Fleetwood is a town and civil parish within the
Wyre district of
Lancashire, England, lying at the northwest corner of the Fylde. It
had a population of 25,939 people at the 2011 census. The site of
the town has been continuously inhabited since the Middle Ages.
Fleetwood acquired its modern character in the 1830s, when the
principal landowner Peter Hesketh-Fleetwood, High Sheriff and MP,
conceived an ambitious plan to re-develop the town to make it a busy
seaport and railway spur. He commissioned the distinguished Victorian
Decimus Burton to design a number of substantial civic
buildings, including two lighthouses. Hesketh-Fleetwood's transport
terminus schemes failed to materialise. The town expanded greatly in
the first half of the 20th century with the growth of the UK fishing
industry, and passenger ferries to the
Isle of Man
Isle of Man to become a
deep-sea fishing port.
Decline of the fishing industry began in the 1960s, hastened by the
Cod Wars with Iceland, though fish processing is still a major
economic activity in Fleetwood. The town's most notable employer today
is Lofthouse of Fleetwood, manufacturer of the lozenge Fisherman's
Friend which is exported around the world.
1.1 19th century
1.2 20th century
6.1 Tourism and amenities
6.4 Other buildings
9 Notable people
10 See also
12 External links
Ptolemy's Geographia in the 2nd century AD records a tribe known as
Setantii living in what is believed to be present-day West
Lancashire, and a seaport built by the Romans called PORTVS
SETANTIORVM ('the port of the Setantii') abutting Moricambe Aestuarium
Morecambe Bay). There is also evidence of a Roman road
Ribchester to Kirkham (12 miles (19 km) southeast of
Fleetwood) which then makes a sharp turn to the northwest. Together,
these suggest that
Fleetwood may well have been the location of this
Roman port. No direct evidence of the port has been found, but in
Iron Age settlement was discovered at Bourne Hill, just south
of present-day Fleetwood, suggesting the area was populated in
There is evidence that the eastern side of the River
Wyre was occupied
during the Danish invasions of the 9th and 10th centuries, and by the
time of the
Domesday Book in 1086, the land on which
stands was part of the Hundred of Amounderness.
A manor house at present-day Rossall, in the southwest of the town,
was in the possession of the Allen family by the time of Henry VIII.
The Allens were prominent Roman Catholics, and Henry VIII repossessed
the land. Cardinal William Allen was born at the manor house in 1532.
It was ultimately sold to Thomas Fleetwood, comptroller of the Royal
Mint, whose son Edmund, expanded the house into
Rossall Hall. The land
remained in the
Fleetwood family for 300 years.
By the 1830s, the house and estate was in the ownership of Edmund's
descendant Peter Hesketh, High Sheriff of
Lancashire and MP for
Preston. A man of somewhat liberal views for his time, Hesketh
believed that the sheltered harbour and views over
Morecambe Bay gave
the area the makings of a busy seaport and popular resort for the
less-affluent. With no rail link between
London and Scotland, he
Fleetwood as the transfer point between the railway and the
steamers to Scotland, and set about encouraging a railway link from
Preston. With a new career in parliament to prepare for, he engaged
Frederick Kemp as his agent. He originally considered naming the new
town Wyreton or New Liverpool, but after changing his name to Peter
Fleetwood in 1831, he settled on the name Fleetwood. After
some delays, he recruited the prominent architect Decimus Burton,
whose work in
St Leonard's-on-Sea he had admired, to lay out what
would be the first planned town of the Victorian era. The plans were
complete by 1835, and construction of the first buildings and the
railway line began in 1836.
North Euston Hotel
North Euston Hotel (1841) as seen from Jubilee Gardens.
Burton's plan was to use the largest of the sand-dunes on the
north-facing shore as the focus of a half-wheel street layout. This
was landscaped, and became known as the Mount. It served as the hub of
Burton's half-wheel design, the main residential streets acted as the
spokes, and the main commerce area of Dock Street was the rim of the
wheel. The oldest surviving building in the town, once the custom
house, later the town hall and latterly
Fleetwood Museum, dates from
1836 and housing from as early as 1838 still exists in the town. The
crown jewel was the North Euston Hotel, built in 1841, a fine
semi-circular building overlooking the bay and the river's estuary.
The hotel was built to serve overnight guests making the railway
journey from Euston, and was close to the point of departure for the
steamers to Scotland. This journey was made by
Queen Victoria in 1847,
but by the mid-1850s the completion of the western railway link
Shap Fell rendered Fleetwood's role
as a transport terminus obsolete.
