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  • Writer's pictureJohn Woodman

Easter Weekend - Blackpool April 2020

This important holiday weekend is like no other in Blackpool or indeed anywhere else in Europe. Whilst ordinarily crowds would be flocking in to the seaside resort especially given the warming sunshine and mild breeze - instead the town centre resembles a ghost town (or nearly) with isolated pedestrians and slow moving lines waiting their individual turn to enter this or that food emporium.

All non essential retail outlets are closed with only health and medical venues together with those selling food allowed to stay open. And even then with severe restrictions on the numbers permitted to enter at any one time. Security and store supervising staff maintaining a cordon around entrances.

Blackpool's trams are not running at all, whilst already trimmed bus services are being further limited in frequency and duration. The promenade at North Pier is bereft of parked heritage cars while would be passengers for the regular service trams are directed to the Promenade 1 Service, itself reduced in frequency between Starr Gate and Fleetwood.

One bonus is the permanent closure (finally) of the Wilko property in Blackpool centre, as well as the blaring noise emitting from bars along the Talbot Road strip down to the promenade. Overall the town is cloaked in a subdued calm with little traffic and sparse pedestrians. With no places of entertainment or amusement being open only the sea and sand beckons any visitors able to ignore the frequent all-embracing warnings from Government to 'stay at home'. It seems from a brief incursion I took today for fresh vegetables and fish at Abingdon Street's market - itself closing for the duration very shortly - the message has had its desired affect.

With the reduced frequency of all bus services, there is little need for Blackpool's remaining Trident type buses and their bold yellow and black styling from a now past era - has finally gone into seclusion. Possibly never to return. Below : Better times on the seafront -------

A reminder of better times and busier holidays. A 'snap' taken from crossbench 619 on its way (very slowly) past central promenade during a Blackpool Air Show. One which showcased (for the last time) a flypast of the Vulcan Bomber seen above the ferris wheel on Central Pier. This was one of the few times I actually rode on this retro car now at Heaton Park in a different guise - and one which memorably allowed me a firsthand view of this great aircraft going through its paces for the benefit of record crowds on Blackpool's seafront. Quite remarkably another Vulcan sat for years outside Squires Gate Airport at the public entrance. Owned privately - it was finally broken up.

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