‘Taggers’ in frame for top heritage award

Fylde Council leader Sue Fazackerley, Margaret Race of the Friends of the LSA Art Collection, Jacqueline Arundel, Project Manager and Jo Derbyshire, chairwoman of the Lytham St Annes Decorative and Fine Arts Society admire the brochure resulting from the Tagging The Treasures project

Fylde Council leader Sue Fazackerley, Margaret Race of the Friends of the LSA Art Collection, Jacqueline Arundel, Project Manager and Jo Derbyshire, chairwoman of the Lytham St Annes Decorative and Fine Arts Society admire the brochure resulting from the Tagging The Treasures project

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Tagging The Treasures, the two-year project to catalogue the Lytham St Annes Art Collection, is up for a major national award.

It is among a host of restoration-related nominees from all over the country chosen to go forward to the finals of the Historic England Angel Awards in London in October.

Founded by musicals maestro Andrew Lloyd Webber and supported by his Foundation, the Historic England Angel Awards celebrate the efforts of individuals and local groups who put hours of hard work and enthusiasm into saving derelict or damaged historic landmarks and bringing them back to life.

This year, the award categories have been expanded and the new sections included Best Research Project, in which Tagging the Treasures is one of four nominees. Groups from all the shortlisted entries have been invited to attend the Historic England Angels Awards ceremony at the Palace Theatre in London’s West End on October 31.

Tagging The Treasures, co-ordinated by Fylde Decorative and Fine Arts Society (DFAS) in partnership with a range of parties including Fylde Council which has housed the Collection at its town hall for many years, involved some 150 volunteers, who Fylde DFAS officials calculate gave 47,540 hours of their time to look into the background of 240 artworks in the Collection, many of which were donated, 125 artists and 88 donors.

Jacqueline Love, Fylde DFAS heritage co-ordinator, who was project manager, said: “It is wonderful to have received such an accolade.

“Working in partnership with the Friends of the Lytham St Annes Art Collection, Lancashire Council Museum Service and other stakeholders, the ‘taggers’ took part in what was a true labour of love – painstakingly researching the pieces and tagging them with relevant and frequently fascinating, background information.

“The task that faced the volunteers was mammoth, requiring great commitment, dedication and passion, and our comprehensive on-line catalogue bears witness to their efforts and success.

“Tagging the Treasures has not simply recorded the story of the Collection, it has become part of that story.”

Margaret Race, chairman of the Friends of the Lytham St Annes Art Collection, said: “Tagging the Treasures has been one of the best things to happen to the Collection and I was very excited to learn that the project has been shortlisted for an Angel Award by Historic England.”

Jo Derbyshire, chairman of Fylde DFAS, said: “Fylde DFAS is so proud of its volunteers and congratulations to our partners at Fylde Council, Lancashire County Council and The Friends of Lytham St Annes Art Collection, without whose help this project might never have got off the ground. We hope for a bright future for the Collection.”

Fylde Council leader Coun Susan Fazackerley said: “As a result of this labour of love, these wonderful items have received the publicity and acknowledgement they deserve, further enhanced by the discovery of their provenance and I sincerely hope they are successful.”

Historic England is inviting members of the public to vote for their favourite entry at www.historicengland.org.uk/angelawards.