Thursday, 9 September 2010

Appeal after firework damages Morecambe caravans

Bungalow Camp Site on Heaton Road - the target of firework damage.
Image via Google Maps
Fireworks caused damage to several caravans and a car at a Morecambe campsite - and now local police are hoping an appeal may bring new leads in the hunt for the culprit.

The commercial display firework was let off at around 12.05am on Friday 30th August, after someone cut a wire fence in order to get into the Bungalow Camp Site on Oxcliffe Road.

It caused significant damage to one caravan and a Renault Megane motor car. The windows and bodywork of several other caravans were also damaged by flying debris.

 “The damage caused was significant but thankfully no one was injured," says DS Colin Forsythe. "If anyone noticed anyone - or a vehicle - acting suspiciously in the area, or if anyone has any other information in connection with this incident, then we would urge them to get in touch with us.”

• Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Lancaster and Morecambe CID on 0845 1 25 35 45 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Halton worksite robbed - twice

Stolen: a Stihl TS400 saw
Police are appealing for information after a work site was targeted by thieves twice in the space of a month.

The site on Green Lane, Halton, was first targeted between 13 – 16th August, when tools worth over £900 were taken from a container.

The stolen items included an orange Stihl TS400 saw, a turquoise Makita circular saw and a turquoise cordless drill.

All of the tools were engraved with ‘Cox & Allen.’ 

At sometime between 3rd – 6th September the worksite has been targeted again. The thieves tried to break the door handle on the container and used cutters to cut through the padlock on the barn before making off empty handed.

“This is a rural location so those living or working in the neighbourhood are likely to have noticed anyone or anything suspicious," notes PC Linda Head, "and I would ask them to get in touch with us if they have any information.”

• Contact PC Linda Head 0845 1 25 35 45, quoting log ref  LC-20100819-1259 or LC-20100908-0342.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Graffiti vandals clean up their act in Morecambe

graffitti_cleanup.jpgTwo teens who daubed graffiti across Morecambe’s town centre and the West End have been made to clean up their act as part of a restorative justice project.

The youngsters, aged 14 and 15, damaged 13 vehicles, garden walls and street furniture after buying cans of black, red and silver spray paint in April 2010. 

The boys were caught by officers from the neighbourhood policing team and have now spent time cleaning up some of the mess they created. Both have been issued with a reprimand and were consequently made to write letters to those who had been affected by their graffiti.

“Restorative justice allows offenders to examine their behaviour and understand how it has had a negative effect on the lives of others," explains PC Rob Barnsley. "These two youngsters are extremely sorry for what they have done and spending a period of their summer holidays cleaning up the graffiti has been a good way of bringing home that what they did is not acceptable.

“It also provides the aggrieved parties the opportunity to confront and talk to the offenders and to receive an apology and explanation of what they did. Aggrieved parties feel better knowing and hearing from the offenders that they actually understand the consequences of their actions. Restorative justice allows for closure, thus allowing the aggrieved parties to move on without further fear of retribution.”

The boys cleaned up graffiti with the assistance of staff from Lancashire County Council.

1984, Shakespeare and Sarah Millican just part of Dukes new season

A radical new approach to a classic story, household names in comedy, and a magical Christmas show are highlights of Lancaster's The Dukes new season, which was officially launched on Monday.

The Lancaster venue played host to an entertaining evening for supporters who heard how The Dukes is constantly changing to reflect the demands of its growing audiences.

The in-house season kicks off on 17th September with The Dukes and Northern Broadsides co-production of George Orwell’s 1984 (17th September - 9th October) featuring animation and specially composed music alongside the live action.

 “We’ve made 1984 our own and will be taking the audience on an exciting audio-visual journey,” says Director, Conrad Nelson.

"This is a cautionary tale set sometime in a possible  future; a tale of what may befall us," he told What's On Stage last week. "The audience will watch the play and make their own contemporary parallels. We will present a drama which aims to capture the spirit of the book. The period is not particularly 1949 (when it was written) nor is it a comment on any specific despotic regime. To limit thus would seem to distract from the impact of the book.

The production includes what Conrad describes as "a bespoke visual journey created by a small animation team.

"These charcoal sketched moving images will work alongside the live action as an interpretive and dramatic tool," he explains. "The nature of this animation requires the systematic destruction or replacement of image on one piece of paper. The future has been re-written by the destruction of the past in  parallel with one of the main themes of the book."

1984 is the first of two in-house productions this season. The Christmas spectacular will be The Snow Queen (26th November - 8th January), directed by The Dukes very own Joe Sumsion.

Hans Christian Andersen’s classic coming of age tale is brought to life in this new production, which features "stunning puppets, spectacular projections and fantastic performances."

“I believe theatre for children and families is probably more important than anything else we do," says Joe of this show, which will see him directing in the venue's Rake space for the first time. "The Snow Queen is a coming of age story wrapped up in all the magic of Christmas.”

The Dukes also hosts 37 performances of visiting work this season featuring famous names including Steven Berkoff (24th October); comedienne Sarah Millican (5th December); and comedian Chris Addison (31st October).

Sarah Millican, star of the BBC's Live at the Apollo and  Mock the Week visits the Dukes as part of her debut UK tour. The sweet and filthy Geordie’s stand-up show promises jokes about life, love and what to do when your boyfriend puts a sock on your boob during sex...

Among the visiting drama highlights will be William Shakespeare's  Twelfth Night (19th - 23rd October) presented by Filter in association with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Dance and performance storytelling will be given their chance to shine thanks to Dancing Lancaster, a new scheme aimed at promoting the rich and diverse range of dance across the city; and Chasing Tales, a new series of storytelling events for adults in association with Litfest.

There’s also plenty to look forward to at The Dukes Cinema as the nights draw in such as more from the NT Live where all-star performances of Hamlet, King Lear, and Frankenstein will be beamed direct from the National Theatre.

Music continues to take centrestage at The Dukes too with a performance by Dean Friedman on 8 October and lots of local talent including Clever Trevor (26th September); Made In Morecambe (29th October); Wired In (27th September and 15th November); and Chill Out Tuesdays, free live music in The Dukes bar, continue every week at 6.00pm.

• For a full guide to The Dukes events, visit the official web site at:

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Get Fit Volunteers wanted for Williamson Park

Lancaster City Council is looking for volunteers with green fingers to take part in a new health and fitness project that is being developed for Williamson Park by the council and the University of Cumbria.

The volunteers will be tasked with physical activities in the park that will improve their health and also give them the opportunity to meet new friends, as part of a project that will also improve the landscape of the park. It could involve clearing an area in Fenham Carr or working on a joint project with the Forestry Commission.

Students from the Sports Studies degree programme at the University of Cumbria are planning the project,  which starts later this year (date to be confirmed), with assistance from Lancaster City Council staff at Williamson Park.

The project volunteers will need to be available to attend sessions every Thursday for ten weeks.

The students will benefit from gaining experience from planning the sessions, creating risk assessments and work programmes with guidance from experienced park staff. This work will be officially assessed by the university and will contribute to the student’s degree.

• Anyone interested in volunteering for this brand new project should contact Williamson Park on 01524 33318 or by sending an email to

You've just Gotta love Whole Lotta Led...

One of the UK’s best Led Zeppelin tribute bands, Whole Lotta Led, will perform at the Platform in Morecambe on Friday September 24.

Approved by Jimmy Page, Led Zeppelin’s legendary guitarist, the band have played over 1,000 shows throughout the UK and have been recommended by Classic Rock magazine. They're a  tribute band in the truest sense of the word: they claim no wigs, no costumes, just music and are a "sound-alike" rather than a "look-alike" act.  Their aim is just to reproduce the classic Zep songs with the same enthusiasm, excitement and passion of the original band.

This concert will be the band’s Zep IV show, the first set  a mixture of Zep classics and the second comprising the whole Led Zeppelin IV album, played in the same order as the original album.

The evening finishes with a mighty encore of more Zep classics.

Whole Lotta led

Whole Lotta led | MySpace Video

New generations are continually getting involved in the Led Zeppelin experience, joining fans at a Whole Lotta Led show spanning four generations, from six to sixty. For most, it is the first opportunity of seeing and hearing Led Zeppelin’s music performed live.

It's been many years since Zeppelin split up, and other tributes keep the music alive -- but when Whole Lotta Led recreate a Zeppelin concert they keep the music fresh.  They don’t have the pretence of trying to look like former members of Zeppelin: their integrity and musicianship comes through in the passion for the music they play.

Jimmy Page met them and gave them his blessing.  Get along and see them live and you’ll realise why!

• Whole Lotta Led will start at 8.00pm and tickets cost £13 adults, £11 concessions.  Ring the box office on 01524 582803 or call at Lancaster or Morecambe Visitor Information Centres.

• Check out the band's official web site at: or their MySpace page

• Official Led Zeppelin web site: 

Heysham man sought by Lancashire Police

Wanted: Joseph Almond, in connection with
several offences, including assault and
a burglary.
Lancashire Police are appealing for information that will help them track down Joseph Almond - a man who is wanted in connection with an assault and a burglary in Morecambe back in June, as well as in connection with a burglary in Folkestone, Kent.

The 34-year-old failed to appear at Preston Crown court in July 2010 to face an allegation of burglary, and in December 2009 he was wanted in connection with mobile phones being smuggled into Lancaster Castle Prison.

He is also wanted on prison recall from 25th June 2010. Almond was jailed for 12 months in August 2009 for throwing a mobile phone into Preston prison. He was released in February 2010, but was then recalled in June and has yet to make contact with the authorities.

Almond is around 5ft 6 inches tall, of stocky build, with blue eyes and has various tattoos on both arms and his neck

He has previously lived in Bold Street, Heysham, but he has associates in Morecambe and Lancaster on the Ryelands Estate. However, police think he could have left the area and may now be in Preston.

Almond’s photograph, and details of other people who are currently wanted by police, can be found at

“I would ask the public to report any sightings to the police," says Inspector John Clucas of Lancashire Police. "I would also appeal directly Joseph Almond to come forward and contact us.”

• Information can be passed to the police on 0845 1 25 35 45, by using the email address that can be found in the ‘Wanted’ section at, or details can be passed anonymously via Crimestoppers 0800 555 111.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Morecambe-based Comic published for iPad

Lancaster cartoonist David Hughes comic story Thomas Wogan is Dead (reviewed here on British comics news site downthetubes) is now available to read on Apple's iPad.

Set in Morecambe and the hereafter, this quirky comic tale is British publishers Tabella Publishing's first ebook on Apple's iPad platform, the result of what they say comes after reading many books on iphone development, doing tutorials, submitting forum posts and more.

Buy Thomas Wogan is Dead for the iPad

Thomas Wogan is Dead is still available in print from Tabella Publishing for £5.99: more details here.

Space Robots and Zombie Robots take over Peter Scott Gallery

Art for iBleed/Peter 2.1 by Adam York Gregory

Combining the work of four artists, Eventual, a new exhibition at Lancaster University's prestigious Peter Scott Gallery, seeks to examine transient connections, the tensions between function and dysfunction and the role of technology in arts practice, through sculpture, installation, animation and performance.

Explorers_Aliki_Chapple.jpgAliki Chapple (exhibiting 'I’m Listening, Sales Pitch, Explorers') has been exploring the relationship between live performance and technology. For Eventual, she's made three performances integrating elements of both. Two of the performances are based on the science fiction stories of Philip K Dick, which are popular sources for perfectly polished mass-market films; in contrast, Aliki’s stagings invite you to fill in the gap yourselves, with the best special effects department in the world, the human imagination. The third, a one-on-one performance staged in the Peter Scott Gallery, is also an invitation to fill in what’s missing; this time with stories of your own.

As a comic artist, games designer and animator, it’s logical that when Adam York Gregory was given some gallery space he would dissect and reanimate a dead computer as part of an interactive installation. 'iBleed/Peter 2.1' seeks to examine the emotional relationships between people and computers.

Why do we get angry at them when they don’t work? Why do we sometimes feel grief when they stop functioning? Adam invites you to play the role of psychiatrist with an updated and digitised Rorschach test where your patient, the computer, will respond visually to your psychological enquiries.

people_matter_Anne_Hewitt.jpgThrough the use of installation titled 'People Matter', Anne Hewitt explores an emerging dysfunction in social connections and communication which are shown to straddle worlds of both intimacy and isolation. The central theme is disjointed contact, participation without being part of; the overlooked connection human beings have to each other via inanimate objects of the everyday. Her parodies of these mundane items juxtapose function and dysfunction, simultaneously inviting and repelling us from engagement.

By showing her perceived effects on our physical connection with our surroundings, Anne hopes to highlight the hidden intimacies interlaced with our connection to strangers in our day to day existence.

spectral_layer_Michael_Turner.jpgFinally, 'A Spectral Layer' is full of connections, from Michael Turner. Can we hear connections? Can we see them? Are we engulfed by them? And at what level, the conscious or the subconscious? Using piano, computer, projector screen, and eight channels of surround sound, this piece combines audio, video and space to form a new conceptual layer that makes use of the composer's latest research into spectral processing and mapping.

• Eventual runs at the Peter Scott Gallery, Nuffield Theatre, Lancaster University from Thursday 16th - 23rd September. Web:

Labour's Darren Clifford hoping to take Harbour Ward

Morecambe Labour Party launched its campaign to win back the Harbour Ward city council seat over the weekend, after a by-election was called following the untimely death of Councillor John Barnes of the MBI Party in July.

They've chosen a pro-Bypass and pro-nuclear candidate to fight the seat: Morecambe-born Darren Clifford, who's well known for his community connections. A former soldier (serving in Northern Ireland, the Falkland Islands and Iraq) and an avid supporter of Morecambe Football Club (he was a member of the squad for the 2005/06 season), Darren now works as a lecturer in the nursing and social care sector.

Darren was born in Morecambe and is proud of his local heritage, campaigning in support of the Heysham M6 link, the minimum wage, employment rights and Morecambe's regeneration.

“All too often local politicians are only interested in talking about Morecambe’s past," Darren feels. "I'm interested in Morecambe’s future. We need to support regeneration, including Heysham 3 power station, the link road and the sensible development of the centre of Morecambe and the Promenade.

"Local people want to be able to live and work in a town moving forward, not looking back and that’s what I would argue for on the council," Darren, who is married to Heysham North Councillor Tina Clifford, continues. "he simple choice at this by-election is between living in the past and fighting for a future that makes Morecambe a place we can all be proud of.”

Darren's agent, former Harbour Ward Councillor David Whitaker, describes the election as an opportunity for local people to tell the “ConDem government” what they think of the massive programme of cuts and the hike in VAT that will effect those on modest incomes most.

“The Tsunami of cuts that are coming from this government need to be fought in every community," argues David. "The Tories and Lib Dems won’t fight the cuts; because they’re the ones carrying them out. The Morecambe Bay Indpendents and Independents can’t fight the cuts because they’re too busy fighting each other.

"Only Labour and Darren Clifford will fight the cuts and fight for Morecambe.”

• The by-election will take place on Thursday 7th October.