Pink Supermoon lights up Lancashire skies in rare astronomical event

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

Supermoons occur when it is near its closest point to the Earth in its orbit, appearing bigger and brighter than usual.


The Supermoon was seen from Blackpool (Image: Karl Houghton)

A rare astronomical event saw a giant pink supermoon light up the skies above Lancashire last night.

Skygazers were treated to a glimpse of a supermoon as the celestial event illuminated the UK from above.

The full moon in April is also known as the “pink moon” as it is named after pink flowers, known as phlox, which bloom in the springtime.

It is also a supermoon because the full moon will occur when it is near its closest point to the Earth in its orbit, appearing bigger and brighter than usual.

The phenomenon was visible on Tuesday (April 27) and was seen in glorious prominence across Lancashire.

Stargazers also caught a glimpse on Monday, with pictures showing it in the backdrop of Blackpool Tower.


The Supermoon behind Blackpool Tower (Image: Karl Houghton)

Anna Ross, an astronomer at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, said: “The average distance of the moon from the Earth is 384,400km, but the moon will reach its closest point this lunar month on April 27 at 16:24, when it will be 357,379 km away.

“The exact moment of the full moon closest to this point, so the supermoon, is also on April 27, but at 04:31.

“This means that the best times to view this supermoon will be anytime during the night of April 27 when the moon will rise in the east just before sunset and set in the west around sunrise.”

During this time, the Earth’s natural satellite was set to still appear around 14% bigger and 30% brighter.

Ms Ross said: “A supermoon is the result of a full moon occurring when the moon is near its closest point to the Earth in its orbit.

“This can happen because the moon orbits the Earth on an elliptical path, rather than a circular one.

“As this means that the moon is a little closer to us, it appears slightly bigger in the sky.”

The next supermoon will be visible in May 2021.

Star Wars set takes shape in Lancashire for new Disney+ series Andor

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

New Disney+ series Andor will be part of the Star Wars universe

Set for new Star Wars Disney+ series Andor arriving in Cleveleys, near Blackpool
Set for new Star Wars Disney+ series Andor arriving in Cleveleys, near Blackpool (Image: Scruffy Diamond – Behind the Scenes / YouTube)

Work appears to be well under way ahead of the filming of a new Star Wars television series on the Fylde coast.

On Tuesday (April 27) LancsLive reported how filming is taking place in Cleveleys, near Blackpool, for new Disney+ series Star Wars: Andor.

The show is a prequel to Star Wars film Rogue One, released in 2016, with the series earmarked for a 2022 release date.

Pinewood Studios declined to confirm what the filming was for but a source close to the production confirmed to LancsLive it is for the new series starring Rogue One’s Diego Luna and Hollywood heavyweight Stellan Skarsgard, known for major roles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as well as Pirates of the Caribbean and Mamma Mia.

Today, crew could be seen arriving in Cleveleys with lorries carrying parts of what appears to be sets for the film, with some items carrying a style very similar to the hugely popular film series.

The arrival was captured by YouTuber Scruffy Diamond via his own drone camera.

It shows items being taken from a HGV while other parts of the set remain covered by tarpaulin.

A road closure notice has been issued by Lancashire County Council confirming that from 7am on Wednesday, April 28 until midnight on Tuesday, May 11, cars, cyclists and pedestrians cannot proceed over the North Promenade at Thornton-Cleveleys.

This includes the beach and north west footway along the Promenade from Rough Lee Road to Carr Gate.

The project has been named ‘Cleveleys Pilgrim’ with many speculating that this must be a working title.

Star Wars: Andor is set to be a spy thriller following Luna as he reprises his role as Cassian Andor.

Debenhams announces closure date for Blackpool store

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

The department store in Houndshill Shopping Centre will close on May 8 but shoppers will be offered major discounts before it does

Debenhams store at Houndshill Shopping Centre
Debenhams store at Houndshill Shopping Centre

Debenhams has announced the closing date for another 25 stores in the UK, including the branch in Blackpool.

The department store in Houndshill Shopping Centre is set to close on May 8 as the company continues the process of shutting down its locations across the country.

The firm collapsed in 2020 before being bought by Burnley fashion retailer Boohoo in January this year.

Announcing the takeover, Boohoo confirmed all 118 stores would be closing as part of the deal with 12,000 jobs lost.

Debenhams briefly opened several stores in Lancashire, including Blackpool, on April 12 to clear what stock is remaining.

The firm is offering major discounts, including up to 80 percent off fashion and home and at least 50 percent off everything across the store.

These deals will come into effect from today (April 28).

Regeneration chiefs previously said they are actively seeking a new tenant for Blackpool’s Debenhams store.

A spokesperson for Debenhams said: “Our stock is flying off the shelves and it’s no surprise with such great bargains available.

“Time is running out for shoppers to take advantage of the incredible discounts being offered at these 25 stores.”

The famous brand and website were sold in January, but not the company’s shops.

The remaining 118 stores reopened on April 12 after lockdown for liquidators to sell off stock before closing.

Debenhams stores closing on May 8:

Blackpool

Bury St Edmunds

Crawley

Derby

Hemel Hempstead

Leeds City Centre

Lincoln

Luton

Middlesbrough

Northampton

Norwich

Nuneaton

Redditch

Scunthorpe

Southend-on-sea

Stevenage

Stockport

Sunderland

Telford

Torquay

Uxbridge

Wakefield

 

Blackpool Pleasure Beach opens new coffee shop dedicated to founder

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

The Great-Grand-daughter of founder WG Bean, Amanda Thompson OBE, personally oversaw the design of the new coffee shop

The new WG Bean's coffee shop faces out onto Balmoral Road, close to Blackpool’s famous Promenade, and has seating for over 80 customers across two floors.
The new WG Bean’s coffee shop faces out onto Balmoral Road, close to Blackpool’s famous Promenade, and has seating for over 80 customers across two floors. (Image: Blackpool Pleasure Beach)

To celebrate its 125th anniversary year, Blackpool Pleasure Beach has opened a new coffee shop that has links to the very beginnings of the world-famous amusement park.

