Blackpool Central Pier / V Weapons
A trio of Blackpool Central Pier walkies here, which were prompted by a conversation with someone researching V1 and V2 rockets. I mentioned that I’d seen these in the background of a couple of walkies and would get them scanned. As you can see, the pier had a display of both a V1 Flying Bomb which was there at least by July 1945 (and I’ve seen it mentioned in an American trade magazine of the time) and a V2 Rocket. The internet throws up nothing at all about this pier attraction and it doesn’t seem to be there in walkies from a couple of years later.
The side of the canvas marquee indicates that these were from rockets which had dropped on London (the last V2 landed on the UK in March 1945). The price for taking a look was 6d. As only half a dozen of the V1s survive in the UK (and just one V2) it would be interesting to know whether these display examples ended up in a museum or were in private hands and sold elsewhere later.
The people in the first image are Elizabeth and Raymond Kemp (photo courtesy Michael Richards). The others are unknown, one being found in a Sheffield house due for demolition. I have found some other walkies from the pier on this spot which show the cameraman’s assistant lining people up and showing them when to walk towards the camera. I’ll post these later. None of the walkies here have a company name on the back.
On a similar theme, as well as the V bombs, the pier was also home to a replica U-Boat conning tower for a time, which the owners apparently fitted out with telescopes and binoculars salvaged from various German ship-wrecks. It can be seen in the backgroud of this last walkie. The lad in the photo is young Fred Foster and his girlfriend, taking the air on a wet day in 1952 (hence his packamac).
I’d be interested to hear from anyone who has more information on these unusual seaside attractions.
There are some walkies taken on Blackpool’s North Pier on the site.