Category Archives: Piers

Video emerges of fight breaking out in dispute over queue jumping for Blackpool dodgems ride

Home | Blackpool Gazette

This is the moment a heated exchange turned violent during a row over queue jumping in front of the dodgems ride on Blackpool South Pier.

 

It is understood the brawl, in which a group of women can be seen throwing multiple punches before two are wrestled to the ground, happened on Friday June 4.

No one was injured in the incident and one of the families was removed off the site by staff.

A spokesperson for Blackpool Piers said: “This was a dispute over an issue of queue jumping.

A heated exchange over queue jumping at South Pier dodgems led to a fight and a family removed from the attraction.A heated exchange over queue jumping at South Pier dodgems led to a fight and a family removed from the attraction.

“There were no injuries and the matter was dealt with swiftly and effectively by staff, who escorted a party off the premises.”

In the footage shared with the Gazette, by-standers appear shocked during the tense scenes before a member of the public steps in to try and intervene.

The spokesperson added there was no police involvement and Lancashire Police confirmed officers had not been called to attend and no arrests were made.

Person pulled from sea at Blackpool’s North Pier in early hours rescue

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Police, coastguard, lifeboats and paramedics were called to the incident

A rescue operation was launched at Blackpool's North Pier

A rescue operation was launched at Blackpool’s North Pier (Image: Fleetwood Coastguard)

A “vulnerable” person was pulled from the sea in a dramatic rescue in Blackpool this morning.

Emergency crews, including coastguard officers, lifeboat crews, police and paramedics were called to reports of a person in the water under North Pier at around 2.20am today.

Lifeboats were launched so crews could “negogiate” with the person who was clinging on to the stantions under the pier.

The casualty was then pulled aboard a lifeboat and taken back to dry land.

Lytham Coastguard, who attended alongside Lytham Coastguard and both RNLI Blackpool inshire lifeboats, posted on Facebook: “Fortunately, they eventually managed to assist the casualty to the lifeboat and took the casualty back to shore who was then passed into the care of Blackpool Police & North West Ambulance Service. HM Coastguard Fleetwood were also tasked to assist. If you see someone in difficulty on the coast, call 999 & ask for the Coastguard!”

Police officers and paramedics took care of the person following the rescue.

 

Police, coastguard and RNLI called after drunk person jumps off Central Pier

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Emergency services were quick to respond after a drunk person jumped off the end of Central Pier in Blackpool today.

Police, coastguards from Fleetwood and Lytham, and Blackpool RNLI were called at around 6.30pm to reports of a person in trouble in the water at the end of the pier.

A Lytham coastguard spokesman said: “We were called out to reports of an intoxicated person who had jumped off the end of Central Pier.

“We quickly arrived on scene and made our way onto the pier to meet with the first informant, as we arrived at the end the casualty had managed to climb back up onto the pier and they then made their own way off.

The coastguard at Central PierThe coastguard at Central Pier

“Don’t become a statistic this summer! Water and alcohol do not mix, stay away if you’ve had a drink and enjoy yourself another way. We also strongly discourage people to jump off the piers, there are hidden dangers underneath the water, you could cause yourself serious, life changing injuries and could ultimately, lead to death.”

An RNLI Blackpool spokesman said: “Our RNLI volunteers were called out this evening to reports of a person in difficulty near Central Pier. One D class launched and the other stood by, but fortunately the person was helped to safety by Blackpool police.”

 

Tourists arrive in Blackpool as resort opens back up to the masses

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Members of the town’s night-time economy are excited to welcome customers back inside

Today has been a long awaited day for Blackpool’s tourism and hospitality businesses as government guidelines now allow six people or two households to mix indoors.

Some of the town’s most iconic and well-loved attractions are now able to receive visitors including Blackpool Tower, Madame Tussauds, Coral Island and Blackpool Winter Gardens.

