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  • John Woodman

Abingdon Street Makeover

Through the decades Abingdon Street has seen ever evolving changes to transport services along its relatively short distance. Up to 1962 trams slowly made their way past the GPO and Market to pick up homebound shoppers on daily trips into town. Bus services of all types traversed this once busy commercial centre which has now fallen on hard times.

Coop & Naylors stationary shop served the needs of young and old (I still have a hardback notebook for recording Blackpool buses in the early 1960s - embossed with the business name in gold. They did things with style in those days. Across the street almost stood Bateson's - the town's premier toy and hobby shop with three levels of model trains, Dinkys, Britain's lead soldiers, all manner of board games, and dolls to delight the female market.

Hunters Mens Store dominated the corner with Clifton Street facing the GPO's imposing facade all in an era when Blackpool's mailing needs were coordinated from the building and an array of customer options were dealt with from behind ornate metal grills. Today a far less appealing offer of closed shop windows, unkempt structures and soulless charity stores has driven away to Hounds Hill's centre - most of the relative quality outlets from this entire area of Blackpool's town centre.

But Blackpool's bus services continue to dominate traffic to the extent that a whole new strip of angled bus stops with new shelters is being created to replace the previous mundane arrangement for outbound services. This latest development continues the town centre strategy for bus interchanges which began on Market Street and more recently Corporation Street. It will be interesting to see if the cluster of bus stops next to the Wilko store on Talbot Road will similarly be revamped to the angled design now evident elsewhere.

Abingdon Street bus stance redevelopment between Clifton Street and Talbot Road - work ongoing today.

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