When I did my university end of module dissertation for one of my humanity modules in 2009 I always wanted to return to Blackpool. I studied about the social and technological development of Victorian seaside resorts including Blackpool from how it began in the 19th Century to up to how it's view as a resort in the 21st Century. My study included analysing 'Bhaji on the Beach' movie and explored a variety of social, equality and cultural concerns how Blackpool was and is perceived. The movie has become one of my favourites. I even watched the movie again a couple of days before my weekend trip to Manchester and Blackpool.
I was able to relate to both my dissertation and 'Bhaji on the Beach' movie whilst I was exploring with my friend and also to celebrate my Nan's memory.
Fondest memory: My fondest memory was going to Blackpool with my family and Nan to pay a visit to the illuminations and also Blackpool Pleasure Beach.
Blackpool seemed like it would be a lot of fun in the summer months. But it wasnt a whole lot of fun in early December. But I didnt know any better! And there was not a whole lot to do, most of the main attractions had closed for the "season" Which can run from November to March, it depends on the site you go visit.
Fondest memory: I got to touch the Irish Sea, it was very cold!
Favorite thing: The trams are a much loved feature of Blackpool as they rattle along the promenade. There are so amny different ones - all advertising some kind of Blacpool entertainment venue or other product. Of course we rode one just for the fun of it as well as saving our legs walking all the way back to the north pier end from the south. Many are old style ones - some have been lovingly refurbished.
Donkeys are gifted animals & the Blackpool donkeys do a brilliant job for any children who wish to ride them, I think they should be given a medal for what they do during long hot summers. In the wild, donkeys don’t reside in such close herds as horses & ponies do, because they live in the desert they have very loud ‘voices’, which can carry just over three km. Donkeys have a very strong digestive system that can break down almost inedible vegetation, they like carrots all the same.
Donkeys vary in size from the Miniature Mediterranean (under 91cm) to bigger donkeys such as the rare French Poitou (up to 150cm) with its large head & ears & thick, shaggy coat. Breeds have been crossed &, as a result, there are not many pure breeds left. Donkeys often live for 25 years or more. Some have been known to live to the ripe old age of60! A forty-year-old donkey is considered to be elderly; perhaps they could invent a telegram from the Queen for donkeys (har har!).
Fondest memory: They have a strong sense of survival & if they think something is dangerous they simply won’t do it, thus they would not make steeplechasers or three-day eventers! many domestic donkeys tend to be overfed & as a result suffer from a disease called ‘Laminitis’ which is a nightmare! Donkeys do not have natural ‘waterproof’ coats like horses & so must have a shelter. Horses are flight animals, i.e. in times of panic or danger they will run away, donkeys, however, will simply freeze when frightened; ours bite when cornered.
The 200 Blackpool donkeys dinner break is 1hr, & they don’t like to be disturbed. They work from 10am to 7pm & have every Friday off. These animals have been working for donkey’s years since the Victorian era, & new laws have been brought in so officials don’t make an ‘ass’ of themselves! Vets check them on Fridays to make sure they are healthy, hooves; ears, protruding teeth & furry coats will be checked.
Donkeys have a brown stripe along their back & another across their shoulders, forming a cross. There are 2 stories of how this came about: - It is said that they were given this mark following the stories in the Holy Bible that a donkey carried Mary to Bethlehem before Jesus was born on the first Christmas, or a donkey carried Jesus to Jerusalem on the first Palm Sunday.
Favorite thing: Of course what attracts many people to Blackpool is the lights in the winter season. Its quite a colourful display by night and by day too...seeing all the charcaters on the "golden mile". There were several good ones but I liked the animals which were in halves as they flanked the road.
The central pier is the "fun" pier of Blackpool with its Ferris wheel although in former years there were roller skating and shock horror outdoor dancing here!
The central platform was converted into an open-air auditorium, and the pier-head dance area made way for a new theatre back in the 1960's.
