Lancashire nostalgia in 1984: Whittingham Hospital to shut; North in the South; and bake me a riddle

The stark interior of Whittingham Hospital, which is now set to closeThe stark interior of Whittingham Hospital, which is now set to close
The stark interior of Whittingham Hospital, which is now set to close
Here's a look at some of the stories that were making the headlines back in 1984:

Whittingham to shut down

One of Lancashire’s largest mental hospital is to shut down.

About 900 patients at Whittingham Hospital, near Preston, will be affected by the new closure plans.

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Sweet treat... Goosnargh cakesSweet treat... Goosnargh cakes
Sweet treat... Goosnargh cakes

The move has been ordered by Health Minister Kenneth Clarke as part of plans to run down large mental institutions over the next 10 years.

Patients - who include several severely mentally ill - will be rehabilitated back in the community.

The closure plan, announced in Preston Health Authority’s 10 year strategic plan, will mean having to find alternative accommodation for patients who include long-stay mentally ill people, who have spent most of their lives in hospital.

Patients will be gradually moved out into new housing developments, and a new team of community mental health workers may be set up to help rehabilitate.

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Other forms of alternative accommodation are now being urgently reviewed by Preston health officials.

Vital acute facilities proposed to accommodate mental patients at Royal Preston Hospital may now be speeded up to help ease he search.

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Look back at a selection of pictures from 1984 here

Southerners to get a real taste of the North

Flat ale drinkers in London were getting used to a proper pint - courtesy of Lancashire brewers Thwaites.

The company opened its first pub in the capital to give southerners a real taste of the North.

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The George VI in Copenhagen Street, Islington, has been done-up like a typical Lancashire alehouse.

Decorations include cotton shuttles and more than 100 old photographs of town such as Preston, Blackburn and Burnley.

The brewery’s cask-ale will be sent down every week by dray. But as yet, there is no word on how Londoners have reacted to it.

“It’s too early to say, but we are confident they will like it,” said a Thwaites spokesman.

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“In fact, they should be thanking us for bringing a bit of civilisation into their lives.”

The brewery hopes to buy more London pubs in the future. They hope they will become a haven for exiled Lancastrians living in the city.

“The George should be a home-from-home for anyone from this part of the country. And Londoners can be certain of a real Northern welcome too.”

Bake me a riddle... small and sweet

Here is a riddle to bite on!

What is small and sweet and eaten by people living 12,000 miles apart?

Answer... a Goosnargh cake.

Any wiser?

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It is a flat cake that looks like a biscuit and tastes like a shortbread.

Farmers’ wives have been baking it for centuries in the village of Goosnargh, near Preston.

And its fame has spread to Australia: the folk down under learnt the secret from soldiers stationed here during the Second World War.

The trouble is most of the rest of the world has never heard of the humble Goosnargh cake. It is hardly known outside Goosnargh itself.

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Few shops sell it, so it is never likely to rival the popularity of the Eccles cake or the Chorley cake.

But in Goosnargh, and Australia, it is an institution.

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