centre to mark the start of the main contract for phase two works on site.

This comes after three key deals were signed in February, which enabled the scheme to commence.

Blackpool Council’s acquisition of Tower Street Car Park, a lease agreement for a new 22,500 sq ft wilko store and a deal with MMC Cinemas for a nine screen, 850 seat, 40,500 sq ft multi-media cinema complex.

The cinema is set to include the biggest immersive screen in Lancashire.

GRAHAM has been appointed as the lead contractor and CBRE the project manager and cost consultant for the scheme.

The first phase enabling works will involve initial utilities diversion works and the preparation of site for the main building works to follow.

This first phase of the project will be complete by winter 2022.

When completed, the scheme is said to deliver over 100 jobs.

There will also be 0.5 acres of brownfield land developed, 76,500 sq. ft. of new commercial floorspace and more than 260 construction jobs created over the build period.

Ground breaking at Phase 2 of Blackpool’s Houndshill redevelopment.

It is thought that the scheme will increase the shoppers and visitors to Houndshill Shopping Centre by 1.2m.

Cllr Lynn Williams, Leader of Blackpool Council said, “We are committed to diversifying and modernising the town centre to encourage residents and visitors to choose Blackpool as their main shopping centre of choice. This means celebrating our well known heritage buildings, driving footfall to new areas of the town and encouraging people to stay for longer.

“The Houndshill Phase 2 extension will deliver a new range of high-quality entertainment, retail and leisure choices that meet the needs of the modern family, which will complement the existing shops at the Houndshill, boost both day and night time business, and increase the amount of time and money spent in the town centre.

“For the town centre to prosper we must continue to provide new reasons to attract resident and visitors and to extend the time of visits into the evening with more entertainment and leisure choices that the whole family can enjoy. New purpose-built, ultra-modern buildings that can adapt to ever-evolving consumer aspirations are important and will shape how we use our town centre in the future.”

The overall scheme has been facilitated by £5m of funding from the Government’s COVID-19 Getting Building Fund, following formal approval by the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) in October last year. Blackpool Council will fund the balance of the scheme through prudential borrowing.

Full schedule of works:

  • Tower Street Car Park is now closed but the Houndshill multi-storey car park will remain open throughout the project.
  • Alternative short-stay and long-stay car parks are available across town, including pay and display on-street parking in the vicinity and nearby open air car parks at East Topping Street, Bonny Street and Central, as well as West Street multi-storey.
  • The site is now fenced off for the duration of the building works but pedestrian access will still be available and the Houndshill retailers are not be affected
  • The section of the northbound carriageway of Coronation Street which runs adjacent to the development site at Tower Street Car Park will be closed to traffic
  • A temporary three-way signal system around the junction of Coronation Street and Adelaide Street will control traffic past the site, ensuring that access to and from Houndshill Car Park, the M&S collection point and the staff entrance to the Winter Gardens is maintained.

For more information, click here.





Lytham sculpture pays homage to bird life of Ribble estuary

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A stone sculpture featuring migrating birds has been installed in Lytham’s waterfront.


It’s at the end of Fairlawn Road between the Triangle and Lytham Green promenade designed to reflect the migratory nature of the many bird species which visit the Ribble estuary.

It has been provided by the Lytham in Bloom group and has been sculpted by Thompson Dagnall.

It’s accompanied by a plaque which explains the significance of the sculpture and the meaning behind it.

The sculpture overlooks the Ribble estuary

The sculpture overlooks the Ribble estuary

Trevor Mackey, chairman of Lytham in Bloom, said: “Over many years Lytham in Bloom have celebrated Lytham’s heritage in both permanent and floral sculptures.

“For this artwork, we chose to highlight the estuary’s rich bird life, the idea prompted by the visual and aural experience of ribbons of geese filling Lytham’s airspace, morning and evening in the winter months.”

Coun Michael Sayward, chairman of Fylde Council’s tourism and leisure committee, said: “We are confident this installation will become as renowned as the others already here.

The attention to detail by Mr Dagnall is superb and the sculpture perfectly represents the value the Ribble Estuary has on the Fylde.”
Lytham In Bloom volunteers and Fylde Councillors at the sculpture's unveiling

Lytham In Bloom volunteers and Fylde Councillors at the sculpture’s unveiling

Jo Taylor, learning and visitor experience officer at RSPB Fairhaven Lake, said:

“The Ribble estuary is home to over a quarter of a million wading birds each winter, making it one of the most important estuarine sites in the country.

