Appeal for help with funds for Lytham’s big festive switch-on

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Organisers behind Lytham’s Christmas Lights Switch-On are appealing to the public to help them raise £15,000 to ensure the event makes its comeback in style.

 

The switch-on, which has traditionally attracted thousands of spectators, was last staged physically in 2019, before the pandemic caused a switch to virtual last year.

It costs around £18,000 to stage the official switch-on event with an additional £9,000 needed to keep the festive lights shining.

In past years, the Lytham Christmas Lights committee, with support from Lytham Business Partnership, has successfully fundraised throughout the year while also receiving generous donations from businesses and individuals.

Lytham Christmas switch-ons have traditionally attracted thousands of spectators

Lytham Christmas switch-ons have traditionally attracted thousands of spectators

Meanwhile, a grant for £8,000 from Fylde Council goes towards the installation and upkeep of the lights as well as covering the cost of a Christmas tree.

A look back on previous Lytham Christmas lights switch-on events

But restrictions on social gatherings have resulted in a gap in fundraising and with the Switch-On held as a virtual online event last year, there has been little opportunity for people to dig deep into their pockets to help out.

Lytham Christmas has launched a Go Fund Me page in the hope it will encourage people to financially support the free event in November, along with the extended lights season.
Entertainment galore at a Lytham Christmas switch-on

Entertainment galore at a Lytham Christmas switch-on

The target is £15,000 and Lytham Christmas spokesman Coun Brenda Blackshaw said: “By setting up a Go Fund Me page we hope we can encourage more people to support our event which is not only a lovely way to mark the start of the festive season, but is also a huge boost to businesses throughout Lytham as it attracts such a large crowd.

“Every donation, however small, will make a difference and ensure we can kick off the festive season in style.”

The switch-on is planned for Saturday, November 20, starting at 2pm. To contribute go to gofund.me/7aea69d5

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.

 

 

Magical wedding at the Mount Pavilion in Fleetwood for John Beard and Lisa Pendlebury

Home | Blackpool Gazette

“The Pavilion was like a fairytale, magical and where I married my love.”

 

John Beard and Lisa Pendlebury. Photo: Christopher Verity Photography

John Beard and Lisa Pendlebury. Photo: Christopher Verity Photography

Those were the words from Lisa Pendlebury who married John Beard at the Mount Pavilion in Fleetwood, at the heart of the town they have grown to love.

Lisa, who is an NHS midwife and John, a bus driver, tied the knot at a small ceremony surrounded by their family and friends.

They live in Oldham but have a holiday caravan at Broadwater and spend most of their spare time there. They love Fleetwood so much they are planning to move there. And it was Fleetwood businesses who pulled out all the stops to make their day one to remember. From flowers and hair to photography and the reception, the local teams ensured their fairytale dream.

John Beard and Lisa Pendlebury. Photo: Christopher Verity Photography

John Beard and Lisa Pendlebury. Photo: Christopher Verity Photography

They first met in 1995 and spent the entire summer together but went their separate ways. They reunited years later and became engaged in 2020.

Lisa, 43, said: “We wanted the wedding to be in Fleetwood as we love spending all our spare time there. Once we discovered that you could marry in the Pavilion, we knew that it was for us. We got in touch with Janet Heald who just made the whole process from the planning leading up to the big day just perfect. We did postpone our wedding to 2022 due to Covid-19 but John’s dad has been diagnosed with bowel cancer. He told us he wouldn’t be there and would love to see his son get married, so we decided to go ahead with a smaller wedding.

“Working through the pandemic as a midwife for the NHS has been one of the hardest times I’ve experienced, the wedding and the people involved, and the kindness being shown was the most amazing feeling as I could never thank everyone enough.

John, 43, added: “It was the most wonderful day I could have asked for, the location, the people and most of all my beautiful bride.”

