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SKATE NOTES
14/6/03: LANSK8 is a new website just about skating in Lancaster. Here you'll find out where to skate in Lancaster as well as any skating events that are going to be held. In the gallery you'll find skateboard, BMX, mountainboard and even more sections if you can think of any!!

YO HO - VENUE IN PERIL?
14/6/03: In what could be bad news for live music lovers and fans of the Spotlight Club, Mike and Sue Edwards, landlords of Lancaster's Yorkshire House pub, have announced they will be leaving within six months.
One of the last "unconstructed" pubs in Lancaster - that is, a pub not turned into some London designer's idea of a pub - the Yorkshire House has become an unmissable venue for live events over the last 11 years that Mike and Sue have run it. Many indie bands -- both local and national -- have played in its smal upstairs music room, and the Spotlight Club has made it their home for live poetry and performance events every month.
Mike told Virtual-Lancaster last night they've decided to leave so they can spend more time together as a family and no-one can argue with that. But with many 'old' pubs on their way out -- the Castle Hotel on China Street closed recently, its future uncertain -- we hope the next landlord will keep maintain the YoHo's terrific individuality.
We wish Mike and Sue and family the very best for the future, whatever that brings and would like to thank them for making this pub one of Lancaster's best watering holes!

REAL PLANNING -- YOUR VIEWS WANTED
14/6/03: Local community group Real Planning for Lancaster is seeking your views on development in the city. You can pick up a leaflet from many local venues such as The Dukes, or download a copy from their web site (Word file) and e-mail it back to them.
Included in the questions are requests for your thoughts on whether Lancaster needs another supermarket or more small shops, whether we should have more environmentally-friendly housing built, how you value tourism and more.
The consultation follows major concerns about a massive retail development proposed last year by property group Chelverton, which includes a 63,000sq ft superstore on Back Caton Rd, on the site of the laundry and the Texaco garage, with under-store car parking provision for approximately 420 short stay spaces. The plans are being opposed by RPFL and the City Council has voted not to sell council property in the St. Leonardsgate area for such a development. RPFL has come up with an alternative plan which so far includes more green space, an outdoor events area, affordable housing, and facilities for young people.
• Download the questionnaire from the RPFL web site here.
• Read more about the development proposals and the opposition to them here.


SLATES ALIVE!
11/6/03: Owned and run by the Lancaster Footlights Club and hosting a good mix of local groups and professional shows, the Grand Theatre will be masked with scaffolding this summer, as work starts on a much needed rood replacement costing over £50,000.
The Footlights are currently seeking donors to "sponsor a slate" for £5 or more to help pay for the work.
If you would like to be a slate donor, call in at the Grand box office and make a donation. There's also the chance to enter a competition to guess the number of slates on the roof. The nearest correct answer, judged on 1 December 2003, will win High Street store vouchers which will be presented at this year's pantomime together with two complimentary seats to a Footlights show of your choice in 2004.
• Box office open 10.00am - 3.00pm. Theatre Listings: Go

VIRGIN ON THE RIDICULOUS!
11/6/03: The local Green Party has exposed another ridiculous move by Virgin Trains to stop passengers using the train to get to Lancaster -- by telling people not to leave the train when it arrives at our station!
Virgin Trains introduced a new timetable on 18 May and downgraded Lancaster by withdrawing the stop at Lancaster on eight trains. These trains still go through Lancaster; they just don't stop.
The Green Party says this change will damage the economy of Lancaster and Morecambe at a time when a great deal of effort is being put into job creation and regeneration.
Now Virgin has found another way to hurt Lancaster and the people who live and work here. They tell passengers on Preston station waiting for the 1642 Virgin Trains to Lancaster that they can't use it. The train is going to Lancaster, it will stop at Lancaster but no one is allowed to get off.
"This is really serious," says Councilor John Whitelegg, who is also a respected expert on public transport. "They're shafting people who are just trying to get to work. No-one's talked to anyone locally who's using this service.
Two people have have even been threatened with prosecution when they got off the train in question at Lancaster, John says.
" I have never heard anything so stupid in all my life. Virgin deserve to be the laughing stock of the world's railway systems."
A spokesperson for Virgin Trains told Virtual-Lancaster that the train in question, which runs from Birmingham to Edinburgh, has been designated a "pick-up" only service and was no longer advertised as stopping at Lancaster. As in other regions, Virgin's decision was taken in consultation with the Strategic Rail Authority to "avoid localised over crowding", providing an alternative local service was in operation.
"We've worked with the SRA to adjust localised points of over crowding," said the spokesperson. "It's part of our adjustments to the cross country timetable to improve reliability.
"We've had to thin services where good alternatives exist because congestion make the timetable unreliable, which is not helpful to anyone."
"I don't give a toss about the SRA in London," John retorted, who is furious at Virgin. "It's totally wrong for Virgin to punish local passengers this way. They're trying to get rid of local passengers on their trains."
Although First North Western run a local service to Lancaster at 1657, this is now the only stopping service between Preston and Lancaster between 4.00 and 5.00pm when many local commuters are making their way home. As a result it is completely overcrowded, causing misery for everyone using it. According to the Chairman of the Lancaster Morecambe & District Rail User Group, Michael Machin, this is in part because FNW do not always run three carriage trains -- despite being advised to have such trains by the Rail Passengers Committee.
"This is really cruel," says John. "They're providing people with a terrible service. People in Lancaster are just being dumped on.
"This stupidity is causing lots of problems and making life very difficult for passengers. Virgin couldn't run a cats home and get it right."
John is frustrated that people who are supporting government policy and using public transport are getting such a raw deal.
"It's time to call a halt to this nonsense," feels John, "and remember that railways receive a lot of subsidy from public funds and they should provide a good service to everyone."
"If I was in the Department of Transport, I'd re-employ the British Rail staff sacked in 1995 and have them ready to take over, as a state rail company like Denmark has done. Then I'd sack Virgin!"
John Whitelegg has written to the Chief Executive of Virgin Trains (Chris Green) and repeated his request of two weeks ago that trains now not stopping at Lancaster be reinstated and that passengers traveling between Preston and Lancaster should not be harassed by silly rules about not getting off the train at Lancaster.

First North Western Local Timetable (PDF format)
Go direct to the Virgin Trains 'Feedback' page to express your views


TAR-MUCK!
Rubbish tarmace 11/6/03: Lancaster residents have told Virtual-Lancaster they are astonished by the latest paving replacement methods in the city.
The Council has replaced at least two strips of pavement - one in Skerton and another on Moorgate - with coarse, ugly tarmac.
One Skerton resident told Virtual-Lancaster: "I suppose it's cheaper than paving stones and someone must have thought we were too thick to notice how rubbish it looks.
"After all the times our streets have been dug up most of our pavements look terrible, but this is just awful."
• 15/6/03 update: Since this story was written the tarmac has been smoothed in Skerton (though we would still like paving stones instead)

ECCENTRICS WANTED!
11/6/03: VideoActive are currently producing a video on the Lancashire canal -- and they're looking for local characters to interview within a one mile radius of it.
"Someone with a tale to tell," asks spokesperson Toni Fisher, "The more eccentric the better!"
Established for over 15 years, Video Active has produced over 30 titles from around the country on all different canals and rivers. They sell their titles all major outlets, including W H Smiths.
• For further information contact

ARGENTINIAN GRASS ROOTS VISIT
11/6/03: Argentina's "Autonomista Tour" is coming to Lancaster, presenting speakers and a full-length puppet show about the economic crisis in Argentina. The event will be taking place at the 5 July, 8.30pm in The Gregson.

LIFE IN THE LANCASTER DISTRICT IN 2020?
11/6/03: The Local Strategic partnership (LSP) has set a vision for the Lancaster District in 2020 and is producing a strategy to get us all there. The City Council hope the future Lancaster will be a greater place to work and live and a wonderful area to visit.
Now the LSP - which has representatives from a wide range of backgrounds covering business, public organisations, the voluntary sector and community groups - wants to know what you think about the objectives and action plans contained in the draft strategy .
The LSP has produced a draft community strategy that sets the Vision for the year 2020, drawn up in an inclusive way by the 45 members who represent a wide range of Public, Private, Voluntary and Community based organisations. The draft includes strategic objectives, operational and action plans, Five Year Targets and proposals for Performance Indicators to measure our progress toward the 2020 Vision.
"What do we want life to be like in this area in 2020?" asks Coun Gina Dowding, the Chair of LSP. "Will we achieve this vision for 2020 if we all carry on doing the things we are doing now?
"These are the fundamental questions posed by this community strategy - asking you, the public, what do you want to see in the future - in terms of jobs, health, transport and our living environment. This community strategy will make sure that all the local organisations in all sectors respond to this.
LSP is keen on consulting the public with its plans so it's holding road shows at Mitre House, Morecambe Job Centre, Carnforth Market, Marketgate Centre and the Arndale Centre and is currently investigating the possibility of holding displays at some other places as well.
The Strategy is also be widely available at doctors' surgeries, local colleges, libraries, post offices, places of worship, all city council buildings and other community venues and the Council web sitehere (PDF format).
Anyone wishing to express their opinions for the Community Strategy can do so by filling in the feedback form and post it back to the Lancaster Town Hall in a freepost envelope or email

Road Show Dates:
• Thursday 12 June Morecambe Job Centre 9.00-1.00
• Saturday 14 June Marketgate 9:00-1.00
• Wednesday 2 July 9.00 -1.00 - Carnforth Open air Market
• Saturday 5 July 9.00- 1.00 Arndale Centre Morecambe

GREENS FOR EURO?
11/6/03: Green City councilors John Whitelegg and Gina Dowding will stand for the north west region in next year's European elections.

LANCASTER MARKET IS NOT CLOSING
10/6/03: Lancaster City Council and the Traders of Lancaster Market have joined forces to confirm that Lancaster Market is not closing as some press reports have indicated.
Traders were extremely concerned that a headline report in The Lancaster Guardian indicated that the market was closing, even though the body of the report did not indicate that. "In the last two years, six new businesses have opened in Lancaster Market," said Peter Corke of the Lancaster Market Traders Association. "Many traders have also extended their businesses. Two years ago there were some two dozen empty units and now there is less than half that number.
"Lancaster's Market has many specialist traders offering a wide range of services from picture framing to hoover repairs; health foods to t-shirt printing. There's also a wide range of food products from fish to fresh meat and vegetables to cheeses, not to mention the best looking cobbler in town!
The market recently celebrated its 800th birthday - how many other retail establishments can boast that?"
Confirming that the traders want to work with the Council. Peter Corke added: " We're pleased that the Council's Corporate Plan has specifically been amended to include comments about the future of the market. We want to ensure that customers can have a long and happy future of shopping in the market. Lancaster Market is here to stay." This does not mean the current situation is not under scrutiny. "The Council wants to support local markets including farmers markets," Council leader Ian Barker commented, "and to develop strategies to better support the existing traders in Lancaster Market and to attract new stall holders.
"We need to look deeply at the market and its viability and the Cabinet have appointed a special sub-committee to do this.
"We believe Lancaster needs a thriving market for local traders and we look forward to fruitful discussions with them about the future."

The late Mort Allan, councillor for OvertonMORT ALLAN DIES
10/6/03: Councilor Mort Allan has died after a long illness. The respected Councilor passed away in the Royal Lancaster Infirmary in the early hours of Monday 9 June 2003. His civic funeral will take place at St. Helen's Church, Overton at 2.30 this Friday (13th).
Councilor Allan, aged 66, a Morecambe Bay Independent, joined Lancaster City Council in May 1999 representing the Overton Ward as a Member of the Independent Group. Over the years he had been a member of the Economic Development and Tourism Policy Committee, Tourism Sub-Committee, Licensing Committee, River Lune Millennium Park Advisory Group, Festivals and Events Working Group, Lancaster City Centre Strategy Task Group, and was the Chairman of the Arts and Events Sub-Committee. He had also represented the City Council on a number of outside bodies, including the Boys Club of Lancaster Executive Committee, the Heysham Nuclear Power Station Local Community Liaison Council and the Avocado Chemicals Liaison Group. He was re-elected as Councilor for Overton in May.
"I am deeply saddened by the news that Mort has passed away," said Independent Group Leader, Councilor Shirley Burns, his colleague and friend. "He was enormously liked and well thought of by many people and was highly regarded by members of all political backgrounds. He was a very popular Councilor and will be missed, only only by family and friends, but also by all the people from Overton and the District. "His love was for the District. There were three things that were especially important to him and those were people, entertainment and Morecambe. He had lived in the District for at least 30 years, and he was well respected by all who knew him and we will miss him greatly."

THE ONLY WAY IS UP!
9/6/03: It certainly will be for the young people of Skerton this Wednesday when a Teen Meet is erected for them on King George's Playing Fields.
Funded by Government Office North West, this is the first of what we hope will be 3 such venues around the ward. A multi-agency group comprising: the Police, Lancaster City Housing, Youth & Community, Lancashire Association of Clubs for Young People (LACYP), Lancaster Leisure Services, the Youth Offending Team, the Fire Brigade, various Tenants and Residents Associations, and the local secondary schools, have been working since February last year on a number of initiatives to reduce the incidence of juvenile nuisance in the area.
The Teen Meet project is the culmination of a piece of work done with local young people by the LACYP Outreach team, together with local beat manager PC Craig Mossop and Community Support Officers John Jackson and Olive Bradley. The young people visited a variety of Teen Meet sites in East Lancashire, before submitting their own proposals and designs at a consultation day in January at Skerton Community Centre.
Planning permission was obtained after consulting local residents with respect to where to site the shelter, and Lightmain Leisure (Barnsley) will finally erect it on Wednesday morning. In the afternoon many of the people involved will be present for the official opening which will take place at around 5pm.
"The Community Safety Partnership is committed to tackling issues of crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour in our communities which affect people's daily lives," commented Lancaster City Council's Cabinet member with responsibility for Community Safety, Coun Eileen Blamire. "Young people are sometimes attributed as being the 'cause' of all anti-social behaviour on our streets and this unfair judgment often blights progress in getting to grips with the real causes. Young people are just as likely to be victims of the same issues as the rest of us. In Skerton, a Teen Meet will be opened which we hope will provide an alternative meeting place for young people."
This is only one of a number of projects being undertaken to increase provision for young people in the Skerton area. St Josephs Hall on Aldrens Lane will be redeveloped once funds are raised, and the tennis/basketball courts on Ryelands park are to be upgraded. A neighbourhood football programme is soon to be launched and City Council's development of the Skateboard Park at Green Ayre will also provide facilities for play.
The agencies involved are committing significant time and resources to these initiatives, and are receiving lots of support from the young people in the area, as well as the Tenants' and Residents' groups. However, this level of commitment will not be sustainable in the long term, and the City Council is appealing for more local volunteers to provide continuity into the future.
• If you have some spare time to help local young people, please contact Dan Green or Beth Tilburn at LACYP on 65106.

GRIMM TALES CAST AT THE DUKES
9/6/03: Summer must nearly be here, as the cast of witches, woodcutters and wicked stepmothers have arrived at the Dukes for rehearsals for the Grimm Tales in the park, which opens on Friday 4 July and runs until 9 August.
With a mix of new and more familiar faces, the cast are multi-talented and are delighted to be in Lancaster for such an exciting production. Dukes technicians are busy putting up lighting rigs, preparing sets and costumes while the actors rehearse. It's all go at the theatre!
The Brothers Grimm collected these ancestral stories from Germany and the surrounding countries in an attempt to preserve the traditional domestic tales of the German peasants. They now form many of our best-loved fairytales such as Cinderella and Hansel and Gretel. The stories serve up life as generations knew it ­ capricious and often cruel, but with humour and magic.
Clive Duncan is very happy to be back at The Dukes. He plays the Stepmother in Ashputtel (Cinderella) and the Father in Hansel and Gretel. Clive appeared in Don Quixote in the park three years ago and has subsequently toured local schools story telling in conjunction with The Dukes' Christmas shows. He combines a career of acting, writing and directing and has worked for theatre companies throughout the country and locally at The Royal Exchange, Contact and Oldham Coliseum. Television appearances include various plays, the BBC series Truckers and he presented Playdays which he also contributed to as a writer. Currently writing for the children's programme Squeak! Clive will be directing two plays for Vienna's English Theatre in the autumn.
Sally Evans is new to the Dukes and is from North Wales. Sally will be playing Gretel and the Lady in The Lady and the Lion. Following work with the Clwyd Youth Theatre and the National Youth Theatre of Wales she trained at The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, graduating in 2001. Her theatre credits include; Oh What a Lovely War (Clwyd Theatr Cymru), Stepping on the Cracks, Warrior Square, Fear and Misery in the Third Reich (Nottingham Playhouse) and Mental, Little Red Riding Hood at the Edinburgh Festival.
Stuart Goldsmith will play the Prince in Ashputtel and the Second son in The Golden Goose. Stuart has graduated from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and previously trained at Dartington and Circomedia. He is one half of the award-winning street double act The Unknown Stuntmen with whom he has performed all over Britain and Australia. Stuart is also a regular at Covent Garden where you will find him devising a new solo street show. Other performance work includes his one-man show Low Jinks made in collaboration with Birmingham arts organisation HamFisted!
Lisa Howard will play the Witch in Hansel and Gretel and one of the sisters in Ashputtel. Lisa was born in Lancaster and brought up in Kendal and is delighted to be back for the open-air theatre season. Lisa trained at East 15 and her theatre credits include Aunt Em/Glinda in The Wizard of Oz (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Little Voice in The Rise and Fall of Little Voice (Torch Theatre), Mary Brenham in Our Country's Good and Ophelia in Hamlet (The Brewery Company, Kendal), Jane Austen in Northanger Abbey (North Country Theatre) and other theatre seasons and panto at Northhampton and Loughborough. Lisa has featured in plays for Radio 3 and 4; Murder at the Vicarage and Pianoman by Emily Woof.
Nick Chee Ping Kellington will be playing Hansel and one of the sons in The Magic Table, the Gold Donkey and the Cudgel in the Sack. Nick is delighted to be working at the Dukes for the first time. He trained at Hope Street Ltd's Physical Theatre Programme, Ecole Philippe Gaulier and Circomedia and he has enjoyed working with such theatre companies as Trestle Theatre, Walk the Plank, Kaboodle Productions and Ophaboom Theatre Company. As well as acting Nick loves playing with home-grown Liverpool band Ella Guru and he is also a pyrotechnician.
Declan Wilson last appeared at the Dukes in The Emperor and the Nightingale and he is delighted to be back at the Dukes. In the Grimm Tales he will play the Lion Prince and Ashputtel's father. Other theatre work includes Souls, Romeo and Juliet, Bill's New Frock, The Butterfly Lion, A Christmas Carol, Paul Robeson Knew My Father and The Grapes of Wrath. For television Declan has appeared in To Play a King, A & E, Merseybeat, Grease Monkeys and The Story of Tracy Beaker.
Amy Rhiannon Worth will play Ashputtel and the Dragon Princess in The Lady and the Lion. After studying Drama at Aberystwyth University, Amy played one of her first leading roles, Beauty in Beauty & the Beast at the Dukes, she went on to appear in the Dukes park shows as Roxanne in Cyrano de Bergerac, Klondike Annie in Around the World in 80 Days and Miss Stapleton in The Hound of the Baskervilles.
Amy's other theatre credits include: Dorothy in the The Wizard of Oz at the Lowry, Salford - a part she has also played at Bolton's Octagon Theatre, Cathy in Wuthering Heights at Settle Festival Theatre, Meisie/Esmerelda inMissing/Crossing for Pentabus Theatre Co., Cinderella at The Northcott, Exeter, Beauty in Beauty & the Beast for Horsham Arts and Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream for Opera North, also Oklahoma! and Me & My Girl for Aberystwyth Arts Centre. For TV, Amy has appeared in Heartbeat for YTV and Crimewatchfor BBC.
• Theatre Listings: Go

MORE MONEY FOR LOCAL GROUPS
9/6/03: The Galbraith Trust is inviting applications from local voluntary and community groups for grants from the charity, which was set up in 2001 from the estate of Ian Galbraith, the former city hardware store owner. Forms and guidelines are available from CVS (see below) and the closing date is Tuesday 1 July.
In May, 11 local charities shared just over £9,500 from the Galbraith Trust. The grants will contribute towards a newsletter, a book corner, a sensory garden, a youth shelter and cheerleading equipment - amongst other things.
The successful applicants were CVS, Dallas Road Playgroup, Friends of Altham Meadows, Friends of Ripley St Thomas School, Homeless Action Lancaster and Homeless Action Morecambe, the Lesbian and Gay Switchboard, Slyne with Hest Parish Council, Whispers (eating disorders), Workspace and the Branksome Youth Association.

• CVS at Trinity Community Centre, Middle Street, Lancaster LA1 1JZ, tel: 01524-63760 or e-mail:

THREAT TO NEW HEYSHAM COMMUNITY FACILITIES
9/6/03: The Labour led Cabinet met for the first time this week and one of the key issues discussed was the threat to the promised community facilities in Heysham as a result of the new regional planning guidance for the North West.
The second phase of the Mossgate development has been called in for review by the Secretary of State.
If the development is not completed then the new community facilities funded by local residents, developers and the County Council are at risk.
The Mossgate Development in Heysham is for about 400 houses and much needed community facilities in the town. The plan envisages a new Library, Medical Surgery, Chemist, Police Station and expansion of facilities for young people. The development fund is managed by the Mossgate Development Company, which is chaired by local Headteacher Les Turner.
"These facilities are vital to the regeneration of Heysham," commented Heysham Councillor Tina Clifford. "Local residents are relying on the development company and the threat of not building them is a real shock to the community."
The decision to review the development by the Secretary of State is as a result of a new regional plan that considerably reduces the housing target for the district.
"We support the thrust of the regional plan and its aims to improve the housing situation in neighbouring districts and the metropolitan areas," said Councillor Ian Barker, Leader of the Council, "and to avoid unnecessary building on our greenfield sites. I am very concerned however, about the implications for Heysham with the review of the Mossgate Development.
"The Cabinet will endeavour to find a solution that ensures community facilities are delivered for local residents."

