Letters - August 14, 2017
Shameful neglect of crematorium garden
A glimpse of Harmony - the rose bed where my parents’ ashes were scattered, at Carleton Crematorium, back in the mid 1990s.
Not so harmonious these days!
It is 23 years ago since my dad passed away (22 on Christmas Day for my mum) and each August on the anniversary we have placed roses on the Harmony bed from my dad’s bushes (his pride and joy) which have continued thriving after being transplanted to our back garden.
How can Blackpool Council neglect the rose beds in what was once a showpiece Garden of Remembrance?
I’m not suggesting the elected worthies roll up their own sleeves and carry out a spruce-up but surely councillors should take some interest in the state of their holdings.
Perhaps they should send a delegation down to Lytham Crematorium to see how Carleton should be maintained.
Why not arrange for some of the deadbeats (no pun intended) and ne’er-do-wells who file through the local courts on a daily basis to carry out some supervised constructive community service like tidying up Harmony and the rest of the neglected rose beds?
Who knows, they might then even find some harmony in their own lives.
Rail service is not an improvement
In its heyday Blackpool sported a total of 34 platforms between its three stations.
Throughout the 1960s and into the early 70s these were substantially reduced and rationalised, in part due to the Beeching Report but in the main because of the advent of mass car ownership.
Blackpool South, servicing what is now the Lytham St Annes Branch, as well as the direct Marton Line (closed in 1965) from Kirkham, had four platforms, only one remains.
Central station (closed in November 1964), along with its extensive carriage sidings and steam sheds, had 14 platforms.
All this was abolished to pave the way for modernity of the private car and tourist destinations.
In a twist of fate, Central station’s demise was against the suggestion of the Beeching Report which had Blackpool North earmarked for closure, as the local council had desires on the area for development as can be seen today.
Blackpool North, now the remaining main station for the resort, totalled 16 platforms, however, the original station building did not miss the wrecking ball of the demolition teams, it lasted until 1973, when the site was redeveloped.
All that remains now at Blackpool North is the now eight platform layout of the once excursion side of the station, which formally opened as Blackpool North in 1974.
These eight platforms are now in reality only four: platform eight has not been used for several years, recently platform seven has been consigned to the grave as work starts on the modernisation of the station ahead of electrification and that has now been followed by platforms one and two awaiting imminent demolition.
Once the line is closed later this year in November, the remaining four platforms are scheduled for demolition as well, and from this, six “remodelled” platforms will arise like a phoenix come March of next year.
And what of this work when it is completed?
We are told, to expect cleaner faster electric trains.
Not if one is travelling to Leeds or York that will still have to use a diesel units. Probably on the airport services.
As for the Manchester Victoria trains, who knows? As some run through Huddersfield, which will no longer be an electrified route, and via Todmorden to Blackburn, which will, again, require diesel units.
As for the fourth service in the hour.
Currently serving Hazel Grove or Buxton, will this return to an hourly Liverpool service, which will take advantage of the current electric units used on the Liverpool to Preston service?
Speculation is also rife about regular trains to London. Well at least somewhere near there, problems of paths into Euston, leaving that situation floating in the air, and potential services terminating short!
Will somebody please make a decision and tell the paying travelling public what they can expect and when? Then there is the new station layout of SIX platforms!
It barely coped with seven, how will it be with the predicted increase in new services? Not to mention the increase in passenger numbers! No one seems to know! And those that do ‘need-to-know’ appear to have no guidance from above.
Thornton and Cleveleys
Demolition date out by ten years
Today’s picture of the old Pleasure Beach Casino says it was demolished in 1927 (Looking Back August 10). It was demolished by Felton’s Demolition in 1937.
Maybe your reporter doesn’t know their twos from their threes? It was reported in The Gazette at the time. Check your archives.