As part of the Government’s phased plan to lift lockdown, hotels, bnbs, pubs, bars, restaurants, cinemas, indoor attractions, bingo halls, casinos and soft play centres can welcome indoor guests.

Attractions that opened up their outdoor areas in April are today (May 17) able to welcome guests inside to enjoy more of the fun such as Blackpool Pleasure Beach, with people enjoying coffee inside its new WG Bean cafe named after its founder, and Blackpool Zoo opening up its animal houses.

Della Belk, PR and Marketing Manager at Blackpool Zoo, said: “We welcome the news that the indoor areas of Blackpool Zoo are able to reopen from Monday May 17 and I am sure all our visitors will be delighted too.

Staff inside Blackpool Pleasure Beach's WG Bean coffee shop waiting welcome guests inside

Staff inside Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s WG Bean coffee shop waiting welcome guests inside (Image: Blackpool Pleasure Beach)

“It has been wonderful to see people enjoying a well-deserved and long overdue visit since the gates opened in April. All the safety measures we have had in place throughout the pandemic remain, so visitors can rest assured that we have covered all the bases when it comes to being Covid-secure.

“With summer just around the corner, we can’t wait to welcome more people back to Blackpool Zoo.”

Shoppers were out in force this morning too and tourists could be seen arriving with suitcases to the resort’s freshly opened hotels.

One of the hottest attractions, Coral Bay, saw families return to the enjoy the plethora of arcade games.

The predictably unsettled Lancashire weather has resulted in a slower start than expected, however the resort is expected to fill up during the half term holiday next week.

Blackpool DJ and producer, Lee Jester Watson, is excited to return to what he does best tonight.

Lee, who is also abroadcaster at In Demand Radio said: “Today’s the day hospitality starts to properly reopen and I’m so excited to be going back DJing tonight get ready for Blackpool’s newest nightclub Trilogy on Talbot Road.

“Matt and the team have done a fantastic job, you have to see it. I want to wish all my friends who are going back to work all the best, we’ve waited so long for this.

Blackpool brothers DJ Lee Jester Watson and Marley's rumbar owner Jason Fubar can't wait to get back to the night time economy

Blackpool brothers DJ Lee Jester Watson and Marley’s rumbar owner Jason Fubar can’t wait to get back to the night time economy (Image: DJ Lee Jester Watson)

“A big good luck to my brother Jason who’s opening Marley’s Rum bar on North Promenade today, he’s put everything into it and it looks amazing. I’m sure everyone is going to love it.”

Blackpool, known for decades its DIY and independent music scene can’t wait to welcome back its musician from all over.

Some if its mot well-known and respected music venues have struggled to get through the Coronavirus pandemic without funding.

Founder of Blackpool music festival, Jon Bamborough, said: “I’ve had the privilege of seeing the insides of both The Waterloo Music Bar and The Galleon Bar in the last week and I have to say that both of them are the best decorated venues I have ever seen.

“Considering that they are up against the likes of the Hard Rock Cafe chain they really are both exceptional and this is due, in no small measure, to their owners Ian Fletcher and Stephen Pierre.

“Both of whom have put considerable time and effort into making their respective venue the best they can be. These venues are not only a credit to Blackpool and the North West but to the whole of the UK.

Owner of Waterloo music bar Ian Fletcher has re-opened with a launch of a brand new Motorhead stout

Owner of Waterloo music bar Ian Fletcher has re-opened with a launch of a brand new Motorhead stout (Image: Waterloo Music Bar)

“Please take the time to show your support, it would not only mean the world to them but will also help to ensure that these fantastic venues can continue to deliver for you.

“Good Luck to all the pubs, cafes and restaurants opening for the first time since lockdown, I wish you all every success because the whole town will benefit from that. My thoughts tomorrow will be with Ian and Stephen, a pair of proper legends!”

Extra police patrols will monitor the reopening of pubs and bars as lockdown rules are relaxed today

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Extra police patrols will monitor the reopening of pubs and bars as lockdown rules are relaxed further today (Monday, May 17).

