Friday, 20 February 2015

Lancaster's 'Hear Me Roar!' weekend festival to celebrate women's achievements

In the weekend leading up to International Women’s Day on Sunday 8 March, Lancaster Arts City will be hosting its first Hear Me Roar! weekender as part of March 2015's First Friday programme and in collaboration with the Centre for Gender and Women's Studies at Lancaster University.

The festival will celebrate the achievements of women past, present and future. It will also seek to inspire change and strive to spark positive conversations on achieving equality.

Share your experiences with the hashtag #hearmeroar.

Here's the full Hear Me Roar! programme for the 3 days. Please follow the title links for more details. Events are free unless prices stated.

FRIDAY 6 MARCH

11am - 5pm - Politics of Popular Culture 1 day workshop
Organised by the Centre for Gender & Women's Studies. On feminism, bodies and cultural politics - The Storey Lecture Theatre. Includes lunch. Free but advance registration required.  Register here.

5.30pm - Bush Rush flashmob - Market Square
Not that kind of bush but a Kate Bush flashmob performing the epic dance routine to the song Wuthering Heights will be gathering in Market Square on Friday 6 March  from 5pm and the dance will take place at 5.30pm followed by some delightful songs from local ladies choir Dot Crotchet and the Raging Harmonies
To take part, you can turn up on the day, or attend rehearsals in advance at the Gregson Centre on 24 February between 7:30 & 8:30pm and 4 March at the same time.

6.15pm - The Secret Life of You and Me by Lowri Evans - A heartwarming show about life, love, meanings and memory in The Dukes Gallery £8/£6

7.15pm - Hear Me Roar! Triple Bill - Storey Auditorium
The Frolicks: The Rose Company, Lancaster's all-female classical theatre company, present a rehearsed reading of extracts from The Frolicks by Elizabeth Polewheele. Written in 1671, this is a hugely entertaining Restoration comedy with a feminist edge.
Jack Heaton - No woman, no cry: This funny new short play by Jack Heaton takes a sideways look at a big question.
Eggs Collective Get A Round (10mn extract): explores friendship, kindness and belonging against the backdrop of a big night out.  Then follow the Manchester trio into the the night as they take you to the next event: Drunken Nights
Entry is on a first come, first serve basis on the night and £Pay What You Decide

8.30pm - Drunken Chorus: Drunken Nights III - Wagon and Horses
Performances inspired by the Great British Pub; from standup comedy and karaoke, to pub quizzes, live music and dance floor shenanigans. Free

SATURDAY 7 MARCH

8pm - Amy & Rosanna Cade present Sister - Storey Auditorium
Amy and Rosana are sisters. They are both feminists.  In Sister they present a bold and unflinching examination of themselves: their family bonds, shared experiences, and the differing paths their lives have taken, weaving together their autobiographical stories of growing up. Free. Book here.  18+

8pm - This Is The Kit + Rozi Plain - More Music, Morecambe
Featuring the Kate Staples band 'This is the Kit' and solo artist Rozi Plain.
Advance tickets £10 (£7 concs). Door tickets £12 (£9 concs).

9pm - Mother’s Ruin - Juke Joint (formerly the Lord Ashton)
Mother's throwing an unpredictable party in a Lancaster pub with pop-up performances showcasing female artists working in music, comedy, drag and cabaret. With DJs performing throughout the night, it's the perfect way to let your hair down and toast a truly magnificent festival.
Tickets: £6 / £5

SUNDAY 8 MARCH

8pm - Ovid’s Heroines by Clare Pollard - The Gregson
Poet Clare Pollard’s new free verse translation (just published by Bloodaxe Books) rediscovers Ovid’s Heroines for the 21st Century, bringing to life a cast of women who are brave, bitchy, sexy, horrifying, heartbreaking and surprisingly modern.
Tickets £10 / £8 from www.litfest.org or Lancaster Visitor Information Centre.

9 - 23 MARCH

Hear Me Roar! Significant Sentences - Lancaster city centre
a project by artist Sue Flowers, with local businesswomen, creating visual representations of what it means to be a woman for shop windows…

Meanwhile, back at the Castle
All this may come as disturbing news to the Duchy of Lancaster who celebrated their own take on gender equality at Lancaster Castle this week by advertising two special fantasy sexism sessions for children aged 4-11 years as follows:


PRINCESS WORKSHOP
http://www.lancastercastle.com/event/Princess-Workshops
16th February 2015
Join us for a magical Princess workshop! Create your very own Princess wand, tiara and mirror. We invite you to come along in your best Princess dress to make the accessories that match!




