Blue plaque marks key part of town history

A key piece of Fylde history has been commemorated with a blue plaque.

Wednesday, 2nd May 2018, 3:54 pm
Updated Wednesday, 2nd May 2018, 4:26 pm

Alpha House in St Andrew’s Road South was built in 1875 as the first brick house in the then new town of St Annes on Sea and occupied by Clement Rawstron, who set up the town’s first Post Office there the following year.

It was converted into shops the early years of the 20th century and has been an opticians since 1943.

The plaque on the lower wall of what is now St Annes Opticians is the latest to be sited on historic landmarks by Lytham St Annes Civic Society.

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St Annes town mayor Coun Karen Henshaw conducts the blue plaque unveiling ceremony

It has been funded by St Annes Town Council and was unveiled by St Annes town mayor Coun Karen Henshaw at a ceremony attended by two of Mr Rawstron’s great-grandsons.

Marion Coupe, chairman of Lytham St Annes Civic Society, said: “We were delighted to unveil our latest blue plaque and are grateful to St Anne’s Town Council for funding it.

“The St Annes Opticians have been keen to recognise the historical importance of the building and it was good to welcome two descendants of Clement Rawstron.”

Tina Swift, co-owner of St Annes Opticians with Lindsey Taylor, said: “We are very proud that the building has been such a key part of the town’s history and it is wonderful to see that recognised with a blue plaque.

Town crier Colin Ballard greets the crowd which gathered for the ceremony

“It was lovely to see Mr Rawstron’s great grandsons at the ceremony and there has already been plenty of interest in the plaque from passers-by.

“We have been here for two and a half years and are delighted to be carrying on such a proud tradition in a building which has been an opticians for 75 years.”

The shop, facing the top of Wood Street, is in the midst of the latest section of town to be given a facelift by Fylde Council, including new paving.

The plaque commemorating Alpha House