Bringing back Blackpool

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Blackpool remains a key coach destination. Three coaches from South Yorkshire-based Wilfreda Beehive drop off at a hotel near the Pleasure Beach. JONATHAN WELCH

Blackpool was once a key destination for coaches. Jonathan Welch looks at the resort today, and what it it doing to re-invent itself

The Lancashire town of Blackpool has been a destination for visitors since the 18th century, when travel to coastal resorts in summer for reasons of well-being first started to become popular. Early tourists were brought by stagecoach – the kind with a small ‘s’ – though it was the coming of the railway in the 1840s which enabled the mass influx of holidaymakers from across the industrial north. In little over a century, the town grew from a population in the mid-hundreds in 1801, to one of around 47,000 by the late 1800s, a figure which more than tripled in the first 50 years of the 20th century. Visitor numbers were buoyed by the practice in many Lancashire factories of closing down for one week every year to allow servicing and maintenance of machinery, different mills closing at different times to allow a steady stream of visitors to the region’s seaside resorts.

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