Lightpool Festival 2021: Here’s all you need to know about the Illuminated Tram Parade with international theatre street artists Spark! tomorrow night including times and road closures

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For one night only, visitors will be able to watch headline LED drummers Spark!, a unique and thrilling show that combines high-impact drumming, superb choreography and stunning lighting design, along with the illuminated tramcar parade featuring the battleship HMS Blackpool, the Fisherman’s Friend Trawler and the lottery funded Great Western Train

 

Spark! at the Illuminated Tram Parade at Lightpool Festival 2021
Pictures Martin Bostock

Spark! at the Illuminated Tram Parade at Lightpool Festival 2021 Pictures Martin Bostock

Back by popular demand, the Illuminated Tram Parade as part of Lightpool Festival returns on Wednesday October 27

What can visitors expect to see at the Illuminated Tram Parade?

Illuminated giant puppets, Lumidogs, magical lanterns and performers will also be joining the parade, adding a wow factor and showcasing content never seen before by audiences in Blackpool.

The parade will leave from Central Pier at around 5.30pm. Pictures Martin Bostock

The parade will leave from Central Pier at around 5.30pm. Pictures Martin Bostock

Lightpool Festival 2021 world-class art Installations illuminate Blackpool – tak…

The parade will visibly slow as it approaches The Blackpool Tower to give spectators an unmissable photo and video opportunity.

Is the parade free to watch?

The two-weeks of Lightpool Festival until October 30 are free to members of the public

The parade will leave from Central Pier at around 5.30pm. Pictures Martin Bostock

The parade will leave from Central Pier at around 5.30pm. Pictures Martin Bostock

What else is there to see as part of Lightpool Festival?

If you’re venturing around the Tower Headland be sure to experience the House of Cards exhibition, Aqualux and stay for the Tower Projections and light art trail after the parade.

What time does the parade start?

The parade will leave from Central Pier at around 5.30pm. The trams should leave for the tour from the Pleasure Beach stop at 5.15pm and should meet the other elements of the parade at Central Pier at 5.30pm, and then process to the Headland and pause for a picture and then the trams will depart for the rest of the tour.

Will there be any road closures?

There will be a road closure in place for this event: The Promenade will be closed to traffic from Chapel Street to Talbot Square in both directions from 4.30pm to 7.30pm

 

 

 

Urgent appeal to help find Derek Turner who is missing from Blackpool

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Police are appealing for help in finding Derek Turner who has gone missing from Blackpool.

 

Derek Turner has been reported as missing from Blackpoool

Derek Turner has been reported as missing from Blackpoool

The 66-year-old from Nottingham was last seen at around 6.20pm last night (Monday, October 25) walking on Blackpool promenade close to the comedy carpet.

Derek is described as 5ft 8in tall, of medium build with balding grey hair, a grey moustache and grey stubble. He also wears glasses.

He was last seen wearing a long black puffa jacket with a hood, navy Jeans and black trainers. He may also have a grey hat and a tartan scarf with him.

Police say they are growing concerned for Derek’s welfare and would ask for anyone who sees him to get in touch with them.

PC Lucy Knotts of Lancashire Police said: “Derek is visiting Blackpool and got separated from his wife while walking on the promenade.

“We are concerned for Derek’s health and well-being and would urge members of the public to help us with any sighting of him so we can get him back home.”

Anyone with information please contact police on 101 quoting log number 1488 of October 25.

 

 

Sir Cliff Richard performs at Blackpool Opera House: here’s what excited fans had to say

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Excited fans travelled from all over the country to see Sir Cliff Richard rock the stage at Blackpool Opera House.

 

The world famous pop star brought The Great 80 Tour to Blackpool on Sunday (October 17) – a tour which was due to coincide with Sir Cliff’s 80th birthday.

After being cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic, fans from all over the country were delighted to finally see the now 81-year-old in action at Blackpool Opera House.

For 86-year-old Thelma Bradbury, from Sandbach, it was her second time watching Sir Cliff Richard performing live.

Christine Melling (pictured left) and Thelma Bradbury (pictured right) had travelled from Sandbach to watch Sir Cliff Richard performing live at Blackpool Opera House.

Christine Melling (pictured left) and Thelma Bradbury (pictured right) had travelled from Sandbach to watch Sir Cliff Richard performing live at Blackpool Opera House.

