Out of Season

In recent years all our seaside towns have fallen on hard times and Blackpool seems to get more than it’s fair share of bad press from the media so this week I thought I’d wander down South Shore to see how bad the damage really is.P1310118P1310108 In an area full of once thriving shops, arcades and cafesP1310115_edited-1

I set off to walk from the far end of Bond St where a colorful Social club seemed to be doing alright with it’s welcoming signs and open doorP1310114..on past ‘Blackpool’s n.1 Toy Shop’ hhmmm! though I was tempted to go in ’cause it had some really cool Daleks in the windowP1310110

past ‘Taylor’s’ a locally famous jeans & boots shop where I used to buy my Levis in the late 7os , closed this time though.. do they still do Wednesday closing?..QMVU7086

then went to cross Waterloo Rd but couldn’t resist stopping at Notarianni Ices..the best ice cream on the coast and a favorite place for Knickerbockers Glories. Fuelled by nostalgia I left Bond St behind and walked down Bolton St past a brightly lit arcade with a cafe area,  flashing lights and the buzzing & beeping of arcade games still not enough to draw the people in from the cold wet street, I walked past more empty boarded up shops till I came to..P1310105a relic from the past. Melody House was first on Lytham Rd near the old Lido swimming pool then moved to Bond St years ago then moved again to Bolton St…it has been closed for donkeys years but if you were lucky sometime ago and it was open you would find a guy sat in among boxes and boxes of vinyl..scattered, broken, stacked to the rafters..vinyl everywhere like a dream, I once asked if he had an album I’d been looking for, he assured me he had and if I had the time he’d find it for me, sadly I didn’t have the time but am sure if I’d stayed he would have found it..I left him looking very happy reading his NME, Mojo and Q magazines sat in the middle of a collector’s dream. Further on down Bolton St towards the Colosseum past houses and empty shops…more arcades and pubs, clanging and chattering sounds, music playing..all offering good times  and all reminding me that some areas of Blackpool have been sadly neglected in recent years..and still reminding me that its my home town and I love it!IMG_8769Finally arriving at Foxhall Rd lined with more empty closed shops promising good times with items advertised..cold drinks for hot days, toys for tired children, magazines, newspapers, ice creams, rock and fancy goods..peeling paint and broken rusted signs causing me to stop and wonder..P1310124then further down towards the end of the road I saw this old fish and chip shop and the sign in the window made me laugh out loud… So till the end of February early March these shops and streets will remain empty and sad with their urban decay and tired weary aspect then the promise of a bucket & spade, salty chips, sandy ice creams and the cry of the seagulls will hopefully bring back the holiday makers and families and we can appreciate that we live on the best coast with the best light for photographers and get another Knickerbocker Glory from Notarianni’s.

Published by dmanderphoto

Dawn Mander, a Blackpool based self taught photographer, exhibited worldwide and published internationally both in print and online. Dawn runs street photography walks in her home town of Blackpool and gives talks at local colleges, schools and photography groups. In 2018 Dawn was nominated for the RPS Hundred Heroines campaign celebrating women in photography and in 2019 exhibited with over 80 female photographers in the RPS 'Representation on the Line:(Un)framing our Identities' held in Chelsea, Doncaster and Blackpool. For the latter she also executed the roles of organiser and co-curator. Dawn continues to work on her #DocumentingBlackpool & #PortraitofBlackpool series and is currently creating and co-curating exhibitions and community art projects at HIVE Blackpool.

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