News and events that made the headlines in 2017.
PUB FACING POSSIBLE DEMOLTION
A seafront landmark dating back more than 100 years was facing possible demolition.
The rising cost of essential repairs meant that keeping Uncle Tom’s, on Queen’s Promenade, open had become ‘uneconomical’, bosses said.
The pub, which had stood in its current form since 1907, was on the market for £750,000, advertised as suitable for development for residential, retail or leisure use.
Later the pub was to be acquired as part of the Ma Kelly’s chain and extensively renovated.
POOL RISE AGAIN
A delighted Gary Bowyer said he couldn’t be any prouder of his Blackpool players after they clinched an historic promotion in the League Two Play-off Final at Wembley Stadium.
The Seasiders’ hard-fought 2-1 win against Exeter City meant the club became the most successful in English play-off history, with five promotions to their name from eight campaigns.
But unlike previous playoff triumphs in front of a sea of supporters in tangerine, this time there were fewerthan 6,000 Blackpool fans in a crowd of 23,380 as many thousands of supporters stayed away as part of an ongoing boycott in protest against the club’s owners.
CYBER ATTACK CRIPPLES HOSPITAL AND NHS
Patients were left stranded in hospital after a malicious cyber attack threatened to bring the health service to its knees.
The Wanna Decryptor Virus - which rapidly spread through the NHS’s IT system around the world - saw computers switched off as experts struggled to contain the powerful malware, which threatened to delete vital information unless a ransom was paid in days.
Health bosses in Blackpool pleaded with patients to stay away from A&E and the Walk-In-Centre unless absolutely necessary, as medics turned to using pen and paper.
HEROES BROUGHT COLLEAGUE BACK TO LIFE
Three workers were hailed heroes after their determination saved the life of a stricken colleague.
Nathan Davies, 28, began to feel unwell at work but then suddenly collapsed in the canteen at his workplace.
Fellow workers Andrejs Bespalovs, 33, and Georgijs Kadakovs, 27, performed CPR on him before Nathan’s boss James Grimston shocked him with the company’s defibrillator.
Nathan’s heart stopped beating for 40 minutes but the trio’s efforts brought him back to life.
FALL HORROR OF BOY
A mum told of her horror after her 12 year old son suffered a fractured skull in a freak fairground accident.
Baines pupil Jack Becker was airlifted to hospital after falling on a spinning bowl-style ride when he visited Poulton Gala with friends.
Mum Caroline described how surgeons battled to save her son’s sight.
She said: “He is so lucky. Judging by the descriptions, it does not bear thinking about.”
FYLDE COAST MPS RETAIN SEATS
All the Fylde coast’s MPS held onto their seats in the General Election on a night of upheavals.
The Conservatives lost seats across the country and ended up clinging onto power.
But it was a case of ‘as you were’ on the Fylde coast, with Labour’s Gordon Marsden retaining Blackpool South, Conservative Paul Maynard remaining in control of Blackpool North and Cleveleys, Conservative Mark Menzies retaining Fylde and Labour’s Cat Smith enjoying an increased majority in Fleetwood and Lancaster.
INFERNO DESTROYS LAUNDRY
A factory was facing demolition after a fire to through the laundry firm’s premises on Ball Street, South Shore.
The blaze gutted the property and forced dozens of people from their homes.
An investigation into the cause of the fire was ongoing.
WHAT’S IN A NAME?
The owner of a fashion store told of his shock at being threatened with legal action – by high street giant TK Maxx.
Local businessman Mark Brooks said he opened his store – called PK Max – on the Promenade at Easter in a bid to help rejuvenate an area of empty shops.
He admitted his choice of name was ‘tongue in cheek’ and the red signage outside his store, at the end of Waterloo Road, bore an uncanny resemblance to TK Maxx’s own logo.
An elderly couple told how they were forced to use umbrellas inside their property after being left exposed to the elements.
Malcolm and Jacqui Lobban, who own the Sunset Hotel in Blackpool, said the demolition of the next-door building left them with nothing but a three inch thick internal wall to keep out the rain.
They said it was at risk of collapse and trade at their Banks Street B&B had been decimated.
WARNING AFTER GIRLS’ DRAMATIC SEA RESCUE
A brave RNLI volunteer urged parents to keep a close eye on their children after two screaming girls were plucked from the sea in a dramatic rescue.
Blackpool RNLI volunteer Iain Proctor-Dow, 35, dived into the water to save the two girls after one of them slipped beneath the waves while swimming near Central Pier.
Plans were unveiled for a nine screen cinema, including an IMAX theatre, as part of Blackpool’s town centre rebirth.
They formed part of the second
phase of the Houndshill Centre development between Tower Street and Coronation Street opposite the Winter Gardens.
It came after plans for a hotel on the site were scrapped.
SAD END FOR CLUB AFTER FIRE
An historic club for war veterans was ravaged by fire and facing demolition.
The former Comrades Clubs, on Adelaide Street, was still too unsafe for firefighters to get inside and assess the damage caused.
Town hall chiefs were waiting to hear if the locally listed building, which dated back to the Victorian times, would have to be pulled down or if part of it could be saved.
£100K SPONSORSHIP BOOST FOR ILLUMINATIONS
Blackpool Illuminations received some good news thanks to a £100,000 sponsorship boost.
Businesses including the Genting Casino, the Carlton Best Western Hotel and Bonny Street market were among the brands investing money in order to see their names in lights.
It meant the creative team led by celebrity designer Laurence Llewellyn Bowen was able to build new features including a new road section featuring giant twinkling castles.
BELOKON RESIGNS AS DIRECTOR AT BLACKPOOL FC
Valeri Belokon resigned as a director of Blackpool FC, saying it was in the best interest of the club for him to step aside considering his legal dispute with the Oyston family.
The 57-year-old Latvian businessman confirmed his decision in a statement sent to the Gazette.
Club president Belokon nominated his compatriot Normunds Malnacs to return to the board in his place.
WILL SMITH ROCKS BLACKPOOL
Hollywood superstar Will Smith appeared as a headline act at Blackpool’s Livewire Festival.
The actor and singer, known for films such as Men in Black and I am
Legend, had seemingly turned down Glastonbury for the Blackpool concert in September.
He wowed a 20,000-strong crowd on the Tower
Festival Headland, performing hits such as Gettin’ Jiggy Wit’ It, Men in Black and Girls Ain’t Nothing But Trouble.
THRILL SEEKER BLASTED
A thrill seeker who scaled Blackpool Tower without safety equipment before posting the nerve wracking footage online said he would target the resort again.
Ally Law, who also climbed the Big One rollercoaster the year before, was blasted as irresponsible by the town’s police chief following the incident.
He said; “I just being able to share this unique experience.”