Lancashire nostalgia in 2009: 'Toxic Terry' goes viral; underground Ring Way in Preston; and puzzle prize home
Here's a look at some of the stories that were making the headlines back in 2009:
'Toxic Terry' goes viral online
He is one of Preston’s most notorious criminals – but “Toxic Terry” is fast developing a cult following.
Terrence Ashcroft is known throughout Preston for drinking petrol and sniffing lighter fluid, as well as accidentally setting himself on fire.
The 36-year-old is homeless and is currently serving a four-month jail term for breaching his ASBO... yet also has an online fan club with almost 3,000 members.
A group called the Toxic Terry Fan Club has been formed on social networking site Facebook to chronicle his troubled life.
Under his ASBO he was prohibited from having any petroleum or solvents, as well as from making 999 calls other than in an emergency, and from using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour.
The site features various pictures of Terry with his “friends”, including some of him recovering in hospital.
It also contains spoof tubs of Toxic Terry Adhesive as well as a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The site’s message board has been flooded with stories about him as well as messages of support.
One said: “He’ll be happy enough inside until April/May when they let him out.
“We’ll all miss him but it’s probably the best place for him in this weather. He’s just as famous in prison though as he is on the streets – as soon as he goes in everyone wants to see the legend in the flesh.”
Another reads: “Hope Terry has a good hol – won’t be long before he is out enjoying himself again.”
But Steve Lambert, director of volatile substance abuse charity Re-Solv, said his problems are a “tragedy” which should not be celebrated.
He said: “I think that rather than looking up to this person they should be saying this is the tragedy of a life destroyed.”
Underground Ring Way plan
City leaders have been urged to consider plans to bury part of Preston’s Ring Way underground.
Architect David Cox has drawn up £20m proposals to create an underpass to allow the Friargate junction to be turned into a public square.
But his idea has so far received a lukewarm reception from council chiefs concerned where the funding would come from.
City bosses and traders said the idea would help to bring the two halves of the city together.
Malcolm McVicar, vice-chancellor at the University of Central Lancashire, said: “Ring Way is an artificial barrier within the city of Preston and fragments the city.”
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: We look back at the year 2008
Puzzle prize odds are a long shot
A man has offered his £675,000 Lancashire home as a prize in a puzzle competition.
Once entrants solve the sudoku number puzzle they pay a £50 entry fee to receive a place in the prize competition to win the detached home in Wyre.
Owner Dave Mackie, 49, said: “There is no catch. I’m looking to retire abroad and the time has come to move on. I thought this was a fun way to get rid of the old house and beat the credit crunch.
“If I haven’t got the sufficient number of successful entrants by February 2010, then someone wins the competition fund as a cash prize.”
Mr Mackie said the maximum odds of winning his home, in Hambleton, Over Wyre, are 14,000/1.