Sky Arts and Baim Films

Playground Spectacular

Registered: 8th September 1960
Duration: 26 minutes
Feet: 2301 feet
Board of Trade Certificate number: BR/E25716
Produced for: United Artists Corporation
Production Company: Harold Baim Film Productions (London) Limited

"Playground spectacular, playground extraordinary; Blackpool, known to millions of Britain's and millions from overseas. Hundreds of special trains bring thousands of people daily to this 'Mecca of pleasure'. Motor vehicles flow along the wide motor roads at a rate of three thousand an hour. Coaches carry three million passengers each year and each season eight million arrive to experience the delights of this northern wonderland." So opens the marvellous tour of Blackpool. Why would anyone ever want to holiday anywhere else? This is 1960 - well before package holidays, a time when a family car was not that common, not every home had a telephone, there were two TV channels in black and white and everyone loved the parade of girls in swimming costumes as an afternoon's entertainment. Uniformed police were evident almost everywhere and men wore a tie when accompanying their families to the beach. Marvellous!

Title Credits: Playground Spectacular
Your host: Peter Dimmock
Research: H. Porter
Musical Arrangements: De Wolfe
Editor: K. Ward
Recordists: W Milner & T Meyers
Director of EASTMAN Colour Photography: Eric R Owen
Associate Producer: Paul Weld Dixon
Produced & Directed by: Harold Baim

Script

Playground spectacular, playground extraordinary; Blackpool, known to millions of Britain's and millions from overseas. Hundreds of special trains bring thousands of people daily to this 'Mecca of pleasure'. Motor vehicles flow along the wide motor roads at a rate of three thousand an hour. Coaches carry three million passengers each year and each season eight million arrive to experience the delights of this northern wonderland.

Linking the seven miles of coast-line between the northern and southern boundaries sleek rail cars run the entire length of the most impressive promenade in the world. Separating the streamlined car track from these broad promenades are magnificent carriageways. On thirty-six miles of track almost three and a half million miles a year are covered.

In 1884 the first electric tramway in Great Britain was inaugurated here. Soon it will be the last city to provide this form of transport. As others dispose of their fleets Blackpool adds new types whilst perpetuating the memory of the trams of yesteryear by bringing these veterans out of retirement to mark the seventy-fifth anniversary of the system.

The horse drawn cab provides variety for those who wish to get about each day in a different way.

The metropolitan aspect of the town is in direct contrast with the seaside amenities. Heavy traffic moves through the through-fares transporting residents and visitors on business or pleasure . Police control has to be exercised with tolerance and skill. Shopping Centres provide everything that could be desired. This is Market Street. With the Town Hall flanking one side, Talbot Square is Blackpool's Piccadilly Circus. Church Street, the through way to the sea. Abington Street, the windows of its stores packed with merchandise of every kind.

The duties of the Police Force here are extended much more than in any other town. Chief Constable Henry Edward Sanders holds daily conferences to ensure that problems of every possible kind are solved with the minimum of delay and the maximum of efficiency.

Holding hands, or rather holding tails another kind of slow traffic moves across the promenade; the circus elephants taking their daily exercise. Still running round in circles, the horses do their daily dozen on the beach. There was certainly enough water for their bath and they enjoyed it thoroughly.

Children playing happily on a crowded beach are apt to get mislaid. Tiny ones with no sense of direction can't find their way back to the family. Very soon one of the Lost Children Centres has them under its care and Mommy knows exactly where to go and the happy reunion takes place.

No less than three piers cater for the needs of those who feel the need for a different one each day; theatres, sun lounges and orchestras are to be found on all of them. The largest of the three is the North Pier; seven hundred and ten yards in length including the jetty. Thousand stroll here each day, thousands more relax in the sunshine.

The jetty runs from the end of the pier out into the sea. Experienced and not-so experienced anglers reap the harvest. Not such a good harvest this year. To weigh up any situation there are always the scales. She's eager to know the result. Couldn't possibly tell you what she said. The telescope always brings things a little nearer. Yes this must be the place that thought of the word togetherness; and how together can you get.

This section is called 'The Golden Mile' - certainly not because of its length because it's only a quarter of a mile; but because of the money that's spent here. It's a kaleidoscope of side shows, hot dog stands and all the fun of the fair.

There's no moral to this picture, it's just a new inmate being carried to his position in the wax-works.

To get away from it all you go south where the promenades and beaches can be just what the doctor ordered for peace and quiet.

