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  • Writer's pictureJohn Woodman

history under our feet

Quite apart from the frequent sighting of tram rails protruding from the road surface from time to time, and giving contractors headaches every time they start digging on a former tram route - there are other artifacts clearly visible under our feet if we choose to look carefully. Below : King Edward Avenue just off the prom. Note the exposed 'cobbles' or 'setts' from the original roadway at this point.

For example small metal gratings appear with great frequency in Blackpool with the letters FWB. Older residents casting their minds back to more salubrious times can recall these stand for 'Fylde Water Board' which administered the provision and supply of water in this part of Lancashire. This was well before the nasty sell off of public owned assets, infrastructure and services to the private sector by politicians in thrall to the City of London and vampire like financial 'services'.

Blackpool Corporation once upon a time administered its own drainage and sanitation operations. Little evidence exists of this lesser known aspect of municipal enterprise but if you walk along Blundell Street on the east side of that soon to be redeveloped thoroughfare - you will encounter a classic manhole cover carefully labelled 'Blackpool Corporation Sewers 1914'. No doubt the cover would have been manufactured in the nearby Corporation Foundry which was the source of much of the promenade railings at the beginning of the 20th Century as well as a diversity of gratings, lamp posts and yes - tram stops.

For those with an interest in such industrial or municipal archeology - these relics still abound and waiting to be recorded and photographed for 'the record'. They aren't likely to feature in the forthcoming 'Museum of Blackpool' at the Winter Gardens complex - but nonetheless were integral (like the tramlines) to the making of the town in days of formative and then rapid growth from the 1880s to 1910. Take a walk and take a look ! Below : Blundell Street's archeology still there for the curious (but not for long). Our Civic Trust to the rescue ? NOT....

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