BLACKPOOL: A HIDDEN HISTORY

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Although today and for many years, Blackpool has been a town of the limelight, glitz and even perhaps glamour, it has with it one of the most interesting histories of any British town.

Aside from its football team reaching the heights of the Premiership a couple of seasons ago, did you know that the town itself has quite an interesting past?

Did you know for example, that during the Second World War, Hitler ordered Blackpool to be spared from the blitz of 1940?

Although some would even question as to whether Hitler may have even heard of the seaside resort, documents uncovered in 2009 suggest that Hitler wanted to save Blackpool from destruction for the very thing that we use it for today;

Holidays.

According to Richard Alleyne of The Telegraph:

“His invasion plans of Great Britain included making the Lancashire resort a headquarters for his paratroopers and also a “playground” for him and his men.

Ever since the war, residents of the town have always questioned as to why Blackpool escaped much of the same bombing that nearby cities such as Sheffield and Manchester were subject.

This was especially curious as during the war, much of the town was home to troops as well as major aircraft manufacturing bases.

Interestingly enough, even though Hitler himself was to spare Blackpool and its famous tower from destruction, the same however cannot be said of the USSR who during the Cold War, held plans to invade the country through the beaches of Blackpool itself.

According to a map which has recently surfaced, it showed invasion plans of the seaside town; though they have since been heralded as nothing more than ‘fantasy prospects’ for Moscow during the time in which they were drawn (1974).

The map features administrative buildings, military sites and radio and telephone stations, not to mention Blackpool Zoo.

Besides military invasions, when did tourism fight its way into Blackpool?

Interestingly, the period during the first half of the 20th century is regarded as the heyday for Blackpool tourism; much of this thanks to factory workers from all over the North of England spending their holiday days there during the summer.

There is however, no reason why we should not visit Blackpool today, as there are a great many attractions for people of all ages to feast their eyes on. Whether you’re young enough to fancy a ride on the Pepsi Max or relaxed enough to have a stroll through Grade II listed Stanley Park, the chances are that you’ll never be afforded the opportunity to become bored in Blackpool.

The reason for the resorts popularity in the early 20th century was however due to coach trips from cities such as Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle and Sheffield, dating back to the industrial revolution when changes in the law granted workers right to a week’s paid holiday.

Since then Blackpool has continued to be a popular destination for tourists from all around the world.

There are several travel options to visit Blackpool and with more
and more tourist conscious of both the environment and prices coach
holidays are becoming increasingly popular.

There are several UK coach holiday companies offering coach trips to Blackpool such as National Holidays.
If coach holidays aren’t your thing, but you’d still like to use public
transport Blackpool also has two railway stations (depending where you’re
travelling from); Blackpool North & Blackpool South.

For more information about this visit the National Rail website.

 

photo by Michael D Beckwith