Blackpool Civic Trust

News Archive 2012

'Santa Express' Western Train on Blackpool Prom Christmas 2012

Visit Santa on the heritage tram the Western Train this Christmas. Saturday and Sunday from 8th December to the 23rd December.

Santa Express on Blackpool Promenade Dec 2012


Making Christmas Happy for children in Blackpool.

Buy an extra present for a young person in need in Blackpool. Click here to find out more. Closes 10th December.

Blackpool Civic Trust and Elaine Smith win national awards

Congratulations are to be given!

Civic Voice is the national organisation of Civic Trusts. At their Awards Day on the 19th October they gave Blackpool Civic Trust the Award for Innovative Community Involvement – The award recognises the fact that Blackpool Civic Trust organised a community Scarecrow Festival by uniting with local schools and community groups.

In addition the Marsh Christian Trust announce awards for achievement in several categories each year. Elaine Smith, Chairman of Blackpool Civic Trust, won the Civic Volunteer Award. This award is run in partnership with Civic Voice; it recognises the outstanding contribution made by an individual volunteer to the Civic movement. 

We are proud of winning this national recognition, well done to all involved and Elaine for her work.

The Marsh Trust have added a nice tribute to Elaine on their website. Click here to read it.

Civic Voice Awards and AGM October 2012 in Coventry. Elaine, Betty, Jean with Griff Rhys Jones, President of Civic Voice.

Civic Voice Awards and AGM October 2012 Elaine, Betty, Jean with Griff Rhys Jones

Civic Voice Awards and AGM October 2012 at Coventry. Elaine and other prize winners with Griff Rhys Jones, President, and Paula Ridley - Chair of Civic Voice. Oxford, Malvern, Hale Civic Societies and Elaine hold their certificates. Read the list of winners and what their civic activity on the Civic Voice website.

Civic Voice Awards and AGM October 2012 Elaine and other prize winners with Griff Rhys Jones and Paula Ridley


Elaine Smith announces retirement from Blackpool Civic Trust committee

In March 2013 after 9 years as Chairman of Blackpool Civic Trust Elaine Smith has announced she will retire from the committee. In her letter of announcement, Elaine commented that 2012 has been difficult due to a number of health issues including food poisoning. To recover completely Elaine intends to reduce her commitments but will continue with the Friends of Stanley Park, BEAT, the Heritage Forum and to be a member of Blackpool Civic Trust. A new chairperson will be appointed and suitable people are asked to make themselves known.

Elaine has worked tirelessly for Blackpool Civic Trust and achieved recognition with an MBE. Events such as the Awards Ceremony and Civic Week have been a big success. Nearer next March her work will be suitably acknowledged by all.


October 2012 Newsletter Summary

Members have received an e-mail or paper copy of the full version.

Christmas Raffle and Celebration

On the 17th December our meeting will be the Christmas Celebration. The Salvation Army will sing Carols, food will be eaten and the raffle will be drawn. Tickets are £5.95 for the food although non-ticket holders may attend. Our raffle will be drawn on that night, please buy tickets.

Events and Visits

Our Heritage Open Day programme and Macmillan Biggest Coffee Morning in the World went well.

We had an impressive visit to the new nightclub, Viva. The next visit is to the New Tram Depot.


The Awards Ceremony will be in February. We are asking Lawrence Llewellyn Bowen to make the presentations.

Nominations for prizes are sought. Please keep a look out and let us know of your thoughts. The categories are:

Best New Build, Best Refurbishment, Best Open Space, Best Community Group, Best Shop Front, Best Night Time Economy, Transforming Blackpool, Junior School and Senior School Shields.

The criteria being overall quality of design and construction, aesthetic appeal, respect for streetscene / townscape, accessibility and landscaping. For the schools we look for best environmental projects.


We are making scarecrows for next years festival every Wednesday afternoon. If you want to join us.


The Gazette have been running a campaign for the homeless. The Salvation Army want: hats, scarves, gloves, socks, men's trousers and sanitary products for ladies. Each month we will collect at our meeting please bring items along.

Winter Gardens

A number of events are taking place at the Winter Gardens. There are still tickets available. The Annual Dinner in the Floral Hall on Thursday 25th October. Halloween Torchlight Tours at 6pm, 6.30pm, 7pm on Monday 29th and Tuesday 30th October. Christmas High Tea on Thursday 6th December at 6pm. Charges apply at all events.


