On Wednesday evening we had a very nice meal with friends George and Jan (nb ‘Lady Patricia’) who drove from their home nearby to meet up with us.
George, Jan, James and Doug at The Wharf in Castlefield having a good time catching up, having not been together for over a year.
Yesterday we decided to have a trip up to Blackpool, having not been there for 3 years. Cancellations due to a lack of drivers meant that our train was packed to the gunwales (or whatever trains have instead of gunwales) and we groaned and lurched our way towards Blackpool like one of those in India, packed with people and chickens on the roof!
After spilling from the train we found Blackpool seafront windy and deserted. We walked the Golden Mile down to the Pleasure Beach, noticing that all the old trams had now been replaced by spanking new ones.
The lovely building at the base of the tower has been fronted by a shiny plastic hoarding advertising the various attractions inside. Hopefully, at sometime in the future, it will be removed by a more discerning town council.
The multi million pound regeneration of the seafront has created a very clinical looking beach (especially on a day when the weather’s not good enough to sit on it) ………
……… and an equally clinical, and vast area, of concrete with no seating and no shelters to sit in when it’s windy. However, the place was surprisingly clean and tidy, even in the town centre and when the sun came out even the many empty hotels and seafront businesses looked a little better.
We walked around some of the backstreets where the small B & Bs are (a lot are still looking clean and tidy and doing well) and we found a very nice cafe where we had a delicious “all day breakfast” at 1 o’ clock.
Walking through the shopping centre (where we couldn’t resist a quick look in the TK Maxx) we came up to the Winter Gardens which are well worth a walk through – the building is a gem. Blackpool Tower and the wonderful Ballroom is now an expensive experience to get into and the prices of everything left us wondering just how families can even afford a day, let alone a weeks’ holiday. How can you justify spending £1.85 for one scoop of ice cream and £2.50 for five little doughnuts?
Anyway, we spend a pleasant day wandering and watching and enjoying some of the architecture still left standing. The town hall is not as grand as Manchester but very nice nonetheless.
Catching a late train back to Manchester we had a conversation with 2 young black youths who’d had a rum deal over an intensive driving course they’d just had over the previous few days. They took the whole thing in good humour and their enthusiastic approach to life was very refreshing to hear. We got back to ‘Chance’ at 10 o’ clock after a good day out, although we probably won’t be visiting Blackpool again for a while.