Lancashire nostalgia in 1988: Concern for PNE, summertime blues and ghostbusters

There are fears Preston North End could be left out in the cold by plans for a Super League
There are fears Preston North End could be left out in the cold by plans for a Super League

Here's a look at some of the stories that were making the headlines back in 1988:

Preston North End may be left out in the cold by new league

Proud Preston North End faced up to the prospect of becoming soccer outcasts as the threat of a “Super League” grew.

Deepdale officials expressed “grave concern” over the possibility of a breakaway by the country’s football elite which could leave clubs like Preston out in the cold.

Several top outfits, including Manchester United and Liverpool, are preparing to discuss the details of a £32 million television deal with ITV which could lead to a complete break-up.

North End, like all lower division clubs, would suffer a loss of annual revenue understood to be around £10,000.

But it is the “down-grading” of the general system that is causing most concern.

Deepdale vice-chairman John Garratt claimed that the Super League contenders were threatening the existence of the English game.

“My view is that while the revenue is important to clubs like North End, it is not paramount.

“It is the inevitable down-grading of the system that concerns me most.

“There is the possibility that the so-called Super League will be considered the ‘real’ league and the rest will be almost regarded as outsiders. That would be harmful in the extreme.”

READ MORE: Look back at a selection of pictures from 1988 here

Summertime blues due to rainfall

July has turned into a month of mud, misery and mackintoshes.

Preston has chalked up the wettest July on record.

The rain has drowned the previous recorded high of 165.6mm, in 1930.

July in 1988 has already seen 174.7mm pour on our heads - and the month is not yet over.

The total amount is already 100mm above the normal average for July - 73mm - and the forecast for the next few days is no better!

Driving has been made hazardous with pools of water everywhere and house gardens looking more like rain forests.

Rainfall records for Preston go back as far as 1876, and nothing has touched this year’s July tidal wave.

Preston’s wettest July follows on the heels of a very dry June.

‘Top scrounger’ sees future as ghostbuster

The man once branded Britain’s biggest dole-scrounger has started a new career - as a ghostbuster.

Liverpool-born Robert McDougall now claims to be a psychic and exorcist and appears at a Blackpool pub under the stage name Gipsy Robert.

McDougall first hit the headlines when it was revealed the Government was paying for his family to stay at top-class hotels, including Liverpool’s Adelphi.

There was an outcry and the family were branded Britain’s biggest scroungers.

Now McDougall, who lives with his brother in Station Road, Blackpool, is back in the limelight.

During his twice weekly show at Deans pub and restaurant in the resort, he reads tarot cards, palms and a crystal ball and claims to be a medium, psychic and Christian clairvoyant.

McDougall has even attempted to exorcise the spirit of a ghost said to haunts Deans.

“I was born with psychic powers and I am committed to using for good.”

McDougall was turned away from another pub, Royalles, in Lytham, on the advice of another medium who said his claims were suspicious.