Lancashire nostalgia in 1985: Harris facelift, switch-on snookered and boring best-seller

Snooker champion won't be switching on Preston's Christmas lights
Snooker champion won't be switching on Preston's Christmas lights
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Here's a look at some of the stories that were making the headlines back in 1984:

£550,000 facelift for ‘jewel in the town’

Preston’s “jewel in the town” - the Harris museum - is set to get a stylish £550,000 new look. But the exterior of this much-loved building is to remain essentially the same... because that is the way everbody likes it.

The money will be spent making the place more welcoming and putting in another gallery floor.

The entrance will be made more accessible by getting rid of the passageway running alongside which has become a virtual wind tunnel. It will be extensively revamped.

About £450,000 is being provided by Central Lancashire New Town. A further £100,000 will be spent by Preston Council in restoring the interior.

Museum and arts officer Mr Michael Cross promises it will all be done with taste.

Detailed discussions about the design of the new entrance are taking place with a number of civic and historical societies.

Mr Cross said: “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to adapt the building to the needs of today’s society rather than the Victorian one in which is was first built.

A start will be made on the scheme by the end of the next financial year in March.

READ MORE: Look back at a selection of pictures from 1985 here

Preston switch-on star is snookered

Snooker’s “Mr Nice Guy” Dennis Taylor has been ordered not to switch on Preston’s Christmas lights.

The world champion has had to turn down the council’s invitation following a directive from his manager Harry Hearn.

Council chiefs organising the illuminations light-up have been left snookered only days before the civic ceremony.

It was hoped the bespectacled Taylor, who is playing the Coral UK Snooker Championship at the Guild Hall, would be able to spare time for the celebrity switch-on.

He is playing two sessions on the day but would be free for the 4pm Christmas Flag Market celebrations.

But Mr Hearn said the event would break Taylor’s concentration and probably lose him the opening match.

Best-selling book that’s a real bore

A new publication has become an unlikely overnight best-seller - thanks to the building trade.

Hardback favourites have been toppled from the shelves by the most boring book of all... The Building Regulations 1985.

The volume has shot to the top of the North West’s hardback book charts and has even sold out in some bookshops.

The builder’s bible has even overtaken the best-selling 25 Years of Coronation Street to become the number one read.

The volumes, priced at a hefty £35, have been snapped up by building firms who are required by law to have the manual on their premises.

As a result the comprehensive guide to new statutory regulations for the building trade is now having to be re-ordered.

A spokesman for Sweetens bookstore in Preston said: “At £35 a time it is hardly an impulse buy and the title does not exactly grab you.

“All the builders have to have them and the first batch have gone.”

The hardback, which is used as a reference guide, has also toppled the celebrated pictorial book of the Live Aid concert.