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The loss of key supporters

In recent weeks we have lost two key supporters, and their passing is keenly felt at Lytham Hall.

Tom Eccles had an acute sense of the heritage of Lytham and painted its cobble walls, its atmospheric old buildings and its people, creating many happy scenes of bygone days. He painted a winter scene of Lytham Hall for the Friends of Lytham Hall to make into very popular Christmas cards. It was wonderful to have such a talented local artist who could interpret the area so brilliantly.

It is with further regret that we heard of the death at the age of 94, of Jean Wilding-Walsh, a past councillor, Alderman and Mayor of Fylde. She was a generous supporter of the Hall from the outset and as Vice-President of the Friends of Lytham Hall, worked hard to raise funds towards the restoration of the Hall. Through the Friends, she paid for the restoration of the bell at the entrance to the courtyard in memory of her husband Eddie Walsh. She was active in the Civic Society and generally took a keen interest in Fylde developments.

Marion Coupe, chairman of Lytham St Annes Civic Society added: “Jean was also a vice president of LSA Civic Society, an ardent supporter of many local campaigns, particularly in preventing development in the sand dunes at St Annes, and very active in Fylde CPRE. A former much-travelled agricultural journalist, she was articulate and dedicated to whichever cause she pursued.”

John Miller, Chief Executive of Heritage Trust for the North West, the charity managing Lytham Hall, concluded: “One of the things that sets Lytham Hall apart from other heritage restoration projects, is the wide community support from businesses, groups and individuals alike. People like Tom Eccles and Jean Wilding-Walsh were instrumental in the early days of Lytham Hall after the Guardian Royal Exchange sale. We wouldn’t be where we are today without their input, and will remember them fondly.”

Photo shows Jean Wilding-Walsh in 2007 with Talbot and Imogen Clifton (children of Rupert Clifton, son of Michael Clifton)

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