Tributes paid following death of former Blackpool hotelier who founded Kenyan children’s home

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A former Blackpool hotelier whose charity work has changed the lives of hundreds of Kenyan children has died suddenly of a heart attack.

 

Sue Hayward with some of the children at the Happy House

Sue Hayward with some of the children at the Happy House

Sue Hayward, founder of the Children of Watamu charity, died in hospital in Mombasa last week.

She and her husband, Dave, who for many years ran the Castlemere Hotel in Shaftesbury Avenue, moved to Kenya to live in 2010 when Sue achieved her long held vision of opening a children’s home, the Happy House, in the coastal town of Watamu.

Since that time the Happy House has become home for hundreds of children in need, some permanently, others on a temporary basis whilst their family has been in crisis.

Dave and Sue HaywardDave and Sue Hayward

She extended her work by opening a school on a site close by, which provides an outstanding education to children living at the Happy House and locally.

Even when she suffered breast cancer, she continued to run the Happy House from Blackpool where she was being treated, keeping in touch via daily Skype meetings.

Sue started her work in Kenya after visiting Watamu on holiday in 2000 and seeing the extent of the poverty and lack of schooling facilities.

This prompted her to found her charity in 2003, whose work will continue following her death, steered by Dave and the management team.

Sue travelled across the North West and beyond speaking about her work and raising money for her Happy House which opened 11 years ago. In 2008 she received the Lancashire Woman of the Year Award.

She said: “Our children have the best. I believe that is what every child deserves. They have their own clothes and belongings and, at our school, they are getting the best education.

“Everything we have at the Happy House and in school has been donated and we ensure that everything we receive, right down to the last shilling, the last grain of rice, is accounted for and that it goes exactly where it is intended – to our children.”

Dave, her husband of more than 50 years, said in a video made at the Happy House : “She was the love of my life.”

News of Sue’s death has brought tributes pouring in from around the world.

Chris Franklin a trustee of the charity said: “Sue was a loving, passionate lady who changed young peoples lives for the better. Her spirit will live on in all who met her. It’s was an honour supporting Sue and being a friend. ”

Elizabeth Gomm, a charity volunteer and long-time friend of Sue, said: “Sue was an inspiration and a woman of great courage. She committed herself completely to the children of Watamu and the surrounding area . She and Dave gave up everything in the UK to devote all their time to running the project and her legacy is immense.

“Working in another country is never easy but Sue was able to win the respect of all those she met and was much loved by those she employed and a real Mama to the children in her care . She was not just Mama to the children but to the whole community of Watamu and beyond.

“She will be very much missed but her Happy House legacy will live on, just as she intended.”

 

Huge transformer given police escort through Cleveleys

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A huge transformer was given a special police escort as it crept through Cleveleys at the weekend.

 

Police brought traffic to a halt whilst the abnormal load – bound for Stanah Substation – weaved its way through the Norcross and Amounderness Way roundabouts on Sunday (July 25).

Transported by Dutch firm Mammoet, the firm picked up the load at Preston Docks before taking the M55 and A585 for the slow but steady 18 mile journey to Cleveleys .

The convoy was led by a squad of police in cars and on motorbikes, with traffic regularly stopped along the way to allow the massive load to keep moving.

Transported by Dutch firm Mammoet, the firm picked up the load at Preston Docks before taking the M55 and A585 for the slow but steady 18 mile journey to Cleveleys. Pic: Mike SmithTransported by Dutch firm Mammoet, the firm picked up the load at Preston Docks before taking the M55 and A585 for the slow but steady 18 mile journey to Cleveleys. Pic: Mike Smith

Mike Smith, from Cleveleys, filmed the juggernaut as it rolled its way past Morrisons and said he was impressed with the driver’s skill as he smoothly maneuvered the massive load through junctions and roundabouts.

Police brought traffic to a halt whilst the abnormal load - bound for Stanah Substation - weaved its way through the Norcross and Amounderness Way roundabouts on Sunday (July 25). Pic: Mike SmithPolice brought traffic to a halt whilst the abnormal load – bound for Stanah Substation – weaved its way through the Norcross and Amounderness Way roundabouts on Sunday (July 25). Pic: Mike Smith

 

Family pays tribute to ‘ambitious’ Preston man, 19, who drowned in the sea at St Annes

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A 19-year-old man who died after getting into difficulty in the sea in St Annes has been described as a “fun-loving person” by his family.

 

Adam Dodd, from Preston got into difficulty as he was swimming close to the town’s pier on Friday (July 23rd).

The 19-year-old was rushed to Blackpool Victoria Hospital after being rescued from the water, but he died a short time later.

