Saturday, 10 October 2015

"No Place for Hate in Lancashire" - Awareness Week begins

A range of activities and events will take place across the county this week as the police join forces with other agencies to raise awareness of hate incidents and crime.

The action comes as part of National Hate Crime Awareness Week 2015 and will run from today, Saturday 10 October until Saturday 17 October.

It aims to tackle hate incidents and crime issues by raising awareness of what hate crime is and how to respond to it, encourage reporting and promote local support services and resources.

It will see officers and other practitioners come together at a county-wide conference to discuss how they are jointly going to tackle hate crime.

Officers are also holding events in local communities and will be supporting Disability Equality North West’s purple ribbon campaign by wearing ribbons containing a message in support of those affected by hate crime.

Chief Superintendent Stuart Noble, Lancashire Constabulary’s lead on hate crime, said: “Hate crime is any criminal offence which is motivated by hostility or prejudice against an identifiable group of people for example race, religion, sexual orientation, transgender, disability, age or gender.

“Hate incidents and crimes of any kind can have a devastating effect on the victim, their families and communities.

“They are frightening and upsetting but, by reporting any incident or crime, you can get the help and support you need and prevent it from happening to other people. The only way we can stamp out this sort of behaviour is if we know about it – and we need the public’s help to achieve this.

“Hate incidents and crimes of any kind are not acceptable, and instances of it need to end. There is no place for hate in Lancashire.”

• If you have been the victim of hate crime or you have seen it happen to someone else, call the police on 101. Alternatively, True Vision has a confidential online reporting facility

Friday, 9 October 2015

Police appeal for driver to come forward after Lancaster collision

Police have put out an appeal asking to speak to the driver of this car following a collision in Lancaster.

At around 1.40pm on Monday 5th October a cyclist was involved in a collision with a vehicle on St George's Quay. The cyclist, a 46-year-old woman, was left with serious upper body injuries which required treatment at Royal Lancaster Hospital. The vehicle failed to stop at the scene.

We would like to speak to the driver of this car, pictured, in relation to the incident.

PC 3133 Mark Howson from the Lancaster Road Policing Unit said: “I am urging anyone who may have witnessed this incident or the driver involved to get in contact with us so that we can determine exactly how this collision has occurred.”

• Anyone with information can contact PC 3133 Mark Howson on or alternatively call 101 quoting log number LC-20151005-0669

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Local Cinema Round-Up for the 7th to 15th October 2015

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.

This week finds nine new releases making it to the local screens. There is the action & adventure movie Sicario (15); historical drama with Suffragette (12A); comedy with A Walk in the Woods (15) and drama with the films RegressionMia Madre (15) and The Walk (PG). In addition there are the family movies Ghosthunters on icy Trails (PG) and Pan (PG). Finally, celebrating its fortieth anniversary, there is a new release of the superb Monty Python and the Holy Grail (PG).

The comedy Bill has vanished from the screens and it seems likely that Miss You Already and The Visit are coming to the end of their screening. However we see the return of the movies Ant-Man and Pixels.

Movies coming soon include James Bond in Spectre in theatres on 26th October and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 due mid November.

The film of the week is still The Martian, though the adult dramas Legend and Everest are well worth seeing. Also the comedies The Bad Education Movie and The Intern continue to entertain. 

A film of note is Buster Keaton's silent classic Sherlock Jr., accompanied with a live score. Finally there are three offerings of high culture. At the beginning of this period we have The Importance of Being Earnest, whilst on the 15th there is Hamlet starring Benedict Cumberbatch. Finally, being shown through the week, there is Macbeth.


Director: Peyton Reed
Certificate: 12A
Cast Includes: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Hayley Atwell, Michael Douglas, Corey Stoll
Ant-Man is the latest super-hero in the Marvel pantheon to make it to the screen. Scott Lang (Rudd) used be a systems engineer but is now a petty criminal, trying to go straight. He acquires a suit developed by Dr. Hank Pym (Douglas) and Dr Pym becomes something of his mentor. The suit allows Lang to become ant man as he shrink in size, increase his strength and has the power of communicating with insects. Together Pym and ant-man must overcome the ambitions of Darren Cross (Stoll) who has a militarised version of the suit. Ant man was only a minor Marvel super-hero but nonetheless this is an entertaining movie. The characters are given chance to develop and the film provides both wit and plenty of gags. An entertaining movie.

