Milestones, Boundary Markers, Historical Artifacts, Street Furniture, lost roads and buildings.

There are many traces of our ancestors scattered around our landscape. Mile Markers and Boundary stones are there too. The Milestone Society believes that there are approximately 9000 left in the United Kingdom. Some are cherished but others are hidden in hedgerows, some have been unwittingly destroyed by crashes, road equipment or even stolen. Roads have been straightened to make them safer. There are old gateposts still left in place, old buildings, and place names that declare an evocative past. The aim is to capture some of this information at least photographically before it disappears.

Although the Fylde Coast does not have ancient history, the Romans apparently struggled to Kirkham. There have been huge changes in the last two centuries from literally a a few fishermans' and agricultural dwellings, to a full blown tourist and light engineering industry.

More historical information can be found here about the Fylde coast.

It also seems that time has marched on and left what appears to be some very respectable buildings... which just should be used, but seem to have no worth.

Links from this Blog

Nearly-Midnight The genealogy website relating to the family. A tangled web of people all related to one another, explore!
Memorials Website dedicated to War Memorials - The majority in the North of England. Visits to churches, but also memorials in out of the way places.
Robert Clark The Father of Henry Martyn-Clark - A missionary out in the North-West Frontier of India. One of the first Europeans to set foot in Afganistan
Affetside Census
A small village north of Bury, Lancashire, I can trace many of my immediate ancesters from there. On the Roman Road, Watling Street
Andrew Martyn-Clark My Father and his part in my World. Also my mother and his parents too.
Henry Martyn-Clark My Great Grandfather, his roots and his achievements. Discusses malaria but also his confrontations with Islam.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

The Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes

Well an update.
I had the opportunity to visit and photograph the inside of this wonderful building. It certainly bears comparison to many of the churches I have visited.
However 2 photographs just to wet the appetite. More to follow. There is now a link to the datastore which carries many more photos of the inside.

The confessional on the south side of the building - a little retouched.

Blue Plaque - just inside the door

The information below is pasted from the Historic Chapels Trust. It is clearly a modern building, built between 1955 and 1957. Only 60 years old!

History and Architecture

The shrine was built as a Roman Catholic convent chapel designed by the distinguished Francis Xavier Velarde. 

This entry is a brief copy of his work in the City of Liverpool files. Hopefully this long link will open.

Velarde; Francis Xavier (1897-1960)

Born 1897. Died 28th December 1961 (aged 62)

Entered the Liverpool School of Architecture in 1920, and was awarded an honorary travelling scholarship in 1923. He taught there from 1928. Practised mainly as a church architect, and worked in Merseyside and the North West of England. [B. Arch. A.R.I.B.A]. O.B.E in 1957.

Wife and 2 Sons (one being an Architect)

St. Matthew, Clubmoor, Liverpool (1927); St. Gabriel, Blackburn (1932-3); Our Lady of Lourdes School, Birkdale, Southport (1935-6); St. Monica, Bootle (1936); Holy Cross, Bidston, Birkenhead (1959)

It dates from 1955–7.
Velarde was interested in blending historic styles with modern motifs. The result at Blackpool exhibited a highly individual, expressive, modern interpretation.
The chapel is of Portland stone externally with a copper roof and fleche, it is ornamented with four statues, one at each corner, with a relief on the facade above the entrance by the sculptor David John.
The interior is dominated by gold mosaic columns, supporting a ceiling of vivid blue, red and gold against a background of pale grey rendered walls.
The windows form a high screen of pierced stone forming a bold geometric pattern along each wall. Another link to David John here

Repair and Regeneration

A first phase of repairs was completed in April 2008. This consisted of repairs to the leaking copper roof and re-designing a defective rainwater disposal system. The works cost £100,000.
Fundraising has started to raise approximately £500,000 to fund the works required to complete repairs and introduce new facilities to ensure the building can host a wide range of suitable community activities and occasional services of worship.
The following excerpt is from Blackpool Civic Trust:

War memorial thanksgiving chapel, with vestries and entrance steps. 1955-7 to the designs of F.X. Velarde; Eaves and Co., builders. 
Portland stone, with copper-clad roof and fleche. 
Near-rectangular plan of four bay church with single-bay narthex and sanctuary apse at their respective ends, with projecting vestries at East end. 
West end blind, with over round-arched timber double doors a relief of the Holy Trinity by David John, who also sculpted the pinnacles at each corner of the building, which depict our Lady appearing to St Bernadette, Christ appearing to St Margaret Mary, St Thomas of Canterbuy and St Edward the Confessor.  Those at West end are set on fluted buttresses. 
Rectangular panels of glazing, filled with alternating square and lozenge tracery patterns of red and blue glass.  Circular motif to tracery in round-headed little vestry windows.  Central fleche with gilded bands contrasting with the copper, and central cross motif, surmounted by cross.  
York stone steps between stone flank walls to entrance
The interior is equally magnificently appointed.  Round-arched arcades clad in gold mosaic,  with cross motif, support ceiling of vivid blue, red and gold.  Tiled floor with cross motif.    Raised sanctuary reached up marble steps in apse with round-arched opening.   Sanctuary floor of marble with mosaic panels.  Bronze altar rails of art deco design, related in style to glazed screen at west end of church, which is finished in lacquered bronze.  Altar and reredos of gris mouchete stone carved by David John.
The Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes, patron saint of the Diocese of Lancaster, was conceived by the Right Reverend Thomas E. Flynn, Bishop of Lancaster, as a thanksgiving chapel to the diocese’s relatively unscathed survival through World War II. 
In September 1945 Bishop Flynn wrote: “During the war as the danger became more acute, and one diocese after another suffered terrible losses of life and property, I asked for earnest prayers to our patroness, Our Lady of Lourdes….and we were marvellously spared.  The thought was in my mind during that period of anxiety that after the war I should ask the diocese to make an offering to God to show our gratitude”.
The shrine cost £50,000 to which every parish in the diocese subscribed.  Blackpool was chosen for its central position and ease of access to visitors; a local builder, William Eaves, donated the site. 
The shrine was tended by nuns of the Congregation of Adoration of Mare Reparatrice.  Most recently the shrine has been attended by the Blessed Sacrament of Fathers.  Velarde’s work was described in the opening literature as “although original in design (having) its roots in the Ancient Romanesque Architecture”.  While his St Teresa, Upholland, of the same date, shares the combination of modern sculpture, gilded mosaic and round-arched detailing found here, the shrine has a perfect, diminutive jewel-like quality that transcends conventional church formulas.

Do indeed want to see inside this building!

However the photos:

Although the Shrine has been saved,
there does not seem to be much going on at present

This is from across Whinney Heys road.
Looks quite idyllic but its bedlam at visiting time
The copper roof is clearly seen -
this was the subject of much fund raising.

This is from the hospital side - looking towards the rear of the building
This is from the roundabout side.
The circular rear can be seen

The very rear. This is the East end
Significantly no windows
Lattice stonwork and a peculiar chimney type object

An elegant view. This is the view that the majority of travelers
have on the road that runs from behind Stanley park to Bispham.
Just before the Newton drive roundabout.
Relief of the Passion of Christ in Portland Stone

Looking towards Victoria Hospital
Looking towards the Newton Drive roundabout
The clock tower in Victoria Hospital.
Not sure why it is in this set of pictures except that it very close
and that it is one of the remaining parts of the hospital still left.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

The Tache - Your Father's Moustache

Well a trip down memory lane.
The Cherry Tree Gardens Hotel was temporarily called “Your Father’s Moustache”, to try to regain customers who had been drawn into Blackpool centre for their entertainment.  Low building, one floor. Played silent movies during the band breaks - did a lot of business with the student population!
No Photos of the original "Your Father's Moustache" but I did spend a lot of time there! I think. Played there too on occasion. Beer in 3 pint jugs - Tables nailed down and several hours of a banjo band playing old time and new time songs. Nearly seemed to finish with a rip roaring version of "Delilah" by Tom Jones. Staggered or drove home , best forgotten perhaps.
Richard 'Muttonchops' Johnson
Richard "Muttonchops" Johnston
Known to have played at YFM in Blackpool

The club was run by a chap called Butch - an American, I did believe there was another club in the States. An internet search will reveal a syndicated name and many clubs too. They owned a hearse - which was dragged out for Rag Day parades - the band used to play on it.

When I became sensible got married and such stuff I heard that the club had closed. But that it had reinvented itself in the middle of Blackpool as "The Tache" Visited a couple of times - mates of mine played there and in the early days quite a few big name bands played there.

The next excerpt is from the "Evening Gazette" on the demise of the "Tache" late 2011 - Seems that it is going to rise from the ashes for a third time.

Legendary rock venue saved

The Tache nightclub, Cookson Street. Blackpool

Published on Monday 31 October 2011 11:49

LANDMARK rock club The Tache has secured a new home.

The club which has been operated on Cookson Street for 31 years was in danger of vanishing following compulsory purchase.
The building will now be demolished early next year but the name will move lock, stock and beer barrel to Beat nightclub, above The Rose and Crown on Corporation Street.
“All the staff, including DJs, bar staff and door staff will keep their jobs and we will do our best to recreate the special Tache atmosphere,” said Beat owner Robert Wynne.
“Bar prices and opening hours will be the same and hopefully the unique Tache customers will stick with us.
“On busy nights we will be open on two floors, just like the current venue.”
Beat will be renamed The Tache and as much of the current décor as possible will move as well.
“We have been working for several months on the project with Tache owner Ron Blunden and we have his full support,” said Mr Wynne.
“We hope to be true to The Tache ideals but also add to them with regular rock band nights, hopefully with some big out of town bands.”
The original Tache will hold a celebratory final night on November 19 and hundreds of tickets have already been sold with many former Tache regulars heading back from far and wide to pay a final visit.
It will re-open five days later in its new home.
“I am delighted that The Tache is carrying on and that all the staff and DJs are safe in their jobs,” said Mr Blunden.
Security manager John Weber, who has been at the Tache for 17 years and who will be a partner in the new venue said: “I have been looking after The Tache customers for years, taking their pictures and making sure they are safe and I will be looking forward to doing the same at the new site.”

There are 28 comments to this article
Order by:
Newest first|Oldest first
Thursday, November 3, 2011 at 01:30 PM
Once played a great gig in the tach in a band called Rik Rak. In true rock n roll style an audience member was throwing things at out lead singer Pete, this gradually got worse as we got closer to a guitar solo. A bottle was then thrown at Pete and as the guitar solo started Pete jumped off the stage, jumped on the lad throwing things, kicked the sh1t out of him as we all played on looking at each other as the fight happened on the dance floor. Pete then managed to jump back on stage seconds before the end of the guitar solo the go straight back into full verse! it was one of the most bonkers well timed acts of musical violence I have ever seen! Quality days.
Brian Damage
Wednesday, November 2, 2011 at 02:03 PM
Yeah the Tache was run down which I didn't like but the peeps in there have always been great, don't consider myself a regular but I've had some great times and chatted to some interesting characters, it was never dull! I'll definately have to pop in to the new venue and I for one will not miss the sticky carpet! :-)
Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 03:29 PM
Bring back Paddy McGinty's Goat!
Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 09:20 AM
8 Ramseyguy. I think you are living in the past from about 50 years ago. I am one of those greasy biker types you refer to and you will find that 99.9 percent of bikers are normal everyday extremely well behaved people
Cynical Observer
Monday, October 31, 2011 at 11:02 PM
From 'Chariebubbles' - The words - "Don't laugh - your daughter might be in here' written over the door 30 years ago still makes me smile" The statement is a wonderful expression of the late 70s attitudes and also an obsevation on the old fashioned family holiday with 'dad' aged 40 something out for a 'breath of fresh air' and, erm, daughter aged teen something, doing her stuff in a blackpool disco! As a 'people watcher' at the time these kind of encounters only seemed to happen between 1974 and 1979... the I suppose 'lessons were learned' and the generation gap became more obvious!
Monday, October 31, 2011 at 06:31 PM
The words - 'Don't laugh - your daughter might be in here' written over the door 30 years ago still makes me smile. I once went in there, circa 1983 and heard a Gary Glitter tribute act singing 'Toilet Roll' to the thumping tune of his big 70s hit, 'Rock n' Roll' . I nearly haemorrhaged laughing.
revoe lad
Monday, October 31, 2011 at 06:23 PM
I've not been in for around 15 years, but still see it as the end of an era. I used to go there regularly and even spent my 21st birthday upstairs in Squires. I wonder if they'll take the renowned sticky carpet to the new venue.
Monday, October 31, 2011 at 05:04 PM
Feeling the love from fellow Tache goers, and that's the point! When I grew up I was the only kid in my town that I knew listened to rock music, nicking my dads rock compilation cds to have a listen, nothing is better and more soothing to me than the sound of an electric guitar. When I moved to Blackpool in 1998 the Tache was and still the only place I ever felt accepted for being me! I didn't just GO there, I grew up there!!
Monday, October 31, 2011 at 04:52 PM
This is comment in response to plug PLUG UGLY: You clearly must not go out much and you definitely do not go much to BAR19 to pass a judgement on the venue. To call BAR19 venue is hilarious. There is hardly ever any trouble there compared to many other venues in Blackpool. Get your facts right before you decide to insult reputable venues :-)
Monday, October 31, 2011 at 04:50 PM
My fiancé and I had our first kiss in the Tache in 2009, and I've several good friends who frequent the club. It's always been a wonderfully welcoming place and felt much safer that other parts of Blackpool (day or night). I'm so glad that such an asset to the town has been saved. The forbidding frontage probably owes as much to the abandoned shops and the surrounding awfulness (bus station, anyone?) as to the fact that there's not much point in doing somewhere up if you're going to get chucked out by the council so they can tear the place down. Good luck to all the staff and regulars! I hope the Tache is still around for my kids to enjoy when they are old enough. Maybe it's time for Blackpool to embrace the black pound, after all the pink pound adds welcome vitality already.
Monday, October 31, 2011 at 03:58 PM
fully agree the tache runs on respect ...ive been going in there for 31 yrs and have only ever seen trouble twice ...once thanks to visiting slaves who the police refused to deal with !! and the second was just a scuffle and was sorted out by the regulars who do not condone violence or kick offs in their local ...if there were more venues run like the tache the policing costs in town would halve
Monday, October 31, 2011 at 03:47 PM
I am not sure the 1000's of people who go to the gay bars as opposed to the 100's that went to the Tache would agree with you plug ugly but variety is the spice of life and as long as everyone is happy, who cares..Good Luck to the Tache
Monday, October 31, 2011 at 03:38 PM
The Tache was bought under compulsory purchase when town hall chiefs agreed to pay out £400,000 to make way for Council Offices as part of the £250m Talbot Gateway. The Nightclub is now being moved to premises owned by Robert Wynne or should I say Councilor ex Blackpool Mayor Robert Wynne owner of the Rose & Crown premises. I am sure you all know where the Rose & Crown is, it's on the same street as the lights that cost £3.5m while other streets are full of potholes. mmhhhh
Bobby Fett
Monday, October 31, 2011 at 03:24 PM
Ramseyguy ....... I'm guessing you are pretty narrow mined as your literacy skills are limited too. If you don't like the kind of places that keeps Blackpool going all year round either come up with a sensible suggestion or move away ...... preferably the second one as your outdated discriminative comments are needed as much as a visit from the EDL !!
Monday, October 31, 2011 at 02:32 PM
Ramseyguy could you be anymore of an idiot? Seriously in the 12 years I've been going to the Tache the majority of people who go there are NOT bikers, they're kids who likes metal music and have nowhere else to go cos we run into fraggles like yourself who want to beat us up for not being you!! And if it wasn't for "Gayland" the town's economy would be ten times worse than it already is!!!
ViveLa Revolution
Monday, October 31, 2011 at 02:14 PM
Ramsayguy.... it may look rough and so may many of the regulars but i can honestly say that in the 20 odd years i have been frequenting the place i think i have seen maybe 2 or 3 instances of trouble, thats in 20 years remember , unlike nearly evey other late night bar in Blackpool full of drunken brain dead chavs many of whom think they are a cross between Rocky and Rambo. you might get lots of big bikers and the like, but you will get very little bother. This is true of most 'Rock' venues throughout the country i hasten to add.
Monday, October 31, 2011 at 02:10 PM
LOL, the comments from people who've never been in..okay it looks cack outside and yes it's cack inside as well, we don't need poncey disco nightclubs. Hairy Greasy bikers don't run around town, they climb on their hairy greasy bikes and look cool. It was the only place in town where you'd rarely get any trouble, and when you did it was holidaymakers who'd walked into the wrong places p**sed or the occassional altercation with the Satans Slaves. Do yourself a favour and stop being so narrow minded and think you can tell by looking at people that you can judge them. I went when I was 21 and that was 26 years ago, and the thing that runs through The Tache is basic RESPECT.
Monday, October 31, 2011 at 02:05 PM
long live the tache n king ron ;)
Monday, October 31, 2011 at 02:04 PM
brilliant news that the tache will carry on elsewhere.. all my family ahve been tache customers over the 31 yrs its been there and squires before all you non believers you should of tried it before you open your mouths in dissent ..the tache has virtually no trouble or fights and caters for a mixed age group from 18 to 80 all the punters know n love ron and wish him and all the staff the very best in their new venture xxxxxxxxxx
Montay fookman
Monday, October 31, 2011 at 01:49 PM
Comment removed by moderator
ms g williams
Monday, October 31, 2011 at 01:35 PM
not been in for years long live the sticky carpet club
Monday, October 31, 2011 at 01:30 PM
Long live The Tache (and Ron) and all that drink in there
Monday, October 31, 2011 at 01:23 PM
The Tache is dead....................... long live The Tache!
Monday, October 31, 2011 at 01:08 PM
Sheepdog, have you ever been in? It is many years since I've been in but as Interesting says nearly every night in there was one of my best. Nice to see it's got a new home.
Monday, October 31, 2011 at 12:51 PM
looks aside i've had endless good nights in there and met some of the best people being inside that building you dont need a posh club to mean its a good club!
Monday, October 31, 2011 at 12:36 PM
Got to pull it down before it falls down. Man alive , youd have to knock it down to build a slum. Whose idea was it to paint it battleship grey? Everytime i went past it looked like it had been condemed , cant believe people paid good money to go into what look likes a death trap demolition site.
Monday, October 31, 2011 at 12:21 PM
Not a complete surprise, but excellent nonetheless. Hopefully it won't smell of toilet disinfectant LOL. See you on the 19th Ron.

