Firefighters were called to a commercial building fire in Blackpool town centre on Saturday afternoon.
Four fire engines from Blackpool, South Shore, and Bispham, dealt with the incident in a single-story structure on Bonny Street.
The crews used one hose reel, a thermal imaging camera, and a triple extension ladder to extinguish the fire and were at the scene for 25 minutes.
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Lancashire schools are being urged to take part in a scheme to get pupils ready for local careers in the green energy market by building model cars powered by hydrogen fuel cells.
The free lessons are the first in a series of ‘in-a-box’ activities designed and funded by Future U and are designed to inspire students to take an interest in careers in the energy and low carbon sector when they finish school.
Schools can apply for the boxes to be delivered free containing a self-assembly model car with a fuel cell that produces hydrogen from water to power the car motor.
The box also includes a lesson plan on low carbon energy sources of the future, plus details of careers available and the education paths available to land a job in the growing sector.
Oliver Norris of Future U testing one of the Hydrogen fuel cell cars
Other boxes in the series will include advanced manufacturing, where students will learn the basics of building jet planes on a limited budget, plus lessons focusing on digital skills, food and agriculture, health, tourism and culture.
Energy and low carbon makes up one of the six industrial sectors identified by the Lancashire Local Enterprise Partnership as ‘Pillars of Growth’ where the local jobs of the future will be focused, with students being trained up and encouraged to explore career paths to secure jobs in the industries.
Andy Foulds at Future U said: “These identikit boxes are a full careers lesson for teachers and get students to think about future careers in sectors which we know will grow and require local workers very soon.
“It also allows student to get excited about what the low carbon agenda can offer Lancashire and the opportunities that come with that. Hopefully colleges can use these kits to get children thinking about their next move after school and pursuing a quality career in the green energy sector.”
Future U works across Lancashire to increase career and higher education aspirations for young people and encourage teenagers to think about studying at university and their career aspirations.
Since the start of the project in 2017, Future U has delivered over 1,100 careers activities across 70 schools and colleges in the area.
It involves institutions and organisations across the county including University of Central Lancashire, Lancaster University, Edge Hill University and the University of Cumbria. Its list of partners include: Blackburn College, Blackpool Sixth Form College, Blackpool and the Fylde College.
Neil Critchley described his Blackpool side as ‘unrecognisable’ as they surrendered a one goal lead to lose 2-1 to Hartlepool United in the third round of the FA Cup.
Keshi Anderson had given the Seasiders the lead in the first half but goals from David Ferguson and Joe Grey saw the Pools into the hat for the next round.
Taking the lead into the break was no less than Blackpool deserved after controlling proceedings for the opening 45 minutes, Shane Lavery also missed two golden opportunities to extend the visitors’ lead further.
The home side fought back in the second half however and were a goal up by the hour mark.
Blackpool boss Neil Critchley during his side’s 2-1 defeat to Hartlepool in the third round of the FA Cup.
After taking the lead just eight minutes into the game, Blackpool boss Critchley felt their early success actually played against them and was disappointed with the way his side came out after half time.
He said : “We’ve had a real taste of what FA Cup football is all about today. Unfortunately we’re on the receiving end of the low of the FA Cup.
“We scored early which was maybe one of the worst things we could have done in the game. At 1-0 we had control of the game and had some big opportunities to go two and 3-0 up.
“What has cost us is our start to the second half – a 15, 20 minute period where we were not at it at all.
“We were totally unrecognisable of a Blackpool team since I have been in charge here.
“They had a little bit of fortune with their first goal with a deflection then they score not long after. I think the first goal affected us, we lost control of the game, we turned the ball over and gave the ball away.
“Our defending for both goals was really poor and then you’re left chasing the game, we still created some good chances we just haven’t taken them. Ultimately, at both ends of the football pitch, we weren’t good enough and that’s why we’ve been beaten.”
It is a missed opportunity for Blackpool who faced a side 52 places below them, though Hartlepool have previous already in this year’s competition, knocking out both Wycombe Wanderers and Sheffield Wednesday who are both higher ranked than the Pools.
As the Seasiders continued to squander chance after chance and the home side grew into the game, Crtichley bemoaned the missed opportunities whilst also admitting the day belonged to Hartlepool.
He said: “Missing the chances gives the opposition a lift, they’re thinking this should be over but we’re still in it. Whilst it’s 1-0 they’re always in with a chance.
“We had some real guilt-edged opportunities to go 2-0 up and the game would have been different.
“The start of the second half was unacceptable for us. I wouldn’t want to use the word complacency but the players did give me that feeling.
“After the second goal we did get going again but it was too little too late and Hartlepool have already shown this season that they can be teams higher up in the league pyramid.
“They have a good home record and they’re hard to beat on their home pitch.
“Fair play to them, good luck. I hope they get a really good draw in the next round now, this is their day.”
As another Christmas season comes to a close, the first steps are being taken to send discarded festive trees galore from homes across the Fylde coast back to nature.
Trinity Hospice will carry out its annual doorstep collection of real trees this weekend, while a host of deposit points are now open across Fylde for householders to drop off the tree themselves.
All the trees will then be planted at St Annes beach next month to help with dunes preservation and soft sea defence.
Trinity volunteers will be picking up trees from postcodes FY1. FY2, FY3, FY4, FY5, FY6, FY8 and PR4 on Saturday and Sunday – 12 months on from the trees collection raising a record £23,000 for the hospice via donations from the householders involved.
Trinity volunteer tree collector Emma Lonican
More than 1,800 trees were collected then and Janet Atkins, corporate partnership manager at the Bispham-based hospice, said: “The tree collection is the perfect way to begin 2022 by helping to support local hospice care while doing something amazing for the environment.
“Last year was incredible for us. We had nearly 70 wonderful volunteers working hard over the weekend to collect more than 1,800 trees from across Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre.
“They all said they had a great time, knowing they had done something special to support their local hospice.
Around 1,800 trees were buried in the sands at St Annes last year.
“We’ve increased our locations for this year’s collection, so we hope this collection will be our best yet!”
Emma Lonican and Mark Robinson volunteered for last January’s collection and said they would be looking to help out again this year.
“Helping with the tree collection was such a lovely feeling,” said Emma. “It was our way of giving something back to our community by supporting our local hospice, as well as helping the environment.
“It really was a great way to start the year with such a wonderful act of kindness, not just for charity and our home, but also to all those people who had booked their collection.”
Fylde Council leader Coun Karen Buckley was among the volunteers last year and said at the time: “I was delighted to join the volunteers to fill our trailer with trees from addresses around Ansdell.
“The residents were thrilled to be part of the scheme, knowing their donations were helping Trinity and their used trees were being recycled.”
Fylde Council’s temporary collection points and now open up to next Thursday, January 13 at various site around the borough.
They are at: HM Coastguard Station, North Beach car park, St Annes; Lytham Rail Station car park; Rawstorne Sport Centre car park, Freckleton; William Segar Hodgson car park, Coronation Road, Kirkham and Elswick Village Hall car park, Roseacre Road, Elswick.
Householders dropping off their own trees are reminded that tree skirts, bases and all decorations need to be removed and the trees should be left inside the barriered area.
All the trees will be planted on St Annes beach as part of the sand dunes restoration project.
It’s a campaign to help nature which started 10 years ago and last year, almost 2,000 trees were planted in the dunes inside four days, despite only a small number of socially distanced staff and no volunteers being allowed to participate in tne ‘big dig’ because of the pandemic restrictions.
Amy Pennington, Fylde Sand Dunes Project Community Engagement Officer for the Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside, who works with Fylde Council on the project, said: “The buried trees are important to catch the sand blowing in from the strong onshore winds.”
Details of the Trinity collection at www.trinityhospice.co.uk/tree-collection
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Blackpool surrendered their lead in the third round of the FA Cup to lose 2-1 to League Two side Hartlepool United.
The Seasiders had won their last five FA Cup matches against lower league opposition prior to the clash and a goal from Keshi Anderson inside 10 minutes looked to send them on their way.
A second half fight back and a goal apiece for David Ferguson and Joe Grey however turned the game on its head and sent the Seasiders out.
Neil Critchley made one change to the side that beat Hull City last time out in the Championship, with Callum Connolly coming in for the recalled Ryan Wintle.
Keshi Anderson scores the opening goal of the game.
Blackpool started the game the brighter of the two sides, there was intent in their play and they were well organised off the ball.
Although it was the home side with the first chance of the game, Dujon Sterling giving away a free kick on the edge of his own box. Tom Crawford picked himself up having been fouled and his strike deflected off the top of the wall and behind.
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Pool found joy hitting their front two in particular, with neither under much pressure when it arrived either towards their head or feet. Shane Lavery nodded the ball down for Gary Madine to volley at goal after five minutes, Ben Killip in the Pools’ goal holding at the second attempt.
Then came the breakthrough eight minutes in, first Josh Bowler got down the right wing to cross into the middle for Madine whose first time effort forced an impressive save from Killip. Anderson was in a good position for the rebound and after only kicking the air, he took control of the ball, carried it from left to right inside the area and slotted it back across his body into the bottom corner.
Lavery would have the opportunity to put the Seasiders two goals to the good after 24 minutes, the Irishman benefitting from fine work from Aderson down the left side to receive a square ball six yards out which he could only direct wide of the near post.
The home support grew increasingly frustrated throughout the opening 45, centre back Timi Odusina stepping out of defence past a couple of Pool players before being brought down by Callum Connolly a rare bright point – the latter being booked for his part in it 27 minutes in.
Then came the first of two first half casualties, Anderson’s afternoon ended early as he went down off the ball. The winger made a run into the centre and pulled up, hobbling another 10 yards without moving his left leg. It seemed to be a hamstring injury for the Pool no.10 and on came CJ Hamilton to take his place.
Madine went close for the Seasiders shortly after, his header from a corner deep to the far post cleared off the line.
James Husband was the next injury concern for Critchley, again an off the ball injury which saw another early change as Luke Garbutt took his place just three minutes before the end of normal time in the first half.
There was still time for one further chance in the half, Hamilton bursting down the left side was too much for the Hartlepool defence and in a similar position to his first miss, Lavery could not find the net from six yards out.
Although not firing on all cylinders, Pool took the lead into the break and should have had more to show for the positions they found themselves in.
They would be made to pay almost immediately by their hosts, who came out for the second half a rejuvenated side.
Only three minutes into the second half the home side drew level, left back David Ferguson checked inside from the left at the corner of the 18 yard box and wrapped his right foot around the ball. His effort deflected off Connolly and left Daniel Grimshaw no chance as he watched it hit the back of the net.
It breathed life into a Hartlepool side that had severely lacked creativity in the first half with a crowd frustrated and wanting something to shout about and they now did.
Pool could barely get out of their half for the next 15 minutes and the pressure told. Former Seasider Mark Cullen was replaced by Joe Grey and the substitute had an immediate impact.
Crawford’s neat pass just inside from the left found Grey with just enough time inside the Blackpool box to take a touch and steer the ball into the bottom left corner, the home side taking the lead just after the hour mark.
Still, Pool had their chances, despite being second best. Hamilton twice could have got the visitors back level and certainly should have done with his second opportunity.
After 63 minutes the winger was played in down the left by Madine and his first time strike was dragged past the far post then on the other wing Bowler got past his man to square for the 26-year-old who could not find the target from six yards out. Lavery twice missed from that range in the first half and Hamilton followed suit in the second.
Marvin Epkiteta was the next man into the referee’s book, his foul on Grey seeing him booked just before he was withdrawn from the game 78 minutes in.
On came Jerry Yates and Demetri Mitchell in a switch to three at the back as the Seasiders searched for a way back into the game but the home side were buoyed, battling and backed by the home support willing them on in every challenge.
One last chance for Lavery was squandered before the end, the striker making it a hat trick of misses from six yards out with a glancing header past the far post, though his final chance was trickier than his first two.
Long balls and pressure on United’s box followed in the final moments but the home side held strong and secured their place in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Affordable zero-waste stores in Blackpool, Fleetwood and St Annes to help you reduce your carbon footprint
There’s been a boom in eco-shops in 2021, and it’s no surprise. People are more aware of their carbon footprint, and more of us are taking steps to reduce waste.
Six in ten Brits actively sought to reduce their use of single-use plastic in 2021, according to Statista research. More than half of us think that large supermarkets still aren’t doing enough to curb the amount of packaging.
These four Fylde coast shops can help you make 2022 the year to go green.
1. Un-Do (76 Norbreck Road, Bispham)
Jenna Robinson opened Bispham’s first zero-waste shop, Un-Do in October, as she saw more people in the area were asking about her eco-friendly lifestyle. “Even people who hadn’t thought about this kind of lifestyle are starting to think about how they can do their bit for the planet. I want to help them to make those little changes, because it all makes a difference.” While eco-shops are a growing trend, they revert back to an older way of shopping. Rice, pasta and cereal are all in dispensers where you can fill up your own container with what you need. Punters at the store on Norbreck Road can grab fresh produce in the quantity they need. Jenna, 32, said; “This is how they used to do it, with half the shop full of loose fruit and veg. The difference is that we can do it much more hygienically than in the old days. You get as much as you want so you’re not letting food go to waste.” However, the former dance-school owner is realistic. “I don’t expect anyone to completely switch to this lifestyle but
2. Dawson’s Emporium (15 The Crescent, St Annes)
Michelle and Lee Dawson opened their eco-friendly gift store in November. The couple, who moved to St Annes from West Yorkshire in 2019, scoured the web to find lovely zero-waste products they were happy to use themselves. Michelle said: “You’ve got to offer a good product if you want people to buy them.” Dawson’s Emporium stocks products that are biodegradable, compostable and ethically sourced. “We’re trying to do our bit. Most of our products are from small UK suppliers, and made at kitchen tables.” The growing green demand has led to some innovative products. Hand creams and candles sold at the shop on The Crescent, St Annes, rival luxury brands – but all with a conscience. Greeting cards, bookmarks and stationary are made from seedpaper – a type of card infused with seeds that can be planted after use. Michelle said: “They can grow bee-friendly flowers or something edible. Instead of paper filling your recycling bin, they are zero waste-and also a lovely gift of flowers.” While some of the craf
3. Tram Weigh (50b North Albert Street, Fleetwood)
Amanda Cross, 43, opened Fleetwood’s first plastic-free store, called The Tram Weigh. The mum-of-three wanted to make green shopping more affordable, after once being charged £9 for a shampoo refill. She said: “I wanted to shop at these eco-minded places but I just couldn’t afford it. These shops are aimed at middle class people with big wages, selling high end products which are out of the reach of people like me. “That’s why I decided to open my own shop – at affordable prices!” Amanda, 43, said there’s still a lot of confusion about recycling. She said: “Recycling was a good idea in theory but it doesn’t really work effectively enough. “The only way to stop all this plastic packaging causing chaos to our ecosystem is to stop buying it, day after day.”
The drama, starring James Nesbitt, was filmed across the north west
Netflix drama Stay Close has hit our screens but a “ridiculous error” is proving to be a big distraction with some viewers saying it’s made them turn off.
The show, starring James Nesbitt, came on to Netflix on December 31 and has featured on the streaming service’s most-viewed list with fans binging it in a day.
Stay Close, based on the Harlan Coben novel of the same name, was filmed across the North West including in Blackpool, Chorley and Morecambe as well as Runcorn and Manchester.
