Snapshots of Blackpool and Fylde lifesavers through the ages

1913 St John Ambulance, Blackpool
1913 St John Ambulance, Blackpool
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They can be seen at public events from big shows and concerts, to charity fun runs and big sporting fixtures.

Everybody knows the work of the St John Ambulance Brigade.

Charlie Cairoli is in good care, as he stops for a Gazette and Herald photographer, with officers, nursing members and cadets, after opening the Blackpool St John Nursing and Ambulance Divisions' garden party at Rathsheen, Whitegate Drive, in 1957

Charlie Cairoli is in good care, as he stops for a Gazette and Herald photographer, with officers, nursing members and cadets, after opening the Blackpool St John Nursing and Ambulance Divisions' garden party at Rathsheen, Whitegate Drive, in 1957

And our archive pictures show them across the decades on the Fylde coast.

The St John Ambulance Brigade was formed nationally in 1887, but its origins go all the way back to 11th century Jerusalem, where the first Knights of St John set up a hospital to care for sick pilgrims.

The end of the 1890s saw more than 2,000 St John Ambulance volunteers offer medical assistance during the Boer Wars.

St John Ambulance volunteers performed their first duty for a major sporting event at the 1908 London Olympics, marking the beginning of a long-standing relationship between the charity and the sporting world.

Members of the Blackpool St John Ambulance Brigade with some of the equipment they use, in 1987

Members of the Blackpool St John Ambulance Brigade with some of the equipment they use, in 1987

The outbreak of the First World War in 1914 saw St John Ambulance join forces with the Red Cross, to form the Joint War Committee, providing medical care for war casualties in hospitals in England and overseas.

In the 1920s, the St John Ambulance Cadets were formed for girls and boys aged 11 to 18, offering first aid training to those who were too young to join an adult division.

At the Coronation of King George VI in 1937, St John Ambulance volunteers provided first aid treatment to 9,000 members of the public.

During the Second World War, the Joint War Committee once again came together, to provide voluntary first aid to the injured.

The Rotary Club of Poulton presented a resusitation aid to the Poulton St John Ambulance, in 1981. 'From left: John Garside (adult superintendent), Corporal Cadet Diane Johnson, Geoff Parr (Rotary president), R Andrews (chairman, SJA management committee)

The Rotary Club of Poulton presented a resusitation aid to the Poulton St John Ambulance, in 1981. 'From left: John Garside (adult superintendent), Corporal Cadet Diane Johnson, Geoff Parr (Rotary president), R Andrews (chairman, SJA management committee)

In 1948, the formation of the NHS altered the role of St John Ambulance who now support local ambulance trusts in times of need.

The 1970s were a period of unrest, and St John Ambulance volunteers provide first aid to the injured in a number of dangerous situations such as riots.

During the 1980s, when new first aid regulations were introduced for the workplace, St John Ambulance offered first aid at work training and has done ever since.

Poulton St John Ambulance Brigade HQ on Station Road, nearing completion, in 1965

Poulton St John Ambulance Brigade HQ on Station Road, nearing completion, in 1965

Cadets practising slings in 1981

Cadets practising slings in 1981

Inside the mobile Blackpool St John Ambulance

Inside the mobile Blackpool St John Ambulance

Members of the St John Ambulance Blackpool division at their headquarters in Park Road, in 1987

Members of the St John Ambulance Blackpool division at their headquarters in Park Road, in 1987

St John Ambulance Brigade HQ, Hornby Road, Blackpool

St John Ambulance Brigade HQ, Hornby Road, Blackpool

Members of the Blackpool A and B nursing divisions of the St John Ambulance Brigade, in 1963

Members of the Blackpool A and B nursing divisions of the St John Ambulance Brigade, in 1963

Sir Harold Grime, chairman and editor in chief of The Gazette and associated newspapers, unveiled a plaque at the Poulton St John Ambulance Division headquarters, in Station Road, to commemorate the opening of the building in 1965, by Lord Cozens-Hardy.

Sir Harold Grime, chairman and editor in chief of The Gazette and associated newspapers, unveiled a plaque at the Poulton St John Ambulance Division headquarters, in Station Road, to commemorate the opening of the building in 1965, by Lord Cozens-Hardy.