Son could have been killed by tree, says Thornton mum

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A mum in Thornton says one of her children and two pals could have been killed after a huge tree fell down at the entrance to a community green space just yards from  where they were standing.


Emma Young, 30, of Usk Avenue near Stanah, says her seven year old son and his friends, aged eight and 11, were only able to get out of the way because they heard a noise and saw it toppling.

The incident follows calls by residents for the green space, which has a public footpath and is often used by people on the housing estate, to be more regularly maintained and for the overgrown hedges to be cut back.

Emma, a mum-of-two who works as a postwoman, said: “It was frightening because if that thing had struck them on the head they wouldn’t have stood a chance.

Residents at Harlech Grove are unhappy about the lack of maintenance of the green space around their homes

Residents at Harlech Grove are unhappy about the lack of maintenance of the green space around their homes

“I wrote to Wyre Council and Lancashire Council to raise concerns about this last August because I could see that the trees were unstable.”

Other residents are unhappy too, including Chris Hallam of Harlech Grove, who said: “These huge hedges are now too top heavy for the base and could easily crash onto my house. I even withheld my council tax in protest, it’s not acceptable.”

The green space was originally owned by developer David McNeil Homes but in 2008 the company, which has since folded, made negotiations for the land to be adopted by The Greenbelt Company, which takes over and maintains undevelopable land on behalf of developers. The land has since been sold to another party, understood to be a Fylde coast resident and businessman.

A Wyre spokesman said: “The land does not belong to the council but we are looking into these concerns.”



It’s 105 not out for Poulton ‘s Joan Patterson

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A former ballet teacher from Poulton has celebrated her 105th birthday.

Mary Noone (right) and care co-ordinator Lorraine Smith  with Joan Patterson, who has celebrated her 105th birthday

Mary Noone (right) and care co-ordinator Lorraine Smith with Joan Patterson, who has celebrated her 105th birthday

Joan Patterson still lives in the home her dad built for her when she got married, with her household needs taken care of by Home Instead, under the guidance of Blackpool branch manager Mary Noone and care co-ordinator Lorraine Smith.

Lorraine said: “Joan is our oldest client and we have supported her for five years.

“She is still very independent and strong willed and knows exactly what she wants. She certainly keeps us on our toes.”



“Absolute joke”: Your views on the scrapping of Taco Bell and the Norcross retail development

Home | Blackpool Gazette

The prospect of the county’s first Taco Bell is no more.


The huge Norcross retail and leisure redevelopment has been scrapped and replaced with new housing proposals.

The former DWP site in Norcross Lane was set to become a 72,000sq ft retail and leisure development – a deal struck by agent Kier Property – hosting some of the country’s most well-renowned brands.

Farewell Taco Bell: Ambitious Norcross retail redevelopment plans scrapped

No more Taco Bell: The huge Norcross retail and leisure redevelopment has been scrapped

No more Taco Bell: The huge Norcross retail and leisure redevelopment has been scrapped

But a spokesman for Wyre Council said that the retail permission for the site had expired, and as nothing had been implemented since it was given the go-ahead, an application for 93 houses has since replaced it.

After we reported the news on Thursday, here’s a selection of your comments:

More flippin’ cars clogging up the roads

Kath Roe

This happens all over the country and has done for decades.

Adam Patchett

Why not invest in Fleetwood? Everything seems to be other places and we always get put on the back burner . We used to be a bustling town please bring it back to its former glory!!!

Brian N Florence Allinson

Absolute joke. Would have been much more useful and not to mention the job opportunities that would have come with it.

Lianne Alexi Thomson

Will WBC now invest in Cleveleys??, you need too urgently would be nice to have a response and action plan to support Cleveleys

Annette Dunkerley

We have more than enough housing in the fylde coast that just needs developing and proper maintenance to be able to be put either on the market, up for rent or marked for council properties. Derelict flats in almost every town, properties for private sale that the council could easily take on. Fylde and wyre desperately needs industry funding, when we had the fishing industry there were job opportunities for anyone who wants it. Now the only opportunities other than supermarkets are to work for small local businesses which will never supply enough jobs. We desperately need retail and corporate development in the area, especially in Fleetwood as it sits right on a peninsular, and most people have to travel over an hour out of town every day for work. This would have literally employed hundreds of people in this area and been amazing for the local economy.

Debbie Jane

M&S hopefully will now stay on Victoria road.They have had many customers saying Norcross was not suitable

Valerie Wall

Now there’s a shock… housing housing housing. And not affordable

Dan Walker



Fuel crisis highlights need for more electric car charging points in Blackpool

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Calls have been made for more vehicle charging points in Blackpool including to serve the resort’s tourism industry as people switch to electric cars.


There are currently 50 charging points in the town for use by the public – but the council says this number will double in the next two years.

Blackpool set to ramp up investment in electric vehicles

The council’s latest local transport plan shows £100,000 has been allocated to installing charging points in public car parks.

Calls have been made for more electric charging points in Blackpool

Calls have been made for more electric charging points in Blackpool

Coun Don Clapham said the filling station crisis had highlighted the need to install more chargers as it could encourage drivers to switch to electric vehicles.

He told a full meeting of the council: “Knowing the experience people have had in terms of putting petrol and diesel in normal cars, if you imagine they become electric cars over the next few years, we are going to need an awful lot of electric charging points.

“Bearing in mind we will have thousands of people coming into the town in electric cars who will need electric charging points in order to get home.”

Coun Clapham said he had heard of people visiting places and driving around for more than an hour trying to find a working electric charging point.

Coun Jane Hugo, cabinet member for climate change, said a strategy was being worked on to meet demand, with a report due out in coming weeks.

Premier Taxis, based on Lytham Road, South Shore, which has a fleet of more than 100 electric vehicles, also operates charging points which are for use by their drivers.


Blackpool hotel for sale that comes with a lounge bar, 23 en-suite rooms and a restaurant

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

The property is being sold by Fleurets


The central Blackpool hotels are on the market for £325,000
The central Blackpool hotels are on the market for £325,000

The opportunity to buy a Blackpool hotel located close to the promenade and North Pier is up for grabs after the hotel recently went on the market.

The Hayward and Newbury hotels on Dickson Road in Blackpool hosts 23 en-suite letting rooms and sleeps 66 people.

The two hotels are inter-connected and has three storeys, as well as pitched roofs with dormer windows creating a fourth storey. It also has a lounge bar, restaurant and an equipped catering kitchen.

The hotel is being sold by Fleurets and is on the market for £325,000.

The properties have easy access to some of Blackpool’s biggest attractions such as the Blackpool Tower, Madame Tussauds and Blackpool Pleasure Beach which is something sure to entertain prospective guests.

The description reads: “Two hotels, which are inter-connected. A mid-terraced property on 3 storeys, mainly brick elevations with part rendered and painted to the ground floor. Pitched roofs with dormer windows creating a fourth storey. Single storey flat roof rear addition. Patio gardens run along the front elevation. At the rear there is a small yard and 2 potential private parking spaces.”

The clients looking to sell the properties bought them in February 2019 and ‘started trading immediately’. The business is run as a traditional bed & breakfast with no evening meals. The bar is open from 6pm – 11pm, but longer during busy weekends in the summer.

They currently do not allow stag or hen parties but are open to a mixed clientele of single people, families and couples.

Flurets also added: “Our clients have chosen to mainly operate the business themselves. However, with the size of the restaurant potentially catering for 58 covers and with this being on a busy high street location there is potential for an owner to open the restaurant as another income source.”

Take a look at these pictures to see what you can do with the hotel, you could be Blackpool’s next best hotelier.


Blackpool hotel holiday horror leaves man vowing to never return again

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

The man claims the hotel was ‘dirty’, ‘smelt like wet damp dog’ and other guests were having ‘parties’ until 9am the following morning


Norbreck Castle Hotel in Blackpool
Norbreck Castle Hotel in Blackpool (Image: Google)

A man has vowed never to return to Blackpool again after a horror stay at a hotel.

He visited the seaside resort on August 13 and booked to stay at Norbreck Castle Hotel, on Queen’s Promenade.

However, he says his overnight stay has ‘ruined’ Blackpool for him and insists he will never return.

He has complained about cleanliness of the rooms as well as disturbance made by other guests he claims were having ‘parties’ until 9am the following morning.

The man, who was travelling with family, attempted to obtain a refund when he claims he was told ‘not to bother contacting head office’ by a staff member.

He took to TripAdvisor to share his experience.

Under a one star view, he wrote: “Firstly the whole hotel smells like wet damp old dog.

“The room was dirty and smelt of cannabis there where parties going on in more than one room next door [until] 9am the next morning despite complaining over ten times we wasn’t moved and nobody did anything about the other guest making noise and taking drugs all night.

“After weeks of trying to get a refund I was emailed by the delightful Joanne guest senior manager with the rudest reply [I’ve] ever received in my life (basically calling me a liar and there was no complaints made the night of are stay on the 14th of August 2021).

“Firstly, that’s a lie. Secondly, [our] stay was the 13th so wrong again and then she emailed to say that she didn’t want me to contact her again regarding the issue and to not bother contacting head office.

“I urge people especially family’s to avoid this horrible place. I will never go back to Blackpool again as this hotel has ruined it for me I will loose the money but I will make sure people are aware of this terrible hotel and it’s service.”