The series, which consists of eight episodes, centres around mum Megan, played by actress Cush Jumbo, and how a dark secret from her past comes back to haunt her.
At the same time detectives are investigating a missing persons case which is led by Nesbitt’s character Broome.
The book is set in Atlantic City, however creators of the Netflix series opted to give it a North West spin – of sorts, reports the ECHO.
Those watching the show have spotted locations from across the region including Blackpool beach, Morecambe Promenade as well as St Helens Dream Sculpture near Wigan, the Silver Jubilee Bridge in Halton and the former nightclub Shorrocks Hill in Formby.
However, viewers have taken to Twitter to highlight the “random” way that the locations have been pieced together to appear as though they are part of the same city.
One viewer took to Twitter to highlight the odd route she took.
They wrote: “Watching the first episode of Stay Close on Netflix and a character just drove over Runcorn bridge, turned right off Blackpool Prom onto Talbot Road and ended up at the dream sculpture in St. Helens. I think she needs to get a sat nav.”
While others say the mixed up locations made them turn off altogether.
Viv Harris wrote: “Given up Stay Close for now after two episodes. Completely ridiculous and unbelievable, to say nothing about the random locations around the North West all appearing to be next to each other or a short car ride away.
“It’s a no from me I’m afraid, I was really looking forward to it.”
Paul Phipps added: “Harlan Coben’s Stay Close spoilt for me by inferring local landmarks such as Runcorn Bridge, Tatton Park, Dream Statue and Arley Hall are all around Blackpool.”
Danielle Walsh also wrote: “Really like Stay Close on Netflix but I’m struggling with the filming locations… they left Widnes, drove south over the bridge to Runcorn, to arrive north in Blackpool, then the Dream in St Helens and finally arriving at Rivington Pike.”
Another viewer tweeted: “There’s some big plot holes in Stay Close on Netflix. One of the characters has just driven over the Runcorn Bridge, through Blackpool and ended up at The Dream in St Helens. Not buying it.”
Derek Webster said: “Watching Stay Close but when you know the locations it can be distracting.
“Set in a mythical town you see characters drive over the old Widnes/Runcorn bridge. Then Blackpool, Formby, St Helens and Manchester. I spend most of it saying I know where that is!”
The decision has been taken in order to keep staff and patients safe at hospitals including Blackpool Victoria
Hospitals in Blackpool and Fylde have banned most visitors amid rising levels of Covid infections as the NHS comes under pressure.
Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust says it has taken the “difficult decision to suspend most visiting until further notice” due to soaring cases of Covid-19, including the Omicron variant.
It explained that the decision has been made to keep all staff and patients safe and to limit the spread of coronavirus.
There are some circumstances where people will be allowed to visit patients for example when they are receiving end of life care or if someone needs a carer to support them for example if they have dementia or a learning disability.
Parents or carers are also still able to visit neonatal units and children’s wards.
In a statement Blackpool Teaching Hospitals said: “Due to rising levels of Coronavirus infections in the community Blackpool Teaching Hospitals has taken the difficult decision to suspend most visiting until further notice.
“This decision was not taken lightly and has been made to keep all staff and patients safe across the Trust and help play an important role in limiting further spread of Covid-19.
“The following exceptions are in place where visiting can continue:
Where a patient is receiving end of life care – up to four visitors will be welcome
Carers supporting someone, for instance with dementia or a learning disability.
“Visiting to maternity and children’s services remain unchanged.”
It added that visitors who are allowed to enter wards will be asked to take a Lateral Flow Test.
The ban comes after the trust, which is responsible for Blackpool Victoria Hospital, Clifton Hospital and Fleetwood Hospital, declared a critical incident.
The critical incident has been declared due to high demand and long waits in emergency departments and urgent care pathways, with The Vic running at full capacity.
There are also high staff sickness absence levels which is also impacting day to day operations.
A breakdown of current visiting rules can be found on the trust’s website, here.
A new Premium Bonds millionaire has been crowned in Lancashire after scooping the first jackpot of 2022.
