Blackpool Nostalgia 1979: Stranded in the fog, Lights funding and a missing postcard

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Here's a look at some of the stories that were making the headlines back in November 1979

Men stranded on Bispham beach as dense fog rolled in

Two men got lost on Bispham beach when dense fog swirled down.

And it needed the help of a fisherman to guide them to safety.

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Blackpool IlluminationsBlackpool Illuminations
Blackpool Illuminations

A police spokesman explained that two men had been out sea fishing and when the fog came down they decided to come in at Bispham.

While one went to get the trailer, the other stayed at the boat.

Two other men - one walking a dog and another who had been batting - were shouting for help and the fisherman had to go off course to guide them in safely.

But in the confusion the fisherman lost the compass bearing of his colleague on the beach.

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Police had been called by this time after passersby had heard the shouting.

Police managed to re-unite the two men and they went back the following day to get their boat off the beach.

Elsewhere, an RAF helicopter using radar rescued an injured seaman from South Wales as the dense fog hit many parts of the country.

The unconscious man was winched up on a stretcher from the British iron ore carrier, Appleby, but because of the fog the helicopter was unable to land at the hospital.

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Instead, the man, who had back injuries from a fall, was eventually landed more than 100 miles away in Bangor. The fog caused massive delays at airports.

Hoteliers urged to pay more in funding or risk losing lights

The holiday trade, which benefited most, was urged to pay more towards Blackpool’s endangered illuminations.

In real terms, their contributions to the Lights fund had fell, whereas the burden borne by the general ratepayer had grown.

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And if the industry was unwilling to play its part, the could should not go it alone, to keep the lights shining.

Some councillors expressed these views at a meeting of the Attractions and Leisure Committee, which recommended a gross expenditure on the lights for 1980 as £612k.

The revised estimate for the 1979 illuminations was £593k.

The committee also agreed to urge the council to provide £50k extra for the Lights and to investigate the possibilities of new methods of fund raising.

Arthur Elliott, director of electrical services reported increasing costs and said the Lights were of a reasonably high standard and wanted to keep them so.

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But they were perhaps not up to the standard Blackpool expected, or he would wish.

He asked members to consider injecting a fairly large sum of money for the future.

Coun Harold Hoyle noted that in 1975/76 when the gross expenditure was £350k, the subscription fund brought in £56k.

Elusive postcard turns up a year later

A postcard posted in Bermuda finally reached Blackpool after 14 months in transit.

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Mrs Ena Hough, manageress of Bedroom Window in Birley Street, was taken aback to receive the postcard congratulating her on the birth of her grandchild.

She said: “She’s 14 months now.”

Her son Les and his wife Ann, sent the card when they were holidaying on the island the year before.

While they were away, another of Mrs Hough’s sons, Pete, and his wife Anita, were expecting a baby.

When the baby, Susan, was born, Pete rang Les to tell him.

“I think it must have been tucked away somewhere for it would have been much dirtier if it had spent 14 months travelling around. I don’t know what my sons will say when I tell them. Mrs Hough said mail often went missing from shop, including postcards from Yugoslavia.

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