‘Pathetic’ Blackpool hotel with ‘pee-stained’ pillow and no room for wheelchair ‘ruins’ family’s holiday

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Natalie Midgley uses a wheelchair and felt that the hotel didn’t cater for her


The Norbreck Castle Hotel in Blackpool (Image: LancsLive)

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A Blackpool hotel guest claims her family holiday was ‘ruined’ after the hotel failed to cater to her needs as a wheelchair user.

The Norbreck Hotel has long been under scrutiny after guests reported fleeing in the night and finding ‘blood on the walls‘.

Others reportedly cut their holiday ‘four days short’ and more recently, one man’s horror left him vowing to never return again.

Now, concerns about the Britannia-owned hotel are being raised again after Natalie Louise Midgley, 35, visited for a ‘peaceful’ weekend away with one of her sons Junior Jay, 13, and her partner Lucy Neil, 36.

The three travelled up to Blackpool from Bentley, Doncaster, on the weekend of August 23 and intended to stay until August 26.

Online, Natalie said the hotel looked ‘gorgeous’ and ‘stunning’ with the lights ‘shining’ on the walls of the Norbreck Castle Hotel in photographs.

Natalie said she wanted to stay in a quieter area, because she wanted her experience to be more ‘peaceful’ than the ‘busy’ area of Central Pier.

She said: “It meant a lot because I don’t get out often, I suffer with a lot of problems and my home is my safe haven. I suffer from anxiety really bad anyway, but it was the first time going away properly.”

The trio claimed that the cost of their accommodation was ‘nearly £300’ and they say they have not received any compensation since contacting the hotel about their disappointment.

Natalie said: “As we arrived, it didn’t look anything like the photos online.”

She said that the hotel was covered in ‘scaffolding’ and had ‘paint coming off the walls’ as they went to check-in.

Entering the hotel from the disabled entrance, Natalie photographed what she believed to be ‘faeces’ on the door.

Natalie photographed faeces on the door of the disabled entrance.

Natalie said: “I used the disabled door so that’s what I saw at my height, surely people had seen it, I’m not sure if they hadn’t cleaned up and I was going in and I went back out.”

She also pointed out a pillow that had been left for their use that was said to have a ‘stain that looked like urine’ on the back.

As a wheelchair user, Natalie felt that The Norbreck didn’t cater for her.

‘The rooms were tiny, it was pathetic,’ she said, ‘I literally squeezed my wheelchair in and that was it. My son had to move the furniture around, I had to get out of the wheelchair and sit so they could move the table and chair so I had room to maneuver.’

She said her experience was ‘silly’ and as there was ‘only one’ exit for her to leave from, claiming she faced ‘missing’ concrete in the disabled ramp which meant going down it was ‘bumpy’.

A pillow that had been left for their use that was said to have a ‘stain that looked like urine’ on the back. 

The trio also claimed they could not use the bath in their hotel room due to paint that was ‘stripping’ from the walls and ‘floating’ in the bath water.

‘It was the worst hotel I’ve ever stayed in,’ Natalie said, ‘I’ve stayed in some hotels but nothing like that, but I’d never go back. I love Blackpool, I really do, and it was the first time I had been back since I was a child.’

The Norbreck Castle Hotel is owned by Britannia. They did not respond to a request for comment.

Scott Benton MP for Blackpool South previously urged hotels to get behind an opt-in accreditation scheme put in place by VisitBlackpool.

He told LancsLive: “Unfortunately there are a number of providers which continue to let Blackpool down which doesn’t just reflect poorly on those hotels and chains but on the resort as a whole.”

“I would plead with them to take every step they possibly can to invest in these hotels.”




Blackpool man who threatened to kill a woman, tried to set her hair on fire and poured cold water on her during ‘terrifying rape ordeal’ jailed for 12 years

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A Blackpool man who threatened to kill a woman, tried to set her hair on fire and poured cold water on her during terrifying rape ordeal at an address in Blackpool has been jailed for 12 years.


Leroy Brown subjected the woman to the terrifying sexual assault at an address in the South Shore in October 2018.

Brown, 31, of Albert Road, Blackpool, was found guilty of rape in August and was sentenced this week at Preston Crown Court.

He was jailed for 12 years and must serve eight years before he is considered for parole.

Leroy Brown

Leroy Brown

He has also been given a lifetime restraining order and a lifetime sex offender notification requirement.

Det Con James Ellis, of West CID, said: “This was an absolutely terrifying ordeal for the woman involved and I would like to commend her for her courage – she has shown incredible bravery throughout, especially while giving evidence at court.

“At no stage has Brown shown any remorse for his horrific actions and the sentence handed down reflects the gravity of his offending.

