It's been over 10 years since i last went to Blackpool, why? Well it lost it's appeal to me. Gone are the days of playing on the beach, makind sandcastles, visiting the Dr Who exhibition, spending hours queuing up to be hurled around a ricketty old track on the Pleasure Beach. But that being said, it was about time i revisited good old Blackpool and see how i felt many many years since my last visitation.
So joining me on this trip down memory lane would be my good friend Kasia (friend only, nothing more), as it was she who suggested this day trip.
Early Saturday morning we met up at thew bus stop and made our way to the train. Being daring and throwing caution to the wind, we are both wearing shorts, well my legs do need to get out once in a while. The journey in unremarkable apart from on pulling into Preston the skies open and torrents of rain soak the station. Is this a sign of things to come? The train slowly fills up as we get closer to Blackpool, and an old traditional game re-enters my mind, who will be the first to spot the tower. As i am the only one playing, i am obviously the winner as Kasia if sound asleep.
We arrive at the Pleasure Beach and decide to disembark here and begin our grand footstomp. The first thing i notice is the smell, there is none, well just a whiff. Gone is the stench of shit and fish that usally permiated the air, now you can actually smell the sea, just (the whiff). Venturing forth we skirt around the amusdement palace, queuing is olympic and it's barely 11am. It's here i begin to see how Blackpool has changed, new sea defences are being erected and here down by the south pier, the promenade is looking quite good, alost modern with random pieces of art scattered here and there.
Shades shorts and shirts soon became a slended idea as the sun did shine beyond the duration of our visit, our attire was quite sedate and normal compared to some sights that befel our shaded vision. That being the obligiatory ' let's go to Blackpool for our hen/stag party' brigade. On the whole the code would be matching printed t-shirts and cowboy hats, with the subject of the impending nuptuals being a little more flamboyant or obvious. The odd eccentric would be evident with full regency costumes and Borat swim suits being worn, depending upon the level of intoxication.
Kiss me quick hats lie along side assorted flavours of rock, as befits Blackpool, for some things do not change. That can be said of the music played in the bars and small rides dotted around the piers, with dodgy 80's megamixes and Agadoo in constant rotation for the last 30 years. Maybe it's some kind of timewarp, or it has some kind of subliminal effect that causes the listener to return here like some crazed salmon, year after year.
Traditions have to be maintained, and personal one for me was about to be revisited. For here at Blackpool, the Dr Who exhibition has returned from it's adventures in time and space. I too would have an assistant for this bold adventure, in form of Kasia, a recent viewer of this TV classic. You see, as a small boy we as a family, would often visit Blackpool for the day, and as my younger brother and sister played on the beach, i would wander for hours inside this temple of wonderment. Now i am an adult, how does it feel to revisit all this. Well, it's all a bit geeky, the exhibits comprise mostly of old costumes and replicas of crap monsters. But Besssie the car was there, so a quick photo opportunity arose and was taken. All in all a nice trip down memory lane, but not worth the entrance fee. Saying that, explaining my childhood Who fascination to Kasia was strangely geeky, but entertainingly funny.
Second tradition is easy, when in Blackpool, what do you eat. Fish and chips. So off to Harry Ramsdens for a splendid plate of, guess what, fish chips and mushy peas. Kasia did not expect the peas to be mushy, which did raise a few chuckles, but splendid food anyway.
A quick saunter on the beach followed the feed, not that there was much sand to walk on, the tide must have been having a lazy day. Those who wished to tempt fate dipped more than a toe in the sea, but not us, we had games to play.
We found one of those horse racing games, the one with the balls, lanes and point scoring holes, where if successfull, scoring causes your horse to travel a measured amount. Unfortunately six games each bore no fruit, but plenty of excitement and hilarity. Next was the car racing simulator, not being a driver, my ability to keep the car on the track is questionable. FGood job it's only virtual.
Nearing the end of our day, we retired to a bar and consumed alcohol. Orderly queuing at the bar i ask you, what next, a rain free day? So off home we went, a little pinker than we started. Cheap B&B's are an option for a further visit, possibly for the lights, but that is another date in time. It's home for a late home made curry and more beer.