Category Archives: Winter Gardens

Plans revealed to restore front of Blackpool’s Winter Gardens

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Plans have been unveiled to upgrade a key part of the Winter Gardens as part of a multi million pound scheme to improve town centre streets in Blackpool.

 

If it gets the go ahead, the scheme will see the Empress Buildings restored close to their original state with the installation of new shopfronts on the ground floor.

Resort-based architect Joseph Boniface has drawn up the proposals which aim to unify the appearance of the landmark which overlooks St John’s Square.

Documents submitted with a planning application for the project say: “The application seeks to unify the existing ground level facade of the Grade II* listed building fronting onto St John’s Square.

The Empress BuildingsThe Empress Buildings

“Currently, there are a number of different styles erected during the last few decades across the frontage resulting in an untidy appearance.

“The new shopfronts will be hardwood timber framed and designed and constructed in a traditional style relevant to the period.”

The new shopfronts will feature stained glass windows and a retractable awning, and have been designed in consultation with the council and the current occupiers of each unit.

Timber work will be finished in exterior wood rosewood stain to match the recently refurbished finish of the woodwork to the adjacent Olympia Building.

The Empress Buildings were constructed in 1894 as four bays set either side of a wide central bay which formerly contained an arched entrance to the Empress Ballroom.

Funding for the work has come from the council’s £7.84m Quality Corridors project which is funded through the Growth Deal.

The plans will now be considered by the council at a future date.

Blackpool Winter Gardens: Iconic venue hits 143 years of amazing memories

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

The entertainment complex has an amazing history from playing it part in two world wars to rioting Rolling Stones fans

 

Winter Gardens Blackpool
Winter Gardens Blackpool (Image: Submitted)

One of Europe’s biggest entertainment complexes opened its doors 143 years ago this week.

Blackpool’s Winter Gardens has not only put the town on the map in terms of performances but its iconic building has a long and interesting history.

The complex first opened its doors on July 11, 1878 in a grand ceremony which included not only the Lord Mayor of London but the Mayors and Mayoresses from 68 English towns.

The Winter Gardens Company originally bought the site in 1875 for £28,000 and the construction project, which involved building on the six-acre Bank Hey Estate, was one of the largest projects Blackpool had ever seen.

Contractors Thomas Mitchell were tasked with the construction and the plan was to “place on the land a concert room, promenades, conservatories and other accessories calculated to convert the estate into a pleasant lounge, especially desirous during inclement days.”

The entertainment venue was to have it all and the 1870s saw the exotic glass roofed Floral Hal roofed built along with the Vestibule, Ambulatory, Indoor and outdoor skating rink and Pavilion Theatre for special event.

In 1888 Frank Matcham, the famous theatre architect who designed the Tower Ballroom and Circus in Blackpool, was making plans for the first Opera House.

The first known image of Blackpool Winter Gardens in 1890
The first known image of Blackpool Winter Gardens in 1890 (Image: Blackpool Winter Gardens)

The project lived up to Matcham’s grand reputation and on June 10 1889 ‘Her Majesty’s Opera House’ opened with Gilbert & Sullivan’s new opera ‘Yeomen of the Guard’.

At the time, the 2,500 seat opera house cost £9,098.

The Winter Gardens were set to become even more grandiose however with introduction of the Empress Ballroom, which was built in 1896, and the Indian Lounge which is now the Arena.

One of the largest ballrooms in the world, the Empress had a floor space of 12,500 sq. ft and was built by more infamous architects, Mangnall & Littlewood, who also designed Blackpool’s New Wing Imperial Hotel.

Two children play innocently in the shadow of the big wheel, Blackpool
Two children play innocently in the shadow of the big wheel on the sandy beach by Blackpool pier, Lancashire, July 2007. (Photo by Tom Stoddart/Getty Images) (Image: Photo by Tom Stoddart/Getty Images)

The pair also created the 220ft. gigantic Wheel on the site of the bowling green and garden area in front of the Pavilion Horseshoe.

The massive structure could hold 30 people in as many carriages.

On August 22 in 1896 the 1000 tonne wheel turned for the first time and the ride was seen as an impressive feat of Victorian engineering.

The architects were then tasked with rebuilding the Opera House in 1910 as well as the Church Street facade of the Winter Gardens which was clad in white faience in true Renaissance style.

The Winter Gardens interior.

In 1918 the Empress Ballroom was to play its part in history after the Admiralty, the military department in command of the Royal Navy requisitioned the hall to assemble gas envelopes for the .33 airship.

The following year the ballroom was handed back and some restoration work was done so it could resume back to its usual function.

Beginning the town’s love affair with the ballroom dancing, the first ever Blackpool Dance Festival took place during Easter Weekend in 1920 in the Empress Ballroom.

Rock n Roll session on the pier a Blackpool, Lancashire. 18th July 1957.

The Tower Company then purchased the Winter Gardens in 1928 who immediately dismantled the grounds’ big wheel.

It was thought that the structure was an inferior attraction to the infamous Blackpool Tower, the tallest manmade structure in the British Empire.

Construction of the Olympia Exhibition Hall also began this year and took less than eight months to complete.

Opening in June 1930, its interior comprised of stalls and attractions themed by Andrew Mazzei in the form of a Moorish village, The famous white villages that line Andalusia in Spain’s coastline.

The onslaught of the second World War saw the Winter Gardens repurposed once again when the UK government requisitioned it and it was used for RAF training purposes by day and for entertainment in the evenings.

Blackpool Opera House

In 1938 the old Opera House was demolished and the third and current Opera House replaced its predecessor in 1939 with the classic Art Deco design of the times.

The biggest stage in the country, it was designed in a modernist style with a sweepingly curved proscenium, with the intention of doubling as a super cinema.

It was opened in July 1939 and has since welcomed some of the biggest names in Showbusiness and beloved musicals.

The 1930s also saw the addition of the first Galleon Bar, Spanish Hall and Baronial Hall.

Prime Minster Sir Winston Churchill was also to visit in 1954 for the 74th annual Conservative Party Conference which ended in one the historical figure’s infamous closing speeches.

More high profile figures were also to pay a visit when the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh arrived the following year for the first Royal Variety Performance outside of London.