“I hope that this significant sentence will give others who may have suffered rape or sexual assault to come and speak to us. We know that may be hard but no matter who you are, how long ago the assault happened or what took place, our prime concern is to give you the support you need. We’ll listen, understand and guide you through the investigation process at a pace you’re comfortable with, whilst respecting your wishes.”



Play Expo Blackpool: Hundreds expected to flock to major video games event at Norbreck Castle

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Hundreds of arcade games and pinball fans are set to flood in to Blackpool for its first major games event since the pandemic struck.


The computer gamers are set to fill the Norbreck Castle’s exhibition halls as Blackpool entrepreneur Andy Brown brings his popular Games Expo back to the resort.

The event, which runs on Saturday, October 23 and Sunday October 24, from 10am to 6pm each day, will include retro games and consoles, 50 pinball machines, multi-player classics such as Minecraft and Fortnite on a local network, tournaments and a wall of arcade cabinets.

Sadly, due to cornonavirus safety restrictions some of the usual favourites, such as the virtual reality games machines with the immersive headsets, cannot be held this time, but the industry talks will be there and guests speakers showing how they have adapted classic early console games to work on modern TVs.

It's Game on at the Norbreck Castle this October with the return of Play Expo

It’s Game on at the Norbreck Castle this October with the return of Play Expo

Blackpool and The Fylde College will have a stall at the event, showing off the work their students on their various coding and gaming courses and a raft of independent games makers will be there with their creations.

Andy Brown said: “It’s great to be back. We have had our games at a couple of shows such as CarFest over the summer but this is the first of our own big events. There is always something special about the Blackpool Play Expo. It is traditionally the last event we do of the year and always our favourite.

“This is going to be the best show we can put on under the circumstances, fully Covid compliant. But the regulars we have spoken to are just really looking forward to getting out and be doing things to have that sense of normality.

“A lot of gamers who come to Play Expo have friends that they chat to online who they get to meet at the expo. This is going to be great to meet up play and have a drink together.

Around 50 pinball machines will be at the event

Around 50 pinball machines will be at the event

“I am expecting a good turnout, the interest has been what it used to be pre-pandemic.”

Resort event shows that play is big business

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Gamers young and old can try out a whole series of games

Gamers young and old can try out a whole series of games

The event will include a big range of the classic sea-side arcade games

The event will include a big range of the classic sea-side arcade games

See how a tiny robot has got Blackpool’s newest football pitches ready for kick-off

Home | Blackpool Gazette

The new sports pitches at the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone are set to get used for the first time, thanks to work done by a little robot.


The pitches created off Common Edge Road have been now been marked out, not by a groundsman pushing a white line marking machine, but automatically, by a robot controlled using a tablet and GPS technology.

The sports facilities, which are part of a £5m investment to upgrade sports in Blackpool, will be used for the first time this Saturday by Spirit of Youth FC.

New changing rooms are set to follow, plus a 3G sports pitch, a rugby pitch and a rugby training area as well as 12 football pitches and a 194-space car park, all poart of teh over-arching redevelopment of the enterprise zone.

It's a corner! The robot used to mark out the pitches off Common Edge Road

It’s a corner! The robot used to mark out the pitches off Common Edge Road

The battery-powered robot can mark out two to three fields on one drum of paint and allows the owner to calculate exactly how much is needed, so there is no wastage.

The work has been carried out by Lancashire-based Richard Peel Groundcare with the robot supplied by Rigby Taylor.

Coun Kath Benson, Cabinet Member for Community Engagement, Aspirations and Community Assets said, “We are delighted to see the brand new pitches at Common Edge Playing Fields being marked out ready for the first training sessions, and seeing first-hand how cutting edge technology is used to control a robot by GPS was fascinating.

“Everyone is excited to get down and try out the new pitches, which are looking top class and really inviting!

Spirit of Youth FC will be the first to officially use the new football field

Spirit of Youth FC will be the first to officially use the new football field

“The opening of the new sports pitches marks the start of a new generation of quality sports and leisure facilities for local, grass roots sporting clubs and the surrounding South Shore community.

“Having quality pitches at Common Edge will enable Blackpool to attract and host higher profile tournaments in the future, such as the Blackpool Cup which is planned for spring 2022.

“Creating new sports pitches also helps to unlock development land and commercial opportunities at Blackpool Enterprise Zone, which is needed to help growing local businesses, attract investment and create skilled, long term employment for the people of Blackpool.”

