A cold wind against my face, blood and vomit on the streets, the strangely reassuring smell of fish and chips in the air, Blackpool is my kind of town.
No place in the UK embodies the British sex comedy aesthetic quite like Blackpool. Come to this place and it is not long before the line between a sex shop and a joke shop begins to blur. Gavcrimson didn’t have to walk but a few blocks from his first port of call before he encountered one such adult novelty shop, where in the window such old favourites as fake dog shit, his and her eatable underwear and chattering teeth complete with the newest adult novelty to hit Blackpool “Duck with a Dick”, a mixture of bath toy and sex aid. Mainly aimed at the stag and hen market, shops like this ensure that many a groom will wake-up on his wedding day, hung over and wondering why a well-endowed rubber duck is stuck up his ass.
Venturing inside this place reveals that if it can be eaten and made into the shape of a prick or a pair of breasts it will be sold in Blackpool. It was only after the fact, looking over these photographs on the way home, that I realised the shop had a ‘no photos’ policy, so Blackpool etiquette was inadvertently broken in order to bring you these undercover snaps.
Journey deeper into the heart of Blackpool and you frequently encounter one of the most popular adult novelties of recent years, the corruption of that family favourite Blackpool rock, that is Cock Rock.
Blackpool is wall to wall Fish and Chip shops, highly recommended and inexpensive is the Palma Cafe, where Gavcrimson was cured of a long-time aversion to Haddock, caused by a bad experience with one in the neighbouring town of Cleveleys. Thanks Palma.
A gathering of flying rodents, who can always be relied upon to leave their own distinct mark on the Blackpool landscape.
The Conspiracy exhibition, now closed- a conspiracy? Or maybe not, an online write-up of the place whilst it was active gives an idea of what I missed “I paid £3.50 to sit in a large room watching a "Confronting the Evidence" DVD about 9/11 which was later available in for sale for £3. Not only that, it was run on a loop and visitors weren't given the privilege of necessarily watching it from the beginning, they were just ushered in at any point”.
The DVD stalls at Blackpool’s various markets could never be accused of not having eclectic tastes, John Wayne, Tram Journeys, Hitler and Cannon and Ball are all represented here, two unlikely popular titles are Abel Ferrara’s The Driller Killer and Zombie Holocaust, seemingly every DVD stall I encountered had at least one copy of both.
You’ll note that a row of cock rock made a return appearance in that last photo, in libellously close proximity to a DVD with Cliff Richard’s face on it. Alas I failed to satisfactorily snap this stall’s comedy section, which mainly comprised of DVDs of live Bernard Manning shows and episodes of Love Thy Neighbour, a selection that no doubt has the same effect on the sensitive and politically correct at heart that crucifixes and mirrors have on vampires.
Blackpool has never been ashamed about having one foot in the past, and this stretches to its taste in pornography. Right up until the very dying days of VHS in the early 2000s, you could still walk into many a shop in Blackpool and be greeted by the face of Pauline Hickey/Zoe Lee staring at you from sun bleached VHS copies of ‘Sexy Secrets of the Kissogram Girls’, the first of many big bust fetish videos made in the 1980s by Hove based Peter Kay for his Strand International video label. Kays’s videos like The Naughty Dreams of Miss Owen, Stag Show Girls and the horror themed The Initiants - often featured their large bosomed stars arranged in rows on their covers in the manner of end of year school photos- and really found their niche in Blackpool where they were warmly taken to Blackpool’s own heavy bosom.
Peter Kay videos – a Blackpool ubiquity till the dying days of VHS.