Blackpool is part of everyone’s past. Have a look at our old Blackpool photos that we’ve had tucked away in the Visit Fylde Coast archives.
Come on a trip down memory lane through the streets of bygone Blackpool… They’re our own photos, just shared in random order.
Old Blackpool Photos – the town centre
Remember when Marks and Spencer used to be opposite the rear of Coral Island? And when Blackpool had a C&A? It’s TK Maxx now, of course, and M&S is on Church Street. How Blackpool town centre has changed.
Look at the old bus too! This is a very young Chrissie Blogger, with Petra, her first dog.
Busy Town Centre Streets
This is Bank Hey Street from Waterstone’s end. See the entrance to The Blackpool Tower. It says ‘Tower World’ on the sign. And Lewis’s in the back of shot, later to become Poundland. Do you remember the amazing, enormous Lego displays in the window of Lewis’s?
Another one taken from the top of the Tower, this time looking towards the Winter Gardens. Notice the tangle of buildings between the bottom of the photo and the white Winter Gardens building. Most of them were removed to make way for the Houndshill Shopping Centre.
Lost to a Fire
The rotunda of Yates Wine Lodge at Talbot Square, lost in a tragic fire – and the pet shop with it.
When she saw this photo, Valerie Thompson told us on Facebook:
“I was just speaking about Yates Wine Lodge the other day ! We (my parents and sister) were on holiday in Blackpool when the Conservatives were holding their Party Conference there. I actually bumped into Margaret Thatcher, this was before she was PM though. Anyway, I believe Yates Wine Lodge was the only pub that sold champagne on tap, and my mum wanted to try it, unfortunately she had broken her ankle after falling off my sister’s platform sandals!! So she had to hobble in there with her leg in plaster. It was full of people from the party conference, but she said that they could not have been nicer, and of course the staff making sure she had a seat and so on. My mum passed away in 2016, seeing this brought back a lovely memory x”
The Beach in Old Blackpool Photos
Next is the beach at Blackpool South Shore, where Waterloo Headland is now. That’s South Pier before it became an amusement pier. Look how small the sea wall is compared to the new one. Can you remember the old cobbles that were set into the concrete wall?
Sitting on the beach for the day seems to have gone out of fashion, which is a shame. It was certainly something that appealed to children, the beach was always full of kids buildings sandcastles and playing games.
When we arrived on the sands we always set up camp by putting the windshields around the deckchair and building a wall of sand in front of us. It was our demarcation line and the only way you could make sure you didn’t get another family sat practically on your knee – the beach was always so busy!
Busy days on the beach
This looks like an average day in the 1970’s on Blackpool beach. We’d all pitch our deckchairs for the day and the little caravans provided drinks, snacks and ice cream. It was a troop back to the promenade to visit the old Victorian public toilets with wood panelling and green tiled closets. That was in the days when you literally could spend a penny!
Blackpool beach on a busy day in summer, taken from North Pier. The little caravans sold drinks and ice cream and the vendors used to tow then down to the sands every day. Some of these vans sold the most delicious homemade ice cream.
Punch and Judy
The beach was an entertaining place in those days. Especially when Punch and Judy arrived! Crowds of kids (and adults) gathered around, to watch him beat his wife! That’s me in the red swimming costume, stood at the back!
The next photo is from the 70’s era too. Look at the old sea wall.
Travel from the beach
In the days before ‘health and safety’ boat trips were popular, sailing from Blackpool beach. This is another old Blackpool photo from the 1970’s.
Can you remember when you could get a hovercraft ride on Blackpool beach, near to North Pier? Do you know where the rides went to? Pop a comment below if you do.
I don’t know why, but this particular year there were a number of hot air balloon flights taking off from the beach at Blackpool, close to North Pier. I remember it ever so clearly, it would have been about 1975. And yes, that’s me, your editor, front of shot in the skirt, hands on hips!
At a glance this doesn’t look much different to today – the beach north of North Pier. But in the photo is me, my mum and our first dog, which puts this photo at about 1979/80.
Bunting and a Jetty
Can you see the string of flags/bunting down the left hand side of the Tower? Presumably that was for a big occasion. Maybe the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977? There’s a close up photo of them further down the page.
Can you also see that North Pier is longer in the photo than it is now?
It’s a miracle that all three of Blackpool’s piers are still standing after the weather they have endured for more than 100 years.
In this photo from the 1970’s you can see the fishing jetty more clearly at the end of North Pier. It was a rickety thing, and very close to the water! It was damaged by storms probably not much later than the time when this photo was taken, and had to be removed.
We’ll start the seafront photos with this very old one from our archives. It’s my grandparents, on holiday in Blackpool.
The old sea wall – steep and built with cobbles, and the old wooden steps against north pier. How many times did you climb up and down them?
If you stand at the seawall neat to the pier you can still see the stumps of the wooden legs which once supported the stairs. I vividly remember seeing punks sat on the steps in the 1970s. As a kid, their safety pins and mohicans fascinated me.
This is me, your editor, stroking the horse. I can’t remember the horse drawn cart at all, but I do remember the Lobster Pot. I said I couldn’t tell you where it was and asked do you know? Malcolm knew, he’s answered in comments below.
It says ‘Foxhall’ on my caption to this photo, but I can’t remember it at all. Do you? Tell us what you know in the comments.
Things to Do
Do you remember Blackpool Open Air Baths? They were next to South Pier – where the Sandcastle Waterpark is today. The other notable thing about this picture is just how bad the quality of old prints is!
And in these days, what we call Heritage Trams were the only trams to travel on!
Blackpool promenade just south of the main entrance to the Pleasure Beach – taken in the 1970’s. We asked if you knew what the scaffolding towers were for on the left? They’re near to the open air baths. Was it for filming an event? Lew has answered that question – in the comments below!
Views from The Tower
Here’s the view from up The Tower looking South, taken in the 1970s. The big roof at the bottom of the photo is the Sands Venue – the one that’s been completely rebuilt between 2018-20.
In the foreground of the photo you can see old filament light bulbs on the Tower. Nowadays all of the Blackpool Illuminations are lit by modern LED lamps – using a fraction of the electricity which they once did.
Do you remember the fairground rides against the front? You can also see the bridge that once crossed the promenade. And look at the little boats lined up on the seafront!
Bridge over the promenade
And here’s a close up view of the area which is now mostly occupied by Coral Island. The two cream buses in the centre of the shot are where the main T junction is today.
The next photo looking south along Blackpool seafront was taken from the very top of Blackpool Tower. Can you remember when you used to be able to go up there? Yuk 🙂
Here are some more views, taken over the years from the top of The Blackpool Tower.
Spot the Difference
Still up The Tower, at a glance this view from the top looks very similar to today. Look again and you’ll see the old promenade, complete with the deckchair stacks. (The green blocks are stacks of deckchairs covered in tarpaulin. It’s also the old two-lane main road of the promenade, and you can just see the fishing jetty at the end of North Pier.
Slightly more recently on the seafront…
This is the old sea wall in front of the Tower in about 1990, before Tower Festival Headland was built. The cabin in the background was one of several in this area – this one was the Tourist Information Centre. You can also see the old canopy entrance on the front of Blackpool Tower.
How quickly you forget! The old sea wall outside the Queens Hotel at South Shore. Photo taken about 1991.
The next photo is taken at about the same spot on South Promenade. See how shallow the drop is from the sea wall to the beach – the waves must have come over there very easily in bad weather.
In the distance is the windmill. It was a well loved landmark but was actually the sewage pumping station!
The Blackpool Tower
This photo is from about 1950 also taken in the cafe/zoo area in the Tower. On the left is your editors dad, auntie and grandparents. Look how they are all so smartly dressed for a day trip to Blackpool. How times change!
This was the cafe at the top of the Blackpool Tower building, right under the legs before you went up in the lift. It’s now The Fifth Floor. This is about 1975 when there were still some small animals and birds housed there. But it was once the home of a small zoo. That’s me, your editor in red…
Remember the year when Blackpool Tower was festooned with flags? I think I’m right in saying it was 1977 for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee?
Any idea when Blackpool Illuminations went oriental? It must have been some time in the 1970’s.
Here’s another one of the oriental theme on central promenade, Blackpool. Also the 1970’s, Illuminations experts will know exactly when!
The yellow square concrete shapes towards the top of the photo are above Sands Venue, Coral Island would be on your right. You can see the bridge across the promenade in this photo too.
Do you remember rickshaws on Blackpool promenade?
Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Oh I do I remember the childrens animal farm at the Pleasure Beach. Do you? It was under the legs of the old wooden roller coasters. The bit that really sticks in my mind is the pony rides, although I think there were chickens and other small animals. It was the old children’s area with small rides, what’s now Nickelodeon Land.
This is the Candy House with the sugar pink roof, right in the middle of Blackpool Pleasure Beach. Next to it the giant holds up the rail of the monorail, and overhead run the cable cars.
Here’s resident Visit Fylde Coast blogger Chrissie on the monorail at Blackpool Pleasure Beach.
And here’s another one of a 1970’s Blackpool Pleasure Beach. That’s Chrissie Blogger, first dog Petra and your editor as a little girl! Who knew 🙂
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