These were the headlines in Blackpool in 1976

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Here are some of the stories making the news in May 1976

Centenary parade went like clockwork

Massive crowds braved the weather for a big parade through the Blackpool to mark the start of a fortnight of centenary celebrations,

Grey skies, a blustery breeze and showers of rain threatened to mar the events for which the promenade was closed.

Blackpool centenary parade, 1976

Blackpool centenary parade, 1976

Watched by an estimated 100,000 people, the procession involved 200 vehicles and 2,500 people. It was organised by the Blackpool and Fylde Junior Chamber of Commerce and was titled Blackpool on Parade.

It featured local commercial interests and voluntary organisations.

Before the main event, there was a special service at St John’s Parish Church, at which the Very Rev Lawrence Jackson from Blackburn Cathedral, was the preacher. Then a party of civic dignitaries took their place at the town hall which the procession passed on its way to the promenade and Starr Gate.

Roadworks in Church Street meant that there were gaps in the procession. Chris Hughes, president of the chamber said: “In general the whole thing went like clockwork.” He also paid tribute to the police for their handling of traffic and crowds.

Gunman fled from wine store but said ‘please’ in hold-up

A gunman said ‘please’ when he came face to face with an assistant at a wine store.

The drama began for Barbara Docktray just 25 minutes before closing time at Ainley’s wine store in Cookson Street.

Mrs Docktray, a partime shop assistant was sitting near to the cigarette kiosk when a young man walked in.

He pulled out a small gun from his pocket and said: “Will you empty the till, please.”

But the raider was scared off when the owner of the store, Alan Ainley, came into the shop.

“When the gunman realised someone was coming, he just fled,” said Mrs Docktray.

“The gunman first came into the shop and bought some cigarettes or a can of beer and left.

“The first time there were customers drifting in and out of the shop.”

Half an hour later he went back and that time the shop was empty. When he fled, Mr Ainley chased after him. Police were soon on the spot and searched the area. But the gunman was not found.

Mrs Docktray said the gun was an automatic type, about six inches long.

“It has been quite an experience,” she said, “I have been trying to keep myself occupied, I hardly slept last night.”

Garage break-in third in six months

A Fleetwood garage was broken into for the third time in six months.

Ken Maden, owner of Styan Motors Ltd, went to the premises in Copse Road and discovered a rear window broken.

A total of £128 cash was stolen from the office along with more sweets, Mr Maden said the intruders had also upturned drawers in the premises.

He said the money, which was in a drawer, was the deposit on a car and some uncollected wages.

A high wing aeroplane which had a black fuselage and orange wings was stolen from a desk along with the radio control equipment.

Mr Maden estimated the plan and equipment to be worth £200. He said it was the third break in since December and they also had five plate glass windows smashed since mid-January.

New tenant needed for five-bob house

The Royal British Legion was considering applicants for a two bedroomed house in Rodwell Walk, Grange Park, for a weekly rent of just 25p.

The ‘five-bob house’ was one of 10 owned by a trust set up by a local landowner for ex-servicemen.

Under the terms of the McCandless Trust, the houses must be let at a rent of only 25p and the Royal British Legion were asked to interview suitable applicants. A British Legion spokesman said: “We have loads of applicants for these houses.

“The new vacancy follows the death of one of their tenants and they are waiting for the estate to be settled before a new tenant can move in.”

The only condition is that the prospective tenant was resident in Blackpool in 1939 and had served in either of the two World Wars.