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Posts Tagged ‘Lancashire’

The Carnival rolled into town on the back of strong feeling about protecting Lancaster from developers who propose to destroy green space and replace the unique feel of the city with more identikit big business shopping opportunities. Some of the notable causes today included opposition to the proposed Heysham ‘link road,’ protest against the almost unthinkably bizzare idea to put car-parking on the green space outside the priory and of course, the old favourite, the hideously dull, destructive and devestatingly disruptive Centros Miller proposal.

Visit the homepages of some of the various campaigns below and see the Carnival site for more info.

Carnival of Culture Homepage
It’s Our City – Opposing the Centros Miller Development
The homepage of Transport Solutions for Lancaster and Morecambe – central to the fight against the Heysham link road.

The day started on the carpark near to the old brewery site, central to the proposed redevelopment – in the background of the 1st picture is one of the beautiful old industrial buildings at stake.

Sound system on a bike. I want one of these for Christmas please.

Banners were hoisted, flags, whistle and shakey things given out and to the beat of samba drums, off the procession went – almost straight onto the ring road, past some bemused, but also many enthusiastic and supportive shoppers and drivers. I didn’t see any negative attitudes all day towards the banners or costumes, which suggests that the people of Lancaster are broadly supportive of the causes at the heart of this event.

First stop was Dalton Square, where, outside the town hall, the assets of Lancaster were auctioned off – Happily the winning bidder for three of the lots was ‘the people of Lancaster’ (hurray!), triumphing over ‘big business’ (boo!!!) but we were reminded that there was still much to play for and that as the links at the top of this page and on the carnival site show – there is much to oppose and fight for.

The turnout was excellent and colourful.



Big business bid for ‘the heart of Lancaster’ and Castle Hill (kudos by the way to the fella who presented this – excellent job in the humble opinion of this website)


The police must have enjoyed the play, because they video taped the whole thing – presumably to watch again later in the warmth of the police station and share a range of critical perspectives on the action.

Samba drums in Dalton Square – At this point the drums left us and it was off again, up onto the ring road and back through town towards the Priory.

Arriving at the priory there was music playing and more banners – It’s almost inconceivable that anyone could wish to concrete over such a unique and well used spot. The views from this place are stunning and the green spaces of Lancaster are a huge part of what makes it special – as an outsider myself, I love this place, partly because of the positives it has over many other places I have lived and I find it almost defies belief that anyone, let alone a church organisation (well, maybe that’s not such a big suprise) should seek to defile what must be one of the loveliest city centre sites in Britain.

Lets just imagine the thought process of those in favour of the scheme…

“I love our city especially Castle Hill – 800 yr old castle, historic priory, beautiful view, open space,, trees, long grass, birds singing, peace and quiet, cycle track, path down to riverside – it’s a lovely spot isn’t it…”
“Yes it is all of those things and more, a unique and irreplacable community resource …. but you know what?”
“What?”
“It would be much better for everyone if we concreted over a big lump of it so a few people didn’t have to walk about 150 yards on one day of the week”
“Yes, you’re so right – Let’s do that then”

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When we arrived at the Priory entertainment came from lovely folky, eastern European flavoured music – possibly members of Balkanic Eruption? (let me know if you know…)

There was kite flying, with mixed results…

Then back of into to town again…

… heading to the skatepark for more drumming

The police also enjoyed the samba drumming and presumably wanted to record that to make the night of playviewing a double bill, though why they felt it quite necasary to record the skaters who happened to be at the park (some of whom were as young as 11 or 12) I don’t quite know. Perhaps they are planning to learn to skateboard as part of a new style of rapid response technique?

It was back to the start and mo’ singing mo’ dancing mo’ blowin’ whistles before the world and his dog (on a string, ho ho) headed to the pub for a post walk pint and to watch a reet good band… I only saw one of the acts at the Gregson Centre…

… because I went to see what was going on at the Park Hotel. It was a UV light treat with some lovely music and decent DJs and made a nice change to be honest from the regular Lancaster pub fayre. So well done them, and a huge well done to all involved in organising the Carnival – A great fun, exciting and educational day – more of the same next year please!

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With hangovers stubbornly intact from an evening at the Gregson we set off on a head clearing wander along the banks of the River Lune. It was Saturday and so Lancaster City were playing against Wakefield FC at the Giant Axe (a game the Dolly Blues triumphed 1-0 in.)

Walking past the ground and under the railway takes you to the bottom of Castle Hill (where, for every step there’s a local boy who wants to be your hero, according to Belle and Sebastian) and a rather spooky grave…

The beauty of Lancaster centre is well illustrated by the view up toward the Priory – It’s hard to believe that this is a city centre location, as opposed to some ruryl idyll.

Moving on through the parkland past a strange site of two fully grown, rather portly men in full (rather dated) football kit, knocking a football between them, we come to the river and the former customs house, which is now a museum of Maritime stuff

The river here is quiet – There’s the excellent Wagon and Horses pub and some rather dull redevolopment but these incredably colourful flowers caught my eye.

Walking a bit further takes you toward the city centre proper and past the millenium bridge and the old Glasson Dock / dockside rail line bridge both of which are part of cycle tracks.

At one time, Lancaster was the UK’s 3rd biggest slave port (behind only Bristol and Liverpool) and a monument to the shameful past stands quayside. It’s a little hard to make out what exactly it’s supposed to be but the sentiment is fair enough.

At this point my hangover was getting to a pretty horrible peak so healthy refreshment was sought.

Imbued with the goodness of berries and stuff, we marched onwards – taking note of the handy reminder of what river we were on.

Lancaster does have some grotty looking bits to it – This underpass doesn’t quite fit in with the otherwise lovely riverside developments.

and the razor wire protecting the ‘Duke of Lancaster Regiment’ from joggers and dog walkers isn’t too pretty either.

Neither was this thing I found on the side of the river – I have absolutely no idea what it is – If anyone else does I’d be interested – It was just stuck there, entirely on it’s own on the edge of the river.

All that remained now, was too wander back – Past the ever intriguing site of a large warehouse with its door wide open.

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