Preston fostering couple receive royal invite

A Preston couple who have fostered hundreds of children were recently invited to the Queen’s Garden Party at Buckingham Palace.

George, 75, and Jos, 74, Hindle attended the annual event which saw special guests enjoying tea on the lawns of the monarch’s famous residence.

The couple were invited to the party after fostering a total of 241 children since they started fostering for Lancashire County Council in 1979.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh hosted the event, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended along with other members of the Royal Family, such as the Earl of Wessex, Princess Royal, Princess Beatrice, Duke of Kent and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent.

George Hindle said: “It was a brilliant day and it felt like such an honour to be invited.

“We first went through to a grand room at Buckingham Palace before going out into the massive gardens where there were marquees set up.

“Everyone was in their finery and the Royal Family came out onto the steps and the national anthem was played then they did a walk about.

“We met lots of interesting people including from the armed forces and it was a really good atmosphere with excellent food and a brass band playing.

“It was a lovely experience and we made a short break of it by staying in London for a couple of days with our two sons and their wives.”

After fostering for the county council for 37 years, the couple retired last year.

They were put forward for recognition by the fostering team after their years of dedicated service, and the Chairman of the council formally requested an invitation for them to the garden party.

Jos said: “We’ve looked after all age groups from babies to teenagers, for anything from a couple of days until they have grown up.

“We’ve even extended our family by adopting five children over the years, and we consider them all an equal part of our family.

“I’ve loved every minute and I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

Barbara Bath, Head of Fostering and Adoption at Lancashire County Council said:

“Jos and George have dedicated their lives to providing a nurturing and stable home environment for children, whilst plans were being made for their futures.

“I felt that their extraordinary commitment and understanding towards children in the care system in Lancashire deserved special recognition.

“Even though they have retired from fostering, they are continuing to support the two teenage siblings who are living with them for as long as they wish to.

“The effort they have made to encourage their health, education and social skills has helped these young people reach their potential and both are now going to university.

“This shows Jos and George’s genuine desire to get the best outcomes for children and young people and their wish to fully include them in their family life.”

Lancashire County Council is currently recruiting new foster carers to look after around 20 children a week who come into their care and a package of support is available 24/7 to help foster carers in their role, including a generous allowance, local support groups, their own social worker, a dedicated helpline and flexible training.

Anyone interested in finding out more about fostering is encouraged to contact the county council’s friendly team on 0300 123 6723 or visit the website.

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End of road for city bollards?

The notorious Fishergate Bollard and his five concrete chums could find their days are numbered now the Tories have taken over at County Hall.

A new county highways chief has put the hapless traffic markers at the top of his priority list this week with four out of six currently off the road after being hit by vehicles.

Coun Keith Iddon, who only took over as cabinet member for highways and transportation on Thursday, admitted to the Post he had already been briefed on the strange case of the disappearing bollards.

“We’re trying to get to the bottom of why they keep getting knocked down,” said Coun Iddon. “They’re big and have lights, so there must be an issue. So it will be one of my first things to look at this week.”

While the old Labour administration slavishly replaced them every time they were knocked off their pedestals – in particular, the one with its own Twitter account – the new Tory team is to take a long, hard look at why they keep getting flattened.

And with critics saying they serve no useful purpose – and are really just a load of bollards – there is a chance it could spell the end for the social media favourite and his chums.

The catalogue of crashes has gripped Twitter – and the columns of the Post – since August last year.

The worst record of collisions belongs to the most prominent concrete marker at the junction with Corporation Street, near to the entrance to the Fishergate Shopping Centre.

County Hall staff admit they have lost count of the number of times it has been knocked over by drivers who, despite it standing more than three feet tall and sitting on a large stone, somehow fail to see it.

The regularity of pictures of an empty plinth appearing on social media led to some wag starting up a Twitter account called Fishergate Bollard.

But while that particular marker has been hogging the media, others have been suffering from wayward motorists too.

Now, after four were wiped out in the space of less than two months, all of them in separate crashes, the new Tory administration has vowed to renew the issue.

The first was flattened on March 24 by a car at 1.30am. On May 9 in the early morning a second was wiped out by a wagon.

Six days later the famous Fishergate Bollard was sent bouncing down the road for the umpteenth time. And then on Friday a fourth bit the dust.

“I’ve been inundated with calls about all sorts of things like potholes since I took over highways and transportation,” said Coun Iddon. “But the bollards are high on my priority list.

“We’ve just had a visit from Wolverhampton Council who wanted to look at our scheme because they are planning one of their own. It was during that visit that my attention was drawn to the bollards being down.

“We have been trying to establish why people keep running into them. It’s obviously an issue and one we need to look into to see what we should do.”

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Two goats die in Preston fire

Two goats died as fire engulfed stables in Preston.

Firefighters were called to land off Sulby Drive, Ribbleton, just after 10pm last night.

Officers found the wooden stables well alight.

A horse had been led to safety by the owners, but two goats inside perished.

Preston fire crews used two jets to extinguish the flames.

A caravan nearby was also destroyed.

Watch manager Chris Wales of Preston fire station said the cause was under investigation.

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Trailblazing Preston footballers honoured at last

They paved the way for women’s football, but over the years have received little recognition or support – not least from the FA, who banned them from pitches, saying that the game was “quite unsuitable for females”.

But 100 years since they were formed, the Dick, Kerr Ladies FC are finally being honoured with a blue plaque.