POULTON NEIGHBOURHOOD MANAGEMENT GOES ONLINE
9/6/03: Poulton Neighbourhood Management has launched its web site, which will provide the local community with details of the latest news and events.
To find out more about Poulton Neighbourhood Management visit www.poultontimes.co.uk

HOLES FILLED
9/6/03: Potholes in Scotforth Road, near the Park Hotel, have finally been filled. Virtual-Lancaster reported on the problem last month.

MASSIVE COUNCIL TAX RISE THREAT
9/6/03: Lancaster City Council's new Cabinet has taken urgent action to tackle the projected rise of 20 per cent in the City's part of the Council Tax in 2004/5.
"A 20 per cent Council Tax rise is totally unacceptable," commented the Council's leader, Ian Barker, who is in charge of the council's budget. "It must be an urgent priority for the coalition cabinet to bring this figure down substantially.
"The Government helped this year by a rise in the support grant of over 8 per centand substantial grants to help with recycling and with benefits administration. We obviously cannot expect the same to happen every year. We must start now to tackle this inherited problem."
To address the matter, the Cabinet has decided to use any surpluses generated in 2002/3 to help with next years budget rather than for new spending; use staff turnover savings to support next years budget; review new posts created in the 2003/4 budget to see whether they were really needed and whether services could be delivered more efficiently in other ways; and make an early start on reviewing the council's corporate plan and preparing next year's budget.
" There is no budget crisis now, but there will be in six months time if we do nothing," said Councillor Barker said. "Instead we need to start reviewing the budget now. I am pleased that the coalition cabinet decided unanimously to do just that and to look again at some of the recent spending decisions."

25 YEARS OF CLOCKS BACK
Lancaster Clocks Back Festival of traditional music, dance and song will hold its 25th Festival in October.
The first one was held in 1979 over the weekend when British Summer Time ends and the clocks are put back one hour. Hence the name of the festival, which has always advertised itself as having "one extra hour free!"
Over the years Clocks Back has occupied many venues, including local pubs, clubs, halls and even, occasionally, a garage. These days it is based in the Gregson Centre, Moorgate, Lancaster, although the organisers also hope to stage some music sessions and singarounds in local pubs and other venues.
The dates of the festival are Friday 24 - Sunday 26 October 2003 inclusive. The Clocks Back committee is now meeting regularly to plan the whole event and this week has announced a few of the major attractions. Artists booked so far include The Old Rope String Band - an amazing trio from Newcastle who mix music, song, comedy, mime, juggling and clowning; Tumbling Tom - the excellent ceilidh band from South Lakeland; and Carolyn Francis - a superb fiddle player, now based in Dent, who will be performing some old traditional Cumbrian tunes she has been researching.
The festival will, of course, involve many other acts yet to be confirmed. "We will let everyone know as soon as possible the exact line-up for the weekend," said Richard Robinson, one of the organisers "but you can be sure the usual sessions, workshops, sing-songs, children's events and Festival Curry will feature during the three days.
"This is a great family event and we are trying to give as much notice as possible. Put the dates in your diary now!"
Clocks Back has two events planned leading up to the festival proper. These will both be held at the Gregson Centre and will serve to raise the funds necessary to stage the festival weekend and give a small taster of things to come.
The first of these events will be a Ceilidh on Friday 27 June 2003, featuring Moorgate - Lancaster's newest ceilidh band, with Caller Debbie Kermode. Band member, melodeonist Simon Booth, reported "Some people will have experienced Debbie's brilliant dance-calling during the past year. She has appeared at the Gregson twice recently - once as 'Granny Smith' at the Apple Day ceilidh in October 2002 and later as 'Desirée' at the National Potato Day dance in January 2003. If all that sounds a bit daft to you, then you are right. But it's true, and we had two superb evenings."
The ceilidh will cost a mere £4 (£3 concessions) admission. The other fund-raising event is to be held at the Gregson Centre on Saturday 6th September, but organisers are refusing to give any details of this at the moment. Watch this space, as they say...

• Fund raiser bookings: tel: 01524 849959. Entrance by ticket only.

Last Week's News Items: Go

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