Lytham Club Day victim of the coronavirus shutdown

Lytham Club Day has been called off for this year – more than three months before it was due to be held.

Wednesday, 18th March 2020, 3:32 pm
Updated Wednesday, 18th March 2020, 3:32 pm
A previous Lytham Club Day

The colourful community celebration which marked its 125th anniversary last year and was only ever previously not held because of the two world wars, is among an extensive list of events which have been cancelled or postponed by the current coronavirus outbreak.

The Fylde mayor’s ball, due to be held in Wrea Green on Friday, is among the other cancellations, while venues including Lowther Pavilion and Lytham Heritage Centre have announced their doors will be shut until further notice.

The open air plays season scheduled for the grounds of Lytham Hall this summer has already been postponed until 2021.

The closures follow Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s message to the nation this week to avoid non-essential contact with others in a bid to stem the spread of the virus which is infecting ever more people by the day.

The positive infections listed so far include one in Fylde, although no further details of the person or exact location have been made available because of patient confidentiality.

Doctor’s surgeries across the borough have brought in special measures to cope with the crisis and Fylde Council is limiting its opening hours, although as we went to press, the vast majority of schools, restaurants, pubs and cafes were still open.

Lytham Club Day was due to take place on Saturday, June 27 - but the organising committee announced its cancellation with the following statement: “It is with great sadness that the Lytham Club Day Committee have decided to cancel this year’s Rose Queen and Club Day Festival due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

“We do not take this decision lightly, indeed Club Day has only ever been cancelled in the past due to the First and Second World Wars. We’ve considered all information available at the moment including projections that indicate the timing of the peak of the virus and believe it is the right thing to do.

“Some may feel that we are premature in our decision, however we are aware that as well as the committee, the community of Lytham put a great deal of time, money and effort into preparation for Club Day and we want to be able to give everyone sufficient notice to minimise any losses or disappointment.”

The statement adds that reigning rose queen Aisha Berry will continue her duties, while her successor Phoebe Rowlings will pick up her reign in June 2021, when the next Club Day will be held.

Club Day committee chairman Andrea Swindlehurst concluded: “I wish everyone good health, and promise that Lytham Club Day and Rose Queen Festival will be back, bigger and better. See you on June 26, 2021.”

So far, all of other Club and Carnival days set for June and July in Fylde are still due to go ahead.

The Mayor’s Ball, which was set for Ribby Hall tomorrow, is traditionally the highlight of the mayor’s fund-raising year and 130 guests were expected to boost the coffers of the four mayoral charities.

But Fylde mayor Angela Jacques said: “We have made the difficult decision to cancel due to the unprecedented public health crisis this country is currently facing.

“Of course, I am disappointed to have to cancel the event, but it is absolutely the right thing to do given the current advice provided by the Prime Minister.

“Our priority remains people’s health, safety and well being.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has helped to organise this year’s ball, the venue Ribby Hall for being so understanding and accommodating, and everyone for their continued donations to this year’s charities.”

Lowther Pavilion management said in a statement regarding its closure: “We regret to inform you that theatre will be closing due to the current situation and the latest government guidance.

“We’ll be re-evaluating the situation again in 30 days.

“The theatre team are working on rescheduling all events during this period, all tickets holders will be contacted by our team over the next seven days with further information.

“The health and wellbeing of our staff, our audiences and our community are our first priority.

“We’d like to thank you all for your continued support and patience over this time period.

“Please keep safe and we’ll see you all soon.”

The Lowther closure means that the charity concert in aid of Rise Against Hunger organised by Rotary Lytham and due to be held on April 19, has been postponed, while the Fylde Respect Awards, organised by the three South Fylde Rotary clubs and due to be held at Kirkham Grammar School on April 1, is also among events called off.

The St Annes Enterprise Partnership, which made an early decision to call off its Easter Extravaganza event has now also cancelled its Spring clean up of St Annes town centre, which was scheduled for March 29.

Meanwhile, Fylde Council announced that its town hall at St Annes will only be open to the public from 10am to 11am, and again from 2pm to 3pm, daily until further notice,

The public are being encouraged to use online services where possible and the number of people attending to speak to a customer service representative is being restricted to a maximum of two per appointment.