Blackpool Holidays From Days Gone By

With summer well and truly here to stay (at least for another couple of weeks anyway), we thought we’d check out some memories of Blackpool holidays from days gone by.  Even though it may be dirt cheap these days to hop on a Ryan Air or Jet2 flight and hot foot it out of the uk for a week or two, people still come to Blackpool in their droves during the warmer months.  Could it be the many attractions that we have to offer?  The crazy nightlife?  Maybe it’s our great local food establishments.  One thing is for sure, if you take a walk down Blackpool promenade tomorrow, it will be full of holidaymakers enjoying the summer.

Early Blackpool Holidays

Blackpool became popular as a tourist destination back in the Victorian times.  With the development of a railway to bring the tourists directly to the town, and with the introduction of holidays from work, people came to Blackpool to enjoy the beaches and the attractions that had started to pop up along the promenade and surrounding areas.

People were travelling from all around the UK to visit Blackpool for a short break.

What Made Blackpool So Popular?

The Blackpool Tower was opened in 1894 and was instantly a hit.  Seaside entertainers, locally sourced cockled and mussels and the fresh sea air were all just what the doctor ordered – quite literally, as many workers suffered work related illnesses due to the working environment of the era.

Blackpool holidays were especially popular amongst families and couples as it was an affordable and relaxing place to visit.

Pre-Tower Era

It wasn’t just the introduction of the tower that drew in the crowds.  Blackpool enjoyed popularity as a resort before the tower became the resort’s most memorable landmark.

1880: The beach and seafront before the tower was built (Credit: London Stereoscopic Company/Getty Images)

The Bustling 1920s

By 1920, employers had started offering paid holidays and so workers were taking full advantage of this when the weather became warmer.  With the tower standing proudly in the background of this photo, it looks like there’s not an inch of space on the beach with the crows of people enjoying the sun.

Crowds fill the beach in 1920 as the Tower and a large ferris wheel are both clearly visible in the background (Credit: Central Press/Getty Images)

Heatwaves Are No Stranger To Blackpool

Think it’s hot this July? These ladies are enjoying the beach on a particularly hot day back in July 1934.  

These ladies are enjoying the heatwave during their Blackpool Holiday in July 1934. (Credit: E Dean/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

Games On The Beach

The beach is a fun place to be and it’s not just for building sandcastles.  There are some other ways to enjoy the beach including volleyball, flying kites and rock pooling.  These girls are playing cricket on Blackpool beach in 1937.

 

Girls play cricket on Blackpool beach in 1937 (Credit: Fox Photos/Getty Images)

 

Getting Away From It All

This touching photograph speaks volumes.  A staff sergeant on leave is pictured building a sandcastle with his young granddaughter.  These memories must have been so precious to this family when this young girl’s grandfather was able to spend some time away from the war and dangers he was facing at the time.

A staff sergreant pictured in 1943 building sandcastles with his granndaughter on leave in Blackpool in 1943 (Credit: George W Hales/Fox Photos/Getty Images)

Seafood Has Always Been A Part Of The Blackpool Experience

Being right beside the sea, Blackpool and the surrounding towns have been well known for fresh and locally caught seafood.  From cockles and mussel stands on the beach, to the popular Harry Ramsden’s fish and chip restaurant, locals and tourists alike can’t resist indulging in some seafood every now and then.  This couple are buying seafood from a vendor on the beach in 1945.  We’re not sure that the seller would pass food hygiene requirements these days though. 

A couple buy oysters from a vendor on the beach in 1945 (Credit: Ian Smith/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

Play Hard and Work Hard

The Blackpool Tower requires a large amount of constant maintenance work to keep it in the best possible condition.  Being so close to the sea, Blackpool’s salty sea air doesn’t present the best environment for the metal tower structure.  Whilst holidaymakers enjoy themselves on the beach, they probably don’t even notice these men.  The workers are brave working on this dangerous looking part of the tower, high above the beach and the promenade to complete essential repairs in the sunny weather.  It doesn’t look like they have any harnesses or protective workwear.

Men working on the tower in 1947 (Credit: Fox Photos/Getty Images)

Donkeys – A Controversial Piece of the Blackpool Image

Donkeys have been a popular sight on the beaches at Blackpool for many years.  These ladies are enjoying a ride on the donkeys in 1954.  In September 2017, a number of donkeys were seized from a Blackpool owner due to allegations of animal abuse.  Blackpool Council has strict laws about donkeys in Blackpool and all donkey operators now have to hold a license.  There are also rules about the size of passenger that the donkeys can carry.

Tourists on donkeys on Blackpool Beach in 1954 (Credit: John Chillingworth/Picture Post/Getty Images)

Dwindling Numbers of Tourists

This picture from 1954 shows a relatively busy beach, but nothing like the beach from the 1920 photo above.  The dwindling numbers of holidaymakers were most likely due to the increasing popularity and affordability of holidays abroad. 

Holidaymakers soak up the sun on Blackpool beach in 1954 (Credit: John Chillingworth/Getty Images)

 

Despite the drop in numbers of holidaymakers over the years, Blackpool still continues to thrive through the summer months and thanks to the illuminations and the fireworks championships, Blackpool Council still manages to keep the resort alive for a little longer each year.

 

 

 

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