5 stories making the headlines in Blackpool in January 2009
Here's a look at some of the stories people were talking about 13 years ago
Motorists urged to slow down in Claremont
Slow down and save lives! Police officers from the Claremont area of Blackpool hit the road in a bid to educate motorists about speed.
PC Dave Hannan, Community Beat Manager for Claremont, said: “We decided to hold a road safety awareness day after residents told us speeding and parking in the area were a concern for them.
“By holding this event, we are directly tackling the issues that matter to local residents and that is what neighbourhood policing is all about.”
Blackpool Council also supported the event, with staff from the Road Safety Department, Park Right and Highways Agency out in force.
A PACT meeting was also planned. Read more: January 2008Decorating empty shops to entice big name stores
Blackpool’s empty stores were given a make-over.
Town centre bosses decorated the shops which were standing empty with posters advertising what is happening in the resort.
Regeneration chiefs hoped the colourful displays would encourage more shoppers and big names to move into town.
Lee Paddock, town centre manager, said: “We are looking to use posters showing what Blackpool has to offer, instead of having stores lying empty.
Because a lot of the store letting agents do not live on the Fylde they probably don’t realise what state they are left in.”
Within Blackpool’s “core” shopping area – right in the middle of the town centre – there were 11 large stores empty, including River Island, Next and the massive Woolworths on Bank Hey Street.
The town centre – which stretched from Central Drive to Cookson Street – had around 90 empty shops out of about 700, which is the national average.
And while a deal was set to be sealed on the future of the former Next store on Church Street the coming months would see the empty stores used as a promotional tool for the town.
Concern over lack of food shops
‘Residents on Grange Park still have plenty of places to buy food.’
That was the message from Coun Peter Collins after residents of the Blackpool estate complained about the lack of shopping facilities.
A group from Pilling Crescent wrote to Blackpool Council demanding answers after it was revealed a closed down row of shops on Dinmore Avenue was to be redeveloped into new homes.
The group said the estate had just one shop serving a population of thousands and no hot food takeaway - but according to Coun Collins, this was not the case.
He said: “I understand there has been some issues with shopping facilities on the estate but people do have options while the shop on Chepstow Road is being redeveloped.
“The Chepstow site is set to be turned into a Tesco One Stop in the coming weeks.
“Work is already under way and it is expected to be open for business in mid February.
“In the mean time the shop on Easington Crescent has a wide range of food and household goods.”
Touch screen check-in system
A new state-of-the-art electronic check-in system was being piloted at Blackpool Victoria Hospital to help cut waiting times and avoid missed appointments.
Patients could book themselves in for appointments at the Lancashire Cardiac Centre by using a touch-screen computer, instead of having to report to the receptionist.
Patient Stuart Duckworth, 76, of Devonshire Road, Bispham, said: “I think the system is a good idea and simple to use, you just put all your information in on screen.
“Any improvement like this is good for the patient.”
Elizabeth Hodges, from South Shore, said: “The system is really excellent and a lot better than before.
“I found it really easy to use and I am happy to use a touch-screen system. It also saved a lot of time when I booked in.”
Hospital bosses said the Savience Check-In System being piloted at the Vic means patients save time when they come in for their appointment.
They also said it is confidential as people do not have to give their personal details when they arrive for an outpatient appointment
It was hoped it could help cut down on the number of missed appointments, as the machine frees up reception staff to book future slots.
Headshaves for cancer charities
Headshaves and leg waxes were all in a day’s work for staff at a Hambleton nursing home.
Carers and nursing staff from Bupa’s Bank House Nursing Home on Shard Road raised more than £1,000 for bowel cancer charities.
Care assistant George Appleton and maintenance man Ian Tennant had their heads shaved as part the homes efforts, which were inspired by their home manager, Viv Ogden, who is currently battling the illness.
Mrs Ogden was undergoing treatment for bowel cancer and was on hand to offer support to staff during the fundraising day.
Paul Stafford and Tony Thomas braved a painful chest and leg wax as part of the special bowel cancer awareness event.
Other members of staff dyed their hair bright colours a as part of a wacky week of hard work.
Staff member Linda Whittingham, said: “It’s bowel cancer awareness week and we were very keen to do something a bit different.
“We are all dressed in bright colours and my hair is bright red.
“I hadn’t realised but it’s permanent too so I will have to grow it out.
“We’ve made quite a bit for charity which is great and Bupa are matching whatever we make and hopefully it will really help a good cause.”
After his painful waxing ordeal, Paul said: “It was quite nice when the wax went on but it hurt a fair bit when it came off.
“I’ve got a bit of sympathy for the women who have to do it regularly now.”
And a freshly shaven headed George said: “It was very nerve racking with everyone watching and I didn’t have a clue what it looked like until the hairdresser turned the mirror on me.
“Thankfully it looks OK.”