Sidmouth and District Lancastrian Association 50th anniversary

Picture the scene: a hotel in the Devon coastal town of Sidmouth, a party of 80 guests in posh frocks and black ties and, through the clinking of glasses, the one overwhelming sound that can be heard is�€� Lancashire accents.

Picture the scene: a hotel in the Devon coastal town of Sidmouth, a party of 80 guests in posh frocks and black ties and, through the clinking of glasses, the one overwhelming sound that can be heard is… Lancashire accents.

No, they are not tourists, but proud members of the Sidmouth and District Lancastrian Association, celebrating their 50th anniversary in the town’s Westcliff Hotel. In their half a century they have grown from 15 members to nearly 120, meeting each month to remember all things Lancastrian, often with the help of Lancashire Life.

Keith Simm, 76, the secretary, grew up in Lea, Preston, and moved around the country before settling in Sidmouth in 2004. ‘It’s a smashing group,’ he said, ‘and while we only meet once a month, we keep in touch all the time. A lot of the members keep up with what’s going on back in Lancashire. There’s a great pride in the red rose.’

President Vi Killip ensured the county flower played a significant part in the anniversary festivities - by cutting a red rose cake. Keith moved away from the area aged around 18 and feels a sense of nostalgia towards his home county. ‘I obviously miss those days, it was a key part of my life,’ he said. ‘The people in the association are the same kind of age group and we can all reminisce about the good times together.’

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