Tasty treats, celebrity chefs and bottles of beer in memory of the Accrington Pals were some of the exciting attractions on offer at this Lancashire Food Festival.
Around 4,000 visitors flocked to the two-day event held last weekend in and around Accrington Town Hall with a record-breaking 2,319 people on Saturday. Ed Baines, who is best known for his judging role on the television show ‘Britain’s Best Dish’, showed off his cooking skills to the adoring crowds and signed books and photos.
More than 50 exhibitors from across Lancashire were on hand to tempt visitors with a huge selection of food favourites from Lancashire hotpot to hand-reared beef, Lancashire kippers to homemade chocolates.
One of those was former Coronation Street star Sean Wilson who regularly attends the event, now in its 16th year.
Sean, who played Martin Platt for 20 years on the soap, now runs his burgeoning Saddleworth Cheese Company creating artisan Lancashire cheeses.
Kerry Smith, of Hyndburn Leisure Trust, said the atmosphere was ‘buzzing’ and everyone had a great time. She said: “We had record numbers on Saturday with the great weather. Sunday was slightly quieter, which is normal.
“Ed Baines was here for both days which is unusual as we can usually only get them for one.
“He went down really well and was very popular. He thoroughly enjoyed himself and says he wants to come back again next year.” Inside the Town Hall there was a food hall and marquee, children’s ‘foodie workshops’ and a festival tea room. Volunteers from the Accrington Pals working committee also unveiled three brands of beer in memory of the iconic regiment.
These included a pale ale called Lest we Forget, a dark mild called Over the Top and a bitter names Lions led by Donkeys. More than 500 bottles were sold and a local pub has also contacted the group about serving it in their premises. Councillor Nick Collingridge, who is on the committee and attended the festival, said: “It went really well and we were run off our feet. People were taking the bottles as souvenirs and we had some real ale enthusiasts come down.” The festival was organised by Hyndburn Leisure Trust and supported by Hyndburn Borough Council.