Lytham film screenings will offer a trip back in time

The screenings will include scenes of Lytham in days gone by
The screenings will include scenes of Lytham in days gone by

Long-lost vintage film scenes of Lytham and St Annes are to be screened to celebrate St George’s Day.

The ultra-rare footage will be shown at Lowther Pavilion following the raising of the flag of St George on the adjacent Green to signal the start of Lytham’s St George’s Day Festival.

Organisers have teamed up with the North West Film Archive and British Film Institute (BFI) to research, discover and eventually show the films, which will include scenes from around the turn of the last century as well as the immediate post-war years.

Festival spokesman Tim Lince said: “A fond look back at Lytham and St Annes of yesteryear is a fantastic way to celebrate the current Festival.

“Lowther Pavilion has a fantastic community cinema that operates all year round and so this will be a great opportunity to see these films as they have never been seen before, on the large screen.

“We had always intended to screen the 1902 Mitchell and Kenyon film of the parade down Lytham seafront which shows clearly St George’s Flag and have worked with the BFI to release the footage for screening.

“The footage was found in 1994 during demolition work at a shop in Northgate, Blackburn.

Two workmen were clearing out the basement when they found three metal drums like milk churns, and looked inside to see hundreds of small spools of film.

“But as we delved further we discovered some other footage that is held by the North West Film archive on family holidays happily spent at Lytham St Annes during the 1940s. It was captivating – and the decision was made to show all these silent films after the flag-raising at Charlie’s Mast on The Green, with free tea and coffee to those who attend.

“On contacting David Brickhill, who holds the rights to some family film footage from the 1940s which will be screened, we received this reply:

“‘I particularly remember spending VJ Day on the beach in St Annes where a bonfire was built and burnt.

“‘I was only seven but I remember it well 74 years later! Very good luck with your film show. I hope St George blesses you with an excellent occasion’.

“So with David’s blessing you to will be able to step back in time and see Lytham and St Annes and how it was in 1902, 1904 and right up to the 1940’s.

More details of the screenings from Lowther on (01253) 794221.