Blackpool, Northern England
By Phil Noble
I can remember vividly as a child trailing after several suitcases pulled by my parents or trying to squeeze into my uncle’s luggage-laden car as my brother and I began the journey to our annual family holiday by the beach.
This was the late 1970s or early 1980s, and foreign holidays were out of the reach of the Noble household at that point, so the bright lights of a British resort such as Llandudno or Blackpool was our usual destination.
Over the years these seaside resorts and others like them have undergone a rollercoaster ride (excuse the pun), seemingly lurching from popularity to poverty and back again.
Originally brought to a mass audience by the expansion of the railway network, these traditional resorts with beaches and amusements like fun fairs and donkey rides, were in easy reach of the factory workers from the nearby mill towns and cities, offering them an affordable break with a chance of some fresh air away from their normal industrial landscape.
The advent of the cheap foreign package holiday and the subsequent rise of low-cost airlines, aligned with the often unpredictable British weather, saw people vote with their feet and head off to the Spanish Costas in search of guaranteed sun.