Check out what was making the news in the Lancaster district 25, 10 and five years ago this week.
25 years ago
Fears about protection of the public in any emergency at Heysham Power Station had led to a dispute between the CEGB and Lancashire County Council. The board wanted to simplify their emergency declaration procedures to standardise them throughout the UK – but county emergency planners believed that Heysham was a special case.
Sweeping changes, paving the way for a new-style Lancaster City Council to meet the challenge of the 90s, emerged from a key meeting of leading councillors and officials. Traditional committee would be abolished and replaced by policy groups, whose task would be to help set a strategic vision for the area’s future.
Campaigners for a community centre on Lancaster’s Ridge Estate were to see their efforts rewarded. Plans were to be drawn up to convert two empty shops in Ridge Square into a centre to be used for youth clubs, a drop-in facility and a base for community and sports activities.
10 years ago
A cost-cutting plan to claw back £8.4 million had been put into action by Morecambe Bay Primary Care Trust. The health trust announced that the multi-million pound savings had to be made over the following 12 months. But trust chiefs promised local services – which included Ridge Lea Hospital and Red Oak, a 12-bed unit in Lancaster for children with mental health problems – would not be affected.
A leading nursery had won a silver medal at the Chelsea Flower Show for the second year running. W Robinson and Son (Seeds and Plants) Limited of Forton won a silver medal in the floral marquee category for their display of unusual and exotic vegetables, all of which could be grown in containers and on patios and were ideal for people without a garden. The display, which featured chillies and rare beans as well as the company’s famous mammoth onions, was up against displays of gardens, roses and cacti.
Residents of Chapel Lane, Galgate, were fuming after county council contractors, constructing a new access road to the university, tore up a hawthorn hedgerow. On original plans for the A6 link road the hedge and a nearby oak tree were to be cleared, but residents negotiated with university bosses to spare them. A Chapel Lane resident said he had been told the contractors were working off the original plan.
Environmental campaigners had raised concerns about plans for a 12-mile bridge across Morecambe Bay. The bridge, to link Cumbria and Lancashire, was being promoted by a private company and the scheme was being marketed as a renewable energy project consisting of a series of turbines driven by tidal flows.
5 years ago
The jobs of 180 people at a Morecambe factory went up in flames. Fire ripped through the 2 Sisters chicken factory on Westgate during the early hours and within minutes the first of 80 firefighters from across the county arrived.
After being at the scene for almost eight hours, it was estimated more than half of the factory – formerly known as both Gotts and Tulip – had been destroyed in the blaze.
Lancaster City Council building control officers declared the building unsafe to enter.
A popular Lancaster social club was to close its doors after more than 50 years. It followed a David and Goliath legal battle between members and health chiefs.
The Moor Social Club, originally set up for staff at the former Moor Hospital, had around 500 members and hosted clubs including snooker and bowls, and events such as wedding parties. Committee members were served with an eviction notice by owners NHS North Lancashire in November 2007 and given until January 2008 to leave.
But they instead mounted a £15,000 legal challenge which earned a stay of execution.