Illegal fireworks ‘worth £10,000’ seized after police raid in Blackpool prior to Bonfire Night

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“£10,000 worth” of fireworks were seized by police after being illegally stored and sold in Blackpool.


The haul of category 2 and 3 fireworks were discovered by police inside an address in Dickson Road today (Thursday, November 4).

Trading Standards are now looking to prosecute the owner of the premises for not having a licence to sell the fireworks.

“By removing these items it has removed the significant fire risk they pose by not being stored properly,” a spokesman for Lancashire Police said.

"£10,000 worth" of fireworks were seized by police in Blackpool (Credit: Lancashire Police)

“£10,000 worth” of fireworks were seized by police in Blackpool (Credit: Lancashire Police)

“We will continue to work with our partners to tackle Anti social behaviour and prevent crime”

You can be fined an unlimited amount and imprisoned for up to 6 months for selling or using fireworks illegally.

You could also get an on-the-spot fine of £90.

You can only buy fireworks (including sparklers) from registered sellers for private use on these dates:

– October 15 to 10 November 10

– December 26 to December 31

– Three days before Diwali and Chinese New Year

At other times you can only buy fireworks from licensed shops.

You cannot buy ‘adult’ fireworks if you’re under 18, and it’s against the law for anyone to set off fireworks between 11pm and 7am, except on certain occasions.

Adult fireworks are category 2 and 3 fireworks – they do not include things like party poppers.

Category 4 fireworks can only be used by professionals.

The law says you must not set off or throw fireworks (including sparklers) in the street or other public places.

To find out more about, click HERE.



Hundreds of Blackpool hospital staff still unvaccinated

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Hospital chiefs in Blackpool have been warned to prepare for the possibility of having to dismiss staff if they refuse to have Covid jabs in future.


The Government is considering whether to make the vaccinations compulsory for all health staff.

It will already be compulsory from November 11 for all staff working in care homes to be vaccinated against Covid 19.

A meeting of the Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust board heard eight per cent of hospital staff were still unvaccinated against Covid which amounted to hundreds of workers.

Blackpool Victoria Hospital

Blackpool Victoria Hospital

A report to the board warned there was a risk of staff either leaving or having to be redeployed if they continued to refuse the jab if it became mandatory.

Non-executive director James Wilkie told the meeting: “We have still got eight per cent of staff unvaccinated. Translate that to numbers, that’s several hundred people.

“This report says the risk is people leaving, or being redeployed. My view is how on earth, if we wanted to, could we redeploy several hundred people.”

He warned if jabs were to become compulsory “we could be looking at dismissals”.

Mr Wilkie said hearings would have to be held for each case, and so the hospital needed to ensure it had prepared its policy in relation to the issue.

He also called on the hospital to redouble its efforts to persuade people to have the vaccination ahead of a possible introduction of compulsory jabs next spring.



Blackpool Victoria Hospital announces 23 more Covid deaths in past week as top doctor tells of pressure on A&E – with 13 ambulances left queuing outside

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Twenty three people have died with Covid in the past week at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, taking the death toll there to 862, deputy medical director Dr Grahame Goode said.


Speaking during the Whinney Hey Road hospital’s weekly coronavirus briefing, Dr Goode said six people remained in critical care with the disease and were fighting for their lives yesterday.

He said: “I send my condolences to the families of patients we have lost.

“This just illustrates how serious Covid still is.

Blackpool Victoria Hospital

Blackpool Victoria Hospital

“Although I think a number of people out in the community feel the Covid pandemic is over, it certainly isn’t, as reflected in the number of patients in hospital and the number of deaths we’ve had.”

Some 43 people considered Covid-positive – ie they’re within 14 days of their first diagnosis – remain in hospitals on the Fylde coast for treatment, Dr Goode said, while he added: “In terms of the general picture, our emergency department is exceptionally busy.

“We declared a major internal incident last week due to the pressure in the hospital in terms of lack of beds and the pressure on the emergency department.

“We had 140 patients in our emergency department, which is a huge number for us, and we had as many as 13 ambulances waiting outside to deliver patients into the emergency departments.”

A&E attendances in England last month were 36 per cent higher than a year ago, NHS England said – although again this is a reflection of lower-than-usual numbers for October 2020, which were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

A total of 2.2 million attendances were recorded in October 2021, up from 1.6 million in October 2020.

The equivalent figure for October 2019, a non-pandemic year, was 2.2 million.

But the number of people in England waiting to start routine hospital treatment has risen to a new record high.

A total of 5.8 million people were waiting to start treatment at the end of September 2021, according to figures from NHS England.

This is the highest number since records began in August 2007.

And a record 7,059 had to wait more than 12 hours at A&Es in England last month from a decision to admit to actually being admitted.

The figure is up from 5,025 in September and is the highest since records began in August 2010.



Tea towel catches fire after being placed on cooker hob in Blackpool

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Firefighters rushed to a home in Blackpool after a tea towel that had been placed on a cooker hob caught alight .


Three fire crews from Blackpool, South Shore and St Annes responded to an incident in Sandgate at around 7.25pm on Thursday (November 5).

Crews discovered the fire involved a tea towel that had been placed on a cooker hob on arrival.

Firefighters quickly brought the fire under control and were in attendance for 15 minutes.

Three fire crews from Blackpool, South Shore and St Annes responded to the incident in Sandgate

Three fire crews from Blackpool, South Shore and St Annes responded to the incident in Sandgate

Cooking safely

More than half of accidental fires in the home are started by cooking, according to the Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service.

There are a few simple things you can do to make cooking as safe as possible:

– Avoid leaving saucepan handles sticking out – children can grab them, or you might knock it off the hob.

– Be wary of loose-fitting clothing when cooking on the hob.

– Make sure tea towels and dishcloths are kept away from any heat sources.

– Make sure the oven or hob is off after you are finished.

– Do not leave cooking unattended. If you must leave the room, turn the hob off.

– Keep all cooking appliances clean and in good working order.

– Do not use grills or ovens as storage space when not cooking.

– If you have been drinking or using drugs, consider ordering food to be delivered rather than cooking for yourself.

To find out more, visit the LFRS website by clicking HERE.



Taco Bell is opening a new drive-thru restaurant in the North West – here’s everything you need to know

Home | Blackpool Gazette

American-based food chain Taco Bell is opening a new drive-thru restaurant in the North West – only the fourth one to open in the region.


There are just 29 Taco Bells in the UK, compared to more than 7,000 in the United States.

Here’s everything you need to know about their latest venture …

What food does Taco Bell serve?

Taco Bell is coming to Blackpool

Taco Bell is coming to Blackpool

Taco Bell serves Mexican-style made-to-order and customizable tacos, burritos, quesadillas, nachos and vegetarian options, fountain drinks and desserts.

Is the food expensive?

Meals are on a par with other fast-food outlets. A chicken fajita burrito for example costs £4.50.

Can you order online?

A Taco Bell crunchwrap supreme

A Taco Bell crunchwrap supreme

Yes – visit the Taco Bell website here.

Where are the Taco Bells in the North West?

There’s one in Liverpool, one in Kirkby, and one in Manchester.

Where is the new Taco Bell opening?

The new Taco Bell drive-thru is opening in Blackpool?

When is it opening?

No date has been released but it will be some months away as plans have only just been approved for the site.

Where is the site?

The site is the former Steals clothing store on Rigby Road, which was originally a car showroom. The current building will be demolished to make way for the Taco Bell.

Are all Taco Bell drive-thru?

No, some are eat in only.

What do plans for the new Taco Bell in Blackpool include?

The restaurant would hold up to 66 diners in total within the building, with 10 covers at ground floor and 56 at first floor.

Will jobs be created?

Up to 55 new jobs will be created, including 25 part-time positions and 30 full-time positions, according to the planning statement.

Are there plans for any more in the North West?

It’s not yet known if there are any plans to open more Taco Bells in the North West



Most successful season of plays yet at Lytham Hall brings record £11,000 donation

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A record donation of £11,000 has been made to Lytham Hall following the most successful season yet of open air plays there.


The donation was handed over by Julian Wilde, organiser of this year’s six play season, to Hall manager Peter Anthony – and the gift will be used on a project all visitors to the Hall will be able to see and enjoy.

“The money will go towards the continuing improvement of the Hall’s South Prospect garden,” said Peter.

“A lengthy avenue of formal hornbeam trees will be planted from the Parterre Garden, home of the recently restored and much-loved Diana statue.

Lytham Hall manager Peter Anthony (left) receives the cheque for the record donation from plays organiser Julian Wilde

Lytham Hall manager Peter Anthony (left) receives the cheque for the record donation from plays organiser Julian Wilde

Huge demand for Lytham Hall outdoor theatre tickets

“A Wisteria Arch, appropriately coloured violet, will be a wonderful new attraction each May and June and the South Prospect will become an eye-catching feature.”

The donation brings the total raised by the 49 plays staged since 2010 to £57,000.

Julian believes that the support of patrons from the local business community and the work put in by an army of unpaid volunteers has enabled the 2021 season to be the most successful yet, in spite of the continuing pandemic.