Norbreck Castle Hotel is owned by Britannia. They did not respond to a request for comment.

The hotel has been the centre of a number of negative stories over the summer with people spending sums of money and ultimately not enjoying their experience.

Scott Benton MP for Blackpool South, urged hotels to get behind an opt-in accreditation scheme put in place by VisitBlackpool.

Speaking to LancsLive, he said: “Unfortunately there are a number of providers which continue to let Blackpool down which doesn’t just reflect poorly on those hotels and chains but on the resort as a whole.”

“I would plead with them to take every step they possibly can to invest in these hotels.”

Director of Stay Blackpool, Ian White, told LancsLive that the “never ending stream” of “hotel from hell” experiences is down to a number of things including misrepresentation online to having no compulsory accreditation scheme.



Lytham bar Capri to pay almost £20,000 over gas leak threat and dirty kitchen

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

CCM Bar Company, which trades as Capri in Lytham, pleaded guilty to 11 breaches of EU Hygiene Regulations including dirty kitchen appliances, packaging cooked and raw meat on the same machine, and potential gas leaks


Capri in Lytham
Capri in Lytham (Image: Google)

A Lytham bar has been ordered to pay almost £20,000 after admitting to a raft of hygiene regulations including a potential gas leak.

CCM Bar Company, which trades as Capri in Lythaminitially pleaded not guilty to a total of 11 charges concerning non-compliance with EU Hygiene Regulations.

Preparations were under way to take the matter to trial only for Capri to U-turn and change its plea to guilty for all charges.

The charges were filed against Capri after an environmental health visit from Fylde Borough Council on April 24, 2019.

At the Dicconson Terrace venue, officers found general dirt and debris in a chest freezer in the dry store area, as well as an accumulation of brown debris, dust and black dirt.

They also said Capri was vacuum packing cooked and raw foods on the same machine despite the machine having a label explicitly saying it was for ‘raw meat only’.

A white food mixer in the kitchen was also encrusted with food debris, spillages and splashes, brown grease and black dirt.

When the staff toilet was checked it was blocked, dirty and out of service.

Back in the kitchen, food had been decanted into plastic containers but without the original labelling transferred over. Individual frozen portions of fish were also no labelled in the freezer.

In the cellar, CO2 cylinders – some empty and some full – were stood up and not secured. The prosecution said that if any connected cylinder were to fall over and become disconnected, it could cause a leak and a build-up of gas in the cellar.

Capri was fined £13,500 at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court on September 28. This included a 25% reduction for the guilty plea.

It was also ordered to pay costs of £5,854 and a victim surcharge of £5,854.



Blackpool teenager slapped with fine for parking at cinema to watch Marvel film

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

Eliska’s car had been in the car park 29 minutes longer than the stay duration of three hours.


19-year-old Eliska Opiolova was fined for staying longer than three hour stay duration at Blackpool Odeon cinema
19-year-old Eliska Opiolova was fined for staying longer than three hour stay duration at Blackpool Odeon cinema (Image: Eliska Opiolova)

A teenager has been fined after parking her car in a cinema car park too long whilst watching the new Marvel film.

19-year-old Eliska Opiolova, who is a bartender and also studying Equine Care, went to visit Blackpool’s Odeon cinema on Monday September 27 to see Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

The film lasts two hours and twelve minutes not taking into account time to buy tickets and the preceding trailers.

Eliska didn’t think twice about parking as every time she has been to the cinema before, parking as free.

She told LancsLive: “I parked directly in front of the cinema where there is free parking. I’ve been to that cinema multiple times and never had a charge until that day.

“I didn’t know there was a limit, after all it’s a cinema and the films can be pretty long so it’s confusing that there’s a parking limit.”

Yesterday (October 6) she received a letter instructing her to pay the amount of £60 because she had exceeded the maximum stay limit of three hours.

Eliska’s car had been in the car park 29 minutes longer than the stay duration.

The letter Eliska Opiolova received yesterday (October 6) informing her that if she doesn't pay in 14 days, the fine will go up to £100
The letter Eliska Opiolova received yesterday (October 6) informing her that if she doesn’t pay in 14 days, the fine will go up to £100 (Image: Eliska Opiolova)

The student must now pay the fine promptly, within 14 days of October 4, otherwise the amount will go up to £100.

The letter also stated that the signage on the private land is clearly set out.

After Eliska posted on social media to ask help, some Facebook users had also been caught out by the rules whilst others were already aware.

One person posted: “I went to see the new James Bond Film which is 2 hours 43 minutes long at the Odeon, Rigby Road and had not noticed about the parking charges but the cinema attendant was nice enough to point out I had to register my car and he asked all the other people who were around us at the time if they had registered their cars.”

