Crime scene investigators in forensic suits descend on Blackpool house

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

Police have been at a property in Talbot Road, Blackpool, with forensics on hand

Police in forensic suits at a property in Talbot Road, Blackpool

Police in forensic suits at a property in Talbot Road, Blackpool (Image: LancsLive / BPL Bible)

Crime scene investigators have descended upon a Blackpool house following reports of ‘commotion’ in the early hours.

A CSI van and individuals in forensic suits could be seen at a property down Talbot Road, Blackpool, with the van parked up in the adjacent Talbot Road.

They were spotted at around 1pm today (June 13), with neighbours reporting hearing a ‘commotion’ at around 1am in the street.

Little information is currently available, with Lancashire’s Force Incident Manager unaware of the incident when approached by LancsLive this afternoon.

Enquiries are ongoing into what happened.

Crime Scene Investigation van on Cameron Avenue, Blackpool, off Talbot Road

Crime Scene Investigation van on Cameron Avenue, Blackpool, off Talbot Road (Image: LancsLive/ BPL Bible)

Dangerous Giant hogweed found on dunes at St Annes

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

The plant is highly invasive and can cause severe burns to the skin if touched

Giant hogweed at St Annes

Giant hogweed at St Annes

One of the UK’s most dangerous plants has been found on dunes in St Annes.

Fylde Ranger Service issued a warning after a Giant Hogweed plant was found on the dunes opposite Bentinck Road.

They said: “A Giant Hogweed plant has been found on the Dunes opposite Bentinck Road in St Annes. Giant Hogweed is highly invasive and is phototoxic.”

Giant hogweed, also known as Heracleum mantegazzianum, is invasive and potentially harmful.

According to the RHS the sap can cause “severe skin burns” and in the wild it “poses a serious risk to people who are unaware of its potential for harm”.

It can grow to over 10ft in height and those unlucky enough to come into contact with it can suffer from blistering of the skin, pigmentation and long-lasting scars, with chemicals from the sap causing photodermatitis or photosensitivity.

Fylde Ranger Service said that the plant has now been removed by qualified staff and the area has been made safe.

The area surrounding the plant was fenced off this weekend and treatment was applied to get rid of it. The dunes will now be monitored to make sure it does not come back, said rangers.

If exposed to the plant, you should thoroughly wash the area that made contact and keep it out of sunlight for a few days, the Woodland Trust advises.

Blackpool’s new Post Office formally opens in council offices

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

The Post Office started trading in April but has formally been opened by Blackpool’s mayor

Mayor of Blackpool Coun Amy Cross at the official opening of Blackpool's Talbot Road Post Office

Mayor of Blackpool Coun Amy Cross at the official opening of Blackpool’s Talbot Road Post Office (Image: Martin Bostock Photography / LDRS)

It was a first class occasion when Blackpool Mayor’s Amy Cross gave her stamp of approval to the seaside resort’s new town centre Post Office.

Mayor Cross cut the ribbon to officially open the new postal centre which has relocated to the ground floor of the council offices in Bickerstaffe Square.

The branch has been trading since April in order to retain a service in the town centre but has been formally opened after the finishing touches were made including installation of fibre-optic broadband.

The family business, which also includes a gift and stationery shop, is being run by postmaster Azim Shaikh, who along with his brothers Fazail and Ramiz have 25 years retail experience and 15 years experience running post offices.

Coun Cross said: “A post office is an essential service and we are delighted to have provided council-owned premises to rent which has allowed Blackpool Post Office to remain at the heart of the town serving residents, businesses, commuters and tourists at this very convenient location.

“Azim Shaikh is a first-class postmaster – professional and welcoming.”

Azim said: “We are delighted to have secured this unit at Bickerstaffe House, retaining a centrally located position within the town.

“The great availability of nearby parking has proved a big hit with customers.

“Previously the post office was downstairs with no daylight. This ground floor location, where you can see daylight, is better for staff and customers.

“We have invested in a quality finish for the shop. This is an inviting space where we offer customers a warm, friendly welcome.”

A new location was needed for the town centre post office after WH Smith’s on Bank Hey Street closed in January.

The Post Office had been based there since 2007 when the former Abingdon Street Post Office closed. The Grade II listed building now has planning permission to be converted to hotel.

Kenny Lamont, Post Office network provision manager, said: “We are delighted to have restored post office services to central Blackpool as we know how important a post office is to residents and businesses.”

Adorable moment Blackpool toddler took her first steps after having her foot amputated

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Willow Dodding from Blackpool was born with a major bone missing in her lower leg and now has an artificial foot

Willow took her first steps on her new prosthetic for the first time just four months after having her foot amputated

Willow, one, tried out her prosthetic foot (Image: SWNS)

Brave Willow Dodding beamed with happiness as she took her first steps on her prosthetic foot.

The one-year-old had to have her foot amputated around four months ago due to a birth defect that was picked up before she was born at a 20-week scan.

Willow had been diagnosed with fibular hemimelia, where part of a major bone is missing in the lower leg.

So parents Charlotte and James Dodding, both 27, were delighted to catch on camera the first time she tried out her artificial foot.

Charlotte said: “She’s so determined and resilient – nothing fazes her.”

The couple found out they were expecting Willow, their first child, in November 2018. At the 20-week scan, doctors broke the news that the baby had no fibular bone in her right leg.

They were told to “wait and see” how bad the problem was before deciding on the best course of treatment.

Charlotte said: “It was quite a shock to get that news. There’s no reason for it, it was just a random mutation.”

Willow had to have her foot removed after being born with no fibular bone in her right leg

Willow had to have her foot removed after being born with no fibular bone in her right leg (Image: SWNS)

Willow arrived in July 2019 at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, weighing 5lb 13oz. The two remaining bones in her right leg were shorter than her left leg.

As Willow got older, she started walking. But the difference in leg length left her struggling with a limp.

Charlotte, a special support assistant from Blackpool, said: “She used to walk on the inside of her foot quite badly and her knee would pop out of place.

“We looked at leg-lengthening but that would involve lots of operations and we wanted her to have a normal childhood. Also, it didn’t guarantee she wouldn’t need an amputation when she was older.”

In January Charlotte and James, a teacher, decided to have Willow’s foot removed – when she was 19 months old – to give her best chance of mobility later in life.

It took surgeons at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital two-and-a-half hours to carry out the operation. A custom-made limb was built for her by experts at Preston Specialist Mobility Rehabilitation Centre.

It included fabric from a floral top she had worn as a baby.

Willow took her first steps on her new prosthetic for the first time just four months after having her foot amputated
Willow took her first steps on her new prosthetic for the first time just four months after having her foot amputated (Image: SWNS)

Charlotte said: “She was a little upset when she woke up from the operation but she’s absolutely fine now. She couldn’t wait to get moving again. I remember her trying to crawl the day after her operation.

“I don’t think she remembers having her foot – she’s so comfortable with the prosthetic.”

And in May, just months after the procedure, Willow was up and walking with it.

Willow with parents Charlotte and James Dodding

Willow with parents Charlotte and James Dodding (Image: SWNS)

Charlotte said: “We’re so proud of Willow. It was a tough decision to choose to amputate her leg, but we knew it was the best option. She’s already walking confidently on the new prosthetic.”

Seeing their daughter overcome her disability has inspired Charlotte and James to help other families in the same situation.

The mum added: “Our goal is to raise awareness for fibular hemimelia and to support other families. She’s doing so well and we’re really thankful for the amazing prosthetic.”

Covid cases across Blackpool and the Fylde coast rise by 76 as delay in lifting of lockdown restrictions in England anticipated

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre have now 21,737 Covid cases since the beginning of the pandemic.

