Review of the year: Here's what made the news in Lancaster and Morecambe in 2021

It may have been another year dominated by Covid, but there was still plenty going on to keep people busy in the Lancaster and Morecambe area.

Friday, 31st December 2021, 2:01 pm
Morecambe war veteran Jack Bracewell was commended for his work during the liberation of the Netherlands during World War Two.

JANUARY

* A mass vaccination centre opened at Lancaster Town Hall as the UK's major Covid-19 vaccination scheme got under way.

*A Lancaster schoolboy who had been raising money for the NHS to say thank you for saving his sight passed his GCSE maths with an almost perfect score.

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New pictures of the Eden Project North scheme were unveiled and a planning application submitted to the city council.

FEBRUARY

* Mindless vandals caused mayhem at a Lancaster church and destroyed food meant for 200 people in need in the local community.

* Crowds of mourners lined the streets to say goodbye to well-known Morecambe scrapyard boss Ken Allen, who passed away at the age of 74.

MARCH

Two-year-old George Hinds was tragically killed in May.

* Actor James Nesbitt was spotted in Morecambe after lorries parked up as part of a TV set arriving to start filming a new Netflix drama based on the Harlan Coben book Stay Close. And just a few days later, it was lights, camera, action in the Morecambe area yet again after filming for the third series of The Bay got under way.

Students at Lancaster University voted in favour of renaming their city centre nightclub due to its connections to the slave trade.

APRIL

* Residents in the peaceful community of Glasson Dock said they had been left 'frightened and divided' by planned changes at the port.

Tributes were paid to popular Morecambe scrap yard boss Ken Allen.

* As shops reopened after lockdown, business leaders said they were 'delighted' with footfall in the city centre.

* Businesses across the district were encouraged to be prepared ahead of the opening of the much-anticipated Eden Project, after Eden bosses said Morecambe was their "number one priority".

MAY

* A brother and sister were found guilty of killing a Lancaster City FC football fan on a train after he choked to death from food that they 'force fed' to him as he slept.

James Nesbitt was spotted in Morecambe filming for new Netflix drama Stay Close, which airs from New Year's Eve. Photo: Jane Dickinson Patel

* Two-year-old George Hinds was killed and four people injured after a suspected gas explosion in Heysham. Tributes to the toddler were later left at the scene and a special Paw Patrol convoy through Morecambe was held in his memory.

JUNE

* A brand new mural was unveiled on Sandylands Promenade by culture company Deco Publique to celebrate Morecambe staycations past and present.

* The sun shone down as the first ever naked charity walk took place across Morecambe Bay, with around 60 naturists braving the chilly waters in aid of the British Heart Foundation.

JULY

* Morecambe was praised by a Daily Mail newspaper reporter for having 'everything a traditional seaside destination needs' in a write-up about the journalist's visit to the region.

The former Skerton High School could become housing.

* There was joy for one Morecambe family after their pet tortoise returned home after going missing for two days.

* New images of Eden Project North were revealed with bosses saying the £125m Morecambe scheme will be "something new and unique that will be talked about all around the world".

AUGUST

* The streets were lined with crowds wanting to pay their respects as teenage boxer Frank Varey's funeral service was in Morecambe, two weeks after the youngster was found dead after going missing while he was swimming with friends in the River Dee in Chester.

* Tyson Fury marked his 33rd birthday by sharing a special birthday card from his newborn daughter Athena, who was in intensive care after her birth a few days earlier.

* Family and friends marked the milestone 100th birthday of a "remarkable" Lancaster war heroine who beat Covid.

* A Lancaster man, his wife and their one-year-old daughter were found dead on a California hiking trail in mysterious circumstances.

SEPTEMBER

* The Eden Project officially submitted a planning application to Lancaster City Council for Eden Project North in Morecambe.

* A Morecambe war veteran was given a top commendation for his work during the liberation of the Netherlands during World War Two.

OCTOBER

* We went behind the scenes to see how a cultural hub at heart of community reopened its doors after Covid thanks to local support.

* A grieving Morecambe family were told they'd been visiting the wrong crematorium plot for 35 years and could not place their mum's ashes with her late husband because crem bosses are unable to find the right plot.

* Medical care services at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary were rated as inadequate in a new report published by the Care Quality Commission.

NOVEMBER

* Controversial plans for a Lancaster pub to be converted into student flats were approved by city councillors.

* A student who admitted in a Truth or Dare game to murdering his step-grandmother in a Heysham house fire was sentenced to a minimum of 15 years in custody.

* A man in his 20s was left in a serious condition in hospital after being shot in the face in a Morecambe alleyway.

* Morecambe Bay hospital bosses apologised after an independent report found 72 areas needing improvement in the trust's urology department. They also said they were working hard to improve their Trauma and Orthopaedic service after an independent review found safety risks.

DECEMBER

* Lancaster's disused Skerton High School could form a key part of a multi-million pound plan to transform housing along the River Lune, it was announced by the city council.

* Morecambe's first Winter Wonderland in memory of Overton teen Reece Holt brought the Christmas spirit to town and was hailed a big success by organisers.

* A hotel in Morecambe was evacuated after a number of guests collapsed due to a suspected carbon monoxide leak on Boxing Day.