Nearly-Midnight The genealogy website relating to the family. A tangled web of people all related to one another, explore!
Robert Clark The Father of Henry Martyn-Clark - A missionary out in the North-West Frontier of India. One of the first Europeans to set foot in Afganistan
Affetside Census
A small village north of Bury, Lancashire, I can trace many of my immediate ancestors from there. On the Roman Road, Watling Street
Andrew Martyn-Clark My Father and his part in my World. Also my mother and his parents too.
Henry Martyn-Clark My Great Grandfather, his roots and his achievements. Discusses malaria but also his confrontations with Islam.

Update!


Many photographs have been added! LazylikeSunday.net home page lists them Please copy and reuse them - a link to LazylikeSunday will be much appreciated!

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Blackpool Police Sea Tragedy

This is an update:

Looking north up the prom. There is another level below this path. Fishermen and the emergency services use this level. This panoramic view shows the Police memorial on the right post. The new memorial is almost invisible infront of the hotel on the right. More pictures below.

I worked at the South end of Blackpool and reports were on the radio of this unfolding event. I remember some very bad gales at this time. The promenade was frequently flooded and on a couple of occasions I was on "sandbag" duty. I am not sure that this day was one of those. I do recall the horror of it all, because my wife went to school with one of the officers who died. There was a fourth officer that was pulled out of the sea by his neck - he survived. The tragedy was caused by Alistair Antony attempting to rescue his Jack Russell dog which had gone into the 20 ft waves. Mr Antony also perished in the waves. Typing in "Blackpool Sea Tragedy" into Google will give you over 5000 results. Regrettably the lure of the sea will tempt even the most cautious especially when their defences are down. This memorial is at Gynn Square at the lower end of the gardens. 


Inscription facing South down the promenade


The inscription is mounted on this pillar.
The pillar was here before the plaque
The inscription reads :

P.C.COLIN MORRISON
AGED 38 YEARS.

W.P.C. ANGELA BRADLEY
AGED 23 YEARS.

P.C. GORDON CONNOLLY
AGED 24 YEARS

THIS PLAQUE WAS DONATED BY
ENTERTAINERS AND PEOPLE OF
THE FYLDE AND DISTRICT 
IN MEMORY OF THE 
THREE BRAVE POLICE OFFICERS 
WHO LOST THEIR LIVES 
IN A SEA RESCUE ATTEMPT 
ON 5TH OF JANUARY 1983.

WE WILL NEVER                 
                 FORGET THEM

Twenty-five years (2008) on there was a memorial service and "The Evening Gazette" published this: 

Trio lost at sea 25 years ago remembered

"THEY are a beacon of inspiration to us all."
A quarter of a century on from Blackpool police's worst sea tragedy, the words of the resort's top officer summed up a day of emotion for many.
Three Blackpool officers, PC's Colin Morrison, Gordon Connolly and Angela Bradley, died while trying to save the life of holidaymaker Alistair Anthony in the sea off Gynn Square. All four died.
This weekend, hundreds of residents joined serving and retired emergency service staff to pay their respects to the brave men and women who gave their lives in order to save others.
The families of the officers who died on that fateful day in 1983 were in attendance.
Braving freezing temperatures at the cliffs of the landmark, Chief Supt Russ Weaver said their bravery shone brightest of all at this emotional time.
He added: "This is a day of mixed emotions for many people here. There are people here who will remember it all too clearly and there are those who will cherish the memories of their loved ones forever.
"The officers lost here are a credit to Lancashire Constabulary. They died trying to save a person who they did not know.
"They knew the risks involved but were prepared to go into the sea and help a man who had gone into to rescue his pet.
"Their names are on the walls of meeting rooms in memory and their pictures still adorn the walls of their family homes.
"We will never forget them and it is because of their bravery so many other people have been saved from the sea in the 25 years since that tragic day."
Chief Constable of Lancashire Steve Finnigan laid the first of many wreaths below the plague bearing the names of the officers following a minutes silence on Queens Promenade.
PC Morrison's body was recovered by a winchman lowered from a helicopter while PC Bradley's body was recovered from a sandbank at Preesall. The remains of PC Connolly were not found until January 27.

I am not sure if the memorial is on the UK National inventory of War Memorials - I feel it should be.

However there is information about police who have  died in service here. This was not the only tragedy to a serving policeman in blackpool.

The cenotaph is approximately one mile south of this memorial at Talbot Square and the Mexico Memorial is another 3 miles down the coast in St Annes. There are actually three Mexico memorials - they have been photographed and will be discussed at some point.

This below is the update, mostly photographic. There seems to be a point to add those who died doing service. There is little link to the police memorial. I will try and find Gerry Richardson's grave here too. I feel that the memorial should include the names of those who gave their lives to the community - All though it is significant without that information it means less - My thoughts - that's all.

From across the promenade road.
The tram tracks are visible

The black slab showing the four services
"To those of the emergency services who give all or part of their lives serving
others with bravery and commitment"

Closer view of the 4 services highlighted in white

Lancashire Constabulary      Lancashire Fire and Rescue
The Coast Guard        The North West Ambulance Service


View from the path at Jubilee Gardens.
This looks from the sea side towards the car-park.

Showing the Police Memorial on the column and
the Services memorial in front of the tram

The 2 memorials from the north

Looking South towards Gynn Square.
The tram track turns up round the front of the hotel in the background.
I feel there is more information to be added to this page.

There is more information at the page:
 http://www.blackpoolgazette.co.uk/news/crime/tribute-to-999-services-1-5048734



5 comments:

  1. Thank you for remembering.

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  2. NEW MEMORIAL UNVEILED YESTERDAY - SEE BLACKPOOL GAZETTE

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  3. Thank you Anonymous - I got the opportunity to photograph it!

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  4. Not mentioned here but Gordon left a wife who was pregnant with his child
    RIP x

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  5. Remember this very well I was 13 (now 44) my dad was a serving Police Officer in Preston (now thankfully retired)he knew a couple of the Police Officer incl the one that survived PC Abram.The amazingness of the Dr whom was out for a stroll whom saved his life. RIP to them all xxxx and love support and respect xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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