Lancashire nostalgia in 1991: Bomb scare in Preston; unplugged history; and lake secrets

Here's a look at some of the stories that were making the headlines back in 1991:
Bomb scare at Preston Post OfficeBomb scare at Preston Post Office
Bomb scare at Preston Post Office

‘Bomb’ scare was a forgotten briefcase

An absent-minded elderly man sparked a major bomb scare in Preston town centre when he left his briefcase behind in the main Post Office.

Hundreds of workers, market traders and Christmas shoppers in the Flag Market area were evacuated by police.

Historian Stephen SartinHistorian Stephen Sartin
Historian Stephen Sartin
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The area around the Post Office, including the Flag Market, Harris Street, the covered market and the top end of Friargate, was cordoned off and the Bomb Squad were called to investigate the “suspicious” briefcase.

The brown briefcase was spotted at about 2.15pm in the public area of the Post Office by a customer who had seen the man leave it behind and it was reported to branch manager Paul Hutchinson.

The all-clear was given two hours later after an elderly man, whose name has not been released, approached a police officer to ask what was happening and when told realised the briefcase was his.

Chief Insp Mike Schofield said: “The case was left by a man who apparently came in to the Post Office, looked around furtively, put the briefcase down and then left the Post Office without conducting any business.”

Some amazing objects have been found under the Big Dipper in BlackpoolSome amazing objects have been found under the Big Dipper in Blackpool
Some amazing objects have been found under the Big Dipper in Blackpool
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Look back at a selection of pictures from 1991 here
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Cleaning up on history after spa bath is unplugged in the town

Contractors turned back the clock a couple of hundred years to unplug a fascinating bit of Preston history.

An old spa bath, believed to have been opened in the early 1780s and covered over about 140 years ago, has been uncovered by excavators.

At the back of Cheviot Street and below West View Terrace, off Water Lane, the bath was known to exist and was uncovered during work done by the Commission for New Towns.

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The bath had been covered by wooden sleepers which had deteriorated and become dangerous.

A spokesman for the CNT said it was being filled with stone to stabilise it and it would be covered over again so that if it was intended to open it up and make a feature from it some time in the future, it could be done.

He said: “It appears to have been an open-topped bath built over a spring with water seeping up between the stones of the flagged bottom.

“The work on it is being done very carefully so as not to damage it.”

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Historian Stephen Sartin said: “It is one of the most interesting structures in Preston and one of the oldest. It is a fascinating site and I cannot think of a comparable example anywhere in

Lancashire. It was a pure fluke that it got covered over and preserved.”

Fun-seekers are down in the mouth

Holidaymakers who really got their teeth into Britain’s most exciting white knuckle rides ended up as the... Ee by gum Brigade.

For flying false teeth - the legacy of a decade of denture-wearing Big Dipper fans - are turning up in their hundreds along with the odd glass eye and some tattered toupees.

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For the first time in ten years, bosses at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, the nation’s leading crowd-pulling fun park, have decided to drain the lake under the Log Flume and Big Dipper.

Pleasure Beach spokeswoman Helen O’Neill, said: “Over the years people have been screaming with fright and joy on the rides and their false teeth have gone flying hundreds of feet to the late below.”

Among the other items founded were: Half a dozen glass eyes; wallets and purses; and hats by the dozen.

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