This Saturday Lytham Hall hosted two very special, and very different occasions, both with a royal flavour. In the morning, our weekly parkrun was tinted red-white-and-blue, as 187 runners and 28 volunteers donned festive outfits in honour of the birthday of Queen Elizabeth II. Counting down the start was Lytham's Rose Queen, Jenny Pope. She then derobed to reveal her running kit and joined lots of other first timer parkrunners.
Later that day, we welcomed James and Penelope Hilton, the Lord and Lady of the Manor of Lytham, who celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in the Gold Room with family and friends. Rowleys catering provided the lunch and Town Crier Colin Ballard made sure the entire afternoon ran smoothly, down to Mr Jebson’s musical ending.
There was a very touching moment when Mr Hilton presented his grandson, Hugo Bryan, with a gold ring showing the Clifton coat of arms. Hugo will become Lord of the Manor after his grandfather. The ring was found in the grounds of Lytham Hall over 50 years ago and may have belonged to Harry Clifton, the last Squire of Lytham Hall. It was Harry Clifton who sold his title of Lord of the Manor to Mr Hilton, in the late 1970s.
John Hornyak, grounds volunteer at Lytham Hall, presented Mr and Mrs Hilton with a maidenhair tree (gingko biloba), which was planted in commemoration of the joyous occasion and to celebrate the continuing restoration of the historic parkland. The tree was blessed by the Bishop of Blackburn, Rt Rev Julian Henderson. This tree is one of the oldest trees known to mankind, and is found in fossils dating back 270 million years.
Mr Hilton said “It was marvellous and I was really honoured to be asked to plant the tree, it was a highlight of the afternoon. We had a wonderful time, and all guests commented on the great atmosphere at Lytham Hall.“
Heritage Trust for the North West, which manages Lytham Hall, would like to thank Mr and Mrs Hilton for celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary at Lytham Hall, and wishes them many more happy and healthy years together.