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Last Updated: Monday, 17 May, 2004, 09:56 GMT 10:56 UK
Blackpool to ditch deckchairs?
Couple on deckchairs
Deckchairs do not promote a vibrant image of the resort, chiefs say
The seaside may never be the same again if a proposal to ditch Blackpool's traditional deckchairs is implemented.

Tourism chiefs think the chairs are out of date and want the promenade to have more of a continental flavour, with sun loungers and beach bars.

Lynn Cole of the resort's Tourism Forum told BBC News Online the multi-million pound redevelopment on the seafront should include a deckchair clearout.

But the council said the chairs would be staying.

Ms Cole said the chairs were a reminder of the "cloth cap" era.

"I think they should keep the chairs on Blackpool's piers, but we should be trying to promote a more continental image on the promenade itself," she said.

"Everywhere else you go in Europe there are sun loungers, tables and beach bars, but when you come to Blackpool all you get are deckchairs.

"This is the right time to call it a day for these chairs which had their time in the 50s and 60s."

'Functional, hardy'

Councillor Eddie Collett, who is in charge of tourism on the local authority, admitted deckchairs were less popular than they used to be, but said they would be staying.

"There has been a decline in the use of deckchairs and part of that is perhaps because of the bad publicity we used to get about the beach," he said.

"But we have recently won a beach cleanliness award, so we are hoping that more people will use the beach and we're hoping they'll hire a deckchair as well.

Donkeys on Blackpool beach
The donkeys are worried they could be next
"They've certainly been around a long time and the reason they last so long is because they are an extremely functional piece of kit."

Steve Walker, of the Wilton Hotel in the town, said the deckchairs were a traditional part of Blackpool's seaside experience.

But he added: "They do need sprucing up a bit.

"You wouldn't get an 18-year-old with an 80 pair of trainers having a go on one."

A spokesman for Blackpool Council, which rented out 68,000 deckchairs last year at 1.50 a day, confirmed the chairs would be staying.

"We are proud of the tradition and heritage of the deckchairs and the deckchairs are staying," he said.

"We certainly won't be doing away with them."


WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Kevin Bocquet
"The council is trying hard to rejuvenate Blackpool"



SEE ALSO:
Blackpool's 'Sale of the Century'
14 May 04  |  Lancashire
Tide turns on resort's lewd image
05 Apr 04  |  Lancashire
Switching from seedy to saucy
29 Aug 03  |  Lancashire


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