<div style="display:inline;"> <img height="1" width="1" style="border-style:none;" alt="" src="//googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/viewthroughconversion/1028731116/?value=0&amp;guid=ON&amp;script=0">
12 ISSUES FOR £24 Subscribe to Lancashire Life today click here

What the locals really think of Garstang

PUBLISHED: 09:05 13 February 2017 | UPDATED: 09:05 13 February 2017

Garstang Market Cross

Garstang Market Cross

Archant

Rebekka O’Grady visits Garstang to ask the locals what they love about their town

Alan Cornthwaite Alan Cornthwaite

GARSTANG hit the headlines by becoming the world’s first Fair Trade town in 2000. In more recent times it continues to punch well above its weight by hosting a plethora of events throughout the year. And the secret is simple - community spirit.

No one knowas that better than the town’s mayor, Alan Cornthwaite, who has had the pleasure of wearing the livery collar not once, but twice – the first time decades ago.

‘I was town councillor and then mayor 27 years ago, but I had to step down due to work commitments. It’s fantastic to be back again, to be able to get out and meet the people around the town and talk to those who make Garstang a community.’

Once you take away the neighbouring parishes, it is surprisingly compact. But it is far from being sleepy hollow with diary of engagements, events, festivals, shows and community groups running all year round.

‘Some people don’t always appreciate or realise all that goes on here, all the volunteering groups that put so much effort into things,’ said Alan. ‘If it weren’t for people like that, the town wouldn’t be as vibrant.

‘Garstang still has a thriving high street and a market on a Thursday, and I think the community we have here does contribute to their continued success. In regards to the future, I don’t think many residents want things to change. We seem to have hit the right balance in Garstang – so it would be great to maintain that.’

John Whalley and Hillary Burns, 
Garstang Arts Centre John Whalley and Hillary Burns, Garstang Arts Centre

John Whalley and Hillary Burns, Garstang Arts Centre

When you walk into Garstang Arts Centre on a Thursday morning and see it packed to the brim with people enjoying a homemade cake and cup of tea, others passing through the rooms to view the art, you really get a sense of what this place means to local people .

For vice chairman of the Garstang and District Arts Society, John Whalley, it’s been a part of his life for 20 years. He explains that the 17-plus groups that exist here bring all manner of people from different backgrounds together, and that the centre provides them with a space to do that.

‘It’s a really integral part of Garstang. The calendar is fully booked; we have everything from calligraphy, wine circle and folk dancing. The newest group is ukulele, which has really taken off.’

Hillary Burns, the curator of the centre, said that it’s also a good meeting space for those who otherwise wouldn’t get out.

‘It’s important that it is here as a place to socialise. Garstang is fighting to retain its personality and the arts centre is a big part of that.’ www.garstangartssociety.org.uk

Ian Piper, Pipers Ian Piper, Pipers

Ian Piper, Pipers

‘When I decided to open the restaurant, it seemed that Garstang was the right place at the right time,’ explained head chef Ian Piper, who opened Pipers with his wife Shelley ten years ago this month.

‘Although there’s been ups and downs within the town, things are still looking positive and it seems to be busier – which is great for business and encourages more people to visit.’

The restaurant’s decade of success is certainly reflected in its thriving customer base and, most recently, its contribution led to a win at the Wyre Business awards.

Pipers was recognised with the Made in Wyre award, for its use of local produce and its contribution to supporting and training local people.

‘Garstang is just a nice place to have a business. It’s a friendly market town with a great feel about it,’ said Ian.

Three generations in the deli - Gwen, Ryan and Jane Three generations in the deli - Gwen, Ryan and Jane

Gwendoline Dunn, Garstang Deli Café

Although Gwendoline Dunn had run cafes and other businesses around Preston and the Lake District, there was no better feeling than to open in her hometown of Garstang.

‘I was born here, and lived here until I was 14. I just wanted to return to my roots,’ said Gwen, who runs the Garstang Deli Café with daughter Jane Robinson and grandson, Ryan Dunn.

‘It’s very much a family business and all three of us cook. It is fabulous to have a business here, the town is very friendly.

There’s always something going on in the community, plenty of events encouraging visitors.’

All the food is homemade, and Gwen said that all the dishes are their specialities as they only cook what they like to eat: ‘So we know that it’s good!’

