Backdrop on way back

Joe Gillett is making the new sails for Lytham windmill. He is pictured (right) with Bob Baines.
Joe Gillett is making the new sails for Lytham windmill. He is pictured (right) with Bob Baines.

LYTHAM’S iconic windmill backdrop is set to be restored to its full glory in good time for the town’s much-anticipated Proms in August.

Boyzone, Katherine Jenkins and Status Quo are set to grace Lytham Green on successive nights in early August in front of thousands of music fans.

But ever since the storms struck last winter, the windmill has been missing two its sails – and Fylde Council has been pulling out all the stops to replace them and have the windmill looking as good as new.

An extensive search for the pitched pine wood used previously proved fruitless but an alternative of Douglas Fir has been acquired, which council officials are confident will prove just as good – and skilled craftmen from Wesham firm N Gillett and Son are working hard preparing the new sails.

Boss Joe Gillett, 63, said: “Each sail is 30ft long and made out of Douglas Fir, which is a Canadian wood.

“It’s a skilled job because there’s not two sails alike, the Lytham sails are a pattern on their own.”

Mr Gillett works at the firm – founded by his father in 1946 – alongside son Nicholas and benchman Robert Baines.

It takes almost a month to make each sail, and Mr Gillett is responsible for the entire process, from tapering the wood, constructing the sails, making the clamps and finally hoisting the sails into a place.

A Fylde Council spokesman said: “We are confident the sails will be back in place in good time for the Proms.”

Proms promoters Cuffe and Taylor report that grandstand seats for the Boyzone concert on August 7 are sold out, as are VIP places for Katherine Jenkins the previous day and Status Quo the day before that.

“Early booking of the remaining places is advised,” said a spokesman for Cuffe and Taylor.