From the Guardian files

Skerton High School.
Skerton High School.

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

Five years ago

Jan 15 2010

Community swimming pools were under threat of closure – as councillors bid to slash the town hall budget. And museum buildings in Lancaster could also shut and face £100,000 in cuts under separate proposals. Lancaster City Council stepped in to save the pools in Carnforth, Heysham and Hornby in 2001 after Lancashire County Council withdrew from operating them. But they were to cost the city around £133,500 to run in 2010/11, when it needed to reduce its budget by an estimated £1 million.

A farmer watched in horror as flames ripped through a barn he had just finished rebuilding following a blaze six months earlier. Neil Sutcliffe put the finishing touches to the new 90-ft barn only to receive a call from a neighbour that night informing him it was on fire. Crews from 13 fire stations including Lancaster and Morecambe were involved in tackling the massive blaze at Moss House Farm, Gulf Lane, Cockerham.

A notice was to be published proposing the closure of Skerton Primary School – in the same week it was boosted by the arrival of 11 new pupils. Education chiefs cited falling rolls along with poor Year 6 test results as reason for closing the Lancaster school in summer. But the school has just welcomed six new nursery children and five new faces in other year groups.

Ten years ago

January 14 2005

Gales and torrential rain left a weekend trail of havoc and destruction in their wake. More than 600 homes in Silverdale suffered electricity cuts, about 40 for four days. Many of the 50 people at Sunderland Point at the mouth of the Lune were without power. Williamson Park in Lancaster closed for two days because of the dangerous state of the trees after winds of up to 90mph. About 30 sheep drowned after the Lune burst its banks upriver from Halton. The main A6 in Carnforth was shut to allow repairs to buildings. Trees were uprooted across the district and the city council alone dealt with more than 100, including several in Scotforth cemetery.

Lancaster’s Piccadilly Gardnes was awarded more than £69,000 for their community composting project. The gardens, in Scotforth, which provided horticultural and recycling training for adults with learning disabilities, would expand the composting enterprise with the £69,330 they had been given from the Big Lottery Fund’s community recycling and economic development programme.

Residents in the Freehold and Bath Mill areas of Lancaster were being asked their views on plans to revamp the recreation area at Highfield. The land, opposite Williamson Park on Quernmore Road and known as Low Moor, was currently home to a bowling green and a children’s play area.

Twenty-five years ago

January 12 1990

City chiefs were to press the county council to give priority to completing Lancaster’s Western Bypass with its third Lune crossing, ahead of the proposed city centre access road, which aimed only to link the two existing river bridges with South Road. The new move came after a special report from the town clerk on the city’s traffic chaos was considered by a meeting of the city environmental services committee.

Making a welcome return visit to Over Kellet as part of his tour of Britain, former NASA astronaut, Col James Irwin, received a warm welcome. Later, accompanied by the vicar, the Rev Ken Clapham, he visited the Morecambe gasfield before returning to Over Kellet by helicopter. There he was met by a crowd of villagers and schoolchildren.

Lancaster’s historic Trades Hall had finally been sold to a private company for £185,000 after several months of doubt about its future. The building, which is listed and situated on Fenton Street in the city centre, had been the joint home of the Trades Council and the local Labour Party. Severe financial problems dogged the trustees who managed the hall’s affairs.

Moves to have city council markets open on Sundays were blocked after it emerged that the legal situation over Sunday trading was still unresolved. Until the situation was resolved in the British courts a city council solicitor urged councillors to defer any decision on Sunday trading.