Friday, 8 April 2011

Lancaster Market seeks new blood with special rates for start ups

Lancaster indoor market is looking to attract new traders by offering special introductory rates for a limited period.

This offer is an ideal opportunity for anyone looking to re-locate, expand or start a new retail business - but comes as news breaks that three more businesses are soon to leave.

Lancaster City Council tells us the special introductory rates include a generous discount on the first month’s rent. 

To qualify for the reduced rates, traders would need to offer commodities from the following list:

Carpets and rugs, tableware, cleaning goods, electrical goods, toys and games, stationery, ornaments, vases, glassware, lighting and lamps, dried flowers/arrangements, cosmetics, cakes, bread and biscuits, garden products, plants and shrubs, garden ornaments, motor accessories, tools and DIY, sportswear, health foods, ladies and gents fashion, hardware, outdoor wear and camping, cycle accessories and picture framing.




As the City Council rolls out this start up offer, virtual-lancaster has learned that three more food retailers - Gregorys the butchers, Inglebys the bacon stall and the fishmongers - are all set to leave the Market soon, for a variety of reasons.

• For more details or an initial discussion please contact the Market Manager, Dennis Allday on 01524 66627, email dallday@lancaster.gov.uk  or visit www.lancaster.gov.uk/markets

Dukes Seek Twelve Lancastrians for Knightly Feats

The Dukes is offering 12 men the rare chance to be part of the UK’s biggest outdoor walkabout theatre event.

A dozen men are needed to appear, with a cast of professional actors, as The Knights of the Round Table and King Uther Pendragon’s Soldiers in The Dukes' production of Merlin & The Legend of King Arthur which will be performed in Williamson Park this Summer from July 8 - August 13.

Director Joe Sumsion said: “This is a great opportunity for men who really like performing or who may want to make a career in the performing arts to be involved in a large scale professional production which will be seen by up to 550 people every night.”

The Dukes outdoor shows, which celebrate their 25th anniversary this summer, have a tradition of featuring performers from the local community which goes right back to the first promenade play in 1987.

In 2009, local women appeared as The Sirens in Jason & The Argonauts while last year, young people played roles in Peter Pan and, this time around, it’s the men’s turn.

Budding knights and soldiers need to be:
*Over 18
*Strong singers
*Physically fit
*Have some percussion ability(at least two need to be excellent drummers)
*Good physical performers
*Confident with audience interaction
*Be comfortable working outdoors

The perfomers, split in to two teams of six, must be available for rehearsals from June 6- July 6 and for performances from July 8 - August 13. Each team will perform for three nights per week. Click here for more info about time commitment / dates.

The Dukes will treat the performers as full company members and, as well as providing them with a unique experience, will also offer each ten free tickets to the show and invitations to guest nights for all home produced shows in The Dukes 40th anniversary year.

Auditions take place in the evenings of Thursday April 14 and Sunday May 8 at The Dukes in Moor Lane.

For more information or to book a place at the auditions, contact Jacqui Wilson, theatre secretary, on 01524 598506 or jwilson@dukes-lancaster.org

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Ghost Hunting in Morecambe's Winter Gardens

Morecambe's Winter Gardens. Photo courtesy www.hauntedeventsuk.com

How many of our local iconic buildings might be haunted? Lee Roberts reports on a recent 'Ghost Hunt' at Morecambe's Winter Gardens...

When I first walked into Morecambe Winter Gardens I was blown away with the beauty of the place. Although it is just a shell of a building now, you can just imagine what it must have been like in its glory days.

The location is famous in its own right but for fans of the paranormal, it was thrust onto the paranormal circuit when the TV show Most Haunted did an eight day live special from there called “The Eight Faces of Evil” in 2009. From that point on, rarely a weekend goes by without some paranormal team, group or individuals booking it out and spend the night there.

Built on the site of a swimming baths, many people believe the old theatre is haunted - particularly the stage area, where, on one side of the stage people are sometimes harassed by a spiritual entity with enough anger to push, poke or even slap them. According to a report on the web site One True Spirit, asking if something evil stalks the theatre, the ghost of a seamstress who aspired to become a professional dancer or a dancer who failed to achieve fame haunts one of the dressing rooms; and there are other ghosts in places such as the bar, and a number of the stairwells.

Morecambe's Winter Gardens stage and main
auditorium. Photo courtesy www.hauntedeventsuk.com
I attended as part of the Haunted Events UK team earlier this month and, as a fairly new company, we were glad to be holding events at such a glorious location with so many rooms and corridors to hold so many different experiments.