The lucky winner became an instant millionaire after Bond number 127VF63097 was selected by ERNIE (Electronic Random Number Indicator Equipment) yesterday (January 4).
National Savings and Investments – the government agency which runs the lottery from its office in Blackpool – said the winner holds £30,000 in Premium Bonds and purchased their winning Bond in May 2007.
They become the fourteenth Premium Bonds millionaire from Lancashire and the second jackpot winner from the county in consecutive months.
The lucky Lancashire winner became an instant millionaire after Bond number 127VF63097 was selected by ERNIE yesterday (January 4)
Jill Waters, NS&I retail director, said: “A massive congratulations to our Premium Bonds jackpot winners in Lancashire and Hertfordshire. It’s a brilliant start to the New Year and we wish them all the best for 2022 and beyond.
“We would also like to wish all of our customers a Happy New Year, with the start of 2022 being the perfect time to start a new savings habit.
“Customers can invest in Premium Bonds from just £25 and can even set up a standing order via their bank to help them save regularly and build up a savings pot.”
Another £1million prize was awarded to a second jackpot winner from Hertfordshire, who holds £50,000 in Premium Bonds and purchased the winning Bond in October 2015.
Money box shaped like ERNIE. Pic credit: Geni, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons
They become the fourteenth millionaire chosen by ERNIE from Hertfordshire.
Aside from the two new millionaires, there were over 3.3 million other prizes paid out at the start of 2022, worth between £25 and £100,000.
ERNIE 5, the latest model, was brought into service in March 2019, and is a quantum random number generator built by ID Quantique.
It uses quantum technology to produce random numbers through light, replacing the former ‘thermal noise’ method. Running at speeds 21,000 times faster than the first ERNIE, it can produce 3 million winners in just 12 minutes each month.
Are you one of the lucky winners?
Premium Bonds holders can check to see if they have won a prize in January’s prize draw by using the nsandi.com prize checker, official prize checker app or their Alexa-enabled device from today (Wednesday, January 5 2022).
Customers will need their Premium Bonds holder’s number to use the website and their NS&I number or holder’s number to check via the prize checker app. At the same time, they can check for any unclaimed prizes owed to them.
January 2022 prize draw breakdown
In the January 2022 prize draw, a total of 3,352,872 prizes worth £96,395,075 will be paid out.
There were 115,674,095,010 Bond numbers eligible for the draw. Since the first draw in June 1957, ERNIE has drawn 549 million prizes with a total value of £22.5 billion.
‘The buzz around town especially on the prom has been extremely positive’
Blackpool residents are praising the resort following its ‘brightest season ever’ throughout the winter period.
For the 2021 Christmas period, Blackpool was crowned the cheapest Christmas attraction for families in the UK, with a study finding that the total cost for a family of four was only £37.
The seaside town hosted a variety of things to do including, ice skating, snowfalls, a projection show and magic forest, as well as the Star Flyer ride and Winter Gardens Wonderland – and those who live at the resort are celebrating the ‘best’ season as it passes.
Director of StayBlackpool, Ian White, told LancsLive: “As a Blackpool Hotelier and Director of the Hotel Association StayBlackpool, I am delighted at the way the extended season has brought so many people to town. The buzz around town especially on the prom has been extremely positive.
“It has been heartwarming to see and hear so much positive feedback on social media platforms and from StayBlackpool members. Blackpool Council and so many businesses have excelled during this period, going above and beyond at so many levels, creating a winter season to remember for all the right reasons.
“It is great to know the extended Illuminations and so much more will return during the winter 2022. Lots of positive lessons have been learned during a period of so much uncertainty and various challenges, giving the certainty this coming winter will be much bigger and better.”
Margaret Summers shared a post congratulating the resort to the Blackpool & Fylde COAST Past, Present and Future group on Facebook.
