The northwestern England town was once a summer tourist hub in the first half of the 20th century before tourists began looking outside the U.K. for their vacations.
As daylight hours start to dwindle and temperatures commence their downward slide, let us wax nostalgic about the summer via vintage photos of Blackpool, England. For more than 100 years, the quaint seaside town offered fun for residents and tourists alike: from donkey rides to beauty contests and diners to drink carts, the sun always shone in Blackpool… at least for a time.
In 1954, British photojournalism magazine Picture Post sent photographer John Chillingworth on assignment to Blackpool. Chillingworth was to document the thriving tourist location—between the years of 1901 and 1951, the seaside town’s population tripled—at what happened to be the end of its heyday.
Soon after Chillingworth snapped these color shots, Blackpool’s popularity fell. Improved highway infrastructure and affordable flights to warm destinations such as Spain presented vacation-goers with more exotic (and attainable) travel destinations than Blackpool, and the northwest England town began to feel it. Fewer crowds meant fewer businesses, and the erstwhile resort town began to shrink in size and acclaim.
As with summer, though, when Blackpool was at its height, nothing else could compare. We look back at Blackpool’s glory days in Chillingworth’s photos: