Comedy pals Joe Pasquale, Jon Richardson and Lucy Beaumont tuck into Blackpool fish and chips whilst filming TV show

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Comedian pals Joe Pasquale, Jon Richardson and Lucy Beaumont tucked into fish and chips whilst filming in Blackpool this week.

 

Essex-born Pasquale revealed a craving for Northern chippy fare when the 60-year-old southerner ordered gravy with his haddock and chips

Essex-born Pasquale revealed a craving for Northern chippy fare when the 60-year-old southerner ordered gravy with his haddock and chips

The trio have been busy filming Meet the Richardsons, the comedy series starring real-life husband and wife stand-ups Jon Richardson and Lucy Beaumont.

In the show, the comedy couple play exaggerated versions of themselves as viewers get a glimpse into their home and work lives, surrounded by their celebrity friends and their Hebden Bridge neighbours.

On Monday (October 11), the stars visited Marton’s Cottage Chippy in Newhouse Road – famous for its fresh fish and home cut chips – to film scenes for the show’s upcoming third series.

Comedy couple Jon Richardson and Lucy Beaumont (centre) with Cottage Chippy staff members Lisa Wright, Tina Taylor, Lauren Culshaw and Simone Carney, who said the stars were an "absolute pleasure to serve"

Comedy couple Jon Richardson and Lucy Beaumont (centre) with Cottage Chippy staff members Lisa Wright, Tina Taylor, Lauren Culshaw and Simone Carney, who said the stars were an “absolute pleasure to serve”

And after a successful morning’s shoot, there was only ever going to be one way to celebrate – with a nice big plate of fresh Blackpool fish and chips!

Chippy staff members Lisa Wright, Tina Taylor, Lauren Culshaw and Simone Carney served the comedy stars and said they were an “absolute pleasure”.

Tina told the Gazette that Essex-born Pasquale had a hankering for traditional Northern chippy fare, with the 60-year-old southerner ordering gravy with his haddock and chips.

Lancaster lad Jon Richardson tucked into chips and peas whilst Yorkshire lass Lucy enjoyed freshly caught haddock with her chips and peas.

The Cottage has been one of Blackpool’s most famous Fish & Chip shops for many years, opening more than a century ago in 1920.

And Pasquale, Richardson and Beaumont are not the only famous faces to visit the Cottage for a tasty chippy dinner.

Other famous customers include Freddie Flintoff, Status Quo, Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders.

The Cottage even featured in Rick Stein’s ‘Seafood Lovers Guide’ were the famous chef declared it “the best Fish & Chips in Blackpool”.

 

 

Blueprint for future bus services in Blackpool to be sent to the Government by the end of the month – this is what it will mean for commuters

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A blueprint for future bus services around Blackpool has been agreed and is due to be submitted to government by the end of this month.

 

All councils must publish a Bus Service Improvement Plan in order to be eligible for a share of a £3bn pot of government funding.

In a report to the executive, which approved the plan, Coun Neal Brookes, cabinet member for highways and transport, said the aim was to get more people to switch from car to bus use.

He said: “Buses should be seen as reliable and cost effective transport for all, helping to support the local economy and address climate change.

The Blackpool bus improvement plan has been drafted

The Blackpool bus improvement plan has been drafted

“Thanks to its innovative and far-seeing operators, Blackpool benefits from a modern bus fleet and a network that is the envy of many.

“This can be built on to bring the accessibility, environmental and decongesting benefits of increased bus use to the fore.

“Having secured its network through the Covid pandemic, the council will now work with operators in the envisaged enhanced partnership to grow ridership rapidly and to achieve modal shift from car to bus.

“With the bus fleet likely to start the transition from diesel to electric with the next vehicle purchases, the impact on air quality and greenhouse gas emissions will be considerable.”

The council has held talks with operators including its own company Blackpool Transport, Stagecoach and Coastliner with proposals crossing local authority boundaries in order to cover the whole Fylde coast.

Priorities include introducing new services linking residential areas with employment opportunities, the Airport Enterprise Zone and Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

It is hoped to increase services in the evenings and weekends, while improvements are also needed to bus stops and shelters.

More access to real time timetable information is required, especially in the town centre, as well as simplified ticket offers.

Four additional bus lanes could also be created on main routes to improve punctuality and reliability.

 

 

Blackpool criminal leaves partner with snake collection as he is jailed

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A serial driving offender has left his partner with a giant reptilian headache.

 

The reptile collection included a 22ft python

The reptile collection included a 22ft python

A serial driving offender has left his partner with a giant reptilian headache.

Disqualifed driving menace Ian Peckett left Blackpool Magistrates Court to serve two years jail.

But the court heard he and his partner face evicition from their home in Garden Terrace, South Shore, because of rent arrears.

Defence lawyer Martin Hillson said: “He knows what he has done was foolish in the extreme continuing to drive despite being banned and under a suspended sentence for those offences.

“Now they are being evicted and his partner will have to cope home alone with a crippled dog and my client ‘s collection of fourteen snakes including a 22 foot long python.”

Peckett, 37, uemployed admitted two more driving while disqualified offences , obstructing the police by giving his brother’s name and two offences of driving a Ford Focus without insurance .

The prosecution said that the offences were severely aggravated because he had never stopped driving despite current bans and the suspended sentence.

The court heard that police lay in wait for Peckett to be at the wheel knowing he would go and pick his partner up from work.

The prosecution applied for an order to have the car seized which was agreed as it in his partner’s name .

He was banned from the road for two years and jailed for 24 weeks.

Chairman of the Bench: “You showed a blatant disregard for court orders and carried on driving.”

 

 

 

Fleetwood KFC is giving away free furniture on Facebook

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Online shoppers browsing for bargains on Facebook Marketplace were surprised to find Fleetwood’s KFC giving its tables and chairs away for free.

 

The KFC in Lord Street, Fleetwood is about to undergo a refit and has been giving away its old tables and chairs for for free on Facebook Marketplace. Pic: Google

The KFC in Lord Street, Fleetwood is about to undergo a refit and has been giving away its old tables and chairs for for free on Facebook Marketplace. Pic: Google

The KFC branch in Lord Street is to undergo a refit in the weeks to come and has begun making space for new furniture by offloading its old tables, chairs and stools on Facebook.

Multiple listings for the restaurant’s familiar red stools and wooden tables appeared on Marketplace yesterday (Thursday, October 14), with the fast-food furniture being given away for free.

The tables and chairs inside the Fleetwood branch have been largely unused during the coronavirus pandemic, with the indoor seating area closed for the past 18 months.

The KFC restaurant in Fleetwood is giving its tables and chairs away for free on Facebook Marketplace as the branch prepares to undergo a refit

The KFC restaurant in Fleetwood is giving its tables and chairs away for free on Facebook Marketplace as the branch prepares to undergo a refit

KFC said work on its its Fleetwood branch is about to begin and there are no plans to close the restaurant whilst the refit is carried out.

A KFC spokesman said: “Fear not Fleetwood…we’re not going anywhere! We’re busy giving your KFC restaurant a little TLC and a well-deserved makeover.

“For those looking to get their fried chicken fix, we’re still open for delivery and takeaway.”

The KFC restaurant in Fleetwood is giving its tables and chairs away for free on Facebook Marketplace as the branch prepares to undergo a refit

The KFC restaurant in Fleetwood is giving its tables and chairs away for free on Facebook Marketplace as the branch prepares to undergo a refit

Go ahead for zero limit on Blackpool lap dancing clubs

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Blackpool has now formally adopted a policy which will eventually see lap dancing clubs phased out in the resort.

 

Town hall licensing chiefs have agreed a new policy for lap dancing clubs

Town hall licensing chiefs have agreed a new policy for lap dancing clubs

The ambition to purge the town of sexual entertainment venues (SEVs) was first revealed in January this year.

Closure of Blackpool lap dancing clubs will put sex workers ‘at risk’

Following public consultation, the updated policy was approved by the Licensing Committee in September and has now crossed the final hurdle after it was agreed by the council’s executive.

The existing four clubs will be allowed to continue operating, but once those licences lapse for any reason they will not be renewed. Only one sex shop will also be allowed to trade in the town in future once existing licences have run their course.

Coun Neal Brookes, cabinet member for enforcement, public safety, highways and transport, told the executive: “As a white ribbon accredited authority and a family friendly destination, we are working towards a zero limit on the number of sexual entertainment venues and lap dancing clubs.

“To protect the four businesses that are currently licensed, they will be able to continue as long as they comply with the legislation and licence conditions.

“However once the licence is surrendered or revoked, any new application would be considered against the limit of zero.”

Operators of the existing lap dancing clubs in Blackpool, which are Eden One, Eden Two, Heaven and Sinless, had warned the restrictions could drive lap dancing underground.

Ashley Sayers, whose family has operated Eden Two on the Promenade for 14 years, said dancers “will be tempted, if not forced to work in places such as hotels for private bachelor parties where their risk of sexual assault and financial exploitation would be alarmingly high.”

Coun Brookes said comments made during consultation had been taken into account in making the decision to approve the new policy.

The council believes the move better reflects Blackpool’s aim to be a family resort, and its support of the White Ribbon campaign to reduce violence towards women.

Other changes within the revised policy include tighter controls over how dances are paid for, and a ban on dancers taking mobile phones into performance areas.

CCTV must be able to store recordings for a minimum of 21 days.

The policy, which was last revised in 2016, will be effective until 2026 when the next review is due.

 

 

We took the ‘Journey to Hell’ at Blackpool Pleasure Beach

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This year’s horror walk includes a trip on four rides – and a whole lot of screaming

 

A character you could have the unfortunate pleasure of facing on your Journey To Hell at Blackpool Pleasure Beach (Image: Lancs Live)

My idea of a scarewalk when I was a kid was some boy in the year above dressed as a toilet roll ghost jumping out on us shouting ‘trick or treat’ as we walked home from school.

But the bar has shifted so much higher in recent times, or shall I say lower, to the depths of hell, in Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s case for 2021.

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The make-up, costumes and masks are good enough for a movie close-up, props are disturbingly realistic, actors have been rehearsing for months to perfect their sinister characters and then when you mix all that with riding roller-coasters in the dark, you have the perfect ‘freak night’ melting pot.

Journey to Hell: Freak Nights is the resort’s latest late-night Halloween adventure and LancsLive were invited to the preview ahead of it opening to the public on October 8.

Pig Head, anyone? (Image: Lancs Live)

The walk takes you through nine zones spread across the park, which has been mysteriously cursed and it is your job to uncover the secrets of the curse – and get out alive.

I went through the experience alone, but I would recommend attending with at least one other person, so that you can sit with them on the four rides dispersed throughout the route – and also squeeze their hand when you’re spooked.

Otherwise, you’ll end up instinctively grabbing a random person’s arm, like I did.

The route weaves through several disturbing characters, from evil clowns, Day of The Dead, ghost-like ninja warriors, ghouls, Plague Doctors, evil scientists and skeletons.

The journey begins at The Legend of the Cursed River Caves in total darkness, which is unsettling in itself, then you throw in live actors hellbent on adding to your terror and imposing special effects, and you emerge into the night afterwards sufficiently freaked out.

An actor gets in gruesome character for Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s Journey To Hell (Image: Lancs Live)

“There’s only one way out” I’m told by a grumpy and unsightly ‘conductor’, as we’re then ushered into the appropriately-named Hell Tunnels before taking in Blind Faith, Day of the Dead and the BIG Dark Abyss.

I’m conscious to not give away exactly which rides you’ll get to experience but I will tell you there is a sadistic twist at one of them that will give you a whole new experience, even if you have been on that rollercoaster several times before.

There’s some classic – and predictable – jumpy moments and some of it is quite silly, but the majority of the characters are engaging and believable and the experience is as immersive as you – and your imagination – allow it to be.

If you love all things Halloween and riding rollercoasters, this after-dark adventure is not to be missed.

The event is not recommended for anyone under 10 due to the content and that’s even more understandable given the amount of swearing and aggressive language used by the actor.

Blackpool Pleasure Beach brings together scare zones, haunted ride areas and outrageous live entertainment after hours at the amusement park for Journey To Hel (Image: Lancs Live)

Expect several sets of steps, water spray, sudden naked flames, smoke, strobe lighting and limited visibility.

It takes around 90 minutes to complete the whole walk, with some long stretches between zones, but you are efficiently directed along the way by a combination of security staff and actors.

Journey to Hell, which runs until October 31, is a separately ticketed event to Blackpool Pleasure Beach and tickets start at £32.

It is designed for staggered entry and for groups no bigger than six.

The resort will then open at weekends only from November 6 to December 12.

 

 

Go ahead for £300m Blackpool Central leisure plan – despite Blackpool Pleasure Beach objection

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Work will begin early next year on the £300m Blackpool Central leisure development after councillors unanimously backed plans to  transform the site of the former Central Station.

 

The council’s planning committee approved a hybrid application including outline permission to build three indoor theme parks, a 200-room hotel plus bars, restaurants and outdoor entertainment space.

Plans submitted for £300m new Blackpool leisure destination

Full permission was granted to convert and upgrade buildings on Central Drive including the King Edward cinema, King Edward pub and King Edward apartments into holiday accommodation, restaurants and bars as part of a new heritage quarter.

Artist's impression of Blackpool Central

Artist’s impression of Blackpool Central

A 1,306 space seven storey car park was also approved which will be the first element of the scheme by Nikal Ltd and Media Invest Entertainment.

The Heritage Quarter is set to be built by spring 2024, with further phases not operational until spring or summer 2025, and the full development expected to take 10 years to complete.

A report to the committee said the council had spent “well over 20 years attempting to attract investment, facilitate site assembly, and deliver new development on the site to drive its wider regeneration goals.”

The former Central Station closed in 1964 and has since been used as a car park. Previous attempts to develop the site, including planning applications in 2001 and 2006 had failed.

Artists impression of the heritage quarter

Artists impression of the heritage quarter

The report added the current application meant there was “now a greater likelihood than ever before that redevelopment of the site on a scale of strategic significance could take place.”

Richard Fee, chief executive of Nikal, said after the meeting: “This is a key moment for levelling up Blackpool’s visitor economy post Covid.

“Blackpool Central will help transform and futureproof the town’s tourism offer, and last night’s approval is an important step forward in our journey.”

Blackpool Pleasure Beach had objected to the description of three indoor theme parks, saying this could ‘undermine’ its tourism offer.

Nick Laister, representing the amusement park, told the meeting there would be nothing to stop the developers installing mechanical rides rather than delivering a unique new experience for Blackpool visitors.

He said: “You are being asked to approve another theme park in Blackpool which will directly undermine Blackpool Pleasure Beach which is a major resort core attraction.”

Mr Laister said the development would pose “a serious threat to the Pleasure Beach’s existence.”

But committee chairman Coun David Owen said he did not believe Blackpool Central would “be any significant competition” to the Pleasure Beach.

He said: “I honestly think the Pleasure Beach has always been the major attraction in Blackpool. It always has been since it started, it has always replenished itself.”

Adrian Spawforth, agent for the applicants, said the developers had “no interest in being a smaller indoor version of the Pleasure Beach.”

He added: “I can’t find any reason why our development can’t co-exist with all the other attractions.”

Mr Fee added it was hoped to begin work as soon as possible.

He said: “We have worked hard to ensure that the scheme will complement Blackpool’s current attractions and wider leisure offer.

“This approach will help us to secure game-changing benefits for Blackpool – drawing in 600,000 additional visitors a year and boosting annual spend in the local economy by £75m.

“We are now looking forward to getting spades in the ground to build the multi storey car park and Heritage Quarter, which are the catalysts for delivering our wider vision.”

Council leader and cabinet member for tourism Coun Lynn Williams said: “Yesterday’s decision is a major milestone for this transformational regeneration project which has been widely anticipated by our residents, who can now look forward to seeing activity on site as construction starts in earnest.”

She said it would bring “skilled year-round job opportunities, extra footfall and revenue to local businesses” as well as breathing life “into a rundown and neglected part of the town”.

 

 

Blackpool Council is spending £390k to fix the roof at Central Library – here’s why it needs to be done

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Blackpool’s historic heritage collections are to be moved into storage to protect them from risk of water damage while work is done to repair the roof at Central Library as part of a £390,000 project.

 

The material, which records the resort’s growth into the country’s best loved seaside destination, is under threat due to leaks in the roof of the Grade II listed library on Queen Street.

The History Centre, on the first floor of the library, closed in February 2020 when severe weather damaged the roof.

Subsequent surveys have found significant repairs are needed which will cost around £260,000 with other essential repairs costing £30,000.

Central Library

Central Library

The cost of relocating the heritage collections to deep storage outside Blackpool will be £100,000.

