Blackpool's skyline of the future to become part of history
With last standing high rise flats in Layton about to tumble, here's a look back at these iconic landmarks.
They’ve been a part of Blackpool’s skyline for more than 50 years.
But the end of this week will see that skyline changed forever, as Layton’s last standing high-rise flats are reduced to rubble.
Charles Court, Ashworth Court, Elizabeth Court and Churchill Court were built in the 1960s – Walter Robinson Court in 1972 – and the flats were an architects’ bold vision of the future, building up instead of across.
But when demolition was first mooted, the jury was out on the estate.
Just 317 of the 1,200 residents of 504 properties affected took part in the council’s consultative process, 103 favouring total demolition, 84 partial demolition, 75 no change, 36 no preference, 16 wanting two blocks retained and one expressing “multiple preferences”.
Some 138 residents stated if they were affected by redevelopment they would rather stay at Queens Park.
A “large majority, 93.3 per cent”, according to the council’s summary, wanted to stay as council tenants, for all the “decades of neglect” diatribes.
Blackpool-based psychotherapist Steven Pope, who had clients on the estate, hailed Queens Park as “a grim monument to Britain’s failed post-war experiment in social housing”.
But Gwen King, chairman of the Queens Park Residents’ Association, which has built the estate’s sense of identity, the office a drop-in for those worried about the future, told The Gazette at the time: “Just because you haven’t got someone walking past your window doesn’t mean you haven’t got community spirit.”
Here’s a selection of images of the flats across the years – cherish them, because after Sunday, none of the towers will be left, with families moved into low-rise flats and family homes instead. See The Gazette all this week for the build-up to the flats’ demolition, set to take place on Sunday.