Saturday, 10 December 2016

Police appeal after Carnforth crash

Police are appealing for witnesses following a serious collision in Carnforth on Thursday (8th December 2016).

At around 1.15pm an 18-year-old learner driver in a Citroen C1 was waiting to turn right from the A6 at the junction of Tarn Lane and Nineteen Acre Lane when a Mercedes C180 saloon car collided with the back of it.

The Citroen ended up on the opposite side of the road, into the path of an oncoming Ford Focus which in turn ended up in a field.

The rear seat passenger of the Citroen, a 53-year-old man from Silverdale, was taken to Royal Preston Hospital with broken ribs, a fractured pelvis, spinal injuries and a dislocated hip.

The driver of the Mercedes, a 73-year-old woman from Haversham, suffered a broken wrist and the Focus driver, a 61-year-old woman from Lancaster was left with a cut to her lip.

Sgt Lee Campbell from the Road Policing Unit said: “We need anyone who may witnessed anything but hasn’t spoken to us yet to come forward.

“If you think you can help, please call us on 101 quoting incident number 699 of 8th December.”

The road was closed for over three hours whilst officers investigated.

Life Sentence for Lancaster Rapist

A man has been given a life sentence for raping a student after a night out in Lancaster.

David Watters, 32, of no fixed address was found guilty of the offence following a trial at Preston Crown Court last month and was sentenced on Friday.

He was jailed for life and must serve a minimum term of five years before he can apply for parole.

On Thursday 28th April this year, the 20-year-old victim had been on a night out in Lancaster with a friend and met Watters who was with a man he had met that evening.

The group of four went back to a house on Coulston Road but the victim took herself off to bed to go to sleep, leaving the rest of the group in the kitchen. A short while later, Watters sought out the victim’s bedroom and subjected her to a serious sexual assault.

DS Fiona Jackson from Lancaster CID said: “I am pleased with today’s result and hope that the victim can now start to move forward with her life

“Watters deliberately made his way into the victim’s bedroom knowing she was asleep and proceeded to rape her. I praise her for the strength she has shown during this investigation, in particular in giving evidence at court.”

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Local Cinema Round-up for the 7th to 15th December, 2016

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.

We have only two new releases making it to the local screens during this period. There is the musical documentary Gimme Danger (15) featuring the band The Stooges and a Star Wars based adventure Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (PG).

Films that have come to an end of their screening include A Street Cat Named Bob and Doctor Strange. However by way of compensation, we see the return of Inferno; Ouija: Origin of Evil; Storks and The Secret Life of Pets.

Romance on offer this period includes the forbidden love in A United Kingdom and the wartime Allied.

Drama comes with the action/suspensel Inferno; aviation adventure in Scully: Miracle on the Hudson and the dark The Innocents. In addition there is science fiction action in Arrival and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Horror returns with Ouija: Origin of Evil and fantasy is represented by Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Adult humour this period comes with Bad Santa 2 and Office Christmas Party.

Family movies on offer include Ice Age: Collision Course; Moana; Storks; and Trolls.

Film of note that are being screened include the classic White Christmas and In the Heat of the Night, both being shown at the Dukes. Also the Vue are offering another family treat with Little Screen December Show.

For high culture during this period we have the Opera Madame Butterfly; ballet with The Nutcracker and National Theatre Live: No Man's Land.


A United Kingdom
Director: Amma Asante
Certificate: 12A
Cast includes: David Oyelowo Rosamund Pike
Based on the book 'Colour Bar' by Susan Williams, the film is a romantic drama based on the real life romance between Sir Seretse Khama, king of Botswana and Ruth Williams. Seretse and Ruth met in London, in the 1940's, fell in love and subsequently married. However the marriage was opposed by their families, the couple becoming ostracised by their friends. Governments were also involved as South Africa had recently introduced their system of apartheid and they pressured the British government with threats of economic sanctions if the marriage was allowed to go ahead. This is a fine period romance with excellent costumes, impressive cinematography and exotic backdrops. The film concentrates on the human drama faced by the couple and rather glosses over the political complexities, but it is not the worse for that. The movie has received good reviews.

