Filthy Blackpool hotel that ‘ruined’ couple’s honeymoon under investigation

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Staff at The Alumhurst Hotel said that the rooms are ‘nice, cosy and tidy’


The OYO Alumhurst hotel in Blackpool
The OYO Alumhurst hotel in Blackpool

Blackpool Council is investigating The Oyo Alumhurst Hotel that left two newly-weds ‘heartbroken’ when they arrived there for their honeymoon on September 13.

The council has previously spoken out following concerns from local hoteliers and Scott Benton MP over the standard of accommodation in the resort.

A handful of hotels have been at the forefront of poor experiences over the summer, leading prominent figures to call for change.

Now, the council has confirmed that it is investigating The Oyo Alumhurst Hotel, said to have ‘ruined’ one couple’s honeymoon this month.

Sonya Cunningham said they had booked ‘a lovely apartment’ for the getaway, but after entering the accommodation was left ‘sick to her stomach’.

Elaine found chips on the window of her reservation in room 27
Elaine found chips on the window of her reservation in room 27

A Blackpool Council spokesperson said: “We have received two complaints from members of the public and we are following them up. If a customer of any business has a concern we will look into it.”

A member of staff at the Alumhurst Hotel told LancsLive: “The rooms we have are clean and tidy, they are nice, cosy and tidy.”

After getting the key to their room and going upstairs, Sonya said she ‘felt ill’ and ‘was nearly in tears’. They told a member of staff ‘it was a disgrace’ and would not be staying at the accommodation.

The newly-wed couple claim they were offered two other rooms to stay in which Sonya described as ‘absolutely filthy’ before stating: “I would not keep an animal in there let alone put my suitcases on the carpets.”

‘I’m heartbroken,’ Sonya said: “It was supposed to be our honeymoon, we ended up in a nice enough hotel although the room was small and we got ripped off because we were walk-ins.’

The ceiling of the Alumhurst Hotel
The ceiling of the Alumhurst Hotel

Elaine Williams-Jones also visited the Alumhurst Hotel on August 20. Elaine was set to stay in room 27 but says she found ‘chips on the windowsill and a dirty bathroom’ when she went in.

After a room change, Elaine also claimed that the new room was also ‘dirty’.

Elaine told LancsLive: “The room was dirty, not made up and there was rubbish still there,” she said. “The bathroom was dirty and filthy, and obviously disgusting as the carpet was dirty.”

The hotel is rated #76 out of 83 hotels in Blackpool on TripAdvisor and has one ‘Excellent’ rating against 15 ‘Terrible’ reviews out of 21 reviews on the site.



Blackpool police attempt to trace group in relation to string of robberies

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A 16-year-old from Preston and a 19-year-old from Blackpool have already been arrested in relation to a series of threats and robberies made in Blackpool on September 30.


Do you know the identity of any of these people?

Police patrols have been stepped up in Blackpool this evening as officers attempt to trace a group of people, wanted in connection with robberies between the Claremont area and the town centre yesterday.

CCTV images show a group of young people, including both boys and girls, that officers want to speak to, after numerous victims were threatened and had their property stolen between 5pm and 8pm.

Two people have already been arrested in connection with the offence – a 16-year-old boy from Preston on suspicion of possessing a knife/ bladed article, and a 19-year-old man from Blackpool on suspicion of affray. They both remain in custody at this time.

Detectives are now appealing for witnesses and anybody else who may be a victim to come forward.

Det Insp Jamie Lillystone, of Blackpool CID, said: “I know residents will be rightly concerned about these offences and I would like to reassure them that we have increased patrols in the area as a precaution.

“We have a team of detectives investigating these incidents and although we have made two arrests our enquiries are very much ongoing.
These are the people that police want to speak to

These are the people that police want to speak to

“We need to speak to the individuals in the CCTV still in connection with what are extremely serious offences and I would ask anybody who recognises them to get in contact with police as soon as possible.”

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101, quoting log 1470 of September 30, 2021. Alternatively, call independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.



Gas storage at Lytham wine bar ‘could have had disastrous results’

Home | Blackpool Gazette

The storage of gas in the cellar of a Lytham champagne and cocktail bar could have led to disaster, a court heard.


Gas cylinders were left in such an insecure manner they could have toppled over posing a leak risk which prosecutor Julian King said could have had disastrous results.