The 1960s saw one of the most bizarre moments of the Winter Garden’s history when Rolling Stones’ singer Mick Jagger and his band members were banned from the town by Blackpool Council.

The band arrived to perform in July 1964 however were hindered by audience members spitting according to eye witnesses.

Guitarist Keith Richards became involved in an altercation with one gig goer at the front and some of the 7,000 strong crowd stormed the stage.

A riot ensued and the musicians were warned not to return. The council’s ban on the Rolling Stones was only lifted in 2008.

An aerial view of the Winter Gardens in Blackpool during the 1960s.
An aerial view of the Winter Gardens in Blackpool during the 1960s.

In 1970 the Empress Ballroom was turned into a nightclub for four years and was renamed The Stardust Garden. This was around the same time the Winter Gardens unique architectural heritage received a Grade II listing.

The Ballroom has seen many other lives too during the decades from serving as a conference venue for all three major political parties to hosting major acts such as The Beatles, Queen, Oasis and Radiohead.

The White Stripes even used the stunning setting for their DVD and concert aptly named ‘Under Blackpool Lights.’

The Beatles before playing the Opera House Blackpool 16 August 1964. Left to right: Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and John Lennon.

A pivotal moment in the Winter Garden’s history was when the complex came into public ownership in 2010.

In a historic purchase, Blackpool Council bought both the Winter Gardens and Blackpool Tower from Trevor Hemmings’ Crown Leisure Company and an ambitious restoration project began to revamp its areas most in need.

This meant it was able to play its part as an international theatrical destination when the blockbuster musical Mama Mia returned to Blackpool in 2014.

Most recently the Winter Gardens was once again play a significant role in hard times when it became a Covid vaccination centre this year and it hit an amazing milestone of 50,000 vaccinations last month.

The legacy of the venue is set to continue into the future with its new Blackpool Conference and Exhibition Centre promising to be one of the largest venues of its kind in the north of England.

People outside a Vaccination centre at Winter Gardens in Blackpool
People outside a Vaccination centre at Winter Gardens in Blackpool (Image: Julian Hamilton/Daily Mirror)

The brand-new, purpose-built events venue will feature state of the art amenities necessary for hosting modern conferences and exhibitions.

The centre will incorporate the latest audio and visual technology proving once again that the historic venue will continue to adapt to the times.

 

Blackpool Winter Gardens: Iconic venue hits 143 years of amazing memories

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

Council bosses have the green light for the new eatery on Queen Street in Blackpool

 

A new cafe is set to open in Blackpool town centre
A new cafe is set to open in Blackpool town centre

A former betting shop in Blackpool is set to be converted into a cafe after being given the green light by council bosses.

The premises at 37 Queen Street was last used as a William Hill bookies but has remained vacant for some time.

Chris Walker of Old Bank Lane in Blackburn has submitted plans to change the use of the premises to open a cafe which have now been approved by Blackpool Council.

The new cafe will include a bar area, bar servery, kitchen, entrance into the yard behind and accessible toilet. In the basement there will be a store, ladies and gents toilets and a cleaning store.

Three full-time and one part-time jobs will be created by the new business.

The cafe will serve cold, pre-prepared food and opening hours will be from 9am until late each night.

In the decision notice, the planning officer stated: “The previous use of the unit was as a betting office and the neighbouring ground floor units are in use as a shop and a public house.

“There is a public house next door and many more bars and nightclubs on the street, therefore there is little reason to assume that the change of use to a café bar would generate any more noise disturbance than what already exists assuming that appropriate safeguards are put in place.”

Work on the premises must start within three years.

 

First look at Blackpool’s new £28m Winter Gardens conference centre

Home | Blackpool Gazette

The countdown is on towards the completion of Blackpool’s £28m new conference and exhibition centre which is due to be handed over to the council in November.

 

Workers are now on the final stretch of the contract to deliver state-of-the art facilities designed to put the Grade II* listed Winter Gardens back on the conferencing map.

Contractors McLaughlin & Harvey have around 106 people working on site as the deadline for completion approaches.

Pictured is Michael WilliamsPictured is Michael Williams

While it is still a construction site, the scale and detail of what will be delivered to delegates across two main floors plus mezzanine areas is clear.

Visitors arriving through a dedicated entrance on Leopold Grove will be swept upstairs on escalators to vast spaces which can be divided into different sized meeting or exhibition areas.

But an exposed brick wall reminds visitors they are just a step away from the rest of the Victorian Winter Gardens complex.Work is ongoing at the siteWork is ongoing at the site

And it is this aspect of the building – combining Blackpool’s heritage with its desire for progress – that will offer delegates a unique experience and hopefully put the conferencing offer ahead of rivals around the country.

Architects have designed the centre to seamlessly connect with its older neighbour, with access on a single level right through from Leopold Grove to the Empress Ballroom and the Floral Hall, as well as connections to the Opera House.

There will be ground floor capacity for around 430 delegates and first floor capacity for 1,200, bringing the total for the whole Winter Gardens complex to 7,000.

The main meeting space on the first floor can be split into four rooms using fully acoustic sliding walls boasting sound block boards to prevent noise slippage between partitions.

Worker on the siteWorker on the site

But pull back the walls, bring out the tables and chairs stored in rooms behind, and the same space can be transformed for a gala dinner with on-site kitchens.

A smaller convention area on the ground floor can be similairly divided, while break-out rooms offer a glazed outlook for when delegates need to switch-off.

But just as vital as space, is technology and engineers are busy fitting out reams of cable into the specialist IT room where there will also be a control centre for broadcasters.

Broadband fibre connections will be the best available along with state-of-the-art audio visual equipment.

The conference centre at Blackpool's Winter GardensThe conference centre at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens

Behind the scenes, a heavy duty air conditioning system has been installed, while toilets, cloakrooms, kitchens and staff quarters are also taking shape.

An undercover loading bay has been built with capacity for two articulated trucks to enable exhibits and scenery to be unloaded straight into the conference centre or onto the back of the Opera House stage.

Meanwhile a vehicle lift can carry a four tonne fully loaded transit van to the upper floors to unload.

Michael Williams, managing director of the Winter Gardens, says the investment is already attracting conference organisers back to Blackpool.

He said: “We’re on track for November and the finishing trades are now in fitting out things like the cabling.

“It’s an exciting part of the development seeing all the equipment starting to arrive right down to the big ovens and chillers for the kitchen. We’ve also just ordered the 1,700 chairs which will be needed.

“Connectivity with the rest of the Winter Gardens has been key throughout the design and building process.

“That’s why we have left in a feature brick wall to the Empress Ballroom balcony, which has been restored and repointed.

“The idea is people can relate to where they are, to the Empress Ballroom and to that 120-year tradition which is just behind the wall.

“That will be part of the unique selling point for our conference centre.

“We are going to have a 21st century conference centre with all the modern facilities and technology available, but people can walk through to the Empress Ballroom or the other rooms in the Winter Gardens and see the link to that heritage as well.”

Building work began in 2018 and has been disrupted by the Covid pandemic, although lockdown meant gatherings were off limits anyway.

A fresh appetite for conferences, as people have missed meeting, up is expected but lessons have also been learned from the restrictions put in place.

Mr Williams said: “We will be set up to hold hybrid conferences so some delegates could attend remotely from anywhere in the world.

“One thing Covid has taught us is that we have to be able to do things differently.

“If some international guests cannot travel, they can still attend the conference due to the technology we have put in.”

Proposals are also already in place for more investment which could further enhance the setting of the conference centre.

Planning permission was granted in June for a five storey, 160 bedroom hotel on Leopold Grove including an enclosed bridge linking the second floor of the hotel with the new development.

Meanwhile Blackpool Council’s £20m bid to the Government’s Levelling Up Fund includes new convention space with retail within the Olympia area of the Winter Gardens.

The Conservative Party will host its Spring Forum in the conference centre in 2022, which will be one of the first big events and will be the first time the Conservative Party has hosted a major conference in Blackpool since 2007.

Funding has included £15m from the government’s Growth Deal, £7m from Blackpool Council, and £2.9m from the Coastal Communities Fund (also government funding).

Warning over Blackpool town centre parking as Winter Gardens hotel gets go ahead

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A multi-storey car park is earmarked for the site of the former Syndicate nightclub in Blackpool which would help replace public parking lost when a hotel is built alongside the Winter Gardens.

Artist's impression of the proposed hotel

Artist’s impression of the proposed hotel

The plans include a double level car park with 94 spaces, but these will be for use by hotel guests only.

Ian White, a director of hoteliers group StayBlackpool, warned councillors parking provision still needed to be made for people staying at smaller b&bs and hotels in the area.

He told the meeting: “Since earlier applications the immediate locality has seen significant pressure on parking.

“The new medical centre with boundaries on South King Street, Adelaide Street and Alfred Street will put significant extra pressure on parking.

“Not forgetting that this development will see the loss of approximately 80 spaces, many of which are used by guests staying in the adjacent holiday accommodation and that loss will be felt significantly within the local community.”

Council planning office Clare Johnson told the meeting while the hotel development would mean the loss of a car park, the former Syndicate nightclub site was designated for a multi-storey car park.

The latest scheme is the fourth to secure planning permission since 2010, but so far development has stalled.

However it is hoped this application, by Hertfordshire based developer Kewdeal Ltd, will be more lucrative as the hotel will stand directly opposite the town’s £28m new conference centre which is nearing completion at the Winter Gardens.

The site is currently being marketed for sale by Manchester-based property agent Savills with a price tag in excess of £3m.

 

Car parking in Blackpool: Where, cost, blue badge and motorhome spots and electric vehicle charging points

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

The best places to park for Blackpool Pleasure Beach and other attractions – including opening times, prices, payment methods and more

West Street Car Park, Blackpool

Blackpool is fast approaching its busiest time with July being its most crowded month.

As Covid restrictions are gradually being lifted tourists will begin to flock to the area and once the summer season is over it is time for Blackpool Illuminations to take us into the darker nights of autumn.

The town has an excellent transport and tram system to get about however if you choose to drive, or need somewhere to park on arrival, it can be a little tricky to work out where.

Lancs Live has compiled a list of car parks, including multi-storeys, for reference and details such as Blue Badge spaces and parking concessions, payment methods, opening times, electric charging points and where accepts motor homes and coaches.

Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Blackpool Pleasure Beach has five car parks located at:

• North Car Park (Balmoral Road) – from £18 on the day, online £18 (off peak), £20 (peak) guaranteed reserved space
• East Car Park (Bond Street) – from £15.00
• Arena Car Park(Watson Road) – from £10
• West Car Park (Ocean Boulevard) – from £15.00
• Railway Station Car Park (Bond Street)

Parking facilities for disabled guests are available at all car parks. Car parking charges apply.

There are currently no parking facilities for caravans and mobile homes

Generic view of Banks Street car park (Image: Google Street View)

Blackpool Pleasure Beach now has an electric car charging point which can be used by guests. This point is located at the rear of Balmoral Road Car Park, please ask car parking attendants for directions.

There are also Pod Point Open Charge electric vehicle charging on-site for visitors.

  • – There are 2 x 7kW charging bays available.
    Each bay has a Type 2 universal socket.- It costs £1.50 per hour for 4 hours, then it is free.

Use the Pod Point Open Charge app to start charging and see live availability.
Visit Pod Point’s website for further instructions on how to use Open Charge points.

Car park closing times do vary but as a rule stay open until 10pm during the high season and 7pm during the low season and winter period.

Blackpool Council also provide car parking facilities throughout the town, including:

  • Short-stay car parks
  • Long-stay car parks
  • Coach and commercial car parks
  • Parking for motor homes
  • Parking for motorcycles

Bank Street Car Park – 24 hours – FY1 2DT

  • 16 blue badge spaces – free for 3 hours

You can use the PayByPhone app to pay for your stay in this car park, giving you complete control from your own phone.

You can download the PayByPhone app from the App Store or Google Play Store or visit the PayByPhone website. Once downloaded just enter the correct identification number for your vehicle type.

Up to 2 hours Cars £2.50
Up to 4 hours Cars £4
Up to 6 hours Cars £5
Up to 8 hours Cars £6
Up to 12 hours Cars £8
Up to 18 hours Cars £10
Up to 24 hours Cars £12
Up to 48 hours Cars £14
Up to 72 hours Cars £17
Up to 96 hours Cars £20
Up to 45 minutes Coaches £2
Up to 4 hours Coaches £6
Up to 24 hours Coaches £12
Up to 48 hours Coaches £17
Up to 72 hours Coaches £20
Up to 24 hours – Winter Rate Coaches £6
Up to 12 hours Motorhomes £10
Up to 24 hours (as Coach rate) Motorhomes £12

Bethesda Road Car Park- 24 hours – FY1 5EF

  • 3 Blue badge spaces

Payment is by pay and display machines. One machine accepts credit/debit cards and coins, one accepts coins only – No change given

Up to 1 hour Cars £1
Up to 2 hours Cars £2
Up to 3 hours Cars £3
Up to 4 hours Cars £4
Up to 8 hours Cars £6
Up to 12 hours Cars £8
Up to 24 hours Cars £12
Up to 48 hours Cars £14
Up to 72 hours Cars £17
Up to 96 hours Cars £20

Bloomfield Park Road Car park (Seasiders Way) – 24 hours – FY1 6HX

  • 25 Blue badge spaces

Payment is by pay and display machines which accept credit/debit cards and coins – No change given

Up to 3 hours Cars £3.50
Up to 6 hours Cars £6
Up to 12 hours Cars £10
Up to 18 hours Cars £11
Up to 24 hours Cars £12
Up to 48 hours Cars £14
Up to 72 hours Cars £17
Up to 96 hours Cars £20

Bolton Street Car Park – 24 hours – FY1 6AA

  • 3 Blue badges spaces

Payment is by pay and display machines which accept credit/debit cards, coins, contactless- No change given

Up to 3 hours Cars £3.50
Up to 6 hours Cars £6
Up to 12 hours Cars £10
Up to 18 hours Cars £11
Up to 24 hours Cars £12
Up to 48 hours Cars £14
Up to 72 hours Cars £17
Up to 96 hours Cars £20

Bonny Street Car Park – 24 hours – FY1 5AR

  • 7 Blue badge spaces

Payment is by pay and display machines. Machines accepts credit/debit cards and coins, one accepts contactless – No change given

Up to 2 hours Cars £3
Up to 3 hours Cars £4.50
Up to 4 hours Cars £5.50
Up to 6 hours Cars £7.50
Up to 8 hours Cars £10
Up to 12 hours Cars £12
Up to 18 hours Cars £13
Up to 24 hours Cars £14
Up to 48 hours Cars £16
Up to 72 hours Cars £18
Up to 96 hours Cars £20

Central Car Park (Seasiders Way/Central Drive, Blackpool) – 24 hours – FY1 5QB

  • 34 Blue badge spaces

Payment is by 9 pay and display machine, all of which accept credit/debit cards and coins – No change given

4 x 22kw electric charge bays situated at the north end of the site alongside the coach drop-off/pick-up area

Cost – The charging rate is currently 30 pence per unit

Driver needs to download the EVdot app, this is the only method of payment accepted to use these charging stations

Up to 2 hours Cars £3
Up to 3 hours Cars £4.50
Up to 4 hours Cars £5.50
Up to 6 hours Cars £7.50
Up to 8 hours Cars £10
Up to 12 hours Cars £12
Up to 18 hours Cars £13
Up to 24 hours Cars £14
Up to 48 hours Cars £16
Up to 72 hours Cars £18
Up to 96 hours Cars £20

Chapel Street – 24 hours – FY1 5AW

  • 9 Blue Badge spaces

Payment is by 3 pay and display machines which accept coins only – No change given

Up to 2 hours Cars £3
Up to 3 hours Cars £4.50
Up to 4 hours Cars £5.50
Up to 6 hours Cars £7.50
Up to 8 hours Cars £10
Up to 12 hours Cars £12
Up to 18 hours Cars £13
Up to 24 hours Cars £14
Up to 48 hours Cars £16
Up to 72 hours Cars £18
Up to 96 hours Cars £20

Cocker Street Blackpool – 24 hours – FY1 1RX

  • 2 Blue badge bays

Payment is by pay and display machine which accept credit/debit cards, coins, contactless- No change given

Up to 2 hours Cars £2.50
Up to 4 hours Cars £4
Up to 6 hours Cars £5
Up to 8 hours Cars £6
Up to 12 hours Cars £8
Up to 18 hours Cars £10
Up to 24 hours Cars £12
Up to 48 hours Cars £14
Up to 72 hours Cars £17
Up to 96 hours Cars £20

East Topping Street – 24 hours – FY1 3AS

  • 9 Blue badge spaces

Payment is by 4 pay and display machines which accept credit/debit cards – No change given.

Up to 2 hours Cars £3
Up to 3 hours Cars £4.50
Up to 4 hours Cars £5.50
Up to 6 hours Cars £7.50
Up to 8 hours Cars £10
Up to 12 hours Cars £12
Up to 18 hours Cars £13
Up to 24 hours Cars £14
Up to 48 hours Cars £16
Up to 72 hours Cars £18
Up to 96 hours Cars £20

Filey Place (Banks Street) – 24 hours – FY1 1RN

  • 4 Blue badge spaces – free for 3 hours

Payment is by pay and display machine which accept credit/debit cards, coins, contactless – No change given

Up to 4 hours Cars £5
Up to 8 hours Cars £10
Up to 12 hours Cars £12
Up to 24 hours Cars £13

Foxhall Village (Seasiders Way) – 24 hours FY1 6JX

  • 10 Blue badge spaces – free for 3 hours
  • 15 coach bays – Cars must not park in coach bays

Payment is by 3 pay and display machines which accept credit/debit cards and coins – No change given

Up to 3 hours Cars £3.50
Up to 6 hours Cars £6
Up to 12 hours Cars £10
Up to 18 hours Cars £11
Up to 24 hours Cars £12
Up to 48 hours Cars £14
Up to 72 hours Cars £17
Up to 96 hours Cars £20
Up to 45 minutes Coaches £2
Up to 4 hours Coaches £6
Up to 24 hours Coaches £12
Up to 48 hours Coaches £17
Up to 72 hours Coaches £20
Up to 24 hours – Winter Rate Coaches £6
Up to 12 hours Motorhomes £10

