Tram Journey 1985: Sandcastle to Lifeboat Station

The photos in the section were taken during one or more tram journeys from Squires Gate to Bispham around Autumn 1985 - mostly 11 September 1985 if the camera settings were correct. Putting dates on photos was an option available on the more expensive type of camera at the time but is really rather annoying and can spoil the images. Fortunately this has been superseded by the advent of digital photography where the files include timestamps.

I have (hopefully) put this set of images in the correct order for the journey and have spread them over four pages so that page-loading times are not excessive.

  • I have added additional images for some of the locations to highlight matters of historical interest and how things have changed
  • The original photos are numbered in sequence
  • There are links to move back and forth between the pages of this set of photos at the bottom of each page

The photo below was taken outside the entrance to the Blackpool Pleasure Beach. On the right you can just see the corner of Joseph Emberton and Halstead Best's 1939 Art Deco replacement for the original Casino built in 1913. To the left you can see the Blackpool Sandcastle which was still under construction. It was built on the site of a former open-air swimming pool and opened in 1986, a year after the photo was taken.

Trams 1985
1985 Tram Journey Image 1 [1]
Casino and Sandcastle
2021 Image showing the Casino and Sandcastle (by courtesy of Google Street View) [2]

The photo below shows on the left the circus tent-like entrance of the South Pier as it was at the time. On the right is the Lucky Star amusement arcade. South Pier was the last of Blackpool's three piers to be built and was originally known as Victoria Pier. It opened Good Friday, 31 March 1893 and in its heyday was considered to be the most 'upmarket' of Blackpool's three piers.

Trams 1985
1985 Tram Journey Image 2 [1]
South Pier
2021 Image showing the modernised entrance to South Pier on the left and Wetherspoon's Velvet Coaster pub which has replaced the Lucky Star arcade (by courtesy of Google Street View) [2]

The photo below shows the entrance to South Pier. There is an advertisement for 'The World Famous Andrew Newton' - a hypnotist. Checking him out I found he still appears to be in business as a hypnotist, and has his own website on which, among many claims, he says he taught the art of hypnosis to Paul McKenna. I can't make out the names on the main advertisement but the little 'sandwich board' advert is for the 'South Pier Show'.

Trams 1985
1985 Tram Journey Image 3 [1]

The next photo showing the ice cream seller was taken just a few yards along from the previous one.

Trams 1985
1985 Tram Journey Image 4 [1]

The next photo was taken near the end of Waterloo Road where there was a decorative windmill.

Trams 1985
1985 Tram Journey Image 5 [1]

The next photo was taken looking backwards to South Pier which has a placard on the pavilion advertising Candlewick Green.

Trams 1985
1985 Tram Journey Image 6 [1]

The next photo was taken somewhere north of Central Pier. Note the two refreshment vans on the beach and the pile of covered-up canvas deckchairs that were a familiar site on British beaches.

Trams 1985
1985 Tram Journey Image 7 [1]

The next photo was taken is a little further north. Note the donkeys on the beach and the caravan selling whelks and shrimps with the owner's landrover nearby.

Trams 1985
1985 Tram Journey Image 8 [1]

The next photo shows the conductor of a tram and is taken looking back towards South Pier.

Trams 1985
1985 Tram Journey Image 9 [1]

The next photo was taken near to the end of Crystal Road. The Royal Carlton hotel is now on the right and the many-windowed corner building lined up with the right corner of the tram is now the Seaside Fish and Chip Shop.

Trams 1985
1985 Tram Journey Image 10 [1]
Royal Carlton Hotel
2021 Image showing the Carlton Hotel (by courtesy of Google Street View) [2]

The next photo shows the New Waterloo Hotel which was on the corner of Barton Avenue. Barton Avenue had previously been named Waterloo Avenue but it's name was changed at some point. This is now the Kensington Hotel; it still has the panel with the cannon and gunner in place.

Trams 1985
1985 Tram Journey Image 11 [1]
Kensington Hotel
2021 Image showing the Kensington Hotel (by courtesy of Google Street View) [2]

The next photo was taken at Manchester Square with Rigby Road going off the the right. The Manchester pub is just out of sight to the right of the yellow Butterfield's van and off camera. The chemist shop on the right is still a chemist. To the right of it is now The Crispy Cod fish and chip shop. The hotel with the yellow sign, which seems to be named Hotel Spa, is now the New Promenade Hotel.

Trams 1985
1985 Tram Journey Image 12 [1]
Manchester Square
Manchester Square from Google Street View 2020 [2]
Spen Dyke
Likely output of Spen Dyke near Manchester Square from Google Earth 2020 [2]

The next two photos show the Balmoral Hotel with the adjacent Craig-Y-Don Hotel. Major reconstruction or repair was underway and appears to extend to the roofs of both hotels. There is no obvious signs of fire damage so this may have been caused by a storm.

Trams 1985
1985 Tram Journey Image 13 [1]
Trams 1985
1985 Tram Journey Image 14 [1]
Balmoral Hotel
Balmoral and Craig-y-Don hotels by courtesy of Google Street View 2020 [2]

The next photo was taken alongside the entrance to Central Pier.

Trams 1985
1985 Tram Journey Image 15 [1]

The next photo looks into Blackpool's 1936 Art Deco styled lifeboat station which is unfortunately not visible on the other photos in this set. It was replaced by a new lifeboat station further towards Blackpool Tower in 1998.

The image below shows the old lifeboat station - apparently a fund-raising event was in progress.

Trams 1985
1985 Tram Journey Image 16 [1]
Lifeboat Station
Blackpool 1936 Lifeboat Station by courtesy of Pinterest [7]