Rays Of Sun Shining

Window in the Winter Gardens, Blackpool

Ah Blackpool! Ah The Winter Gardens, the Pleasure Beach, the lights, the tower. My abiding memory is of losing a small boy at the Pleasure Beach. One out of eleven wasn’t so bad, but it was one too many all the same!

No lost child while on a business trip yesterday. Thankfully. Somehow with Blackpool one has to suspend all good sense and taste and simply ‘be there’ with all the glitz and fun-o-the-fair energy washing around one. Perhaps that is the charm of seaside towns, to loose oneself for a bit and enjoy the seagulls, Victorian splendor, pink candy floss and ice cream. The sun shone from a clear blue sky and The Winter Gardens were splendid. But it was the Tower Ballroom, hostess to glitzy Come Dancing, I’d really liked to have seen. Just once.

Blackpool was the favoured seaside resort for Lancashire Wakes Week. A time when mills were closed down for maintenance and the workers had a weeks unpaid holiday. Workers from Blackburn or Oldham or Stockport, living it up for a week in sunny Blackpool.

Wakes Week
There is a merry, happy time,
To grace withal this simple ryhme:
There is jovial, joyous hour,
Of mirth and jollity in store:
The Wakes! The Wakes!
The jocund wakes!
My wandering memory now forsakes
The present busy scene of things,
Erratic upon Fancy’s wings,
For olden times, with garlands crown’d
And rush-carts green on many a mound.
In hamlets bearing a great name,
The first in astronomic fame.
— From The Village Festival by Droylsden poet Elijah Ridings.

There is nothing like the seaside and some sunshine.

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4 thoughts on “Rays Of Sun Shining”

  1. Aye, and I remember the Scottish weekends, all police leave cancelled, Blackpool North full of long trains. The sea and the bracing wind remain the same.

  2. I once danced at the Tower ballroom. I was at a trade union conference as a delegate & one of the guys was a very good ballroom dancer. I just floated round with him – it was great.

  3. Ah, happy memories. Not that I qualified to go on one of those weeks of unrelieved fun and frolicking. In Stockport in the 1960’s I was locked up in a darkroom, printing photographs for all I was worth. Attempting to get good enough so I’d be let out to go and take some of the photographs. Eventually I did.

  4. WELL DONE ANGIE! I am proud of you. Sequins on the dress were there? Hah, I seem to remember something about sewing sequins, at Reading Priory. Happy days.

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