What was making the headlines in October 1996?

These were the stories making the headlines in Lancashire in 1996

By Claire Lark
Friday, 1st October 2021, 3:45 pm

Glitzy show for benevolent fund

Lily Savage’s roots were showing as showbusiness stars gathered for a chaity party in Blackpool.

The North Pier summer star turned back the years to put on a tutti frutti costume and joined the chorus line at Basil Newby’s famous Funnygirls in Queen Square. It was a rousing Carmen Miranda style finale to a show which started when all the others had finished.

Lily Savage

Before that, Lily, who was regularly booked into Blackpool by Basil before becoming famous, had appeared on stage as one third of dance and vocal trio The Old Slappers as well as taking over from resident DJ Zoe for a spell behind the turntables. The event was in aid of the Entertainment Artistes’ Benevolent Fund, which benefited by at least £2,500 from the occasion. Other acts included Roy Chubby Brown who teamed up with fellow comedian Mick Miller and Grumbleweed member Robin Colville to enjoy the show and a few drinks while Darren Day let his hair down after appearing at the Opera House earlier in the evening.

“I can’t believe I’ve only got four and a half weeks left in Blackpool, I’ve loved it,” he said.

No Good Beer Guide for Blackpool

The craze for psuedo-Irish pubs, replacing sham olde-worlde timbers had done nothing for Blackpool.

New Longton, Preston

Glasses were all but empty for the resort’s hostelries as far as the new edition of a prestigious drinkers’ guide was concerned.

The resort received no entries, just two reader’s readers’ recommendations in the Lucky Dip section, in the Good Pub guide 1997.

Editor Alistair Aird hit out at a faceless chain pub where thoughtless refurbishment destroyed genuine character and individuality.

He welcomed the end of the rustic phase but claimed the jaunty Irish jig was out of step with many drinkers.

Irish theme pubs in Blackpool were The Blarney Stone, Scruffy Murphys and O’Neills. The Clifton Hotel had O’Mally’s Bar and the Norbreck Castle had Molly Mallone’s while The Bedford Hotel, St Annes had created Kitty O’Sheas.

Mr Aird said there were probably some fine pubs in Blackpool but the acid test for the guide was the verdict of an anonymous visit by compliers after sifting through 46,400 nationwide reports from readers. He said: “A great many ordinary locals, perfectly good in their own right, don’t earn a place in the book. A good pub needs atmosphere and you should be able to feel at home.”

Posh pads were set for Georgian revamp

Listed buildings on Lancaster’s historic Castle Hill were set for a five star revamp.

The interior of historic buildings at St Mary’s Parade, Castle Hill, were going to be restored to their full Georgian Glory.

Developers hoped they would become sought after homes and flats after the extensive work was carried out. Planners had rubber stamped an application for work on the grade two listed buildings.

The buildings stand where Lancaster Castle’s moat would have been when the castle was built by the Normans. Throughout the ages, the merchant’s homes would have been considered desirable places to live for the city’s wealthy elite.

Bosses of Kendal based Crowther Homes looked set to make St Mary’s Parade Lancaster’s number one address once more. Andrew White, curator of Lancaster Museum, said: “The houses would always have been for very posh people in the town.

“They are situated high up where they catch the westerly wind and that was always considered a good thing because the lower down in the city you lived, the more likely you were to get people’s waste.”

Fears over by-pass route

A Lancashire priest told a public inquiry of his fears if a bypass was driven through his parish.

Father Brendan O’Sullivan, of St Oswald’s Church, New Longton, was called to give evidence on behalf of objectors to the planned Penwortham bypass.

The so-called blue route, chosen by Lancashire County Council for the road would pass yards from St Oswald’s Primary School in Chapel Lane and near to Fr O’Sullivan’s church.

Objectors from the pressure group Link Action had the backing of 400 local people who feared the volume of traffic on Chapel Lane would increase dramatically while traffic calming measures would worsen congestion problems.

Fr O’Sullivan told the South Ribble Local Plan Inquiry: “There has already been a fatality. A man was killed crossing the road to go to our social club.

“If anybody wants to experience Chapel Lane now, I suggest they ride down on a bicycle. It is very frightening when buses go past. Traffic calming would make it worse.

New Longton resident Mike Bowe said 28 families would be cut off from the village centre by the blue route which would serve Lindle Lane and Saunders Lane.

The councils, which both backed the blue route were ready to present their case.