The latest step towards the regeneration of St Annes has been warmly welcomed by the Town Council and traders’ chiefs.
Fylde Council announced earlier this week that consultants Building Design Partnership Ltd (BDP) have been appointed to create a masterplan for the town centre and seafront Island site.
The work is scheduled to be completed by April 2022 to align with anticipated timescales for round two of the Government’s Levelling up Funding Programme.
The commission is being funded by Fylde Council and Lancashire County Council and Coun Richard Redcliffe, chairman of Fylde’s Town Centres Working Group, said: “I look forward to welcoming the team from BDP as they commence work with Fylde Council and the local community to deliver a bright and exciting future for St Annes.
St Annes town centre
“Their bid emerged from an exceptionally strong field of potential candidates following a rigorous selection process.”
The approach will be undertaken in three phases, with the first focusing on assessing commercial potential.
A masterplan which will act as the blueprint to define future development and a destination management plan – focusing on strategy and action for sustainable tourism – will then be drawn up.
St Annes is the biggest town in Fylde
Coun Gavin Harrison, chairman of St Anne’s Town Council, said: ” I am looking forward to working closely with BDP to develop a clear plan for the future of the town.
“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to move St Annes forward for the benefit of residents, businesses and visitors.
“We must be bold in our vision of making St Anne’s a destination of choice for many years to come and I ask everyone to support us as we work together on this much-needed project.”
The St Annes Enterprise Partnership traders’ organisation, popularly known as STEP, said in a statement: “STEP is looking forward to the exciting changes that are planned for both the Island area and the town centre.
“We will be working with the council to ensure that the views of local businesses and residents are represented and heard.
“We hope that the changes provide a boost to our town, financially, functionally and aesthetically.”
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.
Injury-hit Blackpool produced a heroic effort to beat Blackburn Rovers after losing arguably their three strongest players to knocks.
Chris Maxwell, Richard Keogh and Shayne Lavery – the spine of Blackpool’s starting line-up – were all forced to hobble off during this all-Lancashire affair.
With other players going down and complaining of knocks, the Seasiders somehow managed to find a way to see out the win – even when eight minutes of time were added on at the end of the 90.
But Blackburn made for a tense second-half when Ben Brereton-Diaz reduced the arrears five minutes into the second-half.
But Neil Critchley’s side held on for a fourth win in six, extending their superb run of form which has seen them avoid defeat in five of their last six.
Pool now move up to 12th, three points adrift of QPR in sixth and seven points clear of the bottom three.
Jerry Yates celebrates in front of the visiting Blackburn fans
With this game being Blackpool’s final fixture before the international break, Critchley opted against making wholesale changes in a bid to freshen up his squad.
Instead, he made just one change from the midweek draw against Hull City, bringing Josh Bowler back into the fold in place of Demetri Mitchell.
Reece James (foot), Matty Virtue (ACL), Grant Ward (achilles), Owen Dale (foot) and CJ Hamilton (foot) all remain sidelined.
There was still no spot in the squad for Jordan Gabriel, who recently returned to training after being forced to self-isolate after his girlfriend tested positive for Covid-19.
Teddy Howe, Oliver Sarkic, Bez Lubala and Joe Nuttall, meanwhile, continue to be left out having not been registered in Blackpool’s squad.
Blackburn, who began the day in sixth place after a strong start to the campaign, made one change from their 3-2 midweek defeat at Huddersfield Town.
The Seasiders got off to a perfect start when, after just four minutes, in-form striker Shayne Lavery added yet another goal to his collection to send an already pulsating Bloomfield Road into raptures.
The hosts, who had made the brighter start of the two sides, edged ahead as Keshi Anderson picked out the Northern Irishman on the corner of the Blackburn box.
The 22-year-old had a surprising amount of time and space to take a touch to settle himself against a defender that bizarrely backed off him.
Lavery, with three goals in his last three games, certainly doesn’t need an invitation to shoot and that’s exactly what he did, firing low across goalkeeper Thomas Kaminski.
The striker’s shot took a wicked deflection that saw the ball loop up and into the far corner, where a recovering Blackburn defender was unable to clear his lines.
While the goal only came four minutes, Blackpool deserved their lead for the positive manner in which they began the game.
Blackburn almost levelled in bizarre circumstances with their first opening of the game, as Dujon Sterling almost picked out the bottom corner of his own net as he sprinted to make a vital interception.