Favorite thing: The last of Blackpool's three piers - work began on Blackpool’s South pier in 1892. It has bungee jumps and sky dives for those brave enough - me ?, well I was just happy to watch others hand over lots off money for a few seconds thrill whilst I enjoyed a drink in the laughhing donkey bar here.
Favorite thing: The North Pier was the first of Blackpool's 3 piers - opened on 21st May 1863. It is 1,405 feet long, 27 feet wide and built from 12,000 tons of metal it claimed, in its day, to be 'the finest, strongest and most beautiful marine parade in Europe'. It has suffered damage over the years and resultant modifications. and today the pier has several bars, a beer garden, a 1500-seat theatre, and an amusement arcade - all the typical type of seaside pier attractions. Its probably the most traditional of the three piers and retains mor Victorian charm than the others.
In this age when everyone is obsessed by 'image', Blackpool council has jumped on the bandwagon and is desperately trying to update Blackpool's somewhat old-fashioned image.
Their thought police (sorry council inspectors) are encouraging shop owners to tidy up their act and remove the tackiest of their stock of souveniers. This is daft, in most people's books Blackpool=Tackiness, it should be their U.S.P !
In another move they are trying to get rid of their stock of council owned deckchairs (renting out up to 8,000 a day) and replacing them with sun loungers (surely that presupposses the existence of sun ?)
This is madness. In the words of Brian Hunt (found on a website discussing the matter) :
I wonder which management consultancy gave them that advice?
"Deck chairs are a brilliant example of design. They are cheap to manufacture and take up little storage space. As low technolgy products they can easily be manufactured in the local area and provide local employment. The economic working life of a deckchair will be greater than that of the sunlounger.
'And what about consumer perception?:
Fish and chips, knotted hanky on the head and a deckchair - bloody luxury!!. Leave the sunbeds to the southern pansys! "
Blackpool Pleasure Beach covers 42 acres, and there are 125 attractions. Entrance is free, you can either pay per ride of buy a set of tickets, or new this year there is an unlimited ride wristband.
Opening times vary - it is best to check by phoning 0870 444 5566.
There are height restrictions on certain rides. Also rides are in categories, A, B C and certain other criteria.
1 day wristband £30.00
There is a cheaper wristband for Beaver Creek which is an area of smaller rides for younger children and I think this is £14
I think that some of these tickets also includes admission to some of the shows, but it is better to check when buying tickets.
Here's Joe who couldnt resist an ice cream!
Visiting Blackpool is not complete without visiting the Pleasure Beach. Remember it will be closed in most days in winter. Do check before you go in winter.
Fondest memory: In the background is the vertical drop. Very high and scary.. but on it, you will be able to see the landscape around Blackpool. My friend wasn't frighten at all and took a picture while on top there!
Favorite thing: The whole of Blackpool is a living souvenir! It is a town aimed almost exclusively at tourists. This ride in the Pleasure Beach has the date changed daily so that people like us can drape themselves over the poor goldminers and have a cheezy snap taken by an unsuspecting passer-by. There is stuff like this all around the Pleasure Beach.
Visiting Blackpool years ago as a kid with the family,my most vivid memory is the Illuminations.The whole area is lit up with lights and stretches for about 6 miles.The cost per year for the electricity bill is about £60,000 and 500,000 lamps are used.
The illuminations attract 8 million visitors each year to Blackpool...They are switched on in September each year.
Favorite thing: We had gone as usual on the spur of the moment to Blackpool for a few hours. After Wayne and Joe had been on the fairground rides, we bought some fish and chips and sat on the promenade watching the sun go down. It is was lovely.
The Pleasure Beach is the main attraction here. Loads of rides and cheesy fun things to do! You'll never be bored! The best ride is 'The Big One', a roller coaster which you can see from most places in Blackpool. Although it doesn't invert or loop it is very scary! No shoulder restraints here, just a lap bar to hold you in as you tip almost vertically downwards...those of a faint heart should not attempt this! Fear is not an option!
Fondest memory: My best memory is the fact that none of my travelling party knew each other although we all knew the bride-to-be. I made a lot of new friends from the weekend I spent here.