Lancashire nostalgia in 1986: Lack of toilets, the language of tongues and lost warplane plans

The old toilets on Church Street, Preston
The old toilets on Church Street, Preston
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Here's a look at some of the stories that were making the headlines back in 1986:

Penny about to drop in the town centre

Convenience shopping relieves you of your cash pretty smartly... but if you are shopping around for a convenience, relief comes more slowly.

For strangers in Preston town centre, spending a penny can be a problem.

While the prudish Victorians had no inhibitions about making a gents look like a gents, public conveniences now get tucked away in the town so modestly no-one can find them.

Older citizens remember the toilets by the old police station in Earl Street and the iron structures planted in Lancaster Road and near the Rosebud Hotel.

The underground toilets at the corner of Park Road and North Road were also pretty obvious while the edifice in front of Miller Arcade was so splendidly adorned that even today, with its subterranean purpose obliterated, the railings are listed as having architectural and historical interest.

But things could improve. The town’s environmental health committee is to spend £16,000 on its three main town centre toilets and chairman Coun Albert Richardson is committed to replacing the Church Street facility.

READ MORE: Look back at a selection of pictures from 1986 here

Reverend Ashton’s studies of glossalia

A Lancashire vicar’s double life has been revealed.

By day the Rev Cyril Ashton poured heart and soul into his parish... building up the congregation ten-fold.

His previous spare moments were not devoted to relaxation, however, but to the study of an unusual religious phenomenon.

The dedicated clergyman’s endeavours were rewarded when he received a Master of Arts degree from Princess Alexandra.

But his study of glossalia - the technical term for the power of speaking in unknown languages, described as the gift of tongues - looks set to continue.

It is a phenomenon which is sometimes witnessed at St Thomas’s Church, Lancaster, where dancing in the aisles is also not unknown.

Since the 44-year-old brought his charismatic ideas there 12 years ago, Sunday congregations have swollen from about 60 to a house-full.

The Biblical apostles were accused of being drunk when they started speaking in tongues, because all those who listened heard them in their respective languages.

Mr Ashton has only once witnessed a case of someone in a religious trance talking in an unknown tongue.

Schoolboy finds war plane plans

Senior management at British Aerospace were continuing an inquiry into how private warplane plans were found blowing around a public playing field.

The confidential report on the fighter of the future - codenamed the EAP - was found by Blackpool schoolboy Craig Gidman, 14, as he walked his dog in the field off Clifton Road.

A Warton spokesman stressed that there had been no major breach of security as the details were not classified as secret.