Director: Baltasar Kormakur
Certificate: 12A
Cast includes: Jake Gyllenhaal, Jason Clarke, Robin Wright, Nasko Mori
A docudrama set in May 1996 when two expeditions tried to make it to the peak of Mount Everest. However a blizzard resulted in the death of eight climbers. The main emphasis is on the five climbers who perished on the South face. This is a dramatic and moving film, best appreciated in 3D to get the most of the scenery and the dizzying drops. The mountain itself is the primary focus, with character development taking second place, though there is much made of the trials of the climbers and of the emotional distress of loved ones left behind. An unsentimental movie which makes the viewer feel that he is part of the expedition.

Miss You Already
Director: Catherine Hardwicke
Certificate: 12A
Cast includes: Drew Barrymore, Toni Collette
Milly (Collette) and Jess (Barrymore) are lifelong friends though their lives are very different. Milly works as a PR executive. She is married to a Rock star and has a perfect family. Jess however has a more mundane job and is desperate to have a baby. Milly's life is thrown in turmoil when she is diagnosed with breast cancer. The film follows her fight with cancer and the stresses it puts on her relationship with Jess who finally conceives a baby. This is a passable movie which provides something of an emotional rollercoaster ride.

Director: Chris Columbus
Certificate: 12A
Cast Includes: Adam Sandler, Kevin james, josh Gad, Peter Dinklage, Michelle Monaghan
As children Sam Brenner (Sandler), Will Cooper (James), Ludlow Lamonsoff (Gad) and Eddie Plant (Dinklage) were expert video game players and they competed in tournaments. They grew and thought they had put their past behind them. However aliens have discovered classic archive video games and interpret these as a declaration of war. They invade earth using strategy and characters derived from the games. Will Cooper is now president and he gathers together his old pals to combat the aliens who will claim the earth if they are not defeated. The movie is a science fiction comedy that will appeal to anyone who enjoyed playing classic video archive games. However it has so far attracted indifferent reviews and looks to be a rather forgettable film.

The Martian
Director: Ridley Scott
Certificate: 12A
Cast includes: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig
A manned mission to the planet mars is aborted when the crew face a huge sandstorm. However astronaut and botanist Mark Watney (Damon) is left behind, presumed dead. Yet he lives and must now find a way to survive and contact Earth in the hope that a rescue mission can be mounted. The movie is based on the 2011 novel of the same name by Andy Weir. This is a homage to the ingenuity of man in desperate circumstances. The movie is visually effective, scientifically accurate and is well seasoned with humour. An excellent film that has received glowing reviews.

The Walk
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Certificate: PC
Cast Includes: Joseph Gordon-Leveiit, Charlotte Le Bon, Ben Kingsley.
This is the tale of Philippe Petits audacious crossing between the world trade centres on a high-wire. Petit (Gordon-Levitt) developed the idea for the artistic coup whilst in Paris. Along the way he adopts a band of misfit co-conspirators which include 'Papa' Rudy Omankowsky (Kingsley) who teaches the skill of walking a high wire. The attempt, which was strictly illegal, took place on 7th August 1974 and no safety harness was used. This is an excellent movie, a great story, great acting and superb camera work which will have you clinging onto the cinema seat.

Musicians wanted for Light Up Lancaster

Photo courtesy Lancaster City Council

More Music are looking for local musicians to be part of ‘Firey Lights’, an exciting new performance piece at Lancaster Castle as part of Light Up Lancaster on 6th November 2015.

Guitarists, singers, wind players and percussionists are wanted to join ensembles for four performance spaces, which include three outdoor yards and inside A Wing, part of the old prison.

Audiences will be taken on a journey through an animated world of shadows, reflections, fire and metal in the awesome space of Lancaster Castle. There will be remarkable firey animation from Walk the Plank – world famous for their Fire Garden installations.

In the four performance spaces, you could:

    Play on a beautiful Javanese Gamelan (a large Indonesian tuned percussion instrument)
    Create modal music on your horn to accompany the Gamelan
    Sing new music that mixes overtone singing with groove based riffs
    Be one of 20 guitarists playing in solos and duos inside A-Wing

• You can find out more about the show at, which includes the rehearsal dates.  Email if you would like to be a part of it

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Planned closure of Torrisholme Road this weekend cancelled

The planned closure of Torrisholme Road (B5321) from Russell Drive to Barley Cop Lane as part of M6 Link works, from Saturday 10th October (6.00am) to Monday 12th (5.00am) has been cancelled.

The series of weekend closures of Torrisholme Road for bridge deck works was advertised on the 18th September.

The next full closure of Torrisholme Road will now be executed on Saturday 17th October from 6.00am to Monday 19th October at 5.00am.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Chamber of Commerce to launch inTheBay Business News Service

Lancaster & District Chamber of Commerce has announced a brand new free local business news service to the area.

Backed by an award winning local sales team and news staff, inTheBay is to be a new online home connecting all things business across Morecambe Bay. The initiative aims to become the 'business hub' for business across North Lancashire and South Cumbria. It will be heavily promoted by The Bay Radio Station in Lancaster where the inTheBay team are based.

A major part of inTheBay will be the daily newsletter sent to subscribers every morning with all the latest news. Subscription is free.

inTheBay will also be home to a new local business networking directory, providing a listing for local businesses of all shapes and sizes and a basic entry is free.

Managing Director of inTheBay Bill Johnston is also encouraging local companies to get in touch with their business news “across Lancaster & Morecambe, Barrow, Ulverston, Millom, Windermere, Kendal, Carnforth, Heysham - and everything in-between.

"his is a great place to do business," he enthuses. "Whatever industry you’re in there are great human interest stories to tell, and great business success stories to share with the inTheBay team.”

As well as their constantly updated breaking news website, the inTheBay journalists will be focusing on the people, products and diverse communities which make The Bay area the ideal base to do business. 

This will all backed up by daily email alerts, text alerts, social media, weekly news letters, 'meet the experts', 'guest editors', 'workplace of the week', videos, podcasts and lots lots more.

Lead journalist at inTheBay, Joshua Hammond, joins the Lancaster based team from sister company, in-Cumbria, which has built up a regular audience of 30,000+ business people. You can contact Joshua directly on 01524 541764 or email

There are also many commercial opportunities for the local business community to exploit including:

For all advertising and promotional enquiries contact Tony Johnson, Sales Director, on 01524 848747 or email

Police Appeal after cyclist injured in Quay crash

Police are appealing for witnesses to a collision in Lancaster last week.

At around 1.40pm on Monday 5th October 2015, a cyclist was involved in a collision with a light blue car, possibly a Citroen, on St Georges Quay. The car failed to stop at the scene.

The cyclist, a 46 year old woman, was left with serious upper body injuries which required treatment at Royal Lancaster Hospital.

PC 3133 Mark Howson from the Lancaster Road Policing Unit said: “I am urging anyone who may have witnessed this incident or the driver involved to get in contact with us so that we can determine exactly how this collision has occurred.”

• Anyone with information can contact PC 3133 Mark Howson on or alternatively call 101 quoting log number LC-20151005-0669

Town Hall event raises awareness of Child Sexual Exploitation

Almost one hundred front line workers operating in the Lancaster district attended an awareness raising event on Child Sexual Exploitation.

The event, which took place at Lancaster Town Hall, was attended by estate managers, licensing officers, home improvement and environmental service workers and councillors.

The scene was set by County Analyst Scott Keay and was followed by Andy Ellis and health worker Pauline Lucas from Lancashire Constabulary’s ‘Awaken Team’- a multi-agency initiative led by the police, social services and health services.

Between them they covered what CSE is; a type of sexual abuse in which children are sexually exploited for money, power or status.  Children and young people may be tricked into believing they're in a loving, consensual relationship, invited to parties and given drugs and alcohol.

Cyber awareness was also covered as children may be groomed online and various social media platforms were explained including Snapchat, What’s App and Sexting.

It is anticipated that with awareness raised of CSE, those working in the district will be encouraged to report to the Awaken Team any suspicious activity or concerns that may be experienced.

The session finished with a presentation from Lindsay Dalton of PACE – Parents Against Child Sexual Exploitation, which provides online advice and support for parents and guardians.

More information on CSE along with details of how to can be found on the Lancashire Constabulary website at

Anyone with concerns about child sexual exploitation can contact police on 101.  In an emergency always dial 999.

• Lancashire Constabulary has a team dedicated to CSE named ‘Operation Awaken’ the Lancaster District Team can be contacted directly on  01253 477261  or email

The Duo Back in Town for Lancaster Music Festival

Ello, ello, ello, what do we 'ave 'ere? Another Duo gig? Yes it is! Hooray and hooray again! Cheers and whoops of joy resound along the Lune Valley...

The Duo - From Folk to Floyd comprise singers and guitarists Dave Emptage and Tony Cooke, offering an evening of varied music and songs on Saturday 10 October 2015 at The George and Dragon, St George's Quay, Lancaster from 9.00pm onwards.

"We plan to perform some songs that we haven't performed for years'n'years, and some that we've never performed before," singer and guitarist Tony Cooke - a veritable veteran of the Lancaster music scene, who was instrumental (geddit?) in bring live music to lancaster's pub scene way back in the 1970s.

"Why not come along and see how we fare? You'll like it, you really will.

As you may know, Saturday 10th October is right in the middle of the seventh Lancaster Music Festival. There's live music in over 40 venues around the town from Thursday 8th to Monday 12th - have a look at the official website and be boggled.

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, of course, that The Duo gig is the most important of the Festival," Tony tells us (and we just know he's grinning as he says that), "but here is a list of some friends who are also contributing to the festival: Section will be playing rock'n'roll at the George and Dragon, Bootstraps doing some 50's R'nB at the Stonewell and Clever Trevor (Dave's other band) performing Madness and Ian Dury songs at the Golden Lion - all these on Friday evening, so that's my pub-crawl sorted out!

"Mick Taylor will be playing classical guitar at the Assembly Rooms on Saturday afternoon; and on Sunday afternoon you can catch the mighty Batala (samba drum band) and the incomparable Five In A Bar (women's accapella choir) performing at open air venues."

• Check out the full Lancaster Music Festival line-up at - and check out a very small clip of The Duo below!

Atticus Books backs Lancaster Music Festival

Atticus, Lancaster's independent bookshop on King Street, has joined over 40 venues across the city supporting this weekend's Lancaster Music Festival. If you're interested in any events, email the shop at to book - or just pop in!

On Thursday the 8th October from 7.00pm - 9.00pm, the bookshop will screen the movie Jalanan, the first time it has been shown outside London. Jalnaan (meaning "Streetside” in Bahasa, Indonesia) is an award-winning 2013 feature-length Indonesian documentary film directed and produced by Daniel Ziv and featuring Jakarta street musicians Bambang "Ho" Mulyono, Titi Juwariyah and Boni Putera.

The movie follows the three musicians as they perform songs on Jakarta's commuter buses, clash with the law and confront the tumultuous politics of modern-day Indonesia. It follows them back to their home villages in East Java and traces their quest for legitimacy, identity and love in their adopted city of Jakarta.

On Friday, from 11.00 pm to Midnight the bookshop hosts Arbie Jay's Midnight Blues. Arbie plays an amazing steel resonator guitar and will be singing his own songs and classic blues. This was very popular last year so email Atticus to reserve a place.

From 12.15 - 1.00pm there's a guest appearance by Electratticus, an event that is selling out fast and, later in the day an as-yet-unnanounced replacement for Beth Murray who has unfortunately had to cancel her appearance. Why not drop by and find out.

The day will round off with an appearance by Ratticus, from 11.00 pm til midnight.

It's all great fun at a quirky venue - Lancaster at its best! Why not give it a try...