• Murder arson denial

    A CONVICTED sex offender died in an arson attack on his Burnley home by a man who had taunted him over his criminal record, a court heard. A jury at Preston Crown Court was told that Christopher Holgate had been "wound up" over Ivan Parker's conviction

  • Christmas challenge on right track

    BLIND families received a late Christmas present when Railtrack employees collected gifts for more than 200 food parcels. Staff based at the Manchester headquarters collected tins and packets for the Blackburn and District Blind Society and the Blackburn

  • Yobs attack child's tribute on mum's grave

    A FIGURINE left by an eight-year-old girl on her mother's grave was damaged when vandals attacked a village churchyard. Vandals also scattered flowers and wreaths around St Paul's CE Church graveyard, Hoddlesden, Darwen, on New Year's Eve. The statuette

  • Coronation Street's diet of tripe

    The opinions expressed by John Blunt are not necessarily those of this newspaper ACCORDING to widespread opinion, the biggest disappointment of Millennium Night was the less-than-spectacular midnight River of Fire on the Thames that was supposed to be

  • Full weight of public opinion

    THE defiant so-called 'metric martyr' traders, who risk £2,000 fines or even jail for refusing to sell their goods in continental metres, kilograms and so forth - as, from last Saturday, the law now says they must - instead of in our old imperial measures

  • Dereliction of police duty

    IT is, of course, a rum old world when crowd barriers have to be put up to contain the sad gawpers hoping to catch a glimpse of such meretricious modern-day icons as footballer David Beckham and his wife, 'Posh Spice' Victoria Adams - as happened when

  • LOCAL CRICKET: Indoor induction

    RISHTON CC are due to start their weekly indoor nets on Thursday at Mount Carmel School, between 6pm and 8pm. New players are invited to join existing players there. Meanwhile, the club have heard from Australia that summer signing Jason Gillespie is

  • Bid to halt domestic violence

    FOUR key projects to banish domestic violence have been launched in Pendle. The schemes have received the green light for £2,000 of funding from Pendle Community Safety Partnership, which includes local organisations such as the police, Pendle Council

  • Bakery firm's icing on cake

    BAKERY group Inter Link Foods has stepped in to save a struggling cake business. Blackburn-based Inter Link has secured an option to buy the William Lusty Group after one of its directors bought the firm from receivers. Alwin Thompson, chief executive

  • Families' feud led to violence

    TWO brothers were injured when "disharmony" between two families erupted into violence in the street, a jury was told. Burnley Crown Court heard how Geoffrey Gibson was allegedly repeatedly attacked with wooden batons after being "ambushed" in Huncoat

  • Banned Clarets aces in double trouble

    BURNLEY'S banned players could be facing a double punishment as the yellow cards rack up at Turf Moor. The Clarets' impressive disciplinary record was undermined over the holiday period as they collected 11 cautions and one sending off in three games.

  • Council bitten by 'bug'

    THE MILLENNIUM bug has bitten for the first time in East Lancashire - sending a tax system haywire despite a council spending £200,000 to protect itself. The year 2000-related computer problem, which has had little impact on most of Britain, created difficulties

  • Youth punched and kicked in head

    A YOUTH kicked another youth in the head after punching him to the floor to protect a girl, a court was told. The 16-year-old boy had been in the Lar de Dars nightclub, in Eagle Street, Accrington, but later became involved in a fight in Holme Street

  • Murder arson denial

    A CONVICTED sex offender died in an arson attack on his Burnley home by a man who had taunted him over his criminal record, a court heard. A jury at Preston Crown Court was told that Christopher Holgate had been "wound up" over Ivan Parker's conviction

  • SNOOKER: Break-builder Justin plans reds revolution

    JUSTIN Astley has given himself five years to make snooker's top 128. If he hasn't made it by the time he's turned 21 he'll turn his back on the game - as so many other fine young players have done in recent years. "There are a lot of good youngsters

  • Keep our town tidy, please

    COMING home on New Year's Day from St Peter's Church in Mill Hill, Blackburn, I heard the sound of a car running over a broken bottle. The driver was lucky that his tyre didn't burst, but as he had left bits of broken glass in the road the next cars would

  • LOCAL SOCCER: VMI Accrington & District Junior League

    FIXTURES for Saturday - Under Nine Blue: Blackburn Boys v Great Harwood Rovers Panthers; Blackburn Dynamos Boys v Oswaldtwistle St Mary's; Borrowdale Utd v Akzo Juniors Blue; Clitheroe Wolves v Huncoat Utd; Oswaldtwistle Juniors A v Michelin Juniors (

