Grant McCann disappointed his Hull City side couldn’t snatch a late point against Blackpool

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Grant McCann concedes his Hull City side were far from their best during today’s defeat to Blackpool – but felt the Tigers could easily have stolen a point.

Blackpool got the New Year off to a winning start with a hard-earned 1-0 win thanks to Gary Madine’s first-half penalty.

The spot kick was awarded after Jacob Graves fell Josh Bowler in the box, a player who enjoyed a loan spell with the Tigers during the 2019/20 season.

The margin of Pool’s victory could well have been greater, with Neil Critchley’s men squandering multiple chances to make life more comfortable for themselves.

Nevertheless, Pool were still reliant on two superhuman saves from Dan Grimshaw deep into stoppage-time to avoid any last-gasp drama for the third game running.

Reflecting on his side’s defeat, McCann told BBC Radio Humberside: “We weren’t at our best today, that’s for sure.

“We didn’t really get going for most of the game. It was a bit scrappy.

Tigers boss Grant McCann

Tigers boss Grant McCann

“The goal is disappointing because we talked all week about Josh Bowler. We know him inside out and how he wants to come inside on his left foot. We didn’t get it right between two players and he gets into the box.

“Is it a penalty? It’s 50/50. We’ve watched it back now and the ball veers to the left, whether it’s Bowler’s touch or Greaves’ touch, I don’t know. We just didn’t get the rub of the green on it.

“After that, we had a very good chance with Tyler (Smith) which he probably should score.

“At half-time we told the boys to up the energy, up the aggression and try and pick up more second balls in midfield to play forward and over their press a bit more.

“We did it and we had two unbelievable chances at the end that we simply had to score, there’s no question about that.”

McCann added: “We’re disappointed in there. We’ve not been at our best today but we’re disappointed not to come away with at least a point.

“The chances we created today were pleasing, but in this division you have to take those chances when they come.

“It’s a very demanding league where if you don’t take them, you’re likely to lose and that was the case today. That was particularly the case at the end.”



Neil Critchley delivers his verdict on Blackpool’s New Year’s Day victory against Hull City

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Neil Critchley believes it would have been a “travesty” if his Blackpool side had emerged empty-handed from their three games over the festive period.


The Seasiders got back to winning ways today with a hard-earned 1-0 win against Hull City thanks to Gary Madine’s first-half penalty.

The win also owed a great deal to goalkeeper Dan Grimshaw, who made five excellent saves including two deep into stoppage-time.

After gut-wrenching back-to-back defeats against Huddersfield Town and Middlesbrough, Critchley was delighted to see his side claim a richly deserved win.

“If they had scored at the end I’m not sure what I would have done, to be honest with you,” he said.

“We don’t make things easy for ourselves, do we? We had to do everything we could to win that game.

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“It’s so hard to win a game of football in this division and you have to get it right at both ends of the pitch.

Neil Critchley celebrates the win at full-time

Neil Critchley celebrates the win at full-time

“We didn’t play out the last few minutes any better than the other night, so we had to rely on our goalkeeper to produce two moments of real brilliance to win us the game.

“I have to say, I’m not saying we deserved it today, but over the course of the week if we had come away with no points from those three games, or maybe even one, that would have been a travesty.”

While Critchley was understandably relieved to get over the line, he still has concerns over his side’s inability to put sides to bed.

The Seasiders had multiple chances to extend their lead, but were left to rue some poor decision-making in the final third.

“After we’ve taken a few days and cleared our heads and have a little bit of a welcome breather, that will be my message to the players,” Critchley added.

“We only want to improve and we want to be looking up in this division, but this game really should have been 2 or 3-0.

“At 1-0 we were comfortable in the game because they never really got near our goal in the second-half.

“We kept them at bay and we had numerous opportunities to score and numerous counter-attacking opportunities with three-vs-twos or four-vs-threes and our final pass let us down.

“They opened up quite early in the game and we should have finished the game off, but we didn’t.

“When it’s 1-0, you know the opposition can change their shape and throw on loads of attackers, which is what they did, and throw men forwards – which is what they did.

“It was a crazy end to the game but it shouldn’t have got to that stage.”

Once the full-time whistle blew, the majority of Blackpool’s players headed straight over to Grimshaw to congratulate the shot stopper for his late brilliance.

“We’re indebted to him at the end because those saves have won us the game, but I wouldn’t want to single him out because the whole team have given us everything,” Critchley said.

“We’ve had to put up with so much this week. We’re one of only two teams in the Championship who have faced our schedule this week of three games in seven days.

“There are games being called off left, right and centre, but we haven’t. We’ve carried on playing and the whole group deserved that moment.

“They deserved that feeling in the dressing room and they deserved the three points.”



Neil Critchley responds to Nottingham Forest’s rumoured interest in Blackpool’s Josh Bowler

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Neil Critchley has refused to be drawn on speculation surrounding Josh Bowler, other than insisting Blackpool obviously want to keep him at Bloomfield Road.


It comes amid speculation that Championship rivals Nottingham Forest have had a bid knocked back for the winger, as claimed by Sky Sports on Friday.

Bowler returned to the starting line-up for the Seasiders during today’s 1-0 win against Hull City, delivering an excellent display and winning the penalty that led to Pool’s winning goal courtesy of Gary Madine.

When asked about the rumoured approach after the game, Critchley said: “I’m not going to confirm anything or get involved in speculation, that would be wrong.

“Silly season has started today, hasn’t it?

“You’ve only got to look at how Josh played today to see it didn’t affect him because I thought he was terrific.

“He’s been fantastic for us this season so we want to keep him at this football club.”

