Blackpool Lockdown 2020 Pubs and Night Time. Photography
Forever I have lived here, my home town of Blackpool. Except for that one time when I went to university to study Art. Northampton the home of the biggest skatepark in Europe, it was then I was reminded how much I felt about Blackpool.
In Blackpool I could get a taxi within 5 minutes to go anywhere, a choice of an array of bars and some alternative indie or house music nights back in the 90’s. Miles and miles of coast line, an amazing fairground. I thought everywhere as a child had a fair and a beach, I was shocked to find my cousins in Bristol’s closest thing to leisure was The New Forest. Needless to say when I left The Pool — I discovered feeling home sick, especially for the coast line and the friendly northerner.
It was at college I found out I was working class, it had never occurred to me before. I had been into the house music scene and bought into the Orwellian notion that everyone was equal. It was at college that it hit home that some were more equal than others and I searched around for the art that spoke to me…..
I found Nan Goldin, Cindy Sherman, Sam Taylor Wood, Sophie Calle, Bill Viola, Gillian Wearing and all of the YBA’s they spoke to me mainly through photography, theatre and film work. It must have fed into my Blackpool sentimentality of neon and performance, text and fantasy, crowds of people, self and otherness. Was I otherness? Sometimes being northern and coming from Blackpool it felt like it.
This is the place that gets photographed, people travel here to photograph the stags and hens, the blow up penises touring the many bars and pubs, how did this become typical? The tourists were not the people that lived here, I live here. As a teen, I somehow felt embarrassed, the town did not offer me anything. — Now in lockdown, I can see the Victorian buildings, the quite sound of the ocean, no interference of bad pop music or arcade sounds, no being heckled to play the side shows with me retorting, “I’m local”. The town has taken on an “Out of Season” feel. Out of season, the time when Blackpool feels like it might belong to the residents again.
But as it was at university I realise the pull of the place not just for me, but for the visitors that come here.
The pubs and clubs are closed — longing to be filled with Karaoke and Kebab eaters again. I never visited The Tower Lounge when it was open in Blackpool — did I miss ought? For now I will enjoy Blackpool’s new lockdown personality, knowing that one day folks will return to take what is rightfully theirs and I will share my home again.
Pubs in Lockdown Blackpool — Taken between March and May 2020