Historic Stanley Park moment to be re-enacted

Lost Archives - glass plate negative
Stanley Park Blackpool was opened on October 2nd 1926 by Lord Derby (second from the right).

Historical dated 02/10/1926
Published
Lost Archives - glass plate negative Stanley Park Blackpool was opened on October 2nd 1926 by Lord Derby (second from the right). Historical dated 02/10/1926 Published
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Ninety years ago Blackpool’s Stanley Park was officially opened in a stately display of pomp and ceremony.

The 17th Earl of Derby carried out the honours.

And this summer in order to celebrate the anniversary in the park’s history, his grandson the 19th Lord Derby is set to re-enact the opening.

Although the official unveiling was on October 22 1926, it was decided to mark the 90th birthday during the following summer.

Now the Friends of Stanley Park are gearing up for celebrations on Saturday July 8.

As well as invited dignitaries, 10 Blackpool schools will also take part with participants being urged to don 1920s attire to recreate the early days of the park.

During his visit in 1926, Lord Derby also opened the New Promenade at South Shore.

Elaine Smith, chairman of the Friends of Stanley Park, said: “We decided to hold the celebrations in the park’s 90th summer when hopefully the weather will be better.

“I have been in touch with Lord Derby, who also opened our visitor centre in 2005, and he has agreed to re-enact the opening ceremony for us.

“We are going to repaint the main gates and Lord Derby will be wearing a top hat and morning suit, and we’re asking other VIP guests to also wear 1920s dress.

“We have got a beautiful park and it is one of the jewels in Blackpool’s crown, so we think this anniversary should be celebrated.

“At the moment the parks department are facing tough times, but they continue to do a wonderful job with the park.”

The 10 schools taking part will each be given a decade since 1926 to represent, and will line up inside the park from the main gates on West Park Drive.

They will form a procession behind Lord Derby once he has ‘re-opened’ the park, before heading off to different areas to perform songs, dances and play games.

Also set to perform are Blackpool’s Revoe-lution community choir and the Blackpool Ukelele Band, with more announcements to come.

The organisers are appealing for help, including from anyone who can supply a gazebo free of charge in case it rains.

Elaine added: “We are doing it all on a shoestring, it’s not cost us anything, so if anyone can help that would be great.

“We’d also like to hear from anyone who has old pictures of the park, or elderly relatives who remember the opening.”

Among memorabilia is a copy of The Gazette which reported both the opening of the park and the Promenade.

Anyone who can help should contact Elaine on 01253 318948.