The Morecambe Winter Gardens volunteers were always on hand if we needed anything and they also took the guests round on a 45 minute history tour of the building before we started the main event.

Before the event got under way -- and even before all the guests had arrived -- Brian and Andy, who where our volunteers for the night were all excited about something: ghostly footprints.

The night before our event, a group had been in the building and left a paddling pool down under the stage area, which they'd filled with sand and then smoothed over. As Brian had been going round doing his usual health and safety checks he decided to have a quick look at the paddling pool -- and there were two footsteps in prints in the sand.

Yes -- I know what you may be thinking as I did. Maybe he had made the footsteps by mistake and maybe someone else had gained entry. I asked these questions myself and it turned out that no-one else had access between the volunteers locking up as far as they knew. The footprints themselves were odd, too: they were those of someone wearing large pointy style shoes with no grip or in print on the sole, very much like a man's evening shoe. Brian was wearing work boots with a rounded sole with grips on, as was Andy. So my conclusion was that either someone was playing tricks or something really did walk through the sand making the footprints! I decided to take a picture and then smooth over again to see if we can pick it up again later.

Morecambe's Winter Gardens. Photo
courtesy www.hauntedeventsuk.com
Exploring the grand building, the higher floors always seem that more intense to me and that is where I decided to begin our event. The theatre is split into two halves and is a mirror image of each other: one used to be the male side and the other the female side. It is also said by some that the theatre has a good and evil side! Can you guess which is which?

We began in the males side bar. I always feel uneasy in here, as if someone if watching us all the time and I wasn’t alone as guests also started picking this up.

After a while I decided to move back out into the corridor that links the two sides together. As soon as we did this we heard movement coming from the room we had just been stood in: clear footsteps where heard by most of the guests and shuffling. We all knew that we were the only ones in the building and that no-one was walking round.

I decided to be brave and go in to check that no-one had gained entry without us knowing. As I walked into the room I was overwhelmed by a feeling of not being welcome in there. There was no-one there and I don’t scare easily -- but I couldn’t get out of there quick enough. As the group moved closer, the footsteps faded and eventually stopped all together.

Our equipment was going wild with Electro Magnetic Field meters going through the roof and K2 meters getting a reading too.

We moved on down behind the stage where we held a big group vigil to see if we could get any energies. As one of the Haunted Events UK team began calling out, I started hearing a flicking noise in my right ear. I couldn’t feel it but it was as if someone was trying to flick my ear. It was really annoying if nothing else. I knew no-one was there and that the person next to me wasn’t doing it but couldn’t explain where it was coming from.

Some of the guests also started feeling as if someone was behind them. I was intrigued about what this was but it didn’t seem to do anything else other than give us the feeling someone was there.

Dave Tarbrook, who is a medium but a also a guest on the night picked up on a name “Louis” and the feeling that he was unhappy with the state of the place and that it was his property. On record is a “Louis Benjamin” -- he was the manager of Morecambe Winter Gardens in 1953 and saved it from closing down.

We moved under the stage to conduct some table tipping and glass divination experiments. Both exercises were very active and we got results on both.

Part of Morecambe's Winter Gardens. Photo
courtesy www.hauntedeventsuk.com
It is always good to see guests look at you as if you are moving the glass or pushing the table, then watch their face as you step away and the glass or table is still going strong. It is a look of disbelief and shock on some, delight on others knowing that I had nothing to do with it and confusion as they look at others to point the finger at.

After the break we conducted an Electronic Voice Phenomena experiment and also split into smaller teams to see if we would get any activity. We managed to get lights, bangs, taps and a few prods on some guests.

After our experiences on the night, I'd argue Morecambe's Winter Gardens is a real must if you are interesting in the paranormal. Not only is the place very active but has a lot of unsolved mysteries. I will be going back to try and find out what caused them such as the footprints, the footsteps, the flicking noise in my ear and why so many guests take photos of the balcony and boxes and often get a figure stood there when actually no-one is on the balcony or box.

I’ll be going back there very soon as the place has got me hooked on the place and the sheer size of the location means you need several nights to investigate properly. If you do get chance to go with a group, whether it be Haunted Events UK and myself, or another groupp, my advice is do it -- you won’t be disappointed.


