It’s good to see a former landmark attraction in our resort again attracting investment and crowds.
I’m talking about the Number Three, known previously as the Crown or the Didsbury, but – to locals - always the No.3. Historically, it was the third coaching stop out of Blackpool; the Clifton Hotel being the first, the former Grosvenor Hotel the second.
When I came to Blackpool in the 70s, the No.3 was Number One with locals and hopping at weekends, with lines of taxis waiting to take revellers on to town-centre clubs. The lounge bar was a great meeting place, though many of the girls preferred the exclusive atmosphere of its wine bar. There was also a cosy vaults.
Back then the main landlord was Alan Ball – a Scouser with dashing, dark eyebrows beneath a mane of grey hair. He certainly knew his stuff and wife Barbara was an excellent cook and graceful addition to the scene.
Now the Ma Kelly’s group has taken over this historic location and re-opened last weekend. This pub/entertainment company has proved a real boon to the resort, taking over many flagging locations and turning them into popular success stories. Its head man, Paul Kelly, came from a catering family who owned the busy Tower Diner on the Prom. Paul deserves lots of credit. Let’s wish him the same good fortune with his race horses.
Whitegate Drive is now looking like a great investment opportunity again, with the No.3 reopened, the Belle Vue pub revamped, Blackpool’s latest micro pub the No.10 soon offering tapas and, of course, the traditional Saddle Inn, our resort’s oldest hostelry. There’s even a new Italian, Sotto, opened to popular acclaim.
We lucky locals are again being spoiled for choice!
* Roy’s latest book is a collection of these columns, with cartoons and updates, entitled ‘Wish You Were Here’; on Kindle or in paperback sponsored by the Arts Council. Visit www.royedmonds-blackpool.com.