Old Images of Fleetwood, Lancashire

Categorised as Lancashire
Old map of uk Lancashire towns in 1912

Glimpse history through old images of Fleetwood, Lancashire, in North West England, UK.

Shipwreck 1935

Thee men died in the shipwreck of a Belgian Steamer, pushed ashore at Fleetwood in gales and high seas.

Lots of local people came to look at the wreck lying on the shore.


Fleetwood, Lancashire, Shipwreck (1935) – The Time Machine on YouTube

1930s Model Yatchs


Britain lost the model yatching cup to Norway in 1937, when the Nazi Swastika was Germany’s national flag.

Model Yacht Racing At Fleetwood (1937) – British Pathé on YouTube


Back in August 1939, £100 was a serious sum of money.

So when the international championship of the Model Yatching Association offered a £100 prize, entrants travelled to Fleetwood’s municipal yatching pond came from far and wide, including some Germans whose national flag was the Swastika.

This was August 1939. The Second World War began on 1st September 1939.

In this first newsreel, it’s described as a competiton between five nations, all white Europeans. The next newsreel shows it as an international affair, showing both a Black man and a man who had travelled from Africa for the event.

Fleetwood (1939) – British Pathé on YouTube

Unfortunately the next (shorter) newsreel clip of the same event, which may be filming preparations rather than the competition itself, includes a few seconds of the next item and its racist narration.

Model Yachts At Fleetwood. – British Movietone on YouTube

Ladies Bowling 1939

This was the year Fleetwood’s annual one-day ladies bowling tournament had its busiest year to date. More than 400 ladies from all over Lancashire took part.

Fleetwood Aka Ladies Bowling Tournament (1939) – British Pathé on YouTube

Gale Damage 1939

Gale winds caused havoc around Britian in 1939, including at Fleetwood where the £150,000 sea wall was damaged and parts of the promenade fell away.

Gale Damage In Lancashire (1939) – British Pathé on YouTube

Landladies’ Race 1962

This silent footage shows plenty of local women and children turning out to watch a large group of middle aged and older ladies racing along the seafront with a tea tray.

The winner received a set of cups and saucers, bedding, a vase, a casserole dish, and several other household items.

Landladies Race At Fleetwood (1962) – British Pathé on YouTube

Fleetwood Tram Sunday 1990

The first annual Fleetwood Tram Sunday took place in 1985, part of the celebrations for the anniversary of Blackpool trams.

The next three videos of Tram Sunday in 1990, 1995 and 1997, include several streets of businesses and homes, and hundreds of people of all ages slowly walking along enjoying their day.


Fleetwood Tram Sunday 1990 – Nicholas Tozer on YouTube


FLEETWOOD TRAM SUNDAY JULY 1995 – DaveSpencer32 on YouTube


FLEETWOOD TRAM SUNDAY 1997 – DaveSpencer32 on YouTube

Historic Book

Extract from “J. H.’s Guide to Blackpool & Fleetwood“, by John Heywood

Published in 1869

Pages 28-31

“FLEETWOOD is a town of modern growth , and is a fine
example of what can be accomplished by well – directed
talent and enterprise . Not very many years ago the
ground whereon it stands was a barren and unattractive
spot , seldom trodden by human foot . The rabbits and
sea – birds might , in a sense , be said to hold undisputed
sovereignty over it ; the screaming of the latter , and the
moaning of the waves as they laved its muddy shores ,
being varied only by the din of storm and tempest , the
lightning’s vivid flash , and the roar of heaven’s artillery .
Thanks to the indomitable enterprise of the late Sir
Peter Hesketh Fleetwood , Bart . , a thorough transforma
tion has been effected ; and now we have a town and
port of respectable size and great commercial importance .

The position of the place was such as to guarantee
undoubted facilities for the establishment of a port , and
the cultivation of an extensive export and import trade .

Sir Peter , who was the owner of the soil , was the first to
suggest the desirability of connecting Fleetwood with the
great centres of industry by means of a railway ; and in
1835 parliament granted the necessary powers for the
formation of a line , and five years later it was opened for
traffic .

The result was that port charges and harbour
dues over Liverpool were saved , and ready communication
obtained with the busy marts of Lancashire and Yorkshire .

Collaterally with the construction of the railway , hotels ,
houses , and shops were built , thoroughfares formed , and
a pier and landing – stage constructed . The harbour had

also undergone improvement : it was deepened , provided
with beacons , and well lighted .

Fleetwood has at the present time a population of
about 6,000 , who depend largely upon the North Irish
trade , five steamers running daily between the port and
Belfast . It has also a fair coasting trade .

The harbour
was laid out under Captain Denman , R. N. , formerly

marine surveyor of Liverpool . The entrance is safe and
easy — it is nearly straight ; and two miles from the
harbour there is at least 28 fathoms of water . Vessels
drawing 21 feet can float at their moorings in the harbour
at low water ; and the improvements which are now
taking place will , when completed , it is confidently
anticipated , greatly enhance the character of the port , and
bring to Fleetwood many cotton and timber – laden vessels
which now go to Liverpool .