Blackpool Odeon Cinema on Rigby Road
Blackpool Odeon Cinema on Rigby Road (Image: Rigby Road)

Another said: “I contacted the cinema for the same issue and they said because there’s signs up then its not their problem. Felt a little bit like the Odeon and the parking company might have been working together.”

One visitor was already aware however and added: “There is a machine inside the cinema where you can enter your registration which gives you up to 5 hours . It is near ice cream, I know this does not help you but may help others and you in the future.”

Eliska has now appealed and sent off a photo of her bank statement.

She added: “I think it’s time it was addressed because so many people replied to my post and said it happened to them.”

Odeon Cinemas has clarified that is it not responsible for any of the car parking charges as this is on private land.

LancsLive has approached car park management services Care Parking for comment but they did not respond in time for publication.



Blackpool Lightpool Festival 2021: Best walking route, live show dates and times, and where to park

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

The stunning light festival returns with 16 days of free shows and art installations


Blackpool Lightpool Festival
An installation at the Blackpool Lightpool Festival (Image: Andy Torkington)

The Blackpool Lightpool festival is back and it’s bigger and better than ever for 2021.

From October 15 to 30, a whopping 16 new installations will wow visitors to the seaside town, keen to immerse themselves in artistic light installations and shows – alongside the illuminations already shining bright.

To enjoy the event at its best, most stunning potential, it is recommend to walk through the installations, where possible.

From the best route to take to where to park up before you walk the lights, we’ve put together a handy guide for people planning a visit to Blackpool in October.

What is the best route to walk?

Lumidogs at the Blackpool Lightpool Festival
Lumidogs at the Blackpool Lightpool Festival (Image: Blackpool Lightpool Festival)

We suggest you start at either Springfield Road, close to Blackpool North train station and make your way down to Bickerstaffe Square, or the same route in reverse, if you prefer.

The full route is approximately four-miles long and will take in all installations at locations including Blackpool Central Promenade, Blackpool Tower, Grundy Art Gallery, Tower Festival Headland, the Comedy Carpet, Winter Gardens and St John’s Church.

It should take around an hour and a half in total to walk to every area of the event, so allow plenty more time on top of that to enjoy each installation once you get there – just think of your step count!

Please be aware that some installations, such as one-off shows and those involving live performances will be limited to set times and dates.

Here’s a route suggestion you could take on your visit to the festival, if you are keen to seethe ART TRAIL installations, which run from Monday, October 18 to Saturday, October 30, 6pm-10pm:

Stop one: The Old Electric Springfield Road – 100 Local Lanterns created and crafted in a series of workshops will be on display in The Old Electric, forming a community exhibition.

Stop two: Abingdon Street – the Big Bird sculpture is new for this year’s light-fest.

Stop three: St John’s Church – Watch as the church is reclaimed by nature . in a large-scale projection.

Stop four: Grundy Art Gallery – check out exterior projection, the Blackpool Light of My Life.

Stop five: Winter Gardens – you’ll find a number of installations here, including And Then I Slipped, Power The Tower, 500 at

Pavilion Theatre.

Stop six: Houndshill Shopping Centre – The White Tiger roars into Blackpool.

Stop seven: Comedy Carpet -Tower Projectionsget 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.

Stop eight: Tower Festival Headland/Blackpool Tower – Walk through the Spiro light tunnel and you can also experience Aqualux,co-friendly light feature and there will also be an illuminated truck on selected days

Stop nine: Adelaide Street West -Stop and wonder at Lasertonic, which uses sound and colour to transform its surroundings.

Stop 10: Central Promenade – multi-sensory display House of Cards,

Stop 11: Bickerstaffe Square – stroll through the Digital Playground, complete with oversized robotic flowers as you move around.

For more information and the full Lightpool programme for 2021, click here.

Blackpool Lightpool Festival 2021
Blackpool Lightpool Festival 2021 (Image: Gregg-Wolstenholme)

What live performances are there to see?

Besides the art trail, there’s a plethora of live action shows and experiences to soak in during the festival’s 166-day programme.

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.

Blackpool Lightpool Carnival of Light tunnel
Blackpool Lightpool Carnival of Light 2019

Where is best to park?

There will be limited parking along the seafront.

Visitors are urged to use the park and ride facility at Blackpool Airport, which is also open at weekends and peak times.

Find out more parking options here.

Nixies of Oakpool at the Blackpool Lightpool Festival
Nixies of Oakpool at the Blackpool Lightpool Festival (Image: Blackpool Lightpool Festival)

Are there public toilets?

There’s a number of pay-to-enter toilets.

This includes between Festival House and the Information Centre at the North Pier, Central Car Park, Bispham tram stop and on the South Shore near the Solaris Building.

Shoppers can use lavatories at Houndshill Shopping Centre food court, marks and Spencer and the Winter gardens complex