Thursday, 30 July 2015

Second Blackpool 1977 Photo Album 4 - Miscellany

Our final look at this 1977 photo album containing my photographs of Blackpool. This one will be a bit of a mash-up of different subjects and parts of the town.

Engineering Tram 753 seen at the Starr Gate loop. It had an inspection tower on the top deck and a diesel engine that allowed it to work when the line power was off. This engine was later to catch fire in 1990 and the lower deck was gutted. The tram, originally Standard Tram 143, has been owned by Lancastrian Transport Trust since 2002 undergoing restoration.

This photo has appeared on the blog before, but now re-scanned. It shows the construction of the ride station for the Pleasure Beach's Steeplechase ride. Equipped with horses based on the design of the Derby Racer horses, it looked awesome. Up to three horses could race along the track, though it was rare to see more than two. Teething troubles led to a few problems with whiplash due to the abrupt braking of the ride but once sorted, this was an unusual and exciting ride.

Boarding a Balloon tram. 1970s fashions include lots of blue denim, knitwear, vests, leather jackets, plastic cagoules and hair! A good photo to show your grandparents in a few years when they start going on about the "good old days"...

I know... I took far too many photos from the pedestrian bridge over the Promenade... But it was a great spot for taking photos of the trams and for people watching!

The Central Pier arcade and entrance. More knitwear and denim is in evidence and some fine flared trousers. Flares were something of a disappointment to me - my legs are fairly short and usually trousers have to be cut short a bit so the flare would have disappeared before my legs got to go in them... The only way to wear flares was to cut a vertical gash and insert a triangular piece of denim in the middle! Hands up if you did it too... Look sheepish if you then sewed Noddy bells on the corners...

The end of the pier theatre is showing Those Good Old Days, that phrase again... It was based on the TV show The Good Old Days that was shown from Leeds City Varieties theatre with Leonard Sachs as chairman. The TV show ran from 1954 all the way to Christmas Eve 1983 - still with Leonard Sachs in the Chair. It ran for several years on the Central Pier too until the format changed and Linda Nolan spent 8 years topping the bill as Maggie May.

Knitwear again. Oh and large-checked flannel trousers! Pontins! A suitcase without any wheels!!! Ah - the good old.... no, I can't say it...

The Linden Lea and Laurels hotels next door to Pablo's on the Promenade near the South Pier. The Linden Lea is on the corner of Dean Street and later became the Sands. The Laurels is now Camelot Hotel. A very traditional looking pair of hotels, probably the most attractive along the Promenade. (I'm not linked in any way to either of them I should point out...)

I did take the odd family photo every now and then and here is Miss Franny, my wife of just over a year on East Park Drive. We are now approaching our 40th anniversary which will occur next year and she has now given up the blue and yellow jacket...

And whilst we are on East Park Drive... Adopt your best Lloyd Grossman voice and say: "Who, in their right minds, would want to own a car in this colour???" It must have some advantages I suppose... It wouldn't show if someone was sick over it for example...

We'll finish with a couple of black and white photos which worked their way into the album. This shows an exhibition of BBC costumes from various shows including period dramas and Dr Who. The car is a Morris Marina. It had taken over from the Morris Minor 1000 in 1971 and despite initial awful (later just poor) understeer caused by the front suspension (Autocar had described taking a tight bend on their test drive and ending on the wrong side of the road), it did sell in considerable numbers, being second only to the Ford Cortina. 807,000 were produced over ten years but by 2006 Auto Express reported that only 745 were still on the road, giving it the dubious honour of being the most scrapped car of the previous 30 years.

Sooner or later I'll have to do an entry of "people seen in Blackpool". There are still people taking what is known as "street photography" these days. It was simply called candid photography in the 1960s through to 1980s and the photographic magazines of the time used to run regular articles on how to get the best candid photos of people.

I was a member of Blackpool & The Fylde Photographic Society in the later 1980s and they had at least one night-time outing along this theme. Also I used to freelance to several magazines and many specified that there had to be human interest in the photographs they used. Consequently I have lots of photos featuring people on holiday or working in Blackpool. It might be fun to see if anyone can recognise themselves!

That brings us to the end of this particular album. But there just could be others to come...

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