CCM Bar Company, which owns Capri, based in a Grade Two listed building on Dicconson Terrace, Lytham, pleaded guilty to a total of 11 charges brought by Fylde Council under the Health and Safety and Food Hygiene Act.

The company was fined and ordered to pay costs totalling £19,524 by Blackpool Magistrates.

Capri in Dicconson Terrace, Lytham

Capri in Dicconson Terrace, Lytham

Sentencing the company bench chair Mrs Jean Adam said: “The gas cylinder offence was by far the most concerning.”

The prosecutor told how council health officers visited the popular outdoor and indoor drinking and eating spot first of all in April 2019.

“They found significant issues at the premises to commence proceedings,” said Mr King. “Food debris and dirt was noted. There were no towels in a dispenser and taps were dirty.”

He said that in a food dry store area there were open packets and unlabelled containers. There was also dirt.

There was no light in the walk-in fridge and inside, food was unlabelled. In the freezer, food was also without labels and turkey found past its use-by date.

He went onto to describe the possible risk of cross contamination by using a vac pac machine for fresh and cooked foods. There was fat dripping from a food range and a cooker top was cracked.

The kitchen microwave also had food encrusted in it. There were also damaged floor tiles.

In the women’s toilets, the hot water supply was poor, the staff toilet area smelled unpleasant and was dirty and one toilet was blocked.

As a result, Capri which sold Dom Perignon champagne at £200 a bottle, was given a zero-star rating.

Improvement notices were served on the owners and two directors interviewed under caution.

A second inspection revealed some work had been carried out but not enough and it was only in June this year that a four- star rating was given to Capri.

Mr King added: “The company fell far short of the standards expected and that was over a significant period of time.

“It was a systematic failure. However there have been no reports of ill health being reported.”

The company’s lawyer Gareth Price said that those improvements had cost £12,000.

He told the court: ”Significant improvements have been made although the directors realise their response was not as quick as it might have been.

“There is now a proper level of concern and daily checking system in place.

“The company continued to trade in difficult circumstances.”

A spokesman for the CCM Bar Company said: “Any and all concerns identified in the initial Envorinmental Health Officer report back in April 2019 were rectified within 24 hours of the inspection.

“We have since introduced a new management team and worked closely with one of the UK’s leading providers of Health & Safety services to implement the necessary processes and training to achieve full compliance, which has been reflected in our most recent score.”

It is thanks to our loyal readers that we can continue to provide the trusted news, analysis and insight that matters to you. For unlimited access to our unrivalled local reporting, you can take out a subscription here and help support the work of our dedicated team of reporters.



Teenager arrested in Blackpool town centre after being found with knife

Home | Blackpool Gazette

This potentially lethal knife was found in the possession of a teenage boy in Blackpool last night when police searched him after a short chase on foot.


The knife removed from a youth in Blackpool by police last night

The knife removed from a youth in Blackpool by police last night

The youth, who also had what is believed to be a quantity of class A drugs with him, has been arrested and is still in police custody.

Police said: “Tonight Team 3 have been in the town centre on Nightsafe when they have been given information that a male has been in possession of a knife.

“Officers have attempted to stop the male and after a short foot chase the male has been detained and this knife has been found in his waistband and he’s also had five snap bags believed to be cocaine.

“A 19 year old male has been arrested for being in possession of an offensive weapon and possession with intent to supply Class A.

“Another dangerous weapon has been taken off our streets.”



Blackpool cancer survivor who became first woman to complete Sea to Summit triathlon is named Brave Briton finalist

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A Blackpool cancer survivor has made the final of an awards scheme which honours the country’s bravest people.


Andrea Mason has been named as a finalist in the Amplifon Awards For Brave Britons 2021 after becoming the first woman to complete the gruelling ‘Sea to Summit’ triathlon.

Andrea, who swam, cycled, and ran more than 330 miles in just five days, has reached the final four of the Act Of Courage category in global-hearing specialist Amplifon’s search for the

‘Best of British’ heroes.

Andrea Mason, from Blackpool

Andrea Mason, from Blackpool

The 40-year-old hardly slept during the “insane” challenge in the French Alps.

It involved swimming around the circumference of Lake Annecy, and cycling and running up Mont Blanc – at 15,774 ft the second highest peak in Europe.

Fleetwood dad running London Marathon for kidney charity after son’s operation

She battled through severe pain, cramping, and hallucinations but completed the race in a four days, 23 hours, and 41 minutes.

Andrea said: “Because this wasn’t a race I spent most of the time on my own.

“If you are in a race you have other people to go against but alone, you’re doing it by yourself.”

But for Andrea, who splits her time between Blackpool and Chamonix in France, the challenge was not just a test of her stamina.

She said: “My main motivation was raising awareness about cervical cancer which I was diagnosed with in 2017.

“For me it was important to use this as a platform to encourage other women and young girls not to miss their cervical test which I had ignored over the years.”

Three years ago, Andrea was diagnosed with severe endometriosis and had to undergo a hysterectomy which was when doctors discovered she had cervical cancer.

After she recovered, she set up the charity Lady Talk Matters to raise awareness and normalise the conversation surrounding female reproductive matters.

She said: “The Sea To Summit challenge was also a way of coping with my illness. The endurance challenge gave me something to focus on while I was in hospital. They gave me a goal

for getting better.”

The Amplifon Awards For Brave Britons are in their sixth year.

Andrea will find out if she has won at a virtual awards ceremony hosted by BBC Radio 5 Live presenter Rachel Burden on October 5. Falklands War hero Simon Weston will be guest of honour.



Blackpool barber Stuart retires after nearly 60 years in trade

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Blackpool barber Stuart Taylor is hanging up his scissors after nearly 60 years in the trade – 30 of them at his last salon.


Barber Stuart Taylor is retiring after 30 years and plans to auction the collection of foreign money on his wall for charity.

Barber Stuart Taylor is retiring after 30 years and plans to auction the collection of foreign money on his wall for charity.

The 75 year old has been cutting and styling hair at the Stuart barber shop on Waterloo Road, South Shore, since 1991.

But a bout of ill health, a mystery ailment which caused his limbs to swell up, has persuaded Stuart to retire a little sooner than expected – he planned to close the shop around Christmas time.

And with the closure of the long-running business, Stuart now plans to sell off one of the most eye-catching features of the premises – the huge collection of hundreds of foreign and vintage bank notes which were displayed on one of the walls.

Some of the notes in Stuart's shop in South Shore, Blackpool, which have now been taken down

Some of the notes in Stuart’s shop in South Shore, Blackpool, which have now been taken down

The idea is to auction the notes – brought in by customers after a globe-trotting banker pal began giving him spare notes and started a trend – and raise money for two causes close to his heart, Cancer Research and the Alzheimer Trust.

Bringing down the curtains on his career has allowed Stuart to reflect on the many hair fashions he has seen come and go over the past six decades, giving him a barber’s view on British culture.

Stuart, of Wilson Square, Norbreck, said: “I’ve seen all these hair styles come and go.

“When I started as a 16 year old apprentice in this town, the fashion was for short back and sides with a side parting and a little dash of hair product to keep it in place.

“Just before I retired I was cutting young lads’ hair in the very same style because people like Christiano Ronaldo have brought it back into fashion – sixty years later!

“Over the years we have Teddy Boy or Elvis cuts with big quiffs, then we briefly had the short Perry Como look, then lads wanted something similar to the Beatles, then a longer cut, then a much longer hippy style – and then gradually men’s hair started to get shorter again. I’ve done them all and it depends what pop star or footballer is currently in fashion.

“Curly perms were the big thing in the 1970s, men wanted to look like Kevin Keegan and the star football players, but I used to send those customers to the lady’s hairdressers up the road!

“I will miss the job because I’ve made many friends and good acquaintances; being a barber you sometimes end up being a confident and counsellor, because some men tell you things about their life while you’re giving them a haircut.”

Blackburn-born Stuart moved to the resort when he was seven and at 16 he was apprenticed to a barber’s shop ironically called Stuart, as it was run by veteran cutter Stuart Moss.

After learning the trade he eventually opened his own shop on Park Road, before moving to Whitegate Drive and then the now familiar shop on Waterloo Road.

Stuart is married to Heather but sadly she now has dementia and needs professional care.

He has a 39 year old daughter, Sara, who lives in Widnes, Cheshire, but lost his son, Alan, to cancer.

His grandchildren are Ava, Alex and Aaron, Elizabeth and Sheree. Tragically, another grandchild, Michael, died in an accident.

Stuart, who has now taken down the bank notes, said: “That’s why I want to raise money for those two charities.

“I have notes from all over the world – Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, Turkey, Italy.

“I’m hoping to sort out some sort of auction and sell them as a job lot. It will be money for good causes, in more ways than one!”


