Blast from the past

Winter Gardens car park.
Winter Gardens car park.

Five years ago: It was reported that a promenade eyesore and a glorified ‘public toilet’ could be about to receive a major face lift.

The arcade, running from Marine Road beside the old Woolworth building – B and M Bargains – to the Winter Gardens car park could be transformed with new shop units and a central cafe area. Plans had been drawn up for the complete overhaul of the arcade, including a new roof, road surface and entrance doors.

Morecambe FC were offering a ‘quid a kid’ scheme to boost gates for their Johnstone’s Paint Trophy game against Carlisle Utd of Division One. The Northern Section first round game was a rare home fixture for Morecambe in a competition that had seen them notch some notable scalps and put themselves within touching distance of a Wembley date. Sammy McIlroy’s side had beaten teams like Tranmere and Oldham.

Ten years ago:

Fears for the future of the Morecambe Punk Festival ended, when the punks announced their desire to return to the resort. Organisers of Wasted hoped to move the festival from the usual mid-summer slot to May in 2005. There had been concerns that the festival could move away from Morecambe altogether. By holding Wasted in May, organisers hoped to attract bigger names from the world of punk music.

Morecambe FC boss Jim Harvey was confident that he could get the Shrimps back on track after a disappointing start that yielded just one point from three games. After a solid start at Exeter, Morecambe then lost two home matches in a row to Accrington and Gravesend, results which led a section of the crowd to call for Harvey’s head. But the Shrimps boss pledged to turn things around.

Twenty years ago:

In a significant boost for Morecambe’s West End, Mitchell’s Brewery announced extensive plans to invest in the site next to the Clarendon Hotel. The Lancaster-based firm owned the Clarendon and wanted to extend the hotel into the derelict buildings next door creating a new reception and toilet facilities. A seafront bar, fast food takeaway and valuable car parking spaces could also be created on the site.

Plans for a £10 million Morecambe Pier were to be discussed at a crucial meeting. One of the country’s biggest property investment companies and city council planning officers were to consider the proposals. Drawings and sketches had already been produced for a themed leisure and shopping development on the site of the old Central Pier. The possibility of incorporating a harbour in the scheme had also been mentioned.