Wednesday, 7 October 2015

1970s-80s - People In Blackpool, Part 3

Another selection of Blackpool folk and visitors enjoying Blackpool in the days before mobile phones.

We are back to good old black and white photos for today and again it will include a mix of topics, though quite a few will feature the Pleasure Beach. We'll kick off with one of the attendants on the North Pier talking to two ladies sunning themselves on the side benches. One of them at least is riveted by what he is saying and his job at this time (in the early 1980s) allows him to enjoy smoking his briar pipe whilst working.

The sound of a fairground organ, squeals of children and the hum of many people squeezing past one another along the pathways of the Pleasure Beach. The carousel of gallopers was a feature of the Pleasure Beach south of Watson Road for a few years from the late 1970s.

There's a couple of photos this time in response to requests. The first request was for any shots I might have of the Steeplechase ride in action.

These two photos were taken in 1982. The vast majority of my photos from this year were taken in black and white. I could process the films myself whereas colour films had to be taken to a chemist or photographic shop for developing and printing (D&P as it was known). This cost a considerable amount of money and it was far cheaper to put black plastic sheets over the bathroom window and process my own black and white films. Photography is free now, once you have bought the camera or phone. It was once quite an expensive hobby.

The other request was for any shots of Blackpool's donkeys and their operators. I don't have many of these I'm afraid. But this was one that I took off the deck of Central Pier. The tide was still on its way out and very little of the beach has been uncovered as yet. The structure at the top centre is one of the legs supporting the old lifeboat house. The sand still wet and dark to the seaward side of the walking donkeys.

The sea was so close to the beach in fact that people were playing in it at the side of the pier's arcade. These four young girls were shrieking and splashing away at each other and having a great time.

The Rock Shoppe. Rock was such a large part of going to the seaside when I was small. It was almost unthinkable not to have a stick of it. I remember going at least once during a week's holiday to watch it being made, though this seems to be a Great Yarmouth more than a Blackpool memory for me. We lived in Rochdale at the time and Blackpool was a fairly regular (if not as often as I'd like) trip whilst Great Yarmouth was a car-testing long run to a place where locals spoke with a strange accent.

As a boy it was fascinating to watch the letters being formed and then the rock being stretched until the massive column, too large to hug, was stretched to the thickness of a stick of rock, snipped into the right length by one of the rollers who used their whole forearms to roll the rock so that it kept its round shape and didn't flatten whilst it cooled.

The forecourt of the Hounds Hill Shopping Centre became a favourite spot for buskers in its early days. Here Dorothy Perkins occupies the spot currently taken by the Disney Store. The glass-roofed forecourt was free of stalls and units at that point.

And on the same day, these were to be found at the entrance to Hounds Hill from Adelaide Street. They were quite good - a trio playing folk instrumentals with guitar, accordion and a dulcimer.

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