Blackpool nostalgia in 1985: Noisy parrots, Sunday trading laws and Margaret Thatcher visits Sprinfields

Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher visits Springfields in 1985Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher visits Springfields in 1985
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher visits Springfields in 1985
These were the stories making the headlines in November 1985

Noisy parrots kept night nurse awake

A night nurse was in a real flap over his neighbour’s prattling parrots.

A blear-eyed Andrew Wright, fed up of sleepless afternoons, was appealing to Blackpool councillors to silence the cause of his insomnia - 24 rare parrots living next door.

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Doreen Lofthouse with husband Tony Lofthouse (Left) and son Duncan Lofthouse outside the Fleetwood base in 1990.Doreen Lofthouse with husband Tony Lofthouse (Left) and son Duncan Lofthouse outside the Fleetwood base in 1990.
Doreen Lofthouse with husband Tony Lofthouse (Left) and son Duncan Lofthouse outside the Fleetwood base in 1990.

Mr Wright claimed the birds from his neighbour’s aviary was keeping him awake when he got his head down after night shifts.

The future of the birds, would be decided by Blackpool Council Planning and Development Committee.

Councillors had already inspected the aviary and were expected to make a ruling.

Environmental Health officers were called to the aviary earlier in the year.

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They asked the owner if he could darken the cage and keep the parrots quiet. News from 1984Thatcher’s faith in age of atomic power

Margaret Thatcher gave her seal of approval to Britain’s nuclear industry and its safety record on a flying visit to the Fylde coast.

The Prime Minister spent 90 minutes touring the giant British Nuclear Fuels Springfields base at Salwick to see the nuclear industry at work.

After meeting staff and inspecting complex fuel production techniques, she declared her faith in the atomic power age.

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“I am a great believer in nuclear power. Fossil fuels will not last indefinitely,” Mrs Thatcher said.

“The industry has a very good safety record and we are making it easier and safer the whole time.

“We have had one or two problems but these problems have been dealt with.

“A lot of lives have been lost in winning coal,” she added.

“Safety in the mines in now excellent but there is a danger in coal mining, danger in gas and oil.

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Mrs Thatcher made her first visit to Springfields on the second stage of a day-long tour of the North West’s four main nuclear installations.

Security was tight as she flew in by RAF Puma helicopter from the Capenhurst nuclear plant in Cheshire.

DIY superstore in wrangle over outdated Sunday trading laws

A superstore in the forefront of an open all hours campaign was to take its case to a Blackpool MP.

Norman Miscampbell, Tory member for Blackpool North, was to meet management, staff and customers of B&Q in Layton to discuss reform of the Sunday tradition laws.

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The DIY giant was fined £2,750 by Blackpool magistrates for breaches of the Sunday trading laws immediately after its opening two months earlier.

The stores chain slammed the restrictions as almost totally redundant and outdated but later agreed in the High Court that it would in future comply with the laws at its Blackpool operation.

Mr Miscampbell was a leading critic of the Sunday trading hours which allowed magazine to be sold but not Bibles.

Legislation to liberalise the law was expected to be introduced, despite fierce opposition from shopworkers and traditionalist MPs.

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A commons vote earlier in the year paved the way for introduction of a reform bill.

At the time, Mr Miscampbell described the laws as a complete nonesense.

Twenty six Conservative rebels sided with the opposition in the Commons vote on Sunday trading.

Spotlight on Fisherman's Friend

One of the Fylde’s industrial success stories was that enjoyed by Lofthouse of Fleetwood. From a small scale cottage industry operation it had expanded dramatically and countless millions of its lozenges were being sold all over the world. The story of how Fisherman’s Friend had grown so healthily was examined by the Money programme on BBC2. A film crew interviewed managing director Doreen Lofthouse and took shots of the factory production line in Fleetwood. And to get a full flavour of the product’s fishing industry pedigree, the film crew went aboard the trawler Strathgarry, skippered by Dave Buston, in Morecambe Bay. Company chairman Tony Lofthouse said the firm was delighted at the co-operation given by its workforce and local people.