The hosts were dealt a major blow when their goalscorer and form man Lavery was forced off with a knock after an innocuous-looking 50-50 with Daniel Ayala.
The Northern Irishman, who clutched his thigh as he trudged off, was replaced by Jerry Yates, who couldn’t have had a better introduction.
Barely two minutes after coming on, Yates nodded home to double Blackpool’s lead to send Bloomfield Road crazy.
It was a simple enough finish from the 22-year-old, scoring for just the second time this season, heading home from a few yards after Kaminski had saved Gary Madine’s initial effort.
The Seasiders looked so dangerous every time they came forward and could easily have had another goal or two to their tally.
Critchley’s men were oozing confidence, picking up the ball from deep and playing through the thirds with one and two-touch football.
They were so on top, even 36-year-old centre-back Richard Keogh was getting in on the act, waltzing forward with the ball from his own half to the edge of the Blackburn box.
Pool looked to have fairly strong penalty appeals waved away when Yates appeared to be hauled to the ground as he attempted to reach Madine’s deflected cross at the back post.
Blackburn also lost one of their forward men to injury late on in the half, as Sam Gallagher was forced off with a knock. Left-back Tayo Edun replaced him, which saw Tony Mowbray alter things tactically for the away side.
Yates, meanwhile, tried his luck in the dying seconds of the half after spotting Kaminski off his line, only to skew wide with his effort from near the halfway line.
Pool continued to be the side that looked the most threatening, as Josh Bowler saw a long-range shot blocked after the away side were dispossessed of the ball in their own half.
The hosts were a little fortunate to keep their two-goal lead intact at first-half stoppage-time when Tyrhys Dolan played the ball across the face of the Blackpool goal.
Three Blackburn players were in the vicinity ready to tap home, but fortunately Sterling was there to deflect the ball behind.
Nevertheless, the Seasiders were well worth their two-goal lead and Blackburn would have been hugely fortunate to get on the scoresheet after being second best for the entirety of the opening half.
Pool were forced into making another change at the break, as James Husband replaced Keogh – who was presumingly unable to continue after picking up an injury.
Keogh’s absence was keenly felt when the away side reduced the arrears within five minutes of the second half.
Talisman Ben Brereton-Diaz was the man to score Blackburn’s goal, slotting home from Will Buckley’s pinpoint cross.
Play had to be temporarily halted following Blackburn’s celebrations after a smoke bomb was thrown onto the pitch from the away end.
When play did restairt, Brereton-Diaz could have added a second only for his shot from the edge of the box to be saved by Maxwell after two attempts.
Blackpool’s injury woes went from bad to worse on the hour-mark when goalkeeper and skipper Chris Maxwell was forced off with an injury.
Pool’s number one, who was replaced by Stuart Moore, initially tried to carry on but had no choice but to hobble after being given treatment by the physio for a second time.
The makeshift back four came under increasing pressure in the final 20 minutes, Brereton-Diaz almost breaching Pool’s defence on a Blackpool counter before Daniel Ayala headed wide from a corner.
There was real fear Pool would have to end the game with 10 men when Sterling became the latest player to receive treatment after making a heroic last-ditch tackle on Dolan.
Fortunately the Chelsea loanee was able to continue, although he didn’t exactly look to be 100 per cent.
The home side looked really leggy at this point and were now losing all the second balls, having previously competed so well.
Pool did squander a half chance on the break as Anderson did well to pick out the unmarked Bowler inside the Blackburn box.
The winger did well to turn and swivel before firing a slow shot across the keeper and wide of the far post.
From that point onwards, it was unsurprisingly one-way traffic. James Husband made a complete mess of Reda Khedra’s right-wing cross and was thankful for Ekpiteta to be in the right place at the right time to clear behind him.
Brereton-Diaz then clipped the ball over Moore and into the back of the net, but the linesman’s flag had already been raised seconds before.
Pool, who were holding on desperately, survived another scare five minutes from time when Tayo Edun’s attempted cross took a wicked deflection and bounced inches wide of the far post.
Due to all the stoppages, here was no great surprise when the fourth official indicated EIGHT minutes of time were to be added on at the end of 90.
The stoppage-time was bizarrely uneventful until the fifth minute of eight, when Moore made a BIG save to tip the ball away from goal just when it looked to be dropping in at the back post.
Thankfully that turned out to be the final serious goalmouth action of the afternoon as Pool saw out the eight minutes of stoppage time and held on for a heroic three points.
