From the Guardian files

Kingsway flats.
Kingsway flats.

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

25 years ago

A call for the people of Lancaster and Morecambe to back their Blue Bus company by using it, to prevent services, jobs and public investment being lost, was made. A crisis meeting of city policy chiefs was held behind closed doors to hammer out ways to safeguard Lancaster City Transport, owned by the district’s ratepayers.

Student Union chiefs hit out at plans by Lancaster University to give names and addresses of all its full-time students to city Poll Tax officers when the new term started in October. The union president said it was unfair that students’ details were being handed over without their consent. He also expressed concern that foreign students could be put at risk if their names and addresses were on the Poll Tax register.

Use of Lancaster’s Market Square as a place for public rallies brought angry clashes between Lancaster’s city councillors. During a series of strikes by NALGO, the union wanted to use the square for a rally but were refused the right to do so, because of police objections.

10 years ago

Spiralling costs and wildlife concerns looked to have torpedoed any prospect of a western route for a Heysham M6 link road. A cheaper northern option was more likely to get the go-ahead – if it survived a public inquiry. Lancashire County Council leaders met to make their choice. But backing a western route would be “extraordinary, perverse and lacking in logic”, according to a top planning lawyer retained to advise them. Year 2010 had been pencilled as the opening date for a bypass to carry up to 40,000 vehicles a day.

People in Galgate woke up to find floodwater flowing through their houses. Residents in Salford Road had to bail out water from their homes at around 7am, as the nearby fields and beck could not cope with the huge amount of rain. Water ran through the village crossing the A6 and flooded the ground floors of 14 homes.

A survey of hospital hygiene was to be carried out at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary in a bid to combat the MRSA superbug. The Patient and Public Involvement Forums in Morecambe Bay were leading the survey. The purpose of the exercise instigated by the North West Regional Office of the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health was to help tackle the alarming rise in hospital acquired infections and increase understanding of the MRSA superbug.

Work was finally due to begin on transforming Lancaster’s Kingsway site into a massive retail and housing development. Workmen were to start developing an eight-storey residential block and retail park. Space had been sold to Pizza Express and PC World. Parking would be available on the site for 91 cars. The final design of the flats was awaiting approval.

5 years ago

Green councillors resurrected their request to introduce a 20mph speed limit in every residential road and through every village in the Lancaster district. The request followed a Lancashire County Council study on the safety of roads across the county.

TK Maxx had been accused of ‘corporate vandalism’ after putting more than 20 unauthorised adverts on pavements throughout Lancaster. The city council had threatened legal action over two adverts in Dalton Square – less than two weeks after the designer discount store moved into the former Woolworths building in Market Square. And although TK Maxx insisted the adverts were ‘pavement art’, created by using a high pressure water jet to remove a layer of dirt, it had nevertheless agreed to remove them.

Hornby High School celebrated some of the best GCSE results it had ever had – despite officially closing. The school said 38 per cent of its pupils achieved five GCSEs grade A to C including maths and English. The previous year it achieved 17 per cent.