Bad Santa 2
Director: Mark Waters
Certificate: 15
Cast Includes: Billy Bob Thornton, Tony Cox, Kathy Bates, Brett Kelly
A sequel to the 2003 movie 'Bad Santa', starring many of the original cast. Wilie Soke (Thornton) again plays the role of drunk, lecherous and greedy anit-hero. He teams up with his helper Marcus (Cox) to attempt to rob a Chicago charity of $2 million on Christmas eve. Also involved in the scheme is Soke's foul mouthed mother Sunny (Bates) and 'the kid' from the first movie Thurmon Merman (Brett Kelly) now fully grown but no less innocent. The movie contains much bad language and sex scenes as it tries to recapture the magic of the original. However there are fewer 'laugh out loud' moments amongst the rather muddled plot. An average movie which received mixed reviews.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Director: David Yates
Certificate: 12A
Cast includes: Eddie Redmayne, Samantha Morton, Ezra Miller, Johnny Depp, Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol, Colin Farrell
This is a Harry Potter prequel, inspired by J K Rowling's book of the same name. The movie is set in the 1920's, where Newt Scamander is a magizoologist, collecting and studying magical creatures. He visits New Your City where several of these creatures escape from his suitcase. He collects about him a group of allies to try to recapture the beasts. However New York at this time has been under a reign of terror from the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Depp) and in the era of suspicion the creatures are believed to be responsible for an attack. Hence Percival Graves (Farrell), a director of magical secrets, declares war on Scamander and his helpers. This is a wonderful film and a fine tribute to the creativity of Rawlings. There are lots of plots, strange people and weird and wonderful beasts. The movie has received favourable reviews, but is perhaps a little darker than the Harry Potter series.

Ice Age: Collision Course
Director: Mike Thurmeier and Galen T Chu
Cast includes: Simon Pegg, Roy Romano, Jennifer Lopez, Queen Latifah, Hohn Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Chris Wedge
A computer animation family adventure film. This is the fifth instalment in the Ice Age series and the sequel to Continental Drift. Scratt (Wedge), the sabre toothed squirrel, activates an alien UFO in his continued pursuit of the acorn. The craft propels Scratt into outer space and thence causes a planetary collision resulting in the creation of meteors that threaten to engulf the earth. Manny (Romero) the Wooly Mammoth, Sid (Leguizamo) the sloth and Diego (Leary) the sabre toothed tiger hatch a plan with the weasel Buck (Pegg) to save the earth. The plot is quite unbelievable, but the resulting mayhem is as entertaining as ever. New characters are introduced as the movie unfolds and the film a worthy addition to the franchise. Whats not to like?

Director: Ron Clements and John Musker
Certificate: PG
Cast includes: Auli'i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson
A Walt Disney animated fantasy adventure. Moana (Cravalho) is the teenage daughter of the chief of a Polynesian island. However the fish and island produce become less abundant and hence Moana undertakes a nautical quest to find the magical amulet Te Fiti's heart and the demigod Maui (Johnson). The quest involves monsters and battles This is a magical film, with music, comedy and a good dose of adventure. It is extremely well produced and has received excellent reviews from both critics and audience. A must see movie for all ages.

Director: Nicholas Stoller, Doug Sweetland
Certificate: U
Cast Includes: Kelsey Grammer, Andy Samberg, Katie Crown, Anton Starkman
Conerstone used to be in the business of delivering babies and most of its employees are stalks. However CEO stalk Hunter (Grammer) discontinued the service for the more lucrative business of delivering parcels. The business receives a letter from Nate (Starkman) a neglected boy who wants a baby brother and Tulip (Crown), a woman working for Cornerstone, causes the baby machine to create a girl in response to the letter. Now Tulip and her stork friend Junior (Samberg) must deliver the baby before Hunter finds out. This involves their facing a pack of wolves, militant penguins and an avalanche. This is a bizarre, non stop and fun packed movie that will appeal to all ages. It has been well received by the critics and is sure to please.

The Secret Life of Pets
Director: Chris Renaud, Yarrow Cheney
Certificate: U
Cast Includes: Louis C.K., Ellie Kemper, Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart
A family animation film that follows the lives of pets living in a Manhattan apartment building during the time their owners leave them alone. Max (Louis) is a rather spoilt terrier who starts to find himself neglected when his owner Katie (Kemper) brings home Duke (Stonestreet), a mongrel, from a dog pound. However the two dogs must put their rivalry behind them when they are captured by Snowball (Hart) a rabbit and an army of abandoned pets who are trying to get back at all happily owned pets and their owners. This is a delightful and energetic animation movie that is inoffensive and fun for all, young and old.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Pedalling and paddling: two climate stories from Lancaster

Pedalling and Paddling is a new film that documents the escape of seven cyclists from Lancaster as the flood waters rose in December 2015.

Created by Lauren Walker, the film, which will be shown at The Storey on Thursday 15th December, pulls together local flood stories with the cyclists' journey to Paris for the Conference of Parties on Climate Change (COP21). It encourages the viewer to reflect on the need for meaningful action on climate change and what this might involve.