“This beautiful stone carved sculpture pays homage to this perfectly,”

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 v Blackburn Rovers: Team news, predicted line-up and quotes from Neil Critchley

Home | Blackpool Gazette

The Seasiders return to action in a Lancashire derby at Bloomfield Road this weekend looking to put Tuesday night’s disappointment behind them.


Neil Critchley’s side were on course to record their third straight win when they led 1-0 against 10-man Hull City with just 10 minutes to go.

But, despite being a man down, the struggling Tigers rallied to notch a late equaliser through substitute Tom Eaves.

Critchley was visibly angry at the full-time whistle at Blackpool’s failure to put Grant McCann’s side to the sword.

But there’s nothing that can be done to change the result and, concentrating on the positive, the Seasiders still remain in good form having lost just one of their last five games.

The same can also be said for sixth-placed Blackburn, despite suffering a narrow 3-2 defeat at Huddersfield Town on Tuesday night.

Tony Mowbray’s side, who are expected to be backed by over 3,000 fans on Saturday, had enjoyed a five-game unbeaten run prior to the Huddersfield defeat, which culminated in a 5-1 thrashing of Cardiff City last weekend.

Neil Critchley will be looking to get over Tuesday night's disappointment

Neil Critchley will be looking to get over Tuesday night’s disappointment

Team news

Neil Critchley is likely to have the same pool of players available to him against Blackburn Rovers than he did for the midweek draw at Hull City.

Demetri Mitchell and Gary Madine both came through their first starts of the season unscathed and will be in contention once again.

There are no fresh fitness concerns from the midweek trip to Humberside, but Reece James (foot), Matty Virtue (ACL), Grant Ward (Achilles), Owen Dale (foot) and CJ Hamlton (foot) all remain sidelined.

“I spoke to the physio after the game, but I’ve not had anything through to say there were any issues,” Critchley said.

“Obviously they’ll be fatigued, but that’s normal after every game.

“But there are no injury concerns and everyone else came through the game fine, so we’re expecting it to be very similar squad-wise.”

Teddy Howe, Oliver Sarkic, Bez Lubala and Joe Nuttall, meanwhile, continue to be left out having not been registered in Blackpool’s 25-man squad.

Blackburn, meanwhile, will be without right-back Ryan Nyambe through concussion, while captain Darragh Lenihan is also struggling with a groin problem.

Neil Critchley’s pre-match comments

“It’s a great game to look forward to.

“We look forward to every game, but when you get into the Championship to play a club like Blackburn is a great challenge for us.

“Other than their result against Huddersfield the other night, they’ve been on a great run of form and they’ve got good players and a good manager. It’s another great test for us.

“We’re in a decent bit of form ourselves, so it has the makings of a really good game.

“I’m really looking forward to 3pm on Saturday because you know it will be a fantastic atmosphere and hopefully we can back up our Fulham and Barnsley performances with another good performance and three points.”

Opposition view

“We’ll take a lot of support, it will be an away day for the fans, Blackburn Rovers going to Blackpool there will be a lot of expectation and yet as I say they’ve grown into the league, they’re doing pretty well. They’re not the whipping boys that everyone turns up to beat.

“It’s a tough game. We will apply ourselves, bring our energy and style to the game and hopefully get three points if we can.

“I like the coach, he’s a football person who’s had a fantastic upbringing in football with Liverpool and the education of working and developing players.

“I look at their squad, they’re not household names but they’re a solid football team. They beat Fulham who seem to be the team that can dominate in this league at the moment.

“It’s the next game for us. I don’t see any game being any less difficult or easier than the previous one.

“Blackpool away is a tough football match against a team who have proven they can get results, proven how hard they are to play against and how dangerous they can be.”

Pool’s predicted line-up (442): Maxwell, Gabriel, Keogh, Ekpiteta, Garbutt, Stewart, Wintle, Mitchell, Anderson, John-Jules, Lavery



The Matt Scrafton column: Blackpool finding their feet in the Championship and look ready to kick on

Home | Blackpool Gazette

The 10-game mark is traditionally the point at which you’re able to get a good gauge of how the league table is shaping up.


