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November 2008

John Kierdie Watson: A Tribute

Many people in Lancaster have been shocked and saddened to hear of the death of John Kierdie Watson, who was for many years a Trades Unionist in the NHS who fought to defend public services and workers' rights.

Local Publisher Seeks Submissions

Local publisher Flax, which is back by Lancaster Litfest, is gearing up for new series of digital anthologies to be published throughout 2009, and they're hoping they'll build on the success of past anthologies and cement our recent experiments.

Bringing the House Down - Literally!

Going, going, gone! Workers this week demolished a house on the corner of Torrisholme and Oxford Roads in Skerton to make way for a larger BP garage. Planning permission was granted some time ago. Demolition and construction work is expected to take a month.

Government, Business Brace for North West Downturn

Minister for the North West Beverley Hughes has met business leaders from across the North West to spell out the measures being taken by the Government to ensure that the region emerges from the economic downturn stronger than before and to listen to their concerns.

Looking Back on Poulton's Past

Take a glimpse of Morecambe’s past with the ‘Looking back on Poulton-le-Sands Calendar 2009’. Poulton Neighbourhood Management, a Lancaster City Council regeneration scheme, has produced a calendar for 2009 with a collection of photographs from Poulton’s past.

Train Strain: Smith Challenges Hoon

The Secretary of State for the Department for Transport Geoff Hoon has agreed to meet with Morecambe and Lunesdale MP Geraldine Smith to discuss changes to local train times which could see commuters forced back onto Lancaster's already congested network.

Tod's Talk on Art at the Storey

The Storey Institute has been a bit of a Lancaster gem for a long time, providing the people of Lancaster with creative inspiration in one way or another for over a hundred years. For the past 12 months however, this colossal Victorian monument to art, learning, and all things which generally make us much more interesting people, has been clad in a skeleton of scaffolding.

Strictly Eleveneses with Ludus at The Borough!

Ludus Dance and The Borough in Dalton Square have teamed up to offer three brand new exciting Wednesday dance classes in Lancaster from early next year. All of the new classes - Ludus Elevenses, Active Lunch and Boogie Nights - will take place in The Borough's function room every Wednesday from 14th January 2009 onwards.

Putting the Spotlight on North West Food

Home Grown: Food Champions of England's Northwest, a new book highlighting the renaissance of English provincial food and featuring stories and recipes from local chefs and producers, is published this month. The 400-page coffee table publication tells the story of how some of the region’s chefs, who are passionate about local and regional food, have led a Northwest ‘food revolution’.

Free Reed Band at the Gregson

Top Lancaster folk group The Free Reed Band has announced that its former caller, Mark Davies, latterly of Hungary and now of Libya, will call at a ceilidh with the band at the Gregson Centre next month. The ceildh will take place on Monday 29 December 2008 from 8.00pm to 11.00pm and the night of dancing will only cost you £5.00.

New university campaign to tackle obesity

The University of Cumbria is representing the UK in a pan-European campaign to tackle child and adolescent obesity. The project, “In Form: campaign against child and adolescent obesity”, will take place over the next three years and has received funding from the European Union’s Public Health Programme.

Free Teaching Taster courses at the University of Cumbria

The University of Cumbria is holding a free three-day introduction to teaching course from the 25 to 27 November at the Lancaster Campus. The course will focus on three areas which are under represented in the teaching profession including black and minority ethnic recruitment into teaching, secondary (STEM) shortage subjects and attracting men into primary teaching.

Talking Birds at the Nuffield

Pioneering theatre company Talking Birds come to the Nuffield, Lancaster this December with a funny, musical, slightly chaotic Christmas show for those who like their seasonal fare skewed and a little bit heartbreaking Trevor Goose and his Dark Night of Lights attempts to tell the story of The Little Matchgirl, but internal difficulties with the band - Hans Christian and the Andersons – as well...

'Christmas Collection' Exhibition in Kirkby Lonsdale

Some of the region's most excellent artists are exhibiting at Finestra Gallery in Kirkby Lonsdale this Christmas, as the gallery celebrates its fifth year. William H Jones has completed new paintings exclusively for this exhibition comprising Kirkby Lonsdale winter scenes, including one of the Town Square (right).

In Pictures: Sleeping Beauty at The Dukes

Here are some images from the The Dukes new show, Sleeping Beauty, which opens tonight, 21st November, and runs until 3rd January.

Green Fair Date Ste

This year's Green Fair will take place on Saturday 29th November from 10-4.00pm at the Friends Meeting House in Lancaster. There will be the usual selection of stalls, food and Father Chrismas in his grotto. Music will be provided by a number of local artists - including vocals and guitar from Pat Simmons and Rashid Winter on Spanish guitar.

Learn to Cycle' Courses for Youngsters

Parents who are thinking of buying their youngsters a new bike for Christmas might want to take advantage of the Lancaster City Council's 'Learn to Cycle' sessions taking place in January.

Guardian Readers Caught in Traffic

The national Guardian published a piece on moving to Lancaster last weekend, claiming one local described the town as the "Brighton of the north" (a claim usually reserved for Morecambe, so I imagine Councillor Sands will be having words). "Lancaster has that right combo of heritage and heresy," wrote Tom Dyckhoff.

Celebrate Lancashire Day

Lancaster City Council's Visitor Information Centres will celebrate all things Lancashire later this month by giving away free key rings and pens.

Unmasking the region’s Green Heroes

The search is on for environmentally conscious companies from across Lancashire as the Northwest Business Environment Awards (NWBEA) 2009 sets out to unmask our green heroes from industry that are putting the environment at the heart of their company’s success.

Witches and Greeks Storm The Dukes!

As the final touches of Christmas magic are added to its upcoming festive show Sleeping Beauty, The Dukes has announced its new Spring season of touring and Home Grown work, which includes a dramatic new tale based on the famous Pendle Witches and an outdoor adventure in Williamson Park with Jason and the Argonauts.

Cycling Survey Launched -- win a hamper!

Lancaster City Council is asking for just a few minutes of your time in return for the chance of winning a Booths luxury Christmas hamper full of delicious local food and drink worth £100.

Top ABBA tribute band comes to The Dome

Voulez Vous, one of the UK’s greatest and best loved Abba tribute bands will be playing at the Morecambe Dome on Saturday 29 November. Voulez Vous promise an evening of pure Abba nostalgia, with a glittering array of costumes and one of the most stunning light shows and stage sets touring today.

Spotlight on Spotlight at the Yorkshire House

There’s another powerful line-up of poetry and music on offer at this month’s Spotlight Club (Friday 21 November) at the Yorkshire House, Lancaster, with some of the area’s top-notch writer’s and performers. Poet Marvin Cheeseman (www.marvincheeseman.com) made his debut as a comedy performance poet in 1998 at Manchester’s Frog and Bucket comedy club.

Ice Skate in Morecambe this Christmas

An open air ice rink will transform Morecambe into a winter wonderland this Christmas, so get your woolly hats, scarves and mittens on and glide around the (synthetic) ice, pretending you are the next Torvill or Dean.

Continental Market comes to Lancaster

Lancaster’s Market Square will play host to a visiting continental market from 21 to 23 November. On offer will be gourmet treats including French cheeses, Spanish paella, German sausages, Pyrenees jam, garlic prawns and potatoes, crepes and much more. A selection of non-food products on offer including lavender, amber jewellery and porcelain from Limoge, will also be on offer.

Santa's in Morecambe - and Lancaster!

Santa popped into Morecambe’s Festival Market this week to prepare for the opening of his grotto on the weekend of 29 and 30 November between 10am and 4.00pm. For just £1 children will be able to meet the great man and receive a special Christmas gift.

Free Parking for Christmas

Local shoppers will be able to enjoy free parking at selected times in Lancaster and Morecambe in the run up to Christmas. On Sundays between 16 November and 28 December there will be free parking at all of Lancaster City Council’s pay and display car parks in Lancaster and Morecambe. There will also be free parking for anyone coming into Lancaster to enjoy late night Thursday shopping.

Did the Councils Fireworks Light Your Fire?

Lancaster City Council has launched an online consultation to find out people’s views on this year’s Fireworks Spectacular. The annual event went off with a bang on Saturday when thousands of people braved the rain to watch the biggest and best display in the event’s 16 year history.

‘Hamlet’ Runner Up for Major Fringe Theatre Award

Local theatre company demi-paradise's production of Hamlet at Lancaster Castle this spring was runner up for the 2008 Equity Ensemble Award, part of the long established Peter Brook/Empty Space Awards. The prize was won by Battersea Arts Centre (BAC) for its multi-media national touring production of ‘1927’.

Give What You Can, Take What You Need

In the lead-up to new show Dinner With America, showing at Lancaster University's Nuffield Theatre 29th 30th November, London based artist Rajni Shah delivers a free participatory experience in the centre of Lancaster.

When is a Local paper No Longer Local?

American-owned free paper Lancaster and Morecambe Citizen is closing its office and moving all but one of its staff out of Lancaster to different areas. The office closure means the paper will no longer have an editor of its own but will instead sell advertising to hard-pressed Lancaster businesses from outside the area.

Livewire - AC/DC Tribute at The Platform

AC/DC tribute band Livewire will be performing at the Platform on Friday, 21 November. Livewire have established themselves as the hardest working AC/DC show in the UK, as well as being unique due to having both the Bon Scott and Brian Johnson eras portrayed by two individual singers in the same two hour plus performance.

Big Girls Don't Cry

A tribute to Franki Valli and the Four Seasons by The East Coast Boys will take place at the Platform on Saturday 22nd November. As the lead singer of the Four Seasons, Franki Valli had a string of hits beginning with number one hit 'Sherry' in 1962.

The Drawer Boy

by Michael Healey Farnham Maltings(in association with Theatre Passe Muraille and Yvonne Arnaud Theatre) The Drawer Boy is the story of Morgan (Ian Blower) and Angus (Mick Stroebel), World War 2 veterans who just manage to make a living on their farm, Morgan looking after Angus whose memory has virtually been destroyed by shrapnel.

Local MEP supports an end to fish discards

The current measures to try and help ailing cod stocks to recover have had a disastrous knock on effect of the entire whitefish fishing fleet, local MEP Sir Robert Atkins said earlier today.

Transition City Event

Transition City Lancaster, a local group inspired by the now worldwide Transition Town movement, is inviting everyone from the Lancaster area to particpate and share their experiences and ideas about how best we can meet the challenges of creating a sustainable city in the face of rising energy costs, shrinking fossil fuel supplies, increasing climate change and tightening economic conditions.

Survive and Thrive in the Recession

The Green Party's economics spokesperson Molly Scott Cato will be giving a talk entitled Surviving and Thriving in a Recession at the Borough Pub, Dalton Square, Lancaster on Tuesday 11th November at 7.30pm.