May 2014.

I've bought a campervan as a 60th birthday present to myself, made some curtains and a patchwork quilt, waved goodbye to my family, and set off. My aim is to explore the coastline of Britain, anti clockwise, starting in Kent. I have no idea what will happen.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014


I arrived in Blackpool in pouring rain and nose to tail traffic, lights and banners overhead, and the pavements crowded with holidaymakers. There was a Red Arrows (the real Red Arrows? I think so) display over the beach so everyone was looking skywards. I could see the Tower up ahead and a ferris wheel beyond and when I was alongside the Tower I turned towards a sign to a carpark. Excellent. But it had a height restriction (Baa is 10ft tall) so I went to another, and that also had a height restriction - but it had an alternative entrance. It was crammed with cars and I must have spent 15 minutes trying to manoeuvre myself into an awkward parking space. Hot, but not bothered, I set off in the rain for the Tower, past colourful stalls and shops, arcades and fortunetellers.
I booked to go to the Eye – the highest part of the Tower, not like the London Eye. I regret not seeing the Ballroom but it was an expensive 'step back in time' and I could also have gone to the Circus, Jungle Jim's Playground and the Dungeons. But the 'all attractions' ticket would have cost me about £50 - no, less for concessions – and I didn't want to go that much.

Once through the turnstile, an arm stopped me walking in front of a laughing Indian family having their photograph taken. Me next, (“Would you like your photo taken?” “What does it cost?” “Nothing, it's just a bit of fun” “All right then”.)
Look aaah! as though you're falling off the Tower!” I looked aaah!
Excellent! Really, really good” (I was a natural!) “Now look thumbs up, excited!” I looked very excited.
Off we all went to the little theatre with special glasses for a short, 4-D warm-up fairytale film about a little boy flying round Blackpool (and, special effects, we got sprayed with water, but I was pretty damp anyway) and then up to the Eye. We squashed into the lift, me next to a girl who can't have been more than 15, with a ladder of cuts up the outside of her arm, the most recent one livid and painful-looking. She was with four or five others and they all looked pretty miserable.
Looking through the glass floor

Despite the overcast day (the rain had momentarily stopped) we could see up the beach and down the beach and all around Blackpool, and I could see Baa 500ft below in the corner of the carpark. When I left the Tower I took my ticket to get my photos – Durrr! Silly me. It didn't cost anything to have the pictures taken, but £20 if you wanted prints. They were very good, but not that good!
Baa, right in the middle
I went back to the carpark at about 5pm, the pavements crowded with people eating burgers, chips and fudge - we all waded through a sea of wet cans, plastic bottles and polystyrene food containers. I had a cup of tea before I could face getting out of my parking space (much easier getting out!) and setting off for Southport, just above Liverpool. I found a good campsite called Willowbank and felt quite sheltered in there on one of the stormiest nights they had had all summer.

1 comment:

judith baker said...

poor you I spent some of the most miserable day trips of my childhood in Blackpool in pouring rain