The face of a ‘predatory’ masseur who sexually assaulted a woman at his home in Blackpool has been made public.
Alan Garforth, 67, admitted sexually assaulting the woman – aged in her 20s – when he appeared at Burnley Crown Court on July 26.
He pleaded guilty to one count of sexual assault and one count of sexual assault by penetration during the attack at his home in Pavey Close, Blackpool in October 2018.
On Monday, September 20, Garforth appeared for sentencing at Burnley Crown Court where he was jailed for two years.
Alan Garforth, 67, admitted sexually assaulting a female client, aged in her 20s, at his home in Pavey Close, Blackpool in October 2018
But during his sentencing last week, his mug shot hadn’t been made public. This prompted the Gazette to make an application to Lancashire Police to release his custody picture, which has now been made available.
Today (Thursday, September 30), we can now share the convicted sex offender’s picture with our readers, which we think is integral to the principle of open justice.
Following his conviction in July, Det Sgt Nicole Ryder-Jones, of Blackpool Police, said: “Garforth’s actions were predatory and sexually motivated. We welcome him admitting his guilt.
“I must praise the victim and thank her for coming forward. She has showed great courage and strength in reporting the crimes to police.
“I hope this case will give other victims of sexual offending the confidence to come forward, knowing that we will listen to them and act on the information they provide.”
During his sentencing, the court also imposed a 10-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order on Garforth and said he will be subject to sex offender notification requirements.
He was also ordered to pay a £140 victim surcharge.
Two men have been arrested after a ‘blood-spattered’ baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire was seized by police in Fleetwood – and fans of the Walking Dead say it is just like ‘Lucille’, Negan’s weapon of choice for slaying the zombie hordes.
Police discovered the ‘blood-stained’ bat last night (Wednesday, September 29) when officers stopped and searched a car as part of a crackdown on anti-social behaviour and disorder in the town.
A 33-year-old man from Cleveleys has been arrested on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon and he remains in custody this morning.
St Annes music teacher repeatedly sexually assaulted teenage girl in late 1990s
A man has been arrested after a ‘blood-spattered’ baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire – familiar to Walking Dead fans as villain Negan’s spiky pal ‘Lucille’ – was seized by police in Fleetwood
A second man, also aged 33 and from Cleveleys, was arrested on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon and driving while unfit through drink or drugs. He too remains in custody this morning.
After police shared a picture of the grisly bat on Facebook, fans of the Walking Dead quipped that it was ‘Lucille’ – archvillain Negan’s trusty weapon of choice for surviving the zombie apocalypse.
Lancashire Police has since confirmed that the blood on the bat is not real blood and the Facebook post has now been taken down.
But the force says the barbed wire is real and the weapon is not a ‘prop’. It said the bat is still deemed an ‘offensive weapon’ and is illegal to possess in public.
A police spokesman said: “After the recent increase of police resources and operations in the Fleetwood area police conducted a stop search of a vehicle.
“Within that vehicle was the following weapon. Two persons have been arrested and remain in police custody at this time and the weapon has been recovered.”
It follows a crackdown on violent disorder involving weapons in Fleetwood in recent days, which has led to a section 60 order giving police the power to stop and search people and vehicles without suspicion.
So far this week, police in Fleetwood say they have “conducted 14 body searches, stopped and searched 17 vehicles, made several arrests and carried out house searches after a number of violent incidents involving weapons”.
Ch Supt Karen Edwards said: “In recent days you will have seen a marked increase in police activity in Fleetwood.
“This follows several incidents of anti-social behaviour and disorder involving weapons in the town, behaviour which we will not tolerate, nor accept.
“We have enforced two Section 60 orders, allowing police to stop and search people and vehicles without suspicion. These orders are only in place when we believe violent incidents will take place or weapons will be used.
“As part of our activity, we have conducted 14 body searches, stopped and searched 17 vehicles, made several arrests, carried out house searches and stop-checked several targets.
“This is just the start of our police activity. You should expect to see a number of officers in Fleetwood in the coming days and weeks, with increased resources and patrols.
“I want residents to feel reassured and not unduly concerned by this presence. However, if you have any concerns, please don’t hesitate to speak to one of our officers.
“I recognise the vast majority of people in Fleetwood are good, law-abiding citizens, but we will not accept the actions of a small, mindless group of individuals looking to commit serious crime.”
