Here's what was happening in January 1984: Container blown from a ship, coffee by cigarette light during power cut and youths riot in Lytham

A look at the news which made the headlines in January 1984.

By Claire Lark
Saturday, 25th January 2020, 5:00 pm

Container blown from a ship in sea drama

Coastguards were alerted after a 20-foot container full of toxic chemicals was blown off the ship Bison in heavy seas off the Fylde coast.

The incident happened during a night of storms as winds gusted up to 83mph.

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Lytham Green, the scene of youth riots in January 1984

Police reported damage all along the coastline with trees blown down and windows, slates and chimney pots smashed.

However, the met office said the winds were due to die down.

The drama at sea started just after midnight when the ship Bison, which was on her way from Liverpool to Larne in Northern Ireland, reported that it had lost a container, full of petroleum solvents, in high winds.

The ship, owned by Pandoro, was 22 miles west of St Annes.

Pandoro ship Bison in Fleetwood

Six arrested as 200 youths riot in Lytham Green melee

Police called to Lytham Green found 200 young people involved in a riot with youths fighting and girls screaming, a court heard.

Pitched battles were taking place between rival groups from Lytham, rural Fylde, St Annes and Ormskirk.

Fifteen police officers plunged into the fray to disperse the crowd from outside a disco, Lytham magistrates were told.

Six men were arrested in the melee after they refused to stop causing trouble.

Mr Derek Shelley, prosecuting, said police were called to the Green outside Scruples discotheque at about 1am on October 29 the previous year.

“They were met with disarray. There were nearly 200 young people at the scene.

“Girls and boys were running around the Green shouting and screaming obscenities.

“A number of fights were going on and some girls were crying and screaming hysterically,” said Mr Shelley.

It took police about 15 minutes to disperse the crowd.

One male was seen on top of another hitting him. Police pulled him off, but he kept aiming blows at the youth.

Another was seen running from group to group getting into arguments.

Coffee by cigarette light in town centre shops power cut

Blackpool town centre came to a standstill as a power failure plunged shops and offices into darkness.

A transformer fault in the resort’s main substation left 5,300 consumers without electricity for 11 minutes as engineers struggled to get supplies back.

Hundreds of shoppers had to be led from darkened town centre stores as the power went off.

Bigger stores were able to switch on emergency generators to keep open but smaller businesses with electronic tills were forced to close.

The power failure hit shops, businesses and homes from Foxhall Road along the promenade to Gynn Square and inland as far as Talbot Square, Devonshire Square and part of Newton Drive.

The blackout happened during the morning.

A Norweb spokesperson said the fault happened at the main Blackpool substation Shannon Street.

Premises supplied by the resort’s other substation in Cecil Street were not affected.

Boots and British Home Stores were both cut off but Marks and Spencer was unaware anything had happened.

Shoppers in BHS enjoyed a ‘romantic cup of coffee by cigarette light’, said manager Gerry Hutchings.