The screening is a chance to mark the anniversary of Lancaster’s floods, and explore what we could be doing locally to tackle the issue of climate change.

Last December, seven cyclists from Lancaster joined a mass five day cycle ride from London to Paris for the UN 21st Conference of Parties on Climate Change (COP21). They joined 150 other cyclists in crossing France to demonstrate how another world is possible - one where complete strangers can come together and support each other in crossing a country by pedal power and raise awareness of the issue of climate change.

But as they left Lancaster, Storm Desmond hit and the lights went out for more than 42,000 houses locally.

Anna Clayton, one of the cyclists stated “Although the COP21and the recent COP22 in Marakesh are steps in the right direction, and do aim to keep warming to below two degrees Celsius, they are weak. International climate agreements have failed to curb fossil fuel consumption and demonstrate that local initiatives such as divesting from fossil fuels and establishing local energy cooperatives and food and transport systems remain a key route to tackling climate change.

"By working together to oppose new fossil fuel infrastructure and the money that funds similar polluting industries, local communities have an opportunity to create the world that they want to see. Come and be part of this conversation locally on the 15th December 2016.”

“I believe we can all play our small part," added Anne Jarvis, "and I'm interested in helping build a community here in Lancaster and Morecambe that supports one another in the face of changing economic and climate change. I'm keen to find innovative ways to address the global issues that affect us locally.”

Tickets £3 - to cover the costs of room hire.

• To find out more see:

• Time to Cycle website:

Lancaster's new Park and Ride opens on Friday with free parking

People will be able to park for free at Lancaster's new Park and Ride service when it first opens to encourage drivers to give it a try - and appeal to Christmas shoppers who want to avoid potential city centre congestion.

The new facility at junction 34 of the M6 has been delivered as part of the Bay Gateway project, which provides a direct link from the motorway to the Heysham peninsula.

The 650-space site is due to open on Friday 9th December, with the first bus leaving for Lancaster at 6.50am.

Pay and display facilities will be installed in February 2017. However, until then, parking will be free, giving people the chance to pay just £1.50 for a return bus ticket, or use the site at no cost to park and cycle, walk, or car-share.

County Councillor John Fillis, Lancashire County Council cabinet member for highways and transport, said: "The new Park and Ride is a key feature of the Bay Gateway and aims to boost Lancaster's economy by improving access to the city, and reducing congestion which also has wider environmental benefits.

"Parking at the site will be convenient for people who want to use the bus, or the River Lune Cycleway to complete their journey. It's also a good place to meet for anyone who wants to car share on their way into Lancaster.

"Parking will be free to begin with, which we hope will be a good incentive for people to start using the Park and Ride. With less than two weeks to go until Christmas, the timing is particularly good for people who are visiting the centre of Lancaster for shopping or social events.

"The Park and Ride will continue to offer good value when we begin charging to park in February, with all-day parking available for just £1, and £1.50 for a return ticket on the bus."

The Park and Ride will operate from Monday to Saturday, with buses running every 30 minutes between the Park and Ride and Lancaster Bus Station via George Street. On weekdays, services will begin at 6.50am at the Park and Ride, with the last service back to the site leaving Lancaster Bus Station at 7.35pm. On Saturdays the first bus leaving the Park and Ride will be at 7.50am, with the last return service leaving Lancaster Bus Station at 6.35pm.

When fully up and running, people will be able to pay and display to park, or pay on their mobile phones. There will also be a variety of ticketing options, including a weekly ticket for £6, a family day ticket (up to 2 adults for 3 children) for £3, and a group day ticket (up to 4 adults travelling together) for £4 . Facilities include a fully enclosed bus shelter with seating and CCTV security.

The site will be open 24-hours a day so will also be ideal for people wanting to car share to longer distances, without needing to worry about their car being locked in. Whilst no buses will operate on a Sunday, the site will be open making it a good option for anyone who wants to cycle or walk along the river Lune.

County Councillor Fillis added: "At first buses will run from the Park and Ride every 30 minutes, which is the longest anyone will have to wait. This is the level of service we can afford at the moment but we're already exploring opportunities to fund more frequent services.

"The Park and Ride is an excellent facility which will complement one of the benefits provided by the Bay Gateway in reducing congestion in Lancaster. The proposals outlined in our Highways and Transport Masterplan for Lancaster show how we will work to build on this in the future by managing city centre traffic more closely to ensure Lancaster continues to be a great place to live and work."