Formed as a morale-boosting exercise during the First World War, the team became hugely popular, drawing a crowd of 53,000 when they played St Helen’s at Everton’s Goodison Park in 1920.

But their success attracted detractors, and in 1921 the Football Association banned women’s football from being played in FA grounds.

The ban lasted until 1971 and changed the face of women’s football forever.

But on Thursday, the ladies finally achieved the recognition they deserved with a blue plaque – used to mark historic achievements – erected at the Alstom Factory on Strand Road, where the team was formed.

David Taylor, pro-chancellor and chairman of the board at the University of Central Lancashire, which helped organise the plaque, said: “The Dick, Kerr Ladies story is a key part of Preston’s sporting heritage. In our role as a civic university, we are delighted to work alongside Gail and the many other hard working volunteers to highlight and commemorate the amazing achievements of these pioneering women.

“The Dick, Kerr Ladies all came from very traditional working class backgrounds and became the most successful women’s football team in history. For the people who live, work and study in our city, their success is something we should warmly celebrate.

“We have already given our backing to establishing a bronze relief in Preston to further celebrate these amazing sporting trailblazers and look forward to working with Gail on several other events planned this year to mark the Dick, Kerr Ladies centenary year.”

Gail Newsham, author of In a League of Their Own: A History of Dick, Kerr Ladies FC, said: “I have been championing the Dick, Kerr Ladies for 25 years. No other town or city in the world can boast the proud history of this pioneering team. I have always believed in them and been in awe of their success.

“They certainly deserve this long overdue honour. This blue plaque is the first in the world for the best in the world.

“Words cannot express how thrilled I am for them today.”

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An Evening with Simon King OBE – hosted by Lancashire Badger Group

The Big Cat Watch presenter and nature photographer, Simon King OBE, is coming to Preston to celebrate Lancashire Badger Group’s 25th Anniversary.

As part of 25 years of promoting and protecting badgers, Lancashire Badger Group has invited Simon King OBE to share his stories and photographs, creating this unique opportunity to share in some of Simon’s own encounters with nature.

‘An Evening With Simon King’ will take place on Thursday 22nd June, 7pm, at the Marriot Hotel, Broughton, Preston. PR3 3JB.

Come along and share an evening with the man behind the lens and let Simon take you on a journey as he recounts his encounters with wildlife, including badgers.

Photo courtesy of Alan Seymour

Tickets can be purchased online from the Lancashire Badger Group website

www.lancashirebadgergroup.org.uk/2017/04/14/evening-simon-king-obe/

The cost is £20.00 (plus £1.99 booking fee.) For further information please see our website or e-mail events@lancashirebadgergroup.org.uk

Tickets can also be purchased through the post: please phone 0844 870 7908 for further information.

We look forward to seeing you on this special evening.

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WATCH: Ed Sheeran & Anne-Marie ‘Ciao Adios’ dressing room performance will give you goosebumps

These two! 💖 💖 💖

Anne-Marie’s been supporting Ed Sheeran on the European leg of his ‘÷’ World Tour.

They even found time to perform an acoustic version of Anne-Marie’s hit ‘Ciao Adios’. Filmed in what we are guessing is one of their dressing room, Ed plays the track on his guitar as they both sing. Anne-Marie uploaded the video of their performance, writing ‘it was the best thing ever in the world touring with this human. Here’s a little something we did in the dressing rooms just before the show.’

The pair have clearly been loving tour life together, with Anne-Marie showing lots of love for Ed on her Instagram.

Next stop for Ed’s Divide Tour is Latin America for 14 dates, before heading back to the UK to headline Glastonbury on the Sunday night.

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Son attacked his father after he fell down stairs drunk

A son who launched a “frenzied and sustained” attack on his drunken father while he was seriously injured from falling downstairs has been jailed for 26 weeks.

Preston Crown Court was told John Harvey junior, 25, claimed father John Harvey senior had inflicted years of physical abuse on him – facts accepted by prosecutors in the case.

Sporting a crucifix and blazer jacket, he looked straight ahead as barristers revealed none of the family members wanted to make a statement about the incident, which happened at an address in Penwortham on New Year’s Eve.

At around 3.30am police received an emergency call from his mother and when they attended they found Mr Harvey senior lying at the foot of the stairs.

The court heard there was blood on the staircase.

The man had suffered a deep facial wound and his son was arrested on suspicion of assault when he told them: “I’ll admit I hit the c**t – I want the c**t to admit what he did to me.”

The older man told officers if he was “10 years younger I’d have battered him”.

Harvey, of Howick Cross Lane, Penwortham, admitted causing actual bodily harm.

Prosecuting Steven Swift said: “He pleaded guilty on the basis that he returned home and his father attacked him at the top of the stairs. He was not responsible for the lacerations – they were caused when he fell.

“Despite his injuries, he continued to be aggressive. The defendant admits punching him beyond reasonable self defence.

“He was angry at the aggression and the physical abuse he and other members of his family had suffered over many years.”

Judge Simon Newell was told a 12-year-old girl had witnessed the attack.

After struggling at the top of the stairs, Mr Harvey senior began to go downstairs but fell halfway. He suffered a scalp haematoma and fractured nose.

The defendant punched him at least 20 times.

Jacob Dyer, defending, said: “I appreciate there are aggravating features because the complainant was badly injured and a child was present.

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