Centenary of union of Lytham and St Annes as a single council area celebrated 100 years on

The 100th anniversary of the union of Lytham and St Annes as a single council area has been celebrated with ceremonies in both towns.

By Tony Durkin
Sunday, 1st May 2022, 3:45 pm
Updated Monday, 2nd May 2022, 11:52 am

The official union to form the borough of Lytham St Annes only lasted a little more than 50 years and ended almost another 50 years ago, but marketing of the area as a joint entity through the peak tourism years of the 50s and 60s – and the united title still being used by Royal Mail – means the joint name lives on.

Both towns are are now proud of their own identity as part of the Fylde borough, which came into being in 1974, and St Annes has a Town Council while a consultation has been ongoing on whether Lytham should follow suit.

The union by Act of Parliament came into effect on May 1, 1922.

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Town crier John Spencer Barnes at the ceremony with the civic party including Fylde mayor Elaine Silverwood, St Annes Town Council chairman Gavin Harrison and guest County Coun Barrie Yates (far left), chairman of Lancashire County Council. Coun Cheryl Little (second right) is holding an image of the 1922 ceremony.

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In recognition of the centenary, St Annes town crier John Spencer Barnes performed a ‘cry’ in Lytham Square at noon on Sunday before moving to St Annes to make a further proclamation on the exact spot in The Square that the Charter was read 100 years ago. The bells of St Annes Parish Church were then rung in celebration.

After the proclamation, there was a small reception in Fylde’s Town Hall - previously the home of Lytham St Annes Council – to hear a few words from Fylde mayor Elaine Silverwood and St Annes Town Council chairman Coun Gavin Harrison, a short history presentation and to look at artefacts, newspaper cuttings, pictures and programmes from 1922.

Coun Harrison said: “It’s an important part of the town’s history and I’m delighted we have been able to mark it in this way.”

The bumper crowd that gathered for the read of the charter in St Annes Square on May 1, 1922

A few people gathered to watch the ceremony in St Annes between the old JR Taylor store and what is now the HSBC bank, the scene of the 1922 ceremony.

Back then, the proclamation of the union attracted hundreds of onlookers, in pouring rain.

The Charter was publicly read by then town clerk Mr Bradley, after which a resolution, thanking King George V and Queen Mary for the granting of the Charter, was sent by telegram to the King, whose reply expressed the hope that the new borough would prosper and flourish.

Mr Bradley, town clerk, reads the charter on May 1, 1922, proclaiming "the most notable day in the history of Lytham and St Annes". On the extreme right is the squire of Lytham, Mr J Talbot Clifton.