Day off school sees traders strike it lucky

Teacher protest in Preston.
Teacher protest in Preston.
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Businesses reported a bumper day for takings as teachers went on strike.

Schools across the Fylde coast were closed to pupils yesterday as members of the National Union of Teachers took part in industrial action as part of a dispute with the Government over pay, pensions and conditions.

As parents were forced to take a day off traders across the area reported an influx of visitors, higher than usual takings for a midweek day and having to bring in extra staff to cope with demand.

In Blackpool traders reported people queueing out of the door to get into attractions. At Notarriani’s Ices, on Waterloo Road, South Shore, bosses said they saw a steady flow of teenagers and families enjoying a day out. Manager Luca Notarianni said: “We’ve been busy, there were lots of parents with children and teenagers too, so it was busier than expected, a nice boost.

“We’re always weather 
dependent but with the children being off it’s been an added 

And neighbour Mark Yates, who owns Brooks Collectables and Toy Museum, on Waterloo Road, said the area was 

He added: “There were certainly a lot of people out and about, it made a marked difference to a normal weekday.”

Attraction bosses told how they had planned ahead to bring in extra staff knowing a number of schools would be closed.

Della Belk, from Blackpool Zoo, said: “It was a very busy day at Blackpool Zoo with visitors queuing out of the doors in the morning.

“We called in extra staff and everyone was really 
enjoying their day out.

“It is fantastic to see so many parents bringing their children for a educational visit during the strike.”

Park View 4U in Lytham, where facilities include play areas, a BMX track and a skate park, also brought in two extra members of staff to its base off Park View Road.

Community development manager Cath Powell said: “We were mobbed.

“It was great, the children were off but enjoying it so we had a fantastically busy day.”

A spokeswoman for the Odeon Cinema, on Rigby Road, Blackpool, said: “We’ve been busier than we normally would be on a weekday with mums and dads coming in with their children.

“A lot of families have been coming in to see the new 
Muppets film.”

At McDonald’s on Blackpool Promenade a spokeswoman said there was a “noticeable difference” in trade.