Lancashire nostalgia in 1980: Citizen army; catastrophe cat; and an end to commercial TV

Here's a look at some of the stories that were making the headlines back in 1980:

Thursday, 10th June 2021, 1:30 pm
Preston police chief Chief Supt Walter Real wants to recruit a number of special constables

Lancs police set to enlist a citizen army

Lancashire police want to recruit a 600-strong army of special constables to crack down on hooliganism.

The squad would take a “positive part in fighting vandalism,” say the police, bolstering the number of citizen cops to 1,000.

The move follows a three-week drive in Preston to cut the wreckage costing ratepayers £100,000 a year.

Chief Supt Walter Real, Preston’ police boss, said the campaign could soon be expanded nationally. “I am very pleased with the public support we have been given. If we can keep the interest going I feel sure it will have the necessary impact on a national level.”

Lancashire Constabulary need 600 members of the public to become “specials”, clamping down on vandalism and relieving the regular force on some of the mundane duties.

“We are relying on people from all walks of life to come forward for the benefit of the community and offer their time as a uniformed police officers, Sgt Brian Newsham, juvenile bureau officer said.

“They have got to be of the right calibre - able to communicate, confident, appropriately built and prepared to take the rough with the smooth,” he added.

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Look back at a selection of pictures from 1980 here

Catastrophe cat in catalogue of calamity

A ginger tom’s fatherly call on his latest kittens was a catastrophe.

For his mate Buffy, the tabby, fought like a tiger to protect her two offspring. And that was the start of a catalogue of disaster.

Buffy chased the scaredy cat to the kitchen window in her Preston home. And it was there that Buffy’s owners Susan and Terry Shorrocks found terrified Tom.

He risked several of his nine lives as he tried to flee the Avenham Road house.

He tumbled into the washing-up bowl three times as he clawed his way up the window before he finally disappeared up the kitchen flue.

The Shorrocks couldn’t free the stray but thought he would find his own way out.

But a week later the mournful moggie let them know he was still entombed. An anxious Mrs Shorrocks sent for helpful Preston firemen.

They clambered on to the house roof, forced a hose down the chimney and flushed out a petrified Tom. But before Mrs Shorrocks could grab him the cat leapt back up the chimney.

A second rescue bid succeeded but the unwelcome visitor was only caught after a chase round the house.

An end to commercial TV is forecast

The group challenging Granada for control of the North West air waves has made a bizarre prophesy “Commercial TV will be killed off within a decade.”

Liverpool-based Merseyvision believes British companies will be so short of cash by the 1990s, they will be unable to advertise on TV.

"We believe the future of British Independent TV must be based on communities in local areas, supported to a considerable extent by viewers," says group secretary Brian Douglas.

Merseyvision wants to create three sub-regions in the North West, operating a studio and production team from either Preston or Blackburn.

Its bid for an ITV franchise is claimed to be the only one not backed by big business.