Detectives investigating a series a series of robberies in Blackpool have issued a new CCTV image of an individual they want to speak to.
Do you recognise this female?
Having issued an image of five individuals they wanted to speak to on Friday, detectives has since arrested three boys – aged 17, 16 and 13 – and a 17-year-old girl on suspicion of robbery. They have now all been released on bail pending further enquires.
Officers are continuing to ask for anybody with information on the female pictured in the CCTV still to come forward, as they believe she can assist with their enquiries.
A 16-year-old boy from Preston arrested on suspicion of possessing a knife/ bladed article on Friday (October 1) has since been charged with three counts of robbery. He appeared at court yesterday (Saturday).
The charges relate to a series of robberies in Blackpool, which happened between 5pm and 8pm on September 30 between the town centre and Claremont areas.
The robberies involved a group of people who have approached and threatened a number of victims and stolen property.
Detectives are continuing to appeal for witnesses or anybody else who maybe a victim to come forward.
DI Jamie Lillystone, of Blackpool CID, said: “We have now spoken to a number of people of interest in this case and although one male has now been charged and four individuals arrested, our enquiries are very much ongoing.
“I would like to thank the members of the public who have already come forward with information and further ask anybody who recognises the female in the CCTV to get in contact with police.”
A 19-year-old man from Blackpool, arrested on suspicion of affray, has since been released with no further action.
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101, quoting log 1470 of September 30, 2021. Alternatively call independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
NHS Manager and author Anthony Perry says he is trying to ‘fix something that is wrong’
A member of the Native American community in the UK has spoken out about his reasons for taking issue with a ‘Wild West’ tableau at Blackpool Illuminations.
NHS Manager and author Anthony Perry grew up in Oklahoma, USA and moved to the UK 18 years ago.
He now lives in Exeter with his wife and two children and is a citizen of the Chickasaw nation.
Last week, he wrote to Blackpool councillors regarding a ‘Wild West’ tableau that had been on display at Blackpool Illuminations since the 1960s.
It was discovered by a Canadian friend of his, also a Native American, after going on the Visit Blackpool website to plan a trip. Located just north of the promenade, the lights depict men in war headdresses dancing around a totem pole surrounded by cacti.
In his letter, Anthony expressed that he was dismayed to see stereotypical Native people’s dancing which he feels have long been caricatured, often in the name of ‘honouring’ them.
“Caricatures such as these reinforce racial stereotypes of Native Americans being primitive people who have no place in modern society,” said Anthony.
“There is a long history of attempts to erase our culture, redefine our history and assimilate us with Euro-centric ideals. These attempts continue to this day in North America and abroad. Much of it is so insidious that those who do it don’t even know, and some believe that what they’re doing honours people like me.
“Sometimes, it’s very much treated as ‘these are the ways we’re going to celebrate you so just accept it’.”
In his letter, Anthony referenced the discovery by indigenous peoples across Canada and North America of 751 unmarked graves at Marieval Indian Residential School in June and 251 graves at Kamloops Indian Residential School in May.
Residential schools, he stated, were but one part of the strategy to erase Native American histories and identities.
Many Native families, including Anthony’s, have relatives who stayed in residential schools or know others who did, with several still in operation as recently as the late 1990s.
Anthony added: “Research has shown that caricatures like these have harmed Native youth by lowering self-esteem and increasing depression and rates of self-harm and substance abuse.
“Geographically that particular tableau is all over the place too. You have stereotypes of Native Americans depicted with cacti, which are more associated with the South West, and totem poles which are typically associated with the Pacific North West.
“It’d be like casually putting together Germans, English, the Spanish perhaps with a Celtic cross, it just doesn’t fit right!
“It’s the fact that on Visit Blackpool’s website, this was the main image to advertise Blackpool Illuminations and acted as the ‘draw’.
“It does little to promote Blackpool as a welcoming community.”
There have been constructive discussions with Blackpool Council about options for the tableau, revealing that there is a possibility of future government funding for Blackpool Illuminations.
This may provide the perfect opportunity to have a new tableau that truly represents the culture.
Anthony has suggested that a new light display be created using Native American artists which he knows will do a great job.
He said: “I want to turn this into a positive thing and have something which represents out culture fantastically.
“Frankly, a lot of people in the UK do not know anything about Native Americans and why should they? It is hard enough raising these issues in America!