You can also go north and find tranquillity; the golden beaches stretch away into the distance.

The history of this Lancashire resort can be traced back no more than three-hundred years. At that time it was no more than a cluster of cottages; today a resort known to millions all over the world. Its contrasts of crowds and emptiness, high-spirited fun and tranquillity are really amazing.

And if you seek an incomparable solitude not too far away mountains meet lakes in a symphony of nature peculiar only to England's Lake District. There is a mystical appeal which can not be ignored. One just wants to stand completely still and absorb the beauty which is all around.

A mile or two from Blackpool are the larders which supply the town's enormous appetite.

Each week five-hundred tons of bread is eaten. Visitors and residents consume three million eggs every week. Vegetables are delivered fresh from cultivation. And every week dairy farms pour two hundred thousand gallons of milk into the hotels and boarding houses. Catering is on a gigantic scale. Chefs must have to have an unsurpassed know how when it comes to meal times. Meat and fish are eaten at the rate of five hundred tons and one hundred tons respectively each week.

Filtered sea water fills the open air baths. There's plenty of space for the seven-thousand bathers who come here daily.

Former British Heavy-weight Brian London is a prize Blackpool resident. Brian delivers the punch line and what a line. From all over the British Isles, feminine beauty parades here in a weekly competition to find the most beautiful girl amongst them.

Well here are a few of them for you to give the once over, yes the ladies can watch too, but as the competition is judged by a man, the final say will be with him.

BBC personality Barney Colehan is the man of the moment. Hope he makes the right decision . So let battle commence; form, elegance, grace, refinement, charm, style and comeliness are what he judge is looking for. Well, any way that's what he says. The winner of the Miss Blackpool title could go forward to the Miss World contest. He should be in 'What's My Line'; looks a pretty shrewd judge to me. They had their own ideas. Well, he made his mind up and the decision is really final but did he do right by the girls. The winner and boy has he made her happy.

From starry eyed maidens to lights of another kind. All through the year work goes on for the great day in September when the fabulous illuminations will be switched on. From one end to the other the promenade will be a blaze of light. Seventy five miles of cable will be laid, three hundred and fifty thousand coloured lamps will dance and glow in the annual display of dazzling splendour.

'Mr Blackpool' Reginald Dixon gives recitals in the ballroom . The idol of millions he's played to audiences here for thirty years. In the Tower Bar the finest methods of interior decoration have been applied. Mirrors brilliantly cut and embossed create sparkle contrasting with the lines of the gold and ebonised wood columns.

Following a disastrous fire in 1956 the tower ballroom was restored at a cost of half a million pounds. Magnificent ceiling murals occupy an area of over two thousand square feet. Two thousand five hundred people can take the floor at the same; four thousand others can watch them.

The Tower Circus is internationally famous. As clever as a cart load of monkey's this box of Chimpanzees is the 'bring the house down' part of the show.

Everyone relaxes before curtain-up.

Charlie Cairoli, almost a fixture here at his circus puts the finishing touches to his make-up.

The show begins at The Circus, which is now the only permanent one of its kind in the country.

Water spectacles complete the show and the ring is lowered and the arena flooded with thousands of gallons of water.

Water too plays its part in the fountains of Stanley Park with its formal garden's, colourful herbaceous borders and sporting facilities. The park is an outstanding attraction. Tennis courts, boating lakes, bowling green's and cricket pitches for inter-county matches are all to hand for those of an athletic turn of mind.

It was on one of the fine municipal golf courses one can find golfers of a first class calibre. Did I say "First class calibre?" Never mind, he's a first class comedian. (in vision Bruce Forsyth)

The conservatories contain a wonderful collection of tropical and popular flowers apart from the exhibition of exotic specimens the houses provide an enormous amount of bedding out materials.

The Pleasure Beach contain amusement devices most of which are of basic American design; spacious and magnificently planned it's a rip-roaring riot of relaxing revelry; A double track racing coaster, three-thousand feet in length with cars travelling at thirty miles an hour guarantees a thrill of thrills. Let's Go!

The notice shows the way out; it's the way out for us too, out of the ever-open door to 'Playground Spectacular"

[End Credit frame]

The End

A Harold Baim Film Production

References:
http://www.boxinginsider.com/headlines/where-are-they-now-brian-london/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_London
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reginald_Dixon
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_Cairoli
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_Forsyth
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barney_Colehan