Gyn Square ( Warbreck Hill Road) – 24 hours – FY1 2JR

  • 4 blue badge spaces – free for 3 hours
  • 12 coach bays – Cars must not park in coach bays

Payment is by 2 pay and display machines which accept credit/debit cards, coins, contactless – No change given

Up to 3 hours Cars £2
Up to 4 hours Cars £2.50
Up to 8 hours Cars £4
Up to 12 hours Cars £6
Up to 18 hours Cars £9
Up to 24 hours Cars £10
Up to 48 hours Cars £14
Up to 72 hours Cars £17
Up to 96 hours Cars £20
Up to 45 minutes Coaches £2
Up to 4 hours Coaches £6
Up to 24 hours Coaches £12
Up to 48 hours Coaches £17
Up to 72 hours Coaches £20
Up to 24 hours – Winter Rate Coaches £6
Up to 12 hours Motorhomes £10

Lonsdale Road (Seasiders Way) – 24 hours – FY1 6JX

Payment is by pay and display machines which accept credit/debit cards and coins – No change given

  • 18 blue badge spaces – free for 3 hours
Up to 3 hours Cars £3.50
Up to 6 hours Cars £6
Up to 12 hours Cars £10
Up to 18 hours Cars £11
Up to 24 hours Cars £12
Up to 48 hours Cars £14
Up to 72 hours Cars £17
Up to 96 hours Cars £20

Lytham Road – 24 hours – FY4 1HT

  • Blue badge holders must display a clock beside their badge showing their arrival time to qualify for a 3 hour free concession.

Payment is by pay and display machine which accept credit/debit cards, coins, contactless – No change given

Up to 3 hours Cars £3.50
Up to 6 hours Cars £6
Up to 12 hours Cars £10
Up to 18 hours Cars £11
Up to 24 hours Cars £12
Up to 48 hours Cars £14
Up to 72 hours Cars £17
Up to 96 hours Cars £20
Up to 12 hours Motorhomes £10

Queen Street – 24 hours – FY1 1PX

  • 1 Blue badge space

Payment is by 2 pay and display machines, one of which accepts credit/debit cards, coins, contactless – No change given

Up to 2 hours Cars £3
Up to 3 hours Cars £4.50
Up to 4 hours Cars £5.50
Up to 6 hours Cars £7.50
Up to 8 hours Cars £10
Up to 12 hours Cars £12
Up to 18 hours Cars £13
Up to 24 hours Cars £14
Up to 48 hours Cars £16
Up to 72 hours Cars £18
Up to 96 hours Cars £20

South Beach ( South Promenade) – 24 hours – FY4 1PL

  • 11 blue badge spaces – free for 3 hours

Payment is by pay and display machines which accept credit/debit cards, coins, contactless- No change given

Up to 3 hours Cars £5
Up to 12 hours Cars £8
Up to 18 hours Cars £9
Up to 24 hours Cars £12
Up to 48 hours Cars £14
Up to 72 hours Cars £17
Up to 96 hours Cars £20

South Car Park (Yeadon Way) – 24 hours – FY1 6BF

  • 19 Blue badge spaces – free for 3 hours

Payment is by 5 pay and display machines which accept credit/debit cards, coins, contactless – No change given

Up to 3 hours Cars £3.50
Up to 6 hours Cars £6
Up to 12 hours Cars £10
Up to 18 hours Cars £11
Up to 24 hours Cars £12
Up to 48 hours Cars £14
Up to 72 hours Cars £17
Up to 96 hours Cars £20
Up to 45 minutes Coaches £2
Up to 4 hours Coaches £6
Up to 24 hours Coaches £12
Up to 48 hours Coaches £17
Up to 72 hours Coaches £20
Up to 24 hours – Winter Rate Coaches £6
Up to 12 hours Motorhomes £10

South King Street Car Park (Charnley Road) – 24 hours – FY1 4AX

  • 2 Blue Badge spaces

Payment is by pay and display machine which accept credit/debit cards, coins, contactless – No change given

Up to 2 hours Cars £2.50
Up to 4 hours Cars £4
Up to 6 hours Cars £5
Up to 8 hours Cars £6
Up to 12 hours Cars £8
Up to 18 hours Cars £10
Up to 24 hours Cars £12
Up to 48 hours Cars £14
Up to 72 hours Cars £17
Up to 96 hours Cars £20

Talbot Road Multi-storey Car Park – Mon to Sun, 7am to 12 midnight – FY1 3AU

  • 38 Blue badge parking bays are available – However, there is no free parking concession

Payment is by 4 pay on foot machines which accept credit/debit cards and coins – Change given

Up to 2 hours Cars £3
Up to 3 hours Cars £4.50
Up to 4 hours Cars £5.50
Up to 6 hours Cars £7.50
Up to 8 hours Cars £10
Up to 12 hours Cars £12
Up to 18 hours Cars £13
Up to 24 hours Cars £14
Up to 48 hours Cars £16
Up to 72 hours Cars £18
Up to 96 hours Cars £20

West Street Car Park – daily 7.00am – 12.30am – FY1 1HA

  • 9 blue badge spaces

Payment is by 5 pay and display machines, all accept credit cards, debit cards, and coins.
4 also offer contactless payment. If paying with coins please have the correct amount available – No change given

Up to 2 hours Cars £3
Up to 3 hours Cars £4.50
Up to 4 hours Cars £5.50
Up to 6 hours Cars £7.50
Up to 8 hours Cars £10
Up to 12 hours Cars £12
Up to 24 hours Cars £14
Up to 48 hours Cars £16
Up to 72 hours Cars £18
Up to 96 hours Cars £20

Wimbourne Palce Car park (New South Promenade) – 24 hours – FY4 1NJ

  • 4 Blue badge spaces

Payment is by pay and display machine which accept credit/debit cards, coins, contactless – No change given

Up to 2 hours Cars £2.50
Up to 4 hours Cars £4
Up to 6 hours Cars £5
Up to 8 hours Cars £6
Up to 12 hours Cars £8
Up to 18 hours Cars £10
Up to 24 hours Cars £12
Up to 48 hours Cars £14
Up to 72 hours Cars £17
Up to 96 hours Cars £20

 

 

Dirty Dancing stage show coming to Blackpool Opera House

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Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage is set to be one of the first major shows to return to the Opera House Blackpool since the first lockdown in 2020

Baby and Johnny in the stage version of Dirty Dancing.

Baby and Johnny in the stage version of Dirty Dancing.

The cult classic 80s movie is coming to Lancashire as a stage show.

Broadway producer Karl Sydow has announced new 2021 dates for a UK and Ireland tour of Dirty Dancing, including a month-long run in Blackpool.

A dazzlingly renewed version of Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage, will be show at the Blackpool Opera House from Tuesday, August 3, to Saturday, August 28, this year.

Dirty Dancing is set to be one of the first major large scale shows to return to the Opera House Blackpool since the first lockdown began in March 2020.

This is the first time since 2017 that the stage version of the 1987 film, starring Patrick Swayze, will be coming to Lancashire.

The iconic story of Baby and Johnny, featuring the hit songs ‘Hungry Eyes’, ‘Hey! Baby’, ‘Do You Love Me?’ and the heart stopping (I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life’, returns to the stage, following two blockbuster West End runs, four hit UK tours, and multiple sensational international productions.

The stage version of Dirty Dancing is coming to Blackpool.

The stage version of Dirty Dancing is coming to Blackpool.

The stage show originally opened at London’s Aldwych Theatre in 2006 with a record-breaking advance of £15m, making it the fastest ever selling show in West End theatre history.

The production became the longest running show in the history of the Aldwych Theatre and played to over two million people during its triumphant five-year run.

Since its Australian debut in 2004, Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage has become a worldwide phenomenon, with productions staged in the USA, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, South Africa, Hong Kong, Singapore and throughout Europe, consistently breaking box office records.

The first ever UK tour of Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage launched in 2011 and then returned to the West End in 2013 playing at the Piccadilly Theatre in London, prior to launching a second UK and Ireland tour.

Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing (Image: Publicity Picture)

A further tour and West End Christmas season followed in 2016-17.

It went on to embark on a 2018/19 tour, entertaining audiences up and down the country.

Produced by Karl Sydow and written by Eleanor Bergstein who penned the original 1987 film, the stage show features the much-loved characters and original dialogue from the iconic film, as well as exciting extra scenes.

Tickets are on sale now for Dirty Dancing.

 

Blackpool is back! Resort celebrates biggest unlocking of lockdown yet

Home | Blackpool Gazette

The sun shone on the resort, which today celebrated the biggest unlocking of Covid restrictions yet.

With arcades, pubs, eateries and attractions filled by the sound of chatter and laughter – and the jingling of tills – the excitement was palpable as traders declared: ‘Blackpool is back’.

To mark the big day, a 70m etching of the town’s skyline – including the Tower, Central Pier’s big wheel, and the Big One – was raked into the sand on the beach.

“We are thrilled our tourism businesses can get back to doing what they do best – providing fun and entertainment to millions of people,” tourism chief Coun Gillian Campbell said.

To mark the big day, a 70m etching of the town’s skyline – including the Tower, Central Pier’s big wheel, and the Big One – was raked into the sand on the beachTo mark the big day, a 70m etching of the town’s skyline – including the Tower, Central Pier’s big wheel, and the Big One – was raked into the sand on the beach

“The last 15 months have been incredibly difficult but finally we can tell the world that we are back in business.”

The easing of lockdown measures meant major attractions like the Tower and Circus, Sandcastle Waterpark, Coral Island arcade, Sea Life aquarium, and Madame Tussauds waxworks museum could all reopen for the first time in months ahead of the upcoming bank holiday.

Other indoor venues welcoming visitors once again include Winter Gardens, Funny Girls, Viva, and hundreds of hotels and guest houses – including the new Premier Inn North Pier, built on the site of the burned down Yates’s Wine Lodge in Talbot Square.

Friends Mary Caveney and Maria Farrar at the Winter Gardens
Friends Mary Caveney and Maria Farrar at the Winter Gardens

“We are feeling a range of emotions at the moment but mainly we are all raring to go.”

Tower Circus clowns Mooky and Boo took to the Comedy Carpet this afternoon to practice.

Mooky said: “We’ve been rehearsing for this day since the beginning of the second lockdown and we can’t wait to be entertaining live audiences once again.”

Last month, self-catering accommodation and outdoor hospitality and attractions – including the Pleasure Beach, Blackpool Zoo, and the resort’s three piers – were allowed to open.

Jade Benson and Joe Cooper pulling pints in the Brew Room.Jade Benson and Joe Cooper pulling pints in the Brew Room.

The next phase, which would see all remaining restrictions on social contact scrapped, is pencilled in for June 21 – although concern over the Indian variant of coronavirus has cast doubt on that date.

That dark cloud on the horizon didn’t dampen any spirits, though.

Friends Mary Caveney, 69 and Maria Farrar, 68, were among the first few to sit down for a cup of tea and a sandwich in the Winter Gardens.

The pair hadn’t seen each other since before Christmas and were enjoying a catch up.

Three-year-old Jaiden and six-year-old Jasmine at the arcades on Central PierThree-year-old Jaiden and six-year-old Jasmine at the arcades on Central Pier

Maria, of Norbreck Road in Bispham, said: “It’s the first time I have been on the trams in over a year and I am really happy to be out.

“Mary and I haven’t seen each other for quite a while and decided we’d meet today.

“It seems really weird to say it but I have found it quite emotional coming back into Blackpool because it has been so long.

“It’s quite a big deal for me and we had been talking about the Winter Gardens so we have come here especially to have a nice gossip and natter.”

Mary, of Willow Bank Avenue in South Shore, said: “I’m slightly different as I have been out a few times as I can’t stand being cooped up in the house.

“I have been very impressed with how all the businesses have been dealing with the lockdown relaxation so it’s really good to be out.”

