Lancashire nostalgia in 1993: Preston bomb scare; hospital parking; and PNE fans want to move

Here's a look at some of the stories that were making the headlines back in 1993:

Wednesday, 30th December 2020, 3:45 pm
Police cordoned off a large part of Fishergate in Preston as bomb squad officers investigated
Police cordoned off a large part of Fishergate in Preston as bomb squad officers investigated

Bomb fear chaos in Preston town centre

Preston town centre was thrown into chaos after bomb experts detonated a suspect package outside the Army Careers Office.

Stores were evacuated and office staff moved to safety by police drafted in to clear the area around the office in Fishergate.

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Hospital visitors could soon be asked to pay to park

The alert was sparked off shortly before 9am when a brown cardboard box was found at the back of the building.

Careers office staff on alert after an IRA bomb devastated the RAF and Navy Careers Office opposite in a terrorist attacked in April 1991 immediately called in police.

By 9.15am the normally busy main shopping street was deserted.

Traffic was diverted as strict police cordons were thrown up from Fishergate Hill to Lune Street and all side roads were sealed off.

An Evening Post poll has shown that Preston North End fans are in favour of a move from the Spion Kop to the Town End

Thousands of shoppers and rail travellers were left in the cold as bomb squad teams arrived from Liverpool to investigate the suspect package.

Sgt Mike Barrow said: “There is not much we can do in this situation like this.”

Insp Philip Barnes added: “To the best of my knowledge it was an innocuous package.”

READ MORE: Look back at a selection of pictures from 1993 here

Pay as you park - hospitals could soon charge for parking

Relatives visiting sick patients in Preston’s main hospitals could be forced to pay for car parking, it was revealed.

The move could see pay and display machines introduced for visitor parking areas and a permit system for staff parking.

Tough measures to improve security, stop illegal parking and deal with other problems were due to be discussed by health chiefs.

But the plans to charge visitors to park at Royal Preston and Sharoe Green Hospitals have been criticised by union chiefs.

A report to Preston Health Authority giving the proposal in principle said: “It is intended to enter into a car park management agreement with a suitable company for them to manage the car parks on both sites.

“The main objective will be to improve the current car parking control, to provide security to the vehicles parked and to provide, at no extra cost to the hospital, a total solution to the management and operation of all parking facilities together with an income to the hospital.”

Specific requirements included providing a secure parking area at each hospital for night staff as well as the pay and display machines in visitor parking areas.

North End fans: We want to move

Preston fans have given an overwhelming thumbs up to a switch of ends at Deepdale.

A telephone poll, set up by the Evening Post, showed supporters were almost seven-to-one in favour of leaving the wet and windy Spion Kop and moving to the fully-covered Town End.

Almost 2,500 calls were registered with the voting as follows:

○ Yes to a move to the Town End - 2,161

○ No to leaving the Kop - 336

The results give North End manager John Beck a clear mandate to discuss the turn-round with the club’s board.

But, although fans are in favour, the idea may still not get off the ground.

For extra safety work would have to be carried out first - at a total cost in the region of £50,000.