• If you do want to join Lee Roberts on a Ghost Hunt please visit www.hauntedeventsuk.com for a full list of events. Check out Lee's personal web site at www.officialleeroberts.com or follow him on Twitter: www.Twiiter.com/MrLeeRobert 

One True Spirit: Is Something Evil Haunting the Winter Gardens?


Spectre Analysis: Report on 2008 Investigation


Haunted Happenings: Morecambe's Winter Gardens

Spend a little time with Little Voice


The Dukes is celebrating the birth of a star in Rebecca Hutchinson, who plays the lead role she plays in their current show The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, getting rave reviews.

In a four star review, the national Guardian described her performance as remarkable, while audiences have been full of praise for a show which features comedy and song yet has a moving story at its heart.

Written in 1992, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice is very much a story for the X Factor generation as Little Voice’s talent for imitating the great divas is spotted by talent scout, Ray Say, played by Lancaster-born National Theatre actor, Keiran Flynn.

"It's a minor miracle that the play has had any kind of continued production history at all, having specifically been tailored to expose Jane Horrocks's uncanny ability to impersonate the great popular divas from Gracie Fields to Judy Garland," notes Alfred Hickling in The Guardian. "Yet it was successfully revived in the West End with X Factor contestant Diana Vickers; and here it is the remarkable Rebecca Hutchinson who proves capable of switching from Bassey to Piaf and back again in a single breath."

There's praise to for other cast members, with The Stage noting Eithne Browne is "faultless as the hard-faced, drunk, bitter, man hunting mother Mari Hoff.

"Likewise, after an initial overdose of early nineties sleaziness, Keiran Flynn perfectly captures the desperation of Ray Say, the failed performer who feels he has stumbled on the chance to clamber beyond representing ageing strippers and clubland no-hopers."

The Rise and Fall of Little Voice closes on April 16 so there’s only a few days left to enjoy this great night out at the theatre. 

• For tickets priced £10-£17, call The Dukes box office on 01524 598500 or www.dukes-lancaster.org

Spotlight Club headlines Steeve the Poet, Mollie Baxter and great music

Ace performance poet Steeve the Poet, the marvellous Mollie Baxter and the peculiarly eclectic Pascal Desmond form just part of next week's Spotlight Club at the Storey, compered by Simon Baker.

Spotlight will no doubt be celebrating confirmation of Arts Council funding until March 2013 for its work on the night, mixing 'pro' performers with its usual Open Mic opening acts, where aspiring talent can try their hand at delivering poems, stories, music (and sometimes, other things) on stage.

Laconic, lugubrious, or just plain miserable, Steeve the Poet returns for a final comeback re-union tour again with a wry, sideways look at birth, life, love and death, hoping that a tribute poet will take on the onerous duty of writing stuff and reading it out.

Mollie Baxter is a writer, editor, musician and tutor. Before the Rain, published by Flax 2008, contains a collection of her short stories, said to have a "beautifully light touch" (Time Out) and the "ability to pull of the unexpected." (Dogmatika)

Her flash fiction piece 'The Map', speculating upon the true cause of honey bees' exodus was published by the Biscuit Flash Fiction Prize in January.

She is currently on the editorial team of Back & Beyond, a new literary-arts publication based in Lancaster, first issue due to be launched in June.

Pascal Desmond will be revisiting a piece he did some nine years ago following a general election in Ireland. As a graduate of the National University of Ireland (NUI), he is on the register of electors for the upper house of parliament, the Seanad. The NUI elects three of the 60 senators. Back in 2002 he told us who he wouldn't vote for. Now we can help him to decide. There are 27 candidates for the three NUI seats in the Seanad, and the beauty of the Proportional Representation voting system allows him to vote for all 27!

So who should he vote for? Should he vote for those who didn't send him a canvassing letter? NO! Should he vote for those whose election literature has basic grammatical errors or spelling mistakes? NO! Should he vote for utter gits? NO! Should he vote for long strings of misery? Maybe. Should he vote for complete wazzocks? Depends. So, who SHOULD he vote for? You can help him to decide.


Music on the night comes from Ewan Scarlett and the Deep Cabaret Trio. Ewan hails from Bolton and is a Singer/Songwriter,guitarist and Harmonica player. "Starting out at the tender age of 16 I have moved through Blues rock to Grunge to Country and folk," shes says, "gigging and recording in and around Manchester in various outfits/misfits, appearing on Salford and Manchester Indie Radio and have most recently found a spiritual home in Lancaster to muster the Muse.'

