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December 2011

The Really Heavy Greatcoat Review of the Year 2011

Older readers may recall The Really Heavy Greatcoat by John Freeman and Lancaster-based artist Nick Miller ran on virtual-lancaster after long service in On The Beat and Off the Beat, two other alternative Lancaster publications, for many years. If anyone ever offered to pay us to write it, it might still be running today!

Lancashire Police return offenders to prison

Almost 500 people across Lancashire wanted for recall to prison have been arrested and sent back to jail this year. Figures show that from 500 people released to be supervised in Lancashire but who then failed to keep to their terms of their licence, there are fewer than 20 outstanding.

Festive Fun in Lancaster!

Revellers enjoying the Free Reed Band at a ceilidh at the Gregson.

Holocaust Memorial Day marked with special exhibition by local artist

Local theatre and cinema The Dukes has mapped out how it will commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day on 27th January 2012, with events that include an exhibtion by local artist Catriona Stamp.

University Society pledges support for murdered student's cause

Anuj Bidve, who was shot on Boxing Day. Photo via Facebook.Lancaster University's Indian Society has contributed £500 toward the cost of returning the body of shot student Anuj Bidve to India. The 23-year-old Lancaster University postgraduate student was shot dead in Salford on Boxing Day as he walked with friends near their hotel.

Goodbye to The BFG

There’s just a few days left before The BFG strides out of Lancaster and returns to Giant Country. The Dukes 40th annual Christmas show – The BFG - draws to an end on 7th January after a six week festive run. Roald Dahl’s classic story itself reaches a milestone in 2012, the 30th anniversary of its publication.

Fairfield Association Gives Christmas Present to Lancaster

On Thursday 22nd December the Fairfield Associationopened its new nature reserve, FAUNA, which is within 10 minutes walk of the railway station and Lancaster City Centre. People are now able to walk along FAUNA’s new permissive footpath from the northern entrance to Fairfield Orchard (near the bottom of Sunnyside Lane) to the bottom of Cromwell Road (off Aldcliffe Road).

Battery Eggs illegal from 1 January 2012

Chris Davies, Liberal Democrat MEP, has welcomed the Coalition Government's announcement that tough action will be taken to stop eggs from battery caged hens being sold in the UK. As of 1st January 2012, eggs that are produced in battery cages will be illegal. It is estimated that up to 51 million eggs, or a nearly a quarter of all EU production, will not be compliant by that date.

Lancashire Police urge domestic abuse victims to come forward this Christmas

Lancashire Police are urging victims of domestic abuse not to suffer in silence this Christmas. The force has launched a Christmas campaign aimed at tackling domestic abuse over the festive season, reinforcing the message that it is a crime and urging victims to come forward and contact police. Police are keen to point out that domestic abuse isn’t just violence.

Burglary at Lancaster pawnbrokers

Police are appealing for information following a burglary at a pawnbrokers shop in Lancaster. Officers were called to John Ramsden Pawnbrokers in Sir Simons Arcade just after 10.30pm on Tuesday 20th December. It is believed the offenders somehow made a hole in the roof and climbed through it into the loft space, before accessing the shop itself.

Attempted robbery in Lancaster

Police are appealing for information following an attempted robbery of a man in Lancaster. Around 8.40pm on Monday 19h December, an 18-year -old man from the city was walking along the canal footpath between Shaw Road and Moor Lane when he was approached by two men. They forced him to the ground and while one held him down the other emptied his pockets.

Appeal following Morecambe street robbery

Morecambe Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward after a 53-year-old man was robbed in the street last Tuesday, 6th December. The offence took place at 8.40pm on Ullswater Avenue, Morecambe when the victim was attacked as he returned to his car, after collecting money as part of his business.

Free Reed Band and John Harper dates at Lancaster venues

Lancaster's ace folk group Free Reed Band will be performing a Christmas/New Year Ceilidh at the Gregson Centre (Moor Lane, Lancaster) on Thursday 29th December. "We have secured the services of our good friend and superb Dance Caller, Fiona Rigg, for the evening," band spokesperson Tony Cooke tells us.

Rush Hockey storms into Salt Ayre

Salt Ayre staff Anna Simpson, Elliot Trafford, Tom Ball and Hannah Corless try out the new sport, Rush Hockey. Photo courtesy Lancaster City CouncilLancaster City Council is inviting local people to try out a brand new game which combines elements of hockey with fun, fast and furious game play.

Occupy Camp celebrates first fortnight with events

On Wednesday the Occupy Lancaster camp completed its first fortnight in Dalton Square. Tuesday night had already seen a gathering of local folk artists in a rousing session in the meeting tent. Tonight (Thursday) supporters are invited to bring food to share to celebrate two weeks of Occupy Lancaster and two months of Occupy London. More events are planned for the weekend (see below).

Local University suports scheme to engage workers in improving business

Dr Michele Lawty-Jones, David MacLeod, Tim Viney and Barbara Davies The University of Cumbria played host to a government Task Force in Ambleside this week, to showcase and discuss the success of an innovative leadership programme being delivered to leaders of small-to-medium businesses in the region.

Comedian Mark Thomas to return to The Dukes

The Dukes 2012 comedy season begins in January with the welcome return of Mark Thomas and his new show, Manifesto.

Morecambe schoolboy mugged for his mobile

Police are appealing for witnesses after a schoolboy was attacked and robbed in Morecambe last Friday. The incident happened on Friday 9th December at around 8.15pm on Ellesmere Road. The victim, a 15 year old local boy was walking home when he was approached by two men, who asked him if he had any money. When he said he didn’t, so the offenders felt his pockets and located his mobile phone.

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