Lancashire nostalgia in 1977: Bing in town; power blackout; and maggoty porridge

Here's a look at some of the stories that were making the headlines back in 1977:

By Naomi Moon
Thursday, 10th September 2020, 12:58 pm
Bing Crosby arrives in Preston with wife Kathy
Bing Crosby arrives in Preston with wife Kathy

Bing’s in town, but no autographs

The legendary Bing Crosby arrived in Preston to prepare for his sell-out concert at the Guild Hall.

The 73-year-old Old Groaner disappointed fans at Preston Station when he refused to sign autographs.

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But his beautiful wife Kathy explained when the super star gave autographs it usually triggered off a riot.

“He would be terribly upset if anyone was hurt,” she said.

Bing, his wife, and 19-year-old son Harry were late when their London train the Clansman developed an engine fault.

But there was still quite a reception party of fans and pressmen for the man who has sold more than 300 million records.

Bing was not very talkative with newsmen but said he kept on singing in concerts because he was an entertainer who loved show business.

His previous appearance in the North West was during the Second World War when he entertained American serviceman based in the region.

There had been fears that the Preston concert - one of two provincial appearances - would have to be cancelled because of Bing’s health.

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Look back at a selection of pictures from 1977 here

North West faces four hour power blackout as strike looms

North-West electricity chiefs were drawing up emergency plans as Britain teetered on the brink of a massive power blackout.

The unofficial strike by power workers is due to start at 10pm and a union leader warned that the brunt of their action will be felt in the North West and the North East.

Norweb has warned that blackouts of three or four hours may be necessary and are now working out times and areas for disconnections.

Unofficial strike leaders claim support from 40 of Britain’s 137 power stations for the stoppage to press for increases in shift pay and travel allowances.

But neither the Central Electricity Generating Board, the Electricity Council, nor the four unions involved were sure what the effects of the strike would be.

Electricity workers chief, Mr Jack Biggin, forecast the 48-hour power station strike will not hit the nation hard.

For many power stations will refuse to pull out the plugs when the strike is due to start, he said at the Trades Union Congress at Blackpool.

Norweb staff in Preston hope to have information on the power cuts displayed in the showroom and office later.

There’s a maggot (or two) in my porridge!

A bowl of porridge oats with nearly 100 maggots crawling about in it is certainly not the way to start off the day.

But that was the nasty prospect facing one unlucky Lancashire consumer as he opened the packet at the breakfast table.

And apart from the 96 maggots inside the packet there were more live and dead creepy crawlies - namely 18 living moths, damaged oats tangled with webbing, part of dead moths and the cases that once carried the remains of about 400 insects.

Not surprisingly the cereal firm was taken to court and successfully prosecuted says county analyst Mr Alex Bushnell in his 1976 annual report on food, drink and drugs.

The firm was fined £75 and had to pay £35.22 costs - just one of 43 successful prosecutions in Lancashire.