The arcades were all open again in BlackpoolThe arcades were all open again in Blackpool

The pair, who have known each other for more than 15 years, have both had their two jabs and feel safer than earlier in the pandemic.

Maria said: “It gives you a sense of security knowing you have the vaccine in you.

“Perhaps it won’t stop me from catching it but it makes me feel like I won’t end up in hospital with it.

“I don’t like wearing my mask at all but I do it out of courtesy and you don’t have to wear it while you are sitting down having a bite to eat and a cuppa anyway.”

Mary added: “There has been far fewer flu and food poisoning since we all started wearing masks so I’m all for them.

“I don’t like wearing them all the time but they have their plus points.

“It makes you think how many people haven’t been washing their hands all these years.”

Susan and Barry Taylor from Bispham said they think the resort is back in business for good – and had a pint at The Brew Room in Church Street for the first time this year.

Susan, 70, said: “It feels really good to be in the pub again after the year we have had.

“I’ve had problems with my heart and am having tests on it, so it feels great to have something to look forward to and enjoy at the moment.

“We really like the food in here and we knew it would be one of the first places to go once it reopened.

“It’s also great to be supporting local business and workers in Blackpool because they have all been hit hard recently.

Barry, 69, added: “It really does feel great to be doing things in Blackpool again and back in some sort of routine.

“It’s a Marmite town but one that some people really do love and it is great to see people coming back on their holidays here so soon as well.

“For Susan and I, it’s just great to be able to have a stroll round town and pop in for some pub grub, which we have been missing.

“We just have to hope that this is the last of the virus and we don’t get pushed into another lockdown.”

Businessman and former Blackpool mayor Robert Wynne, owner of The Brew Room, The Rose and Crown, and West Coast Rock Cafe, said the response to lockdown relaxation has been super.

He said: “It has been a really positive start for all three places.

“We are offering online table bookings and in the last two weeks we have done 1,200 bookings.

“We are also allowing walk-in customers and the response at West Coast has been brilliant on the first day.

“It’s great to have both Blackpool residents and tourists back in the town and with even more options for them to do something they haven’t been able to do in so long.”

Friends Gail Prasher, Maureen Penfold and Eve Wells from Banbury in Oxfordshire came to Blackpool for the weekend and had been looking forward to the resort’s arcades being open again.

The trio were at Central Pier on the penny machines.

Gail said: “I’ve been coming to Blackpool every year since I was a child and I just really enjoy it.

“With all the restrictions being relaxed we thought we would make a weekend of it.

“It’s just nice that we can do stuff like this again and not be in fear of the virus all the time.

“It does help having the vaccine as well.”

Maureen added: “I think doing things like being at the arcade helps a bit with your mental health as it is something different for your brain to try out.

“We’ve not had much luck yet in the arcade – but fingers crossed we will before we leave.”

And Eve said: “The thing I most enjoy about Blackpool is the same thing I have missed in the last year – socialising. Everyone is so friendly here and they make you feel welcome.

“It’s always good to get the opportunity to come and we have all had a good weekend of shopping, drinking and enjoying being out with friends again.”

James Mulachy from Liverpool visited with his family and also took advantage of the arcades reopening to entertain his children, Jaiden, three, and Jasmine, six.

He said: “We hired a lodge for the weekend because the children really love it in Blackpool.

“It’s really good to get away from your house because after so long you get sick of seeing the same thing all the time.

“We head back today but it was good to get them into the arcades after so long.

“Each relaxation of the lockdown feels like normality is being resumed again and it has definitely put a smile on Jaiden and Jasmine.”

WHAT CHANGED?

Since midnight, people in England have been able to meet outdoors in groups of up to 30, and indoors in groups of six, or two households.

Pubs and restaurants are able to serve customers outdoors, although they are still limited to table service.

Other recreational venues such as cinemas, museums, theatres, and concert halls are allowed to open, although there are capacity limits on large events.

Up to 30 people are allowed at weddings, and the cap on the number of mourners attending funerals was lifted, in line with the safe capacity of venues.

Secondary school pupils in most areas are no longer being told to wear face masks in class and communal areas, and university students can return to campus for in-person lectures.

The ‘stay in the UK’ restriction has lifted and people can travel to ‘green list’ countries without having to quarantine, provided they take on post-arrival test.

FLY IN THE OINTMENT?

Boris Johnson and health experts urged people to exercise caution when they head to pubs and restaurants as the lockdown eases despite concerns about the spread of an Indian coronavirus variant.

Although ministers believe the vaccines will be effective against the highly transmissible Indian variant of concern, there are worries about the impact of its spread on those who have refused to have a jab or not yet been offered one.

The Prime Minister urged people to treat the latest easing of restrictions with a “heavy dose of caution” while Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng warned against excessive drinking for those returning to bars.

Mr Kwarteng insisted the June 21 date for the ending of restrictions in England was still likely to be met.

He said “people should have common sense, they should use judgment and I think if we act in a reasonable way, there is no reason to suppose that we can’t reopen the economy entirely on June 21”.

He added: “We need to be cautious because if we get too carried away and the mutant variant spreads too quickly, that could endanger our ability to open up on June 21.”

Professor Graham Medley, a member of the Government’s Sage scientific advisory panel, said the chances of the June 21 date being delayed was “well less than 50 per cent” but added “it is uncertain”.

The main cause for concern is the Indian variant, which is on the way to becoming the dominant strain in some places including Bolton and Blackburn.

A major campaign has been launched to encourage people in those areas to receive a jab.

Mr Kwarteng said he did not want to “stigmatise people” over vaccine hesitancy, but said: “We’re not exactly where we want to be among certain communities but I think the take-up has been much greater in the last few months and more and more people are convinced that this is the way to keep themselves and their families safe.”

Dr Helen Wall, who is leading the vaccination effort in Bolton, said over the weekend more than 6,200 vaccines were administered in the area.

She said before the weekend there were around 10,000 people in the area in the highest priority groups, those deemed to be clinically vulnerable and the over-50s, who were yet to be vaccinated, but added: “I’m hoping that we’ve made a big dent into that now”.

Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, said there were “concerns” about small numbers of older people who are yet to take up their vaccine offer.

