Blast from the Past

Morecambe Winter Gardens.
Morecambe Winter Gardens.
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Five years ago: The future of Morecambe’s Winter Gardens had been thrown into doubt after a bid for cash from a Government scheme to regenerate UK seaside towns was rejected.

Instead, seven coastal resorts across the UK, including Fleetwood and Barrow-in-Furness, were to benefit from cash injections. The news had devastated campaigners who had worked tirelessly for years to develop the building.

Contrary to rumours, one of Morecambe’s most popular working men’s clubs was not closing. Members of the Gordon Club in the West End had moved to quash whispers going around town that the club was on its last legs. They said the Springfield Street club would be around for its centenary in 2012, and beyond. The Gordon Club tucked away on a back street was formed by Scottish businessmen and opened in 1912.

Ten years ago

Heysham High were celebrating a near half-a-million pounds windfall. Top sports charity the Football Foundation had awarded £467,902 to the school to improve its facilities for ‘The Beautiful Game’. Delighted staff at Heysham High planned to spend the money on a new modern changing pavilion and a floodlit artificial pitch. The award came just over 12 months after Heysham High was given Sports College status.

An RAF plane carrying Princess Anne to Scotland was involved in a ‘near miss’ with another aircraft over the bay. The Princess Royal was said to have been ‘seconds from death’ after the incident between the RAF HS125 plane and a Eurofighter Typhoon. The aircraft came within 3.3 miles of each other. Air traffic controllers observed the Eurofighter turn to the right, across the path of the executive jet.

Twenty years ago

Who wants to be a millionaire? Thousands of people in Morecambe judging by the response after the launch of the National Lottery. Outlets were packed with people wanting to be among the first to scoop up their ticket. They were all hanging on to the dream of winning. And by the end of the day one local store heard how it had topped the stakes in having the most sales of its outlets around the region.

Morecambe’s favourite daughter Dame Thora Hird movingly evoked the halcyon days of Morecambe’s glamorous star-studded past in a South Bank Special. In the hour-long programme (which Thora dedicated to the memory of her husband ‘Scotty’), Thora was seen at various locations in and around the resort, which she explained all had a profound impact on her development as a person, actress and devout Christian.