Danielle Swindells’ The Ashleigh Hotel
Danielle Swindells is a documentary filmmaker concerned with place and it’s affect on the human condition; particularly when memory and nostalgia informs an important part of a place.
In her short, The Ashleigh Hotel, which Danielle made in her final year of University, the once seaside guesthouse hosting “bucket and spade” holiday-goers, closed its doors to the public in 1982 to become a ‘House of Multiple Occupation’; now a permanent home to a group of Blackpool residents estranged from their social networks.
This is symptomatic of a wider transformation undergone by Blackpool, as the advent of cheap air travel in the 1970’s caused the traditional seaside holiday to fall from popularity. Subsequent economic problems have resulted in low property prices and a rise in the number of guesthouses no longer servicing holidaymakers but instead housing Blackpool’s enormous transient population of people facing difficulties such as such as toxic breakups, homelessness, drug addiction and unemployment. “I began forming an idea of outsiders starting life again amongst the ghosts of family holidays and fond memories gone by” says Swindells.