Tram Journey 1985: Golden Mile to Imperial Hotel


The next image was taken on the Golden Mile and the building on the right is now the site of Sea Life and Golden Mile Amusements.

The white building with a little tower in front of the Blackpool Tower was the 66th Woolworths store built in the UK. The original store opened in April 1916 and shared the corner plot with the Royal Hotel until 1936 and took over the whole building and rebuilt it in the Art Deco style. When it opened in 1938 it was the UK's largest Woolworths with three floors selling goods and two floors of restaurants above it - each having an astonishing seating capacity of 2,000. At the end of 2008, the owning company went into administration and all Woolworths stores in the UK closed. Fortunately the Art Deco building is still there and houses the Albert and the Lion pub on the ground floor with Sports Direct above.

Trams 1985
1985 Tram Journey Image 17 [1]
Sealife
Sea Life and Golden Mile Amusements by courtesy of Google Street View 2020 [2]
Woolworths
Woolworths Building by courtesy of Google Street View 2020 [2]

This image shows an entrance to Funland - an amusement arcade with a cafeteria located just south of Sea Life. It appears to have been restyled judging from the modern image below.

Trams 1985
1985 Tram Journey Image 18 [1]
Funland
Funland by courtesy of Google Street View 2020 [2]

The next photo was taken in the approximate vicinity of New Bonny Street looking towards the North Pier. In the far right distance you can see the footbridge by the former Palatine Nightclub which crossed the Promenade and Bank Hey Street; it was demolished in 2009. A number of boats which were used for short sea trips can be seen on the left. According to a member of the History of Blackpool Facebook Group they stopped operating some time after the Marchioness Disaster in 1989 when a Thames pleasure vessel collided with a dredger with the result that 51 people lost their lives and more stringent regulations for pleasure boats were introduced.

Trams 1985
1985 Tram Journey Image 19 [1]

The next photo was taken near the corner of New Bonny Street looking towards the Coral Island amusement arcade which has since been extensively modified - I think following a fire.

Trams 1985
1985 Tram Journey Image 20 [1]
Coral Island
Coral Island by courtesy of Google Street View 2020 [2]

The next photo shows the far end of the Blackpool Tower complex on the right and behind it Lewis's store. See the notes on the next photo for further information.

Trams 1985
1985 Tram Journey Image 21 [1]

The next photo is looking down Victoria Street towards the Winter Gardens. The shop on the corner of the Blackpool Tower complex then Little Italy's Greatest Show on Earth became a branch of Harry Ramsden's Fish and Chips many years ago. Behind it, Boots is still there but now has a glass lift in the corner. Behind Boots is the original Houndshill Centre which had been built in 1980 and which was redeveloped in 2008.

The building on the left - the opposite corner of Victoria Street to Harry Ramsden's - was Lewis's Store. This has also been rebuilt and is currently occupied by Poundland, Vegas Diner and other shops.

Trams 1985
1985 Tram Journey Image 22 [1]
Victoria Street
View along Victoria Street by courtesy of Google Street View 2020 [2]

The next photo looks back to the South with Lewis's and the Tower buildings on the left.

Trams 1985
1985 Tram Journey Image 23 [1]

The next photo shows Roberts' Oyster Rooms on the corner of West Street. This business is still in operation but appears to sell confectionery as well as seafood nowadays. The nearby buildings seem not to have changed much physically and retains some character - unlike the soul-less rebuilds around the Blackpool Tower. West Street is now pedestrianised.

Trams 1985
1985 Tram Journey Image 24 [1]
Roberts'
View along West Street by courtesy of Google Street View 2020 [2]

View looking back towards North Pier from the War Memorial opposite Queen Street. The pier was very busy.

Trams 1985
1985 Tram Journey Image 25 [1]

Blackpool's first war memorial was a temporary wooden cenotaph erected in September 1919 as a focal point for those who had lost loved ones. [9] Later tenders were invited for a permanent memorial; the chosen design was submitted by the architect Ernest Prestwich of Leighfor a 100 Ft high obelisk with bronze panels to be placed on the north and south sides of the base. The memorial was dedicated on 10 November 1923. Prestwich also designed similar war memorials for Harrogate and Doncaster and another one, more like the Whitehall cenotaph, for Leigh. The memorial was added to following WW2 and later wars and now records the names of 916 people from WW1, 574 for WW2, 1 from the Falklands Conflict and others from later conflicts plus civilian casualties.

War Memorial'
The temporary cenotaph at Blackpool erected in 1919 [4]
War Memorial'
The temporary Cenotaph and Metropole Hotel from an aerial photograph of 1920 image EPW002063 [3]

The next photo shows the Grand Metropole Hotel. It is one of the two oldest hotels in Blackpool and opened as Bailey's Hotel in 1785. It was expanded and rebuilt over the years and reached its current appearance in 1900. It has had many names over the years but became the Hotel Metropole in 1896. It was purchased by Billy Butlin in 1955 becoming part of his holiday business and had a Butlin's sign when this photo was taken. Butlins sold their hotels to Grand Hotels in 1998 and it became the Grand Metropole Blackpool. In 2004 it was sold to Britannia Hotels.

Trams 1985
1985 Tram Journey Image 26 [1]
Metropole Hotel
View of the Metropole Hotel by courtesy of Google Street View 2020 [2]

The next two photos show the Carlton Hotel on the corner of Pleasant Street. It is now owned by the Best Western chain and retains most of the old structure - though mercifully has lost that awful blue colour.

Trams 1985
1985 Tram Journey Image 27 [1]
Trams 1985
1985 Tram Journey Image 28 [1]
Carlton Hotel
View of Best Western Carlton Hotel by courtesy of Google Street View 2020 [2]

The next photo shows the Imperial Hotel.

Trams 1985
1985 Tram Journey Image 29 [1]
Imperial Hotel
Imperial Hotel by courtesy of Google Street View 2020 [2]

The next photo was taken opposite the Imperial Hotel just before Wilton Parade - unfortunately the tram maintenance truck is hiding the hotel. The Imperial is another of Blackpool's Grade II Listed Buildings.

Trams 1985
1985 Tram Journey Image 30 [1]