Lancashire nostalgia in 2003: That's the spirit; bypass saga; and big cheeses

Here's a look at some of the stories that were making the headlines back in 2003:

Thursday, 11th March 2021, 11:58 am
Updated Thursday, 11th March 2021, 12:05 pm
Yvette Fielding is on the hunt for Lancashire ghosts in Most Haunted

That's the spirit!

Some of Lancashire’s lesser known ghosts are being featured in the latest search for the spirits.

Most Haunted, a programme on the Living TV satellite channel, is carrying out live investigations at paranormal hotspots across the country.

Victorious Lancashire celebrate success in the cheese-rolling contest

And the team, which includes former Blue Peter presenter Yvette Fielding, camped out at Charnock Old Hall in Leyland to spot a spook.

The Grade II listed building, on Balcarres Road, has been called many names through the years including Blacklache Hall, The Old Hall, Leyland Hall and Charnock Hall - but it has always been connected with things that go bump in the night.

The hall was used by monks in the 17th century to hold masses in secret and to this day dark shadowy figures have been spotted.

Lian Davies, of Living TV, said: “Charnock Hall is a cosy 17th century family home nestled into a quiet cul-de-sac, but not everything is as it seems.

“Sightings of dark shadowy figures, doors that will not open and a TV and stereo that switch on by themselves needed to be investigated.”

Spiritualist Derek Acorah says there is a strong leyline running under the house.

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Look back at a selection of pictures from 2003 here

Right road beckons in bypass saga

Moves towards the creation of a controversial new road will start within a month.

Headway will be made on the construction of Broughton bypass, near Preston, at the end of April.

Coun Nora Ward, the portfolio holder for Highways and Transportation, will set the timetable for the design of the bypass and the link road to the proposed Broughton Business Park on April 29.

It is then thought County Hall will start the process which will lead to the construction of the new road by issuing compulsory purchase and side road orders.

A Lancashire County Council spokesman said: “We have already acquired some properties by negotiation in anticipation that this comes ahead.”

NHS Estates, which is selling the site of the former Whittingham Hospital for an undisclosed sum, is believed to be putting in around £5.75m towards the bypass.

Make way for the cheese please!

Forget the War of the Roses - this was the Battle of the Big Cheeses!

Lancashire tasted success as it beat Cheshire on its own turf in a cheese-rolling battle.

A three-man team each rolled a two-foot high wheel of cheese across the finishing line ahead of their rivals.

The Lancashire team, led by Ian Coggin of Dew-lays of Garstang, near Preston, were the cream of the crop in two out of three bouts.

The Made in Lancashire team, which also included Eddie Cowpe of Huntley’s of Samlesbury, near Preston, and chef Michael Harrison, of Horwich, near Bolton, celebrated the success.

Mr Coggin, sales manager at the 46-year-old business, said: “Lancashire showed them how to do it but I still need the iron lung.

“I only found out on Monday that I was taking part so I didn’t have enough time to drink enough pints of Boddingtons in training.

“We raced up the main street in Chester and round a bollard at the top, rolling big pretend cheeses made out of wood. It was a melee.”

Dew-lay is best known for its Garstang Blue and creamy Lancashire cheeses, which ironically won the supreme champion award at the Cheshire Show last year.

Mr Coggin added cheekily: “I’m obviously on a winning streak in Cheshire!”