Letters - September 9, 2016

Age UK Lancashire's walking football competition at Lytham Town FC.  Les Turner for Blackpool.
Age UK Lancashire's walking football competition at Lytham Town FC. Les Turner for Blackpool.
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Walking footballers are national champs

Almost three years ago, Age UK and Blackpool Community Trust started a project to improve the mental and physical well being of men over 50 in Blackpool. This project has gone from strength to strength, and now twice-weekly training sessions take place in Stanley Park Sports Hall and regularly more than 30 men attend both sessions. BBC Breakfast TV featured the project a few months ago.

Two years ago, a walking football club evolved called Blackpool Senior Seasiders. It is a football club with a committee, a constitution and is affiliated to Walking Football UK, the umbrella organisation for the several hundred walking football clubs across the country.

The club plays regularly in competitions across, Lancashire, the North West and nationally. In fact, last year “we” represented Blackpool FC in The Football League National Walking Football Competition. After winning the North West Section, “we” travelled to the FA Headquarters at St George’s Park and finished runners-up. This year, we again won the regional competition but went one step further at St George’s, winning the national competition, beating Nottingham Forest in the final.

You would think that as national champions, we would have received some recognition, especially Blackpool FC, who we represented. The silence has been deafening!

We look at the facilities Fleetwood Flyers Walking Football Club enjoy at Poolfoot Farm (Fleetwood FC Training Centre). We see facilities used by other clubs, and our achievements are all the more remarkable. Other clubs train on 3G or 4G artificial grass surfaces. We train on tiles. Other clubs have year-round facilities. We lose half our space during school holidays because of Kids’ Club. Other clubs have indoor and outdoor pitches. We have indoors only because Stanley Park does not have a suitable outdoor pitch.

Every season, wherever we have travelled and no matter who we have played, we have given them all hard games. For a club of ‘older men’, we are extremely competitive. Just ask our coaches from the Community Trust!

We are proud to represent Blackpool. It would be nice to think that Blackpool are proud of us.

Les Turner

Chairman Blackpool Senior Seasiders


Give Phil Kelsall the praise he deserves

I have visited the Tower Ballroom for more than 30 years and I have noticed a lot of changes, but one thing that has not changed is the talented Phil Kelsall MBE at the mighty Wurlitzer organ.

I wonder if the management of the Tower or even Blackpool Council recognise his contribution. This year is Phil’s 40th season in the ballroom, plus three years before that in the Tower Circus orchestra. This equals Reginald Dixon.

Phil also plays home and abroad when the season has finished and he always promotes Blackpool.

I read the Tower Circus has just completed 25 years and this has had a lot of publicity.

So never mind tumbling clowns Blackpool Tower, get your act together and afford Mr Kelsall the recognition he deserves.

Mrs Margaret Hughes

Woodlands Close



We need to back 
the council leader

On Monday I attended the monthly meeting of The Blackpool Gold Action Group at the Ruskin Hotel. I was pleasantly surprised when Coun Simon Blackburn openly admitted the mistakes that Blackpool Council had made in the past.

The Council Leader expressed a deep understanding that most of the problems in Blackpool are linked to poor quality accommodation. For more than 20 years it has been too easy for people with problems to move in to poor quality flats in Blackpool. Even the previous Conservative Chancellor agreed it was counter-productive, in that £80m a year of national tax money was being used to fund poor quality flats in Blackpool.

It is a serious and complicated issue, but I believe Coun Blackburn has a potential solution. He should get the support of the public and of the Blackpool North MP Paul Maynard. As my MP I would ask Paul (as a new government Minister) to have a word in the ear of the new Chancellor.

All seaside towns ( Blackpool in particular as a trial perhaps) should have the ability to set the local rates of housing benefits.

It may seem odd but Blackpool will never improve socially or economically, until we encourage people with jobs (in Preston, Fylde or Wyre) to live in central Blackpool.

I got told off by a former Mayor for suggesting central Blackpool is swamped with transient, single people with drink, gambling, crime, mental health or drug addiction problems, and no prospect of getting jobs.

It is very brave of the council leader to tackle this issue, we should back him with the authority he needs.

Steven Bate

Ashfield Road



Thanks to all who made day a success

I am writing to give many thanks to all who sponsored the 26th Annual Golf Day at Fleetwood Golf Club on September 2 – that includes the teams who enter every year, sponsors old and new, the professionals at the club, Kwizeen, the caterers, club staff, groundsmen and our starter Stan, area representatives of NSPCC and not forgetting the lady volunteers of the Cleveleys, Blackpool and Fleetwood committee.

Funds raised locally stay local and are allocated to Blackpool NSPCC who care for children from the Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde Area.

Jennifer Houghton

Fleetwood Road North