New queen is chosen for Thornton’s gala

Photo: David Hurst'Thornton Cleveleys Gala Queen for 2016, Ashleigh Baker, seated left, with her Prince Charming, Dalton Fox and Princess Dakota Higson, seated right,  and her Prince Charming, Connor Heath with Ladies in Waiting, Naomi White, left and Kaya Barton-Rossall
Photo: David Hurst'Thornton Cleveleys Gala Queen for 2016, Ashleigh Baker, seated left, with her Prince Charming, Dalton Fox and Princess Dakota Higson, seated right, and her Prince Charming, Connor Heath with Ladies in Waiting, Naomi White, left and Kaya Barton-Rossall

There was a record number of entries at Thornton Cleveleys Gala Committee’s latest queen-choosing event.

The spectacle was attended by 27 young people aged between four and 16, five more than last year’s big turn-out.

It was staged at Thornton Cleveleys FC, on Bourne Way, last Friday, when the event included a disco with DJ Jeff Mills, who was also MC for the event.

Chosen as the Thornton Cleveleys Gala Queen of 2016 was Ashleigh Baker, 12, of Ruskin Avenue, who attends Millfield College of Science and Performing Arts in Thornton.

She is joined by Gala Princess Dakota Higson, aged eight, of Trunah Road, a pupil of the Sacred Heart Primary School in Thornton.

And again this year there will be two Prince Charmings, both of them boys.

For the Gala Queen, judges chose 10 year old Dalton Fox, of Marsh Road, who attends Thornton’s Royles Brook Primary School.

His counterpart, for the Gala Princess, is seven year old Connor Heath, of Peace Place, another pupil at the Sacred Heart.

Each of the monarchs will have no less than 12 attendants.

Emma Ellison, chairman of Thornton Cleveleys Gala Committee, said: “We’re all delighted at the turn-out, it has been absolutely brilliant.

“We think it follows on from last year, when we had a huge surge in interest, with more boys coming forward.

“It’s great the community is really coming together.”

Thornton Cleveleys Gala Day takes place on Sunday June 12, and will include the traditional parade of floats and bands through Thornton.

However, as was the case last year, activities will then switch to Cleveleys in the afternoon, with the crowning ceremony and a host of other activities being staged at seafront park Jubilee Gardens, from 1pm onwards.

A number of other activities will be staged during in the week, including a brass band competition and a schools sports tournament.

Emma added: “The move to Cleveleys is good because it will involve that area as well, linking the two towns.

“We had wanted to tale the process on the old route, which used to go all the way to Cleveleys, but there are too many traffic difficulties these days.”

Like Fleetwood Carnival, Thornton Cleveleys Gala began in the early 1900s and has survived more than 100 years, despite a few difficulties over the years. Over a decade ago, the gala even foulded but was successfully revived and is still going strong.