Lancashire Post 2017 The year in review: May to August
In part two of our three-part special, Tom Acey and Nicole Sherwood look back on the stories that made the news in Lancashire every month this year.
Together we mourn
Communities across Lancashire were rocked by the Manchester terror attacks in which 22 people died. Among the victims at the Ariana Grande concert were 18-year-old Georgina Callander, a health and social care student from Tarleton, and eight-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos, who had travelled with her mother and sister from Leyland. Businesses on Hough Lane, where Saffie’s family ran The Plaice Fish Shop, closed their doors and laid flowers to pay their respects to “a lovely little girl” who was the youngest of all the bomb victims. Michelle Kiss, a 45-year-old mother of three from the Ribble was also killed in the blast; her husband Tony described her as a “guardian angel”. Also among the dead was Blackpool school receptionist Jane Tweddle.
Red Rose blue
It was a bad night for Labour as the Conservatives won control of Lancashire County Council. The Tories regained control at County Hall with a 16-seat majority, after four years under a Socialist/Lib-Dem coalition. County Coun Geoff Driver, leader of the Tories, said his party had “a big job to do”, while Labour’s Jennifer Mein vowed that she would “be holding the Conservatives to account”. The Liberal Democrats also lost two MPs, with retiring leader County Coun Bill Winlow expressing his sadness at losing “two very good people”. The Conservatives pledged to turn their attention to public services, with a focus on reopening closed libraries.
A warehouse employee was indebted to three heroic colleagues when he suffered a cardiac arrest in work. Nathan Davies, 28, of St Annes, began to feel unwell and went to rest in the canteen of Kepak food suppliers when he suddenly collapsed.
Luckily, workmates Georgijs Kadakovs, 27, and Andrejs Bespalovs, 33, realised he had stopped breathing and stepped in to provide CPR. Nathan was eventually revived through use of a defibrillator by factory manager James Grimston, 43, who rushed to attend the scene.
“They saved my life and I owe a massive thanks to them” said Nathan, as he recovered in hospital.
“You can’t really put it into words”.
Hundreds mourn Georgina
Hundreds dressed in yellow for the funeral of Manchester bomb victim Georgina Callander.
The village of Tarleton paid tribute to 18-year-old Georgina, a student at Runshaw College who was an Ariana Grande ‘superfan’.
Roads were closed, lorries stopped their engines and shopkeepers stood outside of their shops to pay their respects.
Georgina’s brother Daniel said: “She was the type of sister who would do anything to help, who would sit and talk with you, even if she didn’t want to.”
Georgina’s mum described her daughter as a ‘gentle snow white dove” and after the service, Georgina’s family released 18 white doves – one for each year of her life.
Wings at last for WWII hero Albert
A war hero finally received his service
medals 72 years after he left the RAF.
96-year-old Albert Pemberton-Sheen trained scores of fighter pilots in the Second World War and was presented with the Defence Medal and the 1939-45 Medal at the opening of the RAF Association’s Wings Centre in Fishergate Preston.
Albert, who lives in the Ashton area of Preston, didn’t realise he was eligible for the Defence Medal until his step daughter Elaine Robinson started making enquiries at the Wings Centre. Within two weeks the medals had arrived and were presented at a special ceremony.
“I had no idea about the medals, but I’m really pleased to be able to get them now,” Albert said. “I’d encourage other veterans to look into what they are entitled to. It is so important.”
Retired Group Captain Nicky Loveday who presented Albert’s service medals said: “The nation has finally been able to say thank you.”
It’s a dog’s life for shelter volunteers
Volunteers spent the night in a kennel to raise money for dog charity.
Eight members of staff at the Briarcliff kennels in Thornton took part in the I’m A Rescue Dog Get Me Out Of Here by having a sponsored dog sleepover.
The volunteers had a kennel each and took part in trials including eating sweet treats and dog treats and the ‘guess what’s in the poo bag trials.’ “Everyone who took part in the sleep or had anything to do with it was absolutely amazing and had great fun taking part,” said organiser Chloe Horner.
The challenge raised nearly £3,000 in online donations and personal sponsorship. which will go to looking after the dogs up for adoption at the kennel in Thornton, as well as boarding, vets, food and transport bills.