Burton designed two lighthouses for the town: The Upper Lighthouse,
usually referred to as the Pharos (after the
Pharos of Alexandria
Pharos of Alexandria in
Egypt, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World), can be seen for
13 miles (21 km) and Beach
Lighthouse is visible for 9 miles
(14 km). Both opened in 1840. A third lighthouse,
built in 1839–40 by blind engineer Alexander Mitchell, offshore on
the northeast corner of North Wharf, was the first screw pile
lighthouse to be built in Great Britain.
Fleetwood is the only town in
United Kingdom to possess three lighthouses and the two within the
town itself remain fully operational.
Wyre Light has now fallen into a
state of disrepair.
Fleetwood Market, still a prominent permanent market, first opened in
By 1838, Hesketh-
Fleetwood had run into serious financial
difficulties, with costs for the railway in particular ultimately
exceeding £300,000. He had numerous financial arguments with
Frederick Kemp, who borrowed against the estate revenues to finance
the expansion of the town, and was suspected of taking financial
advantage of Sir Peter. Hesketh-
Fleetwood became short of cash and was
forced to mortgage his properties. Depressed, he gradually withdrew
from the project, and by 1844 he had been obliged to sell much of his
estate. He leased
Rossall Hall itself to the Church of England, which
intended to set up a boarding school as a North of
of Marlborough School. Under the auspices of Rev. St. Vincent Beechey,
the vicar of Fleetwood, it was to become
Rossall School. Virtually
Fleetwood retired to Brighton, giving up his
parliamentary obligations in 1847. Meanwhile, Kemp's influence
expanded. He had set up the
Fleetwood Estates Company to manage the
land, and the North
Lancashire Steam Navigation Company in 1843 to
manage the expanding steamer trade. However, by the late 1850s, the
combination of the new western railway route and the rise of
Blackpool as a prominent seaside resort signalled a
decline in the town's fortunes.
From the 1860s
Fleetwood expanded its port activities. Steamers began
pleasure and commercial services to the Isle of Man,
Belfast. 1⁄2 mile (800 m) of stone quays were built along the
river front, and the railway line was extended to the steamer pier
opposite Queen's Terrace, where the imposing new railway station was
built in 1883. The port was still mainly a cargo terminal at this
time, but the fishing industry began to grow as vessels expanded their
catchment area from the
Irish Sea fishing grounds first fished in the
1840s, to the haddock grounds of the North Atlantic Ocean. At this
time, all the fishing vessels out of
Fleetwood were sail-powered
fishing smacks, few being over 40 tons deadweight. The
Act of 1864 enabled the construction of a dock and embankment for both
fishing and general cargo. Work on what was to become
Wyre Dock began
in 1869 but was suspended for financial reasons. A second Act in 1871
gave construction authority to the
Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway
Company, under chief engineers Sir
John Hawkshaw and Harrison Hayter.
Construction itself, by John Aird & Sons, was completed in 1877.
Heavy industry came to the area in the late 1880s with the
construction of a salt-processing works on the southeastern edge of
the town by the
Fleetwood Salt Co. Ltd, using salt mined in Preesall,
across the river.
Lower Lighthouse, by Decimus Burton, 1840, is visible for 9 miles
By the early 1890s, the construction and expansion of rival cargo
ports in the North West and the building of the Manchester Ship Canal
heralded the decline of Fleetwood's prominence as a cargo port.
However, at the same time this was more than offset by a period of
rapid expansion of the fishing industry, signalled by the launch in
1891 of the first steam powered trawler, the Lark. All the other major
fishing ports in Britain, Hull,
Grimsby and Aberdeen, were on the east
coast, so there was a competitive advantage for a west-coast port with
good rail links. By the start of the 20th century, Fleetwood's
position as one of the three major fishing ports in
cemented. James Marr brought a fleet of steam trawlers to Fleetwood
and actively started to change the port by selectively fishing for
hake, which until then had been treated as a much less desirable
catch. Many of the houses in the old area of town around the Mount and
Lord Street were built in the 1890s. In keeping with the thriving
economy, these terraced houses were large for their era. An electric
tramway link to
Blackpool was constructed in the 1890s and remains
operational to this day. The trams were routed along East Street and
West Street (now Lord Street and North Albert Street) rather than Dock
Street, and commercial trade followed, making those streets the
commercial centre of the town.