Northern Ireland boss expecting Blackpool’s in-form Shayne Lavery to get better and better

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Northern Ireland boss Ian Baraclough expects in-form Blackpool striker Shayne Lavery to get better and better for both club and country.


The 22-year-old notched his seventh goal of the campaign on Tuesday night as Blackpool were held to a 1-1 draw against Hull City.

The former Linfield and Everton man will be looking to build on that record on Saturday, where Blackpool take on Lancashire rivals Blackburn Rovers at Bloomfield Road, before he jets off on international duty.

“For everybody, whether they are young and old (in our squad), they can learn from Shayne,” Baraclough said.

“I actually spoke to (Hull striker and Northern Ireland teammate) Josh Magennis about him and to see how he performed in September for us was brilliant for everyone.

“Shayne energises everyone and gets us up the pitch quicker. He has a lot of facets to his game he needs to work on and he knows that.

“But to have someone like him coming through is great for everybody. I think he is an inspiration for players in Northern Ireland who want to play across the water.”

Ian Baraclough was impressed by Lavery's recent strike against Barnsley

Ian Baraclough was impressed by Lavery’s recent strike against Barnsley

Baraclough was particularly pleased to see Lavery’s winner against Barnsley at the weekend, a clever run rounded off by a clinical finish from a tight angle inside the area.

“I was so pleased to see his goal last weekend because it was a similar situation he will find himself in many times, one on one with the goalkeeper,” he said.

“He made a great run and produced a side-footed finish with pace. He’s a striker who keeps coming back for more and to see that goal (against Barnsley) was great for me.

“It will lift his confidence and he has carried on his great form at Blackpool, which is great for the group.”

Lavery scored his first international goal last month in Northern Ireland’s 4-1 win against Lithuania.

Baraclough’s side face Switzerland, who are three points ahead of them in their World Cup qualifying group, in Geneva on October 9.

This is followed by a trip to Bulgaria three days later.

Elsewhere, Kenny Dougall is expected to receive another call-up to the Australian squad for their upcoming games against Oman and Japan.



Here is where you can get fuel in Blackpool and the Fylde coast on Saturday, October 2 – and where has run out

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Fuel shortage fears are still prompting queues at many Fylde coast service stations, although many garages report that they currently have both petrol and diesel today


There have been mixed messages about the situation, with industry leaders saying the situation remains serious, while some Government ministers have struck a more upbeat tone.

The Petrol Retailers Association has warned that the fuel shortages are getting worse in some parts of the country, while Health Secretary Sajid David said things were getting better in many places and that the military was being deployed as a precaution.

It has been announced that military drivers will be deployed to deliver fuel to garage forecourts from Monday.

Traffic was backed up in Thornton yesterday as people queued for fuel.

Traffic was backed up in Thornton yesterday as people queued for fuel.

Almost 200 military personnel, including 100 drivers, have been undertaking training at haulier sites.

Yesterday it was announced that motorists could face another “week or so” of long queues at the filling stations as demand for petrol remains strong.

Policing minister Kit Malthouse said there needs to be an “improvement” in the situation in the coming days and that Boris Johnson stands ready to review matters if there is any deterioration.

Here are the Blackpool and Fylde coast garages which have let us know how they fared for fuel today (Saturday, October 2 – correct as of 10.30am).

Shell in Talbot Road, Blackpool currently has both petrol and diesel.

Sainsburys in Buchanan Street, Blackpool has both petrol and diesel

Esso in Central Drive, Blackpool, has no petrol or diesel.

Esso in Devonshire Road, Blackpool has both petrol and diesel.

Shell in Preston New Road, Blackpool, currently only has V-Power unleaded petrol

Texaco in Poulton Road, Blackpool has run out of both petrol and diesel

Tesco in Clifton Retail Park is unable to provide an update at this time.

Esso in Preston New Road, Blackpool is expecting a delivery of both petrol and diesel at noon today.

Esso on Collingwood Ave, Blackpool currently has both petrol and diesel

Shell in Hatfield Ave, Fleetwood declined to comment

Shell in Heyhouses Lane, St Annes has all fuel available for the rest of the day

We were unable to confirm supplies at Asda and Morrisons as the supermarket are no longer taking calls.



Everything you need to know about the big annual panto at Fleetwood – including a former soap star

Home | Blackpool Gazette

It will soon be time for panto season and Fleetwood’s annual show at the Marine Hall is returning this year after the pandemic caused last season’s fun to be cancelled.


