Saturday, 15 October 2011

Evofit issued after Morecambe assault

Police have released an Evofit of a man they are keen to trace after a 21 year old student was subjected to an unprovoked attack as he walked home in Morecambe on Saturday 24th September.

The incident happened around 1.00am along Carleton Street when the victim was approached by a man who angrily accused him of breaking his window.

When the victim denied doing anything wrong, the offender punched and kicked him and stabbed him in the back causing a deep wound which required surgery. He then fled in the direction of Woodhill Lane.

DC Brian Shepherd from Morecambe CID said: “I’d ask members of the public to take a close look at the Evofit. Do you know him? Do you know of someone who looks like him who maybe had a window broken on the night of the 24th September?

“The offender who described as a white man, aged between 25 to 30 years, with short dark hair and a noticeably flatter wider nose.

“The offender stabbed the victim for no reason causing a significant and deep wound which only narrowly missed his vital organs. This man needs to be caught so I would appeal to the public to come forward with any information at all.”

- Anyone with any information should contact DC Brian Shepherd on 01524 596712 or 01524 63333 quoting log lc-20110924-0147 or you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or on-line at No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

Friday, 14 October 2011

City Council puts on half-term fun and thrills for youngsters

Lancaster City Council is cooking up a menu of fun and excitement for youngsters this October half term with a wide range of sports and art activities to suit all tastes.

This year's programme runs from 24 - 29 October and includes adventure rope courses, BMX track cycling and the chance to receive coaching and enjoy a match at Morecambe FC. Old favourites such as cycling and archery plus extreme sports such as snowboarding and skiing are also on offer.

New for this half term are a whole range of free activities that anyone can enjoy such as children’s bowls, bat walks and nature trails plus a huge range of spooky activities taking place in Lancaster museums.

For a whole week of fun, Sports Mania at Salt Ayre Sports Centre offers children five days of sports and games that include a swim every day and the community pool at Carnforth is offering a whole week of swimming lessons.

Different age groups apply to certain activity workshops. Places on all the activities are strictly limited to ensure a safe and high quality coaching session so it is advisable to book soon. Equipment is provided for all courses and transport is provided for some of the sessions.

A copy of the full activities programme is available on Lancaster City Council's website - or from Salt Ayre Sports Centre, the council's community pools at Hornby, Carnforth and Heysham and customer service centres at Lancaster and Morecambe Town Halls.
Places can be booked and paid for now at Salt Ayre Sports Centre, Monday to Friday from 8am to 9pm (from 8am to 6pm on Sunday).

For more information about the range of activities available, contact the booking information line on (01524) 842493.

Santa Claus is coming to town… and he’s got company!

Lancaster is gearing up once again for the Santa Dash on Sunday 4th December, which will see hundreds of Santas and their trusty reindeer running, jogging, walking, rolling, dancing, prancing and jingling all the way from Salt Ayre Sports Centre into Market Square, to raise funds for local charity, CancerCare.

The short, flat route, approximately 1.5 miles, from Salt Ayre Sports Centre, along the traffic-free riverside path into the city centre is suitable for all ages and abilities and is fully accessible for wheelchairs and pushchairs. For those who want to make a race of it, that’s fine… but you won’t be timed, so whether you run, jog, walk, dance, prance or jingle all the way is entirely up to you. It’s really just about having some fun and getting into the festive spirit.

Santa suits for the big kids and reindeer antlers and noses for the under 11s are included in the registration fee with all proceeds from the event going to local charity, CancerCare.

On the day, registration will open at 10:30am at Salt Ayre and will close at 11.45. At 11.45 everyone will make their way to the start line for a pep talk and warm up. Ludus Dance is once again hosting an energetic warm-up for Santa Dash to make sure everyone is ready to go go go at 12:00pm for the race start.

If you are registering on the day, make sure you get down early to guarantee your space.

• Book your space by visiting the Santa dash website

Last Orders for Two at The Dukes

There’s just a few nights left before the doors of Lancaster’s most temporary bar – close for good.

