Retro: picture memories of Standish Arts Festival

For many years the Standish Arts Festival was a major event in the Wigan cultural calendar. Founded by St Wlifrid’s Parish Church organist and choirmaster Ron Kay in 1986, it would boast a wide ranging programme of events, including fine, creative and performing arts with local history thrown in for good measure. Choirs, bands, professional orchestras, novelty groups and actors, both amateur and professional played to often packed houses over the week-long celebration, and there was always room for local schoolchildren to take centre stage.

After Mr Kay died in 2005, the original festival was disbanded, but two of his successors brought it back over the following years, albeit with a less ambitious brief. Now, sadly, all we have is memories – until someone realises it could be worth reviving (especially with a much bigger audience on the church’s doorstep these days after massive housing expansion). Here are some pictures from the Wigan Today archives of the festival over the years.

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