Where Every Day Was Less Like Sunday: Blackpool in the 1980s and 1990s

A nostalgic reflection of the UK’s best loved seaside resort

Central Pier, Blackpool
Central Pier, Blackpool. Owing to the shortage of 1980s and 1990s pictures I have of the resort, this was photographed in 2011. (Sorry, and there’s no way I could have Photoshopped someone with a mullet wearing a shell suit whilst listening to Matt Bianco on a Walkman).

‘Manchester on Sea’, the ‘UK’s Biggest Playground’, and a ‘Place Which Imports Its Own Idiots’; these are a few of the things which most people refer to Blackpool as. Everybody, whether they’ve been to Blackpool or not always have an opinion of the resort. It never tries to be another Brighton, San Tropez or Southwold. It is Blackpool. It is without exception, a one-off, and a place which numerous resorts have tried to imitate yet fail to do so. Continue reading “Where Every Day Was Less Like Sunday: Blackpool in the 1980s and 1990s”

Once Seen, Seldom Ventured: 2. The National Centre for Popular Music, Sheffield

A Silver Timpani Based White Elephant

Sheffield has a proud musical heritage. From Joe Cocker to Jarvis Cocker, and Cabaret Voltaire to the Human League, it, along with Manchester and Liverpool would have been good places for a musical archive of some description. Whereas Liverpool and Manchester is world famous for its popular culture, few people outside of Northern England may be familiar with the Sheffield scene. Continue reading “Once Seen, Seldom Ventured: 2. The National Centre for Popular Music, Sheffield”

Once Seen, Seldom Ventured: Britannia Park, Ilkeston, Derbyshire

The first of a series of forgotten and unsuccessful tourist attractions on East of the M60

As we get older, memories aren’t the only thing which fade from view. In time, our schools will close. Bus routes will change, tourist attractions will change or close, and friends leave us. Some of which may have fond memories of their schooldays, the original 53 bus route, or riding the Bobs at Belle Vue Zoological Gardens and Amusement Park. Continue reading “Once Seen, Seldom Ventured: Britannia Park, Ilkeston, Derbyshire”

The 10 Wonders of Greater Manchester: Decision Time

Cue Peter Dickson voiceover and competitors’ voting faces…!

From over 100 submissions to 15 finalists, the Ten Wonders of Greater Manchester will be decided by a public vote. The 15 finalists facing the public vote are:

  • Media City (Salford Quays);
  • John Rylands Library (Manchester);
  • Whitworth Park (Chorlton-on-Medlock);
  • Salford Quay Millennium Footbridge (Manchester Ship Canal, Salford Quays/Trafford Park);
  • Victoria Park (Chorlton-on-Medlock);
  • Peace Garden Statue (Manchester);
  • Imperial War Museum North (Trafford Park);
  • Chetham’s Library (Manchester);
  • Astley Green Colliery (Tyldesley);
  • Cheesden Mill (Heywood);
  • URBIS (Manchester);
  • Old Trafford (Manchester United Football Club, Old Trafford);
  • Rochdale Town Hall (Rochdale);
  • Spinningfields (Manchester);
  • Scouthead. Continue reading “The 10 Wonders of Greater Manchester: Decision Time”

My Wonders of Greater Manchester: The Not So Perfect 10

Follow on from my previous post on System One’s promotion are my Wonders of Greater Manchester, the subject for my Not So Perfect 10. In no particular order, they are:

  • Dunham Massey Hall and Gardens, Dunham Town near Altrincham;
  • Victoria Baths, Chorlton-on-Medlock, Manchester;
  • Dovestones to Hobson Moor, Greenfield to Mottram-in-Longdendale;
  • The 343 bus route, Oldham to Hyde;
  • Marple Locks to Gee Cross, Peak Forest Canal, Marple – Gee Cross;
  • Stalybridge Station Buffet Bar, Platform One, Rassbottom Street, Stalybridge;
  • Central Library, St Peter’s Square, Manchester;
  • Liverpool Road Railway Station/MOSI, Liverpool Road, Manchester;
  • Hartshead Pike, Ashton-under-Lyne;
  • Heaton Park, Prestwich. Continue reading “My Wonders of Greater Manchester: The Not So Perfect 10”

Sun, Sea, Sand, Spells and Steam Trains

NRM York goes back to the 1930s seaside holiday.

GWR Class 5600 0-6-2 Tank, 6693 pulling into Swanage station (British Railways livery).

I have been a long term rail user since 2005, and a railway enthusiast since 1984. After being whisked to Barry Island and Ayr before starting school, I spent part of these holidays on British Rail’s Inter-City services from Manchester Victoria and Piccadilly stations. The one place which gave me the railway bug was York. Continue reading “Sun, Sea, Sand, Spells and Steam Trains”