Saturday, 2 June 2012

Majestic McGuinness makes it TT win number 18

Morecambe's John McGuinness made it TT win number 18 when he clinched victory in Saturday's 6-lap Superbike race. The Honda TT Legends ace had to overcome an early challenge from fellow Honda rider Cameron Donald but aided by the fastest lap of the race, 130.483mph, John was able to consistently edge away in the second half of the race and he eventually took the chequered flag by 14.86s.

With cool, cloudy conditions on the Island, the race got underway 15 minutes later than scheduled at 11.15am and although John led in the early stages, Australian Donald managed to overhaul him. It was close though and at the end of the opening lap, the gap between the two was just 0.2s. It was nip and tuck all the way on the second lap but a lap of 130.382mph allowed John to edge clear and as he came into his first pit stop, he was back in the lead but it was still close, the gap now 2.16s. However, with their now renowned efficiency, the Honda team changed the rear tyre and refuelled the bike in super quick time and John's lead increased to 6 seconds.

On laps three and four, John was really into his stride and by two thirds race distance, his advantage was almost ten seconds, a gap that increased to thirteen seconds after another superb pit stop. From here on in, John was able to ride to his signals and control the race, something he duly did, eventually coming home almost fifteen seconds clear of Donald with Bruce Anstey in third. It was John's 7th win in the Superbike race and his 18th win and 34th podium in total.

Speaking afterwards, a delighted John said; “This feels pretty special. I’ve won a few around here in the past and, to be honest, I never know what to say and going off at number one again, it was just me, the track and the stopwatch. There were a lot of leaves on the track first thing and a bit of mist swirling around over the Mountain so I was a bit tentative on the first lap, just feeling my way into the race. After that though, conditions were good and I felt strong everywhere, so I just read my boards once I’d got the lead.”

“Cameron was really on it to begin with it but, after two fantastic pit stops, I had a real good go on laps three and five, hitting all my apexes and concentrating really hard. There was a big crowd out there and I got a bit emotional when I went through the Creg on the last lap as it reminded me of how I used to wave at Joey all those years ago! I've had a good start to the season, getting in plenty of races and there's no substitute for track time. I'm not getting any younger but I'm really happy with everything at the moment and am enjoying my racing as much as ever. I've got to say a big thank you to all my team and family - I've got a great group of people behind me and to be sitting here with 18 wins is just incredible."

The next race day takes place on Monday with the 4-lap Supersport and Superstock races where John will be out on the Padgetts Honda's

Lancaster Unlocked

A town crier announces the Lancaster Unlocked events on Penny Street earlier today.

Full info at:

Friday, 1 June 2012

Jubilee Weekend kicks off

Lancaster shoppers enjoyed a Jubilee Weekend warm up today, thanks to Lancaster Library, with music, face painting and a good cup of tea available in the library itself.

Looks like a lot of folk have started celebrating early!


Second appeal for witnesses after indecent assault on Millennium Bridge

Local police are re-appealing for witnesses following an indecent assault in Lancaster in April on the Millennium Bridge involving two young girls.

The incident happened at around 7.15pm on Monday 16th April, when a man approached two 13-year-old girls on the bridge and put his arm around them both before sexually touching them and laughing. The girls managed to push the man off and ran towards Skerton.

The offender is described as being Asian, aged around 25 years, of average height and a slim to skinny build. He had dark wavy hair and dark eyes and a gap to the side in his upper row of teeth. He was wearing a cream coloured cardigan type top over a blue undershirt and blue jeans.

Detective Constable Brian Shepherd said, “I would appeal to anyone who recognises the man in this picture to come forward and contact the police.

“This is a serious offence and the person responsible needs to be caught and brought to justice. Although not physically hurt, the two girls have been left shaken following a terrifying ordeal.”

Anyone with any information is asked to call Lancaster CID on 101.

People with information can also 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.

Local College gets set to Inspire with July Festival

On Sunday 1st July, Lancaster and Morecambe College will be holding a family fun day and music festival on the College’s main site.

Featured bands include Alex Hulme, Crazy Feet, Glynn Shipman, The Marc Coyle Experience and Molly Warburton.

The Inspired Festival will take place between 12 noon and 4.30 pm and will include two sound and music stages, various sporting events, food and drink stalls and activities for all ages.

‘Fake That’, the international Take That tribute act, will be headlining on the main stage and a number of local bands such as Phoenix Down and Idol Minds will also feature.

Entry to the festival is free for all and the College hope to bring the local community together for a great day.

• For more information visit:

Lancaster's Whirlwind Youth produce a Tempest

Whirlwind Youth Theatre is presenting Shakespeare's magical play The Tempest at Lancaster's  Gregson Community Arts Centre on the 8th and 9th July, directed by Myette Godwyn.

This is a beautiful magical play (who can't help be captivated by lines like "We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded by a sleep"?), an ode to life and includes: a shipwreck, young love, elemental sorcery and fantastical mythological characters, personal loss and family reconciliation.

Whirlwind have created are colourful marvellous Jacobean style costumes and music has been specially written for the production.

Two young dancers play Ariel from the Laura Sandham School of Dance – giving a vibrant physical performance. All the children/ young people, some of whom have complex special needs, shine out their talents and have produces an amazing show that you should all see.

The Gregson Centre is a splendid space for Shakespeare as it looks like a small Globe Theatre complete with a balcony and recess where Miranda and Ferdinand are revealed playing chess, snarling wolves appear and Roman deities promenade for wedding blessings. The young company have explored a very naturalistic way of performing that brings to life the rhythmical poetic text and complements their age range from five years to18 years.

There's also a guest appearance from an established local actor Ian Blower, who has been in many shows at The Dukes, appeared in the plays in the park and is a regular with Whirlwind Theatre. He has been working with the children during the Saturday morning sessions on Shakespearian Text production, making sure the pronunciation is correct and jumping up and down when we all get it wrong for the umpteenth time.

"On the first night we are doing things a little differently by reflecting the joy of theatre in Shakespeare’s day," enthuses a company spokesperson.

"The original Globe theatre used to have what was called ‘A JIG’ at the end of the play. Local bands would come on stage and play for a dance, and it didn’t matter whether the play had been the bloodiest tragedy or not, the band would step over the bodies and play jolly tunes, and the audience would make merry.

"We're doing the same by opening the evening up, at the end of the show, to a type of Jacobean open mic night. The MacLaries (a local comic folk duo) and children’s company will start the evening playing fun original numbers, but we are also inviting any folk style bands to join us for this ‘JIG’.

"The bar will be open and the evening will commence, so come prepared to dance. Shakespeare is not scary but a fun celebration of life and is for everyone!"

The Tempest plays on 8th  July at 6.00pm ( with Jig),  and 9th July at 5.30pm. For bookings please ring 01524 811794   or follow the links on the website for Tickets The Gregson Community Arts Centre is at 33-35 Moorgate, Lancaster, LA1 3PY

Morecambe's More Music announces fund-raising gig

Deep Cabaret 3 - just one of several bands lined up for More Music's fund-raiser

Some of the best bands from the local music scene are playing a special fundraising gig at More Music’s Hothouse this June, repaying the community music charity for all the support it has given them over the years.

On Friday 15th June from 8.00pm, ska band The Guns of Navarone, jazz collective The Initiative and folk/jazz/improv group Deep Cabaret 3 will be performing at the Hothouse, Devonshire Road, Morecambe to raise money for More Music.  Tickets are just £5 (£3 concessions).

The Guns of Navarone started in 2000 to play authentic Jamaican Ska and packs a five-piece brass section made up of some of the best musicians in the area. The rhythm section is driven by one of the most experienced drummers in the field (with twenty years experience in the form) and underpinned by the rich tones of the string bass. Up till now the band has mainly played in the local Northwest area, where they attract a loyal audience of dancers. They’ve also played at any number of functions – parties and weddings etc – where their happy sound goes down well with all age groups.

The Initiative is a high energy, contemporary jazz-fusion band that seeks to meld together the sounds of modern day nu-jazz with the highly danceable groove and feel of funk. The Initiative aims to present contemporary improvisation within a sound and performance that is accessible for those with no experience of the genre - it maintains a funk feel while exploring the depths of free improvisation or modern jazz. It’s also really good fun!

Deep Cabaret 3 brings together Matt Robinson of The Initiative on bass clarinet; Paul Sherwood of Quercus on hurdy-gurdy and Steve Lewis of Orchestre DC Dansette on voice, guitar & shruti. Pure jazz meets pure folk mediated by an impure jack of none who plays guitar as only a drummer could.

Noir-drenched dronesongs meet desert blues improv - fulsome and romantic one moment, edgy and disturbing the next. Then there are the lyrics, adapted from the likes of Beckett, Borges and Bukowski mashed-up with BBC sit coms, buddhist self-help books and Danish grooks. A smoked salmon, cream cheese and dill pickle bagel with extra mustard!

This is the start of a bigger programme of live music to take place at the Hothouse in the near future, the details of which will be revealed over the coming months.

• Tickets cost £5 (£3 concessions) can be bought in advance here or from the More Music office. For more information, call 01524 831 997, email or visit the website at

• Guns of Navarone web site:

• The Initiative are on Facebook:

• Deep Cabaret 3:

Drink drivers targeted in Police campaign

Drivers who choose to get behind the wheel when over the limit will face severe consequences as part of a new police campaign against drink driving which kicks off today.

Police in Lancashire are promising a crackdown on drink driving with increased enforcement activity and patrols throughout the county.

In 2011, over 2000 drivers failed their breath test in Lancashire after being stopped on suspicion of drink driving. 

Check points will be conducted on key routes where officers will conduct breath tests and speak to motorists and both traditional and social media will be used to remind people of the dangers and consequences of drink driving.

A national TV and radio advertising campaign, funded by the Department of Transport, will also take place over the summer months.

With a summer of celebration about to get underway, officers are also keen to stress to people that if they go out drinking on a night, then there is a chance that they could still be over the limit the following morning, so anyone enjoying events, like Euro 2012, with a drink is urged to steer clear of their car.

“The vast majority of local motorists are law abiding and will leave their car at home if they know they will be having a drink," commented Chief Inspector Debbie Howard, of the Road Policing Unit. "However to the small minority of people who are tempted to drink and drive, our message is clear – drink driving will simply not be tolerated here in Lancashire.

“The consequences of drink driving are high – if you drive at twice the legal alcohol limit you are at least 30 times more likely to cause a road crash than a driver who hasn’t been drinking, potentially resulting in serious injury or death.

“A conviction could also mean that you lose your job, home, family and friends. The consequences can be absolutely devastating."

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Lancaster cannabis factory found in outbuilding

Police discovered a cannabis factory with an estimated street value of £11,000 following an anonymous tip off from a member of the public.

Officers executed a warrant at an address in Powderhouse Lane, Lancaster, on Wednesday (30th May) and found the plants growing in an outbuilding at the rear of the property.

A 52-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of producing cannabis and has been bailed pending further inquiries.

PC Phil Sallis, Lancaster police, said: “The cannabis plants were found as a result of information being given to us by the public. Residents are our eyes and ears in our local communities and we continue to appeal to anyone with any information about cannabis cultivation in their area to make contact with us.”

“Some of the tell tale signs of cannabis being grown are strange smells and sounds," he added, "and frequent and varied visitors to a property - often at unusual times, equipment such as plant pots, fertiliser, fans and industrial lighting being taken into a property, windows being sealed and covered, and heat coming from an adjoining property.

“Individually these activities may seem commonplace, however, two or more may indicate something more unusual. If you have any suspicions, get in touch. We will act on all information provided to us.”

Contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. In an emergency always dial 999

Gadget using horse riders risk their safety, police warn

Horse riders who listen to MP3 players and talk on mobile phones while out on hacks are being urged to take more care on the roads.

Police have received several complaints from motorists that riders are getting distracted by gadgets and putting themselves, and their horses, at risk.

Riders, and the parents of younger riders, are being asked to pay more attention to the road in a bid to avoid potential accidents.

PC Chris Ashworth, of Northern Division’s road policing unit, said: “Motorists should know to take extra care when driving past horses, but the situation is not helped when the riders themselves aren’t fully concentrating on the road.

“Some riders, particularly younger riders, are listening to their MP3 players or Ipods and chatting on their mobiles. This makes it very hard for them to hear other vehicles and is potentially dangerous.”

“We would ask riders to make sure their mind – and eyes and ears – are on the road, " he added, "and that parents make sure their children are aware of these safety issues while out on their horses.”

Police appeal following attempted bike theft in Lancaster

Police are appealing for witnesses after two men attempted to steal a mountain bike following an incident in Lancaster.

The attempted theft took place on the cycle path towards the city centre at around 10.25pm on Saturday 26th May 2012.

The man was riding his bike to work close to Carlisle Bridge when he was approached by two men who were blocking his path. One of the men stood in front of his bike, preventing him from moving whilst the second man grabbed hold of his arm and demanded he handed over his bike.

The victim managed to free himself from the offenders and was able to cycle away towards Lancaster and the offenders ran off onto Morecambe Road in the opposite direction.

The first man is described as white, in his mid 20’s and approximately 5’8” tall. He has short ginger hair stuck up, a spotty forehead, stubble and a swollen lip on his right side. He was wearing a royal blue adidas tracksuit with three white stripes down the arms and black pants.

The second man was also white and in his early 20’s and around 5’10” tall with stubble and had a fresh scar under his right eye. He was wearing a light grey hooded top with two white tassels, dark Nike tracksuit bottoms and white trainers.

Detective Sergeant Fiona Jackson from Lancaster CID said, “Fortunately, the victim was not seriously hurt but it must have been a frightening experience for him.

“I would appeal to anyone who witnessed what happened or who has information to come forward and contact the police.”

Anyone with information is asked to call Lancaster CID on 101.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Share your memories of the Olympic torch relay

After months of preparation and anticipation, the Olympic Torch is set to arrive in Lancashire on 1st June as it continues its 70 day journey around the UK.

The Torch will make its first appearance in Chorley and West Lancashire on Friday 1st June, returning to the county on Friday 22nd June and Saturday 23rd June 2012.

For some months now, Lancashire Constabulary has been working closely with Olympic organisers and local authorities to make the momentous event as safe and enjoyable as possible for everyone.

And now the relay is almost here, the Constabulary is encouraging people to go along, soak up the atmosphere - and share their memories of the event by uploading their pictures of the relay to its social media sites.

Chief Inspector Russ Procter, who is in charge of policing the event said: “Police and partner agencies have carried out months of hard work and planning to ensure that the Lancashire leg of the Olympic Torch Relay is a success.

“Our aim all along has been to make sure that our local communities can share in the Olympic celebrations in safety and our work hasn’t finished yet.

“There is still a good deal more to do to keep communities informed about the Relay and one of the ways we will be doing that is via our two social media sites – and @lancspolice on Twitter.

“However, we don’t just want this to be a one way stream – we want members of the public to really get involved and to share their experiences and memories of the torch relay by uploading their pictures of the occasion.

“That way, we will know our hard work has paid off and we will have a fantastic record of this once-in-a-lifetime event to share with all our followers on Facebook and Twitter.

“So it you don’t already follow us, sign up today for regular updates on the events and a chance to share your memories of the Olympic Torch Relay in Lancashire.”

People can upload pictures to or tweet them to @lancspolice on Twitter where officers will be using #olympictorch to provide their updates.

The Olympic Torch will be in Lancashire between the following times on the following dates:

Friday 1st June 2012
Between 0720 and 1000, the Torch will visit the following locations:

  • Chorley
  • Euxton
  • Croston
  • Burscough
  • Ormskirk

Friday 22nd June 2012
From 0950, the Torch will visit the following locations before arriving in Blackpool for an evening celebration

  • Carnforth
  • Bolton-le-sands
  • Hest Bank
  • Morecambe
  • Lancaster
  • Garstang
  • St Michael’s on Wyre
  • Fleetwood
  • Cleveleys

Saturday 23rd June 2012
Between 0605 and 1330, the Torch will visit the following locations:

  • Lytham St Annes
  • Warton
  • Preston
  • Blackburn
  • Accrington
  • Burnley
  • Crawshawbooth
  • Reedsholme
  • Rawtenstall

On-line safety is the subject of Police web chat

Lancashire Constabulary is to hold two special interactive web chats to discuss the importance of staying safe online.

