Stories making Blackpool headlines in November 2003 - were you at the Busted gig?

These were some of the stories being read in November 2003. Pop rockers Busted were in town for an invitation only gig at Blackpool Tower and The Gazette's War on Knives campaign ramped up.

Monday, 22nd November 2021, 3:45 pm

Busted concert was a big hit

Spiky-haired pop rockers Busted played an exclusive invitation-only gig at Blackpool Tower.

And The Gazette was giving away golden tickets.

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Fans wait for a glimpse of Busted when they performed an invitation only gig at the Tower, November 2003

Lucky ones included Sophie Lawrinson, Alice Urwin, Ryan Daley, Claire Tierney, Sophie McGarry and Thomas Wrigley.

The teen pin-ups, who had shot to number one in the charts with Crashed The Wedding, made their debut in the resort for 500 lucky competition winners. The trio rifled through their smash hits including Year 3000 and That’s What I Go To School For.

It was the last time Busted play a small venue before a huge arena tour. More nostalgia from the 2000sWar on knives gathered pace

Residents from Blackpool and the Fylde pledged their support to The Gazette’s War on Knives campaign.

Busted on stage in Blackpool, 2003

The paper wanted Government chiefs to ban the sale of bladed objects to anybody under 18 - and masses of Gazette readers agreed.

They have joined the crusade by returning coupons addressed to the Home Secretary, David Blunkett, calling for the legal age required for an individual to buy a knife to be increased from 16 to 18.

The campaign was launched when an investigation by The Gazette revealed how easy it is to legally buy a knife on the town’s streets.

Among the supporters were the resort’s most senior police officers, Blackpool politicians, Homewatch groups and local residents.

And readers were keen to put forward their views. One called for even stricter measures and said: “I fully support your campaign but call for the age to be increased to 25, as statistics show most crime is committed by people below this age.”

Another said: “I support The Gazette’s campaign and also call for carrying a knife in a public place to carry an automatic prison sentence.”

The Gazette was planning to present the petition to the Home Secretary, David Blunkett, in early 2004, with letters of local support.

Warning over dodgy blankets

Fire chiefs issued a warning over the dangers of dodgy electric blankets following a spate of house fires in St Annes and Lytham.

There were five fires in two weeks caused by old, faulty electric blankets igniting.

In one incident, an elderly Lytham couple switched on their electric blanket before going to bed. The blanket caught fire but they were able to escape suffering from only minor smoke inhalation.

Lord of the Manor for sale

The titles were all his eccentric uncle left him with.

But the Lord of the Manor of Clifton decided the time was right to sell some of them off.

Rupert Clifton, who grew up at Lytham Hall and lived in Wales, was selling the titles of Lord of the Manor of Magna Plumpton, Parva Plumpton and Warbreck.

Rupert, 57, was in line to inherit the entire Clifton Estate, but his uncle Harry, who died in 1979, frittered

away the

family fortune and bequeathed what was left to a Blackpool clairvoyant.

The titles of the historic Clifton family, who built up Lytham and St Annes, dated back as far as the Domesday Book.

Residents in limbo over home axe

Residents forced to move out of their Blackpool care home were not been told where they would be rehomed – just days before their home closed for good.

Angry residents at Holly Brook on Lytham Road, South Shore, feared they would not being given the choice of where they wanted to be rehomed.

They said social services bosses hadn’t assessed them or told them what would happen just days before the home closed due to funding problems.

Their carers – who had at least 50 years experience between them at Holly Brook – were to lose their jobs.

Holly Brook was a private care home with three of the four residents placed by Lancashire County Council social services. It was regulated by the National Care Standards Commission.

Carer Jane Cartmell said care chiefs were told five weeks ago about the closure plans and have had plenty of time to rehome them.

She said: “They are like a family and this is very upsetting for them. It’s less than a week until it closes and we can’t get to speak to anyone, let alone get any answers.”

Not as grim up north as claimed

Old stories and beliefs die hard, according to local author Catherine Rothwell, who complained that there were still many people who thought of Lancashire as drab, harsh, bleak and persistently wet.

But nothing could be further from the truth, she maintained in the introduction to her new book Lancashire Villages, for which she had written the captions for photographs provided by the famous Francis Frith Collection. Frith managing director John Buck says: “The nationwide collection is a unique archive of photographs that captures the scenes that would have been part of everyday life for our parents and grandparents. Villages featured included Freckleton, Inskip and Pilling.”