The golden age of Blackpool: Nostalgic 1950s photos show tourists relaxing on the beach in a more innocent time when resort attracted 17MILLION a year (and there's not a stag do in sight)
The photos, which were taken over the August bank holiday weekend of 1954, show holidaymakers relaxing in Blackpool - then one of the most popular and successful British seaside resorts. But within 10 years of the images being taken, the resort had gone into decline thanks to the advent of cheap air travel and the beginning of package tourism to France and Spain. In recent years, Blackpool has enjoyed a minor renaissance and its star is in the ascendant once more. These charming pictures, from more than 60 years ago, show a woman in a retro swimsuit perched on a wooden rowing boat in front of the pier (left), beauty queens on the hunt for entrants for that year's Blackpool Bathing Beauty competition (centre) and a man dozing in a deckchair (right). Others show holidaymakers enjoying an ice cream, sunbathing on the sands and clambering onto a donkey - albeit with a little help from its owner. Often described as 'the archetypal British seaside resort', Blackpool's tourism boom had begun 100 years earlier, with visitors flocking in from newly industrialised northern cities such as Manchester and Liverpool.