Lytham St.Annes Coat of Arms
Lytham St.Annes, Lancashire, England

The Preston Guardian, Saturday, July 11, 1868


Tuesday last was a “red letter" day at Kirkham—being the club day. During the previous day, great preparations were made by all parties for the forthcoming event to make it pass off successfully, which they succeeded in doing, it being observed that the club day passed off better than on any previous occasion.

Early on Tuesday morning, the sun shone out brilliantly, flags were streaming from numerous buildings in the village, the parish bells rang out right merrily, and, on the whole, the village presented a very animated appearance. Towards the centre of the village, a large number of nut and ginger-bread vendors had taken up their stand, all seeming to push a brisk trade. There were photograph "establishments," machines upon which you could try your strength, the force of a blow you could strike, and others of a like nature, all of which seemed to be heartily enjoyed by the rustics. Bands of niggers, and other ballad singers also paraded the streets in considerable numbers.

As the day was exceedingly fine, a considerable number of persons visited the village from Preston and other places, the streets of Kirkham being crowded with pleasure seekers. At about ten o'clock, the scholars attending the parish church schools and a number of the members belonging to the different friendly societies assembled at their lodge-rooms, and from thence proceeded to the parish church, where divine service was held and a sermon preacher by the Rev. G. R. Brown, vicar of Kirkham.

After the service was concluded, the procession was re-formed, and was joined at the church gates by considerable numbers belonging to the different societies. The processionists then proceeded on their route up Church-street, up Preston-street, back again, up Freckleton-street, down Marsden-street, along Station-road, up Bolton-street, into the Square, where they separated.

The procession was headed by the parish church school, with the Britannia Brass Band of Preston, and a beautiful flag, bearing the words, "Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise ;" and on the obverse were the words, " Kirkham Parish Church Sunday Schools." The girls came first, with the Revs. G. R. Brown, vicar, T. Atkinson, curate, Parish Church, and the Rev. R. Moore, vicar of Lund.

In the procession there was a profuse display of small banners, and also a flag, containing the words, “Fear God, and honour the King." The females numbered 320, and 40 "blue" scholars ; and the males, who were headed by Mr. Harrison, superintendent, numbered 200, with 10 " blue " scholars.

Next in the order of procession came the Kirkham Wesleyan Sunday School, headed by a flag having the name of the school on one side, and on the other a representation of the Scriptures, and the inscription, “Search the Scriptures." They were headed by the Rev. R. Moss, pastor of the chapel, and the Rev. Joseph Adams, of Preston. The females numbered 80. The males, to the number of about 40, were headed by a beautiful banner, bearing on one side the inscription, “Sunday schools are England's glory," and on the opposite side "Kirkham Wesleyan Sunday Schools." The Welcome Friend Lodge of the United Order of Oddfellows headed by the militia band and their flag came next to the number of about 90, including Mr. Gardner, N. G., Mr. John Fisher, secretary, and Mr. Lingard, V.G.

They were followed by the Order of Free Gardeners, numbering 95, having their beautiful flag, which contained the name of the order on one side, and the name of the lodge —Rose of Sharon—on the other. They had the band of the 22nd L.R.V. Church, and numbered nearly 100.

A cart, tastefully decorated with evergreens, having in the middle a large tree, representing the Garden of Eden, and containing two boys, who were standing beneath the tree, round which was coiled a serpent, brought up the rear. Following the Free Gardeners came the Ancient Order of Druids, numbering about 30, with a tastefully-designed flag, containing an emblem of the society, and the words “Preston and Kirkham District." They were headed by the Preston Rifle band, and two men on horseback.

The Loyal Order of Ancient Shepherds, to the number of 22, wake headed by their flag and the band of the 52nd (Leyland) Rifle Volunteers. A number of the processionists had shepherds' crooks in their hands, and at the end came a man dressed in the garb of an ancient shepherd, with his dog. Last in the procession came the Ancient Order of Foresters, Court 549, numbering 46. They were headed by the band of the Preston Artillery, and eight men, in the garb of Foresters on horseback.

After proceeding on their route, the processionists assembled in the Square, when the bands united, and played several selections of music, after which the members of the different societies proceeded to their respective meeting houses and schools. Whilst the processionists were assembled n the Square a balloon ascent took place from an adjoining yard, which was hailed with cheers from the assemblage. It rose in a very steady manner, and was soon out sight.

The Church of England scholars proceeded to their school-room, whore dinner awaited them, to which ample justice was done. The girls were presided over by the Rev. R. G. Brown, and the boys by the Rev. T. Atkinson, curate. After dinner had been concluded the scholars retired to an adjoining field, where they amused themselves until late in the evening.

The scholars belonging to the Wesleyan schools partook of tea together, after which they adjourned to a field lent by Messrs. John Birley and sons, where all kinds of amusements and innocent games were indulged in, the youngsters seeming to greatly enjoy themselves. The members belonging to the Independent Order of Oddfellows, after leaving the square, proceeded in order to a booth erected in a field adjoining the Wesleyan School, when an excellent dinner was served up in good style by the worthy host of the New Inn—Mr.Eccleston. The Society of Oddfellows at Kirkham are in a very flourishing condition, and in the procession they presented a very respectable appearance.

The Order of Free Gardeners partook of dinner together at the Black Horse Inn, where an excellent repast was provided by the landlord, Mr. Brown. The members belonging to the Orders of Foresters, Shepherds, and Druids also had dinner at their lodge rooms, at different inns in the village. After the business, the processions, &c., of the day, had been concluded, the “natives" hastened to the place of "recreation," near to the square, to spend the rest of the evening.

The solitary photograph studios, where a “true and correct likeness" would be obtained for the small charge of sixpence, only met with a small share of patronage, the attention of the rustics being generally directed to the maintenance of the inner man, consequently the eating department of the fair met with liberal support. The different public- houses and beershops also drove a roaring trade until a late hour in the evening, when the streets began to grow thinner, and at about ten o'clock the village began to resume its usual appearance, the visitors and the itinerant vendors having taken their departure. The festivities passed off in a very satisfactory manner, all seeming to Leave spent a very pleasant day.