Lancashire nostalgia in 1982: Prison break, shopping development and the death of Alan Ball senior

Preston Prison where three inmates escaped from
Preston Prison where three inmates escaped from
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Here's a look at some of the stories that were making the headlines back in 1982:

Three in daring escape from prison

A daring jail-break left police and prison guards baffled.

Three inmates jumped from the top of Preston Prison’s towering boundary wall after climbing through a ventilation grill.

But the reason for their freedom leap remains a mystery. All three were short-term prisoners due for release later this year.

Governor Mr Ken Taylor said: “I cannot think why they should go over the wall. They are not considered dangerous.”

The inmates - Anthony Gibson, 20, from Manchester, Raymond Moffatt, 19, of Warrington and 21-year-old Anthony Lee from Brierfield, near Nelson - made their break at around 4pm.

They unscrewed a metal grid in the ceiling of the prison’s weaving shed and, under the noise of the looms, climbed out on to the roof.

Then they scaled the 20-foot high wall at the rear of the jail and jumped to the pavement of St Mary’s Street below.

One hurt a leg in the escape and had to be supported by the others as they fled up Ribbleton Lane.

Police think they may have been picked up by a waiting car.

READ MORE: Look back at a selection of pictures from 1982 here

Major plan to fill town’s store ‘gap’ next to railway station

A major department store is planning to move into Preston to satisfy what councillors say is the town’s most desperate shopping need.

Multi-million-pound plans for a big shopping centre on the Butler Street site next to the town’s station have been re-drawn to include a traditional two-storey store of 90,000 sq ft.

It will go alongside a 63,000 sq ft food superstore and a dozen smaller shops in a 250,000 sq ft development which will stretch nearly as far as the closure threatened ABC cinema, which may also be turned over to shopping.

The Butler Street scheme - a partnership between British Rail and a big construction group in a firm called Charter Hall Properties - will accompany a big revamp at the rail station.

Officials say the new scheme - if it hits no snags - could start this summer and be ready for Christmas 1984. “It is a very big development,” said the town’s chief planner Mr Phil Goring.

The original scheme, announced more than a year ago, hit a major snag when the intended “anchor tenant” - Mainstop Superstores - pulled out.

Now, the revised plans and their great detail suggest that an even better scheme is about to be tied up.

Tributes to Preston football hero

Tributes poured in for Lancashire soccer hero Alan Ball senior - killed in a car crash on the island of Cyprus.

The man who made Preston North End champions - and father of ex-England star Alan Ball - died on his way to take over as consultant with Cypriot side Evagoras.

The 56-year-old was killed when the car taking him to the club plunged off the road into a dry river bed.

Police said Mr Ball died instantly and the car driver - a club official - was seriously hurt.

Mr Ball’s son, Southampton player Alan - who managed Blackpool for a short time with his father’s help last season - was comforting his mother Val at her home at Farnworth, near Bolton.

Alan Ball took PNE to the top of Division Three when he took over in 1970.