Fleetwood is the only town in Britain
with trams running the full length of its main street, sharing
road-space with cars. The docks were expanded in 1908 with the
construction of the Fish Dock, accessible through
Wyre Dock and still
used today for the inshore fleet. Plans for a pier were first made in
the 1890s but building did not start until 1909 and it was opened in
1910. It was the last new seaside pier to be built in the United
By the 1920s, the fishing industry was at its height, employing over
9,000 people. Over the next few years, the sea front along the north
shore was developed in resort fashion, to encourage visitors for whom
the brashness of
Blackpool was too daunting. The Marine Hall
entertainment complex (1935), golf course (1931) and Model Yacht Pond
(1932) all date from this era. In the 1920s, the salt works, by now
owned by the
United Alkali Company (after 1926 part of ICI), was
considerably expanded, and became an ammonia-processing plant. ICI
built an adjacent chemical processing plant, known as ICI Hillhouse.
ICI would become the town's third-largest employer, after the fishing
and tourism industries. The first fully automated telephone exchange
in Britain was put into operation to serve the town on 15 July
The town was hit by a huge flood in October 1927, which put 90% of the
area of the town under water. Only the higher lying areas around the
Mount escaped. Additional housing was built in the 1920s and 1930s in
the less developed central areas of the town, and a further
development boom occurred in the 1960s in the lower lying western
portion of the town (Larkholme). Many industries related to fishing
grew up along the rail corridor on the eastern side of the town, and a
number of unrelated industries also moved to the area to take
advantage of the availability of labour.
By the 1960s, however,
Fleetwood began to decline economically. The
last ferry to the
Isle of Man
Isle of Man sailed in 1961. The sailings have been
revived periodically since. The main railway station was closed in
1966 as a result of the Beeching cuts, and the passenger terminus was
Wyre Dock railway station. This in turn was closed in 1970,
as the branch line from Poulton was taken out of service. Additional
light industry developed along the former railway bed. The rise of
package holidays abroad led to fewer visitors generally to British
resort towns. As
Blackpool expanded its attractions, fewer day
visitors came to Fleetwood, and as transport became more efficient,
more overnight visitors became day visitors. The Hillhouse plant was
heavily cut back, and was finally closed in 1999. Most serious,
however, was the collapse of the fishing industry, which was largely
destroyed in the late 1960s and early 1970s by the Cod Wars, a dispute
over fishing rights between
Iceland and the UK. As Fleetwood's
trawlers mainly fished the North Atlantic in search of cod, the loss
of the fishing grounds hit the town hard. The last deep sea trawler
left the town in 1982 and now only inshore fishing boats fish out of
the port, although trawlers registered in other places can still be
seen taking advantage of the fish market. Fish is still a big industry
in the town, though the jobs are mainly in processing rather than
fishing. A pair of bronze figures on the promenade by the pier depicts
the idea of families welcoming back the fishermen from sea.
Fleetwood Freeport and Marina (1995) is built on the site of the
In 1973, the area around the old railway station was developed into a
container port facility, with P & O operating a container service
Larne in Northern Ireland. In 1975, this became a Roll-on/roll-off
service. This development led indirectly to some renewal of the then
largely derelict Dock Street area, and improved road access to the
town to support the container traffic. Twice-daily container service
continued until 2004 when
Stena Line bought the route and increased
the service to three times a day. In December 2010, Stena Line
announced that the service would be withdrawn at the end of 2010, with
the loss of 140 jobs.
Since the 1970s there have been several attempts to enhance
Fleetwood's economic profile, In 1995, the now-deserted
Wyre Dock was
developed into a marina. The derelict dock landing area was developed
into Freeport, a retail centre, and housing has been built at the
north end of the marina. Most recently, in July 2007, a new
"Masterplan" for revitalising the waterfront and town centre was
submitted to the
Fleetwood could be seen in "A High Profile", an episode of
Hetty Wainthropp Investigates. Several buildings along The Esplanade
were used, one of Fleetwood's churches and others.
Since the Local Government Act 1972, effective 1 April 1974, Fleetwood
has been part of the
Borough of Wyre, together with the neighbouring
Thornton Cleveleys and Poulton-le-Fylde, the Over Wyre
villages and Garstang. The administrative headquarters is in
Poulton-le-Fylde. The borough is a constituent part of Lancashire
County Council. Although
Wyre Council has an overwhelming Conservative
majority (forty out of a total of fifty five councillors), all
thirteen of Fleetwood's councillors belong to Labour. Prior to 1974,
Fleetwood had been a municipal borough since 1933, and from 1894 to
1933, an urban district. The town is divided into five wards, Mount,
Pharos, Warren, Park and Rossall.
Fleetwood parish council (known as
Fleetwood Town Council) was
established following a referendum in June 2009. The boundaries of the
parish are coterminous with the boundary of the five borough council
Fleetwood and the town council has thirteen councillors.
