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Blackpool

From Academic Kids

Borough of Blackpool
Image:EnglandBlackpool.png
Geography
Status:Unitary, Borough
Region:North West England
Ceremonial County:Lancashire
Area:
- Total
Ranked 330th
34.92 km²
Admin. HQ:Blackpool
ONS code:00EY
Demographics
Population:
- Total (2003 est.)
- Density
Ranked 116th
142,429
4,079 / km²
Ethnicity:98.4% White
Politics
Arms of Blackpool Borough Council
Blackpool Borough Council
http://www.blackpool.gov.uk/
Leadership:Leader & Cabinet
Executive:Labour
MPs:Joan Humble, Gordon Marsden
Missing image
Blackpool_Tower.JPG
Blackpool Tower, Blackpool

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 Borough, unlike its neighbours, is almost completely urbanised.

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 working tramway outside of museums. Other cities have been rebuilding their networks since the 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 excursion line into Blackpool Central is now used as a link road from the M55 motorway to the town centre. The original 'main line' into Blackpool via Lytham St Annes now has a station serving Blackpool Pleasure Beach but terminates at Blackpool South station. The line into North station is now the more important.

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. The random number generating computer, ERNIE, which picks the Premium Bond numbers, is based here.

In what is often regarded as its heyday (1900-1960), Blackpool heaved as the factory workers of northern England took their annual holidays there en masse. Any photograph from that era shows large crowds on the beach and promenade. Blackpool was also a preferred destination of visitors from Glasgow and remains so to this day. The town still has more hotel beds than the whole of Portugal. 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 competitive prices and the more reliably favourable weather. Today, many visitors stay for the weekend rather than for a week at a time. Blackpool is continually striving to improve its position within today's tourist industry. One controversial proposal, which has the involvement of the local council, is to transform Blackpool into a casino resort along the lines of Las Vegas and Atlantic City. This plan is dependent on the liberalisation of Britain's gambling laws.

A controversial aspect of Blackpool's night-life is its hen and stag parties. Brides or bridegrooms-to-be respectively, along with their friends, often dressed alike in absurd or risqué attire, roam the town's myriad bars and clubs getting increasingly drunk. This is claimed to discourage family visitors.

Blackpool has gained renown as a lesbian and gay destination, with clubs such as the Flamingo and Mardi Gras, the Flying Handbag pub, and many gay-only hotels and guest-houses. These tend to be inland, nearer to the North station than the sea front.

The resort is featured in the 1934 film Sing as We Go, starring Gracie Fields, as well as other cinema and TV productions including Funny Bones (1995) starring Lee Evans and Oliver Platt and directed by Blackpool born Peter Chelsom. The Japanese film Shall We Dansu? (1996) closes with a scene at the World Ballroom Dancing Championships in Blackpool. In the Hollywood remake (2004) Blackpool is mentioned but not shown. The remake was also directed by Peter Chelsom.

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, consisting of a series of lighted displays and collages arranged along the entire length of the sea front (11km/7mi), 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.
  • Blackpool Pleasure Beach - Theme park with lots of different attractions including the tallest rollercoaster in Europe.
  • Tower World - A huge complex of leisure facilities, entertainment venues and restaurants. Included is the famous Blackpool Tower, Tower Ballroom and Tower Circus.
  • Winter Gardens - Large entertainment and conference venue in the town centre.
  • North Pier - The northernmost of Blackpool's 3 piers. Includes a small shopping arcade, a small tramway and a theatre at the end.
  • Central Pier - The middle one of the 3 piers. This includes a large theme park and shopping.
  • South Pier - The southernmost pier of the 3. Almost directly opposite the Pleasure Beach, it houses a large theme park.
  • Blackpool and The Fylde College

External links


Districts of England - North West England Flag of England

Allerdale | Barrow-in-Furness | Blackburn with Darwen | Blackpool | Bolton | Burnley | Bury | Carlisle | Chester | Chorley | Congleton | Copeland | Crewe and Nantwich | Eden | Ellesmere Port and Neston | Fylde | Halton | Hyndburn | Knowsley | Lancaster | Liverpool | Macclesfield | Manchester | Oldham | Pendle | Preston | Ribble Valley | Rochdale | Rossendale | St Helens | Salford | Sefton | South Lakeland | South Ribble | Stockport | Tameside | Trafford | Vale Royal | Warrington | West Lancashire | Wigan | Wirral | Wyre

Administrative counties with multiple districts: Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Merseyside

de:Blackpool

eo:Blackpool fr:Blackpool nl:Blackpool sv:Blackpool

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