Friday, 20 January 2012

Rise in shopliftng prompts police crackdown

Prolific shoplifters in Lancaster and Morecambe are being targeted by police in a clamp down, following a recent rise in offences - perhaps in part due to shops reducing staffing numbers in the face of the economic downturn.

Officers are working with shop staff in both towns in order to crack down on offenders entering stores, with both high visibility and plain clothes visits being made to premises.

Patrols are also being carried out in hot spot and thoroughfare areas, such as the Lancaster – Morecambe cycle path, so that thieves can be stopped as they make their way to commit an offence.

Visits will also be made to offenders’ homes to warn them that they are being monitored by police.

“There is often a view that shoplifting is a petty offence and that shops can afford to take the hit," notes Inspector Dave Vickers from Morecambe police,. "This is not the case. Shoplifting is theft, theft is crime and shoplifters are criminals.

“Small businesses can be ruined by the financial implications of shoplifting and invariably the costs are added on for law abiding customers at the till.

“A number of the shoplifters operating in Lancaster and Morecambe are persistent offenders," he added. "Some harass and cause anti-social behaviour whilst committing theft. This is intimidating for shop staff, who deserve to go about their work without fear.

"We will not tolerate this and police resources are cracking down on these prolific offenders.”

At the end of last year two shoplifters were given ASBOs banning them from city centre stores. One has since breached the ASBO and been sent to prison.


With many retail outlets seeing decreased sales in the face of the poor economic climate, they have cut staff levels and hours to save costs - meaning their are less staff on shop floors to deal with possible offenders.


One major Lancaster store saw its trading so slow it cut floor staff to four one day last week.

“We will seek to pursue further ASBOs and CRASBOs for those who habitually shoplift," says  Inspector Vicker, "preventing them from entering shops and restricting their movements.

"Breaches will result in prison sentences. Shoplifters need to recognise that time behind bars can be a consequence of their actions.”

Members of the public are also being asked to ‘shop a shoplifter’ if they are offered stolen goods, either on their doorstep or in the pub. Police will be carrying out checks on licensed premises to ensure stolen goods on not being sold inside.

Count the stars to help map light pollution in Lancaster

Organisers of Star Count are asking people to count stars within
the constellation of Orion in the south-western
night sky. More: www.cpre.org.uk/starcount

Campaigners and scientists are looking to recruit Lancaster's amateur stargazers to help them map light pollution during national Star Count Week starting today, Friday 20th January.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England and the British Astronomical Association's Campaign for Dark Skies  are asking people to take part in the 2012 Star Count Week between Friday 20th and Friday 27th January, when the skies should be at their darkest at the time of the new moon.

Stargazers will be asked to count the number of stars they can see within the constellation of Orion. The results will help create a 2012 Star Count map, illustrating how light pollution is affecting the view of the night sky across the UK.

Participants can choose any night between Friday 20th and Friday 27th January but the sky must be clear, with no haze or clouds, so there is the best chance of seeing stars. It is recommended that observations are made after 7.00pm so the sky is sufficiently dark.

Organisers are asking people to count stars within the constellation of Orion in the south-western night sky. The main area of the constellation is bounded by four bright stars. The star count should not include these four corner stars - only those within this rectangular boundary - but do include the stars in the middle known as Orion's three-star belt.

People should make a count of the number of stars seen with the naked eye (not with telescopes or binoculars) and then simply complete the online survey form: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/starcount-2012 or send their count, the time and date it was made, and the location to our address: Star Count, Campaign for Dark Skies, 38 The Vineries, Colehill, Wimborne, BH21 2PX.


Founded in 1926, the Campaign to Protect Rural England fights for a better future for the English countryside. It works locally and nationally to protect, shape and enhance a beautiful, thriving countryside for everyone to value and enjoy, its members united in their love for England's landscapes and rural communities.

The British Astronomical Association is Britain's largest astronomical organisation, with thousands of members nation-wide. Its Campaign for Dark Skies was founded in 1989, and aims to ensure quality lighting in the UK. A well-lit environment below and a view of the starry sky above are not incompatible.

