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Blackpool ( ) is a seaside town in Lancashiremarker, Englandmarker. Situated along the coast of the Irish Seamarker, it has a population of 142,900, making it the fourth-largest settlement in North West England behind Manchester, Liverpool and Warrington. It lies 40 miles (64 km) north-west of the city of Manchestermarker, and less than 30 miles north of Liverpoolmarker City centre.

Blackpool rose to prominence as a major centre of tourism during the 19th century, particularly for the inhabitants of northern mill towns.

History

Toponymy

Blackpool is believed to get its name from a historic drainage channel (possibly Spen Dyke) that ran over a peat bog, discharging discoloured water into the Irish Sea, which formed a black pool (on the other side of the sea, Dublinmarker is derived from the Irish for "black pool"). Another explanation is that the local dialect for stream was "pul" or "poole", hence "Black poole".

People originating from Blackpool are called Sandgrown'uns, (as are persons originating from Morecambemarker and Southportmarker) or Seasiders" (Although this is more commonly associated with Blackpool FC) Blackpudlians is also (though rarely) used.

Early history

A 12,000-year-old animal skeleton (the Carleton Elk) found with barbed arrowheads near Blackpool Sixth Form Collegemarker in 1970 provided the first evidence of humans living on the Fyldemarker as far back as the Palaeolithic era. The Fylde was also home to a British tribe, the Setantii (the "dwellers in the water") a sub-tribe of the Brigantes, who from about AD80 were controlled by Romans from their fort at Dowbridge, Kirkhammarker. During the Roman occupation the area was covered by oak forests and bog land.

Some of the earliest villages on the Fylde, which were later to become part of Blackpool, were named in the Domesday Book in 1086. Many of them were Anglo-Saxon settlements. Some though were 9th and 10th century Viking place names. The Vikings and Anglo Saxons seem to have co-existed peacefully with some Anglo Saxon and Viking place names later being joined together - such as Layton-with-Warbreck and Bispham-with-Norbreck. Layton was controlled by the Butlers, Barons of Warringtonmarker from the 12th century.

In medieval times Black Poole emerged as a few farmsteads on the coast within Layton-with-Warbreck. The name coming from "le pull" which was a stream that drained Marton Mere and Marton Moss into the sea close to what is now Manchester Square. The stream ran through peat lands which discoloured the water, and so the name for the area became Black Poole. In the 15th century the area was just called Pul. And a 1532 map calls the area "the pole howsys alias the north howsys”.
View of Blackpool, 1784.
In 1602, entries in Bispham Parish Churchmarker baptismal register include both Poole and for the first time blackpoole. The first house of any substance, Foxhall, was built toward the end of the 17th century by Edward Tyldesley, the Squire of Myerscough, and son of the Royalist, Sir Thomas Tyldesley. An Act of Parliament in 1767 enclosed a common, mostly sand hills on the coast, that stretched from Spen Dyke southwards. Plots of the land were allocated to landowners in Bisphammarker, Layton, Great Marton and Little Marton. The same act also provided for the layout of a number of long straight roads that would be built such as Lytham Road, St.Annes Road and Highfield Road.

Taking the cure

By the middle of the 18th century, the practice of sea bathing to cure diseases was beginning to become fashionable among the wealthier classes, and visitors began making the arduous trek to Blackpool for that purpose. In 1781 Thomas Clifton and Sir Henry Hoghton built a private road to Blackpool, and a regular stagecoach service from Manchester and Halifaxmarker was established. A few amenities, including four hotels, an archery stall and bowling greens, were developed, and the town grew slowly. The 1801 census records the town's population at 473. The growth was accelerated by the actions of Henry Banks, often considered to be the “Father of Blackpool”. In 1819 he purchased the Lane Ends estate, including the Lane Ends Hotel and built the first holiday cottages. In 1837, his son-in-law Dr. John Cocker built Blackpool’s first assembly rooms, which still stand on the corner of Victoria Street and Bank Hey Street.

