Memory Lane: Palace of treasures

"Professor" Lal Wright and Skating Elephant act at the Palace Varieties, Blackpool

"Professor" Lal Wright and Skating Elephant act at the Palace Varieties, Blackpool

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JOAN Lawrenson has something of a treasure trove of pictures relating to her family and The Palace, the huge entertainment building which was being demolished 50 years ago this month to make way for a Lewis’s seafront store.

Memory Lane featured showbiz historian Barry Band’s history of this once-popular venue last month and, before that, reader Dorothy Robinson shared her memories of working in the painting trade by day, and, by night, selling chocolates and ice cream at the Palace for extra money.

Usherettes in the Palace Building, Blackpool in 1928, inlcuding Joan Lawrenson's mother

Usherettes in the Palace Building, Blackpool in 1928, inlcuding Joan Lawrenson's mother

Now Mrs Lawrenson (nee Wright) writes: “I was very interested in the articles about The Palace.

Dorothy described the usherettes uniform as black and tan. “I have a photograph of my late mother in this uniform taken on the balcony of The Palace with her colleagues in 1928.

“I also have various pictures of my grandad, Lal Wright, who was master of ceremonies at the Palace Varieties.

“He also had an act called Professor Lal Wright’s Skating Elephant and performed various tricks on roller skates.

“Prior to that, he was Blackpool Football Club’s first goalkeeper and, in 1873, was presented with a clock for his sterling service for the club. I still have this clock.”