Blackpool, Englands Las Vegas
"Blackpool an introduction"
Blackpool was initially forests & bogs going back to Roman times, Blackpoolians were known as the water dwellers. The Romans constructed a road which went through Preston, & then carried on west to a port located north of Fleetwood. The primeval parish of Bispham was marked in the Doomsday Book. In 1416 a region in the Fylde, plus an area known as "Le Poole" the "pool", was a watercourse which drained the area known as Marton Mere into the sea near Manchester Square. The stream went through peat bog land, which turned the water to a black colour, that's why the name Black Poole is so called. In 1602 people started to build cobble & clay huts near to the area of the "Pool". In the Bispham parish, the names of "de Poole" & "de blackpoole" were "Black Poole", was changed to the current day name of "Blackpool".
The rich started to visit Blackpool in the 1720`s. In 1735 Blackpool's first guest house was opened by Ethart a` Whiteside, specially for guests visiting Blackpool. In 1780 the seaside resort now had 4 hotels & four ale houses in Blackpool, and 2 more in the area of Layton. Working class people of Northern England began to visit the area, Blackpool soon began to expand into a major seaside resort. The progress was so dramatic that Blackpool's residents rose from 473 in 1750 to 47,348 by the turn of the century The railways were launched in 1840, & in 1846 the railway went to Talbot Road. Travellers could go from the mill towns of Lancashire & Yorkshire to have low-priced trips. And how they came in their thousands to Blackpool, the top entertainment centre of the North.
The North Pier was constructed in 1863: Central Pier 1868: South Pier 1894: The Tower 1894: The Grand Theatre: & the Big Wheel at the Winter Gardens in 1896.
In 1879 Blackpool was the very FIRST place in the world to pioneer the new concept of electric street lighting, which was power-driven by the electric arc street lighting system. The famed Blackpool lights were produced in 1912.With the Illuminations Blackpool now had a longer season than any other seaside towns. The Pleasure Beach was constructed in 1905, & Stanley Park in 1906.
As you can see from the picture, it can be very intresting in storms along the seafront. I have seen the waves launching across the road, if its too windy the lift will not go up right to the top of the tower. I have often wonderd what Blackpool was like during the storm of 1997. Blackpool faces the Irish Sea which is unpredictable. It can be quite difficult to walk along the seafront, at times it's 'crawl' along the seafront.
Blackpool gets over 14 million visitors a year & is the most fashionable beach resort in Europe. It has various attractions with The Illuminations, The Piers & the Pleasure Beach with something for both the young & old.
"Trams in Blackpool"
Blackpool wouldn’t be the same without its trams, which began in 1885. It costs £1.20 for one way from Star Gate at Pontins, you pay the conductor on board. The stops are usually in the middle of the road; the trams stop at the Pleasure Beach, Fleetwood & many other places. I have a friend of mine who travels on them all day long & she is a proper anorak!
One of the trams was featured in TV soap Coronation Street when one of them ran over Alan Bradley, who terrorised wife Rita. He met a grisly end underneath a Blackpool tram. I can’t remember the number, but travel on a Blackpool tour bus & the driver will tell you. The trams stretch for over 12 miles along the Promenade in the summer months up to 65 tramcars are in process, rattly things but well worth a visit. Some of the trams are lit up in the shape of boats.
In 2002 and 2003 double deck trams were barred from going further north than Thornton Gate due to declining track & this resulted in the 1960 built twin cars operating the the summer service, however in 2004 the track has been mended & the deckers can go to Fleetwood where there is a port & shopping place called Freeport (01253 877377).