Return of the classic deckchair for hire on Blackpool Beach and it comes in tangerine stripes

Oh how we do like to be beside the seaside, with the sun, sand, Blackpool donkeys, ice cream and now a wave of tangerine thanks to the return of a traditional family enterprise.

Wednesday, 30th June 2021, 8:48 pm

After a 10 year absence from the sands Blackpool businessman Andrew Beaumont is bringing back a little nostalgia and hoping to cash in on the staycation market with the return of the humble deckchair for hire.

He has secured a lease with the council for section a of the beach between Central Pier and the lifeboat station along the Promenade for his 300 British made classic chairs with traditional blue or red and white stripes as well as a collection of tangerine striped seats in recognition of the town’s newly promoted Championship side Blackpool FC.

And Andrew, a former retail manager at Blackpool Zoo, is planning to soak up some rays and add to his step count as he sets up stall this week.

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Teresa Everington and Graham Crump are the first ever customers to hire the new deck chairs.
Teresa Everington and Graham Crump are the first ever customers to hire the new deck chairs.

Beach-goers can sit back and relax in style with Blackpool Deckchairs at a cost of £3 a chair for the day.

The deckchairs were first brought to Blackpool beach around 1912 by a lady named Rose Osbourne, she operated the hire of the chairs until 1921, when the then Council assumed responsibility for the management and hire.

Andrew who has been a regular user of the beach over four decades, used to manage deckchairs for hire in the 1980s and '90s said he had welcomed the chance to bring the chairs back to the sands, he said: “They were very much a part of my childhood and working life and I am certainly looking forward to taking trip down memory lane. 1989 was the first year I worked for the council on Blackpool deckchairs until 1996 as an attendant and a driver, while studying at university.

"I was 16 when I started the deckchairs cost 65p a day to hire with a 25p deposit. There was 50 workers then including managers and drivers. Later they increased to a £1 but still hiring out a few hundred thousand a year - it was good business!

Luke Lee and Blackpool Deckchairs owner Andrew Beaumont who will be hiring the chairs for £3 a day on Blackpool beach this summer

"It was quite a moment in 2011 when it stopped because all the work that was going on with the seafront and the Promenade.

"Last year we were on beach and started talking about how nice it would be to be back in a deckchair so we then I saw the tender had become available, I applied and here we are today!

“I’d like to thank Blackpool Council for offering me the opportunity to re-introduce the deckchair to Blackpool sands.

“As we’ve been speaking to locals and visitors we’ve had a really positive response and can’t wait to get up and running.”

Andrew's daughter Isabelle Beaumont (11) relaxes in a giant deckchair on Blackpool beach. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard

Blackpool Council bosses announced earlier this month they were offering space for a new chair operator. The licence allows Blackpool Deckchairs to operate until November.

Conditions include having an attendant in place and keeping the area clean and compliant with any active coronavirus restrictions.

Leader Coun Lynn Williams, added: “It is fantastic to see deckchairs return to Blackpool.

“There will be a whole generation of visitors who have never experienced hiring a deckchair for a day on our beach. It’s a much-loved tradition and I’m sure it will bring back happy memories to many of our visitors this summer. I wish Andrew every success.

Andrew Beaumont, Russell Catlow a former deckchair operator and his son Lee Catlow. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard

“With so much uncertainty around foreign travel we are definitely expecting an increase in visitors this season. Our local businesses have worked incredibly hard to get ready to welcome everyone and ensure their premises are Covid safe.”

The deckchairs were a staple for resort holidaymakers in the 1950s heyday, with the beaches often pictured with rows upon rows of the striped chairs.

But after years of falling demand, the council finally sold its stock of 6,000 in 2014, three years after ending its hire service.

The chairs were sold to Cheshire company Deckchairstripes, which hired them out elsewhere. Officials said at the time that holidaymakers preferred to sit on benches on the remodelled seafront.

Kathryn Lee, sister of Andrew Beaumont with deckchairs available for hire. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard