When annual family holidays led to a life beside the sea!
Hello I’m Jane Rabbit and I’m going to tell you why I love Blackpool Illuminations and the Fylde Coast.
I thought you might like to know a bit more about us and this website. We’re a family business called The Rabbit Patch – that’s why I’m known as Jane Rabbit – and we love where we live.
What about the Illuminations, why this website and why now?
Well it was another coincidence, but then I’m a big believer in fate.
I’d been an Ambassador with the Friends of the Illuminations for a while, publishing their news and promoting their efforts to get business sponsorship of the Lights through our Live Blackpool website.
I generally help where I can, by networking them with my contacts and such like, coming up with ideas, and sharing my skills where they are useful.
By complete coincidence, at a StayBlackpool meeting in 2014 an illuminations website was mentioned. We discussed it for ten minutes and been decided to do one and they would be the first sponsor.
It was as simple as that!
Three Glorious Weeks
I can’t say that it’s a struggle to do what I do! I love Blackpool and I love the Illuminations.
When I was a child we came here for three weeks every summer. Fiends of my parents had holiday flats here – first they owned premises on Alfred Street and then on the promenade.
Our last holidays with them were at the corner next to the Viking Hotel at South Shore. Their building was later demolished and it’s now a car park.
In the morning I went to Pablos for ice cream wafers with Paula and Melanie, the grand daughters of the owners. We used to sit on the front step eating them in the sunshine.
In the evening we sauntered about in the warm night air, looking up at the Lights and loitering on the promenade looking in gift shops. We walked down the piers and watched the lights twinkle on the water – it’s why I love the Blackpool Illuminations.
Happy, fond memories.
I’d been poorly on the holiday in this photo – I can clearly remember the doll being bought as a treat!
I grew up in Blackpool. Long hot summers and the odd dash of driving rain when I used to go to WH Smiths with my dad to pick out colouring books and pencils to pass the time. Not much has changed, I still do that now, many years later!
I loved days on the beach with corned beef and onion sandwiches liberally sprinkled with sand. The warm evenings out in the dark on the prom, gazing up at the lights.
I’m about 10 in the photo above. I’m amazed at how few photos we’ve got of all those holidays, but don’t forget that it was in the days long before digital cameras.
I loved it then and I still love it now. After all these years I still can’t believe that I live here, and I always get a thrill from driving along the promenade.
It’s always a surprise when it’s time for the Illuminations tableaus to appear in summer.
I remember vividly the year of the petrol strike and we drove down a completely empty promenade in the middle of the Illuminations season, which is unheard of! It wasn’t the same though. Even though it was a quick journey it’s the people and the crowds, the shared experience which makes it so special.
Why I love Blackpool Illuminations
For me the icing on the cake of my life on the Fylde Coast is being involved with the whole tourism machine. I love going to the season launches that the big attractions hold where they reveal what’s new. There’s a sense of excitement and anticipation.
The Illuminations department is no exception. They hold a season launch every year that I love to go to. Everyone dashes around, taking photos of friends with the Lights, selfies with Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen (Creative Curator and a really lovely man) and generally acting like big kids.
And that’s the nub of it. The Lights allow you to act like a big kid. And that excitement is why I love the Blackpool Illuminations.
It doesn’t matter how old you are – you can wear a pair of illuminated deely-boppers and wave a light sabre and no one will bat an eyelid.
You can sit on the Teddy’s knee at Bispham to have your photo taken and the only funny look you’ll get is from people who are waiting for you to move so they can do the same!
When I see one of the illuminated heritage trams my face still lights up in exactly the same way now as it did when I was seven.
Surely in an adult world full of stress and responsibility that can’t be a bad thing!
Find out More
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