 

There have now been 105,397 confirmed cases in the Lancashire County Council area since the start of the pandemic, according to the latest government data released today (June 13).

Meanwhile, the total across Lancashire, including Blackpool and Blackburn and Darwen, now stands at 136,562.
Everything you need to know as Boris Johnson set to delay lifting of Covid lockd…
An aerial photo shows a piece of sand art, depicting the iconic Tower, Pier, and rides of Blackpool in north west England, drawn in the sand on the beach by sand artists 'Sand in your Eye, to promote that the town has re-opened following easing to lockdown restrictions in England on May 17, 2021.
An aerial photo shows a piece of sand art, depicting the iconic Tower, Pier, and rides of Blackpool in north west England, drawn in the sand on the beach by sand artists ‘Sand in your Eye, to promote that the town has re-opened following easing to lockdown restrictions in England on May 17, 2021.

How many coronavirus cases are there in Lancashire?

Public Health England records cases for each council area. The latest totals for each area in Lancashire are:

Blackburn with Darwen – 21,370 (Up from 21,240) +130

Blackpool – 9,795 (Up from 9,749) +46

Burnley – 10,760 (Up from 10,708) +52

Chorley – 8,651 (Up from 8,618) +33

Fylde – 5,059 (Up from 5,042) +17

Hyndburn – 8,829 (Up from 8,771) +58

Lancaster – 9,785 (Up from 9,767) +18

Pendle – 10,308 (Up from 10,262) +46

Preston – 14,950 (Up from 14,887) +63

Ribble Valley – 5,153 (Up from 5,121) +32

Rossendale – 6,931 (Up from 6,884) +47

South Ribble – 8,935 (Up from 8,892) +43

West Lancs – 9,153 (Up from 9,120) +33

Wyre – 6,883 (Up from 6,874) +13

Blackpool offers and discount codes: Your ultimate guide to the latest money off deals on tickets, hotels and meals during June

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Whether you are looking for Blackpool Pleasure Beach offers, cheap Blackpool Zoo tickets, or 2 for 1 deals on food and drink in the resort, we’ve got you covered.

 

Each week we will bring you the latest money off deals available for Blackpool s attractions, events, hotels and hospitality venues.

So if you are looking to save money during your visit this month, here are the latest Blackpool deals and offers.

If you’d like your businesses offer to be included, email suzanne.steedman@jpimedia.co.uk

Each week we'll be bringing you the best money off deals from attractions, events, food and drink and hotels across Blackpool, including, Blackpool Pleasure Beach and Blackpool Zoo.Each week we’ll be bringing you the best money off deals from attractions, events, food and drink and hotels across Blackpool, including, Blackpool Pleasure Beach and Blackpool Zoo.

– Blackpool attraction offers and discounts:

Blackpool Tower, Central Promenade >>

You can save up to 20% on single admission on selected dates when you book online, or you can save 35% on three attractions, including Sea Life Centre, Madame Tussauds and The Blackpool Tower Dungeon.

More details on these offers can be found on the Blackpool Tower Website.

Blackpool Zoo, East Park Drive, Blackpool >>

You can save up to 28% off entry to Blackpool Zoo when you purchase a 12 month kids pass. You can also save money by signing up to a Blackpool Zoo membership.

Pleasure Beach, South Promenade, Blackpool >>

You can get 20% off a Blackpool Pleasure Beach entry when you book in advance of your visit. Online bookings must be made before midnight the day before to take advantage of the discount.

You can book your tickets and find out more on the Blackpool Pleasure Beach website.

Sandcastle Waterpark, South Promenade, Blackpool >>

Locals living in the FY1 to FY8 postcodes can receive 50% when signing up for a local members card.

Full details can be found by visiting the Sandcastle Waterpark website.

– Food and drink discounts in Blackpool:

2 for 1 pubs >>

A number of pubs in Blackpool are offering two meals for the price of one, including, The Outside Inn located in Whitehills Business Park and the Air Balloon in Squires Gate Lane, South Shore.

