Fylde nostalglia 1981: Tower sale, drink driving and keeping Lytham's character

Here's a look at some of the stories that were making the headlines in January 1981

Saturday, 4th January 2020, 5:00 pm

Tower up for sale again - at a price

A group of Lancashire businessmen could be on the verge of snapping up Blackpool’s world-famous Tower in a multi-million pound deal.

Hotels group Trust House Forte, which bought up the complex as part of a £16m deal just three months ago, is now prepared to sell the Tower - if the price is right.

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Blackpool Tower was on the market in 1981, at the right price

And it seems likely that the landmark will be bought by local business people, who have already made offers to THF.

THF executive chairman Sir Charles Forte revealed that his company had received two “quite reasonable” offers, one from local interests and one from a consortium.

“Local interests are pressing hard in so far as they have made offers to buy it and we have refused,” said Sir Charles.

“These were reasonable offers which involved a few million pounds. If someone wants to pay a good price for the Tower, yes, we will sell it. But I would be very happy to keep it.”

A pedestrianised area in Lytham was a controversial idea in 1981

The identity of the local bidders has not yet been revealed but several businessmen in the resort were angry when Thorn-EMI decided to sell the Tower to THF.

Drink driving figures up at New Year

Lancashire’s motorists, the toast of the county police force over Christmas, had their knuckles rapped after New Year.

Despite heeding the drink driving laws to make it a safe Christmas on the roads, motorists just could not keep up their good record over the New Year. There were around 25 per cent more accidents on New Year’s Day compared with the previous year. Forty six motorists failed breath tests over a five day festive period with 28 in just two days at New Year.

Keep congested town centre’s character - plea for the future

Lytham Town Centre should keep its unique character and quality in the future. That was the clear message to Fylde Planning and Development Committee.

But suggestions compiled in a 37 page report on the public response to the Lytham town centre survey ranged from diverting nonessential through traffic to a car ban with the creation of a controversial pedestrian precinct to beat congestion.

Councillor Ian Woodhead declared that any pedestrian precinct would kill Lytham.

But coun Eileen Hall hit back. She said: “I love precincts. As a mother and regular shopper, I find they are pleasant to use and safe.

Chairman Coun Bill Thompson believed it was the majority view that the whole of Clifton Street should not be pedestrianised.

He stressed that the opinions of influential groups such as the Chamber of Trade, who were strongly opposed to any precinct, must be considered fully. However, chief planning officer Roy Taylor said it was his experience that chambers of trade normally objected to precinct proposals. He added: “I don’t believe it necessary to pedestrianise all of Clifton Street because it is not suited to a major scheme.