So here we are at Blackpool North Station – take some time take a look around you, take a look at the cavernous concourse.
The station was opened in its present form in 1974, and succeeded a previous station a few hundred yards away on Talbot Road which had first opened in 1846 and had been rebuilt in 1898. The present station is based on the 1938 concrete canopy which covered the entrance to the former excursion platforms of the old station.
But let’s not linger – out into the open breathe that sea air, under the underpass where the former Fine Fare awaits.
The Fine fare fanfare begins with an oversized Outspan heralding a new dawn – Charlie Cairoli will be in attendance!
Opened on May 22nd 1979 by the Goodies.
The shop is long gone, however the distinctive cladding prevails.
Along with the austere multi-storey car park.
Just a round the Corner and we find the Funny Girls, possibly some funny girls, funny I thought it used to be an Odeon?
Architects: Robert Bullivant, Harry W. Weedon
This was the largest of the original Oscar Deutsch built Odeon Theatres, seating 3,088, with 1,684 in the stalls and 1,404 in the balcony. The Odeon opened on 6th May 1939 with Three Smart Girls Grow Up starring Deanna Durbin.
Now a key feature of the town’s extravagant nightlife.
It was boarded up for several years until it was acquired by Basil Newby whose Pink Leisure Company converted the former circle into a nightclub named Flamingo’s, a bar in the former circle foyer and Funny Girls; a drag-cabaret theatre in the former stalls area which opened in 2002. In August 2018 Basil Newby’s Pink Leisure Company was put into receivership and the business was temporary taken over by Thwaites Brewery. Thwaites took over the ownership of the building in January 2019 and renovations are being carried out while all its facilities remain open. New signage in the style of the original 1930’s ODEON signage is to be installed on the building.
The Odeon is a Grade II Listed building.
Fancy a game of crazy golf, over looked by a delightful Irish Sea facing block of flats?
Look no further!
Onwards to the concrete coastal barricade that is the North Shore.
The figure at the centre of the interwar push for expansion and innovation in the provision of town infrastructure was Borough Architect John Charles Robinson. His designs were rooted initially in a stylish but civically appropriate classicism, but from the mid-1930s an appreciation of more explicitly modernist ideas becomes evident.
The earliest priority for the Surveyor’s Department after 1918 was the improvement and extension of the promenade and its sea defences. A short stretch of sunken gardens running parallel to the promenade at the Gynn opened in 1915 and a stretch of ‘Pulhamite’ artificial rock cliffs 100ft high between the new gardens and the lower promenade followed in 1923. Between the Gynn and the Metropole Hotel, the steep drop between the road and tramway the upper level and the lower promenade at sea level was remodelled during 1923–5 with a colonnaded ‘middle walk’, a covered promenade that utilised the pavement at the top of the three-tiered slope as its roof.
Then we walk back on ourselves and encounter the Cenotaph.
Originally erected 1923 by the County Borough of Blackpool Architect Ernest Prestwich. Bronze sculptures by Gilbert Ledward. HA Clegg & Sons builders. Messrs Kirkpatrick stonemasons.
And the North Pier.
By Eugenius Birch 1862-3, contractors R. Laidlaw and Son of Glasgow. Cast iron screw piles and columns supporting iron girders and wooden deck 1,405 feet long, with jetty of 474 feet – added 1867.
Notably the birthplace of Sooty.
A nod toward the Tower and a scamper across the Comedy Carpet.
Glancing at Harry Ramsden’s delightful Deco detailing.
Time to take in the former Woolworth’s fascia.
Then wonder where Lewis’s went?
Cutting inland we find WH Smith’s Mosaic.
Look up at the carved stone panels on the Council Offices.
Swerving towards the Winter Gardens.
With its newly refurbished Spanish Rooms.
Back out on the streets to behold the ceramic jamboree tucked in neatly behind the Post Office.
Then along Topping Street for a tiled treat.
Followed by a dessert of fast fading Art Deco.
Lets all turn ourselves in – over and out to the Police Station.
Another of Roger Booth’s Lancashire County Architect, 1962-83 monumental achievements, and another his works destined for demolition.
Skipping bail and back towards the promenade, the better to take in the fine fascias and the joy that is and was Central Pier.
The success of the North Pier prompted the formation of the Blackpool South Jetty Company one year later in 1864. Impressed with the construction of North Pier, the company hired the same contractor, Richard Laidlaw and Son of Glasgow for the project. This time, however, the company used the designs of Lieutenant-Colonel John Isaac Mawson rather than those of Eugenius Birch.
Whatever the weather you’re always ready for an ice cream treat!
Where better than at Notarianni.
Setting you up for the grand finale that is Joseph Emberton’s Pleasure Beach.
Oh I almost forgot the South Victoria Pier.
The Blackpool South Shore Pier & Pavilion Co. Ltd. was registered in November 1890 and work began to build the pier in 1892. It was constructed, at a total cost of £50,000, using a different method than that used for North and Central piers, the Worthington Screwpile System. It opened, with a choir, two brass bands and an orchestra on Good Friday, 1893. The 3,000 capacity Grand Pavilion opened on 20 May. At 163 yards long, it was the shortest of the three piers, and had 36 shops, a bandstand, an ice-cream vendor and a photograph stall. It was built shorter and wider than North and Central piers to accommodate pavilions
Just in time for the tram home and a calming drink of draught champagne in Yates’s Wine Lodge.