Oyez, oyez! One of Fylde’s most familiar faces – and voices – is off to climes a far cry from our current winter chills.
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Colin Ballard, Lytham and St Annes’ town crier, made such an impression on the Kuwaiti national kite-flying team when they visited Fylde for the St Annes Kite Festival that he has been invited to be a big noise at a similar event of their own.
Colin flies to the Middle East on Sunday and will be there until February 27, covering the week-long Kuwait Kite Festival.
“It’s a huge honour to be invited,” he said. “Two years ago the Alfarsi Kite Team from Kuwait, fliers of the world’s biggest kite, came to fly their kites on the beach.
“They loved it and returned last year, bringing bigger and bigger kites to excite the crowds.
“On both occasions a civic reception was arranged and I introduced the team members.
We established a rapport and because there is no comparable position in Kuwait, the team leader Abdulrahman Al Farsi has invited Colin to fly over and ‘cry’ for the Festival week.”
Colin, who is carrying on as local town crier for the foreseeable future after initially announcing his intention to retire, paid tribute to the team behind the St Annes Kite Festival, which returns for a sixth year on September 1 and 2.
“This has only happened because of Pat May and his small team putting on such a wonderful event in St Annes,” added Colin. “I am learning to read my first few lines in Arabic out of respect for their culture.
“I will be carrying a St Annes on the Sea Town flag, a glass ornament and shield from Fylde, signed cards from the mayors as well as a personal message from Pat.
“They’ve even arranged two bags for me because my uniform, bell and clogs will fill and weigh heavy enough for one bag.”