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


Lytham Assembly Rooms 1862

Newspaper report of the official opening of Lytham Assembly Rooms on Wednesday 20th August, 1862 (the Baths, which were in the same building, were opened the following year).

Preston Guardian, Saturday, August 23, 1862





Visitors to Lytham, during the present year, will have noticed, rising on the Beach," in front of the unrivalled esplanade which is so great an attraction at Lytham, an elegant structure, where has hitherto stood a few old-fashioned cottages, such as Lytham in the days of our grandfathers mainly consisted of.  


This new building is intended for the baths, arranged on the best plan, and, along with them, large and handsome assembly rooms, the want of which has long been felt in Lytham. The baths are not yet completed so as to be available to the pub­lic, but the assembly-rooms being finished, they have this week been opened by a bazaar and a ball, and certainly no more at­tractive way could have been hit upon for encouraging the room.  


The bazaar was in aid of the funds of the Lytham (29th Lancashire) Rifle Corps, for the ladies of Lytham felt that if they did not, like the ladies of other towns, do their share in the way of supporting the volunteer movement, their public spirit, if not their patriotism, might be challenged. If a little later in the movement than some other places, they have done their work well, and no one who visited the new Lytham Assembly-rooms on Wednesday and Thursday, could fail to be struck with the industry and the good taste which had been brought to bear on the work, which had resulted in such a successful exhibition, and which evidently showed the warm feeling of the fair sex for the patriotic movement.    


The room itself is spacious and handsome, and on Wednes­day morning, when it bad undergone decoration at the hands of Mr. Bell, of Lytham, who, with Mr. Collinson and Miss. Greaves, had arranged the numerous trophies, (lace, banners, arches, festoons, &c., and when the handsomely trimmed and elegantly finished stalls were opened to public view, the coup d oeil was truly splendid. 


There was a stall occupying the east end of the room, which was presided over by Mrs. Talbot Clifton, who was assisted in the disposal of her wares by Miss Fludyer; also by the youthful heir of the Clifton family. Her stall contained a number of most valuable articles, contributed by her friends, of the character usually seen at bazaars, and a large assortment of useful articles in wooden ware, from King's Cliff, Northamptonshire; also a selection of Minton's china ware; and some exquisite specimens of needlework. 


Stall No. 2 was presided over by Mrs. Fair, Mrs. T. Fair, and the Misses Fair. Among one the contributions to this well-furnished stall was a small bed, complete in all its appointments; toilet articles, in great variety; elegant needlework fender stools, in walnut frames; contributions from Canada; fruit, in waxwork; vases, with paper flowers; cases of moths, &c., &c. 


Stall No. 3 had been provided by Mrs. Stevenson, Miss Stevenson, and Miss Hincksman, who were assisted in the disposal of their wares by Miss Macdonald, and Miss Fletcher, of Leyland. They had amassed a vast quantity of tasteful arti­cles in needlework, including an excellent copy of " Feeding the horse;" a particularly elegant chair, made up in wal­nut; a vast number of water colour drawings; some chaste specimens of artificial flowers; some tasteful screens, in needle work, bead work, etc.; various specimens of papier-m â ch é work; travelling caps, smoking caps, and an immense variety of other articles, to use an auctioneer's phrase, " too numerous to mention."


At Stall No. 4 were Mrs. Robinson, Misses Robinson, Miss Baldwin, and Miss Shepherd Birley, who disposed of wax-. work in great variety, screens and cushions, exquisite speci­mens of needlework, dolls in great variety, including one in the perfect costume of a bride, and which, consequently, bad great admirers, illuminated printing, cases of moths, fender stools and other needlework, ottomans, photographs in great variety, drawings, cushions, and lots of other articles found chiefly at bazaars. 


The refreshment stall was presided over by Mrs. Ashton, Miss Ansdell, Mr. Wilson, and Mr. F. Morley, and here were provided all the delicacies of the season, served in good style by the obliging waiters." But not only at the stall were the good things served; the lower assembly-room was fitted up as a salle a manger , and here, during the day, luncheons, din­ners, &c., were provided. Bountiful was the provision, which had been given for the benefit of the bazaar funds by the hotel keepers, wine merchants, butchers, provision dealers, &c., of Lytham, for this stall, like the others, bore testimony to the good will entertained by the inhabitants of Lytham to the corps.  


We must confess that if there were any disposition on the part of the Lytham corps to retire from the position they have assumed, they could not well do it now after such a manifestation of the good will and good wishes of their friends and neighbours towards them. 


On the opening of the bazaar in the morning the attendance of visitors was numerous, and included not merely the leading inhabitants of Lytham, but of Kirkham, and the villages of the neighbourhood. In addition to the ordinary buying "and selling there were numerous raffles, and in the getting up of these lotteries the ladies exerted themselves most successfully, for so persuasive were they   in their appeals, so winning were their ways, that there was no resisting them. So successful were they that when stock was taken on Thursday, evening it was found that after paying the expenses there will remain a clear profit of above £ 500 to the funds of the corps, and many articles remain unsold.  


We ought not to omit mentioning that in addition to the ordinary means of "bringing grist to the mill" Mr. Tyrer's marionettes gave several performances, and various enterprising young gentlemen amused themselves, and added to the funds of the volunteers, by knocking Aunt Sally's pipe out.


On Thursday evening, a ball was held in the Assembly-room, at which a fashionable company assembled. Nearly a hundred persons were present. It passed off most agreeably and successfully, and, what is more to the purpose, added to the already large proceeds of the bazaar.


During the bazaar, on Wednesday and Thursday, the band of the Lytham Rifles was stationed outside the assembly-room, discoursing appropriate music, and by so doing added to the liveliness of the scene.