Blackpool nostalgia in 2002: Fylde's war on dog fouling, Funny Girls and rubbish on the beaches

These were the headlines making the news back in 2002

Monday, 8th March 2021, 3:45 pm
Spring daffodils
Spring daffodils

Funny Girls big site move raised the roof

Blackpool’s brand new Funny Girls couldn’t even wait until it opened before it raised the roof!

The theatre and showbar was moving lock, stock and beer barrels from its site in Queen Street into the former Odeon cinema complex on Dickson Road.

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Keep dogs on leads and no fouling signs in Fylde

But before the high kicking Betty Legs Diamond and her team could start rehearsals for their biggest-ever show, a 100sq metre section of roof had to be removed from the 1930s building. And that meant bringing Blackpool town centre to a complete standstill while a giant crane moved in to do its work.

The roof replacement was an essential part of entrepreneur Basil Newby’s new entertainment emporium which would eventually house The Flamingo, Basil’s On The Strand and The Flying Handbag, as well as the new Funny Girls Theatre and Showbar. The old roof was being replaced with a spectacular Art Deco feature to restore the Odeon to its former listed building status.

“We are very sorry for any delays this caused in the town, but the replacement is essential,” said Rob Knighton, managing director at Eclipse Developments.

Residents urged to blow the whistle

An aerial shot of Funny Girls, Dickson Road

Fylde borough was stepping up its battle against dog dirt - by asking neighbours to blow the whistle on problem pooches.

Hundreds of letters were sent to homes in St Annes and Ansdell as part of a campaign against nuisance dogs and their owners.

The problem of dog owners persistently letting their dogs foul on the street and in public parks and gardens was a growing headache for town hall chiefs in the borough.

Letters being sent to homes in Commonside, Ansdell, explained how people could help dog wardens to track down owners of dogs which fouled the streets and

issue them with fixed penalty notices of £25. If they refused to pay up within 14 days they can be taken to court.

Celebrating the spring daffodils

Blooms of yellow and gold filled a Fylde pub as daffodil lovers came together to celebrate their success in growing the springtime favourite.

The White Bull in Great Eccleston hosted one of the last remaining West Coast Pub Daffodil competitions, which were once a popular feature in the area.

The competition to grow the best of the bunch attracted around 100 entries. They were judged in 10 classes ranging from trumpets to triandrus, small cup to cyclamineus, miniature to double and full cup. There were also two junior classes. Participant Geoffrey Tait said: “The event offers a chance to see a wide range of daffodil varieties while enjoying a social evening. Geoffrey was among the winners, picking up the trophy for Best Show Results.”

Litter problem was still evident on Fylde’s stretches of coast

St Annes beach boasted to be one of the best in the North West - but litter on the coast was still a major problem.

That was the message from the Marine Conservation Society which released the latest Beachwatch Report that surveyed Britain’s beaches to find out whose was the best.

Around 200 beaches were surveyed with nearly 2,000 Beachwatch volunteers scouring the sands of the coastline up and down the country.

They came back with encouraging results, showing that the amount of litter on the beach was down 11.5 per cent on the previous year.

But the amount of beach litter was still higher than it was ten years earlier posing a threat to wildlife, as well as spoiling the natural beauty of the UK coastline.

The Fylde Coast faired well in the tables, with St Annes coming top with 432 items of litter collected, working out at 0.048 items per metre.

Anchorsholme came second with 742 items (1.356 items per metre).

But Cleveleys beach came bottom of the pile with 2,066 items collected over just 100 metres of coastline - working out at 20.66 items per metre.