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No way!

THE aliens have been repelled.

HAVE aliens been hovering over Accrington? Judge for yourself from Arnold Fenton’s picture
HAVE aliens been hovering over Accrington? Judge for yourself from Arnold Fenton’s picture

THE aliens have been repelled.

Observer readers have voted by a huge majority against a proposal to erect a glowing UFO sculpture at the top of the Coppice.

In an exclusive telephone poll, 320 callers (93 per cent) opposed the plan and only 25 were in favour.

On being told the results, Hyndburn Council leader Peter Britcliffe said the scheme was now "dead in the water''.

He said: "That's very conclusive and reflects what people have been telling me. I think your readers are spot on. People really don't want this on top of the Coppice. It's a good sample and a decisive vote and we will be telling the organisers to forget it.

"But it has been a real talking point. I haven't been able to walk anywhere in Accrington without people talking to me about it. One bakery refused to serve me unless I promised to oppose it.''

But he added that the spaceship design was a good one and it might be possible to erect it elsewhere in the borough, perhaps in a park or outside the Globe Centre where its futuristic concept would be more appropriate.

Hyndburn MP Greg Pope said: "It's farewell to the flying saucer then and rightly so. They will have to erect it somewhere else. Personally I preferred the Hollywood sign, which was quite quirky."

Margaret Wyatt, marketing consultant for the project to erect six new landmarks across East Lancashire, said she could not comment until further discussions had been held with the council.

UFO spotted over Rists site

IT SEEMS the aliens won't take no for an answer.

Over 300 readers may have voted against the idea of placing a UFO sculpture on top of the Coppice - but our friends from outer space put in a special appearance of their own last weekend.

Engineer Arnold Fenton snapped this strange object (circled) buzzing over the former Rists factory in Charter Street, Accrington.

Arnold, 31, of Exchange Street, Accrington, has been taking pictures of the site while it is undergoing a major transformation into a new housing development.

He didn't see the object in the sky when he took the picture, but says his dad Robert spotted it at around teatime last Saturday.

He said "My dad was sitting down to have his tea and he saw it come down from a cloud and then zoom back up again. He said: 'What's that in the sky?' "

Arnold said the object didn't appear on any other photos and he is convinced it's not a bird, plane or helicopter.

He added: "I bought a computer and have just been pottering around with my digital camera. We have been trying to highlight problems in the area, taking pictures of bin bags and rubbish and putting them on a new website.

"My neighbour asked if I would take some pictures of the factory being torn down."

Arnold added: "I think with all this talk about a UFO being put on top of the Coppice, something or someone has come along to check it out."


Stuart Pike
Deputy editor specialising in politics
Alex Bell
Bethany English
District reporter
Beth Abbit
Court reporter
Jon Macpherson
Kate Watkins
Reporter specialising in communities
Garth Dawson
Photographer and columnist