Next phase of £5m sports investment for Blackpool approved
The robot uses GPS satellite technology to draw out accurate pitches

The robot uses GPS satellite technology to draw out accurate pitches

It is controlled by an operator using a computer tablet

It is controlled by an operator using a computer tablet

Blackpool Winter Wonderland to include Christmas Bongo’s Bingo dates at Blackpool Tower Ballroom on December 16, 17, and 18

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Bosses behind the award-winning Bongo’s Bingo have revealed they are returning to the resort with Winter Wonderland specials this December at Blackpool Tower.


Winter Wonderland Bongo's Bingo specials this December at Blackpool Tower

Winter Wonderland Bongo’s Bingo specials this December at Blackpool Tower

When is Bongo’s Bingo coming back to Blackpool?

The original and defining bingo rave phenomenon gears up for the magical season on December 16, 17 and 18.

The dates are Thursday 16, Friday 17, Saturday 18 daytime and evening show) and Sunday 19 December.

Bongo's Bingo Winter Wonderland specials this December at Blackpool Tower.

Bongo’s Bingo Winter Wonderland specials this December at Blackpool Tower.

What is Bongo’s Bingo?

Bongo’s Bingo combines the much-loved quaint pastime of bingo with a mesmeric live show, crazy antics and weird and wonderful prizes which have helped create one of the most talked about nights out in the country.

What to expect from festive Bongo’s Bingo at Blackpool Tower

The Blackpool Tower will be infused with more festive magic than Hamleys and stuffed like an Xmas stocking with lashings of merriment, majestic singalong music – including of course Fairytale of New York – and amazing prizes only Santa would approve of.

The December shows promise to be an ‘all-out festive extravaganzas, distilling all of the familiar elements of Bongo’s Bingo and adding a sprinkling of magical festive dust.’

Jonny Bongo said: “Christmas is my favourite time of the year and we are gearing up for a brilliant season of festive shows in Blackpool at the legendary Tower. Our Winter Wonderland dates are always packed to the brim with festive madness and magic – it’s going to be class.”

Are tickets still available?

Tickets are on sale now at www.bongosbingo.co.ukTwitter and Instagram: @bongosbingo www.facebook.com/bongosbingo



What is Blackpool’s stance on the possibility of installing safe standing at Bloomfield Road?

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Installing safe standing at Bloomfield Road is not a number one priority for Blackpool at this minute, but they’ll be keeping an eye on the upcoming trials.


Six Premier League clubs and a number of Championship sides have applied to take part in a pilot scheme, which is due to start on January 1.

The trial, organised by the Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA), will run until the end of the season and will allow clubs whose application is successful to offer a licensed safe standing area.

Outlining Blackpool’s stance on the pilot, chief executive Ben Mansford says it is something the club will monitor from afar rather than participate in, for now at least.

“The owner and the club have invested hundreds of thousands to improve the infrastructure around Bloomfield Road during the last two years,” Mansford told The Gazette.

“We have a number of things that require more urgent investment than changing over seats that work to the rail seats.

“The rail seats can cost anything from £50 to £70 a seat, so it’s not an insignificant cost to change a seat that currently works to a seat that maybe works in a different way and incur that cost.

Premier League side Wolves have already installed safe standing rail seats at Molineux

Premier League side Wolves have already installed safe standing rail seats at Molineux

“But we understand. The Football Supporters’ Association has carried out a lot of work to ensure safe standing can come in and clearly trials are being run.

“We’re duty-bound to monitor those, but it’s very difficult for us to commit to where we get to on that journey any time soon, especially because there are probably more pressing areas that require investment.

“Everyone wants to talk about the training ground and the East Stand, but of course we’ll be monitoring it.

“But I think all of our fans would appreciate a huge amount of investment has already been made and there’s also some areas that require investment potentially before we get to safe standing.”

Regarding an announcement for the new training ground, Mansford said supporters can expect to hear news sooner rather than later.

“We’re working very hard with lawyers and the like and I’m really hopeful that we can make a definitive and positive statement in the next few weeks,” he added.

“As for the East Stand, that will be part of potentially a wider group of discussions about the surrounding area and I would hope that at some point next year we can give the fans a bit more information.”



Inquiry considers ‘safe’ rooms for drug addicts to cut Blackpool death rate

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Providing addicts with a ‘consumption room’ in Blackpool where they could take drugs more safely could help reduce the number of deaths in the resort, a new report has proposed.


Figures show around a third of fatal drug overdoses in the town are among people who are alone at the time and so have no-one to either summon help or administer life-saving treatment.

Some countries, including Canada, have introduced drug consumption rooms where assistance is available should anything go wrong.

A report by councillors into the high number of drug related deaths in Blackpool considered whether the town should adopt a similar strategy but added such a move was currently illegal in the UK.

Councillors have investigated Blackpool's high rate of drug related deaths (picture PA)

Councillors have investigated Blackpool’s high rate of drug related deaths (picture PA)

The Drug Related Deaths Scrutiny Review called for a further report into whether this could be beneficial to Blackpool.

This would allow “members to determine whether to recommend that the council lobby the Government for a change to the law”.

Blackpool has one of the highest rates of deaths due to drug misuse in the country with 18.9 per 100,000 of the population between 2017 and 2019.

The most recent data suggests that trend is continuing with 42 deaths in 2020, of which 32 were male and 10 female with an average age of 48.

The inquiry was told the medicine Naloxone could reverse a drugs overdose with paramedics using it 396 times in Blackpool between August 2018 and August 2019, equating to more than once a day mainly to people who had taken a heroin overdose.

While Naloxone could be handed out to friends and family of addicts to help save them should they overdose, people who took drugs alone were more at risk of dying.

The report added: “In a number of other countries including Canada, drug consumption rooms had been introduced to address the issues of taking drugs alone.

“Such rooms were available for drug users to attend to consume their own drugs, which addressed any concerns that they might have to share their drugs with other users.

“On site Naloxone was available and professionals were on hand should anything go wrong and the drug user require assistance.

“Under UK law, drug consumption rooms were currently prohibited. However, members considered that a safe place for users to consume drugs would be beneficial.”

Analysis of data up to 2020 shows around three quarters of users who had died in Blackpool had been participating in drug treatment services, 33 per cent died alone, and 45 per cent had mental health problems.

The scrutiny report, which was approved by the executive at its meeting on Monday (October 11), made nine recommendations in total.

These included mapping where overdoses take place in order to better target resources, increase awareness about the use of Naloxone and the dangers of taking drugs alone, and investigate the costs of providing Heroin Assisted Treatment and Overdose Prevention Centres as part of existing services.



The blank canvas Blackpool house that could be your perfect renovation project

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

The property is on the market for under £80,000


The front of the property at Marton Drive
The front of the property at Marton Drive

A Blackpool house has just been put up for sale – and it’s perfect for anyone who wants to get stuck into a renovation project.

The end of terrace house on Marton Drive was brought to market on Monday of last week (October 4) for £79,950 and is a complete blank canvas for anyone who wants to create their dream home.

The three bedroom property has been completely gutted with only the stairs and two floors of the house left visible.

The front door sits centrally among four big bay windows that front the house.

Double patio doors open out into the yard at the rear that wraps around the house to the triple gated entrance.

The property has been stripped right down its wooden beams and although substantial work is required, it would be a fantastic opportunity for anyone with the time and the money to invest.

The home sits in a popular residential location and is close to local shops and transport links.

A semi-detached two bedroom property has also just sold for £125,000.

To find out more about the property available on Marton Drive, please visit the RightMove listing here.



Engineers fixing gas leak on Peel Road between Blackpool and Lytham give update on closure

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Engineers fixing a leak on a gas main – which required the closure of Peel Road for several weeks – gave an update on their progress.


Peel Road, one of the main routes between Blackpool and Lytham, has been fully closed for several weeks.

Cadent said this was due to engineers repairing a 12-inch-diameter pipe that carries gas to more than 30,000 homes in the local area.

Kevin Thompson, Customer Operations Area Manager for Cadent, said: “We’d been getting calls about a smell of gas in the local area and tracked it to this main, which runs underneath Peel Road.

“This pipe operates at medium pressure and that means we have to take extra care and follow lots of safety procedures to carry out the work.

“We’ve been monitoring gas readings through the day and during the nights, to make sure everything is within safe levels.”

The gas network said workers have faced several challenges, including the proximity of the pipe to an electricity substation and pylons.

Go ahead for £300m Blackpool Central leisure plan – despite Blackpool Pleasure B…
Engineers fixing a gas leak on Peel Road gave an update on their progress (Credit: Cadent)

Engineers fixing a gas leak on Peel Road gave an update on their progress (Credit: Cadent)

While teams have been able to keep gas flowing throughout the “extensive repair operation, repairs have been delayed multiple times.

But today (October 13), engineers confirmed work to bypass the leak by creating an extra section of gas main should be finished within the week commencing October 18.

“Due to the nature of the leak, it simply hasn’t been safe to keep the road open as a through road, but we have been able to maintain access for local businesses, farms, residents and facilities,” Kevin Thompson added.

“We’re at a point now where the bypass should be completed within the next week, so that we can have the road open again by the end of next week.

“We’re incredibly grateful for the goodwill and understanding shown to our team from everyone in the local area.”