Aladdin is coming to Fleetwood

Aladdin is coming to Fleetwood

Panto fans can fly away on a magic carpet ride for a trip to see perennial favourite Aladdin at the seafront venue from Thursday December 9 until Sunday December 12.

And headlining the cast will be soap star legend Peter Amory, best known for his role as the villainous ‘Chris Tate’ in Emmerdale, who is playing the evil Abanazar.

There will be hilarious comedy, songs, dancing, audience participation and more as the perfect run up to Christmas.

The Marine Hall have once again teamed up with North West pantomime company Trio Entertainment to bring the much loved story of ‘Aladdin’ to life this Christmas.

Peter said: “I am really looking forward to appearing in Aladdin this Christmas.

“I have played panto villains a number of times and I love the experience and can’t wait to get back into the pantomime mood again…it’s going to be great fun!”

Producer Kevin Brown adds “We cannot wait to transform the Marine Hall into a magical festive space filled with lots of panto fun this December!”

The cast also includes Tom Balmont, Natasha Griffith, Sofia Klimovsky and Tiago de Souza.

Tricked into going into the cave of wonders by the evil Abanazar, Aladdin finds himself trapped in a cave with nothing but a dirty old lamp and no way out.

When Aladdin rubs the lamp a magical Genie appears to save the day and rescue him from the cave and grants him three extravagant wishes.

Aladdin is joined by his wacky washerwoman mother Widow Twankey along with the beautiful Princess Jasmine, her guardian the crazy but strict police chief and a magical spirit to guide our hero along the way on this magical carpet ride of a pantomime!

Tickets are £9.50 for Adults, £9 for Children and a Family ticket is £34 for four people.

Group booking discounts for 10 people or more are also available.

Show times are as follows:

Thursday December 9 – 10am and 2pm; Friday December 10 – 10am and 7pm; Saturday December 11 1pm and 7pm; Sunday December 12 at 1pm

You can book by calling the Marine Hall Box Office on (01253) 887693 Monday to Friday 10am until 3pm or by visiting the website



Turf-cutting ceremony signals a new era for Lytham St Annes High School

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Work has begun on rebuilding Fylde’s largest school.


Lytham St Annes High School pupils, headteacher Ray Baker, Fylde MP Mark Menzies, Fylde mayor Coun Elaine Silverwood, representatives of the Department for Education and staff from construction firm Wates Group gathered for a turf cutting ceremony at the school in Ansdell to mark the start of the development.

The building will be net-carbon-zero once construction is complete and is one of the first schemes in the Government’s School Rebuilding Programme to reach the construction phase.

Headteacher Ray Baker said: “LSA is a wonderfully happy, vibrant and exciting school. Knowing that we will be able to match our buildings and general environment to our ambition is brilliant.

Lytham St Annes High School pupils and staff with guests at the ceremony

Lytham St Annes High School pupils and staff with guests at the ceremony

Lytham St Annes High School to be demolished as new school plan is approved

“Simple things like improved toilet access, catering facilities and the more efficient use of large spaces will make a great difference.

“We have designed something here that our students will be proud of. It is something that we think the local community can be proud of too.

“The fact that our current building has been able to make the most of our tired surroundings is testament to the behaviour of our children and care of our site team.

“Money that was once reserved for daily maintenance can be reduced and diverted into other aspects of school life.

Modern construction techniques mean the new two-storey school block and sports hall will be ready for pupils in 2023. The building will make use of passive ventilation chimneys, mechanical heat recovery systems and on-site offsetting of energy use through a bisolar roof system.

Mr Menzies said: “I know the excellent leadership and teaching staff will ensure young people in Lytham and St Annes get the most out of this investment.

“This is a school at the heart of the community and with this new building will go from strength to strength offering young people the very best start in life.”

Department for Education’s operations group director general Mike Green and Sir James Wates of Wates Group were among those at the turf cutting ceremony.

Gary Campbell-Dykes, education director at Wates, said: “We are delighted to be supporting the Department for Education on this exciting and innovative project.”

The building is one of 100 projects funded by a £2bn investment through the School Rebuilding Programme.

It is thanks to our loyal readers that we can continue to provide the trusted news, analysis and insight that matters to you. For unlimited access to our unrivalled local reporting, you can take out a subscription here and help support the work of our dedicated team of reporters.