From the Guardian files

Royal Lancaster Infirmary.
Royal Lancaster Infirmary.

A look back at some of our stories from over the years.

25 years ago

Controversial plans for a new “village” to be created on the edge of Lancaster – involving 750 new homes and community facilities – were to be put to local residents.

Outline planning permission was being sought to develop the “Lune Village” on part of the Lune Industrial Estate between Willow Lane, Marsh and New Quay Road alongside the Lune. The plans included a centrally located village green with football and cricket pitches and a village centre with a pub and shops.

Residents had expressed concern at the size of the development and its likely effects on traffic and recreational facilities.

Lancaster’s troubled £70 million redevelopment plans were at the centre of a stormy council meeting as details of the developers’ business links with South Africa were examined.

Outside Morecambe Town Hall, a coup of about 30 anti-Apartheid protestors lobbied councillors as they arrived. A petition of 500 signatures opposing the deal, collected in two days, was handed later to the Mayor.

10 years ago

Thirty people who had raised more than £200,000 to improve the Fairfield area of the city had suddenly been landed with a £12,000 tax bill. Fairfield Association members faced the prospect of having to pay the tax bill out of their own pockets. The association had just finished revamping Fairfield play area – thanks to a successful bid for £80,000 lottery funding. But all their hard work had been tarnished by the unexpected tax bill.

Lancaster County Coun Dr Ruth Henig had been appointed a life peer. Dr Henig, who lived in Wray, would be able to sit in the House of Lords. She had chaired Lancashire Police Authority since it was created in 1995. She had also been involved in a number of high-profile advisory groups that included the Home Office steering group on the Lawrence Inquiry recommendations in 1999 and the Street Crime Action Group 2002.

An unidentified body was washed ashore in Morecambe Bay, prompting suspicions it may be another victim of the cockling tragedy. The emergency services were alerted by a passer-by walking their dog. Morecambe RNLI were called out to recover the body accompanied by two members of the police underwater search team. The discovery was made on the marshes just below the Holmes caravan site at Bolton-le-Sands.

A switch of a flag, from that of the prison service to a union one, was among the few signs of a royal presence at Lancaster Castle. The Princess Royal visited the prison for the first time in her role as the patron of the Butler Trust. Touching down by helicopter at Lancaster Royal Grammar School, Princess Anne spent two hours chatting to prison staff and inmates in the company of the Mayor.

5 years ago

Security guards were being employed for the first time at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary to protect staff and patients from assaults. Two guards were being stationed in the hospital’s accident and emergency department as part of a three-month pilot scheme.

They were working from 7pm to 7am every day, which was when bosses at the NHS Trust said most of the physical and verbal attacks happened. Figures revealed there were 66 assaults on RLI nurses – 36 physical and 30 verbal – in eight months from April to November in 2008.

Hornby High School was to close at the end of the summer term following a consultation branded as controversial by many. More than 2,500 consultation responses were submitted to Lancashire County Council, of which only 22 supported the closure.

Lancashire NUT and Lancaster City Council also opposed the proposal. The decision to consult on the school’s closure for the second time in two years was based on its falling pupil numbers and its GCSE results which fell below the Government’s National Challenge targets.