Arrival of the railways

The most significant event in the early growth of the town occurred in 1846, with the completion of a branch line to Blackpool from Poulton on the main Preston and Wyre Joint Railway line from Prestonmarker to Fleetwoodmarker. Fleetwood declined as a resort, as its founder and principal financial backer, Peter Hesketh-Fleetwood went bankrupt. In contrast, Blackpool boomed. A sudden influx of visitors, arriving by rail, provided the motivation for entrepreneurs to build accommodations and create new attractions, leading to more visitors and a rapid cycle of growth throughout the 1850s and 1860s. In 1851 a Board of Health was formed. Gas lighting was introduced in 1852, and piped water in 1864. By 1851, the town's population was over 2500.

The growth was intensified by the practice among the Lancashire cotton mill owners to close the factories for a week every year to service and repair machinery. These became known as wakes weeks. Each town's mills would close for a different week, allowing Blackpool to manage a steady and reliable stream of visitors over a prolonged period in the summer.

In 1863, the North Pier was completed, rapidly becoming a centre of attraction for elite visitors. Central Pier was completed in 1868, with a theatre and a large open-air dance floor. The town expanded southward beyond what is today known as the Golden Milemarker, towards South Shore, and South Piermarker was completed in 1893, making Blackpool the only town in the United Kingdommarker with three piers. In 1878, the Winter Gardensmarker complex opened, incorporating ten years later the Opera House, said to be the largest in Britainmarker outside of Londonmarker.

The town was granted a Charter of Incorporation as a municipal borough in 1876. W.H. Cocker, son of Dr John Cocker, and therefore grandson of Henry Banks, was its first mayor. The town would become a county borough in 1904.

Electricity

Much of Blackpool's growth and character from the 1870s on was predicated on the town's pioneering use of electrical power. In 1879, it became the first municipality in the world to have electric street lighting, as large parts of the promenade were wired. The lighting and its accompanying pageants reinforced Blackpool's status as the North's most prominent holiday resort, and its specifically working class character. It was the forerunner of the present-day Blackpool Illuminationsmarker. In 1885 one of the world's first electric tramways was laid down as a conduit line running from Cocker Street to Dean Street on the Promenade. The line was operated by the Blackpool Electric Tramway Company until 1892 when their lease expired and Blackpool Corporation took over running the line. A further line was added in 1895 from Manchester Square along Lytham Road to South Shore, and the line was extended north, first to Gynn Square in 1899, and then to Fleetwoodmarker. The tramway has remained in continuous service to this day.

By the 1890s, the town had a population of 35,000, and could accommodate 250,000 holidaymakers. The number of annual visitors, many staying for a week, was estimated at three million. 1894 saw the opening of two of the town's most prominent buildings; the Grand Theatremarker on Church Street, and Blackpool Towermarker on the Promenade.

The first decade of the new century saw the development of the Promenade as we know it today, and further development southwards beyond South Shore towards Harrowside and Squires Gatemarker. The Pleasure Beachmarker was first established about this time. Seasonal static illuminations were first set up in 1912, although due to World War I and its aftermath, they only enjoyed two seasons until they were re-introduced in 1925. The illuminations extended the holiday season into September and early October.

Towards the present

The inter-war period saw Blackpool attain pre-eminence as a holiday destination. By 1930, Blackpool claimed around seven million visitors per year, three times as many as its nearest British rivals, still drawn largely from the mill towns of East Lancashiremarker and West Yorkshire. Stanley Parkmarker was laid out in 1920 and opened in 1926. The area round the park has become renowned for some of the most desirable residences in the area.
Bispham Parish Church, All Hallows
Documents have been found to suggest that the reason Blackpool escaped heavy damage in World War II was that Adolf Hitler had earmarked the town to remain a place of leisure after his planned invasion. Despite this, on 11 September 1940, German bombs fell near the North railway station and eight people were killed in nearby houses. In the decade afterwards, it continued to attract more visitors, reaching a zenith of 17 million per year. However, several factors combined to make this growth untenable. The decline of the textile industry led to a de-emphasis of the traditional week-long break. The rise of package holidays sent many of Blackpool's traditional visitors abroad, where the weather was more reliably warm and dry, and improved road communications, epitomised by the construction of the M55 motorway in 1975, made Blackpool more feasible as a day trip rather than an overnight stay. The economy, however, remains relatively undiversified, and firmly rooted in the tourism sector.

