Published by Jane Oliver · 5 mins ·
It is with deep regret, we inform the sad demise of Sandra Allen one of our most treasured and long serving volunteers at Lytham Hall.
‘When Sandra Allen arrived in Lytham in 1969, she quickly became one of the Lytham ladies. She had recently married Bob Allen, son of Rev. AR Allen of St John’s in Lytham, and joined him in his life in the town. Bob was working for the Clifton family at Lytham Hall and Sandra spent quite some time learning from him about the history and geography of the area. It was said by many that she soon surpassed the local’s knowledge of the town and her desire to know more bloomed into a long connection with the heritage of Lytham. After Bob’s death in 1991, Sandra became a keen member of organisations such as the local Heritage Group and one of the regular Lytham Hall volunteers.
Her intimate knowledge of the building helped with restoring the rooms back to their original use, or simply to help get a sense of what it had been like under subsequent Guardian (GRE) and later ownerships. She was a keen historian and started working with the Heritage Group archives before becoming one of the archivists up at Lytham Hall, working alongside Ann Pinder and others to assist with everything from family genealogical requests to helping to uncover the original plans for the gardens.
Her knowledge of the local area and of the Cliftons was vast. She was one of the few who could remember small pieces of information that could prove vital – such as the fact there had been a mill where the old Hole in One pub was. Her time at the archives helped her to learn Latin, bits of Greek and the strange and wonderful ‘secretary hand’. She was consulted by many, far and wide, and will be sorely missed for her knowledge as well as her warmth and sense of humour.
Those who remember her will recall a cheerful and kind lady who they would regularly see manning the Heritage Rooms on a Wednesday morning in the 1990s and early 2000s, a volunteer at many of the events at the Hall, and more recently the ‘feisty one’ who could quickly work out the best way of doing something to help with her beloved Hall – and ensure that all heard her sage advice. Her laughter with friends could be heard echoing from the archive rooms across half the Hall as she helped to uncover odd facts or piece together historical information to create a better picture of life before the Hall’s current incarnation, when it was the site of the old Lytham Priory. She would reminisce about the late 1970s when she would bring her young daughter up to the Hall, turning it into a family place where she helped her learn to walk in the Long Gallery or encouraged her school classes to visit the Hall, long before it was opened to the public, in the hope of instilling a love of local history to a younger generation.
Sandra will be sorely missed by all who knew her, but the legacy of her work and her love for the Hall will remain to be enjoyed by all.’