Blackpool is a seaside town in England, on the coast of the Irish Sea. It is traditionally part of Lancashire but on April 1, 1998 was made into an independent unitary authority.
The town boundaries are drawn very tightly, and exclude the nearby settlements of Fleetwood, Cleveleys, Thornton, Poulton-le-Fylde and Lytham St Anne's.
Blackpool has three piers, the North (built in 1863), Central (1868) and South (1893). Blackpool Tower, built in May 1894, is a 518-foot-tall copy of the Eiffel Tower. It was painted gold for its centenary.
The town also has a tramway, which for a long time was Britain's only one left. Other cities have been rebuilding their networks since late 20th century.
Blackpool had two railway termini with a total of over 30 platforms, mainly used by excursion traffic in the summer. Blackpool Central, close to the Blackpool Tower, was closed in 1964, whilst Blackpool North was largely demolished and rebuilt as a smaller facility. The route of the former Blackpool Central line is now used as a link road from the M55 motorway to the town centre. A third railway line into Blackpool via Lytham St Annes includes a station serving Blackpool Pleasure Beach. That line terminates at Blackpool South station.
Blackpool is notable as the home of sports car manufacturer TVR and the original site of Jaguar Cars.
There is a football team, Blackpool F.C., winners of the FA Cup in 1953.
It is also home to the amusement park Blackpool Pleasure Beach.
ERNIE, which picks the Premium Bond numbers, is based here.
In its heyday, say 1900-1960, Blackpool heaved as the factory workers of northern England took their annual holidays there en masse. Look at any photo from this era and you will be unable to find space on the beach or "The Golden Mile" as its promenade is known. The town went into decline when cheap air travel arrived in the 1960s and the same workers decamped to the Mediterranean coast resorts due to the more reliably favourable weather. So now Blackpool is struggling to find a role although the local council want it to become the 'Las Vegas' of Britain by attracting investment into casinos. This plan is dependent on the liberalisation of Britain's gambling laws.
At present the town is becoming notorious for its hen and stag night-life as soon-to-be-weds of both sexes, along with packs of their friends often dressed alike in absurd or risque attire, roam the town's myriad bars and clubs getting increasingly drunk. This is said to be putting off the "family visitors".
The resort is featured in the 1934 film Sing as We Go, starring Gracie Fields, as well as other cinema and TV productions.
Blackpool remains a major summer entertainment venue, specialising in variety shows featuring entertainers such as Ken Dodd. Outside the main holiday season, Blackpool's Winter Gardens routinely hosts major political conferences, ranging from that of the Labour Party with tens of thousands of delegates and visitors, to substantially smaller gatherings such as the TUC or NUS conferences. The Blackpool Illuminations of September and October, when lighted displays are arranged along the entire length of the sea front, attracts many visitors at a time when other resorts' holiday seasons have ended.
Local attractions, culture, and facilities
- Blackpool Zoo - provides a home to over 1500 animals from all over the world. The Zoo provides new standards of animal care and aims to provide a stimulating, informative and enjoyable experience that demonstrates its role in the conservation of endangered species.
- Blackpool Pleasure Beach - Theme park with lots of different attractions including the tallest rollercoaster in Europe.