Lancashire nostalgia in 2000: Fuel crisis; Victoria Wood scoop; and trolleys 'used as toilets'

Here's a look at some of the stories that were making the headlines back in 1999:

The pumps may not be dry any more, but sky-high fuel prices are a cause for concern
The pumps may not be dry any more, but sky-high fuel prices are a cause for concern

Hangover of fuel crisis hits motorists’ pockets

The fuel blockade may be over but motorists still face sky-high prices at some garages, according to an Evening Post survey.

Drivers are being charged over the odds and traders say it is due to a fuel crisis hangover.

Victoria Wood has given Poulton-le-Fylde Drama Players exclusive rights to perform one of her pieces

Our snapshot survey on a cross-section of filling stations found prices varied from 77.9 to 89.9p per litre.

The reason, according to Christine Hardman, the manageress of Rydal Petroleum, Leyland, is that independent retailers are charged more for their fuel.

“We are getting charged more per litre than the major fuel companies,” she said.

“Independent retailers like us get charged a lot more than the petroleum companies charge their own garage business.

“If there was one price across the board then there would be enough trade out there for everybody, but as it is the general public think we are charging a fortune and making a vast profit as a whole when we are not.”

Her views were echoed by the Petrol Retailers’ Association, which represents oil companies and independent outlets.

It confirmed reports that some garages in the region were charging up to 97p for unleaded fuel.

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Look back at a selection of pictures from 2000 here

Drama club scoops Wood play

An audacious approach to comedienne Victoria Wood has led to a drama group scooping the world premiere rights to perform one of her scripts.

The comedy actress turned writer was so impressed by the approach made by Poulton-le-Fylde Drama Players that she gave them permission to adapt her TV hit Pat and Margaret - and expects no royalties in return.

The amateur group, which rehearses at the Conservative Club in Breck Road in the village, has more than 50 members aged between 16 and 84-years-old.

The group has a long history dating back to before the Second World War.

Chairman Ian Ames contacted Ms Wood after he enjoyed the televised version of the film.

He said: “Initially we phoned her agent to inquire and they said she didn’t give permission easily.”

So the group put their request in writing and were delighted to receive a positive response.

He added: “We were amazed because we were the first amateur group to be given permission.”

The group is currently fine-tuning its version of the play and the jury is out on whether Victoria herself with be invited to the showing.

Ian admitted: “A decision hasn’t been made yet. Some of the cast may find it very daunting”

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Last week we looked at 1999

Claims trolleys ‘used as toilets’

Supermarket bosses in Leyland have dispelled health fears following reports that shopping trolleys have been used as a toilet.

The police, environmental bosses and the manager of the Towngate Kwik Save have been drafted in to investigate claims that the trolleys “smell of urine”.

The complaints were first raised by members of the public at a meeting of South Ribble Council’s West Leyland area committee.

Pete Williams, a press officer for Kwik Save, said bosses have acted swiftly on the complaint, recognising the importance of health and safety issues.

He said: “The store manager has been in contact with the council following the claims of noxious smells.

“We don’t believe there is an issue here and we have never previously had a complaint.

“The trolleys are stored within the store overnight and we have never had any customers complaints to staff.”

A spokesman for South Ribble said the council wanted to find out if the problem was caused by drunks, vagrants or animals.