5 August 2010

Starting with the town of Blackpool, more vintage old images will be added, including Cleveleys, Thornton, Fleetwood, Poulton-le-Fylde, St. Annes, Lytham, Knott End, and other rural parts !

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Please enjoy looking through the images taken from postcards etc. These are just a small selection that we have in our collection.  No more images will be added and have not been for at least a year, as time is limited when cleaning up the image. 

Blackpool in 1836 -  Looking South

This early engraving of Blackpool in about 1840 shows the Lane Ends Hotel, now part of old Lewis’s site. Beyond, with its tall chimneys, is Sir Benjamin Heywood’s new marine residence, West Hey (Tower site). Further on is the Royal Hotel and Lower Blackpool in the distance.


Welcome to Blackpoolpostcards.co.uk..we hope that you enjoy having a look around. Items which are displayed include vintage postcards, antique cabinet cards, carte de visites, theatre programmes, photographs, tickets, medals, badges, booklets plus more items associated with Blackpool.


Blackpool : A Pictorial History

An excellent book full of superb early Blackpool photographs in brilliant detail

This official publication offers superb quality images, detailed captions and much more by the local historian, Ted Lightbown

The profits from proceeds of the sale of this book went to a worthy charity


Blackpool in 1840

A more accurate representation of Central Beach in the 1840′s showing the path down to the front of the  Lane Ends Hotel.  The latter’s small bath house adjoins it to the south and from it extends Hygiene Terrace (Lewis’s old site) to Flagstaff at Victoria Street




Blackpool Through Time: A Second Selection

by  Allan W. Wood


Few towns conjure up such stirring impressions as Blackpool. Cheerfully unpretentious and brash with all the trimmings one would expect of a traditional seaside resort, Blackpool remains the iconic resort town, but there is more to its richly coloured history than you might think. This absorbing collection of images reveals the changing face of the town during the past century. These images help highlight Blackpool’s remarkable transformation from a fledgling resort. Aspects of everyday life are featured here, including social occasions, the pleasure steamers that once plied their trade from the piers, seaside entertainment and old cherished street scenes of bygone Blackpool. This book is a valuable pictorial history, which will awaken nostalgic memories for some readers, while offering a unique glimpse of the past for others.


Blackpool during September of the year 2012…..but over the past two hundred or so years, it was quite a different place !!


 The aim of these pages is to provide a historical visual history of the Fylde coast


 You can browse around the site or use the Search to find a particular street or building. Where possible we have added the date of the picture, if known. The ‘street scenes’ are listed under Streets A-Z . To make the promenade easier to view, it has been divided into North, Central and South at the recognised area. As the promenade began to grow, the areas changed name, i.e. South Parade became Central Beach, Central Parade became Central Promenade, then the individual terraces became one continuous promenade as the numbering system changed. So, on this site they have been placed where they would be today.


View of the North Pier in 1863


All items which show the images are owned by myself, unless credited to a third party

Every picture is clear and easy to see, and described in detail where possible

More detailed descriptions will be added in time !



Blackpool, a favourite destination for many millions of visitors over the past 250 years or so !

In 1990 Blackpool was officially pronounced “Europe’s Busiest Resort”.

The picture postcard craze started just as Blackpool began to become the  No. 1 Seaside resort to visit by the Lancashire folk !


An amazing advert placed in the BLACKPOOL HERALD in June 1887  !


Colour covers from the 1899 edition of the Blackpool holiday guide


The Wheel, the Gigantic Wheel, the Big Wheel , the Great Wheel and the Jolly Wheel are some of the names given to this huge attraction. Open on the 22nd August 1896.

The Gigantic Wheel was opened at the corner of Adelaide Street and Coronation Street by James Pearson. Built by Arrol Brothers, it was 220 feet high with 30 carriages, each holding 30 passengers, and featured a car equipped with a ping-pong table.

This view from Coronation Street shows how big this attraction was. The advertisement for FELDMANS can be seen on the carriages. The buildings still survive and look much the same today.


89 Albert Road – 1915


Inside, above the door reads, ‘Mrs Pilling’


Early view of St. Annes Pier – Included in the Fylde category


In 1876 Blackpool received a charter of incorporation and became a Borough.

William H. Cocker was the first Mayor of Blackpool


First Mayor of Blackpool 1876-7-8. William. Henry Cocker Esq. J.P.

William was born on December 9th 1836 in a house built by his father at Hygiene Terrace on the promenade where the Lewis’s store was located a few years ago, later Woolworths, now T.J. Hughes. In 1858, he married Betsey Pilling of Rochdale, who died in 1908. Their marriage was childless, as was his brother’s. William’s father was Dr John Cocker, who came to Blackpool from Tockholes, near Darwen, in 1828

He too had been a Blackpool pioneer, erecting the resort’s first public entertainment hall, the Victoria Promenade, in 1837. It survived at the corner of Victoria Street and Bank Hey Street until demolished just 11 years ago. It is now the site of a fancy jewellery shop. John Cocker married Jane, the younger daughter of Henry Banks, whose estate stretched up Church Street in the early years of the 19th century. In 1851, Dr John Cocker bought Bank Hey House at the top of Victoria Street. In 1875, three years after John’s death, William was able to offer his late father’s house and other former Banks’ land for the site of the Winter Gardens and, in fact, part of the 1846 house survives inside the Winter Gardens today

1875 was also the year that Dr Cocker gave up his practise as a surgeon and opened a menagerie and aquarium to the public in what had been the Prince of Wales Arcade and previously the large mansion West Hey

It became the site of the Tower and the aquarium was incorporated into the Tower Buildings, an area which survived until Merlin’s current work of turning it into a dungeon attraction. The fish and other aquatic creatures are said to have gone down the promenade to the Sea Life centre