Lancashire Police says officers will take a "common sense and proportionate approach" to policing as lockdown rules are relaxed further today (Monday, May 17)

Lancashire Police says officers will take a “common sense and proportionate approach” to policing as lockdown rules are relaxed further today (Monday, May 17)

The force is urging people to continue to follow the rules and guidance as Lancashire’s pubs, bars, cafes and other businesses prepare to welcome customers inside for the first time this year.

From today (Monday, May 17), we can socialise indoors in groups of up to six or two households, including for overnight stays. Up to 30 people can also meet outside whilst pubs, restaurants, cafes and other venues can welcome customers back indoors.

Ch Supt Russ Procter, of Lancashire Police, said officers will take a “common sense and proportionate approach” to policing as lockdown measures continue to be eased.

“Our overall policing style won’t change – we will still be very visible and take a common sense and proportionate approach to policing the regulations in force at any point in time,” said a Lancashire Police chief

He said: “While we are moving back towards some normality and today’s easing of certain lockdown measures is a further step in the right direction it is important to remember that the virus is still with us and we don’t want confidence to lead to complacency.

“The vast majority of residents in Lancashire have shown tremendous patience and support in following the rules since the start of the pandemic and we would absolutely encourage them to continue to do so.

“We’re looking forward to seeing people out enjoying themselves but please remember to do so safely.

Police say around 80 people were involved in a drunken brawl at the Talbot pub in Balshaw Lane, Euxton at around 10.30pm on Saturday (May 15)
Police say around 80 people were involved in a drunken brawl at the Talbot pub in Balshaw Lane, Euxton at around 10.30pm on Saturday (May 15)

“We’re of course mindful about a return to people being allowed indoors in pubs and restaurants. Please follow the rules, pace yourself and drink safely. Stick with your mates and plan your journey home.

“We’ll police with pride and professionalism and we will be engaging, friendly and fair – we won’t however tolerate significant anti-social behaviour, violence or criminality.”

The message from Lancashire Police comes after a mass brawl broke out at a pub in Euxton, near Chorley, at the weekend.

Police say around 80 people were involved in the drunken fracas at around 10.30pm on Saturday (May 15) and three people were injured after being struck with glass bottles.

The force said three people were “seriously assaulted with glassware” and required treatment from ambulance crews.

Local councils say their licensing teams will be monitoring pubs and bars this week to ensure they are following guidance, meeting licensing conditions and keeping their customers safe.

New Covid vaccine clinics open in Lancashire with thousands of extra doses avail…

Lancashire Police said its officers will support local councils to ensure these rules are followed and will visit pubs and bars during their patrols.

Ch Supt Procter added: “The last year has been really been tough for us all but there is cause to be hopeful. If you are heading for the pub, have a good time but please be responsible.

“We’ll be visible, with extra officers on patrol and will have a focus on pubs, bars and the night-time economy.

“We still expect it will be really busy for us across Lancashire. Many of our officers haven’t had much of a break since the pandemic started – please let’s do our best to help us stay on the road towards normality over the next few weeks by being responsible and having respect for yourself, others and the law.

“On the whole, the people of Lancashire have shown tremendous support and respect for the regulations – let’s make sure this continues.

Live updates as Lancashire take the next step and rules ease further – Follow our live blog as lockdown rules are relaxed in Lancashire from today (Monday, May 17).

How forgotten man of comedy show had radio, TV and stage seasons in Blackpool

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A 1958 programme from when Dave Morris performed in Blackpool

A 1958 programme from when Dave Morris performed in Blackpool

A television series is the aim of today’s likely lads of comedy. But imagine how unlikely it would have been when there were only two channels.

In continuing the story of Blackpool comedian Dave Morris, we find that Dave actually did it in 1957 with his Club Night show.

Dave is one of the forgotten men of comedy. The broadcasts were not archived but having radio, television and stage seasons of the same show is worth a time-line.

Comedian Dave MorrisComedian Dave Morris

After 20 years of touring the variety theatres, Middlesbrough-born Dave stepped up in 1940 to stardom in Blackpool summer shows. It was the first of seven consecutive seasons at the North Pier.

After a 1947 season at the Opera House, Dave produced his own summer shows at the South Pier from 1948 to 52.

We rejoin him in his third season at the pier, spending his down time by writing a radio series of Club Night, the result of having a drink with the BBC’s Robert Stead, who was looking for new ideas.

It went on the air in November, 1950, the first of several series. Dave cannily retained the stage rights.

In 1950 Dave was 54. He was tubby and very short-sighted, the result of a gas attack while fighting on the Western Front during the First World War. Hardly a likely lad for a TV series.

His trade marks were a straw “boater” hat, a big cigar and a fast, wisecracking style.

Unlike most radio sitcoms, Club Night was ideal for the stage and became Dave’s summer show at the South Pier for both 1951 and 52. It then toured the variety theatres, with several Blackpool visits.

The radio series ended in 1955 and for two years Dave toured in a patter act with his “feed” Joe Gladwin.

Television was on the rise and the BBC suggested a screen version of Club Night in 1957. The TV version was made in Manchester by the young John Ammonds, later to become one of the BBC’s top producers.

It was noticed by George and Alfred Black, the London-based producers of the Blackpool Tower Company’s summer shows at the Opera House, the Winter Gardens Pavilion and the Grand Theatre.

They were looking for a 1958 summer show for Blackpool’s Palace Theatre and Club Night filled the bill – eight years after its radio debut.

It was a late career boost for Dave. A Gazette reviewer noted: “As a topical comedian Dave is unrivalled.”

In 1959 Dave returned to the South Pier under the title Dave’s Back and co-wrote a new TV sitcom with Blackpool writer Frank Roscoe. In The Artful Dodger, Dave’s character was a football fan who would do anything to avoid working.

A Gazette writer thought it was the funniest thing on TV with the exception of Hancock’s Half Hour. A second series was planned but during the winter Dave was disabled by a stroke and died on June 8, 1960, a month before his 64th birthday.

There was a big disappointment in Dave Morris’s merry progress through the 1950s.

In April, 1955, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were on a tour of Lancashire and a special Royal Variety Performance was staged at the Opera House.

Several northern comics were in the cast. But not Dave, who had done more Blackpool shows than any of the others, who lived in the resort and was a respected publicist for the town. The producer of the royal show was bandleader-turned-impresario Jack Hylton, who had failed to get the stage rights to Club Night. Dave hadn’t danced to Hylton’s tune and was offered a mere “walk on” during the opening scene.

He declined.

Tiny wine bars, big rides and huge hopes: What Blackpool has waiting for visitors next week

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“We’re really looking forward to be welcoming guests as soon as possible, I think everyone needs a glass of wine after this year! ”

The sun rises behind the Blackpool Tower in Blackpool, Lancashire. Picture date: Friday April 2, 2021. PA Photo. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
The sun rises behind the Blackpool Tower in Blackpool, Lancashire. (Image: PA)

Blackpool is set to welcome back visitors to its bars, theatres and attractions on May 17 following a government announcement that remaining restrictions on the town’s tourism industry can be safely lifted.

The next step of the Prime Minister’s roadmap is now for indoor hospitality and attractions to reopen along with show venues, hotels and guesthouses.

The past 15 months has seen Blackpool face its biggest challenges in a long history of successful tourism.

Even throughout the first and second world wars the town attractions could largely remain open as a form of escapism for both locals and visitors.

The coronavirus pandemic however has meant many bars, pubs and hotels have been unable to accommodate customers, rendering its beach and promenades uncharacteristically quiet.

Sadly some businesses have not made it to the other side of lockdown, with the financial burden too great. However for some, the down time has been an opportunity to renovate and create.

