Lancashire

Blackpool's North Pier buyer's pledge to wife

The new owner of Blackpool's North Pier has said he had always vowed to buy the Lancashire seaside attraction for his wife Sue.

"When I met my wife, jokingly I said one day I'll buy it for you," Peter Sedgwick said.

He did not reveal how much he had paid for his late wedding gift.

Mr Sedgwick's family have a long association with the resort. His Victorian ancestors pioneered early cinematic entertainment with the Sedgwick Bioscopic Showfront.

His great grandfather captured early footage of people enjoying the delights of Blackpool and the North Pier.

Archive film of the family's touring Sedgwick's Menagerie, a travelling collection of exotic animals, can also be found in the National Fairground Archive at the University of Sheffield.

Toll-free

During the summer months of 1961, Peter came to work at Blackpool's South Pier as an arcade attendant. He used to empty the machines and used a wheelbarrow to cart the money to the family's safe.

Image caption Peter Sedgwick promised to buy Blackpool's North Pier nearly 40 years ago for his wife Sue

Mr Sedgwick decided that he wanted to settle in Blackpool, and it was where he met his wife-to-be.

He says he proposed to her on the North Pier and pledged to one day buy it for her. The couple have now been married for about 40 years and have three children in their twenties.

"You think of the people who have been on this pier, they used to come in their Sunday best from the mines and pits," Mr Sedgwick said.

"It's fantastic to own, a Victorian pier, we want to bring it back to its Victorian look, bring back its tram and not charge a toll to come on it."

Blackpool's North pier opened in 1863 and Mr Sedgwick intends to focus on providing family entertainment.

Over the past 18 years, the Sedgwick family has developed a number of rides and attractions on Blackpool's South and Central Piers, including the famous Big Wheel.

The North pier was sold by Six Piers Ltd, which is owned by Chorley businessman Trevor Hemmings.

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