What was happening around the district five, 10 and 25 years ago this week.
Five years ago
March 19 2010
Council chiefs were slammed for splashing out an extra £100,000 on wheelie bins fitted with mcirochips – because the devices had never been used. The chips, which could be used to weigh rubbish, were introduced in 2002 when Lancaster City Council began supplying households with wheelie bins. Since then the council bought around 100,000 grey and green bins – paying an extra £1 for the chip on each bin.
Market traders met with council officers in a bid to save the market hall and their livelihoods. The meeting came after councillors voted to set up a working group to look at the future of the market hall, which may close to save almost £500,000 a year in debt.
Licensees were warning drinkers about the consequences of taking new drug ‘Bubble’ into the city’s pubs and clubs. Bubble was street slang for the substance mephedrone – more commonly used as plant fertiliser. It was not illegal to possess mephedrone, but it was illegal to sell if for human consumption. City centre licensees displayed posters warning customers that staff could conduct random drugs searches.
Lancaster City stayed top of the league with a hard-fought 2-0 away win. The result meant City remained a point clear at the head of the Unibond League First Division North table.
Ten years ago
March 18 2005
The Prince of Wales was to visit Clapham. As patron of the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust, Prince Charles was to spend the morning receiving an update on the trust’s work in the Dales and viewing some of the latest projects undertaken by the charity.
Lancaster district’s economy was to benefit from a huge £60 million investment and the creation of more than 100 jobs. Two new freight ferries tailormade to operate services from Heysham to Ireland had been commissioned by Seatruck Ferries. The move would create a number of extra jobs both on the ferries and at local haulage firms.
County council plans to close Greaves Park and Willow Lane nursery schools were due to go back before Lancashire’s school organisation committee. The committee was due to vote on the issue in January, but this was delayed so more members could make site visits.
Spending a penny was not going to be possible in Lancaster’s public loos for a day as all were to shut as a result of a council workers’ strike. Waste collection has also been cancelled by Lancaster City Council for the day.
Schools in Lancaster were helping to commemorate the men who died during the two world wars. As part of its VE 2005 celebrations, Lancaster Military Heritage Group invited schools to plant a Field of Crosses which it was hoped would lead to a carpet of crosses on display across the city.
Twenty five years ago
March 16 1990
Lancaster Girls Grammar School parents were to meet to discuss the school opting out of local education authority control. Representatives from the grant Maintained Schools Trust, a pro-opt out group, and the education authority were expected to speak at the special meeting.
Paintings and prints worth £120,000 were at the centre of a legal wrangle between Lancaster and Leeds Universities. The row blew up after Leeds demanded the return of the art works, including a Picasso lithograph, Matisse stencil and an etching by Max Ernst, which formed part of the late Prof Irene Manton’s collection of Western and Oriental art be returned across the Pennines. Prof Manton left her 439 paintings to Leeds University but her will included a clause saying that any institution with a picture on loan at the time of her death could keep it. But when she died in May 1988 a selection of 39 works from her collection were on display at Lancaster University.
Lancaster’s Poll Tax had been set and it was time for people to start thinking how they were going to pay the bills dropping through letter boxes in a few weeks’ time. Lancaster’s Anti Poll Tax Union was planning a number of protests against the Poll Tax.