VIDEO: Packed out for a bumper weekend

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Tourism bosses across Blackpool today hailed another bumper weekend as a string of events brought thousands of people flocking into the resort.

Blackpool was heaving as the annual air show flew back into town yesterday, with the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and Red Arrows wowing crowds.

Gold Blade performing at HMV, Blackpool. Below: Ned King and donkey Lightning Bolt  from the Blackpool Tower Dungeon, entertains shoppers in Bank Hey Street.

Gold Blade performing at HMV, Blackpool. Below: Ned King and donkey Lightning Bolt from the Blackpool Tower Dungeon, entertains shoppers in Bank Hey Street.

And the punk festival, which started on Thursday and finished last night, brought more than 3,000 revellers into the resort, filling the Winter Gardens and other venues.

It included Blackpool’s premier punk rocker returning to his roots to play an intimate gig for fans in HMV on Saturday ahead of a show in the Empress Ballroom for the Rebellion festival.

The HMV store was packed with around 120 punk fans to see John Robb and band Gold Blade perform.

Meanwhile, the Blackpool Tower Dungeon has promised street theatre throughout the summer after the history books were rewritten when Lancashire highwayman Ned King took to streets with a very different kind of trusty steed.

Ned King and donkey "Lightning Bolt" from the Blackpool Tower Dungeon, entertaining shoopers in Bank Hey Street, Blackpool.

Ned King and donkey "Lightning Bolt" from the Blackpool Tower Dungeon, entertaining shoopers in Bank Hey Street, Blackpool.

The Dungeon character enlisted the help of a donkey – or a “Lancashire short-legged stallion” – on Saturday.

The gimmick was staged by the attraction on Bank Hey Street to amuse visitors and shoppers in the town centre, giving the retired beach donkey a new lease of life as sidekick ‘Lightning Bolt’.

Today business and tourism bosses said they hope the weekend’s crowds can be repeated for the rest of the summer.

Mark Yates, from South Beach Business Forum, who runs Brooks Collectables, on Waterloo Road, South Shore, said: “The weather’s been nice, people have been happy and it’s nice to see the town busy and bustling, how it should be.”

Hotelier Helen Mansell, vice president of Stay Blackpool, said: “It’s been a busy weekend, we’re delighted with trade, we really need it to keep up now.” Ned King and Lightning Bolt will be performing street theatre around Blackpool Wednesdays to Sundays in August amid a number of planned outdoor shows by the Dungeon characters.

Meanwhile, punks packed into Talbot Social Club, on Milbourne Street, for more music on Saturday, boosting business for the club.

Owner Mick Lowe said: “It was fantastic. We probably tripled what we’d make on an average weekend, it helps business tremendously.”

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