PRINCE WORKSHOP
http://www.lancastercastle.com/event/Prince-Work-shop
20th February 2015
Join us to design your very own coat of Armour, sword, helmet or shield at Lancaster Castle . We invite you to come along in your best Prince or Knights costume and we will help you create your very own personalised Armour.



At this rate and in the same vein, it shouldn't be too long before children will be able to enjoy colour-coded 'Trader' & 'Slave' fantasy workshops at the Castle, celebrating ethnic diversity the old-school way. 'Heretics' & 'Hangmen' could also teach some interesting lessons on proactively tackling religious differences.

If you have any other suggestions for children's workshops at the Castle, we have no doubt they'd be delighted to hear them.




Spotlight Club back at The Storey tonight with prose, poetry and music



Rosa Francesca will provide music at tonight's Spotlight, along with Cartoon Food.
Spotlight returns to the Storey for its monthly gathering of writing and music performance, starting at 8.15pm its usual "Open Mic" session which offers the floor to newcomer creatives for a five-minute slot each.



On the main line-up are prose writers Austin Wilde and Emily Ingle and poets John Martin and Chris Hanlon, plus music from Rosa Francesca - making a welcome return to Spotlight with her beautiful voice and poetically lyrical songs - and Cartoon Food.

Austin Wilde
Austin Wilde's fiction finds colour in the changes of everyday life, in how we inhabit the environments we call home, and moreover, how these environments live within us. Taking inspiration from the potent realism of David Peace, the bump and the hustle of Juno Diaz and the raw power of Chuck D.

Prior to writing he spent much of his working life in the music industry, most recently he was the Creative Director of EMI Music Publishing, where he signed Beirut, Joanna Newsom, Lindstrom and Duffy.

John Martin
"I worked for many years as a community lawyer in Bradford before coming to live in Lancaster as I moved towards retirement," reveals John Martin. "I have now been turning my attention to the poems I have written all my my life. Three volumes of these poems have so far appeared. They are being published chronologically.

"I am going to read from the first volume Waiting," he says of tonight's performance, "which contains poems written in my early twenties, when, like all people of that age, I was presumably trying to find my own voice by trying out lots of other people's voices."

Chris Hanlon
"Writing can be messy, unorganised and at times simply nonsensical, but that is what makes writing beautiful," enthuses Chris Hanlon. "I'm in my second year at Lancaster University and have been writing and performing poetry for just under 2 years now. I think poetry you make every hair on the back of your neck stand up, force you to leave the room feeling differently than you did before. I try to use my own experiences and views of the world to entertain, motivate and explore the potential of poetry.

"I look forward to performing at Spotlight!"

Emily Ingle
"When I'm not studying for university, I'm often found watching QI, attempting to visit Narnia, and experimenting with art and writing," says Emily Ingle. "Sometimes all at once. Sarah described one of my poems as "odd", which I'm definitely taking as a compliment."

Cartoon Food
Cartoon Food will instantly make you want to see and hear them again. An acoustic four piece, purveyors of fine tunage to the masses, with melody and harmonies aplenty. Check out their web site at: www.cartoon-food.co.uk or follow them on Facebook

Founded in December 1995, Lancaster Spotlight is funded by Arts Council England, The Big Lottery Fund and supported by Morecambe Town Council. Spotlight works in association with litfest.

• Spotlight @ The Storey, Lancaster, Friday 20th February. Doors Open 8.00pm, Open Mic 8.15 - 8.45pm. Tickets £4 / £2 students/unwaged/concessions. Web: www.spotlightlancaster.co.uk

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Appeal after car failed to stop following collision with cyclist in Morecambe

Police are appealing for information after a cyclist was injured in a fail to stop collision.

The incident happened at around 5.10pm on Monday 9th February close to the junction where Northgate meets Middlegate in Morecambe.

The 24-year-old cyclist was travelling along Northgate when it is thought that a vehicle has collided with the rear of his bike. As a result he fell to the floor and suffered a suspected fractured jaw and needed stitches for a number of facial cuts. 

The vehicle involved failed to stop at the scene.

PC Kevin Illingworth of the Road Policing Unit said: “We know that an elderly couple did stop in their car at the scene briefly before continuing on their journey and we are keen to trace them as they may have witnessed the collision.

“Similarly if anyone else witnessed the collision I would urge them to come forward and the driver of the vehicle. Anyone with information should contact police on 101 quoting log number 583 of 10th February."

• You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at Crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Local Cinema Round-Up for 18th to 26th February 2015 by peter@virtual-lancaster.net

For up to date local cinema links and day-by-day  listings of what's showing on local screens every week visit the Virtual-Lancaster Cinema Page. Read on for the weekly round-up, and reviews.

There is something of a sparsity of new releases during this period. Comedy is represented by The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (PG). Drama with Backstreet Boys (15), a documentary about the musical group and Wild (15) a portrayal of a woman's quest to walk the Pacific Crest Trail.

We have lost the horror film The Woman in Black: Angel of Death and the science fiction Ex Machina. Also it looks likely that the films Taken 3 and Paddington are coming to the end of their screening. By way of compensation, there is the return of Tinker Bell and the legend of the NeverBeast.

There is an abundance of family entertainment at the moment with Shaun the Sheep; Big Hero 6; Fairytale: Story of the Seven Dwarves; Penguins of Madagascar, Peppa Pig: The Golden Boots and The Princess and the Frog.

For adult entertainment, Fifty Shades of Grey is the main draw. However there is also 'tongue in cheek' action with Kingsman: The Secret Service and the excellent dramas Selma; American Sniper; The Imitation Game and The Theory of Everything.

A major news item on the cinema front is the appearance of Lancaster's University 'Campus in the City 2' initiative. As part of this and in conjunction with the Dukes, a number of films are being shown in the former Trespass building on Cheapside in Lancaster city centre. Details are included in the Movie Listings section. One film of note is the excellent science fiction THX 1138 exploring love in a 25th Century Totalitarian State.

Finally on Sunday 22nd the Dukes are hosting another of their ever popular Film Quiz evenings.

Reviews

American Sniper
Director: Clint Eastwood
Certificate: 15
Cast Includes: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Ben Reed, Luke Grimes.
This is the story of Chris Kyle (Cooper), the most lethal sniper in American History with 160 confirmed kills. Following the attacks of 9/11 Kyle enlisted, and became a Navy SEAL marksman serving four tours of duty in Iraq. The film is based on his autobiography. As a sniper, Kyle was separate from the other troops and was forced to make life and death decisions depending of his perception of whether the person in his rifle cross-hairs was a terrorist or simply an innocent bystander. The film does not address the politics of the Iraq conflict, but is told from Kyles point of view. Thus his is the only character who has any depth (his history and the increasingly strained relationship with his wife is told in flashbacks). This is a tense movie, well acted and thought provoking, if a little one dimensional. Still it merits a trip to the cinema.

Birdman
Director: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
Certificate: 15
Cast includes: Lindsay Duncan, Edward Norton, Michael Keaton, Andrea Riseborough, Zach Galifiankis, Emma Stone.
Subtitled 'The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance' this is the story of washed up actor Riggan Thomas (Keaton), once famous for playing a movie superhero Birdman. However once he left the franchise, his career never recovered. Thus he is making a last ditch attempt to revive his fortunes by directing and acting in a play at the St James theatre on Broadway. The play is not going well and Riggan is plagued by his inner voice (manifest as the character Birdman), by quarrels with his actors and arguments with his family. The film appears to be shot as a single, cut free. sequence and it contains surreal, 'over the top' interludes. This is a dark comedy, a flight of fancy, about a self absorbed man. The acting is superb (especially Keaton) and the whole is a quirky must see movie that could be the film of 2015. If you can only see one movie, this is the one.

Fifty Shades of Grey
Director: Sam Taylor-Johnson
Certificate: 18
Cast includes: Jamie Dornan, Dakota Johnson
This is a much hyped film with a record for ticket pre-sales. It is based on the best selling 2011 novel by E. L. James. Anastasia Steel (Johnson) is a student who interviews the publicity shy billionaire Christian Grey (Dornan) as a college assignment. There is an immediate sexual chemistry between the two and they embark on an affair. However Grey has a desire to control everything in his life and his relationships have a strong sado-masochistic element. Hence he requires Anastasia to sign a contract if she wants the relationship to continue that will allow Grey to subjugate her. The film is an accurate portrayal of the book, though it omits the more sordid sex scenes. Essentially the film is soft porn for a female audience.

Into the Woods
Director: Rob Marshall
Certificate: PG
Cast Includes: Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, Johnny Depp, James Corden, Anna Kendrick
This is a Walt Disney adaptation of Sondheim's 1987 hit musical of the same name. The film posits that the fairy tales of Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk and Rapunzel are all happening simultaneously. Meanwhile a Baker and his wife wish to begin a family, but they cannot due to a witches curse. To lift the curse they must collect items from each of the fairy tales. This is a star studded musical with excellent performances, especially from Meryl Streep who plays the wicked witch. The original stage musical had a number of adult themes which are softened for the Disney version, but the end result is a great and entertaining family movie.

Kingsman: The Secret Service
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Certificate: 15
Cast Includes: Michael Caine, Samuel L. Jackson, Colin Firth, Sophie Cookson, Taron Egerton.
A spoof spy adventure based on the comic book series by Dave Gibbons and Mark Miller. Kingsman is an international covert spying agency and they recruit members from street wise misfits. A chavvy gang member Egysy (Egerton) is recruited by the ultra suave agent Harry Hart (Firth). To be accepted Egysy must become both refined and also pass a grueling 'boot camp' where he will learn how to be an agent. In the meantime the eccentric billionaire Valentine (Jackson) is planning to distribution free SIM cards, an act that will trigger the eradication of most of mankind. This is a very 'tongue in cheek' movie, in equal measures a violent action adventure and a comedy. There are outrageous gadgets and wonderful set pieces, with the movie being part James Bond and part every other spy movie you have ever seen. Irreverent and unmissable.

Mr Turner
Director: Mike Leigh
Certificate: 15
Cast includes: Timothy Spall, Marion Bailey
A biographical dramatization of the life of English painter J. M. W Turner. The film starts when Turner is aged 51 and working in his London studio. It follows Turner through depression following his father's death up until the painters own death in 1851 when he was living in Chelsea with his mistress Sophie Booth (Barley). Spall gives a great performance as Turner, bringing out his humanity and eccentricity. A very enjoyable movie.

Selma
Director: Ava DuVernay
Certificate: 12A
Cast Includes: David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Tom Wilkinson
A slice of American History. The film follows Martin Luther King (Oyelowo) and the events that led up to the 1965 civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery which preceded President Johnson's (Wilkinson) signing the voting Act of 1965 giving equal voting rights to Afro-American citizens. Not only does this film show the build up to the march, it also portrays something of the humour and character of Martin Luther King and the strain that his work imposed on his marriage to Coretta (Ejogo) and on his friends. It covers much of the political backdrop to the civil rights movement and contains images of violence and racial slurs that were endured by the marchers in their quest for equal voting rights.

The Imitation Game
Director: Morten Tyldum
Certificate: 12A
Cast Includes: Benedict Cumberbatch, Rory Kinnear, Keira Knightley
A portrayal of the life of computer genius Alan Turing (Cumberbatch) who masterminded the cracking of the German Enigma code in the second world war and continued to develop computer theory at Manchester University. The film opens in 1951 with a robbery taking place in Turing's house. Thence the film explores Turing's life by flashbacks to his schooling and his life in Bletchley Park. The acting in the film is excellent with Cumberbatch giving a particularly good performance. However the film rather backs away from Turing's homosexuality and his subsequent suicide after his persecution by the British Government.

The Theory of Everything
Director: James Marsh
Certificate: 12A
Cast Includes: Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Charlie Cox
A biopic of the early years of the world renown physicist Stephen Hawkins, based on the memoir 'Traveling to Infinity: My life with Stephen Hawkins' by Jane Hawkins. At Cambridge, Stephen Hawkins was an active young man who fell in love with literature student Jane Wilde. However, aged 21, Hawkins had an accidental fall which led to his being diagnosed with motor neuron disease and given just two years to live. The film shows the marriage of Stephen and Jane and how she supported him and their children during the years of their marriage (they divorced in 1995). This is a beautiful film likely to leave the audience in tears. The acting is excellent especially Redmayne's portrayal of Hawkins and the movie shows the lighter side of Hawkin's character, his humour and his passion.

Wild
Director: Jean-Marc Vallee
Certificate: 15
Cast includes: Reese Witherspoon, Thomas Sadoski
A biographical drama based on Sheryl Strayed's memoirs of her trek across America. Sheryl (Witherspoon) is a woman with an unfortunate past. Her mother died of cancer. Her marriage failed and she fell into reckless and self destructive behaviour. In an attempt to make sense of her life, Strayed decided to hike the Pacific Crest Trail on her own. The trail is in excess of 1000 miles, extending from Mexico, through California to the Canadian border. The film follows Strayed's journey, with frequent flashbacks to fill in the details of her earlier life. This is a fine drama supported by the music and poetry that kept her going. It is difficult not to feel that you are accompanying her on the way. 

No More Page 3 Team to run feminist campaigning training day next week

A 'Kick-Ass Campaigning'  Day for feminists of all genders will be held by Team No More Page 3 at Lancaster University's Centre for Gender and Women's Studies next Thursday 26 February.

The event is free but if you wish to attend you will need to register to be sure of place. You can do that here.

The organisers say: 'We’ll stoke your activism fire and show you the ropes of campaigning! Warning: You might just start a campaign after this!"

No More Page 3 (NMP3) is a national UK campaign appealing to the editor of The Sun newspaper to please stop showing the Page 3 topless pictures.

The campaign has public backing from UK Girlguiding, Mumsnet, British Youth Council, National Union of Teachers, Rape Crisis and many other unions, charities and organisations, as well as the support of 160 cross party MPs and over 240,000 petition signers. You can sign their petition at http://nomorepage3.org/.

1970s sexploitation values
The Sun started its daily feature of large images of young women displaying their breasts back in the 1970s. Sexual exploitation was rife and enjoyed collusion at the highest levels of public influence. We hear with disturbing regularity, generally as a excuse for collusion with the grossest exploitation and harm, that 'things were different' then.  However we continue to find similar practices today; The Sun's Page 3 is a strand in the continuation of that mindset.

Time for a choice
NMP3 are not campaigning against online pornography, which is accessed by choice.  The campaign arose because The Sun is a paper often found in cafes, libraries and other public places. Not everyone chooses to buy The Sun, but almost everyone, at one time or another has, without warning, seen the Page 3 images left strewn as litter, displayed on a table or bench or being studied or even critically discussed by a nearby reader. In the same way they are seen and absorbed by children of every age, regardless of how vulnerable they may be.

The campaign believes that people who do not wish it, or find it disagreeable, should not have to be unavoidably exposed to sexually-objectivising images of young women whilst going about their necessary daily business. They are particularly concerned about the impact of these images and the dysfunctional social values their 'accepted' presence in a wide range of public locations represents, on children and young people.

No news - bad news
They are also concerned about the lack of balance in images representing women in the Sun, in which men are often pictured in suits, or at least normal clothing, undertaking heavy responsibilities, while stories featuring women more frequently show them in underwear and focus almost entirely on their bodies and appearance.  NMP3 believe that boobs are not, in fact, news and that this biased coverage amounts to a heavy censorship against reporting actual news about women's real achievements and activities.

Politicians fear The Sun
It is a difficult objective, as most politicians are keen to please The Sun's editor. In 1986 Clare Short was vilified as a 'killjoy' by the Sun and the tabloid press - with one paper going so far as to publish a photoshopped image of her head superimposed on the body of a woman in her nightwear. Prime Minister David Cameron has more recently ventured the opinion that if people do not wish to see these images, they need not buy The Sun. He himself likes to be photographed posing with a copy, at least when they aren't on trial.  Leader of the Opposition Ed Milliband says he doesn't like posing with it - but does it anyway.

Sign the petition
The No More Page 3 campaign has public backing from UK Girlguiding, Mumsnet, British Youth Council, National Union of Teachers, Rape Crisis and many other unions, charities and organisations, as well as the support of 160 cross party MPs and over 240,000 petition signers.
You can sign their petition at http://nomorepage3.org/.



Free work clubs to help jobseekers throughout Lancashire

Jobseekers can now attend free, weekly 'work clubs' with Lancashire Adult Learning, at Lancaster Library, Morecambe Library, and / or White Cross Education Centre (see details). The work clubs offer advice and support on finding work and training opportunities.

Free internet access and professional support are available to help people search for jobs with advice on education and training also on hand.

People who attend the sessions will receive one-to-one advice from the tutor when they arrive to help make the most of their time. They could be unemployed, school-leavers or seniors, or perhaps finding their way back into employment after a break, or illness or injury, parenting or caring for another.

County Councillor Tony Martin, cabinet member for adult and community services, said, "These weekly work clubs are set up in the heart of the community so that they are easy to get to. They provide people with advice and support which is totally confidential.

"Anyone ready to apply for work can get help with writing their CV, covering letters and application forms so that they present themselves as well as possible to a potential employer.

"They can also practise being in an interview situation and get tips to help with this.

"Universal Jobmatch is also available - this is a facility to help people to find and apply for the latest jobs, locally, nationally and abroad.

"The work clubs are an opportunity to meet other people, exchange skills, share experiences, find opportunities, make contacts and get help."

Local work clubs are free and meet at
White Cross Education Centre, Lancaster.  Mondays  9.30am - 12.30pm
Lancaster Library. Wednesdays  9.30am - 12.30pm
Morecambe Library. Tuesdays  9.30am - 12.30pm

If you want to find out more about the work clubs in your area visit
www.lancashire.gov.uk/adultlearning (enter 'work club' into the course finder)
or call 0300 123 6703.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Approx 2,300 children in Lancaster & Fleetwood affected by energy debt


New figures showing that an estimated 2,300 children in the Lancaster & Fleetwood parliamentary constituency live in a household in energy debt have sparked calls for the Government to do more to help.

Cat Smith, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Lancaster and Fleetwood, said she wanted to see the criteria governing eligibility for the help, such as the Warm Homes Discount - currently a £140 cut in energy bills for pensioners on a low income - extended to include families with children.

She is supporting a campaign by The Children’s Society, calling for government guidance to Ofgem and energy companies to be changed.

This national child poverty charity has produced figures showing that around 1,300 families in Lancaster and Fleetwood are behind on their energy bills - affecting 2,300 children. You can read their report here.

Their research found  that 30% of families have a prepayment  meter in their home. "In  England, there are now over four  million customers on a [prepayment] meter for  electricity and over three million  for gas; that is around 16% of  electricity accounts and 15%  of gas accounts."

It goes on to report that nearly half of the customers in energy debt now end up on a pre-payment meter with their energy use charged at an even higher tariff, in addition to their repayment schedule, creating a debt trap.

It also discusses the damaging physical, mental, and developmental effects on children living in cold homes, under the constant stress of debt.

Ms Smith, who has written to secretary of state Ed Davey (see letter here) to call for help to be extended to families with children, said: “No family should ever have to choose between heating and eating but that is exactly what is happening here in Lancaster - as well as in communities all over the country.

“Vulnerable families have been hit hard by the Conservative-led government which has failed to tackle the Cost of Living crisis while at the same time implementing unfair policies like the Bedroom Tax and giving tax cuts to millionaires.

“Debts can lead to desperate measures including people turning to food banks and even loan sharks, not to mention causing problems with anxiety and depression.

“This can only make it more difficult for families to give their children the best possible start in life and we owe it to our future generations to provide help where it is needed most.”

Research by The Children’s Society in its recent Show Some Warmth report showed that there are more than 800,000 children living in families in energy debt across the UK.

But currently, only those families with disabled children and children under the age of five qualify for the discount.

See link to The Children’s Society report 'Show Some Warmth' here

Monday, 16 February 2015

Appeal for sightings after missing man’s body found in Caton

Neil Connelly
Lancaster Police officers are appealing for information about the last movements of a Morecambe man who had been reported missing and his body subsequently found in Caton last month.

Neil Connelly, 38, had gone missing from his home in Morecambe on Wednesday 28 January.

On Saturday 31 January, police commenced a search of an area in Caton and his body was found close to the River Lune near Hornby Road.

There were no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death but police are trying to trace his movements between Thursday 29 January and Saturday 31 January.

DI Phil Jones of Lancaster Police said: “We are keen to speak to anyone that may have seen Mr Connelly in the days before his death. We believe that he may have been sleeping rough in the fields around Caton village, particularly the Aughton Wood area.

“He was described as slim, with short brown hair and was last seen wearing black waterproof over trousers, a blue hoodie, walking boots and was carrying a small blue rucksack.”

Should any person have any information they believe may be relevant please contact Lancaster police on 101 and quote log reference 0401 of 30 January 2015.