Think you know all of Blackpool’s pubs? Well think again but, as luck would have, local builder Chris Bottomley and childhood friend Allan Wood have the ultimate guide for you. altBlackpool’s Michelina chats to Chris about the book.
Michelina: Please tell us a little about the book?
Chris: To our knowledge, this book is the first that collates and record details of Blackpool’s pubs and well-known licensed premises. Blackpool isn’t a particularly old town and its rapid development has primarily been fuelled by tourism in the last 150 years or so. To cater for the millions of visitors each year, Blackpool has more licensed premises than anywhere else in the country outside of Central London. Our aim was to present a collection of photographs and informative potted histories from which the reader will glimpse some of Blackpool’s ‘lost’ pubs as well as the town’s more popular watering holes and established ‘locals’.
Its purpose is not to glamorise or extol pubs but to record a part of Blackpool’s social history that has not previously been collated. From this, we hope to entice you into one or two different ones.
The book contains six sections with photographs of the pubs as they once were in some cases, and as they are now in others: Section 1 sets out Blackpool’s earliest known licensees and sets out details of alehouses in the 18th century, an article discussing the likely whereabouts of the No. 1 and No. 2 pubs and a short section on Blackpool breweries. Section 2 lists the numerous pubs that have been ‘lost’ over the years. Section 3 deals with the Town Centre; Section 4 covers Talbot Road; Section 5 covers Central and South Shore and Section 6 deals with all the other outlying pubs from Anchorsholme to Squires Gate Lane.
M: Who would this make an ideal gift for?
C: The book is suitable for anybody who is interested in, or lives in, Blackpool; anybody interested in pubs or local history.
M: How much does it cost?
C: The book costs £14.99. The royalties from this book will be donated to Brian House Children’s Hospice, Bispham, Blackpool.
M: Please tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into writing?
C: Allan and I first met at Primary School and became lifelong friends. Growing up in Blackpool provided the opportunity for us to visit a wide variety of pubs with our particular favourites being the Boar’s Head and The Saddle.
Allan was born and brought up in Blackpool, attended Claremont Secondary School and later Blackpool Grammar School and the new Sixth Form College. After getting a degree in Civil Engineering he worked in the Borough Surveyor’s Department of Blackpool Borough Council and now works as an Adjudicator and Arbitrator in construction disputes. He has written several other book on Blackpool’s local history.
I grew up in Blackpool where I also attended Claremont Secondary School. I became a draughtsman after training at Blackpool Technical College and later started a building company which now specialises in renovating residential properties. This collaborative book provided us with the chance to visit our old haunts and relive parts of our youth.
M: Where can people buy the book?
C: The book is available from Blackpool tourism office at The Tower Festival Headlands building. It can also be purchased from Waterstones and online through Amazon.
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