Bowler delivered a superb display during today's win against Hull

Bowler delivered a superb display during today’s win against Hull

The winger has been one of Blackpool‘ s standout performers this season and it appears his form has not gone unnoticed.

The 22-year-old has made 28 appearances in all competitions this season, with 26 of those coming in league games.

He’s scored two goals this term, one in the Carabao Cup defeat to Sunderland and the winner in the 1-0 league win against Fulham.

The former Everton man also has three assists to his name.

Bowler arrived at Bloomfield Road during the summer on a free transfer, agreeing a one-year deal with the club holding the option to extend the deal by 12 months.

The winger was a free agent following his release from Everton, a club he joined in 2017 from QPR for a fee rising to £4.25m.

Bowler failed to make a senior appearance for the Toffees, but he enjoyed plenty of game time in the Championship during the 2019/20 season – making 31 appearances during a loan spell with Hull City.

He’s caught the eye this season with his ability to beat a man and get Blackpool up the pitch, although his end product has been called into question at times.

His quality in the final third has improved in recent weeks, however, setting up goals against both Peterborough United and Huddersfield Town.



Blackpool 1-0 Hull City: Gary Madine penalty and late Dan Grimshaw heroics ensure New Year’s Day victory

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Blackpool 1-0 Hull City: Gary Madine penalty and late Dan Grimshaw heroics ensure New Year’s Day victory


Madine’s first-half spot kick ensured an important win for the Seasiders, who went into the game off the back of two gut-wrenching late defeats.

The margin of victory could well have been greater against a Covid-hit Hull side, with Neil Critchley’s men squandering multiple chances to make life more comfortable for themselves.

Nevertheless, Pool were still reliant on two superhuman saves from Dan Grimshaw deep into stoppage-time to avoid any last-gasp drama for the third game running.

Blackpool’s New Year’s Day win means the move up to 12th in the Championship, although they’ve played a lot more games than other sides around them in the table.

In fact, the Seasiders are the only Championship side to have played 26 games this season, as Covid postponements continue to wreak havoc across the second tier.

The Seasiders were boosted by the return of Ryan Wintle, who went straight into the starting line-up in place of Callum Connolly, who dropped down to the bench.
Gary Madine's penalty was the difference between the two sides

Gary Madine’s penalty was the difference between the two sides

Connolly was Blackpool’s standout performer against Middlesbrough, but was given a rest having not trained for a week leading up to that game on Wednesday night.

Wintle’s return was one of three changes Critchley made to his team, as he brought Josh Bowler and Shayne Lavery back in following their impressive cameos off the bench against Boro.

Daniel Gretarsson and Jerry Yates were the two to make way as Blackpool reverted to the 4-4-2 formation they’ve more often than not adopted this season.

Jordan Gabriel served the second game of his two-game suspension for his red card in the Boxing Day defeat to Huddersfield Town.

Despite being dismissed for two yellows, the right-back has been kept out for two games having been sent off for Nottingham Forest earlier in the season.

Chris Maxwell, Luke Garbutt, Reece James, Kevin Stewart, Matty Virtue, Grant Ward, Sonny Carey and Owen Dale all remain sidelined through a mixture of injuries and Covid, making it nine absentees in total.

Hull, who returned to action after having two consecutive games postponed due to Covid, made one change from their last outing, the 2-1 defeat to Nottingham Forest the week before Christmas.

Despite their extended break, it was Blackpool who made the brighter start, causing plenty of early problems down their right flank with Josh Bowler.

The winger teed up Keshi Anderson early on, but the midfielder couldn’t quite control his shot from the edge of the box and slashed wide.

It remained all Blackpool in the early stages, as the returning Lavery was inches away from latching onto Anderson’s through-ball down the centre of the field.

Despite their bright start, the Seasiders almost conceded the first goal of the game on 10 minutes in calamitous circumstances.

Dan Grimshaw’s attempted clearance fell straight to a Hull player, resulting in Josh Magennis taking the ball around the keeper before looking to get a shot off at goal.

The ball pinballed around the box before falling to George Honeyman, whose goalbound effort took a big deflection off Richard Keogh.

Despite being wrongfooted, Grimshaw somehow altered his body to make an outstanding one-handed save to keep the scores level.

After 16 minutes, the Tigers were forced into an early change as Callum Elder hobbled off the pitch with an injury.

Elder was repaced by Tyler Smith, a forward, which resulted in the away side switching things up and moving to a back three, a system Blackpool have often struggled against this season.

The game soon became a little flat, with the Seasiders struggling to find their way past Hull’s stubborn resistance.

Given this was Blackpool’s third game in the space of seven days, perhaps it shouldn’t have come as a major surprise to see the tempo drop.

Hull perhaps sensed Blackpool were carrying some tired legs and began to apply their first concerted spell of pressure of the game.

Richie Smallwood almost headed his side into the lead when he rose highest to meet Honeyman’s corner.

A minute or so later, Marvin Ekpiteta had to stretch out one of his long legs to make a vital clearance before a Hull player could get a shot off at goal only 10 yards or so out.

Somewhat against the run of the play, Critchley’s side were awarded a penalty on the half-hour mark.

Bowler, Blackpool’s main attacking threat in the first-half, was the man fouled, brought down by Jacob Greaves who claimed he won the ball.

On first viewing and having not yet seen a replay, it looked like he had a point. But it was also about time the Seasiders had some luck go in their favour.

Gary Madine put the ball down on the spot and duly smashed it down the middle for his fourth of the campaign.

The Seasiders had to tread carefully though as they were almost pegged back by Hull barely two minutes later.

Keane Lewis-Potter let fly with what looked to be an overly ambitious effort from effort, but his dipping shot almost crept into the bottom corner – only for Grimshaw to make another fine save to tip it around the post.