Sitting in mid-table and four points ahead of the bottom three (and above PNE!), you’ve got to say it’s been a really encouraging start to the season from the Seasiders.

After a slow slow start, Neil Critchley’s men have grown into their new division and appear to have adapted to their new surrounds – albeit there’s still a long, long way to go.

Blackpool's Shayne Lavery has taken the Championship by storm

Blackpool’s Shayne Lavery has taken the Championship by storm

I must admit, having never covered the Championship before, I have been taken aback by the step-up in quality.

Of course I was expecting an improvement – there’s a reason why promoted sides from League One tend to struggle in their first season after all.

But, and I don’t know if this is just me, but on the opening day Bristol City’s players appeared to be that extra inch taller, that extra split-second faster and that extra bit stronger. It was instantly noticeable.

It says everything you need to know about Blackpool’s mentality that, despite those disadvantages, they were still able to churn out a late draw.

Land of the giants Cardiff City then rolled into town and put the Seasiders to the sword with a clinical display. Mick McCarthy’s side looked very, very good on the day, which makes their current malaise all the more bizarre.

But since then, Pool have looked very assured and once again resemble the side that stormed their way to promotion from the third tier last season.

It’s no coincidence that Blackpool have conceded just one goal in the three games they’ve won so far this season against Fulham, Middlesbrough and Barnsley.

Defensive solidity was the hallmark of their promotion-winning campaign last season, when Critchley’s side kept the most clean sheets in the division and conceded the fewest goals.

At the other end of the pitch, Blackpool have looked dangerous and the creation of chances hasn’t been a problem.

But having scored just nine goals in 10 games, it’s fair to say the men in tangerine haven’t exactly been potent in front of goal. You dread to think where they’d be without Shayne Lavery!

The Northern Irishman has been a revelation since making the move from Northern Ireland during the summer.

I never thought I’d see another striker work as tirelessly as Jerry Yates but somehow the Seasiders managed to find one.

Not only that, the 22-year-old is so, so dangerous in front of goal. He simply comes alive whenever the ball is in the vicinity of the opposition goalmouth.

With six goals to his name from just 10 starts, Lavery couldn’t have made much of a better start to his Blackpool career. Things are going swimmingly on the international scene, too, having netted his first goal for his country last month.

The former Linfield man now looks to be Northern Ireland’s first-choice striker, which is only going to enhance his reputation.

You must, however, have some sympathy for Yates, who has endured a difficult start to the campaign.

The 24-year-old, who has yet to score from open play this term, was an unused substitute against Barnsley last weekend before getting just 20 minutes against Hull on Tuesday night.

Having been Blackpool’s star man alongside Chris Maxwell last season, Yates would have hoped to be firing on all cylinders to prove himself in the Championship, but it’s not worked out for him yet.

Saying that, it’s a squad game and we know Critchley likes to rest and rotate, so it’s surely only a matter of time until Yates is back in the fold.

Let’s not forget either that it took the ex-Rotherham United and Swindon Town man 11 games to get off the mark in League One last season, and look how he finished the campaign. So no-one will be writing him off any time soon.

Elsewhere, Richard Keogh has really stepped up to the plate after a shaky start to the season.

Keogh took a bit of time getting used to his new surroundings but he and Marvin Ekpiteta have struck up a formidable partnership in the centre of defence, so much so you struggle to see how James Husband, Daniel Gretarsson and Oliver Casey will get a look-in.

Now Demetri Mitchell and Gary Madine are back involved after injury, Pool’s squad depth is really beginning to pay off.

A cursory glance at the bench on Tuesday and we saw Husband, Kevin Stewart, Josh Bowler and Yates.

When Reece James, Matty Virtue, Grant Ward, Owen Dale and CJ Hamilton are back fit, Blackpool’s depth will be frightening, even at this level.

If the Seasiders can steer away from further injury problems – especially long-term ones like Virtue, Ward and Hamilton’s – then you’ve got to be confident Critchley’s men can stave off a relegation battle.

Before a ball was kicked this season, I predicted Blackpool would stay up relatively comfortably and would finish above the two sides that joined them from League One last season, Hull and Peterborough United.

So far, so good.