  • HORSERACING: Stable Whispers, with Captain Harry Barlow

    SNOW is fine on Christmas cards but the softer the ground the better for me this week, so I am hoping for more rain please. At Lingfield today amateur jockey Carol Williams was scheduled to ride Another Nightmare (12.20pm) and trainer and farmer David

  • SOCCER: Shakers escape with a point

    Division Two: Bury 2 Millwall 2 BURY'S first game in the new millennium was a disappointment as the Shakers did not manage to find any of the fluency which they have shown of late, yet they did well to earn a point against a much better team in Millwall

  • LOCAL SOCCER: Who they play

    JENNINGS Bitter Sunday Trophy sixth round draw to be played on Sunday, January 16 (kick off no later than 1pm): Littleborough or Brindle FC v Darwen Alexandra. Fifth round of the EW Cartons Under 14 Youth Cup competition also to be played on January 16

  • LOCAL SOCCER: East Lancashire League

    FIXTURES for Saturday - Division One: Colne Utd v Hurst Green; Rolls Royce v Oswaldtwistle; Stacksteads SJ v Chatburn; Worsthorne v Crosshills. Division Two: Barnoldswick PR v Sabden; Burnley Belvedere v Earby Town; Colne Blue Star v MIll Hill St Peter's

  • Curtain up on a bright new future

    THE race to secure the future of Clitheroe's Civic Hall Cinema has been won. Trinity Community Partnership was declared the winner after offering £100,000 to buy the cinema from Ribble Valley Borough Council. Last night councillors on the community committee

  • Ex-hospital to become health club?

    A HEALTH club with a swimming pool could be the latest addition to the former Brockhall Hospital development. Property tycoon Gerald Hitman has applied to Ribble Valley Borough Council for permission to convert the former administration building into

  • Injury boost for keeper Kelly

    BLACKBURN Rovers goalkeeper Alan Kelly could be back in action before the end of the month. Rovers' medical staff had feared the Republic of Ireland international could be missing for six weeks after he damaged ankle ligaments in a collision with Portsmouth

  • Pilot plan for dealing with young offenders

    A GROUND breaking scheme for dealing with young offenders is to be piloted in Blackburn and Darwen. The borough is one of six areas in the country to be hand picked by the Government to test out the new policies. Under the new scheme Youngsters will be

  • Parents in new virus alert

    A TWO-YEAR-OLD girl from Blackburn has been struck down with suspected meningitis while on a Millennium holiday with her parents in Spain. The toddler is believed to be in hospital after falling ill during the trip. Public health officials said today

  • Flu takes heavy toll - and worst is to come

    FLU has started to tighten its grip on East Lancashire - and the worst is yet to come, a health expert warned today. Public health officials have predicted that cases of flu - which have already put extreme pressure on hospital beds, GP surgeries and

  • End of the holiday sparks rush for the sun

    THOUGHTS are turning from turkey and tinsel to summer sunshine as people plan their next holidays. Travel agents across East Lancashire have reported an upsurge in bookings for both last-minute millennium trips and annual sunshine breaks during the year

  • New moo-lennium for farmer Frank!

    BLACKBURN farmer Frank Shaw believes his new heifer is the first animal born in the new millennium in East Lancashire after it arrived just minutes into New Year's Day. Mr Shaw, who owns Billinge Scar Farm in Scar Lane off Preston New Road with his wife

  • Lorry crush victim dies

    A 22-year-old pedestrian pulled out alive from beneath a 32-tonne wagon died in hospital today. Khalil Khan, of Moorgate Street, Blackburn, sustained serious leg and internal injuries when the vehicle carrying bales of paper toppled on to the pavement

  • Millennium milestone for young Rebecca

    BIRTHDAY girl Rebecca Croasdale celebrated her millennium milestone in style with a ride in a stretch limousine. The 10-year-old became the first baby to be born at Queen's Park Hospital in Blackburn on New Year's Day a decade ago when she arrived in

  • Queen stays at arm's length

    MILLIONS of TV viewers watching the midnight frolics at the Millennium Dome were perplexed. No, not at the struggle to get in by 3,000 guests who didn't get their tickets sent while the People's Prime Minister and selected pals whisked there on a tube


    DARWEN'S second round FNWTL Floodlit Trophy tie against Kidsgrove Athletic was last night postponed for a third time. Converted for the new archive on 14 July 2000. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.

