From the Guardian files

Caton Wind Farm.
Caton Wind Farm.

What was happening around the district 25, 10 and five years ago this week

25 years ago

Hard-pressed city council officers asked the public to be understanding after the delivery of the first Poll Tax bills led to Lancaster Town Hall being swamped with inquiries from concerned members of the public. The first run of 100,000 Poll Tax bills was delivered in the district causing confusion in the town hall, after delays in supplying special bank style security screens prevented the purpose built collection office being ready in time. Queues of people packed the old rates collection office in Lancaster to pay bills, ask for rebates or to get more information.

Fifty-five jobs were to be lost in Lancaster with the closure of the city’s telephone exchange under plans, announced by British Telecom, to improve service to customers. Operators and supervisors at the manual exchange in Cawthorne Street were to be offered similar jobs elsewhere when their work was transferred to a new £1 million specialist centre in Blackburn.

10 years ago

Lancaster’s quayside landlords were looking at the possibility of keeping the Maritime Festival afloat. Lancaster City Council withdrew its funding from the annual event which meant the 17th Easter festival, which ran from Good Friday to Easter Monday, could have been the last.

Paddy Mulligan’s bar in Lancaster took the Irish connection one step further to become the city’s first non-smoking pub.

Managers at the bar took the decision to introduce the ban on smoking after seeing the positive effects of the no-smoking policy in Ireland’s pubs and bars.

Detectives in Carnforth were appealing for witnesses after £85,000 worth of soap power was stolen from a lorry at a trailer park. The incident occurred just after midnight when a 39-tonne trailer was unattended, awaiting collection from Truckhaven motorway services just off the M6 at Carnforth.

5 years ago

Plans for 20 wind turbines near the existing belt on Caton Moor had been thrown out by councillors. The controversial Community Windpower application for the 415ft high turbines at Claughton Moor near Farleton had sparked 352 objections and just 42 expressions of support. Ten objectors spoke during the Lancaster City Council planning committee meeting at which councillors were faced with an officer recommendation to refuse the scheme.

Plans for new mental health services in Lancaster had been given the green light by city councillors. The Oaklands Unit in Pathfinders Drive was to be refurbished to create an in-patient adult unit.

The plans formed part of a scheme by Lancashire Care NHS Trust to upgrade mental health services in the city, which included the closure of Ridge Lea hospital in September. The Oaklands Unit was to be renovated to provide approximately 24 beds for adults aged 18 and over after city councillors approved plans.