• Further details of the Star Count Week and instructions on how to take part can be found at: www.cpre.org.uk/starcount


Freeman's Wood under development threat?


Lancastrians have reacted angrily to the news that Freeman's Wood - long open to the public and popular with walkers, bikers and bird watchers - is being fenced off by  landowners The Property Trust, a Bermuda-based company headed by a Hong Kong businessman.

Local councillor Jon Barry is one of several now organising a campagn to prevent any development, and as appealed for proof that former landowner's, Willamson's, who used the land as a tip, gave the land to the people of the Marsh estate.

The Lancaster Guardian reports hundreds of metres of spiked metal fencing is being erected between St George’s Quay and Willow Lane, land that has been what the paper describes as "an adventure playground for youngsters" for at least 50 years.

Photo of Western Gorse in Freeman's Wood
via 'A Seasonal Guide to Wild Flowers'
Locals now fear the land - effectively a nature reserve, home to birds such as the Lesser Whitethroat and Warblers, but once earmarked for destruction as it was on the route of the now moribund Western Bypass - is under threat from development.

Locals are wondering just how the company gained permission for the fencing.

The action would also appear to have dubious legal standing. If footpaths through the Wood have long been established, then the public have a right to pass along linear routes over land at all times.

The Institute of Public Rights of Way and Access Management notes that although the land may be owned by a private individual, the public may still gain access across that land along a specific route. The mode of transport allowed differs according to what type of public right of way it is.

Public rights of way are all highways in law, but the term "public rights of way" is generally used to cover more minor highways.

A planning application for a Redrow and Barratt Housing development comprising 403 new residential units on the adjacent Luneside West Development Site was approved subject to a s106 agreement by the City Council Planning Committee (see minutes) on 9 January 2012, with some protection for existing trees and habitats specified.

The North Lancashire Green Party raised concerns last year that Freeman's Wood might be under threat from development, noting it was one of several greefield sites in Lancaster being considered for development.

Green councillors called on the City Council not to support development on major Greenfield sites across the district, but to concentrate instead on regenerating brownfield sites including the canal corridor in central Lancaster.

The Lancaster Guardian also reports the Green Party is preparing to submit a town green status application for the site, which, if approved, would se the Wood get protecton from development.

“The area of Freeman’s Wood has been used by local people for many years and is a vital source of recreational space for the Marsh," noted local councillor Jon Barry last year. "The area also supports a wide variety of wildlife, including deer.

"The sites off Aldcliffe Road have previously been dismissed in a report by planning experts for the Council – so I don’t know why the Council is still putting these forward.”

The area is currently designatd as woodland by the City Council, which means it cannot be entirely fenced off because of tree protection orders, protection which applies to both exisiting and new trees.

Council Leader Eileen Blamire told virtual-lancaster: "The land in question on which a fence has been erected and is causing concern to local residents is not owned by the Council.

"The Council does own a portion of Freeman's Wood to the South East of this privately owned land and this remains unaffected by the fence. The Council would therefore suggest that this is an issue between the local residents and the private landowner.

"The Council did serve a TPO in December last year, affecting trees within the area of land to the west of of Luneside Industrial Estate. All trees present at the time the order was served are protected and all new, natural woodland re-generation in the future will also assume the protection status of the tree preservation order." 

The Council has yet to make a decision on the suitablity of the land for future development but the Property Trust, itself owned by Bermuda-based PT Holdings and run by Anthony Kai Chiu Cheng and Nelson Chi-Fai Chan, have suggested the land has potential for both residential and recreational use.

Anthony Cheng has been Executive Chairman of The Property Trust PLC since 1989. A qualified chartered accountant, he has extensive experience in property and hotel development and investments.

Both directors are also directors of The Lune Industrial Estate Limited, run from the Property Trust offices in Holborn, London. The company owns a variety of properties in the UK and abroad. Virtual Lancaster contacted the Property Trust at their London office today with an enquiry regarding the purpose for the enclosure and were informed that they will be looking into the matter.

- See the Lancaster Guardian (19-01-12) for their story. The paper is also running an online poll asking if the Wood should be kept as a green space

• PT Holdings - www.thepropertytrust.co.uk

Remembering the Holocaust


The theme of Holocaust Memorial Day 2012 is 'Speak Up, Speak Out'. We are asked to consider what we see and hear around us, and to use our voices to speak up against hatred and discrimination. HMD 2012 falls on Friday 27 January and in Lancaster it will be marked by a series of events at Lancaster Priory Church and Lancaster Town Hall.
On Thursday 26 January  NCBI Lancashire will be co-ordinating  a candlelighting commemoration which begins at 6.30pm in the Memorial Gardens behind the Town Hall in Lancaster, remembering all the groups persecuted during the Holocaust.

The commemoration will be followed by a celebration co-ordinated by More Music in the Town Hall. Students from Lytham St Anne’s College, a trust partner of The Dukes, will present a performance based on their recent visit to Auschwitz, the largest of the German extermination camps.
Responses to Lessons from Auschwitz will be presented by students from Lancaster Girls Grammar School; young musicians from More Music and local dance band The Balkanics will make for a diverse evening.
Young people involved in the Dukes DT3’S Wireless Project will interview people at the event for a Diversity FM radio show in February.

On Saturday 28 January 2012 there will be a dialogue on anti-semitism, led by NCBI Lancashire with support from the Jewish community at the Priory Church, Lancaster at 2pm.
Later on the same day, at 7pm, the Priory will be holding a Holocaust Memorial Commemorative Service, with speaker Margie Tolstoy, renowned scholar from the Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge who  teaches on Jewish and Christian Responses to the Holocaust.

In addition the Dukes Gallery is currently holding a Holocaust Memorial Exhibition by local artist Catriona Stamp, titled '(Dis)Placement'. The exhibition text, following the roads or waterways, concerns both the culture and history of Jewish occupation, and eviction. Catriona has transformed maps into clothes as she explores how the intimate surroundings of place and clothing can affect and reflect identity with particular reference to Jewish heritage. The exhibition runs until Sunday 29 January.

The term 'Holocaust' is used to describe the mass murder of some 17 million people by the German Nazi regime, through an 'efficient' industrial process of extermination which remains unparalleled in human history. The policy was based on a delusory theory of  'racial hygiene'. In addition to Jews, who were the principal target of Nazi persecution, targeted groups included Poles and some other Slavic peoples; Soviets (particularly prisoners of war); Romanies (also known as Gypsies) and others who did not belong to the "Aryan race"; the mentally ill, the deaf, the physically and mentally disabled; homosexual and transsexual people; political opponents and religious dissidents. Taking into account all of the victims of Nazi persecution, they systematically killed an estimated six million Jews and an additional eleven million people during the war, in addition to countless local exterminations throughout their invaded territories by less 'efficient' means.

The Holocaust Memorial serves not only to commemorate all these innocent victims who met an appalling fate, often after months of slavery in brutal conditions, but also to remind us of the incremental stages of  nationalism, racism, social intolerance, military aggression, totalitarianism and erosion of civil liberty, fuelled by an overwhelming state propaganda machine, that took an entire mainstream European society, much like our own, collectively over the brink of sanity into a nightmare that was, with some few notable exceptions, collectively accepted by its participants as 'normal'. The Nazis were eventually defeated by Allied forces in 1945. The profound cost to survivors on all sides and their descendants is still incompletely understood.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

'The Owl who’s afraid of the Dark’ flies in at the Platform

Classic children’s story The Owl who’s afraid of the Dark will be flying in at the Platform on Wednesday 15th February.

Join Plop, the baby barn owl as he journeys into the night-time world of camp fires, fireworks, starry nights and moonlit adventures.  It’s going to be a hoot!

Based on the book written by Jill Tomlinson, this funny gentle and reassuring tale is written especially for small people aged 3 – 7 (and grown ups who sleep with the big light on!)

Blunderbus Theatre Company will be bringing to life this wonderful story with live music, puppetry and story telling.

The performance takes place at 2.00pm. Tickets are priced at £6, £5 and £20 for a family ticket and available from the Visitor Information Centres at the Platform, Morecambe and the Storey Creative Industries Centre in Lancaster.

You can also buy tickets over the phone on 01524 582803 and online at www.lancaster.gov.uk/platform-tickets.

• For more events, concerts and shows taking place at the Platform see the latest brochure at www.lancaster.gov.uk/platform


• For more about Blunderbus visit: www.blunderbus.co.uk

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Man sought after Swank bar assault

Lancaster police are appealing for witnesses to come forward after a 31 year old man was assaulted in a town centre bar.

The offence took place at Swank bar on Penny Street on 4th December 2011 when the victim was verbally abused on the dance floor by an unknown man.

A short time later he visited the toilet where he was assaulted from behind and knocked unconscious. He was later found to have suffered a broken jaw.

DC Ciara Campbell Lancaster CID said: “It is unclear at this stage if the verbal altercation on the dance floor is linked to the assault but I’d appeal to witnesses in the bar that evening to come forward and speak with Lancaster CID if they have any information as to the possible identity of the persons responsible.”

Anyone with any information should call Lancashire Police on 101.

People with information can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or on-line at Crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.



Drink driving continues to fall in Lancashire

The number of people caught drink driving in Lancashire has fallen again according to the results of the Constabulary’s Christmas drink drive campaign.

 

Between 1st December and 1st January, 13,249 tests were administered with just 168 – or 1.3 per cent – of people testing positive or refusing to provide a specimen. This compares to 2 per cent for the 2010 campaign and 2.2 per cent for the 2009 campaign.

 

The annual crackdown saw high-profile enforcement activity take place across the county. There were checkpoints at key locations where officers administered drink and drugs tests.

 

Superintendant Peter O’Dwyer said: “The number of people caught drink driving in Lancashire has fallen yet again, which is really encouraging.

 

“It indicates that the message is getting through to most people and that attitudes towards drink driving are changing.

 

“One person drink driving is one too many though," he adds. "We are not complacent and we will continue to carry out enforcement activity throughout the year – not just during the festive period – to target those who persist on driving after drinking or taking drugs.

 

“Statistics show that around one in six fatal collisions in Lancashire involve either drink or drugs or both and this is simply not acceptable.

 

“Any amount of alcohol affects your ability to drive and the only safe option is not to drive if you plan to drink. Our message is simple – do not drink and drive.”

 

In 2010, 2.9 per cent of those tested aged 25 and under failed the test. The failure rate for over 25s was 1.8 per cent mirroring a national trend which showed that the under 25 age group is more susceptible to driving after taking drink or drugs.

 

During the 2011 festive campaign, the failure rate amongst under 25s was 1.7 per cent compared to 1.2 per cent for the over 25 category.

 

Supt O’Dwyer added: “We have been working closely with the under 25 age group to educate them on the dangers of driving whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This has included visits to colleges and universities.

 

“Whilst this year’s figures show that the under 25 age group is still more susceptible to drink driving, it is encouraging to see that this figure has improved.”

 

County Councillor Tim Ashton, Lancashire County Council Cabinet member for highways and transport, said: "These figures confirm that attitudes to drink driving have changed beyond all recognition and it is very encouraging to see that the vast majority of people are aware of the potential consequences and would never take the risk.

 

"The number of people tested in Lancashire during the Christmas campaign is a great credit to the police and helps to reinforce the message that if you drink alcohol or take drugs before driving there is a very high risk that you will cause a serious accident or be pulled over and tested."

 

Information about drink driving can be reported to the police on 101 or to or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. In an emergency, always dial 999

Monday, 16 January 2012

A New Broom for the Lune: sewer work plans announced

United Utilities engineers will be carrying out exploratory work in Lancaster city centre from next week,  as part of a major scheme to clean up the River Lune.

United Utilities is increasing the size of the local sewer network, to protect the river from sewer spillages. The £9 million project will protect local wildlife, and ensure cleaner bathing waters at nearby Heysham and Morecambe.

The scheme has already been underway for six months in Skerton, with works that have seen Lune Street operating one-way traffic for some time.

From next week, engineers will be digging trial holes in the city centre, to prepare for future work. The water company plans to construct two large new underground stormwater tanks in the city centre in 2013/14, and needs to test ground conditions to ensure the work can be carried out safely.

The exploratory work will take place in several locations, as follows:

• Trial holes will be dug at the bus station, and Damside Street taxi rank from Monday 23rd January, for up to two weeks. Bus services will continue to operate as normal, but the taxi rank will be temporarily relocated to Chapel Street pay and display car park for approximately one week. Chapel Street car park will be closed to drivers during this period.

• Night work will take place on Rosemary Lane, starting Monday 30th January at least a week at night. Engineers will be digging trial holes overnight, to avoid disrupting general traffic and buses.

- Night work on Damside Street (the opposite end from the bus station) will take place from Monday 6th February, lasting until until mid-February.

- Trial holes work will take place in the retail car park off Bulk Road for two weeks from Monday 13th February. The working area will be cordoned off, and the car park open as normal to shoppers.

"Our engineers have been a regular fixture in the north of the city for several months," notes United Utilities project co-ordinator John Byron. " In 2013, we expect to be moving work into parts of the city centre, to further improve the sewer network serving the area.

"We need to dig trial holes, to get a clearer idea of the ground conditions that we will encounter. We're carrying out a lot of this exploratory work out at night, to minimise traffic disruption.

"The legacy of this scheme will be a cleaner, greener Lancaster. It's vitally important for the city's environmental, and economic future."

The scheme is a key part of United Utilities' record-breaking £3.6 billion 2010-2015 investment programme for the North West, which is improving the region's water and sewer network, and helping deliver a cleaner environment.

• A drop-in session for members of the public will be held on Tuesday 23rd January at The Gallery, The Dukes, Moor Lane, Lancaster from 3-7.00pm. United Utilities' project team will be on hand to discuss the work, and answer any questions.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Not in my Frack Yard: Cuadrilla lambasted by protestors

 (via SchNews): Executives of Caudrilla Resources, the company engaged in 'fracking' in Lancashire to extract resources, a tecnhnology causing plenty of controversy, were left quaking in their boots after angry fracking meetings in the US and the UK last week.

Campaigners have called for a moratorium on fracking in the UK in the face of theearthquakes and amid fears it could lead to pollution of drinking water by methane gas or chemicals in the liquid used in the process. 

In Lancashire, Caudrilla Resources have obtained planning permission for five sites in the Blackpool area. They have completed drilling and fracked the Preese Hall well (causing several earthquakes) and drilled the Grange Road well. Their drilling rig is presently working at their Marsh Road site. With only one rig at present they will need to drill the wells sequentially.

Radical news site SchNews reports on two large public meetings on fracking - the process of hydraulic fracturing for shale gas. The first took place in the old steel town of Youngstown, Ohio - held on Tuesday in the wake of a magnitude 4.0 earthquake, the latest in a series of 11 over the last 12 months. 


Earthquakes have followed fracking activity in Lancashire, too and it's believed the earthquakes are linked to an injection well disposing of fracking fluid, a mix of groundwater and industrial chemicals. 


The second took place in the sleepy, extremely affluent commuter belt village of Balcombe, in Sussex, just north of the Ouse Valley Viaduct on the London to Brighton railway line. Cuadrilla Resources, made infamous by their alleged earthquake producing facilities in Lancashire, have planning permission to drill a test well south of the village. 

The process has been compared by some to setting off a small nuclear bomb underground and, needless to say there are some ruffled feathers in well manicured lawns of this community.

The meeting was extremely well attended with no standing room let alone seats free, and began with a screening of the short film, Fracking Hell. Two of Cuadrilla's most masochistic senior management, CEO Mark Miller and COO Eric Vaughan, turned up, along with their PR guru, Nick Sutcliffe.

(A Guildford Burough Councillor in his spare time, Sutcliffe is from PR company PPS Group, which has been accused of writing fake letters and posing as students to help their clients secure planning permission. pPS denies these cliams). 

Cuadrilla were on the defensive from the outset and it's reported they repeatedly shot themselves in the foot throughout trying to defend their technology, until even their opponents found it painful to watch. 

Many concerns were raised - with effects on water supplies in the area and the potential of earthquakes damage to the 170 year old railway viaduct were top of the list. 

The meeting was mercifully brought to a close through lack of time with residents still keen to continue haranguing Cuadrilla. It's unlikely the Caudrilla chiefs will be back any time soon. 

The real question for opponents of fracking is whether this outpouring of nimby rage can lead to anything more substantive. The road protests of the 1990's are an example of a movement that had supporters from across all walks of life. The fracking issue with its potentially large numbers of sites that can affect anyone in their path certainly have some similarities with threat to the countryside back then. 

The somewhat awkward and tentative interaction between local residents and activists in the Balcombe village hall on Wednesday, if built upon, has the potential to produce such a broad based movement against the tidal wave of extreme energy processes that is also bearing down on Lancashire. It will be interesting to see whether such alliances can be forged again under the present conditions. 

Cuadrilla and other such companies will certainly be hoping not, but recently claimed, after the publication of a report from the British Geological Society, that it was  “extremely unlikely” that ground water supplies would be polluted by methane asa result of controversial “fracking” for shale gas.

And although the process, which uses high-pressure liquid pumped deepunderground to fracture shale rock and release gas, caused two earthquakes inLancashire last year, they were too small to cause damage, UK geologists said. 

- More information: www.frack-off.org.uk

- Cuadrilla Resources: www.cuadrillaresources.com

Seriously ill man robbed in Carnforth home

Detectives are appealing for information after a seriously ill man was subjected to a terrifying armed robbery in his own home in Carnforth on Friday (13th January). 


The robbery took place around 6.45pm at a lodge on Northside Caravan Park on North Road, when a number of masked men, one armed with a hammer and another with a crowbar, burst into the 54-year-old man’s address and demanded money. 

The victim, whose illness prevents him from being mobile, was being visited by his brother who was cooking when the incident happened. 

The offenders demanded the victims get down on the floor before ransacking the property, escaping with a safe and an undisclosed amount of cash before making off across fields at the rear of the premises. The safe was located a short time later in a live lane of the M6 north between junctions 36 and 37.  It is believed that they have then left the area in a vehicle. 

Detective Inspector Jo Dent from Lancaster Police said: “This is a serious and targeted offence and I would appeal for the public’s help to catch these men and bring them to justice. 

 “Although not hurt, both victims were left badly shaken by their ordeal and the motive for the robbery is unknown. 

 “I would appeal to anybody on Northside Caravan Park and surrounding areas that witnessed anything suspicious or anybody with any information that could assist with our investigation to contact Lancashire Police on 101.” 

 People with information can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or on-line at Crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court

Hannah Frank exhibition opens at Lancaster's Gallery 23

The work of the late Glasgow Jewish artist Hannah Frank is forms the first exhibition at Lancaster’s Gallery 23 for 2012, running until 25th March. 


There has been a huge resurgence of interest in Hannah Frank’s work over the recent years, largely due to the efforts of Hannah’s niece, Lancaster-based Fiona Frank.

“I met Arteria with Gallery 23 proprietor, Jane Richardson, when I went into the impressive Lancaster shop on Brock Street last July," says Fiona. "I showed her our new Hannah Frank leaflet and new range of cards we'd had made for the Harrogate Home & Gift Fair. I was delighted to hear that she was going to be at the Gift Fair too and we met up again there. The idea of the exhibition grew out of these meetings. 

" Jane had the idea of producing Hannah Frank notelets, packs of six Hannah Frank images on smaller cards to complement the larger, frameable single cards that Hannah herself had printed. Jane clearly has an eye for providing what people want because the notelets have proved very popular with the public.” 

 The work of Hannah Frank has enjoyed a strong following in the Lancaster area. A large exhibition of her drawings and sculptures appeared at Lancaster City Art Gallery and Museum in 2004 and Lancaster University’s Peter Scott gallery started the interest well before that. The Peter Scott Gallery owns one of Hannah Frank’s bronze sculptures and several people in Lancaster took the opportunity of purchasing sculptures at that exhibition. The Gregson Arts and Community Centre have run two exhibitions of Hannah Frank prints and many Gregson customers bought reproduction prints during those shows. 

 Fiona added: “Children at Central Lancaster High school have taken part in Hannah Frank print workshops with local artists and local shops have stocked Hannah Frank cards. However, this will be the first time that a Lancaster venue will show Hannah Frank framed cards and have the notelets on sale; and two bronze sculptures will also be available to view and to buy.” 

 Jane Richardson, said: “To have the work of such a credible and prolific artist is truly inspiring for us as a gallery and we have no doubt that visitors will find her collection both intriguing and enchanting. We hold a lot of respect for Hannah and, indeed, her niece Fiona, who is working so hard to keep her legacy alive.” 

 Hannah was born in 1908 in Glasgow’s Gorbals. She studied at GlasgowUniversity, graduating with an MA in English and Latin in 1930. She also attended evening classes at the world-famous Glasgow School of Art from the 1920s onwards. She produced her distinctive black and white drawings from the 1920s. The GlasgowUniversity magazine rarely came out without a drawing by ‘Al Aaraaf’, Hannah’s pen name. During the 1930s Hannah’s drawings had a dark, haunting quality; after her marriage in 1939 they became exuberant, filled with light, using much white space. 

 In 1952 Hannah turned to sculpture, studying under BennoSchotz, who became Her Majesty's Sculptor in Ordinary for Scotland.Hannah’s drawings and sculptures have been exhibited in the Royal Glasgow Institute, the Royal Academy, and the Royal Scottish Academy. 

 In the years leading up to Hannah Frank’s centenary a five year international tour of Hannah’s work took her art across the UK, to the United States, culminating in a full Hannah Frank retrospective exhibition at Glasgow University. This opened on the artist’s 100th birthday, 23 August 2008, and Hannah herself attended the preview where she received a standing ovation. 

 Today Hannah’s works are represented in Kelvingrove Art Gallery, Glasgow, the Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, the Hunterian Gallery, University of Glasgow, and the Ben Uri London Jewish Museum of Art. Actress Miriam Margolyes, a fan, attended Hannah’s 100th birthday lunch as did Jim Murphy MP, the now Shadow Secretary of State for Defence.

- Hannah Frank, A Glasgow Artist, Arteria with Gallery 23, at 23 Brock Street, Lancaster, LA1 1UR. From 11th January – 25th March 2012. Tel: 01524 61111. Mon-Sat 9.30am - 5.30pm

 

PACT Meeting changes for Morecambe West End residents

Changes to Morecambe’s West End PACT meetings will enable more residents to have their say on policing in their local area.

PACT meetings are held on a monthly basis and allow residents to tell their neighbourhood policing team what issues are concerning them. After discussion, a smaller group called a PACT panel decides on the top three policing priorities for the month. The neighbourhood policing team will report back to the next meeting on progress on solving the issues - sometimes working with other agencies. 

A monthly drop-in surgery-style meeting will now be held in Morecambe’s West End at St Barnabus’ church hall, at the corner of Westminster Road and Regent Road on the first Tuesday of every month at 7.00pm. The next surgery will be on Tuesday 7th February.

In addition to this a weekly surgery session will be held from 11am – 12 noon every Tuesday at West End Impact, on Heysham Road. These will start from Tuesday 7th February.

"The new style of meetings has been designed with the community in mind and is based on feedback we have received from them," explains  PC Darren Rotherham, community beat manager for Harbour ward. "Once the sessions are up and running we hope to involve more partner agencies so that problems that are affecting our neighbourhoods can be highlighted and then tackled together.” 

-  More information about your local PACT meeting can be found by visiting www.lancashire.police.uk and typing your postcode into the My Area search engine.