Jessica Pedley and Damien Carr, Carrs Jewellers Jessica Pedley and Damien Carr, Carrs Jewellers

Jessica Pedley and Damien Carr, Carr’s Jewellers

For nearly 30 years Damien Carr has been hand making beautiful jewellery in Garstang’s town centre.

The jeweller, who runs Carr’s Jewellers with his sister Jessica Pedley, creates stunning pieces using traditional techniques combined with modern technology.

‘I like to think if people are after an excellent friendly service, they think of us,’ he said.

We’ve been established here since 1820 and developed to where we are today. Garstang is still a great place to live, work and visit.

‘There’s a nice variety of businesses within the town, with fabulous local people who do a lot of community things. It’s this community aspect that makes Garstang a unique and special place.’

Emma Bailie and colleague at Aged in Oak Emma Bailie and colleague at Aged in Oak

Emma Bailie, Aged in Oak

Another independent business in the town is Aged in Oak, which specialises in wines, ales and spirits.

Owned by Emma Bailie and her partner Alex Buxton, the store opened in 2012 after their passion for all things wine inspired them to set up a shop.

‘We chose Garstang because of the high street. We thought that an independent wine merchant would fit in well. If people don’t continue to utilise independents shops they will close down.

‘We are grateful to the local people here who do practise what they preach and shop local on the high street rather than at the supermarkets. What many people don’t realise is that we aren’t more expensive, and what we do offer is a great one-to-one customer service and a variety of things.’

With over 250 lines to choose from, you won’t be short of things to try and with the added bonus of the store’s wine bar with state-of-the-art wine dispensing machine, you can enjoy a glass or two before purchasing a bottle.

Andrew Noblett, Market stall trader Andrew Noblett, Market stall trader

Andrew Noblett, Market stall trader

‘I’m one of the longest serving people on Garstang market,’ said Andrew, who will have been manning his stand in the town for 41 years in May. The weekly outdoor market, which runs each Thursday down the High Street, dates back to the early 1300s and the days of Edward II. The Market Cross at the top of the High Street is one of the most familiar landmarks in the area. Here, you can purchase everything from a new hat confectionary, clothing and household goods.

‘Nearly all the shops have changed since I’ve been here but trade is still pretty decent. Other markets don’t do that well but people still come and support you around here. I like the people of Garstang - it’s what has kept me coming back.’

More from Out & About

00:00

Homes across Lancashire and Lakeland appear in a new trail celebrating great writers and books.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:22

The railway is set in a beautiful ornamental park which has other amenities including a putting green, a boating lake, a paddling pool, a large sand pit and play area.

Read more
Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Rebekka O’Grady speaks to the people behind the town’s must-visit festivals and destinations

Read more
Southport
Saturday, May 13, 2017

How well do you know the Ribble Valley and Bowland? Test your knowledge in this picture based quiz.

Read more
Ribble Valley
Thursday, May 11, 2017

The people of Kirkby Lonsdale are making the most of the opportunities coming their way, writes Mike Glover.

Read more
Kirkby Lonsdale
Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Five family members are walking 80 miles from the West Riding to the west coast of Lancashire to raise funds for charity.

Read more
Wednesday, May 10, 2017

John Lenehan takes the high road through the stunning Trough of Bowland,

Read more
Bowland Walks

Few are lucky enough to explore the seabed but you can get an idea what is in the Irish Sea by exploring our beaches and rockpools. Lancashire Wildlife Trust’s Alan Wright investigates

Read more
Coastal Lancashire Lancashire Wildlife
Thursday, May 4, 2017

From Capital of Cool to British home of the blues, Colne shows its has plenty of soul, as Martin Pilkington discovers.

Read more
Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Our walks man John Lenehan guides us on a trip through the lonely Longsleddale Valley and up to the summit of Kentmere Pike.

Read more
Lake District Walks
Tuesday, April 25, 2017

A £5,000 jewel has been buried in Lancashire and you can help to find it. Emma Mayoh reports

Read more
Monday, April 24, 2017

Winmarleigh School is one of the tiniest in the county, but all the pupils helped create an award-winning garden

Read more
Friday, April 21, 2017

The seaside town of Southport has something for the whole family, whether you want a relaxing visit or a day packed full of fun. We’ve put together a short guide with some of our top picks and tips.

Read more
Southport
Monday, April 17, 2017

Can you name these watery landmarks within two of the UKs beautiful national parks?

Read more
Lake District

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter


Subscribe or buy a mag today

Lancashire Life Application Link

Local Business Directory

Lancashire's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area



Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search