The news making the headlines in 1986
Drink driving statistics showed a saddening rise in convictions
Alarming drink driving figures in the previous year were highlighted by chief superintendent Gerry Billingham at Blackpool’s annual licensing meeting.
He said the statistics saddened him but pledged continued police vigilance to deter would-be offenders.
Magistrates chairman James Hessey said: “It is noted with great concern that there has been an increase in the number of persons charged and convicted of drink driving offences.
“It is most disturbing to find that 140 people were driving with more than twice the legal limit and that 60 people were convicted for the second occasion within 10 years.”
He added: “We find it difficult to understand what more can be done to stress to drivers in this situation that these actions cannot and will not be tolerated and the maximum penalty with be the result.”
Chief superintendent Billingham said there had been a decrease in drunkenness -324 were charged, down 75 on the previous year.
There was still room for improvement however.
There were 26 extra drink driving offences in the year.
A total of 59 new alcohol licences were granted bringing the number of licensed premised to 1,642. The chief superintendent said most premises were well conducted.
Fears over two floor nightclub
A proposed two floor disco and nightclub in Blackpool might have created a potentian ‘third world war’ on the resort’s Central Promenade, local club operators feared.
Dorset based nightclub owner Michael Pattemore was ready to apply for a provisional grant to sell alcohol on the first and second floors of the Palatine Entertainment Complex.
An application for planning permission to change the use of both floors into a mammouth venue were lodged with the council.
The nightclub would accommodate 1,500 people in an area already swamped with eight clubs in the surrounding vicinity.
Rio’s owner Mike Lourens, said: “You are talking about a possible 3,000 people pouruing onto the promenade at 2am and later, every day during the holiday season - all from different venues and each with different admission policies.
“It’s a potential third world war - I have seen a similar situation in Bournemouth and it was a recipe for disaster which ended with a club curfew because of the problems it caused. If regulars see problems on the promenade they will just stop coming.”
Switching on to new era of cable TV
Cable TV was on its way to Lancashire.
The Lancashire Cable Consortium hoped to pipe the ‘razzle-dazzle’ of Hollywood into 100,000 homes and parts of the Fylde were on the list.
Eye strain, uncooked meals and ignored household chores were predicted to become the norm as viewers sift through the innovative 20-channel scheme.
The service would include up-to-date Hollywood blockbuster movies, a channel devoted to sport, non-stop pumping music videos, local news and arts programmes, all enjoyed from the comfort of home.
It would also involve a channel for ethnic minorities and French and Italian TV service, beamed into Lancashire by European satellite. Local viewers and organisations would be able to make their own programmes under ambitious access arrangements planned by the consortium, led by Fylde Tory MP Sir Edward Gardner.
He said: “We have the opportunity to provide a service which we know will be appreciated by the people and will provide a range of viewing choice and new services of immense value to the community.”