Five minutes before the break, Pool could quite easily have doubled their lead when Anderson was set free in the box thanks to Madine’s clever ball over the top, but – not realising how much space he was in – the left winger side footed tamely wide.

Tame could also be used to describe his effort two minutes later, when he shot straight at Baxter from a good position in the Hull box.

The first-half ended with substitute Smith skewing wide with a glorious chance for the visitors as Blackpool’s defence was prized open far too easily.

Blackpool continued to pepper the Hull goal and came close to doubling their lead with their first opening of the second-half.

Bowler was involved yet again, slipping in Dujon Sterling on the overlap whose cross ricocheted back to Bowler, whose low shot was well saved by Baxter.

The ball rebounded nicely for Anderson who had the simple task of tapping home, but he scuffed over with the linesman’s flag already raised.

The game became very stop-start from this point onwards, with three Hull players requiring medical treatment.

Indeed, after the hour mark Josh Magennis became Hull’s second player to limp off with an injury to be replaced by Tom Eaves, who scored in the reverse fixture earlier in the season.

Two minutes later, yet another good chance for Blackpool went to waste as Madine headed wide from Anderson’s lofted cross.

Hull’s Di’shon Bernard, meanwhile, was fortunate to avoid stricter punishment after scything Anderson down in late and rash fashion, which only earned him a yellow.

While Critchley’s men were comfortable, he still turned to the bench to freshen things up with 18 minutes remaining, replacing the quiet Lavery with Jerry Yates.

The walking wounded away side somehow managed to finish the game with their full complement of players on the pitch despite suffering a number of knocks.

The Tigers could well have salvaged something from the game as well, coming close twice in quick succession deep into stoppage-time.

But thankfully Blackpool managed to avoid last-gasp drama on this occasion, as Grimshaw stood tall to make two stupendous saves to deny Tyler Smith and Randall Williams.


Blackpool: Grimshaw, Sterling, Ekpiteta, Keogh, Husband, Dougall, Wintle, Bowler (Connolly), Anderson (Gretarsson), Lavery (Yates), Madine

Subs not used: Moore, Casey, Mitchell, Hamilton

Hull: Baxter, Elder (T. Smith), Greaves, Longman, McLoughlin, Bernard, Smallwood (Williams), Docherty, Lewis-Potter, Honeyman, Magennis (Eaves)

Subs not used: Cartwright, Fleming, M. Smith, Cannon

Referee: Dean Whitestone

Attendance: 11,300



Blackpool Aldi store closes down days before New Year

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The South Shore supermarket will close its doors forever at the end of the day, with members of staff being relocated to other nearby Aldi stores.


Aldi confirmed the closure of the Waterloo Road shop in August, one month after claiming it had ‘no plans’ to shut it down.

Most of the stock has already been removed as customers carry out last-minute shops for essentials before closing time.

Aldi announced the closure of its Waterloo Road shop in August

Aldi announced the closure of its Waterloo Road shop in August

A spokesman for the supermarket giant said: “The site is no longer suitable for our long term requirements.”

Customers were directed to the Oxford Square branch in Marton, and the new branch on Holyoake Avenue, Bispham, which opened in September.

With the closure of the Waterloo Road store closing and the opening of the Bispham one, Aldi continued to operate eight stores across the Fylde coast.

Its Fleetwood branch, on Poulton Road, was temporarily closed down after Wyre Council gave the business permission to extend its property in March 2020. It reopened in July, with an expanded car park and new chiller cabinets, a seasonal section, customer toilets and baby changing facilities.



Food hall plans for former Poulton Police Station are withdrawn

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Ambitious plans to transform Poulton’s former police station into an artisan food hall have been withdrawn.


Artist's impression of plans to turn the former Poulton Police Station into an artisan food and drink venue, showing a plan of the street frontage by architects Stanton Andrews.

Artist’s impression of plans to turn the former Poulton Police Station into an artisan food and drink venue, showing a plan of the street frontage by architects Stanton Andrews.

The police station, on Market Place, closed in 2018 and after the site was bought by Choice Hotels in February 2019 the company announced plans to create Bobby’s Yard, offering top local, independent food and drink.

A public consultation was held to let people see the proposals in detail and a team was on hand to answer questions from the public.

After the application was finally lodged with Wyre planners in May this year, a spokesman for Choice Hotels said at that time: “Poulton is a place where we have been looking to invest for some time, however finding the right property was key.

Poulton Police Station closed in 2018

Poulton Police Station closed in 2018

“The former police station is an exciting site at the heart of Poulton’s town centre and will allow us to be fully immersed in the Poulton community.”

However, Wyre’s planning site has now listed the application as withdrawn.

Choice Hotels were approached for a comment on the latest developments but were not available for a statement.

There was a great deal of interest in the proposals in Poulton itself, where Market Place has seen a number of new food and drink developments.

Before Christmas, plans were lodged by EA Wallace Ltd to transform the former Santander bank into a new bar on the street.

In the ambitious plans by Choice Hotels, the existing police station building and its historic features were to be retained.

Business space for independent delis, cafes or food and beverage retailers would have been created at the front of the building with outdoor seating overlooking Market Square.

The entrance to the food hall would have been been through the prominent station archway and the remainder of the station was to be refurbished, while the external ancillary buildings at the rear of the station would be demolished to make way for a 120 cover dining courtyard, boasting several market stalls.

The plans were formulated by Stanton Andrews who designed the award-winning Bowland Food Hall at Holmes Mill, Clitheroe.



