Feel good stories from a scorching-hot July to cheer up your week
July was a busy month for Lancashire. Where people weren’t sizzling like sausages under soaring temperatures, others were heading to university campus’ to throw their caps in the name of graduating. This month saw the hottest day ever recorded seep over the UK.
It was baking. Properly hot, hot, hot. While we expected to see mega sun burn and people out in the gardens firing up the grill, what we didn’t expect to see was a Wallaby hopping down the streets of Lancashire.
Truck driver Marcio Castanho, 38, stopped his truck when he spotted the furry creature and his surprise was echoed by onlookers across the county. READ MORE: The Spice Girls to reunite again as Mel B lets secret slip Although the weather quickly turned uninspiring, one Lancashire drag queen spoke about using his experiences to help young people across the county.
Ambyr Leaf, also known as Ryan, told LancsLive about an attack in 2019 which sparked something within him. Now, as Ambyr Leaf, he inspires young people to accept their true selves. Here are the top feel good stories from the month – Wallaby’s and all.
We hope it brings some light to this very rainy end of the month. If you’ve got good news to share, let us know by emailing Rebecca.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wallaby spotted on the loose in Preston
Lorry driver spotted the wallaby hopping around near Preston (SNWS)
As the county sizzled in record temperatures earlier this month, one lorry driver said he ‘felt like he was in the outback’ when he spotted a Wallaby on the loose between Preston and Southport. Marcio Castanho, 38, stopped his 18-tonne truck and filmed the marsupial as it hopped down the road in Hesketh Bank.
On the video caught by Marcio, the wallaby stops to look at him outside a garden gate in the village before hopping off down the road. Marcio said that although the weather had been “as hot as Australia”, he was surprised to see the exotic furry creature in Britain.
Asda delivery driver saves stranded hen party
A home shopping driver for Asda’s Skelmersdale store was praised for his “absolutely outstanding service” when he came to the rescue of a stranded hen party on July 18. Rob Stirk helped the group of women after seeing them ‘sprawled’ on a grass verge at the side of a road.
The hen party had been returning from a night out in Liverpool when their coach got a puncture. It wasn’t long after starting his shift that the 59-year-old delivery driver offered the helpless hens cold bottles of water to ‘save’ them from dehydration on one of the hottest days ever recorded. One of the stranded passengers, Helen, tweeted Asda’s Service Team to thank Rob for his help.
She said: “This guy saved us from dehydration. “We’d been stranded for two hours. He stopped at the side of the road and gave us cold water for free.
The young men helping transform food and drink in Blackpool
Blackpool’s multi-million investment in the town centre has seen new businesses pop up left, right and centre. Among them is a group of entrepreneurs who are slowly helping the town grow into a vibrant contemporary destination. Jake Whittington, James Lucas and Andy Shields have opened three unique bars and restaurants in the resort, with Jake opening a further two with other investors.
The trio operate as Little Blackpool Leisure Co and are the faces behind some of the most popular bars and restaurants across Blackpool. All together, the five businesses offer something totally different to what has been seen in Blackpool before, they’re also helping give it the reputation of foodie paradise.
The Lancashire drag queen using their experiences to inspire young people across the county
Ambyr Leaf, also known as Ryan Williams (Image: LancsLive/James Maloney)
Ambyr Leaf, also known as Ryan, lives in Preston. Last month he was approached to host Blackburn Pride by one of the organisers.
On the day, Ambyr performed and sang live to a joyous audience. She also shared stories and hosted a Q&A on his own personal experiences, including an attack that happened to him in Preston Town Centre back in 2019. The attack was life-changing for Ryan but it also “fired something” within him to explore things.
Then, Ambyr Leaf was born. After performing at Blackburn Pride, Ryan received a message from a young lad who told him he felt “free and comfortable in who he wanted to be” after seeing Ambyr Leaf that day. “He even said that when he got home afterwards he put on a wig, after wanting to try it out for so long,” Ryan told LancsLive, “That sort of feedback and reaction makes me emotional. It’s all about acceptance and bringing people together from the community.
“It’s a man in a wig at the end of the day, so why not have some fun?”
Great-grandad ‘Turbo Timmo’ treks 215 miles on mobility scooter for charity
A big-hearted man from Burscough rode coast to coast on his mobility scooter this month in a bit to raise funds for charity. Frank Timmings, 77, is known to those around him as ‘Turbo Timmo’. He’s had a mobility scooter for the past nine years before making the decision to ride along the Trans Pennine Trail.
The 215 mile trek started in Hornsea and saw him scoot all the way to Southport over seven days. Frank has had mobility problems following a left knee replacement operation and problems with his hips and right knee. He managed to complete the seven day challenge for Cancer Research and Burscough Methodist Church while also raising a huge GBP3,760 in the process.
Well done, Turbo Timmo!
Amazing boss gives entire workforce ‘hottest day of the year’ off to whisk them to Barcelona instead
A Lancashire boss might have bagged himself the title of Best Boss Ever this month after giving his staff the day off on the hottest day of the year – instead, he took them to Barcelona. David Davies, from Lytham, set up the Sovereign Beverage Company in 2008. After hearing that Monday July 18 was set to be the hottest day of the year, he told his team-of-11 that he was going to give them the day off.
“In its simplest terms it’s just a nice thing to do,” David said, “As a leader it’s about having that awareness of rewarding people when they work hard. In March we lost 13 per cent of our budget when I decided to stop exporting to Russia; it was the right thing to do and if I’d seen a picture of Vladimir Putin drinking one of our stouts, which was a popular product in Russia for us, it would have finished me off.” As well as letting his staff take the day to keep cool, David said he was taking the team to Barcelona later this year after creating a beer for Iron Maiden.
Man erects 25ft Blackpool Tower replica in his back garden
Overview of Doug Smiths ,59, 2018 Cuprinol Pub Shed of the Year, situated in his back garden in Hambleton, Blackpool. (Image: SWNS.COM)
A man has erected a 25ft Blackpool Tower replica in his back garden in Thornton Cleveleys and guests can even stay the night in it. Doug Smith owns the Airbnb Tower Annex View in Hambleton which sleeps four guests and has a pool. It also has a huge replica of Blackpool’s most famous landmark towering above it.
The tower was assembled in WWII by a team of apprentices before doing a tour of the country and being found by Doug in Preston. Now installed above his Airbnb, guests can enjoy a private viewing. It even lights up.
Lancashire student Laura Nuttall fights to earn degree despite devastating diagnosis
Laura Nuttall, a student from Lancashire, was given just 12 months to live after a routine eye test led to a life-changing diagnosis.
Laura quit her first university course when she was told she had incurable cancer. Laura, 22, found her life flipped upside down after learning she had Glioblastoma Multiforme. She left her university course in London to concentrate on treatment and ticking items off her bucket list.
When the family discovered an innovative new treatment available in Germany, Laura was given the chance to begin immunotherapy. She responded well to the treatment and began a new course at the University of Manchester. This month, she graduated with a 2:1.
Laura told the MEN: “In my first year, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to make it to graduation – never mind get a 2:1!” LancsLive shares the top feel good stories every month. To read more good news, click on a month here: June, May, April and March.