- Margaret Brecknell
15th November 2022
The north-west seaside resort of Southport can trace its origins back to 1792 when William Sutton, a pub landlord from Churchtown, built a bathing house in a sparsely populated area a few miles down the coast. Although widely mocked at the time, Sutton realised the potential for a resort close to the newly constructed Leeds & Liverpool Canal. Within thirty years Southport, as it was renamed, was attracting over twenty thousand visitors annually.
In this book, Margaret Brecknell celebrates the town’s significant events and achievements, together with its notable local people from across the centuries. Southport was viewed as more upmarket than its emerging rival, Blackpool. Among those attracted here were "The Greatest Showman" P.T. Barnum and the future French Emperor Napoleon III. Southport later hosted some of the twentieth century's best-known entertainers including Charlie Chaplin, Laurel & Hardy and The Beatles. In the 1970s, the legendary Grand National winner Red Rum was trained on Southport beach.
With people increasingly choosing to holiday abroad, Southport has reinvented itself as a destination for day trippers. In recent years, a large-scale rejuvenation project has taken place near to the seafront with the aim of restoring some of the resort's most popular attractions, such as the Victorian pier, to their former glory. Southport has much to celebrate in its past, but can also look forward to the future with renewed confidence.
Illustrated throughout, this book will appeal to residents, visitors and all those with links to this seaside town.