Layton’s Links to the Bloodiest Battle

The Battle of the Somme, where more than a million soldiers were killed in four months of machine gun warfare. Numerous British battalions were entering battle for the first time, and General Sir Henry Rawlinson issued an order that infantry troops were to advance at a walking pace in evenly spaced lines. Although many experiencedContinue reading “Layton’s Links to the Bloodiest Battle”

An Ominous Oracle

Join me for a trip down memory lane, to the bygone days of early summer, 1984. . . York Minster’s south roof was set ablaze by lightning, the miners were on strike and the largest onshore earthquake recorded in the UK hit the Llŷn Peninsula in Wales. But for those of us about to sitContinue reading “An Ominous Oracle”

Seaside Suicide

As dawn broke on the bitterly cold morning of Tuesday 16th December, 1930, two drowned bodies were discovered washed up on the beach, at South Shore, Blackpool, Lancashire. The couple were later to be identified as James Smith (aged 68) and Lily Lavinia Francis Ferris (52 years old.) James Smith was known locally as aContinue reading “Seaside Suicide”

Death of a Demimondaine

On the Eve of All Hallows’, 1951 a young Blackpool woman became the victim of a treacherously cruel act. Blackpool has had its fair share of notorious women and by the early 50s sisters ‘Madge & Mary’ were well known to the local constabulary. They were working girls, demimondaines paid for their services. Of MaryContinue reading “Death of a Demimondaine”

From Misunderstanding to Murder

In the summer of 1950, twenty year old Fred Hardisty, of Devonshire Road Blackpool, was enjoying a break from his studies at Manchester University. The son of a coal merchant and former attendee at a most prestigious private school was enjoying a rather charmed life; having enough funds to to enjoy foreign holidays and toContinue reading “From Misunderstanding to Murder”

The Senseless Slaying of a Superintendent

It may (or may not) surprise you to learn that the seaside town of Blackpool is not all ‘fresh air and fun’ for beneath its gaudy exterior lies a much darker underbelly. It isn’t the drunken girls nights out I refer to nor the bawdy stag parties, but it’s links with organised crime. This plannedContinue reading “The Senseless Slaying of a Superintendent”

Double Walker

Allow me to share with you an anomalous encounter which happened one night, albeit several years ago, in the house where I still live . . . After checking on my infant son, who was nestled beside the chimney breast in his carry cot, I climbed jadedly into my bed and pulled the covers tightlyContinue reading “Double Walker”