Lancashire’s Met Office weekend weather breakdown with gales, rain and frost

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The weather for Preston, Blackpool, Hyndburn, Rossendale, Burnley, Blackburn with Darwen, Ribble Valley, West Lancashire, South Ribble, Fylde, Wyre, Pendle, Chorley and Lancaster.


Waves crash over the promenade in Blackpool (Image: PA)

Lancashire is in for gales, rain and a touch of frost this weekend according to a very gloomy Met Office forecast.

The weather experts are predicting damp conditions over the next few days, which will see coats and umbrellas out in force across the county.

Saturday is set to be the worst, with the forecast predicting a washout day for the most part.

But before that, Friday will see scattered showers in places which will turn wintry over higher ground.

Into Friday afternoon, there is a chance of hail and thunder, although southern and western areas of the county will see clearer skies.

The rain will clear into the evening but temperatures will be cold, bringing a touch of frost to the ground.

On Saturday, expect wind and rain, especially in the morning.

The Met Office is even warning of coastal gales, before the rain becomes more confirmed to west-facing hills in the afternoon.

Sunday to Tuesday will see temperatures rise, much to the delight of Lancashire residents.

It is set to become milder, although there is still the chance of wind and showers throughout.

Here is the full Met Office weather forecast for the weekend ahead across Lancashire.

It covers Preston, Blackpool, Hyndburn, Rossendale, Burnley, Blackburn with Darwen, Ribble Valley, West Lancashire, South Ribble, Fylde, Wyre, Pendle, Chorley and Lancaster.

Today:

Chilly start with a few showers around. These showers developing further for a time, possibly turning wintry over higher ground and bringing hail or thunder in the afternoon.

Southern and western areas seeing the best of clear and sunny skies.

Maximum temperature 11 °C.

Tonight:

A dry and clear evening. Small chance of rural frost in the east.

Overnight, winds strengthen and heavy rain reaches the southwest by dawn.

Temperatures recovering after the early dip. Minimum temperature -1 °C.

Saturday:

Very wet and windy, especially in the morning. Risk of coastal gales for a time.

Rain becoming more confined to west-facing hills later in the day. Maximum temperature 15 °C.

Outlook for Sunday to Tuesday:

Nights become milder, but remaining windy and unsettled with showers or longer spells of rain throughout.

 

Blackpool-themed children’s toy launches as creator offers free handouts to schools

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Due its educational purposes, Hippo Mat is looking to give away as many mats as it can to deserving schools and organisations for free

Blackpool-themed children's road mat launched by Hippo Mat
Blackpool-themed children’s road mat launched by Hippo Mat (Image: Hippo Mat)

A new Blackpool-themed educational toy for children designed by a local artist has just been launched and is unlike any of its kind.

Creators Hippo Mat, based in Brighton, employed the services of Blackpool’s Billie Franks to design a children’s road mat which includes many unique landmarks and road safety features.

Children in the town can now let their imaginations run free where they can visit the famous Blackpool Tower, stroll peacefully through Stanley Park or pay a visit to the animals at Blackpool zoo.

Hippo Mat is in the process of creating children’s road maps for 62 locations around the UK.

The fun maps are not made to 100% scale however landmarks are accurate in terms of where they are in relation to each other.

Hippo Mat Director Marcos said: “Each artist is from that location so our Blackpool artist is Billie Franks from Blackpool.

Blackpool Pleasure Beach on Hippo Mat's road mat
Blackpool Pleasure Beach on Hippo Mat’s road mat (Image: Hippo Mat)

“I’m a driving instructor normally so that’s why it’s so imperative it has to have the road signs and road paint!

“The idea came about literally on a driving lesson when a learner and I were reminiscing of childhood.”

“Local Geography is part of the KS1 Curriculum so our products are definitely more educational than generic car play mats for that reason.

Coral Island on Hippo Mat's road mat
Coral Island on Hippo Mat’s road mat (Image: Hippo Mat)

Due its educational purposes, Hippo Mat is looking to give away as many mats as it can to deserving schools and organisations for free.

So far the toy maker has emailed 15 Blackpool schools and organisations however have not had a response.

The mats are also available to buy from the company’s website.

To find out more about Hippo Mat’s products, please visit the website here.

Fino Tapas confirms expansion with four new restaurants in Lytham, Blackpool, Kendal and Chester

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New restaurants will be opening in Lytham, Blackpool, Kendal and Chester

Fino Tapas
Fino Tapas is expanding (Image: Fino Tapas)

The owner of Fino Tapas has confirmed he will open four new restaurants following on from the success of the original eatery.

