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July 2019: Blackpool and the Lancashire Coast

Its illumination time in Blackpool. Lancashire in October is not likely to be your choice for a sunshine break, but that is not why ...More
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Dick Francis

WWII Spitfire and Hurricane pilot; champion jockey; racing correspondent; and for nearly half a century best-selling thriller writer. And all that after leaving school without a qualification to his name. Dick Francis, who died on February 14, was not the gentleman amateur that might be assumed by such a list of occupations. He was the son of a jockey who had to work hard to get on, a habit that saw him still writing in his 90th year. His thrillers were set in the racing world that was in his blood. How fitting given his subsequent career that his most famous racing moment remains a mystery the unexplained and dramatic collapse of his mount Devon Loch on a seemingly easy run-in to win the 1956 Grand National.

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Ambition makes more trusty slaves than need. - Ben Jonson
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On this day:
The Battle of Otterburn - 1388, The Samlesbury Witch Trial - 1612, Salem Witches Executed - 1692, Bonnie Prince Charlie raises standard at Glenfinnan - 1745, Storm Claims 100 Scottish Fishermen - 1848, The Hungerford Massacre - 1987
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