John Beard and Lisa Pendlebury. Photo: Christopher Verity Photography

John Beard and Lisa Pendlebury. Photo: Christopher Verity Photography

John Beard and Lisa Pendlebury. Photo: Christopher Verity Photography

John Beard and Lisa Pendlebury. Photo: Christopher Verity Photography

Police seize £1,300 and make 27 stops checks in Fleetwood as patrols stepped up

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Police in Fleetwood have carried out 27 stop checks and seized £1,300 in cash from an individual which is suspected of being the proceeds of crime, as patrols are stepped up.

 

Police have stepped up patrols in Fleetwood

Police have stepped up patrols in Fleetwood

The extra patrols follow the authorisation of a Section 60 order, put in place in Fleetwood yesterday evening and today, following several incidents of anti-social behaviour in the town.

Police said: “This follows several incidents of anti-social behaviour and disorder involving weapons – behaviour which we will not tolerate, nor accept.

“We want residents to feel reassured and not duly concerned by the increased police presence.

“If you have any concerns, please don’t hesitate to speak to one of our officers.”

 

Meet the Fylde coast youngster who is a driving force behind the wheel – at the age of just 12

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Meet the Fylde coast youngster who is a driving force behind the wheel – at the age of just 12

 

Myles Taylor, from St Annes, came third in the Young Driver Challenge 2021 last weekend.

Myles, who attends AKS Lytham, was one of 40 talented finalists, all aged under 17, who earned their place competing at the event held at the British Motor Museum in Warwickshire. He took third place in the 10-13 age category and was praised for his safe driving skills. This was the second time Myles had qualified for the final, competing at the last competition in 2019.

The Challenge is organised by Young Driver, the UK’s largest pre-17 driving school, and 2021 marks the seventh year the competition has run. Competitors compete in two age categories, and take part in a variety of driving activities including reversing, parking, manoeuvring a slalom, handling junctions and independent driving. Drivers are behind the wheel of new, dual controlled Vauxhall Corsas with fully qualified driving instructors who assess their abilities and skills.

Myles Taylor, from St Annes, receives his trophy from motoring journalist and broadcaster Quentin Willson. Myles, 12, came third in the 10-13 age category in the Young Driver Challenge 2021. It was the second time Myles had qualified for the final, which finds the best young drivers from across Britain

Myles Taylor, from St Annes, receives his trophy from motoring journalist and broadcaster Quentin Willson. Myles, 12, came third in the 10-13 age category in the Young Driver Challenge 2021. It was the second time Myles had qualified for the final, which finds the best young drivers from across Britain

Myles said: “I can’t believe I placed third. I’m so pleased. I came along just wanting to try my best and I really enjoyed myself. So, to find out I’d won third place was fantastic.

These new driving laws come into force in April – from parking and tax to a mobi…

TV presenter and motoring expert Quentin Willson awarded the finalists their prizes. For taking third place, Myles won five 30-minute Young Driver lessons, a trophy and a signed copy of Quentin Willson’s latest book: Learn to Drive without Tears and Tantrums.

Sue Waterfield, head of marketing at Young Driver, said: “It’s been a great final, the drivers all performed amazingly. Myles should feel very proud of himself, it’s a fantastic achievement being in two finals and now coming third.”

Young Driver operates at 70 locations across the UK, including Liverpool, Wigan and Blackburn and has sold more than one million driving lessons to youngsters aged between 10 and 17. For more information, go to www.youngdriver.com or download the app.

 

 

 

Girl, 13, arrested after spate of robberies in Blackpool

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

This comes after police asked for the public’s help in identifying a girl they wanted to speak to

 

Generic image of police

A girl has been arrested after a spate of robberies in Blackpool.

The 13-year-old girl from Thornton-Cleveleys was arrested on suspicion of robbery yesterday (October 4).

This comes after Lancashire Police asked for the public’s help in identifying a girl they wanted to speak to in connection with the crimes.

She has since been released on bail, pending further enquiries.

