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Early years of Esperanto in Blackpool

    The coastal holiday town of Blackpool developed its own Esperanto group in the years leading up to the First World War.

By 1901 the population of Blackpool, once as coastal hamlet, was 47,000, by which time it was seen as the archetypal British seaside resort.

The names and addresses of eighteen early speakers of Esperanto in Blackpool with their registration numbers are found scattered throughout the Adresaro de Esperantistoj (collection of addresses of Esperantists) between  January 1900 to January 1901 (Edition XXIV) and  January 1907 to January 1908 (Edition XXVII))..

Here are the names of those Blackpool pioneers of over a century ago:

1903: F-ino (=Miss) L. M. M. Redmayne, Stella Maris, Withnell road, South-Shore, Blackpool, Anglujo

1904: Miss E. G. Vinter, The Gabbes, Station road, Blackpool, Anglujo

1904: Miss Law-Brown, Belsfield, 6, Albert Terrace, promenade, S. S. Blackpool, Anglujo

1906: John H. Heaton, 180, Warbreck Road, Blackpool, Anglujo

1906: David E. Williamson, 5 Glen Street, Blackpool, Anglujo

1906:A. Vivian Jackson, 8, Leamington. Rd., Blackpool, Anglujo

1907: Joseph Hadall, Bank House, 10, Sheppard Street, Blackpool, Anglujo

1907: F-ino (=Miss) Nellie Lodge, 52, Devenshire Road, Blackpool, Anglujo

1907: F-ino (=Miss) B. A. Hoyle, 82, Caunce St, Blackpool, Anglujo

1907: F-ino (=Miss) Catherine Hedley, 6, Upper Queen Street, North Shore, Blackpool, Anglujo

1908: C. Smethurst, 72 Peter St, Blackpool, Anglujo

It is possible to identify some of those listed. Lenora Marguerita Mary Redmayne (1878-1964) was born in Fylde and became the wife of a doctor. Ethel Gertrude Vinter (1877-1974) was the daughter of a robe maker and was of independent means at the time of the 1939 register. Bertha Alice Hoyle (1879-1948) was a swcholl teacher in 1901 and was a head teacher” in 1911. Catherine Hedley was a pupil teacher in 1901 and a “certificated school teacher” ten years later.

An advertisement in The British Esperantist for April 1907 names an individual called G.R. Mills who has a group of young Esperanto speakers, aged 16 to thirty looking for penfriends overseas.

A 7-page guidebook in Esperanto to the town was published in 1907. The Oficiala Gvidlibreto pri "Blackpool" en Lancashire, Anglujo bore the subheading "Mirolando apud la marondoj" (A wonderland by the waves of the sea).

Bill Chapman



Information and documents are welcome about the early Esperanto activities in Blackpool.

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