What was happening around the Lancaster district 25, 10 and five years ago this week.
25 years ago
A Royal seal of approval was given by the Prince of Wales to vital efforts to build a new future out of Lancaster’s once-derelict White Cross industrial site. The Prince’s hour-long visit put the crowning glory on six year’s work by Lancashire Enterprises Limited to redevelop the former Storey Brothers’ White Cross Mills, where 650 jobs were lost when it closed. Then nearly 600 people worked on the 15-acre site, where offices, industry, housing and leisure uses combined to make it a showpiece ‘urban village’ – of the kind close to the Prince’s heart. The Prince was obviously impressed with the concept and told officials he would encourage more people to do the same.
Compulsory savings of £1 million over the next two years had been demanded from the Lancaster Health Service by the Regional Health Authority. The highly unpopular measure, called the Cost Improvement Programme, imposed on health authorities annually, involved economy drives on equipment and day-to-day services. New regulations forbid local managers from cutting patient care to find the money.
10 years ago
Up to 7,000 extra dental appointments were available in Lancaster and Morecambe. Morecambe Bay Primary Care Trust had made the pledge after growing concern about the number of people in the district unable to access NHS dentistry. Patients would benefit from the plans as part of a £716,000 funding boost.
Mobile phone companies had handed police a £50,000 bill – with more to come – for their work on the Morecambe Bay cockling tragedy.
The charges, which would be met by council tax payers, was seen as extortionate and alarming by critics. The mobile firms were said to have been slow in dealing with vital queries.
Concerned residents were appealing for a pelican crossing to be installed in Carnforth’s main shopping street. Citizens were worried about the dangers of trying to cross Market Street and had started a petition to get a crossing put in the road, near the Ash Trees surgery.
Methodists in Lancaster could enjoy a new beginning with a major refurbishment of their new central church. Six months of work on Lancaster Methodist Church in Scotforth Road had come to an end, and the re-opening of the building for worship at a special service would be a landmark in the life of the Methodist Church in Lancaster.
A sensory garden for elderly and mentally ill patients had been created in Morecambe by 70 offenders, to the delight of the staff and families. The garden, at Altham Meadows, in Bartholomew Road, was created by offenders from Lancaster and Morecambe.
5 years ago
Plans for a supermarket on Scotforth’s controversial Lawson’s Bridge site met with opposition at two public exhibitions. Commercial Estates Group was also proposing a hotel, pub/restaurant, petrol station and 500 parking spaces at the site off the A6. Its plans – creating more than 400 jobs – were in addition to those by Booths for a new store to the north of the site, on land it had agreed to buy from Lancaster City Council.
Hornby High School held a farewell party for current and former pupils and staff, parents and others who had a connection with the school over the years. The event included a barbecue and bouncy castle and old pictures of the school were also on display.
Around two thirds of the flats in the new Kingsway development in Lancaster had already been sold. The controversial eight-storey building was due to be completed by September. The development had been built on top of the facade of the former Kingsway bus depot, a Grade 2 listed building. One hundred one and two-bedroomed apartments had been incorporated into the design, arranged in a semi-circular shape.