Friday, 24 August 2012

Appeal for Morecambe man wanted on prison recall

Local police are appealing for information about a Morecambe man who is wanted on prison recall.

Shane Baines, 28, who is previously of Clarendon Road in Morecambe, was jailed for 16 months in October 2011 at Preston Crown Court for an assault which happened outside the Late Shop on Regent Road in Morecambe on 26th June 2011.

He was later released from prison on licence but has since breached the terms of that licence and has therefore been recalled to prison.

Shane is described as being white, around 5ft 7inches tall, medium build, bald with blue eyes.

He has connections to the Morecambe and Heysham areas but his current whereabouts are unknown.

Detective Inspector Colin Forsyth said, “We would ask the public, particularly in the Morecambe area to be vigilant and to report any sightings to the police - any details could be crucial.”

Anyone with any information should call Lancashire Police on 101.

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

25//8/12 Update: Shane Banes has now been recalled to prison following his arrest in Morecambe

Heritage Open Days return, free entry to local attractions on offer

Local history and culture will come to life again in September when local buildings of every age, style and function throw open their doors during this year's Heritage Open Days.

Heritage Open Days are the country’s annual celebration of its rich architectural and cultural heritage and provides visitors with a unique opportunity to explore and enjoy these sometimes hidden, often curious and always interesting places in English cities, towns and villages - and completely free of charge.

This year's celebration takes place over four days from 6 to 9th September and includes a trip down memory lane with Morecambe Vintage Day which takes place on 9th September, which includes the Bradford to Morecambe Historic Vehicle Rally on Morecambe Promenade.

Along with the many famous museums and popular historic buildings opening their doors in our district this year, there will also be a chance to enjoy a free canal cruise from the centre of Lancaster to 'one of the wonders of the waterways' the Lune Aqueduct. 

Take part in a free tour of Lancaster Town Hall and enjoy an Olympic display featuring one of the torches which carried the flame through our district.

Explore one of Lancaster's hidden secrets conceived as a fitting 'living' memorial to the fallen of Lancaster in the  First  World  War at Westfield War Memorial Village.  

Those who haven't yet had the opportunity to explore parts of Lancaster Castle unseen for 50 years can join a special guided tour which will include the court yard and former prison.

Morecambe Vintage Day also  includes a vintage village hall and tearoom at the Platform,  free tours on Morecambe's Heritage Open Top Bus as well as art deco guided walks and a classic motor cycle show at the Winter Gardens.

Coun Ron Sands, cabinet member for culture and tourism, said:  "Our district is blessed with buildings of every age, style and function and the open days will give both local people and visitors a once-a-year chance to discover hidden architectural treasures. 

"This year's programme of tours, events and activities promises to be bigger and better than ever before and includes some absolute gems that have never appeared in the programme before."

All openings and events in the Lancaster area are free of charge  but you may have to book in advance for some activities as places are limited.  Disabled access is available to at least some parts of the many participating venues, so it’s advisable to check in advance.

You can pick up a leaflet containing full details of property openings and special events in and around the Lancaster district from  visitor  information centres at Lancaster and Morecambe - telephone 01524 582394 or 01524 582808.

The leaflet is also available from Lancaster City Council’s Customer Service Centres or to download from

• More information about nationwide events can be obtained from

Don’t keep valuables in caravans, owners warned

Caravan owners are being warned not to store valuable items for long periods of time to avoid being targeted by thieves.

The Lancaster area has several caravan parks and burglars have been targeting caravans as they know that expensive items, such as large screen televisions and other electrical equipment, are often left inside.

Visitors to the county, as well as residents keeping caravans on their own property, have also been the victims of break-ins after valuables have been left on display near windows.

Detective Inspector Martin Pearson, Lancashire Police, said: “People are usually careful to make sure the doors and windows are locked when they leave their home, and that they do not leave valuable items on show to provide temptation for thieves, but they can often be more lax when it comes to protecting their caravans and their possessions inside.

“We would advise people to remove anything of valuable from their caravan if they will not be using it for a long period of time. Make sure that you have good quality locks on doors and windows and actually use them. Once you have finished using your caravan, store it in a garage if possible. We would also ask that people look out for their caravanning neighbours – if you see something suspicious, call the police.”

