Lancashire nostalgia in 1977: Tombstones; punk suit poser; and tycoon Tim's grand request

Here's a look at some of the stories that were making the headlines back in 1977:

Thursday, 20th May 2021, 12:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 20th May 2021, 12:46 pm
Men start work at Preston Parish Church, digging up ancient tombstones during landscaping
Men start work at Preston Parish Church, digging up ancient tombstones during landscaping

Tombstones to go in churchyard facelift

Hundreds of ancient tombstones in the grounds of Preston Parish Church are to be demolished to make way for landscaped gardens.

About 10 men will break up and cart away the stones which date back to the 18th century. The stones will be used for infilling on Warton marsh.

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Blackpool tailor Brian Booth were his controversial punk rock suit

The 300-plus tombstones in the grounds of the church in Church Street are making it too difficult for gardeners to weed between them.

The facelift will leave trees and shrubs planted in both the back and front grounds of the church.

The last tombstones to be laid were in the mid-18th century when the church was rebuilt.

The Rector of Preston, the Rev Roland Meredith, said there was no possibility of any bodies being moved.

Tim Webster had hoped to be the proud owner of a Harrier jump jet

“Bodies have not been buried since the 18th century. There is no chance of anyone disturbing them because the digging is only a few feet below the surface. These bodies will be much lower than that.”

But there will still be about 100 stones left even after the renovation. For the pathways around the church which are made of tombstones will be left untouched.

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Look back at a selection of pictures from 1977 here

Brian’s smash-and-grab in the unpopular world of punk

Blackpool tailor Brian Booth has landed himself a load of trouble with his latest creation. His shop window has been smashed twice and he has been stopped and searched by the police.

It all started when he decided to cater to the latest pop revolution - punk rock - which aims to project itself as nauseating and disgusting.

Punk fans told him of their plight - they love the music and were sold on the gear - but nowhere could they buy it.

So 28-year-old Brian set himself the task of meeting demand and at £45 a time he has found a rich market.

He unveiled his first masterpiece two months ago. It was hardly Christian Dior but it has a responsive and appreciative audience among the punk fans.

When it came to selling, he decided to become his own walking advert. He donned the suit and set out for a stroll around the resort. That is when his troubles started and he discovered just how unpopular punk can be.

“I wore it round town for a full week. My girlfriend finished with me almost straight away,” he said.

“I was nearly arrested by the police. They stopped me and searched me - I think they reckoned I was into the drug scene.”

One man was so annoyed he threw a brick through Mr Booth’s shop window where the suit was on display.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Last week we looked at 1976

Air chiefs ground tiny tycoon Tim’s £10,000,000 warplane bid

Tim Webster has failed in his £10,000,000 bid to buy a fully armed Harrier jump jet.

His offer of £9,000,000 down with another £1,000,000 to come if his proposed delivery date was met has been turned down by Lancashire planemakers.

And, with the collapse of the deal also go the chances of the first ever private air force being set up in North Yorkshire.

Residents of North Acomb, near York, need no longer fear the though of a vertical take-off warplane hedge-hopping over back gardens and strafing their avenues and lanes.

But Tim’s mother reckons that the determination of her 13-year-old son to own his own private plane will not be dimmed.

“He’s just plane mad,” she said. “His father has just come out of the RAF and that’s got a lot to do with it.”

Tim’s letter, which also requested the war plane be flown up to York race course, where the racing is, and stated that he would be there with his money, landed on the desk of the contracts manager of the British Aircraft Corporation military factories in Preston.

However, the last word should go to Tim’s mum: “I’m afraid that Tim must keep on hoping - we haven’t got £10,000,000.”