From the Guardian files

The air ambulance.
The air ambulance.

What was happening around the Lancaster district 25, 10 and five years ago?

25 years ago

A new idea to create a light passenger railway to link the centres of Lancaster and Morecambe was floated when major development plans for an important stretch of Morecambe’s seafront were taken a stage further. The suggestion was put to the city’s policy councillors by the former Labour leader, who envisaged the old Lancaster–Morecambe rail track – now a cycle track – being brought back into use.

Regular meetings were to take place between smell protestors and the owners of the Nightingale Hall Farm animal processing plant in Lancaster. A four strong delegation from PONG – People Opposed to Nauseating Gases – met the plant owners to discuss their objections to the plant.

Secret talks were held in an attempt to rescue Lancaster’s Blue Bus Company from the jaws of cut-throat competition. City councillors were given a report behind closed doors on the financial state of the company. The report was called for by the Labour leader, after Lancaster City Transport’s shock decision to axe 50 jobs and severely cut bus routes.

10 years ago

A gang of raiders armed with guns carried out a daring robbery at a high street bank – escaping with thousands of pounds in cash. Four men, all wearing balaclavas, stole the money after hurling a beer barrel through a window to get into Barclays Bank, on the corner of New Street and Market Street in Carnforth.

The raid happened only minutes after a security firm delivered cash to the branch. Inside the manager was beaten and two female colleagues were threatened with a gun. Outside another armed raider confronted early-morning shoppers in the street.

Potentially lethal debris from the huge Lancaster Synthesis fire was still smouldering, nine days after the blaze started. The gutted company warehouse on Newgate was too dangerous for investigators to enter to try to establish the cause of the disaster.

Meanwhile a planned £14m takeover of the 150 employee White Lund chemicals firm, due for completion the previous weekend, had been put on hold for 28 days.

The new life-saving helipad at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary was used for the first time. The North West Air Ambulance (NWAA) was called to the Barbon Hill Climb event, north of Kirkby Lonsdale, after a 44-year-old competitor was injured.

The man was riding a classic motorcycle before he crashed. He sustained injuries to his head, neck and chest and was flown to the new helipad at RLI within eight minutes.

The helipad was used for a second time after a motorcyclist had come off his bike and sustained a serious head injury.

With a flying time of just 10 minutes the man was air-lifted from the southbound carriageway of the M6 near Killington to the RLI for treatment.

5 years ago

Youths accused of causing ‘mayhem’ in and around Lancaster’s City Museum had been warned by police they could be banned from the city centre. Officers launched a crackdown on children aged between around 12 and 18 after an escalation of their anti-social antics, mainly in Market Square.

Police behind Operation Respect were issuing banning orders preventing them for entering the city centre for 48 hours. They were also imposing fines of up to £80 for disorder and contacting parents – who would pick up the bill for under-16s.

Residents and businesses in Bolton-le-Sands were up in arms after a 70-year-old bus service between Lancaster and Carnforth was re-routed away from the village. Residents, including pensioners and children, were having to walk down to the A6 to catch a bus to school or to the shops, and businesses in the village were worried trade would pass them by.

The changes to the stagecoach Service 55/55A, which used to travel down Main Road, had sparked anger from residents who said they weren’t consulted and were given just two days notice of the change.