In the 2010 General Election,
Fleetwood was joined with Lancaster and
Wyre locations to form the new Lancaster and Fleetwood
constituency. Conservative member
Eric Ollerenshaw was elected in a
tight race. From 1997 to 2010,
Fleetwood was included with Thornton,
Poulton and parts of Blackpool, as part of the
Blackpool North and
Fleetwood parliamentary constituency. During that time the seat was
held by Labour's Joan Humble. Prior to 1997,
Fleetwood was part of the
constituencies of Fylde North and Wyre, whose boundaries more closely
matched those of
Wyre Borough, and which consistently returned a
Conservative member. In the 2015 general election a majority vote saw
Fleetwood become a Labour town once again, represented by Cat Smith.
Fleetwood is located on the Fylde Peninsula, 8 miles (13 km)
north of Blackpool, on the western side of the mouth of the River
Wyre. The town itself is on a peninsula, almost 2 miles (3 km)
wide, bounded to the west by the Irish Sea, to the north by Morecambe
Bay and to the east by the River Wyre. Access to
Fleetwood is thus
restricted, and for many years there were only two roads into and out
of the town. A large sandbank, the North Wharf, extends some
2 1⁄4 miles (3.6 km) north into
Morecambe Bay, and is
exposed at low tide. The river channel forms the eastern boundary of
the bank. Together with the larger Bernard Wharf on the other side of
the river, this makes navigation of the river difficult. Conversely,
the port is highly sheltered from the prevailing westerly winds.
Like the remainder of the Fylde, the land is extremely flat, the
highest point being the Mount, the large sand dune in the northern
part of the town, from which the original street plan radiated. Parts
of Fleetwood, especially to the north and west, are barely above sea
level at high tide, and a large retaining sea wall runs along much of
the western edge of the town. Nevertheless,
Fleetwood was flooded in
1927 and again in 1977. The latter flood, although much smaller,
affected more properties as there had been considerable development in
the 1960s in the lower-lying parts of the town. The soil is broadly
sandy, but there is considerable marshland to the south and east, by
the river. The town itself encompasses an area of just under 4 square
miles (10 km2).
In common with the rest of the coastal areas of the UK,
a maritime climate. Prevailing winds and weather patterns are
northwesterly, leading to a slightly higher average precipitation than
the country as a whole, although the absence of high ground in the
immediate vicinity moderates this. As with most coastal areas, frost
and snow are uncommon. Temperatures are close to the national
Climate data for Fleetwood, England, United Kingdom
Average high °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
Source: UK Met. Office
At the 2011 Census,
Fleetwood had a population of 25,939. This is a
decline of 3.3% over the previous census figure (2001) of 26,840. The
2001 population registered a further decline of about 6% from the 1971
figures, at a time when the overall population of the
Borough of Wyre
rose by 11%.
At the 2001 census,
Borough is 98.8% White in ethnic makeup. The
remainder is split between South Asian (0.4%), Mixed race (0.4%) Black
(0.1%) and Other (0.3%).
Fleetwood's economy still revolves around the traditional areas of
fishing, tourism, port activity and light industry, but since the
early 1970s the town has continued to struggle economically. A
government report in 2006 stated that three of the town's five wards
fall into the 5% to 10% most deprived wards in England.
The same government report noted that the demise of the fishing
Fleetwood some 8,000 jobs, employment in fishing-related
industries falling from 9,000 to less than 1,000, mostly in the
fish-processing sector. The closure of the ICI Hillhouse works cost
the region a further 4,500 jobs. Industrial and commercial development
has been at a standstill for fifteen years and only a single
commercial employer based in the town has more than 200 employees. The
stock of both commercial and residential property is in decline.
Borough in general has a lower unemployment rate than the
rest of the United Kingdom, Fleetwood's is considerably higher. Using
figures indicating benefit claimants as a percentage of total
population (usually considered to be about half the 'actual'
unemployment rate) the figures for August 2007 are:
Average household income in August 2007 was as follows:
Average household income in £
The town's largest and most prominent single employer is Lofthouse's
Fleetwood Ltd., manufacturers of Fisherman's Friend—a menthol
lozenge popular worldwide and especially in Japan.