In a tribute released today (July 27), Adam’s family said: “As a family we are truly devastated at the loss of Adam.

Adam Dodd (pictured) died after getting into difficulty in the sea on July 23. (Credit: Lancashire Police)

Adam Dodd (pictured) died after getting into difficulty in the sea on July 23. (Credit: Lancashire Police)

“Adam was a fun-loving person who enjoyed life to the maximum.

“He was positive, determined and ambitious.

“He had just started his career as PT instructor and had everything to look forward to.

“At this time we would respectfully ask for our privacy so that we can grieve as a family”.

Officers said his death is not being treated as suspicious and a file has been prepared for the coroner.

A spokesman for Lancashire Police said: “Our thoughts remain with Adam’s loved ones at this sad time.”

Window-smashing yobs could delay grand reopening of Cleveleys pub

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The long-awaited reopening of a pub in Cleveleys could be pushed back by its new landlord after windows were smashed on two occasions.

 

The Jubilee Park pub on North Promenade in Cleveleys was left empty after it shut down when lockdown began.

It was taken over in June by Michael Reynolds, 69, and his wife Alison, who hoped to reopen it as “The Jubilee” on Tuesday August 3.

However, Mr Reynolds, a former flooring fitter and hotelier who moved from Hornby Road in Blackpool to Cleveleys to take over the pub, said the opening may need to be postponed.

Michael Reynolds, the new landlord of the Jubilee Park pub on North Promenade in Cleveleys, said youths smashing his windows had potentially put the business reopening on hold. Pic: JPI MediaMichael Reynolds, the new landlord of the Jubilee Park pub on North Promenade in Cleveleys, said youths smashing his windows had potentially put the business reopening on hold. Pic: JPI Media

Two of the pub windows have been smashed in the past week, and replacement panes could take “up to six weeks” to arrive.

Mr Reynolds could not pinpoint the culprit, but believed the damage to have been caused by youngsters after finding “a big group” of children hanging around the pub.

He said: “We’ve got someone coming to replace the glass which had already been smashed on the windows which had been boarded up before we moved in. But for the other windows which were smashed they said it could take up to six weeks. We’re not sure how to get around it.

“It happened twice, once must have been when we were out a couple of days ago so we’re not sure about the time. But yesterday (July 26) we were in the building at the time it happened.
The Jubilee Park's new landlord Michael Reynolds said it could take up to six weeks for the smashed panes to be replaced. Pic: JPI MediaThe Jubilee Park’s new landlord Michael Reynolds said it could take up to six weeks for the smashed panes to be replaced. Pic: JPI Media

“We heard a bang, but didn’t realise it was the glass at the time. There are children running around everywhere here, we’re next to a park. We didn’t see exactly who did it, just a big group of kids.”

Lancashire Police confirmed that they had received reports of criminal damage from Mr Reynolds after the windows were smashed.

Cleveleys councillor laments Pizza Hut closure as ‘another blow to economy’

He said he was hoping to attract clientele “in their 30s or older,” and planned to bring back “old-fashioned food like braised steak or liver and bacon.”

One of the smashed windows, which could take "up to six weeks" to replace. Pic: JPI MediaOne of the smashed windows, which could take “up to six weeks” to replace. Pic: JPI Media

The pub was formerly under the Fayre Table banner, but Mr Reynolds said he wanted to transform it back into a “community pub with home-cooked food.”

He planned to invite bands to perform during weekend evenings, and will give customers their own table service when they book a meal.

“We want this to be somewhere people want to come, and we’ll look after them,” he added.

The Jubilee Park pub on North Promenade, Cleveleys. Pic: JPI MediaThe Jubilee Park pub on North Promenade, Cleveleys. Pic: JPI Media

 

Plans revealed to restore front of Blackpool’s Winter Gardens

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Plans have been unveiled to upgrade a key part of the Winter Gardens as part of a multi million pound scheme to improve town centre streets in Blackpool.

 

If it gets the go ahead, the scheme will see the Empress Buildings restored close to their original state with the installation of new shopfronts on the ground floor.

Resort-based architect Joseph Boniface has drawn up the proposals which aim to unify the appearance of the landmark which overlooks St John’s Square.

Documents submitted with a planning application for the project say: “The application seeks to unify the existing ground level facade of the Grade II* listed building fronting onto St John’s Square.

The Empress BuildingsThe Empress Buildings

“Currently, there are a number of different styles erected during the last few decades across the frontage resulting in an untidy appearance.

“The new shopfronts will be hardwood timber framed and designed and constructed in a traditional style relevant to the period.”

The new shopfronts will feature stained glass windows and a retractable awning, and have been designed in consultation with the council and the current occupiers of each unit.

Timber work will be finished in exterior wood rosewood stain to match the recently refurbished finish of the woodwork to the adjacent Olympia Building.

The Empress Buildings were constructed in 1894 as four bays set either side of a wide central bay which formerly contained an arched entrance to the Empress Ballroom.

Funding for the work has come from the council’s £7.84m Quality Corridors project which is funded through the Growth Deal.

The plans will now be considered by the council at a future date.

Blackpool millionaire aims to inspire Fylde coast’s young people with new mentorship programme in schools

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A Blackpool born millionaire has launched a mentorship style programme designed to help some of the most underprivileged children in Blackpool get ahead in the world of business.

 

Lucas Hunter, who went to St Mary’s High School, is a self-made millionaire who owns a national firm of solicitors Hunter Lawyers and an investment company Hunter Real Estate Group.

He has six offices with 12 directly employed staff and a team of around 50, including; consultants, barristers and solicitors.

He said he wanted to let children on the coast have the chance to follow in his footsteps and get to understand about the world of work.

Fleetwood High School is the first to roll out a business mentoring programme from Lucas Hunter of Hunter Lawyers supported by the Headteacher Mr Barnes (pictured right) and deputy Headteacher Mr Grant (pictured left) with programme director Rebecca Garcia.Fleetwood High School is the first to roll out a business mentoring programme from Lucas Hunter of Hunter Lawyers supported by the Headteacher Mr Barnes (pictured right) and deputy Headteacher Mr Grant (pictured left) with programme director Rebecca Garcia.

The mentorship style programme is designed to provide training and real-world business skills to children aged 14-16.

As part of the programme, children will be paired with local business leaders who will provide work experiences guidance and support.

Programme director, Rebecca Garcia said “I am pleased to be able to help provide deserving children opportunities.

“As a teacher myself, I know how much programmes like this can change a child’s life.”

Lucas Hunter said: “I grew up in circumstances not dissimilar to many of these children and I am fully aware that my life could have turned out very different.

Hunter Lawyers is of course, going to be part of the programme as well as my real estate company, Hunter Real Estate Group a large residential and commercial property company.

“We also have a number of different businesses that will become part of the programme and will actively recruit them as the programme progresses.

“I would encourage local business leaders to sign up for this programme and see a real difference being made in their community. We pair selected students with business leaders who will provide them with help such as work experience, advice and coaching.”

Fleetwood High School is the first school on the Fylde coast to roll out the scheme supported by the Headteacher Mr Barnes and deputy Headteacher Mr Grant.

 

Blackpool’s famous heritage trams get top honour from the Queen

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The volunteers in Blackpool who look after the resort’s world famous heritage trams has received the highest honour voluntary organisations can get.

 

Blackpool Heritage Tram Tours, part of Blackpool Transport Services, have been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

The presentation of the award was delayed this year due to coronavirus restriction, but former Blackpool MP Joan Humble, who is chairman of Blackpool Civic Trust, presented the award on behalf of the Lord-Lieutenant of Lancashire

The volunteers who operate Blackpool Heritage Tram Tours protect, conserve and operate the fleet of vintage tramcars on the tramway for which they were built.

Two of Blackpool's fine heritage tramsTwo of Blackpool’s fine heritage trams

It is one of only two tramways in the world to operate double deck trams.

The award team said the volunteers help widen public access to a rich part of the nation’s heritage and in doing so they are developing a wide variety of skills, creating a major contribution to the welfare of their local community and fulfilling the purposes of wellbeing, learning and education.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities.

It was created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Recipients are announced each year on 2nd June, the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.

Blackpool Heritage Tram Volunteers with the awardBlackpool Heritage Tram Volunteers with the award

Head of Heritage, Bryan Lindop said: “Having worked with this remarkable and talented group of volunteers now for over five years, it fills me with great pride to see

them achieve this pinnacle of national recognition.

“It takes a lot of dedication, commitment, sheer grit and determination to maintain the high standard of excellence that they have become renowned for.

“The volunteers, the community that they serve and indeed the nations heritage adoring public who come to Blackpool to benefit from the sheer feel good factor that the heritage tram tours create are inspiring new generations to cherish and appreciate their heritage; to participate in something culturally unique and life affirming, and by doing so, ensuring that future generations will be able to continue to enjoy this inspiring public amenity.

