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Blackpool's Holiday Heyday
Images of resort’s golden era
Celebrated and sneered at, praised and patronised in equal measure, Blackpool remains Britain’s biggest, brashest and most vibrant holiday resort, drawing 18 million annual visits – despite the rival attractions of the Mediterranean sun. But many of these are day trips and short breaks rather than the traditional week by the sea.
In this lavishly produced pictorial history of the resort’s golden era, former Blackpool Gazette journalist Barry McLoughlin chronicles the six decades up to the mid-1960s when the town was queen of the seaside holiday and overseas stays were only just starting to take off.
The book includes chapters on the Pleasure Beach, Tower, Golden Mile, three piers, theatres, dancehalls, accommodation, railways, the famous tramway and football.
130 illustrations in colour and black-and-white, ranging from rare postcards to high-quality photojournalism and memorabilia, highlight the people and places that gave Blackpool its unique character.
Although the book presents a nostalgic view of Blackpool’s heyday, it also highlights the contradictions of the resort’s identity as the UK’s tourism capital, contrasting the neon glitz of the Golden Mile with pockets of severe social deprivation today.
It examines the dilemmas created by the town’s dual identity over the years. Should it be a genteel middleclass ‘watering place’ or a proletarian playground? Should it be a ‘family resort’ or a party town for nightclubbers? Should the interests of residents or tourism take priority?
It is not intended as a definitive history of Blackpool, more of an impressionistic snapshot – literally – of an extraordinary era.
Reviews of Blackpool..
The Journalist, magazine of the National Union of Journalists (TUC Best Union Journal of the Year)
Life member Barry McLoughlin's book recalls the glory years of working-class tourism.
In this pictorial history, the former Blackpool Gazette chief reporter chronicles the halcyon days of the world's first proletarian playground in the six decades up to the 1960s.
More than 130 illustrations in black-and-white and colour.
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