WG Bean’s is named after Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s founder, WG Bean, and is located at the front of the iconic Casino Building, close to the park’s main entrance.

The coffee shop is open now and will be serving freshly ground coffee and snacks every day throughout the 2021 season.

The building faces out onto Balmoral Road, close to Blackpool’s famous Promenade, and has seating for over 80 customers across two floors.

As well as freshly brewed coffees, teas and refreshing drinks, WG Bean’s will also serve delicious sandwiches and sweet treats.

WG Bean founded Blackpool Pleasure Beach in 1896 and is the Great-Grandfather of current Managing Director, Amanda Thompson OBE.

Amanda personally oversaw the design of the new coffee shop and has been instrumental in developing the venue’s unique style.

Amanda said: “At Blackpool Pleasure Beach we are always looking to the future but at the same time we celebrate our heritage.

“This new venue gives us the opportunity to create a beautiful space which also pays tribute to the fabulous history of the park and the vision of my great-grandfather William George Bean.”

Atkinsons Archetype Espresso blend served at WG Bean's coffee shop in Blackpool Pleasure BeachAtkinsons Archetype Espresso blend served at WG Bean’s coffee shop in Blackpool Pleasure Beach (Image: Blackpool Pleasure Beach)

WG Bean’s brews Atkinsons Archetype Espresso blend, which aims to be all about big body, dark chocolate and caramel flavours, with a medium to low acidity.

Atkinsons was founded as another family business in Lancaster in 1837 and work with cafes, bars and restaurants across the North West and the UK.

WG Bean’s is currently open for takeaway only and is COVID safe in line with Government guidelines.

The new establishment also meets all of VisitBritain’s Good To Go certifications.

If the Government roadmap out of lockdown continues as scheduled, WG Bean’s will welcome guests to sit in and enjoy refreshments from Monday 17th May.

Once WG Beans can accommodate customers, it’s the ideal place to relax or work, with views across Blackpool Promenade and out to sea.

To launch the new venue, all customers purchasing a hot drink will receive 50% off any cake or breakfast roll. This offer is valid until 30 June 2021.

Ibis Hotel steel fencing blows into Promenade in heavy winds prompting firefighter response

Blackpool Gazette: Blackpool A&E crisis cases top UK list - Parliament  Street

A large metal fence blew off the Ibis Hotel onto the Promenade at Talbot Square, Blackpool this morning, sparking a 999 call-out.

Firefighters were called to retrieve a large piece of steel fencing from the Ibis Styles Hotel in Blackpool.

The fencing had blown away from the hotel, formerly the Clifton, which is surrounded by scaffolding while undergoing a £400,000 facelift.

The renovations come five years after heritage guardians first raised concerns about the neglected state of the building after cracks developed in the walls.

Work will include essential repairs to the external facade and structure including full redecoration plus re-rendering to significant areas.

Timber will also be repaired, brickwork and stonework will be repointed at high levels, and new drainage infrastructure will be installed.

The replacement of slate and flat roof areas will also be included.

But the steel fencing surrounding the Ibis site could not stand up to the strong winds on the Prom this morning, forcing Lancashire Fire and Rescue to retrieve it from the road and secure it.

A spokesman said: “We sent a fire engine from Forest Gate station to the Promenade at 6.35am to remove a sheet of corrugated fencing from the road.

Firefighters work to secure the steel fencing surrounding the Ibis Hotel in Blackpool.

“Firefighters picked up one piece of fencing and ensured the site was secure.”

Some £178,300 of the £400,000 renovation costs came from Blackpool Council, which funded the works from its Quality Corridors Property Improvement Fund (PIF).

The fund is part of Lancashire Enterprise Partnership’s Growth Deal Fund and the Local Transport Fund.

It was hoped the investment would help attract new operators to the ground floor units in the property, which have been empty since former venues Che Bar and Coco Club closed.

One engine was sent to the scene.

Accor, owner of the Ibis Hotels group, was contacted for a comment.

A piece of steel fencing was blown into the road on the Promenade prompting a 999 call-out.

 

Coronation Street actress Harriet Bibby enjoys fun and thrills of Blackpool

Blackpool Gazette: Blackpool A&E crisis cases top UK list - Parliament  Street

Coronation Street actress Harriet Bibby has had a rollercoaster ride since joining the cobbles last year but took some time out of filming to enjoy fun and thrills by the sea at Blackpool Pleasure Beach for her 23rd birthday.

Coronation Street actress Harriet Bibby celebrates her birthday at Blackpool Pleasure Beach during the park's 125th celebration season Pictures: Dave Nelson
Coronation Street actress Harriet Bibby celebrates her birthday at Blackpool Pleasure Beach during the park’s 125th celebration season Pictures: Dave Nelson

Wigan born Harriet, who plays Summer Spellman in the soap and is represented by Blackpool agent Jess Bell of Red Door Management, visited the tourist trap, which is celebrating its 125th season with friends.

1.

Coronation Street actress Harriet Bibby riding Icon on a day out at Blackpool Pleasure Beach during the park’s 125th celebration season Pictures: Dave Nelson

Coronation Street actress Harriet Bibby riding Icon on a day out at Blackpool Pleasure Beach during the park's 125th celebration season Pictures: Dave Nelson

2.

Coronation Street actress Harriet Bibby ,who plays Summer Spellman in the iconic Soap, celebrates her birthday at Blackpool Pleasure Beach during the park’s 125th celebration season Pictures: Dave Nelson

Coronation Street actress Harriet Bibby ,who plays Summer Spellman in the iconic Soap, celebrates her birthday at Blackpool Pleasure Beach during the park's 125th celebration season Pictures: Dave Nelson

3.

Coronation Street actress Harriet Bibby and friends celebrate her 23rd birthday at Blackpool Pleasure Beach during the park’s 125th celebration season Pictures: Dave Nelson

Coronation Street actress Harriet Bibby and friends celebrate her 23rd birthday at Blackpool Pleasure Beach during the park's 125th celebration season Pictures: Dave Nelson

4.

Wigan born actress Harriet Bibby celebrates her birthday at Blackpool Pleasure Beach during the park’s 125th celebration season Pictures: Dave Nelson

Wigan born actress Harriet Bibby celebrates her birthday at Blackpool Pleasure Beach during the park's 125th celebration season Pictures: Dave Nelson

5.

Coronation Street actress Harriet Bibby celebrates her birthday at Blackpool Pleasure Beach during the park’s 125th celebration season Pictures: Dave Nelson

Coronation Street actress Harriet Bibby celebrates her birthday at Blackpool Pleasure Beach during the park's 125th celebration season Pictures: Dave Nelson

6.

Riding the waves of the Rugrats log flume in Nickelodeon Land Coronation Street actress Harriet Bibby and friends celebrate her birthday at Blackpool Pleasure Beach during the park’s 125th celebration season Pictures: Dave Nelson

Riding the waves of the Rugrats log flume in Nickelodeon Land Coronation Street actress Harriet Bibby and friends celebrate her birthday at Blackpool Pleasure Beach during the park's 125th celebration season Pictures: Dave Nelson

7.

Coronation Street actress Harriet Bibby celebrates her 23rd birthday at Blackpool Pleasure Beach during the park’s 125th celebration season Pictures: Dave Nelson

Coronation Street actress Harriet Bibby celebrates her 23rd birthday at Blackpool Pleasure Beach during the park's 125th celebration season Pictures: Dave Nelson

8.

Coronation Street actress Harriet Bibby celebrates her birthday at Blackpool Pleasure Beach during the park’s 125th celebration season Pictures: Dave Nelson

Coronation Street actress Harriet Bibby celebrates her birthday at Blackpool Pleasure Beach during the park's 125th celebration season Pictures: Dave Nelson

9.

Coronation Street actress Harriet Bibby celebrates her birthday at Blackpool Pleasure Beach during the park’s 125th celebration season Pictures: Dave Nelson

Coronation Street actress Harriet Bibby celebrates her birthday at Blackpool Pleasure Beach during the park's 125th celebration season Pictures: Dave Nelson

 

Greene King pubs in Blackpool, Preston and Chorley to reopen in time for Bank Holiday – full list

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

The Yarrow Bridge in Chorley, the Guild in Preston and the Cherry Tree in Blackpool will reopen on Thursday, April 29

They are among 106 pubs across the country opening again to customers this week
They are among 106 pubs across the country opening again to customers this week

A pub retailer and brewer is reopening three more Lancashire venues in time for the Bank Holiday weekend.

Greene King has today (April 26) confirmed that establishments in Blackpool, Chorley and Preston will open on Thursday (April 29) coronavirus restrictions ease.

They include the Yarrow Bridge in Chorley, the Guild in Preston and the Cherry Tree in Blackpool.

They are among 106 pubs across the country opening again to customers.

In total, 558 Greene King pubs will reopen outdoors in England from April 29, as the company aims to reach its goal of normal trading by June.

Customers will be able to book a garden table online, although Greene King bosses say people will also be welcome to visit the pub outdoors without an advance booking.

Some pubs will have reduced opening hours and menus.

Greene King chief executive Nick Mackenzie said: “We are really pleased to be able to reopen further pubs outdoors and welcome back more our customers in time for the bank holiday weekend.

“Sadly, we are still not able to open a larger amount of our estate in April, but we know the vital role pubs play in communities and feel it’s important to open as many as we can to help people get back together once again.

“We are still looking forward to Monday 17 May when we will be able to open many more of our pubs, and the all-important return to normality in June when the restrictions are fully removed, and we can start to rebuild our businesses. Until then, we hope for good weather for the bank holiday and onwards!”

Customers are encouraged to guarantee their place in a Greene King pub garden by booking from 2pm tomorrow (April 27) to ensure they don’t miss out.

The full list of Greene King pubs reopening on Thursday, April 29

Yarrow Bridge (Chorley)

Guild (Preston)

Cherry Tree (Blackpool)

Blackbirds (Flitwick)

Star (Chalton)

George & Dragon (Bedford)

Old Five Bells (Burnham)

Green Man (Lavendon)

Red Lion (Langley)

Pickerel Inn (Cambridge)

Prince Regent (Cambridge)

Fox & Hounds (Longthorpe)

Brighton Belle (Winsford)

Rising Sun Inn (Wistaston

Quayside Inn (Falmouth)

Broadway (Bournemouth)

Jolly Sailor (Poole)

Commodore (Bournemouth)

Druids Head (Brighton)

Sandmartin (Thurrock)

Rose Inn (Great Wakering)

Inn on the Green (Billericay)

Windmill (Upminster)

Rose & Crown (Woodford Green)

Boars Head (Herongate)

Dog & Pheasant (Colchester)

Swan Inn (Stanway)

Copa (Cheltenham)

Hunters Hall Inn (Kingscote)

Five Bells (Finchley)

Colonies (Victoria)

Junction (Clapham Junction)

Lamb & Flag (Westminster)

Prospect of Whitby (Wapping)

Swan (Wimbledon)

Ye Olde London (City-of-London)

Kings Arms (Greenwich)

Vine (Kentish Town)

Rose & Crown (Bury)

Green Posts (Portsmouth)

Bold Forester (Southsea)

County Arms (Winchester)

Emporium (Fleet)

Ship Anson (Portsmouth)

Fishermans Rest (Titchfield)

Royal Oak (Havant)

Old Farmhouse (Totton)

Grandstand (Hereford)

Inn on the Green (Harpenden)

Three Moorhens (Hitchin)

Old Red Lion (Shephall)

Dolphin (Melbourn)

Hare & Hounds (Arreton)

Ryde Castle Hotel (Ryde)

Crab (Shanklin)

Yacht (Bexleyheath|)

William Camden (Bexleyheath)

Kings Arms (Westerham)

Robin Hood (Clifton)

White Horse (Swinton)

Fieldhead Hotel (Markfield)

Blue Anchor (Aintree)

Hare & Hounds (Tarbock)

Torch (Wembley)

Railway Hotel (Greenford)

Royal Oak (Harrow)

Compleat Angler (Norwich)

Waterfront Inn (Diss)

Warren Lodge (Scunthorpe)

Norman Conquest (Middlesbrough)

Windmill Inn (York)

Lendal Cellars (York)

Old Bank (Northampton)

Saracens Head Hotel (Towcester)

Friar Tuck (Arnold)

Starting Gate (Nottingham)

Bystander (Wootton)

Acorn (Bicester)

Lord Nelson (Wantage)

Duke of Monmouth (Oxford)

White Horse (Abingdon)

Jude the Obscure (Oxford)

Prince Of Wales (Didcot)

Ye Olde Cross Keys (Witney)

White Horse (Headington)

George Inn (Bathampton)

Red Lion (Todwick)

Windmill Inn (Werrington)

Chatterly Whitfield (Stoke)

Bull (Newmarket)

Thrasher (Ipswich)

Station (Stoneleigh)

William Garland (Caterham)

Longship (Hebburn)

Ravensworth Arms (Lamesley)

Rose & Crown (Stratford-Upon-Avon)

Pen & Parchment (Stratford)

Cat & Fiddle (Great Barr)

Mulberry (Goring-By-Sea)

Broadwater (Worthing)

Old Punch Bowl (Crawley)

Waterside (Shoreham-By-Sea)

Angel Inn (Rothwell)

Crown (Bradford)

Royal Oak (Marlborough)

Castle Hotel (Droitwich)

Alexandra (Clapham) Takeaway only

Hare & Billet (Blackheath) Takeaway only

Blackpool Grand Theatre asks guests to ‘name a seat’ to help save the venue’s future

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

The venue has come up with several ways to generate income to continue to make memories for the children, families, visitors and friends who have grown up with the theatre that is still facing an uncertain future

The Grand Theatre in Blackpool
The Grand Theatre in Blackpool (Image: Andrew Teebay/Liverpool Echo)

Blackpool Grand Theatre is asking for help from the public to help it survive what it says is ‘the most unprecedented time in its history”.

Built to be the “prettiest theatre in the land” by Victorian architect Frank Matcham in 1894, the venue has become much more than just a grade II listed building.

The historic theatre is now an active charity with social, educational and artistic aims and runs a full programme of workshops for children and young people, in and out of school which focus on improving literacy, numeracy, social skills and confidence.

Like many theatres across the country, the Grand suffered during the coronavirus pandemic, making no income since the first lockdown in March 2020 and having furloughed 57 staff.

This month the venue received a grant of £491,000 in the second round of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help the organisation recover and reopen.

Ruth Eastwood, Blackpool Grand Chief Executive, said: “We are delighted to receive this grant from the Government Treasury and Arts Council England Cultural Recovery Fund. It will allow us to prepare to reopen and, if all goes well, be trading again from the Autumn.

“It cannot be underestimated, the devastation Covid has caused for so many: our patrons; our employees, past and present; and our organisation. We have been forced to cut costs to protect the business, including reducing the staff to the bare minimum. With this support, we will be able to, rebuild, recruit and buy-in ‘product’ ready to start afresh.

““We are delighted that the Treasury, DCMS, and Arts Council England see the value and importance of supporting a community theatre like Blackpool Grand and the work does to create public benefit through arts, education and heritage.

“Nevertheless, this will not be a fast-passed opening, but a cautious and steady one. We are committed to ensuring a safe and comfortable environment for our patrons, performers and employees, and look forward to welcoming them back.”

Inside Blackpool Grand Theatre located on Church Street, Blackpool
Inside Blackpool Grand Theatre located on Church Street, Blackpool (Image: Blackpool Grand Theatre)

Despite the grant there is still uncertainty ahead however with many businesses expected to operate under restrictions when they reopen and the Grand’s capacity alone will reduce from 1,053 to 350 if one-metre social distancing is required.

The venue has come up with several ways to generate income make memories for the children, families, visitors and friends who have grown up with the theatre.

One of the ways is to support Blackpool’s Grand Theatre Artistic Programme by donating to its #nameaseat fundraiser.

Whether it’s to show your love for the theatre, remember a loved one or to give a unique gift, a minimum £350 donation will be marked by a plaque with a name of your choice that is fitted to the back of the seat.

Leaving a lasting mark in the theatre’s main auditorium, your plaque will be present for 10 years in the Stalls or Dress Circle.

There is also the Blackpool Grand Recovery Fund where supporters can donate however big or small to help it through the crisis.

The venue has also launched a new collection of Grand themed merchandise in an online shop with a beautifully created collection of postcards, notebooks, a mouses mat and more.

To find out how you can support Blackpool Grand theatre in many others ways, please visit here.

Work to transform and renovate Blackpool Winter Gardens begins

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

The scheme is now underway after being delayed due to the Covid pandemic

Work at Blackpool Winter Gardens
Work at Blackpool Winter Gardens

Work has begun on a half a million pound project which includes restoring Victorian frontages at the Winter Gardens and bringing the town centre back to life with markets, workshops and even film screenings.

Blackpool Council was awarded £532,575 of government Heritage Action Zone funding, delivered through Historic England, last September aimed at revitalising the high street.

The scheme is now underway after being delayed due to the Covid pandemic and the first phase will see the refurbishment of five frontages near the Church Street entrance to the Grade II* listed Winter Gardens.

Further work later this year will include the replacement of shopfronts under the Empress Building with restored Victorian-style frontages in hardwood and stained glass.

Also included in the project is the restoration of the former Blacks store on Edward Street with timber shopfronts.

The interiors will be refitted to form three shops with flats above aimed at providing joint working and living spaces for creative businesses.

Premises at 28 Topping Street will be converted into a creative hub with retail space, a workshop and potential rehearsal space in the basement.

Funding has also been awarded towards a new footfall monitoring system, a study looking at mapping cultural resources, a review of the Town Centre Conservation Area’s public realm and to showcase art in empty shop windows.

The council has also received £85,000 for a programme of high street activity including markets, film screenings, workshops, performance commissions and activity themed around children.

Historic England hopes the funding will help protect some of Blackpool’s heritage gems.

It said: “Many of the historic buildings within the area are in a declining condition and there is a high vacancy rate which has led to a general dissatisfaction about what the centre has to offer people.”

The funding “will include a package of physical interventions to the Winter Gardens and other key buildings in the area.

“These works will be coupled with a community-led cultural programme to bring the high street back to life.

“This project aims to reinvigorate a sense of belonging in Blackpool’s town centre by engaging the local community with key cultural venues.”

Nostalgic Blackpool pictures of The Beatles, Cliff Richard and escapologist’s wedding at 400ft

 

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

We take a trip down memory lane and look at some of Blackpool’s memorable moments over the last century

The Beatles before playing the Opera House Blackpool 16 August 1964.
The Beatles before playing the Opera House Blackpool 16 August 1964.

Blackpool has a long and amazing history.

For centuries the town was a hamlet by the sea until the 18th century when visits to seaside towns became fashionable – attracting hundreds of people to the area.

For over 100 years the town has had an unique sense of pride and history and an unbreakable bond with the British public.

Always one for firsts, when Blackpool Tower was built in 1891 it was the tallest man-made structure in the British empire.

As well as visiting the tower and having a picture taken with it, holidaymakers and visitors to the resort over the years have enjoyed a host of attractions including Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Coral Island, Blackpool Zoo, Madame Tussauds and more.

While food has often attracted people to the area from cockle and mussle stands in the Victorian era to Harry Ramsden’s famous fish and chips today.

The world’s first permanent electric street tramway also debuted in Blackpool in 1885 – much to the delight of locals and visitors from near and far.

Both the Pleasure Beach and the illuminations have survived two world wars and offered some escapism for visitors from the circumstances around them.

From the 1950s Blackpool has attracted many superstars and celebrities from the Beatles to Cliff Richard.

While Blackpool has also hosted political events including Labour and Conservative party conferences – with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher attending in the 1980s.

In recent times however the coronavirus pandemic has given Blackpool it’s toughest challenge yet and the nature of its hospitality and tourism industry has had to change and adapt.

Here at LancsLive, we reveal 30 amazing pictures that show what Blackpool has looked like throughout the decades and some of the famous faces who have enjoyed a trip to this wonderful town.

Big One at Blackpool Pleasure Beach breaks down near the top forcing people to climb down

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

The iconic rollercoaster at Blackpool Pleasure Beach was evacuated by staff this afternoon

Theme park visitors were forced to climb down from the top of an iconic rollercoaster after it broke down this afternoon.

Adrenaline junkies were left stranded high up The Big One at Blackpool Pleasure Beach.

Park staff were forced to scale the rollercoaster before tentatively guiding nervous visitors to safety by making them walk down.

LancsLive has contacted Blackpool Pleasure Beach for further information.

Images of the rescue have been shared on social media.

One person said: “OMG. Big one stopped right at top today 12ish and the staff had to walk every one down safely. Well done

“Think I would have been really scared. Then it was sent round the track empty a few times then we walked home bit of excitement. All worked out ok.”

The Big One broke down near the top
The Big One broke down near the top

Another commented: “My brother’s in Blackpool and just sent a video of people stuck at the top of the Big One and having to walk down to get off it. I’d be welded to my seat. They’d have to get me out with a crane.”

A third person said: “Walking people down the Big One in Blackpool. At least they will get their steps done today.”

Another added: “Can you Imagine if I was stuck on the big one, I think I’d be screaming.”

When the £12m ride, formerly known as the Pepsi Max, opened in 1994, it was the tallest and steepest roller coaster in the world.

Blackpool Pleasure Beach reopened on April 12 as part of the easing of lockdown measures.

Busy Blackpool road to be made wider with property demolished

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

Plans have been filed to demolish the house and stables in question in the South Shore area

A view of School Road in Blackpool
A view of School Road in Blackpool

Proposals have been revealed to demolish property to make way for a road widening scheme at a busy Blackpool traffic junction.

Plans have been submitted to the council seeking permission to knock down the house and stables at the corner of School Road and Common Edge Road in South Shore.

This would enable a stretch of Common Edge Road to be widened as part of work to provide a new access to Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone.

The proposals include building a replacement property on another plot of land slightly further down School Road.

It would mean the loss of a house which has been a landmark on the junction since it was built around 60 years ago and once included a small shop.

Architects Cassidy and Ashton, who are are working with the council on the development of the Enterprise Zone, say the proposed new four bedroom property is appropriate for the site.

But they add the scheme “would also facilitate wider highway infrastructure works proposed at the junction of Common Edge Road and School Road.

“The current design for these highway works, which is being progressed by Blackpool Council, requires significant encroachment into the existing site.

“These wider infrastructure works are considered necessary as they would improve the existing highways infrastructure and aid in enhancing the development of the adjacent enterprise zone by creating an alternative and improved highways access.

“In turn this would support wider regeneration objectives for the borough. ”

A new entrance road to the enterprise zone on the east side near Common Edge Road is seen as crucial with some businesses on the site saying the current single existing access is a bottleneck at peak times.

A traffic light junction is proposed to the north of South Shore Cricket Club to encourage traffic away from School Lane towards the new M55 link road when that is built.

Blackpool shop fronts and streets get makeover in multi-million pound project

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

Nearly £8m has been invested to transform key gateways

Showstoppers before and after in Blackpool
Showstoppers before and after in Blackpool

A multi-million pound scheme to upgrade rundown shopfronts and streets in Blackpool town centre will have seen 34 properties improved by the time it is completed.

Nearly £8m has been invested to transform key gateways as part of the Quality Corridors project which was launched in September 2016.

Among the next tranche of work is to refurbish properties at 28 Topping Street and 4 – 8 Edward Street, which are owned by the council and will create four new shop fronts in total.

Roads into the town centre such as Cookson Street have also been improved with new pavements and tree planting.

A report updating councillors says: “Over the last three years significant highways and public realm improvements have been delivered in parts of Church Street, Caunce Street, Cookson Street, Dickson Road and Talbot Road (in conjunction with the tramway works).

“Street furniture has been installed including bollards and benches. Trees have featured in some renewed streets along with some public art.

“Works are now complete on Edward Street, Deansgate and Topping Street.

“The second element, the Property Improvement Fund, provides in excess of £1m in grants to assist property owners and businesses in priority streets to improve the external appearance of their properties and to encourage take up of vacant space.”

Properties on Topping Street to receive a facelift include Showstoppers, The Samaritans, Cafe Continental and The Mortgage Shop.

Deansgate Kitchen, Sunseekers and Asia’s Finest on Deansgate are also among businesses to benefit.

Work is currently underway at The Brew Room on Church Street, Cedar Tavern in Cedar Square and Blackhurst Budd solicitors on Edward Street.

A £400,000 upgrade of the exterior of the Ibis Styles Hotel (formerly the Clifton Hotel) on the corner of the Promenade and Talbot Square began at the start of 2020 and is still underway, including a £178,300 grant from the scheme.

The £7.84m Quality Corridors project is funded through the Growth Deal.

Places you can eat and drink outdoors in Blackpool this weekend

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

There are plenty of beer gardens and rooftop terraces where you can enjoy food or drinks in the sunshine

Ma Kellys Showboat
Ma Kellys Showboat (Image: Ma Kellys Showboat – Facebook)

The weather is set to be glorious this weekend so what better way to enjoy it than visiting Blackpool’s pubs, bars and restaurants.

After months of being confined to our homes during lockdown, we’re all eager to make the most of the places that have reopened their doors for outdoor service from April 12.

Across the seaside town are a variety of beer gardens, rooftop terraces and covered patios where you can enjoy al fresco dining, ice cold tipples and socialise with up to six friends.

We’ve compiled a list of some of Blackpool’s best outdoor drinking and dining spots that you can visit this weekend.

Although some welcome walk-ins it’s recommended to book ahead, if possible, to get the best chance of securing a table.

Ma Kellys Showboat

This Bispham pub has now opened its huge beer garden opposite the Promenade.

It is open this weekend from 11am to 2:30am Friday and Saturday, and 11am to 1pm on Sunday.

Dutton Arms

Gatherings outside the Dutton Arms in Blackpool
Gatherings outside the Dutton Arms in Blackpool (Image: Bpl Bible/Stephen Cheatley)

This popular pub is located on the South Promenade.

It’s beer garden and terrace are open on Friday from 11am to 10pm, Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 10pm.

Air Balloon

Found on Squires Gate Lane, the Blackpool Airport pub has a large beer garden.

The pub is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 11pm.

Farmers Arms

Found on Lytham Road, this local pub has now opened its beer garden.

You can visit this weekend from 11am to 10pm.

Viva Vegas Diner, Bar & Grill

This American-style diner is situated on the Promenade.

The restaurant’s opening hours are Friday 11am to 11pm, Saturday 11:30am to 10:30pm and Sunday 9am to 10pm.

Punters enjoying the sun on Monday April 12 at new gin and prosecco bar The Garden and Bloom bar on Blackpool's North Pier
Punters enjoying the sun on Monday April 12 at new gin and prosecco bar The Garden and Bloom bar on Blackpool’s North Pier (Image: Blackpool North Pier)
The Gin House

On the South Pier is this brand new gin bar, formerly known as the Laughing Donkey.

The Gin House is open daily from 11am.

Terrace Bar

This spacious outdoor bar can be found on the Central Pier.

It’s open from 11am every day.

The Garden

Blackpool's new gin and prosecco bar The Garden opened on Monday April 12 and enjoys organic floral displays, comfy seating areas and contemporary furnishings
Blackpool’s new gin and prosecco bar The Garden opened on Monday April 12 and enjoys organic floral displays, comfy seating areas and contemporary furnishings (Image: Blackpool North Pier)

Blackpool’s brand new gin and prosecco bar, The Garden, is located on the North Pier Promenade.

It is open daily from 11am.

The Velvet Coaster

Punters enjoy a drink outside the Velvet Coaster in Blackpool
Punters enjoy a drink outside the Velvet Coaster in Blackpool (Image: Bpl Bible/Stephen Cheatley)

Located on Ocean Boulevard, this Wetherspoons pub has outdoor seating on all three levels.

It’s opening hours this weekend are 8am to 12am.

Yates

Located in South Shore, Yates has a huge seafront beer garden.

It is open on Friday and Saturday from 11am to 2am and Sunday from 11am to 11pm.

The Counting House

The Greene King pub can be found at Talbot Square.

It’s open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 9pm.

Pastels

The restaurant, serving burgers, shakes and cocktails, is found on 2 Cedar Square.

Opening hours are Friday and Saturday 12pm to 10pm and Sunday from 4pm to 10pm.

Belle Vue

This Blackpool pub is located on Whitegate Drive.

The bar at Belle Vue is open from 12pm to 11pm on Friday and Saturday and 12pm to 10pm on Sunday with food served from 12pm to 8pm.

Stefani’s Pizza

The pizza restaurant is located on Cedar Square.

It is open from 12pm to 9pm Friday to Sunday.

Bloomfield Brewhouse

Found on Ansdell Road, the pub has an outdoor seating area located at the front.

The pub is open all weekend from 11am to 11pm.

Boars Head

The Boars Head is a warm friendly pub in the heart of Marton in Blackpool.

It’s outdoor seating area will open on Friday from 11am to 11:30pm, Saturday 11am to 11pm and Sunday 12pm until 11pm.

No 3

Located on Devonshire Square, this sports and wine bar has opened its beer garden with range of entertainment each weekend.

It will open this weekend on Friday and Saturday from 10am to 1am and Sunday 10am to 12am.

Belle Vue

This Blackpool pub is located on Whitegate Drive.

The bar at Belle Vue is open from 12pm to 11pm on Friday and Saturday and 12pm to 10pm on Sunday with food served from 12pm to 8pm.

