I’m guessing everyone knows where I spent last weekend by now … Blackpool.
It was sort of a last chance visit this time. We used to go quite often with the girls when they were small. Hubby’s family originally lived within day-tripping distance so we would try and tie in a visit to the fairground or tower with each family occasion.
Hubby had a comp in Blackpool a few years ago and I quite happily went along, enjoying the bargains in the shops and the walks along the beach but, being as mousy as I am, I found myself intimidated when confronted by the stag nights and hen parties who had already started their jollies by 4pm while I was on my way back from the shops. Needless to say on his later competitions I declined the offer to go too.
In my opinion, Blackpool has always been “tacky”, and I mean that in the best possible way. Buckets and spades, deck-chairs, chips on the prom in the drizzle, dodging the seagulls intent on stealing your doughnuts on a stroll along the windy pier, the saucy postcards and the “kiss-me-quick” hats … the list goes on and on but this, to me was part of Blackpool’s charm. The endless shops along the prom selling exactly the same goods, the family photographs on the beach, the circus and the Jungle Jim’s children’s play area in the tower … and it didn’t stop there, the dodgems at the fairground and the Blackpool Illuminations were a sight for hungry eyes not to miss.
However, and again this is just my opinion, the party animals began to take over the town, the hotels and daytime amusements started to suffer as the family holidays moved elsewhere and Blackpool rapidly went down hill. The council took the brave decision to encourage the party animals to take their drinking budget elsewhere, they’ve invested an enormous amount of money into new facilities and are trying to bring back the traditional family holidaymakers with their steady trickle of holiday savings.
They’ve done a great job with the prom, I can only imagine the size of the budget they’ve thrown at it, the tower has had a massive overhaul too, remember the post “Looking down” where I took a picture of my family on the “walk of faith”, a section of glass floor near the top of the 158m tall tower ? Well, they’ve been busy here too and now a whole side of the floor is glass and has a glass wall to look out of , I think I would need a lot more encouragement than last time to stand on it.
All in all, Blackpool have done pretty well, they’ve encouraged high-class nightclubs and up-market shops to share the seaside with the Karaoke bars and “tacky” gift shops and a new modern prom rubs shoulders with the three traditional piers, and of course, not forgetting the doughnut stands and the donkeys.
The work is still quite a way off completion so I imagine it’s been a long slog for the locals, not to mention the drain on the council’s resources. Blackpool just wouldn’t be Blackpool if “all” the party animals moved on, but there is a definite effort being made to tempt back the traditional holiday makers, I really do wish them luck and hope it all works out.
The jury is still out on this one, but I’m prepared to give them another chance, and I guess that’s really what they’re aiming at.
More from before : Beach visits to “Blackpool“.