She said: “I’ve been a fan since he first came in, so it’s been many years.

“I last saw him in Manchester, but I’ve watched him a lot on the TV performing at the Palladium.

When asked what song she wanted him to play, she added: “I like all of his music to be honest, I really do.”

John, 71, and Jeanette Sigley, 70, had travelled from Macclesfield to experience one of Cliff’s shows for the first time.

John, 71, and Jeanette Sigley, 70, had travelled from Macclesfield to experience one of Cliff's shows for the first time.

John, 71, and Jeanette Sigley, 70, had travelled from Macclesfield to experience one of Cliff’s shows for the first time.

“We’ve been fans for years,” Jeanette said.

“We should have come last year but it was cancelled so we’re really looking forward to it.

“I’m hoping he plays a rock and roll song like Move It, Living Doll, Summer Holiday and one off his new album.”

Blackpool Pleasure Beach ranks among Britain’s most popular ‘haunted tourist att…
Jim and Jill Noakes, from Leigh-on-Sea, said they been fans since the 50s and have seen Sir Cliff Richard perform nearly every year.

Jim and Jill Noakes, from Leigh-on-Sea, said they been fans since the 50s and have seen Sir Cliff Richard perform nearly every year.

Sir Cliff has enjoyed 14 UK Number 1 singles such as 1959’s Living Doll, 1961’s The Young Ones, 1979’s We Don’t Talk Anymore, 1988’s Mistletoe and Wine and 1990’s Saviour’s Day.

Selling over 250 million albums worldwide, he is also the only singer to have had a Number 1 single in the UK in five consecutive decades.

Sir Cliff will perform 13 shows in total for The Great 80 Tour, including four sold out shows at Royal Albert Hall.

Speaking about the tour, he said: “To have the opportunity to reach an even wider audience in cinemas, and especially for those international fans still unable to travel to the tour venues, is a little nerve wracking, but hugely exciting!

Susan Clark, from Cumbria, and Janet Cushing, from Preston, said they have been fans of Sir Cliff Richard since they were very young.

Susan Clark, from Cumbria, and Janet Cushing, from Preston, said they have been fans of Sir Cliff Richard since they were very young.

“I shall begin the tour aged 80 and will be 81 when the show is in cinemas – what a great way to celebrate.”

 

 

Neil Critchley: Unbelievable Blackpool fans get louder and louder

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Neil Critchley admits he’s running out of superlatives to describe Blackpool’s incredible support.

 

The Bloomfield Road atmosphere went up another notch on Saturday as the Seasiders claimed the derby spoils with a 2-0 win against Preston North End.

The victory, Blackpool’s first home win against PNE since 1997, was played in front of a cauldron of noise from the stands.

There were also memorable scenes come the final whistle as Critchley and his players celebrated in front of the North Stand.

The Blackpool fans roared their heroes to victory at Bloomfield Road on Saturday

The Blackpool fans roared their heroes to victory at Bloomfield Road on Saturday

“It’s amazing, absolutely unbelievable. I’m running out of superlatives to use,” Blackpool’s head coach said.

“Even before the game, it was a carnival and a party atmosphere from 2.30pm onwards – it was unbelievable.

“It just gets louder and louder and they get behind the team.

“They’re just a special group of supporters.

“I’m just privileged to stand here and sometimes I look at them and think, ‘I wouldn’t mind being in there with you’.

“I watch and it’s sort of mesmerising a little bit. I have to concentrate on the game.”

Given the noise created by the tangerine faithful, it’s no wonder Blackpool have won their last three games at Bloomfield Road and four of their last five.

After a slow start on home turf – when they were beaten by Cardiff City, Coventry City and Huddersfield Town – the Seasiders are beginning to make their home ground a fortress once again.

“We did that last season as well,” Critchley added.

“We didn’t have the current group together either at that point, so you could see what we were trying to find but we weren’t quite there. But we’ve improved since.

“If we can keep improving, we’ve shown we can give anyone a game, especially here at home.

“It’s a fantastic result, a fantastic three points, but we keep our feet on the ground and we’ve got Sheffield United away next week.”

Saturday’s win, Pool’s sixth from their last nine games, elevated Critchley’s side up to 11th place in the table.