The Jim Cartwright modern classic drama – Two –based in a Northern bar in 1989 has seen The Dukes transform one of its theatre spaces – The Round – into a fully operational pub.

And performing both sides of the bar are real-life husband and wife, Kieran Buckeridge and Ella Vale.

However, they will be calling last orders on October 29 with matinee and evening performances.

Two launched The Dukes Pub Season which celebrates 40 years since the Lancaster theatre and cinema opened in the autumn of 1971.

• Tickets for Two can be booked at The Dukes box office on 01524 598500 or

Dukes founding director Peter Oyston dies

Picture: Monash University
Academy of Performing Arts
We're sorry to report the passing of Peter Oyston, founding director of The Dukes, who died on 9th October in Australia. He was 73.

Mr Oyston was the first artistic director of The Dukes when it opened in November 1971 and he remained there for five years.

An Englishman brought up in Australia, Peter had been a film director before he became a freelance theatre director for the first resident company at The Dukes.

In 1971, with the support of Lancaster Council, the former St. Anne's Church opened its doors as The Duke's Playhouse. This, however, was only the name of the building. The actors who took up residence were members of the Century Touring Theatre Company - a company who had toured the country with a unique mobile theatre since the 1950s.

With Peter as their artistic director Century began performing a series of plays in the new Duke's Playhouse. In their first season they presented eight plays, including Twelfth Night and plays written by the company's publicity officer-cum-playwright, David Pownall.

Century Theatre Company continued to perform on Moor Lane until 1973 when The Duke's Playhouse Company was formed from members of the Century company. Since then, the company has presented over 260 shows - rehearsed and performed in Lancaster.

An internationally renowned theatre and film director, teacher and painter, Peter described the launch of The Dukes as an experiment in itself. “We intend to make a really theatrical atmosphere up here, an ambience of our own,” he said. During his time at The Dukes, he worked with several actors who went on to become famous names including Dame Harriet Walter.

Moving to Australia, he was founding Dean of Drama at the Victorian College of the Arts and was a champion of theatre companies there such as The Murray River Performing Group, The Flying Fruit Fly Circus, West Theatre and Theatreworks, teaching and directing many talented emerging indigenous performers. More recently he was on the staff at Monash Univeristy's Academy of Performing Arts in Victoria.

He was Associate Director of the Mermaid Theatre, the Liverpool Playhouse and also directed at the Royal Court, the Young Vic, Birmingham Rep and numerous other theatres. He regularly taught at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and directed over 200 productions in Japan, France, the USA, the UK and Australia.

Current Dukes director, Joe Sumsion said everyone at The Dukes was saddened by the news of Peter’s death. “Peter Oyston was an inspirational director who set a high standard. It is particularly poignant that his death comes at a time when we are marking the 40th anniversary of The Dukes.”

More about the history of The Dukes

Thursday, 13 October 2011

It’s ‘Cool for Cats’ at the Platform

Glenn Tilbrook, the famous former frontman from power pop band Squeeze, is stopping off at the Platform this November.

With his song writing partner, Tilbrook was responsible for many top ten hits world wide including ‘Cool for Cats’, ‘Tempted’, and ‘Up the Junction’, and has continued to write and perform with the same enthusiasm that he brought to Squeeze’s earliest recordings.

An accomplished singer and guitarist for whom playing is about enjoying the moment, it’s that desire and enthusiasm that sets him apart from so many of his peers. Whether he’s playing to a room of 50 people or to a festival crowd, either with Squeeze or solo, Glenn says he still gets the buzz from playing and making music that is all too rare among his peers or those he has inspired, and marks him out as a performer to be cherished.

• The concert takes place on Thursday 17th November 8.00pm. Tickets cost £16 and can be purchased from Lancaster and Morecambe Visitor Information Centres. You can also buy tickets over the phone on 01524 582803 and online at

• For more events, concerts and shows taking place at The Platform see the latest brochure at

Be spooked this Halloween at Morecambe Festival Market

There's going to be some spooky goings on at Morecambe's Festival Market during Hallowe'en weekend and everyone is invited to go along... if they dare!

With Hallowe'en tricks and treats galore from Saturday 29th to Sunday 30th October, those who aren't afraid to join in the fun can take part in a ghost hunt around the stalls and have a peek at the market's very own haunted house.

There will also be the opportunity to guess the weight of the pumpkin and enter a free colouring competition. Entry forms are now available from the market or by visiting

On Sunday 30th October between 2 and 4.00pm, why not try your hand at pumpkin carving and showcase your creation by taking part in the pumpkin parade at 4.00pm.

• For more information, contact the Festival Market office on 01524 414251

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Police hunt young suspect for sexual assualt

Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward after a young girl was subjected to a serious sexual assault in Lancaster last month.

The incident took place on King George Fields near to the Vale estate in Lancaster between 17th August and 6th September 2011.

The 11-year-old girl had been playing with friends on the playing fields when her friends left the area and she stayed talking to a young boy who has pulled her towards bushes and subjected her to a serious sexual assault.

The offender is described as being aged around 12 years old and was wearing baggy dark blue jeans, a grey jumper and high top training shoes and spoke with a London Irish accent.

Police believe that a woman walking her dog may have inadvertently stumbled across the young victim and young male offender as the attack was taking place and police are appealing for the woman to come forward.

“This is a serious incident which has left a young girl very distressed," says DC Paul Donnelly from Lancaster CID. "I would appeal to anybody that witnessed this incident or with any information that could assist our enquiry to come forward.

“In particular, I would appeal directly to the woman who was walking her dog in the area who walked past the scene to contact police as she could be a key witness.

“The woman is described as white, aged between 40-50 years old, with short blonde hair. She was wearing a blue jacket, jeans, boots and was walking a little dog.”

• Anyone with any information about this incident should call police on 0845 1 25 35 45 or you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or on-line at

No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

New Bike co-op comes to Lancaster

The Freewheelers Bicycle Workshop opens in Lancaster next Tuesday (18th October), a workers' co-op that offers bike repairs and sells bike parts and accessories, with a focus on British made and environmentally friendly products, when possible, such as Green Oil products.

The workshop also runs maintenance courses (starting at the end of October), with a focus on hands on learning, and a tool club, that everyone can join, for an annual membership fee, to use the workshop's tools and facilities to repair their own bicycle.

Freewheelers are also working on refurbishing a series of second hand bicycles that will be ready in a few weeks.

• For more information about where the workshop is, its contact details, opening hours, tool club hours and to book maintenance courses check

Farmers gather in Lancaster for health and safety meeting

Up to 300 farmers are expected to attend a free training event in Lancaster tomorrow (Wednesday 12th October) to get to grips with health and safety in one of Britain’s most dangerous industries.

Figures from the Health and Safety Executive show agricultural workers are ten times more likely than most workers to be killed while at work. On average, between 40 and 50 workers are killed on British farms every year, despite less than 1.5 percent of the population working in the industry.

In Lancashire, there have been three deaths and 51 major injuries in the five years between 2005/6 and 2009/10.

The event, which is at the Lancaster Auction Mart on Wyresdale Road, will include practical demonstrations on quad bike safety, working with farm machinery and handling livestock.

Square Routes makes a start on Market Square revamp

Design for a new look Market Square

Work has begun on Lancaster City Council’s initiative to revitalise some of Lancaster city centre’s public streets and spaces, with work commencing in Market Square.

As we previously reported, the aim of the Lancaster Square Routes project is to rejuvenate the important historic city centre of Lancaster, strengthening its position as a quality destination both for visitors and residents of the district.

The vision includes detailed designs for Market Square, Sun Square and Horseshoe Corner, amongst others, and repair works to the Old Town Hall (now the City Museum) have already started ahead of a new lighting scheme to illuminate the building at night.

The main first phase of works in the square is due to start on 23rd October and will see Market Square taking a step towards being transformed into a quality public space at the heart of the city that is a place where people can gather, trade and celebrate.

