Red plaque award is a wheel deal for Fleetwood

Fleetwood’s outstanding contribution to transport history is to be given official recognition.

Thursday, 25th April 2019, 10:46 am
Updated Thursday, 25th April 2019, 11:00 am
An aerial view of Fleetwood's North Euston Hotel in the 1930s, showing the former football ground , the town's first pier and the Lower Lghthouse. The North Euston's role as a link between London and Scotland in the Victoria era has led to Fleetwood itself getting a special Red Wheel plaque, to be affixed outside the hotel in May (2019).

A Red Wheel plaque, awarded by national charity The Transport Trust, is to be unveiled outside the town’s North Euston Hotel on the Bank Holiday of Monday May 6.

The presentation will be part of the much anticipated Fleetwood Day, which takes place in the Euston Gardens on that day and will celebrate the town and its rich heritage.

The Red Wheel plaque recognises the town’s role in creating, in the early 1840s, a West coast route to Scotland.

Fleetwood historian Dick Gillingham welcomes confirmation that Fleetwood is to receive a Red Wheel plaque from the Transport Trust

Fleetwood is acknowledged as the first resort linked to the railway system, as the North Euston Hotel provided overnight accommodation for travellers from London Euston, before they boarded the steamer to Ardrossan.

In later years Victorian travel agent Thomas Cook organised his first tour of Scotland, through the port of Fleetwood.

Fleetwood historian Dick Gillingham said: “It is wonderful for the town to get this recognition.

“Both the North Euston and myself have been working on this project since 2017 after the Transport Trust put out a national appeal for the public to nominate suitable locations for the prestigious Red Wheel plaques.”

The Fleetwood Day event in the Euston Gardens will be a silmilar public event to this unveiling of the statue of Sir Peter Hesketh Fleetwood in the gardens last year.

The North Euston is a celebrated landmark in its own right, designed by noted architect Decimus Burton.

Fleetwood Day itself takes place from 10am to 4.30pm and will include plenty of live music, demonstrations by talented Fleetwood youngsters and historical exhibits from Fleetwood Museum.

Among those performing in a giant marquee will be the Fleetwood Ukelele Band, folk act Scold’s Bridle and singing duo Chic, who will perform within a giant marquee. Outside the big tent there will be a Punch and Judy show and a maypole dance by the pupils of Shakespeare Primary School.

There will be demonstrations by taekwon-do students from the town, as well as Fleetwood Army Cadets, before Fylde coast rock band The 11th Hour bring the curtain down.