Fino Tapas serves authentic, quality Spanish food and drink from its Guildhall Street location in the heart of Preston.

Restaurant entrepreneur and owner Mark O’Rourke has now confirmed he will invest £2million in two new Lancashire sites, in Lytham and Blackpool which are due to open over the summer.

A further two sites outside the county will also open at the end of the year under the plans, including in Kendal and Chester.

The move is set to create up to 250 new jobs across the North West of England.

Fino Tapas since opened in Preston in 2018 at its original site in St Winifred’s Street, before relocating to the larger, former Tiggis on Guildhall Street to meet the demands for more social-distanced dining and the Fino Delivery service.

While each new restaurant will deliver the Spanish cuisine the business has become known, they will all have their own “very individual character.”


Fino Tapas will be coming to Lytham (Image: Fino Tapas)

Following the announcement, Mark O’Rourke said: “We’re very excited to be extending the Fino Tapas brand across Lancashire, Cumbria and Cheshire. The Preston restaurant has a huge, loyal customer base and continues to attract new customers, thanks to a buzzing night time culture and growing quality food and drink scene in the city.

“The Lancashire coast provides an opportunity to develop two great new sites in tourism destinations. Both Lytham and Blackpool have benefitted from multi-million-pound investments and look set to see a boost in staycations, as people look for traditional seaside breaks.

“Each restaurant will serve the authentic quality Spanish cuisine that we have become known for and reflect the style and ambiance of our first Fino Tapas, but they will have their own very individual character.”

The new Lytham restaurant will be in the former Gusto building on Dicconson Terrace, close to Lytham Green and the towns iconic windmill.

It is due to open this June, it has been confirmed.

In August, the Blackpool restaurant will open in the former Bella Italia on Church St, just a short walk from attractions including The Blackpool Tower, Winter Gardens and Grand Theatre.

In Kendal and Chester, Fino Tapas will breathe new life into Grade II -listed, town centre pubs.

“We’re making a considerable investment in each of these locations and creating job opportunities for the community,” Mark added.

“After the challenging year we’ve had in hospitality, it feels good to be introducing a new brand and our authentic taste of Spain, to these popular North West town centres.”

“Our aim is to develop the Fino Tapas brand in more sites across the UK.”

 

Blackpool Illuminations sneak preview Ride the Lights event announced

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In past bike rides, participants have been known to get creative and put their very own Illuminations display on their bikes with colourful lights, lamps and lanterns.

The 'Ride the Lights' event will take place on August 31 and offers a chance for you, family and friends to get a on a bike and get a sneak preview of Blackpool Illuminations before the main switch on
The ‘Ride the Lights’ event will take place on August 31 and offers a chance for you, family and friends to get a on a bike and get a sneak preview of Blackpool Illuminations before the main switch on (Image: Visit Blackpool)

A chance to get a sneak preview of Blackpool Illuminations before the main switch on event has just been announced.

The ‘Ride the Lights’ event will take place on August 31 and offers a chance for attendees to get a on a bike and view the installations from beginning to end.

Riders can join at any point along the Promenade from Starr Gate at South Shore to Red Bank Road in Bispham and can cycle as much or as little of the route as they are able.

The event, run by VisitBlackpool, is not a bike race but a fun and free bike ride open to all.

In the past, participants have been known to get creative and put their very own Illuminations display on their bikes with colourful lights, lamps and lanterns.

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

It starts at 6pm when the road will close for cyclists and will re-open to traffic again at 10pm.

Bike Doctors and support vehicles will be on hand to look after breakdown and marshals and first aiders will be on hand along the route.

Please be aware that the tramway will be operational throughout the ride and take special care in the area around North Pier and Metropole Hotel area.

All bikes must have a minimum of one white light at the front and one red light at the back and it is highly recommended that all participants should wear a cycle helmet.

Charities are encouraged to use the event as a fundraiser by encouraging their supporters to participate and get sponsored.

To find out more about the ‘Ride the Lights’ event, click here.

 

Blackpool’s hotels and pubs ready for latest changes on Monday

Home | Blackpool Gazette

It’s a big day on Monday for Blackpool’s hotels and pubs as lockdown restrictions are further eased.

Peter Shaw getting the Kingsbury Hotel ready for reopening
Peter Shaw getting the Kingsbury Hotel ready for reopening

For hotels in the resort, the big day can’t come soon enough.

Although some hotels have already been open to keyworkers, many of Blackpool establishments are geared towards leisure breaks and have been closed since last November.

For many pubs, meanwhile, the ability to serve customers at tables and chairs outdoors has been a lifeline since last month, yet Monday’s changes will mean they will once again be able to welcome customers inside their establishments, while still adhering to Covid guidelines.

Valerie Hodgkiss and Peter Shaw are ready for the Kingsbury Hotel to reopenValerie Hodgkiss and Peter Shaw are ready for the Kingsbury Hotel to reopen

They are all hoping it will pave the way for the final end of restrictions in June, despite some concerns being raised about the so-called ‘Indian variant’.

At the 115-bed Tiffany’s Hotel on North Promenade, general manager Karl Myhill said: “We went from being a lively hotel that never shut for a single day in thirty-odd years, to being an eerie silent place and it has just been upsetting, to be honest.

“So we are all really excited to be opening again and hearing the sound of customers, music and entertainment here.

“We’ve been busy re-painting and getting the guest rooms ad the lounges ready – we’ve even bought a couple of huge stone lions for outside the entrance.”
Mike Hayes, landlord of the Highlands pub in Bispham
Mike Hayes, landlord of the Highlands pub in Bispham

Karl is optimistic about the rest of the year, as bookings already show a health number of ‘staycations’ by families who are unsure of whether it’s safe to go abroad and are instead coming to Blackpool.

He said: “This really is our time to shine, not just at Tiffany’s but Blackpool as a whole, because if they enjoy themselves this year they are more likely to come back in 2022.

“We’ve had bookings from people who came here as children and haven’t been back until now – and they are bringing their own children.

“The test for us is to keep families coming here in 2022, when i think people might be more likely to start going abroad again.”

Chris, Christian and Karen Bracegirdle are ready to welcome customers inside the Boars Head Pub on Monday. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard

Chris, Christian and Karen Bracegirdle are ready to welcome customers inside the Boars Head Pub on Monday. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard

Down the coast at the nine-bed Kingsbury Hotel on New South Promenade, Peter Shaw and Valerie Hodgkiss have been running the establishment for five years.

Peter said: “It’s been a difficult time for everyone and we’ve had to tighten our belts a little here, but we’ve survived and we’re excited about being able to reopen.

“I think it will be steady this year, maybe not quite back to normal but obviously better than last year.

“I’ve been in the catering and hotel industry for more than 50 years and I’ve never known a time like this but we’ve just got to keep going.”

Karl Myhill in the reception of Tiffany's is ready to reopen on Monday. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard

Karl Myhill in the reception of Tiffany’s is ready to reopen on Monday. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard

The couple will welcome their first guests on Friday May 21, the first of s a steady stream of bookings.

At the Highlands pub on Queens Promenade, Bispham, Monday will bring a welcome return to relative normality for manager Mike Hayes.

Mike, who runs the pub business and lease the seafront premises from brewery Thwaites, said: “It’s going to make a big difference to us.

“While I have been grateful to be able to serve people outside these last few weeks, it’s very weather-dependant and when it’s cold, windy and wet people aren’t going to sit there for a drink or a meal.

“It’s meant that instead of opened from 12 to 11pm , we’ve been closing at 7pm ever night and sometimes staying shut for days, so being able to get people back in will be great.

“It will be waiter service but hopefully from June our customers can walk up to the bar like the old days – hopefully!

Rosie Makintura from housekeeping at Tiffany's cleans a bath in readiness for reopening on Monday. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard

Rosie Makintura from housekeeping at Tiffany’s cleans a bath in readiness for reopening on Monday. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard

“It’s been a horrible time with all the things that have gone on, but the Government’s furlough scheme meant we’ve been able to keep all the staff on – and our brewery Thwaites have been very supportive.”

At the Boars Head pub on Preston Old Road, Chris and Karen Bracegirdle welcome the latest easing of lockdown but say the big change will come on June 21, when punters will be able to but drinks at the bar, instead of the waiter service.

The couple, who run the bar as managers for pub firm Dorbiere and take a percentage of the pub earnings, have been serving people on outside tables since April.

Chris said: “Before Covid, we could have two bar staff on with us and we’d be able to serve people from the bar.

“But we need five or six staff to take the orders, carry the drinks over the table, sort out the track and trace and that will still be the same indoors, until thing change in June

“That means we have to pay more people and earn less profit, which has been tough.

“We’re taking the hit now and hopefully in the summer we’ll be able to get back to normal – we’re a community pub and we’re proving a service at the end of the day.”