Category Archives: People

Missing pregnant Blackpool woman spotted on CCTV in Preston

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Police say they are now “very concerned” for a missing pregnant woman from Blackpool who was last spotted on CCTV in Preston.

 

Naomi Lee, 40, was last seen on Tuesday (September 21) at the Post Office in Theatre Street, Preston (pictured on CCTV).

She has been missing for nearly three weeks and was last seen in person on Sunday, September 5.

Lancashire Police say they are now “very concerned for her welfare” and are continuing to appeal for information to help find her.

Naomi Lee, 40, from Blackpool, was last seen at the Post Office in Theatre Street, Preston (pictured on CCTV) on Tuesday, September 21

Naomi Lee, 40, from Blackpool, was last seen at the Post Office in Theatre Street, Preston (pictured on CCTV) on Tuesday, September 21

Naomi has links to Preston and Blackpool and is described as 5ft 5in tall, of large build with brown hair and blue eyes.

She was last seen wearing a blue hooded top which had white writing on the front, leopard print leggings and black trainers.

She was also in possession of a black satchel-style bag and is believed to be pregnant.

A police spokesman said: “We are very concerned for her welfare and urging anyone who knows where she is to come forward with information.

“Please call 101 if you can help. In an emergency call 999.”

 

 

 

Missing pregnant Blackpool woman found in Preston

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A missing pregnant woman from Blackpool has been found by police in Preston.

 

Naomi Lee, 40, had last been seen on CCTV on Tuesday (September 21) at the Post Office in Theatre Street, Preston.

Lancashire Police said they had been “very concerned for her welfare” and had appealed for the public’s help in finding her.

She had been missing for nearly three weeks and was last seen in person on Sunday, September 5.

Naomi Lee, 40, from Blackpool, was last seen at the Post Office in Theatre Street, Preston (pictured on CCTV) on Tuesday, September 21

Naomi Lee, 40, from Blackpool, was last seen at the Post Office in Theatre Street, Preston (pictured on CCTV) on Tuesday, September 21

But today, the force shared the good news that Naomi has been found safe.

A police spokesman said: “Good news, further to our earlier appeals, Naomi, 40, missing from Blackpool, was found by police in Preston yesterday (Thursday, September 23).

“Thank you to everyone who helped share our appeals to find her.”

 

 

‘They should be ashamed’: Grieving mum hits out at Blackpool Tower £250 memorial fees

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

A friend of the parents had contacted the council to show support for their loss

 

The Blackpool Tower lit up
The Blackpool Tower lit up

A grieving Blackpool mum has said that the council ‘should be ashamed of themselves’ after requesting more than £250 to light up the tower in memory of her son.

Afton Greatrex lost her son Alfyn on Friday September 10, when he was “born sleeping” at 24 weeks and six days.

The grieving mother and her friend had hoped to see the Blackpool Tower lit up on October 15 for the global ‘Wave of Light’ – when people light a candle at 7pm for a minimum of an hour in memory of a loved one.

Afton follows baby loss awareness pages on Twitter and Facebook and had called out to friends and family for a contact for Blackpool Tower.

One of Afton’s friends got back to her and told Afton she would contact the council on her behalf.

The council reportedly responded the Afton’s friend’s enquiry confirming that there was availability on October 15 to fulfil their request, with the private booking fee chargeable at £500.

In emails seen by LancsLive, the council wrote: “A charge of £250 would be applied to a booking of this nature and does represent a 50% discount over a private booking and will contribute to the upkeep and maintenance of the Tower Lights.”

“I was just devastated,” Afton said, “I think I was shocked, with all the emotions and everything, it was the fact they used to do it for free, apparently, that made it even worse.”

“I understand they have an electricity bill and that kind of thing, I really appreciate that but for something that’s so important.”

Afton said she could not understand why the authority couldn’t show their support of baby loss after having lit up the tower “throughout the year.”

Had the council agreed to showcase the lights, Afton said: “It would have been support from my home town, me and my husband are Blackpool born and raised. It doesn’t make my loss any easier, but it provides us with some kind of support.”

Afton has kept herself “distracted” since the loss of her son by looking to Baby Loss Awareness groups and charities like 4Louis and the Baby Loss Awareness Campaign.

After the council’s response, Afton has decided instead to put the money towards the charity 4Louis who provided them with a memory box in hospital. The box included an imprint kit, a candle, an angel and a teddy.

