Verdict on Fylde’s best... and worst

Jan Teasdale and Chris Williams at The Caravan Gallery Pride of Place Project in St Annes Road West, St Annes.
Jan Teasdale and Chris Williams at The Caravan Gallery Pride of Place Project in St Annes Road West, St Annes.
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The beach, parks, range of shops, the wind, potholes and dog mess.

They were just some of the topics which came up as answers when residents and visitors to St Annes and Lytham were asked what are the best and worst things about the two towns – and it’s easy enough to work out which answer came under which heading.

A series of fascinating and diverse replies were given when the travelling Caravan Gallery came to the Fylde coast during last summer’s Open Golf Championship at Royal Lytham and St Annes.

Artists Jan Williams and Chris Teasdale brought along their Gallery, a small 1970s caravan, as the centrepiece of entertainment for non-golfers while the Open was being staged.

Alongside the caravan, an empty shop on St Annes Square was leased to stage a People’s Wall of recollections about the area, a separate display of Lytham St Annes souvenirs and a People’s Map of places important to ordinary people.

The Gallery is back for the St Annes Music and Arts Festival, starting today – and a book relating Jan and Chris’ experiences last summer is being launched to tie in with the event.

Thousands of residents and visitors left observations and memories, which have been married to photographs taken by Jan and Chris to form content for the book entitled Lytham St Annes Pride of Place.

It’s on sale for £6 at locations including Lowther Pavilion, Storytellers Inc bookshop and St Annes Library and is launched at Fresh cafe, St Annes Square tomorrow at 6pm, while Chris and Jan will be signing copies at Storytellers Inc on Saturday at 1pm.

Jan said: “People loved the way it brought people together to share their experiences in a friendly creative environment. We’d love to think we’ve sown the seeds for future creative endeavours.”

Coun Sue Fazackerley, Fylde Council tourism chief, said: “All the observations about the area were very acute, yet obviously full of affection.”

Festival runs for nine days from today

The St Annes Music and Arts Festival gets underway on tomorrow and runs for nine days until September 14. 
Highlights at the event are set to include a concert by the Lytham Proms Orchestra at the RNLI boathouse on Sunday and a ‘Big Sing’ celebratation of hymns at St Thomas Church on Monday. 
More details about the event can be obtained from St Annes Town Council on (01253) 788579.

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