Saturday, 6 August 2016

Blackpool Blast!

It’s been about 4 or 5 years since we last visited Blackpool so, on Friday (5th Aug), we got into our hire car and headed northwards for an overnight stay.


Our approach, and first impressions of Blackpool, was that things have been vastly improved since our last (and, as always, very enjoyable) visit. First impressions were to continue and the town and sea front really have been cleaned up. To us anyway Blackpool has really started to get its act together.


The tower always looks impressive but the building at its base has been improved hugely by taking down some awful advertising banners that ruined the look of the magnificent frontage on our last visit. The seafront seems to be spotlessly clean and the hotels have done their bit by undertaking some very nice repainting. Blackpool has had a bad press in the past, and probably rightly so, but we have to give praise where it’s due.


Before ‘painting the town red’ we had a great Italian meal at “Tiramisu” thanks to the recommendation of our friend Paul who we were staying with overnight at his newly recently opened hotel. Claudio, the charming and very hard working owner, when he heard that Paul had suggested we eat there, filled our empty wine glasses up again free gratis!


The reason for our visit to Blackpool was, of course, to visit the famous “Funny Girls” show bar for the evening. New friends, Gary and Scott (who we recently bumped into along the canal at Botany Bay) decided to motor up from their home and join us for the evening.


The star of the show – Miss Betty “Legs” Diamond has recently returned to “Funny Girls” from her own show bar in Newcastle.

You can’t just visit “Funny Girls” once – you have to go back again and again. It’s the best, and cheapest entertainment on the the planet and “Betty Legs” is one of the most talented and funny performers around. ALL the performers, DJ  and bar staff are men it needs to be said! – and here are some pics of the six or seven cabarets(we lost count!) we enjoyed during the evening :


Betty’s take on “Kinky Boots”.




This is “Zoe”, the inimitable and exuberant, DJ just posing for photos (as she does!)


This is “Knocksie” (wonder why?), one of the bar staff who looked after our needs!


Another couple of ‘likely lads’ who added enormously to our evening were Scott and Dean (yes, another Scott, just to make life complicated!) up from Manchester for the weekend.


Scott used to be an entertainer in a holiday camp and he was just the sort of person needed to ……….


……. get people into the party mood! Mind you, he didn’t need to encourage Doug very much!


20160805_222551   Back to more cabaret – this one being a take-off of Phantom of the Opera.





“Betty Legs”, on the right, giving us a taste of the spectacular Busby Berkley style finale to come:-





It was a spectacular half hour finish to a brilliant evening at “Funny Girls” for us. We also have to thank Scott and Gary and Scott and Dean for their company and for being such fun as well. Great to catch up with S and G and terrific to meet S and D for the first time – keep in touch guys!


We returned back home to “Chance” on Saturday morning and, on returning the car to Enterprise at Skelmersdale James, the branch manager, gave us a little gift as a ‘thank you’ for using them and the other branches so much! What a lovely thing to do – they really do care about their customers.


Back aboard and, after getting some domesticities out of the way and having 40 winks (we didn’t get to sleep until 3:30 in the morning!) we took an hours’ cruise along the cut in glorious sunshine. Having passed through Lydiate and Maghull, where the residents pay great attention to their houses and gardens, (hopefully we’ll remember to take pics on the return journey!) we were out into the countryside and communing with nature in its full summer stride ……..


……. and witnessing ‘old’ England at it’s best!


On either side of us the water lilies have spread themselves so that we now have just a central channel down which we make our way.


Finally we moored up just after bridge 11, not being able to go much further until swing bridge 9 is opened for us by CRT between 9:30 and 10:30 in the morning. We then start our ‘assisted passage’ into Liverpool.

Tomorrow will see the last leg of our 127 mile trip from Leeds and ending in Liverpool. It’s the first time we’ve taken “Chance” into the city and all reports suggest this last leg will be very special. What is also special, and totally unplanned, is that we have made this delightful transit of the Leeds and Liverpool canal during it’s 200th anniversary (1816 – 2016). What a treat!

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