Memory Lane: Keeping a flame alive

Blackpool Tower on fire in 1897.'historical
Blackpool Tower on fire in 1897.'historical
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NO, it is not a picture of the Olympic torch passing through the resort...

This was Blackpool Tower in flames, just three years after it was opened.

Rita Walmsley, of Bryning Lane, Wrea Green, who supplied the photograph, says: “There was a spectacular fire at the top in 1897 and my grandmother Harriet Rhodes, who was born in 1875, saw the flames from her bedroom window in Blackpool.”

Mrs Walmsley, 82, also points out that she and her husband Jim, 89, were married in July 1952, which means they celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary soon.

So they might be pleased to know that they – and any other Fylde coast couples who are marking that landmark anniversary in 2012 – can take advantage of a free weekend break offer from budget hotel chain Travelodge.

Spokeswoman Shakila Ahmed says: “The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee is only the second such Jubilee in Britain’s history, and is such a historic milestone.

“We thought it would be fitting to celebrate this grand royal occasion by offering couples who got married in 1952 a free weekend break, so they can celebrate their 60 years of marriage.”

Shakila adds: “To give their diamond anniversary break a royal seal of approval, couples can even stay at the Grade II listed Leamington Spa Travelodge, where Queen Victoria once stayed.”

Queen Victoria first associated 60 years of marriage as a diamond wedding anniversary when she celebrated her 60th year on the throne as a Diamond Jubilee. It soon became fashionable in high society to celebrate this anniversary as a diamond anniversary.

To qualify for the free diamond anniversary room offer, couples need to register their details by email at or by ringing 01844 35 8703.

They will be asked to send proof that they have been married for 60 years. Upon receipt of the requested information, a free weekend break will be booked for the couple at any one of Travelodge’s 491 UK based hotels. It must be taken by September, and will also include a full English breakfast at those hotels that have a bar/cafe.