Amazing lockdown transformation at Lemmy's Bar in Waterloo Music Bar, Blackpool
Amazing lockdown transformation at Lemmy’s Bar in Waterloo Music Bar, Blackpool (Image: Waterloo Music Bar, Blackpool)

Waterloo Music Bar in Waterloo Road has had a particularly hard time after it failed to secure government funding to help it get through the Covid crisis.

Throughout the pandemic loyal customers and musicians have joined a campaign to save the bar from closure with Music Venue Trust getting involved.

Staff have come up with all kinds of creative ideas from selling merchandise to wild and wonderful ideas for virtual events to help raise funds after a year with no income.

Lockdown provided the opportunity to add to the already meticulously decorated bar and its infamous Motorhead-themed Lemmy’s bar.

Owner Ian Fletcher said: “The Waterloo Music Bar can’t wait to open it’s doors again on May 17, and our team are very excited to welcome everyone back to see what we have been doing through lockdown.

“We have the one and only Lemmy’s Motorhead-themed bar in the UK and our entire venue is packed with music memorabilia and artwork. We can only operate at reduced capacity from May until June 21, which means our early gigs are mostly sold out, but we have an epic year of music coming up, just checkout our website for dates and tickets.”

International graffiti and street artist, Chris Fenn AKA Seca One Art, has painted a spectacularly colourful mural of grapes and flowers on the front Nook Wine bar set to open in May 2020
International graffiti and street artist, Chris Fenn AKA Seca One Art, has painted a spectacularly colourful mural of grapes and flowers on the front Nook Wine bar set to open in May 2020 (Image: Nook Wine Bar)

Lockdown also saw the creation of the town’s smallest wine bar. Tucked away down Cheapside, a former sandwich shop, the Hideaway, was transformed into Nook wine bar, a small but mightynew bar for 2021.

Spectacularly painted with a colourful mural by Blackpool’s International graffiti and street artist Seca One Art, the bar will not be just another “stuffy wine gaff” and will be focusing on serving premium and unique wines from all around the world.

Owner Jake Whittington, who also owns Dirty Blondes and Paradise Coast said: “Nook will be Blackpool’s first wine and charcuterie venue, so there’s a lot of excitement, and pressure, around the project.

“The tired old building has had to have extensive work done for such a small place. We were really aiming to get open for the 17th, but we may be running a couple of weeks behind.

“Opening a bar in lockdown is a challenge to say the least, suppliers and contractors are running at a reduced capacity so it certainly makes for an interesting time! We’re really looking forward to be welcoming guests as soon as possible, I think everyone needs a glass of wine after this year! ”

Madame Tussauds, Blackpool during lockdown two
Madame Tussauds, Blackpool during lockdown two (Image: This is influential)

Excitement is building at the news that some of Blackpool’s biggest and longstanding attractions will be able to welcome customers back including the Tower, the Dungeons and Madame Tussauds.

After operating at a reduced capacity at times the well-loved destinations had to close completely during the third national lockdown.

Now the iconic landmarks can begin to come back to life.

Kate Shane, Head of the Blackpool Cluster for Merlin Entertainments, said: “We’ve been counting down the days until we can reopen our doors at The Blackpool Tower attractions, Sea Life and Madame Tussauds, so it’s great to have the green light for this to go ahead.

“Our teams are overjoyed to be back and this week they are busy with final preparations for our attractions opening on the May 17 alongside final rehearsals for The Blackpool Tower Dungeons and Circus which open on Saturday May 22.

“We have all been separated from our families and friends for over 12 months, so we simply can’t wait to reconnect loved ones and help them make magical new memories together.

“Our attractions were created for fun, so we’re counting down the days until we can see the smiles and hear the laughter of our guests once more.”


Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Blackpool Pleasure Beach will also be able to get back to normal with visitors able to experience more fun at the fair.

After re-opening on April 12 it has been receiving guests on a daily basis however the lifting of restrictions means its guests can enjoy more.

