Some horseplay from back in 1960s Blackpool

The huntsman and horse state which graced Hunter's menswear until 1969
The huntsman and horse state which graced Hunter's menswear until 1969

It might sound unlikely, but at one point, one of Blackpool’s leading stores was graced with a colourful statue of a horse and huntsman above its canopy.

This year marks 50 years since the well-known landmark was taken down – after the business was taken over by Austin Reed.

Fox Brothers of Blackpool lift the horse statue into place onto Hunter's shop, in 1964

Fox Brothers of Blackpool lift the horse statue into place onto Hunter's shop, in 1964

The statue, of a pink-jacketed huntsman on a white horse leaped out above the windows of Hunter’s menswear shop, at the corner of Clifton Street and Abingdon Street.

It is thought the original statue was made in 1927.

Then, in 1964, a new one was ordered from craftsman Ernest Stevens, of South Shore.

It was modelled on Foxhunter, the trusty seed of famous show-jumper Col Harry Llewellyn.

It was made using softwood, which was then given a protective plastic coating by another famous local firm – the Glasdon Group.

In 1969, the Hunter family sold the business to Austin Reed and within the year, the statue had been removed and replaced with a neon sign.

These fascinating photographs were taken in 1964 by Roy Hargreaves, of Warton, who was then a professional photographer with a studio on Central Drive, Blackpool.

The fate of the horse is more mysterious.

It is believed it was sold to a riding stable somewhere in the Kirkham area, but there the trail goes cold.

Can any readers help?