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Blackpool - A History



Blackpool (Source: Wikipedia)


Blackpool is a borough, seaside town, and unitary authority area of Lancashire, in North West England.


Blackpool is situated along England's west coast, beside the Irish Sea, and set between the Ribble and Wyre estuaries. Blackpool is 17.5 miles (28.2 km) northwest of Preston, 30 miles (48 km) north of Liverpool, and 40 miles (64 km) northwest of Manchester. It has a population of 142,900 (at 2010 count) making it the third most populous settlement in North West England, and a population density which makes it the fourth most densely populated district of England and Wales, outside of Greater London.


Many of the dates given in this text are taken from various history books of Blackpool and the Fylde, or are extracted from the Government Survey Book of Amounderness, published in the year 1934. However, in order to thoroughly understand the History of a District over a few Centuries you must first understand its Geography.


The first known map of the Fylde, (Saxon for field) was published about the year 1500, and shows the coastline to extend one mile(1.6km) further out into Morecambe Bay than it does now. It also reached two miles (3.2km)further out into the Irish sea, at Rischall Point, receding to one mile further out at halfway down the coast (that would be Bispham),and continuing still one mile out until it reaches the mouth of the Ribble. The map shows the river Wyre as a tributary of the river Lune, hence the name Lune Deeps.


What is now Marton Moss was, back then a swamp; a small brook drained from it and ran north west. This was called Spen Brook and, as time passed the brook was widened and deepened to the Moss, and renamed Spen Dyke. This Brook, or Dyke, emptied into a pool situated in a large Depression about a mile (in those days) from the sea. Due to the dark, brackish colour of the water, the area was given the name, 'The black pool'.


Further east from Marton Moss, there was a lake about four and a half miles(7.2km) by half a mile(0.8km) wide.This had an overflow at the west end, that ran through what is now Marton, joining the Spen Brook in the vicinity of what is now known as Spen Corner, the junction of Waterloo Road, Ansdell Road and Hawes Side Lane. The Lake was called Marton Mere and ran from about what is now East Park Drive to beyond Peel Hill. The black pool was situated in a hollow at the north end, at about the present Chapel Street or Princess Street, and extended south to where the football stadium now stands. The pool had an overflow through a small ginnel (or gynn), which ran through what is now Manchester Square to the sea.


Nowhere has there been found any mention of Roman occupation in the area. The nearest known area is Kirkham - where the remains of a small Bath Building on the stump of the Roman Bath, were found when excavating at the beginning of the century. There is also evidence of a Roman Road running through Kirkham and on towards Fleetwood to the supposed Roman port of Portus Setantian, two miles out from the present Fleetwood. This road was afterwards called Daines Pad.

This was the layout of the Coastal Strip of the Fylde in the Hundred of Amounderness.


The now county of Lancashire was formed by the amalgamation of six Hundreds. These were the Hundred of Lonsdale in the north (which takes in the North Furness District - including Lake Coniston, and about seven eighths of Lake Windermere,) of Lancaster, of Morecambe (to nearly as far south as Pilling and across to the Yorkshire Border) of Amounderness, or Oak Covered Swamp (comprising Pilling and the over Wyre District, across to the Yorkshire boundary - taking in the Bleasdale Fells, Garstang in the south - across county, cutting Preston out, but including Ashton on Ribble, and then following the river to its mouth.) Fourth was the Hundred of Leyland, south of the river and including Southport and halfway across the Centre Strip of the county. The Hundred of Blackburn, taking up the eastern half of the centre strip. The Hundred of Salford, which includes Manchester and the whole of south-east Lancashire. Finally, the Hundred of Derby, in the south-west of Lancashire (including Liverpool)


The first mention of the Hundred of Amounderness, is made in the year 661, and throughout the Middle Ages and Early Modern period, Blackpool was little more than a coastal hamlet: a small part of Lancashire's Hundred of Amounderness. It remained that way until the mid-18th century, when it became popular in England to travel to the coast during Summer; it was fashionable at that time to bathe in sea water; in order to improve wellbeing.