A Spokesperson for Blackpool Pleasure Beach said: From 17th May we will be able to reopen our both of our hotels, The Big Blue and The Boulevard, which will see many more visitors coming to the resort.

“In addition to this the White Tower restaurant and our indoor attractions Ripley’s Believe It or Not, Pasaje Del Terror and will open again and provide much more for our guests to enjoy.”

For more information on where to visit in Blackpool come May 17, please visit Visit Blackpool.

Lancashire’s best and worst seaside towns ranked, according to Which?

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Blackpool, Fleetwood, Morecambe and nearby Southport all featuring in the bottom 15 of resorts ranked by consumer group Which?

Blackpool beach
Blackpool beach (Image: Peter Byrne/PA Wire)

Lancashire’s seaside towns are some of the most popular attractions in the UK, with Blackpool, Fleetwood and Morecambe set to become big hotspots for staycation tourists this summer

However, according to a new poll released last week, it seems the county’s seaside holiday destinations aren’t as well-loved as we might have thought.

Consumer magazine Which? has just published its annual survey into the best seaside towns across the UK.

Each resort was ranked on a scale of 1-to-5 stars for the quality of the beach, local attractions, scenery, peace and quiet and value for money.

The survey was compiled with the contributions of over 4,000 visitors over the past year and each town was also given a metacritic-style aggregated customer score.

With just under 100 seaside spots ranked across the UK, a few of Lancashire’s big names underperformed, with the public not being especially kind.

Coming top of the chart was Bamburgh in Northumberland, which was praised for its “epic” scenery with Bamburgh Castle looming above the golden sands.

However, none of Lancashire’s seaside locations made it anywhere near the top 10, let alone the pinnacle of the top 5.

Blackpool, Fleetwood, Morecambe and even nearby Southport all featuring in the bottom 15 of resorts ranked.

Blackpool scored just 1 out of 5 for its scenery and peace and quiet, although it did gain 4 out of 5 for its range of attractions and 3 out of 5 for its beach.

Morecambe recorded 3 out of 5’s for both scenery and peace and quiet but just 1 out of 5 for attractions.

Fleetwood featured on the list but no star ratings were provided for each section.

Southport meanwhile recorded 2 out of 5’s in four areas with a 3 out of 5 for peace and quiet.

Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel, said: “The results of our survey show that bigger is rarely better, with smaller, less crowded resorts taking the top spots over better-known destinations.”

What do you think? Which beach will you be heading to this year? Have your say in the comments.

The 20 worst seaside resorts according to Which?

1 Skegness, Lincolnshire – 48 points

2 Weston-super-Mare, Somerset – 55

3 Ilfracombe, Devon – 56

4 Margate, Kent – 57

5 Lowestoft, Suffolk – 57

=6 Worthing, West Sussex – 58

=6 Morecombe, Lancashire – 58

=6 Great Yarmouth, Norfolk – 58

=6 Colwyn Bay – 58

=6 Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset – 58

=7 Fleetwood, Lancashire – 59

=7 Blackpool, Lancashire – 59

=8 Southport, Merseyside – 60

=8 Newquay, Cornwall – 60

=8 New Brighton, Merseyside – 60

9 Bridlington, East Yorkshire – 61

10 Littlehampton, West Sussex – 62

11 Hunstanton, Norfolk – 63

=12 Ramsgate, Kent – 64

=12 Folkestone, Kent – 64

The 20 best seaside resorts in the UK

1 Bamburgh, Northumberland – 85 points

= 2 Dartmouth, Devon – 84

= 2 Tynemouth, Northumberland -84

3 St Andrews, Fife, Scotland – 83

4 Aberaeron, Ceredigion, Wales – 82

5 North Berwick, East Lothian, Scotland – 81

6 Rye, East Sussex – 81

7 Filey, North Yorkshire – 80

=8 Southwold, Suffolk – 80

=8 St Davids, Pembrokeshire, Wales – 80

=8 Swanage, Dorset – 80

= 9 Beer, Devon – 79

=9 Conwy, Conwy – 79

=9 Criccieth, Gwynedd – 79

=9 Sidmouth, Devon – 79

=9 Tenby, Pembrokeshire – 79

= 10 Aldeburgh, Suffolk -78

= 10 Megavissey, Cornwall – 78

=10 Saltburn-by-the-sea, North Yorkshire – 78

=10 Ventnor, Isle of Wight – 78

 

Seafront Blackpool bar operating for four years without planning permission

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“Historic, evidential and communal value will not be unduly affected, as these will be maintained.”

