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the Rise and rise of the working class holiday team

The Rise team, left to right: Sue Arthur, Neil Thompson, Christine Watkins and David Cass

Christine Watkins, led the successful crusade to save Blackpool's Grand Theatre in the 1980s
Sue Arthur, nurse and one of the 'Friends of the Grand'
David Cass, finance manager of the Grand Theatre
Neil Thompson, general manager of the Grand Theatre

Blackpool first became known for its seabathing in the late 18th century, but besides dipping toes in the brine, the trippers had to amuse themselves. Gradually more organised entertainments were set up, but the biggest changes occurred when Blackpool became the most popular holiday destination for the workers of the Lancashire cotton mills. The task of the Rise team, who once banded together to save a wonderful Victorian theatre from the developers, is to find out what the early and later trippers did to have fun and where they stayed -- which means making a foray into the history of that most fascinating of Blackpool institutions: the boarding-house landlady.

Blackpool's Grand Theatre