It was a day to make you proud of Blackpool and our holiday coast as Stanley Park marked its 90th birthday.
While the present Lord Derby walked in his ancestor’s footsteps to reopen the ornate gates for a day of celebration on Saturday, I was sitting ‘next door’ enjoying the sunshine at Blackpool Cricket Club.
Our spectacular park, England’s largest green recreational space outside of London, was donated by former mayor and builder Sir Lindsay Parkinson. He also donated the land and was a leading light at the impressive cricket club. His family construction and engineering empire had grown from a Victorian joiner’s shop in the town.
By chance I was sat alongside the son, and his wife, of the current building firm of that family name, who had been at the opening ceremony; then later with a veteran joiner who’d worked for them. We were not so different to our forebears and equally appreciative of our panoramic surroundings, so well supported by volunteers like the park’s ‘Friends’.
Sir Lindsay’s home had been sited on what is now little Hereford Park in Great Marton, a stone’s throw from Edmonds Towers - at least if you were one of those cricketing greats associated with our club, like Barlow or Harwood. His home was called Royal Bank, which lives on in an avenue’s name.
There is so much history to appreciate in our extraordinary resort and its diverse coast of attractions. Those who delve into it, at the town’s library and on the internet – or in books such as my own humble tributes, are richly rewarded.
Knowing something of our past enlivens the present and inspires us in building the future of this resort coast, which has always strived to make ordinary working people happy.
That’s not a bad heritage - or achievement - for a town with the motto of Progress.
• For Roy’s books visit royedmonds-blackpool.com, Kindle or Waterstones.