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.