Find out more about the making of Fairhaven

The residential resort of Fairhaven, with its marine lake, was the vision of one self-made man, Thomas Riley, of Fleetwood.

Thursday, 13th December 2018, 10:15 am
Updated Thursday, 13th December 2018, 11:20 am
Fairhaven High School and Conservatoire of Music. In 1894, architect Henry Littler leased a plot on Clifton Drive, near Lake Road and designed these two semi-detached villas. In 1901, they became the new premises of the Fairhaven High School. They are little changed today. From the book the Making of Fairhaven by Brian Turner

Locally-based author Brian Turner’s latest book, The Making of Fairhaven, covers the history of the popular Fylde resort and how it evolved.

Mr Turner’s 2008 volume Victorian Lytham – a detailed illustrated history of the town – proved a big hit. He also written about the history of Lytham’s Institute and Library.

His latest publication contains all the background to the story of Fairhaven, beautifully-illustrated with historical, and some modern day, photographs.

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The landing stage at Fairhaven Lake, just before the First World War, with the tower of the new white church in the distance. The houses on the left are Ribblehurst/Ben Atholl, Stanner Bank/Lakeside and High Legh, with the Fairhaven Hotel in the centre of the picture. From the book The Making of Fairhaven, by Brian Turner

Mr Turner said: “This is the story of how Thomas Riley’s dream became a reality, linking the west end of Lytham with the new town 
of St Annes.”

The story falls into five parts:

n Part one covers Riley’s early struggles to develop the estate himself, before he eventually decided to form the Fairhaven Estate Company in 1895.

n The second part follows the company through the years, from 1895 to the end of the First World War. During this period, the company slowly achieved profitability, thanks particularly to the sale of land for King Edward VII School.

Fairhaven Road, St Annes, pictured in the early 1950s. It was originally intended to be a grand entrance to the Fairhaven Estate, leading down to an outer Promenade which was never built. From the book The Making of Fairhaven, by Brian Turner

n Part three tells how in 1923, Lytham St Annes Corporation took over the recreational portion of the Estate – 80 acres, including Fairhaven Lake. By that time, much of the residential part of the estate had been developed.

n The fourth part looks at various aspects of life on the estate, and particularly activities on and around the lake.

n The final part briefly brings the company’s story up to date.

Mr Turner said: “On November 2, 1979, two men met at 19 Norfolk Road, Lytham – where by chance, this book has been written.

Ansdell College, number 6 Cyprus Avenue, with the backs of two school girls just visible in the window above the entrance.

“Number 19 was the home of Harrison Haslam, chairman of the Fairhaven Estate Company and with him was fellow director, Gordon Bradshaw.

“They decided to accept an offer from the Dalmeny Hotel Pension Scheme to buy the company. Their decision brought to an end 84 years of independence, which had seen Fairhaven develop from uninhabited coastal sand dunes into a select residential marine resort.

“It had all started as the vision of one self-made man, Haslam’s grandfather-in-law, Thomas Riley.”

Only 100 copies of the book have been printed.

Marley House, South Promenade, Fairhaven. The bungalow was later demolished in 1987

The book is available on eBay or by emailing [email protected]

Lighthouse cottages, Fairhaven. The first residents of the sandhills, which later became Fairhaven, were lighthouse-keepers who lived in this cottage at what is now the corner of Alexandria Drive and Riley Avenue. The couple in the pictures are Thomas Corless (steam-roller driver for St Annes Council) and his wife, who rented the cottage from the Clifton Estate for 4s 6d per week after the second lighthouse was switched off in August 1893. The cottage was demolished in August 1901, a year after the lighthouse
On May 3, 1926, the civic dignitaries of Lytham St Annes descended the Lake Road entrance for the formal opening of the enlarged lake and recreation grounds by Lord Derby, here chatting to the Mayor, Alderman Edward Lightwood. On the left of the steps (behind Coun Miss Jane Rossall) is Edward Prentice Mawson, who designed and carried out the redevelopment of the lake From the book The Making Of Fairhaven by Brian Turner
Lord Derby returns to the landing stage on the motor launch Fairhaven after opening the enlarged lake on May 3, 1926