In July 2007, a new "Masterplan" for revitalizing the town around a
"vibrant waterfront and a revitalised town centre" was submitted to
Borough Council. Some of the funding would come from an EU
cash grant. The Masterplan was funded by
Wyre Council, the Northwest
Development Agency and English Heritage. The plan has three main
areas for development:
Transport: Improvements to the A585 link road. Restoration of the
railway link including a new railway station in Fleetwood. Improved
links to the riverside coastal paths and
"Seafront scene transformation": new waterfront environment with
housing, beach sports, family area and bigger entertainment
attractions. The original plan placed housing on land opposite the
Mount Hotel on land currently used as a nine-hole pitch and putt
course, but, after opposition from residents, this part of the plan
was dropped. The waterfront would have a discovery and
entertainment centre focused around a re-fashioned Marine Hall, with
better health and fitness facilities nearby.
"Attractive new look for centre": the Masterplan includes plans for
more open spaces and more national name shops on Lord Street, with
Albert Square and Station Road earmarked as public squares. A new
landmark square and heart of the town is proposed on both Lord Street
London Street with cafes, bars and restaurants.
Tourism and amenities
Pavilion (1902) is the highest point in the town.
The town's most prominent feature is the Mount, a 7-acre (2.8 ha)
park facing the sea-front, laid out by Decimus Burton, and built on a
large sand dune originally known as Tup's Hill. It is surmounted by a
pavilion built in 1902 incorporating a clock added in 1919. The wall
on the inland side of the Mount is built from pebbles, in traditional
Fylde style. The Mount and the entire length of Fleetwood
Promenade has an uninterrupted view across
Morecambe Bay, a view
described by author
Bill Bryson in Chapter 23 of his book Notes From a
Small Island as "easily one of the most beautiful in the world, with
unforgettable views across to the green and blue Lakeland hills:
Scafell, Coniston Old Man, the Langdale Pikes." Directly across the
Esplanade from the Mount lies the Marine Hall and Marine Gardens, Wyre
Borough's largest entertainment venue, opened in 1935.
The 13 hectares of
Fleetwood Memorial Park was developed out of the
earlier Warrenhurst Park, itself an early-C20 park designed by Thomas
Lumb of Blackpool. In 1917 the park was renamed "Memorial Park" in
memory of those who died in the First World War. The memorial statue
was added a few years later and memorial trees planted by the children
who lost relatives.
In the early 1900s the park was home to a boating lake and the current
facilities include three crown green bowling greens, a children's play
area and picnic area, cenotaph memorial, duck pond, football pitches
(on the site of the old boating lake) and tennis courts.
Fleetwood Pier, also known as 'Victoria Pier', was a feature of the
town from its construction in 1910 until it was destroyed by fire in
September 2008. Built at the end of the 'golden age' of pier building,
it was the last pleasure pier to be built in the United Kingdom, other
than a 1957 pier built in Deal, Kent, to replace a structure damaged
in the Second World War. At 164 yards (150 m) in length, it
was one of the shortest piers in the country. At various times, it was
an amusement complex, bar and dance hall. In 1952 the pier was badly
damaged in a fire which started in the cinema, and it did not reopen
until 1958. The pier was closed again in 2006, and plans were drawn up
to convert the structure into a flats complex. However, the pier
was again heavily damaged by fire in the early hours of 9 September
2008. On 26 September 2008,
Borough Council announced that
the pier would be completely demolished, and two weeks later
confirmed that the pier would not be rebuilt.
Fleetwood Market has been in operation since 1840.
Fleetwood has two prominent retail locations. Freeport Fleetwood,
opened in 1995, is a waterfront outlet shopping village, on the site
of the former
Wyre Dock, with 45 shops in a marina setting. Freeport
was re-branded and re-launched in 2006 at a cost of £8.6m.
Fleetwood Market on Victoria Street is one of the largest covered
markets in the North West, with over 250 stalls. It was first opened
in 1840, although the present stone building dates from 1892.
Fleetwood Museum, formerly the Customs House (1836), the oldest
building in the town
Fleetwood Museum stands on Queen's Terrace. The building, designed by
Decimus Burton, was completed in 1836 and is the oldest surviving
building in Fleetwood. It was originally the Customs House, and from
1889 to 1974 it served as
Fleetwood Town Hall, until local government
activity was moved to Poulton. It was designated as the town's museum
in 1992. The museum tells the story of the fishing industry in the
town. In January 2006, the museum was threatened with closure
Lancashire County Council (LCC). However, volunteers
helped re-launch the museum in April 2007, setting up the Fleetwood
Museum Trust to run the museum in partnership with LCC for twelve
months with the intention of the trust eventually running the museum
themselves. The museum also operates the Jacinta, the town's
"heritage trawler", stationed in the
Wyre Dock Marina and open for
public viewing throughout the year. Built in 1972, it was moved to
Hull in 1982, before being handed over to the Jacinta Charitable Trust
in 1995 when restoration work began on the trawler.
St Nicholas' Church (1962), designed by Laurence King
Fleetwood's parish church, St Peter's, designed by
Decimus Burton in
1841, stands at the corner of Lord Street and North Albert Street. It
formerly had a spire, but this was demolished in 1904. St Mary's,
the town's main
Roman Catholic church, stands nearby. Built in 1867,
it was designed by E. W. Pugin. A more modern church of interest is
the copper-roofed St Nicholas, on Poulton Road, designed by Laurence
King and completed in 1962.
Queen's Terrace (1844), designed by Decimus Burton
Numerous other buildings designed by
Decimus Burton remain in the
town. Prominent are the Pharos and Lower Lighthouses, opened in 1840
and still in operation. Ships sailing down the
Wyre channel line up
the two lights, one above the other, to guide them. The Pharos is the
only functioning lighthouse in the
United Kingdom built in the middle
of the street. It now forms a traffic roundabout. The North Euston
Hotel, opened in 1841, is still the largest hotel in Fleetwood.
Queen's Terrace was completed in 1844 and is regarded as an
outstanding example of classical architecture. Now mostly used for
offices and private flats, at various times it has been used as a
school, hospital, railway offices and wartime consulates for European
nations. The town contains a total of forty-four buildings listed in
the National Heritage List for England, all at Grade II.
Fleetwood Weekly News covers the town and the North Fylde Area.
The newspaper was founded in 1984 as a successor to the Fleetwood
Chronicle, which had ceased publication several weeks earlier. The
Chronicle itself, founded in 1843, was the oldest newspaper in the
Fylde. Daily newspaper coverage is provided by the Blackpool
Gazette. Both papers are published by Johnston Press, as is the
Lancashire Evening Post, a daily newspaper covering the county of
Fleetwood falls within the coverage area of BBC Radio Lancashire.
Commercial radio stations serving the area include Radio Wave based in
97.4 Rock FM
97.4 Rock FM and
Magic 999 based in Preston, The Bay based
in Lancaster 96.9 The Bay and
Smooth FM 100.4 and 105.4 Century FM
broadcasting from Greater Manchester.
Independent television service is provided by ITV Granada, the ITV
franchise holder for the North West region.
BBC North West
BBC North West is the
regional BBC station serving Fleetwood.
Fylde Folk Festival is held each year at the Marine Hall and other
venues in the town. It is a festival of traditional and contemporary
folk music, song and dance. The festival has been held continuously
since 1971. The opening concert each year is staged aboard
Jacinta, the town's heritage trawler. The 2012 festival is set
to run from Friday 31 August until Sunday 2 September.
Another annual music festival, originating in 2005, is Fleetwoodstock,
named after the famous New York
Woodstock Festival and held in the
autumn. The usual venue is the Marine Hall.
The now annual Yuto Fest, which was first held in 2011, also takes
place at the Marine Hall. Yuto Fest is a charity festival featuring
local bands that was set up by Daz Rice of
Kiss of the Gypsy and is a
legacy for his three-year-old son Yuto Rice who died in 2012 after
battling a heart condition.
Fleetwood Transport Festival, also known as Tram Sunday, has been held
annually on the third Sunday of July since 1985. It is a festival of
vintage vehicles highlighted by a number of historical tram-cars,
which parade along Lord Street.
Fleetwood Beer & Cider Festival is held in February each year and
is organised by the Blackpool, Fylde and
Wyre branch of CAMRA. The
festival offers a choice of around 100 real ales as well as a
selection of ciders and foreign beers.
John Lennon spent his childhood summer holidays in Fleetwood
with a cousin who lived in the town, returning to the town on 25
August 1962 when the Beatles played at the Marine
Hall. Operatic tenor
Alfie Boe grew up in
Fleetwood and his first public performance was at the Marine
Hall at the age of 14, where he worked as a stage technician.
Jean Rigby was also born in Fleetwood.
The best-known rock bands to feature musicians from
television talking head John Robb's the Membranes and
Goldblade, punk band One Way System (the first
signing on Cherry Red's Anagram Records), Uncle Fester/UFX,
Earthling Society, who have released six critically acclaimed
albums, and Kiss of the Gypsy, who were signed to Atlantic
Records in the US.
One Way System drummer Tommy Couch (brother of
boxer Jane Couch) played drums with
UK Subs for two years. and has
been voted one of the top 30 best punk drummers of all time.
Musicians from One Way System,
Kiss of the Gypsy combined in
2011 to release a gothic psychobilly album as Boneyard Zombies
and in 2014 the debut release by rock and roll garage band The
Crawlin' Hex, formed by members of
Earthling Society and
a series of positive reviews.
Fleetwood musician is folk singer Alan Bell, the
founder and director of the internationally renowned Fylde Folk
Festival which ran for 42 years until Bell's retirement in 2014.
Bell's suite The Band in the Park won the prestigious Radio Italia
prize for Broadcasting for BBC Radio
Lancashire and resulted in a BBC2
Television programme devoted to Bell – Alan Bell: The Man and His
Music. The festival is to be superseded in 2015 by the New
Folk 'n' Roots Festival.
Stuart Chatwood of Canadian rock band the
Tea Party was also born in Fleetwood.
Fleetwood has had several football clubs over its history. The current
version of the club, dating from 1997, is now known as
F.C. and is nicknamed the Fishermen, and its followers the Cod
Army. The club has played in the
Football League since 2012,
having been promoted in that year as champions of the Conference
National. This is the first time a club from the town has played in
the Football League. In May 2014
Fleetwood were victorious in the
League 2 play-off final to win promotion to League 1. In August 2014,
Nathan Pond, played in his seventh different division for the club, an
achievement officially recognised by Guinness as a world record under
the title of ‘the most football (soccer) divisions played in for one
club by an individual.' . With a population of under 26,000,
Fleetwood was the smallest town in
England with a League club until
the promotion of Forest Green Rovers from
Nailsworth in 2017.
A previous incarnation of
Fleetwood Town F.C.
Fleetwood Town F.C. enjoyed a brief history
from 1977, reaching the final of the
FA Vase in 1985, before being
wound up because of financial difficulties in 1996. The same fate
also befell the two previous town clubs.
Fleetwood F.C. was founded in
1908 and wound up in 1976, having been several times Lancashire
Combination cup champions in the 1930s, and founder members of the
Northern Premier League
Northern Premier League in 1968.
Fleetwood Rangers, the town's
first club, spent ten seasons in the
Lancashire League and Lancashire
Combination from 1889 to 1899. Since 1939, home games have been
played at Highbury Stadium.
Blackpool Reserves also use the stadium
for their home matches.
In January 1938, Jimmy Hampson, who remains Blackpool's record
goalscorer, drowned off the
Fleetwood coast during a fishing trip. The
yacht on which he was sailing collided with a trawler and Hampson, 31,
was knocked overboard. He drowned, and his body was never
Speedway racing was staged at Highbury Stadium from 1948 to 1952, with
Fleetwood Flyers riding in the Second Division of the National
Speedway league. The Flyers started the 1948 season as Wigan
RLFC but moved to
Fleetwood after racing a few away fixtures billed as
Wigan. The Flyers raced in the National League Division Two from 1948
to 1951 without enjoying any great success. In 1952 the venue staged a
number of open events with the team renamed the
Model Yacht Pond, one of Europe's largest, built in 1932
Fleetwood Rugby Union Football Club is an amateur rugby union club,
first registered in 1932 as
Fleetwood Old Boys, with the Old Boys
title being dropped in the 1950s.
Fleetwood Cricket Club, based at
Broadwater, are affiliated with the
Lancashire Cricket Board and
compete in the Northern League.
From the 1930s to the present, the Model Yacht Pond, one of Europe's
largest, has been host to numerous national and international
championships, held under the aegis of the
Fleetwood Model Yacht and
Power Boat Club.
Fleetwood Reservoir on Copse Road provides coarse fishing facilities.
The fishing club is affiliated to the National Federation of Anglers.
Matches take place every Sunday and Friday during the summer months.
Fleetwood is a popular location for kitesurfing and other power kite
sports. There are several suitable beaches and training is available
at the local kite school.
Fleetwood lies at the northern end of the
Blackpool tramway, which is
Blackpool Transport. It is about 12 miles (19 km)
Fleetwood to the southern terminus at Starr Gate, and about 8
miles (13 km) to Talbot Square, Blackpool. There are 10 tram
stops in the town, the southernmost being
Rossall School. Trams run
the full length of both Lord Street and North Albert Street, undivided
from regular road traffic. Bus service to
Blackpool is provided by
Blackpool Transport and Stagecoach North West, who also provide
services to Preston and other local destinations.
Wyre Dock (1885–1966)
Site of former railway station
There are frequent ferry sailings from
Fleetwood across the River Wyre
to Knott End-on-Sea.