Amazingly, the Seasiders are also level on points with fifth-placed Luton Town among the seven clubs on 21 points.

“We’re in good form, we’re playing well,” Critchley said.

“Since the first international break, we’ve won a lot of games but I think we’ll get better.

“I’m encouraged by what I’m seeing and by the players’ character, resilience and their ability to listen and learn. They will improve

“We weren’t quite at our best against an in-form Nottingham Forest (losing the previous Saturday 2-1), but we lost and we’ve bounced back with two really good wins. Long may it continue.”

 

 

Blackpool becomes popular music video filming location in 2021

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Red Rum Club, The Lathums and Saint Etienne all recently filmed at the resort

 

Blackpool is becoming a popular filming location for pop videos. The diversity and razzle-dazzle of the golden mile is increasingly capturing the imaginations of bands, and giving local artists a post-Covid platform.

After landing a record deal, The Lathums came for a day trip from Wigan to film their new single, I’ll Get By. The video is a celebration of northern working class culture, from drab red-brick townhouses to larking about at the arcades.

“The video has an upbeat everyman quality,” says James Slater, videographer. “It’s about happy times. The lads remember being transfixed by the illuminations, and entertained on the pier as kids.”

The Lathums filmed a video for their new single "I'll Get By" on the Comedy Carpet, using local dancers and performers

The Lathums filmed a video for their new single “I’ll Get By” on the Comedy Carpet, using local dancers and performers

James, originally from Bradford, puts the resort’s rising popularity down to its character and diversity. He says: “It’s iconic. Anyone from the north will have fond memories of a holiday or day trip to Blackpool.”

With Red Rum Club and The Killers both also using the Golden Mile as a filming location, an ever-growing roster of acts are putting us firmly on the map of musical significance.

London’s Saint Etienne realised their long-standing ambition to film the illuminations in their new film, ‘I’ve been trying to tell you’. Vocalist, Sarah Cracknell, says: “My best friend lives by the Norbreck Castle hotel. She took me to see the illuminations a few times, once while standing up in the car with our heads poking through the sunroof.”

Having just released their 10th album, the electro-indie trio last played at the Empress Ballroom with Bjork in 1994. The trippiness of the lights really compliments the mellow shoe gazing sound in the video, which is a million miles away from the brash youthful antics of The Lathums. For the Wigan four-piece, the association with variety performance is part of the town’s appeal.

“The video is all about making those connections with the people and local culture,” says James. With the local economy largely reliant on tourism, the band were conscious of the unique challenges affecting the town during Covid.

Scenes from the I’ll Get By video were filmed on the Comedy Carpet using local artists who were unable to work or rehearse during lockdown. Ryan Durrans, drummer, says: “As artists, we’ve all been held back in some way, so it’s great to be in a position to help local talent.”

The scene features a Funny Girls performer, an Elvis impersonator, and an amateur ballroom dancing group from Lytham St Annes. The band had previously done a live-stream concert from Blackpool Tower Circus during lockdown, which included interludes with the in-house slapstick duo, Mooky and Mr Boo.

Ryan says: “It was just an honour playing at the circus, it’s such an iconic place and to be the new band doing that kind of thing is monumental.”

In 2012, The Killers shot the video for their hit single Here With Me at Blackpool Tower. The Dungeons proved a great backdrop for the dark fairytale-esque work, directed by Tim Burton.

Kenny Mew, general manager at the Tower, says: “It is fantastic to see Blackpool taking centre stage, becoming the perfect setting for music videos! It’s no secret why, there really is nowhere else quite like it!”

The Lathums are playing at Blackpool’s Empress Ballroom on April 9.

 

 

Blackpool derby hero Gary Madine feared career was over during injury nightmare

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Derby day hero Gary Madine has thanked the medical team at Blackpool for helping him get match fit.

 

The striker scored his first goal in nine months on Saturday as Blackpool recorded a 2-0 win against Preston North End at Bloomfield Road.

Madine has endured an injury-plagued 2021 with a groin injury, which required surgery during the summer.

Gary Madine is congratulated by team boss Neil Critchley after Saturday's derby win

Gary Madine is congratulated by team boss Neil Critchley after Saturday’s derby win

The former Cardiff City and Sheffield Wednesday man revealed he was close to calling it a day at one point.

