Art on show as town hall opens doors to public

Heritage Open Day, organised by Lytham St Annes Civic Society, at St Annes Town Hall. Margaret Race (left), chairman of the Friends of The Lytham St Annes Art Collection, shows The Italian Flower Girl (1870) by Eugene de Blaas, to Kris and Sandra Hallergard.
Heritage Open Day, organised by Lytham St Annes Civic Society, at St Annes Town Hall. Margaret Race (left), chairman of the Friends of The Lytham St Annes Art Collection, shows The Italian Flower Girl (1870) by Eugene de Blaas, to Kris and Sandra Hallergard.

The great-great-granddaughter of legendary artist Richard Ansdell is making a rare visit to Fylde as St Annes Town Hall throws open its doors on Saturday.

Sarah Kellam, who is based in Somerset, will be available to offer details on her ancestor’s work at the open day organised by Lytham St Annes Civic Society as part of the annual national heritage weekend incentive.

Sarah Kellam  - great , great grandaughter of artist Richard Ansdell

Sarah Kellam - great , great grandaughter of artist Richard Ansdell

During the weekend, many buildings across the country not normally accessible to the public will be available to visit, including several in Fylde.

Along with various rarely-seen rooms, the open day at the town hall, which runs from 10am to 4pm, offers the public the opportunity to take a look at items in the Lytham St Annes Art Collection – and a number of Ansdell’s prized panting are among those available to view.

There are a number of new features to the open day this year, including the public 
being allowed on to the first and second floors for the first time to see the artworks on display there.

Meanwhile, ground floor areas which will be open include the reception room, members’ room and the 
mayor’s parlour.

Stained glass and well-preserved Victorian wall-
tiling will be on view, while the prized art collection, some items from which are currently on display at Lytham’s Fylde Gallery, includes oil and watercolour paintings, sculpture, bronzes and ivories.

Along with some of Ansdell’s work, other key 
elements of the collection on show will include The New Curate by Percy Robert Craft, which has recently been renovated. Members of the Friends of Lytham St Annes Art Collection will be on hand along with Sarah to talk to visitors.

Friends chairman Margaret Race said: “The Heritage Open Day offers a rare opportunity to view some of these treasures which are housed in rooms not normally accessible to the public, including two additional corridors this year.

“This will be Sarah’s first visit to the Town Hall for Heritage Open Day. It is about five years since she was last here to talk about Richard Ansdell’s work at the Fylde Gallery.

“She is a world authority on him, is writing his biography and we are delighted to welcome her.”