Blackpool’s Spitfire Heritage Centre museum aiming to fly in 2022

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Enthusiasts behind Blackpool’s aviation museum are hoping their attraction will take off in 2022 with help from a school visits programme.


The team at the Spitfire Visitor Centre Hangar 42 based in the historic Second World War Bellman hangar on the West side of Blackpool Airport have battled through a difficult year hit with coronavirus restrictions but have enjoyed some stand-out highlights.

But they did manage to welcome 4,000 visitors in 2021 and they played host to some high profile visits.

TV comedian Susan Calman, known for her travel show Grand Days Out driving around Britain in her campervan, popped in to the museum to film and the centre also played host to a air-worthy Spitfire from the Polish Heritage Flight for a number of weeks through the Summer.

The team at the Spitfire Visitor Centre Hangar 42 with the Polish Spitfire in August 2021

The team at the Spitfire Visitor Centre Hangar 42 with the Polish Spitfire in August 2021

Blackpool air museum team land their first flying wartime aircraft

The aircraft was on display for several days allowing enthusiasts to visit and take photographs and even flew from Blackpool airport on a display flight.

Another aircraft on display was the team’s replica Spitfire Progress II which spent the year on guard at Gynn Square for the Illuminations.

In November the first of the centre’s school visits began, thanks to some funding from the Heritage Lottery, allowing pupils to see some Second World War exhibits and the replica aircraft first hand to enrich their history studies.

Inside Hangar 42

Inside Hangar 42

John Coombes from the team said: “We are working hard to build our School Visits programme through 2022, by opening our doors to primary school visits on Tuesdays and Thursdays each week, by prior appointment.

“I am delighted that the Heritage Lottery fund has enabled us to create a new School visits coordinator post, with Melissa Neal being appointed to take forward the school programme.”

He said the dedicated volunteers have worked tirelessly through the year to keep the hangar open to the public and also continue the significant amount of restoration works to the various exhibits that to date, have not been on public display.

Another project, “Saving Amy” has been ongoing throughout 2021, with a growing team of engineers and aviation enthusiasts working hard at Blackpool Airport, to rebuild the rare Airspeed Oxford. Once completed, the Mark 5 will be the only surviving aircraft of its type in the world.

Giving the Spitfire some attention

Giving the Spitfire some attention

John Coombes added: “It has been a very challenging year for the Spitfire Visitor Centre, with visitor numbers down on 2019.

“We did welcome 4,000 visitors into the Hangar over the eight months of weekends we were open, with a new school visit programme started in November, with the aid of some very much welcome Heritage Lottery Funding.

“We also had some high profile visits this year, with Comedienne Susan Calman visiting us as part of her “Grand Days Out” series and also welcoming Spitfire BM597 from the Polish Heritage Flight based at Duxford for a number of weeks through the Summer.

“Building our team of Volunteers is also a priority for 2022. We still have the Mark IX Spitfire “Mawgan” formerly of RAF St Mawgan to get to a displayable standard for this year’s visitors, alongside switching some of this year’s exhibits with new.

School children can now have educational visits to the aviation museum

School children can now have educational visits to the aviation museum

“We hope to be able to put on a fantastic display of various marks of Spitfire in the coming year.”

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Volunteers tell the children all about aviation in the Second World War

Volunteers tell the children all about aviation in the Second World War

Youngsters from Mayfield Primary School, St Annes, at Hangar 42 in Blackpool

Youngsters from Mayfield Primary School, St Annes, at Hangar 42 in Blackpool

Join Fiona Frank on a Musical Journey to boost funds for two Lancashire charities

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Music lover Fiona Frank has organised the final in a series of Musical Journeys concerts to boost funds for two Lancashire charities.


Fiona is hoping for a bumper audience for Musical Journeys 4 on January 8.

The event can be viewed online on Zoom and, pandemic permitting, there will also be 50 tickets avaialble to wathh the event live at Halton Mill, Halton, near Lancaster.

Fiona said: “It’s a dark time of the year and we’re hoping to bring somne light in with the last of our Musical Journeys concerts. The last three were really exciting.”

Fiona Frank - who, with the aid of helpers, has organised Musical Journeys 4

Fiona Frank – who, with the aid of helpers, has organised Musical Journeys 4

The first concert raised more than £2,000 and former Prestonian Fiona, who now lives near Lancaster, said: ” We’ve gone from strength to strength with these events, raising over £7,000 in total for our musicians and our two chosen charities.”

Donations have been given to based Global Link Development Education Centre (DEC) which works with refugees, and A.C.E, a which works with young people with mental health challenges in Lancaster, Morecambe, Fleetwood, Kirkham and Carnforth. The musicians, who lost much of their work during the pandemic lockdown were paid for their Musical Journeys’ performances.

The January 8 concert starts at 7.30PM will feature local band Boom Bike Bourrée, described as ” a joyous mix of medieval dance music and hip-hop beats”, Lancaster’s renowned melodeon player Ben Farmer plus a streamed performance of Syrian dance with dancer Medhat Aldaabal and percussionist Ali Hasan, live from Berlin.

Fiona said: “I’m really excited to bring them back because it’s my personal favourite of the acts we’ve had throughout the year. I first met Medhat at a Klezmer festival in Germany and then invited him to come to dance in Glasgow in 2019. He’s being accompanied by an Arab percussionist and it is being live streamed from Berlin.”

Fiona teaches Klezmer dancing

Fiona teaches Klezmer dancing

Tickets can be pre-ordered and Fiona said: “We’re relying on the people who’ve come with us on our wonderful Musical Journeys in 2021 to get your tickets in advance for this show. If we sell enough advance tickets we’ll be booking at least one more act who will either join us live on stage or will be beamed in from across the world.

“Again, as well as paying our great performers (who are only just able to resume professional engagements) we’re raising money for Lancaster charities Global Link supporting refugees and asylum seekers, and A.C.E. Achieve Change and Engagement (ACE) working with young people with emotional health challenges. Both of these charities have increased the numbers of people they’re working with and have more and more calls on their services. ”

Fiona added: “If you buy a ticket to this event, but find that you can’t make it at the last minute , or even if you know already that you won’t be able to make it, there’s no problem, we’ll send you a link to the recording afterwards.”

Tickets are £15/£10 for the live performance, £10/£2.50 for the online concert, £25 for a supporter’s ticket and are free for refugees and asylum seekers. To book see or go to and search for ‘Musical Journeys’.

Musical Moments

* Musical Journeys 1 featured four Lancaster musicians Sian Phillips, Paul Sherwood, Jane Lawrence and Ben Farmer, joined by Syrian viola player Raghad Haddad.

* Musical Journeys 2 featured musicians from the first concert plus champion Irish musician and dancer Bev Whelan. There were also afternoon workshops – Caribbean dance with “Uncle Phil” Preston based world champion dancer Phil Kaila; Irish dance with Bev Whelan; clog dance with Georgia Shorrocks, north east England based clog dancer and clog dance teacher and Helen Whittaker, Cumbria step dancer; Syrian dance with Medhat Aldaabal and Mouafat Aldoabl, from Berlin, accompanied by percussionist Ali Hassan; and Klezmer dance with Fiona Frank who was the compere for the evening.

* Musical Journeys 3 in June feaured three performers in the evening: Boom Bike Bourrée, from Bristol and Sevilay Gok from Turkey and afternoon workshops comprising a beatbox workshop with community music leader Ashley Murphy, a harmony singing workshop from the acclaimed Yandong Grand Singers from China, an Arabic drumming workshop with Ali Hasan, and a Salsa and Caribbean Dance workshop with Phil Kaila.



The Blackpool care home where residents slept in stained sheets and didn’t get their meds

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The home has been rated ‘inadequate’ after lack of safety, care and leadership was discovered during an inspection


Ambassador Care Home, Lytham Road, Blackpool
Ambassador Care Home, Lytham Road, Blackpool

A Blackpool care home has been slammed by watchdogs after a recent inspection uncovered multiple failings which put residents at risk.

Ambassador Care Home is a residential care home providing personal care to 31 people who may be living with dementia and after a recent inspection carried out by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), staff were found to be in breach of regulations.

The recent inspection was carried out after the CQC received concerns in relation to the management of medicines, infection prevention and control,nutrition, risk and staffing.

They also received concerns on how people were supported to maintain their dignity.

During the inspection, which focussed only on the caring, safe and well-led aspects, it was discovered that the administration of medicines proved to be a major issue for staff at this home with a lack of adequate management causing further problems.

In an report published on Christmas Day, CQC inspectors said that staff didn’t always know how or when to administer medicines to the residents correctly as one person who was in need of eye drops was not safely given them.

People missed some doses of their prescribed medicines because there was no stock available in the home for them while a resident was not given one of their tablets for over three weeks because staff had not checked their medicines carefully on admission to the home.

Access to risk assessments- tailored to each resident weren’t available for staff and inspectors to see which put vulnerable residents at risk of harm.

The report states: “On the three days of the inspection we were unable to access the electronic system to review people’s weight management.

“We spoke with two agency staff members who told us they did not know if people needed help to eat as they could not access the electronic system. They had not been informed of the help people needed.

“An agency staff showed us the documentation they had been given- there was no accurate information in relation to a person’s abilities and the record did not contain the name, or any information of the person.”

Fire risk assessments were also not up to standards as the provider hadn’t ensured the safety of the home- several fire doors within the home did not shut properly, posing a risk that if a fire occurred, it would not be contained.

As well as risk assessments, the lack of effective management lead to further failings as during the inspection its was found that audits were not properly carried out.

The CQC report outlines: “The provider failed to have oversight and management of the service to protect people from harm. Audits of falls were carried out. One entry recorded, “A pattern of falls appears to be in their own bedroom between checks.”

“We reviewed the accident and incident records and saw records which showed some people were having falls and/or sustaining injuries. There was no action to show how this risk was to be managed and lessons learned shared.”

Documentation to guide staff and information to support other health professionals make clinical decisions was not always available.

Inspectors from the CQC said: “We were informed a new electronic care record system was being introduced and the existing electronic care record system was unavailable.

“On all three days of the inspection, electronic care records and risk assessments from the existing electronic care records system were not available at the home.

“The new system did not contain sufficient information to enable staff to give the care people needed. For example, one person required a mobility aid.

“The record viewed did not explain the abilities of the person or the person-centred help they needed. We were told there were no paper care plans to support staff knowledge and understanding.”

Serious hygiene issues were also discovered during this inspection- some beds, had urine marks on the bedding and other stains.

Equipment was also found to be in a questionable state as commodes had a build-up of dust and matter on them, a sensor mat was dirty and there were faeces dried on the side of a toilet.

Prevention and infection control didn’t meet the standard requirements as the CQC found a lack of assurance in the provider effectively using PPE- a staff member did not wear a mask when working and said they had one in their pocket.

Recruitment was also in question as agency staff had been provided to help people; however, they did not know the help and support people needed.

The report states: “We observed one person being pushed across the lounge by another person who lived at the home, an agency staff intervened to prevent the risk of harm.

“The staff member said to us, “I don’t know anything about anyone, I don’t know how to help.”

“Two agency staff told us they had not received an induction to the home. They said they had received no information about people and had not had a tour of the home to familiarise themselves with the layout.

“We asked an agency staff member what they would do if there was a fire, or the fire alarm sounded. They said,”I’d run around like a headless chicken because I don’t know anything.”

Another failing found in the running of this care home was the care aspect given to residents as the provider did not consistently ensure people’s privacy and dignity were maintained.

The CQC report states: “On three separate occasions we saw a person in communal areas and their continence aid was on view. We raised this with staff to support the person’s dignity.

“The downstairs bathroom contained a whiteboard with people’s names on and ‘bathing routine’. This practice did not promote people’s individuality and shared personal information about them.

“The downstairs bathroom door had a lock that could not be locked. We saw this bathroom was in use by people who used the service. There was also a toilet in use with no handle and lock.”

With the current strains of the pandemic adding to the pressures in care homes, the CQC ensured this was taken in to account during the inspection.

It states in the report: We are mindful of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our regulatory function.

“This meant we took account of the exceptional circumstances arising as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic when considering what enforcement action was necessary and proportionate to keep people safe as a result of this inspection.

“We will continue to discharge our regulatory enforcement functions required to keep people safe and to hold providers to account where it is necessary for us to do so. We have identified breaches in relation to the safe management of medicines, record keeping and good governance.”

LancsLive contacted the care home for a comment.



How you can visit Blackpool Pleasure Beach for 75p a go

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There’s some great new rides coming next year you don’t want to miss out on


In a first for Europe, riders on ICON’s rear two seats will spin and twist freely during the ride’s existing thrilling duration.
In a first for Europe, riders on ICON’s rear two seats will spin and twist freely during the ride’s existing thrilling duration. (Image: Blackpool Pleasure Beach)

Blackpool Pleasure Beach is offering people the perfect solution to make the festive season more special and promises a thrilling new year with a fantastic sale on Platinum Club Season Passes for the 2022 season, working out at just 75p a go.

The Platinum Club Season Pass is perfect for those looking for year-round thrills, offering unlimited rides for every day of the 2022 season.

Platinum Pass holders can enjoy unlimited access to all of Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s rides and attractions.

For £145 people can experience all the thrills every day of the 2022 season, from the stell mega coaster of the Big One, the twists and turn of the UK’s first and only double-launch rollercoaster ICON, to the more sedate surroundings of the River Caves, Alice in Wonderland and the world’s first Wallace & Gromit ride, Thrill-O-Matic.

Join the fun down at Nickelodeon Land and meet all of your favourite Nickelodeon characters. Meet and greet SpongeBob and PAW Patrol, have a ride on SpongeBob’s Splash Bash or take a ride on the Bikini Bottom Bus Tour. Take a browse around the UK’s only Nick shop and pick up some fabulous Nickelodeon goodies.

Next year promises to be an exciting year for thrillseekers at the pleasure beach. VALHALLA is back for the 2022 summer season. Brave the adventure as you travel through the best water ride in the world and experience fantastic special effects and extreme elements like no other.

The UK’s first and only double-launch rollercoaster ICON is getting twisted in 2022 with Ensō. In a first for Europe, ICON’s rear seats have been adapted so that riders can spin and twist freely during the ride’s existing thrilling duration.

ICON’s exhilarating high-speed accelerations, electrifying twists and turns and heart-stopping interactions will all be turned up to a whole new level by Ensō.

ICON launches riders with the same acceleration as a Formula One car, rising and swooping through numerous interactions with other rides before hitting a second launch which powers riders high above Blackpool Pleasure Beach. Ensō magnifies these thrills and creates a whole new experience for those who dare to get twisted.

With Blackpool Pleasure Beach open for over 200 days in 2022, a Platinum Club Season Pass could work out at less than 75p for each visit.

As well as days of fun, excitement and adrenaline-fuelled thrills, Platinum Club Season Passes offer holders a range of discounts and money-saving offers at Blackpool Pleasure Beach. Anyone with a Platinum Club Season Pass will receive 25% off full price character and location photographs, 20% off on-ride photos and 10% off Speedy Pass, Ripley’s Believe it or Not, Adventure Golf, and nights at the Big Blue Hotel. They will also receive 10% off retail, meal deals and food at the White Tower and Big Blue Hotel.

The Platinum Pass is available online now for £145 – a fantastic saving of almost £45 – for a limited time only. From February 28, the Platinum Club Season Pass will be £189.60. For more information and to purchase the Platinum Club Season Pass please visit


Neil Critchley’s worst fears confirmed as Blackpool receive the results of Sonny Carey’s scan

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Blackpool head coach Neil Critchley told The Gazette the club had received the news they’d been fearing following Sonny Carey’s scan.


The midfielder, who suffered the injury in the Boxing Day loss at Huddersfield Town, is facing an extended period on the sidelines.

“He’s fractured his metatarsal, which we thought he would have,” Critchley said after the midweek loss to Middlesbrough.

“He’s going to a consultation on Thursday to decide what we do with that fracture.

“It just means he’s going to be out for a number of weeks obviously, which is bitterly disappointing for Sonny.

“Injuries are part and parcel of football, but it’s a blow and a good player we’re going to be missing.”

Carey is the latest player facing a spell on the sidelines at Bloomfield Road, as Critchley was also without nine others for the game against Middlesbrough.

Sonny Carey was injured against Huddersfield Town

Sonny Carey was injured against Huddersfield Town

Despite being down to the bare bones, the Seasiders still managed to find a way to get the game on.

They even went as far as starting players who are carrying knocks, handing shirt numbers to youth-teamers and recalling Cameron Antwi from his loan at AFC Telford United.

Taking all that into account, it makes the back-to-back Christmas losses against Huddersfield and Middlesbrough harder to take for the Pool boss.

