Friday, 26 February 2016

A very lost Blackpool

13:11:00 Posted by Louise Barklam , , , , 1 comment
With the demolition of many of the town's architectural gems from years gone by, in the name of "Progress" (which is laughably also the town's motto), there is much of Blackpool that its ever transient population know little, if anything about.

I have posted in the past, a poem written about Blackpool in its heyday, when the Wakes Weeks would turn out the whole population of mill towns for their yearly holiday break. Thousands upon thousands of people would descend on our seaside resort, to let their hair down, fill their boots and relax as best they could. In that poem, I compared then with now, and what this place has become.

I wanted to go back further though and write something which told of the origins of our "Black pull". In the following poem, there is equal measure of fact and fable (or artistic license as some might say), and I would like for YOU to discover where those lines are drawn. Blackpool's history is fascinating! I urge you ... go and find out more for yourself!


I want to take you on a journey to Centuries past,
Picture it in your mind!
Close your eyes and come with me
As time begins to unwind ...

A coastal moor so very bleak,
windswept with bog and dune grass.
No inhabitants except for local wildlife,
birds wheeling and screeching en-mass.

The odd twisted tree bent from the Gale,
stands like an old man hunched with age.
Isolated, with its branches reaching out,
pointing the way like an ancient Sage.

Further inland, a line of deepest green
marked the start of a Forest so dark,
providing shelter of sorts from the elements,
away from the mire and landscape so stark.

There were settlements scattered here and there
throughout this densely wooded land ...
Gypsy encampments, this was their home,
Earth and Human living hand in hand.

Hunting and fishing just to survive,
it was a quiet and peaceful life.
Disturbed by none, they flourished here,
even through harshest winters and through strife.

Legally, the land belonged to the King,
to do with just as he chose.
But though the folk who lived here did no harm,
they soon found of it he wanted to dispose.

We come forward through time, just a little bit,
to find a Lord has been awarded this land.
Along he came and built a Lodge,
Vaux (Fox) Hall, his place to hunt and relax by the sand.

It became a popular place for his friends,
to come and enjoy the air by the sea.
Then he started driving out the local Gypsy’s
by burning the Forest, forcing them to flee.

It was the start of development along this coastline.
One by one, more houses appeared.
Mostly Fishermen just earning their keep,
on the land of the Lord they so feared.

As the Forest receded and disappeared,
a town slowly grew over the sand and peat.
With a reputation for curing all that ails,
To come to the “Black Pull” was a real treat!

But spare a thought for those Gypsy’s ...
They lost their home without real reason or rhyme.
This is a story of the origin of our town,
I hope you enjoyed our journey through time.

Thanks for reading! ;-) x


Louise Barklam said...

For anyone wanting to do some research, I found this website an excellent starting point:

The Author (Nick Moore) really knows his onions! It is a fascinating read. 😉