FIRE-BALLS OVER BLACKPOOL
PEOPLE THROWN OFF THEIR FEET
TWO balls of fire floating over the centre of the town gave
hundreds of Blackpool holiday-makers the scare their lives to-day during a thunder
storm which swept in from the Irish Sea and spread over the town with amazing
Young girls fainted when there was a bright flash and a terrific
explosion. Cashiers in the pay boxes at the Tower Buildings were thrown off their
feet. Electric light circuits were thrown out of gear, and wireless sets exploded.
Half an hour the storm has passed on, and the sun was shining again, but many of
the people who were in Bank Hey-street and on the Promenade near the scene of the
explosion were so badly scared that taxis had to be got to take them home.
In the centre of the town the telephone service was temporarily
interrupted, but quickly resumed, and the Post Office was inundated with inquiries.
But in some parts of the town within mile of the Tower Building the storm had not
been felt at all, and there had not been a drop of rain.
A man who saw the fire balls told a "Lancashire Daily
Post" reporter that both seemed to land on the top of the Tower building.
"The flash was right over the Tower itself,” he
said, "and I saw two balls of fire floating downwards. They were not near
the Tower, but seemed to come down on to the workshops. One
disappeared, and the other seemed to bounce and roll outwards into the air to
descend in Heywood-street."
“It was like being back in France,” said Harold
Brierley, Larkhill-street, Blackpool, who was in a refreshment room the Swan
Hotel, in Back Hey-street.
"We saw a flash which seemed to travel right round the
room and then there was terrific bang. I thought a Big Bertha had hit us. Women
screamed and for a moment wondered what had happened."
"The lights went out, and we heard another explosion
upstairs. Mr, Jackson, the manager of the hotel, ran out of the room and in
moment he came back and told us that the wireless set had exploded."
"A shopkeeper ran in and said his wireless was on
Mr. Jackson told a "Lancashire Daily Post” reporter
that a sheet of flame came out the wireless set near the mains connections, and
then whole set seemed to be in flames. "I had the shock of my life,” he
said. ”The room seemed to be full of burning rubber, and of course, the set was
Then the Downpour
The suddenness of the crash startled people all over the centre
of the town, and visitors in cafes and shoppers well as shop keepers rushed into
the streets fearful of an explosion. The electric light service was quickly
restored and there was interruption of the tram services.
The sunshine which followed the storm quickly disappeared and
rain began to fall steadily over the whole of the town.
"lnto the Sea"
A car park attendant who looks after vehicles a narrow by-way
between the Tower buildings and Woolworth’s stores claims to have seen a
thunderbolt drop into the sea.
"I heard a terrific bang, and saw a vivid flash over
Hill's bazaar,” he said. "Looking towards the Promenade I saw a very bright
blue flash over the tramway wires.”
"I thought for the moment that the wires were down. A dark object seemed to
leap the wire and vanish into the sea.”
"I got the wind up for the moment, because the thunderbolt appeared to come
down this narrow passage, and seemed as if it would strike the cars I am
The man in charge of the inquiry bureau on the Promenade could not verity reports
of a thunderbolt having gone into the sea. He stated that he heard a terrific bang
from the town side of the Promenade, but did not see any thunderbolt come over.
Lancashire Evening Post - Friday 07 July 1933