Blackpool nostalgia 2004: Boys' accolade for saving a life, statue cleaning and curb on noisy revellers

These were the stories making the headlines in March 2004.

Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 3:45 pm

Teenagers’ quick thinking actions

A pair of quick-thinking schoolboys who saved the life of a Blackpool pensioner were rewarded for their actions.

Palatine High pupils Ben Cragg and Brett Halshaw were commended by the High Sheriff of Lancashire at a ceremony.

Flashback to 2004 when Margaret Barbour met Ben Craggs (left) and Brett Halshaw. The boys helped rescue Margaret after she suffered a brain haemorrhage falling down a ditch.

The 13-year-olds found Margaret Barbour lying unconscious at the foot of an embankment near Yeadon Way and dialled 999. Medical chiefs said the lads’ intervention saved the life of 67-year-old Margaret, who tumbled into the ditch after suffering a brain haemorrhage. Back at school, Ben, who wanted to be an RAF pilot, said: “It was quite embarrassing going to pick the award up, but we were very proud to be presented with it. We have been made to feel like heroes, but we just did what we thought was best.

Statue cleaning cost would hit residents

Cleaning Fleetwood’s Eros statue was to cost each Wyre resident £1.26 a year, according to the leader of the opposition Labour group.

Coun Geoff Horrocks saisthe bill, which came about because of a miscalculation by council staff, was too much to ask the people of Wyre to pay but they would be saddled with the bill for another 10 years. And the Park ward councillor said lessons should be learned from the mistake so taxpayers were not hit by a similar charge again.

The Eros statue in Fleetwood

Coun Horrocks said: “This is something which the council taxpayers will have to live with but calculations like the one which led to the mistake are made on a regular basis - particularly in relation to property deals. “I am now looking at every such item which comes before the council, in an effort to make sure there is not another miscalculation.”

Council leader Coun Alan Vincent said he had spoken with Doreen Lofthouse, chairman of Lofthouse of Fleetwood, who were partners in the scheme, about the possibility of extra funding. Her view were that she had signed a formal contract with the council and was not willing to vary that.

All set for Brazilian charity bike ride

Rocky terrain, sweltering temperatures and a marathon 700km Brazilian journey were some of the obstacles in the cycle path of two Blackpool Victoria Hospital staff.

Dr Paul Kelsey consultant haematologist and Mark Wrigley, chief biomedical scientist, were gearing up for the ride of their lives to raise thousands of pounds for Fylde cancer sufferers.

The pair were heavily involved in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer patients but decided to go the extra mile - the extra 700km - on the MacmIllan Cancer Relief Brazil Cycling Challenge.

In 2001 the pair took up a similar challenge and cycled 500km across Ecuador, raising £12,000 for the Windmill Appeal.

Mr Wrigley said: “Three months after coming back from Ecuador one of my friends died of cancer. He was treated and comforted by the Macmillan team and he said he felt safe when they were with him.

“This is my way of thanking Macmillan for the care and support they gave to my friend and family.

“I know it’s going to be very challenging so I am already training three times a week at the gym.”

Drastic action to curb after-hours noise in Fylde pubs

Licensees across South Fylde were being told to keep the noise down in their pubs and clubs.

Town hall bosses were urging landlords to turn the volume down after hours in a council drive to prevent noise pollution.

As the days lengthened more revellers were expected to spend their hours relaxing with a few pints before spilling out on to the streets of the borough after closing time. But councillors were hoping a new poster and leaflet campaign sent to all the pubs in towns and villages across the borough, would have an effect. Complaints against alcohol-fuelled revellers increased dramatically prompting the council to take drastic action.

In an attempt to help solve the situation, council officers joined police for a night out on the town to see first hand the problems of night noise and nuisance in town centres. They visited Blackpool and Lytham before venturing on foot into St Annes, where they agreed that something should be done.

Coun Patricia Fieldhouse, chairman of Fylde’s environment and housing committee, said: “Typically, we see a rise in noise levels when the sun comes out and people are more likely to stay out.” Pic: Adobe Stock