Lancashire nostalgia in 1979: Petrol panic, council toss-up and pilfered teeth

Petrol pumps run dry at service stations from Lancaster to Scotland
Petrol pumps run dry at service stations from Lancaster to Scotland

Here's a look at some of the stories that were making the headlines back in 1979:

Don’t panic! That is the advice from motoring chiefs over petrol

Holiday motorists faced a complete petrol drought as all motorway service stations between Lancaster and Scotland ran dry.

And the one garage that remained open - Forton on the M6 - was operating on a £2 limit with only one day’s supply left.

Police and motoring organisation chiefs advised people to stay at home as many of the A-road stations remained closed for the Bank Holiday.

AA spokesman Jim Beckley said: “The situation is very bleak on the North West motorways. There is no real petrol shortage - panic buying and the rush to beat price rises have caused the problems.”

One of the handful of garages open in town areas was the Koala Services in Leyland Lane, Leyland. Manager Keith Halliwell said: “We set ourselves a figure of about 2,000 gallons a day, and as soon as we have sold that much we shut up shop. We are not rationing yet.” Four star fuel at the station is 93 ½p.

A spokesman at the Plough Station in Blackpool Road, Preston, also open, said: “Two of our five pumps have dried up, but we are not rationing yet.” Four star there is 97.9p.

The AA warned: “Don’t buy petrol you don’t need.”

READ MORE: Look back at a selection of pictures from 1979 here

Toss-up is the unusual outcome to the race for Adlington seat

The battle for the Adlington seat on Chorley Council turned out to be a real nail-biter... and eventually the result had to be decided on the toss of a coin.

After a night of anticipation and two recounts, the two candidates - William Lawson, Conservative, and Tom Fraser, Labour - just could not believe they had both polled the same, despite the 82 per cent turnout.

But returning officer Mr Brian Webster said there was no mistake and, after hurried consultations with their agents, the two candidates decided on the novel form of democracy.

Mr Webster, who is the council’s chief executive, took a 10p coin from his pocket and called: “Heads for Labour, tails for Conservative.”

The anticipation was etched across the faces of both candidates as the coin spun. But it soon turned to delight for Mr Lawson when it was announced he had held the seat for the conservatives.

Afterwards, Mr Lawson, who is Mayor of Adlington and lives in Railway Road, said: “It could only happen in Adlington. I am just sorry it had to happen this way.”

Mr Fraser, of Ollerton Street, Adlington, who was also defeated in the last local election, said: “The law says that is how the situation should be resolved and I believe in the law, but obviously I am disappointed.”

By gum! Bill’s teeth hi-jacked...

Stone the crows! Pensioner Bill Stables is feeling a sucker for punishment after his encounter with a thieving blackbird.

For 72-year-old Bill lost his gnashers after a bizarre series of events which started with a breakfast-time bacon sandwich.

Bill, of Lichfield Road, Savick, had choked on the sandwich, coughed up a tough piece of meat and in disgust hurled it out of the window.

The scavenging blackbird then seized the opportunity for a quick bite and winged away with the tasty morsel.

And as the bird soared over the rooftops Bill suddenly realised his bottom set of dentures were still embedded in the discarded sandwich.

“A lot of people didn’t believe me when I told them what had happened and all my mates have made a joke out of it,” said Bill.