Afton said: “They also provide hospitals with cool cots, so our babies can stay with us for however long we like and camera’s etc. They are a non profit organisation and rely on donations.”

The Global Wave of Light takes place at 7pm on October 15 on International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

Families that take part will light a candle and leave it burning for at least one hour to join the global event and remember the children they have lost.

This year, families are also invited to take part in a digital Wave of Light on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #WaveOfLight at 7pm local time.

Since speaking to LancsLive, Blackpool Council has agreed to light up the tower free of charge.

A spokesperson for the authority said: ““In most circumstances, we are obliged to make a charge because of the cost of reprogramming the lighting although we do allow a significant number of national and local charities to promote awareness at a reduced rate or, in some instances, free of charge on key dates over the course of the year.

“During October, the lighting is programmed to be part of the illuminations and projection shows but given the sensitivity we have agreed that we will turn the lighting pink and blue for a period of time on October 15 to mark Baby Loss Awareness Month.”

 

 

Blackpool woman fighting for life after quad bike crash 21st birthday holiday in Greece

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

Her best friend, Olivia, has started a campaign to fund the costs of flying her home

 

Elle photographed on the faulty quad bike
Elle photographed on the faulty quad bike

A 21-year-old woman from Blackpool has been airlifted to Royal Preston Hospital after a serious quad bike incident in Greece.

Olivia and Elle have been friends for seven years and met in school, they both work at Blackpool Teaching Hospital. For Elle’s 21st birthday, they flew out to Greece to celebrate.

Their week-long holiday began on Tuesday September 7, with the friends set to return home to Blackpool today (September 14).

But on the second day of their holiday, the pair rented a quadbike that was ‘unknowingly faulty’.

Olivia, 21, said that the pair suffered a “serious crash on the quad bike” that left her with internal bleeding. She flew home by normal aircraft on Sunday (September 12).

Elle suffered a broken pelvis, internal bleeding and is in a critical condition.

Since Olivia created a GoFundMe page, Elle has been flown back to the UK where she is said to be in Royal Preston Hospital.

Olivia and Elle’s family are hoping to raise enough money to cover the costs of the ambulances and air ambulance that helped them get Elle home.

Olivia said the pair were “soulmates” who had met in school. Elle’s family, she said, “just really want to see her” but due to Covid-19 restrictions are unable to do so at present.

Olivia told LancsLive that Elle is due to have another operation “soon”, but currently they hope to raise enough money to fund the “struggle to get her home”.

Olivia has set a target goal of £22,000 to cover the costs of the emergency transport that move Elle back to the UK. At present they have received £4,835 in donations.

 

 

Blackpool apprentice wins top national title

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A Blackpool electrical apprentice has won a top national award.

 

JTL, the training provider for electrical, heating and plumbing, has named Blackpool-based Nathan Pryce, as the winner of JTL’s National Apprentice of the Year Award for 2021.

After being crowned the electrical winner for his academic and practical progress at JTL’s. regional awards earlier this year, Nathan went on to compete against nine other electrical and mechanical engineering services winners at the national ceremony in London.

As part of the selection process, each finalist was invited to be interviewed via an online platform by JTL’s chief executive Jon Graham, as well as national delivery director Judi Wheeler.

JTL chairman, Geoff Russell and top apprentice Nathan Pryce from Blackpool

JTL chairman, Geoff Russell and top apprentice Nathan Pryce from Blackpool

Nathan, who was awarded an engraved glass trophy and £1,000 cheque from JTL, said: “To say that it feels amazing to have won the overall National Apprentice of the Year award is an understatement.

“I have overcome a lot of personal challenges in my life and, to me, this award is a symbol of how far I have come and all that I have achieved.

“To receive such a major award is in itself a great milestone and an excellent addition to my professional CV.”

Nathan’s employer at JET Electrical, Jonathan Thackray, said: “He deserves all the success he has received, and he truly is an excellent role model for apprenticeship schemes everywhere.

“Nathan has a relentless attitude and drive to succeed, which is wonderful to see in someone so young and should stand him in good stead in his future.”

Jon Graham, chief executive at JTL, said: “Our awards are a great opportunity to recognise the excellence of our top apprentices and it’s been a pleasure getting to know Nathan, as

well as the other finalists as part of this process.”

 

 

Blackpool Victoria Hospital among beneficiaries as Lytham Hall plays set new record

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Blackpool Victoria Hospital as well as Lytham Hall’s restoration fund are both set to benefit from another successful aspect of the Hall’s biggest and most popular outdoor plays season yet.

