1983 Lancashire Nostalgia: Tatty Preston, a Brookside 'snub' and an unusual Christmas request
Here's a look at some of the stories making the news in 1983, along with a selection of your memories
Preston strives to regain proud image
The town which has carried the tag Proud Preston for centuries is losing its pride and becoming tatty.
Derelict buildings, ugly tower blocks, murky back streets and unattractive inroads to the centre are a big turn-off for visitors.
But things are looking up... Preston council’s special central area sub committee has prepared a draft study setting out goals to give the centre a facelift.
The council hopes to work hand-in-hand with private developers in spending more than £4½ million on improvements.
Preston council leader Mr Harold Parker said: “We need to do cosmetic work in the town centre. It is absolutely essential that the central area should be attractive at first glance”
“The town is moving into an exciting new era. There are enormous opportunities and we have to grasp them in a way they have not been grasped for more than 20 years.”
Much of the cash set aside has been earmarked for the purchase of inner-area sites such as the Princess Buildings, Church Street and the derelict Jolly Farmer pub for possible shopping development.
Brookside ‘snub’ upsets fan John following visit on set
Brookside’s most loyal fan is refusing to watch the Channel Four show ever again.
John Whelan, 25, was turned off after meeting the cast of the soap opera at rehearsals.
“As far as I am concerned they have lost a dedicated viewer,” he said at home in St Mary’s Gardens, Mellor, near Preston.
“Maybe I expected too much... but at least they could have shown me the common courtesies instead of being so stand-offish.”
John, who has never missed an episode of Brookside, won the chance to meet his idols in a radio contest.
He was taken for a walk down the Liverpool cul-de-sac and introduced to the actors and actresses who have developed a cult following over the 12 months they have been appearing.
“Apart from three or four of the cast I might as well not have bothered,” he added.
“Some, like the lady who plays Heather, didn’t even say a word to me. I was very disappointed.
“I looked around the set and had my picture taken with some of the stars, but it wasn’t anything like I expected.
“When you consider I used to watch every episode three times, they have lost a true fan.”
A spokesman for Brookside Productions in Liverpool said: “The actors can’t just drop what they are doing to chat.”
A stay in jail is all I want for Christmas!
An ex-con has made a festive plea to a Lancashire jail: “Lock me up for Christmas!”
The former jailbird has written to bosses at Kirkham Open Prison for another chance to have Christmas dinner and see the annual show - from inside.
The ex-inmate, now free after serving time for a petty offence, wrote to the prison governor asking for a short stretch inside... because he is lonely.
But prison bosses say they will be keeping the doors firmly shut - in case they get a rush of bookings.
Prison assistant governor Mr John Hutson said: “After all we are a penal establishment and it is a sad fact that some people are lonely at Christmas.
“It is not unusual for people to commit an offence at this time of year just to get company, but we would not recommend it.”
The ex-con “did time” at Kirkham two years ago.