Lancashire nostalgia in 1986: Rod Stewart superfan, a poodle in love and man sets fire to biscuits

Superfan Francis Fishwick got up on stage with Rod Stewart
Superfan Francis Fishwick got up on stage with Rod Stewart

Here's a look at some of the stories that were making the headlines back in 1986:

Rod’s superfan Francis takes a bow

Millionaire rock star Rod Stewart formed a surprise new pop partnership... with a Lancashire steelworker.

For three minutes he shared the spotlight before 12,500 ecstatic fans with 27-year-old Francis Fishwick.

The pair sang an impromptu duet of “Twisting the Night Away” on stage at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham.

It was the fulfilment of a dream for superfan Francis, who has followed Rod around Britain and Europe for the past 11 years.

And to make the moment even more memorable, he stripped off his T-shirt and danced with his idol.

Francis, of Dickens Road, Coppull, near Chorley, said: “It was one of the greatest moments of my life. It will be something to tell my grandchildren about.”

READ MORE: Look back at a selection of pictures from 1986 here

A little dog’s tale of love and power causes full-scale panic

An ageing poodle’s search for passion sparked off a full scale rabies alert at a Lancashire power station.

Another pooch lured lustful Cognac on a mission of love - into a no-go area at Heysham’s massive nuclear complex.

His breach of security sent the authorities into a panic. They thought he had jumped ship from a foreign boat at Heysham docks, side-stepping all important customs and quarantine regulations.

Cognac’s scraggy appearance didn’t help calm fears - at 16-years-old his eyesight’s failing, he’s arthritic with runny eyes and nose and his tongue hangs out of the side of his mouth as he’s only got two teeth.

What’s more he was wearing a collar with an inscription in French.

Cognac realised he’d bitten off more than he could chew when he was whisked away into a locked room and examined by a queue of police, vets and officials.

Twelve hours later the authorities realised they had been barking up the wrong tree - Cognac’s “mum”, 44-year-old Pontins chalet maid Mrs Sarah Aitken reported him missing.

From her caravan home at Heysham’s Ocean Edge Park she said: “I bought his collar at a market in Morecambe. The translation of the inscription actually means ‘made in England.’”

Man sets fire to biscuits

A man set fire to a grocer’s shop in a fit of temper after being unable to steal a packet of biscuits through the letter box.

Peter Atkinson, 21, of Manor Road, Whalley, was given a two-year probation order by Clitheroe Magistrates after being found guilty of arson.

He had pleaded not guilty at an earlier hearing but the magistrates found the case proved against him and the case was adjourned for reports.

At the earlier hearing the court was told how Atkinson had tried to steal some biscuits through the letter box at Fenton’s Spar shop in Whalley.

When he failed he set the biscuits alight with a match, damaging property worth £355.

Despite admitting the offence in a statement given to the police, in court Atkinson blamed the fire on a 15-year-old girl who had been with him at the time, saying he had covered up for her earlier because she was so young and because he did not want her to get into a lot of trouble.

Atkinson was also ordered to pay £355 compensation and £90 in prosecution costs.