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January 2015

Lancaster Brewery

Lancaster Brewery, Lancaster Leisure Park, Wyresdale Road, Lancaster LA1 3LA. Tel: +44 (0)1524 848537 Lancaster Brewery is one of the largest micro breweries in the North West of England. 

Divers to search Lancaster Canal for wreck of 1920s diphtheria barge

Friday, January 30, 2015 - 14:52: Sunken wreck site? Lancaster Canal at Field End Bridge winding hole Divers from the Kendal and Lakes Sub Aqua Club are making plans to search the Lancaster Canal for a sunken wreck that might have been used as an infirmary barge during the 1920 diphtheria epidemic.

J Atkinson & Co, Tea & Coffee Merchants

Photo © Dave Clark
China St, Lancaster LA1 1EX. Tel: 01524 65470. A traditional tea and coffee specialist shop founded in 1837 — the year of Queen Victoria’s accession. Atkinson’s supply many of Lancaster’s cafes with their tea and coffee. 

City's Housing need projections fall apart as Enterprise Zone job expectations 'flop'

Thursday, January 29, 2015 - 18:58: Image used by HM Gov. to publicise Lancashire Enterprise Zone Unfortunately the Lancashire Enterprise Zone near Preston, created in 2011 and anchored by two BAE sites at Samlesbury and Warton, was slated by government ministers last month (read BBC report) as the UK's 'worst-performing', as it had not yet created any jobs.

Spotlight Writing Surgeries back next month

Thursday, January 29, 2015 - 16:03: Art: Nick MillerLancaster's writer's group Spotlight is to host more of its Writing Surgeries next month. Whether you are just starting outor have been writing for some time, whether you write for performance or the page -- would you like feedback on your writing?

Lancs County Council defers fracking decision 8 weeks

Wednesday, January 28, 2015 - 20:00: Tractor procession of farmers against fracking arriving at County Hall today At the same time that a moratorium on fracking was being announced in Scotland, Lancashire County Council's (LCC) Development Control Committee today resolved to defer their decisions on the planning applications relating to sites at Preston New Road and Roseacre Wood in light of the submission of further information by...

Local Cinema Round-Up for 28th January to 5th February 2015 by Peter Clarke

Wednesday, January 28, 2015 - 18:25: 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. Unlike last week, there is rather a sparsity of new releases during this period - specifically we have two.

Fracking battle heats up: leaked Osborne letter shows plan to force permits through

Tuesday, January 27, 2015 - 19:26: Conservative Chancellor George OsborneCuadrilla will be seeking a deferment to the decision on their Fylde fracking applications at tomorrow's meeting of Lancashire County Council's (LCC) Development Control Committee. The committee will initially decide whether to defer or whether to take the decisions this week.

Missing Glasson wind surfer's body found

Monday, January 26, 2015 - 13:27: Police officers searching for missing 61-year-old wind surfer Giles Stothertrecovered a body on Middleton Sands this morning.Police were called at around 4.45pm on Sunday 25 January to Glasson Dock, Lancaster, following reports of concern for the safety of Mr Stothert, who lived in Saltcote.

Catch the Northern Lights with your iPhone, thanks to Lancaster University project

Monday, January 26, 2015 - 12:12: Updates on the best opportunities to spot the Northern Lights in the UK are now available on a mobile phone app developed in association with scientists at Lancaster University.It is notoriously difficult to predict the best time to catch the displays of colourful lights, usually seen high above the Arctic Circle.

Mateusz Otfinowski sentenced to life

Friday, January 23, 2015 - 17:13: Mateusz Otfinowski Mateusz Otfinowski, 23, of Lord Street, Morecambehas today been sentenced at Preston Crown Court to life imprisonment for the rape of two women and for trespass with intent to commit a sexual offence. Otfinowskipleaded guilty in October 2014 to the rape of a woman in Lancaster on 3 March 2014 and the rape of a woman in Morecambe on 26 July 2014.

Head in the Sands - MP Morris calls again for a Bay Tunnel

Friday, January 23, 2015 - 15:58: Morecambe Bay BAE Systems announced in December that Costain, who won the County Council construction contract for the Heysham-M6 Link road, have won a further contract in a £300m+ scheme to upgrade its Barrow-in-Furness shipyard in preparation to build a replacement for the Royal Navy's Vanguard class Trident nuclear submarines.

Big Garden Birdwatch in Williamson Park This Weekend

Thursday, January 22, 2015 - 13:54: Everyone can help with the 2015 Big Garden Birdwatch at Williamson Park on Sunday 25thJanuary 2015. If you are an early riser, why not get along along between 8.00 and 9.00 am for bird spotting with the experts.

Witnesses sought after dogs kill pet chihuahua in Morecambe

Thursday, January 22, 2015 - 12:16: (Updated 22:15): Virtual-Lancaster received reports earlier today of an 85-year-old woman who was walking her tiny chihuahua yesterday morning on Hampsfell Drive, Westgate, when she and her dog were approached from behind by a young lad on a bike with his two dogs - one on a lead, one off.

Eric Morecambe Day gets 23rd July date

Thursday, January 22, 2015 - 11:43: The triumphant return of the Eric Morecambe statue to the Morecambe sea front is being followed up with work on the fundraising plans for the 'Eric and Ernie' Wall Art to be created by sculpture Graham Ibbeson to be sited in The Sunshine Garden of Fame adjacent to the Midland Hotel.

Golden Arches on their way for Lune McAqueduct?

Thursday, January 22, 2015 - 07:00: Site of proposed McDonald's Planning permission has been granted for a McDonald's drive-thru takeaway and two-storey restaurant with parking on Caton Road adjacent to the A6 Canal Aqueduct and just east of the grade 1 listed Lune Aqueduct.

County Council planning report recommends refusal of fracking applications

Wednesday, January 21, 2015 - 16:48: Jerusalem builded here: An artist's impression of a proposed Lancashire fracking site Lancashire County Council's Development Control Committee will spend Wednesday 28 and Thursday 29 January, from 10am at County Hall in Preston, deciding on Cuadrilla's two fracking (shale gas drilling) exploration applications at Preston New Road and Roseacre Wood.

Local Cinema Round-Up for 21st to 29th January 2015 by Peter Clarke

Wednesday, January 21, 2015 - 14:27: 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. This is a good week for new releases. We have action, drama and suspense with Mortdecai (12A); Kingsman: The Secret Service (15) and The Gambler (15). Also there is the amazing dark comedy Birdman (15).

Snow expected in Lancashire tonight

Tuesday, January 20, 2015 - 16:56: Photo courtesy Lancashire County CouncilLancashire County Council is advising people to be prepared for snow following a Met Office yellow warning across the north west this afternoon (Tuesday 20 January).

Greens choose Quaker chaplain Phil Chandler as Prospective Member of Parliament for Morecambe and Lunesdale

Tuesday, January 20, 2015 - 15:07: Phil Chandler with Clare Long Summers, the local Green Party's 200th member. Photo: The Green Party IT Manager and Morecambe residentPhil Chandler has been selected by North Lancashire Green Party as the Green Party Prospective Member of Parliament for Morecambe and Lunesdale.

MPs pressure David Cameron to release uncensored Fracking Report

Monday, January 19, 2015 - 10:05: A total often MPs have now called for DEFRA’s censored ‘Shale Gas Rural Economy Impacts’ report to be released in full, including four MPs from David Cameron’s own party. Last week, atthe House of Commons' Environmental Audit Committeeinquiry on the environmental risks of fracking, three MPs made requests to see the complete report.

Friends of the Earth film reveal passionate opposition to Fracking across Lancashire

Friday, January 16, 2015 - 16:09: Take Action Now. Keep Lancashire Frack Free. from Friends of the Earth EWNI on Vimeo. Friends of the Earth has releaseda video documenting the views of Lancashire people on fracking, as part of its long campaign to stop fracking in the County, which is now at a crucial moment.

Morecambe businesses consider BID for the town

Friday, January 16, 2015 - 13:59: The former Morecambe Visitor offices, part of the proposed BID areaWhen is a tax not a tax? When those that pay it also get to say what it's spent on. That's the case with a levy on business rates under a scheme known as a Business Improvement District (BID).

Hunt Continues for Missing Aimee

Thursday, January 15, 2015 - 16:03: Update: Aimee Challenger was found on 16th January 2015 safe and well. This story is retained only for archive purposes. Police are appealing for information about Aimee Challenger, a 15-year-old girl missing from home in Lancaster. Aimee was last seen at her home address on Victoria Place by a family member on Saturday 10th January.

Gregson calls for members to attend AGM

Thursday, January 15, 2015 - 08:30: The Gregson Community Association (GCA) and the Gregson Community Club’s (GCC) AGMs were due to take place on Sunday November 23rd. Unfortunately, not enough people turned up and both meetings had to be postponed. Both AGMs will now take place on Sunday 25th January 2015 at 2.00pm. The Gregson needs 25 GCA members to turn up to be able to hold these vitally important meetings.

Greens say No More Cuts to the Arts

Wednesday, January 14, 2015 - 18:21: Councillor Chris CoatesAfter confirmation that the Labour Party will not cancel £83 million of Conservative Party cuts to the national Arts budget made in recent years, local Green Party prospective parliamentary candidate for Lancaster Chris Coates has called for an end to cuts to the Arts. Chris Coates is a Lancaster City Councillor for Scotforth West.

Local Cinema Round-Up for 14th to 22nd January 2015 by Peter Clarke

Wednesday, January 14, 2015 - 15:43: 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 are three new movies on release in our area. There is war adventure with Eastwood's American Sniper (15); science fiction with Ex Machina and drama with Big Eyes (PG-13).

Civic Society to profile Lancaster’s "Renaissance Man", architect and reformer Edmund Sharpe

Tuesday, January 13, 2015 - 13:43: Edmund Sharpe Lancaster Civic Society is to host a talk by local historian Jim Price on architect, architectural historian, railway engineer, and sanitary reformer Edmund Sharpe, "Lancaster’s Renaissance Man" in The Storey Lecture Theatre, on Wednesday 14th January 2015.

Local pressure mounts for Infrastructure Bill changes that will speed fracking and remove local input on major planning projects

Monday, January 12, 2015 - 10:23: A Mass Lobby of Parliament to protest at the Infrastructure Bill now making its way through the Commons will take place on 14th January - and many local campaigners will be at the protest.

Campaigners fight for full disclosure of Fracking Economic Report

Monday, January 12, 2015 - 10:03: Campaigners are calling on the government to release the its Shale Gas Rural Economy Impacts report published in July in full, before MPs are asked to vote on the contentious Infrastructure Bill.

Warning issued on dangerous high-strength 95% alcohol

Friday, January 9, 2015 - 17:12: One of the many labels under which Spirytus Rektyfikowany is soldTrading standards officers in Lancashire are warning people not to drink a Polish high-strength alcohol which has an ABV of 95% (ie it's 95% proof). Spirytus 95% or Spirytus Rektyfikowany (Polish for 'Rectified Spirit') is a base alcohol which is generally used in Eastern Europe for making home-made liqueurs.

Scam post victims: Hundreds of pounds returned by Trading Standards crackdown

Friday, January 9, 2015 - 13:10: More than 50 people in Lancashire have received money back thanks to a new crackdown on 'prize draw' postal scams. In June 2014 the National Trading Standards Scams Team and Royal Mail launched an initiative to seize responses to mail scams before the cash reaches the criminals behind them.

New foundation courses entry route to study at Cumbria U

Friday, January 9, 2015 - 12:58: The University of Cumbria is introducing a new route to a degree for people needing a little extra support or those returning to higher education in later life. From September 2015, the University will provide integrated foundation year courses in a range of subject areas including sport, policing, entrepreneurship and education to give people that first step up in their academic career.

Lancashire County Council Reveals Proposals to Save £216m

Thursday, January 8, 2015 - 15:12: Lancashire County Council's cabinet has announced the start of a consultation on its budget proposals for local services, which will deliver £216 million in savings by April 2018.

Find out more about Lancaster City Council's 2015/16 budget

Thursday, January 8, 2015 - 14:27: Members of the public are invited to attend a presentation of Lancaster City Council’s proposed priorities and budget for the coming year, whichwill form part of the next meeting of the council’s Budget and Performance Panel on Tuesday 27th January. Everyone is welcome to attend the meeting which takes place at Morecambe Town Hall from 6pm.

Crooklands Bridge repairs: “Once more unto the breach”

Thursday, January 8, 2015 - 13:53: Crooklands Bridge. Photo courtesy Frank Sanderson Crooklands Bridge, a bridge over Lancaster Canal near Kendal, has a closure order for eight days to accommodate major repairs.

Local Cinema Round-Up for 7th to 15th January 2015 by Peter Clarke

Wednesday, January 7, 2015 - 18:34: 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 are four new films released during this period.

City Council: Become your own boss in 2015

Tuesday, January 6, 2015 - 16:46: Morecambe’s Festival Market is giving budding entrepreneurs the opportunity to get a taste of what it’s like to run your own business with special introductory rates.

Caton Road weekend closure announced for major reconstruction work under Motorway Bridge

Tuesday, January 6, 2015 - 16:37: A critical section of Caton Road (A683) will unavoidably have to close to allow major reconstruction and resurfacing to take place. On the weekend of Friday 16th to Monday 19th January 2015, Costain, the contractors appointed to build the Heysham to M6 Link Road, will need to close off the section of Caton Road directly under the M6 motorway bridge for resurfacing works as part of the scheme.

Lancaster University seeks 1960s staff and alumni for oral history project

Monday, January 5, 2015 - 17:31: Lancaster University Rag Week Parade 1966 Early memories of life at Lancaster University will be captured in a unique collection to be preserved for generations to come. As a fitting conclusion to its 50th anniversary year, the University is organising an oral history project to capture early first-hand memories of its origins.

Rip-Off Railways? Lancaster Labour candidate slams rail fare rises

Monday, January 5, 2015 - 07:49: Cat Smith at Lancaster Railway StationCat Smith, the Labour candidate for Lancaster and Fleetwood, has hit out at new rail fare rises which mean season tickets for people living in Lancaster up by as much as 29% per cent since 2010.

A very Happy New Year to all our readers!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014 - 23:30: