We look back at what was making the news around the district 25, 10 and five years ago this week.
25 Years Ago
A noble tradition of seafaring profit-sharing and mutual trust came to an end when Morecambe Trawlers Limited, a 70-year-old fishermen’s co-operative, closed down. Gone were the days when 50 boats left Morecambe to scoop up rich catches in the shrimping grounds of the Bay.
In the industry’s heyday, 100 fishermen followed the hard and hazardous way of life on the local trawlers. Hardship gave rise to the formation of the second co-operative in the country, allowing the men to run their own business, from catching to marketing, greatly improving the lot of local fishermen.
Lancaster City Council had been accused of having an “unbelievably cavalier approach” in its dealings with a popular city centre supermarket due to be demolished to provide access to the new retail development. The city centre public inquiry spent a day listening to the objections of Kiwk Save, Wood Street, who faced a compulsory purchase order by the council, whose proposals required complete clearance of the site.
10 Years Ago
A farmer whose brightly coloured barn had become a dazzling landmark in Kirkby Lonsdale had won an appeal to allow the paint job to stay. Council chiefs had demanded that the farmer repaint his barn a more suitable colour but an appeal overturned the order by South Lakeland District Council. The farmer had painted the barn in shades of red, white, blue and yellow after councillors rejected a planning application to convert it.
County councillors in Cumbria had given a cautious welcome to plans for a 12-mile bridge across Morecambe Bay. The bridge, which would link Cumbria and Lancashire, was discussed by Cumbria County Council’s cabinet. The concept was being promoted by a private company.
City councillors were to decide whether to give planning permission to a controversial housing scheme for 100 apartments in Lancaster. The project, for 100 one and two-bedroomed flats and six offices on the site of the former G&L Car Services Limited in Wheatfield Street had been the subject of several objections from local residents.
A county council-run residential home for the elderly was to be sold off to the private sector. Slyne House would be refurbished as a nursing home before being put up for sale. Residents would be moved to alternative residential care in the district. Two other homes – Moor Platt in Caton and Beaumont View in Lancaster – were also to be redeveloped.
New Government guidelines meant that at least £14.5 million was needed to refurbish the county’s homes to bring them up to standard. And this meant closing some of the 48 homes to save money.
5 Years Ago
There was a mad rush at Marks & Spencer as customers queued to buy goods for just 1p. Queues started forming from 8am with more than 150 people waiting when the Lancaster store opened one hour later.
The national chain was kick-starting its 125th birthday celebrations by going back to its roots with an original Penny Bazaar. All money collected was to go towards the store’s chosen charity, St John’s Hospice.
It was hoped to raise £1,500 from the event. The shop was offering its customers 20 different branded products including mugs, jewellery and tea towels for 1p each.
Youngsters from less privileged backgrounds were being targeted by the city’s grammar schools under a new scheme. Lancaster Royal Grammar School planned to lead the way in attracting more pupils from less privileged backgrounds, by setting up an Inspirus (masterclass) Programme.
The programme would target both boys and girls from primary schools which traditionally had sent very few applicants to the two city grammar schools.