Town takes a step back in time

Alison Levi, Rosalind Ridings, Sue Godsiff, Malcolm Ybarras, Heather Cross and Savannah Clitheroe all set for St Annes Victorian Fair
Alison Levi, Rosalind Ridings, Sue Godsiff, Malcolm Ybarras, Heather Cross and Savannah Clitheroe all set for St Annes Victorian Fair

Fylde traders promise a wide variety of vintage delights as they step back in time in a bid to boost festive season business.

St Annes’ first Victorian Festival has been scheduled for this weekend to build on the momentum following the town’s Christmas lights switch-on – and it is hoped it might become an annual event.

More than 30 traders, including the Town House and Lord Derby pubs and many of them sporting period costume, are taking part and features will range from craft stalls and chestnut sellers to circus acts, children’s rides and poetry readings.

Organisers’ spokesman Heather Cross said: “We are really excited about it.

“It’s brilliant how so many businesses have come forward to be part of it and we are all looking forward to a great weekend.”

The event has been inspired by the Dickensian Festival in Grassington, North Yorkshire, which has been attracting shoppers for more then 30 years.

The festival will take place throughout the weekend’s trading hours and a number of businesses, including Heather’s Vanilla coffee shop in Park Road, plan to open specially on Sunday to be involved.

St Annes chamber of trade chairman John Moxham said: “It is a good idea.It will add plenty of festive colour and character to shops and forecourts and is the kind of thing which can hopefully grow in future years.”

Father Christmas will be in the bowling pavilion at Ashton Gardens throughout Saturday and Sunday, while Lytham St Annes town crier Colin Ballard will be all over town both days.

The event will feature a grand raffle and a best dressed competition while events taking place will include a craft market and children’s fairground rides in Ashton Gardens, poetry reading in the Pavilion cafe on Saturday as well as from the JR Taylor balcony on Garden Street between 2 and 4pm on Saturday and Sunday, the Salvation Army Band performing in The Square between 12.30 and 1.30pm on Saturday, a Punch and Judy on Taylor’s balcony between 11am and noon and 2 and 3pn on both days, a stilt walker on Park Road throughout both days, a Victoria art competition and hog roast at the Exhbitionist gallery, face painting at Salon 28 from 1.30 on Saturday and Sunday, a treasure hunt at Cat Rescue throughout both days and the Swallows charity choir promenading throughout the town between 11.30am and 12.30pm on both days.