Madine said: “I’m buzzing. I’m buzzing for the gaffer (Neil Critchley), buzzing for the fans and the lads because we worked so hard.

“I think that’s us joint-fifth now and on another note, I’d like to thank the medical team because I’ve had a tough year injury-wise.

“I had an operation but they’ve kept me going and they’ve managed to get me back playing when I thought I was close to not being able to get back, so I’m grateful to the doctor, the physio and the surgeon.”

Madine was first sidelined at the end of January, and though his groin injury wasn’t thought to be serious at first, he didn’t return until the final game of the regular season against Bristol Rovers.

Having gone under the knife after Blackpool’s play-off final win, when he appeared off the bench, Madine didn’t make his first appearance this season until mid-September.

“It was horrible,” Madine said of his injury lay-off.

“I was going for scans all the time. I was thinking I was getting back fit and then I’d hurt it again, I’d have another setback, I’d see the surgeon again. It was never-ending.

“Even now, it was hurting a couple of days ago, but I’m grateful to the medical team for giving me the right treatment and right rehab programme.”

Blackpool’s supporters were understandably frustrated by the length of time it was taking Madine to get back to fitness during the second half of last season.

It even resulted in rumours circulating that the forward had fallen out with Neil Critchley and was in dispute with the club over his contract.

Responding to those claims, Madine concluded: “I pulled the media team one day and asked if they could interview me because apparently I’d had a bust-up with the gaffer!

“That was so far from the truth. I’ve got too much respect for the man to fall out with him so it was definitely a groin injury.

“I’ve got the scar there to prove it, although you probably don’t want to see that.”

 

 

Could teddy bear have caused blaze at Harts Amusements in Bispham?

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A teddy bear and fellow soft toys kept in a window storage cupboard have been named as possible ‘culprits’ after a blaze at Harts Amusements in Bispham on Sunday  morning.

 

Four fire engines from the nearby Bispham station, Blackpool and South Shore were called to the scene shortly after 10.25am as staff saw smoke and flames coming out of the cupboard.

Firefighters equipped with two breathing apparatus used one hose reel to extinguish the flames.

Although there were no customers in the amusements at the time, several residents staying in the Queens Mansions holiday apartments above the premises had to be evacuated.

One of the teddy bears in the blaze at Harts Amusements in Bispham

One of the teddy bears in the blaze at Harts Amusements in Bispham

An investigation is still under way to confirm the exact cause of the fire but Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service has ruled out any suspicious circumstances.

However, Harts manager Jordan Matthews says a discussion with a fire investigation team on Monday raised the possibility that “excessive heat” from a teddy bear and smaller toys may have caused an unexpected combustion in the cupboard, leading to the fire.

He said: “There are two non-power leads in the cupboard but they have not been touched by the fire.

The charred toys recovered from the window cupboard

The charred toys recovered from the window cupboard

“The only thing in the cupboard was the group of prize toys, including a larger teddy bear, and a small number of sweets, which have all been charred.

“The window has not been damaged – the only area affected by the fire in the arcade was the area where where the toys were.”

He said staff had initially used 11 fire extinguishers kept on the premises to douse the flames before firefighters arrived to extinguish the blaze, which was contained within the cupboard.

Mr Matthews added: “I’m sure that our efforts to control the fire in those opening minutes helped prevent it spreading, which shows how important it is to have fire safety equipment at hand and to know how to use it.”

Firefighters at Harts Amusements

Firefighters at Harts Amusements

He praised the staff at Harts for their quick-thinking and those at Queens Mansions for helping the holidaymakers, including two older people, down safely.

They were given free hot drinks at the Cafe Royal across the road, on Red Bank Road.

The amusements hall was able to reopen relatively quickly, at around 1pm.

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Serviced was asked about the possibility that the toys may have somehow ignited and caused the fire.

A spokesman said: “We can confirm that the fire not started deliberately.

“An investigation into the cause of the fire is still on-going.”

 

 

The staggering stats that show how rarely ‘tinkerman’ Neil Critchley names an unchanged side for Blackpool

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The phrase “you never change a winning team” is trotted out by fans and managers up and down the country on a weekly basis.

 

But has Blackpool boss Neil Critchley proven it’s a load of clichéd nonsense?

