Five forgotten Fleetwood sights

Fleetwood Pier, in 1982
Fleetwood Pier, in 1982
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These five sights are now confined to the history books.

These are the top five lost sights of Fleetwood.

Fleetwood Railway Station, circa 1965.

Fleetwood Railway Station, circa 1965.

1. Fleetwood Pier

Fleetwood Pier was built in 1910, designed by Blackpool architect Tom G Lumb.

It was an essential requirement for most seaside towns at the beginning of the 20th century to have a pier with arcades and shops.

After the Second World War, the Pier had a new look – with art deco style architecture, complete with cinema, milk bar, slot machines and a Walkie-Snaps photographer. On the outside deck, was a children’s fairground with ferris wheel and dodgem cars.

EASTER HARVEST: Dockers unloading a catch of fish at Fleetwood dock. (1989)

EASTER HARVEST: Dockers unloading a catch of fish at Fleetwood dock. (1989)

In 1952, in the middle of the summer season, the Pier burned down, causing £7,000 worth of damage. It wasn’t until November 1958, the Pier was fully in use again. It was reconstructed on the original cast iron supports.

The Pier was destroyed by another fire, in September 2008.

2. Fleetwood Station

Fleetwood Station was originally located on Dock Street, in 1840, but was rebuilt in Queens Terrace in 1883, where the old P&O Terminal ended up.

Fleetwood Grammar School, Poulton Road. (1988)

Fleetwood Grammar School, Poulton Road. (1988)

The railway approached the station from the south. Platforms One and Four ran the full length of the station, the northern half of each platform being under a glass-roofed train shed. Between the platforms were the booking office, waiting rooms, left luggage office and so on.

At the north end was a glass-roofed concourse, running from the Queen’s Terrace entrance to the jetty for steamers on the side of the Wyre. On the north side of the concourse were refreshment rooms.

Fleetwood Station closed in 1966 and was demolished shortly afterwards.

After 1966, Wyre Dock Station was renamed Fleetwood.

Regent cinema, Lord street, Fleetwood , 1957

Regent cinema, Lord street, Fleetwood , 1957

3. Fleetwood Docks

The Dock, costing £250,000, was opened in 1877.

Once, ocean-going schooners from South America and the Baltic Sea countries moored at Wyre Dock.

The thriving port’s fleet of deep sea trawlers landed their rich catches from Icelandic Waters at the neighbouring fish dock.

At the turn of the 20th century, Fleetwood was one of the top three fishing ports in the country.

But when the cod war was lost, international cargo and trade waned and the port’s golden era of fishing was over.

The last deep sea trawler left the town in 1982 and now only inshore fishing boats fish out of the port.

The derelict Wyre Dock was developed into a marina in the mid 90s. The dock landing area became shopping centre Fleetwood Freeport, and housing was built at the north end of the marina.

4. Fleetwood Grammar School

Fleetwood Grammar School, on Poulton Road, was open from 1921 until 1977, when it closed to become a section of Fleetwood Hesketh High School, merging with Bailey Secondary School.

Its 56-year run saw thousands of students pass through its classrooms.

The building was eventually demolished to make way for housing.

5. Regent Cinema, Fleetwood

The Regent Cinema, Lord Street, opened in 1935.

It had originally been built, in 1855, as a Wesleyan Chapel, before being converted into the Empress Picturedrome cinema, which ran from 1912 until 1918. It then re-opened in 1921 and continued as a silent cinema until about 1931.

When it re-opened as the Regent, the frontage had been entirely re-clad in white tiles, and the seating capacity increased to 720.

In the 1960s, the Regent Cinema was taken over by Hutchinson Cinemas.

The Regent closed its doors in May 1983 – it was the last of Fleetwood’s four cinemas at the time, the others being the Art, also on Lord Street, The Victoria on Poulton Road and Fleetwood Pier.

Fire ripped through the partially-gutted building in April 1986 – demolition work had started earlier that month.