Today accommodation available has outgrown a market whose expectations outpace what’s available, but if this resort is to swim, not sink, it needs to reinvent and reinvest, rather than retrench.
It’s doing just that right now. Headlands, tramworks, Nickelodeon at the Pleasure Beach. But heritage underpins the lot. Build on brand name Blackpool.
In dropping in at Showzam Central (above) I stole a peep at the new look Winter Gardens and marvelled that I ever took the dilapidated state of the building so much for granted that I once challenged a visiting academic to justify just what she saw in the place.
Mind, we were sat beneath arches boasting a variety of fungi at the time.
Restoration has revealed the sheer style of the building, the sweeps, curves, lines, light, and long-lost features. It is breathtaking and it is ours, a must see. Will it tempt political conferences back?
If not, it’s their loss, if they prefer soulless sanitised centres to a stage Winston Churchill and others have played.
I’d rather see residents return to our town centre, to take time out to rediscover why they moved here, and chose to stay here. Let the residents of No 10 stay where they please, with their new cat acquired to allegedly keep “scuttling rats” at bay. For my money, they need a pride of lions to do that, thanks to the savage cuts imposed on local government, and, by association, communities and charities.
If Blackpool gives David Cameron a “warm glow”, as he says, why slash and burn the public sector?
But much as I like my bin emptied regularly I don’t want a centre that looks like rubbish.
Tourism is this town’s lifeblood. We’ve lost too much to civic vandalism, buildings neglected to the point where they become almost unrecognisable. I still miss Derby Baths. I still pine for the old Harrowside Solarium, rather than the shell that became Solaris. It may be eco friendly but it hasn’t the spirit of the old place, which could have stayed a Palm Court proper had anyone halted the dereliction, and stopped plants rotting into reeking vegetation.
I love this town, but I have a vested interest too. Other people’s wages pay mine. Mine pays theirs, council tax, spending at local shops, purchase of annual passes to the Zoo, SeaLife and other attractions.
We are lucky we don’t have to drive miles to reach the seaside... even if road and tramworks conspire to keep in traffic jams until the super trams arrive.
My world, of late, has shrunk to Blackpool. Little Blackpool. Is it local? Then support it. Be proud to be parochial. It’s progress...