Zip Wired

Hot news. Blackpool Civic Trust Chairman, Elaine Smith flies on a zip wire the full length of Wembley Stadium. Fearless and fantastic!

Blackpool Civic Trust Chairman Elaine Smith on the Wembley Zip Wire

Here is Elaine in mid-flight. How far is it to Heathrow - Elaine doesn't take the easy route.

Blackpool Civic Trust Chairman Elaine Smith flying over the Wembley pitch


The Winter Gardens Trust

The Winter Gardens Trust is being formed to work alongside the council in support of further development of the Winter Gardens. Carl Carrington a well known member of the Civic Trust is promoting it.

They are having a number of events to raise some funds and act as a springboard for future plans. Read more in our newsletter below, in particular about the need for Trustees.


August Newsletter


We’ve had Civic Week with totally Transport and many other activities, a Scarecrow Festival and a Blackpool in Bloom as well as watching those amazing Gold Medals at the Olympics. We unveiled a Blue Plaque for our own Gold Medal winner in the 1926 Olympics, Lucy Morton. This was a huge success with important people coming from all over the country.

Civic Trust Calendar

We also produced our own 2013 calendar. We've all had our legs pulled over it but we had all enjoyed it so much that we just don’t care!!!  The photos are fabulous thanks to our photographer, Phil Harrison.  Don’t forget to buy one, see the advert below - £6.95 - and show us your support.

Blackpool in Bloom and Vintage Bus Trip

Blackpool in Bloom has kept Jean Mildren, Betty and myself busy since the beginning of July.  Considering the terrible weather the gardeners have had to combat this year we had an amazing number of very high standard gardens to judge. 

The Awards ceremony was last Wednesday but, for the benefit of anyone who couldn’t see the pictures that day, we are  running a Vintage Bus trip ending with afternoon tea at Dahlia’s Kitchen next Sunday (August 26th)leaving the Garden Place at 1.00pm to see the Winner and Runner Up in each category.  Tickets are £11.95 and may be purchased from Betty (tel: 857970).

Macmillan Biggest Coffee Morning in the World

On September 28th we are again having our Macmillan Biggest Coffee Morning in the World held in the Art Deco Café at Stanley Park starting at 10.00am.  Apart from needing your presence there we also need raffle prizes. 

Grand Christmas Draw

We are again having a Grand Christmas Draw so if you have any bottles (or anything else) that you would like to donate please let us know as we need to get the tickets printed asap.

Winter Gardens Trust

- New Trustees

The Winter Gardens Trust will be opening the application process for new trustees on the 22nd August. 

At the moment, the Council has a small board of nominated officials looking after the Trust on a day to day basis but wants to expand the range of skills at the Trust’s disposal in the move to full independence. 

The Trust is looking for exceptional people with established skills and experience in areas like fundraising, volunteer organisation, finance and business administration. More details will be in the Gazette on the 22nd so if you are interested be sure to get the paper that day, a summary is on the Gazette website. Click here.

- Annual Dinner, Halloween Tours, Christmas High Tea

The second Winter Gardens Trust Annual Dinner will be in the Floral Hall on Thursday 25th October (£40). 

To celebrate Halloween there will be Torchlight Tours of the Winter Gardens at 6.00pm, 630pm and 7.00pm on Monday 29th and Tuesday 30th October (£6). 

On the Thursday 6th December there will be a Christmas High Tea at 6.00pm (£10.50) in the Winter Gardens.  Only a limited number of places will be available at any of these so let me know if you are interested.  You can be sure that with Carl in charge they will be ‘different’.


We have visited a number of places this summer including the new hotel at Blackpool FC, a heritage tour of the North Pier, alterations at St Mary’s College and Layton Primary School.  These are all for us to keep our eyes on anything new taking place in the town.  It is to make sure we keep up with our Civic Pride.

Yates' Site

We did, however, have numerous meetings with the developers and heartfelt discussions amongst ourselves about the plans for the building to be erected on the Yates’ site.  It is such an important spot that was getting more and more unsightly yet the chances of more developers coming forward in the present economic climate are slim. It is necessary to make sure that we get a 21st Century building there and the developers eventually became receptive to the ideas put forward to them. The Council passed the plans so we now wait with interest.

Winter Gardens Trust Website opens

Keep up to date about the Winter Gardens and the activities of the Winter Gardens Trust.

Winter Gardens Trust website click here

Blackpool & The Fylde Coast Heritage Open Days 2012 - Thursday 6th September to Sunday 9th September.

The Blackpool list includes those shown below. Note they are not open every day. Please read the booklet linked below for the days and times.

Central Library (new for 2012, guided tour on the Thursday only)

Cocker Clock Tower

Comrades Club

Donna's Dream House

Funny Girls

Grand Theatre

Holy Trinity Church

Jewish Reform Congregation

Lancastrian Transport Trust

Layton Cemetery

Blackpool Lifeboat Station

Little Marton Mill

Masonic Hall


New Central Methodist Church

Pleasure Beach Resort

Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes

Stanley Park

The Tower

Town Hall

Winter Gardens

Plus 21 properties in Fleetwood & Wyre, and 3 in Lytham St Annes.

Click here to download the booklet

Blackpool and The Fylde Coast Heritage Open Days 2012


Summer Events at St Stephen's on the Cliffs Church, North Shore.

St Stephen's is a Corporate Member of the Blackpool Civic Trust. They are having summer events.

View their interesting website for the latest information at St Stephen's by clicking on the link below.

Flower Festival Blackpool

September 6th to 9th, Thurs to Sunday. Flower Festival in partnership with Bispham and Norbreck Flower Club, flower displays, stalls, refreshments, lunch, evening meal and choral celebrations.

How to reach St Stephen's: from the Town Centre by car to Wolverton Avenue off the prom. Tram to Cabin or Lowther Avenue. Promenade Bus (1) to St Stephen’s Ave. Bus numbers 3 and 4 from Tesco to Cleveleys stops in Topping Street, alight at Carlin Gate. No 15 Staining to Poulton via the Town Centre stops in Abingdon Street, alight at Carlin Gate.

Flowers, Food and Lights

Visit to St Stephen on The Cliffs Flower Festival,
Three Course meal

Vintage bus tour through Blackpool Illuminations

Thursday 6th September 2012

Read the full details on the Totally Transport website:

ride through Blackpool Illuminations 6th Sept 2012

Buy the 2013 Calendar

On the cold days of March the ladies of Blackpool Civic Trust became the Bare Attractions of Blackpool. Much to the surprise of passers by.

2013 Calendar from Blackpool Civic Trust

To obtain a copy of the calendar please contact Elaine Smith, Chairman of Blackpool Civic Trust.

Full list of Meetings with Speakers are now on the website. Click here

To view events and outings. Click here

Click here to view Civic Week reports including the Street Party and Scarecrow Festival


New Corporate Member

Blackpool Football Club Hotel and Conference Centre is our newest corporate member. Thankyou to them.

Civic Week 2012

In Blackpool we are had full Civic Week extending from Saturday June 23rd to Sunday July 1st. Starting with a Street Party in St John's Square and ending with a Scarecrow Festival in the Salisbury Woodland off East Park Drive.

Read our report - click here

Civic VoiceCivic Voice the national voice of the civic trust.

Totally Transport 2012 is Sunday June 24th

Photo of the minis on the promenade in 2011.

totallyTransport 2011 Blackpool

Current plans are for:

Classic Cars, on display on New South Promenade,
Classic Buses, Coaches and Commercial Vehicles on display on New South Promenade from Solaris to Pleasure Beach,
Enthusiast Trade Stalls at the rear of Solaris,
Tramway Models; Displays about LTT and Blackpool Civic Trust inside Solaris,
Entertainment for all the family at Solaris,
Blackpool Trams operate through the Rally Site,
Vintage Bus Rides.

11am to 4pm.

Full details on their website:

Queens Visit to Accrington

Blackpool Civic Trust members attended the Queen's visit to Accrington on her Diamond Jubilee year tour on the 16th May 2012. They were part of a county parade featuring around 500 people involved in various community and voluntary groups from across Lancashire.

Blackpool Civic Trust members who joined the Lancashire community walk watched by the Queen.


New Corporate Member - May 2012

Welcome to our latest Corporate Member:

Hi-Life Diners Club Ltd, Whitehills Business Park, Blackpool FY4 5LW - 01253 608910 -

The full list of corporate members can be read by clicking here.

Blue Plaque: Lucy Morton

On the 27th April a blue plaque was placed on the Town Hall for Lucy Morton the first British Woman to win an Olympic Gold for swimming. Lucy lived in the Town Hall for a number of years, her father was the Mayor's Attendant.

Blackpool Heritage Tours - Tram Tour & Walking Tour

1. Blackpool Heritage Tram Tours - new fares announced

New Fares announced in May 2012. Click here or on the leaflet to download both pages.

Blackpool Heritage Tram Tour

Heritage Tram new fares May 2012

Note a new ticket is introduced 12th April that is not on the leaflet. The ticket will be available to any UK Concessionary Pass Holder including the disabled and OAPs, and will cost £5.00. It will give unlimited travel on the heritage trams only. It can be bought in advance from our Travel Centres at Market Street and Rigby Road or can be bought on the heritage trams on the day of use. Please note that this ticket will NOT be valid for use on the brand new LRT trams or our network of buses.

Click here to download the leaflet

Click here to download a list of Frequently Asked Questions

A fleet of old trams including the traditional Blackpool balloon trams and ones on loan plus the Frigate, the Train and the Trawler will operate regularly along the promenade. Each day different trams will be used.

Blackpool Heritage Tram Tours are operating throughout the holiday season between the Pleasure Beach and Little Bispham from April to December.

During school holidays, weekends and bank holidays every half hour from 9.30am to 5pm.

During the illuminations from 31st August to 4th November every 20 minutes on weekdays from 5pm to 11pm and at weekend till midnight. At weekend and October half term every 10 minutes.

The heritage trams have 4 special stops: Pleasure Beach, North Pier, Uncle Toms Cabin and Bispham. These are by the track and marked with a Green Circle saying Heritage Tram Stop.

Tickets are £10 for adults, £5 for children and £30 for a family and can be used on all Blackpool Transport buses and modern trams across the Fylde coast for the day.

Heritage Tram Stop

Blackpool Heritage Tram Stop

Blackpool Heritage Tours


Come with us, step back in time and enjoy our guided tours of two great Blackpool heritage sites – the Winter Gardens and Stanley Park. Be engaged, enthralled and entertained by our expert, fully trained and knowledgeable guides. Discover the fascinating, magical and unique stories of these two fabulous places. Winter Gardens
& Stanley Park.

Click here to download the guide leaflet containing details.

Winter Gardens: (meeting point at Floral Hall)
• Thursday 5th April (Easter)
• Thursday 3rd May
• Thursday 7th June (Half Term)
• Monday 2nd July
• Thursday 9th August
• Friday 7th September
• Monday 8th October

Stanley Park: (meeting point at Visitor Centre)
• Thursday 12th April (Easter)
• Thursday 10th May
• Thursday 14th June
• Thursday 12th July
• Thursday 16th August
• Thursday 13th September
• Thursday 18th October

All tours start promptly at 11am ending at 12.30pm
and booking is essential.

Ticket Prices...
£5 per adult, £3 per child. Children under 16yrs must
be accompanied by an adult.

People with disabilities are very welcome, please make your requirements known at time of booking. Special tours for prebooked
parties can be arranged at preferential rates.

Book your place now...
By calling visitBlackpool on (01235) 478222

Online at
or visit Blackpool’s Tourist Information Centre,
Festival House, Peoples Promenade (opposite
Blackpool Tower).

Embark on your journey through the jewels in the crown of Blackpool’s Heritage with a nationally accredited guide. A truly one-off experience leaving you with magical memories of the past and the future.

Visit the website:

Stanley Park Visitor Centre

Blackpool Heritage Tours Stanley Park Visitor Centre


Minutes Secretary required for Blackpool Civic Trust.

A volunteer is required for the role of Minutes Secretary. The secretary will preferably be enthusiastic about the heritage of Blackpool and will be regularly available to ensure that the proceedings at Blackpool Civic Trust Committee Meetings and Monthly Meetings with members are accurately recorded, approved and distributed in a timely manner using both traditional and modern media.

If you are interested in the above please get in touch with Elaine by e-mail or phone, as shown on the About Us page.

List of meeting and speakers for 2012 /13 announced. Click here.

February 2012 Newsletter - summary

Cockermouth Visit

Betty & Danny have again organised another day out for us - this time it is to Cockermouth. It is on Tuesday 17th April with the first pick up point being Preston New Road at 8.45am.  The cost is £15.  We went on a ‘recce’ three weeks ago and were very impressed with the wonderful renovation done since the 2009 floods.  It will be possible to use your National Trust memberships to visit Wordsworth House which is in the centre of the town.  A local hardware shop in the town will open its doors for us to take a step into the past – almost like going into a museum! It was wonderful!  Betty & Danny’s telephone number is 857970.

Totally Transport 2012

If you would like to support our work with totallyTransport then could I suggest you come to our fund raising dinner at Number One South Beach on Friday 23rd March?   This is a three course dinner (five choices each course!) and is only £22.50.  For further details and to book, please contact Chris tel: 623338.

Friends of Stanley Park

The Friends of Stanley Park has changed it’s AGM date to Saturday April 21st at the Visitor Centre by which time we hope the weather will have improved.  From that date onwards the Friends’ meetings will take place there on the third Saturday of each month from 2pm until 4.00pm.

Blue Plaque Unveiling

We are unveiling a blue plaque at midday at the Town Hall on April 27th to commemorate Lucy Morton winning the first Gold Medal given to a woman swimmer in any Olympic Games.  Why are we doing it?  Lucy went to the 1924 Paris Olympics from the Blackpool Town Hall where she lived with her parents – her father was the Mayor’s attendant.  What better reason could we have in this Olympic year?  Later, as Mrs Lucy Heaton,  she taught swimming to many Blackpool school children.  Were you one of them?  If so please let me know.

Awards Ceremony Report

Elaine Smith with Griff Rhys Jones

Blackpool Civic Trust Awards Ceremony

Blackpool Civic Trust Awards Ceremony held in the Spanish Hall at the Winter Gardens on 25th January 2012. Read our report and photographs. Click here.

New Corporate Members

Blackpool Civic Trust is proud to announce two more Corporate Members. Blackpool Tower the Grade 1 listed building operated by Merlin Entertainments including ballroom, tower eye, and dungeon. Also Blackpool Transport who will shortly begin services with the new trams and the retained adapted traditional trams.

January 2012: New members.

Blackpool Tower
Blackpool Transport

See the full list of Corporate Members. Click here.

Note changes in Venue

The February meeting will now be in the Central Library.

Speakers announced for February and March 2012.

For details of meetings and speakers see our meetings and events page, click here.

Civic Day 2012 - 23rd June 2012

We are planning a Civic Week in 2012 starting with Civic Day on 23rd June and ending with a Scarecrow Festival in Salisbury Woodland on 30th June and 1st July. Scarecrow clothes will be required if you've any old items to be donated.


Blackpool Tower and Tram

Tourist trams win one year reprieve

Further to our note below under threat heritage trams have been given a lifeline by Blackpool Council.

The trams will remain in their Rigby Road depot home for another 12 months while an alternative destination is found for them.

Read the full report in the Gazette: Click here

Blackpool Tram Heritage at Risk

Lancastrian Transport Trust advise us that Blackpoool's Tram Heritage is at risk. Here is their brief:

The largest collection of vintage trams outside of the National Tramway Museum in Derbyshire is at risk – and it is based here in Blackpool.

Ever since 1984, the Lancastrian Transport Trust has been collecting significant examples of Blackpool’s unique transport heritage and further examples have been added more recently as the tram fleet is thinned out ready for the new supertrams to take over. In fairness, Blackpool Transport prompted by the Council to clear redundant trams from the Rigby Road depot, gave us notice 18-months ago that we would need to remove the vehicles. We have found homes for a couple of them in museums around the country – but this means that our priceless collection is being dispersed. We began talks with Council officers as soon as Blackpool Transport gave notice but now, with less than four weeks to go the collection risks being homeless. For the past 18-months we were just passed around from one officer to another.

The Trust has not been short of ideas. Dating back to 2002, the organisation has been submitting plans to Blackpool Council for a tramway visitor centre with proposals based at Starr Gate, Blundell Street and Thornton Gate, but none of them have been taken forward by the Council. We are also concerned at the official information about the tram fleet being retained on the tramway – 24 trams are being kept but 10 of these are substantially rebuilt double deck trams, plastered in advertising and rebuilt out of all recognition of their iconic heritage status, some are illuminated trams and very few represent the genuine article – unlike our own Blackpool collection.

Blackpool Council has, this week, offered to assist with locating an alternative site but the common sense, no cost answer of keeping them in the part of the tram depot that will soon become empty has already been rejected by Blackpool Transport and the Council.

History has a habit of repeating itself. Back in the 1960s when the last major tramway upheaval took place, many tramcar types either disappeared or were sent off to museums around the country, depriving Blackpool of a significant chunk of its tramway history. As the country’s first electric tramway, surely our unique collection deserves to be retained intact and in Blackpool?

For more information, visit or contact Paul Turner by email at


Older news 2011 and 2010.


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