Former Blackpool MP Joan Humble present the Queen's Award  for Voluntary Service citation to Bryan Lindop from the volunteersFormer Blackpool MP Joan Humble present the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service citation to Bryan Lindop from the volunteers

“The unexpected delay created by the Covid Pandemic in enabling us to receive the actual trophy and certificate did nothing to dampen our spirits when the day finally dawned for Joan Humble on behalf of The Lord-Lieutenant to present them to us.

“There was complete silence in the room as the certificate envelope was opened to reveal the handwritten signature of Her Majesty The Queen.

“This incredible achievement attained by our hardworking volunteers is one of life’s unforgettable magic moments and it has been a great honour and privilege to work with them over the years.

“Their brilliant efforts to enable Blackpool’s heritage tram fleet to continue to grace the promenade, raising smile after smile has now been justifiably recognised by the highest accolade in the land. I applaud each and every one of them for so selflessly giving their time and their talents for the enjoyment and wellbeing of all those who can continue to enjoy a tram trip down memory lane.

Bryan Lindop with the award letterBryan Lindop with the award letter

A close-up of the Queen's Award presented to the Blackpool Heritage Tram Volunteers
A close-up of the Queen’s Award presented to the Blackpool Heritage Tram Volunteers

Attempted murder arrest after car driven at man outside Blackpool bar

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A man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after a car was driven at a pedestrian in Blackpool.

 

A man’s leg was reportedly crushed between two vehicles following the incident in Queen Street at around 1.30am today (July 27)

The victim – a 24-year-old man from Blackpool – was rushed to hospital with a “serious leg injury”.

Officers have confirmed a 28-year-old man from Blackpool has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

A man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after a car was driven at a pedestrian in Queen Street. (Credit: Google)A man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after a car was driven at a pedestrian in Queen Street. (Credit: Google)

Enquiries into the incident are ongoing.

Anyone with information has been asked to contact police on 101, quoting log number 0132 of 27.

Alternatively, independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.org.

Police release picture of murdered Blackpool dad-of-two Mark Webster

This morning’s incident follows a similar attack which occurred on Sunday (July 24).

Police were called around 5.25am on Saturday (July 24) to reports a red Peugeot had driven at a small group of people near North Pier.

Following enquiries a man was later arrested in connection with the incident.

Adam Clarke, 30 of Arnfield Road, Stockport has been charged with attempted murder, common assault, and dangerous driving.

He was due to appear at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court yesterday morning (Monday, July 26).

 

Former Fleetwood Town manager Joey Barton pleads not guilty to assaulting his wife

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Former Fleetwood Town manager Joey Barton has pleaded not guilty to assaulting his wife Georgia.

 

Former Fleetwood Town manager Joey Barton has pleaded not guilty to assaulting his wife. The former Premier League footballer appeared at Wimbledon Magistrates' Court in south-west London on Monday morning via video link, where he denied the charges. Pic: PA Wire/PA Images

Former Fleetwood Town manager Joey Barton has pleaded not guilty to assaulting his wife. The former Premier League footballer appeared at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court in south-west London on Monday morning via video link, where he denied the charges. Pic: PA Wire/PA Images

The 38-year-old former Premier League footballer, who now manages Bristol Rovers, appeared at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court in south west London today (Monday, July 26) via video link.

The charge against Barton, who lives in Widnes, Cheshire, relates to an incident at home in Kew, south-west London, on June 2 in which his wife Georgia suffered a head injury.

The court heard Barton allegedly grabbed her by the throat and kicked her in the head during an altercation outside the property, where they had been visiting with two friends.

The court heard Mrs Barton then called the police and asked for her husband to be removed from the property.

Today, Barton spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth and address.

He wore a t-shirt and shorts during the hearing.

Barton, a former midfielder, played for teams including Manchester City, Newcastle, Queen’s Park Rangers and Marseille during his playing career.

He also appeared once for the England team in 2007.

He then moved into management, starting off with Fleetwood Town from 2018 to 2021 before joining Bristol Rovers earlier this year.

Barton was released on unconditional bail until his trial at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court on December 16.

A case management hearing has been set for November 17.

New documentary to air showing behind-the-scenes at Fleetwood Town during Joey Barton’s spell at the club

A fly-on-the-wall documentary series following Joey Barton’s tenure at Fleetwood Town will debut next week.

International streaming service DAZN will broadcast The Contract, a six-part series covering the Cod Army on and off the pitch, on demand from Thursday, July 29.

The series follows then-manager, Joey Barton, owner and local entrepreneur Andy Pilley, players, and the local community.

Fleetwood Town said the documentary series follows the Cod Army over the course of 2018-2021, providing a “raw and unflinching insight into the pressure of running a modern-day football club outside of the Premier League”.