Not many towns can lay claim to having even one windmill. Lytham can now boast two.
Our historic windmill on the green, built by the Squire of Lytham in 1805 and ultimately given to the people of Lytham by Squire John T Clifton in 1921 - and now managed and maintained by Lytham Heritage and Fylde Borough Council - has in recent years witnessed the birth of a young sibling.
Since 2013, Lytham in Bloom have added a twelve foot high floral windmill to their town centre display - and this year will be no exception. Constructed out of wood and covered from head to toe in 3,000 begonias, the floral extravaganza is the pride and joy of Lytham in Bloom's Trevor Mackey.
Featured prominently in BBC2's Britain in Bloom series earlier this year, the windmill captured the imagination of the nation and helped Lytham gain Gold once more in 2017. Trevor admitted to having a soft spot for floral windmill.
The ingenious irrigation system intrigued the show's presenter Chris Bavin. It is housed in the roof of the windmill and when the holding tank is full, gravity waters the 3,000 multicoloured begonias, keeping them fresh throughout the summer. The nearest tap is over 100 yards away and the holding tank requires filling every three days.
Appropriately sponsored by Windmill Homes, the windmill has to be taken apart at the end of each summer and stored away. Come spring, repairs and maintenance are undertaken, the various parts reassembled and transported to Lytham Square for the summer.
“It is quite a challenge” says Trevor. “Like most projects, there is more to it than meets the eye. The sheer logistics take some organising and as usual, I am grateful for the support I receive from our growing group of willing volunteers. The huge number of man and women hours required, make it one of our major town centre commitments.
"Lytham in Bloom also plant out and maintain the Memorial Gardens, the tubs and planters in Lytham Square, and the barrier baskets in the town centre. The floral windmill provides a wonderful focal point. It attracts locals and visitors alike and is much appreciated by the cafes, bars and restaurants which now predominate in that part of town.”
Lytham's Gold Award winning team have once again entered North West in Bloom and have also been invited to compete in the nationwide Britain in Bloom competition. “It’s a lot of work,” adds Trevor, "but when it all comes together, it is worth it.”
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