Anyone with information about a crime can contact police on 101. In an emergency always dial 999.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Unmissable psych-folk double bill this Bank Holiday at the YoHo

Dan Haywood's New Hawks

The pairing of Trembling Bells and Lancaster's Dan Haywood's New Hawks at Manchester's Band on the Wall venue last week got the local cognoscenti salivating, with one Manc music blogger referring to it as an 'unmissable psych-folk double-bill'.

Well, if you did miss that one you can still make the Yorkshire House in Lancaster this Bank Holiday Monday (27th), where both these groundbreaking acts will be on offer, with the addition of two opening acts in the shape of Ponies and Mikey Kenney.

At the vanguard of contemporary, psychedelicised folk-rock, this visit from Glasgow's Trembling Bells is part of a full UK tour. The four piece, led by drummer and writer-in-chief Alex Neilson, has an extraordinary, high-powered lead singer in Lavinia Blackwall.

Over the course of four albums they've explored, experimented with and blended early music, folk tunes and acid rock and roll. Sometimes redolent of the best late sixties/early seventies Brit folk-rockers, they soon attracted the admiration of Joe Boyd (producer of Fairport Convention, Nick Drake and many more), and have recorded and performed with Mike Heron, founder member of The Incredible String Band.
Trembling Bells current album, The Marble Downs is a strong set featuring duets from Kentuckian indie-folk behemoth Will Oldham, AKA Bonnie Prince Billy. The TB/BPB collaboration continued with a UK and European tour earlier this year.

Dan and half of his fellow New Hawks players are local to Lancaster and as such Dan Haywood's New Hawks is one of the region's most exotic musical exports - this will be their first 'hometown' show in over twelve months. Their 32-song triple vinyl LP has received international critical acclaim and taken them all over Britain and Europe, with headline tours and teamings with New Mexico's A Hawk and A Hacksaw and Stereolab's Laetitia Sadier.

They've also opened for The Unthanks, Frank Fairfield and a tour of major European cities begins in Madrid in October. Their stage performances are so rich and dynamic that illustrious label Static Caravan approached them for a live album, due for release later this year. For this show expect an uncompromising, free-spirited set of ensemble rocking featuring lap steel, synths, gongs, fiddles and mandolins and DH's inimitable sourmash vocals.

Ponies (or, as it is sometimes spelt Po)))nies) sets are often few and far between, so this is a great chance to catch a solo performer who eschews cliches and delivers his sharp heat-seeking lyrics with integrity. Check out the sound at:

Liverpool's Mikey Kenney is a vocal and instrumental powerhouse and writer and leader of folk-pop-art project Ottersgear. His eagerly anticipated new album is to be released next month.

See a 2005 review of Dan Haywood's New Hawks on Virtual-Lancaster at:
and Tom Bramhall's interview with Dan in 2010 at:

It'll be interesting to see what they have brought home from their travels.
The gig starts at 7.30pm
Tickets are £5 online and £6 on the door.

Harrington Road Assault: police appeal launched

Police are appealing for witnesses after two men were injured during a disturbance on a street in Morecambe on Saturday 11th August 2012.

The offence took place around midnight outside an address on Harrington Road when two men received significant injuries, believed inflicted by a sharp bladed instrument.

A 28-year-old man was treated at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary for a large laceration to his arm and a 32 year old man for wound to his back. Fortunately the injuries sustained were not life threatening.

Police are keen to speak to anyone who may have information about the incident and who was involved.

DC Brian Shepherd from Lancaster CID said: “An investigation is underway and we are still trying to establish the circumstances around what has happened but would appeal to any witnesses to come forward and speak with police.

“We believe a disturbance has taken place both at the front and in the rear alleyway of Harrington Road involving up to 12 people from the Polish community.

“If you were on Harrington Road on Saturday night or can help in anyway please call Lancaster CID on 101 or 01524 596641 or Crimestoppers anonymously quoting log LC-20120811-2348.”


Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Police run virtual debate about anti-social behaviour

A virtual debate is being held to encourage residents in the north of the county to air their views on anti-social behaviour and local policing.

Lancashire Constabulary's Facebook pages often see residents involved in lively debates about the issues that are affecting them and their neighbourhoods. Now a scheduled debate will be held to try and focus discussions on one particular problem that affects many people - anti-social behaviour.

The virtual debate will be held from 6pm - 9.00pm on Friday 31st August and will be hosted on Lancashire Police's dedicated Lancaster, Morecambe and Wyre Facebook page.

Sergeant James Neale, Lancaster neighbourhood policing, will oversee the debate and will take questions from residents across the north of the county, passing them on to his colleagues in Morecambe and Wyre as necessary.

Sergeant Neale said: "The number of people who 'like' our page increases day by day and we are seeing a lot of people engaging with us through the site. I hope that this debate will spark some interesting conversations with residents, who can let us know what is bothering them and we can then look towards solving these problems.

“If people don't feel comfortable posting directly onto our wall, they can send me an email and I will pick up the points that they have raised.”

• Residents should visit and then click onto 'Lancaster Police' to take part.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Olympic Torch Relay: Local Souvenir Video Released

It kept raining, they kept shooting! Despite what were often adverse conditions, an intrepid team of local film makers persevered in their recording of the Olympic Torch's passage through the Lancaster and Morecambe area - and now a souvenir video of the Relay is available.

On 22nd June, a team of 14 fourteen volunteer camera people from Morecambe Bay Movie Makers were there to record the Olympic Torch Relay as it passed through Lancaster and Morecambe for posterity. In the worst weather possible – the rain was torrential and the wind howled all day! – they leapfrogged the route to capture most of the torchbearers and the thousands of local people and schoolchildren who, despite the downpours, turned out to cheer the torch bearers as they travelled from Carnforth to Lancaster.

All the torch bearers had earned the right to take part in the event through their service to their communities, and that is why the DVD is called Inspirational People.

Scripted, edited and narrated by local award-winning heritage film director Chris Abram, the 33-minute DVD contains interviews with many of the torchbearers and the Mayor of Lancaster and captures the spirit of the local community on this very special day.

Morecambe Bay Movie Makers undertook this as a service to their community and a copy of the film is being lodged with the North West Film Archive in Manchester for generations to come. It is hoped that it will also raise a small amount towards the club funds.

The DVD is the only comprehensive video of this event and the team say every family should have a copy in their family photograph drawer.

• Priced at only £7 the DVD is available direct from: The Secretary, Morecambe Movie Makers, 15 Pembroke Avenue, Morecambe LA4 6EY, Tel:01524 416074. (Plus £3 P&P for up to three copies if needed to be posted). Or buy it direct from Lancaster and Morecambe Visitor Information Centres, or Carnforth Bookshop.

Appeal for man wanted on prison recall

Police are appealing for information about a man who is wanted on prison recall.

Michael Dixon, 26, who is currently of no fixed address but originally from the Hartlepool area, was jailed for two years in 2011 at Preston Crown Court for a number of offences including burglary, possession of Class B drugs and assault.

He was later released from prison on licence but has since breached the terms of that licence and has therefore been recalled to prison.

Dixon is described as being white, of medium build with light brown hair, blue eyes and around five feet five inches tall.

He has connections to the Lancaster and Morecambe areas but his current whereabouts are unknown.

Detective Sergeant Paul Greenhalgh said, “We would ask the public, particularly in the Lancaster and Morecambe areas to be vigilant and to report any sightings to the police - any details could be crucial.”

Anyone with any information should call Lancashire Police on 101.

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

Morecambe mystery attack: police appeal for witnesses

Police are appealing for information after a man was injured following a night out in Morecambe earlier this month.

At around 3.45am on Sunday 12th August, the 25-year-old man, who was walking home after a night out, remembers walking past the Kings Arms Pub on Marine Road before waking up on the pavement -- approximately ten metres away from AJs Burger bar.

When he regained consciousness, he was told by a passer-by that he had been unconscious on the pavement for five minutes but that they had not seen what happened. The man then made his own way to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary where it was established that he had sustained a fractured cheek bone and a black eye.

