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As part of a new series to bring you poetry about Blackpool and written by Blackpool poets, Rob Mason draws on his family history as well as our most significant local landmark.
Blackpool Tower
Rob Mason
Harry Pearce- Rob Mason’s grandfather

Born and bred in Blackpool.
My grandfather was named Harry Pearce,
He lived and breathed this town of ours,
For every one of his earth years.
He lived on Ibbetson Street in Central,
He was one of seven kids.
Started working as a barrow boy,
Perhaps aged as young as six.
Running suitcases to hotels,
Was big bucks back in the day.
It’s Blackpool, we have tourists,
That’s how most of us get paid.
Through his time he worked the cabs,
I also remember him delivering us coal,
Supporting his own family,
Was always his main goal.
He was a grafter, a lad,
He was Blackpool through and through.
And under the gaze of Blackpool Tower,
He never faltered, staying true.

Harry’s own grandfather,
Was a man named John Pearce,
What I can tell you, about John,
May be shocking to your ears.
He was an electrician by trade,
And shortly before eighteen ninety four,
Whilst helping construct Blackpool Tower,
John Pearce fell off, and was no more.
His legacy lives on,
Through the family today.
As long as we keep speaking it,
It never goes away.

Playing my part in serving this town,
I’ve had many a job over the years.
In hotels, bars, fish and chip shops,
Driving cabs or working stalls on piers.
Experience culminates,
Along the way.
Presenting you with,
The man I am today.
And everything I do,
Have ever done or will complete.
Will happen under the Tower,
And that’s what makes us so unique.

It’s an ever looming presence,
It can be seen from afar.
From windows, doorways, streets and schools,
Or on the motorway from a car.
It’s powerful, it’s energy,
Mesmerising, omnipresent.
Gloriously magnificent,
Our mascot, the lieutenant.
It’s one of the first things you draw,
Next to your mum, dad or siblings,
It’s a landmark if you’re lost,
A massive part of our upbringing.
Five hundred and eighteen foot,
One hundred and thirty years old.
It’s housed King Kong and the Fanta sign,
In ninety-four it was painted gold.
Over half a million visitors,
Travel to see her year in year out.
One of The UK’s most popular attractions.
If you ever had any doubt.

Alas

Growing up in Blackpool,
It can be a wild ride.
And i don’t mean on the donkeys,
I mean just getting on with life.
If there’s one thing that we learn,
It’s how to respectfully greet,
Strangers to our town,
You won’t see us take a backseat.
Our hospitality and dedication,
Has been passed down through generations,
Of Blackpool loving sandgrown’uns,
The pride we feel is warm and wholesome.
We love this town, we respect its name,
We show it in the best light,
We know what goes on over there,
With the drinking and the fights.
But within the creative factions,
We’ve a very different crowd.
I wonder how many locals,
Are born here and say it proud.
I’d guess the large majority,
Another thing I’ve learnt,
Is folk that are born in Blackpool,
Are always proud and will assert.
Their passions and creativity,
Into the arts and entertainment.
Continuing the towns legacy,
Through positive engagement.

Say what you will,
We know our flaws.
We continue to welcome you.
With open doors.

Rob Mason (Rob Del Terror) is one half of By the Metre spoken word events which he formed alongside Nathan Parker in November 2021.

Read more poetry by locals here
Image credit: Michael D Beckwith

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