“I will always remember the enthusiasm and commitment of everyone involved with the 2021 season,” he said.

“We had a capacity audience of 550 for the opening play Macbeth by The Lord Chamberlain’s Men in June and achieved the largest attendance figures in the country for the three plays by Illyria in August.

“That’s a wonderful tribute to the loyalty of Lytham people and the four visiting theatre companies responded with five star performances.”

The Lord Chamberlain’s Men will again open the 12th season of theatre at the Hall next summer with their production of Shakespeare’s comedy As You Like It’ on Friday, June 17. Details of booking arrangements will follow in the New Year.



Bispham police chase which ended with motorcyclist suffering ‘potentially life-changing injuries’ referred to watchdog

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A police pursuit that ended with a motorcyclist suffering “severe injuries” after they collided with a van in Bispham has been referred to the watchdog


The incident took place in Queen’s Promenade, close to Sandhurst Avenue tram stop, just before 11am on Friday, October 29.

A motorbike was travelling south along the Promenade when it collided with a van which was turning right out of the junction with Montpelier Avenue.

The rider, a man in his 20s, suffered “potentially life-changing injuries” and was rushed to the Major Trauma Centre at Royal Preston Hospital.

A police pursuit that ended with a motorcyclist colliding with a van in Bispham has been referred to the watchdog (Credit: Danny Cronin)

A police pursuit that ended with a motorcyclist colliding with a van in Bispham has been referred to the watchdog (Credit: Danny Cronin)

Lancashire Police referred the incident to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) as officers had attempted to stop the motorbike prior to the collision.

‘Lives could be lost’ if Lancashire’s three ambulance repair shops are merged cl…

IOPC Regional Director Amanda Rowe said: “Our investigation will examine the circumstances prior to the collision to determine whether appropriate policies and procedures were followed.

“The collision happened in a very busy part of Blackpool during lunchtime when lots of people would have been out and about.

The collision caused serious damage to the concrete fencing between the road and tramway, with two panels smashed and debris scattered on the tracks (Credit: Danny Cronin)

The collision caused serious damage to the concrete fencing between the road and tramway, with two panels smashed and debris scattered on the tracks (Credit: Danny Cronin)

“We ask anybody who witnessed the pursuit, or who was driving in the vicinity of the crash area, especially if they have dashcam footage, to contact us.”

The IOPC urged anyone who witnessed the incident to get in contact as part of their independent investigation.

Anyone with information can call 0300 303 5609 or email



Danger warning over waterway at Lytham play area

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A Lytham great-grandad is calling for more to be done to warn families and lone youngsters about an open fence he feels is a danger to life.


Ron Emery, of Badger’s Walk, says he is horrified at the prospect of what might happen if a toddler wanders towards the bank of Liggard Brook at the Park View 4U site, which is a popular recreation area for all ages.

Liggard Brook is a waterway which flows through Lytham to the River Ribble and Ron is concerned about an area which he feels is concealed from but close to the play area.

A small sign urging people to stay away is at the site, but Ron feels it is inadequate, especially if a youngster wanders towards it without realising the brook is so close by – and is calling for more prominent warnings to ensure no-one falls in.

Ron Emery at the site which he feels poses danger to youngsters

Ron Emery at the site which he feels poses danger to youngsters

£150,000 anniversary fund-raising aim at Park View, Lytham

“In an ideal world the area is so dangerous, it should be closed to the public until adequate protection is in place. There is a clear cocktail of risk that is a danger to life/health on a daily basis and it needs to be taken seriously.

“Twice in my life I have identified similar risk where no one would listen and in both cases tragically I was proved right.

“In the first instance, a toddler drowned and in the second case, a young child suffered severe brain damage from near drowning.

The signage which Ron feels is inadequate

The signage which Ron feels is inadequate

“Every one of us has a responsibility to protect our children and all responsible parents using the facilities at Park View4U would surely wish be made aware of the concealed dangers lurking just a few feet away from where their children are playing and the health hazards so connected.

“As a grandfather of four and a great grandfather of two small children, I am only too aware of how quickly they can move and get themselves into trouble.

“This was brought home to me many years ago when my own young brother was killed on Lytham Road in Blackpool,while returning from Arnold School.

“Just one quick momentary thoughtless decision to run into the Road cost him his life.

Play equipment is close to the site

Play equipment is close to the site

“Of course that was a ‘foreseeable’ risk which most parents and the police had identified and wished to address by putting on a School Crossing Patrol, but just like this site, the people whose responsibility it was did not act quickly enough despite being made aware until it was too late.