The web chats will take place on 12th June – one during school time, one after school. It’s the second time police have held internet safety chats - the first one in February was a big success with several schools and a number of individuals posing questions about internet safety.

Detective Inspector Hazel Stewart and e-safety officer Lynne Asbridge from Lancashire Constabulary’s public protection team will be holding the web chat with safety experts from local authorities.

The chats will take place via the Lancashire Police website and its Facebook site .

Schools and individuals are invited to take part in two sessions. The first, primarily aimed at students and teachers will take place from 11.30am – 12.30pm and the second session aimed at just young people will take place from 4.30pm – 5.30pm.

Commenting on the web chats, DI Stewart said: “The internet is now a major part of our lives with the vast majority of people having internet access either at home or work.

“This is great because it opens up so many opportunities but on the flipside it also means it is easier for criminals to target people online.

“Young people are particularly vulnerable because although they may have good technical skills they may not be quite as savvy when it comes to safety. That’s why we’re working with young people on a variety of projects designed to increase awareness of online safety - web chats being just one of the ways we are doing this.”

Anyone who can’t take part in the chats, but who wants safety tips, can visit for more information, but as a bare minimum Police advice the following:

Safer internet tips for adults -

  • Make sure your firewall and anti-virus software is up to date

  • Use different passwords for different sites

  • Use secure and official sites (look for the padlock sign) when making purchases on-line

  • Keep back up copies and print outs of on-line documents

  • Do not disclose bank details as proof or age or identity

  • Don’t reveal personal details to people you meet, or who contact you, on-line.

Safer internet tips for children and young people –

  • Never give out personal details to online friends if you do not know them offline

  • Remember people online may not be who they say they are – use caution when chatting to people who you do not already know

  • Never arrange to meet up with strangers without an adult present who you trust

  • Think carefully about the information and pictures you post on your profiles. Once published online, anyone can change or share these images of you

  • Don’t open files from people you do not know – they may contain viruses which could damage your computer

  • If you feel uncomfortable about anything that happens online tell an adult

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Police alert for forged bank notes in Lancaster

Police have released CCTV images of two suspects they want to trace following the use of fake bank notes in a shop in Lancaster.

The two men entered a small retail store in Market Street, Lancaster, under the guise of prospective customers on two occasions between 3.00 and 5.00pm on Tuesday 22nd May.

One of the men acted as a lookout while the other made a small purchase from the counter with a note which later turned out to be fraudulent.

The offenders are not known to the store manager and may not be local to the area. Anyone who recognises the offenders or who has any information on the incident should contact police by calling 101 or alternatively, information can be passed to 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.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Council makes statement on Lancaster Market

Lancaster City Council has just issued a full statement on the future for the Lancaster Market building and its remaining traders, which is as follows:

Council agrees on a way forward for future of Lancaster Market

On Thursday 24th May Council considered a progress report on the future of Lancaster Indoor Market.

This follows a decision by council in November 2011 that talks should take place to negotiate with the Council’s landlord for the surrender of its lease, and with the traders for vacant possession of the market building by the end of 2012.

Since this decision was taken, negotiations have continued with both Allied, owner of the market building and the Council’s landlord, and market traders.

While further negotiations need to take place with Allied to secure the best possible terms in respect of the market building, the Council recognises that the continued uncertainty on the future of the market has caused great difficulties for traders.

Council therefore agreed that as a next step, traders should be compensated, with a view to them leaving the building over the next few months. It provides traders with certainty over their futures and provides for them to find alternative premises and keep their businesses running.

This decision was taken following valuation, legal and accountancy advice that it was the best way forward to put the Council in the best possible position to safeguard the interests of taxpayers in the long term.

Negotiations with Allied – owner of the market building and the Council’s landlord – will continue.

The outcome of these negotiations will be brought back to Council for further consideration.

Get your dog chipped for free

Local dog owners are being offered the chance to have their animals chipped for free as part of a push to get people to be more responsible with their pets.

Officers from local neighbourhood police teams will be providing the service in Lancaster city centre on Friday June 1 with the assistance of the Dogs Trust.

They will be able to provide free chips for 100 dogs, as well as provide free coding for bicycles, from 10.00am – 1.00pm in Market Square and from 1 – 2.00pm at the Marsh Community Centre and 2-3pm on the Ryelands Estate.

“The issue of dangerous dogs is one that is raised quite often," says PSCO Amy Knott from Lancaster neighbourhood policing team, "and we want people to make sure they are not only looking after their pet but also ensuring it is not posing any risks to members of the public.

“Having a dog chipped, which can help reunite a lost dog with its owner, is just one way in which people can take responsibility for their pets. We would also ask that they ensure dogs are kept on a lead when out in public, muzzled where necessary and that where dogs are kept outside fences, gates and hedges are in good condition so that they cannot escape.”

Dales Bus launches summer Sunday service from Lancaster

A new bus service to the Yorkshire Dales from Lancaster is now running every Sunday and Bank Holiday (including Jubilee Tuesday) until 21st October 2012.

The Northern Dalesman bus leaves Lancaster Bus Station at 0915, running via Caton (0928), Hornby (0936), Wray (0940) and Wennington (0944) to Bentham, Ingleton, Ribblehead and Hawes, continuing via the Buttertubs Pass to Muker, Reeth and Richmond. There’s a connecting bus from Carnforth at 0848 on service 55.

The Northern Dalesman service is part of the DalesBus network, managed by the Dales and Bowland Community Interest Company. There’s no need to book in advance and tickets are available from the driver. An All Dales Rover allowing unlimited travel on the DalesBus network for a day is £10, and concessionary passes are valid.

• Full details are available in a timetable leaflet available locally, and online at

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Heysham cabbie Dave turns author

Heysham cabbie Dave Price
One thing cabbies the world over aren't short of are stories -- usually about us, the fare-paying public. And while most of us simply want to get from A to B, some of us do it in such a way that it makes for even more of those stories -- and very funny a lot of them are, too.

Local cabbie Dave “Taxidave” Price, who has been a taxi driver in the Lancaster and Morecambe area since 2006 has now written about many of his own bizarre experiences and published them as an eBook, How to Annoy a Taxi Driver, for the Kindle reader device.

“It all started two years ago as Facebook statuses," Dave told the Morecambe Visitor this week. "As something happened, I would write a status about it.

“I would get feedback and people thought it was funny. I wrote a blog for Facebook based on what I thought about people getting into the taxi.

“Things kept happening over and over again. Things happen and they need to be recorded for posterity.”

Dave pulls no punches with his stories, exposing the worst and stranger stories of his fares with an openess that exposes just what an appalling species we can be. Some might find his humour a little dark, so if you're easily offended, this book is probably not for you. Here's an example of one of his stories...

I drive a taxi licensed to carry four passengers, plus myself. A typical conversation ensues:

ME: Sorry, I’ve only got four seats.

MAN: Really?!

ME: Feel free to count them in case I’ve missed any.

MAN: But there are six of us...

ME: Well, if you strangle two of them and stick their bodies in the boot, then they won’t count as passengers, but I’ll still have to charge them as baggage.

MAN: What did you just say?!

ME: Nothing :)

Dave's previous career as a freelance web-developer ended abruptly in 2001, partly as a result of the events of both Sept 11th, and his divorce. He started taxi driving as a stop gap, to get him off the dole “for now” as he often puts it. He’s still doing it today, and while he continues to do a bit of graphic design and is also a musician, he says he finds that on the whole that taxi driving is the least stressful job he’s ever had.

He published How to Annoy a Taxi Driver on Kindle arlier this year, and while sales are small at present, his stories have clearly struck a chord and his Blog and Facebook page are gatherng momentum as he continues to regale his web audience with some of his experiences of taxi driving and the odder fares he's picked up.

“My aim is to entertain and I feel proud of myself for doing it," he told the Visitor. “Most of the passengers I’ve picked up are from round here, and there’s probably an element of ‘Oh my word, that sounds like the sort of thing I get up to when I’ve had a drink!’ about it.

“I guess it qualifies as local interest.”

Dave’s now writing a science fiction novel but he's still writing about his fares online - so don't be surprized if there's another "annoying" book at some point.

- Dave's blog is at:

- How to Annoy a Taxi Driver on Facebook:

- Read the Visitor interview (published 24th May)