Story shorts - 16/11/10

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A round-up of news in brief from across Lancashire

Hospital award for programme

Lancashire Teaching Hospitals has scooped an award for its work placement programme for students with learning difficulties. The trust, which runs Royal Preston and Chorley and South Ribble hospitals, has been awarded the Northwest Positive Action award. The programme supports students with learning difficulties.

Open day and cheese event

The Oddfellows Society in Preston is holding an open day today at the town hall on Lancaster Road. There will be a coffee morning for over 50s from 10am to noon and a cheese and wine evening from 7pm to 9pm. For details, call Nadia Southwood on 01772 468692 or e-mail

Save lives by giving blood

Blood donor sessions will be held at St Joseph’s Parish Hall on Harpers Lane, Chorley, on Tuesday, November 23. Session times are from 2pm to 4pm and from 5pm to 7.30pm. To book an appointment, call 0300 123 23 23.

Step out for staircase art

Artist Tod Handon has created new public artwork for the staircase gallery at Lancaster’s Storey Institute. The artist produced brightly coloured paintings on the walls and ceilings, to enhance the building’s historic architectural features. He will speak about his work at 7.30pm on November 30 at the institute’s lecture theatre.

Chamber choir are on song

The University of Central Lancashire chamber choir will perform on campus next week. The singers will be joined by guest choirs from Cardinal Newman College, Hutton Grammar and Lea Endowed Primary School. It takes place at 7.30pm on November 24 in the Harrington Lecture Theatre.

Festive spirit for schoolkids

A South Ribble school is holding a Christmas fair this month. Walton-le-Dale Primary is hosting the event from 3pm to 6pm on November 26. Among the attractions are Santa’s grotto, face painting, crafts, gifts to buy, a tombola and a raffle.

Krautrock icon returns to city

Krautrock legend Damo Suzuki, ex-vocalist of 1970s prog giants Can, is returning to Preston’s New Continental. Suzuki, immortalised in The Fall’s I Am Damo Suzuki, played at the pub, in South Meadow Lane, last March with Lancaster band 3D Tanx. He returns on Saturday, December 4, backed by Condor Moments and Electric Free Time Machine.

Inbetweeners band are home

Preston band Failsafe, who starred in hit TV show, The Inbetweeners, return tonight for their first home town gig since the screening. The second episode of the recent series, called The Gig and The Girlfriend, centred on a show by the five-piece. The band, who release their third album next year, play the Mad Ferret pub tonight, supported by Boy Genius and The Fear. Entry is £5.

Museum tour

A free public tour of Preston’s Harris Museum and Art Gallery will be held on Saturday. The session will run from 1pm to 1.45pm. Call 01772 258248 for more details.

Short lecture at university

Clare Short – former Secretary of State for International Development – will give the first UNESCO Chair in Gender Research Annual Lecture at Lancaster University called Do Women Think Differently About Foreign Policy? The lecture is also a Faculty of Arts and Social Science Signature Lecture and will take place next Tuesday at 4.15pm.

Jazzy night out at college

A selection of award winning jazz musicians will be joining students from Runshaw College’s Jazz Academy for the day on Tuesday, November 24. After a series for workshops they will be joining with students to put on a show off works for a public audience. Tickets can be booked from

Charity stride at university

Edge Hill University’s corporate communications team are taking a step Back to the Future for a sponsored walk to mark the institution’s 125th anniversary. They will walk the 15 miles from the original university site in Edge Hill, Liverpool, back to the Ormskirk campus. The event will raise money for the Alumni Fund.

Free residents’ health checks

Free health MOTs are being offered to Preston residents later this week. Preston Council’s Citizenzone bus will be on the car park of the Royal Preston Hospital on Friday, offering residents a number of basic health checks and advice on how to improve lifestyle. The free checks will be offered at the Sharoe Green Lane hospital from 10am to 3pm. For more information, call 01772 516419.

Town’s festive light switch-on

The official Christmas lights switch-on in Garstang takes place later this month. The official switch-on takes place on Monday, November 29 at 4.45pm at the Christmas tree outside the Royal Oak. Carols will be led by Garstang High School band and local schoolchildren before a blessing of the crib. Parking in the town will be free from 2pm until 6pm.

Farmers’ event returns to city

Preston’s monthly Ashton Farmers’ Market returns to the area this Saturday. A range of fresh produce will be on offer at St Michael’s Church Hall, Tulketh Road, Ashton. The event runs from 9am to 1pm. Call 01772 827835 for more information.

Flower club to meet at school

Mince pies will be on offer as members of the Longton with Hutton Flower Club get in the festive spirit tomorrow night. Penwortham Girl’s High School in Cop Lane, Penwortham, near Preston, will host the event from 7pm for a 7.30pm start. Entry is £8.

Appliance on fire in garage

A suspected fault in a tumble drier sparked a garage fire. Crews were called to Stanhope Avenue, in Morecambe, at 4.50pm on Friday, after reports of a blaze. The blaze caused significant smoke and heat damage in the garage and two crews extinguished it using a hose reel.

Driver escapes a tree crash

A car hit a tree on a country lane. Emergency services were called to the A588, in Cockerham, Lancaster, at 9.10pm on Saturday, after reports of a crash. The driver was not trapped and firefighters made the vehicle safe.

Crash chaos causes queues

Rush hour traffic was brought to a standstill after a four-car motorway smash.

Traffic on the M61 was hit with long delays after a collision on the northbound lanes, close to junction nine, at 8.17am yesterday.

It is believed people may have been injured in the smash and two ambulances were called.