Lancashire nostalgia in 2000: Joan killing: Letter to police; 12 hours of hell; and ferrets

Here's a look at some of the stories that were making the headlines back in 2000:

By Naomi Moon
Tuesday, 16th February 2021, 3:07 pm
Updated Tuesday, 16th February 2021, 3:08 pm
New evidence has come to light in the Joan Harrison murder case
New evidence has come to light in the Joan Harrison murder case

Letter sent to Yorkshire police in Joan Harrison murder case

Police are studying a letter in which the author hints at clues about the unsolved murder of Preston prostitute Joan Harrison.

The mystery note was recently posted to senior officers in West Yorkshire who had worked on the infamous “Ripper” investigation at the time of Mrs Harrison’s brutal death in 1975.

Motorists were caught up in traffic for around 12 hours on the M6 near Preston

The exact content of the letter has not been disclosed but it is believed that it makes certain allegations relating to the original murder inquiry.

Leading detectives based in Preston will now go through it with a fine tooth comb to check its validity and to see if there are any fresh lines of inquiry to come out.

Mrs Harrison’s battered body was found in a disused garage in Berwick Road, Avenham, on November 20, 1975. The 26-year-old mother - a well known figure around the town - had been savagely kicked and beaten to death.

Although Mrs Harrison was killed almost a quarter of a century ago police still sporadically receive information.

A competitor in the British Working Ferret Championships

Det Insp Ian Ronald, of Preston CID, is keeping an open mind as to the legitimacy of the letter.

He said: “What we will do now is to look at the letter and check any information in it.”

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Look back at a selection of pictures from 2000 here

Hell for drivers stuck on M6 for 12 hours

Moves were under way to make sure there will be no repeat of the 12-hour motorway closure which caused massive tailbacks and turned Preston town centre into “one giant car park.”

One MP is seeking an urgent meeting with Lancashire Police boss Pauline Clare over the way the accident, which left Lancashire gridlocked, was managed.

The nightmare began at 10am on Saturday when a petrol tanker jackknifed on the northbound carriageway and spewed out fuel across both carriageways of the M6.

The accident, also involving two cars, happened at junction 32 of the M6 northbound near Broughton.

The motorway was closed between junctions 29 at Bamber Bridge and 32 at Broughton. The M55 eastbound carriageway was also closed on the Preston approach.

The closures caused miles of tailbacks with traffic queuing as far back as Forton Services southbound and Wigan on the northbound carriageway.

The kick-off at Preston North End’s Deepdale ground was delayed by an hour because of the traffic problems.

Fluffy ferrets aren’t pampered pets

Crufts may be known as the ultimate show for pampered pooches. But animal lovers in North Lancashire took the opportunity to show off another fluffy creature when they attended the British Working Ferret Championships.

It may seem like an unlikely display of pets but ferret owners from across the country descended on Morecambe Football Club for the annual show.

A spokesman for the competition said: “It should be remembered that ferrets have been used in vermin control since they were introduced by the Romans.

“Therefore the working man and woman must have been doing something right in order to preserve their companion for so long for the purpose for which he was intended - chasing pests from holes.”