What was happening around the district five, 10 and 25 years ago this week.
Five years ago
November 27 2009
A Lancaster-made World War Two Army tent found its way on to the set of a new series of Poirot. The Waring and Gillow tent, believed to have been made by the company’s upholstery department in 1944, was used in scenes of the new adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express.
Residents fuming over plans by a Bowerham school to prevent them accessing its fields were to discuss ways to fight them at a public meeting. Locals, who claimed they had been able to walk the fields at the back of Moorside Primary School for decades, had already applied to register a right of way. The council was currently gathering quotes for a fence along the western boundary of the fields, meaning access would only be available to community groups with the school’s permission.
Developers behind the former city centre cinema and bingo hall site hoped to be able to press ahead with plans to open Lancaster’s first Tesco store. Kempsten Limited wanted to build a mixed use development on the King Street site, with shops on two storeys and a Travelodge hotel above. A previous application seeking permission for food retail on site was withdrawn following concerns from Lancashire County Council that deliveries could prove hazardous.
Ten years ago
November 26 2004
The train arriving at Carnforth Railway Station was a special Hornby model – of the last 8F engine to visit the town at the end of the steam era in 1968. The Stanier 8F Class arrived at Carnforth station on August 4, having been the last locomotive to depart from the Rose Grove depot in Burnley. Then, 36 years on, Carnforth Station’s shop was stocking the Hornby model of the historic 48773 engine.
Council officers had pledged to support ambitious plans for a multi-million pound revamp of Lancaster’s Storey Institute. The North West Development Agency, which was to be a major backer of the scheme, was facing a cash crisis, and the city council was warned that funding expected from the agency was at risk. But Lancaster City Council chiefs said the plans were safe – despite latest estimates putting the cost at around £7 million.
The lights were going to be switched off on one of Lancaster’s biggest tourist attractions. The city council move on the floodlighting around the castle was described as a cost-cutting measure. The move – which could mean Lancaster had the only castle in the country not floodlit – has come as a surprise to some of the city’s tourism figures.
Twenty five years ago
November 24 1989
Poll Tax payers in the Lancaster district could be faced with shock bills of up to £340 each – £90 more than estimated by the Government – when the controversial new Community Charge replaced rates. Unreasonable assumptions being made by the Department of the Environment in estimating the local charge at £249 included a massive cut of £2 million or 15 per cent in services provided by the city council. Local councillors were deeply alarmed by the news and highly critical of the Government.
Operations were being held up and risks being taken in Lancaster hospitals because of health cuts and low pay, a local surgeon warned. His hard-hitting account of troubled local hospital care was heard by about 100 people at a public meeting organised by Lancaster Community Health Council on the Government’s health White Paper. In spite of many appeals to local MPs and directly to the Department of Health, the meeting was shunned by any officials who could have supported the Government line.
An academic recruitment team from Lancaster University had returned to Bailrigg from the Far East confident they had laid the foundations for future close links with the Orient. The three strong team spent three weeks in Taiwan and Hong Kong spreading the word about Lancaster to potential students and linking up with Lancaster graduates.