Meet The Blackburns

Lancaster Leisure Park and GB Antiques Centre are owned and managed by the Blackburn Family.

Lancaster Leisure Park and GB Antiques Centre are owned and managed by the Blackburn Family.

Lancashire born Jimmy and Dawn Blackburn are the owners and managers of the centre and attribute both their passion for antiques and their determination to succeed in business from their father, Allan Blackburn.

Allan sadly died in the summer of 2022 after a short illness, and ownership of the park passed to Jimmy and Dawn, who’d worked alongside Allan for over 25 years.

Allan was the king-pin of the park and a local legend. A self-confessed compulsive collector and lover of all things antique, Allan really was the “go-to expert” for antiques, collectables, furniture and memorabilia. He made numerous appearances on television programmes such as Antiques Road Trip and Salvage Hunters, held a regular antiques phone-in feature on BBC Radio Lancashire and wrote a weekly collectables article for the Lancashire Evening Post, Blackpool Gazette and the Morecambe Visitor, an opinion piece in the Lancaster Guardian and a valuations feature for Northern Life magazine.

So they are big shoes to fill. 

Allan’s son Jimmy joined the business from the age of 15 helping out, but soon realised he was very interested and naturally enthusiastic about old furniture.  Any spare time he had, he would use looking for old pieces of furniture to sell. During the next 25 years, what first started out as a hobby in his spare time, became his livelihood. He started going round car boots and jumble sales before progressing to the auction rooms. He has now stopped looking for that elusive amazing bargain and now concentrates on finding a more established, expensive, rare and collectable piece.

Dawn worked part time until she went to university and secured a degree in information systems and internet commerce. Age 21 she started at GB full time, only intending to stay for a year but she loved working with the family and never left.  20 years later, Dawn works behind the scenes keeping everything ticking over perfectly, which leaves Jimmy free to help customers with their valuations, house clearances and sales.

Their mother is Gloria Blackburn who with Allan and their young family spent weekends and holidays browsing antique shops, centres and fairs throughout the UK. In August 1990, together with Allan, they opened GB Antiques Centre and Allan named it after her (GB).

Originally, they only intended to open as an “Antique Fair” at weekends, but it was so popular it wasn’t long before the centre was expanded and opened seven days a week.

Over 30 years later the antiques centre has grown to more than 40,000 sq feet, boasting 120 individual dealers, making it one of the biggest indoor antiques and furniture centre in the country.

But it’s not just antiques!

In April 1998, Allan bought Lancaster Leisure Park on which GB Antiques is situated. He transformed it into an exciting family day out and it now boasts 14 amazing attractions as well as a new housing development. Lancaster Leisure Park is now home to::

The park welcomes over 220,000 visitors a year and employs 320 staff including Allan’s wife Gloria, son Jimmy and daughter Dawn.

Jimmy said “I am really happy with how the park looks now. We have always wanted to offer something exciting and totally unique to our visitors.  Now I can confidently say that Lancaster Leisure Park does just that and I don’t think there’s anything like this anywhere else in the country.  We’ll keep investing in the park and moving the business forward, just as Dad would have wanted.”


Lancaster Leisure Park

View More

Read more

Other attractions at Lancaster Leisure Park

Other great attractions at Lancaster Leisure Park

01524 844734