For the last few nights I've noticed a very bright light in the sky at around 12.30-ish at night. The first time I saw it I thought it was the police helicopter so didn't think anymore about it. Saw it again the night after and thought it was a bit odd that the helicopter should be in the same place at around the same time 2 nights running. On the third night I watched for a while and it wasn't moving and so couldn't really be the police helicopter.
The answer came from a very surprising source. There's a free magazine in the area called the Padiham Herald. It's a mixture of local business advertising and lots of silly articles, dubious jokes and columns. Columnists include the News From the Hardware Shop and the Grumpy Old Git. I love it and always enjoy reading it when it pops through the letterbox. Actually here's a link to the Hardware Shop. I love this shop it's an Aladdin's cave of stuff. You can get anything from a single nail to a mason cash mixing bowl. It's great. Plus they have a lovely shop dog called Ken! Oops, I digress somewhat from the main topic, sorry I'll get right back on track straightaway. Anyhow, there was an article in the latest copy that said that Mars is apparantly the closest it's ever been to Earth at the moment and is therefore the brightest object in the night sky other than the moon at the moment. Now I know what I've been seeing these past few nights.
Of course, I did some further research and there is also the Perseids meteor shower over the next couple of nights. We did see a couple of shooting stars on Monday night as it was a nice clear night. Utterly crap and dismal day but lovely clear night. Will have a look outside later to see if there are any more to be seen.