Wanted Blackpool sex offender has links to Chorley, North Wales, Manchester and Wigan

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A registered sex offender from Blackpool who was jailed for rape is ‘urgently’ wanted by police for failing to comply with notification requirements.


Stephen Pennington is wanted after breaching a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and notification requirements.

The 33-year-old is a registered sex offender who was jailed for rape in 2009.

He is described as white, 5ft 11 in tall, and of slim build.

Police said his last known address was Gorton Street in Blackpool, but he also has links to Chorley, North Wales, Manchester and Wigan.

Pennington uses the aliases Stephen Johnson, Steve Porter and Stephen Kayzer.

If anyone sees him or has any information about his whereabouts, call 01253 604019 or email mosovowest@lancashire.police.uk.
Have you seen Stephen Pennington? He is wanted after breaching a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and notification requirements (Credit: Lancashire Police)

Have you seen Stephen Pennington? He is wanted after breaching a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and notification requirements (Credit: Lancashire Police)

For any immediate sightings call 999.



Blackpool chippy worker Alex Gibson drowned after getting into trouble in the Irish Sea

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

Alex Gibson died in July after entering the Irish Sea at Blackpool


Alex Gibson worked at C Fresh chippy in Blackpool
Alex Gibson worked at C Fresh chippy in Blackpool

A chip shop worker died by drowning after entering the sea off Blackpool, a pre-inquest review has heard.

Alex Gibson, 22, died after getting into trouble in the Irish Sea in July this year.

Senior Coroner Alan Wilson told the hearing that a full inquest into his death will take place in January.

A review hearing took place in Blackpool today (December 2) and heard that a pathologist had confirmed the medical cause of death as drowning.

However, the question of how Alex came to his death has not yet been fully answered, with family members questioning details such as various timings given during the coroner’s investigation.

Mr Taylor explained to the court that inquests are held in response to unnatural or unexpected deaths and that is why his office had been asked to investigate Alex’s. He said that it’s purpose is to identify who died and where and when they died; to identify the most likely medical cause of death; and to identify how the death came about.

He said a full inquest is likely to be held in January to allow more time to answer the family’s questions. At that hearing, a number of witnesses will be asked to give evidence.

These include Lancashire Constabulary’s senior investigating officer; two of Alex’s friends who had been with him earlier that night; the pathologist who determined the medical cause of death; an RNLI representative; and two people who did not know Alex but saw him in danger and called the police.

Alex worked at C Fresh Fish and Chips in Lytham Road before he passed away, with the shop shutting for the day after hearing about his death.

At the time, it was reported that Alex had entered the sea to save another person in difficulty. The full inquest will determine whether this was the case.

In a tribute, the business posted: “Alex was truly an amazing young man. All his friends would agree that he was intelligent, hardworking, pleasant, caring , and literally wouldn’t hurt a fly. He is a true hero, drowned sacrificing his life to help another. He was loved by all his work colleagues, and we miss him terribly. Tragically taken at 22. My heart goes out to all his family.”

A GoFundMe page was created by Blackpool pub boss Hamish Howitt to raise funds for Alex’s family and help pay for funeral costs.

Hamish wrote: “The beautiful Alex Gibson, 22, a true hero sacrificed his life last night in Blackpool, rescuing a boy from the sea. A beautiful, caring, loving, son, brother and friend to all who knew him. Please help by donating for a beautiful send off for a true hero. First £500 will be donated by our family. God bless to all.”

To date, more than £6,300 has been raised.



Driver sends revellers flying in rampage at Blackpool North Pier

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Adam Clarke sped off at 110mph down the promenade as police tried to catch up with him


PRIDE IN PICTURES North Pier in Blackpool, Lancashire. Photo by James Maloney/LancsLive

A driver ploughed into innocent bystanders and sent revellers running for refuge in a drug-fuelled rampage at Blackpool’s North Pier.

Adam Clarke, 30, has been jailed for six years and four months after using a rented Peugeot to injure and terrorise members of the public who stepped when he was attacking his girlfriend.

One woman suffered a broken heel and hand when she was flung over the bonnet of the car at 4.30am on July 24 2021.

Another woman was pinned against metal railings by the vehicle, causing cuts and bruises. The railings collapsed, taking the brunt of the impact and preventing more serious injury to the woman, Preston Crown Court heard.

He then used the car to “stalk and terrorise” the group before speeding away from the police at speeds of 110mph on the promenade – a 30mph zone.

Damian Nolan, prosecuting, told Preston Crown Court Clarke and his girlfriend Gemma Maddox had hired the Peugeot to travel from Manchester to Blackpool on the weekend on July 23.

At around 4.30am they were in the Chaos nightclub when Clarke became irate at the length of time his girlfriend had taken visiting the toilet.

A row between them spilled onto the street, and Clarke called his partner a slag and a fat bitch, accusing her of talking to other men.

Clarke got into the hire car, which was parked nearby and was seen driving erratically in the area.

He pulled up next to his girlfriend, grabbed her by the hair and pulled her to the ground, causing a cut to her knee and tearing her tracksuit bottoms.

Members of the public intervened but Clarke punched one woman in the face.

A group of men saw what was happening and tried to calm Clarke down, but the defendant ran at the aggressively before telling them; “I’ll get my strap (firearm)” and returning to the car.

The group walked away towards North Pier, but Clarke got back in the vehicle and pulled a U-turn before mounting the kerb and speeding directly towards them.

Kimberley Butterworth was struck by the car and was thrown over the bonnet before falling on the pavement. Emma Morris was also struck by the vehicle which pinned her against metal railings.

As people rushed to help the women, Clarke reversed and drove around the area in an erratic manner.

“It is clear you used the vehicle indiscriminately to terrorise those at the scene”, said Judge Robert Altham, the Honorary Recorder of Preston, sentencing.

Clarke returned to the scene and tried to pursue one of the men who had been involved in the earlier altercation.

“You were only unable to reach him because the turning circle of the car did not allow you to do so”, Judge Altham said.

Members of the public took refuge behind portable toilets and street furniture to try and protect themselves from Clarke’s rampage.

“People on the street were terrified”, the judge said. “You were in that same area deliberately stalking and terrorising the people you had injured and the people who were present when you injured them.”

The police arrived and followed Clarke as he tore down the promenade. The street was busy with revellers spilling out of bars and clubs and traffic using the road, the court heard.

Police officers recorded speeds of 106mph on their onboard equipment, but were unable to catch up with Clarke.

He abandoned the vehicle in Greystoke Place and was arrested in Starbeck Avenue.

A saliva test revealed traces of cocaine and cannabis in Clarke’s system. He told officers: “I know what I’ve done. Karma. Karma is what I’ve done.”

In his interview he admitted he was heavily intoxicated and did not remember much of what had happened.

He pleaded guilty to GBH with intent, attempted GBH with intent, assault by beating and dangerous driving.

As a result of the collision Kimberley Butterworth had to undergo surgery under general anaesthetic for her injuries. She also had to ask a family member to move into her home to help her care for her children.

Mr Nolan said Clarke has a number of previous convictions for violence including offences against a former partner and against two female members of his own family.

Ricky Holland, defending, said Clarke showed “genuine contrition and remorse” for what he had done. He had a difficult upbringing and had been involved in gangs and violence.

He said if there was to be a Eureka moment, this would be it.

Passing sentence, Judge Altham said: “Even within the category of highly dangerous weapons, a car driven in this way is particularly troubling. It has the capacity of causing death or serious injury to multiple people.

“I also note that although you didn’t have a forearm, there was a threat of a firearm used. You were fortunate that Kimberley Butterworth fell from the bonnet and did not sustain grave injuries. You were fortunate that the barrier collapsed, mitiating the injuries to Emma Morris.

“The assault in relation to your former girlfriend was degrading, given the language that was used.

“This is a serious case, given the speed, the use of the car to terrorise already injured and already terrorised people, and teh fact that you were heavily intoxicated.”

He sentenced Clarke, of Arnfield Road, Stockport, to five years and four months for the GBH on Kimberley Butterworth, four years to run concurrently for the attempted GBH of Emma Morris, two months to run consecutively for the assault by beating of Gemma Maddox and Rebecca Butterworth, and 10 months consecutive for dangerous driving.

Clarke was also disqualified from driving for seven years and one month.



Netflix releases trailer for Blackpool-filmed Harlan Coben thriller Stay Close starring Cush Jumbo, James Nesbitt, Richard Armitage and Sarah Parish

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The trailer for Stay Close, the Netflix thriller partly filmed in Blackpool, has been released – and it’s racked up over 120,000 views on YouTube already.


Scenes from the Stay Close trailer, which was released ahead of the serie's debut on New Year's Eve (Picture: Netflix/Red)

Scenes from the Stay Close trailer, which was released ahead of the serie’s debut on New Year’s Eve (Picture: Netflix/Red)

The show, from Harlan Coben (The Stranger, Safe, The Five), will be released on the video streaming service on New Year’s Eve, with tele fans given a preview ahead of the big date.

Starring Cush Jumbo, James Nesbitt, Richard Armitage, and Sarah Parish, Stay Close tells the tale of “four people, dark secrets, and a past that threatens their lives”.

Film crews shot scenes for the eight-part show in the resort earlier this year.

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In March, party scenes were filmed on the Promenade, capturing what was rumoured to be a bar mitzvah.

And in June, Cold Feet star Nesbitt, 56, playing a murder detective, filmed alongside actors dressed as gun cops on the beach near Central Pier.

Bystanders watched as the tense drama, based on Coben’s novel of the same name, was caught on film.

The two-minute trailer doesn’t give too much away, though, although it teases with fast-paced shots of an unexpected confrontation – and shows a pole-dancing woman and Blackpool shining under the Illuminations accompanied by the voiceover: “That life is over.”

Scenes from the Stay Close trailer, which was released ahead of the serie's debut on New Year's Eve (Picture: Netflix/Red)

Scenes from the Stay Close trailer, which was released ahead of the serie’s debut on New Year’s Eve (Picture: Netflix/Red)

Another voice, as a character looks out on to the Irish Sea, adds: “I’ve spent 17 years of my life looking for her.”