In 1781, visitors attracted to Blackpool's seven mile (11 km) sandy beach, were able to use a newly-built private road, built by Thomas Clifton and Sir Henry Hoghton. Stagecoaches began running to Blackpool from Manchester in the same year, then from Halifax in 1782.


In the early-19th century, Henry Banks and his son-in-law, John Cocker, began to erect new buildings in Blackpool, to such an extent that its population grew from less than 500 in 1801, to over 2,500 in 1851. St John's Church in Blackpool was consecrated in 1821.


Blackpool rose to prominence as a major centre of tourism in England when a railway was built in the 1840s connecting it to the industrialised regions of northern England. The railway made it much easier and cheaper for visitors to reach Blackpool, triggering an influx of settlers, such that in 1876 Blackpool was incorporated as a borough, governed by its own town council and aldermen.


By 1881, Blackpool was a booming resort with a population of 14,000, and a promenade complete with piers, fortune-tellers, public houses, tram and donkey rides, fish-and-chip shops and theatres.


By 1901 the population of Blackpool was 47,000, by which time its place was cemented as the archetypal British seaside resort. By 1951 it had grown to 147,000.




Historical Timeline


Roman Times


The area that is now Blackpool, as far as we know, was, during the time of the Roman occupation, a land of dangerous bogs. What wasn't boggy ground was mainly old oak forests that were difficult to travel through. Most of the area in the north-west was inhabited by members of the Setantii, a local tribe whose name meant, 'dwellers in the country of water'. Inevitably, it was due to the Romans that a road was built. It ran from the south-east, through the area where Preston is now situated, via a settlement near to where present day Kirkham sits, before continuing towards the Roman port of Portus Setantiorum. Portus Setantiorum was thought to have been situated in the area of present day Fleetwood, where the River Wyre runs into the Lune.


Medieval Times


Blackpool's early boundaries, established at the time of the Doomsday book were marked by the old townships of Layton and Warbreck, both of which still exist today. These townships comprised part of the manor of Layton. Together with Bispham and Norbreck, they formed the ancient parish of Biscopham (which means 'Bishop's House') and was recorded as such in the Doomsday book.


In 1416, the Butler family were granted manorial rights over much of what is now the Fylde coast. This area included a stream named, 'Le Pull', or 'pool'. This was a stream that drained a local lake - Marton Mere - into the sea, and was thought to be somewhere near to Manchester Square. The water was dark; discoloured due to a peat bed through which the water was filtered. Hence the area was given the name, 'Black Pool.'


Early Blackpool


In 1602, an entry in the Bispham parish baptismal register, mentioned the town of 'de poole', and 'de blackpoole'. This was the first mention of Blackpool as an established town; even though at the time it was little more than a few cobble and clay structures situated along the coast. However, this was to change.


By the end of the seventeenth century, the town had been settled by several members of the landed gentry of the time. Notable amongst these were the Tyldesleys of Fox Hall. A well known Catholic family, the Tydesley's, headed at the time by Edward, built a summer residence in the area. Nobody seems to know why he selected such an isolated and desolate place. However, on the site of the original Fox Hall, now stands the Foxhall Hotel.


The Eighteenth Century


By the 1720's, Blackpool had begun to attract visitors from Lancashire's landed gentry, and in 1735, the very first recorded guest house in the area was opened for business. In 1750, the first drainage dykes were cut from Marton Mere to the river Wyre, reducing the size of the lake to around fifteen acres.


Even up until 1781, Blackpool was still little more than a small hamlet by the sea. But, it now had four substantial hotels, and four alehouses, with two more in Layton. It was at this time that Blackpool's major roads were developed, following an act of parliament. This act also included the enclosure of previously common land, splitting it into plots, and allocating it to landowners. It was during this period of the Eighteenth century that the area started to become fashionable with the well-to-do, who believed that the sea was a good place to bathe; if one were afflicted by disease.


The first regular visits to Blackpool began sometime in the middle of the Eighteenth century. But, until 1871 the town was still only a small hamlet. In this year, the first private road leading to the town was constructed, enabling a much easier access than was previously possible. In the same year, stagecoaches began running a regular route from Manchester. A year later, the city of Halifax in Yorkshire began to do the same.


In 1801 Blackpool had a population of less than 500. Fifty years later, by 1851 it had risen to over 2,500.


As the eighteenth century waned, Blackpool developed slowly as a resort. This change was mainly due to the work of one man. Henry Banks erected buildings and developed Blackpool and, after his death, his work was carried on by his son-in-law, John Cocker.


In 1821, St John's Church was consecrated. By 1877 however, the original building had been replaced by the one you can still see today.


Still relatively small, Blackpool only grew into a substantial town when the first railway was built. This line connected the town to the large industrial areas of the north. The railway made it much easier and cheaper for visitors to reach Blackpool.


The first railway in the area opened in 1840 - but it only ran as far as Poulton in the Fylde. Nevertheless, the Preston and Wyre railway boosted the growth of Blackpool to the extent that, in 1846, a branch line was built from Poulton to Blackpool. Then the resort began to boom. A second line was constructed through Lytham in 1863.


Amenities in the fast growing town quickly improved. From 1852 Blackpool had gas lighting, and the town gained a piped water supply in 1864. During the years 1856-1870 a Promenade was built along the sea front, opening the way for the construction of the first of the three piers. North Pier opened in 1863. Central Pier followed in 1868. The Winter Gardens opened in 1878.


The development of rail travel had the effect of cutting the time taken to get to seaside resorts - as well as the cost. It also had the benefit of bringing cheap seaside holidays within the reach of more people. All too soon, it became a case of - out with the 'Bathing Sunday' crowd, and in with ever larger numbers of working class visitors every weekend to Blackpool, as well as to Morecambe, and other Lancashire seaside areas. The more well-to-do were now more inclined to visit Lytham and Southport, further along the coast.


From 1870, it had become the working class custom to take your holidays in Blackpool. People from the local cotton towns began to descend upon the resort, not only for the holiday period, but also for day trips and weekend stays. By the time of the first world war, it was estimated that the number of visitors to Blackpool at the height of the season ballooned to around four million people!


The former, 'Bathing Sunday,' tradition rapidly developed into annual migrations of cotton town communities to the seaside, particularly Blackpool. In order to be able to enjoy Wakes Weeks - annual factory shutdowns - people saved in neighbourhood holiday fund schemes; so that they could enjoy their Wakes Weeks at the seaside. By the 1890s, the summer months between the Burnley fair at the beginning of July and Oldham wakes in early September, where the resorts high season.


The 1890's also marked the beginnings of Blackpool's growth as an amusement resort on a massive scale. During this period, construction of the Blackpool Tower was begun in 1891 and finished in 1894, and a Gigantic Wheel was opened in 1896. In additon, Blackpool's Pleasure Beach, situated at the South end of the promenade began to evolve from what had been a bunch of sand dunes and fortune tellers looking for business, to cutting edge rides like the 'Sir Hiram Maxim Captive Flying Machine'.


Blackpool gained its first corporation and its first Mayor, William Cocker, in 1876. In 1879, the first electric lights were switched on in Blackpool. This was the birth of the Blackpool illuminations. At that time electric light was very new and exciting and the event attracted many visitors, and grew in scale as their popularity increased.


An electric tramway opened in Blackpool in 1885. In 1889 the First Opera House was built. South Pier opened in 1893.




Some Important Dates in Blackpool's History


1532


A large inundation by the sea swept inland for two miles, covering all the land from around, from the area of the present Bloomfield Road, right down to the Ribble Estuary, and inland as far as Hawes Side Lane. The village of Waddam Thorp was washed away, and there is no record of any of the residents surviving.


This land was covered by the sea for years before receding back to the present coastal line. It left behind a strip of land about one mile wide that was useless for years.


1555


Another sea inundation; this time further North. Singleton Thorp was destroyed, but the inhabitants or the bulk of them escaped, moving inland to settle in what is now Singleton Village.


1602


The very first mention of Blackpool. Within the pages of the Register of Bispham Parish Church, for the year 1602, there is recorded the Christening on September 22nd, of a Child belonging to a couple who reside on the 'Bank of the Black Pool.'


1643


The time of the Civil War; between the King (Charles 1) and Parliament led by Oliver Cromwell. An army was raised within the district, to fight on the side of the King. This army was commanded by Sir Walter Tyldesley of Mains Hall, near Poulton. With him was a son of the Rigbys of Layton Hall as his second in command. The army clashed with the Parliamentarians, in the Battle of Wigan Lain, and Sir Walter was killed, and the Army defeated.


A Spanish Vessel came ashore at Rossall Beach. Both armies were after the prize, but as Cromwell's army had to go round by Garstang and over Wyre where his supporters were, and Lord Derby being amongst friends was able to march right up to Layton Hawes and alongside the Fylde coast without any interference, therefore securing the Prize for the Royalists.


1650


After the death of Cromwell and the Restoration of the Monarchy, Charles the Second was very lavish with his promises to those families that had suffered in the support of his father. Edward Tyldesley was one of these, for his father's death at the Wigan Lain Battle. Unfortunately for them, the King, although a good promiser, was a very bad fulfiller of those promises. Edward Tyldesley of Mains Hall, having his eye on Layton Hawes - which was now drying out - built a small hall as a seaside residence, at the very South of the then Blackpool. Tyldesley named it Fox Hall.


Here, he entertained the Gentry of the district, including horse racing on the Hawes. However, unfortunately for Edward Tyldesley, he was one person to whom the King did not fulfill his promise. After surviving as a private residence for several years, eventually Fox Hall became a farmhouse. As Blackpool developed, the Hall eventually became licensed premises -the present Foxall Hotel.


1735


Ernest Whiteside, living in a two bedroomed house at Fumblers Hill (at the bottom of what is now Cocker Street) added two more bedrooms to his house; and so became the first housekeeper to rent rooms as a business.


1750


In this year it is recorded that there were two dozen cottages in Blackpool, plus a small Inn - near to where now stands the Clifton Hotel.


1752


Emanuel Bowen's Map of Lancashire published.


1755


The Fylde Coast had its fair share of Shipwrecks in the old days and, being sparsely populated, it was a common thing for the inhabitants to help themselves; before either the Coast Guards or Excise Officers could get to the wreck.


In the year 1755 a ship named 'The Travers' was wrecked on the coast. It carried a cargo of lace, and soon there was 'Travers Lace', in homes all over the Fylde that lasted for years afterwards.


1779


Owing to a bad Summer and poor crops, food was scarce in the area. During the Autumn, an unnamed ship was wrecked on the Coast, carrying, among other articles, a cargo of Peas. This was, understandably, raided, and helped out the food supply - this wreck became known as, The Pea Soup Wreck'


1783


The first mention was made, of Coaches being run between Manchester and Blackpool for the Conveyance of Passengers.


1785


In this year Baylies Hotel, (now the Metropole) commenced advertising for visitors in the Manchester Mercury newspaper.


1786


Bonny's Hotel and the Lane Ends Hotel, afterwards called the County, were demolished to make room for Lewis's Stores.


On this date there were Fifty Houses in Blackpool. It also boasted a theatre: in a barn in Lane Ends Street (now Church Street) and two Bowling Greens.


1788


George Cook began trading, in Blackpool's first Post Office and Lending Library.


1789


William Hutton, a Gentleman from Birmingham, published a small book entitled 'A description of Blackpool'. The population of Blackpool at this time was approximately four hundred people.


1800


First church was built at Marton. The present church was built in 1909.


1801


The population of Blackpool and Layton was four hundred and seventy three. (473) The population of Poulton was seven hundred and nine. (709).


