Lancashire nostalgia in 1997: Death of Diana, driven out of town and cool cucumbers

Princess Diana on her visit to Lancashire to open the Royal Preston Hospital
Princess Diana on her visit to Lancashire to open the Royal Preston Hospital

Here's a look at some of the stories that were making the headlines back in 1997:

Tribute to the lady who lit up Lancashire

A memorial service is likely to take place in Preston to commemorate Diana, Princess of Wales.

The Princess of Wales will always have a place in the hearts of the people of Preston for opening the town’s new hospital. One month before her 22nd birthday Diana carried out the formalities at the new £44m Royal Preston Hospital, in Fulwood.

Thousands of people turned out to greet the young princess on her first official engagement in Lancashire.

She was welcomed by the Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire Simon Towneley and Preston health executive Robert Hood who accompanied her throughout her one-and-a-half hour tour of the hospital.

Diana signed the visitors book and autographed a photograph for the hospital’s walls.

Among the areas she visited during her tour were the physiotherapy department, medical wards, and, of course, the children’s wards.

She was then presented to the 175 VIPs gathered outside in a specially erected marquee for a buffet reception, but she made sure she stepped outside the hospital to greet the waiting crowds.

READ MORE: Look back at a selection of pictures from 1997 here

‘Driven out of town’ - says Karl

Lancashire Lottery millionaire Karl Crompton revealed jealous thugs have driven him from drinking in his home town.

The 24-year-old admitted he has not been out in Blackpool since November last year, with constant shouts of “Oi, lend us a tenner” and claimed there are times when he wished he had not landed his £10.8m jackpot.

The former shop worker was speaking about how his life has been turned upside down since hitting the jackpot last year.

Overnight Karl went from earning £14,400 a year at an electrical store to a place on Millionaire’s Row.

But despite his huge crock of gold Karl revealed he is still having trouble with his bank and at one point even got charged £30 for going overdrawn!

Salad invasion of Lancashire waters

What’s blue, cool, swims just beneath the surface and is here to clean up our beaches? Eco-friendly cucumbers.

No, it’s not a joke. More than 500 brightly-coloured cucumbers were launched into the River Ribble in a bid to improve the bathing water off the Lancashire coast.

Scientists from the Environment Agency are using the sea-going salad to trace the source of sheep droppings which were washed up on the tourist-packed beaches at Blackpool during August.