Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Sepia Saturday - Scary Views from Blackpool Tower

Sepia Saturday give bloggers an opportunity to share their family history  and personal memories through photographs




With this week's prompt, I have gone for scary heights, scary views, and a look over the sea  from the high point in my home town - Blackpool Tower. 

Blackpool Tower from the North Pier
Yes I am a Blackpudlian,   born in this  seaside  resort on the north west coast of England.  Its tower, built in 1894, was modelled on the Eiffel Tower in parish and rises to 520 feet - facts drummed into us at school.   

Until the 19th century, Blackpool was just a small hamlet.  It rose to prominence with the building of the railway linking  it to the mill towns of industrial Lancashire and Yorkshire and soon became England's  most popular  holiday resort. The unique Blackpool Illuminations were first switched on in 1879 to extend  the season well into late autumn. 

You can get a cranky lift to the top of the Tower and stand on a scary glass floor to view the town below. 


View over the North Pier
Many  seaside towns have one pier - but Blackpool goes two better with the North, Central and South Piers. A visit to Blackpool would not be complete without buying  an ice-cream cone  and walking  to the end of the pier  - an often very breezy experience. 



Looking towards the North Shore and North Promenade
North Shore  was regarded as the more "select" bit of Blackpool, whereas the  South Shore had the attractions of the Golden Mile with its  amusement arcades,  fortune tellers,  food stalls and souvenir stalls.



The view down onto the Winter Gardens - the white building with the arched roof.  

Opened in 1878, the Winter Gardens is a large entertainment complex including  a theatre  ballroom and meeting facilities, once the regular venue for the annual party political conferences.  

This is where my parents first met - as told by my father:

"One Saturday night I was in the Winter Gardens when I saw a young lady sitting on a settee. She got up and we said "Hello". I tried to find her again in the evening without success, even going to the exit door to watch people leave. 

Two weeks later I was at the Tower Ballroom and who should come along but two ladies - and you have guessed that was your Mum and Aunt. Mum stopped to say "Hello" and we started talking and had a good chat. I asked if she would come to the cinema the next night and offered to come for her and take her home. She agreed. I thought it was rather brave of her to come with me when we had only just met to talk together.

The date was 13th October 1936 and we married 18th April 1938." 

Two Generations later on the North Pier: 





Copyright © 2014 · Susan Donaldson.  All Rights Reserved

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19 comments:

  1. The view from the top of the tower looks marvelous, but I'm not sure I could stand on that glass floor! I have a thing about heights. Funny though - you & I both chose to feature pictures of tall places. (hopefully I'll get my post up tomorrow.)

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  2. I used to enjoy another place beginning with B - Brighton. That's where my aunty lives and we made frequent journeys down there from Leicester to go on the pier and have lots of fun!

    Teaching English with Mr. Duncan
    A-Z of hotels

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  3. I love the ornate seats on the first photo on the pier and the second more modern photo doesn't seem to have those beautiful seats. I've never been to Blackpool but I have been to Brighton and loved it. Saw a gypsy caravan there with fortune telling for ten pounds and Kiwis and Aussies for 20. I had a fit saying that wasn't fair and an Aussie fortune teller came out and said he did Kiwis for 5 pounds, so I went in for a laugh.

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  4. Looks like an interesting place to visit. I would be afraid to go on the tower though.

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  5. I'm not fond of cranky lifts or scary glass floors at all. But the Blackpool Tower Ballroom is the Mecca for dancers from all over the world. Do you dance?

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  6. The last time I was in Blackpool was about 40 years ago and I have a picture of me somewhere in front of the iconic tower. I hve never climbed it though - far too dangerous. Lovely pics.

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  7. I am very scared of heights, so I don't know that I would have ventured to ride to the top of the tower. Thanks for the beautiful photos!

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  8. Nice to read the story about how your parents met, and your continuing connection with Blackpool.

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  9. I like the look of that tower. I haven't seen it before. Love the photos of you and your mum.

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  10. There's a glass floor over a section of the Grand Canyon too -- YIKES!
    I love your parents' story!
    And this is my 2nd Blackpool tower of the week. One of the A-to-Z'ers wrote a poem about the Blackpool tower.

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  11. Great views from the tower. Despite having worked on high structures I wouldn't be too keen on the glass floor either.

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  12. What a romantic story! Good post!

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  13. at first glance I thought how it resembles the Eiffel Tower, now I know why...I do not like glass floors either. Interesting post

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  14. A great story of how your parents met woven into the SS post

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  15. Names of towns are like names of people - they acquire their own character. Say Blackpool and it can only mean one thing.

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  16. I've visited Blackpool once but didn't go up the tower. We did go up the CN Tower in Toronto for dinner a few years ago, which I think is the third highest in the world, and I even stood on the glass floor there, which was a little scary but not too bad. It's ok so long as you know the chances of anything untoward happening are pretty slim.

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  17. Thanks for a most enjoyable post, especially with the romantic first hand story. Loved it!

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  18. A super post about a popular place. The British version of a tower somehow misses the elegance of the French.

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