Pool’s head coach has developed a reputation of being something of a tinkerman, regularly changing his starting line-up regardless of what form his side are in.

As he has stated on a number of occasions, Critchley will pick the best team to beat the opponent on any given day.

If that means making two or three changes to a side that might have won 3-0 in its previous outing, then so be it.

Different opponents throw up different challenges, after all.

Just because 4-2-3-1 worked to get a result away at Reading last week, for example, doesn’t mean it will be just as effective for the next game against Preston North End.

Neil 'tinkerman' Critchley has built a reputation for making changes to his Blackpool side

Neil ‘tinkerman’ Critchley has built a reputation for making changes to his Blackpool side

Indeed, Critchley and his staff opted to revert back to 4-4-2, bringing Gary Madine back into the fold for his experience, know-how and physical attributes in both boxes.

Sonny Carey was unfortunate to drop down to the bench after producing a Man of the Match display against Reading, but the change paid dividends, the Seasiders running out deserved 2-0 winners against their fierce rivals with Madine grabbing the second goal.

Of course, there will be times when Critchley is forced into making changes. That’s often been the case with injuries being a recurring theme of his tenure at Bloomfield Road.

Looking back to last season, suspensions also played their part – especially at the beginning of the campaign – while Covid also took its toll.

Ahead of every game, as part of my pre-match previews, I take a stab and predict what side I think Critchley might put out. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve guessed correctly.

To see just how much of a tinkerman Critchley is, The Gazette has taken a look back at the 65 league games he’s taken charge of and worked out how many times he’s named an unchanged side.

The results are staggering.

We’ve disregarded cup games, as the Seasiders often make wholesale changes and look to hand minutes to some of their fringe players for these encounters.

Beginning with the 2019/20 campaign, Critchley only took charge of two fixtures as the season was curtailed early due to Covid.

But Blackpool’s boss still made one change to the side that drew 0-0 away to Fylde coast neighbours Fleetwood Town for his second game in charge, the 2-1 defeat to Tranmere Rovers.

But it’s the next season, Blackpool’s promotion-winning campaign in League One, that throws up the most remarkable of stats.

Taking into account Pool’s play-off run, Critchley oversaw 49 league games last season. But on just three occasions did he name an unchanged team.

After beating Swindon Town at home in August, Critchley named the same 11 for the following game, the trip to Gillingham which they lost 2-0.

The Seasiders wouldn’t name an unchanged side again until March, when the same side that beat Charlton Athletic 3-0 away from home also took to the field in the following game, the 1-1 draw at home to Crewe Alexandra.

Later that month, Critchley also kept faith with the same team that beat Peterborough United 3-1 at home for the following game against Plymouth Argyle, which they drew 2-2.

Fast forward to this season, Pool have only named an unchanged side on one occasion.

That was for the 1-0 home win against Barnsley, which came off the back of Blackpool’s 2-1 victory against Middlesbrough at the Riverside.

Critchley then made two changes to his side for Pool’s third game in that run, the 1-1 draw away at Hull City.

So in total, Blackpool’s head coach has named an unchanged side in just four of the 65 games he’s taken charge of. In percentage terms, that’s just over 6%.

Feel free to keep us all guessing Critch, it’s clearly working.

2019/20

0 times in 2 games Critchley named an unchanged side

2020/21

3 times in 49 games, including the play-offs, Critchley named an unchanged side

2021/22

Once in 14 games Critchley has named an unchanged side

TOTAL: 4 times in 65 games

 

 

Car ‘gets stuck’ after being ‘driven onto tram tracks’ near Lidl in Cleveleys

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A car reportedly became stranded after it was driven onto the tram tracks in Cleveleys.

 

The car allegedly became stuck on the Anchorsholme Lane tram stop in Kelso Avenue at approximately 2.15pm today (October 19).

Pictures from the scene show the silver car – which appears to have been travelling towards Cleveleys – managed to park away from the tracks and onto the platform.

Blackpool Transport and Lancashire Police have been approached for comment.

The car allegedly became stuck on the Anchorsholme Lane tram stop in Kelso Avenue.

The car allegedly became stuck on the Anchorsholme Lane tram stop in Kelso Avenue.

Pictures from the scene show the silver car managed to park away from the tracks and onto the platform.

