1. Genesis- And God created Blackpool

It is a pleasant four and a half hour bus journey to Blackpool from Glasgow. The passengers find it hard to contain their excitement as for most of them they’ve been waiting all year for this moment. The jovial atmosphere on the bus is such that complete strangers share their sweets. Seated at the back of the bus I gesticulate to Lorries we are overtaking to “honk their horn for me”. Honk, Honk. Cheers big man. After awhile my maw tells me to sit down that I’m 43 not 13.

From now on I will deal with the hotel part of the holiday and leave the amusement arcades and all that palaver for another article. Every Blackpool hotel room has a character all of its own. They are all dingy but there are degrees of dinginess and Glaswegians try to out boast one another over who had the number one dinger.

As it’s a hotel and not self catering there is no fridge in the room. This leaves the problem of how to chill the carry-out carried in cans of bitter that will be consumed after the bars closed. I use the following technique. I fill the bath with cold water and immerse the cans under the water. Hey Tesco, a makeshift fridge. A room with a shower means you have to use the sink instead giving you the opportunity to pretend to be a toff and say you have a mini-bar.

Unless you’ve booked an oot the road dive, most of the packages in the medium sized hotels will include cabaret entertainment. We’re only here for the beer but it is nice to have a comedian/singer giving you some background noise. To ensure the best seats -that’s the ones at the back next to the window- my wife and I throw our towels over the couches a few hours before the night’s show; a little tip we picked up from the Germans.

As the night wears on the audience starts to get merry and laughs at the corny jokes. Then when the artiste begins to sing “Cotton eyed Joe” everybody’s bouncing on the tables. I’m enjoying myself that much at the end of the performance I buy the dudes CD. Only on the bus back do I see what a fool I’ve been. Why did I buy this amateur recording? But all is not lost, I’m a great recyclist and I use the CD case to replace a broken one in my collection. As for the disc, it retains a connection with Blackpool. It will be a coaster.

One of the most dangerous aspects of your stay in the hotel is the smuggling operation you’ve got going. This is, of course, the mission to secretly bring chips into your room against house regulations. Skulking about the lobby, you try and avoid the night shift staff but the aroma of the chips is too strong. Oh no, the manager is coming, quick, up the shirt with the food.
I forgot about the curry sauce.

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9 Comments on “1. Genesis- And God created Blackpool”

  1. Expat Says:

    I went to Blackpool once. On a business course. All I remember of the whole week is a night out in a club where the entertanment was a male stripper who'd had hormone therapy.Not pretty.

    And you've done it again, JW!! Stop with the Chippie comments if you have any regard for my feelings!

    Now I'm craving curry sauce.

  2. Was it a business course on asset stripping, Expat?

  3. Expat Says:

    I have nothing against Blackpool. I've just never been there except for that one time for work. I don't mind a bit of tackiness at all. In fact, I can be quite tacky myself on occasion!

    Never been to Vegas either…

    JW, you really must look for a better class of accommodation, though. No mini-bar is a disgrace.

    And always carry a plastic bag (one of those supermarket jobbies) to stick your chips in before you shove 'em up your jumper!

  4. I don't know Blackpool, so it is difficult for me to comment.

    But from my childhood, on a journey to Clapton, I remember what my Mum said to me:

    “If you need to go now, you should have gone before”.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    On reflection, I think it was Clacton. But it might have been Blackpool. Sandy beach, donkey ride, and the earliest photo in my family album …

  6. Crikey! I've suddenly become anonymous! Help!

  7. Well, god may have had a hand in it, for its pleasures are Manifold!

    Aeons ago, my grandparents had a guesthouse on the prom at Blackpool, and we always spent a week or two there Just Before the Season commenced.

    At five, 'twas a place of great joy, with donkeys on the beach and the big dipper and the Tower Circus where the stage filled with water for the seals. (I really hope they were as happy as they made me and my brothers)…

    The guesthouse had a huge & fabulously creepy cellar that was the Kitchen (oh – the fragrance of eternal stockpan), and grandad used to be the evening entertainment on his riproaring piano.

    And as for the multitudinous Blackpool-Rocks available, well, sweet, sweet memories of teeth that went before…

    In spite of definite tackiness, I think the great thing about Blackpool is the effervescent buzz of everyone Out to Have a Jolly Good Time. One day I'll take my bucket & spade (& windbreak) back for a Merry Weekend !

  8. JW10 Says:

    Dolores, that was a lovely story. Thanks for sharing.

    They say everyone has a book in them and my travels in Blackpool would be mine. Somehow, I can't see Michael Palin losing any sleep with worry.

    Thanks also to our other two regular contributors and anonymous- whoever you may be. 🙂

  9. Expat Says:

    That does sound lovely, Dolores! We always used to go to Weymouth or Southsea on our holidays and stay in a caravan. No photos of me on a donkey have survived the years, but I do have some of us all walking along the promendade. Are those beach photographers still around?

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