Blackpool nostalgia 1976: Cricket at the North Pole, football violence and worries over watching too much telly

Here's a look at some of the stories that were making the headlines back in 1976

Saturday, 30th November 2019, 5:00 pm
Headteacher warned about 'instant entertainment' from the TV. Picture: Getty Images

Playing cricket on top of the world

A Blackpool sailor arrived back in Britain after spending a cool ten days under the North Pole ice cap.

David Steel, who lived with his grandfather in Caunce Street, was responsible for sonar maintenance on the nuclear submarine HMS Sovereign.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

An aerial shot of Blackpool FC in the 1970s

He was among a crew which took a team of scientists to the North Pole for a series of geophysical experiments under the ice cap.

After spending several weeks on the sub, the ship’s company were given the opportunity of a six-hour run ashore to stretch their legs.

And on a pitch of ice and snow the crew, clad in heavy winter woollies, decided to prove that cricket can be played anywhere in the world.

But they were soon stumped when bad light forced them to abandon the game and return to the sub.

HMS Sovereign

Before the cricket game, the men managed to play a quick game of football with the seamen defeating the technical officers two goals to nil. A few of the men ‘raced round the world’ on one of the small lines of latitude, while another group planted a Union Jack to mark the actual spot of the North Pole.

Fifty people were hurt in football hooligan violence

Football hooligans continued a rampage at Blackpool with 50 casualities at a Bloomfield Road game against Sheffield United.

A series of stone and missile throwing between the two sets of supporters on the Kop left St John Ambulance people working overtime treating injured fans from half an hour before th start until well after the match had ended.

For their safety, the ambulance people were to wear helmets at following matches to protect themselves when they go onto the Kop to treat people.

Police made eight

arrests for offences against the Public Order Act – four appeared in Blackpool Magistrates Court .

Trouble also spilled into the town centre at night with fans being thrown out of two pubs. Windows were smashed in the Bethesda Square area.

A Blackpool St John Ambulance spokesperson said that most of the injuries were abrasions and laceations and five people had to go to Blackpool Victoria Hospital for treatment.

“In my opinion I think a lot of trouble was caused by outsiders.

“There were some Manchester United supporters there,” he said.

The violence, however, was nowhere near as bad as it was at a previous game against Wolverhampton where well over 100 people were injured.

Premonition as taxi smashes into house

A Fleetwood woman’s premonition range true when a taxi ploughed into the front of her home.

Jean Wright, of Harris Street told how she had a feeling something was going to happen.

She said: “I could hear screaming. I just stood in the hall and when I went outside I saw the taxi stuck in the bay window.”

A hole was punched in the front bay and the window and brick work knocked out of alignment. Repairs were expected to cost about £1,000.

Mrs Wright and her son Michael, 14, were in an adjacent room when they heard the sound of smashing bricks and splintering glass. Rubble was pushed into the front room and a glass fronted display cabinet was pushed over.

Although glass in the cabinet smashed, ornaments survived.

The crash wasn’t the Wright’s only piece of bad luck that night, Mrs Wright’s husband Peter, was on his way to work at ICI an hour earlier and came off his scooter, breaking the windscreen. Those in the taxi sustained minor injuries and were discharged later from hospital.

Headteacher’s concerns over TV’s ‘instant entertainment’

A school headmaster hit out at the ‘instant’ entertainment which television was providing as being too superficial and fragmentary.

Jack Bridge, from Ansdell Secondary School, told the school’s 21st commemoration day that it was too easy for some parents, when harangued by their children, to tell them to go and watch the telly, rather than devise more active and stimulating ways of communicating with them and trying to understand their problems.

He added, however, that he was not one to be unduly worried about violence and sex on the TV but more pernicious was the habit of spending hour after hour slumped in front of the box when there was far more worthwhile and active things for young people to do.

He was becoming increasingly

concerned, along with other educationalists, about the effects of instant

entertainment on some Ansdell pupils. After commenting on the successes achieved by pupils who received exam certificates at the event, Mr Bridge said that not all pupils were capable, however hard they tried, of achieving high standards.

The guest speaker was education advisor John Cheetham OBE who said the purpose of the school was mould young people as individuals.