This site is easier to read in landscape format on mobiles.

October 2009

In Review: Mixed Up North

Wednesday, October 28, 2009 - 23:06: Above: Rose Leslie, Asif Khan, Lorna Stuart and Stephanie Street in Mixed up North.

Top Classical Pianist Plays Lancaster

Tuesday, October 27, 2009 - 15:55: Internationally renowned pianist and composer Costas Fotopoulos will perform works by Beethoven, Chopin and Rachmaninov at a recital in Lancaster Cathedral early next month. London-based Costas works internationally as a composer and arranger for film, the stage and the concert hall, and as a concert, ensemble and jazz pianist.

Bins, Boxes and Fines

Monday, October 26, 2009 - 16:05: Local councilors have organised a public meeting to discuss how to improve waste collection and recycling activities in terraced streets with back alleys.

Suspected cocaine seized in Ryelands raids

Monday, October 26, 2009 - 15:43: Police have seized a quantity of suspected cocaine after carrying out drugs raids on the Ryelands estate in Lancaster. Officers swooped on the addresses in Ryelands Road, Austwick Road and Tarnsyke Road at 6.30pm on Friday to execute warrants, sexing suspected cocaine and drug dealing paraphernalia.

Herbal Medicine to be Outlawed?

Monday, October 26, 2009 - 14:44: New European Union regulations require all those who practice herbal medicine to be authorised persons and therefore state regulated practitioners from 2011, but Britain's the Department of Health consultation on implementing the Pitillo report is considering the rejection of state regulation of herbal practitioners, to both their dismay and the thousands who swear by their work.

Folk in November at the Robert Gillow

Monday, October 26, 2009 - 13:44: Here's the line up of folk music at Lancaster's Robert Gillow pub for November courtesy of local musician about town, Tony Cooke, which includes appearances by the superb Graham Robinson, pictured above. Thursday 5 November: Simon Nicholls Simon lives in Rugby and is a singer and guitarist of great repute who makes regular tours of Great Britain.

Thousands of Locals Still Not Registered to Vote

Monday, October 26, 2009 - 12:32: Time is running out to make sure that you are registered to vote, and the current postal strikes mean the Council is doing everything in its power to reach those who haven't registered, before it publishes its new Electoral Register on 1st December.

Hard Times Ahead for Council, Leader Warns

Monday, October 26, 2009 - 12:23: Lancaster City Council's leader Stuart Langhorn has warned the area faces more cuts to its services as public finances tighten. Writing on the new Council leader's blog, Langhorn notes that nationally the public finances are coming under "extensive scrutiny".

Recycle your Bicycle!

Monday, October 26, 2009 - 11:22: With Lancaster a designated Cycling Town and as more and more people in the Lancaster district catch the cycling bug, there's bound to be a greater demand for good quality bikes but at a low cost.

Bogus workman cons Lancaster pensioner out of £1,100

Monday, October 26, 2009 - 10:18: Local police are warning residents to be wary of cold callers after a bogus workman conned a pensioner out of £1,100. The 75-year-old woman was in the process of having some work done on her home in the Primrose area of Lancaster and was waiting for a genuine builder to arrive. A man then knocked at her door at around 1.30pm on Saturday 17th October and asked if she needed any jobs doing.

City Council Joins the 'Twits'!

Sunday, October 25, 2009 - 08:29: Lancaster City Council has launched two new digital services to keep the public up to date with its latest news and information. The council has joined the ‘micro blogging’ site Twitter, on which it will be posting its latest news. People can follow the council’s ‘tweets’ at

Motorists on Mobiles fined in police crackdown

Friday, October 23, 2009 - 17:42: A day-long crack down on motorists using mobile phones while driving has led to eleven people being fined by police in the Lancaster area. Road policing officers carried out the clamp down on mobile phone use as part of Operation Pathway, an ongoing force wide campaign that sees high profile action days being carried out with the aim of saving lives and protecting people on the county’s roads.

Mitchells Protest: Pictures

Friday, October 23, 2009 - 11:50: A group of local campaigners for more community-inspired development gathered outside Mitchells Brewery to protest at its planned demolition.

Williamson Park launches new children's activities

Friday, October 23, 2009 - 09:21: Lancaster's Williamson Park is launching a special four week ‘junior zoo keeper’ course, giving children aged 8 to 14 hands on experience of caring for the park’s collection of animals, insects and reptiles. The course will run on Sundays between 1st - 22nd November and costs £20. Bookings are also now being taken for children’s birthday parties at the park.

New Support for Local Business Start-Ups

Wednesday, October 21, 2009 - 17:54: Aspiring entrepreneurs in the Lancaster district can now take advantage of the Intensive Start-Up Support (ISUS) Programme, a free business support service that offers a combination of start-up advice, coaching support, networking opportunities and workshops.

Could Bats Save The Brewery?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009 - 13:07: As concerns and protest mount at local company Mitchells intentions to level the old Brewery on Lancaster's Brewery Lane, perhaps in the next two weeks (see news story), it's just possible local bats could fly into rescue the building ahead of the bulldozers.

Lancashire Songs and Stories at The Platform

Wednesday, October 21, 2009 - 12:37: Norman Prince and Paul Johnston will perform another evening of Lancashire songs and stories at Morecambe's The Platform venue on Friday 30th October. Norman Prince was the front man and leader of the country’s top comedy folk group, The Houghton Weavers, for over 24 years and his humour and tales were a major part of the Weavers’ success.

Take Up Swine Flu Vaccine, urges HPA

Wednesday, October 21, 2009 - 12:33: The Health Protection Agency North West is strongly recommending that anyone who is offered vaccination against H1N1v (swine flu), available from today, should seize the opportunity to protect themselves and their families from what has the potential to be a serious illness. “Most people with swine flu have comparatively mild symptoms and recover quickly," notes Dr.

Mitchells Brewery To Be Demolished?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009 - 16:43: virtual-lancaster has learnt that local company Mitchells has given notice to Lancaster City Council that it intends to demolish the old brewery off Lancaster's Moor Lane. The company does not require planning permission to demolish the premises.

Wildlife WATCH Is Coming To Morecambe Bay

Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - 15:54: A new Wildlife WATCH group, the junior section of the Wildlife Trusts, is being set up in Morecambe Bay. Wildlife WATCH groups are aimed at children between the ages of 8 and 13 years and children’s activities will be held at the Heysham Nature Reserve, close to the harbour and ferry port on Moneyclose Lane towards the Ocean Edge Morecambe Bay Leisure Park.

Top Author Faber joins Fall Celebration at litfest

Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - 14:53: Lancaster litfest has just announced that best-selling novelist and short story writer Michel Faber will be giving a rare reading at litfest, joining Niall Griffiths, Dave Simpson and Peter Wild for a night of fact and fiction on Saturday 17th October inspired by British band The Fall. Ever been held hostage in a dressing room with your parents?

In Review: Not The Jazz Festival

Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - 14:08: Humble Sam took in some jazz at the Gregson Community Centre last month - here's his review... After God gave man Classical music, God gave man Jazz music, but then issues developed in the world of finance, and Lancaster City Council found itself in a fiscal pickle and withdrew funding from Lancaster’s Jazz Festival.

Calendar Girls Star Celia Imrie at The Dukes

Monday, October 12, 2009 - 17:43: Film and television star Celia Imrie will be starring in Mixed Up North at The Dukes, Lancaster for one day only on Saturday 31st October. Well known for her work with Victoria Wood, including Dinnerladies, Celia has also made her mark in Kingdom and in films such as Calendar Girls, Bridget Jones and St Trinians.

20 Is Plenty: Curb Speed Limits Now, Say Greens

Monday, October 12, 2009 - 11:21: Lancaster's Green Party will be launching a campaign for 20mph speed limit on every residential road in the district at a public meeting on 21st October.

Someone Will Take the Chair at the Nuffield...

Friday, October 9, 2009 - 22:35: Lancaster University's Nuffield Theatre hosts a solo show with five performers on 21st October – four of which are audience members. Oliver Bray, known to Nuffield audiences from his work with Until Thursday Theatre Company is performing solo in a new work, Villa, based around a Russian family’s tragic story of loss.

