We were down in St Annes for the weekend. While Tom ran the Blackpool half-marathon in a speedy personal best, I spent my time as I like to do on the Fylde coast — pootling about, camera in hand. Not to big up my photographic skills, or anything, but I am quite pleased with the pictures I took this weekend, and particularly like the image at the top of this post. For me, it captures the essence of St Annes: stark light, Lancashire red brick, and a strangely unforgiving landscape, all salt, starr-grass and wind. While taking these pictures, I had a sort of revelatory moment when I realised that the best way to photograph the Fylde was not to photograph it, or rather, not to photograph its more obvious landmarks directly, but to allow them to be (as they are in reality) integral to the landscape, and its bigger picture. On previous occasions when I’ve photographed the Lytham Windmill, for example, I’ve been bothered by the presence of the adjacent car park — which seemed to interfere with the subject of the image I was after. But this weekend I felt just as keen to photograph the car park – – which is, after all, as much a part of Lytham’s visual feel as its windmill. Perhaps this just means that I’ve been to Blackpool, Lytham and St Annes so many times that I’ve finally stopped taking pictures like a tourist. Or perhaps I’m just being over analytical. Either way – I am quite pleased with these photos.






I am intrigued by these iron columns and do not know what their purpose is or was. They stand in a bit of fenced-off waste ground behind the carpark at Fairhaven Lake. Are they remnants of some long-gone bandstand? Functionless pieces of Edwardian civic street furniture? What? Any information gratefully received.

16 thoughts on “coast

  1. The 3 towers in the photo taken on st annes coast next to fairhaven lake are chimneys to do with the water bord There probably vents to do with the sewerage to stop build up of gasses in the tanks below. I work on the park and see these each day and often people mention them!


  2. These are gorgeous pictures. Very nicely done.

    Also glad to see some commenters had theories about the columns. You had sparked my interest in the mystery of their existence.


  3. Yes I think they are air or gas vents too, I asked my mum who went to queen marys and she thought there was some sort of water treatment plant there. I do the walk from Lytham windmill to Fairhaven Lake every week dog walking and in every weather the scenery is so captivating in its bleak expansiveness. Hard to describe really, but your lovely pictures aren’t far off the mark!
    Love the blog! Owls nearly finished….


  4. Those columns are air vents. Opposite the King Edward’s, and just a bit further down from the ice-cream van stand, there is an entrance and some gates. It is some sort of water treatment plant (though I am not sure if it is still in use), it may or may not be related to the fact that the sewerage pipes did not go very far out to sea at this point. The buildings themselves are very well hidden because they are lower than the dunes and surrounded by grass. They must have been pretty efficient because there were certainly never any pongs hanging round.


  5. Lovely photos of a place that I have visited. Yours are a bit better than mine ;-) One of my friends lives near there in Poulton-Le-Fylde. I didn’t know it was called the Fylde coast.


  6. St Annes has a particular family significance for me–that’s where my mother was sent at age 5 during the war. Her grandparents kept her there for about a year until it was safe to go back to Bramhall. Thanks for such intriguing pics.


  7. I’m going to have to go see those columns when I’m over at St Annes next month, don’t think I’ve ever seen them! Funny co-incidence your last two posts have been re my current home town and the town where all my family now live…and if that was the Guy Fawkes inn you were at with Ysolda I was working on my Ishbel in that very seat a week or so ago….


  8. heh – even the exterior rendering of the norbreck castle somehow suggests nicotine. I was sort of hoping the pic made it look as far from real as could be imagined!


  9. Oh the Norbreck Castle! Am amazed that I didn’t get some dreadful lung disease from the hours I spent there, holed up in smokey rooms, when attending the TUC. Your picture makes it look ‘real’.


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