Local government

Though the Blackpool Urban Areamarker extends beyond the statutory boundaries of Blackpool to encompass Fleetwoodmarker, Cleveleysmarker, Thorntonmarker, Poulton-le-Fyldemarker and Lytham St Anne'smarker, Blackpool remains administratively separate.

Between 1904 and 1974, Blackpool formed a county borough independent of the administrative county of Lancashiremarker. With the passage of the Local Government Act 1972, Blackpool's county borough status was abolished and it was made part of the shire county of Lancashire. On 1 April 1998, however, Blackpool was made a unitary authority and re-formed as an autonomous local government unit. It remains part of Lancashire for ceremonial purposes however.

As of 2008 Blackpool Council is currently controlled by the Conservative Party the largest party represented with 27 councillors and a governmental majority of 12, followed by the Labour Party with 12 councillors and the Liberal Democrats with three.

Year Conservatives Labour Liberal Democrats
2008 27 12 3


Economy



This is a chart of the trend of regional gross value added of Blackpool at current basic prices by the Office for National Statistics with figures in millions of British Pounds Sterling.

Year Regional Gross Value Added Agriculture Industry Services
1995 1,276 9 276 992
2000 1,444 1 210 1,234
2003 1,598 1 220 1,377


While Blackpool enjoys a large number of small businesses and self-employed people, there are some large employers. The government-owned National Savings and Investments is based at Marton, together with their Hardware random number generator, ERNIE ( "Electronic Random Number Indicator Equipment") which picks the Premium Bond numbers, while other government agencies are based at Warbreck and Norcross further up the Fylde coast. Burtons Foods produce biscuits and other bakery products, Klarius UK manufactures automotive components, and the Glasdon Group is a plastics manufacturer which makes litter bins, park bench and reflective road signs.

TVR formerly produced sports cars at its Bisphammarker factory. Blackpool was also the original site of Swallow Sidecar Company forerunner of Jaguar Cars.

Retail is also becoming a major contributor to Blackpool's economy:

Many Blackpool residents work in the retail sector, either in the town centre or the retail parks on the edge of town.

Blackpool's main shopping streets are Church Street, Victoria Street, Bank Hey Street, Abingdon Street and Talbot Road. There is currently one shopping centre within the town, Houndshill Shopping Centremarker. This has recently been redeveloped with the opening of a new Debenhams department store along with other major high street names.

Tourism

Blackpool is heavily dependent on tourism. In what is often regarded as its heyday (1900-1950), Blackpool thrived as the factory workers of northern England took their annual holidays there en masse. Any photograph from that era shows crowds of tourists on the beach and promenade. Blackpool was also a preferred destination of visitors from Glasgowmarker and remains so to this day. Reputedly, the town still has more hotel and B&B beds than the whole of Portugalmarker. The town went into decline when cheap air travel arrived in the 1960s and the same workers decamped to the Mediterraneanmarker coastal resorts due to competitive prices and the more reliable weather. Today Blackpool remains the most popular seaside resort in the UK, however the town has suffered a serious drop in numbers of visitors which has fallen from 17 million in 1992 to 10 million today.Similarly Pleasure Beach Blackpoolmarker was the country's most popular free attraction with 6 million visitors a year but has lost over a million visitors since 1998 and has recently introduced a £5 entrance fee. Today, many visitors stay for the weekend rather than for a week at a time.

The Tower and Illuminations
Blackpool's Central Pier in Winter


Conferences

Outside the main holiday season, Blackpool's Winter Gardensmarker routinely hosts major political and trade union conferences, ranging from that of the Conservative Party and the Transport and General Workers Union with thousands of delegates and visitors, to substantially smaller gatherings such as the Communication Workers Union conference.

2009 was the last year that the National Union of Students used Blackpool for its Annual Conference, they will now be hosted by the Sage Gateshead.