Claire said: “We are absolutely overwhelmed by the amount of support and would like to say thank you to each and every one who donated.”
Laying Saffie to rest
The funeral of Saffie Roussos – the youngest victim of the Manchester bombings – took place in July. It had been delayed so that her mother Lisa, who was badly hurt in the attack, was well enough to leave hospital and attend the service at Manchester Cathedral. More than 1,000 people attended, including the mayor of Manchester, chief constable of Greater Manchester Police and emergency services crews, carrying pink roses to remember the vibrant Leyland youngster.
Saffie’s father Andrew told stories of how Saffie would dance, play with her dog and joke with her brother.
“I am honoured to be her dad, honoured,” Andrew said.
Athletes defied the odds in Transplant Games
Gary Still, 23, from Preston, won a Gold medal in discus and two silver medals in the shotput and one as part of the Team GB basketball team at the World Transplant Games 2017 in Malaga.
“I cant believe what I’ve been able to achieve so far and I’m hoping to better this in the future,” Gary said.
Seven-year-old Harrison Roach also competed in the British Transplant Games in Scotland, after having a kidney and liver transplant over two years ago. Harrison was born with a rare genetic disease called Auto Recessive Polycystic Kidney Disease (ARPKD) which affected the growth and development of his kidneys and liver. Harrison took part in the 50-metre sprint, long jump, ball throw, obstacle course and the 3K run.
Stopping beggars in Preston city centre
In July an order was put forward to make it a criminal offence to beg in large parts of Preston city centre. It came after Preston launched an initiative to clamp down on the number of people begging in the streets. In just one month in August 2016, 40 people were found begging on the streets. Of those, 25 already had accommodation and were receiving benefits, and only six were homeless.
Preston held a summit meeting in July to discuss how to stop city beggars. The scheme was backed by businesses, charities, police and the council. In a survey of 1,000, most people said begging was the main reason for not visiting the city centre.
Mark Whittle, manager of the Preston Business Improvement District (BID) said: “This is not us being anti-homeless people by any stretch. It’s about providing support and guidance where necessary. But it’s also about working together to try and make it less attractive (to beg).”
Fond farewells to Peter
The world of cycling lost a legend when Peter Ward – creator of Preston’s Guild Wheel – died at the age of 83.
Nora, Peter’s wife of 62 years, said: “I was so proud of him. I couldn’t have wished for a better husband and a better life. The whole family was with him at the end, even the grandchildren. That’s how much he was loved.”
Peter, internationally nicknamed “the Stirling Moss of cycling” because of his fearless riding style, rode for England three times. In 2013 he was awarded an MBE for his services to cycling and won more than 30 first class events in his career. With co-designer and fellow cyclist Mike Atkins, Peter was one half of the inspiration behind the creation of the nationally acclaimed Guild Wheel.
Councillor Peter Rankin, Leader of Preston City Council said: “Not many of us will leave a lasting legacy; Peter has. But it will be the Guild Wheel that Peter will be most remembered for. His vision made it happen.”
Fab Four in Preston mystery gig
Delivery driver Naaman Member, 50, had no idea that his living room was once the stage for Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr - until the Lancashire Post broke the news to him.
There had been rumours that the Fab Four had performed in a property in Skeffington Road in 1963, but the location was mystery.
The revelation came to light after 74-year-old David Parkes contacted the Post about his experiences on the road, which included providing support acts for bands, including The Beatles.
Lotto boost for charity
Preston-based charity Headway received £10,000 from a multi- national lottery firm.
Headway Preston and Chorley was chosen ahead of dozens of other worthy causes to receive the funding boost from firm Multilotto. The charity said the funds will help contribute to its support services for survivors of brain injuries and their families.
Charity manager Liz Bamber set up Headway in 2010 when her son suffered a brain injury after a motorbike accident. After a lack of support Liz along with volunteers created the organisation that now operates across the country. “We currently support more than 400 families and this number is growing by the day as more people survive.”
traumatic injuries through advances in medical science and acute care in hospital.”
Multilotto invited nominations for worthy community causes to donate a proportion of its profits to charity.
“The nomination for Headway Preston and Chorley really stood out as they do some amazing work caring and supporting individuals and families that have been affected by brain injury,” Multilotto manager Andrew Clarke said.