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Preston mods and rockers battle it out, Preston North End faces closure over safety fears, and did the Ripper call the Lancashire Evening Post?

Members of Preston Musical Comedy Society in rehearsal for Hello Dolly, which will be presented at the Charter Theatre, Preston
Members of Preston Musical Comedy Society in rehearsal for Hello Dolly, which will be presented at the Charter Theatre, Preston
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These are just some of the stories that were making the headlines in 1979, along with a selection of pictures showing life in Lancashire

Bike gangs in town centre axe battle

Rival gangs of “mods and rockers” armed with chains and axes clashed outside a Preston pub.

The battle started after two leather-clad motorcyclists threw petrol bombs at scooters parked outside a town centre pub, it was claimed.

The fight was the latest in a series of clashes between the riders. Recently nail bombs and clubs were used by mods and rockers outside King George’s Hall in Blackburn.

Supt Mike Simpson said: “A pub in Preston is attracting these kinds of people and we are constantly reviewing the situation.”

The clashes in Preston started after the violent film Quadro-phenia, in which mods and rockers engage in running battles, said scooter “mod” Stephen Doyle.

“The police have got to stop these fights before someone is killed.”

Closure threat to PNE ground

Preston North End’s Deepdale ground could be closed as unfit next season... unless vital safety work starts quickly.

The club have to build new crush barriers on the terraces, wider gangways and new fire escapes in the West Stand to comply with the Safety of Sports Grounds Act.

The improvements are expected to cost around £250,000 and the club are seeking a new lease from Preston Council.

This, they say, will give them greater security before spending the money on crowd comfort and safety. Urgent talks are to take place with the council.

Coun Dennis Kehoe, chairman of the town’s leisure and amenities committee, said the facts were known - the new regulations could shut the ground unless the work was done.

Ripper voice warns ‘Post’: I’ll be back

A man with a strong Geordie accent claiming to be the Yorkshire Ripper phoned the ‘Post’ today and warned: “I’ll strike next in Preston or Wigan.”

And experienced ‘Post’ telephonists are convinced it was no hoax. Only hours before they had listened to a police tape of the Ripper’s voice. “It was identical,” they asserted.

It said: “I have a message for George. I will strike again in Preston or Wigan. Tell George he has not got me yet.”

The call from the man claiming to be the Ripper was directed at West Yorkshire Police’s Assistant Chief Constable George Oldfield, who led the hunt for the mass murderer until taken ill a few months ago.

Said the operator who took the chilling message: “I had been listening to the tape of the Ripper’s voice earlier this morning, and I am sure the voice was the same.

“It had the same accent, and the man even paused in the same way as the voice on the tape.

“I felt really shaken up afterwards.”

Two detectives from Preston took statements to pass on to the Ripper murder hunt HQ in Bradford.