Chamber Orchestra Launches New Uni Concert Season

Friday, October 9, 2009 - 22:26: The 41st season of the Lancaster International Concert Series opens with an enchanting concert from the Northern Chamber Orchestra later this month. The orchestra has developed a formidable reputation for its engaging and exciting concerts.

Singers Sought for New Dukes Show

Friday, October 9, 2009 - 22:16: Lancaster's Dukes theatre is on the lookout for singers to take part in a new and hilarious show that’s coming to the venue in November as part of a national tour. The Creative Learning Department are looking to bring together a choir of at least 30 singers to take part in Spymonkey’s Moby Dick, a glorious mis-telling of the Herman Melville novel.

All Ghouled Up for LitFest!

Friday, October 9, 2009 - 13:49: Above: The Litfest team pose in costumes from Lancaster's After Dark costume hire. Photo: Jonathan Bean. There'll be ghouls, monsters and mafiosi at litfest this year - watch out!

LitFest Special for Spotlight

Thursday, October 8, 2009 - 18:13: There's a powerful line-up of poetry and music on offer at this month’s regular Lancaster writing and music event, Spotlight, next week, with some of the area’s top-notch writer’s and performers in a special event to kick off this year’s litfest festival. Marvin Cheeseman made his debut as a comedy performance poet in 1998 at Manchester's Frog and Bucket comedy club.

Master of Flutes in Morecambe

Thursday, October 8, 2009 - 13:46: Master of flutes, whistles and Uillean pipes, Michael McGoldrick will perform at Morecambe Dome this weekend (Saturday October 10th) with his band. Michael’s solo projects have received world wide acclaim, allowing him to explore a sound and direction that is both inspiring and totally unique.

Play Park Plans to go on Show

Tuesday, October 6, 2009 - 11:49: Concept designs for a new "natural" play area in Morecambe's Happy Mount Park are due to be revealed. Based on the underused mini-golf area at the rear of the park, the play area has been designed on the principles of "natural play".

Fall under the 'Godspell'

Monday, October 5, 2009 - 18:12: Local theatre group, About Theatre will stage what's believed to be the first ever production of Stephen Schwartz’ Godspell in Lancaster in November – the first of the religious rock operas and a modern day retelling of the New Testament parables.

In Review: Of Mice and Men

Sunday, October 4, 2009 - 10:11: By John Steinbeck; Directed by Kevin Dyer The Dukes, Thursday 24th September – Sunday 24th October Review by John Freeman The Dukes publicity describes John Steinbeck's own play of his powerful novel of ranch hands, death and yes, mice, as one of the true American classics.

Organ and Trumpet Recital opens Lancaster Cathedral’s Autumn Season

Sunday, October 4, 2009 - 09:05: Lancaster Cathedral’s Autumn Season of concerts and events begins on Friday 9th October with a recital featuring internationally known trumpeter John Coulton and David Dunnett, Organist of Norwich Cathedral. The programme will include works by, among others, John Stanley, Henry Purcell and Giuseppe Verdi.

Health campaigners to lobby top Tories

Saturday, October 3, 2009 - 09:53: North West wellbeing and health campaign group Our Life is lobbying top Tories gathering in Manchester next week at the Conservative Party annual conference to call for action to be taken on irresponsible drinks promotions to tackle the rising unhealthy drinking culture in the region.

Award-winning Journalist to deliver Lancaster University Peace Lecture

Saturday, October 3, 2009 - 08:22: Award winning Australian foreign correspondent Sophie McNeill has been invited to deliver the Lancaster University 2009 Richardson Institute Annual Peace Lecture.

Fill in a survey and win a Christmas hamper

Friday, October 2, 2009 - 13:41: Lancaster City Council is asking for just a few minutes of your time for a chance to win a luxury Christmas hamper worth £125. The council's Cycling Town (CT) Team is carrying out its annual travel survey to find out what modes of transport residents most often use to get themselves to work and what prevents them from using others.

Freegle Co-op Network Arrives in Lancaster

Thursday, October 1, 2009 - 01:21: Just launched in our area is Lancaster Morecambe Freegle, part of the national online re-use network Freegle, formed in the UK as a friendly local alternative to the US-based Freecycle Network.