The logistics of storing and filing the negatives for all these walkies is still a bit of a mystery. Just finding space for thousands of negatives must have been a problem. But store them for a while some firms clearly did as these two cards prove. The quartet are on Blackpool’s North Pier, which was home to at least one walking picture business. The large Arcade Pavilion at the shore end is readily identifiable thanks to the elaborate curved roof and leaded surround (it’s still there, though sadly disfigured by a tatty 80s facade at the entrance). The foursome have been snapped in the morning and purchased the print later that day, but then decided later they wanted another copy. This has been printed from the same negative, but at a different time, as both prints show details (and even in once case another gentleman) on the edges not seen on the other. Even the enlarger frame itself is different.
One card has the usual postcard style back, the other is blank, so that might be the reprint. Most of the pre-war North Pier walkies (and I would suggest a date of mid to late thirties for this one) I see are postcard size, and none are marked. Elsewhere in Blackpool the Walkie Snaps images taken in the street (or on other piers – there are some on the site) are nearly always half this size.
Technicalities aside, with the four people and a supporting cast all striding purposefully towards the pier end, it looks almost like they have all been queued for a film crowd scene. Apparently the pier, Blackpool’s first, was built to attract the ‘better-class’ of visitor, and charged a higher admission (which later led to the building of a second rival pier for ‘trippers’!) This probably accounts for the people in the image being more soberly dressed than in some Blackpool walkies.
The postcard of the pier below was taken in the 1930s and the red dot shows where the photographer would be stationed.