The Deep Cabaret Trio is a new project from the mind that brought you Orchestre DC Dansette and Top Ten SexTips. With Steve Lewis on guitar & voice, Matt Robinson on bass clarinet & Paul Sherwood on hurdy-gurdy, its pure folk meets pure jazz mediated by an impure jack of none - fulsome and romantic one moment, edgy and distrubed the next. Imagine a cream cheese and dill pickle bagel with extra mustard.

Then there's the lyrics lifted, adapted and mashed-up from the likes of Beckett, Borges, Bukowski, BBC sit coms, buddhist self-help books and Danish grooks. This is the last leg of their Chill-Out Wired-In Spotlight tour.

•  Spotlight Club: Friday 15th April, the Storey, Meeting House Lane, Lancaster. Door open 8.00pm, tickest on the door £4,/£2 concessions

LitFest Lunchtime Classics: George Eliot

LitFest hosts another of its Lunchtime Classic talks on Friday, this time focusing on the life and work of acclaimed nineteenth century writer George Eliot.

George Eliot was the pen name of Marian Evans, one of the leading literary figures of the Victorian age, and,  along with Florence Nightingale and Queen Victoria, one of the three most famous women of Victorian England.

Eliot was an established intellectual before she ran away, in 1854, with G H Lewes. While living with Lewes, Eliot began to write fiction, and many of her ideas on morality and society manifest in her novels and stories.


The talk is by Lauren Watson, author of George Eliot, Judaism and the novels, who has written articles and essays on Eliot’s fiction.

• Lunchtime Classics - George Eliot:  Friday 15th April, 1.00pm The Storey. £4.00 / £2.00 concs. To book, call 01524 582394 or book online.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Cast for a Ryelands Park play area


A plan to develop the play area in Lancaster's Ryelands Park has been shortlisted to receive £15,000 from the ‘Parents for Playgrounds’ campaign and is relying on your votes to make it happen.

Local parents are seeking funds to develop a small play area in the park into an accessible play area for the district. They want to make improvements to allow both able and disabled children play and have fun, and generate funds for a specially designed slide feature.

Patsy Kensit: celebrity backer
of Parents for Playgrounds
‘Parents for Playgrounds’ is a national campaign which has seen parents from across the country nominating playgrounds in their area that are in need of improvement. The campaign is sponsored by Robinsons' Fruit Shoot and backed by British celebrity mum Patsy Kensit and Play England, whose aims include promoting local play strategies.

Parents have until Wednesday 20th April to cast as many votes as possible for their nominated play area to ensure it becomes one of the top five earmarked for the funding.

At the end of April 2011, the playgrounds receiving the most votes will be announced and go on to receive a makeover worth up to £15,000 in readiness for the summer holidays.

Click here to vote for the Ryelands Scheme (Registration required, or sign in using Facebook)

• For more information on what the funding will mean for Ryelands Park play area and to cast your vote, visit www.lancaster.gov.uk/voteryelands

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Lancaster University gets go ahead for Wind Turbine

(Updated 6/4/11): Lancaster University's planning application to build a wind turbine was yesterday granted approval by the City Council's planning committee, following impassioned arguments both for and against from members of the public.

After a three-hour discussion, the committee voted 12-7 in favour of the project, with Green and Labour councillors voting in favour of the project.

The 2MW turbine will generate 17 per cent of the University's power and is one of a number of projects the institution is undertaking to meet the tough 43 per cent efficiency savings that the UK Higher Education sector is trying meet by 2020.

Last May the University submitted a planning application to build two wind turbines, but this was rejected by planning officers and the committee. Yesterday's revised plan was recommended for approval by council officers and saw 12 councillors voting in favour with seven voting against.

Lancaster's Green Party Councillors and Labour members of the committee all voted in favour of the plan. Coun Chris Coates who proposed that approval be granted said "This was a very carefully balanced decision weighing very differing concerns. I think that we got the balance right this time."

Commenting on this decision, Labour's candidates for University Ward at the upcoming local elections, both first-year students at Lancaster University, said they were thrilled that the turbine would now be built.

"I am happy that there was such a wide degree of support from councillors and the public to allow the application for the wind turbine to go ahead," said Paul Aitchison. "Hopefully construction can begin soon."

"Thanks should be given to Lancaster University for making such an effort to make itself more environmentally and economically sustainable," added Labour's Jonathan Dixon.

"I'm glad to see this application pass," added Green Councillor for University ward, Ian McCulloch. "New developments are increasingly required to generate some of their own electricity needs onsite, existing organisations should be encouraged when they want to follow suit."

"Lancaster University should be praised for coming up with a range of policies to tackle its energy usage," argues Rick Seymour, Green candidate for University Ward election. "As one of the region's biggest employers we should follow its lead on environmental and economic sustainability."

"I spoke strongly in favour of the turbine," Coun John Whitelegg told virtual-lancaster, "and linked it to the urgent need to reduce carbon emissions and deal with peak oil and climate change by installing as much renewable energy as possible (wind, wave, sea-floor tidal
and solar)."

Alternative Voting: What on earth is it?

A public meeting on the Alternative Vote referendum will be held in Lancaster on Wednesday to discuss the future of Britian's voting system.

On 5th May, UK voters will be given the chance to decide whether the current first-past-the-post electoral system should be replaced by an Alternative Vote system.

This will be the first UK-wide referendum for 36 years – the last was held in 1975, on whether the UK should stay in the EEC, the forerunner of the European Union.

But what is AV? How does it work? Is it better or worse than First Past the Post? And why is AV the only alternative on offer in the referendum?

These questions will be addressed at a public meeting to be held at St Thomas’s Church, Marton Street, Lancaster, from 7 - 9.00pm on Wednesday 6th April.

Speakers will include representatives from the main local political parties: Conservative (Eric Ollerenshaw MP), Liberal Democrat (Lancaster Council leader Stuart Langhorn), the Green Party (Councillor Jon Barry) and Labour (Kris Brown, candidate for Park Ward, Sefton).

The meeting will be chaired by Dr Neil Foxlee, a local resident and Lecturer in Rhetoric at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston.

“The referendum on the Alternative Vote gives us what may be a once-in-a-lifetime chance to choose whether to change or keep the UK’s electoral system”, said Dr Foxlee.

“It’s hugely important for our democracy that the issue should be properly debated at the local as well as the national level. That’s why I’ve organized the meeting, which I hope will be well attended.”

Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme rolled out in Lancashire

The Child Sex Offender Disclosure (CSOD) scheme has been launched in Lancashire as part of the national roll out.

The scheme means that anyone can ask the police to check whether an individual who has access to children has committed any child sexual offences.

Disclosure will take place if that person has convictions for sexual offences against children and there is reasonable cause to believe a child is in danger of being seriously harmed. Details of previous convictions will be disclosed to the person who is best placed to protect the child.

If the person has other information held about them relevant to safeguarding children – for example serial domestic abuse perpetrators, then disclosure may also be considered utilising existing processes and procedures.

During a pilot of the scheme, 87 per cent of applicants were parents or guardians and they were most frequently concerned about neighbours, ex or new partners, family members or friends of family members.

Detective Superintendant Ian Critchley, Lancashire Constabulary’s Head of Public Protection, said: “The Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme provides members of the public with a formal way to check whether people who have contact with their children are a possible risk, and it will help parents, carers or guardians ensure that their children are safe, and also assists the police in managing known sex offenders living in the community more effectively.

“We already have a robust system to manage sexual and violent offenders through Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements and we work very closely with our partners in the prison and probation service to keep our children safe.

“We already disclose information about registered sexual offenders and violent offenders in a controlled way and to a variety of people including head teachers, leisure centre managers, employers and landlords, as well as parents.”

• More information: www.lancashire.police.uk

Monday, 4 April 2011

Lancaster man jailed for a year for ear bite assault

George Atkins
A man who bit off part of another man’s ear during an attack outside a pub has been jailed for 12 months.

George Austin was ejected from Ma Murphy’s pub in Morecambe on Christmas Day 2009 after assaulting an elderly customer. Once outside, he assaulted a second man and bit off a section of his ear.

Austin, 25, of Lymm Avenue, Lancaster, pleaded guilty to a section 20 wounding offence and common assault at an earlier hearing at Preston Crown Court.

Appearing at court on Friday, he was jailed for 12 months.

“Austin was told to leave the pub after punching an elderly gentleman and then carried on his violent behaviour outside," says  DC Jon Shaw of Lancashire Police.

"His attack has left his second victim permanently disfigured and I am pleased that he received a custodial sentence as it sends out a strong message that such acts of violence will not be tolerated and will be dealt with robustly."

Ludus Dance: Positive in face of 70% funding cut.