“I think we deserved at least a point from both games, so we should have an extra two points at least,” he added.

“I watch a lot of the games of the opposition we’re playing and I’ve seen Middlesbrough play, so I know how good they are.

“We’ve given them a proper game. They know they’ve been in a really difficult game. There’s not an opposition team that has caused them as many problems as we have.

“Now look, we’ve still lost and this game is about results, so we’ve got to find a way of seeing the game out and getting a point. We’d have felt better at the end of the game if we’d managed to do that.

“It’s a cruel way to end the game. We don’t feel great at the moment but that’s life, that’s football. We have to go again.”



Blackpool beauty specialist sold to Dutch company

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A Blackpool healthcare and beauty products firm has been sold to a Dutch company.


Darwin Court-based Healthpoint was the subject of a £6.5m buy-out by investment company Maven Capital Partners in February 2017.

Now Maven has exited claiming 3.1 times return on its investment by selling the firm to Dayes BV of the Netherlands.

Founded in 1996, Healthpoint supplies healthcare and beauty products into the retail sector and has grown to become one of the largest UK suppliers of tertiary branded healthcare products.

For the year ending March 31, 2021, the firm saw turnover of £18.5m and pre-tax profit of £1.9m the former up by £0.4m and the latter by £0.2m.

The business has carved a niche within the rapidly expanding ‘value’ segment of the personal care and beauty market, developing affordable and quality alternatives to the market leading brands.

Healthpoint has also built up its own portfolio of branded products, such as ‘Derma V10’ and ‘Clear & Simple’ and are sold across a range of well known high street retailers including Home Bargains, Savers, Superdrug and Bodycare.

Maven completed the management buy-out of Healthpoint in 2017, funded through Maven’s co-investment network for professional clients ‘Maven Investor Partners’.

The investment enabled the business to fund further product development, launch several new product lines, and drive organic growth.

Amanda Parkinson, managing director at Healthpoint said: “It has been a pleasure to work with Ryan at Maven and private investor Robin Womersley.

“It has been reassuring to have supportive investors over the last five years assisting the business in it’s continuous growth, and we look forward to working with Dayes in the future”.

Ryan Bevington, Partner at Maven, said; “Since Maven’s investment, Healthpoint has established its reputation as a leading provider of tertiary branded products into UK retailers.

“It has been great to work with Amanda and her team over the last 5 years, who have delivered on their objective of expanding Healthpoint’s customer base and product range. We look forward to seeing them continue that growth under new ownership.”

KPMG advised the shareholders and vendor financial due diligence provided by Mazars. Clearwater International advised Dayes BV.



This is the incredible sum St Mary’s Academy’s Christmas Gift Appeal has raised since 2001

Home | Blackpool Gazette

St Mary’s Catholic Academy raised over £3,500 for charity over the festive period, bringing their total to over £60,000 in 21 years.

Students of St Mary's

Students of St Mary’s

Starting just after 2000, St Mary’s has helped provide food, toys and necessities to less fortunate people and families across the Blackpool area, as part of their Christmas Gift Appeal. Charities such as Caritas Care, Blackpool Coastal Housing, Christ the King SVP, Streetlife and the Bridge Project have all received aid from the school, in the form of tins of beans to teddy bears to sleeping bags and everything in between.

Carol Gregson, teacher and founder of the Christmas Gift Appeal, spoke of how the school spreads the donations out across the multiple charities. “I started this 21 years ago, and over the years, the charities have changed a bit, depending on where the greatest need is, she said. Carol continued: “A variety of different organisations contact me and say there is a need or I contact them and say can we help you this year? “It is part of our Catholic ethos to reach out to the most vulnerable and the students and parents are so generous every year”

This year’s fundraiser saw the students come up with many ways to raise money including a sponsored silence, bake sales and wax stripping. Students could make donations, organise a fund-raiser or bring food or toiletries for hampers. The final total from this year’s collection was a phenomenal £3,644, just under £400 shy of their record number of £4,067.43 in 2018.

Some of the gifts the students of St Mary's donated

Some of the gifts the students of St Mary’s donated

Corey Foster, president of the Sixth Form Student Council, spoke proudly of the effort made by the school and believes that the school really can make a difference for those in need

“It makes such a difference to people. We pinpointed the ways we were going to fundraise, he said. “Each form came up with different ways, we raised about £50 through the wax stripping.



Hull City boss Grant McCann provides Covid update ahead of New Year’s Day clash against Blackpool

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Grant McCann has revealed his Hull City side could have six players back available to them for their New Year’s Day clash against Blackpool.


Saturday’s game at Bloomfield Road had been in doubt following a Covid outbreak among the Tigers squad, which caused their last two games to be postponed.

But some of those players who tested positive over the Christmas period have now returned from their period of self-isolation.

It’s understood McCann should have enough players to fulfil a squad, as EFL rules dictates fixtures should be fulfilled as long as clubs have 13 outfield players plus a goalkeeper.

Speaking this morning, McCann – who tested positive himself around Christmas – said: “We are better than what we have been.

“We’ve had six players return over the last couple of days. The problem is that when they return from Covid, there’s a three-day protocol that they’ve got to follow.

“Hopefully if they come through the session today, then we’ll be in a good place. It’s nice to have those players return.
Hull boss Grant McCann

Hull boss Grant McCann

“We’ve also recalled Josh Hinds from his loan spell at Spalding, so we’re a bit healthier.

“We’re still going to be missing about seven or eight players for the game due to Covid or injury. We’re in a much better place than we were seven or eight days ago.

“Luckily for us, not many of our cases had symptoms, so hopefully there is no knock-on effect.

“We’re hoping that everyone is okay.”

