Lancashire 6 - Blackpool /choir trips/the Tower Ballroom/ Sgt Peppers / Fireworks at Fleetwood

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November 1st 2019
Published: November 4th 2019
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Where in the world is Gabby the motorhome? She is parked up on a car park in Lytham St Annes near to Blackpool. £7 a night and an enlightened council who welcome motorhomes. There are a few cars here and one other motorhome. The dunes shelter us from the sea. WE are on a bus route to Blackpool. What more could we want? Why are we here ? Well tomorrow we are having a new Lithium battery for the motorhome fitted in Bamber Bridge so a trip to Blackpool seemed quite a sensible idea.

Let's rewind and go back a bit to our holiday and last night in France. We slept well at Gravelines and set off early in the morning. It was dark and for the first time we saw migrants trying to get over to Britain. The French customs were a little nonchalent and waved us through. The man with the bat ignored us and the British customs were their usual smiling selves. We waited a while watching the board flick over and tell us our boarding time and glancing at the other couple of motorhomes on the parking ground. No early crossing today for us. Eventually we boarded and ignored the information announcements. We have heard them so many times before . We arrived home to a dull and dismal day. Conversation turned to our holiday . Had we enjoyed it? Yes of course we did. Could we have had better weather ? Of course we could have had better. Where would we go next year? Not Italy, Not Spain - how about the Baltic states? Plenty to see and everything new for us. Around Peterborough we saw police . A number of migrants were at the side of the road, handcuffed to police officers. They had been walking along the motorway.

On the way home we wondered if our house would be OK. Had the alarm gone off whilst we were away? What would the garden look like? We wanted a long lie in the bath? We wanted beans on toast , egg on toast and a good cup of tea. It didnt take long though before we wanted to get on the road again.

So where to? How about somewhere close to Bamber Bridge. How about Blackpool? There will be the Illuminations to see. Well no there wasnt - they finished the night before. We were staying at St Annes on a dedicated car park , How good was that . We dont get many to the pound in this country. The bus stop was just outside of the car park and we were about 15 minutes away from Blackpool. Neither of us had been to Blackpool for years so this was going to be a bit of a novelty.

We travelled free on the bus . Why is that free bus tickets for us old age pensioners are treated differently in different parts of the country. Back home in Chesterfield I get on the bus , put my card on the reader . It flashes green, orange and then green again and I am free to travel. Here I boarded the bus , put my card on the machine and nothing happened . No bells , no lights -nothing. The lovely lady driver looked at me , took the card and put it back on the reader . Where to? She said - Mmmmmmm where to I wondered . How about the town centre ? She gave me the ticket and off we went . Blackpool is very down at heel in the back streets. Shops closed and boarded up. The front was tarted up. So what are our memories . Both of us had stayed at Ginn Square up the North End of the town. I went with a friend and her parents and we spent hours and very little money to travel on the trams . The heritage trams were mixed up today with the new brand spanking modern ones. We spent hours in the Tower Ballroom . We sat in the ballroom and climbed to the top. These days it costs too much to ever contemplate going to the top

We travelled down to Starr Gate and went into the Fun House . Choir trips were organised by bus and we spent lunchtimes in the Lewis Store beneath the Tower eating fish and chips. We walked along the North Pier , the Central Pier and the South Pier . I met someone from Huddersfield there and he sent me 10 shillings . I think I bought Sgt Peppers with the money.

So what about Blackpool today/ Busy , lots of kids eating ice creams, doughnuts and chips. The bingo halls resounded to the sound of the games being played. Pink pumpkin like coaches were being pulled by horses . Kids seemed to love them and the donkeys on the beach. The beach was clean, the sea grey.

Blackpool had always been heavily dependent on tourism particularly in its heyday between 1900 and 1950. All of the factory workers of Northern England took up their annual holidays here en masse. It was the 1960's that killed off the town as people went overseas for cheap travel however it re-invented itself with its pleasure beach , real seaside atmosphere and the Tower with its circus and its ballroom .Everywhere is a bit tacky and I wondered what our European friends would think of Blackpool and its seaside atmosphere. Music everywhere , the smell of food permeating the air.

So what about the tower? Well it is very iconic. YOu can see it and the Big One (the roller coaster ride ) from miles away. Painted in red it is a landmark you just cannot miss.. The Tower was opened in 1894 and when it was completed it was the tallest man made structure in the British Empire . It was plain to see that it was modelled on the Eiffel Tower. It is 158 metres tall and is now the 120th tallest freestanding building in the World . Quite an achievement .

Back home we headed and the plan then moved to phase 2 . Fireworks - That one fell flat . It poured down with rain. I came down with a stinking cold and it was a long walk to the Cricket Club . Home to bed instead .


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