Pictures from the scene show the silver car managed to park away from the tracks and onto the platform.

Stunning Blackpool Tower model – made from Lego

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Rob Smith admits he has a bit of a thing for Blackpool Tower – so much so that he spent six weeks making a model of it – out of Lego.

 

Rob Smith's model of Blackpool Tower was a labour of love

Rob Smith’s model of Blackpool Tower was a labour of love

Rob, 36, a health worker who lives in Wootton, Northamptonshire, worked nearly every day on the project until he completed it.

Not content with constructing the three-and-half ft tall model of the tower itself, he has also created a mini-tram track around it and included some of the giant black tulips on Blackpool prom.

His tower, constructed from around 5,000 red Lego bricks, even comes complete with lights.

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Rob said: “I have visited Blackpool many times, usually when I went to see friends in Preston, and I have some great memories.

“Lots of people make models of the Eiffel Tower – I decided to make one of Blackpool.

“It is a fabulous building, it was built on a grand scale and is one of the most iconic structures in the country.”

Rob says his partner, Ryan, is tolerant of his labour of love – providing it is “kept in a room out of the way”!

The beautifully constructed tower may appear to be finally finished, but Ryan still has further ambitions for it.

“I am thinking of installing a miniature Tower Ballroom inside!” he adds.

 

 

Person rescued from blazing flat by firefighters in Blackpool

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Firefighters rescued a person from a blazing flat in Blackpool this evening.

 

Three crews from Blackpool and South shore attended the incident in Reads Avenue at around 5:45pm.

The casualty was given first aid, including oxygen, by firefighters before being attended to by paramedics.

Man arrested after woman is raped outside BetFred in Fleetwood

Read Avenue, Blackpool.

Read Avenue, Blackpool.

A fire brigade spokesperson said: “Three fire engines attended a domestic building fire on Read Avenue, Blackpool.

“The incident involved a ground-floor flat. One casualty was rescued from the property before receiving first aid from fire service personnel.

“Firefighters used two hose reels, four breathing apparatus, a positive pressure ventilation unit, a first aid kit, and oxygen therapy at this incident.”

The condition of the casualty is not known.

 

 

Blackpool Ride the Lights and firework display are back for winter

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

Two of Blackpool’s most popular events are returning for the festive season

 

Fireworks in Blackpool
Fireworks in Blackpool (Image: Gregg Wolstenholme Photography / VisitBlackpool)

Two of Blackpool’s most popular events are making a return for the festive season for the first time ever.

The annual Ride The Lights event, which usually takes place at the end of August ahead of the Illuminations Switch-On, will happen again later this year.

And for the new year, the resort is hosting a celebratory fireworks display for New Years Eve, taking place late afternoon on December 31.

The Ride The Lights Event gives cyclists of all ages a chance to cycle down a traffic-free promenade beneath the Blackpool Illuminations.

It will start at 4pm in the afternoon and finish at 8pm on December 5.

Those taking part are encouraged to decorate their bikes with colourful lights and lanterns to add to the festivities.

For the new year, the free fireworks display (December 31) will take place from the beach in front of The Blackpool Tower and is set to make a stunning finale to end the year.

The months of November and December are set to see the biggest line-up of Christmas entertainment the resort has seen in years.

Participants at a past 'Ride the lights' events riding a Blackpool Pleasure Beach log flume
Participants at a past ‘Ride the lights’ events riding a Blackpool Pleasure Beach log flume (Image: Visit Blackpool)

It comes after a £1m Council investment to renew the tourism economy in the seaside town.

Alongside the Illuminations, which will remain lit until January 3, Blackpool is also hosting an indoor festive market at the Winter Gardens, a Christmas By The Sea village on the Tower Festival Headland with a free-to-use synthetic skating rink, magic forest, log cabins, snowfalls and themed light projection shows.

The new attractions are accompanied by shows and pantomimes.

For the first time outside of London, the FriendsFestive exhibition will be celebrating the best seasonal moments from the hit TV show, Friends, set to run at the Winter Gardens from November 5 until November 19.

A VisitBlackpool spokesperson said: “We are delighted to be able to announce two more events to add to what is already a fantastic programme of entertainment over the winter period.