  • Funding row breaks

    A BITTER political row has broken out over a decision to leave much of East Lancashire out of vital Euro cash funding. Most of the area was left out in the cold when it was formally announced at Christmas that it would not be covered by Objective 2 status

  • £600,000 plan to improve homes

    A £600,000 shopping list of work to improve council homes in Pendle has been drawn up. The plans to invest in work such as installing heating systems and uPVC double glazing and refurbishing kitchens and bathrooms in the new financial year starting in

  • Jobs warning over Typhoon

    THE consortium bidding for the contract to supply a weapons systems for the Eurofighter Typhoon has warned that 1,200 UK jobs will be lost to Britain if the rival American one is chosen. It is understood that the Ministry of Defence's equipment approval

  • Who was mystery visitor?

    Nature Watch, with Ron Freethy READERS Bradde and Anita Bentley recently spotted an unusual bird in their garden in Warwick Drive, Earby, and sent me some drawings in the hope of getting it identified. They write: "It did not behave like a captive bird

  • Wakey wakey warning about mergers

    AEROSPACE firms in East Lancashire have received a "wake up call". The new century will see continued consolidation and mergers between the world's leading aerospace manufacturers, consultants told members of the North West Aerospace Alliance. And they

  • Now for the kid glove treatment

    A daily diary following reporter Mike Ribbeck as he bids to mark the new millennium by giving up smoking. "WELL, it has been 24 hours since my last cigarette and I have not murdered anyone yet, although I will admit I have been close on a couple of occasions

  • Now Andy's a round the worldwide web sailor!

    ROUND-THE-WORLD yachtsman Andy Hindley will share some of his sailing secrets when he takes part in a live internet chat. People are invited to log on and put questions to Accrington-born Andy, his fellow sailors from Team Philips and other world-famous

  • The big breakfast!

    A NEW club for East Lancashire bosses has been toasted as a success. Around 200 managers attended the first breakfast meeting held at the Investors in People Network Club.. The club is aimed at employers who have achieved the IIP standard or who are working

  • Stanley may need new sponsor

    ACCRINGTON Stanley FC could be forced to look for a new sponsor. Creditors of current Reds sponsor Bridge Computer Systems are due to meet next week to decide whether it should continue trading. The firm went into administration just before Christmas.

  • Injury boost for Rovers keeper Kelly

    BLACKBURN Rovers goalkeeper Alan Kelly could be back in action before the end of the month. Rovers' medical staff had feared the Republic of Ireland international could be missing for six weeks after he damaged ankle ligaments in a collision with Portsmouth

  • Heartbreak as unwanted pets fill animal shelters

    CHARITIES and police have been inundated with stray and unwanted dogs during the festivities. The Pet Hotel, Hapton, which cares for dogs brought to Burnley area police stations, is now housing 33 strays which will be destroyed if no homes can be found

  • Unions our only hope

    ACCORDING to your article (LET, December 24), "three quarters of local small business bosses believe their workers will abuse new employment laws." Implicit in the results of the survey, conducted by Business Pages, is that workers will abuse entitlements

  • Parking charges unnecessary

    SO Burnley Council are to consider introducing charges to park in front of Towneley Hall to ease congestion, deter long-term parking and save money on park rangers. Those who use the park regularly will be aware that it is rare that all the spaces in

  • No place for religious bigotry

    WITH his remarks in "U-turn will cause chaos" (Letters, December 21) Councillor Parvaiz Awan attempted to create a smokescreen in setting out his objections to a planning application for a mosque in the Bastwell area of Blackburn. The truth is that the

  • GOLF: Dwyer takes Asian Tour gamble

    LOCAL golf professional Paul Dwyer is heading east to try and kick-start his career as a member of the Asian Tour. Dwyer, who is attached to Clitheroe, flies out on Friday in an attempt to win his tour card. That will involve winning through three tough

  • Consensus is the loser in power game

    THE disclosure today of the overwhelming rejection by Labour Party members of proportional representation for Westminster elections is predictable, despite the pledge in their manifesto to hold a referendum on introducing such voting reforms. For as Labour

  • A level gold standard needs restoring

    PROPOSALS by government advisers for universities to get candidates A-level marks as well as their grades, allowing them to discover who, among the brightest, are the best, may be seen by critics as a stride towards greater elitism in higher education

