Story shorts - 05/10/12

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A round-up of news in brief from across Lancashire

Missing man is found by police

Police have traced a missing man after launching an appeal when they became concerned for his welfare. Ian Liffen, 48, was last seen in his home town of Dumfries in Scotland on Wednesday, September 19, and was believed to have travelled south through Lancashire to Cambridgeshire.

Fitness day for Fulwood

Fulwood Leisure Centre hosts its fourth annual charity Fitness Day on Sunday. The Black Bull Lane sports facility will offer a choice of two 40 minute activities, including spinning, step aerobics, or gym circuits, to allow customers to try them out. And you can also choose another exercise such as zumba, body combat or powerwalking. Try three sports and test your fitness. Entry is £10 and the day runs from 9.30am to 1pm. All cash raised will be donated to the Rosemere Cancer Trust.

Rare bird’s diet is gritty

Volunteers at a nature reserve have revealed they are feeding birds grit. Bearded tits at RSPB Leighton Moss nature reserve in Silverdale change their diet in winter to avoid having to migrate, eating seeds from reeds. Alasdair Grubb, assistant warden, said: “Bearded tits don’t have teeth, so to grind down the hard seeds so they can digest them, they have to eat grit.”

Biffy man NME praises for band

Chorley and Preston band Then Thickens have won praise in national music magazine NME from Biffy Clyro frontman Simon Neil. The six piece band, led by Jon-Lee Martin, supported Biffy recently in Leeds and obviously impressed Neil who was quoted in this week’s NME giving his tips for greatness in the current underground rock scene - including Then Thickens. The Scottish rock hero said: “There’s a band called Then Thickens who we played with in Leeds. It’s one of our friends called Jon-Lee Martin who is in a band called Kong. “(In Then Thickens) he does this dirgey pop with a female singer. He’s got a beautiful croon, Jon, and he’s a great lyricist.”

Gala event full steam ahead

Ribble Steam Railway is holding its annual Diesel Gala this weekend. The event, in Chain Caul Road, Ashton, Preston, will feature the first passenger workings of Sentinels Enterprise and Progress. All the operational diesels will be in action and visitors will also get the chance to have a look in the workshop.

Fiendish night at historic hall

A ‘Fangtastic’ murder mystery event is coming to Samlesbury Hall this month. The historic venue in Preston New Road will be the setting for a Vampire Ball on Friday, October 19. Call 01254 812010 to find out more.

Detectives’s running effort

A detective who heads up Lancashire’s public protection team is running the first of two marathons later this month to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation. Det Supt Ian Critchley will represent Lancashire Police and raise money for the Children’s Society in the Preston Guild marathon on Sunday, October 28. To donate visit