From the Guardian files

Asda Lancaster
Asda Lancaster

Here’s what was happening around the district five, 10 and 25 years ago.

Five years ago

April 9 2010

Plans for Carnforth High school and Central Lancaster High school to jointly provide a sixth form met with encouragement from Education Secretary Ed Balls. The cabinet minister was told about the proposal during a whistle-stop visit to Carnforth High. And headteacher John Shannon said Mr Balls had been “very supportive” of the idea. Pupils who had to look elsewhere if they wanted to continue their education post-GCSE, could be taught by staff at both schools depending on the options they chose.

Councillors approved plans by Asda to extend its store in Ovangle Road, Lancaster. The white-clad single-storey extension would see floor space increase from 9,619 sq metres to 10,665 sq metres. The layout of the store car park was also to be reconfigured.

Two Lancaster shops closed after buyers couldn’t be found. Adams childrenswear in St Nicholas Arcades was shut as was Ethel Austin. MCR, administrators for both stores, were unable to find buyers for either premises. Value clothing retailer Ethel Austin had gone into administration for the second time in two years.

Protesters from the Lancaster district travelled to Bolton to help counter a demonstration by the English Defence League. A coachload of around 50 people, including teachers, NHS staff, students and members of Lancaster Unity, made the journey to oppose what they saw as an organisation of racists and football yobs.

Ten years ago

April 8 2005

More retail therapy seemed to be planned for Lancaster residents. Lancaster City Council announced it had granted preferred developer status on urban regeneration specialist Centros Miller. The company had plans for a “new traditional city shopping-led scheme” on the 10-acre site to the rear of the Dukes theatre known as the Canal Corridor North.

More than 40 Carnforth residents were angry, saddened and disappointed at the proposal for a skateboard park in their road. Worried homeowners of Dunkirk Avenue believed the project, estimated to cost £60,000, would cause major problems with crime, litter, drugs, bullying and noise pollution.

Silverdale residents spoke out against plans for another home for children with behavioural difficulties in the village. Around 150 concerned residents met for a public meeting with Witherslack Hall group of schools, who planned to buy former residential home, Cumbria View, to house boys with educational behavioural difficulties.

The Mayor of Lancaster sent his congratulations to Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles on their forthcoming wedding at the weekend. Prince Charles, who holds the freedom of the city of Lancaster, was sent the message on behalf of the city.

The longest surviving winner of the Grand National was to be moving into a new permanent residence in Halton later in the year. Hallo Dandy, then 32, won the race in 1984 and was a resident at the Thoroughbred Rehabilitation Centre in Garstang which was to be relocating.

Twenty five years ago

April 6 1990

Armed robbers, who held up a security van collecting cash from Morecambe’s West End branch of the Midland Bank may have got away with as much as £25,000 according to unofficial reports. Morecambe police would not confirm the amount taken in the lightning raid but they did say it was “substantial”. The well-planned operation was carried out at 10.45am at the bank entrance on Marine Road as two employees of Security Express were carrying out a routine collection. Both guards were out of their vehicle when the one carrying the money was stopped by a man brandishing a sawn-off shotgun who told him to hand over the cash bag.

Patients were to be transferred from Beaumont Hospital to enable the site to be put on the market in the summer as planned, even though health chiefs said the site may not be sold until 1991 or 1992. Downward trends in land and property values led the Regional Health Authority to believe that a previous valuation of the hospital site should be reviewed and they said the disposal of the site in 1990/1991 “may not now be prudent”.

Poll Tax protestors planned to publicly destroy demands for payment at a rally in Lancaster’s Market Square. The announcement was made at a meeting of the Anti Poll Tax Union at Lancaster’s Storey Institute, which attracted around 100 activists. Attendees were told to ask everyone they knew to take along Poll Tax demands delivered to homes in the district for a mass shredding.