The Seasiders squad is also depleted by Covid cases, injuries and suspension and were without 10 players in total for their defeat to Middlesbrough on Wednesday night.



From forest school to social clubs, Lytham park ranger Julie has it all covered

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Julie Norman has been a familiar face at Park View 4U, Lytham, for almost 10 years after joining the recreation site charity as its park ranger.


The play areas at the QEII Park View Playing Fields had been created and the charity was ready to move onto the next stage, engaging the community through education and regular activities.

Here, as she prepares to celebrate a decade involved there, she tells of her background and her duties:

“I have always worked within the charity sector as it is my passion to do something that has a positive impact on protecting the environment while supporting the local community.

Park ranger Julie Norman at Park View 4U, Lytham

Park ranger Julie Norman at Park View 4U, Lytham

Community celebration time at Park View 4U, Lytham

“As a qualified Forest School Practitioner and having previously managed the education department for Lancashire Wildlife Trust, I was keen to bring the Forest School ethos to the Fylde and encourage park visitors to explore the wilder areas of the park.”

Julie runs a host of activities at the park to suit all ages.

She added: “There is no such thing as a typical day at the park but we do have regular weekly activities.

“Each week I deliver Forest Tots, our volunteer Gardening Hub, Forest and Beach School activities and a Health Walk, as well as co-ordinating and promoting the community groups that use our site and Eco Pod.

“We have a diverse programme with something for everyone to get involved with including our running group, yoga, junior herbalist club, yarn social group, guitar club, Spanish lessons, junior parkrun, street dance for toddlers and a wide range of workshops and events.

“Part of each working day involves promoting these activities via the noticeboards, social media, local press and radio interviews but since the pandemic I now produce a monthly e-newsletter ‘Growing Connections’ so that people can stay in touch with the park and find out more about things they may be interested in participating in.

“Fundraising is also a key part of working within any charity, therefore some time each day is dedicated to looking for funding and completing grant applications to raise essential money for park maintenance, improvements, running costs and projects.

“Most people think the role is all spent outside in the fresh air but there is also a lot of report writing, budgets, answering correspondence and research.

“The diversity of Park View 4U means I could be speaking to a company about designing skate parks one minute and then I could be inviting a world-renowned macro photographer from Kew Gardens to deliver a presentation on pollen and bees.”

Julie is keen to promote the benefits of connecting to nature and the outdoors.

She added: “I could never work in an office full time and love spending as much time as possible delivering activities outdoors.

“Connecting with nature and following the seasonal changes is good for your wellbeing and keeps you living in the moment.

“Recently, Rachel Harrison, Park View 4U’s community engagement officer, and I are running a project with pupils from Saint Bede’s RC High School, teaching them outdoor skills and practical conservation.

“They are splitting wood, learning fire lighting techniques using charcloth or birch bark and then roasting sweet chestnuts, before putting out the fire safely.

“One day recently we were teaching pre-schoolers how to use folding saws to create Christmas decorations.

“The following day, we tidied the area of our community garden where we have been growing Indigo, Weld and Woad as part of our natural art project ‘Plants to Dye For’. All of the projects we deliver are in response to requests from our visitors and to meet the needs of our local community.

“We are delighted that we have just been awarded the RHS Britain in Bloom North West Community Trophy to reflect the diversity and large range of opportunities available at the park.

“Generally having a cheery disposition and being able to adapt are the keys to being a park ranger – and of course keeping an eye on the weather forecast.

“Whether it is gale force winds or heatwaves, you need to be able to quickly change your activities to keep visitors safe and to keep plants watered.

“That is what keeps the job exciting as it is constantly changing, new challenges come your way and talking to our visitors inspires us to create new facilities and opportunities.”

It is thanks to our loyal readers that we can continue to provide the trusted news, analysis and insight that matters to you. For unlimited access to our unrivalled local reporting, you can take out a subscription here and help support the work of our dedicated team of reporters.



Middlesbrough record NINETEEN positive Covid-19 cases after game against Blackpool

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Middlesbrough record NINETEEN positive Covid-19 cases after game against Blackpool


Ten members of staff and nine players have come down with the virus.

Seven of the nine players featured at Bloomfield Road against the Seasiders on Wednesday night.

Despite the outbreak, manager Chris Wilder has been told by the EFL they must find a way to get their New Year’s Day game against Sheffield United on.

Boro have even been told they should recall players to make up the numbers.

“It’s possibly been the most difficult 48 hours of my managerial career. That says a lot,” Wilder told BBC Tees.

“The game is on. We’ve talked to the EFL, who have told us we need to do everything we can to get it on.

Boro boss Chris Wilder has been left furious

Boro boss Chris Wilder has been left furious

“We have a number of players that are available and what they’ve wanted us to do is supplement that group with players out on loan. I can’t get my head around that.

“I’ll be making a call to (Nottingham Forest boss) Steve Cooper to see if we can have Djed Spence back to sit on the bench. And the same with Lewis Wing. And Rumarn Burrell. We have players travelling down on their own to Sheffield.

“We’ll have to recall the likes of Stephen Walker, Lewis Wing.

“The blunt message we keep getting back from the EFL is ‘you have an obligation to fulfil this fixture’.

“People have been cutting corners. We’re not. This is genuine. I’m not that type of manager, this isn’t that type of club.

“This is 100 per cent a Covid outbreak. We have one injury, and he could play for 30 minutes. Let’s put the cards on the table. Will some clubs have bent the rules to dodge a fixture? In my opinion 100 per cent..

“I’m a man of integrity and honesty. I will play a game anywhere against anybody on a level playing field. We have been absolutely decimated from a player and staff point of view.”