On the 2nd of June , 1869 ,
the first sod for the construction of new docks was cut ,
and the occasion was made one of great rejoicing ;
indeed , Fleetwood never before wore so gay an appearance ;
nor was the air , at any previous holiday , made to
reverberate with so many huzzas and joyous sounds .
The anticipations which were formed concerning this
port , when , so late as 1836 , it was a mere rabbit warren ,
have not yet been realised , and one of the main causes of
this has , it is supposed , been a want of good dock
accommodation . In 1864 a scheme was projected for the
formation of docks , an embankment , and other works ,
and also with the view of reclaiming certain lands covered
by water . This scheme met with support from the
Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company , and it was
embodied in a bill , which received the sanction of
Parliament . A prospectus was subsequently issued for
an undertaking requiring a capital of £ 300,000 , in £ 20
shares . But the trustees of the Fleetwood estate , who

were co – promoters of the bill , afterwards thought it
advisable that the expenditure should be such that
they might carry out the contemplated works at
their own expense . New plans were drawn ; the Lanca
shire and Yorkshire Railway Company surrendering their
powers , and promising to co – operate with the trustees .
The new plans , in accordance with which the docks will
be formed , reduce the expenditure to about £ 50,000 .
The docks will be 600 feet long and 400 feet wide . The
excavations will be only 16 feet , by which 23 feet of
water will be obtained from the dock sill at high water

with an ordinary spring tide . The engineer is Mr. Cox ,
of London ; and the contractor , Mr. Chambers , also of
London .

Above the point where the docks will be formed ,
considerable improvements , by embanking , have been
made . About 100 acres of Kirkscar Bay have been
reclaimed , and it is believed that in time more waste
land will be secured for cultivation .

Fleetwood is distant ten miles from Blackpool : the
estuary of the River Wye flows past it ; and it is the
terrinus of the Preston and Wyre Railway ; and it will
be readily inferred from what we have already stated ,
that to the establishment of the railway , and its
alaptability as a port for steam traffic , its present
importance is mainly due .

The town contains a few excellent hotels , houses of
stone , and other buildings , nearly all of which overlook
the river and bay , and present a prepossessing appearance .

The promenade is of ample proportions , and is a favourite
resort of visitors in the summer months .

The town is
situated on a dry , sandy soil ; and the surrounding
scenery , if not gorgeous , is such as to present a coup d’oeil
of much beauty ; and those who are fond of yachting or
riding may meet with ample means of gratifying their
predilections .

The disciples of Izaak Walton , too , may
indulge their taste for piscatorial sports , and though not
quite in the same way as their master did , nor surrounded
by the sights and sounds which so increased his felicity ,
they may , nevertheless , meet with most gratifying sport .

Fleetwood is tolerably well provided with places of
worship . The church of St. Peter , which is built of stone ,
was opened in 1841 , and is capable of accommodating
450 persons . In addition , there is a Roman Catholic
church , and Wesleyan , Primitive Methodist , and Inde
pendent chapels .

In West Street are the Testimonial Schools , which
derive their name from the circumstance of their having
been built by subscription as a testimonial to the founder
of the port . They are under Government inspection , and

are capable of affording accommodation or the education
of upwards of 800 children .

A Government School of
Musketry has been established in the port , at which 60
officers are stationed , and connected with which are a
commodious barracks , and an excellent ground for rifle
practice .

A favourite resort of visitors is ” The Mount , ” on which
is an intersecting Chinese roofed structure , octagonal
in form , at which refreshments may be obtained , suited
to a variety of tastes . From this spot a commanding
view is obtained of the surrounding prospect , including
the harbour , and the craft gliding upon the boson of the
distant sea .

There is a Tea Garden about a mile from Fleetwood , on
the Blackpool Road , at which , as its title indicates , visitors
may be served with the beverage which cheers , but not
inebriates , and also , during their season , with strawberries .

Attached to the gardens is , what we suppose , we must
term an exhibition of Zoological specimens , consisting
principally of monkeys ; and also a bowling – green .

From Fleetwood many pleasant excursions may be
made . A steamer runs daily to Peel , whence parties may
proceed to the Lake District . The railway conveys pas
sengers to Furness Abbey and Coniston . A visit to the
fine old Abbey at Furness is worth making by those who
have a liking for the sublime ; the building being grand ,
even in its desolation . To Furness and back is a very
pleasant day’s journey . The steamer returns at an hour ,
which allows ample time for an inspection of the Abbey
and the surrounding scenery .

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By Debbie Death

Debbie has enjoyed books, films, and documentaries about history for more than 30 years. On days off from work her favourite trips with friends and family are to museums, historic houses, and archaeological sites, or just walking around interesting streets admiring the old buildings.