James and Penelope Hilton, Lord and Lady of the Manor of Lytham, have celebrated their diamond wedding anniversay at Lytham Hall – and were presented with a tree to mark the occasion.
An anniversary lunch in the Hall’s Gold Room with family and friends included a presentation by Mr Hilton to his grandson, Hugo Bryan, of a gold ring showing the Clifton coat of arms.
Hugo will become Lord of the Manor after his grandfather and the ring was found in the grounds of Lytham Hall more than 50 years ago and may have belonged to Harry Clifton, the last Squire of Lytham Hall.
It was Harry Clifton who sold his title of Lord of the Manor to Mr Hilton in the late 1970s.
John Hornyak, grounds volunteer at Lytham Hall then presented Mr and Mrs Hilton with a maidenhair tree (gingko biloba), which was planted in commemoration of the anniversary and to celebrate the continuing restoration of the Hall’s historic parkland.
The tree, which was blessed by the Bishop of Blackburn, Rt Rev Julian Henderson, is one of the oldest trees known to man, and is found in fossils dating back 270 million years.
Mr Hilton said “It was marvellous and I was really honoured to be asked to plant the tree, it was a highlight of the afternoon.
“We had a wonderful time, and all guests commented on the great atmosphere at Lytham Hall.“
Marianne Blaauboer, activity plan officer at the Hall, said: “Heritage Trust for the North West, which manages Lytham Hall, would like to thank Mr and Mrs Hilton for celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary at the Hall, and wishes them many more happy and healthy years together.”