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  • Writer's pictureJohn Woodman

Blackpool Town Centre - Heyday

John Woodman

With all of the varied schemes, projects, investments and redevelopments, the town centre struggles to gain any semblance of its former times when pavements were crowded, shops and stores busy with customers and window browsers. The arid space surrounding what was once St John's Church is a long way away from its former hub of commerce and traffic. To gain just a single glimpse of a once thriving era - below is an image taken in 1960 by the author looking east along Church Street. A Marton service tram heading into the town centre is nearing the sharp turn into Abingdon Street behind the camera, with varied makes of current models parked on Church Street. Note the neatly installed overhead span wiring by way of contrast to the latest examples now in place at Talbot Square. Image : John Woodman

Players Please signage affixed to the building was a prominent feature reinforcing that cigarette brand while several shop fronts have their 'blinds' lowered to reduce sunlight on the display area. In the far background is the white tiled dome of the Regent Cinema which still stands today, whilst the large obtrusive structure on the left side is the former Hippodrome Cinema in its new guise as the ABC cinema and theatre. Marton trams had another two years to go before they were taken off and replaced by the 26 Bus Service. The driver of this car has his nearside cab windscreen fully open to benefit from inswept breeze.

The numerous pedestrians are for the most part smartly dressed and physically able with few if any with obese features or requiring mobility aids. All of this was to emerge towards the end of the century fuelled by media brand advertising - with consequences being endured to the present day.


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