Famous windmill all set to sail at the Lytham Proms

PUBLISHED: 16:51 11 July 2011 | UPDATED: 19:41 20 February 2013

Lytham’s windmill, built in 1805, damaged by storms in 2010

Lytham’s windmill, built in 1805, damaged by storms in 2010

Work has begun on repairing Lytham's iconic mill and it should be finished in time for a star-studded concert

A weekend of special concerts in front of one of Lancashires most iconic landmarks should be plain sailing. all is expected to be a sell out and Katherine Jenkins, Status Quo and Boyzone will all perform and the final piece of the jigsaw should be added just in time.


The backdrop to the three nights of music is Lythams famous windmill which was damaged by 80mph winds late last year. One sail was blown off and a second had to be removed when it was found to be unsafe and now after months of searching, council officials have found the right wood to replace the missing sails.


The sails are being made by Wesham joiners N Gillett and Son, the only company in the North West with experience of such work. Nicholas, the third generation to run the business since it began in 1946, said: We were looking for pitch pine originally but we couldnt find a piece the right size. It needs to be about 30 feet long and ten by ten, but well plane that down to five by five at one end and that will all be done by hand


Were using Doulas fir which weve imported from Canada. It took a while to get the timber here but were pulling out all the stops to make sure the sails are ready for the end of July, ready for the Proms on the first weekend in August.


Nick and his father Joe have previously worked on sails and roofs for other mills around the Fylde, including the mill at Lytham, and are also funeral directors and coffin makers. We do run of the mill work too, said Nicholas. But we tend to do a lot of the less conventional jobs.

And the Proms stars arent the only big names set to head to Lytham - the Royal Lytham St Annes Golf Club will host next years Open Championship. And although the tournament wont tee off for another 12 months, preparations are already well underway.

Head greenkeeper Paul Smith said the challenge will be even tougher than when David Duval lifted the famous claret jug here in 2001, and without compromising the enjoyment of the members.


We have landscaped the course and made a few alterations and added some new bunkers, he said. And we have strengthened the par fives to make them a little trickier. Based on the changes we have made it should give a sterner test than in 2001 We wanted to make the best players think more about their strategy of playing the holes. Fundamentally this has been achieved by making sure the hazards at the driving areas require the golfers to consider whether taking the driver is the best option.

Some of the changes have been minor but others significant. The work has been varied and has entailed the construction of new bunkering, tees and the creation of swales, along with the development of new dune systems and the repositioning of the seventh green.

Paul, who lives just a five minute walk away from the clubhouse, added: The whole philosophy of links course management is to have minimal input and to mimic nature.

The past couple of years have been difficult with extremes of temperature which made it difficult to grow in any changes, but we are pretty much on top of it now and when they tee off my hard work is done, its just a case of fine tuning.

Professional golfer Paul Eales from Freckleton will be hoping to be there when the Open moves into its final day next July. Ill be trying as a player, in a broadcasting role or failing that as a spectator, he said. I couldnt miss it.

And he has one piece of advice about playing the course - keep out of the bunkers, but with more than 200 of them that might take some doing.

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