Blackpool businessman given the stamp of disapproval
A strip club row left a Blackpool businessman bruised and angry after being covered with stamp marks.
Lawrence Chard, who owns the Chard bullion and coins dealership on Harrowside, South Shore, got into an altercation after taking photographs near the Eden 1 Gentlemen’s Club, on Queen Street.
He said he was confronted in the street and attacked with a rubber stamp –leaving him with ink marks all over his head.
The alleged assault has left him angry, he said, because he felt let down by police who were in the area at the time.
“Someone grabbed me by the back of the head and started stamping something in about four places on my head,” he added.
“I was walking round later with Eden Gentlemen’s Club stamped on my head, which was not very nice as you can imagine.”
Mr Chard, who has been a keen photographer for many years, said he had been making the most of the hot bank holiday weather taking pictures of the crowds and buildings in the resort.
He had taken shots on the Promenade near Yates Wine Lodge and then moved on to Queen Street.
There he took pictures outside Walkabout before walking along the street and photographing people near Knobbys 2 and Eden.
He said: “I have been a photographer for many years. I like to photograph Blackpool over the years, the people the businesses. Anything that catches the eye.
“I have taken pictures on the Prom but had never really done Queen Street before. It was very busy, lots of people about, many young farmers doing interesting things.”
He said he was outside Eden when a woman approached him and asked why he was taking pictures.
He said: “I told her it was just something I do, a hobby, and that it was perfectly legal in a public place.
She then grabbed my left arm and started dragging me towards the club. I was slightly alarmed.
“I had seen a group of police officers and PCSOs 10 to 15 yards down the street earlier on and so I tried to make my way towards them instead. I saw them as an island of safety.
“I don’t have a precise recollection of what happened next but she began shouting.
“One of the PCSOs started explaining that it was legal to take photographs in a public place.
I said at that point to a policeman that I wanted to make a complaint about her behaviour, but the officer ignored me. I will be making a formal complaint.”
He said the situation was ‘diffused’ and he moved on but it ‘kicked off again’ a short time later as he returned along the street, still taking photographs.
It was at that point he alleges he was attacked with the stamp.
He added: “One of the staff from the club went to complain to the police, again shouting.
I had a discussion with a police constable but he just asked me to leave the area and stop taking photographs.
“He asked me to delete the photographs on my camera. I refused and I think at that stage he branded me a troublemaker.”
He said he left after the officer then threatened to arrest him under section five of the Public Order act.
Ashley Sayers, owner of the Eden club, said: “He was taking pictures of girls in their underwear.
One of the girls asked him kindly what he was doing and asked him to stop but he carried on.
“The girls were very upset. Some of their families don’t know they do this.
If he had taken pictures of the back of them that would have been OK, but some of the pictures were right up to their face.
They have every right to wear what they want where they want. One of the girls was so upset she had to go home from work.”
She said the police were aware of the incident and had been brought over by the management from the club.
She declined to answer why Mr Chard had been covered in ink stamps, other than to say many people in the street had stamps that day from various clubs and bars.
Lancashire Police has confirmed it is aware of Mr Chard’s complaint.