Passenger sailings to Douglas are not currently on a regular
timetable. Ferries were operated by the
Isle of Man
Isle of Man Steam Packet
Company from 1876 to 1961, and again periodically from 1971. However,
in recent years the service has been restricted to once or twice per
year. From 2004,
Stena Line provided some passenger accommodation on
its thrice daily service to
Larne in Northern Ireland. However, Stena
Line withdrew the service at the end of 2010.
The town being built on a peninsula, for many years there were only
two roads into and out of Fleetwood: Broadway, through Cleveleys,
designated as the A587, and
Fleetwood Road, through Thornton,
designated as the A585. To cater for container traffic, Amounderness
Way was built in the late 1970s and re-designated as the A585. In the
Amounderness Way was extended further into the town to the end
of Dock Street (the entrance to the Freeport shopping village) along
the former railway bed.
The town was for several years the northern Fylde terminus of the
railway line to London, hence the hotel opposite the site of the now
Fleetwood railway station
Fleetwood railway station is called the North Euston Hotel.
The line also carried landed fish from the docks to distant markets.
There has been no railway service to
Fleetwood since 1970.
Blackpool North are the nearest railway stations.
However, the line to Poulton is still present, and plans remain to
re-open the line in the future.
Rossall School is a co-educational, independent, day and boarding
school for ages 5 to 18. It was founded in 1844 on the site of Rossall
Hall in the south west of the town. There are two public-sector
secondary schools in the town.
Fleetwood High School on Broadway
was founded in 1977 as a comprehensive non-denominational secondary
school, a successor to
Fleetwood Grammar School (1921–77) and Bailey
School. It was 're-branded' as
Fleetwood Sports College in 2005 when
the school was given specialist school status in sport, but reverted
to its original name in September 2010. Cardinal Allen Catholic
High School  is a
Roman Catholic high school, founded in 1963 as a
secondary modern school.
The only tertiary educational institution in
Fleetwood is the Nautical
Blackpool and the Fylde College, located at Broadwater.
Fleetwood has seven public sector primary schools. Chaucer Community
Primary School serves the oldest part of the town, around the
Mount. Shakespeare Primary School serves the northwest part of the
town. Flakefleet Primary School serves the south-central
Flakefleet area. Charles Saer Primary School and Larkholme Primary
School serve the western part of the town, around West View and
Larkholme. Additionally, there are two
Roman Catholic primary schools:
St Mary's, founded in 1870, which serves the northern part of the
town, and St Wulstan's and St Edmund's, serving the southern part
of the town and formed in 2006 from a merger of two existing schools.
The town is also home to a large public library, which as well as
lending print and audio-visual material also has an extensive
reference and local studies collection.
This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this
section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material
may be challenged and removed. (June 2011) (Learn how and when to
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William Allen (1532-1594) – English
Catholic priest and cardinal.
Alfie Boe (b. 1973) – Operatic tenor.
Stuart Chatwood (b. 1969) –
The Tea Party
The Tea Party bass player and videogame
Jane Couch (b. 1968) – former Women's International Boxing
Federation welterweight champion.
Kelsey-Beth Crossley (b. 1992) –
Dan Forshaw (b. 1981) –
Peter Hesketh-Fleetwood (1801-1866) – landowner, developer and
Member of Parliament, best known as the founder of Fleetwood.
Stephen Hibbert (b. 1959) Actor and writer, best known for playing
'The Gimp' in "Pulp Fiction," (dir. Tarantino, '94)
Syd Little (b. 1942) – part of comedy duo Little and Large along
with Eddie Large.
Percy C. Mather
Percy C. Mather (1882-1933) – pioneer English
missionary to China, the second
China Inland Mission
China Inland Mission missionary to
Wes Newton (b. 1977) – Professional darts player, born in Blackpool,
now resides in Fleetwood.
Charles Kay Ogden
Charles Kay Ogden (1889-1957) – English linguist, philosopher, and
writer. Inventor and propagator of Basic English.
Billy Porter (1905-1946) – football fullback for Windsor Villa,
Fleetwood Town, Oldham Athletic, Manchester United and Hyde United.
Jean Rigby (b. 1961) – Operatic mezzo-soprano.
John Robb (b. 1961) – musician and writer, noted for his work in the
Billy Ronson (1957-2015) – former professional footballer.
Frank Searle (1921-2005) – Loch Ness photo hoaxer.
George Smith (1921-2013) – former professional footballer for
Harry Stirzaker (1869-?) – former professional footballer for
Listed buildings in Fleetwood
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Wikimedia Commons has media related to Fleetwood.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Fleetwood.
Local authority –
Fleetwood at Curlie (based on DMOZ)
Fleetwood - Local information, photos, video
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