The lending service on the ground floor of the library will remain open while the work is carried out, which is expected to take six to 12 months.

A council report says: “The Blackpool heritage collections are rare and unique records. They cover the history of the seaside, popular culture and entertainment and Blackpool’s social history

“Together they give a unique view of the development of Blackpool as the world’s first and biggest mass seaside resort and a world renowned centre for popular entertainment.

“Due to the age of the building, and effect of adverse weather conditions due to its location, the building is affected by water egress from the roofs, guttering details and perished pointing.

“This presents a risk to the heritage collections currently stored in the building.”

There will still be limited access to newspapers on microfilm one day a week by appointment only, while a small selection of collections are staying in Blackpool in temporary storage for use by Showtown to support the final stage of creating and building the museum displays.

Repairs will include stripping the existing roof coverings and removing gutters.

The cost of packaging, transport and deep storage of the collections is estimated at £100,000.

Funding for the full £390,000 project will come from existing council budgets including the renewals, repairs and maintenance budget for 2022/23.

 

 

Blackpool’s Mirror Ball project has been held up by weather but will be finished soon, says council

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Repairs to Blackpool’s much-loved Mirror Ball have still not been completed almost a year after it was removed for renovations.

 

But Blackpool Council insists the final stage of the South Promenade project has only been temporarily delayed because strong winds and rain have made working conditions impossible and a halt had to be called for health and safety reasons.

And the authority says the work will be completed as soon as there is a suitable window in the weather.

With a section of tiles still missing from the ball, one resident said it currently looks like a “half-tiled bathroom”.

A section of tiles on the Mirror Ball still needs completing

A section of tiles on the Mirror Ball still needs completing

However, a Blackpool Council spokesman said: “The final section of work requires the use of a cherry picker and the recent weather has made that task unsafe.

“We cannot have workmen at risk which the the weather continues to be so windy.

“We know the Mirror Ball is loved by residents and they can rest assured that the entire project is set for completion as soon as possible.”

The huge six metres diameter glitter ball, reputed to be the largest in the world, was taken down in November last year for a full refurbishment.

The Mirror Ball project will be completed soon, says Blackpool Council

The Mirror Ball project will be completed soon, says Blackpool Council

The £80,000 project has involved removing and replacing 47,000 mirror tiles and used 1,000 tubes of tile adhesive, with the work originally being carried out by partners including the council’s own Illuminations team at the Lightworks and students from Blackpool and the Fylde College.

It was expected that the art work, which rotates and lights up, would be returned to the promenade in the summer after approximately six months’ work – but the project fell behind schedule.

And last month Blackpool Council said it had needed to bring in an outside firm, Mirror Finish NW, to put things right and completely retile it.

Andy Farrell, owner of Thornton-based Mirror Finish NW , whose team was brought in around late June, said: “It is very frustrating because the weather is very changeable.

The Frankenstein Project has deteriorated badly

The Frankenstein Project has deteriorated badly

“I’m a local lad and I have wanted to work on the Mirror Ball project for years – nobody wants it to be completed more than me, I’m really proud to be involved.

“But we’ve had a situation in the last few weeks where the wind can change from being six miles per hour to 26 miles per hour within just a few minutes.

“When the cherry picker is swaying from side to side and we have a person us there trying to tile the ball, that isn’t good and we just can’t put someone at risk light that.

“We’ve been told there is a window in the weather next week and we’re confident we can get the final part of the work finished soon.”

The Mirror Ball was created by artist Michael Trainor, who was inspired by and named the work after the 1969 Hollywood film They Shoot Horses Don’t They, which features a large mirror ball.

It was originally installed in 2002 as one of a series of commissioned artworks known as The Great Promenade Show and last refurbished in 2010.

But there have been complaints from some residents that the art works have not been maintained.

Blackpool resident Craig Elwell told the Gazette: “The glitter ball was supposed to be being refurbished yet it currently looks like a half tiled bathroom, it no longer rotates and it’s missing all the lights that used to illuminate it. It’s such a shame.

“Presently the whole South Promenade looks tired and forgotten and is a shadow of the former promenade art walk it used to be.”

One of the most prominent works is Frankenstein, created by artist Tony Stallard and created from a diver’s decompression chamber, which currently looks rusty and untidy.

But the Blackpool Council spokesman said: ” We are aware of the situation and will be sending information out about that.”