The outcome of the National Portfolio Funding process has resulted in a 70% cut to Ludus Dance funding from Arts Council England. The remaining funding is to be earmarked to support ‘community dance activity focussed in Lancashire’.

In the light of these facts, Ludus Dance has issued the following official statement:
'We are massively disappointed with the Arts Council’s decision to cut our funding to such a large extent. This will of course have a devastating effect on the range of work we offer and impact we have. Although this does not mean the end for Ludus, unless we are able to secure additional sources of income, it does mean an end to the touring side of the company.

‘Ludus has been inspiring people to engage with dance for over 35 years, and the very real impact of this work has been achieved across both community dance and touring. With every national tour we deliver, we reach thousands upon thousands of people. This not only inspires young children to get involved in dance, but it also feeds the wider dance ecology. Many of the biggest names in dance and choreography began their career with the Ludus Dance Touring Company, so the reality of losing this part of the company will impact upon the wider dance industry.’

Throw your support behind Ludus
‘We are appealing to everyone who has ever been inspired, touched or moved by a Ludus Dance performance, workshop, class or project to send us a letter of support, highlighting the impact Ludus has had on your life. This will help us in our bid to secure other sources of funding. Please send your letters to Ludus Dance, The Assembly Rooms, King Street, Lancaster, LA1 1RE or email: info@ludusdance.org You can also support the company via our Friends Scheme at: www.ludusdance.org/friends

‘At this early stage, we cannot speculate as to what form the company will take on from 2012 – all we know is that it will be very different from the Ludus we know today. We are about to undergo a comprehensive strategic review of the organisation, which we believe will help us come through this and identify the best way forward for the future.’

Summer term starts 7 May
The company will continue to provide its normal services, including centre classes, projects and touring company residencies until March 2012. The Summer term of dance classes will begin at its Lancaster-based studio on 7th May 2011. As well as the much-loved weekly programme of classes, such as ballet, tap and street, dance taster sessions in Zumba® and Pilates will be new additions to the timetable. For full details, call 01524 35936 or visit: www.ludusdance.org/summer

Image: Ludus Youth Dance Co.

Drooling Banjos and John Harper hit Lancaster's Gillow

Top folk musician John Harper returns to Lancaster's Robert Gillow later this month

There's a great line up of folk music at the Robert Gillow this month, kicking off on Thursday with the Drooling Banjos and the welcome return of top act John Harper on 21st April.

The Drooling Banjos (appearing Thursday 7th April) are a trio of muscians - Steve on guitar and voice, Martin on banjos various and guitar, and Jack, described as "the 15-year old boy wonder on harmonica.”  They capture the ancient and revered tradition of the jug band – exquisitely performed by a trio of local virtuosi whose deep knowledge and understanding of the genre will soften the heart of the most care-worn and cynical. 

Phil Hare (Thursday 14 April) is widely regarded as one of the finest and most distinctive acoustic guitarists working on the current folk music circuit.  Over the years he has increasingly been in demand as a session guitarist and the list of those with whom he has worked is almost unending – it includes the late Jake Thackeray, The Spinners, Vin Garbutt, Chris Newman and Bill Caddick…
“This guy is clearly a world class player” enthuses Dirty Linen, while the Daily Telegraph says “Phil’s songs are today’s broadsides”.

Thursday 21st April marks the welcome return of the exceptionally talented guitarist and singer John Harper. A regular Lancaster entertainer who always dazzles everyone with his powerful renditions of British and American contemporary songs, he offers music to make you sing and reaffirm that the best live music is to be heard at the Gillow.

The month's folk rounds off with an appearance by Preston-based River County Incident (Thursday 28 April), offering an evening of acoustic, rootsy, lo-fi Americana. Dave Gardner plays guitar and sings and Matt Wells plays guitar, Dobro or Weissenborn lap steel guitar and banjo.
Throw in a bit of harmonica, some Springsteen, a little Townes Van Zandt, Bob Dylan and Gram Parsons and mix with a heap of “old-timey Appalachian murder ballad stuff” and you’ve got the idea.   

• There's folk music every Thursday night at the the Robert Gillow, 64 Market Street, Lancaster, LA1 1HP. Tel: 01524 36092 Web: www.pubfoodlancaster.co.uk

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Skerton's John O' Gaunt - Gone!



Lancaster's 'other' John O'Gaunt pub on Torrisholme Road is being demolished - another Skerton building pulled down to make way for new development.