Lancashire nostalgia in 1994: Baxi buys North End, no joke for Jim and man on fire

Baxi chief executive Bryan Gray takes over as chairman following Baxis takeover of Preston North End
Baxi chief executive Bryan Gray takes over as chairman following Baxis takeover of Preston North End

Here's a look at some of the stories that were making the headlines back in 1994:

Baxi in big money move for North End

Preston North End has been bought out by heating giant Baxi in a deal reported to be worth up to £10m.

The takeover was completed yesterday and announced at Deepdale at lunchtime today.

Owner Malcolm Woodhouse has sold his 71 per cent shareholding to Baxi for an undisclosed sum, said by one director to be “an extremely modest amount”.

Chairman Keith Leeming is standing down - his place at the boardroom table being taken by Baxi chief executive Bryan Gray.

Leeming will join Woodhouse as a vice-chairman. There could be other changes at the top, although manager director Derek Shaw stays at the request of the new owners.

The massive cash package includes an immediate promise of £3m-plus for a new west stand. Further cash will follow with the aim of building a 24,000 all-seater stadium.

The deal will also give manager John Beck money for new players - he was today given an assurance that his position is not under immediate threat.

The handover at Deepdale is not entirely unexpected.

READ MORE: Look back at a selection of pictures from 1994 here

It’s no joke for blue comedian Jim

A show by cockney comic Jim Davidson at Preston’s Guild Hall was under fire after his blue gags were found to be no joke by objectors.

The comedian, whose routine has included jokes labelled sexist and racist by critics, is set to appear in October.

But opponents claim his brand of blue humour has no place on Preston’s stages.

Davidson, whose repertoire of characters has included a parody of a black man called Chalky, appeared before sell-out crowds at the Guild Hall two years ago.

But blue-gag counterpart Roy Chubby Brown was banned from the venue after a similar row.

Publicity material for the show is clearly labelled “adults only” and “if easily offended please stay away”.

Wakey, wakey, sleepyhead... your whole flat is on fire!

A heavy sleeper only realised he was in serious danger from a fire in his flat as firemen were preparing to break down his door.

The resident of Richmond House in Preston slept through his own smoke alarm and the worried calls of a neighbour on Saturday night.

Even when a team of firefighters turned up at his 10th floor apartment and began to bang on the door he slept on, blissfully unaware.

But as the firemen were gearing up to burst into his smoke-filled flat, the man finally awoke and realised he was in trouble.

Station Officer Jeff Holden from Preston said the brigade were alerted just before midnight on Saturday.

The sole resident of the flat had returned from a night out and began cooking food under his grill, but had dozed off with the cooker still on.

SO Holden said: “The food began to burn and the flat filled with smoke, which could have proved very dangerous for the man.

“He did have a working smoke alarm fitted, but slept through it when it went off.

“Fortunately his neighbour heard the alarm going off, and she called us out.

“We knocked on the door but still couldn’t wake him, and it was only when we were getting ready to break the door down that he opened it up.”