1980 Lancashire nostalgia: Floods, nudists and warring councillors

A look at some of the stories hitting the headlines in Lancashire during October 1980 - and a gallery of your memories

Thursday, 18th October 2018, 11:17 am
Updated Thursday, 18th October 2018, 12:18 pm
Monique Wilson (12), of West Cliff, Preston had trouble on the Army assault court. She got her foot fast in a car tyre and was rescued by L/Cpl Steve Timiney of the Kings Division recruiting team. Looking on are Monique's friends Sandra Carrington, of Whittle-le-Woods and Terry-Marie Scott of Clayton Brook. The Army assault course was part of a fun day held at Hoghton Towers and organised by Brownedge St Mary's School in Bamber Bridge

The day the heavens opened in Lancashire

Operation Mop-Up began following the worst flood in the region in living memory.

Everyone from housewives to bobbies rolled up their sleeves to help.

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In Black Bull Lane, Fulwood, Savick Brook rose about 10ft above normal to within a few inches of the top of the bridge parapet.

The floods completely marooned a nearby house and surged in a 40-yard wide torrent across the lane halting all traffic for nearly 24 hours.

The swollen brook also gushed through the ground floor of several new flats close by. Some of the dwellers were evacuated and others warned to switch off power supplies.

The main road to Ingol was cut off when the Sharoe Brook burst its banks.

Muddy water flooded Tag Lane and Woodplumpton Road to a depth of four feet and dozens of motorists abandoned their cars.

A tractor and trailer “ferried” people across the road for three hours.

Two local lads, Philip Pickup and David Carter, helped load people onto the trailers.

And local resident Mr George Birkett of Tag Lane, Ingol, rushed home from work to save his bungalow from the encroaching flood.

Nudists nights for Lancashire swimming pool given go-ahead

Councillors have got down to the bare essentials... and given the go-ahead to nude bathing in the Fylde.

The naked swim sessions will be held twice a month at Kirkham baths.

But the applications from the Central Council for British Naturism did not go through without quite a bit of comment from the town’s councillors.

In fact Coun Jack Paton thought at first the group had mistaken them for Brighton!

He added it was a pity the council had gone to all the expense of building dressing rooms when now they would not be needing them.

On a more serious note Coun Bob Fisher said although he approved in principle he would not like to see the nudists getting the baths as a priority over the public.

“The baths should never be closed to organisations like these.

“But at the same time we must always leave the baths open for the general public,” he said.

The only drawback to the application was that the times requested clashed with the dates when Weeton Army Camp had booked the baths.

Councillors agreed that as long as a suitable compromise could be made they would have no objection. The nudists intend to give the arrangement a three month trial.

Council meeting ‘V’ sign rumpus goes on

An angry incident at a council meeting when a Labour councillor gave a “Harvey Smith” salute to a Tory opponent before walking out has led to further sharp exchanges between the two parties.

And a Tory woman councillor has lodged an official objection with the town clerk of Preston at the “quite inexcusable behaviour” of Coun Albert Richardson.

But the councillor has defended himself by saying the Tory had scoffed at him and called him “chicken”.

The incident happened at last month’s council meeting during a highly critical speech by deputy mayor Coun Dennis Kehoe about Anti-Nazi demonstrators during a National Front march through Preston.

It resulted in apologies to the mayor afterwards from Coun Richardson and his Tory opponent, Coun Stan Baines.

And it led to an “inquest” at the next policy and resources committee when the letter from Coun Mrs Joan Ainscough was discussed. She claimed his gesture had left a very bad taste.

Labour council leader Coun Ian Hall also criticised Mrs Ainscough for her “constant tut-tutting” during meetings.