“But Native people have played a part in British history and close to Blackpool itself.”
“Several warriors from my own tribe passed through nearby Preston with an English regiment in the Jacobite Rebellion in 1745. These caricatures just fail to recognise that we aren’t people of the past; we have endured, despite the odds, we persist and we thrive. We also are among the migrants who have found a home in global Britain.
“This isn’t about being ‘woke’ and I’m not doing it just because I’m bored. Trust me, I have a very busy life! I’m not out to ‘take down’ Blackpool Illuminations or the town either. I’m just trying to fix something that is wrong. For me, this is just about recognising that Native American people are still here. We want to be treated in the same way as black and other minority people with same respect and representation.”
Anthony has written a book called Chula the Fox and others which explores his tribal connections and life for ancestors.
AFC Fylde has apologised after a number of its academy players allegedly squirted water pistols at members of the public in Kirkham.
AFC Fylde has apologised after a number of its academy players allegedly squirted water pistols at members of the public in Kirkham
The teenage culprits were identified after the club launched an internal investigation into recent reports of anti-social behaviour involving some of its young footballers.
The club said it had received a number of complaints about their behaviour in public, including one incident where a family was soaked with water pistols by teenagers dressed in the club’s tracksuits.
Academy manager Chris Ganner said the incident has been treated with “the utmost seriousness” and added that a community police officer attended the academy to speak to the young lads about their behaviour.
Mr Ganner has apologised to the family and the community, saying the club “do not condone this type of behaviour”.
A club spokesman said: “The incident was brought to our attention on Tuesday morning (September 21), and we immediately launched an internal investigation to identify the students involved.
“After gaining a detailed understanding of what had happened, our Academy Manager Chris Ganner reached out to local police and numerous members of the public who have been affected by their actions.
“AFC Fylde Football Club do not condone this type of behaviour and have banned the students involved from this week’s games.
“The Club would like to reassure people that allegations such as this are treated with the utmost seriousness.
“Finally, we would like to extend our apologies to the family affected and will continue to educate our students on their behaviour and responsibilities in the community.”
The premises could be a great investment opportunity for an experienced operator, given the location’s massive trade potential
A Blackpool wine bar that’s part of one of Britain’s oldest pub chains, Yates’s, is now for sale at £900,000.
The distinctive 1930s ‘art deco’ building that fronts the promenade on South Shore forms an island site which is bounded by the Bolton Street, Britannia Place and Shore Road.
Sitting in an excellent location, the bar is surrounded by cafes, bars, small private hotels and amusement arcades.
Operated by Stonegate Pub Company who have traded the unit as a Yates’s Wine Lodge for years, the premises may provide an experienced operator with a variety of options given the location’s massive trade potential.
The property has an extensive beer patio to the front with a capacity for around 200 customers.
This area has been furnished with a variety of garden picnic tables and two smoking shelters.
A small surfaced car park also provides approximately 10 spaces for vehicles.
Set over three levels there is a basement, ground floor and first floor.
The are six rooms in the basement which includes the beer cellar.
The ground floor has an open plan split level trading area with timber floor and tiled apron to the servery. There is also a carpeted area to the rear.
To the front right hand side, there is an elevated seating area with another to the righthand side with timber floor.
Timber tables and chairs also furnish the room with sections of fixed button back seating to the perimeter.
In the central bar area are high bar stools and tables with a pool area at the back which also has a DJ booth.
On this floor, there can also be found ladies’ and gents’ customer toilets, cash office, spirits store, two storerooms, staff room, glass wash room and main office.
The first floor houses a catering kitchen with Altro floor, range of stainless steel catering equipment, dumbwaiter, walk-in refrigerator and freezer. There is also private living accommodation which is currently used for storage. This comprises of five rooms, including a bathroom.
It is worth noting that any third party owned items, such as beer raising and cellar cooling equipment, branded items, gaming machines etc, will be excluded from the sale.
To find out more the the Blackpool Yates’s Wine Lodge for sale, please visit the Fleurets Website listing here.
The stunning light festival returns with 16 days of free shows and art installations
The Lightpool festival returns to Blackpool for 2021, and its bigger than ever.
The free 16-night programme will run from October 15 to 30 and will feature a blend of art installations, 3D projections and live shows.
Visitors can immerse themselves in 16 new installations and event director Phil Holmes says organisers have spent two years sourcing world-class light installations that will take the festival to “another level”, after the 2020 edition was cancelled because of coronavirus.