“The run-up to Christmas last year was an extremely difficult and challenging one for so many families due to COVID restrictions and lockdowns. This year, we wanted to create two occasions when people can come together and celebrate.

“By staging both events late afternoon, early evening, we hope it will give the whole family an opportunity to come out and enjoy the best of Blackpool.

 

 

Millionaire food firm boss from Blackpool has one GCSE and turned down Dragon’s Den

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

Wayne grew up in a one-bed council flat in Blackpool and received one GCSE throughout his education

 

Wayne Starkey and James Whiting set up The Skinny Food Co
Wayne Starkey and James Whiting set up The Skinny Food Co (Image: The Skinny Food Co)

An entrepreneur from Blackpool who left school with only one GCSE is now running a firm worth £20 million with his city business partner – and has even rejected an offer from Dragon’s Den.

Wayne Starkey has become a millionaire after setting up The Skinny Food Co with James Whiting from Bartley Green, Birmingham.

The company has announced a turnover of £17.2 million for the 2020/21 financial year this month, with that figure expected to rise to £35 million this tax year.

 

Wayne, 42, from Blackpool and 30-year-old James began the business in May 2018 after being inspired to create the range after seeing diabetic family members lose their favourite foods due to a lack of alternatives available, BirminghamLive reports.

The pair invested £3,000 of their own money to begin The Skinny Food Co and in the first 12 months, they sold over a million bottles of their healthy table sauces.

The Skinny Food Co now hosts 225 sauces and syrups, high protein, low sugar snacks, cooking sprays, flavoured coffees and takeaway sauces.

Their products are also stocked in supermarkets across the UK including Morrisons, Co-op, Home Bargains, TK Maxx, SPAR, B&M Bargains and Lidl.

Wayne and James have been invited to present on Dragon’s Den twice, but most recently declined the opportunity last year.

They are determined to have a 350-strong product line by the end of 2021, and to produce 500 products within the next five years.

The pair have twice been invited to present on Dragon’s Den, most recently last year but declined the opportunity.
The pair have twice been invited to present on Dragon’s Den, most recently last year but declined the opportunity. (Image: The Skinny Food Co)

For Wayne and James, the journey has consisted of a lot of hard-work and perseverance.

Wayne grew up in a one-bed council flat in Blackpool and received one GCSE through his education.

James became established at the healthy food delivery service, MuscleFood. But it was a personal tragedy that fuelled his entrepreneurial path after he and his partner’s son was still born in 2014.

James then lost both of his grandparents and his mother in consecutive years.

James said: “The hurt was like nothing I’ve ever experienced. I was working for six or seven different companies at a time, often completing 16-hour days. It acted as coping mechanism for me – it’s how I first met Wayne.”

James was recognised for his drive and determination earlier this year on Forbes’ latest ’30 Under 30’ list.

He said: “I still struggle to switch off and work very long hours, but I’m proud of what we have been able to achieve to date and am excited for the future. It feels good to be making a difference to the lives of others.”

Wayne added: “It’s been truly overwhelming, and we’re excited for what’s to come. We recently announced partnerships with Rugby League’s Wigan Warriors and the EFL’s Nottingham Forest, and as a team are growing week-in, week-out.”

 

 

Mystery surrounds disappearance of pilot at Blackpool Zoo – can you help….?

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Blackpool Zoo has put out an appeal for intrepid investigators to help take part in their new Spookfest event this half term holiday.

Abandoned plane of missing pilot at Blackpool Zoo this half term

Abandoned plane of missing pilot at Blackpool Zoo this half term

The Fylde coast attraction has brought back to life the 1940s aerodrome it once was, and visitors will be challenged to unravel the mystery of the missing pilot.

Della Belk, PR and marketing manager at Blackpool Zoo, said: “Last year’s spookfest was a resounding success with lots of visitors having an amazing time while solving the great mystery of the missing pilot or searching for pretty pumpkins.

“We can’t wait to welcome everyone and have lots of treats up our sleeve, which are sure to delight.”

What’s the story behind the missing pilot at Blackpool Zoo?

The story goes that a newly built aircraft took off from Stanley Park Aerodrome on Thursday 31st October 1940 on its inaugural journey to Squires Gate Airport before tracking of the plane was lost….with the pilot and aircraft never seen or spoken about since…..

Wannabe super sleuths will arrive to find 1940s newspaper cuttings, antiquated bunting, signage from a bygone era and much more, with clues on hand to help solve the ghostly myth.

Blackpool Zoo’s must-see Dinosaur Safari will become an immersive experience with eerie sounds and mysterious lighting…..as well as the pilot’s missing plane nestled in the centre of the lake.

The pilot’s log book will be on hand for visitors to piece together clues which will eventually reveal his location.

For teeny tiny terrors there’s a separate trail which will take them on a poem led walk to mini pumpkin patches where letters will create the location of the final picture-perfect pumpkin – an amazing photo opportunity to mark the occasion.

How long will the mystery pilot trail be running for?

The mystery pilot trail will run until Sunday October 31 with the Pumpkin Patch Trail running right through to Halloween.

Are tickets still available for Blackpool Zoo this half term?

Safety measures are still in place at Blackpool Zoo so pre-booking is recommended. Book your tickets at: https://www.blackpoolzoo.org.uk/

 

 

Blackpool Illuminations extended with lights turned on for longer during half-term

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

The illuminations will stay lit for an extra hour throughout the half-term

 

The Blackpool Illuminations are getting an hour-long extension added at the end of the week as the resort prepares for one of its busiest weeks of the year.

The illuminations will be lit until midnight during the October half-term. The extension begins on Friday (October 22) and will remain in place until a week on Saturday (October 30).

As well as the illuminations, the resort will also be hosting a fourth fireworks event this Saturday (October 23).

The annual Lightpool Festival, that consists of light-based installations, projection shows and live performances, is also running every night until October 30.

A VisitBlackpool spokesperson said: “We are mindful that the resort will be extra-busy during the main October half-term holiday and this extension creates more time for people to enjoy the Illuminations and Lightpool Festival. For the duration of the festival, there are some spectacular additions to the main Illuminations display both on the Promenade and in the town centre including some never seen before in this country.

“We hope that many visitors will take the opportunity to park their cars and view the Illuminations and Lightpool installations and projection shows on foot or by tram.”

Visitors are also advised that part of Central Promenade (between Chapel Street and Talbot Square) will be closed to traffic between 4.30pm and 7pm on Wednesday, October 27

The Central Promenade closure is set to provide a viewing area for the annual Illuminated Tram Parade where visitors will be able to watch the battleship HMS Blackpool, the Fisherman’s Friend Trawler and the lottery-funded Great Western Train travel in convoy accompanied by the Spark! drummers.

The illuminations in all their glory
The illuminations in all their glory (Image: Handout)

There will also be illuminated giant puppets, Lumidogs, magical lanterns and carnival performers throughout the parade.

For those visiting the Illuminations on October 27, VisitBlackpool advise that the temporary road closure will not allow vehicles to drive along the route of the Blackpool Illuminations after 7pm.

For 2021, the Illuminations season has been extended until January 3, 2022.

 

 

 

Dramatic pictures after Blackpool crash sees car crushed and van flipped

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

The collision at the junction of Albert Road and Coronation Street is still causing delays and congestion on Wednesday morning

 

The incident happened at the junction of Albert Road and Coronation Street
The incident happened at the junction of Albert Road and Coronation Street (Image: BplBible/LancsLive)

A woman has been taken to hospital after a dramatic crash in Blackpool involving a car and a van.

Police, fire crews and paramedics were called to the junction of Coronation Street and Albert Road at 10.16pm last night (October 19).

Pictures from the scene show the front of the blue Toyota Aygo crushed, windows smashed and the air bags deployed.

The collision also resulted in the white van flipping onto its side and the destruction of an electrical unit and a traffic light.

Eyewitness reported that the white van was travelling along Coronation Street when it was involved in a collision with the car.

The impact caused the car to flip around before the van hit an electrical junction box and traffic light at the side of the road and then flip onto its side.

A police spokesperson told LancsLive: “It was a two-vehicle RTC involving a van and a Toyota Aygo.

“It came into us at 10.16pm. One woman was taken to hospital.

“Her condition was not described as serious.”

No arrests have been reported.

The incident is still causing problems in the area on Wednesday morning (October 20).

Blackpool Council tweeted: “There has been an accident near the Junction of Albert Road and Coronation Street. Expect delays and congestion this morning.”