There is so much on the internet about the demise of the "Tach" - just search.

The pictures below show maybe, just maybe, why the council compulsorily purchased these properties.

The bus station looming in the background - perhaps it's for the chop too!

View towards the entrance
The bus station is on the left

Closer Still!

A battered door - the only way in!

Pretty run-down

It seems far bigger inside than out!

Looking from the bus station
This is the last block of buildings left on this land.

From the rear. Pretty much all car park.

Gemini Blinds is the little building to the left.
The Tache is the black and white building to the right

Gemini Blinds

Gemini Blinds - a separate small 2 story building

Friday, 18 November 2011

St Anne's Conservative Club

Stuck on the corner of St George's Road and Clifton Drive, St Anne's is the "remains" of St Anne's Conservative Club. Seemingly abandoned by its previous owners - they have fled and set up shop in a hotel across the road. Well its probably still for sale rumour still persists that Lidle or Aldi are going to purchase the site. Underground parking, Helicopter landing pad, luxury apartments, whatever. The truth is its still here, very much alive, rat and pigeon infested. Never very happy about seeing an old building brought to its knees - but I think this one could be put out of its misery.

The only time I spent in it was performing at the St Anne's Acoustic club a couple of times. Nice bar, good facilities and a giant smiling picture of Maggie Thatcher.

Anyhow make your own mind up. The pix!

To the right of the old Job Centre.
The one in the middle - inspiring or what!

What is that thing perched on the right? - Why did it get planning permission?

Actually has a very fine front, great bays and a fabulous view.
In its heyday it will have faced the Hydro

The very ""interesting" suspended extension

Park underneath? Have you seen the rot in the concrete?

Underneath the extension

Wow new residents!

The extension. The building behind is also the Conservative Club

The extension and fire escape.
The road in the distance is Clifton drive.
The flats are where the Imperial Hydro was.

From the corner of St George's Road and Clifton drive looking south.

The same shot

Job centre to the left. Now completely boarded up.
The Job Centre before it completely closed was taken over by Blackpool and the Fylde College. There is more information here.

However during June 2012 it was flattened - These are the photos. Just in time for the OPEN GOLF 2012! Better not let the town be untidy!

Fancy a beer!

 Quite a few more pix in the files - let me know if you want copies! Why? is the question most people will ask?