No light at end of tunnel for model railway display

G-Wizz's Allan Judd with a Festive Santa Express display at last year's event
G-Wizz's Allan Judd with a Festive Santa Express display at last year's event

A festive model railway display which has raised thousands of pounds for charity could be set to hit the buffers as it prepares for its 20th anniversary.

Unless it finds a new home, the Lytham St Annes G-Wizz Festive display is in danger of not been held this year after an apparent clash of dates at the venue which has been its home for the past five years.

The festive event, traditionally held in early December, moved to St Margaret’s Church Hall in St Annes in 2012 from its previous home at St Annes United Reformed Church because of access problems during the demolition of the old St Annes Conservative Club and building of the Aldi store.

“It was a great move for us and attendances actually went up because it is easier to park at St Margaret’s,” said G-Wizz spokesman Allan Judd.

“But we have been told there is no availability this year because our first choice of December 3 and other dates close by are already taken.

“We have tried other similar venues but even at nine or 10 months’ notice, December dates are already taken up and there is a real danger the show will not go on.

“It is our 20th anniversary this year and we had special features planned. It’s a very disappointing situation but we hope someone might be able to help.”

The G-Wizz team has supported many different charities at the event over the years, with the latest display raising £450 to fund items of new training equipment for the Lytham St Annes Unit of the St John Ambulance.

Andrew Wright, unit manager for youth training and Julie Whitaker, unit manager for adult training, received the equipment on behalf of the SJA at a recent presentation and said: “We are so grateful for this generous donation from the G-Wizz team of important equipment which enable the units to expand the training opportunities that they can offer to members of all ages.

“It will enhance the blended learning experience that we can offer adults, cadets and badgers, creating a fun, interactive programme of activities to benefit members of St John Ambulance and the people in the community which we serve.”

Rev Antony Hodgson, vicar of St Margaret’s Church, said he was unaware of the dates clash and would check the situation with the church’s bookings secretary.

Anyone who can help G-Wizz with alternative premises for this year’s festive display should contact Allan on (01253) 403069.