 

The seven performances of the six plays on offer this summer attracted record attendances and will mean a sizeable donation to the Hall fund, the amount of which is yet to be announced.

But the season also traditionally sees raffle tickets on offer at two selected plays and those sold this year yielded £1,250 – another record – to benefit good causes.

The money will be split between Blackpool Victoria NHS Trust, the St. Luke’s Leprosy Hospital in India, the visiting theatre company Illyria and the Lytham Hall Restoration Appeal.

The capacity audience at the performance of HMS Pinafore at the Hall

The capacity audience at the performance of HMS Pinafore at the Hall

The raffles took place at the performances of Much Ado About Nothing and HMS Pinafore, which attracted audiences totalling around 1,000, and prizes included tickets for the WonderHall music festival as well as vouchers and good from local businesses, after tea at the Hall and a large cuddly toy.

‘Triumphant’ end to Lytham Hall plays season

“Our Young Meet and Greet team did a wonderful job selling the tickets and handing out the prizes,” said Julian.

“All four charities to benefit have each struggled severely in differing ways during the pandemic and it’s a wonderful amount to raise.”

Meet and Greet team members Michael Daly, Charlotte Mellors and Liberty Doyle with some of the raffle prizes

Meet and Greet team members Michael Daly, Charlotte Mellors and Liberty Doyle with some of the raffle prizes

Ticket-seller Charlotte Mellors,17, who was on the Meet and Greet team throughout the season, said: “The patrons of the open air season and WonderHall promoters Cuffe and Taylor provided a superb range of prizes and it’s brilliant that we could raise so much money for charities in such a short time.

“I really enjoyed being part of the Meet and Greet team – it was hectic at times, but great fun.”

An announcement of the final numbers and figures for what was the 11th open air season, including the amount to be donated to the Hall from the ticket sales, is expected shortly.

Blackpool Prom to close on Sunday for Festival marathon

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A 6 mile stretch of Blackpool Prom will be closed to traffic and pedestrians on Sunday when the resort hosts its annual Festival marathon.

 

The 26-mile race will take over the entire promenade - both road and pavements - between 8am and 3pm on Sunday (September 12)

The 26-mile race will take over the entire promenade – both road and pavements – between 8am and 3pm on Sunday (September 12)

The 26-mile race will take over the entire promenade – both road and pavements – between 8am and 3pm on Sunday (September 12).

It means the Prom will be closed to both traffic and pedestrians for 6 miles from Little Bispham to Squires Gate.

A time limit of 7 hours has been enforced on the marathon due to restrictions on the road closure order granted by Blackpool Council.

It means the Prom will be closed to both traffic and pedestrians for 6 miles from Little Bispham to Squires Gate on Sunday (September 12). Pic: Fylde Coast Runners

It means the Prom will be closed to both traffic and pedestrians for 6 miles from Little Bispham to Squires Gate on Sunday (September 12). Pic: Fylde Coast Runners

The event is usually staged in April but was postponed due to coronavirus and rescheduled for this weekend.

A half-marathon will also take place at the same time, with both races starting at 9am near the Imperial Hotel on North Promenade.

For more information on the event organised by Fylde Coast Runners, click here.

 

Everything you need to know about the Blackpool marathon and Festival of Running this weekend

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Hundreds of runners will descend on Blackpool Prom this weekend as the resort hosts its annual Festival marathon – this is everything you need to know.

 

Hundreds of runners will descend on Blackpool this weekend as the resort hosts its Festival of Running, including the annual marathon, half-marathon, 10K, 5K and 2K races. Pic: Fylde Coast Runners

Hundreds of runners will descend on Blackpool this weekend as the resort hosts its Festival of Running, including the annual marathon, half-marathon, 10K, 5K and 2K races. Pic: Fylde Coast Runners

The Festival brings a full weekend of running events to Blackpool Promenade, with a marathon, half marathon, 10k, 5k and 2k races spread over two days.

The event is usually staged in April but was postponed this year due to coronavirus and rescheduled for this weekend (September 11 and 12).

For those taking part and for those cheering on loved ones or just enjoying the spectacle – here is everything you need to know.

The 26-mile race will take over the entire promenade - both road and pavements - between 8am and 3pm on Sunday (September 12)

The 26-mile race will take over the entire promenade – both road and pavements – between 8am and 3pm on Sunday (September 12)

Race start times

– Festival 10k – Saturday, 10.30am

– Festival 5k – Saturday, 1pm

– Festival 2k – Saturday, 2pm

The route of the marathon and half-marathon which will take place along 6 miles of the Promenade, from Little Bispham to Squires Gate on Sunday (September 12)

The route of the marathon and half-marathon which will take place along 6 miles of the Promenade, from Little Bispham to Squires Gate on Sunday (September 12)

​- Festival Marathon and half marathon – Sunday, 9am

Race headquarters

The race headquarters is located on the Middle Walkway on North Promenade, opposite the Grand and Imperial Hotels.

Look over the first sea wall and you will see the HQ area. The nearest postcode is FY1 2JQ.

The 26-mile race will take over the entire promenade - both road and pavements - between 8am and 3pm on Sunday (September 12)

The 26-mile race will take over the entire promenade – both road and pavements – between 8am and 3pm on Sunday (September 12)

Car parking

Blackpool is full of car parks and there is also on-street parking available north of North Pier. But be careful to park legally, wardens will be on patrol this weekend.

Nearby car parks can be found at Gynn Square (FY1 2JR), Cocker Square (FY1 1RX), Cocker Street (FY1 2BY), Filey Place (FY1 1RN) and Queen Street (FY1 1PX).

Click on the links for each car park to see times and charges.

How long will the Prom be closed for?

The marathon and half-marathon will take over the entire promenade – both road and pavements – between 8am and 3pm on Sunday (September 12).

It means the Prom will be closed to both traffic and pedestrians for 6 miles from Little Bispham to Squires Gate.

A time limit of 7 hours has been enforced on the marathon due to restrictions on the road closure order granted by Blackpool Council.

Race Packs

Race packs for all events can be picked up at collection points from 8.30am to 2.00pm on Saturday and from 7am on Sunday.

Toilets

Portable toilets are available near to the start/finish area. But make sure you don’t leave it until the last minute to use them, as they will become very busy just before the start.

There are also toilets on the course, which are the ‘Danfo Superloos’. These require 40p to operate.

Organisers suggest taping a coin or two to the back of your bib number just in case you may need to use the loos on the course.

Medical support

The team from Remote Medical Services will be on the course and at the finish line. Hopefully, you don’t need them, but they are there if you do.

Make sure you complete the medical information on the back of your bib number if you have any medical conditions, allergies or specific medical information that may be important.

The Festival Marathon

When: Sunday, September 12 • starting at 9.00am

Where: Middle Walkway on North Promenade, opposite the Grand and Imperial Hotels.

The marathon is a two lap course and is very flat for the PB chaser’s (personal best) out there, say the event organisers.

Race facilities include bottled water stations every 3 miles, toilets at regular intervals, chip timing, race commentary, full medical support and an finishers medal.

The route is completely traffic free and combines both the main roadway promenade and the promenade walkways all along the seafront.

Minimum age for full marathon is 18 and over.

Festival half-marathon

When: Sunday, September 12 • starting at 9.00am

Where: Middle Walkway on North Promenade, opposite the Grand and Imperial Hotels.

The half marathon is a one lap course and follows the same route as the marathon before the two races split at the 13 miles point.

Like the full marathon, race facilities include bottled water stations every 3 miles, toilets at regular intervals and chip timing, race commentary, medical support and finishers medal.

Again, the the route is completely traffic free all along the seafront.

Minimum age for the half-marathon is 17 and over.

Important note for marathon and half-marathon runners

There are TWO starting lanes. Marathon runners line up facing South looking towards Blackpool Tower.

Half marathon runners line up facing North with their backs to Blackpool Tower.

It is your responsibility to ensure you are in the correct lane.

Split point

Just after the 13 mile point in the marathon, the two events split. You will need to be in the correct coned lane (marathon to the left for lap 2, and half marathon and finish to the right).

It will all be clearly signed and marshalled, but organisers are asking runners to be aware that it is ultimately up to you to go the correct way.

Thanks to Fylde Coast Runners for the above information. For more details, including route maps and registration forms, visit their website.

 

 

 

 

Blackpool sailor receives first Navy medal for championing LGBT+ rights

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A Blackpool sailor bullied early in his career over his sexuality has been awarded a medal for promoting diversity in the maritime sector.

 

Second Officer Paul Owen is the first recipient of the Merchant Navy Medal for championing LGBT+ rights, the Department for Transport (DfT) said.

Mr Owen, 53, helped establish the Pride in Maritime network while seconded from the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) to umbrella body Maritime UK.

The network educates and enables individuals and companies to embrace the LGBT+ community.

Captain Cloggie-Holden

Captain Cloggie-Holden

Mr Owen said he was “deeply humbled and surprised to receive this honour”.

He went on: “Having suffered a degree of bullying early in my career because I identify as LGBT+, I made the conscious decision to offer support to fellow seafarers who were experiencing difficulties because of their sexuality.

“This has been on an informal basis through social media and company forums but going forward I will be appointed as the Royal Fleet Auxiliary’s LGBT+ champion when I return to the RFA this autumn.”

He was among 16 mariners to be recognised with Merchant Navy Medals, which are awarded by the DfT for outstanding service by Merchant Navy seafarers.

Second Officer Paul Owen

Second Officer Paul Owen

Another recipient was Captain Susan Cloggie-Holden, 37, from Seamill, North Ayrshire, who was the first woman to reach that rank in the RFA’s 116-year history.

She was awarded the medal for working tirelessly to support women in maritime.

“I’m honoured to be awarded this prestigious medal alongside some truly inspirational seafarers,” she said.

“To reach the rank of captain has been my career ambition and I now feel it is my duty to help others to reach their goals.

“I believe diversity is key to this, as an inclusive and diverse working environment ensures everyone is equal and enables them to reach their potential.”

Maritime minister Robert Courts said: “Every year I am humbled by the dedication of these sailors, captains and mariners who consistently go above and beyond the call of duty to protect and enrich the sector and our country.

“I’m delighted to see Paul and Susan rewarded for their outstanding service.

“Diversity is vital for the success of any sector and the extraordinary work they do on a daily basis not only makes maritime a welcoming career path for everyone but improves the lives of those already in the workforce.”

 

Blackpool dad raises money for brain cancer charity after daughter’s diagnosis

Home | Blackpool Gazette

The dad of a terminally ill woman who is battling brain cancer hit the road on his bike throughout last month to raise money in a bid to help fund research into the disease.

 

Keith Walsh, 69, of Whitegate Drive, took part in a 274 mile cycle throughout August and raised £2,000 for Brain Tumour Research.

In February, his daughter Zara Taylor, 31, an NHS clerk at Blackpool Vic, was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme, a highly aggressive brain cancer.

Zara was given the devastating prognosis of just 12 to 18 months to live.

Keith's daughter Zara is battling brain cancer. Pic: Zara Taylor

Keith’s daughter Zara is battling brain cancer. Pic: Zara Taylor

Blackpool Victoria Hospital worker who dreams of starting a family given ’12 to …

Pharmacy delivery driver Keith decided after her diagnosis to help in any way he could, and vowed to raise as much money as possible to help medics carry out research into the disease in a bid to save lives.

Keith said: “Obviously I’d rather not be doing this, I wish she didn’t have it. It was a shock to me and her mum, but we’re trying to keep as positive as we can.

“Hopefully with all the money raised for [Brain Tumour Research] they might be able to find a cure for it eventually. That’s the ultimate goal.”

Keith Walsh cycled 274 miles in August to raise £2,000 for Brain Tumour Research after his daughter Zara was diagnosed with a tumour in February. Pic: Zara Taylor

Keith Walsh cycled 274 miles in August to raise £2,000 for Brain Tumour Research after his daughter Zara was diagnosed with a tumour in February. Pic: Zara Taylor

Keith hit the road on his bike and cycled 274 miles in August, during a national challenge to raise money for the charity.

He ticked off the final five miles while taking part in resort event Ride the Lights on the prom on August 31, and plans to continue fundraising in the future.

Keith continued: “We had donations from patients I deliver to and customers in my wife’s salon, and I cycled with my friend ben who lives a couple of doors down.

“We’re also planning on scaling the Trafford Centre, taking part in the Three Peaks challenge, and a big cycle ride from London to Brighton next year.

“Zara’s husband Jordan will probably join in with some of the other events, and I’m keeping up my cycling now so if there’s anything else we can jump onto to raise money we will.”

Zara has also raised money for Brain Tumour Research, after taking part in a 26-mile jog challenge in May.

She said: “I am so proud of my dad and grateful he did this for me.

“To date since May we have collectively raised over £6,000 for Brain tumour research from two events, and I’m setting up my own fundraising group to try and raise even more and do more events to help anyway I can.”