Nostalgic sniff of the sea
Once he lived 50 yards from the pier. As he talked
of his main ideas for St Annes he raised his head as if he were taking
nostalgic sniffs of the sea breezes.
"I want to replace some of the big old hotels by small
modern ones; I want to build modern blocks of flats; I want a smaller and
more modern shopping centre," he said.
"I intend to keep
the character of St Annes. It is rather the Bournemouth of the North, and so it
"There will still be the palm courts and the old
ladies will still be able to take sedate teas."
Slim, dark - haired Mr Harrison becomes ground
landlord to the town hall, 70 hotels, including the, 170 - room Majestic, 330
shops, ten banks, nine churches, and 2,000 houses and flats. And, he thinks,
He is chairman and managing director of the
Amalgamated Investment and Property Company. His company has bought up the
St. Annes-on-the- Sea Building Company which owned the genteel heart of the
town known locally as the Square Mile. Mr Harrison, in navy blue jersey and
charcoal grey slacks, rustled through some town plans last night and
explained his position as the new landlord.
He said: "The St Annes Company was founded in 1874 by
eight Lancashire business men. I once lived in St Annes, and I have often
thought it would be a good investment to take over the company.
"So my company offered the St Annes Company
35shillings plus one share in my own company for each of their
"But the ground rents in St Annes were granted in the
last century. They don't bear much relation to this day and age and, in fact,
only bring in £16,300.
"Now my idea is to redevelop. Most of the properties
are old. In fact, it is a fine old town but it must bring itself to realise
that times change.
No pressure will ever be it brought upon tenants
to redevelop their properties. We don't want to do that and, in fact, cannot.
But we shall encourage tenants to make changes. They can come to us and we
will see • what can be done—they have not had these advantages
St Annes is noted as a holiday resort, but is also one
of the top Lancashire residential towns with many business men travelling to
Daily Express 12 June 1962.