“The biggest risk comes from, if there are large numbers of older people who are unvaccinated,” he said.

Mr Kwarteng defended the timing of tougher restrictions being imposed on travel from India amid speculation decisions may have been delayed due to the Prime Minister’s planned trade mission to the country in April.

India was placed on the red list, effectively banning travel except for returning Britons who had to go into a quarantine hotel, on April 23.

“It is easy with hindsight to say things could have been better or quicker and all the rest of it, but I think there was a balanced approach,” he said.

Despite the pleas for caution, some drinkers took advantage of the relaxations to sink pints shortly after midnight yesterday.

 

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.

How the first talkies brought riot of camera action to Blackpool

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Historian David Hewitt looks back at the very first movies which screened in Blackpool, 90 years ago

It is ninety years since the first talking picture to be filmed in Blackpool was actually shown here.

Talkies had come to the town a couple of years before, and while the first two of them starred Al Jolson, The Singing Fool was seen – and heard – at the Hippodrome long before The Jazz Singer at the Winter Gardens.

Then, No Lady was the talk of the town. In the summer of 1930, the Promenade was suddenly a riot of cameras and lights, men with bullhorns, and crowds of excited onlookers.

English actor Lupino Lane  Photo: Getty ImagesEnglish actor Lupino Lane Photo: Getty Images

The star, and also the director, of this film was the great Lupino Lane, who had been born Hackney and claimed to come from ‘the Royal Family of Greasepaint’. What he had come from most recently was a decade in Hollywood, where he had made films with the likes of Roscoe ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle and DW Griffith.

Now, Lupino played a man who goes on holiday with his wife and children, only to be mistaken for a foreign spy who is determined to stop the British champion winning a prestigious flying competition.

And while there would certainly be talking in this film, there would also be music – much of it the work of Herman Darewski, who was well-known at the seaside.

A popular dance band leader, Mr Darewski was also a prolific composer. (The Great War hit Sister Susie’s Sewing Shirts for Soldiers had been one of his.) He spoke five languages and always wore a carnation in his button hole, and he too appears in No Lady, albeit as conductor of something called the ‘Blackpool Tower Band’. In real life, Herman had spent the summer playing at the Empress Ballroom in the Winter Gardens.

American singing entertainer Al Jolson leaning on a radiogram. Photo: Getty ImagesAmerican singing entertainer Al Jolson leaning on a radiogram. Photo: Getty Images

Before that, he had spent a good few seasons in Bridlington, where his salary (in today’s money) was £11,000 a week. He had recently written the music for another Lupino Lane film, and when he arrived here he found himself caught up in a debate that had been raging for several days. ‘I have never found that Blackpool girls are gold-diggers,’ he told a reporter.

The ‘interior’ shots for No Lady had already been filmed, on elaborate sets put up in studios at Shepherd’s Bush. And the man who designed those sets had his own local connection.

Andrew Mazzei had lived in Blackpool for a while, and even been married here, and most recently he had designed the Olympia Hall, which had been built inside the Winter Gardens complex, in the place where the Big Wheel had once stood. In his mid-forties by now, he was the veteran of many films since making his debut with an early version of Hindle Wakes.

The weather in Blackpool that August was distinctly changeable, with daytime temperatures in the mid-eighties, but filming frequently brought to a halt by thunderstorms. There were as many people bathing between the piers as promenading, with thousands more basking in deckchairs. And a barker at the entrance to North Pier could be heard to shout, ‘Come and see Mr Lane make a Talkie!’

Blackpool Winter Gardens, 1940. Photo: Getty ImagesBlackpool Winter Gardens, 1940. Photo: Getty Images

In Talbot Square, the onlookers had to be held back by a rope, and by the combined efforts of local policemen and Boy Scouts. Mr Darewski and his band serenaded them with a medley of popular tunes. And the Mayor, perhaps hoping to catch the director’s attention, had turned up in the full civic regalia.

Lupino Lane’s last few American were doing the rounds at this time – The Love Parade, in which he appeared alongside Maurice Chevalier, the most prominent – and in the evenings, local cinemas showed several of them back-to-back. Then, at the end of the week, there was a glittering ball at the Winter Gardens, attended by the star and other members of the cast, with drinking past eleven o’clock and dancing until two.

It was in London the following May that No Lady was shown to the film trade, just as Andrew Mazzei’s latest creations – including the Baronial Hall, the Spanish Hall, and the Galleon Bar – were opening for business at the Winter Gardens.

The trade paper The Bioscope was impressed, calling the film ‘splendid entertainment for patrons of every age, class and nationality.’ Kinematograph Weekly, meanwhile, called it ‘excellent light entertainment,’ which, ‘moves at a merry pace and works up to a capital climax.’

In Blackpool, the grand opening night was Sunday, 12th July 1931, with the film being shown at the Winter Gardens not only in the afternoon, and twice in the evening, but at 10.30 in the morning as well. ‘A screaming farce of Blackpool holiday life!’ the advertisements proclaimed. ‘See yourself on the screen in this, the greatest British Talkie yet produced.’

Over seventy breathless minutes, and whether or not they caught sight of themselves, audiences would see Lupino get chased by the police, run into a ladies’ baths, come out dressed as a woman, get chased by bathing beauties, descend from the top of the Metropole Hotel using his umbrella as a parachute, get chased by his own wife, walk off Central Pier in a striped blazer, dangle from one of the flying boats on the Pleasure Beach, run in and out of cars and trams, make his get-away along the beach, ride a tricycle through a Punch & Judy show, fly a glider, crash the glider onto the beach, and be left spinning on his head like a child’s top.

And this created excitement in other towns as well. ‘No need to go to Blackpool,’ one cheeky cinema-owner announced, ‘We bring it to Burnley,’ and a local newspaper said of the film, ‘If you like your humour broad and unsubtle you will thoroughly enjoy it.’ Up the road in Nelson it was described as ‘a thrill-a-minute, laugh-a-second type of entertainment’, while even in far-away Newquay they were hailing it ‘a hilarious affair, which completely captivates the holiday spirit.’ Whatever its merits, No Lady would be re-released in 1943, long after its star had stopped making films, at a time when the people of Britain needed to be cheered up all over again.