Town crier Colin Ballard found the perfect way to escape the chilly Fylde winter – by taking up an invitation to be a big noise at a major international event in the Middle East.
Colin enjoyed VIP treatment in temperatures in the mid to high 20s as he was guest of honour of the Kuwaiti national kite team at the 16th annual Al-Farsi International Kite Festival.
The invitation came about after the Kuwaitis were impressed with Colin’s ‘crying’ skills when they were in Fylde last September for the St Annes Kite Festival.
They were keen to have him announce proceedings at their event, which featured 11 teams from all around the world, including England and Scotland, and footed the bill for his nine day-trip.
“It really was the trip of a lifetime – I really can’t thank my hosts enough,” said Colin.
“I was treated so well, The locals were so friendly and generous, with nothing too much trouble.
“The Festival coincided with Kuwait’s Independence Weekend and was such a colourful spectacle.
“I took over the St Annes town flag among a number of souvenirs and that flew proudly on the beach along with so many others from around the world.
“It was clear the Kuwaitis had enjoyed themselves so much at the St Annes Festival. They said they now considered it one of the ‘big three’ in the world, along with their own and that at Berck in France, which is a wonderful compliment to our event.”
Having put plans to retire from his Lytham St Annes crier role on hold, Colin will again be ‘crying’ at the sixth annual St Annes Kite Festival on September 1 and 2.