Former Fylde music teacher Brenda dies, aged 99

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A former music teacher also renowned as producer, musical director and choreographer of amateur theatre productions has died aged 99.


Brenda Skyrme died just a few days before what would have been her 100th birthday and her funeral is at St Margaret’s Church, St Annes on Tuesday, September 28.

She leaves a husband Gwynne, who is 99, son Martin and daughters Marion and Sarah, and was also a dedicated grandmother and great-grandmother.

After moving to St Annes from Bristol in the 1950s, she became involved at St Margaret’s and proceeds from her production Out of the Blue contributed towards the building of the current church.

Brenda Skyrme

Brenda Skyrme

She sang in the St Annes Amateur Operatic Society, was a producer, musical director and choreographer at Our Lady Star of the Sea along with directing many gang shows and also taught at the Blackpool and the Fylde college.

During the 1970s, Brenda owned a fashion shop Madeleine Gowns in St Annes and for many years, taught piano and singing, the latter until she was 93 years old.

Daughter Marion said: “She was a committed Christian, a supportive friend to many, a loving wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother.

“She was a lively character with an active mind and throughout her life her two great loves have always been music and painting – the family home is full of her work.

“Her skills and interests have been extensive, from dressmaker to milliner, gardener, and a skilled ballroom dancer and we are thankful for her life.”

Donations in Brenda’s memory are being invited for the Mother’s Union. Inquiries to Lytham Funeral Services tel. 01253 733909.

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.



Owl artwork brings new life to old tree stump outside St Annes rail station

Home | Blackpool Gazette

An old tree stump has been transformer by a Fylde craftsman into an eye-catching wood sculpture outside a town centre rail station


The rather forlorn-looking stump was left behind outside St Anne station after Network Rail removed a dead tree for safety reasons.

The Friends of the Station suggested that the stump, suitably modified could be used creatively and that has certainly proved to be the case after Wesham artist James Sheliker from Acorn Woodcraft was approached agreed to give it a new lease of life.

A hastily-arranged £250 grant from St Annes Town Council, backed by a contribution from Community Rail Lancashire, meant James showcase his talent to carve two owl images on either side of the stump to greet passengers entering and leaving the station car park.

The owl artwork at he exit from the St Annes station car park

The owl artwork at he exit from the St Annes station car park

Images of town highlights installed at St Annes station to greet visitors

The wooden sculptures add to the recent Hidden Gems artwork adorning the station’s platform area and booking office and station volunteer Margaret Beddoes, who suggested an owl as a subject for the carving, said, “They look amazing, I am so pleased with what James has produced for us.”

James said, “I was really pleased to be asked to undertake this piece as I am local to the area and value working with and supporting local projects.

“It was good wood to work with and I am pleased the owls have such a prominent position at the front of the station.”

James Sheliker of Acorn Woodcraft at work

James Sheliker of Acorn Woodcraft at work

Tony Ford, chairman of the Station Friends group said “It is a real boost for the station and we were so pleased to be able to use a local artist to create these sculptures.

“They have become a real talking point locally already.

” There are a couple more trees that are in a poor state so it may be possible to have some more sculptures created in a few months’ time.”

The station Friends are becoming known for their innovations and have been shortlisted for an award by the Community Rail Network.

The group’s Christmas trees, created from disused pallets, gained a lot of media attention last year.

The annual Community Rail Awards taking place in Southampton in December are a national event that recognises the hard work and dedication shown by volunteers and station adopters across the country.

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.



Crackdown on ‘illegal and nuisance’ off-road motorbikes in Blackpool

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A new police operation has been launched in Blackpool to tackle the illegal and nuisance use of off-road motorbikes, mopeds, scrambler bikes and quad bikes.


Codenamed Operation Propulsion, it will see officers patrolling areas where residents have highlighted concerns, including Boundary Park in the Grange Park area and fields adjacent to Lawson Road near Stanley Park.

Lancashire Police said officers will use a range of powers to seize bikes that are being used illegally and prosecute those committing offences.

Temporary Chief Insp Mark Douglas said: “Local residents have told us that this is a problem in Blackpool and it is affecting their quality of life. This operation is about taking action to address these concerns and make the area safer.

Operation Propulsion will see officers patrolling areas which residents have highlighted as an area of concern, including Boundary Park and the fields adjacent to Lawson Road, tackling the illegal and nuisance use of off-road motorbikes, mopeds, scrambler bikes and quad bikes

Operation Propulsion will see officers patrolling areas which residents have highlighted as an area of concern, including Boundary Park and the fields adjacent to Lawson Road, tackling the illegal and nuisance use of off-road motorbikes, mopeds, scrambler bikes and quad bikes

“Not only does the illegal use cause noise issues and damage to our land and roads, riders also pose a danger to pedestrians, themselves and other road users.

“We will be looking to remove bikes from nuisance and illegal riders, bringing those responsible for committing offences before the courts – but we need local residents to work with us.

“If you see motorcycle nuisance and associated anti-social behaviour, report it to us and help us take action.”

Andrew Snowden, Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner added: “Anti-social behaviour is a blight on communities and one of the most common issues that is raised with me for our police to do more on.

Lancashire Police said officers will use a range of powers to seize bikes that are being used illegally and prosecute those committing offences

Lancashire Police said officers will use a range of powers to seize bikes that are being used illegally and prosecute those committing offences

“This type of targeted, intelligence-led operation is doing just that, addressing the concerns that have been raised by people in Blackpool and we are responding to that call.

“The overwhelming majority of people in Lancashire just want to go about their lives free from crime and the impact of anti-social behaviour, in various forms, can be extremely damaging for those made to suffer through the selfishness of others.

“I am unapologetic in my commitment to get tough on anti-social behaviour and take back our streets from those who make some people’s everyday lives a misery, whilst working with partners to prevent young people becoming involved in anti-social behaviour and other criminal activity within our neighbourhoods.”

The operation is running as a pilot in Blackpool before it is rolled out across Lancashire.

You can report any issues in your area to the police via or by calling 101.

You can also complete the Lancashire Talking survey to let your local policing team know about the issues you are experiencing in your area at issues caused by nuisance bikes can be reported directly to Blackpool Council, who can take action under the Environmental Protection Act.



Anti-vax protesters target Lytham St Annes High School

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Protesters holding yellow placards turned up outside Lytham St Annes High School today for an anti-vaccine demonstration.


One of the protester's placards

One of the protester’s placards

The group told parents and pupils coming out of the school that children were now being targeted by the Government with the “un-tested ” vaccine and claimed several youngsters had died this week as a result of taking it.

One protester said they were there to “help save lives” and get the message out about the dangers of the vaccine, as this was being suppressed.

But many parents were furious that the protesters were speaking to children as they came out of the school and frightening them with alarming comments – telling girls the vaccine could stop them having children.

The school itself, on Worsley Road in Ansdell, was so concerned about the presence of the protesters that it send out a letter to parents, while police also attended the scene to monitor the situation.

Parent Claire Thomas, 42, said she was incensed after one prostrater approached her 11 year old daughter, Mia, and told her the vaccination might make her infertile.

Claire, a primary school teacher, said: “Mia is in year 7 and has only been in school four weeks.

“This protester went up to her and asked if she wanted babies, because the vaccine could make her infertile.

“It is a good job Mia is sensible and that she phoned me and I could tell her to just ignore it.

“I am all for people having the right to protest and being able to express their opinions, but not to camp outside a school and frighten children.

“They were blocking the pavement with huge placards which was totally unsafe.

“In what way do they think that is acceptable behavior?”

In a letter to parents, head teacher Ray Baker said: “At the end of school today, our students were targeted by a very small number of protesters based on the pavement on Albany Road.

“They were holding signs and some were shouting comments about the Covid19 vaccine.

“We called the police who attended and school provided a very large staff presence, which ensured the vast majority of children were able to pass quietly and safely.

“Some older students chose to engage with the protesters creating some congestion.

“We will continue to keep a high staff presence at the end of the day and work closely with the police but would ask you to reassure your child about the safety of walking home.

“We will contact parents tomorrow if we need to make temporary changes to our procedures at the end of the school day.

“As a school we champion the freedom of opinion, but this protest at the end of a school day, created additional risk to students, other pedestrians and drivers.

“The nature of the protest made it very difficult to engage without causing congestion, so we would ask children to keep moving past any protests quickly to ensure a safe end to the school day, in the event of further protests.

“Please be assured that tomorrow’s letter from the NHS about vaccinations and the consent form will have the relevant and official links and information from the NHS regarding the vaccine.

“I am so sorry that there was such a tense and unpleasant end to the day.”

Mr Baker was not available to comment about the incident.



Man charged with robbing Fleetwood travel agents twice in 24 hours

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A man has been charged by detectives investigating two robberies at a Fleetwood travel agents.


Police were called to the World Travel Lounge in Lord Street on Tuesday (September 21) and Wednesday (September 22) after reports of two robberies where cash was stolen.

On Friday (September 24), police launched a public appeal for information to find a man in connection with the offences.

On Saturday, a 48-year-old suspect – Tim Daley – was arrested by officers.

Police were called to the World Travel Lounge in Lord Street, Fleetwood on Tuesday (September 21) and Wednesday (September 22) after reports of two robberies where cash was stolen. Pic: Google

Police were called to the World Travel Lounge in Lord Street, Fleetwood on Tuesday (September 21) and Wednesday (September 22) after reports of two robberies where cash was stolen. Pic: Google

Following consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service, Daley, of Leven Avenue, Fleetwood, has been charged with two robbery offences and possessing a bladed article in a public place.

He is due to appear at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court today (Monday, September 27).



Blackpool chief executive Ben Mansford warns of serious penalties facing club over crowd disorder

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Fines, a reduced capacity and smaller ticket allocations for away games are some of the punishments Blackpool could face due to the mindless actions of a “small minority” of fans.


It comes after Preston North End were allocated just 2,200 tickets for this month’s derby at Bloomfield Road.

It follows disorder at recent home games, with pyrotechnics and missiles thrown from the North Stand. Chief executive Ben Mansford told The Gazette it’s a “real shame” Bloomfield Road won’t be open to full capacity on October 23, when half of the East Stand will be left empty.

Blackpool FC have warned that the misbehaviour of a 'small minority' of supporters has massive financial implications for the club

Blackpool FC have warned that the misbehaviour of a ‘small minority’ of supporters has massive financial implications for the club

Mansford said: “The vast majority of our fans have created the best atmosphere I’ve seen in a Championship stadium so far this season. Since the Oxford game, the support has been outstanding.

“However, we’ve got a minority, and a very small one at that, of predominantly younger fans that have caused trouble since the Cardiff and Coventry games, which escalated around the Fulham game and really escalated against Barnsley.

“What that means is that the police, who we ask to help us manage the threat of any disorder and risk, have been very clear that this is a high-risk fixture, as everyone would acknowledge, and they do not feel comfortable there being more than 2,200 Preston fans in the stadium.

“It’s a real shame for the atmosphere in the ground, but not only does it mean we’re having to restrict the number of tickets to away fans, we were also hoping we’d have demand for the northern end of the East Stand for home fans.

“Clearly they will now not be able to use that empty space either. It is a real disappointment.

“And along with us not being able to sell the maximum number of tickets to Barnsley and Blackburn fans, that has cost the club well over £100,000. The only way we can recuperate that is through a curtailment of investment in the squad and infrastructure.

“There are so many knock-on consequences: increased police cost, EFL and FA sanctions and fines, not selling alcohol to fans… the list goes on.

“There’s a strong suggestion we will now face strong sanctions from the EFL and FA and they could be considerable again.

“Some of the implications could well be a reduced capacity in the North Stand. It could be that blocks A and B are closed for certain games.

“We will have budgeted for the game against Preston to be towards full capacity and now it won’t be, so it’s very sad.

“I just hope the minority of individuals involved realise the extreme damage they’re doing to this football club and how badly they are undermining the huge amount of unbelievable work done by Critch and his staff and players.”

The reduced allocation hasn’t gone down well among Preston fans, who have suggested their club retaliates by limiting Blackpool’s following for the return game in March.

Mansford added: “That’s a question for Preston and their safety team to answer many months down the road.

“But if this minority of fans don’t behave appropriately quickly, then I think there are going to be implications for away ticket allocations.

“It will be a real travesty if Blackpool fans who want to get behind Critch and the boys away from home are prevented from doing so by the behaviour of a small minority.”

Blackpool fans’ groups are to issue a joint-statement on Friday morning echoing the club’s worries over the problem.