Lancashire nostalgia in 1996: Rugby at North End, lights in the sky and the cow jumped over the car

Trevor Hemmings now owns around a 10 per cent stake in Preston North End
Trevor Hemmings now owns around a 10 per cent stake in Preston North End

Here's a look at some of the stories that were making the headlines back in 1996:

Rugby League kicks off Deepdale debut

Rugby League is coming to Preston next summer with a brand new professional club kicking off at Deepdale.

North End bought out Chorley Magpies and will relaunch as Central Lancashire next April in the game’s second division.

The deal, believed to have cost £250,000, was unveiled as the soccer club, which floated on the stock market last year, announced £98,000 profits from its championship season.

Magpies’ multi-millionaire owner Trevor Hemmings handed over the Chorley club in return for a block of shares in PNE plc.

Significantly he has bought a further £450,000 to bring his stake to around 10 per cent in the company - a move which is likely to increase speculation that one of the North West’s richest men could be considering “doing a Jack Walker” at a club where he was once a board member.

North End, believed to have beaten off competition from two other Lancashire soccer clubs to acquire Chorley, see the move as “an attractive opportunity” to extend the use of Deepdale to an all-round facility.

The buy-out has the full backing of the Rugby League.

READ MORE: Look back at a selection of pictures from 1996 here

UFO watchers probe ‘lights in sky’ riddle

Mystery lights have been reported over Lancashire - just as UFO enthusiasts gathered for a conference.

Callers contacted the Evening Post to report strange sightings over the western side of Preston.

At 10pm on Saturday, residents of the Larches estate were stunned to see a circle of lights hovering over the estate.

An hour later, a man walking his dog near Ingol golf course was bathed in the light of what he thought might be a meteorite.

Anita Ward, 14, of Ryelands Crescent, Larches, was with her mum Julie when they saw the lights.

Anita said: “There were about 15 circles like car headlights in the sky, and an individual beam coming from one of them. It was very frightening.”

Hey diddle, diddle, the cow lands on shocked driver’s roof

A woman was injured when a cow jumped over a hedge and landed on the roof of her car.

The impact of the cow’s fall wrecked mother-of-four Hilda Pye’s Volkswagen Golf car and left her with a cracked rib.

The cow had got through a broken fence in Ashley Lane, Goosnargh, near Preston.

Mrs Pye, of Hacking Drive, Longridge, near Preston, had been delivering newspapers at home across the Ribble Valley.

Mrs Pye said: “It was just like the cow jumped over the moon, except it was a hedge! It appeared from nowhere and went with the force of a racehorse.

“It tucked its back legs in and threw its head back. I’m just under 5ft tall and my ribs hit the steering wheel. I was shocked.”

The cow was killed in the accident. It was one of 15 heifers which had broken free from a farmer’s field.

In another incident, a woman was recovering at home after she was attacked by a cow while walking on a public footpath in Preston.

She was taken to Royal Preston Hospital with serious internal injuries and four cracked ribs following the incident at Launds Farm, Chipping.

Police said the cow, owned by a local farmer, became aggressive and broke out of control, charging across the field and ramming the woman with its horns.