Entertainment

Blackpool remains a summer entertainment venue, specialising in variety shows featuring entertainers such as Ken Dodd and Roy 'Chubby' Brown

Events and festivals

  • Blackpool Dance Festival is a world famous annual ballroom dance competition of international significance
  • For the last three years, Blackpool has played host to the Rebellion Punk Rock Festival, an annual event which moved back to Blackpool after a few years in nearby Morecambemarker
  • Blackpool Illuminationsmarker consisting of a series of lighted displays and collages arranged along the entire length of the sea front, seven miles (11 km) in total, attract many visitors from late August to early November; a time when most British seaside resorts' holiday seasons have already ended. 2009's festival dates are 4 Sep 2009 - 8 Nov 2009. This results in some spectacular traffic snarl-ups as most people now view the lights from cars and coaches which crawl nose-to-tail along the whole length of the sea front, particularly so at weekends and during school holidays. Each season a famous person "flicks the switch" to turn the lights on in an opening night switch on ceremony. The BBC Top Gear team, minus James May, were on hand to activate the lights for 2008.


Gay Blackpool

Blackpool is often described as the "gay capital of the North" (with Brightonmarker often being described as "the gay capital of the South"). Blackpool had its first gay pride celebration in 2006. Historically, seaside resorts have been able to provide niches for minority groups. Blackpool, like other English resorts, has had a reputation for being a safe community for gay people. During World War II, there was a proliferation of cafés, pubs and clubs where homosexual men could meet in Blackpool. In the 1990s, the town began to be promoted as a gay tourist destination. Blackpool contains several bars, pubs and nightclubs aimed at the LGBT community. These include Funny Girlsmarker (a burlesque cabaret showbar), FG2, the Flamingo, the Flying Handbag, Lucy's Two, Pepe's, Roxy's, Mardi Gras, KAOS, Taboo and dtBar. The local gay community is now also catered for by two online radio stations - 3D Radio and Blackpool Gay Radio featuring a mix of music, local news, features and celebrity interviews.

Regeneration

Blackpool is continually striving to improve its position within today's tourist industry. One controversial proposal, which had the involvement of the local council, was to transform Blackpool into a casino resort along the lines of Las Vegasmarker and Atlantic Citymarker, making it the centre point of gambling in the UK. However, Manchestermarker was unexpectedly selected for the initial trial by the Government's Casinos Advisory Panel. Since this decision, Blackpool's council and MPs have lobbied Parliament extensively, claiming their bid was misunderstood. The local newspaper, the Blackpool Gazette, sent a petition signed by over 11,500 local residents and visitors demanding the decision be reconsidered. On 29 March 2007, the Advisory Panel's recommendations were approved by the House of Commonsmarker, but rejected by the House of Lordsmarker, meaning the bill must now be reconsidered by parliament. This has led many in the town to feel that Blackpool has been given a "second chance" to prove its case, and as of April 2007, the town's representatives were still heavily lobbying parliament to award the casino to Blackpool. However, in early 2008, the House of Lords threw the super casino proposal out.

Other future projects include a £500m scheme to build Storm City a proposed multi-themed indoor entertainment complex on a 30 acre site between Rigby Road and Central Drive.Storm City would house:
  • A 12,000 seater arena
  • Four world class hotels
  • Shopping areas
  • Five themed entertainment areas
  • Rooftop gardens
  • Blackpool's own version of the London Eyemarker


In March 2007 Blackpool Council signed up to a three month deal to work exclusively with the developers of Storm City.

A second scheme, which is primarily aimed at the local population, but will also benefit those holidaymakers travelling to the town by rail, named Talbot Gateway would be a £285m civic quarter, for which international project management specialist AMEC has been chosen to transform what is at present a rundown area around Blackpool North railway stationmarker into a what Blackpool Council hope will be a world class gateway with new office and retail space as well as a public square, dubbed the Talbot Plaza. The development would be 'wrapped' around Blackpool North railway station so that rail passengers arrive at street level into the new plaza with views down onto the seafront, making their arrival into Blackpool a much more pleasant experience than at present. The regeneration company behind much of the towns current and future development, ReBlackpool are working with Blackpool Council and AMEC to sort out the planning application.

Regeneration work has recently been completed on Waterloo Road in South Shore that has transformed the area into a modern vibrant shopping centre. £1 million of public investment is helping to improve the public realm and act as a catalyst for the regeneration of South Shore.

Landmarks & places of interest

Blackpool boasts some important landmarks, most of which appeared originally as part of the flourishing tourist industry.

Major attractions

Central Pier, Blackpool
Twin Climbing Towers, Blackpool Central
  • Blackpool Towermarker, opened in 1894; it has been a dominant landmark of the Blackpool skyline since that time. Inspired by the Eiffel Towermarker in Parismarker, Francemarker, it is 518 feet & 9 inches (158 m) in height. Beneath the tower is a complex of leisure facilities, entertainment venues and restaurants, including the world famous Tower Ballroom and Tower Circus.
  • North Pier - The northernmost of Blackpool's three piers. It includes a small shopping arcade, a small tramway and the North Pier Theatre toward the end of the pier. The pier end also used to have a helicopter pad, but this was damaged in a Christmas storm in 1997 and collapsed into the sea.
  • Central Pier - The middle pier, includes a large Ferris wheel and shops.
  • South Piermarker - The southernmost pier. Almost directly opposite the Pleasure Beach, it houses a theme park.
  • Pleasure Beach Blackpoolmarker - An amusement park with rides including the Pepsi Max Big Onemarker, which was the world's fastest and tallest complete circuit rollercoaster between 1994 and 1996.
  • The Winter Gardensmarker is a large entertainment and conference venue in the town centre. It includes the Opera House (one of the largest theatres in Europe), Pavilion Theatre, Empress Ballroom, Spanish Hall, Arena and Olympia.
  • Stanley Parkmarker - Grade II historic park and gardens with golf course, cricket club, sports arena, lake, art deco restaurant, model village, gardens, etc.


Other attractions

  • Beachmarker - Stretching along the whole seafront. The main natural attraction for tourists.
  • Funny Girlsmarker - Drag Cabaret Burlesque Showbar, located on Dickson Road.
  • Blackpool Zoomarker - provides a home to over 1,500 animals from all over the world.
  • Grand Theatremarker - Victorian theatre designed by Frank Matcham. Also now known as the National Theatre of Varietymarker.
  • Great Promenade Show - Series of modern artwork installations along Blackpool's South Promenade. Includes the Blackpool High Tide Organmarker an unusual musical monument which uses the movements of the sea to make music.
  • Louis Tussaud's Waxworks - waxwork museum, featuring models of celebrities, musicians, sports personalities and the famous Chamber of Horrors.
  • Doctor Who Exhibition - the biggest Doctor Who exhibition in the UK - contains props and costumes from the long-running BBC TV series, including some from recently aired programmes.
  • Sandcastle Water Parkmarker (now known as Waterworld) - An indoor swimming pool with slides and waves. Next to the South Pier.
  • Odeon Cinema - Situated on a multi-complex site, on Rigby Road, with 10 screens.
  • The Syndicate Nightclubmarker, holds just over 5,000 people.


Tall structures

Building Height (ft) Height (m) Floors
Blackpool Towermarker 518 158
Pepsi Max Big Onemarker 213 65 N/A
Walter Robinson Court 210 64 40
Ice Blastmarker 210 64 N/A
Charles Court 150 46 16
Churchill Court 150 46 16
Elizabeth Court 150 46 16
Ashworth Court 150 46 16


Transport

Air

Blackpool International Airportmarker operates regular charter and scheduled flights throughout the UK and Europe. The airport is actually just over the borough boundary into Fylde Boroughmarker, although a proposal to reorganise Blackpool's borders would see the airport incorporated into Blackpool Borough. This airport which was formerly known as Blackpool Squires Gate Airport, is one of the oldest in the UK having hosted public flying meetings in 1909 and 1910. After a gap, it has been active from the 1930s to date. Airlines currently serving Blackpool include Jet2, Manx2 and Aer Arann.

In 1927 the local council announced that an airfield would be built near Stanley Park, which would become Stanley Park Aerodromemarker offering flights to the Isle of Manmarker for £1.80. The airport opened in 1929 and was officially opened by then British Prime Minister, Ramsay MacDonald in 1931. However, with the opening of Squires Gate Airport a decision was announced in 1936 by the Ministry of Transportmarker to close the Stanley Park airfield. In fact, civil operations continued until the outbreak of war with scheduled services to the Isle of Man and elsewhere. During the war, Stanley Park was used as a Royal Air Force training station, known as No. 3 School of Technical Training. Vickers assembled many Wellington bombers here and Beaufighters were repaired for the RAF. The airfield closed in 1947. The land that the airport stood on now covers Blackpool Zoomarker as well as a hotel and golf course. The hangars from the old airport are still in use as the elephant enclosure for the zoo.

Bus and coach

Blackpool's Talbot Road bus station and multi-storey car park.


Buses and coaches are operated by:

Facilities include -
  • Blackpool Talbot Road Bus Station which was the main town centre bus station, but is now used by Stagecoach and National Express services, and is officially called Blackpool National Express Coach Station. Blackpool Transport stopped using the bus station in the early 2000s after a disagreement with Blackpool Council regarding the state of the bus station building. Blackpool Transport now use Market Street and Corporation Street as their bus interchange which is located in the heart of the town centre.
  • Blackpool Lonsdale Road Coach Station the main coach station in Blackpool, is located in South Shore. This is mainly used by independent coach operators and also by some National Express services. The coach station has a cafe, shop and toilet facilities but is in a state of disrepair.
  • Blackpool Colosseum Bus & Coach Station was the main bus and coach station in South Shore. Located next to Blackpool Transport Headquarters, it was demolished to make way for a Somerfield supermarket.


Railway

Train operators serving Blackpool include:

Stations in the town are, or were:

Blackpool once had two railway termini with a total of over 30 platforms, mainly used by excursion traffic in the summer. Blackpool Centralmarker, close to Blackpool Towermarker, was closed in 1964, whilst Blackpool Northmarker was largely demolished and rebuilt as a smaller facility. The route of the former excursion line into Blackpool Central is now used as a link road from the M55 motorway to the town centre. The line into Blackpool via Lytham St Annesmarker now has a station serving Blackpool Pleasure Beachmarker but terminates at Blackpool South stationmarker. The line into North station is now the more important.

Road

The M55 motorway links the town to the national motorway network.

Tram

A double-decker balloon tram on the promenade at Bispham
Tramway route


Blackpool tramway runs from Starr Gatemarker in Blackpool to Fleetwoodmarker and is the only surviving first-generation tramway in the United Kingdommarker (UK). The tramway dates back to 1885 and is one of the oldest electric tramways in the world. It is run by Blackpool Transport as part of the Metro Coastlines, owned by Blackpool Council. The tramway runs for and carries 6,500,000 passengers each year.

The tramway was for a long time the only working tramway in the United Kingdommarker (UK) outside of museums. It was also the UK's first electric system. However there are now a number of other tramways including Manchester Metrolink, South London Tramlinkmarker, Nottingham Express Transit and Sheffield Supertram.

On 1 February 2008 it was announced that the Government had agreed to a joint Blackpool Transport and Blackpool Council bid for funding toward the total upgrade of the track. The government will contribute £60.3M of the total £85.3 m cost. Both Blackpool Council and Lancashire County Council will each provide about £12.5M. The Government's decision means that the entire length of the tramway from Starr Gate to Fleetwood will be upgraded and also sixteen state-of-the-art trams will replace the current fleet.

Filmography

View from the tower, looking south


For a comprehensive list of Blackpool in television and film, see here.


The resort is featured in the 1934 film Sing as We Go, starring Gracie Fields, as well as other cinema and TV productions, including Hindle Wakes (1952) and Funny Bones (1995) starring Lee Evans and Oliver Platt and directed by St. Annes born Peter Chelsom, Holiday (1957), and The Parole Officer (2001) starring Steve Coogan.

The Japanese film Shall We Dance (1996) closes with a scene at the World Ballroom Dancing Championships in Blackpool. All the hair styling for the film was completed by Blackpool born and bred hairstylist Eileen Clough, who has been in the trade since the 1960s. In the Hollywoodmarker remake of the film (2004) Blackpool is mentioned but not shown. The remake was also directed by Peter Chelsom.

Blackpool is the setting for Bhaji on the Beach (1993) directed by Gurinder Chadha. The film Like It Is (IMDB) (1998) directed by Paul Oremland was also partly filmed in Blackpool. The opening scenes were filmed in the Flamingo. The 2005 television comedy/thriller series Funland revolved around the fictionalized, seedier aspects of Blackpool.

Rick Steves' Europe introduced the viewer to the resort, explaining the history and its attractions.

The town also features heavily in the BBC television serial Blackpool starring David Morrissey, Sarah Parish and David Tennant, first broadcast in 2004 along with the one-off follow-up Viva Blackpool, broadcast in June 2006.

Music

Blackpool was notorious for having imposed an indefinite ban on the Rolling Stones from performing in the town in 1964 after a riot broke out among the audience who had found their performance suggestive during their concert at the Empress Ballroom. The ban was lifted forty-four years later in March 2008.

The Jimi Hendrix - Experience video and DVD features concert footage of Hendrix's performance at Blackpool's Opera House in 1967.

The Jethro Tull song "Up the 'Pool" is about Blackpool, singer Ian Anderson's childhood home.

Media

Newspapers that cover the Blackpool area include the Blackpool Gazette which is the daily evening newspaper covering the Fylde Coast area, known locally as The Gazette. They also publish a free weekly newspaper, the Blackpool Reporter, which is delivered to householders in Blackpool. The Gazette also publishes a daily online version in Polish, Witryna Polska (Polish Gazette) to cater for the local Polish community. The Lancashire Evening Post is a daily evening newspaper covering the county of Lancashiremarker.

Local radio is provided by Radio Wave, a commercial radio station based on Mowbray Drive in Blackpool which covers the Fylde Coast area. The radio station broadcasts on 96.5FM and is owned by media company UTV. Blackpool also falls in the coverage area of BBC Radio Lancashiremarker, Rock FM, Magic 999, Smooth FM 100.4 and 105.4 Century FM.

Blackpool Gay Radio provides a part-time radio service catering for the local gay community featuring a mix of music, local features, news and celebrity interviews.

In March 2009 Blackpool will have a dedicated news radio service, in the form of internet radio station Blackpool Internet Radio News. A test broadcast will be available over the weekend of 14 and 15 March 2009, with the launch following shortly afterwards.

Television is provided by Granadamarker - the ITV franchise holder for the North West region, which covers Blackpool and BBC North West the regional BBC station for the North West region, which covers Blackpool.

Sport

Boxing

The Tower Circus Arena held regular professional boxing shows for a number of years. However, for many years boxing shows have been few and far between in the town, with events being promoted on an irregular basis including one in 2005 at the Hilton hotel. However, on 16 February 2008 professional boxing returned to the 2,000 capacity Tower Circus Arena. Blackpool's Layton Institute also regularly hosts Amateur Boxing competitions The show is to be filmed by Manchestermarker television company Channel M for screening on 1 March.

Cricket

Blackpool Cricket Club are Blackpool's major cricketing team, they won the League Cup in 2005, and were National Champions in 1990. Also between 1973-1996, they won the Lancashire Cup on eight occasions and were League Champions fourteen times. Their home is in the grounds of Stanley Park.

Football

The most notable football club from Blackpool is Blackpool Football Club, also sometimes known as the Seasiders or the Tangerines, is the town's professional football club. Their most notable achievement was winning the 1953 FA Cup Final. There are some other, smaller football clubs located within Blackpool, including Association Football Club Blackpoolmarker, Blackpool Wren Rovers Football Club and Squires Gate Football Clubmarker.

Rugby

Blackpool Borough were the first professional rugby league club in the town. They however eventually folded after leaving the town in 1987. Blackpool Panthers were formed in 2004 and currently play in Co-operative Championship One. They groundshare at Woodlands Memorial Ground, the home of Fylde Rugby Club in the neighbouring town of Lytham St Annesmarker. Blackpool also has a rugby union club, called the Blackpool Rugby Union Football Club. Their home ground is Norbreck Rugby Ground.

Religion

Blackpool has a number of Christian churches including eighteen aligned with the Church of England and ten Roman catholic churches, along with others. Other Christian groups in the town include Blackpool Christian Centre, Blackpool Community Church, Kings Christian Centre, Liberty Church, part of the LGBT Christian Community connected to the Metropolitan Community Church and New Life Community Church.

Blackpool also has a residential Buddhist centre located in North Shore, Keajra Kadampa Buddhist Centre, which is a member of the New Kadampa Tradition - International Kadampa Buddhist Union. The Blackpool Central Mosque & Islamic Community Centremarker is located on Revoe Street and provides prayer facilities for local Muslims with a 300 capacity prayer hall, a daily prayer hall with two classrooms, ladies prayer room and the Blackpool Islamic Community Centre (BICC) with kitchen and classrooms where Islamic education is taught, for both Muslims and non-Muslims. There are also two synagogues in Blackpool for its Jewish population. The Blackpool Reform Jewish Congregation is located on Raikes Parade with a synagogue hall and classroom facilities; a purpose built sanctuary hall and assembly room. Blackpool United Hebrew Congregation is located on Leamington Road with a synagogue hall and community centre.

Blackpool, also has smaller communities of Hindus, Jains, Mormons and Sikhs.

The Blackpool Faith Forum was established in 2001 in conjunction with Blackpool Council to provide interfaith dialogue between the various faith groups in the town, to raise awareness of the various faiths in the town and to promote a multifaith community. It is linked to the Interfaith Network of UK. In February 2007 a youth forum was established, Blackpool Faith Forum for Youth (BIFFY).

Education

Shipwrecks

A number of shipwrecks have occurred on the coastline of Blackpool. The most recent occurrence has been the grounding of the MS Riverdance in January, 2008. Famously, in 1897, HMS Foudroyant, Nelson's flagship prior to HMS Victorymarker, was grounded close to North Pier in a storm.

Areas, districts and estates



Notable people

Blackpool has been the birthplace and home to a number of notable people, including:





Twin town

Blackpool is twinned with:

References

  1. , pp.240-253.
  2. Components may not sum to totals due to rounding
  3. includes hunting and forestry
  4. includes energy and construction
  5. includes financial intermediation services indirectly measured
  6. BBC NEWS Business | TVR to move car production abroad
  7. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4159/is_20030511/ai_n12739457/pg_5
  8. Conference destinations: Blackpool Politics | guardian.co.uk
  9. Alan Cowell, Postcard From Ailing British Coasts: Wish You Were Here, The New York Times, 12 April 2007.
  10. BBC NEWS UK | England | Lancashire | Blackpool: 'It's like someone has died'
  11. Holidays - Table 2
  12. http://www.blackpooldancefestival.net
  13. http://www.rebellionfestivals.com
  14. BBC NEWS Politics | Manchester wins super-casino race
  15. BBC NEWS Politics | Lords scupper super-casino plan
  16. Storm over theme park plan - Blackpool Today
  17. Storm City: The public's plan B - Blackpool Today
  18. Nothing here to rival Storm City - Blackpool Today
  19. Council's exclusive Storm City 'deal' - Blackpool Today
  20. £285 m plan for Blackpool gateway unveiled - Blackpool Today
  21. http://www.blackpool.gov.uk/news/waterlooroadworkscomplete.htm
  22. Welcome to Blackpool Tower and Circus Official Website - five floors of family fun!
  23. Pepsi Max Big One (Pleasure Beach, Blackpool)
  24. Tallest skyscrapers / Emporis.com
  25. Blackpool Pleasure Beach - Ice Blast
  26. "Resort lifts 44-year Stones ban" - BBC News
  27. Sympathy for the Stones as Blackpool buries the hatchet over 1964 riot - The Independent
  28. Experience Jimi Hendrix (2001) (V) - Filming locations
  29. name="Gazette3712952"
  30. name="http://layton-institute.co.uk/default.aspx"
  31. "It's not the winning..." - TimesOnline


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