Two meals for £9.95 at Sizzling Pubs >>

At the Devonshire Arms in Devonshire road and the Highfield Pub in South Shore visitors can get two meals for £9.95.

– Hotel and B&B discounts and offers in Blackpool:

Cliffs Hotel, North Promenade >>

From bank holidays to illumination stay-overs there are offers available to suit anyone a midweek or break in Blackpool’s Cliffs Hotel.

You can visit the Cliffs Hotel website for more details.

Imperial hotel, North Promenade >>

If you stay at the Imperial Hotel for more than three nights you can save up to 30% on your stay.

Booking details can be found at the Imperial Hotel website.

Big Blue Hotel, South Promenade, Blackpool >>

Midweek Spring break for two. Based on two sharing for two nights up to June 24. Includes breakfast, first night dinner plus one day at the Pleasure Beach. From £239.

There are a whole host of other offers available at https://www.bigbluehotel.com/offers/.

Melville Hotel, 70-72 Adelaide Street, Blackpool >>

At the Melville Hotel a first child goes free with two paying adults, and larger families can also get a further 50% off for each sibling.

And if you want to bring your furry friend along, family pets can tag along for an extra £10.

For more details or to book, visit https://themelvilleblackpool.co.uk/offers/.

Blackpool to honour Polish war hero with Spitfire fly past

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Blackpool Airport is to get a flying visit from a Spitfire this month to mark the anniversary of a Battle of Britain hero.

 

The Mark 2 Spitfire, P8331 “Sumatra”, will fly at the resort on June 27 and a special display will be staged at the Hanger 42 aviation museum there to honour Wing Commander

Piotr Laguna and the other Polish airmen who trained in the resort early in the war then went on to risk their lives fighting with Britain against the Nazis.

Piotr was stationed in Blackpool during the war after escaping from Poland and then France in 1939 as the Nazi forces swept across Europe.

When the war started he was an experienced Polish Air Force Pilot, aged 34, and led a bomber squadron during the German invasion of Poland.

He was one of many Polish pilots who evacuated to France when their country fell and he assumed command of the Polish 1/145 Squadron there, before evacuation for a second time to England after the capitulation of France.

Piotr, like many Polish airmen, made his way to Blackpool on arrival in the UK, by then the spiritual home of the Polish Air Force.

Before long and with the formation of 302 Squadron, the first Polish fighter squadron, he assumed the role of commander of A flight. Piotr was then appointed Officer Commanding the Squadron in December 1940.

Anyone recognise this hotel? Acting Wing Commander Piotr Laguna and his Polish colleagues staying in  Blackpool in 1940 at an unknown B&B. 
He had escaped both Poland and France where he had fought the Germans, before joining the Polish squadrons in the RAFAnyone recognise this hotel? Acting Wing Commander Piotr Laguna and his Polish colleagues staying in Blackpool in 1940 at an unknown B&B. He had escaped both Poland and France where he had fought the Germans, before joining the Polish squadrons in the RAF

A year later he was promoted to Acting Wing Commander and assumed the role Commanding Officer of 1 Polish Fighter Wing (303,306,308 Squadrons) based at RAF Northolt.

Sadly on June 27, 1941, Piotr was lost to anti-aircraft fire in a daring sortie whilst attacking an airfield in Coquelles, just outside of Calais.

Now the group, Laguna’s Spitfire Legacy, is bringing a Spitfire painted in Piotr’s colours to Blackpool, where visitors can view the recovered artefacts from the original P8331 as well as see Spitfire BM597 fly in a display, taking off at 11.30am, the time of his fateful last flight.

