Lancaster civic group publishes 100th guide to the district

Several years ago Lancaster Civic Society started to publish guides and leaflets about some of the interesting features of this area, which arguably has some of the best attractions, features and natural beauty of anywhere in this country.

By Gayle Rouncivell
Thursday, 31st March 2022, 4:23 pm

The first 50 or so of these leaflets, written by Gordon Clark and published in 2014, were featured on the old Civic Society website and some, such as No 3 Lancaster Cemetery, formed the basis for a guided walk.

They cover the whole of the Lancaster district including Morecambe, Carnforth, Heysham and Arnside on such subjects as local villages, Morecambe, Lancaster - architecture, Lancaster – crafts, Lancaster – major buildings, Lancaster – streets, Lancaster – wars, cemeteries, Lancaster – places of worship, parks, open spaces and gardens, industry and transport and miscellaneous and general.

The guides go into historical detail about their subjects including copies of early maps and photographs, as well as bringing the reader completely up to date and importantly, they are all available in full on the Civic Society website to read, download and print free of charge at Lancaster Civic Society – Guides and Walks

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Penny's Hospital, King Street - featured in leaflet No 1 Almshouses in Lancaster. Photo by Lancaster Civic Vision

During early 2020, at the start of the pandemic when we were unable to travel around the country, the Civic Society decided to publish the guides and leaflets as regular items on their website under the titles Wednesday Walk and Weekend Walk, and these were also fed out to our social media extensions and connections.

However, as the guides had been written in 2014, a massive task was required to update them all in order that they were as accurate as possible, following which our first one was issued under the title Weekly Wednesday Walk on the subject of 20 Centuries in Lancaster – A Short Walk.

Since that beginning the guides have gathered a momentum all of their own and have become firm weekly favourites to such a degree that Gordon Clark, after updating all of the original ones, set about adding new ones to the list.

Lancaster Civic Vision, as the group is now known, has now published leaflet number 100 Rowing and Rivalries, an insight into what on the surface would appear to be a genteel sport but which in the Lancaster area has been involved in a general election scandal and possibly bribery.

Bull's head by Shaun Williamson - featured in leaflet no 7 Public Art. Photo by Lancaster Civic Vision

There can be few other areas in the UK that has such an abundance of information freely available and these guides and leaflets are being utilised by other organisations, perhaps most notably by Lancaster University’s architecture department, which is now including them among their first year students material.

And it doesn’t stop there! Gordon Clark has ready for publication leaflet number 101 Jubilee Tower to be followed soon afterwards by number 102 the Eric Morecambe Statue.

Lancaster Civic Vision is the operating name for Lancaster Civic Society and its sub-group Lancaster Vision.

Lancaster Civic Society was founded in 1967 and in the 50-plus years since that time has overseen the preservation of the heritage of the Lancaster and Morecambe district and its outstanding natural beauty, while assisting in its future development.

Millennium Bridge - featured in no 22 Lune Bridges Walk, Lancaster. Photo by Ian Greene
One street - two names, featured in no 64 Streets Renamed in Lancaster. Photo by Lancaster Civic Vision
Lancaster University Rowing Club Boathouse, featured in no 100 Rowing and Rivalries. Photo by Lancaster Civic Vision