The sun is out, Covid restrictions have relaxed and visitors have been flocking back to enjoy Southport’s many delights.
Attractions including Southport Pleasureland, Southport Pier, Ainsdale Beach, Kings Gardens, the Marine Lake and our wonderful parks such as Hesketh Park and Botanic Gardens have been vowing visitors for decades.
Today we take a look back at some of some of the best places to enjoy a day out in Sunny Southport from years gone by.
The first photo shows the herbaceous flower garden at Hesketh Park in Southport.
The 12 hectare Victorian Park saw the gardens and ornate fountains restored and reconstructed a few years ago, to bring the park back to its former glory. Over the last few years the site has undergone £3 million of improvement works, funded from a variety of sources including the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Hesketh Park is also home to a historic astronomical observatory which is opened on a regular basis for visitors thanks to the efforts of volunteers from the Southport Astronomical Society.
Our next image shows boats lining up next to Southport Pier, a familiar sight a century ago. When catches were poor, Southport fishermen went ‘quality sailing’ with passenger trips from the pier.
This line-up of fishing smacks was tied up at Southport Pier head awaiting the holidaymakers. The fleet peaked at around 100 vessels at the end of the 19th century but between 1910 and 1920 the South Channel began to silt up.
The fleet dwindled and in 1927 the last two boats were sold.
Queen Victoria stands proudly at the top of Nevill Street in Southport, facing the sea.
The Victoria Monument and the Victoria Hotel are pictured in 1913.
The hotel was replaced by the Maritime Court apartments in the 1970s.
The monument was erected in front of Cambridge Hall (now The Atkinson) in 1904 and was moved to Nevill Street in 1912. The Victoria Hotel was built in 1842 and was demolished in 1971.
Victoria was the Queen of Great Britain and Ireland between 1837 and her death in 1901. Her reign of 63 years and seven months was longer than any previous British monarch.
Southport Pier is pictured from the Victoria Hotel during the construction of Marine Parade in 1894-95. The pier was built in 1859-60.
Paddle steamers sailed from the pier to 15 ports and resorts along the Lancashire and North Wales coast.
The old pier tollhouse was replaced in 1902 by the Pier Pavilion.
The old Southport fairground was sited around the south end of Marine Lake before it was moved to Pleasureland in 1922.
This picture shows the Water Chute, built in 1903, and the Flying Machine, built in 1906, before Kings Gardens were opened in 1913.
Today, thousands of visitors enjoy their days out at Southport Pleasureland every year.
Boats line up alongside Southport Pier.
Bathers enjoy a day out at Ainsdale Lido in Southport.
Ainsdale’s lido, which opened in 1933 at a cost of £30,000, was initially known as Ainsdale Bathing Centre.
During the Second World War, the lido and much of the seafront area were turned into a naval base.
Although there were attempts to revive the lido, it failed to replicate its earlier success.
The lido was used as a cafe and licensed premises and dance nights were held there in the 1980s.
The newly constructed Venetian Bridge over the Marine Lake at Kings Gardens in Southport.
Holiday makers were making their way over the bridge to the old Southport Sea Bathing Lake in the distance. The bridge was built in around 1930.