Lancashire nostalgia in 1987: Crib burns, mind-boggling questions and dwarfs in short supply...

Popular Christmas nativity scene in Preston is hit by mystery blaze
Popular Christmas nativity scene in Preston is hit by mystery blaze
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Here's a look at some of the stories that were making the headlines back in 1987:

Blaze hits much loved market crib

One of Preston’s best-loved Christmas attractions has been destroyed by a mystery blaze.

The nativity tableau on the Flag Market has been enjoyed by generations of children. It featured rare Italian figures which cost £2,000 when they were imported 40 years ago.

Investigators were trying to find the cause of the fire which wrecked the crib. An electrical fault is thought to have triggered the blaze.

Meanwhile council chiefs were trying to assemble a temporary scene.

But they believe the charming figures may have been unique and cannot be replaced.

Borough engineer Mr John Bennett said: “It is a sad blow. Almost everyone who crosses the square stops to look at it. We don’t think we can find exactly the same pottery figures.”

READ MORE: Look back at a selection of pictures from 1987 here

Mind boggles at odd tourists questions

Some of the odd questions posed by Lakeland tourists are listed in a newly published annual report.

The seventh produced by South Lakeland District Council, it includes a light-hearted look back at some of the gems to confront staff at the Windermere tourist information centre this year.

They were asked, in all seriousness: Where can we go to be chased by goats? Our friends went on a walk and got chased, and we want a similar experience.

How big are the mountain goats and are they comfortable?

What time does the Lake District close?

Where do you get a visa for Scotland?

Are there any wallabies in the Lake District?

Cockermouth - anything to do with cocker spaniels?

The mind boggles!

Seven dwarfs in short supply...

Panto bosses in Preston have solved a shortage of dwarfs - by using schoolchildren instead.

Theatre managements throughout Britain have been forced to reduce the number of diminutive people appearing alongside Snow White because they are in such short supply.

Some producers are resorting to dimming the lights when Dopey and Grumpy run onto the stage, so the audience cannot tell their five workmates are missing. In other productions, a handful of dwarfs are forced to run around so fast they can’t be counted.

Preston Charter Theatre’s production of Snow White features a full set of seven dwarfs - but they are all full-sized children from the Barbara Saunders-Jones School of Dancing, based in Preston.