“We have a total of 27 artworks, some of which have never been seen in this country before,” Phil said.
“Along with the return of tried and tested favourites such as the illuminated tram parade, larger-than-life carnival characters, the Spark! LED drummers and new outdoor projection shows, it promises to be the most magical two weeks imaginable”.
We’ve put together must-see highlights of the light festival coming to the seafront and beyond, below.
Monday, October 18 to Saturday, October 30, 6pm-10pm (apart from Luma which is only October 27-30)
House of Cards @Central Promenade
This is an outdoor multi-sensory display that collapses and rebuilds itself in front of you and has already wowed audiences in Amsterdam, Berlin, Bucharest and Milan.
It consists of 128 LED light boxes in the form of playing cards, programmed to choreography.
Aqualux @ Tower Festival Headland
An eco-friendly light feature to showcase the importance of water and preserving it.
In addition, on selected days, an illuminated Peterbilt truck will tour the streets of Blackpool with Aqualux on-board..
Spiro @ Tower Festival Headland
Walk through this stunning light tunnel, which spans 26 metres and has individually-mapped LEDs
Tower Projections @ Comedy Carpet
Get taken in by the 3D projections as they light up the Blackpool Tower building, where you can also experience Astral Dreams project, as part of the Blackpool Illuminations programme.
Digital Playground @ Bickerstaffe Square
Walk through this forest installation, complete with oversized robotic flowers and as you move around, the sculpture will subtly change in mood and appearance. Cool, eh?
And Then I Slipped @ Winter Gardens
New for 2021, lurk under the shimmering waterfall lights and see where it takes you.
Luma @ Winter Gardens
Luma is a eight-metre long, robotic inflatable snail – but don’t worry, she’s welcome band gentle and loves crowds.
Power the Tower @ Winter Gardens
Get on a bike and have a go at pedalling hard enough to power to light up the Blackpool Tower model.
500 @Pavilion Theatre, Winter Gardens
At 500, four of Blackpool’s entertainment venues are showcased.
The Nature Take Over @ St John’s Church
Watch as the church is reclaimed by nature as large vines, flowers, fruit, fungus and creatures take over the church exterior. This large-scale projection shows bold and colourful hand-drawn animations as they dance and sweep over the building’s surface, synchronised to music.
Blackpool Light of My Life @ Grundy Art Gallery
Check out this art installation by the internationally recognised artist, Chila Kumari Singh Burman.
After high-profile projects for Tate Britain and Covent Garden in London, the artist has now turned her sights to Blackpool and the exterior of the town’s Grade II listed Grundy Art Gallery.
White Tiger @ Houndshill Shopping Centre
The White Tiger roars into Blackpool. The car was originally created to celebrate the launch of the critically-acclaimed film The White Tiger, which is based on the New York Times bestseller and 2008 Man Booker Prize-winning novel of the same name.
Big Bird @ Abingdon Street
Another new addition for 2021, this 3.5 metre-high pigeon sculpture is made out of the parts of 10 London taxis and illuminated by the Blackpool Illuminations team.
Lasertonic @ Adelaide Street West
Joining Big Bird for the first time at this year’s festival, this laser projection uses sound and colour to transform its surroundings.
100 Local Lanterns @ The Old Electric, Springfield Road
Beautiful lanterns created and crafted in a series of workshops will be on display in The Old Electric, forming a community exhibition.
Live performances (various dates and venues)
Symphony of Light @ Olympia, Winter Gardens, Friday, October 22, 7pm–9:30pm
A experience with music, lasers, artwork and immersive lighting effects. Shows every 30 minutes.
World Fireworks Championship Blackpool @ Tower Festival Headland, Saturday, October 23, 8.30pm
The finale of the fireworks championships featuring a celebratory display by Titanium Fireworks.
Illuminated Tram Parade Featuring Spark! @ Central Promenade, Wednesday, October 27, 5.30pm
For one night only, the illuminated tram parade features a battleship, trawler and Great Western train travelling in convoy, joined by the high-impact drumming and superb choreography of the Spark! LED drummers, Lumidogs and a cast of illuminated giant puppets.
Global Grooves Carnival @ The Blackpool Tower Ballroom, Thursday, October 28, 6pm and 8pm
A menagerie of carnival characters will hit the Blackpool Tower Ballroom floor for an electrifying performance of music, puppetry and dance.
Silent Disco @ The Blackpool Tower Fifth Floor, Friday, October 29, 7pm-9.30pm,
Suitable for all ages, the Silent Disco will have three different music choices playing continuously throughout the night.
The Nixies of Oakpool by The Electric Sunshine Project (Springfield Road), October, 27, 28, 29, 6.30pm and 7.30pm
A spellbinding, interactive story using animation, puppetry, lights and music to retell how the Illuminations were originated.
There was not a dry eye in the house at the inaugural Best of Lancashire Awards, which proved to be a real Red Rose celebration of bravery and achievements.
All the winners at the Best of Lancashire awards
There was not a dry eye in the house at the inaugural Best of Lancashire Awards, which proved to be a real Red Rose celebration of bravery and achievements.
More than 230 guests at the Crow Wood resort and spa in Burnley enjoyed an emotional evening packed full of tales of bravery, courage, caring and community involvement.
The glittering occasion, organised by sister newspapers the Lancashire Post, Blackpool Gazette and Burnley Express and sponsored by Marsden Building Society, saw an array of awards ranging from Community Champion, Act of Bravery and Young Person of Courage to Green Champion and Pride of Lancashire.
The Best of Lancashire awards gets underway
And top billing went to Speaker of the House of Commons and Chorley MP Sir Lindsay Hoyle who was named Lancashire’s Ambassador of the Year.
The first Best of Lancashire Lifetime Achievement Award was presented posthumously to Mrs Doreen Lofthouse, founder of the world-renowned Fisherman’s Friends lozenges company in Fleetwood.
The award was picked up by her son Duncan who outlined the many community initiatives his mother had supported in the town as local employer and philanthropist.
The Pride of Lancashire honour, sponsored by Marsden Building Society, went to Strictly NHS – a group of NHS workers who were moulded into a ballroom dancing team whose performance at the world-famous Blackpool Tower ballroom enabled them to raise £25,000 to support NHS staff members affected by Covid.
The Community Champion award, sponsored by Progress Housing Group, went to Blackpool’s Amazing Graze, which never closed its doors during Covid, doling out a remarkable 2,500 meals a week to those in need.
The River Ribble Trust scooped the Environment Sustainability Award with its programme of planting trees across 500 hectares of new woodland in the county, improving water quality and reducing flood risk.
The 999 hero gong, sponsored by Spire Fylde Coast Hospital, went to Paul Markham, who bravely intercepted a firework heading for a group of children outside Blackpool FC’s Bloomfield Road.
He threw the firework away and it went off, taking Paul’s fingers and thumb, but saving the lives of the youngsters.
The Act of Bravery Award, sponsored by Alderson and Horan Funeral Services, went to Paula and Mark Bryan. After Mark was left for dead at the side of th road after being hit by a HGV, Paula gave up her full-time job to become his full-time carer and both time to raise money for charity.
The Grassroots sport award, sponsored by Burnley College, went to ‘legend’ John Pillling, a stalwart of Burnley Miners Football League.
And the Young Person of Courage sponsored by Greater Lancashire Hospital, went to Rachel Pownall, a young carer from Blackpool who has overcome many challenges to keep herself on track in life.
The Armed Forces award, sponsored by Daniel Thwaites, went to Corporal James Kirkby who has raised huge amounts for limbless charities.
The Inspirational Adult, sponsored by Excel Fostering, was Maddison Farrar, who runs Macmillan coffee mornings at school, after her grandma passed away.
The Charity Fund-raiser award went to ‘Mr Chorley’ Neil Hailwood, a charity heavyweight and volunteer in the town.
Let’s Grow Preston scooped the Green Champion award, sponsored by Panaz. The organisation touches lives by supporting and training an army of volunteers with an aim of improving and maintaining green spaces, with fresh food grown contributing to 570,000 meals for the people of Preston.
Entertainment for the evening was provided by singer Matt Philips, who soon got the dance floor bouncing. The event was presented expertly radio presenters and personalities Hayley Kay and Ged Mills.
Mr Rob Pheasey, chief executive of event sponsors Marsden Building Society, said: “After a challenging 18 months the awards was a great opportunity for people to come together and celebrate the people that make this county a fantastic place to call home.”
Blackpool Gazette Editor Nicola Adam said: “There must have been something in my eye all night – the evening really packed an emotional punch.
“Thanks to absolutely everyone involved – you are all winners and Lancashire’s very best.”