Blackpool

Blackpool is a seaside town in Lancashire, England, on the coast of the Irish Sea.

Blackpool has three piers, the North (built in 1863), Central (1868) and South (1893). Blackpool Tower, built in May 1894, is a 518-foot-tall copy of the Eiffel Tower. It was painted gold for its centenary.

The town also has a tramway, which for a long time was Britain's only one left. Other cities have been rebuilding their networks since late 20th century.

Blackpool is notable as the home of sports car manufacturer TVR and the original site of Jaguar Cars. There is a football team, Blackpool F.C It is also home to the amusement park Blackpool Pleasure Beach. ERNIE, which picks the Premium Bond numbers, is based here.

In its heyday, say 1900-1960, Blackpool heaved as the factory workers of northern England took their annual holidays there en masse. Look at any photo from this era and you will be unable to find space on the beach or "The Golden Mile" as its promenade is known. The town went into decline when cheap travel arrived in the 1960s and the same workers decamped to the Mediterranean coast resorts. They will probably not return as it is more reliably sunny there, and that tends to be what holidays are about. So now Blackpool is struggling to find a role although the local council want it to become the Las Vegas of Britain by attracting investment into casinos.

At present the town is becoming notorious for its hen and stag night-life as soon-to-be-weds of both sexes, along with packs of their friends often dressed alike in absurd or risque attire, roam the town's myriad bars and clubs getting increasingly drunk. This is said to be putting off the "family visitors".

The resort is featured in the 1934 film Sing as We Go, starring Gracie Fields, as well as other cinema and TV productions.

Blackpool remains a major summer entertainment venue, specialising in variety shows featuring entetainers such as Ken Dodd. Outside the main holiday season, Blackpool's Winter Gardens routinely hosts major political conferences, ranging from that of The Labour Party (UK) with tens of thousands of delegates and visitors, to substantially smaller gatherings such as the TUC or NUS conferences.

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