What was happening around the district 25, 10 and five years ago this week?
25 years ago
Hornby and its neighbouring village across the Lune, Gressingham, scooped two of the major awards in the Lancashire Best Kept Village Competition. Hornby beat off opposition from 28 other villages to be judged the best small village in the county – one better than the previous year when it was runner-up. Gressingham received the trophy for the best hamlet from 16 entries after coming second the year before.
Local family doctors had given a big thumbs down to the Government’s controversial plans to reform the NHS. General practitioners in Lancaster, Morecambe, Carnforth and the rural areas felt their patients would lose from plans to introduce “market forces” into the NHS.
Applications for places at Lancaster University had broken all records, with 20,500 prospective students seeking the university’s coveted 1,257 undergraduate places. In spite of an 800 increase in applications over the previous year, in line with a national upsurge in demand for university places, Lancaster was offering only 40 more places for the term starting in October.
10 years ago
The majority of Lancaster city councillors had given their full support to the proposed northern Heysham M6 link road. Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrats and Independent councillors backed the northern route over the western route at a full council meeting, but the Green Party rejected both routes.
John Prescott was at the centre of an angry housing row which would threaten demolition for Lancaster’s much-loved Piccadilly Gardens training centre in Scotforth.
The previous year the Deputy Prime Minister banned new home building on greenfield land in Lancaster district. Re-use of land already under bricks and mortar was also out, except in very special circumstances.
But the two acres of Piccadilly Gardens – which helped people with learning difficulties through horticultural work – could be razed to the ground and a housing estate built in their place. Mr Prescott’s office claimed the charity was on land earmarked (by his department) for housing.
A Lancaster vicar had been chosen by the Bishop of Blackburn to become the new Dean of Lancaster. The Rev Phil Hudd, from Christ Church, had been appointed by the Right Rev Nicholas Reade, to act as the link between the bishop and the Lancaster clergy.
Plans for 50 houses to be built on the old coal yard site in North Road, Carnforth, had been given the green light by city councillors.
Members of the planning committee approved the development which would include properties from small two-bedroomed flats and cottages to large four-bedroomed detached houses.
5 years ago
Angry families kicked up a stink after they were told sewage flooding which poured on to their gardens and driveways was “not a priority”. Water chiefs told them they were to blame for problems in Longlands Road and Granville Road, Vale, after a CCTV investigation revealed the sewer was blocked with fat and grease.
Spooky happenings at Lancaster Leisure Park were laid to rest when a team of ghostbusters were called in. The GB Antiques owner called in Morecambe’s Phoenix Group, after claiming he, his staff and customers had put up with eerie noises and movements for nearly three years.
A roving retriever named Buster was sniffing out a prestigious national Guide Dog of the Year award. Buster had been entered for the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association awards and had been chosen as a North West regional winner. The three-year-old golden retriever was to compete against other regional winners in the Life changing category, with the winner due to be announced at a ceremony at the Kennel Club in London.