Flying the flag for the 1950s

First Leyland Festival in 1951
First Leyland Festival in 1951

It’s little more than a month to go until the Leyland Festival.

And to celebrate, we’re taking you on a trip down memory lane.

These pictures capture moments from the first festival staged in Leyland in 1951.

The country was just emerging from World War II and deputy leader Herbert Morrison had the idea of a Festival of Britain as a ‘tonic for the nation’.

What transpired in Leyland was a week-long celebration at Worden Park, which had been newly acquired from the ffarington family by the local council for use as a public park.

Scores of people gathered and enjoyed a procession with floats, animal displays, and various events to dress up in costumes.

It culminated in a grand Pageant of Transport – which proved to be the early template for the popular Leyland Transport Festival which thousands of visitors still know and love today.

With the festival drawing closer, the Guardian is urging you to get behind the festival and make it the best yet.

The 2011 Leyland Festival will take place over the weekend of July 9 and 10, and this year’s events carry a 1950s theme to mark the diamond jubilee of Worden Park.

For one year only, the festival, which traditionally takes place throughout Leyland town centre, is being held in the award-winning park.

The focus is traditional family fun and there will be free children’s activities, live music, fairground rides, stalls and vintage vehicle displays among dozens of other activities.

Worden Park opens at 11am on Saturday and Sunday.

Park entry is £3 per person, with those 16 and under going free.

All proceeds will go to local charities including the Rotary Club of Leyland and St Catherine’s Hospice.

The events of 1951 are being recalled in an exhibition which will run at the South Ribble Museum and Exhibition Centre on Church Road.

The ‘It’s our Park Now’ exhibition will open on Saturday, June 18 – the exact anniversary of the opening of the park. It will run until July 30.

Visitors will be able to view old photographs, watch a film of the event and see the Roman Worden Hoard – which is returning to Leyland after an absence of 150 years.

For more pictures, see this week’s Leyland Guardian.