Iconic landmark has sailed on through history

Lytham Windmill, in a scene much like a Christmas card, taken in January 1986

Lytham Windmill, in a scene much like a Christmas card, taken in January 1986

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It’s one of Fylde’s best-known landmarks and at 200 years old, certainly has some history.

These charming black-and-white archive photographs show some rather different views of the famous Lytham Windmill.

The filming of Songs of Praise at Lytham Windmill in the 1970s

The filming of Songs of Praise at Lytham Windmill in the 1970s

The mill was built by the Squire of Lytham, in 1805, on an area known as Lytham Marsh. As a large mill, serving a wide area, the windmill was always busy – with farmers leaving their heavy sacks of grain and then collecting it when it had been turned into flour or bran.

As Lytham grew as a popular resort, the landmark also proved popular as a focal point. People would hold picnics and take donkey rides beneath the shadows of the sweeping sails.

The mill was severely damaged by a fire on January 1, 1919. A sudden strong gale caused the sails of the mill to run out of control, despite the powerful brake. They whipped round at an alarming rate, causing the brake to emit sparks which quickly ignited the whole building.

Fanned by the strong wind, the flames engulfed the interior and destroyed the cap and sails and most of the machinery which was made of wood. Burning pieces of timber from the sails were hurled 50 yards down the

Lytham Windmill after the fire in 1919

Lytham Windmill after the fire in 1919

green and more than 100 sacks of oats were destroyed in the fire.

In 1921, the windmill was given to the people of Lytham by the Squire of Lytham, John Clifton.

The shell was restored and given a new cap and a set of dummy sails and over the years it was used variously as a cafe, headquarters for Lytham Cruising Club, the Motorboat Club and Sea Cadets and was once an Electricity Board sub—station.

The mill has suffered from problems typically associated with old structures over the years – including dry rot in the early 1960s and rising damp in the early 80s.

Lytham Windmill, in 1983

Lytham Windmill, in 1983

In 1987, Fylde Borough Council decided to undertake a major project to combat the effects of damp. Two years of extensive work were carried out, giving the mill a new lease of life.

It was re-opened on March 20, 1989 by the then Mayor of Fylde, Coun John Tavernor.

Lytham Windmill covered in scaffolding in 1982

Lytham Windmill covered in scaffolding in 1982

Children play in front of Lytham Windmill, in 1946

Children play in front of Lytham Windmill, in 1946