The Dunkenhalgh Hotel celebrated its 70th birthday last month with a spectacular charity dinner dance, writes Sarah de Waard. Photography: DocB Photography
Since its inception as a hotel in 1947, The Mercure Dunkenhalgh Blackburn has consistently had a reputation for luxury, grandeur and exceptional service.
The beautiful manor house boasts over 700 years of history, with its origins dating back to 1285, and still retains many of its original features, including turrets and porticoes. With idyllic grounds, spa, fitness and meeting facilities, as well as 175 bedrooms, the hotel seamlessly blends heritage and comfort with modern design and facilities.
The hotel marked an impressive 70 years in business this October with a celebratory dinner dance to thank the hotel’s many staff and supporters.
Louise Woodcock, regional sales manager, tells me: “We had a fantastic evening of celebration, and it was great to be able to thank our long-term staff members, who have been with us for 15 years or more. We also invited several of the founding members of our leisure club, which opened in 1988. Incredibly we still have 51 members who have been with us since then!
“Many of our valued repeat guests and suppliers also joined us on the evening, alongside the Mayor and Mayoress of Hyndburn, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire and several local councillors and business leaders.”
“We were keen to use the event to raise money for a local charity, and so we held a raffle for Blackburn Youth Zone, which raised £1300. We invited several staff and members of the Youth Zone to the event, and watched a video of their work within the community presented by their Chairman, former MP Jack Straw.”
Blackburn Youth Zone provides somewhere to go, something to do and someone to talk to for thousands of local young people, and helps to raise aspirations by providing an accessible and affordable programme of activities seven days a week, 365 days a year.
“We were really impressed after meeting children and volunteers from the Youth Zone, and we are pleased we could do something to raise much needed funds for the project,” Louise tells me.
The 150 guests enjoyed a drinks reception followed by a delicious three-course meal and entertainment from singer Paul Guard, as well as a dance performance by Blackburn Youth Zone.
General manager Ivan Lynch made a speech thanking everyone for their support over the years, and all long-term staff were presented with a gift.
“It was a really wonderful evening,” Louise summarises. “We are looking forward to the future with some exciting Christmas events coming up, and I’m sure we will be celebrating many more successful years!”
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