Allan Blackburn column

Alllan Blackburn.
Alllan Blackburn.
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On Tuesday, October 21, on what should have been my day off, I had one of the strangest experiences ever and I’ve got to share it with you.

I was locked in a prison cell.

It was all for a good cause but I bet there was a handful of people that thought I’d got my just deserts for a moment (namely my children.)

The charity “Action for Children” were behind the event and had promoted it as an excellent way to get back at your boss.

The idea being that anyone could nominate their boss to spend time in the spooky cells of Lancaster Castle, all to raise money for charity.

The Lancaster area’s most “deserved” bosses were “captured” and held to ransom – so maybe some of my staff had a hand in my incarceration too.

We were captured at 9am and were stripped of all our personal possessions except a mobile phone and a list of our business contacts, colleagues and friends.

I was in good company as in the other cells were Barry Johnson, the High Sheriff of Lancashire, Roland Hailwood, the Town Crier of Clitheroe, and two ladies Deborah Hesford and Aniela Duckworth.

We were in the “A” cells and although it was all over by lunch time, we were told that we would only be released once a special ransom had been paid (which, of course, all went to the Action for Children charity).

We spent the morning making calls and encouraging people to pledge and during our time in the cells had to raise over £250 each from donations from our friends trying to get us out.

There were loads of jokes in the cells about our staff not pledging anything and leaving us all there, but good will and charity shone through, and the money started coming in really quickly, which was fabulous, as obviously its all for such a good cause.

We were taken on a tour of all the cells that included a trip to the dungeons where the witches were held in 1612 underground with no light or water, a frightening place.

My cell was haunted by a mother and child but thankfully they didn’t make an appearance.

The Magistrate and jailer released us at 12.15 after we had signed to be good to our staff in future. We will see.