1807


Marton Windmill, near the sight of the present Oxford Hotel, was struck by lightning and destroyed; a girl was killed in the tragedy.


1817


Blackpool's first school was built, on Church Street. This was the National School (now St. John's Primary school - rebuilt in 2010)


1819


A man named Thomas Moore built the first houses at South Shore, the southern tip of Blackpool.


1820


Owing to the erosion of the sea, the old Ross Hall and its accompanying building had to be abandoned. A new Ross Hall was built further inland. This is now part of Rossall College.


1821


A ship called 'The Fanny' was wrecked upon the coast. The Fanny was laden with red and black flannel. As with the Pea Soup wreck in 1779, the same fate befell this cargo. Fanny Petticoats were prevalent for years in Blackpool.


1826


The first Non-Conformist chapel was built in Kent Road which was, at that time, outside of Blackpool, out in the fields.


1828


A building named the 'Grand Promenade' was constructed, at the north-east corner of Victoria Street and Bank Hey Street. This was the first building to be erected in Blackpool, for use as an Entertainment Theatre.


1833


A shipwreck occurred at The Gynn. The crew was saved by steering the ship towards a light in one of the windows of The Old Gynn Inn. This Inn stood in the centre of what is now Gynn Square, and was very old; reported to date to approximately 1700.


1835


The First Wesleyan Chapel was erected, in Adelaide Street.


1836


South Shore Parish Church (The Holy Trinity Church) was erected. The first of many houses were built in Fleetwood, further along the coast to the south, at the mouth of the river Wyre.


1837


The ascension of Queen Victoria to the throne. Opening of New Promenade. The Reverend William Thornber published the first history of Blackpool.


1839


A ship called 'The Crusader' was wrecked at South Shore; several Marton men were sent to Prison - having been caught taking silk from the wreck.


1840


The Preston Railway was extended to Poulton. The Population of Blackpool was two-thousand, one hundred and sixty-eight. (2168)


1843


The Brig 'Aristocrat' was wrecked opposite the Imperial Hydro. Two passengers were drowned.


1844


The Old St. John's Market opened. (British Home Stores now stands on the site)


1846


The Rail network was extended from Poulton to Talbot Road Station (now Blackpool North)


1852


The gas works opened, and Blackpool received its first street lighting powered by gas.


1859


The Theatre Royal was built


1860


The Union Baptist Chapel was built in Abingdon Street (the site is now occupied by the Post Office building)


Uncle Toms Cabin is built.


1861


The Schooner 'William Henry', with a cargo of flour and lard, was wrecked at South Shore. There were plenty of cheap tubs of lard for the South Shore people this year.


The Wesleyan Chapel in Adelaide Street was rebuilt. The Christ Church Mission was built (it was consecrated in 1870)


1862


The First Pier Company, and Blackpool and Lytham Railways opened.


1863


North Pier was opened. The Lytham Railway was extended to Blackpool Central.


1864


Blackpool received its first Lifeboat, on July 14th. When the St. Michael wrecked, on September 18th, the Lifeboat saved the crew of fourteen. The United Methodist Church, Adelaide Street was built. The Fylde Water Works piped its first water.


1865


The Blackpool Parade Act for Promenade Development passed through Parliament.


The Barque 'Lexington' wrecked, and the crew of fourteen saved by the new lifeboat.


1868


Central Pier opened.


1869


On April 21st, Charles Dickens visited Blackpool and stayed at the Beach Hotel, which stood where the tower complex now stands.


1870


Grand opening of New Promenade. The population of Blackpool is now seven-thousand, nine hundred and two. (7,902)


1873


Blackpool Cemetery was opened. The Talbot Bowling tournament began.


1874


The Aquarium (since moved and incorporated inside the Tower building, until 2010) opened. At that time it ran along Bank Hey Street, and the space in front was an amusement park. This was all built, owned, and run by Dr. Cocker, the first Mayor of Blackpool, and was the real start of the Blackpool Tower complex.


1875


The Winter Gardens opened.


1876


Blackpool received its Charter of Incorporation and became a Municipal Borough. William Cocker became the first mayor of the Borough.


1879


The start of electric lighting. The new Pleasure Steamer 'The Bickerstaffe' commenced sailing on pleasure trips from the North Pier.


1880


The Aquarium was floated by Dr.Cocker (the owner) into a Company under the Title of Blackpool Central Property Company and in 1889 acquired by the Standard Debenture Corporation Limited, who formed the Blackpool Tower Company in 1891.


The ship, 'Bessie Jones' was wrecked; four men were rescued from the rigging; one youth was swept away and lost. The free public library opened, in the Octagon room, Talbot Road (which was part of Yates' Wine Lodge, which burned down in 2009)


1881


The Hoo Hill Windmill in Layton (now demolished) was struck by lightening in a July thunderstorm.


1882


The wrecking of the 'Arethusa' - ten saved.


1885


Blackpool became a Parliamentary Division. The Blackpool Tramway Company was founded, and electric trams started. The company was bought by Blackpool Corporation in 1892.


1886


Wreck of the 'Mexico' off Lytham. Twelve persons were rescued by the Lytham Lifeboat. The Southport and St. Annes Lifeboat capsized with loss of life.


1887


The Blackpool Borough Police Force established.


1888


Rawcliffe Street Wesleyan Church opened. The South Shore church was rebuilt.


1889


The Opera House, Church Street, opened June 10th with The Yeomen of the Guard.


1890


The construction of the South Pier was first proposed.


1891


The Blackpool Tower Company was first registered, and Alderman John Bickerstaff was elected chairman. The foundation stone of the Tower was laid on September 21st.


1892


The wrecking of 'The Sirene' occurred, against the North Pier. The crew managed to climb onto the Pier for safety.


1893


The Victoria Pier, South Shore, opened.


1894


Opening of the Tower, Whit Monday May 14th. Opening of Grand Theatre, December 22nd. The wrecking of the Norwegian barque 'Abana' off the Norbreck coast. The lifeboat saved the entire crew of seventeen, and the wreck can still be seen today.


The new Victoria Hospital on Whitegate Drive (now the Health Centre) received its first Casualty on August 25th. The new Hospital was maintained by voluntary subscription. One such scheme was started by the Trades Council, in which members of the different branches in the town paid a voluntary contribution through their branch, of two pence per week. This scheme was quickly taken up by different firms in the town, each firm deducting the two pence from the employees wages; in several cases this actually worked out at sixpence - as the person was paying through both their branch and their employment.


1895


Opening of The Hippodrome Theatre, which became the ABC Theatre, Church Street. The building now houses the Syndicate nightclub.


1896


The Lytham Tramway opened. The Big Wheel in Coronation Street opened.


1897


During the Summer there was a Railway Disaster at Poulton Curve.


Lord Nelson's Flag Ship,'The Foudroyant' which was anchored off Shore for Exhibition purposes was driven inshore by a sudden gale and wrecked near the North Pier. (June 16th)


The construction of the Alhambra is started (this opened in1899)


1899


The Alhambra (afterwards named the Palace) opened by George R. Sims. This replaced the old Prince of Wales Theatre and the Prince of Wales Aquatic Entertainment Baths.


1900


This year was the completion and opening of the new Town Hall, the new Bethesda Chapel, Unitarian Church, South Shore and Ebenezer Primitive Methodist, Egerton Road.


1901


The First Musical Festival was held. The Marton Tramway was opened this year.


1903


Opening of the New Railway line from Waterloo Station, (now South Station) across the Moss to Kirkham.


1904


Blackpool is raised to the Status of County Borough. All Saints Church, Palatine Road, opened.


1905


The widening of the Promenade to the South Shore was completed, this was started in 1902. St. Thomas's Church, Caunce Street opened.


1906


Blackpool's first full programme Cinema opened in the old Coliseum, Lytham Road, on the site of the Coliseum Bus Station. There has previously been shorts shown at the Palace and Hippodrome.