The Layton Rakes

Found on Market Street, the Wetherspoons pub is now open outdoors.

It is open this weekend on Friday and Saturday from 9am to 10pm and Sunday from 9am to 9pm.

 

8ft dragon coming to Blackpool in unique Camelot family experience

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

“Local children haven’t had much to look forward to during the recent months so we can’t wait to bring a little joy and excitement back to families from Blackpool. Once again, we’re working in partnership with The Boathouse Youth, a very worthy local charity

Myths, Magic and Dragons Camelot adventure coming to Houndshill Shopping Centre in Blackpool in May 2021
Myths, Magic and Dragons Camelot adventure coming to Houndshill Shopping Centre in Blackpool in May 2021 (Image: Houndshill Shopping Centre)

An exciting walk-through event featuring live actors is coming to Blackpool next month.

The good people of Houndshill will get to experience a fairy-tale adventure called Myths, Magic and Dragons at their shopping complex on Victoria Street in May.

For three days there will be a chance to join an adventure of fun and fearless knights staged in what was previously the Clarks Shoes shop in Houndshill shopping centre.

The Covid-secure event gives visitors the chance to meet characters such as Merlin and Princess Guinevere.

There are also many fierce creatures to encounters such as Spike, the Magical 8ft Dragon.

The experience promises to be educational and entertaining fun with visitors left asking if Sir Lancelott can save the Princess from Morgana the evil queen whether Spike will help the evil queen or save the day.

A spokesperson for Houndshill shopping centre said: “The Houndshill team are really happy to be welcoming customers into the centre with the first event in our promotional calendar.

“Local children haven’t had much to look forward to during the recent months so we can’t wait to bring a little joy and excitement back to families from Blackpool. Once again, we’re working in partnership with The Boathouse Youth, a very worthy local charity.”

All proceeds will go to The Boathouse Youth which is a a Blackpool youth organisation.

The registered charity provide a variety of educational and recreational activities that build confidence restore self-esteem.

Many of the children with whom its works are facing disadvantages which have largely come as a result of deprivation

Laurance from The BHY said: “We’re delighted to be working so closely with Houndshill Shopping Centre and wish them the very best of luck for the forthcoming year as retail now begins to reopen.

“The work that we do supporting hundreds of children and young people across Blackpool relies solely on supporters; we are extremely grateful to them all.”

Tickets start at £6 and are for a family of up to four people from the same household.

Events run over several time slots on Saturday May 22, Sunday May 23 and Monday May 24.

Please book early to avoid disappointment.

To find out more information, please visit here.

Blackpool’s new 50ft phone mast scrapped due to fears over Tower views

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

She warned “the harm to the setting of the Tower would be experienced over a wide area.”

The sun rises behind the Blackpool Tower
The sun rises behind the Blackpool Tower (Image: PA)

Plans to put a 50ft tall phone mast in Blackpool town centre have been thrown out on appeal because it would have harmed views of the Tower.

The mast, which would have supported 5G technology, had been earmarked for a site on a footpath between King Street and East Topping Street car park, close to the Town Centre Conservation Area.

Council planning officers refused permission for the structure in September last year but applicant Hutchison 3G UK Ltd had lodged an appeal.

However planning inspector Sarah Manchester has now upheld the council’s decision.

The 15 metre high monopole (equivalent to just under 50ft) would have been around the same height as a three storey building.

Ms Manchester said it “would be a conspicuously tall feature in an open location”, twice as tall as nearby lighting columns and “would tower over the surrounding townscape.”

She added: “It would not be discreetly sited and it would not be screened or assimilated into the street scene.

“By virtue of its size and prominent siting, it would appear out of scale and it would be a dominant and incongruous feature.

“The proposal would affect the setting of the nearby Stanley Buildings and the more distant Blackpool Tower.

“The overly large monopole, including its bulky array, would detract from and compete visually with both the listed buildings.”

She warned “the harm to the setting of the Tower would be experienced over a wide area.”

Although residents and businesses would have benefited from improved digital connectivity, this did not outweigh the visual harm.

It was also believed other more suitable locations for the mast could be found.

The inspector concluded: “The proposal would fail to preserve the setting of the heritage assets.”

Two prominent Blackpool hotels set to reopen after companies went bust

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

The Lyndene and St Chad’s hotels closed down in February following the liquidation of the management companies running them.

The Lyndene Hotel in Blackpool.
The Lyndene Hotel in Blackpool.

A pair of prominent seaside hotels which were forced to close in February will reopen this summer.

The Lyndene Hotel, and its neighbour St Chad’s, considered to be two of the most famous establishments in Blackpool, both closed suddenly during the last lockdown after their management companies went bankrupt.

Dozens of staff were suddenly left out of a job and without their final wage packets, or furlough pay, when the hotels shut-up shop, with immediate effect, on February 2.

Both Victorian hotels, with space for more than 200 guests between them, had been closed to bookings since November 2020, after the UK was put into lockdown, leading to a cash-flow crisis.

But now the Lyndene and St Chad’s are set to reopen in May after management of the hotels was bought out by RBH Hospitality Management.

The company, who now manage more than 45 establishments across the UK, acquired four Fragrance-owned hotel buildings, all previously run by Bespoke, in February.

St Chads Hotel in Blackpool

Dave Hart, RBH CEO, said: “These hotels each have fantastic characteristics, from historical stature and heritage to family-owned values and we are thrilled to add them to the RBH portfolio.

“We look forward to working with all four hotels to prepare for reopening and drive performance across the business in each location.”

Both Lyndene and neighbouring St Chad’s hotel buildings are owned by Singapore company Fragrance.

UK-based Bespoke Hotels Goldie Ltd previously owned the hotel businesses but under separate sub businesses.

Both sub businesses collapsed in early February as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown, although the over-arching company, Bespoke Hotels Goldie Ltd, remains intact and trading.

Within six weeks of the closure a message was posted to the Lyndene and St Chad’s Facebook pages stating that the businesses had come under new management.

This was part of a four-hotel acquisition which saw RBH buy up The Lyndene and St Chads in Blackpool, The Townhouse in Manchester and the Duke of Cornwall in Plymouth.

General managers at all four hotels have been allowed to remain in the same roles, and it is intended for other staff who were previously made redundant to be reinstated in their positions as well.

Both Lyndene and St Chad’s are currently taking bookings from May 17, when the government will allow hotels and hostels to reopen.

 

Demolished Blackpool hotel set to be turned into temporary car park

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

“The owners of the site now have no building to redevelop and an unforeseen cost for the demolition.”

The hotel during demolition in 2020
The hotel during demolition in 2020 (Image: LancsLive/Bpl Bible)

The site of a Blackpool hotel which was demolished after repeated vandal attacks looks set to become a temporary car park.

The Ambassador on North Promenade was bulldozed last November after it became structurally unsafe.

Now developer Ged O’Mahoney has applied to the council for planning permission to use the site as a car park for up to 38 vehicles for up to two years.

He says this will give him time to draw up new plans to build holiday apartments on the land while generating revenue.

Mr O’Mahoney had previously hoped to renovate the Ambassador and convert it into 17 apartments as part of proposals approved by the council last May.

A statement by Fylde-based Ben Jurin Architecture says: “Since then the former hotel, which was already severely dilapidated, fell into further disrepair due to severe storm weather.

“Subsequently Blackpool Council placed a demolition order on the building and in November/December 2020 the building was completely demolished.

“The owners of the site now have no building to redevelop and an unforeseen cost for the demolition.

“As such, this has left the current owners of the site with limited options, however plans have been drawn and a major application will be submitted for a proposed block of holiday apartments.”

The statement adds this could take months to develop leaving “the applicant having a vacant plot of land which is financially unviable and draining on resources.”

It is hoped using the site as a temporary car park will bring in revenue while the fresh plans are worked up.

The former Ambassador had been a magnet for vandals and intruders since it closed around eight years ago.

In 2018 it took firefighters two-and-a-half hours to control one blaze with 10 fire engines called to the scene at the height of the emergency.

The structure of the building deteriorated further due to the impact of weather conditions, forcing emergency demolition last November.

Fatboy Slim to headline Blackpool Rocks festival in June as line-up announced

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

“Over the years we have had some huge headliners, Disclosure, Annie Mac, Martin Garrix to name a few, but this headliner we have wanted for eight years.”

Blackpool Rocks at Blackpool winter gardens
Blackpool Rocks at Blackpool winter gardens

Confirmed last night (April 20), BBC Radio 1’s Danny Howard is set to present an amazing list of dance acts including Fatboy Slim aka Norman Cook along with Danny making an DJ appearance himself.

The indoor event will be coming back to Winter Gardens on Saturday June 26 in line with Covid restrictions on live performances easing.

Other artists confirmed are Leeds-based house DJ Hot Since 82, music producer and DJ Maya Jane Coles, UK DJ ABSOLUTE. and BBC Radio 1’s Jaguar.

It’s been a tough year for festival organisers however co-founder of Blackpool Rocks and owner of Lancashire’s Marvin’s Bars, Alex Huckerby, is happy to bringing back live music, dancing and DJs to music lovers spending such a long time indoors.

Blackpool bar owner and events organiser Alex Huckerby and with radio 1 DJ Danny Howard
Blackpool bar owner and events organiser Alex Huckerby and with radio 1 DJ Danny Howard

He told Lancs Live: “Finally light at the end of the Covid tunnel! We just knew that it was only right to bring Blackpool rocks back to the Winter gardens in Blackpool!

“Over the years we have had some huge headliners Disclosure, Annie Mac, Martin Garrix to name a few.

“But this headliner we have wanted for eight years. To finally announce Fat Boy Slim as the Headliner of Blackpool Rocks is a dream.

“The full lineup is huge for our town and the four of us are extremely proud and excited to fill the Winter Gardens once more.”

Established in 2013, Blackpool Rocks has always been successful in bringing big name artists to the seaside town – from Martin Garrix to The 1975, not forgetting Craig David, Disclosure and Duke Dumont.

Its favourite venue, the Winter Gardens, has been awarded the ‘Good To Go’ industry standard by Visit England.

This means the establishment meets the Government and Public Health Guidance with COVID-19 measures being in place to ensure a safe visit for guests.

Tickets go on sale at 9am on Friday April 23. You can sign up now for exclusive pre-sale access: here.

Giant Blackpool mirror ball needs 47,000 new mirrors and 1,000 tubes of glue for makeover after going rusty

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

Since the ball was removed, the pole is all that has remained covered by plastic bag

The mirror ball has been battered by sea air
The mirror ball has been battered by sea air

Blackpool’s iconic mirror ball on the South Promenade is currently getting a much-needed makeover.

The shiny sculpture was taken down in November in 2020 due to taking a battering from the seafront’s salty sea breeze.

Workers at Blackpool Council and a team of volunteers are now painstakingly replacing all 47,000 corroded mirrors tiles which have so far required 1,000 tubes of adhesive.

Installed in 2002, the artwork was created by artist Michael Trainor. The artist was inspired by and named the work after the 1969 Hollywood film ‘They Shoot Horses Don’t They’ which features a large Mirror Ball.

The plan is to have the ball back in time for the summer season and all spruced up.

Speaking when the mirror was dismantled, Councillor Gillian Campbell, Blackpool Council’s Cabinet Member for Tourism and Culture, said: “The Mirror Ball is much loved by local people and visitors and is an iconic landmark on the South Promenade.

“Our natural environment is beautiful but inevitably the sea salt air takes its toll on the mirror tiles over a long period of time. We look forward to the Mirror Ball returning to sparkle for people to enjoy.”

The mirror ball has so far lasted a decade on the South Shore before needing renovation and a simple glass cleaner and cloth won’t do the job.

Since the ball part was removed, the pole is all that has remained covered by a sad plastic bag.

The restoration job is progressing steadily however and it is expected to be back in its rightful place soon.

To find out more about the iconic mirror ball and other sculptures around the town, please visit the Visit Blackpool website here.