A parade through the Lights also features, though only for a split-second as a giant lion is carried under the glistening bulbs.

And Nesbitt, investigating a string of disappearances, adds: “It’s a serial killer.”

Writing on Twitter, Coben said previously: “I am so happy and excited to Stay Close (pun intended) with Danny Brocklehurst (producer), Nicola Shindler and Richard Fee — the same team that made The Stranger, Safe and The Five.

Scenes from the Stay Close trailer, which was released ahead of the serie's debut on New Year's Eve (Picture: Netflix/Red)

Scenes from the Stay Close trailer, which was released ahead of the serie’s debut on New Year’s Eve (Picture: Netflix/Red)

“And talk about a dream-come-true cast – Cush Jumbo, an incendiary and awesome talent; Jimmy Nesbitt, a legendary actor I always wanted to collaborate with; and wow, Richard Armitage back again.

Netflix has been a wonderful home, and from what I’ve seen so far, Stay Close will be our most gripping and binge-able series yet.”



A night at the Blackpool FC Hotel with a pitch side view that doesn’t need you to be a Seasiders supporter to appreciate

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We stayed for a night at the Blackpool FC Hotel to see if it’s a place worth cheering about


A pitchside view room at Blackpool Fc Hotel, with the Blackpool Tower (blue) in the distance
A pitchside view room at Blackpool Fc Hotel, with the Blackpool Tower (blue) in the distance (Image: LancsLive)

Themed hotels can really go for it these days.

Built underwater with mermaids and exotic swimming by your room; set in the middle of a safari park with a giraffe popping its head in as your morning alarm, you know the kind.

In Lancashire, Championship side Blackpool Football Club have gone with the more obvious with their hotel – the team’s orange colours are everywhere and a bar and restaurant called The Corner Flag, to name two examples.

But it’s also not tacky or too much to alienate non-Seasiders and football guests staying at the hotel – which is located inside the team’s stadium – with the entrance next to the club supporters’ shop.

So not all-out themed extravagance but not underplayed, either.

I never thought I’d say the grow lights on a football pitch at night would offer up a soothing, almost romantic glow into my hotel room. But here we are.

The golden light hit us as soon as we stepped into our executive room (£94 room rate and £20 to upgrade to pitch view).

The room is dominated by the frankly ginormous bed, which reminded me of that meme of a California King bed with two humans and a practical zoo of pets sleeping perfectly comfortably in it.

We slept well and peacefully and didn’t hear a peep from any other guest or get disturbed by outside noise.

Floor-to-ceiling sliding patio doors span the far wall, giving you a panoramic view of the Bloomfield Road pitch, complete with the Blackpool Tower peeping out over the top of the North Stand.

The bedroom
The bedroom (Image: LancsLive)

Disappointingly but understandably, the door is locked as it leads straight out into the stands – a prime view for match days, though.

The room felt relatively scarce, apart from the arty photo print hanging on on the Cadbury-purple walls, with the TV boxed in an ugly thick-set wood frame, matching the bed’s headboard.

The bathroom was basic but sparkling clean, with a shower over the bath, which was powerful and hot and easy to use. The complimentary toiletries consisted of an all-in-one bath and shower wash and shampoo dispenser, which is always a disappointment, even for someone who always buys the body wash on offer in Bodycare.

We were happy to be able to control the temperature in the room ourselves, meaning, unlike the restaurant and bar area which felt like we had stepped out in the Sahara desert for breakfast, we did not melt like The Snowman in the night.

Why are hotels so warm? I’ve found this to be a more common that not occurrence in every one I have stayed in. I must have missed the signing of the worldwide ‘hotels must be hotter than a bonfire’ treaty.

Blackpool FC Hotel
Blackpool FC Hotel (Image: LancsLive)

Talking of breakfast, it had your standard cooked options, bacon, sausages, tomatoes and mushrooms and eggs (runny scrambled and decent fried) along with plenty of continental options, cereal and fruit.

Not forgetting the dreaded treadmill toaster of doom, which either leaves your bread as slightly less bread-like or cremated. But I am pleased to report this one gave us a pretty even toast ratio, which may be down to the stern printed note attached to it which said “do not put your toast through twice as it WILL burn”. You ‘erd.

We didn’t eat our evening meal in the hotel, but glancing at the menu it offers traditional, predictable pub grub such as burgers, steaks, sandwiches and pies.

The view from the terrace of the Corner Flag restaurant and bar
The view from the terrace of the Corner Flag restaurant and bar (Image: LancsLive)

The staff were cheery, efficient and chatty, especially the barman on duty in the evening, who suggested we check out the view on the terrace, which was a great spot to enjoy a glass of fizz, overlooking the pitch.

Everything was clean and well kempt and we enjoyed the splashes of grandeur with the huge chandelier on the stairway.

Any Tangerines fan will undoubtedly appreciate the little touches of the club’s history interspersed around the hotel, such as the original orange turnstiles.

I can imagine the opportunity to sleep so close to the pitch, a hallowed surface for any dedicated football fan, is mighty tempting and although I’m not a Blackpool supporter, I certainly appreciate the sentiment.



Chief executive Ben Mansford outlines Blackpool’s long-term strategy and updates supporters on new training ground plans

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Members of Blackpool’s hierarchy were grilled by supporters before Saturday’s game against Luton Town.


Chief executive Ben Mansford and director Brett Gerrity took part in a Q&A session during Blackpool Supporters’ Trust’s Annual General Meeting.

Ash Hackett, CEO of the club’s Community Trust, was also involved at the event, which was held at the Armfield Club on Saturday lunchtime.

A range of topics were discussed, but the most significant items revolved around the club’s long-term strategy and the latest on plans for a new training ground.

Mansford also addressed why only one of Blackpool’s Championship fixtures has been chosen for live coverage this season, when other sides have already had over 10 games picked.

Here’s what he had to say…

The club’s long-term philosophy and strategy

Chief executive Ben Mansford, right

Chief executive Ben Mansford, right

“One of the things we did when we made the decision (to part ways with Simon Grayson), and it was a difficult one because Simon was a really genuine football person, but when Critch came in it was clear we needed to talk about how we were going to play football.

“While we were in League One, we were a big club at that level and we were able to be competitive thanks to the fantastic support of 5,500 season tickets, all the sponsors and Simon.

“When you go to the Championship, we’re not (a big club for that level) but we want to continue to punch above our weight.

“We felt we needed three things, which was quality of coaching, quality of recruitment and quality of our academy.

“I think Neil ticks the first box and that’s been seen, because he finds a way to win even when we have injuries because he’s so tactically astute. So everyone has seen the journey Critch has been on and he leaves us well prepared.

“He gives the players very little excuse, because they’re so well prepared and well drilled, there’s good analysis and we get the travel right.

“We’ve improved the sports science, we’ve improved the medical side of the club all to give him the best opportunity to over-achieve. We’re doing that at the moment in terms of our budget.

“In terms of recruitment, we made initial appointments in Tommy Johnson and John Gibson and that’s now been led on by John Stephenson who is our head of football operations. He’s spent about 12 months at the club now.

“He has a few grey hairs that maybe we need, because he’s a very, very experienced operator in that role and he heads up an extensive team for recruitment.

“When it comes to Ciaran Donnelly, we brought him back after his three-year sabbatical up the road.

“Of course, the academy will take some time. It’s not a secret that we were one of the lowest ranking Category Three academies because of the lack of investment that was made in that area under the previous ownership.

“Ciaran is now working with an extensive staff that is beyond the core requirements of what is required for Category Three.

“I’m quite excited by the recruitment he’s doing, we are really in the arm wrestle now for some of the best young players that are released from Category One and Category Two youth teams and that’s a credit to the work Ciaran has done.

“We’re having a right go across those three.

“Simon has given us some fantastic support with some fairly heavy capital investments, the work that’s been done around the stadium is considerable, the work that is being done around the new training ground is considerable and at some point further down the line will hopefully come a new East Stand as well.

“To also give us a budget that will compete towards the top end of the Championship, player trading may need to be a part of that like we’ve seen with the journey Brentford went on or Barnsley went on as well.

“I want to be honest about that, because we have to do it sensibly, we have to do it with a model and we have to stay within our remit.

“I’ve been on some of the EFL Championship calls on profitability and sustainability, it’s fantastic I can sit there knowing we don’t need to fall out over any of these type of numbers because we’re going to manage ourselves in a way that doesn’t put the future of the club at risk and Simon gives us a budget he thinks is sensible and we stay in our lane.

“On deadline day we were looking at various things: do we get a really expensive short-term loan in or do we go and get Owen Dale?

“The Owen Dale one feels right for us because we’re taking a young man that is on modest wages at Crewe and we’re giving him good Blackpool wages.

“He wanted to come and there’s an eye of the tiger about him, there’s a hunger and a desire to be here because these players see Blackpool as a football destination.

“That suits us rather than finding short-term solutions or eeking out the last 12 months of somebody.

“We’ve got a young, hungry squad in the main with a smattering of over-30s and we’ve got a good blend.

“I’m quite pleased with where we’ve got to across those three strands and hopefully with the togetherness and the hard work we can continue to over-achieve.”

Announcement over the new training ground

“I don’t want to blame lawyers but we kind of are really.

“A preferred site has been identified as me and Brett have said in recent dispatches over recent weeks. We are so close to being able to make an announcement.

“I think it would be really silly of us to make an announcement before the land assembly piece has been done and we’ve got all the different signatures secured on binding contracts.

“We are very close, we’re into our third or fourth knock-back on the various documents between solicitors.

“We’re very, very close to making a really exciting announcement and we’re very fortunate with the support Simon gives us that we’re not just sat waiting for that land assembly to reach us and then everything else kicks into action.

“We’re continuing to work behind the scenes so that we’re very close with our architects and our project managers and our agronomist and those who tell us where pitches can and can not be done and where drainage does and doesn’t need to go.

“Hopefully we can make some fairly swift progress as soon as everyone’s signature is on the contract which means the site is secured and we can be getting in front of the relevant councils and planning departments.

“I’m hopeful we’re still weeks away from making that announcement.

“I can assure you it’s going to be a fantastic site, it’s going to be an absolute legacy for this club and Simon’s ownership and it will be a centre for the development of hopefully some of the best talent of the young people on the Fylde coast.”

Games being picked for Sky Sports

“We’re contracted to be on Sky twice a season, so we’ll definitely be on again at least one more time.

“I would love to be on there as often as possible because you do get a substantial financial payment.

“I think given the level of support we’re receiving I think that would be really helpful extra money. We’ve got a core support that get right behind us whether we’re on TV or not.

“Sky are a business though and they’ve got advertisers they’ve got to satisfy, so they want eyeballs so they will tend to pick the teams where they can get those eyeballs.

“I know other clubs are fed up of playing on Friday nights, Monday nights and never having a 3pm game on a Saturday. We all like that routine.

“But ultimately so much of the money we receive from the EFL is generated from domestic and international broadcasting and the EFL has just extended their deal.

“It would be great to be on TV because we will give a great account of ourselves and there would be a financial upside.

“QPR and Derby are two teams that seem to be on regularly though.”


Autistic girl’s nightmare Blackpool stay at ‘freezing’ Norbreck Castle Hotel with ‘cracked’ window taped together

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

She feels ‘ignored’ after requesting further information about a refund


The Norbreck Castle in Blackpool
The Norbreck Castle in Blackpool (Image: James Maloney)

A guest at the Norbreck Castle Hotel has said the “scruffy” hotel caused a nightmare stay for her and her autistic daughter.

Stephanie Hughes, from Newcastle, stayed at the Norbreck Castle Hotel in Blackpool last month with her daughter.

They had travelled up to the resort so that her daughter could take part in a dance competition at the Tower Ballroom.

Previously, Stephanie had stayed in a nearby B&B, but felt the Norbreck would be a “safe bet” considering the amount of parking it had and its accessibility to the main piers visited by so many heading to the resort.

Previously, the Norbreck has been criticised by guests for various reasons including one couple saying it should be ‘condemned’ after their stay found dead flies and hair in the bath.

Stephanie paid £112 for a family room at the hotel on Friday, November 5.

Upon arrival, she said that due to the bad weather they decided to check-in as soon as possible, but the queue to check-in was both “ridiculous” and “took ages”. The long queues caused Stephanie’s daughter, who has autism and additional needs, to become “agitated”.

On their way to their room, they found that the corridor floors were “lined with towels” which left Stephanie bemused.

Stephanie said: “They weren’t dirty towels, it was like they were using the corridors for linen storage.”

On their room, Stephanie said it was “freezing”.

“We noticed there was a crack in the window where it couldn’t close properly,” she said. “There was what looked like blood splatter on the dressing table and the room was just scruffy, it looked like it hadn’t been cleaned at all, down the pipes and behind the bed.”

Stephanie went to reception to request something be done about the room.

They had hoped to take part in the bingo which was advertised as the entertainment for the night, something that her daughter was especially looking forward to. But, after going down to take part, it didn’t “come on” as the Norbreck had planned.

Stephanie said her daughter, who has autism and ADHD, then became very “agitated” due to the change in routine. When they returned to their room, she found the windows had been taped up and a “small” electric heater moved in to the room.

Stephanie requested something be done about the "freezing" room and found the windows taped up when she returned later on
Stephanie requested something be done about the “freezing” room and found the windows taped up when she returned later on

Hoping to calm her daughter down ahead of the dance competition the next day, they then found that the TV in the room didn’t work either.

“I don’t know where to start,” Stephanie told LancsLive, “it was just horrific. I can’t believe what we’d paid.”

Stephanie works in customer complaints and went to the hotel in hopes she would receive a refund. She said she did receive an email response and was offered a discounted stay at a Britannia Hotel with “an upgrade and bottle of house wine” – two things she didn’t want.

Stephanie added: “Do you really think I want to stay here again?”

Stephanie found what looked like "blood splatters" on the dresser
Stephanie found what looked like “blood splatters” on the dresser

“There was nothing from them on the escalation process, internal or external, even 50% of my money back would do, but they said no refunds could be given after check out,” Stephanie said.

“I didn’t have time, my daughter was tired, everyone was rushing, we needed to get down to Blackpool Tower in horrific weather, I didn’t have time to raise it there and then. This clearly was not a one night thing, they’ve got a huge hotel with massive potential and its clearly not getting the due care and attention it needs,” Stephanie said.

Stephanie said she couldn’t understand “how” the hotel was “ignoring” the ongoing complaints raised by guests.

They even slept with towels over the bed and Stephanie insisted her daughter didn’t “play” on the floor which she found earrings in, again leading her to believe the hotel hadn’t been cleaned.

The Norbreck Castle Hotel is managed by Britannia Hotels.

They were contacted for comment but did not respond prior to publication.



FA Cup draw: Blackpool’s ball number and third round details

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Blackpool will this evening find out who their opponents are for the third round of the FA Cup.


Championship and Premier League clubs enter the competition at this stage of the competition and the Seasiders will be ball number seven in Monday night’s draw.

The draw will be held at 7pm before the second round clash between Boreham Wood and St Albans City and be shown on ITV4 and the FA’s social media channel.

Third round games are to be played between January 7 and 10, with victory worth £82,000 in prize.

There are also broadcast fees to be had if games are selected for liver coverage or extended highlights.

Neil Critchley’s side made the fourth round of the competition last season after beating then Premier League side West Brom in the third round.

The ball numbers for the third round draw are as follows:

The draw for the third round takes place tonight

The draw for the third round takes place tonight

1 AFC Bournemouth

2 Arsenal

3 Aston Villa

4 Barnsley

5 Birmingham City

6 Blackburn Rovers

7 Blackpool

8 Brentford

9 Brighton & Hove Albion

10 Bristol City

11 Burnley

12 Cardiff City

13 Chelsea

14 Coventry City

15 Crystal Palace

16 Derby County

17 Everton

18 Fulham

19 Huddersfield Town

20 Hull City

21 Leeds United

22 Leicester City

23 Liverpool

24 Luton Town

25 Manchester City

26 Manchester United

27 Middlesbrough

28 Millwall

29 Newcastle United

30 Norwich City

31 Nottingham Forest

32 Peterborough United

33 Preston North End

34 Queens Park Rangers

35 Reading

36 Sheffield United

37 Southampton

38 Stoke City

39 Swansea City

40 Tottenham Hotspur

41 Watford

42 West Bromwich Albion

43 West Ham United

44 Wolverhampton Wanderers

45 Yeovil Town

46 Bristol Rovers

47 Port Vale

48 Morecambe

49 Hartlepool United

50 AFC Wimbledon

51 Wigan Athletic

52 Leyton Orient

53 Cambridge United

54 Mansfield Town

55 Swindon Town

56 Rotherham United

57 Charlton Athletic

58 Boreham Wood or St Albans City

59 Kidderminster Harriers

60 Shrewsbury Town

61 Chesterfield

62 Plymouth Argyle

63 Ipswich Town or Barrow

64 Harrogate Town



Blackpool nurse saw care home resident hit his head and didn’t bother to tell anyone

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

A nurse has been struck off after failing to report how a care home resident had fallen and suffered head injuries at Glenroyd Care Home in Blackpool


Glenroyd Care Home on Whitegate Drive, Blackpool.
Glenroyd Care Home on Whitegate Drive, Blackpool. (Image: James Maloney/Lancs Live)

A nurse who failed to flag up an incident at a Blackpool care home where a resident fell and suffered a head injury is to be struck off.

Helen Percival was working at Glenroyd Care Home in Blackpool on April 16, 2016 when a resident fell and suffered a head injury.


However, the staff nurse failed to contact the out of hours service or general practice to seek advice.

On top of this, Mrs Percival allowed the resident’s family to ‘move him from a chair into a bed, despite knowing they had no moving and handling training,’ according to the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s Fitness to Practise Committee, which met online to discuss the case of misconduct at a substantive order review meeting on November 23.

The committee also highlighted how on top of this, she didn’t complete any sufficient observations or record observations following the traumatic incident.

Due to the serious nature of the incidents, Mrs Percival was handed a suspension order for six months by the council’s Fitness to Practice Committee on December 6, 2019.

However, the suspension was subsequently extended for a further six months in May 2020, and a further review in November 2020 resulted in an additional suspension for 12 months.

The second review found no evidence of Mrs Percival having taking steps to improve her practice, or that the concerns were unlikely to recur. Also lacking were any testimonials , employment references, or evidence of reflections or insight into her misconduct, or proof of her having kept her nursing skills up to date.

In view of the public protection issues, they imposed a further suspension for a year, instead of taking no action, imposing a caution order or implementing a conditions of practice order, since they didn’t know whether she would comply with any conditions as she had not engaged with the process so far.

However, at last week’s meeting, following a comprehensive review into whether Mrs Percival’s fitness to practise was still impaired, the panel said there was still no new information to suggest if she had shown enough remorse or insight.

In view of the ‘seriousness of the case’, the panel again rejected the option of taking no further action, imposing a caution order, or implementing a ‘conditions of practice order’ and said there was still no evidence of her having taken steps to improve her practice, or that previous concerns had been addressed.

Similarly, a further suspension order was also rejected, due to lack of remorse and insight shown by the nurse.

The report stated: “The panel noted that Mrs Percival has not shown remorse for her misconduct. Further, she had not demonstrated adequate insight into her previous failings. The panel has already found that there is a continuing risk to the public. The panel noted it had no information before it to demonstrate any effort made to remediate the issues identified by the original panel and Mrs Percival has now had two years to address these concerns. Additionally, Mrs Percival has not indicated any desire to return as a practising nurse.”

Reaching a conclusion that further suspension would not serve any useful purpose, the panel said the ‘only sanction’ available to it that would protect the public was a ‘striking-off order’.

The report concluded: “The panel determined that it was necessary to take action to prevent Mrs Percival from practising in the future and concluded that the only sanction that would adequately protect the public and serve the public interest was a striking-off order.”

The ban will remove her from the subsection of the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s register which covers adult nursing, mental health nursing, learning disabilities nursing and children’s nursing at level 1. It will come into effect at the end of January 2022, and the decision is to be confirmed to Mrs Percival in writing, they added.

A spokesperson for Glenroyd Care Home told LancsLive: ““At Glenroyd care home the safety and wellbeing of our residents is of the utmost importance.

“The case in 2016 was an isolated incident involving a former member of staff and we took all immediate and appropriate action, including working closely with the NMC to help with their investigation.

“We fully respect the decision made by the NMC.”



Blackpool Grand Theatre appoints new man at the top

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Blackpool Grand Theatre has announced the appointment of a new chief executive.


Adam Knight (pictured) will take over the leadership of the theatre early next spring, when the current incumbent, Ruth Eastwood, steps down to resume her freelance career.

Adam joins the Grand from HQ Theatres and the Lyceum Theatre in Crewe, where he is currently Theatre Director.

Anthony Stone, Chairman of the charity that operates the venue said: “Adam has a wealth of experience in the theatre industry, from the ICC Waterfront and Ulster Hall, to the Savoy Theatre in London and Edinburgh Playhouse.

Adam Knight will take over the leadership of Blackpool Grand Theatre early next spring

Adam Knight will take over the leadership of Blackpool Grand Theatre early next spring

“He brings with him an extensive network of contacts and an in-depth understanding of commercial theatre.

“Plus, as an extra bonus, in a previous role as Operations Director of the Grand Opera House in Belfast, he’s had experience of managing another exquisitely designed Frank Matcham theatre.”

Anthony added “I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Ruth for almost eight years of excellent service and wish her all the best for the future”.

Adam Knight said “It’s a great privilege to be offered the chance to take over the reins at Blackpool’s Grand Theatre. Not only is it one of the country’s most iconic heritage assets, it’s a vibrant, bold and ambitious organisation committed to creating opportunities for all kinds of people to enjoy, participate and learn through theatre.”



£25,000 investment in Blackpool park is welcome boost

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A £25,000 new roof looks set to be worth the wait for visitors to a Blackpool park.


When the pavilion was built at Watson Road Park in South Shore, there was only enough money in the project to tile it with left-overs from other council buildings.

But 10 years on, a bespoke new roof has been installed funded by £10,000 from the Friends of Watson Road Park, £10,000 from the council and £5,000 from the ward budget of councillors David O’Hara and Derek Robertson.

Bill Eccles, chairman of the friends group, said: “We’ve not only had a new roof, but the facias and guttering have been replaced and insulation has been put in.

Coun David O'Hara outside the pavilion which has a new roof

Coun David O’Hara outside the pavilion which has a new roof

“It had a good test during the gales we had from Storm Arwen and although a couple of tiles came off, that has been rectified.

“Hopefully we will be able to get back to normal next year after Covid and start having more events and having the pavilion used more and more by the community.”

Coun O’Hara said: “The previous tiles were being broken up all the time, and eventually the council ran out of replacements, so the building really needed a new roof and we’re delighted the work has now been done.”

The pavilion boasts a kitchen and meeting areas and is open daily serving teas and coffees, with the friends group hoping to negotiate a lease with the council to operate a cafe in the future.

Any community groups wanting to use the building can contact Roger Graham, events organisor for the Friends of Watson Road Park, on 07948 749855.



Suspected drug driver arrested after woman in her 80s injured in serious Blackpool car crash

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A suspected drug driver was arrested after a serious collision injured a woman in her 80s in Blackpool.


A Volkswagen Golf and a Honda CR-V collided in Hampshire Place, close to the junction with Common Edge Road, this afternoon (December 2).

The Volkswagen driver was arrested on suspicion of drug-driving after police were called to the scene at around 12.05pm.

He suffered a suspected broken arm and was taken to hospital for treatment, police said.

A suspected drug driver driver was arrested after a serious collision in Hampshire Place, Blackpool (Credit: Google)

A suspected drug driver driver was arrested after a serious collision in Hampshire Place, Blackpool (Credit: Google)

A spokesman for North West Ambulance Service said a woman in her 80s was also hospitalised but they were “unsure of her condition”.

Anyone with information about the collision can call 101, quoting incident reference 558 of December 2.

You can also visit the Lancashire Police website by clicking HERE.



Investigation begins into death of brave Blackpool man who drowned trying to save struggling woman

Home | Blackpool Gazette

An investigation into the death of an ‘heroic’ young Blackpool man will examine video footage of lifeboat crews’ frantic attempts to save him.


A pre-inquest review into the death of Alex Gibson, who drowned off the coast of Blackpool in the early hours of July 30, opened at the Town Hall today.

Mr Gibson, 22 of Park Road, is believed to have entered the water near the Metropole Hotel in the early hours of the morning after being alerted to a woman in trouble.

A major rescue operation involving coastguard teams from Fleetwood and Lytham, RNLI volunteers from Blackpool and Fleetwood, and a rescue helicopter was launched. The woman managed to swim to shore, but tragically Mr Gibson lost his life.

Alex Gibson

Alex Gibson

His inquest, which is scheduled to begin on January 21, will hear evidence from two of his friends, who spent a night out with Gibson shortly before his death.

A pathologist, a senior investigating police officer, a female witness, an RNLI lifeguard and two strangers who noticed Mr Gibson in the water and called 999 will also be called.

The court heard that video footage from the RNLI’s rescue operation would also be obtained, however, coroner Alan Wilson said: “It does seem that sadly, by the time they arrived, (Alex) was not in a survivable position.”

Alex’s father, Alexander Gibson, said: “I just need to know what happened that night. We don’t know why, we don’t know how. We want to get through this as soon as possible.”



Grant’s £100,000 boost for new businesses in St Annes, Lytham and Kirkham

Home | Blackpool Gazette

More than £100,000 in grants has been handed out in just six months to businesses taking over empty premises in a bid to boost town centres.


At least 15 traders in St Annes, Lytham and Kirkham have benefited by up to £10,000 each – covering up to 50 per cent of the costs of updating and refitting the premises – from the Additional Restriction Grant (ARG) Vacant Premises scheme.

It was introduced by the Government via local authorities earlier this year to aid recovery of the local economy after lockdown.

The first money under the scheme locally was paid out in May to the Bella B Boutique in St Annes and now the The Hop Shoppe bar, craft beer and bottle shop – just yards away – is coincidentally among the latest recipients tipping the total paid into six figures.

The first ARG cheque announced in May - Fylde Council leader Karen Buckley hands £10,000 in grant money to Aisha Rayson of the Bella B boutique in St Annes

The first ARG cheque announced in May – Fylde Council leader Karen Buckley hands £10,000 in grant money to Aisha Rayson of the Bella B boutique in St Annes

She has used the £10,000 grant towards extensive renovations and new shop signage, and has transformed her business from a jazz bar to The Hop Shoppe, which is due to open this month.

Khyra, who owned the previous Jazz Emporium, said: “The grant has been a real bonus – and has made it possible for me to knock through from my original premises and expand the business.

Meanwhile, Dawson’s Arts and Crafts Emporium has taken over the former Semple’s Art Shop on The Crescent in St Annes and been awarded £5,151 used to refurbish the property.

A cheque for £5,151 to Dawsons Arts and Crafts Emporium, St Annes was among the latest batch of grant money handed out. Fylde Council leader Coun Karen Buckley presents it to Michelle and Lee Dawson.

A cheque for £5,151 to Dawsons Arts and Crafts Emporium, St Annes was among the latest batch of grant money handed out. Fylde Council leader Coun Karen Buckley presents it to Michelle and Lee Dawson.

Michelle and Lee Dawson have revived the empty shop premises to sell eco-friendly art supplies and gifts.

Michelle said: “We are big believers in supporting the local high street and really want to encourage everyone to shop local – it’s better for the environment and it’s better for us all.’’

Fylde Council leader Coun Karen Buckley said: “The take up for the Vacant Premises Grant has been strong across all three town centres and the scheme has helped to generate inquiries for long-term empty properties.

“It has instilled confidence for people to take that leap into starting or expanding their businesses and we have had excellent feedback.

“It is fantastic that we have reached the £100,000 mark and there are still some wonderful businesses in the final stages of the process, so we look forward to announcing those soon.”

The grant scheme runs until the end of this month and details are available at www.fylde.gov.uk



Latest figures show Blackpool’s car parks busier than usual in the summer

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Blackpool’s publicly owned car parks were 70 per cent busier this season compared to last year – showing how the resort bounced back following lockdown.


Figures revealed by the council show patronage of the 22 car parks it operates increased to 641,722 during April to September 2021, compared to 377,284 for the same time last year.

Income increased by 63 per cent, or £1.5m, from £2.4m in 2020 to £3.9m this year.

It was a similar story for on-street parking, where income increased by £261,612 to £743,195, a jump of 54 per cent between last year ad 2021.

More people were parking in Blackpool this summer

More people were parking in Blackpool this summer

Parking revenue was also slightly higher in 2020 when compared to pre-Covid times in 2019.

The Pay By Phone app also attracted new users with nearly 152,000 transactions in 2021 compared to just under 64,000 in 2020.

A report to the tourism, economy and communities scrutiny committee says: “As we moved into this new financial year at the start of April large parts of the tourism and hospitality sector remained in lockdown, which meant a significant downturn in visitor numbers at Easter and the early May Bank Holiday.

“However, as the Government roadmap out of lockdown unfolded there was a dramatic recovery in visitor numbers from late May onwards, illustrated by high levels of footfall and parking usage during the summer and autumn season.

“In the 24 weeks between May 17 (when most of the tourism and hospitality industry was allowed to reopen) and the end of October, patronage on our car parks was higher than the 2019 figure on all but four weeks.”

This year saw the closure of two council car parks – Tower Street which is the site of the Houndshill Shopping Centre extension which is being built, and Wimbourne Place on South Promenade which is being redeveloped to provide an extension to the Hampton By Hilton Hotel.

The council operates around 900 on street parking bays, and owns 20 car parks and manages two privately owned car parks, with a combined total of more than 5,000 parking spaces.