1908


Blackpool's First Aviation Week held during the summer at Squires Gate Racecourse (now the Airport) and the first flight round the Tower from the seaside.


1910


Blackpool Pleasure Beach Company Registered. This was not the start of the Pleasure Beach as several people had been operating a Pleasure Beach on the site for over Twenty Years previous to the Company being formed.


The Gipsy encampment of the Sandhills, south of the old Star Inn was erected this year. The Second Aviation Week was held in July, the Frenchman Monsieur Tetard flew round the town.


1911


This year saw the Carnegie Free Library at the Grundy Art Gallery in Queen Street opened for use. St. Stephen's Church on the Cliff opened.


1912


The New Princess Parade was opened by Princess Louise.


1913


The Blackpool Cremation Society established in April. King George and Queen Mary visited Blackpool.


1914


The Great War commenced (August 4th). Blackpool was used as a training Ground for troops and also the headquarters of the Royal Army Medical Corp. (RAMC.) Hospital beds were erected in the old racecourse grandstand at Squires Gate, under Doctor Winder of South Shore.


1916


Hebrew Synagogue in Leamington Road opened.


1918


Sir Albert Lindsey Parkinson elected Conservative MP for the Blackpool Division.


1919


The first Election held under the New Municipal Redistribution scheme for the rearrangement of wards.


1920


Blackpool Town Planning Act came in force. St.Mary's Church, Highfield Road, South Shore opened.


1921


September 11: the north pier is almost destoyed by fire. All the instruments of the North Pier Orchestra were destroyed when the Indian Pavilion burnt down


Blackpool Ramblers Club formed (March 2nd) Allan Clark, Lancashire writer and author of Windmill Land was one of the leaders. Regent Picture Palace, Church Street opened.


1922


Mr. David Lloyd-George, the Wartime Premier, presented with the freedom >Mr. David Lloyd-George, the Wartime Premier, presented with the freedom of the Borough. Major Morley (Conservative) elected MP.


1923


The First Blackpool carnival (June 9th-16th) held. South Shore Open Air Baths opened. Lt. Col Maylor (Liberal) elected MP.


1924


The Second Carnival held (June 11th-24th). Sir Walter de Freece (Conservative) elected MP. (Oct 29th)


1925


Stanley Park opened. Situated off Whitegate Drive, it boasted a golf course, tennis courts and bowling greens.


Independent Methodist Church, Central Drive opened.


The First Illuminations were held in the autumn of the year. (November & December) There was skating on the lake at Marton Mere, as the winter had the severest frost for years.


1926


St.Marks Church, Layton and New the Baptist Church were in the course of being erected. This was Blackpool Corporation's "Jubilee Year" It was also the year of the general strike.


1928


The Big Wheel was demolished.


1929


Madam Tussauds Waxworks opened.


1931


Stanley Park Municipal Aerodrome opened by P.M. J Ramsey MacDonald.


1932


Greatest fire in Blackpool RHO Hills.


The first Drama Festival was held at the Opera House


1934


Pleasure Beach fire

 


1935


Two aeroplanes, taking part in Sir Alan Cobham’s Air Circus, crashed over Blackpool on the7th of September 1935. One fell on Swainson Street, killing the pilot and two passengers. Other parts of the aeroplanes fell in Cedar Square, near to the Cedar Tavern.


1936


Boots’ building destroyed by fire October 7th 1936


 


Blackpool Today



As far back as the 1960's, shifts in tastes and sensibilities, combined with ever more opportunities for Britons to travel overseas, have supplanted Blackpool's status as a leading resort during the late-20th century. Nevertheless, Blackpool's urban fabric and economy remains relatively undiversified, and firmly rooted in the tourism sector, and the borough's seafront continues to attract millions of visitors every year. In addition to its sandy beaches, Blackpool's major attractions and landmarks include the Blackpool Tower, Blackpool Illuminations, the Pleasure Beach Blackpool, and the Winter Gardens. Blackpool is also noted for its political autonomy, independent of Lancashire County Council.

 

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