The man who was Blackpool’s first mayor and first freeman died on Good Friday April 14th 1911, and was buried on April 18th. Buried at St. John’s church in the town centre, and relocated during recent work in the area known as St. John’s Square

His philosophy was that money was there to be used, and he spent much on entertaining, most famously when he picked up the tab for the lavish banquet held for the Lord Mayor of London and the mayors of 68 towns at the opening of the Winter Gardens in 1878

Having once lived in large bungalows on Bond Street and at Bloomfield Road, now the site of a Lidl store, he ended up in relative poverty in a modest house on Whitegate Drive

Blackpool received its Charter of Incorporation and became a Municipal Borough on January the 21st 1876 and “Progress” was chosen as the town motto


County Borough of Blackpool – Jubilee of Incorporation Certificate – 1876 – 1926

The first Municipal Election was held on the 11th of april 1876. Doctor William H Cocker became first Mayor

The Mayor’s Chain of Office was made in September 1876, but was not worn to a meeting of the Council until the 4th of December 1897

The first Mayor donated it to the Council


An early colour postcard showing the Early Blackpool badge.


The original Town Badge was also donated by the Cocker family in 1876. The Badge, which depicts a lifeboat, a sailing ship, a bathing hut and a pier, could not be described correctly in heraldic terms and was therefore never formally adopted as the town’s Coat of Arms

Replaced in June 1899 by the Coat of Arms below


An early colour ‘Ja Ja Heraldic Series’ postcard showing the later Blackpool Crest and ‘Progress’ motto

Granted by Heralds’ College Blackpool County Borough Corporation was given its Coat of Arms on the 10th of June 1899

They are officially described as follows:

ARMS: Barry wavy of eight Sable and Or a Seagull volant proper on a Chief Argent a thunderbolt also proper between a Fleur-de-Lis and a Lion rampant both Gules

CREST: On a Wreath of the Colours on the Battlements of a Tower or the Sails of a windmill saltirewise proper surmounted in the centre by a Rose Gules barbed and seeded also proper

MOTTO: “Progress”

The black wavy bars represent the waves of the sea at Blackpool and the golden bars the bright shining sands of the beach. The seagull is an emblem suitable for a seaside resort .The thunderbolt depicts the enterprise of Blackpool as a pioneer in the adoption of electricity for lighting and traction. The fleur-de-lis and the lion were distinguishing features in the arms of the Banks and Cocker families respectively, and their inclusion perpetuates the close association of those families with the early history of the town. The battlements of a tower represent “corporateness” and are the emblem of grandeur and solidity. The sails of a windmill refer to the Fylde, which had many windmills, and to the healthgiving breezes for which Blackpool is so well known. The red rose refers to the County of Lancashire


Jubilee of Incorporation Badge – 1926

The Civic Flag was hoisted over the Town Hall for the first time on the 9th of March

 Blackpool Jubilee 1926 – Pathe Film


Jubilee of Incorporation Badge – 1926

Shows Tom Bickerstaffe , the Mayor in the Jubilee Year


Superb programme for the Diamond Jubilee of  Blackpool’s Incorporation – 1936

In 1898 the Town Council was enlarged from 18 Councillors and 6 Aldermen to 36 and 12 respectively. Then in 1904 Blackpool became a County Borough. In 1917, Bispham was incorporated as a new ward of Blackpool, with 3 Councillors and 1 Alderman.

The rapidly developing town of Blackpool was constituted as a County Borough on the 1st October 1904 - a status the town retained until the 1974 reorganisation of local government.


Wilfred Ashley, Lt. Colonel, Born 1867.

He held the office of Member of Parliament for Blackpool between 1906 and 1918

The registration AA35 is now on a Nissan Navara Pickup !



Candy Town Carnival

Blackpool Tower Children’s Spectacular 1949 Ballet


Church Parade, North Pier – How many people are there ??


The Tower Zoo closed down in 1969, but the council decided that the resort should retain its own zoological collection, and the first plans were drawn up for a prospective zoo.

Blackpool Zoo was opened on the 6th of July 1972, by Johnny Morris of TV’s Animal Magic, who rode in front of the Mayor’s car on Tower Circus elephant Katsula. 3,543 visitors attended the event. The Zoo originally housed 2 Asian Elephants, 3 White Rhinos, 2 Giraffe, Sea Lions, Gorillas, Chimpanzees, Orang-utans, Lions, 2 Giant Tortoises and a Free Flight Bird Hall. It now houses over 1500 creatures. The zoo offices and an education classroom were housed in the old air traffic control building, with hangars being used to house the elephants, and for food storage, quarantine and site maintenance. In the previous year, the Children’s Pantomime Committee had presented the zoo with two elm trees, which were planted at either side of the entrance.The Corporation bought the land on East Park Drive in 1969 to build a Zoo and a Safari Park. They then sold all but the 32 acres on which the zoo stands, and Blackpool Golf Club and the De Vere Hotel now occupy the land that was originally intended for the safari park.

A selection of postcards with the Blackpool crest

Three Raphael Tuck cards from the ‘Heraldic‘ series with colour embossed crests. The first shows ‘The Tower’ and dated 1902. The second is called ‘Low Tide’ and has a Victorian stamp dated 1901.  The third is called ‘High Tide’ and dated on the reverse 1903.

The Tower - 1902

Low Tide – 1901

High Tide – 1903

Designed in England, Chromographed in Bavaria

Part of a brilliant series of postcards

A great novelty postcard dated 1907 – Panorama of Blackpool

The Big Wheel – Blackpool Crest above

Carnival Time !


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