Friday, 30 October 2015

Police appeal after Lancaster Dance Studio set ablaze

Police are appealing for information after a suspected arson attack at a former dance studio in Lancaster.

Between 3.15pm and 3.30pm on Thursday, October 29, a large fire started inside The Dance Studio in Lodge Street.

The incident caused substantial damage with several fire crews called to put out the blaze.

Police believe the fire was started deliberately and are asking for witnesses to come forward following the incident.

PC Hannah Brew of Lancaster Police said: “One witness has seen a group of around six youths aged between 14 to 16-years-old running from the area but we currently have no CCTV to support this so do not know whether they were involved or not.

“There were however a lot of people in the area at the time who may have witnessed something.”

Anyone with information can contact police on 101 quoting crime reference number WB1508843.

Alternatively, you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at

Police Appeal after Morecambe Burglary and Assault

Police are appealing for information following a robbery at a house in Morecambe.  

The incident happened at around 7.45pm on Monday 26th October, when two men forced their way into a 77 year old man’s address on St Oggs Road. A neighbour of the victim, a 65-year-old man, witnessed the two men going into the property and went round to confront them. He was then seriously assaulted by one of the men who was armed with a socket wrench. 

The offenders then stole a tin of money from the elderly victim’s bedroom before leaving the address.

The man’s neighbour sustained a deep laceration to his head as a result of the attack which required hospital treatment.

One of the offenders is described as white, approximately 6ft, aged in his mid-twenties and was wearing a dark coat with the hood pulled up. The other is described as white, approximately 5ft 5in and was also wearing dark clothing with the hood pulled up and a pair of gloves.

DC Kate Foley of Lancaster CID said: “This incident has left the elderly victim very shaken and the man’s neighbour suffered a nasty cut to his head after confronting the two offenders. I would appeal to anyone who has any information about what happened or who may have seen the two offenders in the St Oggs Road or Westgate areas around the time of the incident to get in touch.”

Anyone with information can contact police on 101 quoting crime reference WB1508755.

Renwed Appeal for Wanted Halton Man

Jonathan Hunt

Detectives trying to trace a man who is still wanted for failing to appear at court have issued a fresh appeal for information on his whereabouts.

Jonathan Hunt, 37, whose last known address was Rowan Bank, Halton, Lancaster, is wanted after he failed to appear at Preston Crown Court on July 16th for sentencing in relation to possession of drugs with intent to supply. 

He is described as white, of a medium build, with short dark brown hair and a tattoo to the right side of his neck.

He is known to have links to Lancaster, Morecambe and Carnforth. Police last issued an appeal in August.

DS 2358 Martin Foley of Lancaster Police said: “We are continuing our search for Hunt and we need the public’s help in locating him. If anyone has seen him or has any information on his whereabouts then please get in touch with us as soon as possible.”

• Anyone with information on his whereabouts can contact us on 01524 596643 or on 101 quoting crime reference WB1501518. Alternatively Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555111 or online at

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Local Cinema Round-Up for the 28th October to 5th November 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.

There is little change in the cinema listings during this period, with just one new release making it to local screens. This is the comedy horror Scout's Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse (15). Films The Intern and The Walk have both been pulled from the screens and it is likely that Sicario is coming to the end of its season. However we do see the return of the action movie Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation.

Films coming soon include The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 due to be released in mid November and Star Wars: The Force Awakens coming in mid December.

There is a great selection of occult movies on at the moment with the fright filled Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension, the stylish Crimson Peak and fantasy action with The Last Witch Hunter. For more day-to-day drama, James Bond in Spectre has been attracting good reviews, as has the science fiction adventure The Martian.

For great family entertainment there is Hotel Transylvania 2; Paper Planes; the loveable Minions and the prequel Pan.

High culture is rather scarce this week, with Macbeth being the only entry in this category.


Crimson Peak
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Certificate: 15
Cast includes: Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska
The film opens in the 1900s with Edith Cushing (Wasikowska), an aspiring novelist from a wealthy family, living in New York. She is wooed by an English aristocrat Thomas Sharpe (Hiddleston) and Edith subsequently marries him. Thomas takes her to his home Allerdale Hall, a gothic mansion set on Crimson Peak, a mound of red clay. Here Edith must live with her new husband and his sister Lucille (Chastain). However Edith starts to uncover secrets within the house. This is a glorious, stylistic, sumptuous, costume drama sort of of a horror movie, though the film provides suspense rather than horror. A well made and very watchable film.

