Lancashire nostalgia in 1979: Shops collapse; expensive daffodils; and AA learn the ABC

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

Thursday, 3rd June 2021, 1:46 pm
What remains of the building following the earth tremor which caused it to collapse
What remains of the building following the earth tremor which caused it to collapse

Drama as shops hit by an earth tremor

A busy shopping centre in a Lancashire town was sealed off following an earth tremor which caused the collapse of a 300-year-old building.

Shopkeepers and assistants evacuated neighbouring properties as gaping holes appeared in the walls of a hi-fi shop and hairdressers in Church Street, Garstang.

MP Robert Atkins who said the AA need to learn their ABC

A few minutes after the street had been cleared, bricks tumbled down on to the pavement and road. No one was hurt.

The incident happened as workmen used an earth-mover to dig out the footings for two properties on a derelict site next to the shops.

The digging appeared to cause a minor tremor which shook the foundations of the building, occupied on the top floor by hairdresser Mrs Angela Killeen and on the ground floor by Gerald and Lorna Carter, who run a hi-fi and record business.

“It was frightening,” said Mrs Carter. “Suddenly the wall started shaking and then the floor went. The clock started moving and the beams cracked.

“We just had to get out. If it hadn’t been for the record racks which acted as a prop the whole lot would have come down.”

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Look back at a selection of pictures from 1979 here

Daffodil stealer is fined £1 a bloom

Theft of 10 daffodils proved a costly offence for Karl Brady, when he faced Preston Magistrates.

For Brady, 18, apprentice diesel fitter, of Chalfont Field, Fulwood, who pleaded guilty, was fined £10.

PC Roy Parkinson told the court that on the night of April 29 a constable was near the home of Mrs Mary Walker in Black Bull Lane, Fulwood, when he saw Brady go into her garden and start picking flowers.

Brady saw the officer as he was leaving, and threw the flowers to the ground. Asked what he had been picking, he said: “A few daisies.”

On being cautioned, he said: “You’re not nicking me for a few flowers?” And, when told he was being taken to the police station, he replied: “I don’t think I will. Why don’t you go and get some criminal doing 90 mph?

“I’ll look a right pansy going into court with a few daffodils.”

Seen again about the matter on a later date and asked what he intended doing with the flowers, Brady said: “I was going to take them home and put them in some water.” He also said he had been drinking on the night.

Brady told the magistrates he had nothing further to say.

AA ‘need to learn their ABC’ - Atkins

The AA should take a crash course in the English language a Preston MP has suggested.

According to Mr Robert Atkins, Tory MP for Preston North, they use a different alphabet to the rest of us.

And that is why he mistakenly thought the Lancashire town has been left out of a prestigious new guide book.

For the AA - renowned for their accurate road maps - put Preston before Portsmouth in an alphabetical list.

“There is a two-page reference to Portsmouth, and that is followed by Prestonpans in Scotland. The order is: Presteigne in Wales, Preston and Portsmouth.”

An AA spokesman confirmed this. But he added: “It just so happens that Portsmouth is a page out of place because of a deliberate policy from the printing point of view.”