Toys and belongings ‘strewn all over street’ after Heysham explosion, MP says

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Toys and belongings were “strewn all over the street” in the aftermath of a suspected gas explosion which killed a toddler, MPs have heard.

George Arthur Hinds, aged two years and 10 months, died following a blast on Mallowdale Avenue in Heysham, Lancashire, in the early hours of Sunday.

Conservative David Morris (Morecambe and Lunesdale) described the “heartbreaking” scene of the explosion to the Commons and said he “wasn’t prepared” for what he saw.

He called on the Government to “ensure that we all have a very safe home to live in” and added that “any measures to be learned from the still ongoing investigation into this tragedy in my community should be heeded by the Government”.

Emergency workers at the scene of a suspected gas explosion, in which a young child was killed and two people were seriously injuredEmergency workers at the scene of a suspected gas explosion, in which a young child was killed and two people were seriously injured

Shocking new images from the explosion scene in Heysham show a picture of utter …

Mr Morris told MPs: “I would like to convey to my House a tragedy that occurred in my constituency on the very early hours of Sunday morning, precisely at 02.36am.

“As it happened I was actually wide awake, and it was in my community within a quarter of a mile of where I live and I heard a loud explosion and my windows were shaken.

“I found out about an hour later after watching from where I live – I live on top of a hill, I can see all around the district, blue lights coming from all directions – that a house explosion occurred, not a quarter of a mile away from where I live in Mallowdale Avenue in Heysham.”

He went on: “I waited until the next day when I was invited by the local council to look at the site – I have to tell you it was heartbreaking.

“What I saw I wasn’t prepared for. There were belongings strewn all over the street and toys and just debris everywhere. The whole community in that area were out, they were all in shock.”

George’s parents Vicky Studholme and Stephen Hinds were also injured in the incident, but not seriously, and have since been discharged from hospital.

Paying tribute to the emergency services who responded, Mr Morris said: “It was unbelievable and what they had to contend with I just cannot imagine.

“But we’re so lucky to have them and my whole community and the wider area have clubbed together to make sure that anyone who was affected will be looked after. I’m so proud to represent my community.”

 

Blackpool in top three destinations set to share Britain’s £31bn staycation spend

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Blackpool looks well placed to grab a share of an estimated £31bn staycation bonus this year, a new survey says.

Despite airports opening their doors this week, a survey conducted for Travelodge reckons that 85 per cent of Britons will be holidaying on these shores, with Blackpool named in the top three most sought after destinations.

The Travelodge Holiday Index surveyed 2,000 British adults to seek their holiday plans for 2021, with concerns about coronavirus restrictions meaning most people will not be going abroad.

It said 76 per cent of Britons are too scared to travel abroad due to the international impact of Covid-19, 47 per cent had not been on a holiday since the first lockdown started in March 2020, and 52 per cent aiming to take a jaunt to the seaside this summer.

Blackpool is the third most popular destination according to Travelodge's 2021 survey

Blackpool is the third most popular destination according to Travelodge’s 2021 survey

Only Cornwall and Brighton were more popular than Blackpool as top choice for a staycation holiday according to the study.

Shakila Ahmed, Travelodge Spokesman said: “The results from our 2021 Holiday Index report is certainly encouraging news for the UK hospitality sector, and with more Britons holidaying at home, it will be also be a great boost for the UK economy too. We are delighted that Britons have awarded Blackpool as a top Staycation destination. This is great news for the local economy and will give it a much needed boost.”

“Today we reopen all of our hotels across the UK, which includes our two properties in Blackpool and we are getting geared up for a busy summer season.

Escaping to the great British countryside was the second most popular type of summer holiday with 26 per cent of Britons opting to enjoy an idyllic country retreat. The Lake District, North Wales and the Scottish Highlands are the top rural destinations for Britons this year.

The survey found that walks along the beach front and eating traditional fish and chips were going to be the highlights of families’ staycations and that the he average summer holiday will cost £770.

 

Here’s what films are showing at Odeon, Island and Vue cinemas in Blackpool, Cleveleys and St Annes

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The big screen is back as cinemas in Blackpool, Cleveleys and St Annes reopen in line with the easing of coronavirus restrictions – read on to see what will be playing.

The Odeon in Rigby Road, VUE in North Promenade and The Island Cinema in South Promenade are back in business with a host of blockbuster films on offer.

Below are all the latest Hollywood hits and classic re-releases that are playing in Blackpool, Cleveleys and St Annes today (Tuesday, May 18).

THE ISLAND CINEMA, South Promenade

The big screen is back as cinemas in Blackpool, Cleveleys and St Annes reopen.The big screen is back as cinemas in Blackpool, Cleveleys and St Annes reopen.

Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway – The lovable rabbit is back and Bea, Thomas, and friends have created a makeshift family.

Film times: 4pm, 4.30pm

Nomadland – A woman in her sixties who, after losing everything in the Great Recession, embarks on a journey through the American West, living as a van-dwelling modern-day nomad.

Film times: 4.45pm

Godzilla vs. Kong – The Gigantic Kong meets the unstoppable Godzilla. The world watches to see which one becomes the king of all monsters.

Film times: 7.30pm only

Those Who Wish Me Dead – A teenage murder witness finds himself pursued by twin assassins in the Montana wilderness with a survival expert tasked with protecting him — and a forest fire threatening to consume them all.

Film times: 7.45pm only

Spiral: From the Book of Saw – A sadistic mastermind unleashes a twisted form of justice in ‘Spiral’, the terrifying new chapter from the book of ‘Saw’.

Film times: 8pm only

The top 40 films Brits can’t wait to see in cinemas when they reopen

VUE, North Promenade

Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway

Film times: 4.15pm, 5.20pm, 5.30pm, 6.10pm and 8pm

Spiral: From the Book of Saw

Film times: 5pm, 7.30pm and 8.25pm

Godzilla vs. Kong

Film times: 4.40pm, 6.55pm and 8.15pm

Mortal Kombat – MMA fighter Cole Young seeks out Earth’s greatest champions in order to stand against the enemies of Outworld in a high stakes battle for the universe.

Film times: 3.15pm only

The Unholy – A hearing-impaired girl is visited by the Virgin Mary and can suddenly hear, speak, and heal the sick. As people flock to witness her miracles, terrifying events unfold.

Film times: 8.40pm only

Taxi Driver– A mentally unstable Vietnam War veteran works as a night-time taxi driver in New York City where the perceived decadence and sleaze feeds his urge for violent action, attempting to save a teen prostitute in the process.

Film times: 7.45pm only

Grease – It’s 1958, summer is over and the hormonally-charged seniors of Rydell High are reluctantly returning to school, ready to fall back in with old friends and trade stories of the previous months’ conquests.

Film times: 6pm only

Gladiator – When a Roman General is betrayed, and his family murdered by an emperor’s corrupt son, he comes to Rome as a gladiator to seek revenge.

Film times: 8.25pm only

Total Recall (30th Anniversary 4K Restoration) – 2084. Quaid is haunted each night by a dream that he is on Mars looking for beautiful Melina. He goes against his wife Lori’s wishes and visits the Recall laboratories. They claim that they can help make his dream a reality.

Full times: 3.25pm

Tom & Jerry: The Movie – An eye-popping blend of classic animation and live action, Tom and Jerry’s new big-screen adventure stakes new ground for the iconic characters and forces them to do the unthinkable…work together to save the day.

Film times: 3.50pm

THE ODEON, Rigby Road

Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway

Film times: 3.30pm, 4pm, 4.30pm, 5pm, 6pm, 7pm and 8pm

Nomadland

Full times: 4.45pm and 7.45pm

Godzilla vs. Kong

Full times: 3.45pm, 5.15pm, 6.45pm and 8.15pm

Tom & Jerry: The Movie

Full times: 4.15pm

The Unholy

Film times: 6.15pm and 9pm

Sound of Metal – A heavy-metal drummer’s life is thrown into freefall when he begins to lose his hearing.

Film times: 7.30pm

Mortal Kombat

Film times: 5.30pm and 8.30pm

The Little Things – Deputy Sheriff Joe “Deke” Deacon is sent to LA for what should have been a quick evidence-gathering assignment. Instead, he becomes embroiled in the search for a killer.

Film times: 8.45pm

 

Derelict hotel in Blackpool has now been boarded up as council press administrators for sale

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An eyesore hotel which has angered Blackpool B&B owners near North Promenade has been boarded up by the council.

The New Hacketts hotel has been derelict since 2018 and has suffered a fire and break-ins and attracted fly-tippers.

Guesthouse owners nearby had pleaded with the council to tidy the area up before it put off visitors. The council has struggled to deal with the issue as the owner company went out of business, but has now boarded it up.

John Blackledge, director of community and environmental services, said: “We are extremely concerned about the condition of the New Hacketts Hotel and understand how frustrating it is for residents and businesses.

The derelict New Hacketts hotel on North PromenadeThe derelict New Hacketts hotel on North Promenade

“Unfortunately the company that owned the hotel went into liquidation. We are in regular contact with the appointed administrators but understand there are complex issues that need to be resolved that we aren’t privy to.

“The local community can be reassured that we are aware of their concerns and will continue to push for a resolution as soon as possible.

“The council is doing everything within its legal powers to ensure the building is safe and secure and we are working with the administrators to carry out repairs and find new owners.”

