Blast from the Past

The Arndale Centre in Morecambe.
The Arndale Centre in Morecambe.

Five years ago: Angry residents continued to voice their outrage against a planned drug treatment centre on the main road into Morecambe.

A petition of more than 130 objections to Bellfield House – a proposed drug dependency unit and needle exchange in the old Conservative Club on Euston Road, had already been gathered. Lancaster City Council had received 10 more written objections from residents.

Researchers at Lancaster University had been awarded £40,000 by the UK’s leading dementia research charity, the Alzheimer’s Research Trust. The team had a molecule that showed promise as a treatment in the laboratory and were investigating its potential to help Alzheimer’s patients. The professor in charge said that in Alzheimer’s toxic proteins build up in the brain but the group had stopped build up in the test tube.

Ten years ago

Residential and office development could be allowed on Morecambe promenade as part of works to regenerate the central area. The suggestion was made in a draft development brief being presented to Lancaster City Council’s cabinet. The aim of the brief was to lay down formal guidelines for permitted developments in the central promenade area – incorporating the Midland Hotel and the former Harbour Band Arena.

Patients’ lives were being put at risk by vandals tampering with the electricity supply at a doctor’s surgery in Morecambe. One incident resulted in the electric being cut off completely when an outside meter at York Bridge Surgery was damaged. Since moving to the James Street site 10 years before, trees had been snapped, two plate glass windows had been smashed twice, cars vandalised and roofs damaged.

Twenty years ago

The new owners of the Arndale Centre revealed plans to build on the success of the popular shopping flagship and make it better than ever. New shops, security cameras and, possibly, new toilets, were among the developments Arndale shoppers could see in the future. A bid of £12 million secured the centre for its new owners the London-based Mars Pension Fund. Mars had already sponsored Crinkley Bottom.

The Mayor had intervened in the Crinkley Bottom controversy with an unprecedented appeal for Morecambe to close ranks and stop ‘nit-picking’. Coun Mrs Jean Yates warned that vital investors could be put off by all the squabbling. Her move had been prompted by complaints about the Happy Mount Park attractions. She said constructive criticism was welcome and would be listened to.