This will include the removal of the fountain and resurfacing works and improvements to lighting both around and in the square.

The long term vision for the square is to make it more attractive, give more space for the Charter Market, encourage outdoor café seating as well as both planned and impromptu performances, in order to make it the civic heart of the city.

To minimise disruption for shoppers and surrounding businesses, signage will be in place advising of the alternative routes available in this area. The first phase work will break before the Christmas trading period, completing early in the new year.

“Many spaces in the city centre have become tired and uninviting and are not contributing as they should to a vibrant centre for the heritage city," feels Coun Janice Hanson, Cabinet member with responsibility for regeneration and planning.

“By improving the appearance of places and how they are used, the initiative will encourage more activity in the city centre during the day and through into the evening and become a place where visitors and residents want to be.”

Upgrades to Ffrances Passage, including resurfacing and lighting improvements, part funded by the owners of St. Nicholas Arcades to compensate for the lack of through access to Great John Street, will be undertaken in January 2012 with the aim of encouraging pedestrian movement between Dalton Square and the city centre.

• For more information, visit or email

Teenagers in court after police anti-burglary op

Two teenagers have appeared in court after a clamp down on burglary and car crime on a Morecambe estate.

Operation Notebook started last month to target a number of issues developing on the Langridge estate.

A warrant executed at a property in Leighton Court resulted in white powder, pills and drugs paraphernalia being seized. A warrant executed in Melling Court resulted in white powder and cannabis being seized.

Two teens have been arrested, charged and placed before the courts as a result of the operation.

“We have executed a number of warrants on the estate," Inspector Dave Vickers of Morecambe police revealed, "and hope that residents can see we are taking action against the current issues that have arisen in the area.

"We're also working with partners to evict those who are causing problems. Those who carry out anti-social behaviour or crime need to know that they will be targeted by us at any time and anywhere.

“We want residents to stand firmly with us against these individuals – information from the community is vital when it comes to removing those who are causing others misery.”

• Anyone with information about local issues is asked to contact police on 0845 1 25 35 45. In an emergency always dial 999.

Lancaster Traffic woes after lorry breakdown

Traffic is being re-routed by police after a lorry broke down at the traffic lights at the top of Thurnham Street at around 8.30am this morning, blocking the road between White Cross and the A6 Poynter Roundabout.

The lorry has broken down by the hospital so traffic coming round the one-way system cannot exit Lancaster to the south. Traffic is queuing all round the one way system and back towards the M6 J34, and also affecting traffic as far out as Skerton.

Cars and small vehicles are being diverted via George Street and Quarry Road, but larger vehicles are having to wait in the queue. 

BBC Travel News - Lancashire 

The Citizen: Live Travel News for Lancaster

Monday, 10 October 2011

Appeal for burglary in Lancaster, Mini stolen

Police are appealing for information after a car and a number of tools were stolen from a garage in Lancaster.

The garage on Patterdale Road is used as a storage facility and the theft happened between the owners last visit to the garage on the 30th July and when the items were noticed missing on 27th August.

The car is described as a red Mini with a black and white chequered roof and black and white chequered stripes down the side of the bonnet with chrome wheel arches.

When it was stolen, the car had flat tyres and no battery and so officers believe the offenders must have used a low loader van or something similar to remove the car.

Also stolen in the burglary was a bench grinder tool, three plastic crates full of tools including sanders and other hand tools, a set of four brand new Hyundai alloys and six eight by four wooden boards.

Also stolen was a mounted stuffed fox’s head with a stuffed tail and also a silver tail mounted on a wooden board, a roll of 8mm copper and a metal double sink.

Police are appealing for information and are asking anyone with any information to come forward.

PC Sarah Jackson who is investigating the theft said, “There have been some particularly unusual items taken so I would appeal to anyone who may have been offered any of these items to come forward and contact police.

“Similarly, if anyone has any information about any suspicious activity in the area then please let us know; even the smallest piece of information could assist us in our investigation.”

• Information can be passed to police on 08451 25 35 45 or you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or on-line at No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.