Lancashire nostalgia in 1981: Blackpool Tower for sale; PNE may replay 26-goal clash; and was Joan a Ripper victim?

Blackpool Tower could be sold again - if the high price is rightBlackpool Tower could be sold again - if the high price is right
Blackpool Tower could be sold again - if the high price is right | Getty
Here's a look at some of the stories that were making the headlines back in 1981:

Tower up for sale again - at a price

A group of Lancashire businessmen could be on the verge of snapping up Blackpool’s world-famous Tower in a multi-million pound deal.

Hotels group Trust House Forte, which bought up the complex as part of a £16m deal just three months ago, is now prepared to sell the Tower - if the price is right.

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And it seems likely that the landmark will be bought by local business people, who have already made offers to THF.

THF executive chairman Sir Charles Forte revealed that his company had received two “quite reasonable” offers, one from local interests and one from a consortium.

“Local interests are pressing hard in so far as they have made offers to buy it and we have refused,” said Sir Charles.

“These were reasonable offers which involved a few million pounds. If someone wants to pay a good price for the Tower, yes, we will sell it. But I would be very happy to keep it.”

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The identity of the local bidders has not yet been revealed but several businessmen in the resort were angry when Thorn-EMI decided to sell the Tower to THF.

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Look back at a selection of pictures from 1981 here

Preston North End may replay historic 26-goal clash

Soccer minnows Hyde United harbour a 26-goal grudge against Preston North End.

The non-leaguers have been trying to live down the memory of the biggest ever FA Cup drubbing since 1887.

The referee at Deepdale blew the final whistle five minutes early because the goal tally had become so embarrassing.

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Now Hyde, currently six points clear at the top of the Cheshire League, are out to settle the old score.

They want a return game with PNE to celebrate the Football Association and North End’s centenary celebrations.

“We thought it a great idea to stage a game between the most successful and the most disastrous team in FA goal scoring history,” Hyde director Peter Pluck said.

“Preston were called the ‘Invincibles’ in those days, but they don’t seem to be doing so well now. We can promise them a much more narrow margin this time.”

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But soccer’s modern evil - shortage of cash - looks like cancelling out the fixture.

North End chairman Alan Jones said: “There are a lot of factors to consider before staging a game like this... especially cost.”

But Mr Jones promises to consider the challenge is Hyde write to him.

Asked whether he could predict a similar score-line in PNE’s game at Queens Park Rangers he added: “I think those days are gone.”

Was murdered Lancashire woman Joan in death chain?

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A shroud of mystery still hangs over the brutal killing of Lancashire down-and-out Joan Harrison.

But the major question still to be answered is: Was she a victim of the Yorkshire Ripper?

The head of Lancashire CID, Det Chief Supt Wilf Brooks, and other top policemen were travelling to Yorkshire hoping to interview John Sutcliffe.

The link between the Ripper and the vicious murder of 26-year-old Joan Harrison has only ever been described as “a strong possibility”.

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Once a houseproud mother, she became a skid-row alcoholic after separating from her husband and seeing her children taken into care.

On November 20, 1975, after a day of drinking, she was seen walking towards Preston town centre. Her battered body was later found in a garage in the town’s Berwick Street.

Lancashire detectives quickly noted similarities between t he death and the murder of a 28-year-old woman in Leeds a month earlier - the first Ripper killing.

Police began to actively investigate the possibility that Harrison was a victim of the killer who harboured a deep hatred for prostitutes.