The Terrace Bar in Blackpool
The Terrace Bar in Blackpool

A seafront Blackpool bar is seeking planning permission from the council after it emerged it has been operating without any formal approval having been granted for the venture.

The Terrace Bar alongside Central Pier in the resort started life nearly four years ago as a portable bar surrounded by gazebos, which was set up to support a classic car show.

As it grew in popularity a more permanent bar and decking was installed with the venue attracting al fresco drinkers.

But when the Blackpool Pier Company contacted the council’s planning department in January this year regarding a separate application for South Pier, it discovered no permission was in place for the Terrace Bar.

Now a retrospective application has been submitted seeking to remedy the oversight and secure approval for the bar which sits on the Promenade immediately to the north of the pier owned by the Sedgwick family.

A heritage statement submitted to the council says the bar complements the Victorian pier which opened in 1868.

It says: “The bar has been designed to be of a contemporary design to sit within the existing character of the pier as a centre for modern entertainment.

“Aesthetically, the bar will complement the modern façade of the pier, which is dominant, the Victorian style design of the pier only becoming apparent as the pier is traversed out to sea.

“Historic, evidential and communal value will not be unduly affected, as these will be maintained.”

The planning application is seeking to retain the Terrace Bar including the decking area which serves as an outdoor seating area and live music venue.

It has proved popular since lockdown restrictions were first lifted with customers only allowed to be served outdoors until May 17.

The application will go before town hall planners at a future date for consideration.

Blackpool-themed children’s toy launches as creator offers free handouts to schools

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Due its educational purposes, Hippo Mat is looking to give away as many mats as it can to deserving schools and organisations for free

Blackpool-themed children's road mat launched by Hippo Mat
Blackpool-themed children’s road mat launched by Hippo Mat (Image: Hippo Mat)

A new Blackpool-themed educational toy for children designed by a local artist has just been launched and is unlike any of its kind.

Creators Hippo Mat, based in Brighton, employed the services of Blackpool’s Billie Franks to design a children’s road mat which includes many unique landmarks and road safety features.

Children in the town can now let their imaginations run free where they can visit the famous Blackpool Tower, stroll peacefully through Stanley Park or pay a visit to the animals at Blackpool zoo.

Hippo Mat is in the process of creating children’s road maps for 62 locations around the UK.

The fun maps are not made to 100% scale however landmarks are accurate in terms of where they are in relation to each other.

Hippo Mat Director Marcos said: “Each artist is from that location so our Blackpool artist is Billie Franks from Blackpool.

Blackpool Pleasure Beach on Hippo Mat's road mat
Blackpool Pleasure Beach on Hippo Mat’s road mat (Image: Hippo Mat)

“I’m a driving instructor normally so that’s why it’s so imperative it has to have the road signs and road paint!

“The idea came about literally on a driving lesson when a learner and I were reminiscing of childhood.”

“Local Geography is part of the KS1 Curriculum so our products are definitely more educational than generic car play mats for that reason.

Coral Island on Hippo Mat's road mat
Coral Island on Hippo Mat’s road mat (Image: Hippo Mat)

Due its educational purposes, Hippo Mat is looking to give away as many mats as it can to deserving schools and organisations for free.

So far the toy maker has emailed 15 Blackpool schools and organisations however have not had a response.

The mats are also available to buy from the company’s website.

To find out more about Hippo Mat’s products, please visit the website here.