She wrote: “I feel I have to congratulate Blackpool my home for 73 years we have been walking the prom almost daily for the last 4 year but this year has been amazing with the new ride and all going on on the comedy carpet and else where In the town,
“The illuminations to us have shone the brightest ever all this has been a great thing for Blackpool we drove along the prom the other night it was so busy with family’s and others like the middle of summer let’s hope they all come back in the years to come so we’ll done Blackpool xx I love you xx”
Brian Sherratt added: “Thats great we lived here for 36 years and we do the same all the time we walk the prom to town and back a lot and went down to have a look on new years eve called in C Fresh near the foxhall pub and had our tea it brilliant.”
Carol Mooney wrote: “I agree! It’s been wonderful seeing Blackpool so busy. The Christmas market and ride have been a great success. Blackpool gets a bad press but it has a lot of good points and I love it.”
The winter season at the resort saw the Christmas illuminations extended until January 3, with early indicators showing that the decision to extend the display was already paying off as early as December 7.
Blackpool’s Winter Gardens Wonderland also provided Bavarian-style Christmas markets as well as a Santa’s grotto, Ice-skating, snowfalls, a projection show and magic forest which were all free to access.
For the first time, Winter Gardens also hosted the Star Flyer – Europe’s largest travelling aerial ride – which saw those brave enough to get on it soar half the height of Blackpool Tower.
Today’s round-up of transfer rumours from around the Championship.
Blackpool will have to battle with Sheffield Wednesday, Preston North End and Barnsley for the signing of USA-based Scotland international Stuart Findlay, according to Football Insider.
Former Celtic and Newcastle defender Findlay is currently playing for MLS outfit Philadelphia Union.
Winger Dion Pereira has become Bradford City’s first recruit of the transfer window, report the Telegraph & Argus.
Tuesday’s transfer rumours
Derek Adams has snapped up the 22-year-old on loan from Championship side Luton Town until the end of the season.
West Bromwich Albion boss Valerien Ismael says that the club had worked for months in order to complete the signing of Daryl Dike, says the Express & Star.
The American striker signed for the Baggies on Saturday in what was a permanent deal from Orlando City, thus seeing him link up with Ismael for the first time since the duo left their old club Barnsley.
West Ham United are weighing up the prospect of signing Blackburn Rovers striker Ben Brereton Diaz, claims the Daily Mail.
The 22-year-old has become a highly-coveted striker this month on the back of a stunning campaign for Championship outfit Rovers.
Football League World reports that Sheffield United boss Paul Heckingbottom has admitted some of his strikers could leave this month because the club has a lot of players in attacking positions.
His comments follow on from the news that Blackburn Rovers are interested in signing Oliver Burke either on loan or on a permanent deal.
Donations to Trinity Hospice for collection of discarded Christmas trees are poised to set a new record this year.
A small army of volunteers will be out and about across the Fylde coast this weekend collecting trees from homes.
Pledges already made via the advance booking system in operation suggest the amount raised will top £24,000, shattering the previous best achieved last year.
Almost 2,000 trees are set to be collected over Saturday and Sunday and a Trinity spokesman said: “It’s our biggest collection yet, with 1,937 trees booked and £24,301 raised – that’s an increase of 250 trees and around £2,000 (on last year).”
Steve Marsh and Brian Tucker collecting trees for Trinity last year
The volunteers are covering more areas of the coast than ever this year. Once collected, the trees, along with others deposited by householders at various drop-off points, will be planted in the sands at St Annes next month under the sand dunes restoration project.
Janet Atkins, Trinity’s corporate partnerships manager, said: “We are absolutely thrilled that this weekend will once again be a record for our Christmas tree collection.
“Each year we are collecting more trees and raising more money so that we can provide exceptional hospice care to local families who need us.
“A huge thank you to everyone who has booked their collection with us and made a generous donation to our hospice.
“Our volunteers are ready with their vans for the collection, so if you see them please give them a wave.
“They do a fantastic job with this collection and, along with our sponsors Ameon and Easthams Solicitors, and Blackpool Council and Fylde Council, we really wouldn’t be able to do it without them.”