There will also be living history exhibitions at the hangar, and opportunities to speak to the Pilot and subject matter experts.Acting Wing Commander Piotr Laguna

Acting Wing Commander Piotr Laguna

Scott Booth, who is behind the project, said: “Mark Vb Spitfire BM597 from the Polish Heritage flight will take up residency at Hangar 42 Blackpool Airport for the first two weeks in June and will give Fylde Coast residents a rare opportunity to see the Spitfire up close and to attend some exciting events that we have scheduled for her during her stay.

“These will be advance ticket sales only and will include photography days, meet the pilot and sit in the cockpit talks as well as the Saturday opening hours.

“We are also encouraging local Businesses to use the Spitfire Visitor Centre and its unique Spitfire Simulator for team building events and to impress their clients.”

And Scott has asked if anyone from Blackpool can recognise which hotel Piotr and his friends were staying after arriving in Blackpool in 1940.

He added: “This photograph shows Acting Wing Commander Laguna with his colleagues after arriving having successfully evacuating his men from France on SS Alderpool June 1940. We would love to know if the boarding house still exists.”

Former Blackpool favourite is a man in demand as he seeks international selection

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Sullay Kaikai has already received offers from several suitors after leaving Blackpool at the end of the season.

 

The 25-year-old was released despite playing a key role in their promotion to the Championship.

He made 40 appearances, scoring seven times, but missed the play-off final with a hamstring injury.

Kaikai has now recovered from that knock and the London-born attacker is hoping to earn his first international cap for Sierra Leone, ahead of a move for the upcoming campaign.

Sullay Kaikai was released by Blackpool at the end of the seasonSullay Kaikai was released by Blackpool at the end of the season

Big Blackpool FC survey – Have your say on Seasiders’ memorable promotion, stand…

Kaikai, who qualifies for Sierra Leone through his parents, is available for their African Cup of Nations qualifier against Benin on June 14.

Sierra Leone will qualify for the competition for the first time in 25 years with a win, but Benin only need to draw to be sure of qualification for the finals, which are held in Cameroon in 2022.

“I feel like the timing is right now,” Kaikai told BBC Sport Africa, discussing his call-up.

“I was undecided a few years ago because I wasn’t a first-team regular.

“I said I wanted to establish myself, to become a first-team regular, and then try for the national team.

“So I feel like now, I’m in the position to do that. I have been playing for a solid two years now regularly as a starter so I feel like now is the right time.

“I’m at a good age, I have been looking forward to it, but it’s just about the timing. I feel like the timing is right now.

“For about a good three to four years I have been following the national team.

“I have been following one of the pages that keeps me updated on the national team and players that are playing for the national team, and how they’re doing in their respective countries where they’re playing their club football.

“I’m looking forward to making my debut. It’ll be a dream come true to play for your country.

“The more players that can come and play for the national team, the better.

“You know we need to make the national team stronger so that we can start qualifying regularly for this kind of tournament, so I hope I can make an impact.”

Freedom Day and Blackpool Rocks with Fatboy Slim and Danny Howard under threat? Boris admits ‘serious concern’ ahead of announcement over lockdown lifting

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Boris Johnson has warned the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus is a matter of “serious, serious concern”.

 

The Prime Minister is expected to announce a delay to lockdown lifting in England of up to four weeks amid warnings the country is facing a third wave of the virus.

He said: “It’s clear that the Indian variant is more transmissible and it’s also true that the cases are going up, and that the levels of hospitalisation are going up.

“Now, we don’t know exactly to what extent that is going to feed through into extra mortality, but clearly it’s a matter of serious, serious concern.”

Norman Cook, aka Fatboy Slim, performing in 2006 (Picture: Niall Carson/PA Wire)Norman Cook, aka Fatboy Slim, performing in 2006 (Picture: Niall Carson/PA Wire)

Asked if he was less optimistic now than he was at the end of May, he said: “Yes, that’s certainly fair.

“What we want to do is make sure that the road map is irreversible, but you can’t have an irreversible road map unless you’re prepared to be cautious.

“Some of the data is still open to question, but we’ll be making an announcement on Monday.”

The last stage of the Government’s ‘road map’ out of lockdown – pencilled in for June 21, a week on Monday – will see all social contact limits scrapped.

Nightclubs will reopen, restrictions on the size of wedding parties and other gatherings will be lifted, and large audiences will again be able to attend events such as theatre performances.

A delay would almost certainly hit Blackpool Rocks: The Return, which is still scheduled to be held in the Winter Gardens on Saturday, June 26, with Fatboy Slim and Danny Howard set to perform.

Organisers were understood to be awaiting Monday’s announcement before speaking publicly about plans for the dance, electronic, and techno music festival.

Blackpool’s Howard, 33, a BBC Radio One DJ who launched his career at the now demolished Syndicate nightclub in the town centre, told The Gazette in May revellers were “gagging” for life to return to normal.

“As an opportunity to get the town talking and bring someone of the level of Fatboy Slim to help celebrate our newfound freedom is something that is going to make it a special moment and, importantly, a talking point for years to come when we look back on the year of 2021 and hopefully post-pandemic,” he said.

“What was the first thing people did? Well, hopefully it was to go to Blackpool Rocks.”

Waiter hailed a hero for saving choking diner’s life in Bispham cafe

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A waiter has been hailed a hero after he leapt into action when a customer began choking on her food.

 

Cobi Barber, 22, has been working as a waiter at Maddisons Cafe Bar in Red Bank Road, Bispham since graduating from drama school last year.

The aspiring actor, whose mum and uncle own the venue, performed the Heimlich manoeuvre on a stricken woman on Tuesday.

A fellow diner said he was sure the woman “would have died” had it not been for Cobi’s bravery and quick-thinking.

Cobi Barber, 22, saved a customer's life this week when he performed a Heimlich manoeuvre while she was choking. Picture: Kelvin Stuttard/JPI MediaCobi Barber, 22, saved a customer’s life this week when he performed a Heimlich manoeuvre while she was choking. Picture: Kelvin Stuttard/JPI Media

He said: “We heard shouting and realised a woman was choking on her food. She went blue and she couldn’t breathe.

“Her husband was panicking and others were shouting but this lad just calmly stopped what he was doing, picked her up and put his arms around her, and asked everyone if he was in the right position.

“Then he gave her the Heimlich manoeuvre. The food went flying out and she instantly regained the colour in her face.

“He just carried on working as if nothing had happened. I was so impressed with him. If it wasn’t for him, I feel sure she would have died.”
Cobi Barber, 22, pictured with mum Lisa who co-owns Maddisons cafe bar, saved a customer's life this week when he performed a Heimlich manoeuvre while she was choking. Picture: Kelvin Stuttard/JPI MediaCobi Barber, 22, pictured with mum Lisa who co-owns Maddisons cafe bar, saved a customer’s life this week when he performed a Heimlich manoeuvre while she was choking. Picture: Kelvin Stuttard/JPI Media

The mystery woman vanished with a thank you – and £10 tip – although Cobi played down his efforts, saying he did “what anyone would do.”

He said: “I was clearing tables outside and I walked in and heard someone say someone needs to ring an ambulance. I went over to see what was going on and someone told me this customer needed the Heimlich manoeuvre.

“So I went to her and asked other people if my arms were in the right place because I didn’t want to hurt her or cause any more harm.

“She was struggling for breath. It sounded like the air was escaping through a pinprick or something. But I did it twice and the food dislodged. I didn’t know if it had worked at first. I waited for a minute and then she started calming down. I left her with another member of staff when I knew she was okay while I went to settle others in the cafe down because we were full at the time.”

Despite having no formal adult first aid training, Cobi was trained in paediatric first aid for a previous job with youngsters, which he credited for his instinct to run to the aid of the woman.

He continued: “I don’t think anyone can prepare you for that really, and I wasn’t thinking of the consequences at the time.”