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.

Director: Pierre Coffin, Kyle Balda
Certificate: U
Cast Includes: Sandra Bullock, Michael Keaton, Steve Coogan, Jennifer Saunders.
The film is both a spin off and a prequel to the Despicable Me franchise. The Minions have always existed on earth and the movie begins by tracing their evolution. They have the purpose of serving the most despicable of masters though not very successfully. The race finally retired to the Antarctic where they fare badly. Hence Minions Kevin, Stuart and Bob decide to seek a new master for their race to work for. In a villain convention in Orlando they decide to serve the supervillain Scarlet Overkill (Bullock) who is planning to overthrow the Queen of England and the film, using skits and Musical numbers, follows this plot. The Minions were the best part of the Despicable Me franchise and so it is fitting that they have their own film. The movie is very entertaining, inoffensive and funny and will delight all ages. However this reviewer would have liked more minions and fewer supervillains.

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Certificate: 12A
Cast includes: Tom Cruise, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson
This is the fifth in the Mission Impossible series. The Impossible Mission Force (IMF) has been disbanded. Ethan Hunt (Cruse) must assemble a team and join forces with an ex British agent Iisa Faust (Ferguson) in order to fight 'The Syndicate', a group who are mounting terrorist attacks in order to bring about a new world order. This is arguably the best action film of the year with plenty of special effects and some violence. However the whole has a light hearted tone and contains a good deal of humour. A witty and very entertaining movie.

Director: Joe Wright
Certificate: PG
Cast Includes: Hugh Jackman, Levi Miller, Amanda Seyfried, Kathy Burke, Garrett Hedlund
A prequel to the story of Peter Pan. Peter (Miller) is abandoned by his mother and brought up in an orphanage run by Mother Barnabus (Burke). He is captured by pirates and taken to the magical world of Neverland where he is forced into slave labour by Bluebeard (Jackman). Peter and his friend James Hook (Hedlund) manage to escape to the forest where Peter befriends the fairy Tinker Bell. The fairies fight and defeat the pirates and Hook becomes captain of the Jolly Roger ship. A rather bland and somewhat contrived movie.

Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension
Director: Gregory Plotkin
Certificate: 15
Cast includes: Chris Murray, Brit Shaw, Ivy George, Dan Gill
This is the sixth instalment in the Paranormal Activity series and it opens with a scene from Paranormal Activity 3. Ryan Fleege (Murray) moves into a new home in California along with his wife Emily (Shaw), daughter Leila (George) and his brother Mike (Gill). The two brothers discover a box of old VHS tapes filmed by a previous inhabitant of the property, starring two girls Katie and Kristi. These girls start to communicate with the current family by means of the TV set and various supernatural phenomena manifest within the house. Ryan brings in a priest to perform an exorcism, but things don't go to plan, leading to an unsettling conclusion.

Director: Sam Mendes
Certificate: 12A
Cast includes: Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes, Christopher Waltz, Andrew Scott
The latest James Bond Movie. M engages in a political battle to keep the secret service, in the light of a plan by Max Denbigh (Scott) to replace the 00 program with computer surveillance. Bond meanwhile is trying to locate Franz Oberhauser (Waltz), the suspected head of the evil organisation 'Spectre'. The movie starts in Mexico during the Day of the dead celebrations and thence the action continues in London, Rome and Morocco. There are numerous over the top action sequences, car chases, a good assortment of scary villains and exotic love interest. However amid this harshness, the movie contains a good level of humour. Tension builds from the very start, though some of this starts to dissipate as the film progresses. This is James Bond from the classic mould and Daniel Craig delivers a great performance.

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.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Woman, 22, injured after Lancaster collision

Police are appealing for information after a moped driver suffered a foot injury following a collision in Lancaster. Around 4.30pm on 21st October, officers were called to Westbourne Road after reports a woman had been injured following a collision.

 The 22-year-old female had been riding the vehicle when a car, believed to be a dark green BMW, pulled out of Station Road, running over her foot. The woman suffered minor injuries and was treated at hospital.

 Anyone with information is asked to contact Lancashire Police on 101 quoting reference 0989 of 21st October.

 Alternatively, they can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

Victorian Value at Judges' Lodgings Christmas Festival!

Lancaster's Judges' Lodgings Museum will be open for a very special weekend in December, offering a Victorian Christmas Festival on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th December.

Decked with holly and filled with cheer, the house will be filled with the sights and sounds of a Victorian Christmas with traditional craft activities on offer for for the whole family to join in with and put you in the Christmas spirit.

Sounds like a great opportunity to join in with festive entertainments and enjoy the merriest of Yuletides.

• A Victorian Christmas Festival, The Judges Lodgings Museum, 12.00pm - 4.00pm Saturday 5th & Sunday 6th December 2015. Admission charges - Adults 3.00, Concessions 2.00, Children FREE (accompanied). Xplorer passes accepted. Booking for workshops is essential - ring 01524 32808 for further details.

There will be a charge of 1.00 per person for the workshops to cover the cost of materials. Access for wheel chairs and pushchairs is limited to the ground floor with access into the museum through the side entrance due to steps up to the main entrance. There is no lift in the building, therefore some workshops and rooms are only accessible by the stairs.

Beyond Radio community project launched appeal for funding

The team behind Beyond Radio, a project aiming to bring community radio back to Lancaster and Morecambe, have launched a crowdfunding appeal to raise £6500 to get it off the ground.

The aim is to open new FM and web radio project for Lancaster and Morecambe, bringing the local area a new, unique, community owned radio station, with a studio in Lancaster.

"Community Radio is a brilliant way of getting people talking at a local level," says a team spokesperson. "It’s a great outlet for the promotion of local music and material that wouldn’t otherwise get radio airplay. It’s a fabulous resource for the exploration of the issues that effect local people, giving everyone an equal chance to express their views, criticisms and support.

"Community Radio is often the only way that ordinary people with little or no experience of the broadcast media can find a way into broadcasting and we will be offering people the opportunity to do just that."

The crowd funding launch has been prompted after the team got the opportunity to build a studio in one of two possible venues.

"We met with a number of organisation this week who we feel could help us move forward with the space at Lancaster railway station as we consider developing our studio there," says Duncan Moore, CEO of Proper Community Media (Lancaster) Ltd, and one of the people instrumental in developing Lancaster's previous community radio station, Diversity FM.

"This was very positive and we are awaiting some feedback but it is looking like this could now become a real possibility in the near future. We have some planning consent hoops to jump through but we've now begun this process. It does depend on funding though.

"We've also made contact with a local pub owner who is sympathetic and says there is potential space available to us at one of his venues and we are just waiting to meet up to look at the space and get more details about this."

The chance of studio space means the Beyond Radio project, which has hosted several fund raising events, has come to a crossroads with regards to committing to launch.

"We need to bring in funding before we commit to expenditure in relation to the station launch," says Duncan in an appeal on the group's Facebook page. "We have some funding in the bank but nowhere near what we nee to take us up to launch and beyond. We have launched a crowdfunding site in order to try and get wider public funding.

"Community Radio is perfect for our district. We have a wonderfully diverse population and an exceptional cultural output for such a small geographic area. Beyond Radio, as a community led and community serving resource, will be the ideal platform through which to celebrate the area’s broad diversity and cultural mix.

"But it goes further than that. We want to support other organisations in our district in the voluntary and charity sectors who are also in the business of helping people. We wish to give them a louder voice in the community, a new way of getting their information out there and helping make a difference to people’s lives."

The team are ready to go with the project and are confident they have the expertise and the enthusiasm - now all they need is some funding to get them to the next stage.

"We are committed long-term in keeping this project running and have been awarded a five-year FM broadcast licence from Ofcom on the strength of our business planning and our desire to bring this station to our district. It will take a lot of time and effort, not only from the board responsible for delivering the project, but for the many volunteers who will give up their time to run the station. As a not for profit company, there are no shareholders and no-one will be paid to work on the project, this is being done because we are passionate about what community radio can do for both individuals and the communities they live in.

"The station needs to get on air in order to attract the financial support through small scale targeted local advertising and grant funding which will sustain it in the future.

"It's a catch 22 situation.Without the start up funding we can't do what we need to to bring in the longer term funding. Our constitution doesn't allow the station to operate in financial deficit and so income through advertising and sponsorship and support from the community through our fundraising activities, from supportive businesses and other organisations is our only way of staying on air with a meaningful and relevant service.

"The £6,500 requested will cover the running costs of the station for the first 12 months.

"We hope you will support Beyond Radio as it plans to do just that, go Beyond radio."

• Check out the crowdfunding page at

• Beyond Radio Web Site: