Walk this way – picture of the past

A kiosk for Walkie Snaps
A kiosk for Walkie Snaps
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These fantastic shots, taken of people as they strolled down Blackpool’s Waterloo Road are exactly the sort of images a museum project is looking for.

Taking pictures in today’s modern world, as people walk down the Promenade, is easy – with most smart phones able to take photographs and up-to-date cameras being small enough to put inside a pocket or handbag.

A Walkie Snap taken on Waterloo Road, South Shore, Blackpool

A Walkie Snap taken on Waterloo Road, South Shore, Blackpool

But it wasn’t always that simple.

In days gone by, businesses used to exist across Blackpool – street photographers, specifically producing photos of couples and families walking along the Prom and other resort streets.

These were often known by names such as Walkie Snaps.

Visitors would later be to see their image on display and decide whether or not to purchase a copy of the picture. The images often have the benefit of showing very natural images of our own family members and these snapshots could well still exist in many family photo albums.

The resort’s environment and walkway may have changed, but residents and holiday-makers of yesteryear enjoyed taking snaps along the Promenade just as much as people today

Now Bernard Kennedy, from national charity Living Street, is working on an exciting new project to get more people walking in Blackpool and would like to see any photos taken on the Promenade – whether they are present day images or pictures from the past.

He’s interested in finding out who is in the photo and what types of activities they had been doing in Blackpool the day the shot was taken.

They could be family pictures passed down through the generations, Walkie Snaps or even a recent selfie.

The photos will be then scanned and saved at Blackpool’s Central Library for posterity.

Today’s Memory Lane front cover is a Walkie Snap, courtesy of Blackpool’s Library Service, taken on Waterloo Road, in 1951.

Living Streets will be leading some modern-day walks with a photographer, to recreate the pictures in their original settings, with original or family members.

The short walks are planned for Thursday (August 20), starting at 10am and running until 4pm.

People will be able to find Bernard, on the Promenade, between Festival House/Wedding Chapel and North Pier.

Images collected in the project will also be included as part of an event to introduce the Blackpool Museum Project – Museum In The Making – which will take place in the Horseshoe and Pavilion Theatre of the Winter Gardens, on Friday August 28 and Saturday 29, from 11 until 4pm.

It will give the public a taster of the museum – displaying museum plans, exhibitions of collections and work created by communities, alongside lots of opportunities to join in singing, dancing, building towers and other performance.

Anyone with images to share is asked them to scan them and email to Bernard via bernard.kennedy@livingstreets.org.uk. He can be contacted by calling 0759 0048494.

Anyone who needs help with scanning images, can make an appointment to take it in to the Local And Family History Centre on the first floor of Central Library on Queen Street, where local history librarian Tony Sharkey can help. Call (01253) 478090.

For more information on the museum project, email kerry.vasiliou@blackpool.gov.uk or call (01253) 476815.