  • NON-LEAGUESOCCER: Whalley Arrows 1 Ossy Celtic 0

    BOTH teams contributed to a fantastic Blackburn and Darwen Junior League Under-11s Cup quarter-final contest which was enjoyed by both sets of spectators. Celtic started the game in superb style, quick accurate passing and shooting with Arrows struggling

  • JUNIOR SOCCER: Celtic hit by onslaught

    THREE Great Harwood Rovers teams had mixed New Year fortunes. The Under-14s started the year by launching themselves to the top of the tightly-contested EW Cartons Accrington Junior Red League. The unfortunate victims were Barrowford Celtic who succumbed

  • 5 YEARS AGO: Big freeze warning

    A WARNING went out about the dangers of skating on frozen park ponds. At Corporation Park in Blackburn, the pond froze over as the latest cold spell hit the region. And council spokeswoman Lindsay MacDonald appealed to people to take notice of the warning

  • 10 YEARS AGO: Sobering thought

    YOUNG drivers won police praise for staying dry over Christmas - but middle-aged motorists were still hitting the booze and driving. Two East Lancashire police traffic chiefs said younger motorists had grown up with the "Don't drink and drive" message

  • SNOOKER: East Lancs stars through

    DENNIS Taylor and Shokat Ali both reached the second qualifying round of the Thailand Masters with comfortable wins at Newport yesterday. Blackburn's former world champion Taylor beat Englishman Alistair Carter 5-1, while Accrington-based Ali saw off

  • Town crier Roland gets call to Oz

    CLITHEROE town crier Roland Hailwood is packing his summer clothes ready to lead a group of young professionals on a study exchange trip to Australia. Four young people aged between 25 and 40 will team up with Rotarian Roland next month for the visit

  • Ex-head's trial adjourned

    THE trial of a former headteacher of a top Ribble Valley preparatory school was adjourned today because the defence barrister was suffering from flu. Robert Francis O'Brien, 57, of Fellside Farm, Kemple End, Stonyhurst, who is accused of six counts of

  • Former headmaster goes on trial

    THE former head teacher of a top Ribble Valley preparatory school was due to go on trial today on charges of indecently assaulting pupils. Robert Francis O'Brien, 57, of Fellside Farm, Kemple End, Stonyhurst, is accused of six counts of indecently assaulting

  • Events in East Lancashire on Thursday, January 6th

    Blackburn Artists' Society meet St Gabriel's Church Hall, Brownhill Drive, Brownhill, Blackburn, 7pm. Blackburn Citizens Advice Bureau's Information and Advice session, Rehabilitation Unit, Queen's Park Hospital, Blackburn, 9.30am-12.30pm. No appointment

  • Banned aces in double trouble

    BURNLEY'S banned players could be facing a double punishment as the yellow cards rack up at Turf Moor. The Clarets' impressive disciplinary record was undermined over the holiday period as they collected 11 cautions and one sending off in three games.

  • Down by the Riverside

    A fan's-eye view from Ewood Park, with Phil Lloyd I HAVE a dream. An appropriate sentiment for the new Millennium perhaps, whether you relate it to Martin Luther King or, more prosaically, to Westlife. Actually, I have a nightmare. Maybe this betrays

  • Cummings and Goings

    A fan's-eye view from Turf Moor, with Stephen Cummings WHEN I began writing this column in 1996, I remarked that there was no single phenomenon in the town which meant so much to so many of its inhabitants as did Burnley Football Club. Four years later

  • Praise for mercy men after 999 calls record

    AN ambulance supremo today paid tribute to East Lancashire's mercy men who dealt with a record number of 999 calls during the millennium celebrations. David Hill, chief executive of Lancashire Ambulance NHS Trust, said the service coped with demand because

  • Paperboy mugged for his bike

    A PAPERBOY was punched in the face by a robber who stole his prized mountain bike after attacking him on his round. Tyler Roberts, 13, was delivering newspapers in Mill Hill, Blackburn, when he was asked for the time by a man in his 20s who then punched

  • Slipping into a frosty fantasy world

    Cinderella On Ice, King George's Hall, Blackburn CAPTIVATED kids shouted until they were hoarse . . . Oh yes they did! The show is unashamedly aimed at children and is packed with audience participation. Set on more than 2,000 feet of glistening ice,