Ron has contacted Fylde Council on the matter and a spokesman for the council said: “The Park View Trust and Fylde Council are currently undertaking an assessment of the brook and surrounding area, to consider reasonable measures to improve safety.

“There are a number of possible options, however any actions will require consultation with the Environment Agency, who are responsible for the brook/banks in the area.

“In the meantime the Council is working closely with the Trust to organise the installation of safety signage to signify a polluted waterway, as well as some periodic sections of post and wire fencing.”

Park View 4U park ranger Jukie Norman said: “Liggard Brook and the banks alongside it are the responsibility of the Environment Agency.

“We have spoken with Fylde Council and are happy to follow all recommendations from them and any consultations with the Environment Agency to increase awareness of the waterway.”


Join in thanksgiving service for The Fishermen’s Mission’s 140th year

Home | Blackpool Gazette

The Fishermen’s Mission is holding an online Thanksgiving Service to recognise 140 years of service to the fishermen of the UK.


The service will be held on Friday November 12 at noon and all are welcome to join.

The mission has been a part of Fylde Coast life for decades, particularly in Fleetwood where it offered pastoral support to families of fishermen during the port’s heyday – and it still does.

Fleetwood Mission pastor Rev George Ayoma said: “Next month, families here in Fleetwood, those who remember when the S.T. Goth and the Red Falcon were lost in Icelandic waters, will take a moment to remember their men who never returned. Time may have passed but these personal stories remain. The Fishermen’s Mission was there for the families then.

Fleetwood Fishermen's Mission pastor Rev George Ayoma

Fleetwood Fishermen’s Mission pastor Rev George Ayoma

“And as we celebrate 140th year of our work, many local people still know how important the local Mission means to them.

“That is why we’re inviting individuals to join us this Friday, via Zoom, to hear about the work we now do to support communities across the nation.”

Ali Godfrey, the mission’s deputy CEO said: “We are a charity deeply rooted in our Christian Faith and so it is appropriate for us to recognise this and to give thanks for the work that we have undertaken in the past 140 years and the continuation of our work into the future.

The Fishermen’s Mission is a unique charity as we are the only charity that solely provides vital services to our fishermen, both active and retired, and their families’. Throughout our 140 years we have seen many changes and challenges in fishing.

Trawlermen on board the Red Falcon

Trawlermen on board the Red Falcon

“Sadly, some things never change, and fishing remains the most dangerous peacetime occupation in the country. To join in visit their website and go to the Thanksgiving Service tab.



Long-closed former Taylor’s store in St Annes set for new lease of life

Plans to transform a former Fylde department store into a spa, restaurant, bar and hotel have been given the go-ahead by Fylde councillors.


Fylde Council’s planning committee has passed an application to convert the prominent premises in St Annes Square into ‘Sanctuary’.

The permission is subject to several conditions concerning the style of windows and doors and exterior light as well as bar serving hours but it means a new lease of life at last for the building which has been empty for almost seven years.

The JR Taylor department store at the corner of St Annes Road West and Garden Street closed its doors in January 2015 after more than a century of trading.

The planned rooftop bar at the former store

The planned rooftop bar at the former store

This is how the former JR Taylor store in St Annes would look, if plans approved

It also details plans for medical treatment and massage rooms on the first floor as well as a roof top bar on the third floor.

A spokesman for the St Annes Enetrprise Partnership said: “It’s fantastic news that this key site in the centre of St Annes will be coming back to life again.

“The exciting new plans offer the prospect of drawing more visitors and day trippers to the centre to spend money in our town.

“We wish them well with their redevelopment.”

Fylde MP Mark Menzies has also welcomed the council approval for the scheme.

He said: “I’m pleased to hear planning permission has been granted to redevelop the former JR Taylor store in St Annes.

“There are still some finer details to be resolved but I view this as an important step towards bringing this prominent site back into use.

“This location is key to the regeneration of St Annes and it is good to see progress being made.”

When the plans were submitted Mr Menzies said: “It is incredible to see this level of investment and confidence in the town.”

Fylde Council leader Coun Karen Buckley said when the application was submitted: “The submission of a planning application for JR Taylors has been long-awaited.

“The redevelopment of this site is just what St Annes needs post-pandemic and will give the town a real boost.”

Coun Gavin Harrison, chairman of St Annes Town Council and also a Fylde councillor for Ashton ward, which includes the premises, said at the time of the plans being subnitted: “This is just the kind of forward thinking proposal the town needs.

“Hopefully we will be able to attract other developers with similarly attractive proposals to make St Annes a destination of choice for many years to come.”

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