The circumstances around exactly what happened are still very unclear and so officers are appealing to anyone who may have been in the area at the time and may have seen anything to come forward.

Detective Constable Ian Marsh of Lancaster CID said, “We are appealing for information to try and establish the circumstances around this man sustaining these injuries so if anyone saw anything that they think could help then I would urge them to get in touch.

“At the time, the injured man was wearing a red, white and blue checked shirt, black jeans and a pair of white pumps so if anyone remembers seeing him in the area then I would ask them to call us.”

If anyone has any information then they can call police on 101 quoting log reference number LC-20120815-0572. Alternatively, information can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or on-line at When contacting Crimestoppers, no personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Street briefings see Lancaster city centre crime fall by 22 per cent

A policing operation that involves daily street briefings for officers in Lancaster has seen reports of crime in a city centre fall by 22 per cent.

Officers from Lancaster’s neighbourhood policing team started the operation in May in order to make the city centre a safer and more welcoming place.

The officers hold their team briefings out on the street twice a day so that they are providing a highly visible presence and act as a deterrent to pickpockets, shoplifters and other criminals. Following their briefings they then patrol hot spot areas so that they can target particular problems.

As a result, reports of crime have now fallen by 22 per cent. Incidents of anti-social behaviour have also reduced.

Sergeant David Callan, Lancaster police, said: “We have been working with local retailers and residents to tackle the crimes that have been affecting them. The simple fact that criminals see us out on the streets at the briefings prevents many of them from offending but we are also using a wide range of powers to reduce crime.

“We have been issuing directions to leave, where a person who could potentially cause a problem when they have been drinking alcohol is told to leave the city and if they return within a set time they will be arrested.

"We have also been applying for ASBOs against repeat offenders and working with other agencies to deal with prolific criminals, whose behaviour may be fuelled by drugs or alcohols addictions, to get them the help that they need.”

He added: “We have liaised with the local chamber of commerce so that together we can prevent local businesses falling victim to crime and we are grateful for the support we are receiving. Lancaster is a fantastic place to come for a day out, and is also a great place to live and work, so we want people to feel reassured that we are doing everything we can to keep crime low in the city.”

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Scotforth superstore planning appeal dismissed

The Secretary of State has dismissed the appeal brought by Commercial Estates projects (CEP) against the City Council's rejection of their scheme for a superstore, hotel / pub and petrol station in Scotforth. The decision was released by the Planning Inspectorate on Thursday 16 August.

Booths supermarkets already have outline planning permission to build a new supermarket on an adjacent site. Their current supermarket premises are expected to be taken over by a discount foodstore and the inspectorate considered that these developments would ease unmet food shopping needs in south Lancaster.

A major concern was that such additional retail development in south Lancaster could adversely affect both the Booths planned supermarket and the delivery of the Canal Corridor site, although this is still held in paralysis under the 'extended' Centros development agreement with the City Council, which, after long, weary years of expensive grooming is yet to deliver a viable plan for a 250 year lease, or indeed any visible financial projections that might lead to one. Outline drawings recently released by Centros suggest that a small foodstore might form part of their scheme and perhaps one day we will even hear a little more about who might operate it and what it might look like.  Possibly someone will get around to an analysis of how it will stand up to existing nearby supermarket competition, how if will affect local retailers,  how many people are likely to use it and how this will affect the traffic - as has been analysed in the Inspectorate's report on the CEP and Booths proposals. In the absence of such basic requirements, according to the Inspectorate,  it seems unlikely that any Canal Corridor developments can be delivered before 2020 at the earliest. However this development retains sequential priority over any other major retail developments in the area.

Another consideration was the necessity under local planning priorities to leave space for a road through to Whinney Carr. While there is no planning proposal currently active for developing this greenfield area between Scotforth and the University, it has been earmarked in council plans as a site for possible future housing expansion if required, in which case a link road between the A6 and Ashton Road would be vital.

CEP have six weeks in which to lodge a challenge to the dismissal of their appeal with the High Court. The inspector's report and other documents relating to their planning application and appeal can be found on the city council website (Ref: 10/00366/OUT).