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Why Crime?  And dreadful accidents?  And suicides?

When I came to live in Blackpool I hated it.  I thought it was shallow, gaudy, profit-motivated, tacky, kitsch.  I still think that but now I love it.

Walk anywhere in Blackpool, go into the best hotel and people will have plotted to murder other people there.

Why crime?  Well crimes are well documented and tell us things about the recent past that we have forgotten.  I do not believe in ghosts but the people of the past walked on the same ground that we walk on.  Walking along the promenade you may pause where the young Myra Hindley posed for a photograph.  And that photograph with its Blackpool icons of the Tower, the Pier and the poster for Ken Dodd captures the dizzying strangeness of the passing of time.  Myra Hindley was not a murderer then and now her image adorns Toussaud’s.  There is  wonder.  Crime confronts us with but does not explain time and place and mortality and chance.

I have added a few words and pictures I call Pychogeography.  Sometimes this has a point and sometimes it doesn’t.  My  idea was to take a theme and explore it.  Sometimes it is connected to crime and sometimes to an area.  If that kind of thing bores you just avoid it. My feeling is that walking around towns is an extraordinary experience and that even the worst things have a power either because of their ugliness or because of  a sheer fleeting quality.

People woke up in the morning full of hope and ended the day in the mortuary at Layton Cemetery.  There is something gothic about Blackpool, and something connected with the sheer number of people who have passed through Blackpool that connects it to world events.  Lenin noted a conference in Blackpool in 1912.  Engels tried to persuade Karl Marx to recuperate in Blackpool.  Freud visited Blackpool twice.  John Lennon had formative experiences in Blackpool.

I have now added two other kinds of thing.  One is to do with history and  religion and may not have much to do with Blackpool and the other is a kind  Daily Mail Rant.  I’m a bigot but of the Left.  This also has little to do with Blackpool.  I will  warn you.

When Shelley wrote that: ” Hell is a city much like London,” I like to think it was because he had not visited Blackpool.

20 comments

      1. Hi. Been reading this blog for a while.
        Do you have any info on Stuart Diamond case?
        Cheers
        Keep up the good work

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      2. Hello Jack I know a little bit from memory because oddly I was working in the library when it happened and Stuart came into the library… I think he had a book about anatomy. (!) I had thought about writing about it sometime… thanks for the idea best Martin

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  1. Thanks for an amusing and informative website. I lived in Blackpool as a Boy in the 1960’s when it was a very different place to what it is now. Thanks for the memories.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. my husband is the direct descendant of George Morrison, who was the Sergeant in charge of Abingdon Street Police Station in central Blackpool, and he also was stationed in Poulton in the 1850’s, but, i can’t find anything about him there.
    George’s wife Ann Jane, was, when she died in 1901, described as being the oldest resident in Blackpool!

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    1. Many thanks Ann. You will probably get more information about George by posting a question in the blackpoolhistory site on Facebook. There are a number of interesting papers about early Blackpool Pólice in the Local History Centre at Blackpool Library. Good hunting Martin

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  3. Rudy Mancini was a highly respected business man and skilled musician you have no rights or evidence that he was ever connected to the criminal fraternity as you imply remove my deceaced fathers name from the site my family are disgusted by this slander of a wonderful gentleman . Raymond Mancini and family.

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    1. Done.
      The information came from Frankie Fraser’s Mad Frank’s Underworld History of Britain.
      Best
      Martin
      I forgot to say in the book he is actually called Ruby… Is it possible he’s another person altogether?

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  4. I feel much the same as Shelley might. I’ve been stuck here for 3 year on family duties. Still detest it! Your blog has proved fascinating though. littl did i know that I walk our dogs past two murder houses (339 Devonshire, and Robins Lane), and I parked the car next to another (seafield Ave) only last week!
    Every day is a school day!

    Like

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