Detectives have previously arrested three boys – aged 17, 16 and 13 – and a 17-year-old girl on suspicion of robbery. They have since been released on bail, pending further enquiries.

A 16-year-old boy from Preston arrested on suspicion of possessing a knife/ bladed article on Friday (October 1) has since been charged with three counts of robbery. He appeared at court over the weekend.

The charges relate to a series of robberies in Blackpool, which happened between 5pm and 8pm on September 30 between the town centre and Claremont areas.

The robberies involved a group of people who have approached and threatened a number of victims and stolen property.

A 19-year-old man from Blackpool, arrested on suspicion of affray, has since been released no further action.

 

 

Hundreds of Blackpool pupils team up with Royal Ballet School for creative workshops

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Hundreds of resort pupils gathered at the Pleasure Beach to learn more about ballet from some of the country’s most talented dancers and teachers.

 

The Royal Ballet School’s visit to the Globe Theatre at the Pleasure Beach was met with amazement by 350 Year Three pupils across the resort, from schools including Anchorsholme and Revoe Academies, and Bispham Endowed C of E, Boundary, and Layton Primary Schools.

Teachers, musicians and final-year students from the prestigious dance school held creative workshops for the youngsters, and will spend five weeks working with them in a bid to inspire the next generation of dancers.

It came as part of the Primary Steps Programme, a partnership between the Royal Ballet School and Blackpool Sixth, which has been running in the resort for 16 years.

350 Year Three pupils from five schools across the resort took part in a ballet workshop with the Royal Ballet School. Pic: John Topping/FCAT

350 Year Three pupils from five schools across the resort took part in a ballet workshop with the Royal Ballet School. Pic: John Topping/FCAT

Victoria Collinson, Primary Steps partnership manager, said: “After a year off due to the pandemic we were very excited to welcome Year Three pupils from five Blackpool primary schools in the Globe Theatre at the Pleasure Beach.

“These pupils were given a rare opportunity to see first hand the athleticism and artistry of ballet students.”

At the end of the five-week course, 26 of the pupils will be invited to enhance their knowledge and skills by joining weekly Primary Steps classes, hosted by Blackpool Sixth for up to four years.

Youngsters taking part will receive training from teachers specially approved by The Royal Ballet School, and after the four years, aspiring dancers will be given tips on how to continue their dance training.

And if some pupils decide to continue ballet dancing in future, they could be invited to audition for The Royal Ballet School’s Junior Associate programme.

John Topping from Fylde Coast Academy Trust said: “This creative partnership began some 16 years ago when our superb dance facilities at Bispham High School Arts College became the home for Royal Ballet School Primary Steps with our local family of schools.

“Throughout the years I have been extremely grateful to Amanda Thompson, MD of Blackpool Pleasure Beach, for her commitment and passion in ensuring that this annual Royal Ballet School lecture demonstration is held within the superb Globe Theatre on Pleasure Beach.

“I know that the Year Three youngsters over these years have enjoyed their afternoon out to the Pleasure Beach to witness the highest quality ballet performances from so many talented dance students. I hope we can continue to develop Royal Ballet School Primary Steps within Blackpool primary schools.”

 

 

Couple fined at Blackpool’s Norbreck Castle Hotel for parking outside while checking for a room

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Around a week after checking the Norbreck Hotel, Georgina said she received a PCN notice from ANPR parking company ParkingEye saying that she was parked illegally and that she had to pay £100 fine

 

Georgina Lister and her Partner Nigel on their first visit to Blackpool
Georgina Lister and her Partner Nigel on their first visit to Blackpool (Image: Georgina Lister)

A couple who stopped to check out room availability at a Promenade hotel have been left stressed and ‘at their wit’s end’ after being given a parking fine.

61-year-old Georgina Lister, a trading assistant from West Lothian, Scotland, had been visiting Blackpool on August 3 with her partner Nigel for the first time after coming down from the Lake District as part of a staycation in the north of England.

They came across the Norbreck Castle Hotel on Queen’s Promenade and decided to pull in to check if there was any availability.

Pulling the car up to the very right hand side of the car park, Nigel went in to enquire about rooms.

The hotel was at the time quite busy, Georgina said, and Nigel was in there for just over half an hour. After speaking to the receptionist, he was advised that the hotel was fully booked.

The couple drove away and managed to find another hotel on the other side of Blackpool where they paid £16 for up to 48 hours of parking.

Around a week later, Georgina said she received a PCN notice from car park management services ParkingEye stating that she was parked illegally and that she had to pay £100 fine.

She told LancsLive: “I have contacted the hotel, spoke to the receptionist and was advised there was nothing they could do as we weren’t residents, they just kept saying that there were signs all over the carpark.

“Obviously not very well sign posted as I didn’t notice anything, and we parked at the furthest away spot from the hotel so as not to take up any spaces on the main area. I explained we had only parked while my partner went into the hotel to check for a room, but again nothing.

Letter received by Georgina Lister regarding parking outside the Norbreck Hotel, Blackpool to check for room availability
Letter received by Georgina Lister regarding parking outside the Norbreck Hotel, Blackpool to check for room availability (Image: Georgina Lister)

“I am at my wit’s end, and I’ve since received another threatening letter from ParkingEye. ”

Georgina has appealed and contacted Blackpool MP Scott Benton who told her that it is ‘unfortunately’ out of his remit and to contact Blackpool North MP Paul Maynard.

She was then advised to contact her local MP but hasn’t had much luck so far. She also written to Britannia Hotels CEO, Alex Langsam, with the company owning the Norbreck.

The Norbreck Castle Hotel in Blackpool
The Norbreck Castle Hotel in Blackpool (Image: LancsLive)

Georgina said: “I just think it’s quite harsh as we never stayed and I remained in the car while my partner checked. I couldn’t see any signs and we were in a strange place that we were unfamiliar with. In Scotland, usually these fines only come from the police or the council however I realised since it’s different here as they can be issued by third parties.

“This was my first trip to Blackpool and it has left me with a not so happy time. I appreciate any help with this issue and I would like to highlight it to make people aware of these Parking Eye fines.”

LancsLive has contacted Parking Eye for comment but did not get a response prior to deadline.

 

 

£12m funding for St Annes sea wall gets go-ahead for design that retains much-loved seafront attractions

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A £12.1m fund towards the regeneration of the St Annes sea wall has been approved by the Environment Agency.

 

It means work can go ahead on replacing the existing 660m long sea wall around The Island site to reduce the risk of coastal erosion and flooding to more than 500 properties and businesses over the next 100 years.

The existing sea wall dates back to 1935 and is in a poor condition, resulting in frequent overtopping, flooding and damage to the seawall and promenade.

Artist impression of the sea defence at St Annes

Artist impression of the sea defence at St Annes

Fylde Council says that with climate change and future sea level rises, the frequency and severity of overtopping and flooding is predicted to worsen, meaning action needs to be taken imminently.

Lytham exhibition to mark 135th anniversary of lifeboat disaster

The work will go ahead without any of the current seafront attractions being lost.

Coun Roger Small, chairman of Fylde Council’s operational management committee, said: “I am delighted the council has received approval with the necessary financial support for thisimportant scheme.

“The project will first and foremost provide security from rising sea levels for the next 100 years, but as we have seen with our other sea wall enhancements, it will bring in extra revenuesfrom increased visitors and users.

“I would also like to stress that this has been achieved by modelling the scheme so as to retain the much loved attractions.

“This is the opening investment in the St Annes regeneration projects that will ensure the town has a good future.”

Andrew Shore, area coastal engineer for the Environment Agency, said: “We look forward to working with Fylde Council to help deliver this ambitious project over the next few years.”

The project follows the success of the Fairhaven to Church Scar sea wall project completed last year.

Work at St Annes could begin as soon as January 2023 and be completed by August 2024. Meetings with stakeholders and public exhibitions of the proposals will be held before any works begin.

 

 

Mental health sanctuary opens in memory of South Shore man, 24, who jumped from town centre car park

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A mental health sanctuary in memory of Elliot Taylor, who jumped to his death from the roof of Talbot Road multi-storey, has finally opened its doors.

Elliot's mum Catherine Taylor outside the new Elliot's Place

Elliot’s mum Catherine Taylor outside the new Elliot’s Place

‘Elliot’s Place’, within the grounds of Blackpool-based charity Empowerment on Bispham Road, will provide a safe space in the local community for men suffering with mental health problems and who need immediate support.

Its creation was inspired by Elliot, 24, of Squire’s Gate Lane in South Shore, who tragically took his own life on September 14 last year.

Elliot's Place, situated in the grounds of the Empowerment headquarters on Bispham Road

Elliot’s Place, situated in the grounds of the Empowerment headquarters on Bispham Road

Following his death, his mum, Catherine Taylor, made it her mission to tackle the lack of mental health support services by creating a safe space for young men to talk about their problems and find comfort within their community.

This was followed by months of fund-raising, with a four day hike organised by Elliot’s friends bringing in £4,000 from a goal of just £2,000. In total family, friends and local businesses raised £20,000 for the development of Elliot’s Place, with their immense efforts meaning the building was completed well ahead of schedule, as it was initially predicted to open in summer 2022.

Catherine said previously: “Elliot struggled to get the support that he needed without having to go through a long referral process. It was not having that support immediately that was the problem. Whereas this is for young men, local to Blackpool, who can come at any time without having to go through the system and wait, as it is, to have a referral put through.”

Mike Taylor, Elliot’s dad, added: “We are so proud of all the work that has gone into creating Elliot’s Place.

Elliot Taylor, who died in September last year

Elliot Taylor, who died in September last year

“Elliot was a wonderful young man who is very much missed, and the creation of Elliot’s Place has been very much bittersweet for us family and friends. We take comfort in knowing that we have created this hub to help prevent any more young men feeling they have nowhere to turn to and losing their lives instead of getting the help they need.

“We would like to thank everyone who donated, all those who did a great job fundraising and those in the local community for their help to build this brilliant facility.”

Elliot’s Place was built by Midlands-based container conversion specialist, S Jones Containers. Working with Empowerment and Elliot’s family, they designed a large L-shaped unit to provide two spacious rooms, which will be used to offer a range of support services. These include one-to-one peer mentoring, drop-in services for immediate support, and workshops for local community services such as the Samaritans and the local police force.

Peer mentors – nicknamed ‘Elliot’s Mates’ – will take charge of the day-to-day running of the building, and have received training in suicide prevention and safeguarding.

Linzi Cason, a service and community engagement manager at Empowerment, said: “It’s fantastic to see the final structure in place, ready to welcome the young men who really need the mental health support services from us.

“In the long term, Elliot’s Place will be instrumental to how we help the young men in our area with mental health struggles. Our mentors will help provide the suicide prevention board with insight on what these young men actually struggle with in their day-to-day lives, and how we can help them with those struggles and therefore reduce the risk of suicide. Elliot’s Place will be an invaluable tool to improving the wellbeing of men in Blackpool.

“We’re so pleased we have created a sanctuary where we can remember Elliot and celebrate his life, and also a safe place for other young men to share their troubles and alleviate any mental health struggles.”

Andrew Capella, a conversions general manager from S Jones Containers, said: “It goes without saying that mental health support services are a lifeline in communities, so we were keen to help when Empowerment approached us for help with the creation of this much-needed community space.

“We’re proud to have been able to work with Empowerment and Elliot’s family on such an important project. It’s great to see the completion of Elliot’s Place and see the community come together to support the build. We hope that the container unit will provide sanctuary and support to those who need it.”