Jubilee Gardens Blackpool is the sunken gardens which you pass on the seafront, heading north past Gynn Square.
It’s a lovely spot to sit awhile. It’s slightly sheltered from the seafront breeze as the gardens are slightly sunken from the level of the footpath. There is another Jubilee Gardens at nearby Cleveleys. That’s also right on the seafront too.
Friends of Jubilee Gardens
Blackpool Council own the seafront park, it’s one of a number of open spaces in the town. In May 2016 the Friends of Jubilee Gardens was formed to look after the gardens.
In the few years they’ve been established, the Friends and volunteers have done an enormous amount of work at Jubilee Gardens Blackpool. They’ve cleared overgrown beds, planted up new areas, restored the waterfall and so much more.
History of Jubilee Gardens
Jubilee Gardens has had a number of different names over the 100 years of its history. First called ‘North Shore Gardens’ it was first opened to the public in 1914.
The initial design featured three large lawned terraces, interconnected by elegant steps and ornate pillars. Protection was provided by waterworn limestone boulders which surrounded the gardens.
The above photo of North Shore Sunken Gardens was shared on the Bispham Past Facebook group by Tony Wilson
Redesigns and renaming
In 1928 there was a complete redesign, when the waterfall was built. It was internally illuminated and built in fibreglass, complete with a meandering stream which ran the length of the gardens. Newly laid out flowerbeds flowed throughout and were planted with colourful coastal planting.
To commemorate the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977, the name was changed from North Shore Sunken Gardens to Jubilee Gardens. That’s what we still know it as today.
In 1992 the waterfall was redesigned and replaced with the current incarnation. In the early 2000’s the meandering stream was removed and turfed over.
Blue Light Emergency Services Memorial
The Blue Light Emergency Services Memorial pays tribute to the police, fire, ambulance and coastguard services. It remembers the lives of three Blackpool officers who drowned during a tragic, attempted sea rescue.
PCs Colin Morrison, Gordon Connolly and Angela Bradley drowned while trying to save a tourist, Alistair Anthony. He’d gone into the Irish Sea in order to rescue his pet dog on January 5, 1983.
The three officers entered the water close to Gynn Square but were overcome by the strong tide, waves and freezing cold water. The 25-year-old tourist was on a trip to the resort from Glasgow but also tragically perished. A fourth officer, PC Pat Abram, was rescued by colleagues who were able to throw a rope around his neck. He was given mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on the prom.
The Blue Light Emergency Services Memorial was erected in 2013 in Jubilee Gardens on the promenade off Gynn Square in tribute of this awful event and to mark the bravery of all our emergency services.
Creating a fitting tribute
Dana Gledhill grew up near the spot of the 1983 tragedy on Blackpool’s seafront. It was she who worked hard for three years to raise the funds to bring the monument into being.
The 8ft sculpture of four figures holding hands is the work of Matt Titherington. He won the competition as a student at Blackpool & The Fylde College.
There’s an original memorial plaque at the southern (Gynn roundabout) entrance to Jubilee Gardens. It remembers the lives of the three officers who were lost.
While you’re here…
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