Chrissie is our resident blogger and she talks about how she first fell in love with this fabulous place. My Summer Holidays in Blackpool is a piece originally written for Blackpool Heritage News.
“Our love affair with Blackpool began in the seventies when Jane, my daughter, was about six years old….”
We had some friends who lived there and owned some holiday flats which they kindly let us have for three weeks in the summer holidays. That was it, off we all came, my parents and our dog included, loaded the car up and set off for our summer holidays. It was a new experience for us to stay in a flat, we’d always gone in hotels before, so we set off on our new venture with excitement.
We always bought Jane a new bucket and spade, with lots of little shapes to make things with in the sand, and before we could get our breath and unpack, we were all dragged to the beach to get our first taste of freedom and being at the seaside. In the seventies the beaches were packed with people, deckchairs everywhere you could look, with wind shields being a necessity to protect you from the wind which always seemed to blow at Blackpool.
We would have our breakfast, tidy up and pack ready for a day on the beach. There were flasks to be made, towels, swimming costumes, flip flops for Jane to paddle in, buckets and spades, a wet flannel in a plastic bag for wiping your hands on, sun tan cream, you name it we took it. Really we could have done with one of the donkey’s on the beach to get all the things there we wanted to take!
On the way, we found a sandwich shop which made the most delicious beef and onion and corned beef and onion sandwiches, the likes of which I’ve never tasted to this day. So that was a must for us so that we didn’t have to go searching for food, even though we’ve always said that we didn’t know how so much sand managed to find its way into them. It was part of my summer holidays in Blackpool to have sandwiches liberally sprinkled with sand, washed down with lashings of tea out of the flask.
We loved our day out on the beach, my dad would play ball with Jane until he dropped exhausted, while her dad would love to be creative with the sand, building fairy tale castles for her with moats with water around them. She’d be there in her little costume running back and forward to the nearest pool to fill her bucket up only to see it disappear quickly into the sand, still it kept her quiet and made her day.
When the tide was coming in, they would build a furrow to sea to watch how quickly it would fill with water. Then it was off to the caravan which was always parked on the beach to buy an ice cream. Nothing tasted like the ice cream those small caravans made, it was delicious, especially when it was running down your arms!
Next came the donkey rides which Jane’s granddad would take her to, how she loved that, sitting proudly on her donkey as though she owned it, many was the picture like other parents that we took of her. My mum and I would lie back in our deckchairs soaking up the sun, it did seem to be more sunny in those days, enjoying our break from the drudgery of housework. You could hear the screams and shouts of children loving to run in and out of the sea, beating the waves, all around us were the sounds of people having a great holiday.
We would stay on the beach until it was time for tea and the afternoon sun was starting to lose its power, then off we went, packing our deckchairs up while trying not to get stuck in the middle of them. They seemed to have a life of their own when you tried to put them up or take them down. We would fetch buckets of water from the sea to wash Jane’s legs and feet before we got her dressed, then began the job of packing all the things up we’d lugged down to the beach. By the time we’d walked back to our flat, we were starting to flag. All the sun and fresh air was too much for us, and when we got in we collapsed in a heap thinking it would be nice if somebody got the tea ready for us!
There was still no rest for the wicked, after we’d eaten and tidied up we made plans for the evening. Not a moment of the holiday was to be wasted. Usually when we arrived at Blackpool, we would see which shows were on and which we wanted to go and see, with the Tower Circus being a must, then we would book them, spacing them out over the three weeks.
When there wasn’t a show to go, we would either go for a walk on the front, go to the Pleasure Beach or go to the Winter Gardens where there was a sort of disco dancing evening on most nights. Me and mum loved that, as we could get up and have a good old dance, while my dad and husband, both non dancers, would watch us. Jane enjoyed it down there, there was live music on and a great family atmosphere, so a good time was had by all.
When the illuminations were on, we would enjoy walking on the front and seeing all the beautiful lights, especially when it had been raining and the roads were wet, as you got a double helping of lights with the reflections from the wet streets. We would then go back to base, very tired but happy, all saying what a great time we’d had, and boy did we sleep well with all the fresh air and activity, our heads would hit the pillows and out we would go.
The only trouble was, that the three weeks of my summer holidays in Blackpool flew by all too quickly. Then it was back to the reality of real life, school and work again, still there was always another holiday to look forward to.
Thank you for my summer holidays in Blackpool
Thank you Blackpool, for many happy memories, which we treasure to this day. I never dreamed for one minute in those long, hot summer days of the seventies that I’d come to live in this fabulous place, or that we’d get involved in the whole tourism machine that delivers happiness to millions of people every year.
I still get a thrill every time I drive along the prom, and even going to the supermarket seems like a day trip. You can read all about what my new life is like at the seaside in my diary ‘Chrissie’s Blog’
I’ve got my very own facebook page too, you can find me at Chrissie Blogger, where you can join in with your own comments and daily randomness!
My mum on the pier in the 1970’s
A day out on the beach
Find out More
Have a look at the Visit Fylde Coast website homepage for more of the latest updates.
If you love the Fylde Coast you ought to sign up for our weekly email newsletter. It’s packed full of interesting things and will arrive in your inbox all 52 weeks of the year.
Join us on Facebook at our Visit Fylde Coast Facebook Group
Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @visitFyldeCoast