"The town that the Blackpool Tower rises above was once nothing more than a tiny farming and fishing community set on marshy land along the Fylde coast of Lancashire. What transformed its fortunes, from the mid-18th century, was the craze for sea-bathing. Blessed with miles of broad, sandy beaches, it proved a natural magnet for those whose idea of a good time was to rush to the coast at the weekend and plunge into a bracingly cold sea. Before too long, enterprising locals were setting up small hotels and guest houses on the seafront to cater for the bathers. The thrill-seekers were only too happy to part with their money. An industry was born."
From the excellent By The Lights.