In April 2011, I visited Blackpool, arguably Britain’s most famous seaside town. I visited this renowned resort with my girlfriend who has many fond memories of holidaying there as a child with her family. For me, this was my first experience of the town which at the time was undergoing major renovation work along the promenade.
This day, when I arrived in Blackpool, I recall being quite taken aback by what I can in all honesty only describe as a state of decline, further explained in almost tragic detail by Stephen Moss in this article from the Guardian online. Blackpool has a long and proud history as a popular tourist destination for many Britons, regularly drawing crowds in their tens of thousands year after year. In the late 1800s up to the mid-1900s, Blackpool thrived as the beach town tourist capital of the UK, bringing vast sums of revenue into the town through tourist trade. Sadly, in the 1960s Blackpool began to fall into decline. Tourist numbers began to fall as less and less people visited the town. Blackpool has certainly been affected in recent decades by the boom in cheap package holidays to sunny destinations abroad. I suppose what I saw the first time I visited Blackpool was the longer term effects of its decline in tourists and subsequently, tourist trade.
In recent years, after losing a bid to build a ‘super casino’ to Manchester which was hoped to bring regeneration and jobs to the area, Blackpool council has taken positive steps to improve the town despite this set back. This has been most notably shown in giving the famous promenade a much needed face lift.
As I took photographs along Blackpool promenade I remember feeling saddened by the decline of the place. In retrospect, I think this feeling certainly contributed to what I shot and how I processed the images in post-production. While I cannot say that my images are ‘full of positive joy’, I am proud of the photographs I shot in Blackpool. I like to think they have a melancholy feel to them that tells a different (if somewhat depressing) story with each image. Thank you for taking time to read this blog and looking at my photographs.