St John's Square Blackpool with the 2022 Christmas Tree, Winter Gardens and Blackpool Tower
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Christmas Carols and Hot Pot Supper
at St Stephen's Church Hall with the Salvation Army Brass Band
Our December meeting was with Christmas Carols from the Salvation Army Brass Band and a hot pot supper. An enjoyable evening was had by all.
19th December 2022
Tree Planting 2nd December 2022
Blackpool Civic Trust volunteers helped a small team to plant 10 trees along the green space at Bathurst Ave in one day, Friday 2nd December. It's a big scheme at Grange Park with 9 individual projects in all, each being two-days long. We will be taking part in several more of the projects together with other volunteers and the Groundwork team. North Blackpool Pond Trail also sent volunteers.
Our volunteers Alan Thomson is on the left and Anna Lindsay-Thinn is on the right. Pauline Taylor of Groundwork is in the middle. They were larger trees than the standard ones and very heavy owing to the big root balls. A mechanical digger was used to move the trees to the desired spot and dig the holes.
Our November Monthly Meeting was held on Monday 21st November 2022 at 7pm in
in the Grand Theatre with Guest Speaker, the new CEO of the Grand Theatre, Adam Knight
The Blackpool Grand Theatre played host for the Civic Trust’s annual Robert Evans Mills lecture. We were all assembled on stage to hear the Grand’s new CEO, Adam Knight, deliver this prestigious lecture. Adam give an excellent and engrossing talk on some of the many famous theatres that he has been professionally associated with in various capacities. The Grand Theatre proved the perfect setting for his talk, which members of the Civic Trust greatly enjoyed.
There are 6 categories which must meet the 6 criteria listed below and on the Nomination Form. Work must have been completed in Blackpool in 2022.
The closing date for receipt of forms is currently being discussed but please submit your forms.
Note that the Open Spaces Award closure date is 31st March 2023.
1. Best New Build
2. Best New Refurbishment
3. Best Open Space
4. Best New Quality Visitor Attraction
5. Transforming Blackpool
6. Best Community Group
Criteria for nominations for awards:
1. Overall quality of design/construction
2. Aesthetic appeal
3. Respect for street scene/townscape
6. Respect for history and heritage of building/structure
Exclusions: nominations cannot be repeated in the same category in different years, work must have been completed in 2022, some allowance may be made for delays caused by the pandemic.
Click on the image below to download the form in Word format.
Tree Planting 1st and 2nd December 2022
Our next project activity will be tree planting with Groundwork on Grange Park and any members wishing to join us should contact Paul Humble.
We will be there on Thursday and Friday: 1st and 2nd December, 2022 at 10am-3pm. Grange Park, Bathurst Avenue. Planting standard trees. Please bring waterproof clothes, gardening gloves and stout shoes. All equipment will be provided.
Groundwork have the following information for anyone wishing to join the project.
Mini-Crazy Golf Event - September 2022
We finally managed after several unavoidable cancellations to hold our mini-crazy golf event for members. Our Chair, Joan, who had never played before got a hole-in-one on two occasions! It was great fun, the evening was warm and sunny, with a clear sky and great views of the pier and sea. What a splendid location. We are going to hold a similar, free event next year, for members but this time in the Spring.
Town Hall Heritage Open Day Tours Cancelled 17th September 2022
Please note that we regretfully are unable to hold these tours as it would be inappropriate to disturb the tranquility of the building during the period of mourning for Queen Elizabeth II when it is being used for those wishing to sign or write messages into the Book of Condolences.
July Guest Speaker: Tony Merrygold of The Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust
Our meeting of 18th July 2022 was held in Stanley Park Visitor Centre withTony Merrygold as the guest speaker.
Tony had been visiting sites in Blackpool where the early Jaguar, then called Swallow, was built. These included Bloomfield Road and Cocker Street. He told us the factory was moved overnight to Cocker Street as it expanded. However as the popularity of the cars grew it was necessary to move closer to the main motor industry area and Coventry was chosen.
It's an interesting story of how William Lyons met William Walmsley who hand built streamlined motorcycle sidecars in Blackpool having moved from Stockport due to his asthma. Together they expanded the business into cars. Tony also covered family matters and that one member of the Blackpool staff, a secretary, moved to Coventry and became possibly the first female director of a car company in Europe.
The Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust is based at the British Motor Museum at Gaydon.
The meeting also covered Civic Trust business with Nigel Patterson the planning officer advising us it had been a busy month in planning applications that might effect listed areas.
Read more about the 100yr anniversary event in Blackpool Click Here
Below Tony Merrygold and Joan Humble our chairman.
June Guest Speaker: The creation of Gracie Fairburn by Susan Brownrigg
Our meeting of 20th June 2022 was held in Stanley Park Visitor Centre. Susan Brownrigg was the guest speaker.
We had a lively and interesting talk from the guest speaker at our meeting last night. Susan Brownrigg is a published author of historical children’s books for ages 8-12, and a member of the Trust. The books are inspired by real Blackpool events in 1935 and Susan told us of the research she undertook to ensure accuracy. Photo of Susan with Joan Humble, Chair of Blackpool Civic Trust.
Gardening project at Princess Parade crazy golf course
Blackpool Civic Trust volunteers made a start today, 14th June, on weeding the flower beds and borders of the 1950s crazy golf course alongside other volunteers.
It’s fairly easy work, though care needs to be taken on the steep slopes where the soil is quite loose. We plan to do 2 morning sessions a week and hope to get the course looking at its best in time for the summer school holidays.
We will be meeting again this week at the course on Thursday 16th June at 10.30am. Thereafter our regular morning sessions will on Tuesdays and Fridays from 10am-1pm. If you are interested in helping and can spare a few hours, then please get in touch with the project officer, Paul Humble, for further information. His contact details can be found on the Civic Trust website. Click Here
The Secrets of the Grand, by Colin Johnson of the Grand Theatre
Colin Johnson, of the Grand Theatre, speaking about “The secrets of the Grand” at our monthly meeting on the 16th May 2022. A fascinating talk about the history of the Grand Theatre, including insights into the great Frank Matcham’s working practices. The latter would alter and re-make parts of the Theatre if he thought they would be improvements. Members really appreciated the talk and there were lots of questions, which were answered very clearly and fully. An excellent, entertaining and informative evening.
Presentation of a Bequest to Blackpool Civic Trust 21st March 2022
David Owen is seen handing over a generous bequest to Joan, our Chair, at the end of the AGM, March 2022. The Executive Committee shall consider carefully how this charitable contribution should be spent on promoting excellence in Blackpool.
St Stephens on the Cliffs Church 21st March 2022
Due to Covid restrictions the awards ceremony in 2020 at the Carousel Hotel was deferred and a smaller awards presentation was made at the AGM at St Stephens on the Cliffs Church.
The awards were presented by John Barnett MBE, DL and Danielle Barnett. Joan Humble was master of ceremonies. Below are details of the Awards and photographs of winners being presented with the their awards.
Award Judges are: Alistair Baines of Cassidy and Ashton, Pippa Greenway of Blackpool Council Planning Department, Nigel Patterson of Blackpool Civic Trust, Planning Officer.
For a full set of photographs please see our 2019 Awards page, click here.
John and Danielle Barnett present the Community Award to The Windmill Trust
John and Danielle Barnett present the Open Spaces Award to The North Blackpool Pond Trail.
John and Danielle Barnett present the Community Award Highly Commende to the Friends of Devonshire Rock Gardens.
John and Danielle Barnett present the Best Refurbishment Award(joint) to The Mortgage Shop, Topping Street.
Other joint winners of the best refurbishment award are Cafe Continental, Topping Street, and Andsome Barbers, Edward Street.
Best New Build Award to the Boulevard Hotel
On the 5th April 2022, after the AGM Awards were presented to some of those who could not attend:
Presentation of the award to the Boulevard Hotel on the 5th April 2022:
Presentation of the award to Cafe Continental:
Presentation of the award to Andsome Barbers:
The Committee Visit to Showtown 20th March 2022
The committee recently visited Showtown, Blackpool, to inspect progress on the construction of the museum’s impressive interior. It is hoped to have the opening in March 2023.
Left to right: Joan Humble and Judi Brown of Blackpool Civic Trust, Rachel Sykes, Showtown and, Heather Morrow of Blackpool Council.
Monthly Meeting report 21st February 2022
The monthly meeting was held on Zoom. We were given an illuminating update by Rachel Sykes on Showtown which is due to open in Spring 2023. A lot of focus has been on involving local people and encouraging young people to participate including a stand-up comedy school culminating in a live performance.
A number of digital stories have been created and are on YouTube, click below.
Pubic programme details:
Winter Gardens Film Festival- Tickets - Winter Gardens Film Festival
Blackpool on Film- Blackpool on Film - Winter Gardens Film Festival
Talk on 100 years of Dance- Ballroom Glitz: The Blackpool Way at The Pavilion, Blackpool Winter Gardens event tickets from TicketSource
In 2015 The Civic Trust carried out a condition survey of all Grade 2 listed buildings on behalf of the Council. Our planning officer raised concerns about the general condition of the former Clifton Hotel (Grade 2). Of particular concern were cracks in the west elevation and the dangerous state of several exterior lights that looked as if they might fall down. Our Chair, Joan, contacted the Gazette, which published an article on the building’s condition. We alerted the Council also whose Enforcement Officers got the hotel to dismantle the offending light fixtures.
Since then the Civic Trust has been keeping a close eye on the building and recording the external repairs that have slowly been taking place. These observations were regularly passed on to the Council’s Conservation Officer. It is very pleasing to report that Forshaw’s hotel, as it’s now called - reverting to its historic name - is looking altogether more spruce, though it’s a work in progress.
Unveiling of Blue Plaque for Marton Parish Church Hall and Marton Amateur Operatic Society, Blackpool
14th January 2022
A blue plaque sponsored by the former Marton Operatic Society was unveiled by the Mayor of Blackpool Cllr Amy Cross on 14th January, 2022. The plaque records the varied history of an important historical site in Marton.
From 1930 to 2002 the Society gave many performances of Gilbert and Sullian operas in particular in what was then the Marton Parish Church Hall.
The Society was dissolved in 2021 and their archive is contained on a website linked beneath the photographs.
The Mayor of Blackpool, Councillor Amy Cross unveils the plaque:
Joan Humble, Chair of Blackpool Civic Trust, speaks:
Tony Alman, Chair of Marton Operatic Society, speaks:
Philip Walsh, a former actor in the society, speaks:
Read more about the Marton Operatic Society on their website: