From the Guardian files


Find out what was happening around the Lancaster district five, 10 and 25 years ago this week.

5 years ago

The public inquiry into the Centros development was dramatically adjourned following a request from the city council. The council asked for the inquiry to be stopped so it could consider the “latest professional views” raised during the hearing at Lancaster Town Hall. It followed the city council’s senior conservation officer giving evidence about the plan which covered 10 acres of prime land in Lancaster city centre. It’s Our City, which opposed the £150 million development, claimed the conservation officer had made some criticisms about the size of certain buildings in the plan and the bridge to Stonewell, which led to the adjournment.

What is believed to be the world’s smallest art gallery – housed in a former BT phone box – opened in Settle. The Gallery on the Green was established by the Cultivating Settle community group after the town council bought the box for just £1 under a BT scheme to sell off the facilities.

Carnforth High School had secured funding to build a £2 million community sports hall. When open the facility was to be available to the community to use the gym, dance studio and sports hall.

10 years ago

A Lancaster man had saved a flock of 30 sheep from the butcher’s knife. And he wanted volunteers to take them on as pets. The manager at Animal Care rescued the flock of Welsh and Welsh Cross Dorsets just days before they were due for slaughter. The flock had been earmarked for slaughter following the sale of a farm in Wales.

More than 130 concerned parents registered their fears about the possible closure of Greaves Park Nursery School. In the second of two public meetings to debate the future of the 80-place nursery, Lancashire County Council officials were left in little doubt about the depth of feeling about the proposals.

At the meeting education chiefs outlined suggestions for closing both the Greaves Park School and Willow Nursery School and replacing them with a new amalgamated facility on the existing Willow site. Proposals had also been made for a new 52 part-time place nursery at Bowerham Community Primary School.

It was a day in the corridors of power for Ruth Henig. First the former university lecturer was admitted to the House of Lords as Baroness Henig of Lancaster. There then followed a quick dash to No 10 Downing Street for a meeting with the Prime Minister. In a brief ceremony she was introduced to the Lords by sponsors Lord Goldsmith, the Attorney General and Baroness (Josie) Farrington, an old friend and Government whip.

Moves were under way to resurrect a controversial meeting point for teenagers in Skerton. The Teen Meet project on St George’s playing field – aimed at reducing anti-social behaviour – had folded after only a few weeks the previous year because of vandalism.

25 years ago

A major feasibility study was being called for into the possibility of separating Morecambe from the rest of the Lancaster district for local government administration. Morecambe Labour councillors were behind the move, which would discover the likely levels of the new Community Charge to replace rates if two separate councils were created.

A district-wide consultation exercise had been suggested on the future of local government in Morecambe and Lancaster. The environment secretary was to be approached over the possibility of referring the move to the Boundary Commission.

Lancaster Charity, CancerCare, was making a courageous bid to obtain new headquarters. The charity had its sights on Slynedales next door to St John’s Hospice – the former RC preparatory school, which had become a remand home and was then closed. Lancashire County Council, which owned the three-storey nine-bedroom Victorian property off Slyne Road, was selling it by auction and CancerCare had launched an appeal for funds by setting up a special committee.