North Pier’s BIG One Five ‘0’

Big 150 - Carl Gray Photographer

altblackpool catches up with Frances Mort, organiser of the huge celebration for North Pier’s 150th birthday, which brought some cool people to a cool setting on a very hot day.

Fran, for those of us who don’t know, tell us what THE BIG one five ‘0’ was, when it happened and the inspiration behind it?
THE BIG one five ‘0’ was the 150th anniversary of the North Pier.  After talking to Renee (director of North Pier) last year, I thought it would be a good idea to have a fashion show, having always dealt with vintage and retro clothes, buying and selling and spotting classic pieces. To show my passion for clothes, people and all the things that are good, involving everyone from all age groups. Plus having a great time getting dressed up for the day.

How did you feel when the event was on the horizon?
Exhausted, I just wanted a good old fun day for everyone. In today’s climate we definitely need more of these kind of days, a reminder that people are here to share the old times as well as the new. Old and young, family days, friends together! I was still nervous that it would all work as planned.

Who was involved: musicians, artists, models, store holders?
There were many stalls, here are a few: Yappers Chappers  – unique jewellery designs, Jo Cassidy – vintage, Two for Joy – vintage, Holloways of Poulton – wiggle dresses and 50’s inspired frocks, Urban Dance Project provided the models (who do a sterling job for community based projects in Blackpool), Robin Ross – screen print artist, Sam Simpson – painter/artist, Tangerine Art, Linzi Cason – Squirrel and Tiffin screenprint, textile and art , Ginger Baker – the most delicious cakes I have ever had, Infected by Design – a well known artist about in Blackpool, Driftwood – beautiful house hold items, Imogen Jewels, Katey Betty – Jewels, and Pauline Nay – baby items.

Other stalls included: Gary Palmer – Shelter, Julie Laxton – silver jewellery, Sarah Kitty Corpse – local designer dresses, The Little Blue Hen – soaps, Debbie Louise Finch – jewellery, Whimsy Willacy – vintage tea cups etc., and Johnsons of Bond Street.

Last, but not least, my good self: Achtland Boutique – vintage/retro and collectible pieces

Plus a stellar array of music spanning an era of 150 years in keeping with the theme.  Gary Palmer DJ was in charge for most of the day and he also compered.

Musical Line up:
Gary Palmer DJ
Thomas Sanderson
Laura Worall
Kelly Johnson
Buzz Bury DJ Electro swing
Naomi’s Blood Diamonds
Russ Erwin
Norman DJ from Cowbell Radio – Ska, Northern soul, Mod

How did the day pan out, what happened?
The day was amazing, everyone just about turned up. There were a few little hiccups of course, but with all the help from family and friends and new friends who helped during the run-up and on the day everyone worked sooooooooooo hard and they all enjoyed it.  Smiles all round, just what I like to see – people happy, the sun was shining. We were lucky, the local scooter boys gave us a scooter parade which was so in keeping with the theme; 50 scooters on North Pier was an awesome sight to behold, all dressed in their finest garb. Everything had a really relaxed, community feel , just what we need more of in Blackpool and as you know everyone seems to be working together to try and make a better Blackpool, the way it used to be.  People dressed  in their finest clobber to celebrate their chosen era.

It was a free event and everyone involved had volunteered. I just want to thank everyone who was involved including the photographers who popped down: HM Design, Carl Gray and D Mander. Plus fabulous hair and make up:  Alison McMath – chief hairdresser, Sarah Heys – hair and make up, Laura Cason – make up, Omani – main make up (Messy Makeup) and big thanks to Colette Halstead who designed the poster and flyer.

Big thanks also to anyone else who made it an awesome, stylish and good vibes day, which was born from a positive attitude to take advantage of what Blackpool already has: great venues, people and, when everyone jumps on board, atmosphere.

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