Mark King, from the Beaucliffe Hotel, in nearby Holmfield Road said that B&B owners in the area were fed up with the state of the New Hacketts which they feared would put off visitors to the resort in a year when everyone was hoping to attract more through the potential increase in staycations as foreign holidays were more difficult because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Fly-tipping behind the barriers at the New Hacketts hotelFly-tipping behind the barriers at the New Hacketts hotel

He said the hotel had been derelict for too long and should be properly boarded up and made to look more respectable until new owners could be found.

 

Asda’s surprise delivery of ten laptops to a Fleetwood school

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A Fleetwood school has been given 10 laptops, thanks to the port’s Asda store and its promise to provide technology to a school which needs it.

Archie Brooks and Bailey Keighley try out the new laptops donated to St Wulstan's and St Edmund's Catholic Primary School in FleetwoodArchie Brooks and Bailey Keighley try out the new laptops donated to St Wulstan’s and St Edmund’s Catholic Primary School in Fleetwood

Headteacher Jane Barnes said: “It was such a surprise and we can’t thank Asda and Dell enough for choosing our school to receive these laptops, this donation will go a long way in helping children gain access to the technology and data packages that will help to break down some of the digital barriers we face.”

Layla said: “I’ve a really close relationship with St Wulstan’s and St Edmund’s Primary School and I know what a massive difference this donation is going to make to both the school and to the families who will receive these laptops.

“I’m pleased Asda can help to play a small part in helping to break down the digital barriers so the can children can continue their education remotely both now and in the future.”

Asda launched this initiative to support schools in its communities that are struggling with digital exclusion. According to Ofcom, around nine per cent of children in the UK – between 1.1 million and 1.8 million – do not have access to a laptop, desktop or tablet at home.

These children are primarily from disadvantaged backgrounds and at risk of falling further behind with their education.

Each laptop comes with a tech bundle that includes a headset and a mobile internet dongle with a data allowance of 20gb from Asda’s network partner Vodafone.

The dongle and data allowance has been funded by a separate £500,000 contribution from the retailer’s charity arm, The Asda Foundation. Laptops will also include a one-year warranty and technical support. Each school will manage the distribution to priority pupils, and Asda’s in-house IT support team will also provide support to set up the equipment.

 

High street scoops £80,000 grant for town’s regeneration

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Kirkham has been awarded an £80,000 grant from Historic England to create and deliver community-led cultural activities on the high street over the next three years.

It is one of more than 60 across England to receive a share of £6m to deliver a Cultural Programme as part of the town’s High Streets Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) status which was

awarded last year.

The grant will enable Kirkham’s Cultural Consortium to deliver a programme of creative art-based commissions inspired by Kirkham’s richly diverse heritage.

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Helen Juste, Kirkham Cultural Consortium’s Cultural Producer

Helen Juste, Kirkham Cultural Consortium’s Cultural Producer

Features are set to include the creation of an interactive heritage trail focusing on listed buildings and historic local stories; a series of town centre murals which will animate and illuminate

Kirkham’s industrial past and the development of an annual heritage event, with displays providing visitors with the opportunity to travel back in time, while sampling local food and drink.

Read More

Kirkham awarded £6.29 million by the Government to revitalise high street and to…

It will also fund the setting up of a shop, on the town’s main Poulton Street, which will become the base for ‘Artists in Residence’ – showcasing artwork created by both artists and

individuals who take part in a series of activities.

It is hoped the programme of events and initiatives will not only inspire local creativity but improve health and wellbeing through community and social engagement.

Helen Juste, Kirkham Cultural Consortium’s Cultural Producer, said: “This grant provides an exciting opportunity for the community to create a cultural vision for their town.

“The Cultural Programme will deliver a wealth of opportunities for individuals to work with professional artists to create artwork which will animate the town.

“It is an exciting time for Kirkham, for the community to work together, to bring alive Kirkham’s past while improving its future prospects, assisting in its regeneration.”

Heidi Hopkinson, co-owner of the town’s Serendipity House gift shop and chairman of Kirkham Business Group, said: “We’re delighted the Cultural Consortium has been awarded this

grant and we cannot wait to see the cultural vision take shape.”

 

Blackpool’s Regent Cinema set for return

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The Regent Cinema in Blackpool will return to screening films this month when it shows a Quentin Tarantino classic.’s Pulp Fiction on Friday, May 21, from 7.30pm.

The Regent Cinema in Blackpool reopens this monthThe Regent Cinema in Blackpool reopens this month

The cinema, on the corner of Church Street and Regent Road, will be screening 1994 crime drama, Pulp Fiction, starring Uma Thurman and John Travolta.

The cinema has been shut since last year.